Punk legend Fay Fife unveils debut album with The Countess Of Fife

Punk legend Fay Fife finally has her hands on the debut album from her new band.

The founder and front woman of The Rezillos is also at the helm of the Countess of Fife, an alt-country band with a unique sound that fuses country, punk, and rock.

Recorded across lockdown, Star Of The Sea features nine self-penned songs which have formed the backbone of the band’s live shows in recent years.

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While the Rezillos/Revillos are still going strong 45 years after the punk/new wave explosion - the band recently supported The Damned at London’s Hammersmith Apollo - the Countess Of Fife is much more than a side project for Fay.

The Countess Of Fife - Fay Fife and Allan McDowall
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Launched in 2016 with guitarist Allan McDowall, the band has gigged across Scotland, from Butefest in Rothesay to Cash Back in Fife, and they even turned a tiny gallery in London Road in Edinburgh into a live venue during one Festival Fringe, and had folk dancing in the street.

The album, which launches on CD and download on Friday (November 11) was trailed by the single Wandering Star - one of nine self-penned songs. The vinyl launch should follow in Spring 2023.

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It marks the culmination of a recording project which faced all the challenges lockdown could throw at it.

Fay said: “It was a long journey - a palaver. Things got cancelled several times, but we made it.

The Countess Of Fife debut album, Star Of The Sea

“When restrictions lifted we were able to go into the studio but remain isolated. We were all able to play at the same time and that was important - this is a band that plays off each other.”

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The album has been a labour of love for Fay and the band - one they wanted to make sure hit the spot.

“I wanted it to be special, it had to be good quality,” she said. “We wanted to get it right and I’m delighted to see it released. It’s a very satisfying moment.”

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The Countess of Fife can best be labelled as alt-country, but their sound is a unique melting pot of influences wrapped around Fay’s vocal and Allan’s glorious guitar work.

The duo have been the mainstays of the band since its launch, with Chris Agnew on double bass and Willie Molleson drums completing a line-up augmented by an number of musicians, including Kirsten Adamson on backing vocals.

“The band has never sounded better - I’m really, really delighted with it,” said Fay.

“We do have our own sound. I loved working with other interesting guitarists and Allan is edgy and earthy. He plays by feel - from that, the band and the sound grew.”

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Their songwriting partnership also sits at the heart of the band.

“I was writing stuff that did not fit for the Rezillos,” said Fay. “With Allan, there was a commonality in our musical interests.

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“I do need to write and create music - it’s more than a buzz. It’s the whole thing coming together.

“I still love playing, and singing to, a live audience. It’s a great vibe. We play off each other all the time and that is hugely exciting.”

The Countess of Fife launched the new album with a BBC Radio Scotland Quay Session, followed by a live gig at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on November 18.