Under the Radar: Scotland’s underground music scene

Bwani Junction. Picture: Contributed
Bwani Junction. Picture: Contributed
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FORMERLY called Midnight Lion, and recently renamed Prides (www.pridesband.com) our track of the month providers look poised for great things.

Fellow Glaswegian electro-popsters Chvrches recently took to Facebook to promote the video of the band’s Out Of The Blue single and BBC Radio 1’s Ally McCrae liked them so much he decided to manage them – arguably the ultimate endorsement.

You can see Prides live at the Brew At The Bog festival this weekend, at Stag & Dagger in Glasgow on 18 May and at the closing party for the goNorth Festival on 6 June. In the meantime, check out their video here:http://youtu.be/ER1o16bpAnQ

Among the other acts showcasing at goNorth, which is billed as Scotland’s largest creative industries event, are numerous Under the Radar track of the month providers including Fat Goth, Casual Sex, Roman Nose, Garden of Elks and Homework, as well as newcomers like Saint Max and the Fanatics, Pronto Mama, Jemma Tweedie and Dylan Tierney. All the gigs are free and provide the public with a fantastic opportunity to experience some amazing new talent. Visit 

The Scottish Album of the Year Award celebrates Scottish artists from all genres and will host an award ceremony at The Barrowland’s in Glasgow on 20 June, with the winner scooping a £20,000 prize and the remaining nine artists picking up £1,000 each. The longlist was revealed last week and throughout May all 20 albums can be streamed for free. A public vote will propel the highest-scoring artist onto the shortlist, with the rest being decided by a panel of judges. Included on the longlist are Under the Radar favourites Meursault, PAWS, Admiral Fallow and Stanley Odd, alongside megastars Calvin Harris and Emeli Sandé. To listen and vote visit www.sayaward.com

Stag & Dagger takes place on 18 May across seven Glasgow venues and includes performances from We Were Promised Jetpacks, Rachel Sermanni, Fatherson, Prides and Randolph’s Leap. One wristband accesses all venues and costs a most reasonable £21. For full line up and ticket details visitwww.staganddagger.co.uk

Another city festival using the multi-venue format is Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender (31 May – 2 June). Among the acts on the bill are Fridge Magnets, The OK Social Club, Banana Sessions and Vigo Thieves. This year the event has added a third venue, catering specifically for an over-14s audience. Visit www.facebook.com/KillieWeekender for details.

Edinburgh act The Dark Jokes (www.thedarkjokes.com) have put in some impressive performances at Scottish festivals over the past couple of years. This month they play several dates in preparation for a tour of Brazil, where they are booked to play a series of shows at a huge multi-arts event celebrating UK culture. Taking place in San Paolo, the inaccurately named Cultura Inglesa has previously hosted Franz Ferdinand and this year also features Scottish music industry legend Alan McGee.

Other talent from the capital picking up interest outside Scotland includes Bwani Junction and Delta Mainline. The former have released the track Civil War in advance of a European tour, see www.facebook.com/Bwanijunction for details. Meanwhile, psychedelic rockers Delta Mainline are proving a favourite on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music show with the track Misinformation picking up several plays. The band’s debut album Oh Enlightened, which took two years to record, is released on 20 May and has picked up well-deserved interest throughout the UK music press. Definitely worth checking out, this is a collection of songs which should be listened to at maximum volume. http://deltamainline.com/

Other releases on our radar are Fife-based Panda Su, whose new single Maps is out on her own Peter Panda Records (www.pandasu.co.uk) and Stornoway’s The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. The latter has released his latest video, California http://youtu.be/et81ur3tWgc ahead of his UK tour. Visit www.facebook.com/theboywhotrappedthesun/events for full details of live dates, which include a home town appearance at the Hebridean Celtic Festival on 20 July in Stornoway.

• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Born To Be Wide and the annual Wide Days convention. The next event takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 30 May and features a discussion on how to prepare for goNorth. Find out how to get free tickets at www.borntobewide.co.uk