Scottish Pop Song of the Day #7

Swelling Meg – Baba Yaga (1998)
In 1998 I was living in London, flogging imported Dutch happy hardcore for a label whose dominant revenue sources were The Outhere Brothers and Living in a Box. But my musical interests lay elsewhere, and my Holland-based boss was open-minded, and so it came to pass that we released an album, ‘Roc’, by Cora Bissett and her ‘punk-folk’ outfit, Swellling Meg.
It went largely unnoticed for various reasons – perhaps it was too big a stretch for a label synonymous with sex-pop gems like Don’t Stop Wiggle Wiggle to be releasing such primitive, spirited avant-rock – but Swelling Meg were incredible: Cora (ere of Darlingheart; now better known as an award-winning actor and director) on vocals and cello; Amy Duncan on double bass; Sean Kennedy on acoustic guitar and (later) Guy Nicholson on cardboard boxes and all manner of ad-hoc percussion. I still miss seeing them play live and I hate to think that a later demo they made – a song that I often recall and could sing to you over ten years later – may never see the light of day.
For now, though, here is the sublime Baba Yaga.


Bonus pop fact: the wonderful RM Hubbert released a Swelling Meg track as part of his mid-late nineties Club Beatroot 7″ series, which also featured the likes of Mogwai and The Yummy Fur.

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