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Fife band Shambolics’ sold out debut album launch party will be a ‘belter’

Singer and guitarist Darren Forbes says 2024 will be “even bigger and better" with launch of 12-track debut album Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams.

Shambolics. Image: Liam Maxwell
Shambolics. Image: Liam Maxwell

If New Year is traditionally a time for reflection, then Fife-formed indie rock band Shambolics are no exception.

From recording and announcing their debut album to touring all over the UK, to ending the year as special guests supporting The View and Little Man Tate, 2023 has been another memorable year for the Kirkcaldy-formed outfit.

But despite a few “bumps on the road” that included line-up changes, 2024 promises to be “even bigger and better”, according to singer and guitarist Darren Forbes.

With their 12-track debut album, Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams, produced by Chris Marshall (Gerry Cinnamon), set to be released on Scuff of the Neck Records on February 16, the album’s launch show at PJ Molloys in Dunfermline the day after promises to be a “belter”.

“We’ve just announced our debut album launch show at PJs in Fife,” Darren, who’s now based in Glasgow, told The Courier.

“It sold out really quickly.

“It’s going to be a belter.

“I can’t wait to do this PJs gig.

“PJ Molloys is where we had our first ever gig and probably the venue we’ve played the most.

“It makes total sense to come back and do the album launch in here and it will be a great night coming back to the homeland to play for the Fifers.”

Shambolics story rooted in Kirkcaldy

Formed by co-frontmen Darren Forbes and Lewis McDonald, Shambolics provided a positive alternative to the teen years of hanging around the streets and drinking in the park in Kirkcaldy.

Darren has told previously how he was repeatedly excluded from Kirkcaldy High School for being a “wee pain in the backside”.

His troublesome teenage behaviour meant he was “never out of” then rector Derek Allan’s office before leaving school for good in 2010.

Retiring Kirkcaldy High School rector Derek Allan shakes hands with Darren Forbes on stage at Kirkcaldy High School in June 2022.

Twelve years later, he returned to his old school with the band and praised the retiring “gentleman” head teacher who helped him realise the error of his ways.

Shambolics became local heroes due to their infamous gigs in PJ Molloys, before the support of Alan McGee helped guide them to a broader audience.

Other venues have included King Tut’s, The Garage and SWG3 in Glasgow.

They’ve also hit festivals including the Isle of Wight, TRNSMT, Truck and Y NOT?.

‘Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams’ caps the latest step in the rise of the band.

But Darren says they could never have done any of it without the support of their fan base.

“The support means the world to us,” he added.

Shambolics on stage at their PJ Molloys fundraiser for Kirkcaldy Foodbank in December 2022. Image: Shambolics

“Our debut album is out in February.

“We haven’t got the major industry spinning this.

“Haven’t got the big billboards, money, radio, TV etc.

“It’s just us bunch of chancers, our small team behind us and you lot.

“It’s pure organic.”

Darren said he knows times are tough financially for a lot of people.

But if fans can spare a few pounds to pre-order the album, it helps them out a lot.

Shambolics ‘dream come true’ working with Kyle Falconer of The View

The Courier told previously how working with Dundee musician Kyle Falconer had been a “dream come true” for Shambolics.

Reflecting on the recent release of the Shambolics’ new single ‘Attention’ which features backing vocals from Falconer, Darren said they used to “idolise” The View frontman when growing up in Kirkcaldy.

“He has such a great head for melody, and we learned a lot about that from him,” said Darren.

“The reason he’s so good is that he’s constantly playing, constantly singing, constantly writing songs and that was a lesson for us.

“Instead of writing in between live gigs, we know we need to be writing all the time when we can to become that good.”

Shambolics wrote the song with Falconer at his Spanish song writing camp La Sierra Casa near Alicante.

Kyle described the writing process as a “very natural flow”.

It reminded him of how the early View songs used to happen – “just beers and smiles”.

In a recent interview with The Courier, Kyle revealed he “absolutely loves” the Shambolics.

“I’ve known them for years,” he said.

Shambolics performing live stream with Kyle Falconer of The View and James Allan of Glasvegas in aid of Kirkcaldy Foodbank during the Covid-19 pandemic. Image: Shambolics

“I feel quite relatable to them because they’ve grown up on the same kind of music as us.

“They are from a place where you don’t really get a chance to do that as well.

“I love their tunes. We’ve been writing quite a lot together.

“I feel respected and that’s why I give them respect. They are nice guys. No egos. I think they are just down to earth and class.

“They’ve got a great fan base. It reminds me of us when we were younger.

“The same set up. Class!”

How to pre-order Shambolics’ debut album

It was at La Sierra Casa that Still Game star Ford Kiernan recently gave his backing to the forthcoming release of Shambolics’ debut album Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams.

In a video posted on social media, the Glaswegian writer and actor, who played lead character Jack Jarvis in the BBC Scotland comedy series, described the band and their forthcoming new album as “right up there” and encouraged fans to pre-order.

Shambolics’  ‘Dreams, Schemes & Young Teams’ debut album is available to pre-order or pre-save.