Tuesday, 31 May 2011

What I Did Instead Of A Gig Review

Saturday night I was planning on going to United Fruit's album launch at Bloc. However, best laid plans did go array and my lovely wife (grovel grovel) wanted to go home instead. So no gig review on Saturday night.

Did Sunday go any better? Not 100% as due to extreme lack of funding I had to forgo Penguins Kill Polar Bears gig at The Captain's Rest. Not wanted to be undone by something as inconvenient as an empty wallet, I headed along to Brel to hear the dulcet tones of Louis Abbot (he of Admiral Fallow fame) playing a selection of cover versions. It is somewhat unfair to review what is essentially karaoke, so I won't, but it was a fine selection of songs including Fleetwood Mac's Everywhere, Bob Dylan's Mama You've Been On My Mind, and my personal favourite Bruce Springstein's Dancing In The Dark.

Louis Abbot's vocal's are always good, and Abbot preserved through 'popping' guitar noises, to entertain us with moral tales of seagulls, flashing polka dot socks, and recommending Duvel Green beer. The only thing missing was Courtney Cox being pulled up on stage. Sigh...

Local Breakout - 30th May 2011

This week's Local Breakout artist was Glasgow's The Paul McKenna Band. Already big on the traditional and folk scene, they won Best Up & Coming Act at 2009's Scot's Trad Music Awards, they have a new album out. Called Stem The Tide you can hear some of their music on their Myspace page.

Check them out on Facebook as well for news in the social networking format!

The song that we played on the show was taken from their first album, Between Two Worlds, which received very positive reviews all round, and it's called Dancing In The Dark. Here's a live version to keep you entertained!

Monday, 30 May 2011

...And Now For Something Completely Different - 30th May 2011

It would have took a lot to top last week's choice so I went in a completely (pun fully intended) direction. So on this week's Modern Fiction show on Pulse Community Radio I chose Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World as this week's '...And Now For Something Completely Different'. Lovely song, which sadly never seems to become irrelevant, as it longs for a better future, 'I hear babies cry, I watch them grow, they'll learn much more, than I'll ever know.'

The song always reminds me of the feature Next Lines on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, (back when it was good) and Bill Bailey's vision of clouds of black!

Anyway, have a listen and chill out, if only for 2 minutes and 19 secs.

What's On?

There's something momentous about this post. I'm not quite sure what, but I reckon if I keep going with it, I'll remember. 'What's On' is basically my weekly gig guide for Glasgow and surrounding areas. I'll always try to provide as comprehensive a list as I can, but due to time/resources some things may slip past me. If you know of or are participating in an event which you think should be included, then let me know! What's on, you ask? Well, let me tell you, a bloody lot, and it makes me wish I wasn't skint.

Monday 30th May

Moved from original venue The Garage, to King Tut's Wah Wah Hut (to give it it's full name) Hellogoodbye are playing with support from The Dangerous Summer and Gold Motel. Tickets are £12.50 and doors are at 8:30pm.

Lo-Fi alt rocker Jad Fair plays Stereo with support from Gilles Rieder and Phat Trophies. Tickets are £8.50, doors at 7pm.

Tuesday 31st May

Laki Mera launch their new album 'The Proximity Effect' in Admiral with support from grnr. Entry is free and doors are at 8pm.

Beerjacket play Bloc along with Reverieme. Entry is free and doors are at 9pm.

Ricky Egan, a.k.a. Tangles plays a free gig in Mono at 8pm.

Broken Social Scene's Jason Collett plays The Captain's Rest. Tickets are £9 and doors are at 8pm. 

Wednesday 1st June

Bloc host Trapped In Kanas along with JKLMNO. Entry is free and doors are at 9pm.

Head along to Buff Club for a trio of acts. The Barents Sea are up first, followed by Medicine Hat, and headlining are The Fiction. As far as I know, entry is free, but as I can't confirm this, have some pennies in your pockets just to be safe. Doors from 9pm.

Ross Leighton (he of Fatherson fame) is playing along with Scarlet Shift and Kaskrute at Nice 'N' Sleazy. Entry is £3 and doors are from 7:30pm

Indie trio The Subways are playing at Stereo along with Young Aviators to mark the opening of Glasgow's new Gio-Goi store. Head over here for a chance to win tickets for this gig. Doors at 7:30pm.

Playing at 13th Note is Chris T-T on his 'Words Fail Me' tour. Support comes from Hordes of Unstoppable SkeletonsRoscoe Vacant and The Gantin' Screichs. Tickets are £5 and doors are at 8:30pm.

Thursday 2nd June

Head down to The Black Sparrow for a trio of free music provided by Kerrie Lynch, Tragic O'Hara and Neilston's very own The Lonely Boy. Doors from 8pm.

Playing in Classic Grand is Kate McGill with Mike Dignam if acoustic-y music is your bag. Tickets are £6 and doors are at 6pm.

Charles Hayward is playing at CCA with support from Capillary Action and the wonderful RM Hubbert. Tickets are £6 and doors are at 7pm.

Oran-Mor  plays host to James Blake supported by Cloud Boat. Tickets are £10, doors at 7pm.

Peenko Presents: The Mad Hatter's Tea Party is in the Hidden Lane Cafe. You can catch Randolp's Leap playing with I Build Collapsable Mountains and Daniel G. Harman. Tickets are £5 and doors are from 7pm

Friday 3rd June

Brel host Captain And The Kings supported by Endor playing an acoustic set, as part of the West End Festival (more about this later in the week hopefully). Tickets are £5 and doors are at 8pm.

Phosphorescent  is playing in Stereo. Tickets are £10 and doors are at 7pm.

Another West End Festival gig, this time at The Captain's Rest. Check out Julian Lynch, Ducktails (ah woo ooh?) and Big Troubles for £7 with the doors at 8pm.

The band with one of the best names in music, Dananananaykroyd play Ivy with support from Bloc Party's bassist Gordon Moakes new band Young Legionnaire and Bronto Skylift. Tickets are sold out, but if you want to chance your arm on the door, be there for 7:30pm.

Over The Wall and The John Knox Sex Club play in Nice 'N' Sleazy. Tickets for £5, doors at 7pm.

Another West End Festival gig, Glasgow singer-songwriter Tommy Reilly plays Oran-Mor. Tickets for £11.50 and doors are at 7pm.

Saturday 4th June

For AbelTragic City ThievesHow Garbo Died and Brendan Cambell all play 13th Note. Tickets £tbc, doors are at 8pm.

As part of the West End Festival, the lovely Woodenbox With A Fistful Of Fivers play the Oran-Mor. Also playing are White Heath, who are promoting their new album, French Wives and Miniature Dinosaurs. Tickets are £6 and doors are at 6:30pm.

Blind Watchmakers  are playing O2 ABC with support from Ocean House, Heretics and Chasing Amy. Tickets are £6 and doors are at 6pm.

Promoting a new album, is Benjamin Francis Leftwich and to do this, he is playing Classic Grand. Tickets are £8 and doors are at 7pm.

Releasing a new EP are The Lava Experiments, who play The Captain's Rest along with Organs Of Love. Tickets are £5 and doors are at 8:30pm.

Song Of Return are playing The Arches. Tickets are £4 and doors are at 6pm.

Sunday 5th June

A special show for the West End Festival, Fence Records, The Fench Collective play Oran-Mor. Line up will be announced once tickets have sold out, so go on put us all out of our misery and buy a ticket for only £12. Doors from 5pm.

Oh aye, it's my first ever 'What's On' post. That's momentous surely?

Friday, 27 May 2011

Super Vinyl Adventure Club

I blame Nick Hornby. Ever since I saw Jack Black goofing around as a record shop assistant, something hooked me. It's got worse over time, and now to the extend that I simply don't buy CD's anymore. My music buying experience, and I do mean experience, these days usually consists of an after work trip to one of Glasgow's fine record stores. Here's how I got on this week.


Without really thinking about it, I alighted from the train at Argyle Street and headed for Monorail Music. Nested away in Kings Court just round the corner from the 13th Note, it's my favourite record shop in the city. As always the selection is truly eclectic and browsing through the racks always throws something unsuspected. As I got there ten minutes before closing time, my browsing time was severely limited. As for the staff, they are always friendly, though in this instance, my bantering was limited due to them wanting me the fuck out so they can get home! Can't blame them really! I did get a badge, which I have coveted for a while so all in all, I'm happy!


As I said, I was limited for time. Not really knowing what I was looking for didn't really help either. Plus money was tight, so that put a few things beyond my reach for this week at least. Starting with the 'New Arrivals' rack I found Arctic Monkey's new single Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair on 10". Not due to be officially released until Monday 30th, this is a bonus. It's an absolute belter of a song as well. Took me a few listens to get hooked, but the grungy feel of this track gets a big thumbs up from me. And I'm also a bit of a collector, and I have every previous Arctic Monkey's release on vinyl, so I took this.

Next up was Glasgow's own The Seventeenth Century and their second EP Part II, released on 2nd May on 10". Firstly it gets a big brucey bonus for having free mp3 download codes. This in my opinion is the way forward for all physical releases, if bands/labels want customers to buy singles/EP's/LP's. Vinyl is making a comeback, but the one drawback for a lot of people is the difficulty, and loss of quality, to transfer vinyl to mp3. Including free mp3 codes with vinyl releases gives customers the best of both worlds. As for the music,
Banks Of Home is the opening track, and best on the EP. Haunting and atmospheric, you can stream it here.

The glares of a shopkeeper who wants to close on time, limited me to my browsing, meaning I never got past the 'C' rack. However, this has it's benefits as it led me to buy Caribou's latest LP Swim. Released back in April last year, I never picked up on it, and I'm glad I have now. An electronic album with heavy influences from techno music, it's a gem of an album, and no surprise it made many 'Best Of' lists for last year. Have a listen to Odessa and get lost in the swooping samples and basslines.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Scottish Fiction Playlist - Monday 23rd May

Here's the playlist from Monday night's Modern Fiction show on Pulse 98.4 FM. Check out the links to hear the individual songs. The last hour of the show was a Bob Dylan theme, in celebration of his 70th birthday today. Check out the songs selected for that here.

Blur - Out Of Time
Battles - Ice Cream
Aberfeldy - Heliopolis By Night
The Scruffs - Lucifer's
Teenage Fanclub - Sometimes I Don't Need To Believe In Anything
Miaoux Miaoux - Snow
I See Shapes - Search Party
Errors - Magna Encarta
The Dodos - Black Night
ABBA - The Winner Takes It All

Want to here the whole show again? Listen here:

Forever Young - Dylan at 70

So on last night's show I had a Dylan themed hour, playing some of my favourite Bob Dylan tracks. This was always going to be a hard task, especially when Hurricane and Visions Of Johanna both rumble on a bit (that's uncalled for I know). However, I feel I managed to squeeze as many tracks into the hour as possible. Here's what was played:

Vision Of Johanna - From Blonde On Blonde released in 1966, hear Dylan longing for his ideal Johanna, whilst at the same time being with another woman Louise. Poetry at it's best. Here it on scratchy vinyl here

Tangled Up In Blue - From Blood On The Tracks released in 1975, the song has no clear definition of time, as  the story is told in a mixed up, random occuring events. Live, Dylan often improvises and changes the lyrics further enhancing the effect. Watch it here

Forever Young - From Planet Waves released in 1974, it first appeared in two parts, Forever Young and Forever Young (Continued). It epitomises the spirit of Dylan.

Blowin' In The Wind - From The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan released in 1963. How many roads must a man walk down? Never one to give direct answers, Dylan presents his ambigiously teasing answer. A song which embodies a time and generation like no other. See it here

Like A Rolling Stone - From Highway 61 Revisited released in 1965, it still sends shivers down my spine each time I hear it. Perhaps unsurprisingly placed at #1 in Rolling Stones' '500 Greatest Songs Of All Time' (how much did Dylan charge for the name?) Hear the original mono vinyl pressing here

I Want You - Taken from the Blonde On Blonde album, the subject matter is supposedly about Brian Jones' girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Lovely song regardless.

The Times They Are a-Changing - From the album of the same name released in 1964, another song which is synonymous with the protest moving of the love generation in the '60's. Always used to represent change from one generation to another, hear it here in the opening sequence of the fantastic Watchmen.

Hurricane - From Desire released in 1976, Dylan goes back to his topical ballad roots, telling the story of the boxer Rubin Carter, and highlighting the institutional racism which resulted in Carters wrongful conviction.

Highway 61 Revisited - Taken from the album of the same name, it's got the best opening line of a song. Ever. Have a listen to PJ Harvey covering it here

Mr Tambourine Man - From Bringing It All Back Home released in 1965, it's the song that changed the way The Beatles wrote music. Listen to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds for the proof. Lyrically it is just beautiful, hear it live here

Monday, 23 May 2011

Local Breakout - 23rd May 2011

This week's Local Breakout artist was Barrhead and Neilston five piece The Scruffs. They've been on the go for years, but the current line-up has been together for over a year now, and is churning out some pretty solid tunes.

The track we played was called Lucifer's, and you can here on their Myspace page (link above). Also check out their Facebook page for news and information about the band.

Rock on!

...And Now For Something Completely Different - 23rd May 2011

I've been sitting on this one for week's now. Honestly I couldn't wait to play it! In case you don't know, every week on my show on Pulse Community Radio 98,4 FM I have a feature called '...And Now For Something Completely Different' (Yes, it's a Python rip-off, I know!) And basically, it's my excuse to play a random song in amongst new alternative and indie music from Scotland and beyond.

This week's song was a belter. The Winner Takes It All by Swedish sensations ABBA. I feel no shame in admitting I love this song. Musically I can't imagine how it could be better. And lyrically it is just an outpouring of emotion, not bettered since Double Rainbow.

Watch it below, and join the love. You won't regret it. Well you might, but that's your problem.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

I See [Dead] Shapes

Yesterday I discovered something that upset me. No no, it wasn't that Ryan Giggs pumped Imogen, but that Greenock based alt/indie rockers I See Shapes have called it a day. Work commitments took guitarist Deeney down to Blackpool and thus the band bowed out with their last gig back in December.

They certainly had a good run at it, having been on the go for as long as I can remember, and reached a good degree of prominence within the circles of the Scottish music scene. They posted tracks from their debut EP on their Facebook page (link above), and who knows what the future may hold.

And So It Begins...

So I'm branching out and staking my claim in the already overcrowded world of blogs. It was inevitable really. And I guess here's where I'm supposed to welcome you, dear reader, and entice you to stay with lots of shiny things. What can I say, it'll be a grower!

Basically this blog is aimed to run in tandem with my show on Pulse Community Radio 98.4 FM, and I'll aim to post reviews of singles/EP's/LP's/gigs/etc. as often as I can. This is an often thankless and time consuming task, so bear with me!