Music interview: Camera Obscura

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Camera Obscura are an indie band from Glasgow consisting of Tracyanne Campbell, Gavin Dunbar, Carey Lander, Kenny McKeeve, Lee Thomson and part-time member Nigel Baillie.

They released their fifth album Desire Lines last year and go on tour from May 25.

Tracyanne now has a baby boy, Gene, who will be touring with them.

She said: “It feels very different, like we’ve moved into a new stage of life. Three of us now have children. In my head, children and touring don’t mix very well, but I’ll give it a go. I need to be optimistic. It might be brilliant. I’m very lucky too, I don’t have to leave him behind when I go to work.”

So, they’ve had to fit rehearsals around being a mum?

“Yes, we have, and that’s another change now I have a child. Finding the time to do things like rehearse is difficult.

“The past few years, we’ve been quite on and off, and the period where I had the baby is the longest time we haven’t done anything, in terms of rehearsing and playing live and things. We have been rehearsing but not as solidly as we’ve done previously.”

Their most recent album, Desire Lines, came out last rummer, while she was pregnant.

She said: “I toured a little bit here and in the States when I was seven months pregnant. We worked up until the last point I could get on a plane and then stopped. I found out I was pregnant when we mixed the record in Portland, Oregon. Gene was part of the whole process, I suppose, and he was inside me when we toured. It was very different, but a very positive experience. I was very lucky like that. And what a well-travelled baby. He’d been all over the States before he was even born.”

So, do they have any touring rituals?

“A couple of bits, but nothing superstitious or like a good luck charm. I’m not like that. I’d never be without my iPod, and my laptop and a good set of noise-cancelling headphones. The one thing I do take is a pillowcase. The bedding’s all clean and everything, but I do like my own pillowcase. Carey and I take lavender room spray too, because the boys can be smelly on the bus.”

She added: “When you first record, it’s an emotional thing and when you’ve recorded it, you feel relieved. You put it to bed in your head, then learning to play it live is a whole new experience. We’ve been practising some older songs we haven’t played in years, and it’s amazing the images that come back when you’re singing them. It’s so vivid.”

The band play at The Leadmill, Sheffield on May 25.

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