Scotstown Dance Band is the new musical moniker from brothers Jacob and Rory Green whom enjoyed previous success performing as JR Green.

Having moved back to the picturesque, remote Highland village of Sunart, the Scotstown Dance Band have gone back to their Scottish traditional folk roots (both in terms of location and sound). They’ve already supported award-winning folk group Breabach, The Jellyman’s Daughter and release debut single Shawfield Greyhound Stadium on 18 January 2024. Inspired by the traditional folk songs that taught the brothers their craft, it’s unashamedly Highland but with a modern indie twist.

Their live lineup is completed by Megan McNally (electric guitar), fellow Ardnamurchan Camanachd shinty teammates Allan Nairn (drums), Fred Patterson (bass), with Jacob on accordion and backing vocals plus Rory on lead vocals and acoustic guitar.

Can you introduce us to Scotstown Dance Band? 
We’re brothers, Rory and Jacob Green, basically the core of Scotstown Dance Band is centred around our songwriting partnership. We grew up in, and have since moved back to our hometown village Sunart – in the West Highland region of Lochaber. Throughout our upbringing we were immersed in traditional Scottish music, regularly attending ceilidhs and learning to play. We began writing songs together in our early teens, experimenting with folk / traditional sounds as well as  guitar driven indie music with sharp lyricism. We’ve always been heavily influenced by the trad folk music we grew up surrounded by. Jacob plays the accordion – a vital ingredient, which helps make our sound unapologetically Highland. We’re joined live by friends and members of our small Highland community with our live band now featuring Fred Patterson, Allan Nairn, Megan McNally and our newest member Bradley.

You did really well with your previous band, tell us some highlights?  
We loved our time as JR Green and we got to play festivals such as T In The Park, TRNSMT, BBC 6 Music Festival, we supported members of Snow Patrol, released an EP on Hits the Fan Records (Kathryn Joseph, Frightened Rabbit). Everyone was really generous and said lots of flattering things about us too, but our heart and soul is rooted in the traditional folk sounds we grew up listening to and playing and living in the Highlands is important to us too.

What is Shawfield Greyhound Stadium about? 
It’s a song about a man who enjoys spending his time – and money – watching greyhound racing at Shawfield Stadium in Rutherglen. Throughout the song he passionately defends this pastime against a female character who believes that the sport is cruel and immoral.

The song is inspired by traditional folk songs that Jacob and I grew up listening to – about hunting / bloodsports, horse racing, dog racing etc. Often brilliantly written, anthemic songs, but nonetheless about the use of animals for sport. Still, we love those songs, and wanted to write one of our own.

Instead of it being purely a celebration of greyhound racing, we included a critical female voice, giving the song a balance which some of the older ones are perhaps lacking. When we were students, we would sometimes visit Shawfield Greyhound Stadium on a Friday or Saturday night. We stuck tiny bets on dogs with good names, very rarely winning a penny back. There was undoubtedly a grotty glamour to the whole thing – standing trackside with a roll-up between your lips, waving a racing timetable around, your collar turned against the wind. However, it is also a cruel sport, and we would read things in the newspapers which made it very difficult for us to pretend otherwise. Shawfield Stadium has now fallen into ruin. This is a real shame as it has a lot of history and could be put to good use – but in our opinion ‘good use’ certainly wouldn’t mean greyhound racing.

Tell us about any non-musical hobbies or unusual jobs?
Jacob is a qualified landing craft skipper (a type of boat) – he did this on the Isle of Muck on a salmon farm for a few years. He now manages a community centre in the village we live and grew up in. Our bass player, Fred, has just started working for him as a youth worker. I’m an archivist for the Lochaber region – running an archive centre in Fort William, we’re looking after historical documents in a converted 19th century primary school. All members of Scotstown Dance Band play for Ardnamurchan Camanachd, our local shinty team. Jacob is captain. Fred’s brother also plays and their dad plays in goal. Megan is a pal, but she’s also a session musician and doesn’t stay in Sunart, but we’d love her to be a semi-permanent member. Newly-appointed rhythm guitarist Bradley is a relief firefighter, Allan is the only full-time musician, he plays with various other acts – and up until last year he was also the co-owner of Wester Rum, a Glasgow rum distillery he started with a school friend.

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