Countless emails from guitarists of unsigned bands, eager management of apparently “The Next Big Thing” or overworked press reps championing so many different upcoming bands they forget which ones are genuinely good, are a regular occurence in my inbox. Are that Glasgow 5-piece really going to follow in Kassidy’s footsteps? Does that girl grunge singer really have the potential to be a successful and sober Courtney Love? Is punk making a comeback in the form of a London trio?

One such email that stood apart was about Johnny Reb, a Glasgow band who have known no shortage of praise from the press. Its candid approach and refreshing charm combined with my weakness for homegrown talent meant it captured my interest, no easy feat. But it was their sincere promise of limitless bribery pints at their next Glasgow gig that won me over of course. I grilled the guys via email, and here are their highly irreverent responses (they even included the links).

Who are Johnny Reb?

 A painter  and a panda cub toil away in the engine room whilst a failed artist and Einstein pout and pirouette front of house. Contributions from the legendary Dave Ruffy and Boz Boorer [are] on record.

When and why did Johnny Reb initially form?

When we first heard The Vaccines.

Who or what inspires your music?

Roxy Music, Pizzicato Five, the bassist from Warpaint.

How would you describe your sound?


What can we expect from a live gig?

Tight tees, Jameson bellies, and that’s just the girls.

You’re currently writing/recording – how is that progressing?

We’ve a benevolent studio in rural Wales that we’ve been popping into over summer to record new (shudder) songs. It’s a disused nuclear bunker so we’re fulfilling our Dr. Strangelove pretence at the same time which is always nice.

Pros/cons of being a part of Johnny Reb?

The beauty of recording in Portugal with the man who penned ‘Speedway’ and ‘Come Back To Camden’. There are no lows; we are a cold, deep Lucozade.

How do you rate the current UK music scene?

Absolutely insipid. NME must be positively salivating over the sad demise of Ms. Winehouse, that’s the fortnightly anniversary issues sorted.

Future plans?

A debut single is an absolute must seeing as two idle clicks of the mouse conspired to release the Portugal material for free over the tedium of the internet.

What would you like to achieve in next 12 months?

Club Tropicana.

Download The Portugal Years here.