Thursday, 31 December 2015

Albums of the 2015

It has been another great year for Scottish music as it continues to export some brilliant albums. Some may say Scotland has punched above it's weight for many years, but maybe now it's just something the country is good at - and we don't get to say that very often!

I've been quiet on the blog this year, but I've decided to make a list of albums I've enjoyed this year. 

1. Admiral Fallow - Tiny Rewards

Album number three from Admiral Fallow grew on me a lot over the year, eventually becoming a favourite.

2. Kathryn Joseph - Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled

It was a huge year for Kathryn Joseph who seemingly came from nowhere to release one of the most enthralling albums of the year. It's almost hypnotic!

3. Idlewild - Everything Ever Written

A bit of a comeback album for indie rock legends Idlewild brought a matured sound whilst keeping their distinct sound we know and love.

4. Young Fathers - White Men are Black Men Too

Surprise winners of the 2014 Mercury Prize, Young Fathers' second album brings more experimental hip-hop in their own unique fashion. I wasn't a fan of the first album, but this has been one of the most played albums this year.

5. The LaFontaines - Class

More hip-hip, this time from Motherwell. The LaFontaines debut album has gone down as a success as they continue to build a loyal fan base right across the country. I first saw these guys play to about 15 people in 2012; 2015 saw them sell out the Barrowlands in Glasgow, and that speaks volumes.

6. Phantom Band - Fears Trending

The Phantom Band have a habit of releasing albums without really telling anyone, so you may have missed this. Melancholic synth-folk music at it's finest!

7. Cherri Fosphate - We Didn't Come Here to Say Goodbye

Another debut album makes the list. It's raw, it's catchy and it was a long time coming. Worth the wait though. I recently did a full review of the album.

8. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat - The Most Important Place in the World

Man of many musical talents, Bill Wells teams up with the man who should be Scotland's Poet Laureate, Aidan Moffat for the second time. Within the tales of love, sex and drinking, there is something heartening in there, I think.....

9. Rachel Sermanni - Tied to the Moon

It has been a good few years for Rachel Sermanni as popularity for the folk musician has grown tremendously across the world. Poetic lyrics, with perfectly composed music to go with it.

10. The Winter Tradition - Lumi

The Edinburgh outfit have released an impressive album full of guitar/synth driven tunes with big, singalong choruses. Even after some big support slots, The Winter Tradition are still slightly underground in Scotland. I hope 2016 sees them continue to tour hard and get the big break they deserve. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Cherri Fosphate

It's been nearly 3 years since I first saw Glasgow based rock outfit Cherri Fosphate, and in that time they have become a firm favourite with their slick riffs and catchy choruses. The release of their EP Burning Youth in 2013 showed us what the band are capable of, and I've been looking forward to hearing more ever since.

We Didn't Come Here to Say Goodbye was officially released just over a week ago on Bloc+ (a great wee label), and provides more of those catchy upbeat tunes, with the unmistakable vocal of Jonny Sharpe. Opener Sea Foam Green is raw and fast paced with heavy riffs while Neighbour and Auf Weidersen are the most memorable tracks with their sing-along choruses.

Through the middle of the record, the album flows nicely through some of the songs from the Burning Youth EP, all of which wouldn't be out of place in the underground NYC music scene (well, minus the Glesga accent!).

My personal favourite, Monster, is a slight change of pace. A slow builder of intricate guitar work before bursting into life while Jonny shouts "I'm not pathetic" repeatedly. You're not pathetic, Jonny.

The album picks up pace again with the fast paced drumming of Sonny Kaith in Kerry Rodgers, before winding down to a close with Didn't See You - a nice wee ballad to bring the heart rate back down after an album full of energy and passion.

This is a record you can play on repeat for days, yet appreciate something new each time.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Draynes - Single Launch

Friday night saw the launch of The Draynes debut single at the Mash House, with support from some of Edinburgh's top up-and-coming bands.

On early doors, rock-pop band Miasma took to the stage. The band have been together since 2009 and their experience was obvious as they played a tight set of about half an hour. Miasma have another gig in Edinburgh on 15 May at Sneaky Pete's.

Weirdest band name of the night went to Geek Maggot Bingo, who brought a completely different sound to the stage. They got the crowd moving with some good old fashioned punk infused rock 'n' roll.

The room filled up for bluesy-rock quarter, The Cracklin' Void. I've now seen the band twice and they are definite crowd pleasers, a good shout to put them as main support. Their catchy tunes and enthusiasm had the crowd dancing and nicely warmed up for the headline act.

The night however, really did belong to The Draynes. A steady run of gigs over the past year has seen support for their garage punk/blues sound grow, and the duo get more confident with every show. This set the band up nicely for the launch of their debut single, 'Give Me Sympathy' which they saved for the last song of the night.
There will be no encore.

Photos courtesy of Jenn Leyden.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

ULTRAS - The Path to Getting Paid

An appropriate song for today. ULTRAS, fronted by Gav Prentice, formally of Over the Wall, have released the video to their song The Path to Getting Paid, pretty much about Gav's hatred of the Conservatives and all that they stand for.

Be sure to catch ULTRAS at any of their upcoming dates:

Nottingham - Saturday 9th May 2015
19.30 - 23.00
The Galleries of Justice

London - Monday 18th May 2015
20.00 - 23.00
Old Queen's Head, Essex Road

Edinburgh - Friday 29th May
19.00 - 22.00
Limbo for Hidden Door Festival at The Bongo Club

Glasgow - Saturday 30th May
17.00 - 22.45
The Glad Cafe, Pollokshaws Road (GoldFlakePaint's Sucker Punch Festival)

Glasgow- Sunday 21st June 2015
15.00 - 11.00
West End Festival All-Dayer at Oran Mor, Byres Road

Hope you all made it to the polls.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Perth pop rockers GoodCopGreatCop are beginning to make a bit of name for themselves, and with new single Future Habits already being picked up and played by the likes of Jim Gellatly, it's a sign that the band are heading in the right direction.

With only a few songs recorded, it seems that GCGC have a knack for a catchy chorus, and Future Habits doesn't disappoint, with a mix of riffs, jangling guitars and an easy sing-along chorus. Lyrics wise, song writer Andy is protesting against part of the music industry that makes it difficult for new bands to get off the ground. Future Habits available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

The band have been together since 2012 and have gigged across much of Scotland - most recently with The Winter Tradition where I saw half the band perform an acoustic set. They have a couple of dates coming up:
15th May - Perth Concert Hall with support from FOREIGNFOX and Made As Mannequins(FREE 18+)
26th May - King Tut's- Glasgow supporting The Winter Tradition
Further into the future, GoodCopGreatCop will be releasing an EP - watch this space.

Monday, 5 January 2015

What was your album of 2014?

2014 was a great year for music, with record sales in vinyl and a lot less Justin Bieber. Over the past few weeks, you've probably seen all the papers, websites and blogs posting their top 10, 30 or 50 albums of the past year, but how about whittling it down to just one?

It's like asking to pick a favourite child, I know, but I'd like to know what you think the best album of the year was.

Personally, top of my list is The Twilight Sad's third album, Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave. It was mature, heartfelt, deep and dark - the only way this band know how to play. They've come a long way over the past few years and this came to a head when they showed up fellow Scots Twin Atlantic at the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party, who have progressively gotten worse since their brilliant debut mini album Vivarium.

Anyway, who is number 1 on your list? And who do we have to look forward to in 2015?

Leave your comments below and join in the debate!