PRONTO MAMA are in the midst of completing their long-awaited debut album, Any Joy funded by their first ever pledge campaign. The record will be released on 5th May 2017 on the Glasgow record label, Electric Honey. Oh and by the way, the band are almost at their cash target if anyone has spare cash money lying around – otherwise they might “rob their local post-office or steal from their ma’s purses.”
Pronto Mama’s daft patter, soulful harmonies and quick wit have, rightly, played in their favour when raising the funds for this highly anticipated cataolgue of tunes. TTV caught up with lead singer Marc Rooney to see how the whole experience has been: “We’ve been astonished really at the response to the pledge campaign. Within the first couple of days we had reached half our target. We are forever grateful to the people who support us: fans, parents, social workers.”
Rooney along with multi-instrumentalist Ciaran McEneny lay the foundation for the mama’s songs. Once satisfactory they take it to the rest of the band for drums, brass, ‘sometimes electric guitars’ and harmonies that woo your endorphins until you feel all light and giddy. Marc said that he owes the whole process to Sean Connery: “Usually I’ll find a pattern I like on the guitar and loop it till a melody starts to present itself. I knicked that from Sean Connery in Indiana Jones ‘the sholushion will preshent itshelf’. Theft is an essential part of songwriting, though most songwriters don’t like to admit it.”
Their previous EPs Lickety Split and Niche Market have shown the lyrical finesse of Pronto Mama’s songwriting. They are brimming with timeliness and grit and the story-telling is inviting, clever and relatable: “Anyone can play guitar but I’m the only one who has mucked up my life that much to allow me my idiosyncratic observations about the way I see the world and the people I know.
“You actually get away with calling that ‘insight’. All facetiousness aside, lyrics are essential, they can change the way you think for better or worse and that’s magic.
“We don’t fuck about when it comes to our work. We’re meticulous. It’s taken us a while but it shows, the album is quality. Psychologically it can be tough.”
Their prominence in the traditional Scottish music scene is a reflection of their professionalism. Playing at events alongside literary greats such as James Kelman, and having a longstanding relationship with Celtic Connections, demonstrates their multifariousness as a band.
Marc and Ciaran sing as they speak, with thick Glaswegian inflections and masses of colloquial references. When asked if this was deliberate Marc manages to reference Nickelodeon and potatoes in the same breath: “People who have been born and bred in Glasgow say ‘yeah’ a lot, it’s their television education. Too much Nickelodeon as a wean not enough working down the pits and mince and tatties when you get home. Alot of aspects of our culture have been Americanised or Anglicised. That’s why I think it’s important that Scottish artists retain their own accents, it’s a small victory.”
Pronto Mama will play their first gig of the year on 3rd February 2017 at Oran Mor as part of Celtic Connections. It seems fitting that their first public sing-a-long of 2017 will be alongside walls adorned with murals from the landmark Scottish novelist Alasdair Gray – we imagine they will feel quite at home.
“You are a reflection of the environment around you, I think, and in our case that environment was and continues to be Glasgow. But we are much more than just a Glasgow band. We are explorers.”
Session with Pronto Mama coming soon.