The Scottish band Trashcan Sinatras are taking a rare look back with a “One Night, Two Albums” tour of the U.S. and Canada. It brings them to Sellersville Theater May 27.
The three-piece acoustic lineup of Frank Reader, Paul Livingston and John Douglas will be performing a set of their first two albums, their 1990 debut “Cake” and the 1993 follow-up “I’ve Seen Everything,” in their entirety. In addition, they’ll fill out the sets with a selection of songs from their other four albums, to make sure no two shows are the same.
“‘Cake’ is only 35 minutes long,” Reader pointed out in a phone interview, given during a projected nine-hour van ride to get to the band’s tour stop in Dallas.
That album’s wordplay-laden standout tracks include “Obscurity Knocks” and “Only Tongue Can Tell.” The latter had a video that made it to MTV’s “120 Minutes” in America that featured shots of the band performing in a downpour.
Although that official video can’t be found on YouTube, it does turn up on MTV-UK’s website. Reader said the concept for the “Only Tongue Can Tell” video was his idea, but he’s not proud of it. He explained that although Trashcan Sinatras were on the indie label Go!Discs, they had financial resources from a major label at their disposal. Under those circumstances, “when you come up with a daft idea, somebody will put up money for it.” Looking back, he felt bad for having a local fire brigade out with hoses to make “rain” on demand for a video shoot that lasted till 2 a.m. Although it was summer in Scotland, Reader said it was cold at that late hour.
Speaking of Trashcan Sinatras videos, in America the video for “Hayfever” from “I’ve Seen Everything,” which turns 25 this year, is best known in America for being featured in an episode of “Beavis & Butthead.”
Reader said that their American audiences skew “older,” but have fostered an appreciation for Trashcan Sinatras in their children and bring them to the shows. He reported hearing “nice, touching stories, like first dances at weddings, people getting together over our songs, getting though college.”
In the “One Night, Two Albums” tour press release, Reader stated: “We had resisted playing many of our older songs on tour as they were from a different time in our lives. But as we prepared for the ‘All Night’ tour and really got into it, we realized the songs are like long lost friends or family. In many cases, you can welcome them back into your life.”
In the interview, he said he’s been surprised how each of the “Cake” and “I’ve Seen Everything” tracks contextually relate to each other all these years later.
In the press release, John Douglas said: “After touring last year, we’ve really come to embrace many of our older songs. Our fans often ask for more of the classic songs and we’re excited to finally bring these albums to them.”
When asked what was the most Scottish thing about “the Trashcans,” Reader nudged Douglas to get his input, and he replied: “Our independence.”
Reader added: “A little bit of self-deprecation. We love our country music and our harmony.”
Get more at www.trashcansinatras.com.