Chameleon Lady: 'Lockdown helped us' says Edinburgh-based band following return to live gigs after two-year hiatus

After a two year break from performing live gigs, Edinburgh-based band Chameleon Lady reignited pop, rock and Scottish folk in their sold out homecoming gig in the Capital.

Edinburgh band  Chameleon Lady said 'lock down helped develop their style' as they performed for the first time at Sneaky Pete’s in the city’s Cowgate area (Photo: Rachel Duncan, @shotby_rachel).
Edinburgh band Chameleon Lady said 'lock down helped develop their style' as they performed for the first time at Sneaky Pete’s in the city’s Cowgate area (Photo: Rachel Duncan, @shotby_rachel).

The headline performance in Edinburgh on November 16 was the ‘family band’ Chameleon Lady’s first time appearance at Sneaky Pete’s in the city’s Cowgate area.

Their first night of ‘hosting’ a gig, the six-member strong band welcomed singer-songwriters Jordan Phillips and Luke Hunter to the stage before bringing their ‘loud and proud to be Scottish pop’ sound to the audience.

The night was both a homage to Scotland and a celebration of the return of in-person gigs after what has felt like an age without the social vibrancy live music brings.

Playing to their sold-out gig in the Capital after a two year break from live gigs, the band embraced their home ground once more with favourites such as Home and experimented with new sounds verging on pop rock with their new single Valentine.

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With a fiddle player and a trad folk background, the band who are mostly in their twenties merged pop with their traditional Scottish music roots to please a largely young crowd enthusiastically head banging whilst reverberating the ground below with ceilidh dancing footwork.

Asked how it feels to be back on stage, frontman Cameron Middlemas, wearing a ‘made in the nineties’ t-shirt, said: “It feels absolutely amazing.

Frontman Cameron Middlemas, wearing a ‘made in the nineties’ t-shirt, said it 'felt absolutely amazing' to be back performing at live gigs (Photo: Rachel Duncan, @shotby_rachel).

"We’ve just been writing and doing online videos but to actual play together is amazing and just to see everybody again has been fantastic.

"People are just wanting to be out and about and are desperate to see live music after lockdown so we are benefiting from that.”

The band consists of brothers frontman Cameron and guitarist Tom Middlemas, his partner and fiddle player Caitlin Hutchison, her brother and guitarist Robbie and their dad on keyboard Kenny and their cousin on guitar Michael.

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During the period of covid confinement, the band spent time writing new material which they believe helped evolve their sound.

During lockdown, the band spent time writing new material which they believe helped evolve their sound (Photo: Rachel Duncan, @shotby_rachel).

Guitarist Tom Middlemas said: “Beforehand we were quite folk rock and I’d say this is more pop rock and indie.

"We were able to sit down, write a lot of music and find the sound that we actually wanted as a band so obviously it’s been rubbish for a lot of people but as a band it’s been pretty great as we’ve been able to sort ourselves out.”

Talking about working with family, the guitarist said: "I think it means vocals wise our voices gel really nicely and also when we come with ideas for new songs we can shoot people down pretty harshly as we are so familiar with each other.

"We sold out Sneaky Pete’s and didn’t get just all our friends and family so that’s a nice feeling.”

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Over lockdown, the band received funding from Creative Scotland to create two music videos, record an EP and release a couple of singles.

Frontman Cameron said: "A lot of this is the money game so for somebody to back us like Creative Scotland and actually do proper marketing for our songs and help us get our songs out there it makes a whole world of difference.”

Chameleon Lady has recently released their new single Valentine and they are releasing an EP on December 3.

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