Saturday, 30 June 2012

Scottish Fiction June 2012 EP

This month's EP is our twevlth FREE monthly EP.  Who'd have thunked it!  To help us celebrate this month, we've got tracks from our 'We're Only Here For The Banter' friends, The Seven Deadly Sins, Mad Nurse, Make Sparks and Aaron Wright.  Stream the EP below and download it for FREE!  Feel free to share it around and to dig into our archives as well!

The Seven Deadly Sins
Mad Nurse
Make Sparks
Aaron Wright


Scottish Fiction Podcast - 27th June 2012

The seemingly shy chap above is the lovely Adam Ross from Randolph's Leap, who was my guest on this week's show.  Bringing with him a treasure trove of tracks to play, and also playing three live tracks, we chatted about Randolph's Leap and Scottish music in general.  Oh and Lloyd of Peenko / Olive Grove Records also pipped in now and again!

And if that wasn't enough we still had a plethora of new Scottish music from the likes of Rick Redbeard, Adam Stafford, Withered Hand, Battery Face and more!  Check it out!

George Harrison - Awaiting On You All

Adam Ross (Randolph's Leap) - Man I Feel Rough (Live)

The Tammys - Egyptian Shumba

Adam Ross (Randolph's Leap) - Sober (Live)

Arleta - Tora Th' Anoxio Ta Ftera

Adam Ross (Randolph's Leap) - I Can't Dance To This Music Anymore (Live)

Michael Hurley - Be Kind To Me

The Mouse That Ate The Cat - I Am The Hottest Fire
Beerjacket - Cave
Supermarionation - Choosing My Religion
Saint Max - A Life Worth Living
Capitol 1212 - Good Feelin'
GUMS! - A Long Walk In The Rain
Battery Face - Pugsley
PAWS - The Hospital Song
Rick Redbeard - Now We're Dancing
Adam Stafford - Vanishing Tanks
Waiting For Go - Let You Go
Withered Hand - A New Case

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

RockNess - Photo's

At some point soon I promise there will be a review of Scotland's second biggest festival up on the blog, but for now here's some shabbily-taken-on-an-iPhone photo's.

Admiral Fallow, Friday, Main Stage

Noah And The Whale, Friday, Main Stage

The Rapture, Saturday, Main Stage

Guillemots, Saturday, Clash Arena

Errors, Sunday, Clash Arena

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Aaron Wright

Aaron Wright is an Edinburgh singer-songwriter currently signed to D-Set Records.  His debut album, 'Aaron Wright', was released earlier this year and is enjoying a fair amount of success both critical and commercial.  We caught up with the singer to pose our usual banter questions.  Have a read!

Hello, how are you?

Hello!  I'm ok thanks! Just gotten over the worst chest infection ever but manned up and got through in the end!

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

It's always a hard question to answer properly but I'll try my best...  I think my music is pop, but credible and clever pop with good strong melodies and interesting lyrics.  Maybe it's not pop though, depends on who you ask I suppose!  I have been told by credible sources that my songs are original, different and, maybe the best compliment of all, exciting.  As for my influences...  I take influence in lots of things, from wee adventures I've been on, or a particularly sad story or experience perhaps.  I usually realise after the song has been written what inspired or influenced it.  As for the sound of my music I take influence again in all different types of music and songwriters from Elliott Smith to Adam Green and Ron Sexsmith.  The list is endless.  Anything different and heart warming I suppose.

What's your song writing process like?

When an idea comes to me for a song I usually write it pretty fast and usually on guitar.  The melody is usually written first then words will usually pop into my head.  I only ever work out what a song is about after I've written it.  I've never sat down to write about something consciously.  That's something I should really do, maybe I'll come out with an entirely different kind of song!

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Playing live is incredibly important to me.  I play shows with my band and also play acoustic sometimes too, depending on how I feel.  I love the energy of playing with the band and hearing a crowded room sing my songs along with me.  When that happens I'm at my best.  If I'm honest I think a crowd makes a good live show, not always the act.  I don't really have a stage act or any of that so I definitely feed off an audience.  I always find our gigs intimate no matter how big the venue is or how big the crowd is.  I like to be involved with my fans during a show and always like a bit banter with them.  And sometimes it kicks off too!  That's always fun!

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is my album.  Although a lot of things come to mind, it has to be my album.  I'm proud of it and it has had incredible feedback, reviews and appreciation from people I think of as my heroes.  I suppose as it's my debut album so it'll always have a special wee place for me!

What have you got planned for the second half of 2012?

I'm going on tour with Paul Heaton in July to perform The 8th with the likes of Simon Aldred from Cherry Ghost, Kenny Anderson a.k.a. King Creosote and Jacqui Abbot.  That should be an exciting tour!  We performed it over a couple of days at the Manchester International Festival last year and it went down well so he's decided to tour it with us all.  I'm also playing King Tut's as part of the Summer Nights festival on the 18th of July and releasing 'Go On Yerself' at the end of July too.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

The Scottish music scene is great just now musically, however a lot of venues are closing down making it hard to get your music heard.  But with the help of YouTube, etc it's not devastatingly bad.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

The Scottish artists I've been getting into recently are mostly from Edinburgh, where I'm from.  I really like Matt Norris And The Moon and Caro Bridges new EP is excellent.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

A man walks into a library and says, "can I have a fish and chips please."  The woman at the counters says, "this is a library."  The man whispers back, "can I have fish and chips please".

Check out more from Aaron Wright

      Twitter       Website 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Battle Of The Bands

igger than Drago vs. Balboa.  More intellectual than Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov.  Iller than Biggie vs. 2Pac.  You ain't never seen brawling like this before!

It's the Battle Of The Bands... blog style!

In the red corner, weighing in at 140lbs, the man, the mystery, the Nuclear Knockout.. Kowalskiiiiiyyyy!  And in the blue corner, tipping the scales at... more than he cares to share... his finger's always on the Pulse, the Barrhead Bruiser... Scottisshhh Fiiiiictonnn!

A week tomorrow, that's Tuesday 3rd July for you calendarphobes out there, David of the ridiculously good Kowalskiy blog and I shall be going head to head in the historic and sacred battle ground that is... Top Trumps.

Here's the all important rules of play:

Each bandcard contains 6 attributes as shown above.  As you can see we've whittle up the above AWESOME example for demostration purposes.

Every fortnight, David and I will pick an artist who we think are simply the bees knees and we'll fill out our bandcards.  We then pick 3 attributes (first dibs alternates each month) and whoever has the highest wins the point.

For the total attribute, the winning condition is always the lowest.   So there will have to be some sort of strategy and a lot more gambling involved in this than you thought!

One point is awarded for each attribute won, and a half-point is awarded to both players in the result of a draw.  The winner is the person who has the most points after each attribute has been compared and points have been toted up.

The winner shall retain bragging rights until the next heat.

No kicking, scratching and/or pulling of hair.

What history shall come to know as the 'Slaughter Of The Kowal' begins on the 3rd of July.  Are you ready?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Single/EP Review - PAWS - Mislead Youth

Four letters all capitalised.  Synonymous with dogs, and also more recently cats.  Fat ones at that.  At present they represent one of the more promising and exciting musical prospect that Scotland has to offer.  PAWS are seemingly next in line to tread the path walked by current Fat Cat artists The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks and former prodigies Frightened Rabbit. 

Currently in the process of recording a debut LP with the Brighton based label, PAWS have also become one of the main proponents of the tapezine resurgence.  Through their own label CATH Records their have put out several tapes of their own material as well as releases from other, like minded artists.   Therefore it was no surprise that their latest EP ‘Misled Youth’, released 14th May, appears on a cassette, this time released through Fat Cat with an accompanying option of mp3 download. 

The Glasgow three piece are rightly one of the most talked about acts right now, and opening track ‘Bainz’ demonstrates exactly why they’ve been heralded in such a way.   Pure grunge pop, it’s reminiscent of American garage rock of the early ‘90’s.  Indeed play this to an unsuspecting listener and they think it’s an early Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Soundgarden demo. 

And it gets better, faster and louder, with ‘The Hospital Song’ bouncing in with catchy pop hooks underpinning raw scuzzy vocals from lead singer Phillip.  It’s great on record, and it’s even more furious and riotous live.  The band clearly have taken influences from further afield than bonny Scotland, as they are channelling the spirit of West Coast American pop-punk into dull, dreict Glasgow.   And that’s one of PAWS most redeeming features as against the backdrop of bands such as Admiral Fallow and The Seventeenth Century who make great use of strings, woodwind and brass, PAWS are simplistic to the rudimentary degree.

Need to catch your breath after that last burst of punk energy?  Well nestled in the middle of the EP is ‘Linus Van Pelt’ a sweet lo-fi gem that in amongst the roaring energy of this EP may just be the highlight.  To my ear it sounds a little like early R.E.M., melodic and a little introspective.  Considering that, bar ‘Bainz’, the tracks on this EP were written in under a week before recording, it shows PAWS maturity and ability to mine many sides of the influences which they draw from.  If this is the direction that some other forthcoming album tracks take, I will be most happy.

And inhale… Another sub 2 minute blitzkrieg pop-punk is fired straight at us with title track ‘Misled Youth’.  The track is almost over before you’ve finished your first pogo on the dance floor.  A whirlwind of fun and thrashy guitars, this is the PAWS we know and love!

Final track ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’ is another softer melody driven song, again suggesting a more mature sound and offering a glimpse at what the debut album could be like.  Saying that there’s still of lo-fi feedback and distorted vocals to keep the purists happy.  And just like that the EP is done.  Five tracks in 17 minutes. That’s what you call all killer, no filler!

The EP is out now and although physical copies are sold out you can still purchase the download for £2.99 here. Digitally you'll also find the album on iTunes and Amazon.

Check out more from PAWS

Facebook       Website

Thursday, 21 June 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Rachel Sermanni

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Rachel Sermanni.  Since first hearing her support Admiral Fallow back in 2010 as a timid songstress, I've been encapsulated by her voice and songs.  Last year I tipped her as an act to watch out for in 2012, and her debut EP 'Black Currents' which was released earlier this year did nothing to sway me from the opinion that she will become a bigger artist this year.  With an album, 'Under Mountains',  being released in the second half of 2012, we posed Rachel our usual questions.  Have a read below.

Hello, how are you?

Fine. Thank you.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

It is a difficult question to answer.  My music won't necessarily reflect my influences... but hey-ho.   I was brought up in the highlands of Scotland so partook in the feis (traditional music residentials) and joined a ceilidh trailing band in my senior school years.  I began writing and performing my stuff in secondary school but, when it comes to influences, I can only remember trying to keep up with whatever was cool on the radio.  I had musical friends who were always stretching their ears and listening to people who I didn't get moved by until much later on.  The boys in my class always encouraged me to listen to people like Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens and King Creosote.  I once tried to sit through a whole Bjork song.  But I couldn't.  I was inspired by their independent thinking but wasn't ready for their music, perhaps.  Only after leaving school did I find a resonance with these goodies and many more.  I wasn't moved by much other than the stuff you can move to... ken.  After school I was dropped into a big musical mixing pot and discovered a liking for all things a little darker.  I read more.  I would now state I get as much for my writing from words and poets and writers as music and musicians.  I keep discovering more people to be inspired by and more to be scared and challenged by.  I have a lot to learn.

What's your song writing process like?

I used to write late into the night in the safety of my bedroom; songs developed quickly.  Nowadays, nights are spent singing in places other than my bedroom, entertaining people.  I have to keep my imagination and fingers playing and I have to retain that sense of security wherever I go.  I carry many notebooks, sketchbooks, novels, stories and poetry books in my bag.  Musical ideas are becoming tricky to manifest.  Even when you're in a hotel room on your own, you're still aware the walls are thin and someone might be trying to sleep.  I think the process boils down to accumulating words and images, chords and structures and then developing an idea that feels like something truthful and present in me.  Then you have to find a space to finish it all off.  It takes time.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

I sing and play the guitar.  If it's quiet then you're in for more of a treat as I think I work better in those environments... although I do like a challenge.  You can expect me to say a couple ambiguous things that I didn't mean to offend by, and you can expect some silence in between songs as I like silences and settling into them.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

I am very proud of how things have gone.  I am very much in love with the friends I have met through all that has been.  One of my most favourite things was one of the first ever recordings that I did which was with my newly found friends in a bothy in a forest.  We called the unofficial EP 'The Bothy Sessions' and it renewed me in many ways.  It was all completely live, everything was imperfect and spontaneous and the night roared on with bagpipes and whisky and charcoal on faces and sunrise when the recording apparatus was finally switched off.  I have been so pleased with all the releases.  They have been a wonderful way to mark the progress.

What have you got planned for the second half of 2012?

This is the year of the debut album, 'Under Mountains'.  It will be released after the summer and will entail a large tour of both the UK and Europe.  I'll be touring solo for a good amount of it but sometimes will be joined by my good friends (I prefer to call them sisters) Laura Wilkie, Siobhan and Louise Bichan on the fiddles and Jennifer Austin on the piano.  It will be mad.  I am very excited.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as an artist view the Scottish music 'community'?

It is thriving and seems to get larger and more colourful with each year.  Everyone knows everyone.  Everyone helps everyone.  We are very well supported in many ways.  Got some great festivals, got a lot of focus from blogs like Scottish Fiction that keep us present online.  I feel a sense of pride when I read of fellow Scots when we're looking through festival booklets.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Admiral Fallow, Miss Irenie Rose, Eugene Twist, Red Kites, Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

Pressure. ... No I can't think of one!

Check out more from Rachel Sermanni

Facebook       Twitter      Website

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 20th June 2012

s you might guess from the picture above, this week's show has a little bit of focus on the SAY Award 2011 winning album 'Everything's Getting Older' by Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat.  There's also some chat about the award ceremony, talk of our Scottish Fiction Presents gig, a track from a Classic Scottish Album, a Peenko Friday Freebie and a brand new feature, 'Festival Focus' where we take a look at this year's Wickerman.  All this and music from Shambles Miller, Yaya Club, AMBULANCES, Campfires In Winter and more!

Make Sparks - Rewind
Yaya Club - An Ode To JJ
Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - (If You) Keep Me In Your Heart
The Last Battle - Hope Is Gold
Mad Nurse - Submissive

Classic Scottish Album - Aberfeldy - Summer's Gone - Young Forever

Queen Jane - All Together When We... (BARRIENTOS Remix)
Campfires In Winter - See Us There, Both
Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - The Copper Top

Peenko Friday Freebie - State Broadcasters - Trespassers

AMBULANCES - Sweetness

Festival Focus - Wickerman
Texas - I Don't Want A Lover
Holy Mountain - Kegs
Human Don't Be Angry - First Person Singular, Present Tense
Rachel Sermanni - Eggshells

Saint Death - 100 Times
I Build Collapsible Mountains - Sleeplesser
Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - The Greatest Story Ever Told
Shambles Miller - Confessions

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Make Sparks

ock trio Make Sparks have been doing rather well recently, with airplay on BBC 6Music and Kerrang radio.  'Rewind' was released as a debut single earlier this year and was preceeded by an EP, 'Part Of The Masquerade'.  The band are embarking on a summer tour across the UK, the dates are displayed on their website, so you can catch them at a venue near you next month. 

Hello, how are you?

I'm fantastic thanks, the sun is cracking the windows in the southside of Glasgow this week and everyone is walking about lobster pink and pissed.  What could be better!?

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

Our music is definitely guitar rock with a healthy dose of pop.  We love a chorus and if we can crow bar a couple of hooks in then we're laughing!

What's your song writing process like?

Long!  But also never exactly the same twice.  Adam (drums) and I write the majority of the songs separately then we all get together and tear them to pieces until our egos are in tatters and then we start all over again until we have something close to a good song.  Then we demo the track a few times in rehearsal until it's ready for the studio.  I guess that's a close enough outline to how we usually do it.  It helps also that we have a few very helpful and talented friends to engineer and mix when we write/demo.  They're also good for early feedback on what you're working on!

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Sweat.  And lots of it!  We're pretty obsessive in rehearsal working on harmonies and all the little twists and turns in each track so hopefully (if we're doing it right) at a live show you'd see us powering through our set and nailing every harmony and fill!

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

I think it would be different for each of us but for me, today anyway, I think I'd be proud that we have lasted this long and stuck to our guns about being musicians.  We've all been playing together in one way or another for 11 years which is amazing.  And we're only just getting started!

What have you got planned for the second half of 2012?

Festivals, singles, tours and recording an album.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

I get asked this a lot and my answer is usually the same.  I'm constantly surprised and inspired by the amount of great unsigned bands in Scotland.  And it sometimes blows my mind that they can be 17/18 and be as good as they are.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

So Many Animal Calls, Marvel Heights, Vukovi, LighthGuides, The Puppet State.

Check out more from Make Sparks

Facebook      Twitter      Website

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Mad Nurse

antering with us today are Edinburgh three-piece Mad Nurse, a band capable of loud noise, deathly thunder and brooding vocals in the post-rock mould.  They have got three songs currently on their Soundcloud page which is well worth your investigation, right after you've read what Colin from the band had to say when we posed our questions.

Hello, how are you?

Yeah very good.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

When I send e-mails to people saying what we sound like I usually say, "noisy-quiet-atmosperhic kinda outfit" so that will do!  Don't really have influences, we much prefer people telling us what they think we sound like.  We generally like Mogwai, Arab Strap, My Bloody Valentine, Interpol, The Twilight Sad, Boards Of Canada, Talk Talk, The Weeknd, Bonnie Prince Billy, Smog, Public Enemy, Led Zeppelin, Stars Of The Lid, Mark Kozelek, Animal Collective, Rock Of Travolta, Sonic Youth, Boo Radleys.

What's your song writing process like?

Generally I will write some songs and then bring them into rehearsal for us to shape and fix any dodgy parts.  Seems to be working so far!

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Three sweaty beasts on stage, face melting guitar, pounding frantic drumming and a bass that's tuned to guarantee you health problems later in life.  It's loud, fast and not very pretty.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

We've not had much achievements so far to be honest.  However we've been enjoying it greatly and it has never felt like a chore.  Hopefully that will continue and our greatest achievements are yet to come I'd say.

What have you got planned for the second half of 2012?

We have a few gigs this month (22nd June at Bannerman's) then hopefully a few Fringe shows.  We plan to record some new songs, hopefully sell some songs, break some of my effects, fix my amp.  This seems like a to do list..

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

Very healthy.  A lot of stuff is really good and much different from what the rest of the UK has to offer.  I wish some of these bands would get put to the forefront more than others.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

We just played the other night with Mummy Short Arms who are great.  Also another band called Royal Edinburgh Music who are fantastic.  Black International, His Name Is Codeine, PET, Capitals, Oceansfall, United Fruit, there is so many more I could mention but I want to stop and go home.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

Tom's sister's favourite joke:

How do you turn a duck into a soul singer?

Cook it in the oven until its Bill Withers.

Check out more from Mad Nurse

Facebook      Website


Monday, 18 June 2012

Scottish Fiction Presents - Pictures

Thanks very much to Steven for taking some pictures at the Scottish Fiction Presents Gig in The Captain's last Sunday.  Here's what you missed if you didn't make it.

Scottish Fiction - A Year In The Life

That's how the Scottish Fiction blog began a year ago*.  Hardly inspiring, yet I like to think over the past twelve months I've managed at least somewhat to offer some interesting features, slightly coherent reviews, and new enjoyable music to those hardy souls who have kept reading these interweb pages.

*It's actually over a year now, nearer 13 months.  Sue me!

The very first band I ever posted about were now (very) defunct I See Shapes which gives me a lovely opportunity to post this video and also encourage you to click on the above link to download their final EP for free.

I'm not one for sentimental markings of passing of arbitrary time (despite hosting a birthday radio show and a gig to celebrate one year of blogging...) but I thought I'd use this opportunity to look back on some of the better things that I've managed to do whilst under this auspicious rank of 'blogger'.  Here's our Scottish Fiction 'top moments'.

- Branching out further from the blog in July 2011 we put out the first Scottish Fiction EP comprised of Michael Cassidy, Night Noise Team, Adam Holmes And The Embers and Campfires In Winter.  We started with an absolute belter of a line up and things have continued along the same vein.  You can get all our previous EP for FREE right here.  This coming July will mark 12 EP's released and we've got summat special in the pipeline for this.  All will be revealed in due time, but trust me, it's gonna be huge.

- One of the most enjoyable and also nerve racking things about doing the live Scottish Fiction show has been welcoming guests onto the show.  Luckily all these shows are archived* meaning you can listen to them all again!  Whilst all have been great fun my personal favourites have been RM Hubbert, Where We Lay Our Heads and Beerjacket.  Hopefully we'll have many more in the future!

*I'm currently in the process of moving all our archived shows from Soundcloud to Mixcloud, so some may not be available at the time of reading.  Bear with me as this is both monotonous and time-consuming.

- Following on from the above, we had the very talented Michael Cassidy, Shambles Miller and Julia Doogan all in the studio for our first birthday show way back in January this year.  It was an absolute pleasure and remains a highlight of doing the radio show.  If you missed it, then listen back here.

- I've mentioned the Scottish Fiction EP's already, but December 2011's EP holds a special place, as we organised seven artists contributing a track each and raised £109 for Shelter.  Incredible to be able to both spread new music and help a worthy cause.

- Perhaps more importantly than anything has been the sheer education I've had in the amount of outstanding music about at the moment.  I considered myself well versed (why start a blog otherwise), but through doing this I've been introduced to more brilliant music than I could have imagined.  You'll find reviews and mentioned through the blog history, but this 'Best Of 2011' post probably sums up things quite well.

- One particular feature I've enjoyed has been the rather self indulgent, if a tad infrequent, '31 Songs'.  It's nice to be able to simply ramble about why I love a song so much once in a while.  Have a wee read through if you haven't before.

- In terms of one of the most fun things I've done on the blog, the Scottish Fiction Words With Friends Cup has to be up there.  It makes a change writing the blog being able to do something a little bit different, and hopefully for people reading it wasn't simply just geeky self indulgent fun.  Re-live the drama and see our overall winner Boab Canavan of Campfires In Winter spell his way to glory.

- Officially we celebrated a year of the blog with our Scottish Fiction Presents Gig on Sunday 17th June.  With a bill including Saint Death, Queen Jane, The Spook School and Michael Cassidy (we quite like him you know) we had a great night in The Captain's.  So good, I might even be mad enough to do it again!  Check out some pictures here, and also a lovely review from Songs Heard On Fast Trains here.

- Finally probably the most exciting thing that's happened via this blog takes place tomorrow night.  Inexplicably I was asked to be a nominator for the SAY Awards, and have been lucky enough to be invited along to the award ceremony tomorrow night.  I'll be oozing with excitement.  I've also blogged a fair bit about the awards which you can read here.

So to the future, and hopefully another productive and fun filled year of blogging, presenting, reviewing and discovering new Scottish music.  If you could grant me one birthday wish, it would be more interaction with the people who read this blog on a monthly basis.  Leave a comment now and again, we'll be nice I promise!

Thanks to all who've read, downloaded, listened or came to our gig.  Much appreciated.


I leave you with this, my favourite song of 2011 and still going strong.  xx

The SAY Awards - One Day To Go

Cast your mind WAY back to the 12th of April when the SAY Award Longlist was announced.  It's been a long and enjoyable road, one which has introduced us to new albums and allowed us to wax lyrical about old favourites, which has led us to this, the eve of The SAY Award Ceremony.

Chair: John Williamson (Academic)
Muslim Alim (Producer, BBC Radio Scotland); Francis Bickmore (Editorial Director, Canongate Books); Keith Bruce (Arts Editor, The Herald); Keith Cameron (MOJO); Francine Gorman (Line of Best Fit); Mary Ann Kennedy (Musician/Broadcaster); Malcolm Lindsay (Composer); Keith McIvor (Optimo); Susan Philipsz (Turner Prize Winner 2010) & Fiona Shepherd (The Scotsman)

The above names mark the eleven individual faced with the tough task of crowning the inaugural Scottish Album Of The Year 2011, however rest assured that whoever they choose, it will be on musical and artist merits alone.  My advice to them, if they haven't already made up their minds, is to go with your gut instinct.

Before the winner is announced, tomorrow evening from a ceremony in Film City Glasgow at which we have been lucky enough to be invited, here's a recap of each of the Shortlisted albums.

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - 'Diamond Mine' 

Diamond Mine King Creosote and Jon Hopkins by music4thesoul

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - 'Everything's Getting Older'

The Greatest Story Ever Told by Chemikal Underground

Mungo's Hi-Fi - 'Forward Ever' 

Mungo's Hi Fi - Computer age ft Mr Williamz by mungoshifi

Twin Atlantic - 'Free' 

Rustie - 'Glass Swords'

Mogwai - 'Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will'

Mogwai - Rano Pano by subpop

Conquering Animal Sound - 'Kammerspiel'


Tommy Smith - 'Karma'

2. Land of Heroes 44.1kHz by Tommy Smith 7

Remember Remember - 'The Quickening'

Remember Remember - John Candy by theQuietus

Happy Particles - 'Under Sleeping Waves'

Friday, 15 June 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 13th June 2012

Feeling as fresh as a two week old sandwich I shimmied into my new timeslot on Pulse Community Radio of Wednesday's between 8pm and 10pm.  Mark that one in your diaries folks!

This week's show featured some of the best acts I saw at last weekend's RockNess festival, plus music from the likes of Honey, Stanley Odd, Woodenbox, Seams and more!  Expect heavy plugging of our Scottish Fiction Presents Gig which takes place on Sunday, as we played a track from each of the performing artists.  There's also the Classic Scottish Album which comes from Boards Of Canada and our Featured Artist this week was Aereogramme.  Enjoy!

Miaoux Miaoux - Better For Now
Michael Cassidy - Til You
Admiral Fallow - Guest Of The Government
Stanley Odd - Get Out Ma Headspace
Biffy Clyro - Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies

Classic Scottish Album - Boards Of Canada - An Eagle In Your Mind - Music Has The Right To Children

Queen Jane - All Together When We...
Errors - A Rumour In Africa
Woodenbox - Everyone Has A Price
Happy Particles - Offline Contact
Saint Death - Thompson's Daughter
Honey - Fantasist
Guillemots - Sao Paolo
Profisee - Magikal
Skippy Dyes - Help! Help! Imposter! [Live Version]
The Spook School - History (Alternative Summer Night Time Version)

Featured Artist
Aereogramme - Barriers
Aereogramme - Hatred

Seams - The Colour Purple

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 4th June 2012

Good to be back after last week's missed show.  Did you miss me?  I'll pretend you say yes.  As I'm heading off to RockNess on Friday for my good friend's stag do, naturally I focus on homegrown artists playing Scotland's most scenic festival.  There's also plently of new music from the likes of Olympic Swimmers, Capitals and Woodenbox.  Our featured artist is Biffy Clyro and our Classic Scottish Album comes from post-punk legends Orange Juice.

Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen
Lost Ghosts - Summer Nothing
The Son(s) - Roaring Round The House
Admiral Fallow - Old Fools
The Machine Room - Cost Of Progress
Olympic Swimmers - Knots
Homework - Thoughts
Hunt / Gather - Harbouring
Kick To Kill - Mushroom Cloud
Saint Death - Sycle
Errors - Earthscore
Burnt Island - Nightwatchman
Betunizer - Cedric Ceballos

Classic Scottish Album - Orange Juice - Rip It Up - Rip It Up

The Seven Deadly Sins - Yesterday
So Many Animal Calls - Traps

Peenko Friday Freebie - Woodenbox - Kings Liar

Featured Artist
Biffy Clyro - Glitter And Trauma
Biffy Clyro - Semi-Mental

Nina Nesbitt - The Apple Tree
Guillemots - Trains To Brazil
Thank You So Nice - Let's Make Money
Capitals - All These Years

We're Only Here For The Banter - The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins are a band from Edinburgh who have been snaking their way up through the live music scene in Edinburgh and beyond for about a year and a half now.  They've just released their debut EP 'Misery Lake' and took some time to answer a few questions for us.  Have a read!

Hello, how are you?

I'm good thanks.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

Sure!  We are a four piece indie, alternative, country, grunge and early punk influenced band from Edinburgh.  My song writing influences are pretty vast and always seem to be changing; but at the moment they're more the American indie/alternative bands of the 80's onwards like Pavement, Sonic Youth, Whiskeytown, Death Cab For Cutie, Cat Power, The Pixies.  But stuff like Nick Cave and The Clash too.  I will stop otherwise we will be here all night!  Haha!

What's your song writing process like?

It begins with me and a guitar.  But often its just a line of lyrics, a word or song title.  And then I will build it up until I have got the words, vocal melodies, chords and song structure which is the point I take it to the band and they will add their parts and we will try things and work together to help improve, add to and flesh out the song.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Erm... thats' a good question.  We work very hard on our live set but sometimes like all new bands you don't have the best of luck with sound so we are currently looking to add a sound tech to our live set up which we are hoping will help improve our live shows.  I always remember watching a Death Cab For Cutie documentary and Nick Hammer (bassist from Death Cab For Cutie) saying, "we put the punk in punctual".  That rings true for me, the hard work ethic.  That said growing up one favourite live gigs was The Vines...

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

The last six months; self funding and self releasing our debut EP 'Misery Lake'.  Its been so much hard work but its been so rewarding.  The last two music videos, 'Yesterday' and '21st Century Man', and playing Liquid Rooms three times and King Tut's in that period of time.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2012?

Really hone our live set and performance and then get back playing live at the end of the summer.  Currently it is promo for this EP and trying to gain more interest from the right management and labels.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'scene'?

Generally pretty good.  A great history.  But I'd like to see the British music scene in general be able to focus more on new and up and coming bands, rather than the same safety net of acts from the 1960-1990's still clogging up the airwaves and festival stages.  But thats maybe unrealistic at the moment with the economy and music industry taking such a kicking.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

In Edinburgh, Thank You So Nice and The Spook School.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

Knock knock...

Check out more from The Seven Deadly Sins

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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Scottish Fiction Presents - Two Weeks To Go


It's two weeks today until the very first Scottish Fiction Presents gig.  Thankfully I've not resorted to either blackmail, begging or bribery to shift tickets yet, however given that there's still some available it is incumbent upon me to get those shifted!

Taking place during The West End Festival and also after the Gibson Street Gala (which looks like great fun), we welcome Saint Death, Queen Jane, The Spook School and Michael Cassidy along to The Captain's on Great Western Road for a night of unadulterated enjoyment.

There's plenty of reasons why you should come along.  Here's some of them:

- The Captain's do bloody awesome food.  I recommend the Chorizo & Cheddar Burger.  Get down early for some scran and to catch Saint Death who'll be on first.

- Talking of Saint Death, they've just put some new tunes up on their Soundcloud page.  They might even play them too.  Here's one worth listening to.

- Did we mention that the gig is during the West End Festival?  Well that means nice refreshing drinks offers whilst you wait for Queen Jane to come on next.

- Queen Jane you say?  Well they are from Cumbernauld, they are riotious, and they will be playing stuff from their brilliant EP 'Denver' which you can download for free here and learn all the words.

- Still not convinced?  Well clap your ears around the chirpy sounds of The Spook School and realise what a mistake you've made by not buying a ticket already.  Also loads of tracks available to download for free here

- Tickets will only cost you £5 and you can get them online right here.  Be a smart cookie and avoid all that faffing about getting a ticket at the door.

- And to round things off, finishing off our evening will be the fantastically talented Michael Cassidy.  Stage banter, and good tunes to boot.

Convinced?  I bloody hope so!  We'd love to see you there and hope you can make it along for a great night.  Tickets are available here or on the door.  Doors are at 8pm.  Remember to get there for 8pm as all four bands are worth seeing.  If you like to make things official then say your coming on our Facebook Event.