Neil Wilson: Stirling’s Strange Behaviours music festival

Admiral Fallow
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SCOTTISH Fiction’s Neil Wilson looks ahead to Stirling music weekender Strange Behaviours

Having made itself a welcome addition to the Scottish music calendar last year – and made a big impression with fans and artists alike – this weekend sees the return of Strange Behaviours festival for its second edition.

The two-day festival operates out of Stirling’s Tolbooth venue and is the brainchild of Music Development Officer Kenny Bates (who also runs DIY label Good Grief Records). The festival not only helps bring bigger Scottish acts to Stirling, but acts as a showcase for local talent too. A raft of local artists including Crashing Jets, Failed At Sea, We Are Animals and singers Calum Gilligan and Keiran Hughes is testament to that.

The festival opens up to more than just music though, as DIY labels from throughout the country such as Bloc+, Struggletown and Gold Mold will pitch up a stall to sell their wares, and local brewer Williams Brothers quench the thirsts with their delicious craft beers.

The line-up itself is a veritable who’s who of both emerging and established Scottish talent. Friday’s proceedings feature emerging alt rockers The Van T’s and instrumental post-rock band A Sudden Burst of Colour in the early parts of the evening. Those looking for something a little more relaxed to accompany their craft lager will a lot to like in Siobhan Wilson’s delicate tones, whilst Le Thug offer an intense, atmospheric performance that shouldn’t be missed.

Rounding things out in style on Friday evening are the incredible Man of Moon, who you must catch live before they explode next year, and Admiral Fallow, who bring to a close their recent UK tour. With Tiny Rewards having been a mainstay on record decks since its release, the band will plunder the hits from their back catalogue to augment a perfect set and great way to spend your Friday evening.

Into the Saturday and the line up demonstrates why I think Strange Behaviours can rightly class itself as one of the finest mini-festival about. While The Winter Tradition provide the alt-rock, another local band, The Insomniac Project, give revellers an opportunity to throw some shapes to their electro grooves. Hip-hop/electronica duo CARBS, also billed for Saturday, never disappoint live.

Headlining duties on the Saturday night are up in the air as United Fruit have pulled out due to personal circumstances. Organisers have promised to provide some special replacements, so no doubt they’ll live up to the promise.

As well as Scottish Album of the Year Award nominees Happy Meals, one of the highlights must be Outblinker who will offer something truly different to the bill. Whatever you end up seeing, make sure you tip your hat to the organisers of Strange Behaviours for bringing this much welcome weekend of music to Stirling.

• Neil Wilson runs Scottish Fiction, a music blog, radio show, live events, and podcast, all aimed on discovering and promoting the best new Scottish music.