Subcity says “Who Da Best?” @ Stereo, 21/01/11
Photo: Sean Anderson

Subcity says “Who Da Best?” @ Stereo, 21/01/11

[caption id="attachment_1282" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Photo: Sean Anderson"][/caption] 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.

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New Years Revolution @ King Tut’s

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.

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The Burns Unit @ The Old Fruitmarket

Act: The Burns Unit with support from Broken Records Venue: The Old Fruitmarket Night: Celtic Connections, 16/01/10 [caption id="attachment_1232" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The Burns Unit (Press Release)"][/caption]

 

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...

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The Lava Experiments: Interview

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.” [caption id="attachment_1203" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The Lava Experiments"][/caption]

 

'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.

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Red Cross band night @ Flying Duck

Dave Hunter Glasgow Uni's very own Red Cross Society held an HIV/AIDS awareness gig at the Flying Duck on Thursday 25th November with all of the proceeds from the evening going to a specific British Red Cross HIV project based at Lesotho in Southern Africa. Thankfully, it was clear from the outset that the evening was not your typical run of the mill fundraiser. For a start, we were greeted by a plethora of red outfits as part of the very apt dress code and a 'Cake and Condom' stall which,  for the record were not actually sold as one item. Everyone also got the chance to plant their autograph on a drawing of the red cross ribbon. It became apparent that the bands were fantastically diverse as well. Opening the bill was 'The Wyre' with a few acoustic numbers including a cover of The Coral's 'Dreaming Of You' and an appetite for some funk bass. It must be said that even with the staggering amount of gigs going on in Glasgow, it's not often you get a chance to hear a bluegrass band which came as a welcome change with 'The Dirty Beggars'. They thrilled us all by getting everyone on their feet with some upbeat tunes which sound like they are plucked fresh from the depths of Southern America. So just how do you follow a bluegrass band, well with a rock/metal band of course!' Contact Lost' do have some gifted guitarists and even feature a bassist blessed with an indestructable bass after taking it for a few laps around the venue. Following them proved to be an easy task for Jazz/swing band 'Charlie and the bachelors' who had some excellent covers of standards such as 'Fever' and 'Feeling Good'.

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Album Review: Olly Murs

Adam Leo runs the rule over a certain X-Factor contestant's new album... Snow is here, Whay! Scotland isn’t prepared! Whay! So expect traffic jams, snowball mayhem and fantastic face plants all round. If anyone cares to remember, last years Winter brought a blanket of snow and droves of students to Kelvingrove park for a Super Fun Time. A friend of mine graphically detailed his horrific experience of sledging over a snow jump and off down the hill only to find that he was covered (headto toe) in dog excrement. Little known to him, someone had deliberately concealed their dogs waste and probably waited in the bushes with a camera. “Merry Christmas you filthy animal”. Anyway, for those of you who haven’t gone through this ordeal, the feelings of  dirtiness and embarrassment after listening to the new Olly Murs album is much the same. The album follows a generic pop sound, overdone by so many musicians before Olly, and the theme of loveand desire (yawn) is totally misleading. The lyrics of Olly’s flagship single ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’ are about Olly’s last appeal to a girl not to stop their relationship, maybe she’s just not texting him. This is done in such a happy-go lucky way that it comes across as unrealistic and contradictory. This album strikes a mix between swing pop and flowery reggae and proves that it doesn't work. Olly Murs is the epitome of pop artist both in music and character. He wants everyoneto love him and, as a result, most don’t. Recently, he was a guest on Never mind the Buzzcocks and was given a good slating even from the usually friendly Noel Fielding. Yet Olly just kept smiling and playing the game. Have some dignity man, some of themost respectable artists are the ones mouthing off in the press. However, they command respect in the first place.

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The Concretes: Lisa Milberg Interview

Ahead of their upcoming gig at The Arches on Saturday 4th Dec, Mary Machin caught up with Lisa Milberg, lead singer of Swedish band The Concretes... [caption id="attachment_1078" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lisa Milberg (Source:Factmag)"][/caption] How has the year treated you and has anything changed? Lisa: It’s been overwhelming, nothing’s really changed, a lot of good and bad things have happened but it’s probably been different just because I was shocked by how much work that comes with releasing an album. Did that shock alter your writing or recording techniques? L: Not really, the shock came after all of that, there was a contrast in writing but that’s something that’s going to be different with every album. How about the reception for the record, was it what you expected? L: You can’t really ever expect something particular you can only ever hope for the best, but the reaction to WYWH was great and we were really happy with it. It was weird reading reviews though, because even though it’d be a great review, the writer wouldn’t have got what I wanted them to from the record, but it’s great that people like it

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Squeeze: Chris Difford Interview
Chris Differs of Squeeze (Image credit: Rich and Laura Lynch)

Squeeze: Chris Difford Interview

Ahead of their Glasgow gig at the 02 Academy Colin Reilly caught up with the Chris Differs, frontman of influential New Wave band Squeeze and solo artist in his own right to discuss the latest incarnation of Squeeze, their new album and tour... [caption id="attachment_1048" align="aligncenter" width="203" caption="Chris Differs of Squeeze (Image credit: Rich and Laura Lynch)"][/caption] Colin Reilly: Hi Chris.  How are you today? Chris Difford: Okay Colin: The tour has just kicked off.  How was the gig last night? Chris: It was good.  Very good. Colin: Do you find your audience is mostly older fans who have followed you since the begining or are there younger fans as well? Chris: There's a mixture these days.  Especially in America where there's quite a lot of youngers fans. The wit of the audience is generally growing.  Wits are larger, heights are dropping but the general age is a mixture which is really good.

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Instal ’10, 12-14 November 2010
Image by Jez Burrows

Instal ’10, 12-14 November 2010

Sara Winchester [caption id="attachment_1040" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="INSTAL'10 identity: Image by Jez Burrows"][/caption] On a wintry weekend in mid-November, I headed down to Tramway to have my mind opened to a feast of new musical experiences. The Instal ‘10 festival was a three day weekend festival which aimed to show the radical side of music. Its tagline claims that Music is much more than music. The programme included performance artists, talks, experimental music and art installations from all over the world.

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Wavves @ Arches

Lauren Clark and Chris Lavery checked out America's latest export Wavves at the Arches on 8/11/10 Support came in the form of two very different bands, ‘Paws’ and ‘Otherpeople’. The latter, a four piece indie-rock band with obvious musical potential and the former being what I’d imagine Wavves to sound like had they not discovered marijuana and learned to play their instruments. While Nathan Williams and his band mates powered through their set, awkwardly chuckling away as they received what could only be described as a molesting from the inebriated crew of miscreants, you couldn’t help but admire the way the boys handled the situation. They were happy consenting to the rambunctious occurrence, so as not to generate any negative vibes, whilst maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism as they continued on.. The balance struck between professional musicians and lovable reprobates was clearly established in the three band members and really summed up their performance as a whole. I never expected the front man who infamously flipped out at Primavera 2009 due to a hearty breakfast of narcotics to appear so composed and on the ball as he did this evening.

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Album Review: Teenage Dream

Abbey Shaw checks out Katy Perry’s new album and the burning question is…is it an improvement on ‘I binned a cat and I liked it’ or something along those lines: [caption id="attachment_1001" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image Credit: Capitol Records"][/caption] Bubble-gum pop is not my thing. My friends so often complain that all of the music I listen to is nothing more than an incessant drone. Most of the time, I like it that way. There are, rare occasions when something so catchy and poppy will seep into my consciousness that, for a brief blip in time, I will agree that mainstream pop can be brilliant, leaving my cynicism behind. Katy Perry has most certainly won me over. She is most definitely pop but her powerful vocals and defiant attitude do give her an edge.

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Gig Preview: Wavves @ Arches

Chris Lavery looks ahead to Wavves + Otherpeople + PAWS on 8/11/10 @ The Arches [caption id="attachment_978" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Nathan Williams of Wavves"][/caption] The last time Wavves played in Glasgow was in March 2009, at Sleazy's, a smaller venue and perhaps more suited to their insular, fuzzy sound than the vast, chamber-like Arches. Nevertheless, their Monday night slot at this trendy location is bound to be an exhilarating show. Nathan Williams is the man behind this critically acclaimed Californian project, renowned for his emotionally-charged outbursts of adolescent loneliness and blunt depictions of teenage drug use.

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Music Like A Vitamin @ ABC

Dave Hunter Act: The Fruit Tree Foundation Venue: ABC Night: Music Like A Vitamin, 02/10/10 [caption id="attachment_854" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Rod Jones and Emma Pollock (Photo:Dave Hunter)"][/caption] Now in its fourth year, the Music Like A Vitamin project has yet again proved to be an extremely worthwhile and rewarding project for everyone concerned. Tackling the often thorny issues of mental health head on has become somewhat of an annual event, allowing everyone to remember what this evening is in aid of.

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Yorkhill Santa Cause
(image: http://www.edm2000.com/who_uses_edm2000.htm)

Yorkhill Santa Cause

by Lauren clark I'm aware with this being October that any mention of Christmas is going to be met with irritable groans but I can assure you that my intentions are not to promote mince pies or any of that other premature festive hoopla that starts to creep in at this time of year. Instead I'm endeavouring to inform you about Yorkhill Santa Cause, an arts and music project that's merely riding on the coattails of Christmas promotion to generate a little giving in us lot in order to raise money for Yorkhill Childrens Hospital. This 8 week music and arts extravaganza will be

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What GUM are up to: September Weekend

Yasmin Ali Hi and it has been a busy first week for the GUM team. We've sorted our new recruits from Freshers' week; Week One and are ready for the first issue and the new term. This weekend we're off doing different things, but here's a taster of what's on this September Bank Holiday. Read on to see what's going on!

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Two Door Cinema Club @ GUU Debates Chamber
Photo: Amandla Taylor

Two Door Cinema Club @ GUU Debates Chamber

Dave Hunter & Joseph McEachen

Monday the 13th of September and ‘Two Door Cinema Club’ headline the first night of Glasgow University’s Freshers week in the Debate Chambers of GUU. Support came in the form of Glasgow's own French Wives and Decade Agenda, with Johnny Reb absent after running into a spot of bother back stage. It was therefore up to Decade Agenda and French Wives to steal Johnny’s thunder and they both proved to have their feet firmly on the crowd taking the opportunity to thank the cogs in the machine for putting it all together.  Decade Agenda warmed up the crowd well with a short but solid set, putting in the groundwork for the appearance of Glasgow quintet French Wives who cut an imposing presence on stage.  In part, it's down to lead singer Stuart Dougan being able to have a candid conversation with certain members of the Chambers balcony but it's their depth in sound and finale of 'Me vs Me' which wins over the freshers faithful.(DH)

[caption id="attachment_767" align="aligncenter" width="337" caption="French Wives: Photo by Amandla Taylor"][/caption]

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A breath of fresh air…

…is all you want after a good night out seeing unsigned bands that Glasgow music scene is renowned for. Breathe in deep then before you go and listen to one of these four gems that we have found for you because you are going to be dancing for a while.

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Alternative Festivals | Laura Doherty

campingillustrationkirathomasOk, so the recession’s crept its way into our summer plans and we’re being a little more wary with our cash. In the past we’ve been all too happy to chuck our hard earned overdraft in the direction of a certain domineering, beer-scented festival sponsor.but what should we be doing now we’re being a little more discerning with our financial moves this year? Laura Doherty wades through the portaloo spotted scenery of the summer’s festivals to show you where to invest your tent pegs.

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You know when you’ve been Spotified | Jim Wilson

Founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, Spotify, the new online music service is now being downloaded by over ten thousand people a day across Europe. The sheer number of downloads is making Spotify a serious competitor in the battle of the music download providers and its popularity is growing by the minute. Jim Wilson welcomes the new iTunes rival into his life.

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YIFIdelity

dsc_0015Y'all Is Fantasy Island’s latest album and third dollop of noise, 'No Ceremony' has been received as their most accomplished work yet. So why haven’t they been signed yet? Surely a band of such obvious worth cannot be beaten simply by the law of averages. With this in mind, Maitiu Corbett towed the treacherous trail out to Anniesland Cross to find out their views on the record industry, homicidal trees, and Jim, in a bath, naked.

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