The Up and Comers: Shooting Stansfield

Photo credit: Craig Robertson

Photo credit: Craig Robertson

Edinburgh based indie-folk band, Shooting Stansfield, came around when Stewart Douglas (vocals, guitar) and Stephen Whipp (backing vocals, lead guitar) were playing at an open mic and wanted to take their talent further. So, in late 2009, the two gathered their friends Craig Robertson (backing vocals, bass) and David Steel (drums and percussion) who had been playing in bands on and off since school and decided to make it happen.

“We wanted to write tunes that had sing-a-long potential without being crass or too overblown,”  Robertson said. “At the same time, we all prefer lyrics that have direction and meaning, and it is important to us to keep that element live in the music.”

Since their inception, the band’s main focus has been on writing and recording music, crafting their sound and trying to perfect playing live. To date, Shooting Stansfield have recorded three EPs, including Human Static in 2010 and Endeavour in 2011, which they feel has helped develop and progress their sound. With plays on the radio worldwide and their title track from Endeavour on an independent film soundtrack, I would have to agree with them.

On June 7, the band will be releasing their third EP We Know Not What We Do.

Photo credit: Craig Robertson

Photo credit: Craig Robertson

I had the opportunity to listen to the album in advance of the release and I must say that I really enjoyed it.

Just over 20 minutes long, We Know Not What We Do is the perfect mix of slightly dancey/upbeat songs with a few slower songs that are easy to sway to (which was what I was doing while listening and working on some arts and crafts). Not to mention that Douglas’s vocals are amazing, and I’m not just saying that because I love accents. But his accent does add something to the album. Sometimes singers have an accent, but you can’t tell when they’re singing, so I really like that Douglas’s Scottish accent is noticeable.

Favorite song: “Blue Turns Black – We Know Not What We Do”, not to be confused with “Sign of the Times – We Know Not What We Do”, is the first song on the EP and insanely catchy, which is probably one reason I love it so much. I could listen to it once and have it stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Not only that, but I also feel inspired by the lyrics:

Stand tall and find the strength to carry on…

…Stand out from the crowd now

Like I described in a recent review, the song just makes me feel like I’m in a movie montage. It’s definitely a song I could put on repeat and listen to over and over again.

Least favorite song: I don’t know if you can call it a song, per say, because it’s only a few seconds long, so I guess I should say that my least favorite part about the EP is the sixth song, “State of Mind”, which is only a few seconds long. Not that it’s a bad song, because it’s not, I just think it is very awkwardly placed on the album. It comes in right after “There Are No Greater Truths” without so much as a pause. It wouldn’t be too bad if both songs were similar, but they aren’t. “There Are No Greater Truths” is a slower song, and then BAM! It ends and immediately goes into a heavier song. Doesn’t turn me off completely, just thought it was awkward.

However, besides that there’s really nothing bad I could say about the EP. So if you’re looking for a a great album to listen to, or even just need something to listen on a short car ride, I highly recommend taking a listen when the EP comes out (and, of course, checking out their other EPs).

With the release of We Know Not What We Do, Shooting Stansfield hopes to start some new ventures and expand their listeners.

“With the EP, we’re hoping to tour more heavily, with plans afoot for venturing out on tour immediately after the launch,” Steel said.

 For aspiring musicians, Steel advises:
Change for the sake of change is a risk we take. The more you put in, the more you get out. And it’s great when it’s going well.

Interested in hearing more Shooting Stansfield? Visit them on facebook, twitter, soundcloud, or on their website! Their EP We Know Not What We Do is available for digital pre-order at

Their next show will be their EP launch on Friday, June 7th, at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh, Scotland, so if you’re in the area go check them out!


If you or someone you know would like to be featured as an Up and Comer, please contact me at murphcas89(at)gmail(dot)com.

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