Foggy City Orphan release their excellent debut single Rocket on 1 February, a year after forming in a Glasgow basement, which is as good a place as any I suppose. Rocket is a cracking way to start the new year with a tune that builds and builds to a wonderful crescendo. It certainly floats my boat pop pickers.
The line-up of the band is Martin and John McLinden, who are brothers, their cousin Paul McLinden and Stephen Sweeney.
You can catch them live at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow on Saturday 16 January as part of King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution 2016 where they’ll be sharing the stage with The Calm Fiasco, tropical popsters Indigo Velvet and the fast and furious Bad Mannequins. Physical copies of Rocket will be available to buy on the night.
Trivia: The band’s name is the Chinese translation for Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist.
Ette sees TeenCanteen‘s Carla Easton and Joe Kane from Dr Cosmo’s Tape Lab take time off from their regular bands to shack up musically for a single and album.
December saw the first fruits of their collaboration with the rather festive double A-side – if you can have such a thing in a digital world – of Spending Every Christmas With My Boy and the Single version of Birthdays under the umbrella title of Special Occasions. The digital-only single is £2 on Bandcamp and for an extra £1 you can get a very limited Ette Christmas Bauble.
Their album Homemade Lemonade will be released soon on the rather fabulous Olive Grove Records on, wait for it, baby pink vinyl. You can expect to see it hit the shops (virtual and otherwise) within a month or so. Fuller details when I get them.
Carla returns to her musical day job with TeenCanteen:
Sun 17 Jan 2016: Hazy Recollections @ Celtic Connections (ABC, Glasgow) 2.30pm (Note: afternoon gig!)
Wed 27 Jan 2016: Independent Venue Week @ Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh 7pm
Thu 28 Apr 2016: Shonen Knife support @Summerhall, Edinburgh
Friday 29 Apr 2016: Shonen Knife support @ CCA, Glasgow
Nestling rather snugly beside Ette’s single in the Olive Grove discography is Jo Mango‘s come-one-come-all multi-collaboratory Wrack Lines EP.
Normally I do my own write-ups on records but the Olive Grove press release sums it up so much better and it’s a shame you, the genral public, won’t get to see it. So here’s the story behind this fine record…
“Back in 2007, while on tour with cult singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan, sitting on her third aeroplane of the day in a holding pattern above an American city, Jo Mango had a revelation about the potential impact of her itinerant job on the world and on herself. That moment led to some serious decisions about her lifestyle and an ongoing fascination with exploring the unsustainability of the musical life.
The EP’s title is an extension of those thoughts into a research project for which Jo enlisted the help of leading Scottish singer-songwriters Rachel Sermanni, RM Hubbert, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow) and The Pictish Trail. The songs they have written together explore a gamut of emotions related to travel, the environment and music.
The title “Wrack Lines” refers to the name given to the waving line of detritus that is left on the beach when the tide goes out. It calls to mind images of travelling across the ocean, but also the unmistakable residue of waste that is left behind us when we do. It is also an image of the creation of music (which itself is made from waves).
There are songs that are an expression of the need to keep moving and to keep finding new audiences to gain the kind of catharsis that makes life worth living. Others explore the off-kilter rhythms of living on the road. There is the tension between the material and the ephemeral: loneliness and exhaustion of constant travelling versus the uplifting glories of musical performance; the concrete and objective nature of the resources that we use up in order to reach audiences versus the unmeasurable and immaterial aspects of the music that is given back in return.
Each songwriter was tracked as they travelled across the 2015 festival season. Maps of their movement were used as the basis for the artwork (created by illustrator and designer Helen Kellock).
It was in snatches of time between those miles that the EP was recorded, wherever the artists’ paths could cross. Between the five of them they travelled approximately 118,000 passenger miles and generated 19,314kg of CO2 emissions. It’s a carbon footprint for the songwriting quintet which will leave its mark, in song and in Wrack Lines.
Wrack Lines will be released on CD and on digital format through Olive Grove Records on 15 January 2016. Rachel Sermanni, Louis Abbott, RM Hubbert, The Pictish Trail and Jo Mango celebrate the launch of the new EP with a one-off performance at Platform in Glasgow on 21 January 2016 as part of Celtic Connections.
All profits from the sale of this EP will go to the charity Creative Carbon Scotland in their work to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland.
The EP forms part of a research project called Fields of Green: Addressing Climate Change Through Music Festival Communities. It aims to explore what audiences, organisers and musicians can do to encourage environmentally sustainable behaviour around music festivals. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (Grant Number AH/M009270/1) and is a collaboration between researchers at the University of the West of Scotland, Edinburgh University, Lancaster University and the charity Creative Carbon Scotland.
What did I tell you? Beautifully written.
Jo is great live but on the last couple of occasions I’ve seen her her music has been drowned out by a somewhat blethery crowd. I vowed to be more laid back this year but talking (loudly) at gigs, especially when the artists’ sound is more of a, shall we say, delicate nature, is a personal bugbear. To the point where I’m thinking of giving up “quiet” gigs altogether. On that note I’ll leave you with a picture of a poster which was tweeted today by The Charlatans’ blonde bombshell Tim Burgess. It was designed by Robbie Porter for Independent Venue Week.
Finally, Scotland’s answer to The Travelling Wilburys – The Pictish Trail, James Yorkston and Withered Hand – hit the highways and byeways of our fair land as the Lost (Map) Boys begin a three-handed assault on the ears and pockets of Scotland with a veritable cornucopia of gigging opportunities the length and breadth of the land. Warning: You may be right royally entertained.
Fri 15 Jan 2016: Eastgate Theatre, Peebles [TICKETS]
Sat 16 Jan 2016: The Catstrand, New Galloway [TICKETS]
Fri 22 Jan 2016: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen [TICKETS]
Sat 23 Jan 2016: Summerhall, Edinburgh [TICKETS]
Mon 25 Jan 2016: Concert Hall, Perth [TICKETS]
Thu 28 Jan 2016: Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow (Celtic Connections) [TICKETS]
Fri 29 Jan 2016: Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine [TICKETS]
Sat 30 Jan 2016: Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline [TICKETS]
Sun 31 Jan 2016: The Tolbooth, Stirling [TICKETS]
Wed 3 Feb 2016: Mareel, Shetland [TICKETS]
Okay that’s all for now my little Jocknrollers.