A Song For Saturday: Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained by The Fabulous Artisans

Stereogram Recordings are delighted to announce the release of “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” a brand new track by The Fabulous Artisans on September 25th. It was mostly recorded prior to lockdown, with finishing touches, mix and mastering completed in July.

Founded in 2007 and named after the iconic Orange Juice track, The Fabulous Artisans is a collaboration between Glasgow based Oscar and BAFTA award winning actor, former stand-up comic and singer Neil Crossan and Edinburgh based songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jeremy Thoms (also of The Cathode Ray and Stereogram label boss). “With a sound fed from Bacharach to Barry, Brel to Bowie, Cave to Collins, Magazine to Morricone and Wilson to Walker, this is timeless music for or from any era…

Written, arranged and produced by Jeremy Thoms, “Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained” is only the fourth new track The Fabulous Artisans have released since their warmly received debut album “…From Red to Blue” came out on Swedish indie label Bendi Records in 2008. It continues their lineage of mixing up the classic pop sounds of the past with a modern twist, whilst adding their characteristic big lyrical themes of life and death.

Short, Sharp Interview: Jeremy Thoms

PDB: Can you pitch THE CATHODE RAY  in 25 words or less?

A modern collection of sounds with post-punk, disco, pop, surf, garage, soundtrack, glam-rock, psychedelic, new wave and northern soul flavours.

PDB: What music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Music: Toy; Dexys; Spiritualized; High Llamas – all four have been great both live and on record. I’m always searching out old stuff too – recent discoveries include Seals & Crofts and the composer Delius – lovely stuff both.

Books: The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim – Jonathan Coe; The Complete David Bowie – Nicolas Pegg; Apathy for The Devil – Nick Kent.

Film: Scorcese’s Living In The Material World; Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder (just watched it tonight for the first time in ages – brilliant); Black Swan.

TV: Friday Night Dinner; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Coronation Street (the hardy perennial…)

PDB: Is it possible for a musician to be an objective listener?

I think so, although I suppose knowing the process which is involved in making the stuff must have some bearing on it. But I always remain a fan first and foremost when listening to music.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing music for films, theatre or television?

Yes. In fact I have already done some music for a programme called Terry Pratchett’s Jungle Quest in which the author went to Borneo to the Orang-utan sanctuary there. It was made back in the 90’s and occasionally gets repeated on the Discovery channel and suchlike. I would definitely like to do more.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you?

Pretty useful. Although, I have to say that I miss the heyday of MySpace, which to my mind, was much better than Facebook for presenting music. I’m still not convinced about Twitter, but I’m still a novice where that’s concerned, so we’ll see.

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012?

I’ve got around sixteen new songs demoed which we’re going to be rehearsing and recording for the second Cathode Ray album.

Bio:  JEREMY THOMS started out as a drummer  before graduating to lead singer. He  move from Aberdeen to Edinburgh in 1982. and formed  the Television/Velvets/Postcard inspired  STRAWBERRY TARTS. 

Simultaneously, he became involved with the Aberdeen-based punk poet SID OZALID, providing musical backing for his surreal poetry and releasing an E.P. called “Songs From A Suitcase” on Forward Records in ’82.

Following the dissolution of the STRAWBERRY TARTS  in 1985, he toured the U.K. twice and demoed material under the pseudonym Fabian Wonderful on guitar/keyboards with THE REVILLOS. Next came a stint as guitarist in the Pretenders/Blondie influenced A GIRL CALLED JOHNNY.

Following a split, he went on to form the more electro/dance influenced PAPARAZZI.He also toured, playing guitar in the Acid Jazz influenced SOUR GRAPES BUNCH and indie stalwarts JESSE GARON & THE DESPERADOES on and off throughout 1989 and 1990.

He next formed THE NATURALS in early 1990. In 1993, towards the end of The Naturals’ lifetime, singer Neil Crossan joined. With his Scott Walker/Jim Morrison intimating tones, he took Naturals material, plus new songs subsequently written and produced for him by myself, which have now seen the light of day as THE FABULOUS ARTISANS. An album “…From Red To Blue” and three singles were released on the Swedish label Bendi Records in September/October 2008.(for more info go to: www.myspace.com/thefabulousartisans1).

In 1994 he formed NEW LEAF. This time drawing inspiration from the likes of Bacharach/David, Jimmy Webb and Country and Western music. They released three albums.

Around this period, he also started to get involved with composing Film and TV music, providing, amongst others, soundtracks to Terry Pratchet’s Jungle Quest and Tribal Visions. 

Come 1999, he formed SKYLINE with ex-New Leaf guitarist Andy Walker. For more info go to: www.myspace.com/skylinescot .

2002 saw a songwriting reunion with Andy Kelly. Incorporating Jazz and Latin influences and involving a wide array of instrumentation, an album has been completed under the name THE SECRETS, the release of which is still pending.

His  latest band project, THE CATHODE RAY, was initially formed with Paul Haig (who has subsequently left to be replaced by Steve Fraser) in 2006. They have so far released four singles (“What’s It All About?”/”Mind“, November 2006, “Slipping Away”, April 2009, “Train”, October 2011 and “Around”, March 2012) plus the self-titled debut album which has been released on Stereogram Recordings .  For more info go to: www.myspace.com/thecathoderay or www.facebook.com/thecathoderay .