Friday, 24 May 2013
Returning again to colour the summer months with music is Summer Nights, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut's annual run of gigs during July, and it's packed with some enticing line-ups. Particular Scottish Fiction favourites already are the singer-songwriter love in on 25th July, with Michael Cassidy headlining, Fake Major, Campfires In Winter and Kevin Harper make the gig on 29th July unmissable, and there's an electro-pop stramash on 30th July where you can see Prides. There's also some 'TBC' spots to be filled so things can always get more exciting!
And some joker called Scottish Fiction is doing a Bar DJ set on 24th July. Sounds ominous.
Full line up is below, and tickets are already available here.
Thursday 18th July - The Recovery! + Press To Meco + Bear Arms + Shores Of Attica *over 14s
Bar DJ: Diamond and Anchor /// Midnight Guest: What The Blood Revealed
Friday 19th July - Sunshine Social + Cherri Fosphate + Johnny Jack + Tujuana Bibles
Bar DJ: Last Year's Girl /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Saturday 20th July - TeKlo + Roman Nose + The Mighty Cream + Darc
Bar DJ: Milk /// Midnight Guest: Temazo
Sunday 21st July - Alarm Bells + Axes + Vasa + Below Bellow
Bar DJ: TBC/// Midnight Guest: Carnivores
Monday 22nd July - Taffy + The Modests + The Clock
Bar DJ: TYCI /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Tuesday 24rd July - Sienna + The Youth and the Young + Critters
Bar DJ: Scottish Fiction /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Wednesday 24th July - So Many Animal Calls + Wolves at Heart + Baltimore League *over 14's
Bar DJ: Fish In A Sub /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Thursday 25th July - Michael Cassidy + Sam Fender + Little Fire + Ryan Joseph Burns
Bar DJ: Pop Cop /// Midnight Guest: Honeyblood
Friday 26th July - The OK Social Club + A Plastic Rose + Model Jet Pilot + Huevo and the Giant
Bar DJ: TBC /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Saturday 27th July - SOS + The Little Illusions + The Moon Kids + The Holy Ghosts
Bar DJ: TBC /// Midnight Guest: Father Sculptor
Sunday 28th July - Departures + Salo + Owls In Antarctica
Bar DJ: TBC /// Midnight Guest: Citagazi
Monday 29th July - Fake Major + Campfires In Winter + Kevin Harper
Bar DJ: Scottish Scribbler /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Tuesday 30th July - Prides + Discopolis + Plum
Bar DJ: Fantastic Man /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Wednesday 31st July - Waiting For Go + + The Streams + Model Aeroplanes + Redolent *over 14s Bar
DJ: Tenement TV /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Thursday 1st August - Arches + Finding Albert + Minor Delilah
Bar DJ: Tenement TV /// Midnight Guest: TBC
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
"I want as many people as possible to hear about as many of these albums as possible ... so getting a plug from artists with their following would be a real bonus." The words of SAY Awards organiser Stewart Henderson when speaking with The Pop Cop upon the unveiling of The SAY Award 2012 long list. The artists he is referring to are global stars Emeli Sande and Calvin Harris, both of whom have an album, 'Our Version Of Events' and '18 Months' respectively, nominated for the overall prize of £20,000 and honour of being crowned the best Scottish album of 2012.
Stewart does go on to state that any decision to plug the awards is the choice of the artist, a very diplomatic statement indeed. Yet I think it's fair to say that Stewart, along with those who support, fund and organise the awards, were hoping for some positive coverage and some acknowledgement from two of pop musics biggest stars. Indeed I commented on a previous Scottish Fiction radio show, that were even a fraction of Calvin Harris' and Emeli Sande's fanbase to discover some of the other artists on the long list simply through curiosity of what the awards are all about, it would be a major success for promoting Scottish music.
For that to happen though, the two artists in question would need to mention it to their fans.
Now I'm willing to be corrected on this, but after spending some considerable time trawling through both artists Facebook, Twitter and official websites, there's not a single mention from either, or their management/PR, that their albums have been included for this award.
Perhaps they don't like to boast? Modesty, after all can be very becoming of a music superstar. Yet with mentions of Ivor Novello success from both, plus endless plugs regarding recent Brit Awards won (Sande) and the amount of number ones from the album (Harris), it appears that's not the case.
Could it perhaps be, that both artists, either intentionally or otherwise, don't see this as something important enough to devote even a Facebook or Twitter post to? Again, the publicity that the awards could gain out of it is huge. Calvin Harris' Facebook account has 2.25 million 'Likes', and his Twitter account has 2.3 million followers. Emeli Sande clocks in at a very impressive 816,000 Facebook 'Likes' and 991,000 followers on Twitter. Given that there's bound to be a high amount of crossover between the artists Facebook and Twitter fans, plus shared fans too, you'd be looking at potentially 3 million plus people WORLDWIDE seeing a post, perhaps with link to the website, acknowledging The SAY Award nomination. Considering that the next biggest online fanbase for any of the remaining 18 artists is Django Django, who have 81,000 Facebook 'Likes' and 21,000 Twitter followers, this should illustrate how small some of the other artists, all of whom as far as I can tell have mentioned the awards, are.
Now clearly neither Sande or Harris need £20,000. Nor are they I imagine particularly bothered about whether they can add SAY Award winner to the list of accolades both albums already have. (Although the cynic in me thinks should either win, they won't be shy in letting people know). And further to that I don't think either album will win, or is expected to win. Quite frankly there are much better albums on the long list, and I wouldn't be surprised to see both dropped from the final shortlist of 10. (The public vote may decide otherwise.) What is disappointing is that neither have taken the slightest opportunity to acknowledge the nomination or promote grass roots music in the country they have their roots in.
It's a sad affair, and perhaps highlights all too well, the problems facing Scottish musicians as a whole. Outside of our very supportive own bubble of labels, funding bodies, blogs, press, and DJ's, hardly anyone cares. And when those from within do become big enough for people to care about, they seem to adopt the same attitude. Ah well, while Emeli tweets from LA, and Calvin Instagrams from London, I'll be happy to shake the hands of RM Hubbert, Julian Corrie, Dave Hook a.k.a Solareye, Philip, Matt and Josh from PAWS, Louis Abbot from Admiral Fallow. They, and their fellow musicians who struggle against a London-centric industry, yet still create such varied and wonderful music and art are the real heroes of Scottish music.
Monday, 20 May 2013
This Saturday, Lloyd, Jim and I gather once more for a blogger's gig, which this time round will be in Broadcast on Sauchiehall Street.
It'd be really good of you to come along, and as well as giving the three of us a feel good glow, you'll also let yourself be treated to these delights!
Colin's Godson are an entity all on to themselves. Fabulous fun, great sense of humour and not bad at the old music malarky either.
Garden Of Elks released a new EP. Today. It's so good that Fleetwood Mac are ripping it off. Saturday's gig is the official launching of said EP, and you can buy it straight from their hands.
The last gig The Spook School played a Scottish Fiction gig they sported some rather fetching football tops. Maybe they'll do that again on Saturday. You'll only know if you come along. One thing they'll definety do is play quirky, C86 styled jangly pop. Lots of it.
Tickets are £6 and available online here or purchased at the door. Doors are from 8pm.
Incidently you can also grab a bundle ticket package for this gig and our June gig right here.
Returning for its fifth year in Glasgow, Stag & Dagger 2013 boasted all the bravado and swagger of a really well run festival that knows how to have a good time. Perhaps there wasn’t the same calibre of international artists, which have played in previous years, (think Warpaint, White Denim, Milk Music) but don’t let that fool you into thinking the standards were anything other than outstanding.
As usual the festival spread its wares out over multiple venues in the city centre, and with the owners of the now defunct Captain’s Rest moving to the recently opened Broadcast, you could easily have re-branded the day ‘The Sauchiehall Street Festival’. Along side Broadcast, it’s neighbours Nice N Sleazy’s, The Art School, ABC1 & 2 and CCA, the Renfield Lane based Stereo completed the venue line up. Big tick for saving me walking great distances. Shame about the rain though.
Opening up proceedings at the ABC2 were the endearing Kitty The Lion, who drew an impressive crowd eager to check out their brass laden set. At the core of Kitty’s appeal is the feel good folk music that is given a pop reboot, creating insanely catchy melodies and leaving the crowd warmed in spirit and momentarily forgetting the dreich downpour outside.
With a bit of downtime before Fake Major took to the stage at the CCA, and with no desire to go back outside, there was time to check out South Londoners Filthy Boy. It’s a tell-tale sign of my ageing that the first, and lasting, thought I had was how young these lads looked. Lead singer Paraic Morrissey, growled Nick Cave baked vocals, whilst the band strained at the leash, treading that line between keeping in check the dark ‘60’s rock and roll vibe and the feeling that at any point they were going to let loose in a orgy of noise.
Over in the cultured setting of the CCA, Fake Major, duo Richard Ferguson and David McGinty were justifying just why they had been named on the 16 strong list for this year’s T-Break stage at T in the Park. Their PR material bills them as a four armed singer-songwriter, and it’s the most apt description one can give when trying to explain how linked and connected their performance is. Every string strummed, every harmony sung, is completely synced and complements the other perfectly. My companion for the evening remarked they possessed the kind of musical synchronicity last seen by a certain Messrs Simon and Garfunkel. New tracks, such as ‘Little Researcher’, sit side by side with Endor favourites such as ‘Chapel Doors’. “I said I loved you and isn’t that enough?” muse the duo on the latter of those tracks, displaying the kind of emotional yearning that sweep the crowd along, hanging on each and every word.
‘Technical difficulties’ meant a much latter than billed stage time for electro-pop trio Prides at The Art School. Hopefully that didn’t lead to people missing them as along with Fake Major, they were the undoubted standouts of the day. It’s not often that a band comes along and so early on is able to deliver a complete package. Live show, tightly worked instrumentation, and blistering vocal delivery wrapped up in so much heart and belief, it was impossible not to be in awe. Now some will rightly point out that Prides are themselves a rebirth of the band Midnight Lion, so technically aren’t brand new. Fair enough, but with this being only their third live set, and with most of the packed venue singing back the choral hooks of set closure ‘Out Of The Blue’, it’s evident that Prides have gone about things in the right way. With a tip from CHVRCHES, and airplay across several BBC Radio One shows already, (plus a certain community radio station too), you’ll be hearing a lot more of their striking drums, shimmering synths and anthemic electronica.
Returning to the venue they headlined back in December 2011, and also back in 2010 as part of that year’s Stag & Dagger festival, We Were Promised Jetpacks strode onto the stage at ABC1 hell bent on enjoying themselves. I’ve seen the band four times previously, witnessing their always impressive live set grow in stature. With no new material since last 2011’s sophomore effort ‘In The Pit Of The Stomach’ their set consisted of fan favourites played with unyielding fury and intensity. Mixing nerve-endingly raw emotions with maxed up guitars, it’s the perfect end to what has been a wonderful opportunity to revel in what Scotland does best. Music.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Having spent much of 2012 rehearsing, gigging and honing their sound, 2013 has seen Luca kick on from that point with the release of a mini album, 'Sectioned' showcasing a fine tuned alternative/post-punk sound. I grabbed the a quick chat with the Glasgow four piece. Have a read below.
Hello, how are you?
We're very well, thank you.
It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?
We make music that we would want to hear, taking little bits of inspiration from everywhere. We're big fans of bands like Brand New, Interpol and The Twilight Sad, they're probably amongst the biggest indicators of our sound. We try not to narrow ourselves to alt rock inspirations, everyone loves a meaty riff or a great synth line so we'll probably experiment with different sounds soon as well.
What's your song writing process like?
It's a nightmare a lot of the time! Often one person will start with a small part, a chord progression or riff, and then we just go from there and add in parts until we're satisfied. Unfortunately with us, that can take an awful long time. Other times everything will come together extremely quickly. We've had songs done in a week and then songs still sitting about unfinished months later, but we get there in the end.
What could we expect to see from a live show?
We try to create an atmosphere that matches our music, punctuated with flurries of activity. We're not big talkers on stage, really. We'd rather play an extra song than have 4 or 5 minutes of banter, let our music do the talking for us.
If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?
Finally releasing our mini album after it being a year in the making was a great feeling. To actually have a physical product out there (along with our 3 video story arc) that we can all be proud of and show off to people feels great.
What have you got planned for 2013?
Our mini album 'Sectioned' came out on May 1st and we played a few dates around that around the country. Next up for us is supporting Chapel Club on June 4th in The Art School and then continuing work on new material. We have other things lined up as well, but we've been sworn to secrecy so that's as much as I can say.
What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?
We all love Childish Gambino, anything Donald Glover is involved in is just fantastic. In terms of newer bands, Mono Six, Blindfolds and the Cairn String Quartet are all Scottish acts to look out for and New York's MS MR have really caught our ear too.
Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?
Q: How do you turn a duck into a soul singer?
A: Put it in the microwave until it's Bill Withers
Check out more from Luca
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There's something quite special about seeing a band progress from that giddy stage of writing and recording songs and instantly sticking them up on Bandcamp for people to hear, to the precise and calculated move of recording their début album. We're Only Afraid Of NYC have made that step, and after four EP's worth of material, the are releasing their album 'Patterns' on 24th May. Leading the charge for that album is 'Blood'. Emphatic alternative rock, the blowout towards the end of the track is up there with anything Biffy have written. Head-bangingly good.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Cue industry bitching, sniping, and moaning, side by side with actual anticipation to what is generally the best stage at T In The Park. Yes folks it's the T-Break stage!
The 16 acts playing across the stage on Saturday and Sunday at this year's 20th T In The Park have been announced. Further details regarding day splits and times will be announced in due time, right now, let's just salivate at the prospect of some good music on the T bill.
My tuppence worth... Machines In Heaven and Poor Things are two of the most exciting bands about, Vasa, and Honeyblood will rip your ears and hearts open with wonderful noise, Hector Bizerck are making some of Scotland's finest hip-hop beats and Michael Cassidy and Fake Major are not to be missed for some brilliantly crafted indie with folk leanings.
Machines In Heaven
The Velveteen Saints
Waiting For Go