On the radar: Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers

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What makes a good band name? Well, according to Ali Downer of the splendidly-named central Scotland country-rock collective Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers, it's the opportunity to annoy the naysayers.

"I had made a recording called Woodenbox and played some wee affairs under that alias," he explains. "When the rest of the guys came on board we wrote some new songs and changed some of the older ones.

"We came up with a bit of a country thing and decided to call ourselves Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers – it was a bit of a laugh really but it's stuck because a few people didn't like it and that made it somehow more appealing for us."

Downer and his bandmates Nick Dudman (drums/ukelele), Fraser McKirdy (bass/organ), Phil Cardwell (trumpet), Jordan Croan (electric guitar) and Sam Evans (sax) have gone from strength to strength and have built up a reputation for their raucous live shows since getting together at the beginning of 2008. This month sees the band take in some venues in Northern England – but they're still managing to fit in a show as part of Oxjam's Edinburgh Takeover.

"Oxfam is the undisputed king of charity music outlets and we are happy to be associated with the good name," says Downer. "We played at Gimme Shelter last year too, and really loved the vibe.

"I hope there is a bit of cash available for the charity, and we will be doing our bit by having free CDs for people who come to the show."

Sourced from the Under the Radar blog

The band's two-piece brass section is among the many things that set them apart from many bands in the local scene. "Ultimately we want to create something different," Downer explains.

"It's great writing songs and pulling them together as a band then trying different ways of playing and recording them.

"We try to play a raucous live show to make our music different from how it is recorded too – we wanna have a different vibe."

The band count themselves as big fans of experimental folk and blues acts such as Captain Beefheart and Dr Dog; and closer to home The Phantom Band. "They're an inspiring, phenomenal force," says Downer .

"I love music that uses harmony and interesting uses of instrumentation," he adds.

"I became obsessed with the Serge Leone films a few years ago and the soundtracks by Ennio Morricone were so inspiring. I went out and bought the soundtracks on record and through of making a wee side project of music like that – the tracks I came up with ended up just becoming hybrids that we play in the band."

Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers have recently finished recording their debut album, which will be released at the beginning of 2010. "It's a good year to release an album, and we're really excited to get it out there," says Downer.