Interview: Speckled Band

Glaswegian band Speckled Band have a classic pop sound, mixing together different genres to create something truly gorgeous. Their latest release, Lonely Lane, really caught my attention – it’s a great song with a dark background, and I wanted to find out a little more. See how I got on below…

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a single titled Lonely Lane. What can you tell us about the track?

Lonely Lane is a cinematic track that tells a short story – we hear about a murder in a dark corner of a city, and there’s a private detective trying and failing to solve it. So there is a film noir quality to it – we wanted a big, portentous sound.

How has the reception to Lonely Lane been so far, and where can the song be purchased?

It has been a great reception and has probably had more attention than we’d anticipated, which is really exciting. We also commissioned an excellent ‘pinch art’ short video made up of line drawings by Paul Ribera, who is very talented. It was a departure to have a multimedia launch and it seemed to work well. The track can be streamed and downloaded on all major platforms – there are more details on our website.

The track was written about the serial killer Bible John. Why did you decide to write a song about that case?

Bible John is the name given to a 1960s serial killer in Glasgow. There are three female victims and the killer was never caught. The victims were killed after nights out at the Barrowland Ballroom, which was a popular venue for dancing. The case comes up in the news a lot. There is a real sense that some of the police in the 1960s may have believed that the victims were to blame – some detectives appear to have felt that the young women shouldn’t have been out on the town; they should have been at home with their partners or kids.

The lyricist, Graham Grant, lives near the spot where the body of one of the victims was found, in a fairly quiet residential suburban area, and passes the lane in question a lot. The name of the lane no longer appears on maps – possibly because of the association with the crime. But there are no direct references to the case in the lyric – it is a starting point for the listener. They will have similarly lonely spots with dark histories in their own villages, town and cities, wherever they live. Lonely Lane is a tribute to the victims of Bible John. Both Graham and guitarist Rupert Pink, who wrote the music, are fascinated by the case but wanted to restore some balance – as a lot is said about Bible John, but much less about his victims.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

We started recording during lockdown and have built up a large store of tracks – and we keep adding to them! So yes there will be more singles, hopefully at least a couple more by the end of the year.

We have worked with another artist to remix a previously released track which sounds fantastic, so that might well be the next single.

Are there any plans to release an album or EP anytime soon?

Yes, we are working on putting together an album but there is no release date yet, so stay tuned.

Your music has a quirky classic pop sound. What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

Thank you! We are both huge Beatles fans. Other influences include Blur, Suede, Pulp, The Doors, The Kinks, Belle & Sebastian, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Scott Walker. We also love The Smiths, New Order and Joy Division. The crooner era – Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, who’s just sadly died – have influenced us too.

We are enjoying the Blur/Pulp revival and are listening to Lana del Rey a lot.

Where are you based? What is the local music scene like at the moment?

Graham is in Glasgow and Rupert is from Cambridge so we make music remotely, but when we have played in Glasgow it has been fantastic – a very vibrant music scene which has led to some great acts like Franz Ferdinand.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

There will be more music in the pipeline and we are really focusing on songwriting and getting the best possible sound we can.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

Nothing yet but stay tuned!

Any last words for the fans?

Thanks so much to anyone who’s taken the trouble to listen, or get in touch with us – and keep listening!