Mac DeMarco Review

[Written By: Emma Lees]

DIY slacker rock hero Mac Demarco played his hotly anticipated date on the last Friday of November at The Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow as part of his This Old Dog tour. Set to be eclectic mix of psychedelic garage music sloped with jazzy overtones and heinous onstage antics – it did not disappoint. Well known for the stream of trippy slow paced romantic records he releases which lie in stark contrast to the boyish and downright vulgar behaviour in his videos and in front of the crowd. With a goofy Lloyd Christmas Canadian charm, endearingly softly spoken voice and low maintenance modus operandi, he’s become a hero for anyone who’s ever felt weird and liked it.


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Odd Beasts by The Menagerie

[Written By: Jen Hughes]

The Menagerie is a hip-hop trio from Brighton consisting of rappers Professor Elemental and Dr Syntax, as well as producer Tom Caruana. The group made their debut in 2005 with their album  Wild Kingdom, which is also worth a listen. After their second album, they took a long break for their own solo projects and collaborations –  until they released Odd Beasts this September.


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Gig Review: Leo Stannard

It is certainly a much sought-after talent for a musician to calm a roomful of people after a couple of drinks, and it is a testament to Leo Stannard’s musicianship that he manages to achieve this feat. His voice is undoubtedly unassuming when contrasted with his appearance: a Charlie Puth look and vibe is thrown off by a deep and slightly hoarse voice similar to that of Ben Howard, whom Stannard seems to draw inspiration from. Couple this with his Jon Gomm-esque percussive and pinch harmonic littered guitar style, and Leo Stannard is clearly placed above the rest of his acoustic pop peers.


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Gig Review: Billie Martin

Billie Marten started writing songs around the age of nine, and when she was twelve, her parents started downloading clips of her singing online for her grandparents to see. Discovered by a record company, she released her first EP at the age of fifteen and has subsequently released an album, gone on tour, played at both festivals and the BBC. She is one of those people you’d put in the annoyingly good at lifecategory. The ones you are jealous of and who make you think to yourself Yeah, I wouldnt mind being a bit like them’. Annoyingly talented, thats what she is. You are in equal measures annoyed and in awe, though.


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Death Grips @ SWG3 30/4/13


Death Grips, a band which had eluded me on more than one occasion, finally upheld their promise to Glasgow and played a gig at the versatile SWG3. My first attempt to see Mr. Stefan Burnett- aka MC Ride- and co. was thwarted when they dropped out last minute from 2012’s ATP festival in London, to the great distress of their then label Epic Records, in order to focus on their second album The Money Store.The experimental, aggressive, more than hip-hop sound of Death Grips would have come as an interesting break from the doom and drone dominated ATP, but dropping out of a festival headlined by metal legends Slayer, not to mention cancelling their entire tour, was a ballsy and some might say foolish move.

Nevertheless the Sacremento based trio have been kicking up quite a storm since their 2010 formation, utilising the web to leak several new tracks and whispers of a lawsuit against them, the hype is far from diminished and their sound has continued to develop in interesting and extreme directions. With remixes of Bjork and the Prodigy their punk-drenched sound is shifting in the most contemporary ways, blending genres the way an infuriated Pollock mixes paint. In the heat of exams, I was keen to see what they were made of live.


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All work and no Play-list

Death by revision

Revision: making me feel like a moron since day.
Unfortunately with exam period looming- unless you’re hell bent on failing/ one of those people who get away with doing nothing there is just no avoiding it.
So whether you’re hauling ass to the library or cowering in the corner of your room struggling to read your own handwriting- this is the playlist that may just get you through.

Disclaimer: Not substitute for actual intelligence


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V-Day @ Subclub 14/2/13

This Valentine’s day saw an end to soppy dates and the tugging of jealous heartstrings when our two local clubbing bad boys, Philanthrobeats and Rubix, teamed up to put the ‘V’ back in ‘Valentine’. Supporting the worldwide movement V-Day on their 15th Anniversary, ‘1 Billion Rising’ aimed to raise voices and shake booties in protest that 1 in 5 women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime.

285638_10151279710147984_1810368038_nThe global activist movement aims to raise awareness and support women and girls around the world regardless of age, nationality, or religion, and for fifteen years has been doing just that. With most of the proceeds from V-Day events going to local projects and charities, often shelters and rape crisis centres.

It all began in 1994 when playwright and activist Eve Ensler wrote the groundbreaking piece ‘The Vagina Monologues’, a play based on interviews with women of different ages and nationalities dealing with what it means to be a female. The monologues range in scope from a girls’ first menstruation (‘When I Was Twelve, My Mother Slapped Me’), to the atrocities committed against women in Bosnian Rape Camps, entitled ‘My Vagina Was My Village’. V-Day was consequently established on Valentines Day 1998 when Eve and a group of New York women threw a single benefit; now there are over 5,800 V-Day events per year.

Needless to say one word is not shied away from in this cause, and it’s a word Philanthrobeats×Rubix took to heart, effectively turning the Subclub into a giant womb. Vaginas were everywhere, once down the stairs club-goers and philanthropists were welcomed at the ticket desk with a tunnel of vagina, pink, draping, alluring? There were vagina cupcakes and lollipops being sold by the bar, and over the bar itself an unforgettable painting by Sophie PP. The dance floor was plush and secluded, with a surprising amount of romance going on, and best of all- the ‘hidden alley’ behind the speakers was transformed into a beautiful funnel of love. Whatever names you have for the decorations, they certainly helped in making the night the success it was, with Subclub at capacity before doors closed.


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Interview: Make Do


With Chambre 69’s out-of-the-blue closure a void was left to be filled in the Glasgow club scene. GUM caught up with Ahsan and Cheesy, one time Chambre booking manager and all round tech wizz respectively, who took it upon themselves to launch a new pop-up club appropriately named Make Do.

Meeting at the new Hope street venue on the evening before their 19th January launch (opposite the seldom noticed grandeur of Central Station), GUM descended into an empty space stacked with monitors and cables that was soon to be morphed into a venue christened by the likes of Offbeat, Cottam, Axel Boman.

“We created Make Do because chambre closed and we had lots of exciting promoters  looking for a space of that size” Ahsan clarified “Glasgows pretty lacking in medium sized venues that can cater to people being able to come in and be encouraged to come up with creative uses of the space.”

The pop-up aims to continue what Chambre was made famous for, namely the diversity of the space that allows promoters to come in and transform it to fit the needs of each individual night.

“One of the main benefits that Chambre had was that you could really make your own night” they explain, “to come in and change it up, and put in whatever production you wanted, flip it around and design it the way you liked. We wanted to offer the same thing with the Make Do space and build upon the Chambre ethos in that sense.”

Flexibility of this nature in a club is often hard to come by, and requires a solid team with enough expertise in their fields to avoid any glitches. “Cheesy is quite renowned for creating really great production in clubs, whether it be light features or visual installations” Ahsan chips in. For those of you who made it to the launch you might have noticed the stack of TV’s playing loops of old film clips next to the speakers, a Cheesy signature. “Having him on board means that promoters know the high level of technical know-how that he brings to the table.” he continues, “which is definitely a key point”.


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Album Review: My Bloody Valentine – m b v


Never before have so many bearded men in their mid-thirties cried from a combination of  sheer joy and frustration. Picture the scene: it’s been 22 years since My Bloody Valentine’s last album, 1991’s hugely influential Loveless. Since then front man Kevin Shields has repeatedly waved the possibility of a follow-up in front of what must be the most patient fan base in the history of modern music; and then, out-of-the-blue, the band flippantly announce over Facebook that the new album is ready to order via their website. Now, MBV inspire a very particular type of diehard fan, the kind of dude that knows the exact combination of effect pedals used on the band’s whole back catalogue and is more than willing to share this information with you on Youtube. So, when the much anticipated album came to their attention, they flooded MBV’s website in their thousands causing it to crash until the very early hours of the morning – cue the tears.


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Read more about the article The Last Dance @ Chambre 69
from left: Assan, Colin, Tanner

The Last Dance @ Chambre 69

from left: Assan, Colin, Tanner
from left: Ahsan, Colin, Tanner

This past Friday saw Chambre 69 opening its doors to Glasgow clubbers for the last time at its current location at 69 Nelson Mandela Place. The shock closure, announced over Facebook, sent ripples of confusion and a general melancholy over the demise of what has been, for the last 18 months, one of Glasgow’s finest venues.

The Chambre team wrote in their announcement that “this has come totally out of the blue for us and we are not in a position to negotiate staying in the venue any longer.” The shady nature of the closure and the last minute pull-together of the acts gives anyone who wants to put on a packed-out club night a bit of hope. But then we have to remember that these are the Chambre guys, and we could only be so lucky as to have such a hint of scandal to propel a club night into the stratosphere.

Originally billed as Chicago vs. Detroit, the line-up was changed to reflect the times, beginning with Glasgow based collective and electronic label All Caps, to aliOOFT, Void and Tanner. Seasoned regulars mixed with the scene kids for one last night at the soon-to-be notorious venue. That is to say, if it wasn’t before, the half mile queue down Buchanan street certainly made it so.

_MG_5128 Shaun Murphy of Vitamins, was quoted as saying “It’s a genuine loss to the club scene, hopefully whatever fills the void has a similar open, risk taking and supportive ethos.” Luckily for us Cheesy (Chambre Tech) and Ahsan (Deadly Rhythm / Former Chambre booking manager) will be launching a pop-up venue appropriately named Make Do, which will have it’s opening night this Saturday.

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Dauwd @ Rubix 13/12/12


Just before Christmas the Rubix boys put on the fifth installment of what is becoming one of Glasgow’s staple nights. With past acts including South London Ordnance, Joonipah, Elphino, and staple Point To C; Rubix is the night for those who are particularly enamoured with the cutting edge of electronic music. Subclub was forcefully launched into the festive spirit with lashing of UV lights and rubix cubes hanging from the ceiling, the night proved to be the final assault against those pesky exam blues. GUM caught up with newcomer Dauwd at the afterparty to chat about music, his heritage, and his unwavering obsession with Dylan Thompson.

Interviewing on a sunken sofa surrounded by party goers I begin by asking the inevitable first question; how does Glasgow compare to other cities he’s played in? Without hesitation he says “The Glasgow crowd is really good, they’re boss!”, a statement that reflects the pull the city has on similar musicians, such as James Rand who played at Rubix in May last year. With friendly rivalry in the air at the mention of Rand, Dauwd exclaims “he’s so shit, he’s just like Skrillex”. The musicians met when doing the rounds of the Liverpool club circuit, playing at institutions such as Chibuku Shake Shake, where Dauwd played a supporting act back in October.

A relative newcomer on the electronic music scene Dauwd Al Hilali has taken it by storm, with roots in Iraq, a childhood in Wales, he now oscillates  between London and Liverpool. His first EP ‘What’s There’ was released on Pictures Music in November 2011, while his reputation continues to be solidified by excellent live performances and a few strategic placements on compilations. One such compilation is Adult Swim’s ‘Unclassified’ which includes the likes of Kode9 and Lukid, as well as a recent mix he curated for 22 Tracks, where samples of Andy Stott are used to great success.


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Review: SWANS & Sir Richard Bishop @ The Arches 16/11/12


Experiencing a band who have retained their musical integrity over a thirty year period is not a daily pleasure; it’s a grand event. Swans’ appearance in Glasgow carried with it high expectations, and with support from Sir Richard Bishop it made for a promising line-up. Ticket price was reasonable for The Arches, and certainly merited by the band’s industrious career: exceeding thirty releases.

The tour follows the release of one of 2012’s more interesting albums: The Seer. The artwork introduces the stark contrast heard in the music, and was in all manners a release concerned with every nuance of the sound. The title-track’s 32-minute duration and bagpipe/percussion introduction brings to mind Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s East Hastings, but soon ascends above and beyond in the moody excitement of Swans’ rich, rolling and diverse constructs. The track is largely representative of Swans live: in the course of a two-hour show we were subjected to only six songs, but each successive track sapped more sanity and drove the sheer weight of the sound into the audience.

The crowd varied in age and well-represented the diverse appeal of Swans’ music. As support, Sir Richard Bishop’s music promised a fine and delicate contrast to the onslaught which followed. What he presented, however, was a dirtier, more convoluted sound. To watch his fingers it was clear that technically his playing was precise, even in its more chaotic motions, yet the sound was dense and reverberated angrily through the venue’s halls.


Continue ReadingReview: SWANS & Sir Richard Bishop @ The Arches 16/11/12
Read more about the article Review: Sonica
Robin Fox, photo by Lasse Marhaug

Review: Sonica

Sonica, a festival of sonic arts showcasing both British and International artists, had its world premier in Glasgow this November. The festival was produced by a company called Cryptic, whose goal is to nurture and develop the Scottish visual arts.  Their intentions came to fruition in this two-week festival.  Showcasing a wide variety of work from international artists (including our very own Luke Fowler) Sonica presented a range of interesting shows: including their children’s program, presenting the darker side of ‘Ecstatic Art’, as well as putting on a generous amount of free exhibitions.

Robin Fox, photo by Lasse Marhaug

Sonica utilized a wide range of interesting spaces in Glasgow. This provided not only an artistic experience for the viewers but also an element of adventure, in which  punters must discover the various locations of the shows. However, this may have been a touch too experimental at points- the “pop up festival hub” was a little too spontaneous and on another occasion, a miscommunication led to one of the exhibitions being cut short a day early without any warning.  But, despite this, one must admire the artistic ingenuity of the organizers.  The shows that were presented successfully, on location and on time, were triumphant.

Robin Foxe’s Laser show, for instance, was a particular hit. Upon viewing the show, there was a separate installation as you entered into the performance space which gave you a feel for what you were about to experience. The piece played on the idea of our modern day conception of fun: in the liquid, musical and visual sense. It was an arrangement of glasses catching the light as they rotated on a disk turntable.  A simple idea but one which captivates the viewer and could engage you for hours, as the light cut through the glasses in speckled flecks. The performance space was not a seated floor plan, but just people standing in an open space. There was an unusual element to the show in the sense that there was more than one area which required your attention. I anticipated that I would be concentrating solely in the direction of the light source, but then would entirely miss the actual projection of the light onto the back wall. In between these two displays were the strong beams of green light cutting through the room to create a performance with three spheres of entertainment.


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Preview: Guilt. Free. Partying. ‘Make Noise’ Glasgow

Love partying?

Hate the guilt?

This is the one for you.

Imagine for a minute you’re the Glaswegian Pinocchio. It’s a Thursday Night and you fancy going clubbing. So you have a few drinks with your mates, head to Subby, and it’s all well and good until you get to the door and you find that instead of the usual bouncers it’s Jiminy Cricket standing there. Then he asks you when was the last time was that you recycled your mobile phone? Lost for words, you just blurt out that you don’t have a phone and before you know it, your nose has gotten so big that you can’t fit through the door.

Don’t be that guy.
Bring your broken electrical goods and exchange them for a night of clubbing goodness.

When: Thurs 22nd Nov

Where: Sub Club

Door tax: FREE with any broken electrical item. NB in the eventuality that you can’t find anything GUM recommends going via Murano/checking the nearest skip. (This is not an excuse to dash your phone out the window/drunkenly drop it down the toilet and claim a new one on insurance.)

Line up: Benji B (Radio 1) DJ Martelo  (NTS) and Conquering Animal Sound (Live set)


Continue ReadingPreview: Guilt. Free. Partying. ‘Make Noise’ Glasgow

Spotlight: Valerie June

It’s hard to remember the hazy day’s of summer when you’re holed up in bed, surrounded by various unread books, resisting the urge to put the heating on whilst not quite being able to muster the motivation to haul ass yourself to the library.

That’s right folks, essay season is here; thankfully it’s not here to stay.

If you’re reading this, well done, at least your procrastination is less destructive than my Ebay habit. Let’s face it you’re not going to start reading that book anytime sooner, there’s no way you can ever keep up with your reading list so you may as well put those peepers to good use and have a butchers of Tess Hokin’s interview with up and coming soul sensation Valerie June. Disclaimer: GUM accept no responsibility for you blowing the dregs of your loan on ticket for Bestival 2013…

With Southern Belle charm and an resonating, unexpected voice, Valerie June practically glows in an aura of ‘Next-Big-Thing-ness’. She is staggeringly glamorous, with a head full of massive ringlets of dreadlocks and a beaming white smile, yet completely down to earth, chatting away in a Southern drawl you can’t help but find endearing. After years of menial jobs and selling records out of the back of her car, June is finally about to release her first album for a record label. We caught up with her just before her debut UK performance at Bestival, and can only say that you can expect to hear a whole lot more from this unique and talented musician.

How have you been finding the UK and Bestival so far? 

It’s been great so far, this is my first time here so it’s really different, the people here are so fearless in their fashion sense- I love it! I’ve been travelling all over and [Bestival] is incredible. It’s like some kinda magical fairyland.


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Africa Express

Damon Albarn’s Africa Express is perhaps the ultimate jam-sesh. The annual event is a clash of cultures and juxtaposition of genres which somehow harmonises into a truly impressive experience and a reminder of music’s overwhelming power.

The concept? Collect 80 musicians from Africa, the UK, and around the world, throw them on a train for a week, and get them to write, make music, and play impromptu sets all over the country. With so many backgrounds, egos and musical styles jumbled onto one moving cylinder, a certain degree of chaos seems inevitable. But while a few technicalities and messy changeovers slipped in during the six hours of music, the result of Albarn’s project involves some seriously moving moments.

Designed as a political statement about unity, togetherness, and living together, Africa Express has been working its way around the country, delivering bongo drums, Baba Maal, Carl Barat, Rizzle Kicks, bagpipes, and more, all as one not-quite-seamless but all together brilliant performance. Each stop on the tour is unique and irreplicable, with the music transforming and changing along the journey and on the stage itself.

At Glasgow’s Arches, audience members were treated to an immense range of musical styles and unheard-of combinations. A bongo-backed karaoke version of ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ later gave way to South African rapper Spoek Mathambo and bagpipes. Later, Albarn himself played a song which he had started writing a few weeks before, and had finished on the train that afternoon. That song might have sounded entirely different at the next show, and it’s this kind of one-off musical spontaneity which makes ‘Afex’ so special.


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Review: Bestival

Bestival brought British Festival Season to a shuddering, sun-bathed climax this September as the summer’s penultimate event. Way down on the Isle of Wight, 55,000 punters clung to their last few days of reckless abandon like babies to their mother’s bosom, stirring up an atmosphere of determined enthusiasm not just for the lineup, but for life in general. A record breaking wildlife-themed fancy dress, mind-blowing musical acts across the board, and peak temperatures of 27 degrees heightened that enthusiasm to delirious euphoria.

British festivals haven’t had an easy time of it this year. With no Glasto, disasters like London’s Bloc, and the public eye focused on the Olympics, ticket sales saw major dips. So Bestival, galloping forward at the end of the season like a knight in shining armour, was a much needed reminder of what those unwashed weekends are all about.


The four day extravaganza kicked off with a groovy set from Hot Chip, Gary Numan strutting about the Big Top stage in multiple coats of eyeliner, and an overwhelming sense of relief after the long journey South. With tents, fairy lights, and 4000 meters of bunting stretching as far as the eye could see, the site was a small city, and even boasted an inflatable cathedral to make it official.

Punters woke to 3 dazzling days of sunshine and meandered around the massive arena, finding the weird and the wonderful at every turn. Tightrope walkers, ‘lycra-clad bearded trannies’, a burlesque tea tent, and a make-your-own veggie instrument stand were just a handful of the hidden gems twinkling in the fields. With so much on offer, it would have been easy to while away the weekend without ever visiting a stage, but on Friday afternoon the music was already floating through the airwaves at curator Rob Da Bank’s Replay stage. Jake Bugg played his raspy, bluesy tunes, a massive turn out for humble Mercury Prize nominees Alt-J spilled out onto grass, and the haunting vocals of Norwegian goddess Ane Brun radiated out of the Big Top. Things got sentimental as the sun set and Lianne La Havas told Bestival crowds, ‘you truly are the best…of all’.

All this emotion and things hadn’t even started on the mainstage. The xx pulled in one of the largest crowds in Besti-history for their UK festival exclusive, followed by Florence and the Machine, the ethereal redhead galloping across the stage like some sort of woodland nymph. As the arena wound down for the night, diehard partiers moved to Arcadia, a laser show/mechanical spider/dubstep DJ booth nestled among the campsites, and sleepyheads ventured into the curious ‘slumber disco’ to bob about over their passed-out peers.


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Review: Dimensions Festival

An abandoned Croatian fort, crystal clear waters, good vibes and a whole lot of electronic sounds. A new festival is born.

After having witnessed the rise and (very quick) fall of what was meant to be Bloc Festival in London earlier this summer, I must say that I was a little apprehensive about coming to Dimensions. Sure, this newcomer on the scene was organised by the experienced team behind award-winning Outlook Festival, but could they handle the up-sizing without any major teething problems?

Dimensions take place in the same abandoned fort on the Croatian coastline that has been the home of Outlook for the past five years. I dare to say that the location is one of the best things about this festival. If you’re camping, when you wake up in the morning (if you ever went to sleep, that is) because the sun has risen and is making you sweat through your sleeping bag, you simply roll out of your tent, grab a towel and make your way to the beach. In Glasgow you never get to realise this because we live in constant apocalyptic rain, but there’s nothing to cure a hangover and make you feel human again like crystal clear waters, a gentle sea breeze and some general good vibes. Day-time at Dimensions is all about the boat and beach parties. Six boats left the harbour every day and the music rarely stopped at the beach, with enthusiastic day-time ravers bouncing in the large sandpit under a DJ booth shaped like a large ship. The beach became the place to be in the day, whether you wanted to snooze in the shade, chill with a drink in one of the bars or dance under the hot sun.


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Review: Doune the Rabbit Hole

Surrounded almost entirely by endless fields of sheep, you’d never guess that the independent non-profit music festival, Doune the Rabbit Hole, took place just half an hour from Glasgow. A small collective of artists, hippies, toddlers and music-lovers assembled at Duncarron Medieval fort last weekend for some stellar performances in Scottish music and general good times.

With just 400 attendees (half of which seemed to be either performing or volunteering), the  3 day event had an intimate family vibe, with toddlers sloshing about in the mud and grownups getting sloshed on Thistly Cross Cider. Even at the main venue, the Jabberwocky stage, artists were within spitting distance of their adoring fans, which resulted in some hilarious requests, dedications and interactive antics.

We arrived on Friday afternoon to a laid-back group of happy campers and chilled acoustic music, punctuated by a couple of rollicking rock bands such as The Stagger Rats and the squealy fun of The Lovely Eggs. Wee ones caught raindrops at the Toddler’s Hangout or had a go at moulding clay at the Pottery Caravan while dreadlocked mums and dads chatted to musicians they’d see later onstage. Young folk were busy getting jolly and stumbling over tree-trunks or munching on some of the local nosh on offer- including steamy mugs of tea and hummus wraps from Glasgow’s very own Tchai-Ovna.


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Preview: Dimensions Festival

As mentioned in the GUM Outlook Festival preview, new and exciting things are happening at Fort Punta Christo in Pula, Croatia. This year, once the music from Outlook has gone quiet, it won’t be long until the Croatian coastline comes alive again with tunes from what promises to be one of the most important underground electronic music festivals in Europe this year. Electronic music and sound systems go hand in hand, and Dimensions promises a higher technical specification of sound systems than at any other festivals of its size. It’s definitely one for you techno junkies out there, and we know Glasgow has a few…

If you’re a student at Glasgow University, chances are you’ve discovered just how amazing the Glasgow music and club scene is. If you like your electronic sounds, blip-blop noises, 4×4 basslines and a bit of wubwubwub then you are also more than likely to recognise much of the Dimensions line-up from their Glasgow gigs earlier this year – Andrew Weatherall, Ben UFO, Benji B, Blawan, Eliphino, Four Tet, Joy Orbison, Pinch, Pearson Sound, Theo Parrish and Zed Bias to name a few.


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Bestival: Preview

It ain’t called Bestival for nothing, folks. If acts like Florence + the Machine, Ben Howard, Rizzle Kicks and Stevie Wonder (I repeat, Stevie Wonder) didn’t already have you on your knees, then just a glance at the rest of the lineup will see you begging for a ticket. The sheer variety of musical styles is staggering, but curator Rob da Bank has chosen only the cream of the crop from each genre, making Bestival the be-all-end-all of 2012’s festival circuit.

Reading the lineup has got us just about wetting ourselves with excitement; it features everyone from the ubersuccessful such as Emeli Sande, Nero, Two Door Cinema Club and Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Ros, to the lovely Lucy Rose (whose folksy sound has had crowds falling in love at festivals all over the country this summer) and DJ sets from Bassnectar and Jamie xx. In fact, there are so many heavyweight musical talents being plonked onto the Isle of Wight this September that it’s in danger of sinking.


Continue ReadingBestival: Preview

Review: Kendal Calling 2012

After a glorious weekend of mud, music and general enjoyment, Kendal Calling organisers Ben Robinson and Andy Smith can sit back and congratulate themselves on another job well done. The 16 areas of the festival were filled to the brim with all kinds of entertainment, and everyone from the teeniest of tots to the greying festival-veteran wore a happy grin. There was no mystery as to why; Kendal Calling has so much to offer, you can’t help but find something special to smile at.

After pitching our camp comfortably close to both the arena and the main gate, we explored the various venues and found ourselves delightfully surrounded by fairy tale touches (a gingerbread house, a wishing tree and a ferris wheel to name a few). We wandered through the magical Woodlands stage, where silent discos were held at night and welly-clad kiddies danced in the mud by day, and tried our best to resist the temptation of a relaxing massage in the Garden of Eden. Laughter was already erupting from the Soapbox; a trend which continued all weekend with performances from mimes, comedians and musicians filling the circus-style marquee. Our exploring gave us quite the appetite, and there was no shortage of delicious options to choose from, even for veggie-vores like us. Tummies happy, we floated over to Chai Wallah’s and got stuck into the musical magic.


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Preview: Outlook Festival 2012

When Fort Punta Christo was built on the Croatian coast in the eighteen hundreds, it was most likely not with the intention of it being turned into a banging party venue every summer hosting one of Europe’s best festivals. Fortunately for us though, this is exactly what happened and since 2010 the abandoned fort has played host to Outlook festival, awarded “Best International Festival” at this year’s UK Festival Awards. The festival itself has been going since 2008, taking place in different locations across the Croatian coastline. With a promise to make 2012 the best year so far, the team behind the growing success have set out to create a festival experience you won’t forget.

Taking place on the 30th of August until the 3rd of September, Outlook is one of the last festivals of the season, perhaps that last bit of summer fun you’ll have before diving head-first back into autumn. Whilst festivals in the UK usually leave you knee-deep in mud, Croatia is a prime location for a summer festival with guaranteed sunny vibes. Pack your bikini; leave the Wellies behind – easy. It’s hard to think of a better combination than sunbathing and going swimming in crystal clear water in the day, and then dancing to some amazing live music all night (and morning) long. To whet your appetite, take a look at the 2011 Highlights – you can almost feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.


Continue ReadingPreview: Outlook Festival 2012

Little Goes a Long Way: Kendal Calling proves that big isn’t always better

Festival Season is upon us, and while the Big Guys like T in the Park, Reading, and Leeds are busy swamping the scene with their high prices and massive crowds, its worth taking look North to a smaller celebration of music and art. Think less cattle-herding between stages, more free-roaming wildlife; less queuing for overpriced Tuborg, more real ale from the hands of the bearded men who make it; less wandering lost amongst leering strangers, more befriending everyone you meet. With so much love to give, Kendall Calling offers festival-goers a breath of fresh Cumbrian air.

Music-lovers have flocked to the deer dappled fields of the Lake District and frolicked in the friendly atmosphere, fantastic music and delicious nosh of Kendal Calling for the past six years. At nearly ten times its initial capacity, the festival has grown into a three-day wonderland involving sixteen unique stages, all bringing a different piece of the magical puzzle to the table. There’s the House Party tent, complete with biscuits and beds to jump on; the Garden of Eden, where you can treat yourself to a massage or simply recover from the night before in the tranquil beauty of the Lake District; and the Ladybird children’s area, giving out free story-telling, mask making and music workshops to the wee-est attendees.


Continue ReadingLittle Goes a Long Way: Kendal Calling proves that big isn’t always better

Belleruche True Thoughts Album Launch












Tucked down an alleyway just off the busy Shoreditch high street, The Hoxton Pony was the ideal venue for the launch of one of London’s finest 3 piece electro outfits Belleruche. By 7.30 the basement- which boasts a Funktion One soundsystem was packed out with mostly 20something hipsters cradling complimentary champagne. Whilst we were waiting the resident Dj kept everyone entertained with laid back house and techno.

When the band eventually took to the stage they were met with a warm reception, having yet to see Belleruche live I was intrigued to see what their performance would involve. There’s no other way of saying it, but the make-up of the group is weird. Picture a sultry female solo singer clad in a glitzy black dress, a geeky Dj glued to his synthesiser and a stereotypical bassist hidden behind a shaggy mop of hair. Undoubtedly a strange mix, but for some reason – much like a bloody mary – it just works. (more…)

Continue ReadingBelleruche True Thoughts Album Launch

REVIEW: The Maccabees – Given To The Wild

Since 2007 and their debut Album ‘Colour It In’, The Maccabees have come a long way from singing about wave machines and ‘Toothpaste Kisses’. Their third album ‘Given To The Wild’ was released on Wednesday the 9th of January and has proven evidence of the band’s observable maturing since their adolescent, harmless debut.

‘Given To The Wild’ entered the UK mid-week charts at #1 before debuting at #4 on the official weekend charts, the band’s highest ever placing album. With this record, there are remnants of the old Maccabees, there is an essence that holds this album and the last together however, with it’s bigger, more anthemic sound and subject matter – as well as the hype factor off  the back of their last album obviously – it’s no wonder that this album is looking to propel them to new heights.


Continue ReadingREVIEW: The Maccabees – Given To The Wild

Album review: A Place to Bury Strangers – Onward to the Wall

A Place to Bury Strangers, the current flag-bearers of American Noise, will be releasing their latest Ep Onward to the Wall this month (7th of February) on the record label Dead Oceans. With the release of this new extended player, a short 5-track explosion, a slightly new feel is noticeably present. Although not far removed from their trademark sound of surfy, grimy, feedback driven rock, the sound has been sculpted into something typically reckless, yet more mature, without losing its chaotic charm. There seems to be more control on the Ep’s five tracks with lead singer and song-writer Oliver Ackerman venturing up new and unexpected sonic avenues.


Continue ReadingAlbum review: A Place to Bury Strangers – Onward to the Wall

GUM’s Choice of Tracks and Albums 2011

Here, a selection of our music contributors put forward what they consider to be the best musical offerings of 2011. But who are we to put them in order? So here they are, lined up as equals and open for your interpretation. Feel free to defend, argue or add your own favourites in the comment box below – Because there’s nothing quite as contentious as an end of year list…

[TRACK] NY Is Killing Me by Gil Scott Heron and Jamie xx from the album We’re New Here.

An outstanding rework album, We’re New Here exhibits new Electronic music’s capability to be confessional, injected with pathos, and still able to flood a dance floor with sub-  bass and addictive manipulated vocal samples. Now a tribute to the late Gil Scott-Heron, this album is a template for minimalist perfection – affirming that the clock is ticking on populist Dubstep. Mixed seamlessly NY is Killing Me in particular is a credit to Jamie XX. With a drop that Skrillex’ ugly sound could only dream of, and a soul that exudes 1960s provenance; this is how Electronic music should be done (MJ).

[TRACK] Bed of Nails by Wild Beasts from the album Smother.

A hint of Twin Peaks about it, Wild Beast’s third release, Smother marks a move towards the ethereal. Bed of Nails exemplifies this new musical manifesto; smouldering lyrics, murky vocals and a haunting electronica pulse –part of a new breed (The Horrors, The Rapture, Outfit) in a sea of tired pop. Maybe Domino Records’ first great release since the mid-noughties’ indie alternative blitz (Franz Ferdinand, et al.) (MJ)

[ALBUM] Sam Baker’s Album by Samiyam.

This album was dropped back in June, all hazy and swaggering. Samiyam (AKA Sam Baker) created a collection of crisp instrumental hip-hop that was acutely delivered yet still deliciously woozy – as ready for the club as it was for chilling in your room half cut. With jazz influences, it is a welcome break from the other more bombastic trends in electronic music. As a whole, Sam Baker’s Album flows with an apparent effortlessness that makes it completely attractive. Also spectacular live back in November. (MD).

Continue ReadingGUM’s Choice of Tracks and Albums 2011

Some Musical Trends of 2011

Probably meaningless, definitely biased.

1.  Mainstream Dubstep. The word ‘Skrillex’ perhaps became the most divisive word of the year in music. Run of the mill chart music was infiltrated by bombastic, mutated versions of this genre, often with unexpected remixes (eg. Korn). For some, endless bass drops and grating wobbles are the thing of ecstasy, for others it causes a teeth grinding disdain ‘towards the watering down of an ‘underground’ scene’. It certainly brings out the Frasier in people.


2. More, more and more – MAXIMAL electronic music.  Producer du jour Rustie rose to the top in 2011 as the figurehead of this attack on the boring. In his album ‘Glass Swords’, he brought intensely layered synths and crazed melodies, with every aspect being multiplied to the nth degree. This is the music of a coked-up Sonic the Hedgehog, it is pure hyperbole. Pitchfork of course wrote an immensely long, detailed, socially relevant piece on it but that makes it so much less fun.

3. High-pitched female vocal samples. The more twisted and obscure the better.  Blawan’s ‘Getting Me Down’, Hudson Mowhawke with ‘Thunder Bay’, the list goes on and possible culminates with the mega-hyped ‘Ordinary Things’ by xxxy. It often gives a more sensual tone to tracks which without Brandy squealing over the top would be lacking in humanity and catchiness. However, it seems to always verge on the ridiculous and has it now gone as far as it can?

4. Folk saturation. Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, and about 3896 emerging new bands adhered to the formula of acoustic guitar, wistful lyrics and super twee image. Yes, it’s lovely and tame, but in the same way that you can’t really dislike a kitten. Enough.


Continue ReadingSome Musical Trends of 2011

Daft Friday Interview/Review 16.12.11

As GUM arrives early in the night of Daft Friday, it is safe to say that the Glasgow University Union looks pretty damn good. Apart from the beautifully dressed crowd, with girls in their cocktail dresses and ball gowns and boys in suits or kilts, the whole union has been covered in some, to say the least, impressive artwork.

Those who have been to Daft Friday in previous years may expect to enter a parallel universe stepping through the doors of the union. Last year, that universe involved elves, hobbits and a rather famous ring. This year, we step into a whole new galaxy – Star Wars.

GUM caught up with the creative team behind this years’ Daft Friday artwork to find out just how much blood, sweat and fun it takes to transform a university union into a different world for one night.

“It is important to pick a theme that students will recognise”, head painter James South tells me. “If somebody comes in and they see something they don’t know well, they won’t get that “wow”-factor that we’re after. Star Wars is such a big and dramatic thing that I think it’s right for this environment”.

James came back to Daft Friday after a gap of a few years. “I thought that the artwork wasn’t what it used to be, we weren’t delivering like we used to”, he says. “People were walking around without really caring, we needed to make people open their eyes and really go “wow”.”

Last year when it was Lord of the Rings that covered the walls, the same idea of recognition was behind it. The artwork needs to be easily recognisable and it needs to be dramatic. So far, every year has also been film themed, the team tells me.

Creating this multiple floor piece of art is, not so surprisingly, a lengthy process. James starts with collecting material and finding iconic moments from the chosen story. It is important to get the scenes right, he explains, as the story of the films is told as you walk up the floors of the building. It starts at the bottom and walking up the stairs, one can follow the story right to the final scenes at the top.


Continue ReadingDaft Friday Interview/Review 16.12.11

Review – Frightened Rabbit @ Daft Friday 16.12.11

Putting one of Scotland’s local indie darlings onstage just before midnight at Glasgow University’s annual black tie ball is sure to yield a predictably drunken turnout, and although there’s no abundance of staggering youngsters, who don’t seem to know what room they’ve ended up in tonight, the core of Frightened Rabbit’s audience know exactly what they came here for.

The band have come a long way since sophomore album The Midnight Organ Fight blew up in 2008, and with all the subsequent critical acclaim and overseas touring (not to mention the release of an even more successful follow-up), it feels as if things have come full circle here at their last gig of 2011. There’s a rich sense of homeliness in the room as frontman Scott Hutchison beams around halfway through the set: “Thanks for coming to the Frightened Rabbit office Christmas party”. He later checks up on the crowd: “I hope you’re doing okay out there. We’re having a fucking great time”. The man’s earned the right to be enjoying himself, and, having performed well-received set staples like I Feel Better and Fast Blood, his band have no doubt proved their relevance to any naysayers that may have been present up to this point.


Continue ReadingReview – Frightened Rabbit @ Daft Friday 16.12.11

Mummy Short Arms EP Launch – “It’s a Glasgow thing, y’know?”

Saturday the 12th of November saw the release of Mummy Short Arms’ single ‘Change’ at Pivo Pivo. In the back of the bar’s kitchen, the band talked to GUM about life as Mummy Short Arms, a band’s life in Glasgow and what the future holds for them.

Words by Tom Clarke, Photos by Jassy Earl

Mummy Short Arms have been kicking around Glasgow for a while now. “I think we’ve been going since 2003” muses James Allan, the bands singer and harmonica player as the band begin to divulge their history. Aside from Allan, the band are Fraser Gillies on guitar, Garry Pinkerton on drums, Stuart Brown also on guitar, Dean McClure on keys, Cameron Findlay on bass and Craig Brown who purportedly does “many things within the band”. Having started out as a three piece, the band have come a long way from their origins of covering The Cranberries and The Pixies with Fraser on vocals. Picking up Dean “because he’s a keyboard master plus he had a microkorg (synthesizer) before the guy from The Killers”, and moving James onto vocals, Mummy Short Arms have come to create a sound that, as Cameron puts it, is simply “quite different from what a lot of bands (in Glasgow) are doing”. It is a sound that is defined most notably by Allen’s rough, howling and whooping voice that has drawn comparisons to Captain Beefheart in reviews and interviews and which is reminiscent of Isaac Brock’s vocals with Modest Mouse.


Continue ReadingMummy Short Arms EP Launch – “It’s a Glasgow thing, y’know?”

Review: Hyde & Beast @ Captain’s Rest, 8th November

What do you call a guy who hangs out with musicians?

–          A drummer.

Yeah, ok, never really great are they? Regardless, everyone knows at least one drummer joke. In fact there’s a whole website dedicated to them. It’s called; almost as simple as the subject matter (ZING). I never was good at jokes. Anyway… this incessant rambling about drummer jokes is actually relevant, I swear. This is because there’s something rather peculiar about Hyde & Beast, the indie-psych-rock duo from Sunderland; they are both better known for being drummers in bands The Futureheads (Dave Hyde) and Golden Virgins (Neil Bassett).  So what happens when two drummers get together and make some music? In this case – magic.

The duo brought their brand of laid back, harmony drenched cosmic pop to Glasgow’s Captain’s Rest on Tuesday 8th November, bringing their music alive with the help of four other musicians. The crowd were few but the band filled the room with tunes from their debut album ‘Slow Down’, which was released this summer.


Continue ReadingReview: Hyde & Beast @ Captain’s Rest, 8th November

Preview – Azari and III @ The Arches – 12th November

A visual feast, Azari & III take to the cavernous stage of  The Arches as part of a UK & Europe-wide tour this autumn – Saturday 12th November 11pm-3am. Here, Marcus Jack inspects their sound  in expectation of their performance.

Grace Jones meets Justice; Azari & III are a four-piece from Toronto shaking house music to its ancient roots. Composed of producers Christian Farley and Alphonse Lanza (aka Dinamo Azari and Alixander II) and vocalists Fritz Helder and Cedric Gasiada their unique set up provokes a sense of performance and theatre.

Akin to two almost-mechanical electroclash Caesars manipulating their two vocalist marionettes – who reference everything from Prince to Peaches – the group are a response to the mutilated house genre. A brilliant, sultry and decadent debut – the result is intoxicating.


Continue ReadingPreview – Azari and III @ The Arches – 12th November

Creatures of The Night @ Ashton Lane

With Pendulum, Foals, Capitals and Boycotts – 29th October

There are a number of things which first raised my suspicions in this Halloween event – The fact that it was run by a massive beer company (down wiv capitalism!), doubts it would be ‘the Halloween party to end them all’ it claimed and I suppose this is just snobbery, but the Pendulum DJ set.

It started of relatively gently with brilliant sets from local bands Boycotts and Capitals. They managed to pull in decent crowds and gave full on performances despite the tiny space of Brel’s conservatory. It does seem like I’m championing the underdog here, but it really is too easy when over at the Grosvenor Café, Pendulum took to the podium to inevitably reign over the whole event.

Yes, I have beef with Pendulum. I just can’t get over their relentless build ups and break downs and constant touring of an album released in 2008 – October must be a quiet time for the band, what with the Fresher’s Week season well and truly finished 2 months ago. Whilst there was an inordinate amount of fist pumping wankers at the front, Pendulum can only be applauded for filling such a large space and getting what felt like 3785 people bouncing simultaneously.


Continue ReadingCreatures of The Night @ Ashton Lane

Mid Week Mellowness – A new GUM playlist

In this consciously upbeat dedication to ambient pop and acoustic, Jassy Earl takes us through some of her favourite current tunes that will definitely make you want to forget about that crappy Thursday and retreat to the woods…

[ONE]  Ben Howard – The Wolves

It may seem an obvious choice but raving earlier over Ben Howard’s debut, I was astonished to be deafened by replies of “who?!” If you haven’t heard of him yet, it begs the question as to whether you’ve been tracking down polar bears in the Hebrides or have indeed lost your hearing after too many night on Sauchiehall Street. His album Every Kingdom is an intimate beach side jam and a layering of folk and mainstream pop; a showcase of raspy voice and magnificent guitar virtuosity. It’s a sound comparable to Jose Gonzalez’ and is definitely about and beyond the hyper-popular appeal of Ed Sheeran. There’s believability and a raw emotional loading. The Wolves itself is haunting and soulful amongst complicated guitar patterns and military drum beats; and empowering antherm that should be the top of your Most Played list.

[TWO]  Lucy Rose – Middle of The Bed

After supporting Ben Howard on Tour, Lucy Rose is one to look out for. She finished her A-Levels, lent her vocals toBombay Bicycle’s ‘Flaws’ and has continued to follow in the footsteps of Laura Marling and Emmy the Great, who have spurned a new generation of female singer-songwriters. Beautiful lyrics, acoustic melodies and a subtle husky tone loaded with beautiful harmonies and simple storytelling lyrics makes the track a catchy one. It’s also worth checking out Don’t You Worry –  more sombre, but still magnificent.


Continue ReadingMid Week Mellowness – A new GUM playlist

Review – Musicbox ‘Double Bill’ with Kitty The Lion and Bear Bones @ Stereo

On 20th October Megan Donald visited Stereo to see some quality emerging talent and to try to understand the state of the much debated  ‘folk-pop’.   Photos by Fiona Boyd.

Looking back at the preview I wrote for Musicbox ‘Double Bill’, it is admittedly heavy in hyperbole. It’s too easy a path to stumble down when you want to convey boundless enthusiasm but are, as ever, pushed for time/a bit lazy. Waving about such high claims is a very precarious thing to do: “A finer collection of Scottish acoustic artists would be near impossible to find”, I declared. Re-reading this and a massive ‘REALLY?’ rings in my head. In hindsight though, perhaps my slight idleness can be brushed aside – Musicbox ‘Double Bill’ really was impressive.

And pulling off a night dedicated to folk pop is no easy thing. As a genre it’s especially prone to crappy impersonators – open mic regulars with acoustic guitars, where the only relief is the chance appearance of a tambourine. This gig proved that this luckily isn’t folk’s fate.  With a total of 4 acts playing, there was a fine balance between stylistic variety and cohesiveness between the bands, meaning the night never dragged but managed to demonstrate the breadth of styles which are usually lumped together under the genre. In fact it helped dissolve the acoustic, Arran jumper-wearing stereotype – it was unpretentious, loud and there weren’t really that many beards. To understand a bit more about the artists involved I spoke to them about their own distinctive styles, and tried to see what links them.


Continue ReadingReview – Musicbox ‘Double Bill’ with Kitty The Lion and Bear Bones @ Stereo

Andrea Marini at Mono – An Interview

Contributor Alexandra Embiricos went down to Mono to listen to Glaswegian singer songwriter Andrea Marini and attempted to unpick his charmingly modest personality and hard work ethic.

Andrea Marini would appear to be more at home performing in a western than at Mono on a rainy Glasgow evening in September. But despite his name, inherited from his Italian father, Marini is disarmingly Scottish. What on stage sounds like Cash in one of his softer periods, becomes a charming Glaswegian chirp. Just in case there’s any doubt, when a musical admirer asks to buy him a drink, he takes whisky over water.

I don’t feel like a really confident salesman, I made a sale earlier on- I’ve sold one.” He jokes, “we made it mostly in peoples living rooms, the clock wasn’t ticking so it was good for us” he says about the three year period it took to record the album, compromised completely of original songs.

“A lot of the time was just spent with the recordings, listening to them over and over, getting them right, and it’s a luxury that you have with a debut album. The most important part of the three years is that you make a lot of material and you cut it down. If you listen to the record it’s got quite a lot of space to it. I don’t think that it would have the space that it does if it weren’t for the lengthy period it was recorded over”.


Continue ReadingAndrea Marini at Mono – An Interview

Double Sight – Holly Calder takes you back a generation

Contributor Sophie McGraw meets up with local DJ Holly Calder to discuss Glasgow’s alternative  mod-tastic psych scene with special mention to upcoming 60’s weekender, Double Sight.

A stroll down Sauchiehall Street on a Friday night with the gals clad in skirts that could pass for belts hanging outside the sticky-floored Garage to the constant chorus of Sex on Fire booming out of Campus (yes, still), it can often have you wondering where Glasgow gets it’s reputation of having a diverse, vibrant clubbing scene. Granted, the techno and house nights are a-plenty with places like Sub Club and Vitamins events offering something fresh for your ears but for a trip (no pun intended) back in time to when the clothes were smarter and the tunes were played by DJ’s sans laptops, Glasgow’s 60’s scene is thriving.

Local psych and garage DJ Holly Calder (EWO/Double Sight), told us how she believes Glasgow to be one of the best places to be in the UK right now for 60’s lovers, hosting a variety of different club nights catering for whatever genre you’re into, be it psychedelic, ska, northern soul or R&B, or if you’re looking for a bit of everything. These nights go on in a variety of venues around the city centre, some of note being Put The Records On, Eyes Wide Open, Friday Street, Grow Your Own and Freakbeats.

However, after spending time DJ’ing around Europe, being influenced by the atmosphere and music played, the girls behind Eyes Wide Open (Holly Calder and Sarah Quinn), decided to take the plunge and organise a garage and psych weekender in Glasgow. With a priority of playing ‘danceable’ music, the kind of stuff to expect will range from 60s pop, to psychedelic, garage and freakbeat. Bands like The Beatles, The Stones, The Doors and The Small Faces are sure to get played along with some of the more experimental of 60s music, often done by one hit wonders, with a heavy focus on guitar music from the period.

Attracting a diverse crowd, Holly informed us that there will be people coming from Sweden, France, Italy, Austria, Ireland and Brazil especially for Double Sight. Keen to show them how Glasgow does it, there will be a definite party atmosphere throughout the events.



Continue ReadingDouble Sight – Holly Calder takes you back a generation

Live Review: Connan Mockasin @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

On 25th September, contributor Tom Clarke lent his ear to the new boy of psychedelic odd ball pop.

    This is the first night of Mockasin’s tour and it’s ramshackle, hilarious and utterly brilliant. It’s also his first headline tour ever, something that Connan marks out to the audience; “this is different, you’re listening to me”. Pretentions and hierarchies are thrown out the window when he asks if he can lower his mic stand off the stage and sing from within the crowd. His humbleness in front of the audience and the fact that he bridges the gap between them and himself, may give the impressions of shyness or a lack of confidence but these would be completely misplaced. Connan Mockasin does exactly what he wants and knows exactly what he is doing and as he glides through the nine song set that includes eight of the ten songs featured on his most recent  album, ‘Please Turn Me into a Snat’. There is a wild energy running between him and his two band mates, who hang on his every movement, looking for indications and directions, when to change, when to speed up. Connan is obviously in charge and these songs have no set in stone layout. Connan Mockasin’s band is usually a five piece but tonight the missing band members are made up for by Mockasin by way of the crowd who he has singing and clapping at particular times to fit the songs and in effect produce a fourth or fifth instrument.


Continue ReadingLive Review: Connan Mockasin @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Say ‘goodbye’ to those Monday blues

Ease into the week with GUM’s fornightly playlist.  September is creeping to it’s end and with October comes Official Autumn. But delay that extra wooly jumper and forgo the fervent beard-growing as GUM brings you tracks that will envelope you like a warm bath. If you’re always getting caught in the rain (but remain indifferent to pina coladas), have a listen and remind yourself it might never happen.

[ONE]  Julia Holter emerges with ‘Tragedy’, her most recent album that is simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. In track ‘Try To Make Yourself A Work of Art’, a cacophonous blend of elegant melodies and white noise create an abstract, droning backdrop upon which her sparse vocal are laid.  This is is the fine line between classical ambience and Dada-ist nightmare.


Continue ReadingSay ‘goodbye’ to those Monday blues
Read more about the article Live Review: Wireless Festival, London 02.07.11
Photo: RN Smith

Live Review: Wireless Festival, London 02.07.11

Gerry Moore

Since it was first established in 2005, The Wireless festival has proved itself a worthy contender to rival any heavyweight  summer festival. Wireless has brought a consistently impressive line-up right into the heart of London at its Hyde Park site for its annual 3-day weekender. This year’s edition was the biggest yet, running from Friday 1st July through Sunday 3rd, delivering some top quality acts to some 140,000 punters over the course of the weekend. Under perfect blue skies, the crowds built steadily over the course of Saturday afternoon.


Continue ReadingLive Review: Wireless Festival, London 02.07.11

Kelburn Garden Party – Preview – 2nd/3rd July

This weekend let’s hope it’s a scorcher in Scotland for the Kelburn Garden Party, which is fast-becoming one of the country’s favourite fixtures on its festival calendar. Billed as ‘two days of musical magic and hi-jinx in a fairytale setting’, this is one summer festival that won’t disappoint. Set in the grounds of Kelburn Castle near Largs, the event boasts cross-cutting acts across a range of genres. These range from ‘from folkies, rockers and funk brothers to clubbers, dubbers and jazzers’ we are reliably informed. The festival prides itself on being free from corporate ties. You won’t find any shameless plugging of brands here: it’s all about the music and the festival spirit. More than merely music, festival activities include workshops, acoustic sessions, poetry, walks in the glen, mystery gigs in secluded spots and performance art and theatre, all in the idyllic setting of the grounds of Kelburn Castle.

The venue is equipped with three stages and a dance tent, as well as the many hidden spaces for pop-up events and gigs. This venue has hosted two successful mini-festivals earlier this summer – The Viewpoint Sessions in June and July, both to great acclaim. The festival is an inclusive day-to-night event, and weekend tickets cost only 55+BF, including camping. Children and families are welcome (under 13’s free), and fancy dress is encouraged during the revelry. The impressive line-up favours homegrown talent, with some big names from Glasgow including Sons & Daughters, JD Twitch, Mungo’s Hifi and Jackmaster.

Kelburn’s organisers invite you to ‘So, come one and all, discover Scotland’s quirkiest, funkiest boutique festival for yourself; come dance with us,and share in our dream, built with only you in mind.’

With Thanks to Astrojazz & Kelburn Productions

Tickets are limited to just 700 this year. Outlets/prices are:
Standard: £55+BF
Day Tickets: TBC (depends on demand)

At Ticketweb:

RIPPING RECORDS, South Bridge, Edinburgh
TICKETS SCOTLAND, Rose Street, Edinburgh

RUB-A-DUB, Howard Street, Glasgow
TICKETS SCOTLAND, Argyll Street, Glasgow

Read on for the full line-up…


Continue ReadingKelburn Garden Party – Preview – 2nd/3rd July

Primavera Picks…

Primavera Picks

Earlier this month, GUM Music Editor Yasmin Ali travelled to Barcelona for PrimaveraSound 2011, one of the most eagerly-anticipated indie music festivals of the summer, if not the year. Held at Barcelona’s Parc del Forum, a sprawling outdoor and indoor concert and conference venue which spans almost an entire urban quarter from the city grid to the sealine. The event boasted over 7 specially-set up stages, and over 275 live bands and DJ sets, with scheduling from 5pm-5am, drawing crowds totalling over 120,000 spectators.. Here are an edited selection of top acts in GUM’s Primavera Picks…

Read on for the top picks…


Continue ReadingPrimavera Picks…

Preview: Stag and Dagger 2011


Dave Hunter

This month will see another attempt by the mighty Stag and Dagger mob to make some serious shock waves in Glasgow’s varied festival network.  The event takes place in London on May 19th and Glasgow on the 21st. It’s no surprise to see their website happily declaring that, “Stag & Dagger is a “one ticket gives access to all” annual festival that will allow music lovers in Glasgow and Shoreditch (London) access the best new live music acts.” 


Continue ReadingPreview: Stag and Dagger 2011

Preview: Electric Frog Weekender

Yasmin Ali


This Easter’s Electric Frog Weekender looks set to pull in the crowds with its  all-star line-up of local club heroes, and packed programme of dedicated after-parties.  What with no work on Monday, you can stay out all night guilt-free, even on Sunday. We recommend it as an excellent way to spend the Easter weekend.

GUM will have more EF festival coverage to follow in the next week – Stay Tuned!

Day passes £25/ Weekend pass £45, available from Tickets-Scotland

For official line-up and after-party details, straight from the Frog’s mouth, click ‘Read More’.


Continue ReadingPreview: Electric Frog Weekender

Record Store Day 2011 – Saturday April 16th

Yasmin Ali


Today’s the day to go support your local indie record shop and show loyalty over the many internet Goliaths that dominate the music sales market. There are exclusive releases and events on offer at record stores around the world today. Glasgow has a dedicated line up of live music and entertainment at veritable indie record institution Monorail Music, over in Trongate, and reputable music store Rubadub, at St. Enoch’s. These events are free and last all day (until around 7pm) so be sure to head along if you are in town.

– Rubadub Facebook event here

– Monorail Facebook event here

‘Read More’ for the Line-up’s in Glasgow…


Continue ReadingRecord Store Day 2011 – Saturday April 16th

An amazing line-up this Spring at April’s DD. Half-price.Be there or be [].

gumagazine for Death Disco // The Arches
Studying is practically illegal on a Saturday night anyway, so put the books aside for the night, grab your half-price pass below and enjoy your weekend.

Sat 16th April 2011 11pm–3am £14.00 or £7 with pass above.
The Arches, Midland St, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
take a print out or image on your phone and take to the Box Office on Argyle St in advance of the night

Continue ReadingAn amazing line-up this Spring at April’s DD. Half-price.Be there or be [].

Confessions of a band manager: Jamie Webster, Instinctive Racoon


Jamie Webster: Photo by David Gourley

“ It’s a difficult bloody thing, managing bands,” says Jamie Webster, the boss of Glasgow indie label Instinctive Racoon, almost as soon as he sits down. Immediately I’m suspicious. Firstly, because managing a record label is to music lovers what cake testing is to gluttons -a dream come true. Secondly, because the tour diary I’d read in preparation for this interview is somewhat at odds with his solemnity: “The party went on into the small hours and a couple of the boys managed to snuggle up to some smoking hot babes,” The rest of the diary is chock-full with fun times and debauchery, plus unspeakable antics which apparently he can’t print “for legal reasons”. (Though, given Charlie Sheen’s recent transgressions, I’d suggest doing so might boost his popularity ten-fold).

The tour to which Webster is referring was with Three Blind Wolves during their support slot for Frightened Rabbit. Webster has nurtured the act from its early days as a solo project by Glasgow singer-songwriter Ross Clark – whom he spotted at an open mic night – to its current success as the latest signing by Communion, the coveted label founded by Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons. The bands also won Best Live Act at the recent Scottish Alternative Music Awards and are currently on an extensive tour of the UK. It all sounds pretty positive- so why the long face?

“The first time we toured Three Blind Wolves in the UK we probably had one good show out of seven. We weren’t getting paid, it was costing us a lot of money, and the band were going out onstage and playing to a small handful of people. It can be soul-destroying”. Ah, fair enough then.


Continue ReadingConfessions of a band manager: Jamie Webster, Instinctive Racoon
Read more about the article GU Expedition Society Band Night @ Captain’s Rest
Manu from the air

GU Expedition Society Band Night @ Captain’s Rest

On Monday 7th February, two Glasgow Uni Expedition teams organized a Band Night at the infamous Captain’s Rest. The event was a fundraiser to send the teams out to Peru and Bolivia this coming summer, conducting scientific research on the ecology of two the most far flung and fascinating regions in the world. Alex Embiricos delved deep into the basement of the ‘Rest to soak in the musical talents, the electric atmosphere, and learn more about these daring student adventurers.

The Manu area of the Peruvian Amazon is a biologists dream come true, boasting 1,300 species of butterflies (15% of the world total), 800 species of birds (9%) and 160 species of mammals (4%). It is one of the most bio diverse region on the planet. Yet logging destroys this rainforest faster than it can regenerate, and although the Manu area is now protected, its history can not be forgotten. Six students are organising, funding, and executing an expedition deep into previously unexplored Amazon, adding new data to world wide information resources on the flaura and fauna proving just how invaluable the region is. This band night is only one rung on the ladder to raise the funds required to send the team hurtling half way across the world, and they need your help- after all, the devil is in the details.

Manu from the air

The cause was kicked off by an acoustic set by Merchant. Lead singer Andrew crooned into the mic more persuasively than his young appearance would suggest. They showed a charming potential with some slide guitar being pulled out and a member of the audience shouting “sounds better without the drums!” Although lacking confidence at times they finished their set with a perfectly melancholic rendition of Lou Reeds ‘Perfect Day’, complete with energy and soaring vocals.


Continue ReadingGU Expedition Society Band Night @ Captain’s Rest
Read more about the article Subcity Introduces…HaHaHa
HaHaHa: photo by Sean Anderson

Subcity Introduces…HaHaHa

Frazer Graham – aka HaHaHa – is a DJ, music producer, self made label exec and all round good guy, whose relationship with Subcity Radio started three years ago when Frazer was a Business student at Glasgow Uni. His initial intrigue into the possibilities the station had to offer came after attending the Research Club parties with Benny Boom behind the decks (who, incidentally, recently enthused about Frazer on his Mixed Bizness blog<>.) From helping out with visuals and putting forward production ideas, to joining this year’s Subcity events team, Frazer has quickly become a key part of the Subcity community.

HaHaHa: photo by Sean Anderson

Although his first live set as HaHaHa was only six months ago, Frazer has been  making beats since November 2009, alongside his other projects which include drumming for acclaimed Glasweigan band Vendor Defendor and making musical bleeps under the Alpine Ski Champion name. Six months ago Frazer decided to give up everything non music in pursuit of making the music he loves- as he explains:

“Some people think I’m an idiot for dropping out of uni with only a few months to go [till finishing] but when it’s a choice of doing something you love or something you hate I choose poverty.”

Continue ReadingSubcity Introduces…HaHaHa
Read more about the article Alasdair Roberts, an insight into music and music in film:
Alasdair Roberts: Image by Laurent Orseau

Alasdair Roberts, an insight into music and music in film:

Nina Schonberg

Glasgow University’s own Cut Filmmaking Network arranged one of their weekly activities on Tuesday (22/02/2011) in the Boyd Orr building. The network hosts workshops and projects’ nights every week, varying from prosthetics to camerawork.


Alasdair Roberts: Image by Laurent Orseau

This week, the network had invited Alasdair Roberts as their guest, a folk musician (based in Glasgow since 1995), to talk about his career, which has also included working on soundtracks for various short films. In the filmmaking scene, he is probably most well known for his work on the David Mackenzie film Young Adam (starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton) from 2003, for which he played guitar.

He told us that his focus turned to music when he was a teenager, around 15 years old and since then he has been involved in music in various ways, though his focus  mainly being guitar and vocals. Folklore and traditional Gaelic melodies are something he is fascinated in and this is reflected directly in his music. He has never been taught in music but rather he learned by ear, which is how he still approaches music today. He listens to a lot of music to gain inspiration and always thinks about how he could incorporate fresh aspects into his own music and through this also develop himself as a musician. He has a distinctive style in his work but he still says there are no definite sources of inspiration for him rather that they change through time.


Continue ReadingAlasdair Roberts, an insight into music and music in film:

Death Disco this Sat – Halfprice passes – It’s a kind of magic


Yasmin Ali / The Arches

Excitement is building for DD at the weekend – wear your best top hat, bow tie, white gloves and cape. White rabbits optional.
Sat 19th February 2011

The Arches, Midland St, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
11pm–3am £14.00 or £7 with pass above.
(take a print out or image on your phone and take to the Box Office on Argyle St in advance of the night)


Continue ReadingDeath Disco this Sat – Halfprice passes – It’s a kind of magic
Read more about the article The Joy Formidable: Interview
R-L :Matt, Ritzy and Rhidian, Image:MusicRooms

The Joy Formidable: Interview

Inbetween their UK tour featuring a wee slot at King Tut’s, Mary Machin caught up with Rhydian Dafydd of Welsh outfit The Joy Formidable for a chat and insight into their creative mindset…

R-L :Matt, Ritzy and Rhidian, Image:MusicRooms

How’s 2011 treating you so far?
Rhydian: Pretty well, yeah. It’s all very early days but we’ve been itching to get on the road and get debuting tracks from The Big Roar live.

When it comes to playing something live for the first time, do you translate songs so their sound is varied from that of the record?
R: Yeah, absolutely, I think we do see the two as quite distant and it’s nice to challenge yourself and change things night to night. The live experience is something within itself, that’s the way we see it and I always think, why go and see something live that I can listen to on a record?


Continue ReadingThe Joy Formidable: Interview
Read more about the article NME Tour 2011 @ O2 Academy
Magnetic Man: Image by Alex Embiricos

NME Tour 2011 @ O2 Academy


NME Awards Tour 2011

The NME circus arrived in Glasgow for one night only, showcasing the talents of Everything Everything, Magnetic Man, and Crystal Castles. Alex Embiricos arrived ticketless to the O2 Academy, nabbing the last crumpled ticket on the streets, before being granted entrance to one of the most anticipated music events of the month.

The O2 was packed with a crowd of the young and the hip, a tangible energy buzzing with expectation even before any of the acts took to the stage. By the time Everything Everything stepped on wearing top down buttoned shirts and glasses, there was not a single space on the floor. Although the indie-pop four piece remained pretty static, the synth started up with a good backbeat of drums and heavy bass, emphasizing what was to come from two of the most exciting electronic bands around. The audience picked up on this teasing prospect and towards the end of their set the lead singers high pitched, feminine vocals had the crowd’s appetite whetted, and the enthusiasm escalating into a rhythmic jumping frenzy.


Continue ReadingNME Tour 2011 @ O2 Academy