The Glad Cafe in Glasgow has recently released a compilation on their emerging imprint Glorious Traces. The Music of Others, Glad Vol 1 is out now, curated by Modern Studies Emily Scott-Moncrieff, and is one of the rewards for the Crowdfunder campaign to save the Glads leaky roof. Joe Smillie from the Glad Cafe, Glorious Traces and also Modern Studies spoke with The Fountain about the premise of the label and what more to expect from it.
TF: Joe, you have set up new label, Glorious Traces, what inspired the namen?
Joe: Glorious Traces was a festival I ran at The Glad Cafe and a few other venues around the Southside of Glasgow back in 2016. Our great friend and brilliant designer, Simon Harlow (silodesignandbuild.com) came up with the name when we were speaking to him about The Glad Cafe’s ventures around the Southside of Glasgow (we also run a Glad Rags Thrift Store, The Glad Foundation which is a charity that provides affordable music tuition for folks in the area and a zine, also called The Glad Rag beacuse its too good a pun not to use twice). He said we were leaving glorious traces around the area and we liked that. Glorious Traces Recordings seemed like the obvious choice for the label’s name. The Glorious Traces Weekender returns this year thanks to a grant from Creative Scotland! It’ll run from 11th-13th October and we’ve got Vanishing Twin, Jane Weaver’s new project Fenella, C Duncan, Modern Studies, Carwyn Ellis and loads more! (Tickets at musicglue.com/glorioustraces)
TF: And your first recod is a compilation of music curated by Modern Studies’ Emily Scott, what was it about this project that compelled you to say yes?
Joe: The Glad Cafe has always had a leaky roof. We’re housed in a beautiful listed building called Camphill Gate. It has a flat roof, which of course isn’t ideal in Glasgow due to all that water that tends to fall from the sky here and all the residents suffer from the leaky roof! Glasgow City Heritage Trust are putting up half the money to repair the building and all the residents and businesses housed here have to find the rest. Because The Glad Cafe is spread over such a large area, our bill was a whopping £40,000! We don’t, and never will have, 40 grand in our back pocket so we ran a Crowdfunder campaign to raise the money. Emily and I are bandmates in Modern Studies and she wanted to help. She came up with this great idea for a record where we asked our friends and peers to cover each others work and she – incredibly generously – offered to fund the manufacture of the CDs! How could I refuse? The Crowdfunder was a success and The Glad Cafe will live to fight another day thanks to the kindness and generosity of artists like Emily and everyone who donated rewards and handed over their hard earned cash to the Crowdfunder campaign. A big shout out to our Modern Studies comrade, Pete Harvey, who mastered The Music of Others for £0 as well!
TF: Emily, you have everything on there from BEAM to Wolf and C Duncan, is this been very much a Glasgow recording?
Emily: The initial idea was to create something that had the potential to out-run any contribution I could manage to make on my own, something that the Glad could continue to sell even beyond the roof repairs, and I wondered if others were feeling the same way about a venue that has supported us over the years and is a vital part of the Southside community. It started out with us really asking our pals and favourite people we’d worked with before, who we knew loved the Glad and hoped would be up for supporting the cause; and also would be able to record something simply themselves on a budget of nothing. I guess it does naturally have a slant towards Glasgow as many of these artists live locally to the venue, so are part of a really healthy music scene round these parts. I was just overwhelmed at the response really, I still can’t believe such a wealth of talent came through with not only a track, but each a great one with so much time, care and creativity invested in it.
TF: Will you be promoting the album with a tour at all, will we have the pleasure of seeing these artist perform live in one cluster of stunning Scottish music?
Joe: Unfortunately, there are no plans to tour this album. It would be my absolute dream to take everyone on this record on tour on a big ol steam train, playing cozy little pubs in the countryside with roaring fires and Irish wolfhounds lying next to the fireplace, but alas, I think using the Crowdfunder money to fund this escapade wouldn’t go down too well!
Emily: Yeah, super happy we have made this lovely physical product that is now winging its way around the world, and would love to hear these songs on the live stage, but not sure I’m the gal for putting on a 22-artist show, although it would be awesome so perhaps we’ll think on that. This was a great and heart-warming experience, and hope that maybe some wee connections have been made that the artists continue to take forward in their own way.
Joe: Maybe we’ll sort out a little reunion soon and everyone who participated in the album can have a drink and a chat and some folk can do a turn on The Glad Cafe stage. We’ll keep you informed if we organise this!
TF: Joe, Emily this sounds like a wonderful compilation but what is next, are you working together soon on another release, what is next in store for either Modern Studies and Glorious Traces?
Joe: Well, as I mentioned before, the Glorious Traces weekender returns in October and Emily and I are working together on a new Modern Studies release too. We’ll be playing a few shows before the end of the year with Rob and Pete, performing new songs which we’re very excited about.
Emily: Yes lots of projects in the pipeline for Modern Studies, some community engagement stuff hopefully coming up soon from us too, but mainly looking forward to playing together and spending some time in the studio.
Joe: As for Glorious Traces Recordings, one of the things that got me interested in starting a label was recording live shows that take place at The Glad Cafe. I’ve mixed a couple from earlier this year and I’m excited that we’ll be releasing one of these live shows in the not too distant future. Keep an eye out for that.
For those that are interested in the compilation the link to buy is here