REGULAR readers of this column will be familiar with Edinburgh record label Song, By Toad, which not only releases some great music but also gave us the Beer vs Records campaign last year.
Several of its artists have been past track of the month providers in their own right, so when we heard that a posse of them had decided to collaborate on a one-off project, our interest was immediately sparked. Titled Farewell, Bastard Mountain, the album was recorded in 2012 when the musicians spent a week working together in the living room of Song, By Toad’s Matthew Young. It features Meursault’s Neil Pennycook and Pete Harvey, Sparrow & The Workshop’s Jill O’Sullivan, Broken Records’ Rory Sutherland, Rob St John and Reuben Taylor. With its sparse arrangement, haunting melody and the complementary vocals of Pennycook and O’Sullivan, the track Meadow Ghosts is one of the best songs we have heard this year and we look forward to hearing the whole album. Released on vinyl and download on 12 May, it will be followed by a launch at Edinburgh Queen’s Hall on 29 May. In the meantime, you can hear Meadow Ghosts at https://soundcloud.com/songbytoad/meadow-ghosts
The goNORTH Festival has announced over 60 live music acts who will perform at the creative industry convention, which takes place in Inverness on 4-5 June. Showcasing bands include; Roman Nose, Hector Bizerk, Garden of Elks, Angus Munro, Schnarff Schnarff, Lionel and Model Aeroplanes (whose debut single is released on 27 May) and there are also several international acts also on the bill. Both daytime panels and evening gigs are free to attend, but require registration via the website www.gonorthfestival.co.uk/register
Hector Bizerk have also made it on to the longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY) which features a varied cross-section of Scottish artists. Throughout May, members of the public are able to listen all of the 20 albums selected and you can vote for your favourite from 26-28 May. The album receiving the most public votes secures one of ten shortlist places, with the other nine being decided by the 12-strong SAY judging panel, ahead of an awards ceremony on 19 June. Among the other artists featured are Rick Redbeard, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire and Young Fathers alongside big stars like Biffy Clyro. To listen visit www.sayaward.com
Last year’s SAY Award winner, RM Hubbert, is one of six acts chosen to play the Scottish showcase at industry convention The Great Escape, which take place in Brighton from 8-10 May. He will join the bill which also includes Prides, Honeyblood, Baby Strange, Leon T Pearl, and Neon Waltz at the Dome Studio Bar.
Nine-piece Edinburgh act The Black Diamond Express are also set to showcase at an industry event, albeit on the other side of the Atlantic. They play Toronto’s huge NXNE Festival, which takes place from 13-22 June. The appearance will be followed by a Canadian tour and the release of the band’s second album, The Year Of The Snake.
A newly refurbished 1877 cattle byre on the Inchyra Estate near Perth is set to open as a multi-purpose entertainment venue. Inchyra Arts Club will host music, comedy and theatre with a capacity of 600 for live gigs. On 7 June, Glasgow band Kassidy will be the first act to perform at the unusual venue. For full info on the programme visit www.inchyraartsclub.co.uk
Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender returns for the third year from 23-25 May promising over 50 acts across 5 venues throughout Kilmarnock, including a stage catering for all ages. Local stars, Fatherson – who recently sold out the first pressing of their debut album in less than a week – will headline the Saturday. Other acts worth checking out include Tijuana Bibles, Herculean and The Little Kicks. Visit https://www.facebook.com/KillieWeekender
Celebrating 19 years, the West End Festival takes place across various locations throughout Glasgow’s West End from 31 May to 29 June. Among the music highlights are We Were Promised Jetpacks, The View, an Electric Honey Records Showcase, and the now renowned Oran Mor All-Dayer event. Visit www.westendfestival.co.uk
• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Scottish music industry social night Born To Be Wide which takes place on the first Thursday of the month at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus. They will host a panel at this year’s goNorth, as well as a Q&A with filmmaker and former Skids frontman, Richard Jobson. www.borntobewide.co.uk