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Album review Scottish albums

Jackal Trades

Comprising several previously released tracks and a lot of new ones, the latest Jackal Trades album is one of many recent activities by heidbummer Mark McGhee.

Aside from connecting like-minded people in the past year and a bit through his ‘You Call That Radio’ podcast and patreon, including some great live performances, he is also one of Scotland’s most interesting and forward-looking musical artists, through his work with The Girobabies – and with Jackal Trades.

The record is an expansive and all-consuming piece of work, very much of these alienated lockdown times, and a lot of collaborators have been involved in the making of the record – too many to mention but they know who they are.

Stand-out moments include ‘Hate My Notifications’, which covers the nightmare of social media, which of course Mark and all the rest of us have been increasingly using during lockdown – GlasgowLive and others get a bit of a kicking, and the line “took a day off once, and they thought I had died” is just “hilarious”, as GlasgowLive would comment…

‘Forever Underground’ is an angry rant against the powers that be, including the PRS, to a scary backbeat, and ‘The Point’ rails against the haters and references Mark’s “Building a Hing” YCTR project.

And ‘Miss It’ is a more traditional strum about missing people, beers, friends – something most of us can relate to…

In all, a great piece of work.