Calamateur is the moniker under which Scottish singer-songwriter and producer Andrew Howie performs and records. He has been writing, recording and releasing his own music since 2000, when John Peel played his debut single. He has also researched the impact of musicians playing House Concerts.
Andrew has released fifteen brilliantly diverse collections of songs, spanning genres from lo-fi acoustic pop to ambient electronica and glitchcore. Howie’s releases include the critically acclaimed Son of Everyone EP and his 2009 part-covers album Jesus is for Losers.
His latest album, The Quiet in the Land is an unsettling, visceral and largely electronic exploration of doubt, anger and confusion.
Seeing Calamateur live, though, is a very different experience — armed with just an acoustic guitar, a box of effects and his fractured, emotive voice, Andrew has recently opened for Admiral Fallow and Joy Kills Sorrow. He has also been playing house concerts in the homes of his fans. Andrew has collaborated with Jo Mango and Steve Lawson, remixed tracks for Iain Morrison, soundtracked two short films and is also part of new Scottish collective The Grand Gestures, which is led by Spare Snare’s Jan Burnett and also features Emma Pollock and Still Game’s Sanjeev Kohli.
The opening song of his acoustic 2010 album Each Dirty Letter was recently used in the BBC3 drama Lip Service.
Photo: Graeme Ogston
During the final year of a music degree course, I was asked to write an independent research paper on a topic of my choice. Rather than write an essay purely for the sake of a good mark, on a topic that had already been written about many times before, I was keen to explore a contemporary issue directly relevant to independent musicians, one which genuinely interested me - house concerts.