The Creeping Ivies
Shooting from the hip (in conversation with Andy Wood)
It’s been a heady few months for Dundee duo The Creeping Ivies.
Since playing their debut gig in the summer of 2011 they have released two fine EPs in ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Party’ and ‘Ghost Train’, performed a number of excellent shows including two trips to London and released and recorded their debut album Stay Wild. Initially released in December as a digital release it will now be released on vinyl on the renowned U.S. garage-punk label Deadbeat.
They’ve been winning fans and converts, not only in close to home but in some more far flung places including Ecuador’s State Television as singer/guitarist Becca Bomb tells us. “A TV producer from Ecuador contacted me. He’s making a music documentary about the gothic in music, gothic rock ‘n’ roll basically and he wanted to use ‘Ghost Train’ on the soundtrack so I gave him my permission and said ‘yeah’”.
The Creeping Ivies are no strangers to being immortalised on film, having made a video for the aforementioned ‘Ghost Train’ last summer. Filmed in an abandoned Catholic seminary outside Glasgow, the evocative clip was directed by award-winning filmmaker Ciaran Lyons and was a different kind of experience for the duo. As Becca puts it, the original brief for the video was that they wanted “something black and white, eerie and dark.” Despite being filmed in June the Scottish weather got in on the act. Duncan recalls: “It was summer but wasn’t summer. It was pretty mad but really fun. The rubbish weather probably helped as well even though it was freezing cold.” Indeed, the resulting video is a stunning piece, definitely dark and eerie, creepy even. Having enjoyed working so much with Ciaran Lyon’s the band are about to shoot another video with him for an album track ‘Spinning’ in March which Becca promises will be “more colourful, different”.
Where a lot of new bands are happy to re-record single and EP tracks for a debut album, when Deadbeat came calling last year and asked the band if they would like to put an album out and gave a deadline of early December the Ivies knew immediately that they wanted to put out a record of entirely new songs. The label were supportive of this and asked the band how many new songs they had ready to go. Duncan laughs as he remembers Becca’s response. “We only had two songs, we had ‘Stay Wild’ and ‘Black Cat’. Becca told them maybe about five.” Given a tight deadline The Creeping Ivies threw themselves into the project with the same energy and passion they bring to all their performances, writing, recording, mixing and mastering ten songs in less than three months. Yet the end result doesn’t sound rushed or see any drop in quality, it’s an assured, energetic and wonderful album, retaining the rawness and visceral energy of their live shows but adding extra layers in to the sound. Completed over four consecutive days at Glasgow’s Green Door studio with Emily MacLaren and former Geneva member Stuart Evans, the band felt very much at home, recording the basic tracks then “just discussing it and throwing ideas about and just trying things to see what they sounded like and pretty much all the ideas were spot on.”
Stay Wild has been receiving rave reviews since the initial release on digital with the vinyl release to follow in the coming weeks. Asked how they felt about the response to their debut album Becca admitted to feeling “really happy and flattered that people are enjoying it” but also that she was already looking ahead to the future. “I’ve already started writing [the next album]. I even know the title of it”. In the coming months they are gigging all over Scotland including appearances at the Edinburgh and Glasgow ‘Lux Lives’ events. If you like your music raw, passionate and edgy, full of killer hooks and sass I’d highly recommend you try out Stay Wild and catch The Creeping Ivies live soon.
Stay Wild is available now as a digital download.
The band have the following shows coming up:
22nd February, The Buff Club, Glasgow
1st March, Henrys, Edinburgh
8th March, The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh
9th April, Mono, Glasgow
1st June, The Windsor, Kirkcaldy
More at www.thecreepingivies.com