Hey folks! Is that a new shampoo? You smell nice. Recently the lovely folk at Ark Magazine’s Glasgow branch asked me to write them a wee article about myself and how I’ve been getting on as a solo folky-man the past year or so. So, here it is:
Two decades ago, a curly-haired boy was given a tiny, tiny guitar. He took that instrument and made bad noises. By the age of 23, that boy had become a man and had developed a love for his instrument, as well as a fine and mighty beard. It’s hard to say which he is more proud of. That man is Shambles Miller. That man is me.
(Sorry for the dramatic introduction, but people don’t ask me to talk about myself often and I thought I’d milk it.)
Nowadays my guitar, like my hair and belly, is bigger and after years of short-lived bands and groups that never got off the ground, I finally struck out on my own almost 12 months ago. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Since then I’ve played a gig at least every fortnight, mostly in my home town of Glasgow, but occasionally venturing further afield. Afield is nice, I recommend it. I’ve played to packed pubs and to nearly nobody; in bars, beer gardens, basements and even a ballroom. In this time I feel that I’ve really started to grow into myself as a musician and as a performer. I’ve certainly come a long way from my first gig in a little pub in Kilmarnock, the night before which I was keeping my missus awake with intermittent bursts of “AGGGHH!!!” and “I’ve got a gig tomorrow! An ACTUAL gig!” and of course, “Fuuuck!”. I’ve even developed a rambling type of stage banter, which sounds relatively drunk even when I’m not, and my confidence has grown greatly. As has my beer belly, as it’s often how I’m paid.
Folk music is my weapon of choice. It lends itself well to the lyrical nature of my songs and to both sides of my musical coin, the serious and the humorous which often interweave. With this approach, I feel that I can really be honest in my music. There’s no point holding back on details: the songs would always be missing something. Even if that occasionally means singing a song that features a story about a friend of mine who once defecated in a washing machine. Silly boy.
Whilst I might occasionally find myself in awkward situations, such as gigs where there are lots of children, meaning I can’t play the more…sweary material, or on stage with a well-known London folk-singer, attempting to beatbox, drunk, whilst he raps, (I can’t beatbox) I’m always really grateful for the chance to play music for people. After all, I don’t have ‘fans’, not really. I have wonderful and loyal friends. If they weren’t there to support me in my shambling, rambling musical endeavours, I’m sure I’d keep doing it anyway, but I wouldn’t enjoy it even half as much. Plus I probably wouldn’t have much to write about.
So thanks to you lovely people who come to my gigs and you lovely people who are reading this. You all look great today and your hair is sitting just right. This has been a genuine pleasure.
Thanks for reading folks! Oh and in other lovely news, one of my songs is going to be played on Amazing Radio on the following dates:
First broadcast: Saturday 3rd July, 5pm
Repeated on: Tuesday 6th July, 1pm, and again on Thursday 8th July, 6pm
Please do tune in to listen! You can either listen to the live stream at Amazing Radio or on DAB Digital Radio. Slap bang between Absolute Radio and the BBC, like some sort of sexy aural sandwich.
Til next time folks, cheers!
love Shambles x