Under the Radar: Churches | Steven Milne | Thistly Fest

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DERICK Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss and report on Scotland’s underground music scene

Churches’ track Lies was featured in our sister blog Radar last month and has been enjoying widespread attention in recent weeks. Their first “official” gig is tonight at Glasgow School of Art, but we caught them playing undercover a fortnight ago at Vic Galloway’s excellent evening at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus. Fronted by Blue Sky Archive singer Lauren Mayberry the trio also comprises The Twilight Sad’s Martin Doherty and erstwhile Aereogramme guitarist Iain Cooke. Comparisons with various 1980s power synthpop acts abound, but we particularly like the fact that it makes us of think of Gary Numan (if he were a woman). Visit www.scotsman.com/undertheradar or YouTube (bit.ly/churchlies) to hear what all the fuss is about.

Former UTR Track of the Month artist Steven Milne (frontman of Aberdeen’s The Little Kicks, who also earned track of the month in this column), has had one of his songs from his solo album Chasing Phantoms selected to appear on the soundtrack of a new Hollywood movie. His song Saturdays will feature in Thanks For Sharing, a movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins and artist Pink about the treatment of sex addiction. Take a listen at bit.ly/milnephant.

Glasgow record shop Love Music has a long tradition of supporting the city’s music scene and is set to host its own musical soiree on 14 July. Billed as Love Music Punk Rock Summer Street Festival, the event will feature several free gigs in the shop where “loitering on the street outside and having a good time is encouraged.” Acts include Uniforms, Billy Liar, Murderburgers, Roscoe Vacant and Jon Zip, from seminal seventies Glasgow punk band The Zips. www.facebook.com/lovemusicscotland

A new festival on the circuit, courtesy of Thistly Cross Cider, takes place at Belhaven Fruit Farm near Dunbar on 28 July and the line up is rather exciting. Simply named Thistly Fest, its inaugural line up features performances from an array of former Track of the Month bands including, Meursault, FOUND, Withered Hand, Bwani Junction, Capitals, Woodenbox as well as Remember Remember, Kitty The Lion, Tango In The Attic and four competition winners who will be selected to take the opening slots on the main stage. For tickets and info visit www.thistlycrosscider.co.uk/thistly-fest-2012

In contrast, an established favourite of ours, The Wickerman Festival, which takes place from 20-21 July, has two stages that consistently showcase the very best of Scotland’s upcoming talent in the Solus Tent and the goNORTH Festival Stage. With performances from the likes of Hey Enemy, Holy Mountain, The LaFontaines, United Fruit, Human Don’t Be Angry (Malcolm Middleton), Bigg Tajj & Spee SixNine, and Julia & The Doogans in the Solus Tent plus Stanley Odd, Aaron Wright, Blue Sky Archives, Quickbeam, Michael Cassidy, and newcomers like CLEAVERS, John Wean and Cafe Disco on the goNORTH stage, this year will be no different. Visit www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

Scotland’s biggest music festival, T In The Park has long been linked with unearthing some of the biggest new bands to be and the BBC Introducing stage tends to do it best. This year you can witness the likes of Nina Nesbitt, Fatherson, United Fruit, Hector Bizerk, Woodenbox, Miaoux Miaoux, Vigo Thieves and even, to our surprise, Admiral Fallow. Visit bit.ly/tparkintro or www.tinthepark.com

Regular readers of this column will be familiar with our penchant for events that combine music and quality beer, the latest of which is The Ale House Music Festival in Edinburgh. Taking place from 19-22 July at the pub of the same name, it features several acts from 6pm each night focusing on folk on Thursday and Friday, pop/indie on Saturday and blues on Sunday. Among the artists taking part are recent Track of the Month provider Matt Norris, as well as Hannah O’Reilly, Rantumscantum and one of our old favourites, Aaron Wright. www.facebook.com/TheAleHouseMusicFestival

• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run monthly music industry social night Born To Be Wide, visit www.borntobewide.co.uk