Are we on the verge of a pop renaissance? Is pop finally hitting back after several years of landfill indie/rock domination?
Maybe, but here's a caveat for you: when I say 'pop' I don't mean the most statistically popular, because that would entail dross like Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson. No, I mean the pop sensibility folks; that kaleidoscopic, instantaneous appeal that needn't be a byword for mindless chart-bating.
Play: Futuristic Retro Champions - You Make My Heart on green button
Recently, acts like Bat For Lashes, Ladyhawke and Neon Neon have been making pop music of longevity and quality, but what about here in our so-called dour wee nation?
UtR spoke to Harry 'H Bomb' Weeks, guitarist and laptop prodder in one of Scotland's most colourful bands (despite what the above photo suggests), Futuristic Retro Champions, on the eve of their show at Hinterland...
What can we expect from Futuristic Retro Champions at Hinterland?
(Harry]: You should brace yourself for some big, loud, silly and shouty pop music. Our aim for this gig is to persuade indie kids that listening to Kylie Minogue is NEVER a bad thing. Carla (our keyboardist and main songwriter) is a pop encyclopaedia and I think that indie/rock bands could learn a lot from the songwriting in pop music. So hopefully you can expect some cracking pop songs, played in a suitably over-excitable manner.
What do you think of Hinterland and the Scottish music scene more generally?
I'm a big fan of Hinterland 'cos it means bands like us can tell people that we're playing a festival with Metronomy. Also, because we're playing last at the Admiral I can tell my mum that we're headlining and its only half a lie! Scottish music-wise, we've never felt hugely involved in a 'scene', I'm not even sure if there is one. But there are some ace bands kicking about. Dirty Summer have been going for a while now and are still only about 14. They are awesome, they're album is a big loud, shouty, amazing mess.
Who else will you be trying to see at the festival?
I'm really glad we're playing at the same venue as Sugar Crisis, I've wanted to see them for ages, but never managed it. Also Juno, who I think are on at Classic Grand (downstairs, Friday, 7.45pm - ed], they are friends of ours, and don't play all that often. I'm noticing a proper pop trend in my selection of bands! I'll balance that out by saying Damn Shames, even though I won't get to see them. We're playing with them the night before though...
What's on the cards for the band? Any releases planned?
We have an EP that we did for our gig in London with The Vaselines last month. It's five songs on a CD-R with some very snazzy artwork and some felt-tip pen drawings on each CD so you can put it on eBay when we get famous. Apart from that, we have some gigs around Scotland, and really want to go back to London again, 'cos that was ridiculous fun.
Have ridiculous fun yourself by watching Futuristic Retro Champions at Hinterland, at The Admiral, Friday, 9.50pm.
• For more blogs on the best unsigned bands in Scotland, visit Under the Radar