Scottish bands making their mark this year

UNDER The Radar has been championing emerging artists in Scotland since 2007 and to round off the year we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and have a look at how some of the acts who provided our Tracks Of The Month in 2011 have developed.

As ever, the quality of our domestic talent has proved extremely high, and with every significant festival now boasting a stage for newcomers, and with an increasing number of gigs taking place outside the Central Belt, it’s a great time for music enthusiasts.

Glasgow’s GoGoBot provided our Track Of The Month for the New Year, the amazingly bombastic We Are Here, and their single Is This Love? came out around the same time. A further six songs were released monthly ending in the summer. Armed with killer hooks, anthemic choruses and a catchy blend of synth-driven electro rock, GoGoBot closed our Wide Days event in April. From there they went on to perform at T In The Park, Bestival, opened for JLS and Olly Murs, and then played the Summer In The City extravaganza supporting Simple Minds. Most recently GoGoBot performed on the same bill as Calvin Harris and Rihanna, as part of the December Sessions at the O2 Arena. The band will round off an excellent year with a slot Glasgow’s George Square on 29 December as part of the Glasgow Loves Christmas Festival. Visit

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Young Edinburgh act, Bwani Junction provided our Track Of The Month going into February with Two Bridges (not “Two Trains”, as we mistakenly renamed the song at the time). The band’s name is taken from a 1956 film, set in an Indian railway town shortly before independence, and at each gig fans are given a “railway ticket” with a new design as a souvenir. Bwani Junction have also enjoyed a great year which included recording a session for the BBC’s Huw Stephens, as well as enjoying airplay courtesy of Zane Low, Fearne Cotton, Vic Galloway, Edith Bowman and Ally McRae. They also wowed audiences at T In The Park, Wickerman, London’s O2 Piazza and many sold-out live shows. Bwani Junction finish off 2011 at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on 30 December, and the momentum is set to continue into the New Year with gigs at Edinburgh’s Picture House and Glasgow’s One’s To Watch Festival already in the diary. Visit

Highland trio PAWS were another band who played at our Wide Days event, with their grunge sound proving a big hit with the audience. Plays on Radio 1, Radio Scotland and 6 Music followed, as did slots at T In The Park and Inverness showcase event, goNorth. Among the audience members at the latter was the owner of seminal Brighton-based record company FatCat, which launched the careers of Sigur Rós, as well as Scottish acts Frightened Rabbit, Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks. The label is set to release a single by the band in 2012.

Four-piece folk outfit, Chasing Owls were also a big hit at goNorth, having already carved out a healthy fanbase through organising their own gigs. With a clear talent for writing beautiful songs and enchanting boy/girl vocal harmonies, they were featured on Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson show within days of their appearance. Chasing Owls went on to support Noah and The Whale and Athlete, as well as appearing at Belladrum, Wickerman, The Edge, Greenbelt Festival, Loopallu and performing at Born To Be Wide’s Edinburgh Night celebrating local music on The Fringe. They already have some big shows in the pipeline for next year including a show at the Celtic Connections Festival with Admiral Fallow on 27 January. For more details visit

Just over a year ago The Stagger Rats were involved in a little controversy, when some of their fans turned on the judges who failed to select the band for a slot at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. Undeterred, the band have gone on to sign to a Hungarian label WP Ents, and recorded their debut album with Owen Morris, famed for producing The Verve and Oasis (including the UK’s fourth best-ever selling LP, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?). They also managed to squeeze in an appearance at Bestival. The Stagger Rats landed our Track of the Month for September with Fuzzy, Fuzzy which is on the forthcoming album set for release in the spring. Find out more

With members spread across several successful Scottish bands including personnel from Frightened Rabbit, Admiral Fallow, The Reindeer Section and Arab Strap, The Moth & The Mirror might be mistaken as something of a side project, a type of creative outlet for its members to indulge themselves with. In truth, this Glasgow collective has created a genuinely glorious album. Honestly, This World has earned plenty of plaudits and a BBC Introducing session with Ally McCrae. Hopefully the members’ busy touring schedules with their other bands will provide a window to allow them to play as The Moth & The Mirror in 2012. We strongly advise you check them out

Finally, Aberdeen’s The Little Kicks were selected for our Track of the Month in November, and given the response to the recent release of their eponymous album, it looks like their hard work is finally paying off. The band were featured in session on BBC Scotland with Vic Galloway, and enjoyed praise from the NME coinciding with a successful UK tour. The Little Kicks round off a fantastic year at Aberdeen’s Hogmanay supporting The View at the AECC on 31 December. Find out more at

lOlaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run music industry seminar and social night Born To Be Wide. Their next event takes place Thursday 2 February at Edinburgh’s The Electric Circus. The panel will focus on what kind of opportunities festivals offer emerging bands. Confirmed speakers include Dave Corbet (T In The Park/The Edge), Katch Holmes (Knockengorroch) and Go North’s Shaun Arnold, whose organisation has stages at Wickerman, Wizard, Belladrum and Loopallu. Additional guests TBA. For details see