City musician called in favours and his flatmate for new album
DAVE McGowan has worked with Scots bands Teenage Fanclub, Belle & Sebastian and Aiden Moffat.
But he knew the perfect frontwoman for his new band Snowgoose – as he'd heard her singing in his kitchen!
Dave and former BMX Bandits man Jim McCulloch were playing in songstress Isabel Campbell's backing band when they began working on some new harmony-driven songs.
And Dave instantly knew just the person to call, in the shape of his former flatmate Anna Sheard.
"Jim had written a bunch of songs," recalls the bassist.
"And as I'd known Anna for a few years we thought we'd put something together with her.
"I already knew Anna was a great singer, because we shared a flat for a while, and she was always singing away in the kitchen."
The result is Snowgoose, who released their first album, the appropriately titled Harmony Springs, earlier this year, and will headline a gig at the CCA this Saturday.
Given Jim and Dave's backgrounds on the Scottish scene, it should be no surprise they've roped in a few friends to help out, with Teenage Fanclub's Raymond McGinley joining on guitar, and Stuart Kidd taking the drumstool.
Various other friends, from Fanclub's Norman Blake to John McCusker and former Bluebells drummer David McCluskey all pop up on the album too.
"It's like friends dropping by and doing what they can here and there. It's all pretty easy-going," he says.
That atmosphere helped the record, which harks back to classic acts like Buffalo Springfield, Caravan and Love, with a heavy emphasis on gorgeous melodies, capped off by Anna's fantastic vocal.
Dave's also enjoying being in the thick of things, rather than just being an additional member of a group.
"For me, I've spent the last few years playing other people's music, which I love, but this is the first time that I've been at the centre of things and one of the decision makers in the studio. It's been really great fun for that reason."
Those other bands have included Teenage Fanclub in recent years, and that's something that the multi-tasking musician clearly takes immense pride in.
The feeling is clearly mutual, given that Fanclub's Raymond McGinley and bassist Norman Blake are involved in the Snowgoose album, with Raymond producing the record as well as being a member of the group. It took some arm-twisting to get one of the Bellshill Beach Boys involved, though.
"He had to be persuaded a little bit," explains Dave.
"Raymond's the sort of guy who'd never put himself forward, he always waits to be asked, but once he gets involved he gives it everything he's got."
With the project featuring such strong collaboration between musicians, and Saturday's CCA gig featuring a support slot from Belle & Sebastian's Stevie Jackson for good measure, Dave reckons Snowgoose are a good example of how healthy the city's music scene is.
"Music in Glasgow seems strong to me," he says.
"As long as I've been involved it always has been healthy. I think this record is a case in point, because it's got people just dropping by to sing or play on it, and it's just people wanting to help out.
"You just sow the seeds and ask if anyone minds lending a hand, and everyone's happy to help."
l Snowgoose, CCA, Sauchiehall Street, Saturday, £5, 7.30pm,