Carl Marah and Scott Rough are listening to music since they were little children, but the Swinging Sixties just got into their heads and kept on pushing them to the stage. They wanted to produce and play what they love. In 2014 the two 60s music lovers started to do gigs with musician Mick Reilly about the sound of this era. It was the foundation of the fantastic band Logan´s Close. Drums, two guitars, lead and rhythm, and their voices was quite alright for the beginning, but surely there was something missing.
Member Mick Reilly left the band, instead there is now Sean Keys playing the keys. The musician from Glasgow is as well involved in live drum and bass sessions with the band Snack Villain. To Logan´s Close came Ollie Turbitt on the bass guitar and Alex Palmer on the drums. Mostly you can find the guys at gigs around their hometown Edinburgh in Scotland. But as well they go on tours time by time and visit radio shows like the one at Radio X in Frankfurt where we recorded the podcast.
It was quite adventurous to meet. They didn´t know where the Radio is, the “bringing-to-the-radio-guy” couldn´t bring them and they took the cab to a complete wrong direction at first. But the guys still arrived at time just before going live on air. They arrived close as Logan´s Close and the show was just awesome! The fellows are cool, easy going and not letting orientation or time stress getting on their good mode. After the show they gave a wonderful concert at the Dreikönigskeller in Frankfurt.
Check out the podcast about the show with some of their songs and a lot of interesting, funny and exciting background information about Logan´s Close. You can listen to the audio below; as well there are most parts of the conversation written down in the following.
You do Rock’n’Roll music or how would you describe it?
CARL: Yes, it´s like a kind of 69s influences like Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kings and bands like this as well with contemporary influences. We try to find a middle point where they meet together. And our own original music in that style.
When did you start playing music and when did the band get formed?
SCOTT: We started playing in 2014. It was me, Carl and an old member. We used to play two guitars, no bass and a drum. And it was pretty terrible. But yeah, it was taking us time to sort of get to where we are.
CARL: And the style, that really worked for us. So we have been playing a lot in Edinburgh and in Scotland, sometimes in England. But this time we had gigs in Cologne and Hamburg. And obviously we are doing this tour here now. It´s cool to change sceneries and playing to new people. This tour started on Monday in Berlin. So we played there in Schokoladen. Thanks to Vanessa for having us. On Tuesday we played in Mannheim at Alter.
SCOTT: Shout out to Mark Varescu, what a legend.
CARL: It was really cool, it was outside and then there was a thunderstorm at the very end of our performance. So we had to run inside because of all the rain and save all the instruments. We hid behind the bar and had alcohol too.
SEAN: Felt right at home, haha.
Tell me a bit about the song we just played. “Girl” is one of the earlier songs.
SCOTT: Yes, it is. It´s just a song about a girl that I fancy. And it´s about how much I fancy her. Yep. And it´s just a little rocky number.
CARL: It´s kind of like our original songs, because we used to play this really very traditional 60s kind of music. That sounded a little bit different, as well the chords. This was the first song where we started to try to combine it to sounds of the modern world. Before we were just stucked to the old ones. It was the first one where we tried to multitude it together.
So you two, Scott and Carl, you write the lyrics?
CARL: Yes, we sort of share the music and the songs and the lyrics together. In the fusions we do with the music, the addition of the keyboard is something new as well. There is a little bit of keyboard on our EP, but the songs are a lot more heavy on keyboards.
You already released some CDs, tell me about them.
CARL: We had our first single, it was “Listen to your mother”. Then we released the single “Girl” and there is our “Fried Bangers” EP and now there is our new song “Give it to me”. They are all up on the internet and stuff. We had some physicals as well, but we all sold them out. There is only one left. One CD left.
What´s about this song “Listen to your mother”? Have you done something wrong and you got sanctioned for it by your mother?
SEAN: Yes, mother is always right!
CARL: Well, when Scott and I was writing it we wanted to have a sort of like a message. Something that applies to almost everyone, and everyone can rely on it in some way. And then the mother idea just came in.
SCOTT: You´ve got to listen to your mother. As well the father, but we just came with the mother.
CARL: So we just played around with the idea for a while and then it came together. And it was cool. It was a good and fun recording as well.
So Frankfurt today, where are the next steps of the tour?
CARL: We are playing at Dreikönigskeller tonight in Frankfurt, and quite soon after we finished we have to go to Frankfurt airport, because we have got a gig in Sicily, in Messina. And there are four shows in Messina, and one of those is on the beach, which is going to be lovely. And then we are going home again back to Scotland.
You said you have been in Germany before for some concerts?
CARL: Yes, we have been to Cologne for a gig at the Sonic Ballroom and in Hamburg at Hafenklang. It was part of the Garageville Festival. It´s a festival with a lot of 60s bands. We have been really surprised how well all of our concerts turned out here in Germany. Even the last time as well in Berlin at Schokoladen. It was the Monday night gig. And every time we come across, we are always wondering like: “I don´t know who would come and see us. I don´t think anybody knows who we are.” But on a Monday night it was full. And we went there, big Thank You to the Euphoric Elephants who played with us and brought a lot of their fans to the show. That was really cool. And there were just a lot of other people who came to listen to our music generally. I don´t know if this is usual here maybe, but in Scotland it´s a lot more difficult to convince people to come to those shows. It´s a lot harder. I´m not sure why. We are just really grateful to see people coming and listening to our music. It really helps us to keep on doing what we do.
What do you sing about in your songs, what are the lyrics about?
SCOTT: So some lyrics are about food. Fried breakfasts, which are really popular in Scotland and Britain. Then girls mainly, always. And feeling hang over after drinking alcohol.
So all the important things.
SCOTT: Yes, pretty much.
SEAN: All the bases are covered.
Why did you choose this kind of music? What´s about the Rock’n’Roll?
CARL: Well, we´ve all listened to music from many decades and I suppose music from the 60s is very influential. And a lot of people still listen to it more than to the contemporary stuff. So we spend a lot time with discovering and researching bands from that era. And I think when you listen to something so much it kind of plays in your mind and this is as well what you want to produce in some way. So yes, we just love that music. When we started to play we wanted to give the people opportunities to dance on our shows and for the dance we used the music of those kind of bands for playing. The main things we wanted to achieve was seeing people dancing to our music.
SEAN: Yes, it´s the energy we give.
CARL: Especially the energy, when we play and can see that. That we can share it with the audience that we play to.
ALEX: We connect with lots of people around the world.
So this is the next song, “Give it to me”, it´s again a bit different.
CARL: Yes, it´s quite darker with more keyboard. The producer did a great job.
SCOTT: Yes, we are already very proud of it.
Did you play at festivals already?
CARL: We played at some little festivals near Edinburg but we are more into playing at venues. We played at a couple of cool ones. There is The 100 Club in London at Century House in Oxford Street. We supported The Kaisers there, it´s a band from Edinburg as well. And we played at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. That´s where the Beatles got famous.
ALEX: I´ve heard of them.
CARL: Haha, yes. So we played a couple of times there as well, it´s pretty cool there. It´s really fun to have those shows with people who have the same kind of taste of music like us. That is really perfect.
Are there any new projects planned?
SCOTT: Probably next year we are going to try and release a record. Like a big LP. There will be some more singles later on this year. And yes, we maybe probably need just to go away to a studio and bang out twelve songs.
It´s all part of the development, before you started with the group, but there were parts missing. So the other artist came and now you are complete.
SCOTT: Yes, it feels good now when we play together.
CARL: There is a good chemistry.
SEAN: A good energy when we play.
Where did you play before or in which bands have you been before Logan´s Close?
ALEX: I did some session drumming and palying in some jazz projects. I did playing with guitars or playing with singer. As well I was in the band called Smitten. A band grown from a blues inspired indie rock duo to a three piece that combines soulful pop ballads. So blues and old modern rock and that stuff. I came a bit more from a heavy rock and metal background and started playing some jazz. I tried to get this different influences together and tried to be placed in new situations. But then going back to this 60s rock music and the beat stuff and groove stuff, that is my home territory. So I´m really enjoying doing that totally.
SEAN: I´m based in Glasgow and I have two other projects which I´m working on. One of them is a sort of Drum’n’Bass-Jazz-Surf-Rock. The band is called Snack Villain. I´m sessioning with them right now and I play keyboard. It´s with live drum and bass, so it´s proper and we go mental. It´s pretty crazy on the live sets. You have to be fast, the drummer we got for this is also a Jazz drummer. He really really rocks. And the other project I´m in is Canary Gold. I play the bass guitar for that. This is more indie rock, more commercial sort of indie rock. Personally not my favorite thing to play, but I do like the band. I should have my own solo project coming up by the end of the year which is at Kamal Williams and with groove and jazz influences. Not too complicated but very groovy kind of stuff. Hopefully I get something out of that by the end of the year. I hope I do well.
OLLIE: I do a lot of experimental music myself. And I´m into some quite weird stuff. So I do that in sets. These guys pull me sometimes because I´m listening to quite a lot weird stuff. That´s what I like. As well I play in a punk band called the Bad Protagonist Club. And we play a lot of gigs in Edinburgh.
SCOTT: I play in another band called Doctor Salad which is like heavy sensual music. Like sexy heaviness.
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