Song, by Toad

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Ian Humberstone/Tisso Lake

 I’ve said before that one of the best ways to find new music is to follow your favourite bands on Twitter.  They tend to be the ones playing gigs with new and interesting people all the time, and they come across some amazing stuff.

In this case, however, it’s not Twitter, it’s going down the pub with your favourite bands.  Rob St. John has been playing music with Ian Humberstone for years, and not a visit to Edinburgh goes by without Rob’s enthusiasm for his friend’s music coming up at some point.  And not in a spammy sense either, just genuine love of and admiration for the music.

He even suggested doing a split 7″ with Ian, a single which we released last year, one of which I am very proud, and hence a suggestion for which I am very grateful. One song on one side of a 7″ doesn’t quite imply that you are signed to a record label of course, and for now Ian remains someone peripherally associated with us, but whose music I love and whose next move I await with real interest.

I may have to wait a while to find out, however, as apparently he is moving away for a little while, which may stall the work on his latest material somewhat.  I’ve heard a demo here and there, and it sounds gorgeous, but Ian comes across as a meticulous little bastard so I may have to learn a little patience for once.

One thing this sabbatical seems to have done is finally nudge him to get his old back catalogue up on Bandcamp to be explored.  He used to record under the name of Tisso Lake, and Song of the Black Dog was the first of his work I ever heard. I liked it, but I wasn’t entirely sold, I have to confess.  In fact, a little like Rob St. John himself, the moment I went from ‘I like this’ to ‘holy shit this is fucking awesome’ was a solo appearance at the late, lamented Bowery in Edinburgh accompanied by nothing but an electric guitar.

I think it’s possible he may always struggle with comparisons to Bill Callahan, because their voices do sound quite similar, but Ian’s music is pretty bloody fine in its own right.  There are three albums up for download on the aforementioned Bandcamp page, but I thought I would finish this post by embedded a live recording from 2008. It doesn’t quite have the lush beauty of the other two albums, but it’s a lovely recording nevertheless.

I don’t know what we’ll see from Mr. Humberstone in future, nor how long we’ll have to wait for it.  But it will be highly, highly anticipated around these parts, that’s for sure.

2 witty ripostes to Ian Humberstone/Tisso Lake

  1. avatar
    The Meanest Matthew Ever Known

    His side of the 2 Witches tape put out on Folk Tapes is one of the best things I’ve heard all year. Shame they took the download link down before I got paid…

  2. avatar

    lovely stuff. got a contact for him? would be nice to have him at the glad cafe. you can send it to the email i provided above. cheers pal : )

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