Calum Frame: Top 10 Albums
SINGER/SONGWRITER CALUM FRAME HAS SHARED HIS TOP 10 SCOTTISH ALBUMS WITH US AHEAD OF HIS GIG AT THE GARAGE ON 13TH SEPTEMBER. CALUM MENTIONS HOW EACH OF THESE ALBUMS HAVE HELPED SHAPE HIS CAREER.
Biffy Clyro - Only Revelations
This album was given to me as a present for Christmas the year it came out, I was 15 years old! It started my love for Biffy who at the time I didn’t really know anything about. I remember being totally captivated by the tunes, the lyrics and the big sexy riffs. This album got me back into rock and heavier music and also made me want to listen to as much more Biffy as possible. I was delighted when I started to dig and found out there was another 4 albums to get stuck into and started to work my way back to their first album. I don’t know if I can pinpoint one thing that made me an obsessed Biffy fan, at that age there was just something so cool about their sound and energy and also Simon Neil’s lyrics. I felt that they were a band who weren’t bothered about what anyone else thought about them and were just making music for themselves cos they loved it. I could relate to that and it was just a few months after getting this album I started writing my own tunes. I have seen them live 6 times now and was also blessed to record my last singles at Gorbals Sounds Studio last year and Biffy were in the studio the week after me. Paul Quinn who runs the studio managed to get me a signed Vinyl from the band which is now framed and proudly hanging on my wall in my home studio.
Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
My obsession for Biffy led me to this album. I’m not ashamed to admit that I used to watch every interview possible of them on YouTube and one day I came across them talking about other great bands people should check out. Frightened Rabbit was one of those bands and I checked out a few tunes straight away, I would have been 16 by this point. The first song I fell in love with was The Modern Leper. The first time I listened to the album in it’s entirety I remember I was on a school trip to New York and I had downloaded it on one of the old school iPods. We were travelling somewhere at night on the bus and I had it blasting in my ears, I remember being in awe of the buildings and scenery of NY and the album all at the same time. I was blown away by the honesty and beauty of Scott’s lyrics. By this point I was writing my own tunes and doing covers on Youtube. FR were doing a Q&A on twitter one night and I tweeted them a cover I had done of ‘When You Were Young’ by the Killers and asked if they would have a listen. I was amazed when they got back and Scott said ‘Just did! Good work sir - you just made me enjoy a song that I didn’t like much before.’ A few months later they were in the same rehearsal studio as myself in Glasgow and Scott was walking passed and I stopped him and introduced myself and said ‘I’m the guy that sent you that Killers cover’ and I remember shaking his hand and him saying ‘Yea I remember, it was great’ and then he proceeded to ask all about what I was up to and wished me luck. He was genuinely interested and such a lovely guy, I felt lucky to have met him. Sadly I never got to see them live but I will cherish that memory of meeting Scott. Whilst what happened with him is tragic, I know there has been lots of positive outcomes. Especially the strength his family and band mates have shown to start the charity ‘Make Tiny Changes’ which is honouring his legacy and doing great work to help people. His death helped me to open up to those close to me and talk about my own struggles and realise that I wasn’t on my own. Everyone goes through difficult times and if you open up to people you trust I can guarantee that most of the time they will have felt the same way you felt at some point. It’s so important that we talk to each other and help each other get through. Scott highlighted that throughout his song writing and his ability to talk so openly about his struggles was, and will continue to be a light to anyone who needs it.
There Will Be Fireworks - The Dark, Dark Bright
There Will Be Fireworks have to be one of the most underrated bands in Scotland. In my opinion they should be huge! I was introduced to this album through a good friend Marshall Craigmyle who used to run the Old Mill Studios in Strathaven. I used to spend a lot of time down at the studio with Marshall recording my own music or covers for YouTube and he introduced me to loads of great bands. Marshall recorded most of their tunes and the first song he told me to listen to by these guys was called ‘In Excelsis Deo.’ The song itself is a masterpiece and the ending is unbelievably powerful. It’s not on this album but if you haven’t listened to it I would urge you to do so! The Dark, Dark Bright is still one of my favourite albums and one I keep going back to. The way it flows from start to finish is perfect and the vocals, energy and sounds used in the songs are incredible.
Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
I think any Scottish Singer/songwriter you speak to will have been into Paolo at some point. This album for me was total genius. I loved the first album but what impressed me about this one was how he totally changed his sound and managed to come up with an album that blew his already amazing first one right out the water. The introduction of a brass section and a big list of feel good tunes made me fall in love with this. I remember hearing ‘No Other Way’ for the first time and I couldn’t believe the soul and passion he laid out with his vocal performance. I love the simplicity of this album lyrically and the tune ‘Simple Things’ outlined that perfectly. ‘It’s the simple things that mean the most to me’ It was great to hear a songwriter talk like that and talk about the good things they had like family rather than singing about pulling some girl in a club drinking champagne and just sound so normal and family orientated which made it really relatable for me.
I was only 15 when this one came out as well and was toying with the idea that I could maybe write my own songs at some point. I would say this was the album that spurred me on to do that.
Fratellis - Costello Music
I was even younger when this album came out and still in my early days at school. This is one of the first albums I can remember being into in it’s entirety. Every song was a belter and as a body of work tied in with each other really well. When I was 18 I had a great mentor in Fiona Shannon who is a beautiful keys player and singer and she would play with me at gigs when she could. She knew The Fratellis and one day they were in the rehearsal studios at the same time as us. Our door was open and they spotted her and all came in to say hello. I was totally starstruck. I remember Mince the drummer came in and he just sat on the floor in our room with a box of shortbread which he offered round everyone and then just chatted away. I had mentioned I’d been trying to get tickets for their gig but couldn’t before it sold out and Mince was like ‘ah that’s a bummer. Well here’s my number just text me on the day and I’ll get some tickets put on the door for you.’ I took my Dad and we had a great night. Until the amount of wine I had drank caught up with me after the gig in The Griffin pub and I spewed all over the shop. My Dad got me in a taxi and took me back to my Mum’s and I stumbled in the house and proceeded to whitey all over the gaff as well. Safe to say my poor Mum was not happy that night.
Gerry Cinnamon - Erratic Cinematic
When I first started gigging around Glasgow Gerry gave me some great help and looked after me and asked me support him a few times. He used to host the open mic in The Priory every week and I used to go there religiously to get involved. It was a special time, I was in Glasgow studying music, meeting great people all the time and playing as much as possible. The open mic was an ideal place to go to learn more and get better whilst also getting to see some ridiculously talented musicians and artists. Gerry used to say ‘It’s all about the tunes’ and he was right.. and he has managed to release his debut album with so many good tunes on there. My favourite tune of his ‘Fickle McSelfish’ didn’t even make the album and I don’t just love it because he used to let me come up on stage and sing it with him at places like T in the Park, the ABC and Tut’s, but because it is a really clever and beautiful song! It’s one of those tunes I wish I’d written myself. Lullaby is one of the best opening tunes to a gig I’ve seen and the lyrics are top class. Thinking back to The Priory and knowing Gerry before he took off, we were lucky to get to see him smash it every week at the open mic and always knew he would go on to bigger things. It’s great to see him finally getting that recognition and this album being Gold Brit Certified shows just how good it is and how many people dig the tunes he’s putting out. He is a great example to any young artist or band coming up on how to be a DIY success without any help from labels. He used to introduce me as ‘Calum Frame.. Remember the name’ I am forever grateful to him for helping me get my name around Glasgow.
Gerry Rafferty - City to City
From one Gerry to another. This album is a work of art. The first song I was introduced to was ‘Whatever’s Written In Your Heart’ back when I first started playing with a band. Steph Greer who played bass with me at the time said he thought I would do a great cover of it. I never ended up covering it but that tune was the gateway for me to get into the rest of the album. Lyrically there was so much I could relate to in this album but it was the instruments and melodies that hooked me in. I love the old school bandy vibe to this record. Right Down the Line is one of my favourite songs of all time and even though it’s the obvious one Baker Street is some buzz!
The View - Which Bitch?
I got into The View when I was about 17. My first gig at The Barrowlands was The View in 2011. I went with my pal Tom and my Dad came to pick us up after it and we were covered head to toe in sweat and stale beer and whatever else was getting chucked about. It was mental and I absolutely loved that chaos they brought with them to live shows. I’ve chosen this album because it was the first one I would say made me a fan. The first tune that jumped out at me was ‘Unexpected’ it was something different I hadn’t heard from them before, something a bit more serious and heartfelt. I felt this album had a great flow to it as well and there are some really great moments. It still had all the rockier chaotic bits you’d expect from them but the introduction of the strings throughout really gave it a special sound. Also the tune ‘Covers’ with Paolo is a great tune, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when they recorded that. I’ve always been a big fan of Kyle’s voice and he definitely inspired me to try and push myself vocally and get the most out of my voice. Kyle came through the doors at the Priory one night for the open mic and I got to sing a few tunes with him and Gerry Cinnammon which was surreal, I think it’s still on YouTube somewhere!
Glasvegas - Glasvegas
This was another album I was obsessed with when I was getting to the end of my education in school. James’ lyrics cut right through you, laying yourself out like that in a song is really difficult but they do it beautifully. That vulnerability and honesty tied in with the story-telling make this album what it is for me. My favourite tune by far is ‘It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry’ it is a journey to go on lyrically and musically. I think the vocal performance throughout this album is so full of passion and it just draws you right in.
Marmaduke Duke - Duke Pandemonium
This album came out around the time my Biffy obsession began and to hear the guys from Biffy plus JP Reid of Sucioperro doing something so different to their usual sound was an eye opener for me on how to be an artist. You don’t have to pigeon hole yourself into one sound and stick with it, you can experiment and do something totally different and just have a laugh. This album showed that to me and it is just a good laugh and feel good album right the way through. Hearing the same guys you are used to hearing play loud heavy music go and do something totally different and put something out like this was amazing to me at the time. Je Suis Un Funky Homme was one of my favourites on this album!