Some of the best unsigned local music is being showcased as part of an innovative Fife project.
‘Fi Fife 2013’ aims to highlight the fantastic talent of four of the Kingdom’s bands by bringing them together.
The project, supported by Creative Scotland, has given the bands - Urban Gods, Illicit Spirits, Straw and Visionary Losers - a chance to record their music and promote their material.
Through the project, which was completed towards the end of last year, it’s hoped that their work will reach the ears of music fans across the Kingdom and further afield.
Each band has had a chance to record their own songs at Rec Studios in Falkland, create their own EP and video too.
In addition, tracks from each band have been included on the ‘Fi Fife 2013’ collaboration album.
The idea for the project came from Gus Black, Falkland based musician and owner of Rec Studios.
The project meant there were a busy few months for Gus and his team.
He said: “I put a proposal in to Creative Scotland for funding.
“I have had the studio for a long time.
“A lot of the artists that come up are not in a band but are songwriters or lyricists and are very musical.
“My idea was to pull us all together into a big pool and help each other out.
“There are an amazing number of hugely gifted musicians in Fife and this project is all about bringing some of them together to share talent and experience.
“Fi Fife has created a family of creativity and it’s been brilliant to be a part of and watch it develop over the weeks and months.
“Each band involved has a totally different sound and brings their own unique style so I feel we have a real flavour of the different music that’s out there in Fife.
“When you’re in a band it’s hard work and difficult to get your work out there for folk to hear - but hopefully by coming together there’ll be strength in numbers and we can help each other out a bit.”
The collaboration album also includes two bonus tracks from another local group.
Gus said: “We started working on the project last April and we spent from then until the end of October doing all the EPs and I took a couple of tracks from each EP and put them on the compilation album.
“There’s a fifth act on the compilation as well, South Sea Company.
“They are also from Fife and I just thought it would add something to the album.”
Although there’s a common theme for the bands who took part in the project - they all hail from the Kingdom - Gus was keen to include a wide variety of musical styles in the project.
“It was good to get a mix of genres in.
“We were lucky in that the folk I knew were going to take part, I knew there was a range of musical tastes there.
“I suppose there’s a type of sound because it’s all recorded in the same studio and I’m helping out in various ways.
“The genres are quite diverse with something for everyone, but there’s still a sound I guess, in that it sounds like it’s come from the same place.”
Gus continued: “‘Fi Fife’ just gives a sample of the excellent stuff happening here and I’m truly proud of everything achieved.
“I really hope that local people will help support the bands involved by listening to the music and sharing it with others too.”
Aside from the recording at the Falkland studios, Urban Gods, Illicit Spirits, Straw and Visionary Losers all came together to play a special gig in Falkland last month.
It was the first time they had all played a show on the same stage, however this is something they are looking to build on this year.
The producer and musician explained: “We put on a gig to showcase the music in Falkland Village Hall in December.
“It was just in front of friends and family and there was a great atmosphere.
“We’re looking at playing more of these sorts of gigs to get the sounds out there, but we’ll see how things go.”
Speaking on his thoughts behind starting the project initially Gus told the Press: “It’s my attempt to bolster up and make more of a showcase for what people in Fife can do.
“There’s huge talent out there.
“By making it a Fife project we wanted to give artists in Fife some kind of inspiration.”
The team behind the project are extremely pleased with the end result and are already planning ahead.
“I’ve just put in an application to Creative Scotland to try and get another project going this year - Fi Fife 2014,” said Gus.
“Hopefully we’ll get another project and expand it a wee bit and just keep the thing going and try to grow it.
“It’s about bringing in artists and helping to develop their talent, especially folk that are writing and singing but don’t necessarily have a band and find it hard to get their work out there as they don’t have the musicians to help make the EPs.
“The whole idea of this project is to help create opportunities for people and for everyone to come together and help each other out.”