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State Broadcasters

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Graeme Black met Pete MacDonald while they were working in a library in Glasgow in 2004. After subsequently bumping into each other at various gigs they got talking about music, enthusing about Lambchop and Clem Snide and comparing favourite Smiths songs. Considering this to be a pretty good sign, they tried playing some songs together in Graeme’s kitchen and, when this wasn’t a complete disaster, decided to call themselves The State Broadcasters.

After some early formative gigs with Graeme on guitar and vocals and Pete on piano and trombone, they asked Pete’s brother Fergus to join in to fill out the sound a little and play all the extra guitar counter-melodies they felt would suit Graeme’s songs. Fergus and Pete had spent much of their teenage years playing Wilco and Josh Rouse songs together in their living room, so the Broadcasters knew he would fit perfectly into their quiet “no-guitar-solos” musical ethic.

A busy period of gigging with the occasional brief addition to the line-up followed, culminating in a Danny Kyle award for Best New Act at Celtic Connections in 2006. This accolade somewhat baffled the band, who had never considered themselves to be influenced by the Scottish folk scene, let alone be a part of it. Coincidentally however, Gillian Fleetwood, a harp player, singer and promising figure in this scene was in the audience at the Danny Kyle gig. After being asked to provide “some Emmylou style harmony vocals” she agreed to join the Broadcasters, despite admitting to not knowing who they were talking about.

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