06 APR 2013

Teen Canteen

  TEENCANTEEN return to Jim Lambie's Poetry Club for their second event, this time joined by artist ROSS SINCLAIR.

Missed their last event at The Poetry Club? TeenCanteen covered the place in sunflowers and had 500 helium filled balloons. This time they'll have an installation and performance by Ross Sinclair with ex-Cream DJ Phil Redfearn spinning us into the small hours.

Ticket includes limited edition bubblegum-scented postcard featuring TeenCanteen artwork by Ross Sinclair - available only when purchasing a ticket for this event (and then never again).

Teen Canteen are a four piece, all female group who write and perform melodic, Sottish-infused sunshine pop. For this April show, their second at Jim Lambie's Poetry Club,  the group are joined by artist Ross Sinclair for a presentation that is part live performance, part art installation. TeenCanteen will perform in front of a back-drop of hundreds of custom made slogan t-shirts created by Sinclair. Sinclair will also provide each ticket holder to the show with bubblegum scented, signed piece of artwork.

  Despite the wealth of musical talent Scotland currently enjoys, there is a surprising dearth of girl groups making real waves on the musical landscape. 'TeenCanteen', led by Carla Easton, plan to change that with their infectious brand of singalong indie pop, which is as indebted to the C86 scene as it is to The Supremes.

The group was formed from the ashes of Futuristic Retro Champions, who had moderate success and played alongside the likes of Kate Nash, Bombay Bicycle Club, Friendly Fires and The Vaselines. Easton though, was growing somewhat out of sync with the direction the band was taking. “FRC got more and more dance/electro sounding towards the end and when I think back on it I much preferred the ramshackle sound we created when we first started,” she explains. So, when that band came to a natural end, it gave her the chance to start writing songs in the way she wanted, with nobody else to please.

The next step was to test out the material and find people to play it with. She drafted in fellow Futuristic Retro Champ Sita Pieraccini and colleague Emma Kullander before recruiting high school chum Deborah Smith on drums. To get a feel for how the new project might be perceived and how a new group might work, Easton started playing the songs at open mic nights in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London - “mostly just to try them out with various combinations of Sita, Emma, Debs - and sometimes others - singing and playing with me.”

Since then, TeenCanteen have recorded a debut EP and won themselves more than a few plaudits, some from Scottish indie royalty. Eugene Kelly from The Vaselines has been a huge supporter, Duglas T. Stewart of BMX Bandits has played guitar on all but two of their tracks and Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastien supported them at their first big show in Glasgow last year.

One recording has been released digitally so far, an irrepressibly cheery number called “How We Met (Cherry Pie)”, driven by a melodic keyboard hook that sticks deep in your subconscious and follows you around for days. The rhyme scheme and wordplay that is marbled throughout the song is enough to bring a smile to even the dourest indie kid on the block. Judging by their live performances, there is plenty more material of an equally high standard too.

The focus now for the group is to get the music out and in the hands of as many people as possible. Easton is keen to do it her way too, and is hesitant to upload the music to stream for all to hear on the internet. “I want to go back to the idea of mixtapes, where it’s all word of mouth, and people swapping CDs,” she says. That’s why everyone who is going along the now sold-out gig at Jim Lambie’s Poetry Club will be getting an exclusive three-track album sampler to take away with them, and hopefully pass on to others.

It’s a recipe of big-name endorsements, unabashedly gleeful indie pop, a DIY ethos and a forthcoming album. Which means that if you haven’t already, now would be a good time to get yourself down to the TeenCanteen to indulge yourself with a sugary sweet snack. You won’t regret it.

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