NEIL Sturgeon & The Infomaniacs are firing up fans with a debut album that was initially 'put on ice'.

Geography & Luck has been a long time coming, and the Glasgow band can't wait to hit the road for audiences to get a taste of their sweet sounds.

Neil told the Evening Times: "When my previous band, The Goldenhour, stopped working together I started to record a solo album and as the sessions progressed some other musician friends of mine got involved which led to a live line-up being formed.

"These days the live band consists of my former Goldenhour colleagues Dave Andrews (lead guitar) and Neil Menzies (bass), with Deborah Cooper on vocals and Marc Tuffley on drums and guitars.

"We are into all sorts of stuff musically although I'd like to think that fans of The Byrds, Neil Young and Elliott Smith might enjoy checking out our music. A few reviews of the album have mentioned a musical kinship with Simon & Garfunkel, a comparison that's fine by me.

"Many of the album tracks were recorded a few years ago.

"Neil Menzies from the band had mentioned to Raymond McGinley that I had started to record demos for a solo album and was looking for a studio and Raymond kindly offered to record the album at his home studio in Glasgow.

"It was a huge buzz to work with him, I've always loved Teenage Fanclub's music and it was an exciting time.

"Raymond was also very generous in giving me access to his excellent guitar collection when we were recording which was fantastic and he sang and played on a couple of songs as well. I was lucky to have so many talented musical friends dropping in to take part in the sessions and the album benefits from that.

"Raymond Meade, who now plays with Ocean Colour Scene, did a brilliant vocal on the song Poor Little Rich Town which I like a lot.

"The album was put on ice for a spell when I became a parent.

"I decided that when my son Paul was born that I should take a sabbatical from doing my own music and revisit it when there was more time and energy for it. Last year I decided the time was right and recorded three new songs to complete the record."

Neil is delighted with the positive feedback received over the new album.

He said: "Every track on the album has been played on radio already which is very flattering. It's been exciting too that a lot of the CD sales so far via my website have come from far and wide. I've enjoyed my trips to the Post Office to send albums to the USA and several countries across Europe.

"Much of the last few months have been spent preparing the release. I've put it out on my own label which involves a lot of hard work and it's very satisfying to have it out there now."

Although Neil loves the escapism of recording in a studio, he promises fans an exciting live show.

He said: "Our live shows usually feature the core five-piece line-up as well as guest appearances from other musicians who played on the record.

"We usually have an acoustic section within the live set where we do a few songs as duos and trios which adds variety and a change in dynamics from the more full on sounding songs. We do a bit of instrument swapping too.

"I think it's always a great feeling to share a positive musical experience with other musicians in a room full of people. It was great to play with The Infomaniacs at Stereo in Glasgow in June – it was the first gig we had done together since the Wickerman Festival four years ago and it felt amazing to be back on stage with the band again.

"At Stereo it was nice to see many people in the audience singing along with some of the new album songs. Playing songs to an audience can give you some good pointers as to which songs are connecting best.

"Music is such a positive force. For the past few years I've been working for the charity Music In Hospitals, playing concerts around Scotland where I'm lucky to get to see firsthand the power of live music."

The band will be performing across Scotland later this year with a date booked in at The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall on Saturday, September 29.

Neil added: "Having played around Glasgow for a long time, it's always fun to play at a venue in the city I haven't played before and the Panopticon will be a great setting for our next gig.

"The place is steeped in history and we can't wait to play there, it's said to be the world's oldest surviving hall in the world and it should be a special night.

"We are about to shoot a video for one of the album tracks as well and we'll be working on new songs for the next album which we'll start recording early next year.

"New York label Kool Kat Records are releasing an album of my EP tracks and rare unreleased recordings in the US in the autumn too, so there's plenty to look forward to in the months ahead."

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