Introducing: Magpie Blue
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19-year-old Millie Hanlon Cole, alias Magpie Blue, is an Edinburgh Napier student sparking growing interest in her native Scottish Borders, as well as building up a following on the gig circuit in the capital. The National Student spoke to the rising songstress ahead of the release of her debut single ‘Just in Time’.
Image courtesy of Magpie Blue via CharmFactoryWe descend below street level into a sparsely populated coffee shop in Newington where the rather anti-social ‘Colossus’ – the opener to IDLES’ Joy as an Act of Resistance - is blasting overhead and pass comment on Fat White Family's beef with them, one of Cole’s favourite bands. She begins by describing the recording process for ‘Just in Time’, which was completed last year in August with the help of Rod Jones of Idlewild. The track captures the intensity of a band playing together, but Millie informs me that “People are quite surprised when I tell them that we did all the instruments individually”. As well as an appreciation for Serfs Up! Cole professes her love for Anna Calvi, whom she recently caught performing at St Luke’s in Glasgow. PJ Harvey is another important influence on her style alongside “strong female voices and guitar playing” in general. Cole currently performs with a loop pedal live in order to build her expansive soundscapes but would like to get an all-female band together in future. At the moment she’s struggling to fill in the drummer slot. Meanwhile, she’s just come from a rehearsal to take on the role of substitute guitarist for Edinburgh punk outfit, Spine: “I knew the singer and the bass player from the Edinburgh scene and they asked me if I wanted to have a jam with them and see what happens,” she says.
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