Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Can you help Dundee musician identify jute mill workers featured in his new video?

A Dundee musician is hoping that Courier readers can help him identify the jute mill workers and their families featured in the promotional video for his pioneering new album. Michael Alexander spoke to him about the project.

Renowned Dundee musician Andrew Mitchell didn’t start looking into his family’s connections with the city’s former jute industry until relatively recently.

The 35-year-old vocalist and bass player with successful bands The Hazey Janes, and Idlewild, became fascinated with the “rich and fruitful” history of the city’s jute mills, where his great great grandparents, descended from Irish stock, once plied their trade.

But the gifted writer and producer’s latest solo project takes the cross over between his family history and the city even further by coupling his love of architecture with a new instrumental album that invites the listener to explore his home city through a series of sumptuous melodies.

The album ‘Themes for Buildings and Spaces’, which will be released on Tape Club Records on April 28, has been inspired by eight architectural sites and open spaces ranging from the prevailing percussion of Lower Dens Works to the unnerving minimalism of The Howff.

Andrew said: “The compositions echo the materials, the everyday use and the romanticised memories of a post-war cityscape continually shifting and evolving throughout the decades – and encourage the nostalgist in all of us to consider a different view of the city of ‘Jute, Jam and Journalism’.”

Themes for Buildings and Spaces - the cover of Andrew Wasylyks second solo project
Themes for Buildings and Spaces – the cover of Andrew Wasylyks second solo project

Andrew, who has recorded the album under the solo alias Andrew Wasylyk – in memory of his Ukrainian-born grandfather Ivan Wasylyk – explained that the album itself ranges from cinematic brass and strings to minimal piano.

The album sleeve features a photograph of the old Hawkhill being demolished in the 1970s, taken by internationally-renowned ‘father of Scottish modern photography’, the late Joseph Mackenzie.

Now, having produced a video for the lead track Drift based on Dundee Heritage Trust archive footage of Halley’s jute mill workers embarking on an annual workers’ picnic to Fife in the mid-1950s, he is asking Courier readers if they recognise any family members in the footage and hopes that people with information will get in touch.

He added: “Although I have manipulated the footage in the video, I would love to know if people recognise anyone in the footage.

“It shows an annual workers’ picnic to Fife after a gruelling year on work in the mills.

“They played simple games like skipping, sack races and egg and spoon.

“One shot shows Halleys sacks getting used.

“It’s an age of pure innocence.”

This is Andrew’s second solo recording under the Wasylyk alias – the first being the album Soroky named after the village where his late grandfather grew up in Ukraine, before being conscripted into the German Army during the Second World War.

Ivan settled in Dundee with his German nurse wife Ellse after being interred as a German prisoner of war in Perthshire and then remained in the country after his status became that of a displaced person.

“The idea for Themes for Buildings and Spaces was born out of a digital arts festival called Neon when I was commissioned to do a scaled down piece of work,” Andrew explained.

“I finished the work then felt it had a life of its own. I wrote a few more pieces of music and felt it had become quite a cohesive piece of work. Then Tape Club Records in London got in touch and said they would put it out.

“Soroky had vocals, whereby this new album is instrumental, but they are not too far apart in that they are both cinematic in their feel.”

Andrew said the instrumental work was “not necessarily new ground” for him, but it was new in so far as he had never before written new material about buildings.

“It’s really an exciting project,” he added.

“I grew up all over Dundee so it was nice to think about that. There’s a piece called Menzieshill – I spent a lot of time there as a kid and went to nursery there. There’s a piece called Via Crucis about St Andrews Cathedral, and a minimal piece written for the Howff.

“For these kind of pieces the whole kind of starting point is looking at the broader picture of buildings and materials and their everyday use. Because buildings in Dundee have had different past uses.

“It’s a shamelessly romantic look at things. There’s a lot to be said for that, and hopefully each piece encapsulates it.”

*Anyone who recognises anyone in the film is asked to contact Andrew via

*Themes for Buildings and Spaces is released on limited edition cassette, CD and digital through Tape Club Records on April 28.

Already a subscriber? Sign in