Introducing Interview: The Blue Lenas

Having recently toured Italy and supported The Songbook Collective (Paul Weller’s live band) in Glasgow, Scottish band The Blue Lenas seem to be making quite a name for themselves.

Gigslutz caught up with guitarist and singer Jamie Reilly to find out more about the band…

Hi Jamie, how’s things with The Blue Lenas?
At the moment things are quiet in terms of gigs, as we are writing and intending on going back into the studio. We are also planning another trip to Europe and dates in the UK next year.

I have caught you live a few times over the last couple of years and your line-up appears to be expanding. Would you be kind enough to introduce the band to our readers?
The line up will remain as a three piece for the foreseeable future, we introduced a friend of mine Allan Dixon on sax for a gig which was fun. I play guitar and sing, Scott Beaton plays bass and sings and Jordan Kelly plays drums.

Ok, the band name… Blue Lenas, where did that come from?
Keith Richards’ first ever blue Bentley was called Blue Lena – he travelled the world with it.

Your recent gig supporting The Songbook Collective was your biggest yet. It must have been a bit of a buzz to support such renowned musicians, how did that one come about?
Our manager Barry had been pushing for support slots and managed to secure this gig. A fun gig, nice venue.

Just before you took to the stage at The Songbook Collective gig, a mate asked me “who do The Blue Lenas sound like?” I replied by saying “no-one really, they kinda have their own thing going on”… How would you describe your sound and who are your influences?
We don’t really have a sound. This is something which I personally enjoy. Sure, we are a three piece and yes you’ll hear the usual undertones of Cream and Zeppelin, the Stones etc. However, we seem to focus on rhythmic structures and percussive styles as well as improvisation on stage. I think this has something to do with us not having a specific sound, as every gig is different because we lean so heavily on improvisational sections in our music.

You toured Italy earlier this year with another “Glasgow” band, The Beat Movement – how did the tour come about?
Barry suggested the idea and planned all the gigs. We have friends in Italy, so this made it easier to accommodate our date over there. We felt it was a good idea to play there and it turned out a success.

 There was also made a rockumentary made of the trip, and it looks like you lads had a lot of fun over there. What were your personal highlights of the tour?
We played a gig in a club called the Quaalude Club, which was insane – it was packed and everyone was going nuts to our songs! I also enjoyed the red wine…

Congratulations on the release your second E.P False Idols earlier in the year. With 6 tracks on offer, listeners are somewhat spoiled for choice, but what are you personal favourite tracks and why?
My favourite track from the most recent EP is ‘Shake My Head’ as there is quite a lot of percussion in it and it has quite a unique sound.

Jamie, the studio is burning down… What guitar do you save and why?
Fender Telecaster custom, as it does everything and Fender make the best guitars in the world. When I say it does everything, it literally can do anything including hitting hipsters over the head whilst staying perfectly in tune and intonated. Also, if promoters mess us around it can be used to break their door down with minimal scratches or dents to the guitar whilst again remaining perfectly in tune.

What was the first single that you bought?
None, I only bought albums, and the first of those was Beggars Banquet.

Last album?
Ry Cooder – Borderline.

Artist that has inspired you the most?
Jimmy Page.

Favourite gig of all time?
None they are all amazing.

Complete the sentence… The Artist I would most like to work with is:
… Miles Davis.

If you could play any venue in the world, where it would be?
Earls Court, if it’s still standing!

Best dancer in the band?
We are all terrible, but me probably.

Who gets the girls?
All of us, as we are all burded up!

Rolling Stones or The Beatles?
The Stones.

Caramel wafers or Teacakes?

Kinks or Small Faces?
Small Faces.

Irn Bru or Tennents?

Stone Roses or Oasis?

Buckie or Scotch?

CAST or Ocean Colour Scene?

Haggis supper or deep fried Mars Bar?
Mars Bar.

Taylor Swift or Katy Perry?
Neither, they are both idiots.

Finally, what would you like 2017 to look like for the Blue Lenas?
Extremely busy!

Huge thanks to The Blue Lenas for answering our questions!

Bazza Mills
G'day my name is Bazza Mills! Whilst my wife watches reality TV shows, I enjoy listening to music, going to gigs and taking some photos. Growing up between Scotland and Australia exposed me to a variety of music and my tastes range from The Stone Roses to Guns N Roses. Typically, I love most things guitar based and have a love for live music and photography!