If Walker Slater are purveyors of fine tweed then The Banjo Lounge 4 are the advocates
of musical mirth! With their tuneful spins on modern classics, their energy and
inspiration have added quite a presence to more than one Walker Slater event.

thebanjolunge4 dec 14

left to right: Barney, Craig, Richard and Pat.

All answers were written on behalf of the band by Barney aka guitar!

1. Names? 

Pat McGarvey (banjo), Barney Strachan (guitar), Richard Kass (drums), Craig Macfadyen (double bass).

2. Professions? 

We are all musicians. Barney also works part time at Dance Base.

3. What are you wearing from Walker Slater? 

Barney wears the James suit in grey micro-check, Craig wear the Edward suit in grey Donegal, Richard wears the Martin jacket in grey fine herringbone and Pat wears the Edward suit in grey multi-check all with their own turtle necks!

4. Please tell us how you all became acquainted.

I was friends with Pat's now wife Debs (from our sister banjo band Blueflint). When Pat moved up from London he asked I if wanted to do something musical with him. Then Rich came on board, who Pat had met in another band, and Rich's childhood friend Craig joined more recently. Ta-da!

5. What has been your most inspiring gig so far?

Most inspiring gig? Been a few but I guess playing a pool party in Ibiza was pretty up there.

6.  You have played at both private events and music festivals. What do you prefer as a band?

As long as there is a bit of a vibe we are happy playing wherever really. We enjoy what we do so we aim to have fun whatever the occasion.

7. Do you think tweed has a strong part to play in your style, and how does it make you feel as a group? 

It's important to have an identity as a band or a brand and tweed, polo necks and suit trousers has worked for us. People see us come up on stage and they're like 'what are this lot going to do?' Then we kick in with a hi-tempo bluegrass version of 'Eye of the Tiger' or House of Pain's 'Jump Around' and it brings a smile to their faces. Job done. The only criticism I have of tweed in our context is that it's so blooming hot wearing it in a sweaty club. Ibiza in August was also an experience, I can tell you! Although shorts and shirts were also in attendance. Tweeds would have been ideal but nobody makes them yet.

8. Recently you played at a Walker Slater charity event, where your mash ups were most enjoyed. How do you go about selecting the covers you do?

Pat and I both have a love of 70s soundtrack composers like Lalo Schffrin, and both have a lot of vinyl. I used to work in a record shop in London and used to  DJ a lot so knew his tunes - and what got people up to dance.

Also, certain instrumentation lends itself to being replaced by a banjo so tunes like 'Mundian to Bach Ke' by Panjabi MC and Missy Elliott's 'Get Your Freak On' were tunes we thought had to go in for sure. The juxtaposition of our look and what music we play is one thing we trade on. Our versions and rearrangements often mean that people don't realize what song it is until the chorus kicks in and a smile spreads across their face. Rich and Craig also have great ideas too so it's a collaborative process.

9. Heaviest musical influence? 

The nature of our music means that everything is being influenced by everything else. We mash things up like acoustic producers. 'Tainted Love' gets mixed with The Wurzels 'I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester' in, possibly, music's least-likely pairing to create our 'Tainted Harvester'. Nothing is sacred.

10. Favourite Scottish word? 

Mine is possibly 'radge' as in 'Radge Against the Machine' (a tribute act, not a typo).