Monday, 22 March 2010

Newsbits: Last Battle sign deal, Wickerman acts revealed, NAO album released

The Last Battle

The Last Battle sign to 17 Seconds
It's happened again: not long after we interview a band for UtR, they bag themselves a record deal. We're not suggesting that we influence these things of course... Anyway, this time the band in question is The Last Battle (pictured above, UtR profile here), who have penned a contract with the Edinburgh label 17 Seconds. It's fast progress for the Leith six-piece, who only formed last year and started gigging around six months ago. Read more from label boss Ed Jupp on his blog of the same name.

Wickerman bands revealed
Hardly a week goes by at this time of year without a festival announcement of some description. Now it's the turn of Wickerman, the Dumfriesshire weekender that boasts some pretend Paganism alongside the usual mix of lager and music. Names out of the hat so far include Ocean Colour Scene, The Saw Doctors, The Futureheads, Sons & Daughters and Codeine Velvet Club, although there will be a fair smattering of up and coming bands appearing too. Wickerman takes place on 23 and 24 July - more info here.

Get your Hooks on NAO
It's a big day for another fine band to have graced this blog, North Atlantic Oscillation. That's because today's the day the Edinburgh/Glasgow outfit release their debut album Grappling Hooks, which has already generated glowing reviews from near and far. They've come a long way from the slightly awkward performance we once witnessed in the tiny Henry's Cellar Bar a few years ago, and it's great to see them fulfilling their potential.

And finally...
We have some news of our own this week, but we can't really say anything just yet. Keep checking back though and all will be revealed in days to come.

Got news for us? Let us know at or tweet us @under_the_radar

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Friday, 22 January 2010

Radar recommends: 23 - 29 January

North Atlantic Oscillation
[North Atlantic Oscillation: limbering up for Limbo on Friday]

Plan your gig-going with our pick of the week's choicest live music nights...

The best...

John Knox Sex Club, Baby Boyz
Saturday @ The Ferry, Glasgow / 8pm / £6
Not your typical wide-eyed indie-pop band, The JKSC inflict moody, clanging blues riffs and deranged vocals on anyone who'll listen. Will you?

Burns Night Celebration: Broken Records, Woodenbox With A Firstful of Fivers, Whisky Kiss
Sunday @ King Tuts, Glasgow / 8.30pm / £12
More Scottish than a ginger man in a kilt shouting 'freedom', drinking whisky and killing a haggis with his bare hands. What a lovely patriotic way to celebrate the Bard.

Marble Valley
Tuesday @ Nice'n'Sleazys, Glasgow / 7.30pm / £TBC
In advance of their much-anticipated return, Pavement drummer Steve West shows his vocal worth.

The Foundling Wheel, Smack Van, Ian Ryan
Wednesday @ Electric Circus, Edinburgh / 8pm / £3
The Foundling Wheel is a solo project with a difference: a one-man, bass guitar-wielding, beat-programming, noise-fuelled rammy. And then some.

The Mill: The Seventeenth Century, There Will be Fireworks
Thursday @ Oran Mor / 7.30pm / Free but ticketed
Gilt-edged, mellifluous folk-rock from the highly rated Seventeenth Century. There Will Be Fireworks? Apparently a few folk rate them too.

The Low Anthem
Thursday @ The Old Fruitmarket / 9pm / £16
Lovely Celtic Connections ditty. Beautiful pop in a beautiful building. It’s gonna be special guys.

Limbo: North Atlantic Oscillation, Simon Doherty and Louise McVey & The Cracks In the Concrete
Friday @ The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh / £5 / 8pm
Limbo had a healthy effect on the Edinburgh scene over the past two years, so locals will be happy about its imminent return. The night may have gone from weekly Thursdays to monthly Fridays, but their band booking policy looks as infallible as ever.

Adam Green
Friday @ Stereo / 7pm / £10
Get your skinny jeans and white plimsoles on and boost your indie credentials with a trip to see the manly half of The Mouldy Peaches solo. Sweet.

The Lava Experiments
Friday @ The 13th Note, Glasgow / £5 / 8.30pm
To quote ourselves, The Lava Experiments make "gorgeously cinematic electronica, reminiscent in places of Kraftwerk or a heavier Explosions in the Sky". They launch a new EP of remixes at this gig, for which they enlisted the help of Dans Le Sac, Pumajaw and Betamax Warriors.

The rest...

Words: Aimi Gold, Nick Mitchell

What have we missed? Tell us below, or add it to the calendar by emailing

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Sunday, 18 October 2009

Radar recommends: 18 - 24 Oct

My Latest Novel
[My Latest Novel: playing Edinburgh on Saturday]

Oxjam hovers over the end of this week's live music calendar like the alien mothership in Independence Day. We'll be closely encountering the multi-legged charity festival during the rest of the week, but before that here are a few gigs where you can splash the cash without any worthy intentions...

Edwyn Collins, The 1990s
Sunday @ The Lemon Tree / 7.30pm / £15
One of the few Scottish pop stars of the 1980s with his credibility intact, former Orange Juice man Collins is joined by jingly-jangly popsters The 1990s. Touring the Highlands and Islands during the rest of the week, and playing

Everything Everything, Findo Gask, North Atlantic Oscillation, Kocha
Wednesday @ The Tunnels / 8pm / £5
Mancunian band on tour, with eye-catching support in the shape of UtR faves Findo Gask, North Atlantic Oscillation and Kochka. Also playing Cab Vol, Edinburgh on Tuesday.

James Yorkston & The Big Eyes Family Players
Monday @ The Bongo Club / 7.30pm / £12.50
The Fence stalwart's tour rolls into the capital.

Bat for Lashes, Yeasayer
Tuesday @ HMV Picture House / 7pm / £17
New age pop pixie Natasha Khan tours her Two Suns album, with support from Brooklyn's finest sonic explorers, Yeasayer. Also playing ABC, Glasgow on Monday.

Thursday @ The Ark / 7pm / £8
Maps is Mercury nominated electro dude James Chapman. Quite a coup for The Ark.

**UtR's gig of the week**
My Latest Novel
Saturday @ Cabaret Voltaire / 7pm / £9
Stunning indie rock from the west coast. If you're not knackered from Oxjam the previous night, this should be worth making the effort for.

Dirty Bingo vs Loud & Quiet Tour: Crocodiles, Divorce, Golden Grrrls, She’s Hit
Monday @ Stereo / 7pm / £tbc
Touted toothy San Diego duo swim over with their brand of electronic rock. If you get into them now you can say … I was into them before … blah blah blah. Couple of Scottish bands in support, including She’s Hit who we were into before ... blah blah blah.

Jon Allen, The Boy Who Trapped the Sun
Wednesday @ King Tuts / 9pm / £8
Bluesy acoustic fare from main act and London based Scots lovely Colin MacLeod.

Basshunter (really? - Ed)
Wednesday @ O2 Academy / 7pm / £21.50
If you want to know what it feels like to spend your money on the worst Eurodance cretin, here’s your opportunity.

Fleetwood Mac
Thursday @ SECC / 7pm / Sold out
4/5th - an almost reunion is good enough for me. Stevie Nicks and co present their beautiful back catalogue that includes songs you’ll remember from your childhood like Rhiannon, Little Lies and The Chain.

The Mill: Light Guides, Pacific Theatre
Thursday @ Oran Mor / 7pm / Free
Pepper your evening with new music at The Mill.

Johnny Flynn
Thursday @ Nice’n’Sleazy / 7.30pm / £9
A wee solo-burst from the male Laura Marling before he jaunts off to support Noah and the Whale.

ATP film screening, feat. Les Savy Fav
Saturday @ O2 ABC / 7pm doors – film starts 8.15pm sharp / £10
ATP and Warp Films showcase their Butlins-style festival film with music from the brilliant art rockers.

Words: Aimi Gold, Nick Mitchell

What have we missed? Tell us below, or add it to our gig guide by emailing

For all your Oxjam information check back tomorrow and the rest of this week...

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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Under the Radar podcast #4

Podcast #4It may be old news now, but the ripples of record sales set in motion by the Mercury Music Prize are still being felt across the industry.

Following our editorial on the subject a couple of weeks ago, we discuss the outcome (or more accurately, Billy enters rant mode!), and we try to figure out whether the whole concept of music awards has any value at all.

As if that wasn't enough to tempt you to download/ press play/do whatever it is you do with a podcast, we also have a great selection of tuneage.

There's the new single from The Low Miffs' collaboration with former Orange Juice / Josef K legend Malcolm Ross, a fresh cut from Glasgow hardcore rockers Citizens, a taster of North Atlantic Oscillation's long-awaited debut album, as well as acts we've played host to on the blog in recent weeks: Tokyo Knife Attack, The Pineapple Chunks and The John Knox Sex Club.

Enjoy the show...

Play: Podcast #4

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Running order:
00:12: Malcolm Ross and the Low Miffs - Cressida
04:34: Tokyo Knife Attack - Another One Falls
09:43: The Pineapple Chunks - The Horror The Horror
13:44: Mercury Music Prize chat
19:17: Errors - Salut France
22:42: North Atlantic Oscillation - 77 Hours
27:46: Citizens - Shit Whistler
32:20: The John Knox Sex Club - John the Revelator

Words and blether: Nick Mitchell, Billy Hamilton

Previous UtR podcasts

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Friday, 29 May 2009

On the radar: North Atlantic Oscillation

The modern day musician too often talks the talk without actually having anything interesting to say.

Take The Enemy’s self declared bastion of the working classes Tom Clarke. Quite why this Roland Rat doppelgänger's been accorded a fully functioning set of vocal chords is beyond UtR’s comprehension, but somehow he’s got license shoot his mouth off on any subject matter he deems fit.

And the most depressing thing about this era of loquacious banality? We hacks lap it up; devouring irreverent flippancies as if they were After Eights at the Last Supper and clutching to the words of conceited post-teens who can barely string a succession of chords together, never mind a sentence.

But sometimes a band will come along who prefer to play it straight, keeping their cakeholes shut and letting the music do the work. A band much like Glasgow/Edinburgh trio North Atlantic Oscillation [NAO].

“I really honestly don't have much to say about us or the scene we're in or not in,” explains NAO spearhead Sam Healy. “I'm very boring, basically: the only thing I want to do is make music, not talk about making music. I know that this is a sort of stupid attitude, since the media can actually help a band to get to a position of making more music.”

Admittedly, Healy’s reticence makes for less than newsworthy copy, but there’s no denying his unaccommodating pique and blunt honesty heightens the intrigue in a group already bustling with tune.

Perfectly monikered, NAO sound every bit the climatic phenomenon. Kaleidoscopic keys and a pressure-pot rhythm section explode against Healy's thrusting, affected vocal, culminating in a thrilling sonic maelstrom that swooshes like Flaming Lips in their Soft Bulletin prime.

Not that Healy will confess to influences, mind: “[We’re inspired by] a wide variety of things, not all of them musical,” he deadpans. “Anything that manages to be exciting and unprecedented at the same time.”

With the group’s debut album set to drop in September, the tail-end of 2009 is shaping up nicely for NAO. And an achievement for the band? “Being able to make music all the time,” says Healy with typical brusque.

On second thoughts, it's probably best to let NAO’s music do the talking...

Play: 77 Hours

Drawing Maps from Memory from Brendan Mc Carthy on Vimeo.

Words: Billy Hamilton

Do you want more from your indie idols or do you prefer the strong silent type? Let us know below...

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