The Alibis

The AliBlog


Songwriting Boot Camp a.k.a The Difficult Second A***m

Gareth : February 23, 2017 1:02 pm : Blog, News, Slider

Well hey there!

So, what have we been up to?

Last year as we were doing a handful of gigs to promote Now We’re Even, we started work on a handful of songs for a possible 3 or 4 track follow-up EP.
Progress was very quick in two cases (a rocker called Unopened Eyes and a ballad known as Stet), while the third song, Steel and Stars, had been stuck in limbo for a long time, until we had one of those “Eureka!” moments and the song got built up to something we were happy with.

I’m not sure who the guilty party was (I’ve narrowed it down to Amy or Amy) but when we were discussing recording, during rehearsals leading up to our November gig at Opium, said party opined that it might be more worthwhile to do another album. Cue puffed out cheeks and nervous glances between Rob and myself!

Nevertheless Rob and I decided that we would meet weekly during January and throw around new ideas for songs and see what we could come up with. Last June I moved into a new flat, so we decided that my front room – still without blinds and curtains – would be a suitable venue.

During the course of practices in early-to-mid 2016 we had played around with a couple of ideas. One was just a spiralling guitar riff (actually more reminiscent of the early Alibis poppy sound) and the other a more sinister groove, which was lacking a coherent chorus. We brought both of those out of the mothballs, and Rob prepared lyrics. The spiralling guitar one, after I had added an idea for a bridge, sounded pretty good and was named The Start Of Everything. The slightly more sinister one had the working name “Enough” and I remember planting the seeds of it at New Years at Rob’s a couple of years ago! Rob had already written a strong set of verse lyrics, with various line suggestions, and all I had to do was pick the ones that scanned best. I sent Rob a selection of extra lyrics and he was able to hammer them into a working chorus. Rob also sent me a Curtis Mayfield song to listen to for inspiration. No pressure, just try to sound like an all-time legend!

Elsewhere, we dusted two *much* older songs out of storage. Splinters was written by Rob around the same time as he wrote Letters (2011-12) and for my money was always the more interesting of the two, but disagreements about vocals had always held it back. We have since worked out a two-state solution!

The other older song, Shadows is a low-key lo-fi song that relies very much upon precision. With my less-than-legendary guitar skills, this may prove one obstacle too many, but Rob remains optimistic, bless him.

The final song was based off a fingerstyle guitar piece that I had been playing around with for months. I was never really able to get many vocals going as it disrupted my concentration on the finger-picking. Thankfully, Rob’s superior guitarmanship allowed him to take the strain with the riff and I was able to concentrate on nailing a vocal. We went back back-and-forth on some suggestions for a hook/chorus and once we had something we were happy with, the song was (almost) ready to go.

Second week in February saw full band practice for the first time since November…. how did we get on? Promising. Start of Everything, Splinters and Enough were aired, and we were excited by all being back together and working on new things. It will be interesting to see, if the second album does indeed show up, which songs survived and in what form. They often tend to transform excessively between the gestation period and the final finished product!

Anyway – we look forward to seeing you all soon and premiering what songs we have ready for you! Take care out there,


Leave a response »


Now We’re Even – Acknowledgements & Thanks

Gareth : December 9, 2015 2:24 pm : Blog, Music, News, Slider

We’ve tried to keep it low-key on our social media links and this very website, but our debut album is out this week, and we’d like to take a minute just to give some thanks to some very special people who helped make it possible.

Firstly, we’d like to thank Graeme Young, our producer at Chamber Studios in Edinburgh. Graeme was very helpful, calm and assured, and had loads of good suggestions during recording and mixing. Speaking from a personal point of view, he helped me stay calm, relaxed and focused during the vocals, and his unflappable demeanour rubbed off on all of us, and probably made us seem more capable than we actually are. We came out of the studio with a lot more knowledge and ideas, and we thank him for it.

Mike Stewart, of Mike Stewart Images was kind enough to take a day off from his regular job to come along on the Friday and help document our travails during the recording process with some wonderful photographs. A fabulously nice guy with a wonderful eye for a photo, he works his hardest so you don’t have to.

If you’d like to book Mike for weddings, christenings, or any kind of photoshoot, his details are on facebook. for all your photo needs.

CD artwork by Mark Ingram

Album artwork was created by the marvellously talented Mark Ingram of Mark Ingram Photo – Your Perfect Day. In addition to being an art whizz, Mark is an amazingly talented photographer and all-round top bloke. Get in touch with him via his website for all your photography needs.

As a band – these songs were rehearsed to the point of exhaustion at The Wel – Rehearsal and Creative Facility in Edinburgh. Get in touch with – he will sort you out!

On a personal level, I’d like to thank Rob, Amy and Jamie for being great band-mates and friends. Andy Kelly and Clint Waight have supported us from the very start, so big thanks to them also. Much love to Claudio, Nick and Jani. Massive thanks to Steven Walker, and big thanks to you, dear reader – hope to see you soon!

Leave a response »


Edinburgh Charities Gig

Gareth : October 13, 2014 4:13 pm : Blog, News, Slider

Not strictly an Alibis event, as one of our number is off in Thailand on his honeymoon, but in Rob’s absence Gareth will be doing a (very) short solo set to open this event. more »

Leave a response »


More tea, McVicar?

Gareth : September 17, 2014 12:51 am : Blog, News, Slider

Summer usually sees all Alibi-related activities ground to even-more-of-a-halt than usual and that glorious summer of 2014 was no different. What did the intrepid heroes of the Alibis get up to, asked nobody, ever? more »

Leave a response »


Back off man, I’m a scientist

Gareth : March 11, 2014 4:48 pm : Blog

Howdy dear blog peruser – with things being more Go! Go! Go! than Murray Walker on amphetamines, figured I’d do a wee blog to let anyone curious (and why wouldn’t you be?) know about the latest moves and grooves within the Alibi hemisphere. more »

Leave a response »

Jamie Borthwick

Jam Pieces

Jamie Borthwick : January 23, 2014 4:25 pm : Blog, News, Slider

I adore the song writing process.

That buzz of running through a couple of routine chords, deciding to try something different, something arbitrary and potentially…awful. more »

Leave a response »


Ain’t no foalin’ me.

Amy : January 21, 2014 10:33 pm : Blog, News, Slider

Towards the end of last year, in a quest for new music, I decided to buy all of the Mercury Prize albums. I quickly became obsessed more »

Leave a response »


Back in the Bold Routine

Gareth : December 30, 2013 12:40 pm : Blog, News, Slider

Wednesday 13th of November. A chilly Edinburgh evening. Time for the Alibis to return to the stage, and where more fitting than the location of their first ever gig, Bannerman’s bar? more »

Leave a response »


Farewell to J.B, Hello to J.B

Gareth : November 7, 2013 4:40 pm : Blog, News, Slider

Wow. It’s been a long period of radio silence here in the Alibi-cave at Stately Alibi Manor. Do not worry though dear reader, things are not only afoot, but also a leg and a toe. more »

Leave a response »


The Artifice of Artisan

Gareth : June 14, 2013 3:12 pm : Blog, News

With a certain amount of trepidation, ¾ of the Alibis made their way to Artisan Roast on Broughton Street on Wednesday 5th June, to play our first ever acoustic gig. The muscle of the group, Jan, was absent, having been away on holiday and thus unable to get a rehearsal done with the rest of our intrepid heroes. more »

Leave a response »


Comic Genius? No, it’s just Gareth.

Gareth : April 23, 2013 6:42 pm : Blog

Hey hey Ali-cats and Ali-kittens, your friendly neighbourhood Frontman here, to finally put another blog together, in answer to the thunderous round of indifference that my thoughts usually merit from my loyal devotees.  more »

Leave a response »



Janahan : November 29, 2012 7:49 pm : Blog

So another Movember and another Mogasm. This year the gig was held at Nobles in Leith where we have played before.

We had a newly formed The Brazen Tree to open the night with a few covers, followed by Matt Norris and the Moon and then The Alibis took the stage.

During the night a wee picture quiz called ‘Movember or Sex Offender’ (thanks Cheryl) and ‘Best Mo’ competition were run. Thank you to Union of Genius, Brew Lab, Boombarbers and Nobles for putting up the prizes.

From our performance the highlight for me was my bass amp falling over, taking out a cymbal which in turn almost took out Gareth.

It was great to see some fine Mos and especially good to see the girls getting their bushy ones out.

I’d like to thank everyone who came along to support Mogasm and for your donations to the Movember campaign. You raised £154 on the night which will be put to use by, amongst others, Prostate Cancer UK and The Institute of Cancer Research.

Guys, remember to check your balls and prostate. If you can get your girl to check them even better and enjoy.

May your mogasms be strong and plentiful.

J x



The Alibis at Live@Troon

Janahan : August 28, 2012 6:04 pm : Blog

I write this as we are about to head into our last rehearsal before playing at Live@Troon – our first festival.

Our previous rehearsal felt like hard work as the songs weren’t feeling quite right.  We had both Amy and Stuart there and by the end I think we had made some progress.  While obviously practising the songs we will perform at Live@Troon we also spent time on a new song and had a bit of an old-fashioned jam.

The Live@Troon festival is in its third year and is getting bigger all the time .  This year the headline act are The View and a Fringe element has been added including our friends The Colour Ham.

Check out the bands on the bill with us here.  We can’t wait to play The Anchorage Bar on Saturday night.  Got a feeling we are going to have some fun.

Be safe – pack a plectrum

J x

Leave a response »


The best thing…

Robbie : August 15, 2012 8:01 pm : Blog, Slider

What’s the best thing about being in a band? Is it the buzz of playing live? Is it the adulation of adoring fans? Is it the women throwing themselves at you (never happens by the way)?

There are many things that are great about being in a band – but I’ll tell you about what I feel the best thing is for me. more »

Leave a response »


The Alibis lose their vagina!

Janahan : July 29, 2012 12:23 am : Blog, News

Our first practice for two months and we didn’t have Amy on the drums. As Amy isn’t available for the Live@Troon music festival we decided to find a substitute but, who could possibly fill this massive void in the band? We have recruited the percussive powers of Stuart Ferguson, who has had the misfortune of being in a band with me before.

We had a longer practice than usual to let us work through as many songs as possible.  The practice was so long that Gareth required three changes of t-shirt; Stuart needed to put gloves on; I got a blister and Rob, who arrived clean-shaven, left bearded, looking like a guitar slinging Chuck Norris.

So how did this practice go? It’s fair to say that all the regular Aliboys were really happy at how quickly Stuart got to grips with the songs and feel confident that we will be ready to put on a great show in Troon on Saturday 1st September.

Be safe, always pack a plectrum.

J x

Leave a response »
« Page 1, 2, 3 »