Album showcase launch for The Coaltown Daisies
It seemed appropriate to meet up in Betty Nicols.
The Kirkcaldy pub was where it all started for the Coaltown Daisies back in the day when it hosted great midweek open mic nights to give local musicians a showcase.
A decade on and the duo, Vivienne Bern and Lynzy Moutter, are busier than ever – immersed in their music, recording, playing live, expanding with the creation of a new band, and the launch of their second album just days away.
And all of that is wrapped around work commitments, making this very much a labour of love.
The official unveiling of Listen takes place at the Kings Live Lounge on Friday, February 21.
It had a full house even before tickets went on general sale – and the duo are looking forward to finally revealing the fruits of their labour.
“Right now our house is a production line!” said Lynzy as copies of the album are boxed up ready to go – straight after our chat they were also off to see, and hear, their newly pressed album on a turntable for the first time.
Listen was pieced together through many hours spent in the recording studio at night and weekends.
It takes mental health as its theme, but also delivers the most upbeat, positive sound imaginable across its ten self-penned tracks.
Vivienne said: “It’s the happiest record I’ve heard!”
Rooted in Americana, the album is packed with powerhouse songs, and the addition of a band takes The Daisies’ sound to a whole new level.
The musicians include Ross Ainslie (Treacherous Orchestra), Laura-Beth Salter (Kinnaris Quintet) and Stuart Nisbet (The Proclaimers), and they perfectly complement the musicality of the duo.
“The songs offer a very positive perspective,” added Vivienne. “There is good mental health to celebrate too!”
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Many of the songs will be familiar to fans of the duo having been played at gigs up and down the country.
“They’ve danced to them, sung to them, and know the words which is exciting,” said Vivienne. “We did have to cut it down from 12 tracks to ten to fit the vinyl pressing – so maybe there are two singles out there.”
The 18-month production process saw them spend countless hours in the studio, and face their share of challenges.
“The album is such a huge sound, said Lynzy. “Putting a band together was so exciting.
“It isn’t about making a breakthrough - that isn’t the driving factor although we’d welcome it! We love writing songs, making great records, playing live - and travelling and meeting people.
“We also wanted to try crowdfunding as well. Do that successfully and it works very well.
“And then Pledge Music happened…”
The collapse of the online platform which allowed bands – many of them big, established names – to get fans on board by helping to fund and deliver music and be part of the journey from day one had a huge impact.
The Daisies were one of many Scottish bands which found themselves counting the cost when PledgeMusic went into administration.
“The gravity of the situation was massive,” said Lynzy.
“There was no chance of getting money back.
“It was lost.
“It also tarnished the relationship between bands and fans.
“Thankfully we kept reserves to keep moving forward.”
Although the platform sank, the duo were able to meet their fulfilments and, slightly delayed, their new album is ready to be unwrapped.
They promised a relaxed, chilled night at the Live Lounge in the company of family, and fans who have become friends via gigs and festivals.
It will include a live set from The Daisies, the first play of the album and DJ Dolphin – a familiar figure at festivals and one of Scotland’s leading mixers and DJs – behind the decks.
Lynzy said: “We wanted to honour the people who pledged their support to us - they all helped get this album out, and it sold out even before tickets went on general sale.”
After that it’s down to the serious, but enjoyable, business of touring with gigs up north, the west coast and the Islay Festival which celebrates music and whisky in equal measure!
Their own Whisky Song became the official theme tune to World Whisky Day with a video shot in Jura and Islay.
Perthshire’s Amber Festival is also on their radar along with hear Her, a music festival; curated by actor and signer Heather Peace to specifically tackle the issue of women being under represented at music festivals. – Fife’s own KT Tunstall is its ambassador.