The Phantom Band

The Glasgow-based Phantom Band were an unknown quantity for their first few years; to themselves, as much as to anyone else. They found their feet while making up band names on the spot, or inviting gig promoters to call them what they’d wish, so that nobody could really pin them down. Eventually, this unknown and unfollowable group settled on an appropriate tag - the Phantom Band - and emerged with a debut album of such stunning creativity - Checkmate Savage (2008) - that they quickly became much known and well followed. The Phantoms’ eclectic style could veer several times in each song, borrowing from folk music and krautrock, Pavement and Stereolab, and they were quickly compared with fellow Scots The Beta Band.

Second album The Wants (2010) was a little more their own, a little darker, but equally as unhinged and unconventional. After two terrific records in 18 months the band toured in the US as support for Frightened Rabbit, before booking headlining tours of Europe and the UK. Meanwhile, several members of the band pursued other projects, such as singer Rick Anthony’s solo career as Rick Redbeard and drummer Iain Stewart’s other band Bronto Skylift. So it took a little longer for the Phantoms’ third album to arrive.

“The second record we came away after playing live and realised a lot of the tracks had a darker feel, which is only one aspect of what we do” singer Anthony told The Skinny. “We never thought of ourselves as a gloomy band. I think subconsciously when we were writing this stuff there were tracks that we previously wouldn’t have pursued, because they were too light.” The band rectified that with third record Strange Friend (2014), another highly acclaimed release that ranked among the year’s best, and was a little more upbeat than its predecessor. Fourth album Fears Trending, an anagram of Strange Friend, and featuring similar artwork, was comprised of tracks that didn’t make it on to the third album stylistically. But it was not a lesser record, receiving more praise,, including a 5-star review in The Skinny.

The Phantom Band group members
Duncan Marquiss (guitars)
Gerry Hart (bass)
Andy Wake (keyboards)
Rick Anthony (vocals)
Iain Stewart (drums)
Greg Sinclair (guitars)

The Phantom Band discography
Checkmate Savage (2009)
The Wants (2010)
Strange Friend (2014)
Fears Trending (2015)