Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ The Begbies

BegbiesThe Begbies are an enthusiastic five-piece hailing from Livingston who bring a great twist to indie music. Their sound reflects many nuances, imagine this: Mr. Alternative is walking down the street, meets Mrs. Punk and they create a fresh new punkternative baby. This distinct sound only betters itself with the band’s jubilant vocals and almost ska-esque vibe kick in. My favourite tune of theirs would have to be Ashleigh; the track is the perfect showing of this group’s talent. Plus, the video is pretty damn unique. So to catch up with The Begbies and find out what’s new, they took some time to speak to the AMBY team about their name, favourite quotes and band anthems!

AMBY: Who are The Begbies? Tell us a little bit about yourselves!

The Begbies: We are a ska/punk inspired indie band from West Lothian in Scotland. We started in 09 when I (Liam) and Stuart met at a Babyshambles gig. We had been pals since we were young but I always thought he was more into long walks on the beach and candle lit dinners, so was delighted to see him there. We started writing songs straight away and have been doing so ever since. There are 5 of us in the band; Stu is the singer, Alex on bass, Gary on guitar, along with me, and Elliott on the drums.

AMBY: How would you describe your sound to those who have yet to hear you?

The Begbies: I think you can hear all our influences in the band which I love. There is a bit of the clash, the specials, the Ramones and a little bit of joy division with our slower more serious songs. We also seem to be creating our own genre, “skindie”; people seem to be labeling our sound as “skindie” more and more now. The world famous Barrowlands in Scotland labelled us the “kings of skindie”.

AMBY: Really like your band name! Where did it come from?

The Begbies: We had toyed with the idea of some terrible names before we stumbled onto “the begbies”. Stuart and his brother Scott came up with it after several days of “begbie” esq fighting and arguing over the name. We wanted something confrontational and who is more confrontational than Francis Begbie.

AMBY: Who inspires you as musicians?

The Begbies: People who stand in queues outside national arena’s for 6 hours so they can sing Whitney Houston to 4 “celebs” really inspire me. I wouldn’t queue 10 minutes to get a Gregg’s sausage roll never mind a “once in a life time” chance to sing in front of Tulisa. Real courage these people have ha-ha!!

We as a band love songs of rebellion, songs that challenge society and songs that take on governments. People like Joe Strummer and Johnny Rotten, real anti stars, who stood up for what they believed in even if it got them in trouble. Music nowadays is too diluted. The charts are full of pop clichés all clambering over each other for a moment in the sun. Pop music used to stand for something now it’s just filled with x factor drop outs and Peter Andre.

AMBY: What’s your favourite quote or lyric?

The Begbies: Katy Perry – “have you ever felt like a plastic bag” or “you’re a fire work” lyrical genius.

Quote: “If you look like an arsehole, and you sound like an arsehole then you’re an arsehole” Johnny Rotten describing Malcolm McLaren.

Lyric: “If you’ve lost your faith in love and music the end won’t be long because if it’s gone for you I may too lose it, and that would be wrong” Pete Doherty.

AMBY: If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would you choose?

The Begbies: Ian Curtis (if still alive), so I could cuddle him tell him everything is going to be all right. Pete Doherty cause he looks like he could do with a nice bowl of soup. Sid Vicious (if still alive) so I could introduce him to a nice girl as that Nancy looks like trouble.

AMBY: Who do you wish would just go away?

The Begbies: Bear Grylls. I stay in Scotland; I don’t need nor want to know how to eat rocks. If I ever needed a canoe I would look for one on gumtree or eBay, I wouldn’t be saving scrap bits of rope so I could tie 2 bits of wood together. “The desert is a dangerous place”, yeah thanks for that Bear I wouldn’t have worked that out by myself.

AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?

The Begbies: Is This It- The strokes.

Never Mind The Bollocks– Sex Pistols

London Nights– The London Boys

AMBY: What is the best song of 2012?

The Begbies: “When inspiration comes in boxes, ceramic tile warehouse”. Best tune of 2012, simple yet effective.

Best song of 2012 for me would be Heartbeats by the Vigo Thieves.  Good friends of ours who have been making great tunes for years, its good to see them finally making it big and Heartsbeats was a summer Anthem.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about The Begbies that nobody knows yet?

The Begbies: If we were ever wrestlers or walk on music would be Deeply Dippy by right said Fred. Band anthem we love that song.


If you’ve yet to, listen to The Begbies grand tune Ashleigh and also enjoy the comical video! And lastly, thank you very much The Begbies, for giving me your answers!


Alicia Atout

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