Under the Radar: Scotland’s underground music scene
Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon report on Scotland’s underground music scene
Classically trained musician Siobhan Wilson caught our attention in the summer with some demos of the songs now released as the Glorified Demons mini-album. Recorded with Frightened Rabbit’s Gordon Skene, it boasts an acoustic sensibility combining piano, glockenspiel and electric guitar, making for some very pleasurable listening. Our track of the month is Ta Petite Minette, a beautifully gentle song alluding to the years Wilson spent in France. Definitely worth watching, www.siobhanwilson.bandcamp.com
When we launched this column in 2008 one of the first acts we wrote about was Fife metal band Certain Death. They now return from a sabbatical with some live dates and a screening at Edinburgh’s Banshee Labyrinth on 15 September for their movie Vamplifier. The 40-minute film tells the story of a Kirkcaldy boy who becomes a slave to an evil amp, watch the trailer http://youtube/6WVsiNL48o8
Former track of the month providers Aaron Wright, the Stagger Rats and Matt Norris & the Moon, are among the acts playing the Linkylea Festival in East Lothian on Saturday. Now in its eighth year, the event raises money for a child literacy project in India, www.linkyleafestival.org.uk
The Captain’s Rest in Glasgow will reopen on 28 September under new management and will be renamed the Hug and Pint, with Brian Reynolds (currently music programme manager at The Arches), Andrew Maitland and Iain Quimby taking the reins. PCL is setting up a new place on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow city centre, taking over the Local, next door to Nice N Sleazy’s and Box. Visit www.facebook.com/TheHugandPint
The EH1 Festival returns for its second outing in the capital on 16 September. Following the popular multi-venue format, the all-day festival has a strong emphasis on emerging talent with headliners the Phantom Band backed up by the Ok Social Club, Make Sparks, Hip Parade, the LaFontaines, Vigo Thieves and more. In all, 50 bands will perform across five venues: Liquid Rooms, Electric Circus, Cabaret Voltaire, Sneaky Pete’s and Whistlebinkies. Visit www.eh1live.com for full info.
The following weekend, Glasgow’s Ashton Weekender takes over Ashton Lane in the West End for three days with over 60 performances, featuring Optimo, Friendly Fires (DJ set) as well as artists like Kobi Onyame, Vigo Thieves, Honeyblood, Plum, Hector Bizerk and the Mouse That Ate The Cat. Best of all it’s free entry all weekend. Visit www.facebook.com/AshtonWeekender
Further north, Loopallu brings festival season to a close in the picturesque surroundings of Ullapool from 21-22 September. The line-up features former track of the month provider and rising star, Rachel Sermanni (who releases her debut album Under Mountains on 17 September) as well as the Fratellis, Scouting For Girls, Brown Bear and the Bandits, Kassidy and more. The boutique festival is completely sold out, www.loopallu.co.uk
Paisley Underground hosts three nights of live music created by three Scottish record labels: Gerry Loves Records, Fence and Chemikal Underground. The Gerry Loves Records night, at Paisley Arts Centre on 14 September, features Rick Redbeard, Wounded Knee and Reid Kerr College students Deerhound. Fence Records have the Pictish Trail, Randolph’s Leap and Reid Kerr band KiDD on 5 October, while Chemikal has Human Don’t Be Angry and Miaoux Miaoux on 25 October. Visit www.paisley.org.uk/2012/08/paisley-underground/
Ten years ago a fire destroyed a huge building in Edinburgh’s Cowgate, taking with it La Belle Angelle, a club where a whole generation of music fans and clubbers had misspent their youth. Now it is set to be rebuilt in the same spot, albeit with a hotel above it rather than a penny arcade. For a city which suffers from a tragic turnover of venues, it will be a welcome return.
And finally, former track of the month act Capitals are joining the fight to save one of Scotland’s oldest pubs this weekend, as part of the Tweedsmuir Music Festival.
Now in its fourth year, the event was set up by the local community as a way of raising funds to buy the Crook Inn, formerly the haunt of luminaries including Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and John Buchan, who was a regular there during the time he wrote his adventure novel, the Thirty-Nine Steps.
One of the first licensed establishments in Scotland, the 400-year-old inn was closed in 2006 when the owner attempted to convert it into homes. The Tweedsmuir Community Company (TCC) has now reached an agreement to buy the premises but must raise £160,000 by the end of the year to do so.
Also on the bill are Borders singer/songwriter Katie Forbes and Zoe Bestel, a 14-year-old described as “the next Adele with a ukelele”.
See www.tweedsmuir festival.co.uk/www.savethecrook.org.uk
• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the Born To Be Wide music industry seminars. The next event takes place in Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 4 October and features a panel in partnership with EmuBands billed as everything you need to know about releasing your own music. www.borntobewide.co.uk
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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