Under the Radar: Dictator

Livingston band Dictator seem to be marching towards success after an impressive 2021, write Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon

Although Dictator’s name suggests they might be following in the footsteps of the notorious punks who roamed their native Livingston in the 1980s, their sound is a bit more genteel. Winners of the 2021 Scottish Alternative Music Award (SAMA) in the Best Rock/Alternative category, the band cite Gorillaz as a major inspiration, both in terms of their use of engaging visuals in their live shows and their love of collaborating with other artists.

On 4 February, several quality remixes of their most recent single, Candlemaker Row, will be released on Bandcamp, with Calypso Jet, Jen Athan, Liam Doc and Post Coal Prom Queen all giving the song a musical makeover. This will be followed eight days later by a rescheduled, sell-out show at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s and a support slot with Glasvegas in Glasgow on 24 February.

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A track with rapper BEMZ is in the pipeline and expect some creative promo around Dictator’s next single, the Hammond-infused Rubick’s Cubed. Released on Blackhall Records on 1 April to coincide with three dates in England, it will be followed by an appearance at Stag & Dagger in Glasgow and a Highlands tour in May, see www.facebook.com/dictvtor/

Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run music industry seminar and social night Born To Be Wide, www.borntobewide.co.uk

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