Trashcan Sinatras - Biography

By Marcus Kagler

In the early 90’s, Trashcan Sinatras successfully filled the witty jangly guitar pop hole left after the demise of The Smiths. The Scottish quintet originally formed in 1987 as a cover band performing songs by Frank Sinatra amongst others. Founded by vocalist Francis Reader, drummer Stephen Douglas, guitarists John Douglas and Paul Livingston, and bassist George McDaid the group weaved infinitely catchy tales of love and loss with a fetching Scottish lilt and hook laden guitars. After signing to the Go! Discs label the group issued their first single, “Obscurity Knocks” in 1989, which became a college radio staple in both England and America. Trashcan Sinatras debut full length, Cake (Go! Discs) appeared in 1990 and became an alternative rock hit launching another college radio single, “Only Tongue Can Tell”. Before recording began on their second album founding bassist McDaid left the group and was replaced by David Hughes. By the time they returned in 1993 with their latest full length, I’ve Seen Everything (Polygram) grunge had officially taken over the world and there was very little room for the poppy wit of Trashcan Sinatras. Although the album was a critical success that spawned another strong college radio single, “Hayfever”, the band didn’t succeed in breaking the mainstream in Europe or America. Their languid third album, A Happy Pocket (1996-Go! Discs) wasn’t even released in North America and it quickly faded into obscurity. Shortly after, the Go! Discs label folded and the Scots began releasing singles and EP’s through their website. When most of their fans thought the band had broken up, Trashcan Sinatras self released the Snow EP in 1999, which rejuvenated interest in the long dormant group. After playing out to enthusiastic fans for several years Trashcan Sinatras (with the help of a rabid fan base) won a Scottish national grant to help fund their long overdue fourth full length, Weightlifting (2004-Spin Art). Without straying too far from their pop rock roots the album was a critical success that not only satisfied long term fans but generated new fans as well. Trashcan Sinatras proceeded to tour Europe and North America throughout 2004. Currently the group is working on their fifth full length. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another eight years for the album to be released.

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