We all know about The Other Guys, but surely St Andrews has more? Surely we can be a bit edgier than (very good and amusing) a capella, good as it is… Owl Eyes has been trawling the bubble web and the pubs' open mic nights to bring you a little info about what other musical talent there is in these 6.9 (according to evi) square miles. And while we have them, we’ve asked them what they’re listening to – now available to you on our 8tracks page…
Everyone knows the ABBA lyric, ‘my mother says I began to sing long before I could talk’, (maybe that’s just me who sang along in my mother’s seventies boots in the living room obsessively) but it sounds like Gabi Machado (pronounced mashaado, unless you’re St Andrews University, in which case it’s MacHado…?!) is very much the Agnetha of St Andrews. I’d like to say without the sadness in her soul, although she does have a penchant for reading the poetry of the saints and is studying theology, so I don’t doubt there is some serious thought behind her songs. Either way, she is certainly without the flares and spangley hats.
Starting at the age of eleven, Gabi has only four songs she is willing to share with us. From the same neck of the woods as myself I feel qualified to say that us West Londoners are not usually very good at flaunting our inner thoughts to the world (as music inherently does). We are far too afraid that our friends might start to shun us in the aisles of Waitrose and stop inviting us to their organic, free-range, locally sourced dinner parties and then we’d never get to eat their delicious quinoa and pearl barley risotto ever again. Not wanting to presume too much, Gabi’s minimal online music output probably has something to do with her very private and guarded nature. She explained how all the songs available to hear on her webpage are older and therefore it’s easier to allow the world to hear them. Her newer compositions are presently stuck in limbo, still tied to Gabi’s emotions. However, Gabi does not come from West London’s middle class stock, her Brazillian parents have influenced the music she listened to growing up and now she finds that there is a constant percussion in her music that resembles the background noise of carnivals and street parties.
Her music trajectory thus far is a veritable who’s who of VIPs; she was classically trained by Daniel Craig’s ex-wife while still at school, her music has been produced by Simon Ellis (S-Club fame) and Dario Dendi (sound engineer for Stereophonics, Franz Ferdinand, Sugababes), and her professional photos were taken by Christopher Pillitz. Her dad however, remains the most important person in her music, acting as her manager and protector. Not that she needs much protection, Gabi has a very clear mind of what she wants from her music and won’t put her stamp on something she’s not happy with. It took her a long time to come round to making the video to the demo ‘Lullaby’ with a boyfriend figure rather than her sister (for whom the song was written). That said, she knows that she must change as the music industry does and knows that what she “voms out” changes with whatever she is listening to at the time anyway, “there is a danger to getting too comfortable”.
I find it hard to believe she could ever get too comfortable. She was part of the famous St Andrews acapella group Hummingbirds, last year and this year she achieved the scholarship for the St Andrews chorus, which takes up much of her time. Not that that stops her. She is also part of a musical group MadJack who perform around town with 2 guitars and a fiddle. However, her own music is singer/songwriter style with romantic ballads and vocals that steal the stage. You can catch her playing in pubs around the town and in Music Is Love events that she is involved in now that the Retrophobes and Dirty Hemingways have graduated and passed on the musical torch. Indeed St Andrews is such a supportive atmosphere that she can’t imagine not creating music here, but as far as the future goes, it would have to happen organically. Keep up to date with Gabi on Facebook or by checking here.
Images courtesy of Gabi Machado and compiled by Lori Anderson.