Stanley Odd, pictured, began the year on a high with a show-stopping set at Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations and have been on a roll ever since. Their debut album Oddio, which is released on Edinburgh's Circular Records on May 31, precedes a string of Scottish dates including several in the Highlands & Islands, as well as slots at the festivals goNorth and T In The Park. Full details at www.myspace.com/stanleyodd
In addition to Stanley Odd, this year's Go North also features former track of the month providers, Meursault, Bronto Skylift and Woodenbox With A Fistfull Of Fivers, the latter having just returned from headlining a stage at Berlin's giant Karneval Der Kulturen street party. Among the other acts taking part in the Inverness showcase event on June 10 and 11, are Highlands & Islands artists Jo Hamilton, Zombie Militia, Bluefields and He Slept On 57, as well as bands from France, Candada, Japan and Norway. All the gigs are free and Born To Be Wide will be hosting several seminars during the daytime. Many of the bands will also play on the Go North stage at Rockness. See www.gonorth.biz for details.
Meanwhile, T In The Park recently announced the line up for its newcomer stage, T Break, which takes place from July 9-11. Standards are high this year with acts including, The Seventeenth Century, Make Sparks, The Ray Summers, Night Noise Team, Kitty The Lion, Washington Irving, Three Blind Wolves and Fridge Magnets. Check out www.tennents.com/tbreak for full details
Stornaway has long been on our radar as a hotbed of talent spearheaded by bands such as Dot Jr, Boy Who Trapped The Sun and Our Lunar Activities. Now it looks set to become a fixture on the touring calendar, thanks to the newly-renovated, 200 capacity Jger Rooms.
Promoters Kiss N Kill Presents have lined up an extensive programme for every weekend until August which includes mainland acts Hip Parade, St Deluxe, The Zephyrs and Endor, Highlands and Islands hospitality is an integral part of the experience, with acts receiving a fee, accommodation, costs for the ferry onto the Island, food and drinks. Find out more by visiting www.myspace.com/kissnkillpresents
Glasgow's Independent West End Festival, celebrates it 15th birthday this June. With humble beginnings back in 1996, it now incorporates 50 venues for a variety of events taking place throughout the month. Some excellent bands are performing, including King Creosote, Super Adventure Club, Woodenbox and a Fistful of Fivers and Aerials Up.Find out more here www.westendfestival.co.uk
Edinburgh band Caezium have a pester power which would put the most spoiled child to shame, but their determination has finally paid off. The band's track, God In Control, is set to be used in the latest version of the computer game All Points Bulletin (APB], released via Dundee company Realtime Worlds on July 1. Before they appear in the virtual world they are set to play gigs on June 4 and 19. See www.myspace.com/caezium
Meanwhile, atmospheric electronica act Keser, will be hoping to land a similar sync deal when they play at NXNW on June 19, Toronto's answer to the SXSW event which takes place in Texas in March. Featuring films, computer games and music, the extravaganza lasts for a week. www.nxnw.com
And finally, few people who have attended a Scottish festival or passed one of the capital's many tartan tat shops, will have failed to have heard the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Now the band's fame is reaching colossal levels in Germany where their piped versions of rock classics has landed them massive TV coverage, a slot at the prestigious Wacken Festival and even a support slot for Teutronic punk legends Die Toten Hosen.
Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Scottish music scene seminar and social night Born To Be Wide, which decamps to Inverness on June 10-11 to host seminars at Go North. www.borntobewide.co.uk