The Strunts


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David Fee and Les Oman are stalwarts of the Kintyre music and songwriting scene. Neither could be described as mainstream, although up until now, their musical journeys have been separate and in totally different directions. This all changed on a cold day in January 2017, when they met, quite by chance, at the auto teller in Longrow South, Campbeltown. Walking up the road together, they found they were both extremely exercised by the upcoming inauguration of the 45th POTUS and the implications for world stability. Fast-forward four or five hours and Les received a text from David, which contained a partial lyric and a request to see if he could do anything with it. In this way, via an exchange of texts, the first song on the album, “Ranches and Mansions”, quickly came together and with the bits that were left over, they found they had the basis of “Everything is Wasted”. Over the next few weeks, the songs came thick and fast. Along the way, a couple of old fragments were repurposed to suit the current theme, but most of the songs were fresh-minted during a five-week period. At one stage, it got so hectic that they even had to stoptexting and started communicating by email! It even became necessary to meet up occasionally to work on musical ideas. And so, The Strunts were born…

Originally, the songs were recorded for David’s “Fee Comes Fourth” project, where he releases a brand-new song to his followers on the 4th day of every month. Breaking from tradition, David very magnanimously agreed that The Strunts should use this vehicle to record and make the songs available, using Sam Hales Recording Studio in Campbeltown. So, the original versions were released one by one, over a ten-month period, although the monthly deadline of the 4th, meant that the songs were not as finished as they might have been. Accordingly, they were revisited in early 2020 when several trusted and talented collaborators from the local music scene were enlisted to expand the arrangements on the original recordings. These included Mark Leishman on drums and percussion, Alison Leith on vocals (who made Alien in Slovenia her own), Anne Leith on backing vocals and Alex Johnson (ex-Hom Bru) on double bass and moothie. Everything else was handled by Sam Hales who engineered the album, played electric guitar, bass and everything else that is not credited in the sleeve-notes. Describing themselves as “post-truth, alt-folk”, the music has an acoustic feel (based around David’s guitar and Les’ bouzouki) but with various other flavours thrown into the mix in a haphazard but pleasing manner. The songs invoke a wide range of emotions including anger, regret and surprise but if you dig deep enough you will find that it is all infused with a rich seam of dark humour. The Strunts will be delighted if POTUS 46 is somebody else, as it will spare them the anguish of trying to write that “difficult second album”!


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