On the radar: Black International

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Compiling a weekly listings guide can be a thankless task. No matter how thoroughly you've drained the internet's information-drenched well, there'll always be someone out there to spot that 'must see' show you've omitted. And by god, do you hear ALL about it.

Despite the music-nerd policia's omnipotent threat, an afternoon of well-honed gig scouring sometimes uncovers a band that can penetrate even the weariest ear-canal. A band very much like Black International.

By shovelling fuzzed-up guitars and clattering drums down an acrid hole of industrialised post-punk, the Edinburgh based trio make for a welcome antithetical thrill compared to the city's gentile folk exterior. So the question is: where the hell have they been hiding for so long?

"Have you ever found a band that you thought none of your friends had ever heard before, and you keep them a secret until you feel the time is right to initiate a deserving few?" frontman Stewart Allan asks of a curiously perplexed UtR. " We want to be that band, a band that people listen to in their rooms at night while they plot their escape from whatever tedious rituals they find themselves doing in order to scrape through life."

Sourced from the Under the Radar blog

It's an intriguing, if not perilous, MO for a fledgling act to embrace. By entrenching themselves in the curious niche that attracts those of a more refined musical palate, Black International could quickly find themselves sinking down the sands of oblivion if they don't satisfy the hipster droves. Not that they're worried. Far from it:

"It seems like everyone plays an instrument these days, and it's difficult to walk down the street without tripping over a load of white, middle-class boys with shiny guitars," snarls Allan. "Unfortunately, not everyone is a true musician, and it helps occasionally to see a band that do something a bit more interesting than a three chord thrash and orchestrated stage invasions. Of course, we're not really musicians either - we just pretend to be and hope no-one notices."

Just over three years old, the band's clatter of drone and gristle is gradually surfacing in a city drowning with artists desperate to be heard. So what does Allan make of this rash of new music now sitting on his porch?

"I think the Scottish music scene is perhaps the strongest it's ever been, maybe since they got rid of lead pipes in tenements peoples' brains have been less prone to damage," he splutters heroically. "Also, a lot of older Scottish bands are enjoying a resurgence, bands like Josef K, Orange Juice and the Fire Engines, and I suppose a fair few people are inspired by that, the idea that these guys were doing great stuff 30 years ago and that Scottish music isn't just the jock-rock and limp white soul that lots of us grew up with."

As for the future, Allan wants only for simple things: "It's always going to be more difficult for a band in Edinburgh to get recognition from a Glasgow-centric media, but I suppose developing a cheeky wee following across the country and then having the opportunity to look a bit further afield would be a good starting point for any band in our position," he states reasonably before adding : "I'd just like to make it clear that we're all exceptionally nice boys, and that we always wear clean underpants."

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