Monday, 14 May 2012

It's not my accent it's your ears.

It has been commonly reported that the Scottish accent is difficult to understand. We speak too fast, too nasal and our language is deemed as guttural and thick. We roll our R's too much and say words like loch in ways unbeknown to other nationalities. 

So what's my point?

There are many bands from Scotland who in the past have been told that they have to tone down their accent especially when singing. At times their nationality being obscured and unknown when listening to their songs. Many people did not know that Simple Minds were from Glasgow. When they made their début in America many believed that the band were American.

 It is not just Scottish bands that are susceptible to the curse of hiding your own voice. It has been preferred in the past that bands and artists could say where they were from, just not within their music.  Many bands go through accent and dialect coaching just to be more precise with their singing voice and to disguise their own accent. 

Don't get me wrong I am not saying that it is accents that make bands successful. I just feel that it is wrong to have artists be something they do not want or more importantly need to be. You wouldn't consider asking a rap artist to sing in an operatic voice. So why ask artists to tone down their accent. I can hardly understand what Kyle Faulkner from Dundee's The View is saying but their songs are still widely enjoyed none the less.

I am writing this at the time while Scottish Band Twin Atlantic are blasting out of my stereo. They sing in their natural voice and dialect. If fact they are welcomed internationally for doing so and for the second year running are supporting Blink 182 on tour. Having been asked by the American band themselves. They have this amazing twang sound in their songs and sing with passion and drive that remind me of an early Biffy Clyro era. 

Another Glasgow Born band Hip Parade were seen as refreshing and diverse when they took second place in the Orange unsigned act show only to be pipped at the post by Tommy Reilly who was also from Glasgow and praised for his original voice. Hip Parade have gone on to successfully tour with Stereophonics. Their début album features 12 glorious songs and not only do they sing in their own accent their signature encore of "F**king Dynamite" I feel would sound ridiculous forced out under any other pretence.     

On the whole I like most bands from Scotland and feel proud at what Glasgow has produced through out the years and long may it continue. I get the impression that now within music industry bands and artists are thankfully being embraced for their heritage, home towns and accents.

*Please note I borrowed the title of this weeks blog from a Play I took part in. The script of which was along the same theme. And well its part of my own heritage.