Thursday, 28 February 2013

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 27th February 2013

This week we are joined by Croy four piece Campfires In Winter for a stramash of live music and banter.  Hear them explain their post-rock-pop roots, forthcoming plans, and the undoubted power of '90's rave music!  As well as live music from CiW, there's new music from Frightened Rabbit, The New Fabian Society, Giant Fang, Vasquez and more!
The 'Aye Tunes Friday Freebie' track is from Run/Lucky/Free, there's another fantastic 'Cover Lover' track from Flutes, and our 'Re-Mixing It Up' track is a Becky Becky remix of Kid Canaveral's 'Low Winter Sun'.  Plenty of enjoyment for your eardrums.

Vasa - Cynthia - As chosen by Campfires In Winter

Campfires In Winter - Twelve Thousand Drops - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams Of Pavement - As chosen by Campfires In Winter

Campfires In Winter - See Us There, Both - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Campfires In Winter - White Lights - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Darude - Sandstorm - As chosen by Campfires In Winter

Conquering Animal Sound - The Future Does Not Require
Homework - It's All Over

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - Run/Lucky/Free - Red Blood, Blue Heart

The New Fabian Society - Cylcophymia

Feature on Natalie Pryce

LUCA - Summer

Cover Lover - Flutes - What Is Love

Giant Fang - Kingdom
Vasquez - Tiger Shark

Re-Mixing It Up - Kid Canaveral - Low Winter Sun (Becky Becky Remix)

Frightened Rabbit - Backyard Skulls

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Garden Of Elks

Garden Of Elks seem to have came from nowhere, at least on my musical landscape anyway.  The three piece first appeared on my periphial in January, when they played Song By Toad's Bad Fun with The Yawns and Plastic Animals (we tried to bag them for our January gig but alas t'was not to be.  Watch this space, we'll get them!).  This was followed by a lovely email a few weeks ago containing their new single 'Floaty'.  The band are right up my street musically, and hopefully yours too!  Have a swatch at what they are all about.

Hello, how are you?

Us Elks are healthy and moist at the moment.

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

Our music strives to be energetic and upbeat, but we can't help having twisted subject matter sometimes.  Childhood features quite a lot and the world of celebs (new single 'Floaty' imagines Kate Bush as a witch!)  All three of us have pretty different influences so it ranges from Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Black Flag to Bleeding Rainbow and 134 others I wont list here!  Output wise we are totally influenced by the likes of Ty Segall and are aiming to have a constant flow of ripping records out over the next 16.5 months.

What's your song writing process like?

This process is fun and simple.  Always written on a acoustic guitar and usually with the music coming first and lyrics soon after.  Niall writes and records acoustic demo's (50 and counting) up in Inverness in his bathroom and emails them to Kirstin and Ryan who get ideas how to Elkify them and then we kick them around the practice room.  They tend to come together really quickly.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Sweat.  Loudness.  Banter.

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

Recording our first single 'This Morning We Are Astronauts' after only being a band for eight days.

What have you got planned for 2013?

Well we have 'Floaty' coming out on March 18th as a free download through here;  Then around late April / early May we will have an EP and then at the end of the summer we will record our début album.  We are also plotting some tours and have a cheeky elk eye on the festivals

I've never seen Alan Titchmarsh promoting a garden of elks. Do you have any other unusual horticultural tips?

It is a little know fact that elk droppings can do wonders for the size of your cucumber.  If you see Alan do let him know as we think he is in need of a wee smear.

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Well No Island for sure!  Really love the new Marnie Stern record also.  The Yawns and Plastic Animals were great when we played with them in Edinburgh for Song, By Toad.  And there exists a 2 piece improv band from Glasgow called Cutty's Gym who are super.

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

We are rubbish at jokes unless we are drunk and silly, but our friend Carla has one for you....

What do a dwarf and a midget have in common?

Very Little!

Check out more from Garden Of Elks

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Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Classic Promoting Your Own Gig Post.

Well, it’s Saturday morning and the good news is this nightmare is over.  Starting tomorrow you will be back in the loving blogging hands of Mr Scottish Fiction himself, Neil Wilson.  Before I go though I will take a page from every blogger under the sun and promote tonight's gig!

Tonight at the Roxy 171 - Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs. Peenko

I shall be opening the evening with my usual chaotic acoustic nonsense, followed by the wonderfully witty Mr Shambles Miller and headlining will be the crème dela crème of Glasgows songwriters Peter Kelly and his fantastic project Beerjacket!

For more info why not check out this lovely article STV wrote about it.

Hope you're coming along!

Anyway, thanks very much for sticking around for the first ever 'Scottish Fiction Takeover'.  If you've missed anything be sure to check back over the past few days and read all my nonsense patter.  My FREE Takover EP will of course be on the Scottish Fiction Bandcamp for the forseeable future as well.  So get involved with that if you haven't already!  And if you enjoyed my ramblings keep up to date on my:

Or if you just wan't to hear me singing:

It’s been emotional.

Lovers Turn To Monsters

Friday, 22 February 2013

You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere

It’s a sad day when you realise all those older people in the movies weren’t lying.  It is true, everyone does reach a point in their life where they look back at old photos or videos and think, “Oh my god!  What is with my hair?!” Or, “what am I wearing?!”  And other such over the top, self involved phrases.  The other guarantee is that if you are a musician, it’s one hundred times worse.

But it’s not all about regret, they don’t call them our formative years for nothing.  Sometimes our earliest attempts at creativity and life in general can have a massive effect on our future decisions.  Recently over the Christmas holidays I got together with the three other members of my first band 'The Park', named of course after our local teen hang out.  Whilst together we decided it would be an idea to try re-recording some of our old songs, for fun but of course to simply see if they stood the test of time (they do… Kind of.)  But during the process, reminiscing, drinking, trying to recall what certain songs were about, I quickly started to realise how much The Park ethos had in common with that of Lovers Turn To Monsters.

The Park started off when we were around 15 and admittedly we had absolutely no clue what we were doing.  Although the three members had been acting as collective for a few months, when I was drafted in I had been playing bass for around a month.  The group had been trying their hand at being a covers band and had grown instantly tired.  With a new line up we all decided the best plan of action would be to jump right in at the deep end.  With no prior song writing experience we put a practice in our diaries and demanded we all appear with at least a song each.  And surprisingly, when the time came, we did.  Our drummer and guitarist had a lot more than that in fact.  This hyper active writing process continued week in week out and after our first two practices we had collectively put together ten songs.  Influenced heavily by Nirvana and the indie rock of the early noughties they were all basic verse/chorus/verse but that’s what we wanted.  The first recordings of the songs are of course ungodly, but they developed as we went on and to this day we can still run through them and they work.  In fact I even played one at my Tut's show last summer, (albeit translated onto the Banjo but still!)

The Park taught me some very important musical lessons; sometimes it is best to just throw yourself in. 
Art to me is about being in the moment and just because you’re not the best player or have no idea how to record yourself to a listenable degree doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.  As long as you have heart and passion it will shine through any of that other nonsense…

With this in mind I decided to head to the internetz and ask some other musician types if their first bands had effected them in a similar way, or if they’d simply covered '...Teen Spirit' with a PE teacher taking lead vocals and moved on with their lives…

Ewan Grant a.k.a. Algernon Doll 

What was the name of the first band you were in?

The first proper band I was in was called, 'Judas And The Mullets'.  It was with some guys older than me at school who played classic rock that I hated.  I quickly used this to get the attention of the older year's bands and joined a metal/hardcore band called 'Talus' and I played guitar in that.  It was super fun as we got to play with Allergo and we had a really good home town crowd.

Do you feel that they played a big part in shaping your music today?

Probably just reminds me that music should be fun and never taken too seriously.  I mean it's serious art but people take themselves to seriously.

Do you ever go back and visit any old songs? Any embarrassing titles or song subjects you regret?

Nah, we had a song called , 'Gravecrawler' about the singer's dead cat (it was quite sweet really).  We also used to replace words in titles with 'minge' for some reason so there was, 'The Leprosy Minge' and 'Greed For Minge'.

I don't find myself going back to these songs but I should consider it!

Michael Cassidy

What was the name of the first band you were in?

My first band were called Signals.  I was the lead singer and I also co-wrote the songs.  Mainly we played pop rock/punk.

Do you feel that they played a big part in shaping your music today?

The  band was an amazing introduction to writing music from an early age.  I wrote with the whole band but primarily my friend Gez.  We always tried to have ideas that we enjoyed but also that people at the shows would enjoy.  That's something I still adhere to.

Do you ever go back and visit any old songs?  Any embarrassing titles or song subjects you regret?

I do listen to our old EP's and I'm still proud of them.  I don't just hear the music.  I hear the jokes and stories attached to the songs.  I loved being in that band and when we were 17 that was going to be our job for the rest of our lives.  Our last EP we done about four years ago still stands up as great songs I think.  An embarrassing title would be 'Dani's Song'.  It's safe to speak for the other guys when I say we collectively regretted that!

Peter Kelly a.k.a Beerjacket

What was the name of the first band you were in?

My first band was called Nectar and we formed on the night of our first gig.  We were named by the gentleman putting on the gig.  He gave us two options; either he would announce we were called Nectar or something MUCH WORSE AND VERY, VERY RUDE INDEED.  After being bullied into this name, some of the very funny neds from school took to calling me Hector Nectar.  How we laughed.

What was your role in the band?

I sang and played guitar.  We were a Nirvana covers band to begin with and so we were very much the archetypal noisy grungy band.  I won't speak for the others involved but I certainly couldn't really play very well at all.  Or sing well.  In fact, my main role was putting a face to the name Hector Nectar.

Do you feel that they played a big part in shaping your music today?

If playing that first gig had an influence on me it would be that it created my love of spontaneity when it comes to performance.  Little or no rehearsal: just play what you feel.  I look back on it quite fondly.  When I started playing my own songs with and without bands, I suppose I always looked back in one way or another to compare what I felt playing them with the feeling of first playing classic songs by my heroes.  I think it's probably only now that I could feel my set could ever be as strong as it was playing those Nirvana songs.  It takes a while to become a good songwriter!

Do you ever go back and visit any old songs?  Any embarrassing titles or song subjects you regret?

My most embarrassing song was probably my first, although I never played it with a band.  I have no idea what its subject was but I do remember it had a rap in the middle.  A rap.  Me rapping.  Me.

Shambles Miller

What was the name of the first band you were in?

Well that depends.  I had a wee band in school with my friend Neil Slorance called Pablo Slowfish.  We didn't really play gigs though, except in the school, which I'm pretty sure kids only came to because it got them out of class for half an hour.  My first proper(ish) gigging band was called The Dostoevskies.  Neil was in that too.  We've been bros for a while.

What was your role in the band?

I was the guitarist and I wrote some of the lyrics.  We played a mishmash of funk and punk.  And nonsense.

Do you feel that they played a big part in shaping your music today?

No, not really. I wrote some of the lyrics, which is where my passions still lie, but my music is nothing like it was in The Dostoevskies.  I mean, we had a song with a disco breakdown in the middle.  So yeah, nothing like my music now.

Do you ever go back and visit any old songs?  Any embarrassing titles or song subjects you regret?

I recently found an old demo CD we did, which was hilarious.  The only song I can still play bits of was called 'Lost In Disneyland', which I guess was an early precursor to my lyrical style of using a comical backdrop to convey serious themes.  It was pretty ridiculous though. I painted quite a scary picture of Mickey Mouse.  A lot of that early stuff was also quite political, which is still a common theme in my music now, but back then it was pretty naive.  I don't regret any of it though, partly because I can't remember half of it, but mainly because it was a good laugh.  You have to have a good sense of humour if you're going to name your band after a 19th-century Russian novelist.

Sean McKenna - So Many Animal Calls (vocalist/guitarist) 

What was the name of the first band you were in?

Bad Day? – with the question mark.  We thought this distinguished us from other bands but in reality it was confusing for fans and promoters.  We were once incorrectly billed as 'Bad Day With A Question Mark'.

What was your role in the band?

I was the singer/guitarist.  I, regrettably, wrote most of the lyrics as well.  We described ourselves as 'indie/pop'.  I realise that doesn’t paint a particularly vivid picture of what we sounded like.  We started off really pop/punk before my voice broke (my voice broke twoweeks after recording our first EP and we had to re-arrange or cut those songs).  As the swathe of NME bands (The Wombats, Klaxons, et. al) edged their way into the mainstream we tried to go with it by changing our sound in hope that it would turn more people onto us but it may have come across as contrived.  That being said I’m still immensely proud of some of the songs we played.  Our last EP had some flickers of things that I later incorporated into So Many Animal Calls.

Do you feel that they played a big part in shaping your music today?

Definitely!  I used to sing in a faux American accent, the lyrics were sickly obvious and the music wasn’t really similar to what I listened to.  When me and Ross (Stewart) came to write for So Many Animal Calls there was no pressure for it to turn out well and we had no idea what it was going to sound like.  It took a lot of weight off and I think the result was a lot more hones.  It might sound like Kerrang in 2004 but I like a lot of that music!  I’m glad to be in a position where I can write and play what I want and have people who support me in it.

Do you ever go back and visit any old songs?  Any embarrassing titles or song subjects you regret?

I went through a period of revisiting our old songs and re-working them into slower and more gloomy arrangements.  Some of them worked but I doubt I’d ever let them see the light of day.  I think it would ruin the nostalgia of being 18 and playing at ABC2 to everyone I knew if I re-recorded the songs and made them sound grim.  It’d be a bit of an insult to anyone who had supported us as well.

In terms of embarrassing song titles, I’ll leave a list. I think all are equally embarrassing

Don’t Mention The War
Salsa Dancers
(This Girl Could Put In No) Effort
Last Look At The End Of The Book

I wouldn’t say there are any subjects I’m embarrassed writing about – I think it was more just the poor execution of some of them.

Most of these lovely lovely bands can be found on Myspace and YouTube.  Search if you dare!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 20th February 2013

Live guest AHOY!  This week we welcomed* with open arms for a bearded hug Shambles Miller as he kindly recanted tales of music, influences, song-writing and medium sized dogs.  As well as the chat, he also picked some songs and played three live tracks exclusively for us and you! 
* Note this picture is a toilet, NOT Pulse 98.4 FM studio!  We don't stick our guests into the bathroom!

As well as this there was the usual smattering of new Scottish music from the likes of Kid Canaveral, Garden Of Elks and The Yawns.  There's also a dupstep remix of Julia And The Doogan's track 'Come Home' as our 'Re-Mixing It Up' feature (it's good, trust me!), an 'Aye Tunes Friday Freebie', and a 'Cover Lover' track from our resident writer Lovers Turn To Monsters, with his take on PAWS 'Catherine 1956'.  Haaaaave it!

Hector Bizerk - Burst Love - As chosen by Shambles Miller

Shambles Miller - Deadpool - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Loudon Wainwright III - Motel Blues - As chosen by Shambles Miller

Shambles Miller - Chris Brown Is A Dick - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Shambles Miller - Confessions - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Burns Unit - Blood, Ice And Ashes - As chosen by Shambles Miller

The Deep Red Sky - The Zombie Song

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - Andy Pearson & The Riflebirds - Ribbons

A Sudden Burst Of Colour - Afterglow
The Pictish Trail - Of Course You Exist
Pinact - Telephobe

Cover Lover - Lovers Turn To Monsters - Catherine 1956

IT GIRL - Neon Signs

Re-Mixing It Up - Julia And The Doogans - Come Home (Bebo le vrai Remix)

The Yawns - Full Of Admiration
Garden Of Elks - Floaty
Kid Canaveral - The Wrench

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The LTTM Sessions?

If I had to pick one of my favourite things to come out of the Scottish music scene over the past few years the first thing to jump to mind would definitely be the brilliant internet show Detour.  As a lazy dimwit I take no pride in saying that when it comes to new music my first port of call is always YouTube.  I know there will be a hundred audiophiles throwing a hissy fit as I say that but it's just how I work.  I don't know whether it's my love of interesting visuals and live sound or just cause it's saved in my Firefox search bar... 

One of my favourite YouTube sites is an American channel called 'Ifyoumakeit', their common premise being to find a touring act, plonk them on a couch, set up a camera and microphone and let them do the rest.  Their 'Pink Couch sessions' was where I found most of my now favourite bands.  It just seemed to be an exciting place for certain bands with a similair vibe to gather and play.

Other than Detour and Glasgow Podcart I've never really latched onto anything else in the Glasgow music scene (recommendations welcome). 

With that in mind...
One day I shall move through to the big smoke and one of the first things I plan on doing is trying like a mad dog to create a similar set up to that of the 'Pink Couch Sessions'.  No cliques or discrimination.  Just any band who want to spread their name around town and are willing to come to a strangers house.

Who's in?

Bascially this was a really long winded excuse to put up a video I made the other week with the brilliant Ewan Grant a.k.a. Algernon Doll.  I still stand by my promise.

That rather brilliant song is from Ewans up and coming album, but I believe a recording of it can be heard on the Scottish Ficiton Bandcamp. 

P.S.  I am playing a last minute gig tonight with Cancel the Astronauts and Maple Leaves.  Broadcast - Free Entry.  Y'all should come 


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Walker Smith Jr.

Since I begun playing music there have been one or two re-occurring factors, a love of playing live, a continuous stream of new songs and a young man named Barry Carty.  If I had to label anyone as the second member of Lovers Turn To Monsters, it would be him.  Barry (the now vocalist and guitarist of Walker Smith Jr.) has been one of my closest friends since the beginning of high school, he’s always had a similar creative drive to myself and no matter what has always winded up playing a role in what I do musically in some way, shape or form.  We acted as the rhythm section for our first band The Park (more on that later), then moved to an outfit named The Breakers and a few years later Barry switched from drums to Bass and beefed up my scrawny pop punk numbers in our three piece Boygirlanimalcolour.

Recently though the boy over took me in the rat race and shipped through to Glasgow.  Never a man to take things slowly he set out looking for a drummer to start a two piece blues rock outfit in the vein of the White Stripes, Black Keys, or the Flat Duo Jets.  His call was promptly answered by Motherwell native Andrew Stephen and since late 2012 the two have been writing and booking gigs around the Glasgow circuit!  I caught up with them at their second gig at Glasgow’s Broadcast to run them through the Scottish Fiction: We're Only Here For The Banter questionnaire and threw in a few others myself for good measure…

It’s the question that everyone hates, but if you really had to, how would you describe your music?

Andy - Grunge. A wee bit...
Baz -   This might sound pretentious but it's a bit like '90's Seattle having a wee cuddle with '50's Americana; I would call it Scotch-A-Billy.  I literally came up with that right there! Considering the current climate of the Glasgow music scene it's like all of Glasgow crawling in yer eardrum.  I take influence from a bit of everything.
Andy - I forgot, you dinnae like the word grunge do you?
Baz -   I don't mind it!
Andy - Kurt Cobain-ish?  Haha!

I know you have both been in bands in the past, so what do you feel are the benefits of being a two piece rather than a full band?

Andy - It's easier to get the point across, plus travelling, setting up etc.
Baz  You don't need to be in key!  Bar my gorgeous vocals obviously.

What would you say are your main influences?

Andy Drumming wise I'm not sure actually, when I was younger I was really into Lars Ulrich’s drumming but there's not really anyone in particular I try to imitate.  I genuinely can't answer that question.  I was listening to Metallica earlier, maybe a wee bit of Oasis?
Baz   Dex Romweber (Flat Duo Jets) is a fantastic guitarist.  But pretty much just pop culture from when I was born to now.

Do you share any then?

Baz   Emotionally so much haha.
Andy - Well the first time we met we discussed a lot.
Baz   We're both very open minded, but we're talked a lot about Kings Of Leons first two albums, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Grohl’s drumming in Nirvana particularly, Muddy Waters, Seasick Steve, stuff of that nature.

What can people expect from a live show?

Baz -   Sweat.

Plans for the new year?

Andy Gigging!
Baz -   Give everything a try, just get out there and let folk hear us!

Here at Mr Wilson’s Scottish Fiction we pride ourselves in representing the best of the Scottish music scene, do you feel the Scottish music scene is at a good place?  In your opinion are there any acts that standout?

Andy - I love the Scottish music scene at the moment, I'm big fan of CHVRCHES, Bwani Junction, there's just so much.
Baz   It's a great scene, everyone has their place!  I'm a big fan of Holy Mountain and of course Lovers Turn To Monsters...
(*editors note- Barry continued to gush about LTTM for hours here, I thought it was only fair to cut him off)

I dread to ask but whilst we have you here would you mind sharing a joke?

Baz -    A bear and a rabbit go into the woods together and they're both taking a s**** and the bear asks if the rabbit ever has problems with s**** sticking to his fur.  The rabbit says no, so he picks him up and wipes his arse with him...
Andy - I literally can't think of a joke. I'm that sad!
Baz -    Which is a joke in itself... 

Walker Smith Jr. have just finished recording their first EP this very weekend.  So keep checking their Facebook page for all the info and roasting hoat patter...

Whilst here, why not also check out the little video I made of them practicing last month as well.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Hello! Scotland Certainly Has Some Good Bands Huh?

I’ve never been good at introductions, but due to the fact for ONE WEEK ONLY I’ve been given the keys to the Scottish Fiction Kingdom now would probably be a good time…

Hey there faithful readers.
To most folks in my life I am known by the name Kyle Wood but around the age of 17 I decided that wasn‘t very eye grabbing for an emotive acoustic project so I straddled myself with the moniker ‘Lovers Turn to Monsters’ a name I guess you may - or may not have seen around town.
If not I’ll give you a catch up.  LTTM is a one man musical entity which gives me an excuse to drink whiskey, pretend I’m Lou Barlow and occasionally write lo-fi love songs.  The times though are indeed-a-changing as for the next week alongside my usual duties I shall become the ‘acting editor’ of everyone’s favourite Scottish music blog - Scottish Fiction (sorry Jim!)
So in the coming days you can expect things to be a tad different.  You can most probably expect me to be: promoting my pals, promoting myself, an awkward Tumblr level of personal detail and some other nonsense along the way.  I’m a man who likes variation.

To start the proceedings though I thought it would be suitable to give a run down of bands I look forward to hearing more of in the very futuristic sounding year of 2013.  In a hope to let you guys know where I stand and the such.  Someone also once told me gifts get people on your side, so with that in mind I opted to record a cover of each artists in my own special LTTM way and shoved them together on a little free EP.  Which can be downloaded below exclusively through Scottish Fiction:

Catherine, 1956 - PAWS

I had saw PAWS name around Glasgow for months and months but due to my stubborn nature for some reason had never got around to listening to them.  Even when I seen that they’d been signed to Fat Cat Records home of Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Gregory & The Hawk and too many other fantastic bands to mention I still never batted an eye.  Then as the end of the years ‘Best Albums Of 2012’ rolled in, every other blog sited PAWS 'Cokefloat!' as their #1 choice.  The following week I gave in.  Huffing and puffing I went through the album track by track one gloomy January morning…
There’s a happy ending to the story though, 'cause of course as you may well know the album is bloody stupendous!  Amongst 'Cokefloat!' (which crash-lands stylistically somewhere in between sunny '90's grunge and adolescent pop punk) no track manages though to capture the rawness and tummy warming sound of the band as its opening track.  Now at the head of Glasgow’s indie label CATH records PAWS, if not busying themselves this year with a second album, will definitely be pushing some of Glasgow's best up and coming acts.

We Sleep Back to Back - So Many Animal Calls

If you have managed not to hear the tightly wrapped emo rock of So Many Animal Calls this year you have most definitely been living in some variety of cave or you were just really really busy.  In 2012 they clocked up plenty of mileage!  They released their first single 'Traps' to glowing reviews on the Glasgow based label Overlook Records, toured Scotland with close friends and local favourites Carnivores and managed to get a slot on the main stage at Rockness!  All in all a good year I‘d say.
I’ve been a fan of So Many Animal Calls from the moment I heard their first release 'Your House Is A Hospice' way back in 2010 but my levels of intrigue continued to increased when they roped in the skills of bass player Ross Coll who at the time was a member of one of my favourite Glasgow bands the (now defunct) Little Yellow Ukuleles.  From then on in the band went from strength to strength and with a new EP and tour in the pipeline I have a strong feeling it’s only going to get better for everyone's favourite pop rockers.

Bud - Honeyblood

Although Honeyblood vocalist Stina Marie Tweeddale led Glasgow pop rockers Boycotts, Honeyblood appeared from basically nowhere in my music scene peripherals.  The first I heard or saw them was performing their song ‘Biro’ on the rather brilliant Detour internet show.  Although I never really got into Boycotts I had always been a fan of Tweeddale’s vocals and could remember listening to a few of her more folk based solo numbers in the glory days of Myspace.  Honeyblood though in my eyes are the perfect setting for Tweeddales songs.  Her folky melodies seem in a better place accented with heavy handed wall of noise pop rock rather than crowded by edgy indie guitars.  The duo (completed by Kiwi drummer Rah) are definitely one of the bands I look most forward to hearing more of in 2013.  With an EP release slated for spring/summer time good things are most definitely expected.

The Mother We Share - CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES.  See: Every other music blog in the world ever.


Anyway, yeah.  Enjoy.

Talk to y'all soon.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Scottish Fiction - Live Sessions

It's shaping up to be a great year for the Scottish Fiction radio show/podcast in terms of live guests.  It's our aim in 2013, to bring you live radio sessions from some of the best Scottish artists and we'll keep you up to date throughout on our Facebook and Twitter pages with announcements.  You can of course check out our full back catalogue of session guests right here.  Here's who we've bribed with the promise of wine to come on so far:

Past sessions

Wednesday 20th February 2013 - Shambles Miller - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 27th February 2013 - Campfires In Winter - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 13th March 2013 - Rick Redbeard - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 20th March 2013 - Dave Hughes & The Renegade Folk Punk Band - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 27th March 2013 - Panda Su - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 3rd April 2013 - Siobhan Wilson - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 24th April 2013 - Lenzie Moss - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 15th May 2013 - King Post Kitsch - Listen back to this session here.
Wednesday 29th May 2013 - Wounded Knee - Listen back to this session here.

Still to come

Wednesday 19th June - Reverieme
Wednesday 26th June 2013 - Adam Stafford
Wednesday 3rd July - Fake Major
Wednesday 10th July - Lidh
Wednesday 17th July - Algernon Doll
Wednesday 24th July - Behold, The Old Bear

That's what I call a line up!  You can be sure we'll be adding more great sessions through the year.

Make sure you are tuned in to Scottish Fiction every Wednesday at 9pm on Pulse 98.4 FM (online at or if you miss the show check out our podcast on iTunes.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 13th February 2013

Another week, another stunning playlist choka full of new Scottish music.  On this podcast we've got an exclusive first play of the new Campfires In Winter single, music from Brave Young Red, Mogwai, CHVRCHES, Zed Penguin, Randolph's Leap and more!  All our usual features are here, including 'Cover Lover', a French Wives cover of 'Blue Boy' by Orange Juice, 'Re-Mixing It Up', a Evil Hand remix of How To Swim's 'Bacterium' and 'Aye Tunes Friday Freebie' which this comes from Machines In Heaven.  On top of all this we unveil the three bands playing Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs. Peenko gig on Saturday 30th March.  Get stuck in!

Brave Young Red - Brown Boots
Lovers Turn To Monsters - Don't Sleep! Talk
Frightened Rabbit - Holy
Glassbooks - Disarm The Television

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - Machines In Heaven - The National Monument

Stanley Odd - Carry Me Home
The Tide Inside - Wings
Le Thug - New Balance
Saint Death - El Metro
Battery Face - Wednesday
Behold The Old Bear - Best Enemy
Plastic Animals - Best Friend
Randolph's Leap - News

Cover Lover - French Wives - Blue Boy

Campfires In Winter - White Lights
Zed Penguin - The Letters
FRANK - My Philosophy
CHVRCHES - Recover
The Deadline Shakes - Boy
Pinact - Telephobe

Re-Mixing It Up - How To Swim - Bacterium (Evil Hand Remix)

Pronto Mama - Rubber
Mogwai - Wizard Motor

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - galoshins

What kind of band would dare release two EP's on the same day?  Galoshins, that's who!  The four piece signed to Armellodie Records, put out EP1 & EP2 back on 4th February, and both are fantastic.  Blending organs, drums, guitars and a raft of influences to make aural delights.  We caught up with the band for the latest banter.

Hello, how are you?

Very well thanks, cheers for the questions. "Its good to talk…” yas yas.

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

Our music is often described as un-catergorisable, experimental and accessible in even measures!  So influences etc…  We all listen to lots of different things so not easy to give a collective influence that shapes the band, ideas just fly in and ye gotta grab ‘em.  But we do share similar tastes in jazz, kraut, psych, rock, electronica, soundtracks...

What's your song writing process like?

Most ideas are generated from organ and guitar which are then developed with the rest of the band.  Other times things come together while improvising during rehearsals, which also leads to some interesting or unexpected songs.  Generally its fairly organic and we all have input.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

A weird and wonderful ruckus, sometimes over adrenalized splatter of shapes and sounds

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

Against all odds finding a suitable drummer, recording and playing to and with some amazing people and bands.  Doune The Rabbit Hole has been a highlight, amazing atmosphere in the Baino tent - love and gratitude to Alan Bain for that one.

What have you got planned for 2013?

We've just launched EP 1 & 2 back on Friday 8th February at Sleazy’s with Paddy Steer, Fur Hood and Giblets Of Yesterday;  record EP 3 & 4;  lots more live work and hopefully a couple festivals in the pipeline too.

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

In no particular order (and apologies to those we forget to mention) go out and check out Battery Face, Fur Hood, Tokomak, The Cosmic Dead, Paddy Steer, Fat Janitor, XMRV, Super Adventure Club, Throne o' Diablo, Bacchus Barracus, The Yawns, Sacred Paws, The Woven Tents, Rapid Pig, 3D Tanx, Jackie Onassis, North American War, Matthew Dickson, St. Johns Ambience, Los Tentakils, The Dirty Cuts, Battle For Second Place, What The Blood Revealed, Lady North, The Hidden Masters, Easy Tiger, Citizens, Tut Vu Fu, Manatees, Divorce, Quack Quack, VCheka, Honey and the Herbs, Brotherhood of the Blue Ship, The Skarsoles, The Cherry Wave, Black Jash, Rainbow Fisher, The Lovely Eggs, The Rosy Crucifixion...  The list ever grows, that’s a good start though…

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

Did you hear about the short sighted circumciser?  He got the sack!

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Monday, 11 February 2013

Scottish Alternative Music Awards 2013

Voting has opened for the 2013 Scottish Alternative Music Awards, henceforth known as the SAMA's.  The public vote will remain open for the next ten days, giving you all the chance to shape how the awards are dished out.

Once you've voted, then you can pick up tickets for the awards show here which is being held at The Garage on Sauchiehall Street on Friday 8th March.  Hosting the event again is Billy Kirkwood, with live acts still to be announced.

Perhaps, like me, you're not the biggest fan of public votes.  Afterall, what do the public know?  Well fear not, because I'm here to tell you who to vote for guide you through the murky fields of indecision.

Best Rock / Alternative

Nominees - Culann, Baby Strange, Duke, Fat Goth, Cleavers, M A D I S O N

Scottish Fiction Pick - It can only be Fat Goth.  Their outstanding second album 'Stud' dropped earlier this month, and none of the other nominees can touch them in terms of the finished article.  If Fat Goth don't pick up this one, I'm throwing a strop.

Best Hip Hop

Nominees - GASP, S-Type, WERD (SOS), Solareye, Team Kapowski, Young Fathers

Scottish Fiction Pick - Strange to me that Solareye is nominated ahead of his collective Stanley Odd.  However even by himself Solareye still nudges it over Young Fathers as my pick.

Best Live Act

Nominees - United Fruit, Vigo Thieves, Stanley, Meursault, Roadway, The OK Social Club

Scottish Fiction Pick - I imagine, and indeed have been informed, that Meursault are tremendous live.  Ashamedly though, I've never seen Neil Pennycock's men live, and have to back United Fruit for this one.  Seen them twice live.  Both time they destroyed it.

Best Newcomer

Nominees - Honeyblood, The Holy Ghosts, Model Jet Pilot, Ded Rabbit, Miss Irenie Rose, Miss Lucid

Scottish Fiction Pick - Honeyblood.  By virtue of the fact that they are Honeyblood.  This is also a poor selection of bands to choose from.  Vote Honeyblood. 

Best Electronic

Nominees - Plum, Roman Nose, Fonik, Discopolis, Them & Us, CHVRCHES

Scottish Fiction Pick - What the fuck does it matter, it'll clearly be CHVRCHES that win.  They are currently unstoppable, and with damn good reason to.  Actually this is the category with the most talent in it, and will CHVRCHES will run away with it, each of the other acts could pick up a lot of points too.  Bit like the SPL really.

Best Acoustic

Nominees - Little Fire, Michael Cassidy, Cara Mitchell, William Douglas & The Wheel, Jemma Tweedie, Alex Hynes

Scottish Fiction Pick - Who, who and who?  Even if I had heard of any of the others it would still be Michael Cassidy.  Case closed.

Best Metal

Nominees - What The Blood Revealed, Prelude To The Hunt, Sectioned, Bear Arms, Trial & Error, Lords Of Bastard

Scottish Fiction Pick - Metal is not, nor never will be, a genre I dabble in much.  The best of the bunch in my opinion are Bear Arms.

Video Killed The Radio Star - Round Up

Been a while since I did one of these posts, that celebrates the efforts of people with video cameras everywhere and rounds them up into one concise post for your eyes to enjoy.  So without further ado, here's some of the most recent Scottish music videos out in internet land.

The rather good Gold Flake Paint blog snaffled front man Jamie Sutherland from Edinburgh 6-piece Broken Records into a lecturer theatre and forced asked him for some new material from their forthcoming third album.  This video, an acoustic version of new song 'Winterless Son' is the result.

In case you didn't hear during last week, Endor are no more.  Which is sad.  However, happier news is that some of the band, and former members, have a new project Fake Major on the go.  They will have an EP out on the Comets & Cartwheels label in the spring.  This is the video for lead track 'Little Researcher'.

Fake Major - Little Researcher from Comets And Cartwheels on Vimeo.

Ahead of supporting Frightened Rabbit on their February tour, Washington Irving have put together a video for their latest single 'Holy Company'.  The single was out last Monday, so check out the video and go buy it.

If you like snow, dogs, and walks, then you'll like this next video.  If you also like heartfelt lyrics, dreamy vocals, and gentle guitars then it'll be right up your street too.  It's a video for 'Lone Wolf', a track from Esperi's 'In A Moment, Emotion, Sentiment' album, which was out last year.

Isle of Lewis man, Colin MacLeod, a.k.a. The Boy Who Trapped The Sun returns from his absence since releasing 'Fireplace' in 2010, with a new video and a new song.  This is 'Last Call For The Boat'.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 6th February 2013

After our birthday celebrations over the last two weeks, The Greatest Scottish Playlist, it was back to business on Scottish Fiction and settling into our new slot of 9pm to 11pm every Wednesday on Pulse 98.4 FM.  One of the best problems to have when making up the playlist each week for the show is having too much music to play.  It cements the fact that there's a constant stream of great music coming out of Scotland!  So in this show I've crammed as much in as possible, including new music from Frightened Rabbit, Biffy Clyro, Conquering Animal Sound, Sparrow And The Workshop, Washington Irving and much much more.  There's also our 'Aye Tunes Friday Freebie' track, a 'Re-Mixing It Up' track from The Twilight Sad, and a Franz Ferdinand cover of David Bowie takes our 'Cover Lover' slot.

Biffy Clyro - Different People
TeenCanteen - How We Met (Cherry Pie)
Galoshins - Mink

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - The Cherry Wave - Blush

Beerjacket - Two Travel (Demo)
Yusuf Azak - Move Me Starlet
Frightened Rabbit - Nitrous Gas
Fat Goth - I Am Leg End
Conquering Animal Sound - Ultimate Heat Death Of The Universe
The Pictish Trail - The Handstand Crowd
Russian Ninjas - Brush Your Tongue

Cover Lover - Franz Ferdinand - Sound & Vision

Adam Stafford feat. Siobhan Wilson - Sound Of Fear Evaporating
Kid Canaveral - Low Winter Sun
Washington Irving - Holy Company
L. Pierre - Harmonic Avengers
Marionettes - Teaparties
VsVs - November Snow
Homework - The Edge Of Control Was Black

Re-Mixing It Up - The Twilight Sad - Alphabet (Optimo Remix)

Sparrow And The Workshop - Shock Shock

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Cuddly Shark

For our banter session this week, we caught up with Colin, lead singer, from Cuddly Shark.  I'm not keen on cuddling anything which is a natural born killing machine, however, for these guys I may make an exception.  They've got their brand new album 'The Road To Ugly' out now on Armellodie Records.

Hello, how are you? 

Very well thank you just had my dinner.

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

We've been compared to a lot of bands over the years Pixies, Fugazi, PUSA, Husker Du, Minor Threat.  This album is more varied, bit o' pop, folk, country but we're still grounded in our punk roots.

What's your song writing process like? 

Usually Jason and I (Colin) will write together piecing any riffs or lyrics that we’ve previously conjured from our brains.  We’ll then try to play the new material as a band with Ruth hoping to get some input from her.  We don’t usually finish something til we’re all happy with it.  This results in a lot of scrapped songs.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

We try to make our gigs as fun as possible and as long as Jason doesn’t speak in between songs usually everyone has a good time.

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

I won a Blue Peter badge when I was 8.

What have you got planned for 2013?

Our album comes out on the 28th of January, so we'll be mostly promoting that through out the year, playing where anyone will have us.

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

We're massive fans of Dundee's finest Fat Goth, they too will be releasing material this January.  Get it.

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

Q. What did Batman say to Robin before they got in the car?
A. Get in the car.

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