Glasgows Camera Obscura have been making music for a decade, carried through the ups and downs of various line-up changes and the tender pain of daily life by the sweetly sad voice of Tracyanne Campbell. The band has had several line-up changes since founder members Tracyanne Campbell and Gavin Dunbar first began rehearsing together back in 1996. Since the amicable departure of Nigel Baillie (percussionist, trumpeter and proud daddy) in 2008, who still pops up onstage occasionally, they have existed as a five-piece.
Prior to 2006, the group had released several indie singles (the earliest of which were collated on a Japanese-only EP called "Rare UK Bird" in 1999) and two full-length studio albums: "Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi" (on the local DIY label Andmoresound Records 2001); and "Underachievers Please Try Harder" (through Spanish independent Elefant Records 2003).
A key supporter of the group throughout this time was the late, legendary DJ John Peel who gave them frequent plays and sessions (they were to do five Peel Sessions in total). The band gigged intermittently and over time, they were able to build up a dedicated, cult following throughout UK and Europe.. Their Madrid-based label sub-licensed "Underachievers" to the respected US independent label Merge Records. Camera Obscura toured North America for the first time in the summer of 2004. Progress was to prove steady but despite discerning fans continuing to discover them in higher numbers, the prospect of the band becoming a full-time concern still remained tantalisingly elusive.
In the summer of 2005, Camera Obscura enlisted the Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen (Ed Harcourt, The Concretes) to work on their next album, "Lets Get Out Of This Country" (Elefant / Merge - 2006). Pre-production sessions for the new album began in September 2005 and Jari turned out to be an inspired choice; fully realising not just the potential of Tracyanne Campbells songs and remarkable voice, but also the ensemble musicianship of the group as a whole. The finished album was and is a strong, confident artistic statement, boasting a more powerful, cohesive sound than any previous Camera Obscura offerings. Brilliantly produced and beautifully arranged, it featured entrancing, immediate pop/rock songs such as the lead single "Lloyd Im Ready To Be Heartbroken" with its six impassioned choruses, alongside more downbeat yet melodic offerings "Dory Previn" and the stark, sweeping wails of "Country Mile".
Reaction from fans and media was enthusiastic: "You might not find heartache as enchanting as this anywhere else," stated All Music Guide. Lloyd, proved the perfect step-off as well, scoring Single of the Week in The Guardian and repeated plays on high profile radio shows (Jonathan Ross and Dermot O Leary on Radio 2; Record of the Week on Lauren Lavernes XFM London show; an A-listing at BBC 6music). After his successful touches on the last album, they returned to Sweden to work once more with producer Jari Haapalainen. "My Maudlin Career" showcases Jari's wonderful understanding with the band. Songs such as "French Navy", "Honey In The Sun", "Swans" and "Away With Murder" typify another strong body of work thats sure to delight, ensuring the band to continue their upward trajectory. In 2009 Camera Obscura signed a worldwide deal with feted indie 4AD, in a move that some fans felt a perfect match and "My Maudlin Career" was released on April 20th.
High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|