Under the Radar: Music lighting up October

Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers. Picture: John Devlin
Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers. Picture: John Devlin
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GLASGOW act White are an unlikely combination, featuring the ubiquitous Kirsten Lynn on drums, as well as former members of acoustic rockers Kassidy.

Last month they played their debut gig at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival and recently had several major label A&Rs making a rare excursion to Scotland. With a nod to Franz Ferdinand and an early Eighties pop rock feel, Living Fiction is a promising introduction to the band, who support Future Islands at Glasgow’s ABC on 4 November. Check out the video at youtube.com/watch?v=6CTYQB4-zr8

The Pleasance Sessions returns to the Edinburgh University venue with an excellent programme from 9-18 October. Each night is hosted by a different organisation or record label, and the event also features an Independent Label Market (11 October), as well as a beer festival, Och!toberfest (10 – 11 October). Look out for Casual Sex and LAW on 10 October, Woodenbox and Skinny Dipper on 11 October and The Phantom Band and Remember Remember on 18 October. Also worth checking out on October 12 is the Neu! Reekie! night of words and music. It includes rapper extraordinaire, Dave Hook (of Stanley Odd), Teen Canteen, Liz Lochhead and electronic pioneers, Fini Tribe, and an interview with Richard Jobson. dustymoose.eusa.ed.ac.uk/events/the-pleasance-sessions

Meanwhile, Paisley’s arts festival The Spree takes place across the town from 10-18 October featuring music, comedy, theatre and film. Musical highlights include Withered Hand on 10 October at Paisley Arts Centre and a Scottish Album of the Year showcase on 18 October with this year’s winners – and now Mercury Prize nominees – Young Fathers, below, headlining with support from Kid Canaveral and Hector Bizerk. Plus, there are numerous unsigned band events covering folk, classical and indie. Visit www.thespree.co.uk

Edinburgh’s Henry’s Cellar Bar has been a fixture in the city’s underground scene since the Nineties, providing a platform for emerging acts and pioneering promoters. Over the coming weeks, regulars are set to see certain improvements on the beer offerings, while Monday’s new Bigmouth nights will feature filmed performances which are then uploaded onto the website at henryscellarbar.com

The annual Oxjam Music Festival gets underway throughout October, raising money for the charity. A particular highlight is the Oxjam Glasgow Takeover, taking place on 18 October across four venues on Sauchiehall Street, including Broadcast, Box, O’Neill’s and The Griffin. More than 30 artists are performing, including 16-year-old singer-songwriter Zoë Bestel from Dumfries, Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, Farkow and The Cut Throat Razors. See wegottickets.com/oxjam/event/291986

Last year’s Aberfeldy Festival led to quite a few incidents of musicians imbibing a bit too much of the local whisky, so organisers will be hoping that this year’s audience will all be extending any Sober October pledges by an extra day. This year’s slimmed-down event – on Halloween and 1 November – includes the excellent Eagle Owl, Mermaids and Karine Polwart, as well as poetry sessions and a market. aberfeldyfestival.co.uk

• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Scottish music industry social night Born To Be Wide, which next takes place on Thursday 6 November. It features an interview with Smash Hits and Q founder, Mark Ellen, followed by a discussion about music journalism.