- 19 Sep 02
An indie Glasgow-based supergroup or just a bunch of naughty schoolchildren? Actually The Reindeer Section are a bit of both
The Glaswegian watering hole aptly known as Nice n’ Sleazy’s is renowned for many things, including the best pub jukebox I’ve ever seen, Beck’s on draught, lethal cocktails and proper happy hours that seem to last forever. In recent times, it was immortalized on the inside cover of Mogwai’s Rock Action album, but perhaps its most outstanding contribution to modern day alt-pop culture and song is its claim to fame in facilitating the birth of The Reindeer Section. An event already worthy of a plaque on its hallowed walls, or at the very least in its toilets.
After a Papa M gig in late 2000, a inebriated bunch of friends made ambitious plans for recording an album. Unlike virtually every single drunken plan in the history of the human race, this one actually came into fruition on the wonderful song cycle Y’All Get Scared Ya Hear! In early 2002, The Reindeer Section re-convened in a bigger, bolder form and the results can be heard on the outstanding Son of Evil Reindeer – an album bursting at the seams with pop music that fills and brightens every corner of the room. An assortment of Arab Strap, Belle & Sebastian, Eva, Aflie and Idlewild swelled the ranks, and Gary even persuaded Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub and Vaselines/Eugenius legend Eugene Kelly to join in on all the fun.
First up is lead single ‘You Are My Joy’ – a belter of a tune that has more pop sensibilities than the entire first album combined and is dripping with a windswept Celtic feel. “I feel really proud that my roots are really prominent,” reflects RS headboy Gary Lightbody.” When you see people playing in bars in Kerry or somewhere there is this adrenaline that’s just coming from these guys withiout amps or nothing. Their eyes are closed and they’re just singing their hearts out and there is something so pure and invigorating about it. It’s something I’ve always loved from being a kid on holiday; when you’re not supposed to be in a bar in the first place. My Dad would bring me into the bar and might even give me a sip of his pint. It is something that is just totally etched on my memory. Guys playing guitars and tin whistles and girls who are inevitably blonde singing in the most incredible tones I’ve ever heard.”