Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Quit your day job

Much is made of their other jobs. By day, they're schoolteachers, a sound technician, and a nursery nurse. By night, they're one of Scotland's best indie pop bands.

Edinburgh's ballboy (they're known to be very particular about that small 'B') have been making music together since 1998. Their strength lies in their lyrics, which are the perfect blend of poison and poignancy. Freshly shaved Olympic cyclists, the many foibles of their homeland, the art of kissing, gun control, finding solace in country music -- ballboy has covered it all throughout a rather prolific career that's already come to encompass four LPs and 3 EPs.

They've experienced a smidge of success (three tracks in John Peel's Festive 50), but unfortunately, not enough to make gigging and recording a full-time venture. "I love teaching," singer/songwriter Gordon McIntyre once said in an interview. "But you can go back and teach whenever. You can't really put the band thing on hold. I have no qualms about giving up my day job, and I think my head teacher knows that!"

One can't help but wonder what McIntyre's head teacher (or even the six- and seven-year-olds he works with, for that matter) thinks of the lyrics in a song like, "You Can't Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes." I'm sure they'd find it as cheeky as we do.

Hear it for yourself. Download: "A Europewide Search For Love" by ballboy. Layer after layer of gorgeous strings accompanied by a meditative little monologue with lines like, "Someone once told me, 'The world is moving because you are.'"