The band talks tour dates, typical days and taking their time.
(LEFT-RIGHT) Jumper and trousers DIOR HOMME; coat DIOR HOMME, shirt and trousers talent’s own; top JOHN SMEDLEY, trousers DIOR HOMME; top JOHN SMEDLEY, waistcoat DIOR HOMME and trousers JOSEPH; jumper and trousers DIOR HOMME
Dancing on Tables are a five-piece indie pop band that hail from Dunfermline in Scotland. Comprised of Robbie McSkimming, Callum Thomas, Hamish Finlayson, Gregor Stobie and Michael Waterworth, the quintet is responsible for perhaps Fife’s finest offering of recent times, certainly where contemporary indie is concerned: new single “OH” is proving hard to remove from repeat. More so even than last year’s “Don’t Stop”.
Inspired by the songwriting of The Libertines and The Beatles (read: the classics), the new track looks at long distant relationships and all that they entail; the accompanying video meanwhile, with great scenes that trace the Scottish Highlands, could be an ad for the tourist board if it wasn’t for the telling in-studio episodes.
Intrigued to learn more, we caught up with one of the lead singers (they’ve got two, just like their aforementioned heroes) to find out what being in Dancing on Tables typically means – catch our chat with McSkimming below.
(LEFT-RIGHT) Jumper and trousers DIOR HOMME; top JOHN SMEDLEY, trousers DIOR HOMME; top JOHN SMEDLEY, waistcoat DIOR HOMME and trousers JOSEPH; jumper and trousers DIOR HOMME; coat DIOR HOMME, shirt and trousers talent’s own
Growing up, who were your main influences?
Between us, there has been a wide range of music that has influenced our sound: Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Big Country were a huge part of the reason we picked up instruments in the first place. Records from Talking Heads, The Cure and The Smiths were all borrowed from our parent’s music collections to listen to when music began to take over our lives. They’re still a permanent selection in our playlists.
We’re loving your new single “OH”. What was the thought process behind it?
We wanted to write a song about dealing with a long distance relationship. The song begins talking about how hard it is to be working through the difficulties associated with this, but as the song progresses, the lyrics and music change to show that even though it’s hard, it’s worth it in the end.
Songwriting wise, where do you guys get your inspiration from?
We listen to a lot of bands like The Libertines and The Beatles when we’re going through the songwriting process. Being able to use two main vocalists when we are writing gives us more options with how we use melodies, so using other bands who have successfully utilised this as inspiration helps us.
We’re loving the visuals for the single too. Can you talk us through it?
The video was inspired by vast distance and empty spaces which ties in with the feeling of loneliness and missing someone that we wanted to convey in “OH”. Shooting the video was a lot of fun – our videographer, Chris Croft, came up with the concept for the video and we spent hours looking through footage of the Scottish Highlands to get the perfect way to show this.
Your EP, “Don’t Stop” was quite the success. Are you guys working towards an album?
I guess everything we are doing just now is building up to an album, but we’ve not planned on releasing one yet. We’ve been writing and recording a lot of new material recently, so the plan is to focus on these as individual tracks. Some of them might make their way onto a future album. Even though there are similarities, we feel our writing style in these new tracks has matured from the “Don’t Stop” EP. We want to give ourselves time to truly define the sound we want to put into an album before we release one.
(L-R FROM TOP LEFT) Coat DIOR HOMME, shirt and trousers talent’s own; jumper and trousers DIOR HOMME; top JOHN SMEDLEY, trousers DIOR HOMME; top JOHN SMEDLEY, waistcoat DIOR HOMME and trousers JOSEPH; jumper and trousers DIOR HOMME
When it comes to the style of music you guys create, who would you say are your inspirations?
Although our style may vary between tracks, our early influences still play a major role in what we create now. Listening to Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys, and how they manage to straddle different genres in their records whilst keeping a core sound to all the tracks, gives us a drive to try and make ours as diverse as they can be, whilst all still sounding like a Dancing on Tables track.
So touring. Any dates booked in for next year?
We’re currently planning a tour for early next year as well as a number of festivals. Festival season is always our favourite time of year, so we’ll be looking to do as many as possible.
When you guys are prepping for a live show, is there any rituals or routines you have to follow before going on stage?
We have made making sure batteries are in all electronics the only ritual we have. That sounds like a basic thing, but we’ve had some close calls in the past. That or a Wetherspoons burger.
What does a typical day in the life of you Dancing on Tables entail?
Most of our writing and practicing gets done in the evening in a converted basement. We are also building our own studio in Aberdeen at the moment, which will be up and running next year.
Finally, what made you guys choose the name – would you say dancing on tables is a favourite pastime?
We were all at a house party when we had just started writing material together. There had been a few suggestions of names but nothing had stuck. A few people were up on a table dancing, so we decided on the spot that we’ll go with that. Perhaps not as much thought as other acts put into their names, but it’s better than a couple of other suggestions we had around the time.