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Gleadhraich frontman Craig Weir switches out bagpipes for guitar in new solo EP made in Dundee and LA

Reflections and Revelations, the new EP from Dundee band Craig Weir And The Cabalistic Cavalry, is as versatile as Craig himself.

From playing bagpipe rock with the Bay City Rollers to charting in Japan, co-hosting an award-winning music podcast and modelling kilts on Instagram, the Dundee musician’s got a finger in every peh.

And, never one to rest on his laurels, the Gleadhraich frontman, 28, has spent lockdown crafting his brand new solo EP, Reflections & Revelations.

Reflections & Revelations is the latest EP from Craig Weir & The Cabalistic Cavalry.

Recorded between Dundee and Los Angeles, the record comes out May 21, with a live show at The Hunter S Thompson coming up on October 7 2021.

With a Britpop backbone and echoes of alternative acts like Frank Turner or Hozier, Reflections & Revelations is full of multifaceted indie-rock.

It is the second EP from Craig’s experimental project, Craig Weir & The Cabalistic Cavalry, a flexible line-up which began in 2017.

He explains: “People know me for being a piper first and foremost. But I found myself writing more lyrics and more stuff that was more indie-folk.

Craig is showing a new side of himself in Reflections & Revelations. Picture: Gareth Jennings.

“I think you can judge people a lot by what they put on in the car. Indie rock through to punk is what I’d listen to most in the car.

“I think this record lets people see another side of me.”

The man in the mirror

According to Craig, the EP “basically tells the story of the last two years of my life”.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever released a record with a story that runs through it,” he says.

“It’s got a narrative that starts two years ago with No Second Chances. I was in a fairly… turbulent relationship. It was challenging in a lot of ways.

“So this EP tells the narrative of being in a turbulent relationship and losing your way a bit, and I suppose losing your self-identity in a way.

“It guides you through from that place to, I suppose, this period of self-discovery. And it’s been a really cathartic thing to have done.”

The record certainly makes good on the promises of its title. The first three tracks reflect on the romantic ups and downs of dating in your 20s – with all the necessary ingredients of excitement, anger and disappointment.

And the final track, Mirrors, provides the “revelation” that the place to start in love is with yourself.

“I think Mirrors is probably my favourite because of it representing where I am now. For the first time ever being so comfortable and content in my own skin,” explains Craig.

“It’s that kind of realisation that you are a good person on your own and that you’ve got a lot to offer in life.”

Calling in the Cavalry

Craig and the record both have their roots in Dundee.

But though Reflections & Revelations was recorded mainly at Strait Up studios in the city, the “Cabalistic Cavalry” for the EP was called in from across the pond.

“Mainly, I worked in Dundee with Ryan Shepherd at Strait Up,” says Craig. “I recorded vocals, backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, whistle and banjo myself.

“I actually taught myself banjo and whistle during the first lockdown.

Craig called in the Cavalry from as far as LA. Picture: Gareth Jennings.

“But I’m not great on bass so my friend Matt Bain added bass from his home studio in Los Angeles.

“And Ryan added the drums. He plays in some punk bands and I think you can really hear his punk influence in No Second Chances.

“Obviously it was my record, but the two of them were quite heavily involved in the creative process.”

Making music in sunny Dundee

Collaborating with international artists begs the question: does Craig ever think of rallying the troops and taking his music off to sunnier climes?

“Well, I don’t do this full-time – which blows my mind, when I think about all the things I fit into some weeks!” he jokes, referring to his life off-stage as a teacher.

“But you only have to look at The View and the success of Kyle Falconer, or Be Charlotte, or Ged Grimes. There’s a lot of big players in the music industry that have come from Dundee.

“It’s one of those things where, if you’ve got the talent, you can almost have come from anywhere.

“And with the V&A and all the arts and culture attention that’s being highlighted, I think Dundee’s becoming a much more exciting place.”

Craig is looking forward to getting back out on stage.

And the excitement is just beginning.

Now that the entertainment world is emerging from lockdown, live music has become a future plan for Craig again, rather than a distant memory. His upcoming gig at the Hunter S Thompson in October will be his first time playing the EP tracks live.

“Since launching this band, we’ve only ever played one full band show in Dundee,” he says. “I’m excited for us to be playing in October and to be able to play tracks from the record live.

“It’s sure to be a great evening.”

To listen to Reflections and Revelations or book tickets for the live show, check out Craig Weir And The Cabalistic Cavalry’s Facebook page.

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