Shambolics being tipped for top after signing record deal, announcing first proper single and getting fresh in Galashiels

A Fife alternative rock act tipped for the top after being signed up by music mogul Alan McGee this summer are back in the Borders this weekend.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 5th September 2019, 5:51 pm
Fife indie band Shambolics.

Shambolics, signed to Creation23, a new label set up by McGee in June, are playing at MacArts in Galashiels on Sunday, September 8.

Though part of this year’s freshers’ week at the town’s Heriot-Watt University campus, the show is open to all.

Tickets cost £8, plus booking fee, in advance, or £10 on the door, but are only £5 for students and admission is free to those with freshers’ wristbands. For further details, go to

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Fife alternative rock act Shambolics.

Shambolics, a four-piece act formed in Kirkcaldy in late 2015, are billed as being likely to appeal to latter-day fans of the La’s, Beatles and Stone Roses.

They were named best rock or alternative act at the 2017 Scottish Alternative Music Awards and have since gone on to play at some of the UK’s biggest festivals, including Leeds, Reading and the Isle of Wight.

The band comprise Lewis McDonald and Darren Forbes on vocals and guitar, Jordan McHatton on vocals and bass, and Jake Bain on vocals and drums.

The four, all aged 24 and 25, got together after jamming at Eggman Studios in Dunfermline, run by Forbes.

This will be their second visit to the Bridge Street venue in a matter of months as they were there at the end of June as special guests on McGee’s touring question-and-answer show.

McGee – best known for signing the likes of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream and Oasis to his original Creation label – has high hopes for Shambolics after getting them to put pen to paper on the recommendation of their manager, Jamie Kelly, an old friend of his.

“Scottish indie music is having a renaissance at the moment, and I was so glad I came up to Edinburgh to see Shambolics live,” said the East Kilbride-born 58-year-old.

“After I saw them, I just had to sign them. They’re one of the best Scottish artists out there – a classic Creation band.

“They’ve got big tunes and they look great.

“They are one of the great Scottish bands.”

Forbes said he and his bandmates enjoyed their last show in the Borders so they’re delighted to be back so soon.

“We played at MacArts recently at Alan McGee’s Q&A,” he told us.

“It’s a great venue – one of the best we’ve played, so we’re glad to be returning.”

The band have already dropped a few tracks on Spotify and Amazon Music, including My Time is Now and When She Goes Home, and they’re now about to release their first proper single.

Called Chasing a Disaster, it’s out in digital and 7in vinyl formats on Friday, November 1, with Fight Another Feeling as its B-side.

They’ll be promoting it with shows, after their visit to Galashiels, at Newcastle’s O2 Academy 2 on Thursday, September 19, and PJ Molloys in Dunfermline on Saturday, September 21, followed by dates in Manchester, London and Liverpool in November.

A debut album is still a way off, though, according to Forbes.

“We’ve got more than enough material for a debut album, but when the time comes for an album, it has to be right,” he said.

“We want our debut album to make a mark and stand the test of time.

“We’ll be releasing a few more singles on Creation23, then we’ll maybe think about steps towards an album.

We’ve got lots more in the pipeline and all will be revealed somehow.”

Now their initial surprise at landing a record deal has subsided, the band are determined to make the most of the opportunity it represents but realise they’ve still got a long way to go to get themselves known beyond the kingdom of Fife, says Forbes.

“It came as a massive shock when McGee offered us the deal,” he said.

“It’s a dream come true for us, but we’ve just got straight back to the graft and crack on with it.

“This is a big opportunity for us to go on and grab the stars.

“We’ve just got to realise that we’ve not by any stretch of the imagination made it yet and there’s still a lot of graft to be done.”

Oskar Braves are also on the bill for Sunday’s show, with doors opening at 7.30pm and proceedings due to begin at 8pm.