Isa & the Filthy Tongues Biography
The Filthy Tongues
After the break up of [[Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie]] & [[Angelfish (band) | Angelfish]]. Fin Wilson Martin Metcalfe and Derek Kelly continued to be musically creative. They attempted to form a band in 1997 they named Angelika but various factors interfered with this early incarnation. Metcalfe was recovering from an alcohol and drug problem and Derek Kelly had relocated to [[Berlin]] to take up work in the burgeoning [[IT]] industry. He quickly moved forward as a ‘[[Web Developer]]’. He suggested that this might be a useful non-musical route for Metcalfe keeping him safely at a distance from the temptations within the music industry. Metcalfe then also studied ‘[[Digital Multimedia]]’ for two years between 1998 & 2000.
During the period 1995 to 1998 Fin Wilson and [[Martin Metcalfe]] formed an acoustic duo and called them The Filthy Tongues after a phrase from a Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie song]] ‘Good deeds are like dirty rags’. This name was then revived in around 2001 when the 3 members decided to create a new kind of band. The initial concept being that they would produce great music and have a floating membership of musicians and guest artists. This concept changed with the permanent arrival of Stacey Chavis a [[USA citizen]].
Enter Stacey Chavis
Stacey Chavis became friendly with Metcalfe around 1998 when she took casual work at Edinburgh’s local Mental Hospital known locally as ‘the Royal Ed’. She also had a love of Indie Music and found musical common ground with Metcalfe in bands like the [[Yeah Yeah Yeah’s]], [[the Kills]] and [[PJ Harvey]]. Metcalfe had already been approached by another American Christine Drake and had proceeded to record some songs with her on an old 16 track tape machine in his rented apartment loft near Easter Road in Edinburgh. Drake however had left the country as her visa had expired. This left several backing tracks unfinished and when Chavis expressed an interest in recording Metcalfe took her up on this. The first song they completed was ‘Trouble’ an older song written by Kelly & Metcalfe. Trouble had been originally ear marked for the Angelfish follow up LP.
When the other band members heard her rendition they were very taken by Chavis’ ‘blank’ vocal which reminded Kelly & Wilson of the likes of [[Kim Deal]], [[Nico]] and [[Martina Topley Bird]]. This was a perfect match
Isobel Gowdie & the Filthy Tongues
The band then wrangled with ideas for a name. Initially the suggestion was ‘Stacey Chavis and the Filthy Tongues’ but Chavis was uncomfortable with that level of attention as a novice front-woman . Chavis had no experience of being in a band and no experience of facing the press, so using the internet they trawled for a [[moniker]]. Metcalfe had been studying [[Witchcraft]] in Scotland and decided to search for names. He then sent his list around the band. Derek Kelly noticed that a very large amount of them were called Isobel (or Isabel) and commented that he ‘wouldn’t have liked to have been called Isabel in those days!!’<br>The most infamous witch trial of that time was the trial of Isobel Gowdie. Who had confessed to having conjuring the Devil and having intimate contact with his ‘long cold member’. All this research seemed to link up with Stacey’s involvement with a [[Wiccan]] [[Coven]] in [[Portland Oregon]]. So the next obvious move was to name the band ‘[[Isobel Gowdie]] & the Filthy Tongues’ they sent out some demos to [[Vic Galloway]] on [[BBC Radio Scotland]] and [[Robb Da bank]] ([[BBC Radio One]]) under this name but quickly shortened it to the more immediate [[Isa & the Filthy Tongues]]. The fact that Metcalfe had an aunt called Isa only made this name more fun to deliver to the world.
A very early gig in around May 2005 saw the band play the Halt Bar in Glasgow. A very nervous Chavis took to the stage. This was her first appearance in public as a singer.
They followed with appearances at Bannermans in June 2005 in Edinburgh.