Under the Radar: Look to the Moon to spot future stars

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Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon report on the underground music scene, and look forward to some of this summer’s forthcoming festivals

WE MANAGED to book Matt Norris & The Moon to replace the wonderful Donna Maciocia (who was forced to cancel due to illness) for our Wide Days festival last month, and the Edinburgh five-piece, with their delicate guitars, flutes, memorable choruses and wonderful four-part harmonies provide our track of the month for May. Taken from their new EP This Kingdom, which will be released on Edinburgh’s 17 Seconds Records on 21 May, Roots Below is a fine example of the band’s talents. To coincide with the release they have booked Donna Maciocia as well as the excellent Randolph’s Leap to perform at their launch party in The Voodoo Rooms on 23 May. Visit www.mattnorrisandthemoon.co.uk for more information.

Matt Norris & The Moon

Matt Norris & The Moon

The month of May definitely marks the beginning of festival season, with the first ever Brew at the Bog Festival in Inverness this weekend, (where you can see Matt Norris & The Moon, among others). See www.brewatthebog.com

After that, we see the return of Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger festival, a slightly downsized affair this year taking place on 19 May rather than over two days. As ever, the line-up is excellent, with buzz band of 2012 so far Django Django plus The Phantom Band, Willy Mason, Discopolis and plenty of emerging artists including UTR favourites Chasing Owls and Bwani Junction. For full line-up and ticket details visit www.pclpresents.com

Still in Glasgow, the multicultural West End Festival takes place across 50 venues all over the city, running from 1-24 June. As well as a number of comedy, film, theatre and dance activities, the musical highlights include We Were Promised Jetpacks, Remember Remember, Miaoux Miaoux, Withered Hand and plenty more. Find out more at www.westendfestival.co.uk

Wickerman and goNORTH have announced the full list of showcasing bands for 2012 including Matt Norris & the Moon, Lady North and our Norwegian friends Honningbarna as well as some promising newcomers. Last year was the first ever goNORTH Festival Tour, which offers showcased acts the opportunity to perform at one or more of Scotland’s independent festivals, including Belladrum, The Wickerman Festival, Loopallu, B-Fest and Summer In The City. For anyone interested in new music, all gigs and seminars at goNORTH are free. Visit www.youtube.com/gonorth2011 for a taste of what to expect.

Although the Kelburn Garden Party isn’t until 30 June, organisers launched their first Psychedelic Forest Disco last year, and it was such a hit with attendees they’ve booked the same for 2012. Taking place at Kelburn Castle on 12 May, they have a colossal number of DJs performing, running back-to-back from 6pm into the early hours. Tickets also include camping. See www.kelburngardenparty.com

The Knockengorroch World Ceilidh takes place from 31 May until 3 June on the upland hills in Dumfries and Galloway. Featuring an eclectic mix of DJs, Ska bands, hip hop, folk, fusion and emerging acts, the line up includes Peatbog Faeries, Utah Saints, The Pictish Trail, Mungos Hi-Fi, Stanley Odd, The Banana Sessions and Esperanza, to name a few. Knockengorroch can even boast having its own ale and is also a Community Interest Company, meaning they reinvest any profit back into the community. Visit www.knockengorroch.org.uk for full details and tickets

Finally, Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire is gearing up for its opening weekend under new management, G1 Group. As part of the revamp the venue will now be open as a bar during the day from noon until 11pm. Lots of Edinburgh people have made it known they’re a little nervous about the new owners, but for the opening weekend at least, it looks like business as usual, with gigs from Miniature Dinosaurs, Tango In The Attic, Run Lucky Free and lots of local DJs for the club nights. The opening weekend takes place from 10 May. For more information, visit www.thecabaretvoltaire.com

• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon host the music business social night Born To Be Wide and annual Wide Days Festival. Full info visit www.borntobewide.co.uk