Inside the mind of Rantum Scantum

Bobby Nicholon and Eddy Hanson make up the Edinburgh based duet Rantum Scantum who have  been entertaining Edinburgh’s music enthusiast, for years, with songs about life in Fife and troubled romances.  The pair play regularly in bars around Edinburgh as a duet or as part of the band the Beau Nasties.

They now have a large following of fans who regularly turn up to their low key yet engaging performances. Rantum Scantum have recently recorded their fourth independently released album titled ‘It Wisnie Me’. iMPULSE went to meet the two men behind Rantum Scantum, for a chat about their work to date and hopes for the future.

When did you both start playing instruments?

Bobby: I taught myself guitar when I was around fourteen and I have been semi professional for around twenty years but I am full time now.

Eddy: I learned how to play Violin at school and only went back to it seven years later when I discovered The Royal Oak Bar in Edinburgh. After that I decided to go semi professional around six or seven years ago and I have managed to make a career out of it.

How did Rantum Scantum begin?

Bobby: Bad luck really. The bands we had been in previously had disintegrated. I had been in a band called Patsy Mac and Eddy had been in a band called The Prodigals. Because both of these bands split at the same time we were both available and we had been playing with each other informally for a while before that. So really Rantum Scantum evolved because of the break up of our two previous bands.

Who would say are your biggest influences musically?

Eddy: I love classical music so it would have to be Mozart. Because he is quite funny.

Bobby: I hate that question … I cant answer it … I guess it’s a bit of everything.

Were does the name Rantum Scantum come from?

Eddy: It comes from a collection of 18th century vulgarities called ‘The Scoundrels Dictionary’

Oh, is it too rude for you to tell us what it means?

Eddy: No, it means sex but I chose it because of the way Rantum Scantum sounds when you say it.

Where is your favorite place to play in Edinburgh?

Eddy: We do not really have a favourite place to play. It really depends on the crowd I think.

Bobby: Aye, but it is good to have all the right equipment like they have in the Jazz Bar.

What has been your biggest musical success so far?

Eddy: I think it would be producing and making our own original music. Because, unlike a lot of other artists playing around Edinburgh, we really try not to play the same unoriginal music over and over again.

Bobby: I mean how many times can one person listen to wild rover?

What performances do you have planned for the summer?

Bobby: We will be performing at all our normal slots at The Jazz Bar, The Scotsman’s Lounge and The Royal Oak but we will also be performing at The Poetry Fest in Portobello. The dates for this are still to be confirmed.

Are either of you involved in any other musical projects?

Bobby: We both play in a band called the Beau-Nasties.
The band used to be called The Roods but recently the band has went through a lot of musical changes. At the minute we are working towards improving the originality of the group and working on more material.
We have an album out with this band called ‘6674273’.

Would you say that your music is Celtic influenced?

Eddy: I wouldn’t class our music as Celtic. What we try to do is mix many different styles of music. But Bobby does write the songs and he is from Fife so the music will take some of its influence from that. I guess Celtic folk are just the most convenient genre to describe it as.

Who is your favorite Scottish Musician?

Bobby: Dick Gaughan

Eddy: If I had to pick one, I guess it would be Dougie MacLean

Currently you have 4 albums available, Are these self produced?

Eddy: All our CDs are produced by ourselves, At Colour Sound Studios. That must make us an indie band (laughs).

Bobby: We just recorded our must recent album at Color Sound Studios. Its called ‘It wisnae me’.

You can see Rantum Scantum performing every Friday at the Scotsman’s lounge.
They can also be found on its MySpace page.

Words by Oonagh Brown
Photography by Lisa Galli


One response

2 07 2010
John Aitchison

Good to hear the lads have still got it ! I used to play fiddle in the roods back in the day .

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