Under The Radar: Festivals showcase diverse talents

Four-piece band Brownbear, with Matt Hickman on lead vocals, are heading for T in the Park. Picture: Murray McMillan
Four-piece band Brownbear, with Matt Hickman on lead vocals, are heading for T in the Park. Picture: Murray McMillan
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BROWNBEAR are a four-piece from Largs who recently supported The Libertines, played the Radio 1 Big Weekend and, following a slot at the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, are set to appear on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park.

Their single Dead or Alive has been playlisted by XFM and is released today on Clydebuilt Records, the label run by students from James Watt College in Greenock. The video was directed by Michael Hines, better known for his work on the Chewin’ The Fat and Still Game series.

Highland podcasters and promoters Netsounds Unsigned present their latest free entry gig at Madhatters in Inverness on 18 July. The line-up is Algernon Doll and Garden of Elks who also launch their latest EP with limited edition cassettes and CDs.

On the other side of the country, The Wickerman Festival takes place on 25-26 July in Dumfries and Galloway and, as ever, the Solus and goNORTH stages feature an excellent selection of emerging talent. Highlights include Roman Nose, Broken Records, Angus Munro, Young Fathers, Hector Bizerk, LAW, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Algernon Doll, Cairn String Quartet, Atom Tree, Tuff Love and Neon Waltz.

Music fans are spoilt for choice during the Commonwealth Games with numerous events taking place under the Festival 2014 banner.

The official opening and closing ceremonies, on 23 July and 3 August respectively, will see performances from Belle & Sebastian, RM Hubbard, Admiral Fallow and Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire.

Throughout the fortnight, the Merchant City Festival will host various gigs across three stages.

Meanwhile, Celtic Connections has programmed the Festival 2014 Club at the Old Fruitmarket with a special free show on 25 July at Glasgow Green. This features Scottish artists including Lau, Roddy Hart and Shooglenifty alongside international talent from across the Commonwealth.

The following night the park plays host to Lake Of Stars, a cultural exchange between Scotland and the Malawian festival of the same name. The gig will see Edinburgh hip-hop act Stanley Odd share a bill with artists Tay Grin and Mafilika who hail from the African country.

Another highlight promises to be From Scotland With Love, a special film created by director Virginia Heath using footage from the Scottish Screen archives. The accompanying musical score was composed by King Creosote. A free live performance and screening takes place at Glasgow Green on 31 July, hot on the heels of Domino Records releasing the album on 21 July.

BBC at the Quay includes music, ranging from track of the month providers, Prides and PAWS, to big names such as Texas, Amy Macdonald and Simple Minds. Free tickets can be booked here

Nearby, Sound To Sea, which takes place at the Quayside and aboard ships anchored on the Clyde on 1 and 2 August, includes performances from Frightened Rabbit, Model Aeroplanes, Treacherous Orchestra, Rachel Sermanni, Bigg Taj and more.

Also taking place on 2 August is Chemikal Underground records’ latest instalment of the East End Social programme Glasgow Mix Tape at Glasgow Green. Artists include Admiral Fallow, Edwyn Collins, The Phantom Band, Errors and more.

Over on the east coast, Diana De Cabarrus, aka Candythief, will mark the release of her latest single with an eclectic music mix in a secret venue. Supported by Gillyflower and Kirsten Adamson, the evening will include traditional music from Orkney, Dolly Parton-inspired country, a Balkan instrumental and French cabaret.

• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Born To Be Wide, which hosts its annual Edinburgh Night at Electric Circus on 3 August. The event features an eclectic mix of ten acts performing in the capital during the month, each playing ten-minute taster sets. In between, invited DJs from the music scene play their favourite four tracks by Edinburgh bands. www.borntobewide.co.uk