The Grand Gestures story by founder collaborator Jan Burnett
Being a fan of dusty 12 vinyl, synth duos and electronica has led me to create
The Grand Gestures.
I wanted it to be fun, with a small f, with a brief to the vocalists and lyricists to steer towards the dark and poignant but do what they want.
I created the music separately, based around loops, vintage synths and home grown noises. The music was sent to the singer. The singer visited my home, recorded a vocal in the bathroom, and I supplied a curry lunch.
Nobody bat an eyelid to recording in the bathroom or sitting on the toilet to revise lyrics. The reverb of the tiles helped with the overall sound while giving a nod to Joe Meek.
Lo budget, hi fi, partly out of necessity, partly out of the freedom it gives me. There is no budget, The Grand Gestures is a love story, a hobby, a happening, a need, a collaboration, a must.
No computers, but a stand alone 16 track recorder.
Treat it like tape, not zeros and ones.
The contributors were picked up through the years. Friends, and friends of friends.
No pressure, at ease. Surprisingly everyone turned up, everyone understood, with no need for kneecapping or broken bones.
My father added guitars and banjo, another clue to the mystery, while some live drums were added to keep us all in time.
I hope it surprises you, as much as it keeps surprising me.
The Grand Gestures: Whos Who
Founder of a small lo-fi band Spare Snare and despite appearances, a fan of disco 12 vinyl synth duos and electronica. The Grand Gestures was his idea of doing something different, stretching himself while not having to sing!
Belfast born, Chicago-raised vocalist and writer of the band, Sparrow and the Workshop.
Recent years have been very successful for the band, releasing their debut album, supporting Idlewild, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Pogues and a major headlining tour of the UK and Europe. New recordings and dates are imminent.
A founding member of The Delgados, she has released two solo albums as well as being part of the Scottish-Canadian band, The Burns Unit. Emma continues to be involved in the influential and successful Glasgow based label Chemikal Underground. She has recently had a Celtic Connections BBC television appearance celebrating the work of the late Gerry Rafferty.
Hello cheeky. I'm Sanjeev Kohli. Not the Sanjeev Kohli who composes music for Bollywood films. Not the Sanjeev Kohli who is logistics director at the bizarrely gangster-themed Untouchables home furnishings centre. No. I'm the other Sanjeev Kohli. Navid out of Still Game. Synthesizer Patel out of Look Around You. I am also the co-writer and co-star (along with Donny Mcleary) of the Radio 4 comedy Fags Mags and Bags whose third series is currently getting a re-run, (630pm, Radio 4, Tues nights, seeing as you didn't ask).
Studied painting and drawing at Edinburgh College of Art, the School of Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Stirling. Her work has been seen in group and solo exhibitions in the UK and was a finalist in the 2011 BP Portrait Awards.
A mule is an animal with long funny ears and a Calamity Horse is 44 year old Dundonian Craig McNeil. He left Dundee to pursue his dream of working in the music industry and he's currently Director of TV & Film at the Beggars Group of Labels. He has a children's book out for 2012 - 'The Adventures of Vincent Van Cat - Fox On The Run' which also features three songs sung by Daniel Pearce, Dizzee Rascal's live vocalist. The idea of Craig being part of the Grand Gestures' came from him telling Jan that he 'still liked to sing songs' and hey presto he's here and happy to be here.
I'm Andrew Howie and I make music as Calamateur.
I've been doing it since the year 2000 when I put out my first 7" record.
I've put out another 13 or 14 (I've lost count) collections of songs since then.
I sing songs about marriage, murder, anger, doubt, imaginary brothers, banoffee pie, bible stories, precipitation and bad architecture.
Copyright The Grand Gestures 2012.