The Scotsman Sessions #274: Phil Campbell & Chris Russell

Welcome to the award-winning Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on, with introductions from our critics. Here, singer Phil Campbell and pianist Chris Russell of Glasgow band The Byson Family perform their new track You’ve Been a Fool

Singer Phil Campbell has been a prime purveyor of gritty Caledonia soul for more than 20 years, whether as a solo artist or frontman of roots rock’n’roll band The Temperance Movement, with whom he parted ways at the start of 2020.

His new band The Byson Family are a gathering of old Glasgow associates, including musicians who have played with Paolo Nutini and The Fratellis. This Scotsman Sessions version of their track You’ve Been A Fool, filmed at Websters Theatre in the city’s West End, features piano accompaniment from fellow Byson Chris Russell, with whom Campbell also played in rock’n’soul outfit The River 68s.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“You’ve Been A Fool was one of first songs we wrote and played together when the band was forming and I think it really represents the heart and soul of the Byson Family,” says Campbell.

Phil CampbellPhil Campbell
Phil Campbell

“From the start, the project has been self-funded and developed with great creative people we’ve known for years. In lockdown the rule was to keep going and not give up. It was maddening to not be able to play but the situation gave us more time to box clever and write more songs and throughout it all we got closer as a unit.”

To date, the band have kept a low livestream profile – “out of protection for the project and to keep a little mystery and anticipation” – but they did release a limited edition of their debut album, Kick the Traces, earlier this year. The album hit the top five of the Scottish album charts, acting as a calling card for a label services deal with Townsend Music (“the best bunch of creative music junkies I’ve ever worked with”) and a guest slot on Del Amitri’s autumn tour, and is poised for a full release with an extra tracks on 10 September.

For more on the Byson Family, visit

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at

Related topics: