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Fatherson Open Book

Fatherson return with a new album on 3 June 2016. Released on the Easy Life/Sony Red label Open Book is the follow-up to 2014’s I Am An Island and will be available in several formats: signed CD, signed gatefold vinyl LP, signed CD with handwritten lyric book and signed gatefold vinyl LP with handwritten lyric book. You can pre-order the album HERE. You can also preview one of the tracks Little Lost Boys (Radio Edit) HERE.

Dropkick 2

I alluded to the release of this fine new record from Dropkick a couple of weeks ago and here, as if my magic, it now is (thanks guys!). It has, as the kids are wont to say, “dropped” but in my case it means from the letter box to the mat behind it. The most pleasing of sounds as I ingest bran flakes, banana and Homes Under The Hammer – thanks postie! A pleasing sound nonetheless, as is the album itself.

While the likes of Bowie were ever ch-ch-changing, Dropkick are very much a if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t fix-it kind of band and for that I love them. That’s not to say the album sounds like all their others (and there’s plenty of them) because it doesn’t. There’s still plenty of the melodic alt.country powerpop they’re known for while moving hither and thither in other musical directions. Not so much pushing the boundaries as giving them a little tickle under the chin.

I love album opener Save Myself because, rather ironically, it sounds like the kind of epic, leave-you-breathless track that could close an album and, after a brief pause, have you start the whole record again – “start afresh”. Maybe it’ll be a live set closer. It has that kind of feel about it.

It’s a mighty fine album and one I shall be embracing on a daily basis over the coming weeks and months, like a musical hot water bottle keeping me warm as winter bids farewell and ushers in the spring.

You can sample poptastic track Slow Down on YouTube.

Balance The Light is released on Sound Asleep/Rock Indiana on 25 March 2016 and available to pre-order NOW.

Contact:
Website: http://www.dropkickmusic.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dropkickmusic
Twitter: @dropkickmusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mrcockroach
Bandcamp: https://dropkickmusic.bandcamp.com/

Tuff Love Resort

My first musical hero was Roddy Frame (still is) and he shares, along with my mother, a birthday on 29 January. Coincidentally it will also be a cause for celebration in the Tuff Love household as they release Resort, a compilation of their first three EPs, on that day.
TYCI are hosting a launch in honour of this great occasion and what a multi-starred evening it promises to be. Not only will headliners Tuff Love be looking to shift some units, they’ll be ably supported by the ever well-groomed pottymouth Vaseline (seriously, mouth like a docker) Frances McKee. Bossy Love will also be putting their best foot forward, with TYCI spinning the platters that matter before and after each set.
The shenanigans take place at Stereo on Glasgow’s Renfield Street on Friday 5 February 2016. Tickets are a measly £10 and available HERE. Bargain!
While it is Tuff Love’s party and they cry if they want to, they’ll actually be on second, following on from Frances and setting a good example to Bossy Love.

Resort collects together the Junk, Dross and Dregs EPs, quite naturally in chronological order, in one handy CD-sized package, with vinyl version available for those who like that sort of thing. These formats are available in good record shops (and maybe some rubbish ones as well) but you can pre-order it HERE.

As well as hanging out in some homegrown haunts Tuff Love will be terrorising, in the nicest possible way, the nightspots of mainland Europe. Check out the order of play:

5th Feb 2016: Stereo, Glasgow (as annotated above) [TICKETS]

22nd Feb 2016: Summerhall, Edinburgh [TICKETS]
24th Feb 2016: Trades Club, Hebdon Bridge [TICKETS]

25th Feb 2016: London Fields Brewery, London [TICKETS]
21st Mar 2016: Berghain, Berlin, Germany [TICKETS]
22nd Mar 2016: Blue Shell, Cologne, Germany [TICKETS]
23rd Mar 2016: Eldorado, Zurich, Switzerland [TICKETS]
25th Mar 2016: La Parenthese, Nyon, Switzerland [FREE ENTRY]
29th Mar 2016: La Salle Du Grand Marais (LSFM Festival), Riorges, France [TICKETS]
1st Apr 2016: Le Divan Du Monde (LSFM Festival), Paris, France [TICKETS]
2nd Apr 2016: Les Trinitaires (LFSM Festival), Metz, France [TICKETS]
19th-21st May 2016: The Great Escape Festival, Brighton [TICKETS]

That’s your lot for now. Go on, shoo, beat it.

 

Lost Map Holwin' Fling 2016

Lost Map Records’ Howlin’ Fling returns this summer for a two-day extravaganza on the home of The Pictish Trail, namely the isle of Eigg.

The line-up remains more of a secret than a certain Colonel Sanders’ recipe but will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Tickets, priced at £110, will go on sale on Wednesday 10 February and for that princely sum – along with some wholesome musical entertainment – you get a place on the specially-chartered ferries and camping. This year’s Howlin’ Fling will be a more intimate stripped-back affair than usual so tickets will be rarer than rockin’ horse poo. Get the dates in the diary and your pennies in the piggy bank.

The rather superb poster was designed by Andrew Denholm.

Born To Be Wide

Born To Be Wide returns from a winter break to celebrate its 20th birthday. They’ll mark the occasion with a self-help seminar for managers, artists and record labels on Thursday 4 February at Electric Circus in Edinburgh.

“This seminar will help unlock the many techniques within everyone’s grasp,” explains Born To Be Wide founder Olaf Furniss, who will chair the evening. “We guarantee that anyone attending will increase their chances of being covered and do a better job than most PRs.”

The seminar will cover a number of music-related themes including “online promotion, social media, deadlines, creating an effective biography and how to get useable press photographs”.

Speakers:

James Bruce (Concert promoter),
Amy Ferguson* (BBC Radio Scotland producer),
Jannica Honey (photographer) and
Matthew Young (Song, By Toad records).

After the seminar, the panelists will be playing a selection of their favourite tunes as well as ‘working the room’ while ‘pressing the flesh’.

Tickets for Wide Days are priced at £5.50 (£4 for Musicians’ Union Members) and are available from the website.

The running order for the evening is:

1900 Doors Open
1930-2125 Self-Help Seminar
2115-late Guest DJ sets and socialising, mingling and schmoozing

* In 2012 Amy and I were in the team that won the Radio Academy (Scotland) quiz. How’d you like them apples?

 

 

BAMS2015

After much deliberation and polishing off of crusty Yule Logs and leftover turkey, the results are in for the 2015 Scottish BAMS Record of the Year.

The annual Scottish BAMS (Bloggers and Music Sites) poll to find the best album of 2015 has been decided by an esteemed group of Scottish music presenters, journalists and bloggers (listed below), including yours truly.

Anyway, enough preamble, the winner for 2015 is…*cue fanfare*…

KATHRYN JOSEPH for Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I’ve Spilled.

On how she felt at winning the award a delighted Kathryn said, “It feels amazing! Thank so much!”. Her own favourite album of 2015 was five places below her in the poll, “Sufjan Stevens record is the most beautiful piece of music ever. For me that is the most beauiful record of last year”.

The Top 10 on the poll were as follows:

  1. Kathryn Joseph Bones You Have Thrown Me, And Blood I’ve Spilled
  2. Miaoux Miaoux School of Velocity
  3. C Duncan Architect
  4. Young Fathers White Men Are Black Men
  5. Chvrches Open Every Eye
  6. Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell
  7. Kendrick Lamarr To Pimp a Butterfly
  8. Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  9. Wolf Alice My Love is Cool
  10. Public Service Broadcasting The Race for Space

For the record, my own votes were cast as follows:

1. Linden Rest and Be Thankful (AED)

2. Rozi Plain Friend (Lost Map)

3. Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders Chrome Cassettes

4. Boots For Dancing The Undisco Kidds (Athen of the North)

5. Randolph’s Leap Most Clunky (Lost Map)

6. Public Service Broadcasting The Race For Space (Test Card)

7. Young Fathers White Men Are Black Men (Ten Big Dada)

8. Robin Gibb Saved By The Bell (Rhino)

9. The Truth Who’s Wrong: Mod Bedlam 1965-1969 (RPM)

10. Bodyheat Bodyheat (Mini LP)

I was genuinely surprised that two of my selections made the Top 10. While dominated by Scottish acts, as you’d expect, the vote was open to any record and the bootm half of the Top 10 were taken over by international acts.

31 different writers voted for a total of 160 records, with 11 selecting Kathryn Joseph in their top 10s.

The 2015 BAMS were: Scottish Fiction, Jim Gellatly, Almost Predictable Almost, Vic Galloway, The Spill, For Malcontents, Netsounds , Is This Music?, Manic Pop Thrills, Last Year’s Girl, Tenement TV, 17 Seconds, Alan Morrison, Houdidontblog, Post Nothing, Glasgow Podcart, Everything Flows, Avalanche, The Skinny, Alive & Amplified, Jocknroll, Ski Pie Rage, Local Music Scene, Get Music, Ravechild and The (New) Vinyl Villain.

The 2015 BAMS were brought to you by Mike (Manic Pop Thrills), Neil (Scottish Fiction), Jamie (Netsounds Unsigned), Al (Houdidont), Stuart (Is This Music?) and Lloyd (Honorary Head BAM).

Past winners:
2009 The Phantom Band The Wants
2010 The National High Violet
2011 Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat Everyone’s Getting Older
2012 Meursault Something for the Weakened
2013 CHVRCHES The Bones of What You Believe
2014 The Twilight Sad Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave

Linden BonesBones/Broken Glass is the brand new single from Linden, nom de plume of ex-Superstar/BMX Bandit/Groovy Little Number Joe McAlinden. You can watch a trailer (such a tease) for the new video on YouTube HERE.

Joe and the band are busy, busy, busy and will be in session on Janice Forsyth’s Radio Scotland show this afternoon (Wednesday 20 January 2016). New single Bones also features rising stars JR Green and is released in the UK on 5 February on Edwyn Collins’ AED Records and in America on Slumberland Records.

You can also see Linden live at Celtic Connections on Wednesday 27 January 2016 (alongside ex-Silencers frontman J J Gilmour) at Oran Mor before venturing south of the border for the first time to the Trades Club at Hebden Bridge on 31 January 2016.

Contact:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linden.music
Twitter: @joemcalinden
Label: http://www.aedrecords.com/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ9rGFRFWXhYX0vVzhBFDaQ
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/joe-mcalinden

Mt Doubt
While I’ve been a fan of Joe McAlinden’s work for more years than I care to recall Mt Doubt are very new to me. My finger hasn’t been on the pulse of every thing happening musically in the nooks and crannies of scottish rock and pop so I’m always grateful when CDs or, as is the modern way, digital links are thrust into my email inbox.

While Linden takes the name of its frontman and songwriter, it has a regular carousel of band members to call upon. Mt Doubt is more of a one-man operation. Leo Bargery is the colonel-in-chief of Edinburgh-based Mt Doubt, who started life at the beginning of last year.

Debut album My Past is a Quiet Beast was released to great acclaim last year (I’m slow to catch on!) and the first two singles from it – Feathers and Asunder – garnered the right kind of attention from Messrs Gellatly and Galloway as well as XFM and Scottish Fiction. In fact Slick Vic declared Mt Doubt one of his 25 Scottish Artists to Watch in 2016.

Mt Doubt has a new single and album lined up for later in the year but in the meantime you can catch him (and band) at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh when he (they) support Edinburgh’s Bronston on 5 February 2016. In fact, it’s Bronston’s debut live performance, in support of their I Feel Safe single. Tickets available HERE.

I enjoyed the mood swings of My Past is a Quiet Beat. From quiet introspection to full-on sonic cathedrals of sound, there’s so much to hear in terms of atmospheric soundscapes. If you love a bit of quiet-loud-quiet tuneage then Mt Doubt should float your boat. The self-released album was produced by The Winter Tradition‘s Mark Morrow and is worthy of your attention.

Contact:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MtDoubt
Twitter: @MtDoubt
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjOF4MNC7l_cJkYvogU-72Q
Bandcamp: https://mtdoubt.bandcamp.com/releases
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mtdoubt

 

ABCQuinn

It’s been a great start to 2016 for Glasgow artpop exponents and Jocknroll favourites A Band Called Quinn. On the back of two Art & Business Scotland nominations they’ve released a new single. The fabulous From The Gutter comes from their equally wonderful Biding Time (remix) album.

Tromolo Productions – for which lead singer/songwriter Louise Quinn is the Artistic Director – has been shortlisted in the International Award category for their collaboration with LaChunky Studios and the pair are also up for the Digital Innovation award. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Wednesday 3rd February. Good luck to Louise, Bal, Robert and Steven and the team at LaChunky, who sponsored the multimedia Biding Time (remix)‘s three-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014 as part of the Made in Scoland international showcase.

A Band Called Quinn are Louise Quinn (vocals/songs/guitar), Bal Cooke (drums/bleeps), Robert Henderson (trumpet/keyboards) and Steven Westwater (bass).

Contact:
Website: http://www.abandcalledquinn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abandcalledquinn
Twitter: @ABCQuinn
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/abandcalledquinn

Dropkick 2

Dropkick return – were they ever away? – with a brand new album Balance The Light released on their own Sound Asleep imprint as well as the Rock Indiana label.

The new record of alt.country, powerpop gems comes out on 25 March 2016 and will be available as a download, 180 gram vinyl and CD and will feature the mighty fine artwork of Edinburgh artist/designer Alan Lennon. Balance The Light will also be available via the usual online retailers. It can also be pre-ordered through the band’s shop with every pre-order receiving an immediate download of the album track Slow Down and you’ll also be emailed a link to download a bonus EP featuring 3 non-album tracks. Nice!

To celebrate the release the band are heading off to mainland Europe for their debut appearances in Germany, before returning homeward for shows in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

8th April 2016: Raumfahrtzentrum Saarner Kuppe, Mulheim, Germany
9th April 2016: Music Star, Norderstedt, Germany
21st April 2016: Clark’s, Dundee, Scotland
22nd April 2016: The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Scotland
(double-bill show with the capital’s The Wynntown Marshals)
23rd April 2016: 13th Note, Glasgow, Scotland

Andy Tucker will support Dropkick at the three Scottish gigs with The Chinaskis joining the party at the 13th Note show.

The current line-up is: Andrew Taylor, Ian Grier, Scott Tobin, Mike Foy and Roy Taylor.

Contact:
Website: http://www.dropkickmusic.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dropkickmusic
Twitter: @dropkickmusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mrcockroach
Bandcamp: https://dropkickmusic.bandcamp.com/

Snowgoose

Snowgoose make a welcome return with their second album The Making of You, follow up to 2013’s very wonderful folksome pop of Harmony Springs. The album’s release is imminent and will be available on vinyl, CD and download formats.

You can hear songs from both albums at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Friday 5 February 2016. Support comes from Mo Kenney. More ticket details and stage times HERE.

The live band will consist of Anna Sheard (vocals), Jim McCulloch (guitar), Stuart Kidd (drums), Raymond McGinley (guitar), Stevie Jones (bass) and Chris Geddes (keyboards).

P

 

 

 

 

Ales Harvey Last Of The Teenage Idols - 2D

March 18 2016 sees the release of a mighty 14-CD, 217-track box set celebrating the work of legendary Scottish singer Alex Harvey.

The exhaustive collection, The Last of The Teenage Idols, brings together his early 1960s work with His Soul Band via the Sensational Alex Harvey Band through to New Band recordings, as well as solo tracks and live rarities; all housed in a beautifuly slipcase, accompanied by a 64-page book and loads of photos, many of which have never been seen before.

Here’s what you can find on each CD:

Disc 1 – Alex Harvey And His Soul Band: Alex Harvey And His Soul Band (1963-64)

The debut album by Alex Harvey And His Soul Band makes its first appearance on CD and is supplemented by three previously unreleased songs from May 1964. Also included is two songs from Everything’s Alright With Isabella Bond, the live Decca album recorded at Hamburg’s Top Ten Club the same year.

Disc 2 – Alex Harvey And His Soul Band: 2nd Album (1964)
First official release for the long-lost 2nd Album by Alex Harvey And His Soul Band, including three previously unreleased tracks from the same period.

Disc 3 – Alex Harvey: The Blues (1964-65)
Alex’s first solo album, The Blues, from 1964 takes centre stage on disc 3, which also features his first Fontana single for Fontana, a double-header of Northern Soul classic Agent Double-O-Soul and self-penned flipside Go Away Baby.

Disc 4 – Alex Harvey: Roman Wall Blues (1966-69)
Both sides of his second Fontana single, Work Song/I Can Do Without Your Love, join with two 1967 Decca singles – The Sunday Song and Maybe Some Day – as well as his second solo long player Roman Wall Blues (1969). There’s also a rare early demo of Harp, which would become an SABH favourite.

Disc 5 – Various: Hair Rave Up, Rock Workshop, The Joker Is Wild (1969-72)
Four tracks each from 1969’s Hair Rave Up album and the 1970 Rock Workshop LP, which features Alex on vocals, as well as the whole of the 1972 solo album The Joker Is Wild.

Disc 6 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Framed (1972)
Debut album as The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Framed, is augmented by full band version of Harp and five songs from Radio 1’s In Concert series, recorded live in November 1972.

Disc 7 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Next… (1973)
1973 SAHB album is Next… – literallyalongside five more tracks from the aforementioned In Concert and two from The Old Grey Whistle Test, recorded in December 1973. 

Disc 8 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: The Impossible Dream (1974)
The Impossible Dream, dominates the eighth disc, which also includes two live tracks from Oslo’s 1974 Ragnarock Festival. Extras include a rare 24-minute spoken-word promo-only album, Alex Harvey Talks About Everything: An In Depth Session With Alex Harvey Of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Disc 9 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Tomorrow Belongs To Me (1975)
SAHB’s fourth album Tomorrow Belongs To Me from 1975 is joined by three previously unreleased live tracks, all recorded at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in May 1975. There’s also another Old Grey Whistle Test track; this one being Give My Compliments To The Chef recorded in May 1975.

Disc 10 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Live (1975)
The band’s seminal live album, 1975’s Live, features their biggest hit single, Delilah, and is here expanded with four previously unreleased songs recorded at the same Hammersmith Odeon date, along with a stand-out live recording of Delilah, taken from the SAHB’s May 1975 appearance on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Disc 11 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: The Penthouse Tapes (1976)
An expanded version of SAHB’s 1976 covers album The Penthouse Tapes, is bolstered by five more live songs. These were recorded at Leicester’s DeMontford Hall in May 1976 and are released officially on CD for the first time.

Disc 12 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: SAHB Stories (1976)
SAHB’s penultimate album, 1976’s SAHB Stories, has, in addition, Satchel and the Scalp Hunter, a non-album B-side from the same year, a live Top of the Pops performance of The Boston Tea Party and an extended version of 1976 Mountain single Amos Moses, taken from the American version of the album.

Disc 13 – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Rock Drill (1977)
1977’s Rock Drill album is joined by another non-album B-side – this time Engine Room Boogie – and SAHB rarity No Complaints Department, which had originally been pencilled in for the album but was pulled at the last minute. There are also three songs from Alex’s first post-SAHB band, Quad, which were recorded for Alan Freeman’s BBC Radio 1 show in March 1978.

Disc 14 – Alex Harvey Solo/The New Band (1978-83)
The final CD features tracks from three post-SAHB albums. These are Alex Harvey Presents The Loch Ness Monster (with cameo appearance by Richard O’Brien, he of Rocky Horror Picture Show/Crystal Maze fame); key album and non-album A- and B-sides from The New Band LP, The Mafia Stole My Guitar; and a handful of tracks from Alex’s final solo album, 1983’s The Soldier On The Wall, including a previously unreleased home demo recording of Billy Bolero.

As comprehensive a box set as you could hope for any artist. You won’t get much change out of £100 but it seems like money well spent. I haven’t heard any of the box set but, as you can see from the picture below, it looks beautiful.

Alex HArvey Box set

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