Monday, 31 December 2012

Hollie Atkinson.

So I haven't been on for a while, but I return on a positive note with fellow Nairnite (that's people who live in Nairn) Hollie Atkinson. Hollie is 15 and is getting ready to sit her exams, but is spending a bit of time writing songs and playing guitar. She has also just opened up a YouTube account (finally!) and posted her song Tricks which is already at 650 views. Please do yourself a favour and have a listen to Hollie who has a great future ahead of her if she decides to go with her dream and become a musician. After looking through half the shite on YouTube that people post and get 100,000 views on, I can't recommend Hollie enough if you're looking for fresh new talent!

Tricks - Hollie Atkinson

(No embed code is available so you will have to follow the link above).

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Pantomime Villains - Serendipity.

Hey everyone, just another quick update to bring you the brand new track from the Pantomime Villains. I really enjoyed their first track Hook, Line and Sinker and they have followed that up perfectly with the poptastic Serendipity. The Pantomime Villains definitely know how to keep everyone dancing all night and the fast pace bass line and guitar work in Serendipity is a prime example of this talent! So check it out here!!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

SM Live YouTube Sessions.


Have you ever noticed local bands that you think could be the next big thing if it wasn't for the lack of financial backing or the lack of attention? Well that's exactly the reason why SM Live was set up on YouTube. It is used by the creators to showcase all of their favourite bands from the local area and acts as a platform for these bands to get noticed. With over 14,000 views already, SM Live is doing well, but is in need of a boost of viewers in the hope to spread the fanbase of the bands they showcase. There's tonnes of great bands of this channel- a couple of my favourites are Big Sixes and Coastal Cities. Have a wee browse of the SM Live channel and hopefully you'll find something worth listening to/sharing/downloading!! 

Links to SM Live: 








Monday, 12 November 2012

Chvrches (yes, again!)

Okay, so you may not be aware of this, but Chrvches recently were on BBC Radio 1 with Huw Stephens to perform 4 tracks for the radio. These were all recorded and I was hugely excited to see that TWO NEW TRACKS debuted that night alongside their two current singles Lies and The Mother We Share. The new ones are called We Sink and Science/Vision. Chvrches are definitely creating a massive buzz about themselves as they were invited to Radio One and are also about to tour with Passion Pit. Their immense sound is more than enough evidence to suggest that they are going to be all kinds of amazing. I'm waiting in great anticipation for any sort of release from them so if you haven't heard them yet, then hear are the four videos from their Radio One Performance.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Ninetails

If you follow NME, then you may have already heard of Ninetails after they premiered their brand new video for their brand new song from their brand new album! But it could be so brand new that you have yet to see it, so out of the kindness of my heart, I won't let you miss out on this special band. Ninetails, from Liverpool, have built a strong fanbase over the past 6 months after performances at Sound City festival and were labelled as 'Ones to Watch' by Vice. This accolade was reinforced with NME, Clash and Fake DIY all in agreement.


The band specialize in creating ambient music with precise, hyper realistic guitar work, which, in the case of Maybe We helps them to organize a bit of confusion as they compare their minds to a Rubix cube and explore euphoria.

Their album is due on December 10th and is titled 'Sleep and No Sleep.'  It will price on a 'pay as you feel' system which will be accompanied by a limited number of cassettes. Two more videos are also due for release at this time.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Honningbarna

"Norway's most exciting new band" Honningbarna are set to return to Scotland after successful stints in Edinburgh and at GoNorth in Inverness earlier this year. They have played over 200 shows in the past 2 years and are due to continue this with a month long tour of the Uk and Ireland, with shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Thurso between the 7th and 10th of November. The Scandanavian rockers have already picked up a Norweigan-equivalent-of-a-grammy for Best Rock Act and are set to record their 2nd album in the new year.

TOUR DATES

NOVEMBER

Wednesday 7
 GLASGOW, Detour Scotland Presents, Bar Bloc, 117 Bath Street, G2 2SZ
Thursday 8 EDINBURGHVic Galloway Presents… Electric Circus, 36 Market Street, EH1 1DF
14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Doors open 7pm. £6
Friday 9 INVERNESS, Mad Hatters, Church Street, IV1 1ES
Saturday 10 THURSO, Newmarket Bar, Trail Street, KW14 8E

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tunes and tunes and tunes and tunes.

Okay, so just a quick update on what's going on right now and which songs you should be giving your ears the pleasure of listening to.

First up is the new single from Chvrches (Churches). Following up from the awesome debut 'Lies', they are back with 'The Mother We Share' and Chvrches continue to share their effortless synth work and flawless vocals with this new tune that is definitely getting them places.


Stirling based outfits Two Stripe and Johnny and the Giros have both recently revealed new tunes too after both bands working hard in their respective studios recording future EP's. Similarly to Chvrches, Two Stripe have female led vocals and use a lot of synth but in conjunction with indie rock guitar. This is shown with their latest release 'Horror Show' while we wait for their EP 'Bright Lights, Summer Nights' due in October.

On the other hand, Johnny and the Giros are an all male band with strong influences through LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture. Their music wouldn't be out of place in a downtown New York indie nightclub- a real treat for dance lovers among us. This is their brand new song 'I Don't Need a Lover'.


Lastly we are going back to basics and the grassroots of today's music- a guitar and a video camera. Steven Hudson taught himself to play guitar a number of years ago and his love of music has taken him to Dundee where he will be spending the next 4 years doing instrument based courses to perfect his sound. At the moment he is gathering support through his YouTube channel whilst before moving away he had regular spots in pubs in our hometown Nairn. I've known Steven since primary school so give him a listen and share his music so I will have a claim to fame in the future! This is a home recording of Steven covering the Newton Faulkner song 'Dream Catch Me'.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cancel The Astronauts

Edinburgh's most secretly miserable band is back and this time they bring a full album with them. Following up from the Intervention EP in April, Cancel the Astronauts have worked hard over the past 18 months to bring us their brand new yet-to-be-released album Animal Love Match. The official release date for their debut is set to be the 17th of September.

 From the title-track opener to the final track of defiant regret I Sold My Soul (and This Is All I Got), Animal Love Match is a documentation of everything that love can do to a person, "the things we do to others in it's name, and the places all this madness leads us."

 This record also highlights the maturity of the band as they have worked hard over the past four years, and to come out with tunes of this quality clearly shows they are creating their best music to date, but anyone who listens to Animal Love Match will see the potential of C.T.A, and that they are going to go on to something bigger than what they ever could have imagined four years ago.

The album is variable in style; Intervention is a live favourite due to some flawless synth work while other songs like heavy guitar driven Lekking border on post-rock. However the band have described Promises of Strangers as "the Girls Aloud single that-never-was". Funnily enough this is one of my favourites from the album! Fans of bands such as We Are The Physics will enjoy the free single Making Dynamite as the band delve into the previously uncharted world of Math-Rock and fast paced twitchyness.

However the band also bring their refreshing take on guitar pop which is at the forefront of this album as a couple of the stand-out tracks are some of the best guitar driven pop songs that Cancel The Astronauts have ever produced. Songs such as I See, Uh-Huh and the future single While I Was Sleeping are prime examples of this perfect guitar arrangement.

Evidently, the hard work has paid off as Cancel The Astronauts have gone from one of the best kept secrets in the local scene to the worst kept secret in Scotland. They were chosen to play at the recent GoNORTH showcase event, have shared stages with Frightened Rabbit and have done their time at T in the Park- and I'm sure they would be welcomed back to any of these events.

Animal Love Match is only the beginning for Cancel The Astronauts-it may be the best work they've produced, but that's only so far. It's only a matter of time before the media pick up on their genius way of hiding their depression behind a wall of synth and go on to produce bigger and better music.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Those Who Wait

Hailing from Scotland's second city, seven piece Those Who Wait take a number of instruments including saxophone, trumpet, drums guitar, and keys and create a jazzy rock 'n' roll ensemble. In my opinion, there is a strong Rolling Stones influence in the 4 tracks currently available but the band also cite other influences such as The Jam, Queens of the Stone Age and The Who. 

These guys are definitely ones to watch for the future, and bring something other than indie-folk music or all out rock to the Scottish scene. Singer Thomas Ferguson's powerful voice is backed up with some really solid guitar work, catchy keys and quite an elaborate wind band setup to create music that wouldn't be out of place in the 60's, 70's or even the 80's. This is a band for those people who think they have been born in the wrong era and missed out on music that had passion and soul; Those Who Wait have plenty of that.

For now, the band just played their first couple of gigs in Maggie Mays- one of which was opening for Katie Sutherland (Pearl & The Puppets) on the last night of the Merchant City Festival. They are going to continue to record over the next couple of weeks also, so we are definitely looking forward to hearing more from the ever exciting Those Who Wait.

Friday, 3 August 2012

KOBI

If you are in on the Scottish music scene then you are bound to have heard of Dingwall/Inverness based alternative-rock band KOBI. After a good couple of years for the band- they have performed at a number of festivals including RockNess as well as Belladrum this weekend- they have now released a brand new single called Fight. You can listen to/download this song, as well as a live Rockhopper session of A New Before and the subsequent remix by Them & Us on Bandcamp for a mere £2.50. Do it.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Be Like Pablo- The New Adventures

So the guys from Be Like Pablo were kind enough to send out copies of their brand new debut album The New Adventures to bloggers and reviewers alike. With all the hype of the Olympics underway, I was looking forward to hearing this album even more than watching some of the best athletes on the planet reach the pinnacle of human endeavour. Luckily for me, it more than lived up to expectations.

The Forres based band have self-funded this release and are even generous enough to be giving it away for free on the 3rd of August, but after having a listen, I would happily pay the full amount for this debut which dazzles with it's diversity. For me, it's like Belle & Sebastian meets Jimmy Eat World meets Beach Boys: male/female vocals; some heavy riffs mixed with melodic guitar and piano; and the uplifting noise of Moog synths. Oh and throw in a bit of rap while you're at it.

(Tracks aren't yet up but will be asap) Lyrically, Ewen is all about love and I've tried to interpret some of them while also doing some sort of review. These aren't going to be bang on but hopefully in the ball park (And they aren't in order either!):

In The Things That You Do, he is looking to get into a relationship, but it just seems a bit impossible for him because the other person isn't giving off the right signals, but he is intent on working out how to win her heart- even though he 'can't understand (your) heartbeat'.

Song number two- The Post-it Song- shows off some of Jen's awesome synth playing skills, as well as the Jimmy Eat World esq guitars. Again Ewen is open about his feelings as he wants to be in someone's life, but he isn't too sure how to go about it and whether it would be good for them. JUST GO FOR IT EWEN!

It turns out Ewen is in love with Julianne which is the third song. Maybe this is the girl from the first two songs? But anyway, it doesn't matter because 'everybody knows the words!' (That's your cue to shout, 'I'm in love with Juli-a-anne!) Okay, fun over. In all seriousness this is one of my favourite Be Like Pablo songs. It's catchy, upbeat and easy to sing along to- which are always the best and most memorable songs. You'll definitely find yourself singing this one in the shower.

Oh Emily Another lover perhaps? Who knows really, but this song seems to show a bit of an issue for Ewen because the two seem to have a relationship that's trying to blossom but she's not entirely convinced. No one ever comments on bass playing, but there is a nice bit of bass going on in Oh Emily, bringing something different to an already excellent song.

Someone To Love could be an Elton John song with the first few bars of piano, but don't worry, this is still Be Like Pablo. This song goes by its title, in which we need to find someone to love and care for us when things aren't going our way. I enjoyed the big chorus in this song; it's one of the middle songs where the album peaks, so it makes sense to have the big vocal performance here. This is the most diverse song as it's actually almost a power ballad with a hint of barbershop quartet.

Spirit of Adventure continues with the male/female vocals with Jen and Ewen sharing the mic. This song is mostly guitar based and could almost classify as a rock song. The anonymous subject of the song is said to have the same spirit of adventure as a child. Maybe Ewen likes this, but then again maybe not. Who knows, but that's all I can get out of this song meaning wise; otherwise Spirit of Adventure is an awesome head nodding song.

Without The Pain was a bit of a surprise for me when I first heard it. I didn't see the rap song coming but it really does work for the band and throws another genre into an already eclectic mixer. This song also reminds me heavily of Where Is My Mind? by The Pixies. Another one of my favourites.

The shortest song on the album- Love Is For The Living- seems to be a bit of a dream or fantasy for Ewen. He attempts to make a girl feel better by showing her his love, but it turns out to be false as love only happens in real life (hence the name of the song, I guess).

I Can't Dance involves more cool synth, more romance, and a reference to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers...even though Ewen can't dance. Oh and there's also a reference to Batman and Catwoman, but let's leave her out of this, no one likes Catwoman.

Between The Lines rounds off this flawless album with, of course, more romantic lyrics as Ewen points out all of the best traits in his romantic interest. He is more direct and confident in himself in asking someone to spend time with him. He realises you have to 'read between the lines' to find the truth.

All in all, this album is the result of multi-talented individuals coming together to reach the first step of -what I predict to be- a very long and successful career. The New Adventures will open the gateway for this relatively small band into the greater reaches of the music scene, not just in Scotland, but in the rest of the UK, I'm sure. Next years SAMA'S beware!!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Mata MacDonald


Taking a mix of country folk and Americana with a heavy Celtic twist, Mata MacDonald creates his own brand of music; Hebricana. This stems from his rural upbringing on the isles of the Outer Hebrides, which has been the main source of influence on his music- as well as travelling in Canada.

After many years of playing only to friends and family, Mata finally began to record in February 2010 and his efforts were rewarded when he placed at #10 in the Myspace charts for both Americana and Country music, after only 3 months. Shortly after he was further rewarded with his first gig before going on to record more tracks.



In September 2011, Mata released his debut EP "Hebricana" which achieved great success, reaching #6 in the Amazon Country charts. Lyrically, Mata's music is a modern take on his rural island upbringing but also deals with love and loss, making his music easy for listeners to relate to and the perfect soundtrack to a relaxing Scottish Summer (I use the term 'Summer' loosely!) 

For now, Mata is continuing to look for gigs, write, record and expand his fanbase- check him out on Facebook or Twitter or even on his own website which is, aesthetically, very appealing and makes it simple to get to grips with Mata's music.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Holiday Hiatus!!

Hey everyone, just to let you all know, I'm off on holiday for a couple of weeks to Israel so, as you can imagine, it will be almost impossible to do any updates on the blog and I'll very rarely check my email/Twitter but do get in touch anyway and I'll get back to you when I get back home. Don't miss me too much now!! :)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Findlay Napier and the Bar Room Mountaineers.

You may have already seen the new video for Findlay Napier's 'Cut Me Off' , but if not then now you can! It was shot and produced in the East end of Glasgow and in a concrete bunker underneath Merchant City by Martin ÓFarraidh and the song is available to download on amazon or the whole album on iTunes.



cut me off from Martin ÓFarraidh on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Mouse That Ate The Cat

It's not often I get emails from people who were in bands such as the Dykeenies or Drive-by Argument, but that's where Brian Henderson and Colin Keenan first made a name for themselves. Both bands now cease to exist to the dismay of many, but the duo have moved on and are now focused on The Mouse That Ate The Cat. After just a couple of years together, they have headlined three Scottish tours, released two singles and reached number 5 in the Amazing Radio charts with their electro pop music.

Next up for the band is the release of their new single 'I Am The Hottest Fire' and subsequent B-side 'Ou Les Morts Est Sont Des Diuex' which, according to the band, translates to "something ridiculously pretentious and borderline embarrassing" (or something about the Gods being dead according to Google Translate). Both songs will be released as a free download on July 23rd but, if you sign up to their mailing list you can get them a week early- and I would suggest you do this because they are both awesome tracks.

The Mouse That Ate The Cat will be following this up with a short tour. All dates can be seen below:

 July:

26 - King Tut's, Glasgow
27 - The Attic, Bathgate
28 - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
31 - PJ Molloys, Dunfermline

August:

10 - Doghouse, Dundee
11 - Mad Hatters, Inverness

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Bedroom Hour

With the limited success of previous bands on the unsigned London circuit, The Bedroom Hour formed as a band wanting to progress further than they previously could individually. At the moment the band are writing as well as building up their fanbase around the country with a view to gig. They are not the type of band who are in it for the money however, they are looking to do everything the proper way and even though it may take longer, it's something they enjoy doing which, to the band, is more important than money.



Music wise, The Bedroom Hour produce psychedelic guitar/synth based tunes similar to bands such as The Boxer Rebellion and Doves. They are a 5 piece and are lucky enough to be able to have their own studio where they can practice and record. The band are on Twitter so give them a follow if you're on it too. Also if  you are yet to like our Facebook page or follow our Twitter then please do to keep up to date with future proceedings which will more than likely include The Bedroom Hour as they are definitely ones to watch. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sub Couple- Beat100 vote.

If you're in the mood for helping out, please give the band Sub Couple and their amazing video a vote here: http://www.beat100.com/music-video-chart/watch/sub-stomp-by-sub-couple_11149/#.T-Oai4ZDVWU.twitter



 They have the chance to win a share of £1000 if they finish in the top 3 and with only a few more votes they will be up there. There is 9 days left to vote so get cracking!!

There will be a full feature on Sub Couple coming up shortly. Look out for The Bedroom Hour next!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Johnny 5th Wheel and the Cowards- Part 2

You may remember the post last month about Johnny 5th Wheel and the Cowards.
You may remember that they had a new double A side out on the 25th of June.
You may remember that those songs were called Nancy and In My Laboratory.
You may now be interested to hear- and see- that both of  these songs now have videos.


You may now view the videos. 











You may now leave.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

We Came From The Sea



After the downfall of previous bands, Paul Gavienas and David Simpson formed Glasgow/Edinburgh's post rock band We Came From The Sea.  They began as a duo in 2009 but were soon joined by a third member, Euan Thompson, to complete the band, making their all round sound much more refined. 


I began speaking to the band through Twitter, and after listening to the two songs available, I took an interest. They have now released their EP 'hunt.kill.run' which was met with a gig supporting Zulu Winter at King Tut's. This is available either through the band or on SoundCloud. 


We Came From The Sea make post-rock music which ranges from melodic to sinister, similar to that of the legendary Mogwai, but is instead mixed with intelligent and thought provoking lyrics. The band are on both Facebook and Twitter and you can like/follow them as appropriate.




All songs minus the last are from We Came From The Sea's EP 'hunt.kill.run'.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Be Like Pablo- Interview.

Be Like Pablo are a 5 piece indie power-pop band from the small town of Forres in Moray, Scotland. Formed in 2009 by brothers Ewan and Ross, the pair were joined by Jen, James and finally Blair who completed the line-up. Music wise, the band mix up your classic pop song with some loud, electric guitar, Moog synths and is completed through the use of girl/boy vocals, echoing Beach Boys harmonies.


The New Adventures will be the title of Be Like Pablo's debut, self-funded album. They began recording in 2009 in Glasgow and are working with experienced people who have been involved with Isobel Campbell (ex Belle & Sebastian) and also American rockers Queens of the Stone Age. Recording was completed in January and now it's a waiting game until the 3rd of August when the album will be released for free on the bands hand-drawn website. Be Like Pablo have a number of gigs under their belt including time on the T-Break stage at T in the Park as well as Belladrum and also the goNORTH showcase event in Inverness.

If you sign up to the bands website, you can receive monthly tracks, artwork and also limited edition merch, if you're lucky enough. Best of all, this is free and a great way of spreading the word of Be Like Pablo!

I caught up with Ewan from Be Like Pablo- have a read to find out how the name came about, what they are looking forward to most this year, and also his tips for future bands.


Hello, please introduce yourselves!

My name is Ewen Watson and I play in Be Like Pablo: Forres' premier powerpop band!

Who is Pablo and why should we be like him? 

Pablo is a good friend of ours from Chile.  Jen, our synth player, randomly met him on a train a few years ago.  He was doing a work placement in Forres for some strange reason that I don't quite understand.  We ended up befriending him and he turned out to be the most upbeat, enthusiastic and hard-wroking person we've ever met.  Naturally, we believe that everyone should be more like him.  And so the name was born!

How would you describe your music?

We make noisy music with guitars, synths and lots of vocal harmonies and we place an importance on making our songs fun to listen to.  We make music that sounds a little bit like early Weezer, Ben Kweller and Grandaddy but we mix it up a little by drawing from classic '60s bands like the Beach Boys.  As you can imagine, there's not a lot of this sort of thing kicking about right now.  Especially in the north of Scotland.  We're quite old school.  

What has the band been up to this year?

We've been quiet on the gig front this year so far but have been incredibly busy preparing for the release of our debut album, The New Adventures.  We've been recording it for quite a while now and we're all set to let the public hear it on the 3rd of August.  We've also been busy booking gig dates for summer and beyond to support the release and let people see us live.  I can't wait!

What are you looking forward to for the rest of 2012? 

Of course, the release of the album's the big one for us this year.  It seems like we've been building to this forever.  In fact, we basically have.  The first thing we did when we formed the band in 2009 was start recording the album.  We're really looking forward to playing at Rockness on Sunday the 10th of June too.  I've never been to that particular festival so it's exciting!

What made you decide to self fund your upcoming album and release it for free?

I'm not sure it was a conscious decision to self fund the album.  I've been writing songs for nearly 10 years now and I wanted to do a whole album because I thought it would be really cool to write 10 songs that would work well as a collection.  Admittedly, we're not that well known a band in the grand picture and, at the time, we had no music industry contacts at all.  So we weren't going to get the funding to do it any other way, really.  So we hit the studio whenever we had enough money.  I think we recorded it in about 4 blocks over two and a half years and we played gigs, released singles and shot music videos in between.  It was a really, really weird approach.  

When we finally finished the album, we did have to actually make a decision: do we try to get it to a label or perhaps sell it ourselves; or do we do something a little bit different?  So we decided to give it away for free but make it look cool and professional and release it through our own cartoony website, belikepablo.com, where we could precisely manage everything relating to the release.

Any albums your looking forward to this year? 

I can't speak for the others in the band but I'm looking forward to the new Regina Spektor album.  She's the most naturally talented musician I've ever heard.

Any upcoming talent we should look out for?

Hrmm.  I'll pick a wide selection of musical styles to keep it interesting.  Check out Capitals, The Spook School, Cleavers, The Deportees, Kid Canaveral, Dallas Don't and Team Kapowski.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Churches- Lies

This Glasgow based band (although comprised out of musicians from other big-ish bands) seemed to have come out of nowhere with this awesome anthem. It's heavy on the synth and heavy on the ears as the female voice works well with the HUGE sound. I hope to hear loads more of the same from Churches in the future- they are something new and are desperately needed in the Scottish music scene.


Johnny 5th Wheel and the Cowards.


It's a strange experience listening to Johnny 5th Wheel and the Cowards, but it's a sort of good-strange feeling- I like it... But reviewing these two songs has taken so long, merely because I couldn't find the words to fit with this music- and I still can't!
The 6-piece (although by my calculations, there's 9 in that picture) from the North-West of England are specialists in the art of creating strange, almost hypnotic music that is described as "steam punk, doomjazz."
The band made their first release in 2010 with their debut album 'Tales of...' and soon after signed to Sotones Records where they are due to release their second album in September.

However, first of all they are to release their double A-side 'Nancy/In My Laboratory' which will be their third single from the upcoming album- this will be out on the 25th of June.

To be honest, it's pretty hard to follow what goes on in these songs, but Nancy starts off slowly and builds and builds up, singing about a girl called Nancy (who turns out to actually be named Lil). It's almost a fantasy/dream like feeling, given off throughout this song, though the rhythm of the increasing musical pace sounds more like something out of a horror film.


In My Laboratory is just as hard to follow. It is dedicated to the lineage of scientists and storytellers, in particular Tom Waites and Thomas Truax. The rest of their 'laboratory' is filled with an American Cartoonist, deceased musicians and many former Mongol Emperors...or something along those lines, feel free to make up your own mind and leave a comment if you can decrypt these coded songs.


I was not allowed to embed these songs onto the blog post so you will have to click the link below which will take you to Soundcloud- enjoy!


Johnny5thWheel&thecowards - Nancy/In My Laboratory

Sunday, 20 May 2012

An apology/ Song of the Week.

First of all, I do apologise for the lack of blogging the past week. I will use the usual excuse that it has been a busy week for me and so I haven't quite had the time for anything and I now have a backlog of submissions to contend with- great!

However, I can fit in a quick Song of the Week (that was due on Thursday, sorry) and this one goes to the acoustic master Mike Nisbet and the song is called Rolling Thunder. Listen, enjoy and buy Mike's album. I can assure you that you won't regret it and it only costs £7- it's a bargain really!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

It's not Song of the Day, it's Song of the Week!!

Due to issues under my control, it has become far too much work for me -with my busy life- to do a song of the day every day. Instead, I've taken the decision to change to a song of the week which will take place on Thursday's.

Without further ado, I give to you Song of the Week numero 1:


They go by the name Quickbeam and they are about to become one of those bands that everyone recognises the songs, just not the name. They don't play music, they create it, and after watching them play live, in my opinion, they are much better to listen to recorded. They are awfully quiet and not a festival or large venue type of band- competing with the chatter of the audience would be just too much. If I recall, in their live set there was six members on stage- there just seemed too much going on for it to be so quiet. I also found them a tad pretentious. But they do make some excellent music.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Brew at the Bog

Main stage acts. Making good use of the barn.


 Saturday 5th May came and brought with it Brew at the Bog, Scotland's newest festival held at Bogbain Farm, a few miles from Inverness. As you can see, the line up looked amazing, and that wasn't all of it. 12 hours; 3 stages; 33 bands. Brew at the Bog brought together the most talented acts from Scotland and beyond- the most exciting line up seen for a long time, maybe ever! As well as all of the Scots, we experienced a couple of Welsh artists as well as Woody Pines- an Nashville band, with a style/ sound similar to that of Johnny Cash (although that's a huge insult because the band weren't exactly lyrical genius').

Tickets were £45 for the whole day, which was maybe a bit steep in some eyes, but with the amount of talent on show, I thought it was well worth my money. We were greeted with Dundee band Lost City Soul on the main stage,whilst local band He Slept On 57 were making a huge noise with songs like The Tearaway in the barn-come-music venue. We were impressed with the layout of the mini festival which had the outdoor mainstage, while inside, the barn was taken over by the folk from GoNorth and hosted by Jamie from Netsounds. There was also 'The Bothy' which allowed the acoustic artists the chance to play in the warmth. Many people were crammed into the cosy room- which was probably due to the weather more than the music- but I believe the weather benefited the artists in their because everyone appeared to enjoy their music.
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Marc didn't stop smiling! Photo- M. Rowley

The voice at the forefront of Fatherson.
Photo-M.Rowley















Some of the many highlights from the festival definitely came from Fatherson. The Kilmarnock band are doing well for themselves, being played regularly on Radio1 and just off the back of their headline tour. They certainly didn't disappoint.  The crowd got involved properly for the first time as they sang and jumped away to Gone Fission, Sailor's Son and the likes. The energetic Seventeenth Century were second on the mainstage and played a rousing set, full of heart and violin. However, the makeshift 3 piece Open Swimmer turned out an excellent performance with songs like Sugar Bowl and Nineteen which have been stuck in my head ever since. I briefly spoke to Ben afterwards while watching Fatherson and he was genuinely a nice guy. You will be seeing more of Open Swimmer on the blog soon I'm sure.
Aussie frontman of Open Swimmer, Ben
Photo- C.Williamson

Inside on the goNorth stage, we enjoyed Aberdonians, The Little Kicks, and then were suitably surprised by Welshman Jonathon Powell- boyfriend of Charlotte Church-  who just about sang his heart out to a decent sized crowd. He then generously gave away 2 albums free of charge to anyone who wanted it.

Beerjacket (which we all wished we had) attracted a good wee crowd, again on the GoNorth stage which provided great acoustic sounds. He played a lot of older songs but also a few off The White Feather Trail which went down well. However, even though there was a decent number of people there, he remarked that there was only one person singing - which I must add, was oneself- so I recommend you to buy his album and learn the words, just to make him happy!




Endor. Photo- J.Rowley
1900 hours came and Endor hit the stage. They were one of the bands I was looking forward to and the crowd were definitely up for the party by this point- mainly due to the strong 'hoppy' BrewDog beer. After a sluggish first song, Endor got into rhythm and performed admirably in the chilly conditions- the only downside to the whole day.
Three Blind Wolves were definite crowd pleasers on as the darkness loomed. They played with all the talent they could summon with a bit of an eclectic set with almost hard rock at times mixed in with their usual folky sound. I haven't heard a bad word about this band and that continued after they played.

Back inside, Jamie from Netsounds came on the stage to introduce Over the Wall. I was more than excited to see them live after listening to the song Thurso  countless times. They struggled to play due to their amp or guitar playing up, but they soldiered on and improvised with heavier drum machine and of course, trumpet. The carnival feel inside the barn continued as the trumpet noise at the end of Thurso echoed through the crowd.


Last to grace the Brew at the Bog stage was Washington Irving. Throughout the whole day I'd been looking forward to seeing them for the first time the most. They killed it. They stole the show. They were head and shoulders above the rest of the bands, and I'm not being biased by any means. The energy in the crowd played through the band as they performed most songs from their up coming album as well as Sisi- though the flute was missing in action. After the end of their set, the crowd began the 'one more tune' chant, and, to everyone's delight, they came back to do another couple of songs. After that, the band went of stage. The crowd began the 'one more tune' chant- again. Back out came the heroic Washington Irving to sing Tom Pains Bones. However, just before starting the second song of the second encore, the power was cut by the sound engineers.


Brew at the Bog was a well organised out and out success. The charm of the Bothy and barn definitely appealed to the festival goers. We can only hope for the same next time round (but trying to beat that line-up will be a mammoth task). 













Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Song of the Day #10

Today I give to you French Wives and their song Younger. It is the first single to be taken off their forthcoming debut album which is to be named  Dreams of the Inbetween. This will be released on the 7th of May on Electric Honey Records. If you enjoy this song it is available for free download on their BandCamp.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Winter Tradition



The Winter Tradition are a 4 piece pop-rock band from Scotland's capital. There well recognised sound is something the band have worked hard at in an attempt to create something unique but yet, keeping it to everyone's liking. Their hard work paid off as they now play their energetic sets to equally energetic crowds who the band like to get involved in their music. They must have been doing something right however due to the bands they have supported which include the likes of Enter Shikari, Hundred Reasons and Scottish legends Idlewild.

The Winter Tradition have released their debut EP named We'll Make Our Own History which has received much attention around Scottish bloggers such as the GlasgowPodcart and Detour Scotland as well as radio attention from Leith Fm and New Found Sound.

'FireLight' was the first single to be released and this was bombarded with critical acclaim coming from the likes of Vic Galloway who gave the band airtime on Radio1.The band were rewarded with their very own headline tour and support slots with the more established acts through DF Concerts.

The new album has been recorded and is due for release this Summer- more great music to look forward to! The band have also been chosen for the GoNorth festival in Inverness which I look forward to be seeing them at. As feature previously on the blog, here is the new single/video from The Winter Tradition for you:


Song of the Day #9

We are back after a few days off- for various reasons- for another Song of the Day (which may become Song of the Week soon). Today is something a wee bit different, but still indie. WU LYF (pronounced "Woo Life" which stands for World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation) are a mysterious band coming from Manchester in England. They aroused interest and suspicion by not talking to any form of media and barely releaseing any information about the band. Frontman Ellery Roberts sings in a sort of distorted manner, while the music is described as 'heavy pop' which is basically the same as post rock. They have one album under their belt named Go Tell Fire To The Mountain and they burst out of their mysterious beginnings and into a pool of critical acclaim, receiving much attention from the lovely people at NME.
Here is the song We Bros which sounds hipster-  and to be honest, it kind of is and is along the same lines as Animal Collective. Enjoy!


Friday, 27 April 2012

Song of the Day #8

Apologies for the lack of Song of the Day yesterday, but I was away to see the fantastic talent that is Admiral Fallow in Inverness. They put on a brilliant performance to a fair sized crowd who, when asked upon, sang and ooooh'd along to a couple of songs from the new record, but were otherwise too quiet for my liking. They turned out to see Admiral Fallow play live which - in my opinion- is something pretty special but they were speaking throughout the gig which ruined the intimate atmosphere. However, on with Song of the Day!

Today I have for you an Admiral Fallow song in light of last night. It is an amazing song with quite phenomenal singing from the musically gifted Sarah Hayes. The song is called Bomb Through the Town and goes something like this. Enjoy!


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Song of the Day #7

Song of the day today come from Three Blind Wolves. The song is called Hotel. I don't need to explain anything if you listen to the song. It's genius.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Song of the Day #6

Today's Song of the Day goes to The Winter Tradition. They released a brand new video for their song San Diego today. It looks great so have a listen for yourself!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Song of the Day #5

Today's song of the day come from Coventry based band The Fallows. The 4 piece play folk-rock music and released their debut album last year called Face The Wolves. You can catch The Fallows at any of their upcoming gigs in their hometown Coventry, Swindon, London and also a couple of festivals in that same area. Here is We are the Hunted from that debut album:

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Behold the Old Bear.

So I got an email from a man named Raindeer. When you get someone with a name like that you have to keep reading. It turned out to be the man behind Behold the Old Bear. Funnily enough I was enjoying their cover of the Peter Gabriel classic Solsbury Hill a couple of nights before, so it was a nice surprise to get the email. Raindeer can usually be found playing drums for Mitchell Museum, but while they were on a break, he began to create his own band, utilising the new upcoming talent- as well his brother and co Mitchell Museum member. 
After the gruelling task of putting together the band-Raindeer admits to being 'horribly picky' Behold the Old Bear eventually began to play gigs. So far they have only done three but have another coming up soon as well as being asked to play a Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival as well as the Kelburn Garden Party. You can have a listen to Behold the Old Bear below and check them out at either of the above gigs. 



Song of the Day #4

Today, our choice for Song of the Day is the brand new single from the Icelandic, ambient rock outfit Sigur Ros. Ekki Mukk is the name of the song. It comes straight from Record Store Day single release...Ekki Mukk. I bought this on vinyl yesterday and it's just amazing. So here you go. Expect more in the coming months with the release of their first album since 2008, Valtari.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Song of the Day #3

Song of the Day for today is Bake Yourself Silly by The Leg. They have released the song as a free download and are due to release their album on the 20th of April. It will be titled An Eagle to Saturn. You can pre-order the album here.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Song of the Day #2 Camera Obscura - The Sweetest Thing


Okay, since no one partook in my Twitter quiz, I have just stopped crying at the fact that no one loves me and have decided to post the second Song of the Day. This new feature is going well so far -two in two days!
Anyway today you have the opportunity to listen to Camera Obscura. This band formed in '96 and I recently started re-listening to them and decided that, for those of you who have not heard of them, well...YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY! So here it is. This is The Sweetest Thing from their 2009 release My Maudlin Career.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Song of the Day.

As of today we are starting a new feature that will be called 'Song of the Day'. It's pretty self explanatory - everyday we post a video of a song we think should be shared and you listen. If you like it, leave us comments either here or  on Twitter and by the end of the year we might do a Song of the Year.  You can find it in the top bar, underneath the title. It will be as daily as humanly possible though not at a set time so keep checking back. Any updates on the blog can be seen via Twitter. Cheers!!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Frightened Rabbit: The Loft - Forres.

Grant, Myself  and Scott after the gig.


Last night (13/04/12) I had the pleasure of getting to see my all time favourite band Frightened Rabbit in a fairly intimate gig at The Loft just outside of Forres. They are currently on their Highlands and Islands tour, playing smaller venues in the more rural areas of Scotland. I saw Frabbit at Rockness last year; they were amazing then , but this was something else.

I was stood front and centre, two feet away from the band for the gig, probably the best possible position in the venue. Opening with Old Old Fashioned, Frabbit got the crowd on side within the first few strums of the guitar. They went on to play most songs from The Midnight Organ Fight, and a few each from Sing the Greys and The Winter of Mixed Drinks. They also managed to squeeze in two new songs named Oil Slick and then Boxing Day. Scott illustrated the circumstances of why Boxing Day was written. It was 'after a particularly shite Christmasdue to the end of a relationship', and he wrote the song sat in his boxers and drowning his sorrows- classic Scott, eh? The new tracks do sound pretty cool; Oil Slick has some nice guitar from Andy. Scott also revealed that they will be entering the studio very soon to record the new album and they would have done already if it weren't for Paolo Nutini getting in ahead of them.













After the band played crowd favourite Old Old Fashioned, everyone bar Scott went back to the dressing room for a break. In this time, Scott asked the crowd what songs they wanted to hear. The reply was Scottish Winds followed by Be Less Rude and then possibly one of the best songs ever written- Poke. I managed to get a good video of the first too songs but for Poke, Scott ended up playing in the middle of the crowd- creating a proper acoustic experience- so he was too far away to record. The crowd stood silently watching Scott play, only to join in with the 'ooooh's' that echo throughout the song.



After closing the set with 'The Loneliness And The Scream' the crowd were still in full voice and continued to chant the 'oh oh oh oh oooohh's' after the song finished and the band had disappeared back to their dressing room. But to the delight of everyone who attended they emerged back to play the hard hitting and emotive 'Keep Yourself Warm'. Every Frightened Rabbit fan loves this song and the whole experience of this song live improved tenfold with the terrific crowd who got behind the band and belted out every word at the top of their voices.



After the gig Scott and brother Grant were kind enough to come out and sell their merchandise, sign autographs and take photos. I introduced myself and they even recognised who I was which made the night even more special for me. I bought 2 vinyl LP's which Scott signed and I also managed to grab myself 2 picks and the setlist. All in all, it was an excellent night and the Loft was a really great venue for a band like Frabbit. The crowd were also magnificent, so hopefully that will entice Frightened Rabbit to make a swift return to The Loft. I'd love to see them up here again!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Gentlemen Duke.



Gentlemen Duke formed 2 years ago this month (April, 2009) in the South Eastern county of Kent. They perform modern country-folk music, differing from most of today's music. They mix old and new mirroring the sounds of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke whilst maintaining the modern edge of Mumford and Sons.
The band have played all over London, with their fans being treated with the live performances of their new EP titled alliteratively, Mild Mannered Madmen. It was recorded throughout 2011 and was released in January this year. It contains 3 toe-tapping country songs and its release has reached all corners of the world- 240 to be exact.
After a busy year, the band have no signs of slowing down by any reach and perhaps this year we will see an album and  a tour, who knows. The Ep can be downloaded on iTunes for the mere price of £1.79- now that's value for money.



If Gentlemen Duke are playing at a venue near you I would urge you to go and see them, they will not disappoint!

The Dirty South
Sat 7th April 2012
Lewisham
London

WEDDING (Private Gig) (Rock'n'Roll Wedding Magazine)
Sat 21st April 2012
Oxford

Rochester Sweeps Festival
Sun 6th May 2012
Rochester, Kent.

Hops And Harvest Festival
Sat 8th September 2012
Maidstone, Kent


Friday, 6 April 2012

Breakglass Emergency



We are fierce enemies good Twitter friends with Breakglass Emergency and they have begged asked us nicely to do a piece on them, so here it is:
This unsigned Glasgow 3 piece create a mix of blues and Rock n Roll music and have done for the past four years. They proclaim that they aren't unique, and play in the same style as their inspirations/influences, most notably, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the early years of Black Keys. The guitar playing style of John has drawn comparisons to Clapton and Hendrix, but he has confirmed through email that he himself believes he is twice the legend the two of these men put together (well, he is actually admitting that he shouldn't be shared in the same sentence as them).

The band have grafted hard and have been duly rewarded for their efforts by opening for bands like GUN, The Virgin Mary's and Doll and the Kicks. Breakglass Emergency want to continue this rise to fame through playing high profile gigs, so any promoters, gig organisers or bands out there, get in touch with BGE, they would be more than happy to play.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

My musical taste over the years...

So after a busy few weeks I thought I'd share with you my favourite artist and albums that have made an impact on my relatively short life. Music has always been an important feature to me and I try to appreciate the most talented artists;I don't tend to have time for anything 'mainstream' (but don't get me wrong, I'm not a hipster). I dislike many of the 'artists' in the Top 40 who only make their music for the money involved ie Justin Bieber or One Direction who make their money through millions of 'fangirls'-who only like them because of their looks. Anyway I'm going off the subject now...favourite albums:


 1. Arab Strap- The Week Never Starts Round Here. The debut album by Arab Strap was released in 1996. Now, I was only a wee boy then so I didn't get into this album until a good few years ago, but still it's my favourite release from the Scottish duo due to the way it's free from care - Moffat and Middleton were renowned for speaking their mind. The First Big Weekend is probably in my top 10 songs of all time. It is basically an Aidan Moffat monologue about a drink fuel weekend while Malcolm Middleton plays guitar and a drum machine keeps the beat.

2. Belle and Sebastian- Tigermilk. Another debut by another Scottish band, Tigermilk for me was just a perfect album by one of the most influential bands ever to come out of this country. This album was recorded in between the day time jobs the band members had, and it allowed them to turn professional, so it must be something special. It laid the foundations of the legendary band who went on to produce a few amazing albums like If You're Feeling Sinister.


3. Broken Social Scene- You Forgot it in People. This 2002 release from Canadian Indie-rockers first bought the band their breakthrough into international recognition. It sold 200,000 copies globally and featured a very Avant Garde sound which isn't unusual for BSS. This album made it into the 'Albums of the Decade' on 3 different online magazines so people must like the experimental sounds which lead to Broken Social Scene becoming one of the best Candian bands...ever.

4. Frightened Rabbit- The Midnight Organ Fight. 2007 was the year I was first aware of Frightened Rabbit; 2008 subsequently brought the release of their second album on the completely Indie label FatCat Records. My favourite band have never failed to deliver and this was no exception as Scott Hutchison makes every song brutally honest as he pours out his feelings from the very bottom of his heart, sang along to a lot of acoustic guitar alongside electric guitar, piano and of course, drums. The Midnight Organ Fight made it into several different Album of the Year awards - from both the UK and the US - showing just how well recognised this album was, and also how great it was. Seeing FRabbit live was one of the best experiences possible and I've got tickets to see them twice more in the space of a month- it's hard to contain my excitement!

5. Admiral Fallow- Boots Met My Face. After this release in 2010, I made the biggest mistake ever by overlooking this album. I must have been deluded not to give it a proper listen. This album is amazing. Seriously. The orchestral indie folk band have been playing together since 2007 and have released this album and are getting ready for the release of their next album Tree Bursts in Snow (See previous Admiral Fallow post). There is a huge variety of instruments from clarinets to violin and all songs are effortlessly written by Louis Abbott. In many ways he reminds me of Scott from Frightened Rabbit. The way the pair are both able to just write in a way that evoke so many emotions is just incredible.


So that's just a few of my favourite albums. This took me ages to decide because there is so much good music out there by so many good bands- both new and old. If anyone has the same sort of taste or anything different, please feel free to comment with your albums, it would be good to know what my readers are into.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Johnny and the Giros



Hailing from Central Scotland, Indie-Electro band Johnny and the Giros are a band everyone will want to take off all their clothes and dance about naked to. After forming in 2007, JATG went down the route of modern 80's music which hooks and captivates their audiences, forcing them into some kind of strange, exuberant dance - the kind where you don't really know what you're doing, especially when the clothes come off. This has happened in many of the venues the band have played throughout the UK, including Glasgow's prestigious King Tut's (which was a sell-out). They have also supported many well established bands like Fenech Soler, The Sunshine Underground and the now disbanded Dykeenies. Below is The Day That Friction Overcame Fun and by going further you can get their newest release For Ourselves. Have a listen and don't blame me if you're mum walks in on you naked dancing.