Playing riotous rock ‘n’ roll with an instantly addictive pop edge, dreamy synth textures and punk-like intensity, Shambolics capture the frustrations and aspirations that young working class adults are experiencing across the UK. Shambolics reflect a society in which money is tight and opportunities are scarce, yet their joyously exuberant songs provide an escape from the gloom and the hope for better times to come. These strengths shine through on their debut album, ‘Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams’, which will be released on February 16th via Scruff of the Neck Records. The band launch the album alongside their new single ‘Never Be Mine’.
With ‘Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams’, Shambolics have drawn upon classic influences from the worlds of indie-rock (The La’s, Arctic Monkeys and Sam Fender) and beyond (The Streets, Fleetwood Mac, MGMT),and shaped them into something fresh, invigorating and distinctively their own. Rich with local dialect and slang, their songs paint evocative pictures of small-town life: stories that are specifically inspired by vocalist/guitarist duo Darren Forbes and Lewis McDonald’s youth growing up in Kirkcaldy, but with themes that are relatable wherever they travel.
Darren says, “We wanted the songs here to be quite uplifting, including the ones that deal with social issues. It’s like even though shit happens, it’s going to be okay. It’s about trying to find some hope in the bleakest of times, about finding an escape from the terrible situation young people currently find themselves in.”
If you’re new to the Shambolics’ world, the new single ‘Never Be Mine’ is the perfect place to start. An instantly addictive rush of ragged melody, it’s the tale of a couple whose relationship is simply a fleeting escape from the world around them.
Darren adds, “It’s about a boy and a girl who meet each week, but they have no real ambitions to be in a relationship. They know they’re playing one another but don’t really want to say that out loud or admit it to one another – they’re in it for the moment.”
Produced by Chris Marshall (Gerry Cinnamon), the rest of the album hurtles from highlight-to-highlight, taking in a feature from The View’s Kyle Falconer on the sleek synth-pop of attention of ‘Attention’, employing biting satire on ‘Universal Credit’ or maximising their skyscraping, anthemic status with the uplifting ‘Everything You Should’ve Done’. By the time the band close the album with the beautiful build-up of ‘Filth & Scum’, Shambolics have undeniably demonstrated that every underdog can have its day.
‘Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams’ is now available to pre-order HERE or pre-saveHERE. In addition to its digital release, physical formats include regular black vinyl, CD and cassette. The band’s official store exclusively offers a ‘Ned Red’ collection which compiles a red and black marble vinyl, a CD and a cassette into one package.
Darren Forbes and Lewis McDonald formed Shambolics as a reaction to the tedium around them: the teen years of hanging around the streets and drinking in the park. With Scott ‘Paws’ Williamson (keys/vocals), Ben Sharp (bass) and Robert Land (drums) completing the line-up, Shambolics soon established a reputation for their frenetic shows at PJ Molly’s in Dunfermline, before their following exploded with the help of a singles deal with the legendary Alan McGee’s Creation23 label. They’ve enjoyed a steady rise ever since, packing Glasgow headline shows at The Garage, SWG3 and King Tut’s, hitting festivals including the Isle of Wight, TRNSMT, Truck and Y NOT?, as well as earning early airplay at 6 Music, Radio X and Amazing Radio.
Next on the Shambolics schedule is a sold-out show at King Tut’s, which they will follow with special guest tours with Little Man Tate and The View. Expect details of their biggest headline tour to date to be unveiled soon. Their upcoming shows are:
28th – Glasgow, King Tut’s (HEADLINE SHOW – SOLD-OUT)