On the radar: Washington Irving

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It makes sense for us to be talking about Washington Irving.

Not only is their name being bandied about Glasgow town, a number of them are in bands we've covered recently (My Cousin I Bid You Farewell and The John Knox Sex Club), and to top it all they make music in the vein of some of Scotland's best and most successful indie-pop exporters.

Think Belle and Sebastian or Camera Obscura: simple yet poignant lyrics, sung in a broad Scottish accent, that sit nicely over the accompanying plucky guitars and flute trills.

Alongside the usual staples they have a unique mix of instrumentation that includes the singing saw, piccolo, mandolin and a mixture of melodicas, maracas and a bouzouki, which is a traditional, pear-shaped, stringed, Greek instrument (thanks Wikipedia).

But far from rendering them obscure or difficult, this folk sound is commercial enough to make a mainstream crossover seem tangible, as drummer, Chris McGarry, explains:

"We're more influenced by Scottish and Irish folk than American folk. Our songs lend themselves well to an energetic drunken hootenanny. Crowds have recently started flailing around frantically at our gigs. At the single launch of 'The Magician', Joe's (the singer) mum was almost crushed by a bunch of rowdy shinty players!"

Sourced from the Under the Radar blog

When they're not playing host to potential parental murder the band have found time to record and release some of their material, recently working with Marcus Mackay, who put the first Frightened Rabbit album to tape.

"We also want to get lots of new songs into the set and onto record," McGarry says.

"We recorded a single with Marcus earlier in the year. He's just built a new studio, the Diving Bell #2, which we went to visit the other week. Hopefully we'll be recording there soon.

"We also plan to play more gigs outside of Glasgow, go back to Inverness, Edinburgh and Aberdeen soon. Tours hopefully, up and down the country, coast to coast, nationwide."

So there you have it. Now you get talking about them too.

Want to see Washington Irving live with your own eyes?

Go to The Mill at Oran Mor on 19 Nov and you'll see them with Anna Meldrum - tickets are free, text MILL44K to 82500 to claim a couple. Or see them acoustic with Jeremy Warmsley in Brel on 5 Nov. Lasty, they also play The Bowery in Edinburgh on 5 December with Sebastian Dangerfield and We Were Promised Jetpacks (acoustic solo).