It’s not that long since Cancel The Astronauts took part in the most recent MPT podcast. But since hardly anyone listens to these and the guys are playing a gig on Saturday (3rd) in Glenrothes, it didn’t seem a bad time to catch up with CTA singer/songwriter Matthew Riley to talk about their 2012

Of course, despite being based in Edinburgh this is the second time that CTA have played the Woodside this year (this was the first) which needed a little explaining.

M: “Our drummer Chris lives in Markinch and Cancel the Astronauts have been practicing there nearly every Friday for 4 years. Sorry about all the noise. You’re likely to see us drinking in Jamie’s on Friday nights, hoping the last train back to Edinburgh will be cancelled!”

MPT: The band’s had an increased profile during 2011 – what have been the highlights

M: “The big things have been playing T in the Park on the TBreak stage and touring our debut single, ‘Seven Vices’. T in the Park was a great experience, and despite being on at the same time as Beyonce and The Strokes we drew a respectfully large crowd. It really gave us a taste for playing big venues and festival gigs.

“In September we released our debut single which was received pretty positively and got some BBC6 Radio play, and we went on a little 10 day tour around the UK. Highlights include 2 great gigs in London (the first time we’ve played there) and a support slot with the Saw Doctors for TroonFest, where we played to about 800 people! Fantastic! Low points were sleeping on floors and playing in Liverpool to about 3 people, all of whom were sitting down. Ouch”

MPT: What sort of reaction did the single get and did you feel that it benefitted from the increased profile?

M: “It got itself lots of nice reviews on the internet and was played on numerous podcasts. Jim Gellatly played it on his shows and Josie Long played it on hers. And yes, it definitely benefitted from our increased profile. After T in the Park was announced we got lots of lovely offers to play gigs and things, and we were already planning to release a single around September time, and we got some nice gig offers all around the same time. The tour ended up booking itself pretty much.”

MPT: What are the plans for the rest of the year and for 2012?

M: “We’ve got this gig at the Woodside and then another in Glasgow, which is going to be an absolute belter. More recording and writing. As for 2012, an album release and 1 or 2 single releases and as many good gigs as we can fit around that! “

MPT: Ah, the LP! As anyone knows who listened to the podcast, the debut Cancel The Astronauts LP seems to be permanently getting held up by new songs! What progress is there on getting it finished?


M: “Slow, but sure. Chris the drummer (and engineer and producer) is working his little vest off trying to get it finished. We’ve got one more song to completely record for it and we MIGHT write and record another for it, but the bulk of it is done and mixing it ticking along nicely. There’s still a lot of discussion about tracklistings and stuff but it will all come together in the end. We’re planning to have it finished and ready to send off for mastering/replicating by March.

“We’re so keen to get it released and see what people think of it. It’s been coming for such a long time that we’re desperate to get it out there. Keep your fingers and thumbs crossed. “

Cancel The Astronauts play the Woodside Inn in Glenrothes on Saturday 3rd December  from 8.00pm, entry is FREE. Support comes from local Fifers Waiting On Jack.

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