Exciting times - Colin Macleod will tour the UK and the US later in the year
Iron Maiden, Blink-182, Jamiroquai and Janet Jackson are just some of the massive names tied to record label BMG – and now Colin Macleod has joined their ranks.
Labelled under ‘C. Macleod’, the Swordale native has signed a three-album deal with BMG, and plays a special London show tonight (Wednesday) to celebrate the news.
“I have the first album written - it’s called ‘Bloodlines’,” Colin told www.welovestornoway.com
“I actually recorded it a year ago, and it’s produced by Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Laura Marling).
“I had previously signed a publishing deal with BMG, but now they’ve signed me for the full record deal.”
Colin recently launched a three-track EP called ‘Old Fire’, which was eagerly snapped up by reviewers across the country.
The Independent compared him to Bruce Springsteen, while Clash said his work displayed ‘mysterious beauty’.
As part of the BMG deal, an American label has also come on board to distribute the new album, meaning he will get maximum exposure both here and in the US.
That means only one thing – touring!
“We’ll look at putting together a tour for the UK and America later this year,” said Colin.
“It’s definitely an exciting time.”
Playing with Colin in the band are Murdo Mackenzie from Bayble (drums), Scott Macleod from Stornoway (guitar), Callum Macleod (Colin’s brother) from Swordale (bass) and Gordon Skene from Fort William on piano.
“They are all pretty flexible,” said Colin.
“Between Glasgow and London I have a few pals who can fill in, so there’s always someone available to play.”
Now aged 32, it seems like ages since Colin burst onto the music scene with his infectious melodies and soothing vocals.
“I left school when I was 18 to give the music business a proper go,” he said.
“I’m still on my gap year.”
Various incarnations have come and gone, most memorably when he performed as ‘The Boy Who Trapped The Sun’, bagging a deal with Geffen Records into the bargain.
But, Colin says, with maturity has come an evolution of creative style that finds its roots in the recording studio, in the company of some of the industry’s biggest names.
“My music style has definitely changed,” he said.
“It’s much less acoustic driven than before. I think that’s just because of a change in ways of working.
“When I left school I sat with a guitar and wrote songs and that was how I performed them.
“Now, having worked in studios and spent a lot of time in the production side of things, I approach songwriting differently.
“I spend more time with the electric guitar, or a piano or drums.
“I record the whole time I am writing.”
Colin has also invested in a Hawaiian guitar – something he calls ‘ridiculously complicated’ to master.
“Mine is actually easier to play than the standard ones,” he said.
“I got really into country music and when I was doing sessions down in London everyone seemed to have a Hawaiian guitar.
“So I was adamant I was going to get one, which I did, and I just love it.
“You can do so much with it. You can use it like a synthesiser with pedals, but you can also do heavy stuff using it through distortion pedals.”
Colin takes to the stage at a free gig in Thousand Island (Highbury Garage) tonight, where he will play songs from ‘Bloodlines’, including his latest smash single ‘Shake the Walls’.
Then it’s back up north for Heb Celt, where he says his set will be very far removed from the two times he has previously appeared on the bill here.
“This is the first time I’ll be on the main stage,” he said.
“It will be a lot different to the other times because now I have a full band behind me.
“It should be a lot of fun.”
Tickets for tonight’s London Highbury gig are available from DICE FM app: download DICE FM from the App Store on your smart phone, sign up to the C.Macleod gig and an electronic ticket will be stored on your phone to show at the door.
C.Macleod plays the main stage of the Hebridean Celtic Festival on Saturday July 22.