A Little Dose of History
Little Doses live.
Little Doses have been entertaining Scottish crowds from their hometown base of Edinburgh since May 2006. Their first demo E.Ps attracted much interest, both from within the industry and without, including XFM Radio plays, a slot at the Tbreak finals and huge Myspace following. Their debut album, “Rock Riot Soul” was released in March 2012 on their own label, Black Ditto Recordings.
Little Doses was born from the ashes of previous endeavours. Mark McClelland founded and spent 11 years with Snow Patrol and after that ended, he found he still loved music. He wanted to put a band together to make the music swimming around in his head and he wanted to play live. Little Doses are the silver lining to the snow cloud.
Kirsten Ross sings all the time, beautifully. In fact I’m suprised she doesn’t sing in her sleep. She was always first choice to put meaning to the words, even from the first demos. Add to that the fact she is a feisty, opinionated bundle of trouble, what more could you ask for in a lead singer?
The Branagh (Michael to his mum) had met Mark in London a few years previous at the never glamorous Colombia hotel. “I’d just seen him play with Degrassi and it was a stormer of a gig, Northern Irish people can sometimes gravitate towards each other in some mystical way. We stayed up into the night drinking and having a time. With a classic drummer’s attitude, he hits them hard, very versatile and likes to experiment. When I heard that Degrassi were taking a break he gave him the call. “
Bringing the big licks is Mike Skinner, his versatile and inventive playing style punctuate the songs and features all across Little Doses’ new recordings. We've taken directions nobody could have forseen and suprised ourselves, the exciting thing is that it sounds awesome.
A master in atmospherics and noise Chris Alderson lays warmth and buzz, spills and heartache across the stage. Chris has played previously with Edinburgh’s Kays Lavelle and relished the recording process. Why buy an effects pedal when you can create your own?
Little Doses’ debut album, “Rock Riot Soul” is due to be released in March 2012. Recorded and mixed by Mark in a studio that took over his house for a period, it’s a labour of love. Varied influences from the imaginations of each band member course through its veins, making it sound very Little Doses.
Live highlights so far have been playing at The Wickerman festival, T in the Fringe, T break and support slots with the Buzzcocks and Union of Knives.
While Kirsten Ross’ vocals have invited comparisons to P.J Harvey and Stevi Nicks, the pounding rhythm section of Mark McClelland (Snow Patrol) and Michael Branagh (Degrassi) comes over like a beefed up Grandaddy taking Elastica’s best hooks to the prom with a half bottle of Makers Mark in one pocket and a three pack of Trojan in the other!
Rock Riot Soul
The new Little Doses album - Rock Riot and Soul
The living room in Mark's apartment sounds good! We had been noticing our home acoustic rehearsals were sounding really sweet. Ok so there are sirens going past and the whole place shakes if a bus driver gets carried away, but it sounds good!
Frustrated with the muted experience of recording demos in various Scottish studios, struggling with constrained time and lacklustre results, an ambitious plan started to form.
Mark had always tended towards a music producers role, starting with the first few Snow Patrol albums which he had co produced alongside an experienced engineer. He immersed himself in a crash course on how to mix and engineer, and the first tracks of the as yet unnamed album started to emerge, nothing beats learning by doing!
Free of time constraints, the record began to thrive. Drum tracks were powerful, recorded with the old school room micing techniques heard on Led Zepplin, Beatles eras. Mike Skinner and Chris Alderson were both relatively new to the band at this point and revelled in the freedom to experiment without watching the clock and find how their sounds could build the Little Doses sound.
It is a record built on its performances, embracing its oddities, it has character and is a record of its moment.
Of course there were set backs, things that didn't work, a steep learning curve, a long glorious struggle. But in darker moments, inspiration and influence were found in the self produced classic albums from Elbow and The Racounteurs; even if at times things resembled the famous endless mixing and remixing process of My Bloody Valentines' "Loveless" which nearly broke Creation Records.
The band are delighted with the results, the record, we feel, explores all aspects of our sound and we couldn't wait to let everyone hear it. To that end we needed a record company, and seeing we've already recorded the album ourself, why don't we do that also? So we formed Black Ditto Recordings, more learning by doing, and released the record in March 2012, listen to it and buy from the music tab above.
Some Top Trump Pop Facts....
Mike Skinner has wanderlust, he has ridden a motorcycle from Vietnam back to the UK and ridden the length of the Americas from Alaska to Argentina. He is also left handed despite playing the guitar right handed.
Kirsten Ross is only one day younger than the late great Amy Winehouse, she previously studied acting before following her heart into music. Little Doses is her first band but while at school together she sang with Raff from the OK Social Club, apparently there is a video somewhere.....
Mark McClelland also has wanderlust although it is currently unfulfilled, as a keen sailor he dreams of taking a boat round the UK and even as far as the Med and beyond one day. Kirsten dreams of not doing that!
Michael Branagh is a keen artist and paints regularly, he has designed many of the band's gig posters over the years and some of his own tattoos.
Chris Alderson rebuilds his own guitars, pedals and amps... and they work! He formerly played bass for several bands including an early line up of Death Trap City with former Doses guitarist Rich Beeby.