THE guiding hand of experience can never be underestimated. It provides the platform to construct and a tether to explore.

Crucially, it can provide the missing piece of the puzzle for those bands on the cusp of their next big step.

For Shambolics, the linking up with Alan McGee was a no-brainer. The music mogul is well-known for discovering the likes of Oasis and Primal Scream and he’s already on record saying The Shams could well be the next big thing.

The band’s bass player Jordan McHatton looks back on the journey since signing on with Creation23 in the summer and the effect it has had on their progression.

“It’s been braw,” he tells The Weekender. “Ever since we signed things have been on the up; we’ve been doing bigger gigs and recording like mad, trying to stay one step ahead. We were always grafting, but it’s made us pull the finger out even more. We’ve been more focused; we have more of a purpose, and we want to reward the faith shown in us.”

“He’s been and done it. He was up last month, and we sat a played a few songs for him and got a lot of good feedback – what’s a potential single, what’s a B-side. He’s been brilliant. He’s always a phone call away and that’s what he says.”

“We’re not taking anything for granted. We didn’t take any shortcuts; I can’t be bothered with all that. I’d rather do things the old-fashioned way, by gigging and building a fanbase.”

Originally hailing from Kirkcaldy, the four-piece have found themselves at home in neighbouring Dunfermline and spend the last few years collating a sizeable fanbase in Fife and further afield.

Their exploits caught the attention of McGee and the two parties paired up in June this year.

The first single under the Creation banner – Chasing a Disaster – was released last Friday and McHatton revealed that the vinyl pre-sales exceeding their initial expectations. The first press was gone in “no time at all”, with the second set to follow suit.

A bit of hype had been beginning to build for The Shams in the lead up to the release; however, the wheels are already turning for future singles and a tour in the new year.

“The next one is done already,” McHatton adds. “And we were away recording the third single for after that as well. For once in our lives, we’ve been pretty organised.

“We are producing it all ourselves, but we have a lot people around if we ever need advice. That’s what you need. It’s always good to get someone from outside the band to suggest a change here and there, to tell you what’s good and what’s not.

“The plan for next year is: release new music and, basically, gig like ****. There’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes to get a tour sorted.”

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Still, having the likes of McGee on board has given the band just that little bit of added drive and confidence. Practice sessions have been intense but have helped pave the way for some experimentation – with some avenues likely to surprise a few.

“There’s a load of different genres that we like, and I think that will come out.” McHatton continues. “I know that’s a bit of a cliché. But for the next B-side, there is a mad disco bit in it – that’s something we’ve never really done before. It’s not that we’re going down that route, it’s just a tiny wee bit.

“But it is good to flirt with different genres. If someone comes up with something, we’ll take it in any direction. It’s healthy to mix it up.”

McHatton welcomes the expectation that comes from the heavyweight backing of McGee, though he is painfully aware of the hard work they all still face if they are to breakthrough across the country. 

“That’s my biggest fear,” the bassist reflects. “You put all your hard work into getting signed and you don’t it want to be for nothing. You want it to be worth it and that’s why we’re all working hard as well.

“We’re not taking anything for granted. We didn’t take any shortcuts; I can’t be bothered with all that. I’d rather do things the old-fashioned way, by gigging and building a fanbase.”

The Shams have been touring around England and return home for sold-out shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The prospect of reaching out to audiences across the country is tantalising for the quartet and will help to gauge their swelling appeal.

McHatton adds: “We’ve done the festivals over the summer in England, but we’ve not gigged ourselves there in ages. Back then we were going down there and hoping for the best, but now we’re actually selling tickets – so they feel like the first proper gigs down there.

“Manchester and Liverpool are doing well, and London is close to a sell-out. A band from Kirkcaldy going all the way down to London and selling it out, pre-gig – that would be a big statement.”