The Scotsman Sessions #149: Jamie Sutherland

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Broken Records singer Jamie Sutherland takes to the stage of the still-deserted Anatomy Lecture Theatre at Edinburgh’s Summerhall to perform Lost, taken from his recently-released album Bruise

On the day he returned to work at Edinburgh arts venue Summerhall after a summer on furlough, Broken Records singer Jamie Sutherland took to the stage in the venue’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre to record a his song Lost, for a Scotsman Session which will surely send a pang of loss through fans of live music in the city.

“Lost is one of my favourite songs on Bruise,” says Sutherland, referring to the debut solo album which he recorded in 2017, but which has only just seen the light of day. “The guitar part loosely channels Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’, but the melody’s completely different. It’s a song set in that late ’50s, early ’60s Greenwich Village style, which I’ve always been completely enamoured with.

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“My dad was a massive Bob Dylan fan – [his music] was around when we woke up and when we went to sleep, it was in our bones. When you’ve just had children yourself, and you equate your feelings about that to the soundtrack you had when you were growing up, the consistency there feels very comforting.”

Jamie Sutherland

This personal and musical connection is important to the themes of Bruise; it was written at a time of Sutherland’s own new fatherhood, and during downtime for the formerly 4AD-signed Broken Records, while other bandmates started their families. A couple of singles were released on a label, but as time moved on – and another child arrived – with no sign of the album’s release, Sutherland decided to bring it out through Broken Records’ own label.

“The sense of release in having this music go out to the world when you’ve been sitting on it for so long was great,” he says. In many ways, Bruise clears Sutherland’s creative decks; he says two more solo records and a Broken Records album have been written since. In the meantime, however, a major focus is planning for an eventual return to normality at Summerhall, where Sutherland is promoter of the venue’s currently on-hold Nothing Ever Happens Here concert series.

“It’s the place I’ve worked for the last eight years, I’ve put my fair share of sweat into it,” he says. “To play in an empty venue at the moment feels kind of pertinent, and I hope it gets back to being as full as it was before lockdown, because we were really moving up a gear at the time.”

Jamie Sutherland’s debut solo album Bruise is out now, and available to buy at www.jamiesutherlandmusic.bandcamp.com

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