Fife band Shambolics excited for fans to hear their debut album

It’s been a long time coming, but Fife band Shambolics release their debut album on Friday.
Shambolics are excited about the release of their debut album on Friday.  (Pic: Liam Maxwell)Shambolics are excited about the release of their debut album on Friday.  (Pic: Liam Maxwell)
Shambolics are excited about the release of their debut album on Friday. (Pic: Liam Maxwell)

The release of Dreams, Schemes and Young Teams marks the culmination of years of hard work for the band and they can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

Darren Forbes, lead singer and founding member, said: “We can see momentum is building for when the album comes out on Friday. It’s exciting times.

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"We’re really excited. We’ve put a lot of hard work in to it.

'Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams' is out on February 16, 2024.'Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams' is out on February 16, 2024.
'Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams' is out on February 16, 2024.

"It was a year ago we recorded it now, so I’m happy that people are going to be able to listen to it."

The album comes after years of graft for the quintet.

Vocalist and guitar duo pals Darren Forbes and Lewis McDonald joined forces with Scott ‘Paws’ Williamson (keys/vocals), Ben Sharp (bass) and Robert Land (drums) to form Shambolics in 2018.

They were cited by music mogul Alan Mcgee as ‘one of the greatest Scottish bands’ and he signed them to his Creation23 label in 2019.

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Their debut single ‘Chasing a Disaster’ went in at number two on the UK Official Vinyl Charts, and two more singles were released.

When the Covid pandemic hit they showcased a series of classic cover versions online and released tracks under their own Eggman Records.

However in October 2022 they signed a deal with Manchester-based indie label Scruff of the Neck Records.

Since then the graft has continued with the band releasing a number of singles and playing live at venues across the country.

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They’ve also been working behind the scenes to perfect their album, which has been produced by Chris Marshall (Gerry Cinnamon).

Darren said: “It’s been a gradual build but there’s been a lot of work going on.

"We have been cursed with the name Shambolics, with things often not going right for us. We always laugh as things have been in the past, a shambles.

“Now it feels like we’re on a good path and good stuff is starting to happen, so we’d like to stay on that path and avoid the shambles.”

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The debut album draws on classic influences from the world of indie rock, such as The La’s, Arctic Monkeys and Sam Fender – and beyond – The Streets, Fleetwood Mac and MGMT.

Shambolics’ songs paint evocative pictures of small town life with stories that are inspired by Darren and Lewis’ youth growing up in Kirkcaldy.

The pair have also reflected on a lot of their experiences in their tracks.

Speaking about his favourite tracks on the album, Darren said: “Dreams, Schemes and Young Teams has always been my favourite song live. That’s the live anthem.

"I’m really happy we got it on the album.

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"We had released it before we got the record deal and it never got the attention it deserved, but it kicked off live.

"Universal Credit has a great story line. When we were recording the album myself and Lewis were on the dole. I was going to the dole office before recording and they wanted me to go on courses. They wanted me to go to a course for five days about how to build a CV. I’d said to them I’m not here because I don’t want a job, we’re recording an album, just give me more time, but they were having none of it. They eventually kicked me off. We went back that night and wrote the song.

""The song came from that. It was totally true and happening in that moment.”

Although now living in Glasgow, the lads have not forgotten their Fife roots, regularly returning. And this weekend they are back in the Kingdom for their sold out album launch gig at PJ Molloy’s in Dunfermline.

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Darren said: “It was the first venue we’d ever played. We’ve played lots of times and it’s where we’ve honed our craft.

"We’ve had some great nights there, but also done dead gigs in there without a crowd too.

"It’s always good to come back to the homelands and keep close to our roots.

“We’ll be playing most of the new album, which is lots of new tunes people haven’t heard or have only just heard so we’re looking forward to them hearing them.

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“It will be good to play our debut album in our home land, that's special in itself.”

So what’s next for Shambolics?

"We have just announced our headline tour.

"We’re doing gigs in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, London and Newcastle. We’re only just building up a fan base in England, so we’re going to the cities.

"We’re doing a couple of Scottish dates too and they sold out really quickly in just a couple of hours.

"We’re just taking everything as it comes for now. We’ll focus on these headline shows and hopefully sell them out, then see what comes next.

"You’ve got to enjoy the process, it’s going to be a great time.”

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