NHC May POTM: Trongate Rum Riots

It’s no great secret that Scotland’s music scene is a thing to be proud of. So we here at TSA have teamed up with Scotland’s very own New Hellfire Club to bring you a monthly pick of who we think are doing epically well right now. Keep your eyes out for these up and coming bands. This is TSA and New Hellfire Club’s ‘Pick of the Month’.


Hi there Trongate Rum Riots! It’s great to have you guys in this issue of TSA POTM for a chat, especially considering you seem to have so much on just now worth chatting about.

So, let’s start the interview off by telling us a bit about the history of The Trongate Rum Riots, have you guys been a band long? Whose idea was it to get a band together in the first place? Any other wee weird facts we should know about you before we go on?

Thanks for having us Jamie. Aye we have been gigging in Glasgow since 2012. We started out playing Sea Shanties and a few drinking songs in bars and our first proper gig was near Halloween. So we did a bit of Victorian style Pirate madness and it stuck. We got more gigs and kept adding to the material from there. We have had many incarnations to this point and different members.

Wee weird facts – we have never played in Uzbekistan and reality is an illusion. Apart from that, not sure.

I need to get right into the name issue, as to be honest (even though I have personally known you guys for what, a few years now?) I have no idea what it’s all about, so where did it come from?

Well, I reckon the name story depends on what mood we are in or who you speak to in the band. Right now lets just say it may or may not have been a historical incident. It might be a drunk fantasy or maybe a bit of both, we have no idea either.

You have a new release coming out soon, and we’ve all waited patiently for an album from you guys for what seems like ages (much excitement on this end), how hard was it to put together? Were there any major hurdles in getting it recorded?

We done a couple of EPs before and we were happy with them but we recorded the album ourselves to try to capture the live feel to our music, we didn’t want it to be too polished. We recorded the majority ourselves then Headhunter Studios helped us pull it all together. Its been about two years so we are excited about it. It is in the bag now and we are looking forward to touring over the summer.

As far as genres go, The Trongate Rum Riots are pretty difficult to pigeonhole. I’m not even sure what I would class you guys as; Anarcho-Sea Shanty Punk perhaps? Riotous Pirate folk? I’m just spit balling now, so tell me, does being so unique in a packed local music scene make it generally harder, or easier for you to get gigs?

We just play what we like to play. Folk mostly with a punk feel but there are ballads and bar room blues numbers as well. Genres are tricky. Yeah, I like Anarcho-Sea Shanty Punk. Some people have described it as Speed Folk, Snuff Shanties and Kebab Rock…Who knows. Our style of music suits being played live. There are some great bands about Glasgow.

Photo by Nicola Roberts

Onto recommendations now, who else would you recommend we all have a listen to on the local scene, anyone you guys love gigging alongside that the readers shouldn’t be missing out on?

Joe Bone and the Dark Vibes, Woodwife, Wire and Wool, Cut throat Razors and Pronto Mama. Victoria McNulty is an amazing poet that we have been doing some shows with…there are too many to name.

What’s coming up for The Trongates then?

We have been keeping out of trouble but we are playing the Moniaive Folk Festival and the Balloch Folk Festival before we head to open the Cowal Games.

So, the floor is yours, is there anything else coming up in 2017 we should get excited about? What’s your plans for the rest of the year?

Taking the new album on the road and multi-packs of crisps. We will be heading off to play at the Festival Du Chant Marine, a big sea shanty Festival in Piampol, France. We’re well up for bringing a bit of Glasgow madness to the continent and we have got several dates in the north of Scotland and will be playing the Orkney Rock Festival.

Mostly we will be stuck in the riot van with crazy instruments, playing old folk tunes with our faces stuck against the windows. 2017 is looking good. We are just happy playing as much as we can.

Images by Nicola Roberts, sourced from Trongate Rum Riots Facebook Page. 

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