In November 2007 I bought ‘Stepping Stones’ EP after a Tim and Sam's Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam gig at Cafe Saki. It was the last one, a handwritten CDR version with a colour-photocopy sleeve. That wasn’t important (and they sold it to me at a discount) as it was the music I was interested in. Two and a half years later, the band’s debut album ‘Lifestream’ is released. The presentation has definitely improved - a handsome illustrated cover on vinyl, CD and digital versions plus a lavish limited edition box-set (now sold out). However the music has also upped its game: achingly gorgeous post-folk (now with vocals on five of the eleven tracks!) that hymns the natural world (‘The Yellowhammer’, ‘Out In The Ocean’, ‘Summer Solstice’) or domestic comforts (‘Coming Home’, ‘All Tucked Up’ , ‘Up The Stairs’).
"Tim and Sam have produced an album that may have been two years in the making, but will remain in the memory for a lifetime. They have created a brilliantly progressive and rich musical tapestry that will leave many people in awe of the talent on show." Clash Music
Highly recommended at full price but this December if you are quick you can get the CD or vinyl half-price to help fund future recordings.
And here’s what the band’s Tim McIver thought of the last twelve months.
What I will remember most about 2010 is...
2010 has been a year of milestones for us, so there will be lots of great things to look back on. One highlight was releasing "Life Stream". It took us two years to make and during the process we went through a whole host of difficulties; line-up changes, money issues, label problems, the decision to put vocals on it, to self-release it etc. In some ways it's a small miracle it even got finished at all, so we're very proud that we managed it and that it's been so well received.
Another big thing for us was our recent tour with Cherry Ghost. We've never done a tour support before, and it came just at the right time. We were fully up to speed with playing the material from the album and had an amazing time playing to such great, receptive crowds each night. An amazing experience that we'll never forget.
What should be forgotten about 2010?
I don't think there's anything we'd rather forget. There have been some inevitable lows but it's all something to learn from and has helped us really appreciate the good bits.
The best gig we played was...
Difficult one. I'd say either the Milton Keynes or the Manchester date of the Cherry Ghost tour. Milton Keynes was at a seated venue called The Stables, which really suited our sound, and Manchester was at a sold out Academy 2 and was our biggest crowd to date. Both were amazing for different reasons.
The best gig I saw was...
It may well have been John Williams at the Bridgewater Hall this week. It may not show in Tim and Sam, but I'm a very keen classical guitarist and John Williams is a real hero of mine so it was great to see him play. He's a true master of his instrument and a real inspiration.
A record from 2010 that will be still be played in 10 years time?
Lots of my favourites have released records this year, so hopefully a lot of them will stand the test of time. At the moment I'm addicted to "The Age of Adz" by Sufjan Stevens, and because it's so big sounding it takes a few listens to really get in to it, which is always good for longevity I feel. Other highlights of this year have been The National, Villagers and Broken Social Scene.
Overlooked in 2010?
The recent Shady Bard record is definitely worth checking out. I think this line from a DiS review sums them up nicely: "Their complex arrangements, usually borne out of a fusion of unconventional instrumentation and oddball subject matter have made them one of the most original bands to emerge from the UK's underground scene this past decade."
And what can we look forward to in 2011 from Tim and Sam?
We've got a lot of exciting things in the pipeline! Lots of new material is taking shape in the studio at the moment, and we're really looking forward to showing everyone what we've been doing. We're making some big changes behind the scenes, which should be announced early next year. Here's to another fun filled year!
Tim and Sam's Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam Lifestream [BUY]