On the radar: Julia and the Doogans

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Gritty Glasgow's sectarian rivalry would seem like the unlikeliest of subject matter for a multi-instrumental folk project, but in a delicate, winsome song that is their home city's namesake Julia and the Doogans have managed to achieve just that.

The local seven-piece – who count flute, cello and banjo among their instrumental roster – have been winning over fans across the city in the past few months with their quietly charming repertoire.

Julia Doogan is the honey-voiced songstress behind the project – who, despite the name's familial illusions, aren't all related. "The name's been kicking about for a while – it was something a college lecturer came up with on the spur of the moment back when introducing another band I was a part of, and it's just stuck as time has went on," she explains.

"At first, the band came about because I wanted a band to back my music but as time has went on it has evolved into much more," she adds. "The reason we all do it is because we enjoy music. We also bring out the best in each other creatively, and have a good time together as both musicians and friends."

Sourced from the Under the Radar blog

The band's original line-up (Julia on vocals, guitar and banjo with Alan Daly on vocals and guitar, Renata Pilikinait on cello, flautist Carolann Mullin and Tada Labudis on drums and percussion) have performed together for just under a year, with additions along the way in the form of Jennifer Hamilton on piano, and Ian Clyne on bass.

The band count "melody-driven" bands and artists such as Aberfeldy, Sufjan Stevens and Angus and Julia Stone among their influences, as well as "everyday life, and a lot of people-watching!"

Big fans of their peers in the local music scene, Julia says: "It's a good place to be starting out like we are – everyone we meet is really supportive and the more you get into it the more it becomes a bit like an office Christmas party, where everybody knows or knows of each other and just has a good time."

Of their "organic" sound, Julia says: "A few of us are more classically trained than others and we all have an appreciation for orchestral instruments and music.

"I don't think we are massively unique but we aim for simplicity with every song."

The band are "concentrating on playing shows and being creative" at the moment, with shows planned at the Captain's Rest, King Tut's and a live session for Glasgow PodcART on the agenda for October and November – but Julia promises "more writing and recording" ahead.

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