Northern Alliance formed at a late Hogmanay party on January 4th, 2002. Naturally they were drunk. They make music very slowly and rest for long periods of time. They are over thirty years old. They are Doug Johnstone, Craig Smith and Viv Strachan. Here is a selection of facts:
Doug once had an emergency operation for an epigastric hernia. Craig once had a lung collapse on him. Viv is very healthy. One of them has a pre-molar tooth in a post-molar position. One of them has a PhD in nuclear physics. One of them has been awarded NME Single of the Week. Twice. One of them has been asked by Kurt Cobain if he had ‘any Benylin’.
In September 2003, they released their debut mini-album, ‘Hope in Little Things’, on 45B Records, their own imprint of Edinburgh label SL. The album was recorded in a basement. It received a bunch of incredibly favourable reviews from everyone from Q to Kerrang. It also got played a lot around the UK and Europe, and sold a good few copies to boot. Always nice.
The band’s second record, ‘Disaster for Scotland’, was recorded as part of the Fence Records Picket Fence C Series in a loft. One day, maybe, they will make a record at sea level.
Their third album, ‘For the Grains Of Sand’, was released on 45B/Fence in 2006 – to critical acclaim. Which is a polite way of saying it didn’t sell millions – but is a great rock record … and hands-down the most hi-fi thing they’ve ever done.
They have just released a new picket fence as part of the E series, that sees them in lo-fi mode again … but this time casio-keyboards and drum machines predominate.
They have been compared to Sparklehorse, Will Oldham, Low, Mogwai, Mazzy Star, Mojave 3, Codeine, The Delgados, Teenage Fanclub, Slowdive and Smog. That’ll give you an idea where they’re at.
DISCOGRAPHY + MORE INFO COMING SOON …