Monday, 24 April 2017


 Lewis McDonald (lead vocalist & guitarist), Darren Forbes (lead guitarist & backing vocalist), Jordan McHatton (bassist) and Andrew Findlay (drummer) are the dreamy rock & roll four-piece band from Fife better known as Shambolics and Jamie Pollock (lead vocalist & guitarist), Nathan Evans (lead guitarist & backing vocalist), Craig Scobbie (bassist & backing vocalist), Greg Ballantyne (keyboardist) and Jamie Piggott (drummer & backing vocalist) are the Britpop influenced five-piece from Alloa better known as Vida.

Both bands are managed by the same individual, Tom Barnes, founder of Loaded Music and together these two Scottish bands are going to be heading out on a This Feeling tour together. The 'Hot Scots' tour sees the boys of the bands first head off to England to play Birmingham's Dares and shall then heading to Water Rats of London on the 6th before heading back up to their homeland Scotland to play Broadcast in Glasgow on the 12th followed by PJ Molloys in Dunfermline ahead of their return to England for the final date to take to the stage of Manchester's Night and Day Café.
VIDA - photo credit to Tom Barnes
To get more of an inside knowledge of both bands I spoke to said manager and Loaded Music founder, Tom Barnes and this is what he had to say - ''It’s been a heady few months with both Vida and Shambolics. From the off it was immediately apparent that things would work well with Vida. I had been given their Sound Hub profile and first clapped eyes on the video for 'Fade Away' around June 2016. At the time I was routing a tour for Staffordshire outfit, The Shanklins and was seeking out support for their Glasgow date at Broadcast. We hit it off prior to that gig and we arranged to talk following The Shanklins set. That was August 2016, by September we had orally agreed I would now look after the band, so I set about filling the calendar to schedule with the release of the follow up to Fade Away, Masquerade EP. The lads launched the record, headlining for This Feeling at famous Glasgow venue, King Tuts, with a four piece by the name of Shambolics in support. It was on that very night, that Vida officially put pen to paper, and signed for Loaded Music UK.

The month following, Vida hit the road and broke their gig cherries, in many of the UKs music cities, including Birmingham supporting The Shimmer Band again for This Feeling, and Sheffield, where in attendance was Brandon Crook of The Sherlocks and his Dad and The Sherlocks manager, Michael. A discussion took place for Vida to act as main support on the opening 7 dates of The Sherlocks forthcoming UK and Ireland tour, kicking off in February 2017.

The next step was to look towards the next release and who we would do it with and where. The lads were all keen to up the ante, and I made a suggestion to speak with fellow Brummy, Steve Cradock of Ocean Colour Scene, who I had DJ’d with in London earlier in the year. I persuaded the lads that it was worth a punt and that to make another step up, working alongside such a mature music head, who has worked with everyone from Noel and Liam Gallagher, extensive work with Paul Weller, P. P Arnold, Paul McCartney to name just a few, in the surroundings of Steve’s home in South West England, would hold many post gains, than just heading back in to any old recording facility on the high street. The numbers worked and the decision was made that the end of January 2017, we would make the journey and spend the week with Steve and his family. The recording went with zero hitches, it could not have gone better and the fruit from the week spent, was exactly what the band was looking to achieve. I remember the drive back up, coming past Bristol, and the talk was very much on tea. Steve and his wife Sal make a cracking cuppa, and the lads up until then had pretty much turned their noses up to a cuppa, things change I suppose when you have been passed a steaming cup, while sat in the man cave that is Steve Cradock's recording hub, surrounded by gold discs, burning joss sticks and Marc Bolan on the turntable every morning. It was life changing for them.

Shambolics - photo credit to Dave Clark.
Only days after returning from recording, Vida hit the road on what became 7 sold out dates with The Sherlocks, and the result was a brand new army of followers. In mid-February, This Feeling, along with a select bunch of bands, had chosen Vida as ‘Big in 2017’. Among the list was Kirkcaldy outfit Shambolics who were set to go on before Vida at the This Feeling date in conjunction with the whole ‘Big in 2017’ announcement, at Broadcast. I had already had words with the Vida lads about Shambolics, because due to being on the same bill regularly over recent months, they had been on my radar. I made a decision to approach Shambolics, and it was a fairly swift progression to agreeing for them to join Vida on the Loaded roster.
From February up until fairly recent, I have been working with This Feeling head honcho, Mikey Jonns in routing a ‘Hot Scots’ tour which would showcase the brilliance of both bands. We made a decision that it was important to continue to cement both acts as front-runners in what Scotland had to offer, so made sure that they play at least 2 dates in where both bands consider home, but also maximise their recent progression out of Scotland too. They are set to hit Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Dunfermline and Manchester throughout May and will furthermore establish themselves on the unsigned scene as two of the best out there.
One of the main catalyst’s for the run of dates in May, is for Vida to finally reveal the A & B side produced with Steve Cradock. Initially we had planned to get the record out a lot earlier, but with the Summer in the UK being such a crucial time for bands with it being festival season, it made sense to put the brakes on and save it. So May 1st, 'Where We Came From' will be available to the masses, and I am adamant it is going to surpass the bands leading track 'Fade Away' and will not only win them more fans, but will also see them take a stride up the ladder and onto every labels radar in the UK. It wouldn’t surprise me if you hear one or two festival crowds chant the chorus this Summer!!! Following on from the scheduled This Feeling tour, both bands will continue to gig across the entire country, with the aim to claim adoption in every city they meet. The live setup is where music’s heart beats with vigour, and both bands know how to get the best out of a crowd, and how to put on a show. Right now I am currently in talks with a booking agent based in Europe who is keen to bring both acts across the water, which in effect, spreads the net much further afield. Its early days but we may well see an EP out of both bands before the close of 2017. Who knows?''


Although there are not many dates on this tour, these bands are covering a vast area of the UK throughout the five dates and this is leading them to be able to play venues that they  have not yet done so. With Vida playing all of the England based venues for the first time on this tour and Shambolics who previously played Water Rats for a club night for Alan McGee's label are going to be playing both the Birmingham and the Manchester venues for the first time. This is something which for me makes this tour even special because they are able to play venues together in their homeland of Scotland as well as venture to England to grace the stages of new venues together this being something which alongside meeting new people is what the boys of Vida are most looking forward to about this tour.

Whereas bassist Jordan of Shambolics is just looking forward to gigging in general as it is something which he finds addictive as well as him also enjoying the travelling and playing in front of folk.

There is tonnes to be excited about in terms of both these bands currently as the hypothetical wheels of their musical careers are well and truly in motion and that is definitely why you should (if this tour is coming relatively close to you) head down to one of their dates, so you can witness two of the best bands coming out of Scotland for yourself.

Tickets for all dates can be purchased online - Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Dunfermline and Manchester. I definitely recommend that you get your tickets sooner rather than later for this tour to avoid disappointment (particularly if you wish to see the bands in Scotland) due to the demand. You can check out the rest of the upcoming This Feeling gigs here.

You can keep up-to-date with what else the bands are up to via their Facebook pages - Vida and Shambolics. The Facebook page of Loaded Music can be accessed here.

Written by Sophie Arnold.

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