The Wellgreen are a Glasgow-based band, which is centered around multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Stuart Kidd and Marco Rea.

They have recorded two albums to date, 2011’s ‘Wellgreens’ and last year’s ‘Grin and Bear It’, which, produced on vintage equipment, they have released on their own label, the Barne Society. Their music, which seamlessly combines 60’s-pop and folk sounds with psychedelia, has won much local acclaim, and earned Kidd and Rea, with their evocative and inventive harmonies, comparisons with the Beach Boys, the Beatles and also Crosby, Stills and Nash.

The Wellgreen recently expanded to a four-piece, and will be playing a Pennyblackmusic Bands’ Night at The River in Glasgow on the 7th June.

Pennyblackmusic spoke to Stuart Kidd about the Wellgreen.


PB: There have now been two Wellgreen albums - 'Wellgreens' and 'Grin and Bear It'. Did the way in which you recorded and wrote the two albums differ greatly? There seems to be less emphasis on harmonies and more on stand-alone vocals on 'Grin and Bear it'.

SK: When had enough material for what became ‘Wellgreens’, we decided to keep going anyway and songs like ‘On Our Own’, ‘Ants’, ‘Counting All These Moments’ and ‘Train Song’ were written around the same time. At the beginning we always wrote together sitting at the piano with a guitar bouncing off each other. Everything on ‘Wellgreens’ was done that way. I’d say ‘Grin and Bear It’ shifted slightly for two reasons.

The first was primarily because we both began working at different times from each other, so catching a few hours here and there became more and more difficult. As we were always writing independently of each other too, it made sense just to bring some ready written songs to the table. Otherwise we’d have been about another year trying to find the time! The second reason I think was when we were on tour with Stevie Jackson, and a Simon and Garfunkel documentary was on the BBC iplayer at the time. Understandably it blew our minds. Marco had the idea that it would be good to emulate them in the way that while the matched harmony is still prominent, some songs with a ‘lead’ vocal might be a good variant. So, that’s where that comes from I guess.

PB: 'Grin and Bear It' was recorded at the Barne Studio, which is Marco's own studio. Where is that based? How long has he been running it for?

SK: The Barne Studio is situated just outside of Clydebank in the hills. It is where Marco lives, and he has been running it since he was about sixteen I think. Marco lives and breathes music. At all times. He’s a very inspiring character.

PB: You also have your own label, the Barne Society. You are just about to have the launch party for Norrie McCulloch's 'Old Lovers Junkyard' album. Who else other than the Wellgreen is on the label and who are these acts?

SK: The Barne Society is more of a hub for like-minded artists all sharing ideas and generally enjoying creative freedom. We decided to set it up primarily to release Wellgreen records, but then decided we should invite our friends along to play too.

We released a compilation album with people we work with and who we love. Joe McAlinden, Stevie Jackson, Roy Moller, the Junipers, Daniel McGeever, Red Sands… there is a wealth of talent out there!

Norrie McCulloch also features on the record and is not only a fantastic songwriter but also an incredible artist, who is responsible for a lot of the artwork for the label. His debut album will be the fifth release on the label and we both perform on it, alongside Angus Braid (who we are currently recording some great material with) and Dave McGowan of Teenage Fanclub. It is a beautiful sounding record which we are all proud of.

PB: A recent gig at the 13th Note in Glasgow saw the Wellgreen expanded for the first time to a four piece with Jim McGoldrick and Daniel McGeever also on board. Who are Jim and Daniel, and who plays what in the four piece line-up? Was the four-piece line-up a one off or is this going to be a regular feature for gigs from now on? Will that also extend to recording?

SK: We had always wanted to play with an extended line up as our recordings are produced that way, and tried out various forms of it here and there.

When I brought Daniel up to the Barne to contribute a song to the compilation, I knew as soon as Marco heard it he would want him in! He adds a third harmony like no other could and sings from exactly the same hymn sheet as we do. Jim has also been a great addition to the team. He has boundless amounts of enthusiasm and makes a great rhythm section. The four piece line-up will feature whenever the boys are around to play. It’s a busy world these days, so in the event of other plans getting in the way we will always be able to revert to the two piece if need be. Or three….As long as we can get out and sing our songs we’re happy. Of course, we would prefer the four piece every time, now that we know we have found our group!

PB: One of the recent releases on the Barne Society was a 7" split single between the Wellgreen and the Store Keys. The Store Keys could be described as a Glasgow super group featuring both you and Marco, Stevie Jackson from Belle and Sebastian, Roy Moller and Lorne Cowieson. Was that a one off project or can we expect more from them?

SK: As I mentioned, people are always busy so it’s always a case of ‘catch a few hours’ a lot of the time. The Store Keys is really great fun to be a part of, and we did have about six or seven songs in the canon at one point with plans to record an album. There was a flurry of gig activity for a while too. Stevie is busy recording with the Belles at the moment so that kind of rules out anything in the very near future, and Roy has just been busy with his new great release… who knows?…it may yet happen. I’m quite sure at some point we will get back in and record more.

We were really lucky enough to record and play with George Gallacher of the Poets. That was a really big, big deal to us. To be in the same room as THAT voice I think will be something none of us will ever forget.

PB: You're a very prolific musician. You have played in the past with Doghouse Roses, the BMX Bandits and the Pearlfishers, and are currently also a member of Snowgoose, are working on an album with another Glasgow musician Joe Kane called 'Dr Cosmos Tape Lab' and have a bedroom solo project KiDD. You also work as a music teacher. Marco meanwhile has the Barne Studio and also his own solo project. Is it more difficult as a result for you to get together to work on Wellgreen material or has it always been that way?

SK: I have always thought of myself as a studio or session musician. I am quite sure Marco would say the same thing. If the opportunity comes up to work on something new with anyone we will do it. Either together or on our own. We both just love to play. That’s the beauty of being a musician in Glasgow. There is such a great community spirit of like-minded people who all just love to get together and have a great time playing music. Who would want to be anywhere else?

We do still make time for the Wellgreen. In fact we have recorded six new songs already for the third album, and Daniel McGeever is very much a feature now too, which brings another new dimension to the sound. It has always been the way that we have about five or six different projects going at once. It keeps everything fresh, and keeps you on your toes at all times. As a writer, it also lets you explore every avenue you feel like having a wander down. I love it.

PB: The Wellgreen toured last year in support of Euros Child and also played in Euro's backing band. How did you enjoy that experience? Was that the Wellgreen's first national tour?

SK: We actually had our first touring experience with Stevie Jackson in the same format, support band and backing group. It was after telling Euros about it at new year a few years ago when he was up for a Jonny gig that I think he thought it was a great idea, so he asked us to play with him. I played on the album ‘Summer Special’ and then we both played on ‘Situation Comedy’. We toured both albums with him and last year released 'Grin and Bear It' to coincide with the ‘Situation Comedy’ tour. We met a lot of really great people all over the UK, sold a lot of albums and learned so much from him. He runs his own label, plans his own tours, does everything on his own with incredible efficiency. He’s amazing. He should be a blueprint for every musician.

PB: Finally what can we expect from the Wellgreen at the forthcoming Pennyblackmusic Night at The River on the 7th June?

SK: Harmonies, melodies, hair, probably some red wine, and no doubt a band who have no idea what song they are going to play next. But we’ll have a laugh, wont we?

PB: Thank you.


The Wellgreen will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night in Glasgow at The River on the 7th June with Grahame Skinner, A New International and the Aviators. More information can be found at http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Article.aspx?id=7353 and tickets can be bought in advance at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/271467.













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21768 Posted By: Nancy Kidd (Stirlingshire)

Enjoyed reading this. All the best for the tour.Love you guys xx


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