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.
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 life’ category. The ones you are jealous of and who make you think to yourself ‘Yeah, I wouldn’t mind being a bit like them’. Annoyingly talented, that’s what she is. You are in equal measures annoyed and in awe, though.
“Can I just have a quick smoke first?” grins the ever-charismatic Gregor Hunter Coleman as we approach him during a break in his busking set one Friday afternoon. Gregor, we note, is something of a local celebrity in Glasgow nowadays, having become an almost permanent fixture in the city centre.
“I’m out here busking every day,” he confirms, glancing around the bustling street. Arduous as though this might seem – braving the biting Glasgow wind to bring covers of popular songs to the masses – Gregor is by no means alone in this game. Glasgow is, in essence, Scotland’s busking capital. If it’s not a slice of pristine indie pop greeting your ears as you ascend the steps of the Subway station, it’s a tuneful accordion or triumphant saxophone. Voices drift along every street, singing songs both jaunty and mournful. It seems there’s room for every genre in this thriving metropolis.
Despite his dedication to the trade, Gregor’s quick to inform us that performing on the street isn’t without its problems. “All my stuff broke yesterday so I had to replace it,” he says of his equipment. He also tells us that busking at night carries an element of risk – when darkness descends, there’s an increased chance of people stealing the day’s earnings from your case. He knows this from experience.
Nonetheless, Glasgow’s busking scene suits him well. “Busking’s the only time you get paid what’s 100% yours,” he tells us earnestly. His statement rings with truth – playing in the middle of Buchanan Street doesn’t incur any agent’s fees, after all. Busking has also awarded him plenty of valuable opportunities. After hearing him play in the centre of the city, a woman requested that he play at her wedding – in the Lake District.
Any pre-wedding jitters?
“It’s a big day”, he smiles. “If I ruin the songs, then…”
It’s worth betting he won’t ruin the songs. In any case, Gregor’s certainly establishing himself within the music sphere, his endeavours now extending beyond the realm of street performance. He has gigged with Nicholas McDonald, Motherwell-native who was placed runner-up in 2013’s X-factor, as well as reality TV personality Jake Quickenden. He’s also aiming to get his band truly up and running, with their first show due to take place on December 18 at the 02 ABC.
Life could’ve been quite different for Gregor had his family gone through with plans to relocate to Dunoon when he was younger. He reckons he’d “literally just be a farmer” by now. When asked what he’d like to do in future, Gregor smiles coyly. “I just want to busk and see what happens.”
It’s a similar story for Jackson Harvey. The twenty-one-year-old once busked every day, but is now channelling most of his energy into The Modests, a band he’s been with for seven years. On the occasions he comes into the city centre armed with his guitar, it’s for enjoyment purposes only. He’s graduated to venues now, having played “everywhere in Glasgow… except The Hydro.” We probe him to tell us about his favourite venue. “It depends what you’re looking for,” he responds sensibly. “The 02 Academy is great for the ‘big venue’ experience”. Meanwhile, he thinks Box offers a nice intimate atmosphere. Jackson’s foray into the music world began upon the realisation that he’s too uncoordinated to be a footballer. “I’m not ambidextrous,” he laughs. “I can’t play with either foot.”
Halfway down Buchanan Street, a crowd has gathered around Glasgow-based duo Wandering Sons. The song they’re playing is not just toe-tappingly good, but a real foot-stomper. It transpires that it’s an original: the first track on their new album, which can be downloaded from their Facebook page for free or picked up in physical form for £5. The original music is delightfully interspersed with an energetic rendition of Florence and the Machine’s “You’ve Got the Love.” Though technically proficient, Wandering Sons may strike as being decidedly unorthodox. Their guitar case is adorned with rubber ducks; the drummer, David, has forgone a proper drum kit in favour of plastic buckets.
The band’s history, it seems, is as interesting as their aesthetic. Lead singer Barney (20), originally from Belgium, met David through Church, and the pair formed as a two-piece in 2012. Despite their talent, Wandering Sons embody Glasgow’s trademark self-deprecating humour. Starting out, they considered themselves “the worst musicians out of [their] whole friends group.”
It is soon revealed that their first time busking was in the Lake District, their efforts being met with a fairly enthusiastic response. “I think people were just being polite,” Barney says modestly. They admit that busking on Glasgow’s streets presents some challenges. It has been so cold on occasion that Barney has had to wear fingerless gloves while playing guitar. They’ve taken big risks for the band – quitting their day jobs and higher education courses – but things seem to be working out for them. They’ve toured mainland Europe and are beginning to gig seriously now, co-headlining shows with an Australian artist.
“We just do this and play gigs,” the boys say. “We love it at the moment… We’re making what we need to live.”
The band began to perform on the street after seeing others do the same. They praise the Glasgow busker scene very highly. “I don’t think I’d be busking [if I hadn’t moved to Glasgow]. There’s no busking scene in Belgium,” Barney muses.
As we approach Anna Shields – one of the only female buskers we’ve seen all day – we note a sign advertising a gig at the 02 Academy on the 11th of October. Clearly she’s doing quite well.
“The first time I went busking my mum wouldn’t let me go by myself,” Anna says, recounting her first experience performing in the city centre. Consequently, her brother stood and watched her from the side that day. “I made £12… I was so excited!”
Though Anna busked “for the fun of it” back then, she’s got bigger things on her mind now. She formed a band at the start of the year with her boyfriend – who plays guitar – and their bassist friend.
When asked if Anna suffers at all in such a male-dominated industry – and, indeed, within a male-dominated band – she doesn’t give the answer we’re expecting.
“It’s actually quite good for me,” she says. At this point, she begins to talk about the male buskers who garner attention on the basis of how they look. “When people see us, they’re coming to see the music. People are there because they want to listen to us,” she explains.
Like the others, Anna is picking up gigs in a number of Glasgow’s venues. She’s played the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah hut on two occasions already.
Any hopes for the future?
According to Anna a CD is now in the works, due for release next year. She’ll have to juggle this with the music degree she’s studying for at the University of the West of Scotland. “Even if I don’t make it as a musician, I still want to be involved in the industry.”
If you hadn’t been born and raised in Glasgow, do you think you’d still be doing this?
“I would probably still be doing music – but probably not to the extent I’m doing it,” Anna tells us. “The Glasgow scene is the best for buskers… It has the best busker scene in the UK.”
This is a view echoed by Alexander, a Polish saxophonist who moved to Glasgow four months ago. He too has an extensive musical catalogue: besides performing in Buchanan Street alongside his guitarist, he has also played various gigs during his time here. He doesn’t seek out these shows as such – Alexander seems quite content with busking for the moment. “We live from music,” he says poignantly. “Busking is enough.”
Finally, we meet a guitarist who goes by the name of Mike. Mike’s still “finding his feet” on the busking scene, but his story’s a fascinating one. “God made me want to start busking. I used to run a lap dance club, but I had a dream one night… And now I sing to God. The songs and the words are for God.”
By Morgan Laing
Enter into Broadcast: a laid-back space with open fireplaces glowing from every TV screen, an impressive list of White Russians on a blackboard and friendly faces in every corner of the bar. A steep and narrow stairwell will take you down to the hidden underground. The roof there is so low you can barely stand tall. The room is so small people have to crowd to see the stage. Everyone clutches his or her plastic cups of beer in eager anticipation.
Then the music begins…
Kathryn and Calum are the founders of The Basement Sessions. They met when they were playing in the same band and remained good friends. In the beginning of 2015, they noticed there was a lack of live music in the Glasgow nightclub scene and decided to change that. Even though Kathryn is a full-time student in events management and Calum both works and plays his own music, they have managed to make their vision of bringing live music into a club setting come true. Today, The Basement Sessions arrange monthly gigs in the basement of Broadcast.
Kathryn: It is quite nice for the shows to be a bit of a treat. Once a month is perfect.
Each night gathers around 130 visitors, eager to see handpicked bands from the Glasgow music scene.
Kathryn: The music scene is very vibrant in Glasgow. Right now, the techno and the garage scene are trending. But despite all the trends, there is always a place for live music. In the past 50 years, there has been a decline of it. But the last ten years, it has started to increase again. Live music is just something that will never die. It is just a completely different experience.
The Basement Sessions’ nights are always free. This makes it possible to move freely. You can go outside, come back in, sit upstairs for a while and then go back to listen to your favourite band. In addition, you don’t have to commit a full evening: you can pop in on your way out or on your way home. If you don’t like one band, you can come back and listen to the next.
Lately, Kathryn and Calum have started to move away from the one-man acoustic acts.
Calum: It doesn’t grip people on a Friday or Saturday night. People want to have a good time and dance. But we organise other events as well, so there is space for all kinds of different acts. We want the crowd to have fun and to feel free to move around like in a club with a DJ.
Kathryn and Calum have been involved in the music scene of Glasgow, so it has been quite easy for them to find great talents. As Glasgow is a small city, many bands are friends with each other and are willing to support one another. Their selection of bands is based on a mixture of word-of-mouth, Soundcloud, music blogs or the bands contact them on their own. They work hard to create a musically coherent night, with three acts: two bands and a DJ that complement each other. The DJ plays a big part, as their job is to wrap up the night. They can interpret what the crowd wants and knows how to create a fun and entertaining environment.
Kathryn: We are not specifically looking for certain types of bands. It just comes down to what we enjoy, what we think will be received well by the audience. The Basement Sessions is a place where people can discover new talents.
Calum: We want to make a really good night for people to have fun. We don’t wanna loose sight of what we are doing now: giving up-and-coming local bands exposure.
In the past, The Basement Sessions have had themed nights, of which one was a hiphop special that attracted many people and talented musicians. However, Kathryn and Calum’s best memories are from a mini festival they arranged earlier this year in August.
Kathryn: We did a mini festival, showcasing the best bands and DJs that had performed for us so far. Alongside, there were some local artists and local clothes brands. It was a celebration of all the talents Glasgow has to offer. It became a huge success. It is nice to bring different talented people together. Everyone can network, learn from the event, from each other and gain new experiences.
If you want to brighten up your Friday night and experience something groovy: get off Netflix, change out of your pyjamas and grab some friends. You can still make it. It only begins after 11 pm. Head down to Broadcast on Sauchiehall Street for a night of dancing and sweet tunes.
By Sofia Linden and Saara Antikainen
Review Jamie xx, O2 Academy, 17.10.15
Entering Jamie xx’s sold-out show at the O2 Academy on Saturday – part of his European-wide ‘In Colour’ tour – one is unsure what to expect from him. Will he be performing a live show or a DJ set? Will he be showcasing only his own material or also that of others? The Young Turks label head – real name Jamie Smith – appears as an enigmatic figure in the world of electronic music. He finds himself positioned somewhere in the middle-ground that separates the scene’s proudly underground artists – those who are firmly immersed in club culture and care not for global fame – from those who have embraced the mainstream and adjusted their sound accordingly to appeal to a wider audience. Despite sharing both similarities and differences with both sides of this spectrum, Smith’s work is neither representative of the average underground club DJ nor the average EDM act.
Regardless of this, his musical talent is undisputed. A string of solid EP releases, a critically acclaimed rework of the music of Gil-Scott Heron, and two masterfully atmospheric albums with indie band The xx all culminated in June when he oversaw the release of his first full length solo album, ‘In Colour’. The album was received positively although failed to encapsulate his full capabilities as a producer.
Revered selector and local favourite Spencer is on warm-up duties tonight. It is a surprisingly dreary two hour set from the Numbers label co-founder and one that only really comes to fruition in the last fifteen minutes or so when two upbeat, old-school New York house numbers are preceded by Italo-disco classic ‘Take a Chance’ by Mr Flaggio. Finally, Smith takes to the stage, to rapturous applause, and the sounds of his steel-drum laden ‘All Under One Roof Raving’ slowly filling the venue. Sample-heavy and paying homage to 90s rave culture: both the tempo and mood of this track are ideal for the opener and get the crowd moving accordingly.
Sadly, the tone and the quality of music takes a turn for the worse shortly after this. Some mundane piano house is followed by a couple of big-room tracks – fitting for the inappropriately oversized venue – that comes complete with EDM-esque crescendos and an overblown light show. As if attempting to steer his set away from the mainstream EDM road it is now heading down, Smith drops two ‘90s UK Garage tracks in quick succession. The latter, ‘138 Trek’ by DJ Zinc, ought to throw him a lifeline but the venue’s sound system allows for only a fraction of the song’s euphoric nature to be captured. The remainder of the set seems to be filled with Smith to-ing and fro-ing between mainstream crowd-pleasing tracks and throwing in something with a degree of obscurity to illustrate the depth of his musical knowledge. For someone endowed with such a degree of musical ability, the overall performance is distinctly off the mark. It gives the impression of someone who is not at ease in his current state of limbo between underground and mainstream and it appears his live performances could be taking a hit as a result.
By Michael Lawson
On a rainy Wednesday afternoon in November, we are invited to Barrientos’ Studio on Union Street in Glasgow. Behind a mysterious door with a sign saying ‘Illyus’, we find ourselves in a cosy studio. It feels like a time capsule: sound-proofed from the on-goings of the outside world and with dimmed lights that blur the concepts of night and day. One of the walls is lined with synthesizers and opposite stands a large computer screen. Over a large mixing table, a couple of his vinyl EPs hang on the wall. We sit back in a comfy leather sofa and Barrientos shoots us a relaxed smile from behind the coffee table.
Barrientos is not like any DJ we have met before. When we ask him about his life at the moment, his first complaint is not having a bigger kitchen.
- I love to cook! I never even allow my girlfriend into the kitchen. There is simply not room for two people in there.
We laugh at the breaking of gendered roles and our prejudice that Scottish people only eat ready-meals and take-out food.
- My mom is Chilean, so I have grown up with homemade food. My mom hates ready-meals. She scolds me and still asks ‘Are you buying ready meals?’ to make sure I’m eating healthy. Anyway, I can’t eat crap food otherwise I can’t concentrate.
Barrientos has an unusual background for a DJ. He grew up in Glasgow, with an English father and Chilean mother, and fell into classical music at an early stage in life.
- When I was in high school, I played classical music, so I spent a lot of time learning piano and flute. I used to go to the music school, RSAMD, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. I was really into classical music.
The gap between classical and dance music may seem distant, but Barrientos’ musical development began in his early teens, when visiting the music festival Rockness:
- A DJ called Erol Alkan was performing in a tiny tent, with 400-500 people. He was completely in control of the crowds. Everything he did the crowd appreciated. I had never seen anything like that before. It was very tribal and he was really into it. I got shivers watching it.
From that day, Barrientos knew that he wanted to DJ, but his parents thought he needed something safe to fall back on.
- I only wanted to do music, but my parents told me I couldn’t rely on music because it is an unstable career. At the time I didn’t want to hear that cause I had my mind made up, but my parents were just looking out for my best interest.
Even though Barrientos has been a DJ for ten years, he has still managed to finish an engineering degree, a medical master and now he is in the middle of a PhD.
- It really freaks me out that it has already been 10 years since I started doing dance music. You need to be persistent. You need to know people. You can’t expect to have gigs if no one knows you. I always make sure I am nice to people so that they remember me as a nice person.
It certainly has been a long journey for Barrientos. His first gig took place in the basement of Nice’n’Sleazy’s, and after that, it was a steep learning curve. He never had anyone tell him how something is done, so he had to learn to use all the computer software himself, by reading magazines and watching tutorials on Youtube. After a while, he made more contacts and the ball started rolling. Rob Etherson from the duo Mia Dora listened to his tunes and gave Barrientos constructive feedback. Blogger Colin Brownbill of SynthGlasgow loved his music and promoted Barrientos on his blog. Finally, Mylo’s former manager Kevin McKay heard his mixtape for SynthGlasgow and offered him to remix Romanthony.
Today Barrientos has reached international acclaim with tours to London, Ibiza and Austria, but he still loves the Glasgow scene.
- It is such a ridiculously good city. It has a really appreciative crowd. If you come to a gig and you are pretentious, you will get told. Dance music is a big community here too. DJs know each other: we support each other. People really like a good night and many DJs are coming to play in Glasgow because of that.
It is difficult not to like Barrientos. He is an extremely talented, but humble person. When he talks about his music, he stresses that it is not about him but about the crowd. Just like his first experience of dance music at Rockness, his music has always contained a social element.
- For me, writing music has always been for people, not for me. When you are having a club night, it is about people’s experience and their night. They appreciate your music and they are having a journey. I always try to remember that. I don’t want to be too self-indulgent with music.
We tell him it must be difficult to stay grounded after playing to crowds of 7000 people.
- I’ve got friends who I have been friends with for years now and they always bring you ‘back to the ground’. It’s so good to have honesty around you. Also, playing to larger crowds you can kind of play anything to certain extent. With a smaller audience, you can see more reactions and if they lose interest they will leave. If you are going to the right direction you can see them get into it, you see they are enjoying it and filming it with their phones. It is more personal. I like to stay to the end, shake hands with the audience and chat to people.
Barrientos’ has recently thought more and more about what direction his music should take, which has resulted in some major changes.
- You begin to realise the more you DJ and who you DJ with, the type of music that you like. I realised we weren’t playing our own music anymore. The music was going back to more like a European sound. But, it is difficult to change a sound entirely, so we have worked hard in the studio and slowly changed it. We have been writing so much. I am predominantly a writer: I write the music and Illyus is the head of production and styles the sounds. We are planning for next year at the moment cause it is not long left.
Next year is packed with amazing new releases that you won’t want to miss with singles on Suara Records, Toolroom Records, and Glasgow Underground, plus a compilation CD called Toolroom Live 04 with Technasia and Ramiro Lopez.
A strong ‘80s-style diva voice emanates from the speakers as Barrientos plays us one of his latest tracks. It is clear that he has put a lot of work into it. There are over 40 layers in the track and each sound is styled to perfection. We immediately find that we can’t sit still to this kind of music and start to long for a dance floor.
To be a successful DJ is more work than you can imagine. We begin to wonder if Barrientos ever feels like he wants to give up in the face of the competitive music scene.
- Music is still fun for me. The last year it has become more serious, which is good. Even if I never get to the stage of having a career or doing it full time, I will still do music. If not DJing, then in some other form. For example, I devoted so much time to play piano and when it stopped, the music did not. It just changed form.
Two hours have passed while we were in the studio and chatting to Barrientos. It feels like only ten minutes. As we exit the building and enter the depressing Glasgow rain, we look forward to the GUM Launch Party on December 4th at the Art School Assembly Hall. We can’t wait to let down our hair, dust off our dancing shoes and dance to the groovy tunes of Barrientos, our very own and much-loved Glasgow DJ.
Tickets to see Barrientos perform at the GUM Launch Party can be bought at:
By Sofia Linden and Saara Antikainen
In Glasgow there is music pulsing through almost every café, pub, church and venue as well as along the streets connecting them. However, this broad range of venues might feel overwhelming, and it is easy to end up at the bigger and more well known stages like King Tut’s or Nice’n’Sleazy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going to a big venue, but if you feel like digging deeper into what Glasgow’s music scene has to offer, GUM has a few suggestions for you to start discovering.
The Hug and Pint
171 Great Western Rd
Still one of Glasgow’s newest music venues, The Hug and Pint has been successfully wrapping its arms around the local scene since June of this year. A quick step inside the place sets you on the top floor, where you’re immediately embraced by the warm woodworking that makes up the café and bar area. If their ever-revolving vegan menu or the craft beer does not impress you, step downstairs where you’ll be welcomed by sounds of local musicians and their playful banter. It doesn’t get more intimate than standing among the instruments waiting to be played on stage – so head over to The Hug and Pint for the friendliest of feels.
12 King’s Court
Tucked away in Glasgow’s Merchant City, Mono makes innovative use out of a section of an ex-railway station. Primarily a vegan café, the wide-open space fosters creativity through ample table space, arched ceilings, an in-house microbrewery and an expanding record store all under the same roof. The stage is quite roomy and plays host to not just music but film screenings, book readings, and poetry nights. Though music isn’t booked for every weeknight, the Monday-Thursday food and coffee deals make up for it. This cavernous venue is full of the happenings of a welcoming community and well worth the journey!
117 Bath St
Bath Street is home to the independent venue known as Bloc. With a stacked calendar spanning all genres, avoiding this venue is a task in itself. From open-mic nights, to community orchestras, to earth shattering metal bands and their mosh pits, to club nights almost every week, you’re doing something wrong if you’re not hanging around Bloc. Did we mention all their shows are free? That means all the more reason to try their next level pub food, which is too epic not to take a picture of. Just be sure to check their house rules listed on their website before making this venture!
The 13th Note
50-60 King St
Many bands have started their musical journeys in the dusky basement venue of The 13th Note. The venue is like a small dark cave, where the audience is close to the band since the stage is not elevated. This makes the 13th note a welcoming venue for up-and-coming bands. A wide variety of genres are presented, though they usually lean towards rock, metal and heavier tunes. Be sure to play some foozball upstairs and try the vegetarian food in the cozy ivy-covered pub. For emerging Glasgow bands this is one of your go-to places with affordable gigs almost any night of the week.
The Glad Café
1006A Pollokshaws Rd
Take a bus southwards to the eclectic Glad Café, a creative hub for music, poetry, art and film. Walk through the colourful cafe to find the door to the intimate venue, which offers acts ranging from experimental electronic to indie and folk. Although it’s located far from the West End, the vibrant atmosphere of the Glad Cafe makes up for the trip. We would recommend making an afternoon of it – try the locally roasted coffee and home-baked goods in the café, before migrating to the venue towards the evening. You are sure to find something to your liking in their diverse line-up.
100 Eastvale Pl
If you are tired of the usual snug pub venues then SWG3 will give you a unique and Berlin-esque music experience. Located in an old warehouse in the outskirts of the West End, SWG3 offers electronic DJs as well as alternative live acts. SWG3 is a non-profit creative community, and within the warehouse there is an art gallery and studio space for artists, designers and musicians. If you are in the mood the venue also hosts club nights and warehouse parties in their smaller room known as The Poetry Club. This is also where you will find events with spoken word, local DJ’s and emerging live bands. It’s probably the most exciting thing happening in a warehouse in Glasgow, and definitely one of the cooler venues available.
By Gina Pieracci and Lara Sindelar
Listening to Rhodes’ album ‘Wishes’, it’s fair to say that this is an introspective experience. The album takes you on a journey and it’s clear that this journey is meant to take place within- through all the suppressed memories, the subconscious emotions and the internal battlefields.
Tonight, a huge crowd gathers at King Tuts to see the man behind the music. The fact that it is a sold out show speaks volumes with regards to just how many people his music touches, and this becomes even more apparent as the atmosphere tightens the moment he sets foot onstage.
On his album, Rhodes sings and plays solo, but the ‘Wishes’ tour called for a four-piece band to support him. Despite this, Rhodes is able to maintain a stage presence as if it really were just him singing. Intimate would be a bit of an understatement, as it truly feels like Rhodes is singing to just one person and every person in the audience believes that it is them. His back up guys add that much more power to his performance and his voice rings clearer than it did on his album.
‘Breathe’ definitely stands out as it feels like it has the opposite effect of its intentions – rather than breathing evenly, it is as if Rhodes takes the breath out of the room. To say the least, he’s a captivating performer, who seems extremely comfortable in the spotlight. Yet every song is followed by a sultry ‘thank you’, with a rather shy tone – which is a bit surprising to hear after speaking to him for twenty minutes prior to the show when GUM got a chance to chat to Rhodes about getting in the right headspace, going solo, and his feelings about his debut album.
Glasgow University Magazine: How are you finding the tour?
Rhodes: It’s cool. I’m feeling it a bit now. I mean this tour has only been going for about just over a week. I know I’ve been talking like ‘oh the tour starts on Monday’, but really I’ve been touring for months. But it’s great, it just feels like every night it’s getting a little bit closer to where I want it to be and that kind of thing.
GUM: And where do you want it to be?
Rhodes: Just with the band and stuff like that, because I spent a lot of time playing on my own, just with a guitar. In my head I kind of have this vision of how I wanted it to sound. I’ve kind of created that within the production on the album and it’s about translating that to the live setting.
GUM: Has it been a really long process trying to reconcile everybody?
Rhodes: Yeah, yeah it has. Finding the right people was quite hard and going through different people is kind of hard for me to do because I get really close to people and attached to the sentimental side of hanging out with someone. Suddenly you realize it might not be working musically, and that can be really difficult. But no, these guys are amazing and we’ve been working hard. It’s tight now. The guy [James Kenosha] who produced the album with me was at the show last night and he was so pleased. He’s like my second set of ears. Because obviously when I’m on stage I can’t tell how it sounds out front so it’s nice to have somebody there who probably knows the songs better than I do because he’s literally sat there, mixed it and gone through every take.
GUM: That’s one thing with venues too- artists can’t tell how they sound on stage versus when you’re in the audience. So what do you think of King Tut’s in terms of how you sound?
Rhodes: Yeah, I’ve never played here with a band, but I always really love playing here. I think the sound guys are so good. They seem like such veterans at what they do.
GUM: Do you have a favorite city that you’ve played so far?
Rhodes: I like a lot of different places. I haven’t done that much traveling before doing this. So traveling around Europe is amazing. I love going to Paris and Amsterdam is an amazing city to play in. It’s one of those places where I had a misconception of what it was going to be like before I went- and I went there and realized it wasn’t just druggies.
GUM: I know tonight’s been rushed, but do you have a pre-show routine that you get into or something to get you in the right headspace?
Rhodes: I think it’s really important to try and switch off and leave everything behind before going on stage. I think it’s really important to leave any worries or troubles or little things you’re thinking about in your mind. It’s hard to do anything when you’re preoccupied. So I’ll probably go back to my hotel room and just read my book for a bit and just chill out for a while. I do warm-ups on my voice and make sure I’m feeling good. I wasn’t naturally singing before and I’m still finding it a little hard. It’s really important that I’m on that particular thing for that hour I’m on stage and make sure that I’m completely. My mind starts wandering on to other things and it’s horrible.
GUM: The songs on ‘Wishes” are quite personal right?
Rhodes: They are very personal, yeah. I can’t really imagine any other way. I mean I don’t really write stories. It’s more about overcoming fears, family, friends and relationships that I’ve had-not just romantic ones but more people close to me drifting apart and growing up and leaving town- things like that. All of those things I think a lot about before I start to write. I was going through this time where I felt like things weren’t really going my way, and I felt to blame for that, like it was my fault. I had to just detach myself from the world I was living in because there was no other way of me finding out what I was really supposed to be doing and where I was supposed to be because I was so caught up in this world. At the time I was playing bass in a band and just enjoying myself a bit too much. So I just detached myself and spent a lot of time on my own. I was working during the days and then writing at night- getting a lot of time to think about how I ended up where I was.
GUM: You were playing bass in another band- what was that like trying to break away from that and do your own thing?
Rhodes: It was tough because they were my best friends- they still are my best friends really. I felt like I was turning my back on them. I felt like I was letting them down and I think they were really upset. I think I dealt with it in the wrong way- my only way of really doing it was just by turning my phone off and being like ‘I just can’t face this’. So it wasn’t the best way of doing things.
GUM: Going back to your album, what was the hardest song for you to write?
Rhodes: I think ‘Breathe’ was probably one of the hardest songs to write because it’s about something so sensitive. I wrote it for a friend and it embodies the sentiment of what I was writing about when I wrote the album. It’s just that importance of being there for one another, helping people out, not being too afraid of asking other people to help you out if you need it. My friend had depression and it’s kind of hard to watch. I think the songs that I’ve written are very intentionally left open to interpretation. Some people get the actual meaning and some people apply their own meaning. I like that a lot. I’ve always liked that in music too. You know sometimes you’ll have a favorite song, and you’ll be singing along and you’ll know the words, and you’ll be like ‘oh I love this bit’ and then you read the lyrics and you realize you’ve been singing the wrong words. Music touches people in different ways and that’s the beauty of it. It’s subjective and you can take what you want. I think that’s very important. It’s not that I don’t like talking about the songs, but I prefer it when they’re just listened to- because that’s what they’re for.
GUM: Do you think that there’s a song that audiences love to hear the most from you?
Rhodes: People seem to like hearing ‘Breathe’ quite a lot. I always find it kind of hard at my gigs because everyone’s just so silent. To me I’m thinking, ‘are they enjoying it?’ Now I think they’re being silent in a good way. So it’s really hard for me to tell, but it varies from place to place- it’s quite strange.
GUM: Someone quoted you saying that ‘Close your eyes’ was a song about your own stage fright- is that right?
Rhodes: Yeah, it wasn’t so much stage fright- I didn’t have stage fright because I was always on stage. It was a fear I had of actually singing. I was so, so frightened of singing. I never even sung backing vocals. I still hate listening to myself. With the album I spent so long- so, so long recording the vocals. I kept re-doing them because I wasn’t happy with them, and I’d have all these fits of rage, crying, and all this shit. And James went off and mixed them and he ended up using some of the first few takes on every song. It just goes back to not over thinking things. Sometimes you can try and be too perfect and that detracts from what people actually like about what you’re doing in the first place. I don’t listen to my own music. I mean sometimes. I had this thing when I started writing the songs- I was drinking quite a lot at the time. I don’t drink anymore when I’m touring- otherwise I lose my voice. I used to get drunk and listen to the songs, and smoke and that was my way of feeling comfortable, listening to what I was doing. I still find it so hard listening to my voice. ‘Close your eyes’- that phrase comes from when someone said to me, ‘think of where you feel the most comfortable singing- when you’re on that stage you just need to close your eyes and imagine lying on your bed, playing your own songs. That’s kind of the mechanism I started used to cope with that. But then I thought that that sentiment can apply to so many different things, any fear, any sort of troubles. I tried to broaden the lyrics so they weren’t all about me.
GUM: Do you try to constantly write or do you take time to sit down and write?
Rhodes: I like to sit down and finish things. The idea of writing on the road sounds appealing but it’s not easy because you’re just constantly doing something. When you’re in the van it’s just cramped and it’s weird. So I do need to be in the right headspace.
GUM: Do you have any artists that you’re dying to collaborate with in the future?
Rhodes: I’d love to collaborate with someone who’s a real classic, or someone who’s a real heritage singer. I’d love to work with the National, or Justin Vernon, or something like that.
By Gina Pieracci
Submotion Orchestra are a seven-piece band, with soulful vocals and smooth jazz solos, however, they contain a surprising element — dub.
At 8:50pm on the 7th of November, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut was buzzing with excitement.
Submotion Orchestra, an outfit hailing from Leeds, started their tour of their third album, Alium, at King Tut’s. There was definitely a sense of anticipation in the air. The band came on with lead singer, Ruby Wood, entering last. Her sensuous vocals reverberated through the room, and suddenly, the floor began to vibrate with a deep, smooth throbbing.
Electronica is a typically unconventional pairing with jazz and soul. The band says on their website that their sound is a ‘fusion of bass heavy electronica, jazz and soul’.
Since their first album (Fragments, 2009) their music has followed this unique amalgamation of sounds, gathering a large crowd following with tracks such as ‘Finest Hour’ and ‘Blind Spot’. During the performance, the band plays their much-loved song ‘All Yours’, to which the crowd sings back. Ruby’s vocals were engaging and she regularly checked up with the crowd and kept the energy high.
They also played a variety of songs from Alium, including the energising ‘Trust/Lust’ and the mellow ‘City Lights’. Their sound did not deviate so much from their other albums—during an interview I conducted with Tommy Evans, the drummer, he stated that it was more ‘an extension’ of their last album.
The band made sure to include many jazz solos in their live performance. Bobby Beddoe regularly blew every fibre of his being into his trumpet, providing the audience with sleek and exuberant intervals. Tommy on the drums provided eye-watering, fast rhythms, occasionally having his own solo and leaving the crowd more than impressed. Despite being a relatively large band, throughout the performance they were tight and everything ran smoothly with the help of the band’s producer and engineer, Dom Ruckspin. There were a lot of synthetic tracks on the album, which added to the performance and enhanced the electronic element of the sound.
After their encore, the band politely wished the audience goodnight. I turned to my friend and we discussed the undoubtedly great performance that we had just witnessed.
Alium is out now.
The East End Social hit Glasgow this April for the first time and is already providing the east of the city with an exciting and eclectic string of musical events and community workshops in musical disciplines such as beatboxing and percussion. Previously based in Bridgeton, the festival’s relocation this year was based on the opportunity for widespread recognition that the Commonwealth Games provided. With the world’s eyes on Glasgow, the opportunity for far-reaching impact was supplied by the boom in tourism from the end of June. As well as this, the project’s presence in Glasgow simultaneously to the Commonwealth Games contributed variety and contrast in terms of events available to the public.
Run by Chemikal Underground, an independent label based in the east end of Glasgow, the project aims to improve the community’s access to music and to stimulate the arts in the area of the city that the label calls home. Chemikal Underground, the label behind acts such as Mogwai, RM Hubbert, and The Phantom Band, also aim to bring music to the
part of the city that has struggled in past years to keep up with the cultural events hosted throughout the centre, west end, and south side. The combination of community projects, intimate concerts, and large-scale events promise a thrilling month for the city as the Social reaches it’s end in August.
The project’s crowning glory is The Last Big Weekend, a two-day long festival in Richmond Park on the 30th and 31st of August. The show is headlined by Glaswegian legends Mogwai, in the same year of the release of their eighth studio album, Rave Tapes and the reissue of their 1999 LP, Come On Die Young, and so the Last Weekend will top off a triumphant year for the band. Day tickets will set you back £38.50, and weekend tickets are £70; don’t let that stop you though, as the weekend promises a thrilling combination of genres courtesy of a stunning line-up. Homegrown talent prevails with Scottish acts such as Honeyblood, Hudson Mohawke, former Sub Club residents Optimo, and 2014 Scottish Album of the Year Award winners Young Fathers taking the stage alongside other acts from throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK.
The wealth of talent that will be gracing the stage in Richmond Park will be the climactic culmination of months of musical events and workshops, and is surely a weekend not to miss.
The East End Social can be caught around various areas of the city, such as cinemas, libraries, and parks. It runs through to the end of August. Tickets for all events, including The Last Big Weekend, can be bought online at www.eastendsocial.com.
Recently voted one of DJ Magazine’s Top 5 Intimate Clubs in the world, it’s no wonder that Sub Club’s longest running resident night is receiving a lot of attention this month. In fact, the Saturday night ‘SubCulture’ is one of the longest running club nights in the world. Residents Harri and Domenic were spinning records to a sweaty crowd before you’d been pushed out your mother’s womb: that’s right, a whole damn twenty years. Well known to any Glasgow resident with a shade of self-respect, over the years Harri and Domenic have become more than just a club night… they are an integral part of the city itself.
So to mark the double decade since opening night almost to the day, Sub Club are kicking off the first Saturday of April 2014 in typical SubCulture style: a Residents Party with Harri and Domenic B2B all night. Over the past 20 years Sub Club’s Saturday night crowd has been greeted by the intrepid duo’s DJ booth alchemy; and their sheer passion is what paved the way for Sub Club to become the globally recognised bastion of the underground that it is today.
Of course, over this time Sub Club became a platform for presenting fresh local talent as well as hosting some of the biggest names in top quality house and techno. So in order to keep the celebrations going –and the hands hitting the ceiling – for the next few months, SubCulture are inviting back some old friends and introducing some new ones.
Following on from the official anniversary party on April 5th, Saturday’s will turn into a flurry of highlights from the SubCulture story. The series kicks off with the fearsome performer and French Kiss producer Lil’ Louis on April 12th. One of the most dynamic characters ever to grace the Subbie decks, he literally throws body and soul into everything he does, so standing still is not an option when this man gets on the case. Extra-specially, Louis is bringing along his own film crew to ensure the posterity of the event, promising some real surprises in typical Glasgow party spirit!
Building on that will be the legend that is DJ Harvey (Locussolus) on the 3rd of May, a pretty big deal as his first UK appearance of 2014 and his first in Scotland since 2001! As one of the most in demand DJ’s around the globe this night will be a unique opportunity to catch him in the intimacy of the Sub Club setting.
Rounding up the list of heavyweights at the end of May, in time for those post-exam celebrations or commiserations, New Jersey house hero Kerri Chandler will be back gracing the decks. Always bringing soul to his sets, Kerri is never shy of getting down and deep with his audience whether he’s thumping it out or lightening it up, and as a total perfectionist there are few to match him technically around the world.
But that’s not all –in between times Harri and Domenic will continue to mix it up with a vast array of artists lined up to keep you shuffling through the spring including an overdue visit by Sheffield house stalwart Chris Duckenfield of SWAG fame, a live set from Juju & Jordash and a much anticipated visit from Tama Sumo. Also look out for a surprise appearance from ÅME at one of the surprise parties in the offing.
As more events are expected to be announced over the coming weeks and months – and with some very special parties and one-off events already in the pipeline – it’ll be all eyes on that tiny red emblem to ensure you’re not the one who can’t say you were there for this month of historic events.
– Words, Katie Arthur
A team of volunteers are set to run a one day 15 hour charity festival in 5 venues across
Bath Street and Bath Lane in Glasgow city centre on Saturday October 5.
In 2012 the Oxjam We’re Skint, They’re Skinter volunteers delivered a Festival for a Fiver
in SWG3, Distill and The 78 Café Bar, this year the festival has moved to the city centre
and will take place in The Buff Club, The Buff Low Café, Flat 0/1, Lucky Seven Canteen and
Oxjam We’re Skint, They’re Skinter, part of Oxjam – Oxfam’s month-long music festival,
started in January 2012 when volunteer Founder Lindsey McGhie decided to run a local
music event for charity. The name, content and price of the event were all crowd-sourced
by the people who connected with the festival through social media and the festival
Building on the success of last year’s Festival for a Fiver, the 2nd annual even will see a
variety of stalls, acoustic singer/songwriters, an assortment of Scottish bands, an Oxfam
pop up shop, pop up barber, and a ‘never been done before’ After Party across Flat 0/1 and
Lucky Seven Canteen. The event will also see performances from Michael Cassidy, Vagabond
Poets, Mono Six, Mickey 9s, Galoshins, We Found Out, Ifoundation, Anna Shields, Darrell
Muldoon and many more talented Scottish musicians bringing together a variety of Glaswegian
sounds to help raise money to fight poverty across the globe. All musicians are donating their
performances to Oxfam.
The festival will be open from 12noon until 3am on Saturday October 5. It’s absolutely free
to everyone from 12noon-7pm, £5 for 12noon-11pm and £7 for 12noon-3am when tickets
are bought in advance from Ticket Scotland. There will also be limited tickets available at the box
office on the day.
GUM caught up with Kowton, the Bristol based, up and coming DJ/Producer who dominated the Mungo’s arena at Dimensions. His sound nods towards techno and house but like many great artists it is difficult to pigeon hole him and his set reflected his plethora of influences. Alongside Peverelist he is behind the Livity Sound a label; which holds wax in high regard and pushes limited, vinyl only releases. Despite being Bristol based, Kowton has strong ties to Glasgow, having played alongside Off Beat at La Cheetah and most notably his release ‘TFB’ on the All Caps Label.
What was the highlight of Dimensions for you?
Just playing there was amazing, each time was a highlight! Whether it was as Livity Sound, on the boat or at the Mungo’s stage on the Sunday, each set went really well. The amazing location adds so much to the atmosphere; I can’t imagine I’ll get to play anywhere as unique or intimidating as the moat for a little while.
Were there any downsides to Dimensions?
The food off site was horrendous every time we ate – I think a couple of people even got ill from it at one point. The Hessle crew maintained there was an amazing fish restaurant somewhere but we never found it.
How does playing at festivals differ from clubs- do you alter your set accordingly?
I think its important to be a bit more fun really, if there’s ever a time to be a bit more obvious and draw for the anthems its at a festival. Obviously you want to stay true to your sound but playing DJ tools to thousands of people can come across a bit dry at times.
Who did you enjoy seeing the most?
Scion and Tikiman was fantastic, I’m as much of a fanboy as everyone else when it comes to them. I thought everyone on the Hessle stage on Friday was sick, Funkineven smashed it, Anthony Naples killed it on the boat and Chris Farrell finished the Mungo’s stage perfectly.
The Subdub boat party was the highlight of my festival; did you manage to catch any boat parties yourself?
We did a little Idle Hands one with myself, Peverelist, Ron Morelli and Chris which was super fun. It had sold out but wasn’t rammed so there was plenty of space and the music was great throughout. From there we headed straight onto the Hessle boat and that was great too.
Do you reckon you’ll be back next year?
I hope so! Please book us again Simon, please…
Finally, what is your top festival tip?
Pedlo’s with water slides! I don’t really like slides or water but those were ace.
The Livity Compilation drops on the 14th October and you can catch Kowton alongside Peverelist and Asusu at the Livity Sound night at Sub Club on Friday 18th October.
– Lucy AB Molloy
After a 3 hour flight, 5 hour transfer and 10 bottles of water I finally arrived at the Dimensions site in Pula, Croatia. It was definitely worth the journey. The festival is split between an abandoned fort, a well-equipped campsite and a beautiful beach. It felt like paradise.
Asides from the reasonably priced ticket (£135) and beautiful location the real attraction of the festival was, of course, it’s line up. As I stared at the program, I’d never desired quite so much to be able to clone myself. Over the course of 4 days I saw the likes of Benji B, Daphni, MPortico Quartet, Mala and Kowton and that’s to name a few. It wasn’t just the acts that were of a high calibre, the sound systems and production were like no other. As I drifted from stage to moat to ballroom, I felt seriously spoilt. The diverse nature of the music policy meant that I never got bored.
As a new addition to this years festival, Dimensions kicked off with an opening concert set in a beautiful amphitheater just a short taxi or boat ride away from the site. Andrew Ashong began proceedings, followed by Portico Quartet, Mount Kimbie and finally Bonobo. It was a very relaxed affair and the perfect way to begin a week of madness.
This festival is truly designed for 24 hour party people. During the day there were beach parties, which provided a soundtrack for the sunbathers, and the music in the main arena lasted from 10pm-6am. Throughout the weekend there were a series of boat parties curated by labels such as Idle hands, and Eglo Records and NTS Radio. I boarded the Subdub boat, which featured Mungo’s Hifi, Brother Culture, Author and Iration Steppas. Those four hours were hands down the best part of the festival; the music was on point, and the atmosphere was amazing.
Whilst the boat may have been my highlight, it was closely followed by the hotly anticipated Three Chairs, a collective started by Moodyman, Theo Parrish and Rick Wilhite. On the Saturday night Marcellus Pitmann joined them in the Courtyard, where they went b2b for a record 9 and a half hours. The hype surrounding this crew was entirely justified and the crowd remained consistent throughout, dancing, chanting and drinking right through until 6am.
Another positive note to Dimensions was the clientele. With just a 5k capacity, the festival felt intimate and the atmosphere was incredibly chilled. At no point did I see fighting or aggressive behavior that is common at other festivals and the security and staff were pleasant. The only real downsides to the festival were the prices. Croatia is a relatively cheap country but the food and drinks prices on site were well above local rates. However it is possible to bring your own food and alcohol onto the campsite, so I would recommend stocking up at your local supermarket beforehand. There is also a token system instead of money which a lot of people complain about, but it didn’t really bother me – do note that you can’t change tokens back so its best to change a little at a time so you don’t end up with more than you need at the end.
So, if you’re a fan of techno, house, reggae and disco and you want a tan whilst listening to some of the world’s finest musicians look no further than Dimensions Festival.
-Lucy AB Molloy
We enjoyed this episode of VICE’s six part documentary series ‘Big Night Out’. As part of Noisey’s nationwide examination of nuanced music sub-cultures, intrepid explorer Clive Martin embarks on a brave journey into the pumping depths of Glasgow’s gabber scene. The episode documents Angerfist’s recent appearance at Make Do and the ensuing 200 BPM frenzy.
Local grime heavyweights I Hate Fun bring Belfast producer Bloom to Glasgow for his first Scottish show this Saturday at St Jude’s. His staggering debut track Quartz shot the Irishman into critical acclaim last year and his arrival in Glasgow follows the release of his much anticipated Maze Temple EP on Visionist’s growing Lost Codes. Part of the new wave of grime producers and a beacon of unadulterated talent, Bloom pushes for progress in the genre, re-establishing to those in doubt that instrumental grime is still relevant and experimental.
Bloom will be playing with support from kindred spirit Inkke and the I Hate Fun residents in Saint Jude’s 11pm-3am.
This weekend time will be rewound. As part of the Merchant City Festival Wayne & Geraldine Hemingway are bringing their Vintage festival to Glasgow with a program celebrating and emulating the cream of British 20th century popular culture.
Filled with a series of daily classes, pop-up shops and special one off events including the Vintage Charleston Brunch, visitors can explore fashion, art, beauty, food and dance of eras bygone. While many vintage and retro events struggle to rise beyond half-hearted nostalgia for twee tea dresses and scooters, the Vintage festival has an excellent record of creating an authentic, exciting experience for visitors of any age.
The festival is also offering a series of vintage themed club nights including Soul Casino on Saturday night, transforming the Old Fruitmarket into a celebration of 70s soul and 80s disco from 8pm-1am.
Book tickets and find out more here.
Last night GUM headed down to O2 ABC to catch RDGLDGRN’s Glasgow debut on the first leg of their European Tour. Fair Fax Records’ hottest Hip-Hop signing garnered support from a small but enthusiastic crowd. Considering the quality of their music and their collaborations with the Legendary Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams, I was surprised that the venue wasn’t packed out. By the way this band is going, I suspect next time they hit town tickets will move faster than Usain Bolt.
The headliners took it upon themselves to come and chat to the crowd before they hit the stage and Red remarked they were ‘humbled to have the opportunity to tour and play to their fans, seeing as a couple of years ago they’d been unemployed jamming in their mom’s basement’. Working with Pharrell had been ‘an inspiring and easy process as they arranged the basics of track within just 25 minutes!’
The warm up was provided by Hector Biserk an unpretentious albeit unlikely combo of a bassist, drummer and MC who’s tracks ranged from angsty anti government ‘Police State’ to the relentlessly catchy ‘Let it go’. Think Jamie T x Rage Against the Machine coated in IRN BRU- you can catch them live at the West End Festival on the 8th of June.
By the time RDGLDGRN appeared everyone had drifted away from the bar and onto the dance floor. Their set was eclectic and energised. The lyrical dexterity of MC Green was intermixed with Gold’s rock infused bass and Red’s softer vocals with drums provided by ‘White Face’ (who’s name stems from a tongue in cheek, PC defying homage to Dave Grohl). They were totally comfortable on stage and it felt as if we were overlooking a jamming session in their backyard. There is something instantly likeable about RDGLDGRN and they would be ideal for a mid afternoon slot at a summer festival.
After the gig the guys were keen to see more of Glasgow, so we took them down to La Cheetah in the hope of giving them a taste of Nightwave’s new night ‘Nightrave’. Unfortunately it proved too popular by demand so we headed to Subculture, where Domenic spun quality techno until the early hours. They certainly enjoyed themselves and we can’t wait till they’re back in town. In the mean time You can check RDGLDGRN’S latest single ‘Million Fans’ here:
Words: Lucy Molloy
Photos: Matthew McAndrew: http://matthewmcandrew.com/?p=3123
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.
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
Hessle Audio’s Ben UFO hits up the world famous SubClub this Friday 1st of March, with a 4 hour long set this is not to be missed.
2 pairs of tickets and 2 copies of his Fabric Live CD to give away.
[email protected] to be in with a chance of winning!
Winners will be notified by 4pm tomorrow
For those who miss out advanced tickets are available here:
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.
The 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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Continue reading “The Last Dance @ Chambre 69”
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.
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.
Ok, it’s that time of the year again. In December everything revolves around that one day that some guy wound up in a manger. Personally I love Christmas but I’m not a fan of Mariah Carey at the best of times, and despite avoiding most public places since mid-October I still can’t help but catch myself singing THAT chorus. At a loose end and with no friends within a 50 mile radius left to turn to, I did the only thing I could – begged London based, Kezokichi to rustle me up a techno remedy to blast those cloying ballads away.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
We’re very excited about the latest club-night offering from the Frogbeats gang. The guys responsible for ‘Unleash the Beast’ (Sub Club’s monthly Jungle frolic) will be descending upon Chambre 69 this Friday for a night of feel-good, high-energy Electro Swing. Described as a “fusion of modern electronic dance beats with early 1900’s swing music”, it’s guaranteed to be the most unique Friday-night fun you’ll have this winter. GUM will be partying like it’s 1929, so dust off your top hats and come join us for a jive. What better way to showcase that Movember ‘tache?
Frogbeats Present: Scantily Clad
Friday 16th November
11pm – 3am
Chambre 69, 69 Nelson Mandela Place
“We’ve got a smile from ear to ear as we announce our newest project, Scantily Clad. Keeping with our high-energy and feel-good philosophy, debaucherous hilarity is a bona-fide guarantee this Friday night. How? Two words. ‘Electro Swing’. A fusion of modern electronic dance beats with early 1900’s swing music. Funk, hip-hop, soul and house – pretty much anything to help you find your groove – will all be thrown into the mix as Denney leads the evenings proceedings. And if that ain’t enough to get you tapping your feet, we’ve got hula hoopers, face painters, podium dancers, and well, a bar! Why are we so fancy?
Please be clad in your finest dresses and bonnets! A swinger must look their best.
£5 advanced tickets available @ www.frogbeats.com/tickets
£7 on the doors ladies and gentlemen.”
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.
This week SubCulture followers were treated to the stunning Nina Kraviz for a mere £2 extra on the entry as part of the SubClub 25 celebrations. Rammed most Saturdays anyway, the turn out for the night was beyond impressive, everyone pressed together trying to get a glimpse at the DJ booth. The vibe was electric and united though, a team effort to show adoration for Nina resulting in two different people handing over roses and a million awed glances. The Russian beauty played a flawless set that had the Kraviz fans and SubCulture veterans on the floor for the entire night. Her mixes had it bang on, and the visible work she was putting into the set is worth noting. Having seen Kraviz earlier this year at Arena in Berlin, I can assure you that although keeping to her sound, the bass vibrating through the SubClub floor couldn’t have worked better with her minimal techno/house set. Keeping the crowd on the edge for the whole night playing tune after tune, including, of course, ‘Ghetto Kraviz’ and showing us just why she’s renowned for those dance moves. However, not to be dismissed are residents Harri and Domenic who closed for the night, feeding through some 90’s euphoria vibes until the lights came on. There might not have been so many glossy eyed stares coming from the dance floor but they kept the crowd on a massive peak until the extended 4am closing time, giving no shortage of evidence that the SubCulture night is a worthwhile Saturday night out, even without Nina.
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.
On this Thursday, 4th of October the renowned international competition dedicated to discovering hot new talent on the electronic scene is coming to our favourite arts space SWG3. Head down from 8-10 to witness the next potential scuba battle is out against Julio Bashmore’s long lost twin. Vitamins, Jasper James and Jackmaster will be providing the entertainment from then on. And all for a measly £5 get on it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calling all female DJs and producers:
TLG Magazine is hosting a stage at the electronic music festival Signals in Sheffield this summer, on July 21st. They’re now running a competition for up and coming female DJs and producers to win a 30 minute slot at the festival.
We at GUM know Glasgow is full of talented ladies and we’d like to promote this competition to you all! More details on how to enter can be found here:
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. Continue reading “Belleruche True Thoughts Album Launch”
Words by Tom Clarke.
Thursday the 22nd of March saw the launch of a new club night at Sub Club. The name of the night is Rubix and the organisers are Joshua Plotnek, Abraham Parker-Clare, David Shields, Daniel Bartling, James Oglethorpe and Calum Lindsay. All are second year students at the university of Glasgow and this is there first ever night. Continue reading “Rubix Glasgow: A new night a Sub Club”
If there’s one thing Glasgow’s missing, it’s the call of the wild. Drum and bass and jungle are rarities up here so it’s with relief that we can finally unleash a monthly night of tasty beats at Sub Club. Frogbeats has just started up, but is already pulling in the native tribe with resident and guest DJ’s showcasing some classic tunes from the old and new. So put on your war face and head down this Thursday, you’re in for a treat this week as the Beast is let loose. Expect some massive tunes to move yo’ feet.
Check out their facebook page for more information on up and coming events: http://www.facebook.com/events/347512171955415/
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.
GUM has teamed up with the Glasgow Music and Film Festival (part of Glasgow Film Festival) with a fantastic gig competition for readers. Three winners will win a pair of tickets each to see High Places at the Arches on Thursday 16th February and also Umberto at SWG3 on Saturday 25th February as part of the festival.
DIY dance-punk bedroom experimentalists High Places recorded their debut album in 2008 using anything they could get their hands on – a 12 string guitar, banjo and kalimba as well as plastic bags, mixing bowls and other household objects. The result was an idiosyncratic combination of elements – global polyrhythms, hip-hop beats, post punk basslines and field recordings, bound together by a rough, DIY production which hovers somewhere between a dance punk, folk and lo-fi aesthetic. Live, it’s much the same ethos, with Mary manipulating her vocals with delays, pedals and loops, and Rob creating percussion with drum pads, samplers and IRL percussion like wood blocks. Now relocated to LA from New York, they’ve been swept up in the wave of nu-cool, experimental bands– touring with Deerhunter, Yacht, Dan Deacon and last year’s GMFF guests Lucky Dragons, to name but a few.
The alter ego of musician Matt Hill, Umberto is a one-man band crafting horror score creep-scapes for the digital age. Umberto’s music is a hypnotic, all-consuming journey, reeling you into a foggy, neon-lit world of graveyards, stalkers, haunted houses, witches and blood-stained corpses. Evoking the unsettling progressive rock of Goblin and the sinister, dystopian synth-work of John Carpenter, his acclaimed releases have garnered considerable praise for their staggering, gothic take on italo disco and new-wave synth pop. Flying over exclusively from Kansas City, Missouri, Umberto will be performing a live soundtrack to a secret film, with support from power-sleaze duo Organs of Love & Strange Vice DJs. Join David Barbarossa, Claudia Nova, Older Lover and Henry Fondler at the official afterparty at SWG3 from 11pm-2am. More at www.facebook.com/glasgowmusicandfilm.
Now in its fourth year, the Glasgow Music and Film Festival is a series of one-off events combining audio and visuals. Lovingly co-curated by film buffs and music geeks from the Glasgow Film Festival and the Arches, the results range from the entertaining to the inspirational to the downright weird.This year’s festival runs from 16th-26th February 2012 and and comprises a series of gigs at venues across the city, complemented by a programme of music documentaries and fiction films at the GFT. If you’re not lucky enough to win this time, tickets for High Places, Umberto and all GMFF gigs are available from both the GFT (0141 353 6535) and Arches box offices (0141 565 1000). You can also book online/get more festival information at www.thearches.co.uk orwww.glasgowfilm.org/festival.
Just answer the following question:
From which American city did High Places originate?
Please send answers, with your name and mobile number to [email protected] by Wednesday 15th February to win!
Terms & Conditions:
Competition open to over 18s only
Prize is not transferable
Prize is three winners to receive a pair of tickets each for High Places and Umberto as part of GMFF
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
GUM has teamed up with the Arches to offer University of Glasgow students the chance to win two pairs of tickets to Noisey Nights at the Arches with Ms Dynamite on Saturday 17th December.
Coming just before the Christmas holiday, the Arches, Mixed Bizness and Vice Magazine’s Noisey Nights have teamed up to bring you some of the best names in dubstep, garage and all things bass for a night of jaw-wobbling carnage.
Back from releasing new single Neva Soft, the one-time Mercury, two times BRIT and three times MOBO award-winning Ms. Dynamite is one of the freshest rappers and singers of the past decade – her crowd-teasing performance with Magnetic Man at the Subclub earlier this year was proof, if any were needed.Borrowing from hip hop, R&B, grime and UK garage, her ten-year career has seen her grow from Dy-Na-Mi-Tee and It Takes More, off debut album A Little Deeper, to the sophisticated soul-dancehall-DnB crossover of latest single Neva Soft, whilst her collaborations with Katy B, Redlight, Magnetic Man, Benga and DJ Zinc – seem to have cemented her reputation as the godmother of the UK scene.
She’ll be supported on the night by Manchester bass champions Murkage, ever rising UK producer Doorly, and the ever fresh party starter Boom Monk Ben. Come in from the frost, and prepare to get very sweaty.
NOW HOW DO I WIN?
If you’re not lucky enough to win this time, tickets for Noisey Nights are available by calling the Arches on 0141 565 1000 or via the website at www.thearches.co.uk
Terms and conditions:
Open to those aged 18 and over
This prize is not transferable
Prize is for two winners and a guest to attend Noisey Nights on Sat 17 December at the Arches, Glasgow.
Management reserve the right to refuse admission.
Competition for Glasgow’s clubbing elite was fierce on 12th November with Sub Club and The Arches both vying for the loyal student crowd. Their respective weapons were: LoFi magnate of the moment Julio Bashmore in the Jamaica Street basement and House-revivalists, Azari & III, around the corner in the Victorian, vaulted chambers of Scotland’s “best late night venue”, The Arches (SLTN Awards). No matter where allegiances lay last weekend one thing was clear – House is back, and it’s here to stay.
Words and Photos by Marcus Jack
On just after half 11, Azari & III were a man down. Fritz was missing. A blurry explanation suggested a lost voice – no doubt a result of extensive touring and the repeated exercise of demanding bass vocals. Their slot was a hybrid, somewhere between gig headliner and club night marathon opener – Death Disco was to follow featuring L-Vis 1990 and Visions of Trees. Opening strong with instrumental track ‘Manhooker’, electroclash Caesars Dinamo Azari and Alixander III showcase their talents without vocal presence. Azari on drum machine, Alixander over mixing console, both consult their synths regularly. The result is an excitingly sinister beat, an ultra-low frequency wall of dark house that keeps building in anticipation of theatre.
Theatre arrives when Cedric (a.k.a. Starving Yet Full) floats onto centre stage, androgyny in a black leather jacket, translucent chiffon shirt, brogues and a fur hat. Mixing straight into the irrefutable banger ‘Hungry for the Power’ Cedric shines against the pared back set and broody lighting. His voice is flawless, referencing New Wave behemoth Grace Jones and easily rivalling contemporaries like Hercules & Love Affair. The crowd lights up recognising the thumping bass and foreseeing the voodoo lyrics which berate Western greed: ‘I’m hungry for the power/Hour after hour/Crazy for your love/But love is not enough’. Fritz’ deep spoken vocals are missed – but the band’s dynamic and impressive energy more than make up for it.
Fully engaged with the club vibe, each record is seamlessly mixed into the next. Despite a plague of technical difficulties the band never loses professionalism – an ethic also indicated by their numerous high profile patrons: Annie Mac, Friendly Fires and Boys Noize. The group genuinely appreciate their success, and it shows. The energy never falters.
‘Manic’ is the surprising pièce de résistance of the set. It has a hook which surpasses comprehension*, something in the lyrics, in the attitude of the record that becomes contagious. The thumping resonance of the track gets the crowd climaxing, everyone dancing introspectively in a fit of twists and hands. Decidedly dark the sound only goes deeper, from ‘Reckless (With Your Love)’ mixed through the rest of their eponymous debut album to the concluding and aptly labelled ‘Into the Night’.
* See below – It has to be heard.
Cedric is fascinating, stripping and writhing in perfect time he embodies the sound completely, an exotic Peaches, it’s hard not to be mesmerised. Despite this, producers are never lost; Azari sparks up on stage with a sense of James Dean cool, and Alixander responds to Cedric, twisting around mic stands and grinding against the colossal PA system. Responding to a new tradition of cold electronic music – namely the new populist brand of schizophrenic, imported “dubstep” – Azari & III are confidently part of an old movement revitalised, with a proud history and consciousness. House is back and stronger than ever.
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.
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 drumjokes.com; 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.
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.
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.
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.
No, not the oh so British establishment that reminds daft tourists to take their Malaria tablets on their gap year! There is no baldy William Hague here.
Foreign Office make music embedded deep in new wave and post punk with plenty of spiky guitars and addictive, funk rooted rhythms. The gig was a brisk romp through their catalogue which is heavy in memorable, poppy hooks and joyful synth stabs. Lyrically, Foreign Office seem to be constantly yearning – it’s all begging and pleases, something which seemed appropriate on the night – Please let there be more people, “I’m on my Hands and Knees, PLEASE”** The sparse audience however, were appreciative and eager to embrace what is importantly still a fairly unrecognised band.
But with a tour supporting Young Knives (a match made in heaven), Foreign Office are a band that are unlikely to be left on the art rock waste pile. Their remarkable similarity to the ever-popular Rapture – in their sound, look and influences – will probably be another aid to their career. It can’t then go unmentioned that The Rapture are playing the same venue a week later – it seems like the aesthetically-concerned SWG3 are pinning their colours to the wall in their recent venture into gigs. But, as un-riotous as this night was, it felt like a taste of what is to come from Foreign Office who hopefully after this tour will gain some well-deserved recognition.
**Have a look at their most recent single “Hands and Knees” here (hopefully the hilarious tenuous reference makes sense now..)
Words by Megan Donald
Photos by Jassy Earl
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.
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”.
Another month, another Death Disco!
On Saturday 15th October, The Arches holds its regular poly-sexual electronic extravaganza in the name of Glasgay!, the city’s renowned queer arts festival. This night in particular is ridden with trashy disco wonders, not least with the endlessly inventive and bizarre Peaches.
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.
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.
20th October sees showcasers Musicbox travel up to Glasgow having started out in Brighton last year, where they collected local acoustic talent and provided them with a platform to perform. Using the same idea in Stereo, Musicbox is bringing you Kitty and The Lion, Bear Bones, Chasing Owls and Bella Spinks, but this by no means demonstrates quantity over quality.
A finer collection of Scottish acoustic artists would be near impossible to find as these bands are the names to drop if you’re into emerging local music. Beguiling twee-pop musicians Kitty the Lion and 8 piece folk ensemble Bear Bones head the night with support from the charming Chasing Owls and Bella Spinks. Expect music that has a gentle heart full of hometown memories, bizarre oddities and amusing experiences. GUM will be attending of course and having a thoughtful pint with the night’s performers so if the event itself is not enough for you, look forward to reading more about the artists in a future feature!
Found out more about it here at their Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=275378259144434
And here’s something to get you going for now and give you an idea of the splendours that await…
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.
If you weren’t dressed as a giraffe (for the GUSA party, that is) on Wednesday 14th September, then likely stuff you were at Subcity Nightvision, the first party of the academic year held by Glasgow Univesity’s Subcity Radio. Held in SubClub, Glasgow’s mecca of clubbing cool, the night gave freshers a break from the whole student union scene and plunged them into the darkness of Glasgwegian electronic music.
It all began with a bus tour around Glasgow, which highlighted the delights the West End has to offer from the top of a rather breezy blue bus. Acting as tour guides were Subcity’s Deadbeat Club who unleashed such hilariously useful snippets of information as where to meet a halal butcher at 5am. Off the bus, and it was into the venue where spidery green lighting transformed SubClub into a post-industrial beating heart, a musical Gotham City.
With a line-up ranging from music collective Bigfoot’s DJ to the infectious, minimal techno of Animal Hospital, it was a truly a night that initiated everyone into the ways of Glasgow’s vast music scene. Smooth, loungy soul gave way to harder dubstep and italo with occasional slices of delightfully obscure RnB. This really is as heady a night as you will get in Glasgow so make sure you don’t miss the next one.
Get back into the swing of things as GUM lists the nightly musical events in September that just simply cannot be forgotten.
10pm – 3am
Subcity Radio entices you to the Sub Club with a range of their best DJs. Expect darkness and fun.
MHA’S 3rd BDAY: BOXCUTTER (live), COSMIN TRG, FALTY DL, YOUNG MONTANA (LIVE)
9pm – 7am
For Mount Heart Attack’s 3rd Birthday, city centre venue La Cheetah provides a spectacular line-up of stars from the world of techno and electronic music. Along with this, the night promises many thrilling extras including “4 total space babes, all dressed in the hottest outfits”….
9pm – 5am
THE GOAT then secret location…
Relatively new and always thoroughly inventive, Vitamins brings another event which is positively laden with expectation. If Eclair Fifi and Auntie Flo (amongst many others) are not enough to seduce you, then the thrilling air of uncertainty surely must be.
This is the first playlist for GUM online and it is going to aim high. After all, new year, new start. But for a while let’s ignore the looming stress of real life and allow GUM to bring you the antidote to reality. This collection of tunes is especially for all you new freshers out there – prime cuts that will have you dancing your innocent wee socks off and others that will gladly soothe you the day after. Welcome to Glasgow Uni and remember to forever gie it yaldae.
[ONE] Jamie XX can seem to do no wrong and perfects his particular breed of brooding dubstep night music in this mix for Fact Magazine. Expect emotional vocals upon elegant garage beats with glitchy, echoing interludes that are continually fascinating.
[TWO] Glasgow based producer Rustie has risen in popularity and respect over the past year and is now a definite high-flyer. This track is an invigorating introduction if you’re yet to be converted. Boundless inventiveness has led Rustie to making this true original with synth-heavy electro that will definitely charm your pants off.
[THREE] New York based band The Rapture have returned with their irresistible blend of punky dance rock – the indie disco God has clearly been hearing our prayers. House-like piano chords open this track and point the listener firmly in the direction of “NOW IS THE TIME TO PARTY”. Listen to this with glitter on your face and endless vodka-fuelled joy in your heart.
[FOUR] So no-one may actually know what is going on in Björk’s head but this first song from her soon to be released album goes some of the way in exploring her wildly artistic brain. Complex and delicate in it’s composition, the jury is out as to whether this track is sublimely relaxing or a bit disturbing. Either way, ‘Crystalline’ is fascinatingly beautiful and the video entrancing. One for the morning after.
[FIVE] Laura Marling this week released a new album of thoughtful ponderings set upon more complex orchestrations than just an acoustic guitar. Her folk leanings take a turn towards country with this single ‘Sophia’ which gently builds up into a rollicking, chirpy ballad. There’s hope on the horizon for everyone when listening to this.
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.
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:
Day Tickets: TBC (depends on demand)
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…
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…
Photo Credits: George Symington
American ambient drone synth trio Emeralds played the Arches last Monday before heading to Barcelona for an appearance at the first main day of Primavera Sound last Thursday. Photographer George Symington gives his pick of shots from the night, showing Emeralds dazzling in full colour – many of which it must be said are wee gems (YA).
Surely exam season is over? Midsummer brings gigs aplenty, and we have it on good authority that this Saturday’s gig at Stereo is going to be a good’un. Blondes Beat Connection features some of the freshest Stateside talent, brought to you in a one-off live showcase.
Sat 28 May · 20:00 – 23:00 @ Stereo
£5 /limited guestlist – see Facebook for details
Beat Connection (Moshi Moshi)
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=210845708949979
Blondes hail from New York, are famed for their synth vibe, and have featured at Death Disco, whilst Seattle-based group Beat Connection are making their Glasgow debut on the back of their breezy EP Surf Noir.
Yasmin Ali // for The Arches
Next Saturday 21st May sees The Arches play host to an all-star line up for the May edition of its resident clubnight Death Disco. With those pesky exams out the way, and half-price passes available, you really have no excuse not to come along to what will no doubt be one of the clubnights of the season, if not the year.
A big turnout is expected, so grab those passes while you can. The line-up itself is populated with big names – Crookers, Joaquim, Aeroplane, Jokers of The Scene, Ghost Eyes, The Whip and Clouds are amongst the billing.
Tickets: 0141 565 1000 or online @ www.thearches.co.uk
Sign up for a DISCOUNT PASS (£7) @ www.thearches.co.uk
// With Thanks to Sharon McHendry of The Arches
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.”
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’.
Yasmin Ali, Music Editor
It seems we have all had it a little too good for a little too long in terms of free music streaming. In a move to restrict access to its free content, popular platform Spotify last week announced changes to its free subscription services Spotify Free and Spotify Open. These changes will not affect paid subscribers on Spotify Premium. The changes will apply from May 1st.
In general, subscribers will be limited to 5 plays per track and a total of 10 hours listening per month after the first six months. Ten hours may not sound much but it’s the equivalent of 200 track plays. Just no more of your favourite track on repeat…
The full details in an official statement can be read on Spotify’s website here.
Click the icon above to take you to the Spotify website. You can follow GUM’s mixtape here.
Happy (restricted) listening!
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…
BOOK ONLINE NOW
take a print out or image on your phone and take to the Box Office on Argyle St in advance of the night
gumagazine // voucher courtesy of Death Disco/The Arches
Yes, we know it’s examtime, but how much study can you do in the wee small hours of the morning? Get yourself to Death Disco, and be consoled by this half-price pass. (Usually £14 – half price £7)
Print and show and Box Office for Discount.
BY HANNAH CURRIE
“ 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.
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.
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.
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<http://mixedbizness.co.uk/hahaha-1111-mixtape/>.) 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.
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 reading “Subcity Introduces…HaHaHa”
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.
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.
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.
The Arches, Midland St, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
BOOK ONLINE NOW
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)
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…
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?
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.
As dusk falls on the Merchant City before Roddy Woomble’s set in St Andrew’s square, it falls on this years Celtic Connections at the same time…
For the fourth year running an estimated gross return of £1million from over 100,000 tickets shows a welcome and vital consistency lacking in so many modern festivals. Helped by the wide range of music talent and expansive network of international visitors, it has added to Glasgow’s profile as a major tourist destination…
Having released his debut solo album ‘My Secret is My Silence’ in 2006, Roddy Woomble has since been paving a new direction for himself among the folk circuit in Scotland. The change in sound has also been reflected in Idlewild’s most recent album ‘Post Electric Blues’ released last year. Tonight’s gig saw a stripped back performance of new and older solo songs in the mightily impressive St Andrew’s in the Square venue.
Rena Niamh Smith
The rhetorical questions were certainly not lost this time – Subcity radio empire hosted another killer bash, this time at the basement bar in wee Renfield Lane’s Stereo. Despite the hit-or-miss nature of Stereo’s underground venue, the team pulled off an amazing night of good tunes and heady atmosphere. In a smaller venue than the recent pirate parties, the night had something of the feel familiar to the events held in the old Research Club on Glasgow Uni’s campus. The clientèle were the most nonchalantly cool kidz Subcity roots its support in, but they showed no aversion to throwing their hands up in the name of a good tune.
As part of their ‘New Years Revolution’ taking place from the 3rd to 16th of January, King Tuts hosted four young upstart punk bands on the 11th, going by the names of The Gap Year Riot, Pareto, Light Guides and Young Aviators. Alex Embiricos checks out the hype…
First up were the fresh faced The Gap Year Riot, who, holding steady to their rioting gap year traditions, packed all six members on the small stage along with their deafening power chords and pounding drums. A nice uniform of checkered shirts and long fringes prevailed, whilst lead guitarist Johnny Sunshine ripped off a few short riffs and vocalist Fraser wailed away in a loud explosion of pop punk.
Act: The Burns Unit with support from Broken Records
Venue: The Old Fruitmarket
Night: Celtic Connections, 16/01/10
A common theme that has emerged amongst recent folk/indie movements in Scotland is undoubtedly collaborations. It seems that certain artists can’t get enough of them. King Creosote recently played with Edinburgh’s Meursault and Emma Pollock hooked up with Rod Jones of Idlewild for The Fruit Tree Foundation. Whatever your opinion on ‘supergroups’, it does make a great spectacle to witness several talented musicians come together armed with a mix of influences, ideas and even genres. If something is not to your taste it doesn’t take long for something completely different to be thrown at you. Oh and this is applies to The Burns Unit as well, in case that wasn’t clear…
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)
VISIONS OF TREES
CLUB VISUALS BY:
Glasgow’s annual Celtic Connections kicks off today, bringing in the new year with one or two footstomps and plenty of willows being stripped to satisfy the ceilidh dancer inside you. Promising you 1500 artists at 14 venues over 18 days, there is certainly no shortage of talent and variety on offer.
Connecting people since 1994, this festival is certainly no stranger to Glasgow’s circuit. Having seen numerous festivals come and go in Glasgow (including the sadly now defunct and wonderfully obscure Triptych) what makes this one so special?? Arguably it is the epitomy of what Glasgow music is all about. Diverse in nature and vibrant in performance, it is perfectly accommodated within the city. There can be few other places to witness americana, jazz and folk on the same stage at times!?
Along with a barrage of music workshops to get involved with, the performers this year include Scottish/Canadian supergroup The Burns Unit, The Walkmen, Alasdair Roberts, Lau, Roddy Hart’s Forever Young Dylan tribute, Seth Lakeman, Rachel Sermanni, Roddy Woomble and Fran Healy. (To name a few)
To get more of a flavour and a detailed taste of what is happening visit,
Alex Embiricos caught up with one of Glasgow’s up and coming bands, The Lava Experiments, who supported Caspian and God As An Astronaut at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on 9/11/10
“We were thinking of dressing up in clown suits, there’s nothing like playing melancholic music wearing a big pink clown suit.”
‘The Lava Experiments are a band in the chryslis of change, not in the comedy of a clown suit.’ Originally the brain child of singer/ guitarist Fraser Rowan, the band began as a series of experimentations named ‘Lava’ in downtempo ambient electro and, as Fraser eloquently puts it, “some guitar orientated stuff”, which were entirely autonomous. But as it turns out an Icelandic jazz bad had all ready nabbed that title, thus with the addition of bassist Rory McGregor and drummer Alan Wond, The Lava Experiments were born.
So when I ask how they all met I was immediately dealt with “In a dark room, in a gay bar, we just felt things”, thus begins my highly entertaining interview with an interesting band, who no doubt have the required chemistry to pull off the mammoth sounds I heard the other night at King Tuts, with only three guys on a small, sparse stage. Sparse the stage may have been, but the crowd was packed in and intently listening to the layered synth, crunchy guitar and deep vocals which had formed so completely and emerged from the cocoon. Their audience, expecting post-rock, displayed much “nodding of heads, tapping of feet, and stroking of chins” in contemplative appreciation.