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Ahead of their Cork Live At The Marquee gig, CAMERA OBSCURA regale Peter Murphy with tales of their growing Stateside success, hirsute fans & working with Richard Hawley.
Peter Murphy, 15 Jun 2010
Glaswegian seven-piece Camera Obscura didn’t have to think twice when asked to play on the same bill as Midlake, Grizzly Bear and Villagers at this year’s Live At The Marquee extravaganza in Cork.
“It seemed like too good a line-up to say ‘no’ to,” laughs their bassist Gavin Dunbar. “Both those bands we all really love. We played with Grizzly Bear at South by Southwest but we’ve not played with Midlake and I’d really like to catch them, because whenever they’ve played Glasgow I’ve been away.”
And Gavin’s been away quite a bit lately. Camera Obscura’s sound, somewhere between Postcard melancholia and Spector/Motown classicism, has been going down a treat in the US, where they’ve just done some intensive touring.
“We try for a classic pop feel, and it goes down really well in the States,” Gavin admits. “I think that’s been our biggest place that we’ve sold records over the past six or seven years. We’ve been playing in bigger venues to bigger crowds, and we’re really grateful that people have been coming out to see us even though money’s a bit tighter. It’s quite a mix of people we get in the audiences now, the age does vary quite wildly, indie kids and mustaches and beards and couples that’ve got the babysitter in, it’s quite weird.”
Other developments of note: the band have teamed up with the venerable Richard Hawley for a joint release this month. The Glaswegians have recorded ‘The Nights Are Cold’ from his Late Night Final album, while the Sheffield man has remixed ‘The Sweetest Thing’.
“Over the last few years most of the band had become aware of Richard,” Gavin explains, “and he does come from that classic songwriting area as well. He had at one point been going to produce Let’s Get Out Of This Country, but I think his schedule was getting a bit busy just after Cole’s Corner had come out so it didn’t happen, but we’ve always kept in touch. He wanted to do bit of a remix or work with us in some way, and we were just really happy that he liked us enough to want to do it. It was great for us to do a version of one of his songs, it fitted together nicely.”