Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon report on Scotland’s underground music scene.
GARDEN OF ELKS is the latest project from Niall Strachan, one half of Bronto Skylift, and boasts a splendid chunky guitar sound with alternating male and female vocals. Already creating a bit of a buzz with Highland tastemaker Marion Scott on Moray Firth Radio, as well as the BBC’s Vic Galloway and the Song, By Toad blog, they launch an AA-sided cassette single at Milk’s Christmas party in Glasgow on 19 December. Get a taste of what lies ahead with this live video of our track of the month, This Morning We Are Astronauts http://bit.ly/ElkGarden
Hear Glasgow (an organisation that gives young people access to and opportunities to participate in music), is running a free weekly Monday night showcase in Glasgow’s George Square in the lead up to Christmas and Hogmanay. The gigs are part of a wider Winter Festival and hosted by DJ Jim Gellatly. Confirmed acts include St Deluxe, Teen Canteen, Hector Bizerk, Julia & The Doogans and Jo Mango. Visit www.hearglasgow.org
Threads of Sound is a non-profit record label and promotions company which releases recordings of live gigs and is run by event managers, sound engineers and digital distributors. To date it has released music by artists as diverse as The Amphetameanies, Maple Leaves, RM Hubbert and The Rezillos. The latest offering takes place at Stereo on 14 December, featuring Turning Plates and How To Swim. Visit www.threadsofsound.com
Celebrating ten years in existence, indie music publication Is This Music? has a special live evening lined up at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus. The party on 13 December is headlined by local indie legends ballboy with a solo performance from Adam Thompson of We Were Promised Jetpacks. Visit www.isthismusic.com/category/news for tickets.
Two days later the capital’s Summerhall will host a full-day extravaganza called Tinderbox Fest which features the amazing Tinderbox Orchestra and numerous guests acts including the Dark Jokes, Matt Norris and Broken Records. www.tinderboxproject.co.uk
Thanks to a film and recent tour, an obscure Detroit-based artist called Rodriguez has become world famous four decades after his first release. Now it seems that a 64-year-old Highlander is also enjoying a career revival, thanks to his song Wanna Make You Happy being used in a skateboard commercial that has been viewed over 250,000 times. Recording under the name Jeep Solid, and known to his pals [including Jools Holland] as Rod, the artist recently had his 1971 album Fake Sugar re-released on one of our favourite Scottish labels, KFM Records. http://bit.ly/JeepSolid
Kid Canaveral host their third festive bash, Christmas Baubles III at the Caves in Edinburgh on 22 December with an excellent programme of bands, comedy and DJs. The line-up features, er, Kid Canaveral, as well as Malcolm Middleton, King Creosote VS FOUND, Josie Long, Meursault, Randolph’s Leap, Pictish Trail (DJ set), Elaine Malcolmson and plenty more. For full details and tickets visit www.kidcanaveral.co.uk
Hercules Moments have released their free annual compilation download highlighting the Aberdeen scene, titled Hercules Moments: Vol. 3. Founded by two students in 2009 to promote the music they loved, the online music magazine (and label) has become a comprehensive resource for what is happenings in and around the North-east of Scotland. The compilation has music from artists including Boy With Compass, Cara Mitchell, Das McManus and Orienteering. It is available from www.herculesmoments.co.uk
A welcome addition to Edinburgh’s live music scene, Czech themed nightclub Pivo on Calton Road now programmes gigs. The free-entry shows were launched by Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit. Visit www.facebook.com/pivo.edinburgh
• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the Born To Be Wide music industry seminars. The next event is a “Talk Show” and fundraiser for the free concerts offered at the annual Wide Days event. Guests include Ally McCrae (BBC Radio 1), Bruce Findlay (Simple Minds) and music journalist Nicola Meighan, with live performances from Panda Su, Stanley Odd, Donna Maciocia and Austen George. www.borntobewide.co.uk