On the radar: The Little Kicks

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The internet may have changed the way people listen to music, but when Aberdeen band The Little Kicks were devising their debut album, they looked to the past for a template.

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"We're treating it like an old vinyl LP with two sides - five songs on each side, no longer than 50 minutes and every song to be a winner," says singer Steven Milne.

"People's attention span is small now - iPod culture - so I guess our thinking isn't going with the trend, but we all feel there's nothing better than finding a great album with good songs that flow as an album should, and not just the singles with shitloads of filler in between."

The tight-knit quartet have steadily built a reputation as ones to watch over the past few years, and said debut album, Boxing Clever, has been delayed by near incessant gigging.

"We've been concentrating on writing and recording for the last, well ages," Steven admits. "Last year we said we'd just record and not gig but then we did a heap of gigs and festivals and a wee tour or two. It seems whenever we're meant to be on a break to work on material we always get offered really good gigs so we come out of hiding then retreat again - constantly."

But between October last year and April they finally managed to find the time for their long-awaited LP, and it was worth it: Boxing Clever is an accomplished, melodic collection of high-end, upbeat guitar-pop songs; a record that dips its toe in both carefree joie-de-vivre and heartfelt expressiveness.

Steven is keen to get out and tour it: "I certainly feel like we are playing our best material now and its just up to us to put the work in, gig our asses off and convert the masses if possible. It certainly sounds more productive than waiting for something to happen - I think bands can achieve a lot themselves now."

But is it more difficult for an Aberdeen band to achieve as much as their less remote contemporaries? "It probably is but you can work around it," Steven says. "I mean, there are no industry people up here to speak of so you really have to play out of town if you're going to get noticed. But Glasgow and Edinburgh aren't that far away, we happily drive down and back the same night to do shows and keep work commitments too. It's a stress and you're tired but if you want the benefit you have to do it."

Intrigued? Watch The Little Kicks live at the following dates:

23 Jun @ Bar 99, Aberdeen (acoustic)

2 Jul @ Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh (full band acoustic set)

4 Jul @ Bangers and Mash @ 93 Feet East, London

Boxing Clever is available now from One Up and HMV (Aberdeen) and Avalanche (Edinburgh/Glasgow)

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