Friday, 26 March 2010

Radar recommends: 27 March - 2 April

We Were Promised Jetpacks
[We Were Promised Jetpacks: descending on Edinburgh on Sunday]

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

Ten Tracks presents... The Verden Whistle Test
Saturday @ Verden Studios, Portobello, Edinburgh / 6pm / £10
You're probably too young to know what The Old Grey Whistle Test was... So, this is a special, intimate studio gig that's all being filmed, featuring the likes of UtR faves Over The Wall, Dead Boy Robotics, Esperi, Fur Hood and John B McKenna. There are only 100 tickets on offer and everyone gets a free DVD. More info here.

La La Vasques, Golden Grrrls, Girls Names
Sunday @ The 13th Note, Glasgow / 9pm / £tbc
What do you get when you mix cool girls with fuzzed out shoegazy style? Perhaps something like these bands. And that's something pretty good.

Haddow Fest
Sunday @ various venues, Edinburgh / 1pm - 12am / £20 (£15 in advance)
Glasgow may have Hinterland and Stag and Dagger, but now Edinburgh has its own multi-venue gig sprawl. Haddow Fest has rounded up a batch of indie-rock bands to entertain the masses, including the likes of Idlewild, My Latest Novel and We Were Promised Jetpacks. Check the website for more information and stage times.

RM Hubbert
Sunday @ Slow Club, The Flying Duck, Glasgow / 8pm / Free
Ex-El Hombre Trajeado man RM shows off his fingerpicking skills with an instrumental guitar set, hopefully with a few pieces from his stunning First&Last album. What a pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening.

The Besnard Lakes, Wolf People, Olympic Swimmers
Sunday @ Captain's Rest / 8pm / £8
Proving that matrimony and work can mix, Montreal's The Besnard Lakes have won over many fans with their sweeping indie rock. Get there early for UtR-featured Olympic Swimmers.

Benni Hemm Hemm, Rachel Sermanni, Graham McGeoch
Tuesday @ Bloc, Glasgow / 9pm / Free
Benedikt Hermann Hermannsson, going by the altogether easier to pronounce name of Benni Hemm Hemm, has brought the gift of excellent folksy pop from Iceland to his adoptive home of Glasgow. Get a free taste tonight as he plus band launch the Retaliate EP.
Also playing The Roxy Art House, Edinburgh on Monday

Dam Mantle, Fox Gut Daata
Friday @ Glasgow Social Centre, Osborne Street / 8pm / £5
Dam Mantle launches a new EP with suitable support from Fox Gut Daata. If you like your beats and blips on the interesting side you should head along. Plus DJ sets from Cry Parrot and Halleluwah Hits.

The Twilight Sad, The Unwinding Hours
Friday @ ABC, Glasgow / 7pm / £10
Just in case you thought The Twilight Sad's live show was lacking a few decibels (you fool!), the Kilsyth band will play this gig with an extra PA, achieving so-called "quadraphonic" sound. Hold on to your hats, and make sure you check out the sublime Unwinding Hours.
Also playing The Warehouse, Aberdeen on Thursday

Conquering Animal Sound, Debutant, Wounded Knee
Friday @ Roxy Art House, Edinburgh / 7pm / £5
Hardly a week goes by where we don't mention a gig by one of these hard-working tunesmiths. Maybe tunesmith is the wrong word, because all three acts like to break conventions however and whenever they can.

Words: Elaine Liddle, Nick Mitchell

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Monday, 8 March 2010

Newsbits: From 'Scottish krautrock' to Tweet music

Mitchell Museum
[Mitchell Museum: set to entertain the Twitterers of Edinburgh]

Tweet music
The Edinburgh Twestival, the capital's meet-up for those who prefer to live their life in 140 characters, has unveiled its musical line-up. Glasgow's madcap experimentalists Mitchell Museum and new Edinburgh outfit Pose Victorious will entertain the iPhone-clutching audience, with DJ sets from George Wallace and members of Idlewild. It takes place on Thursday 25 March at the new Ghillie Dhu venue in the west end of the city. More acts are expected to be announced this week.

And in case you didn't already know, the generous Mitchell Museum are giving away their new EP We Lost First Prize on their new website.

Frabbits burrow through blogosphere
Frightened Rabbit's third album The Winter of Mixed Drinks was unveiled to the world last week, and we've been interested in the way it's been received outside Scotland's cosy bosom. For instance, self-styled Twitter reviewer (and respected rock critic too, it has to be said) Chris Weingarten, tweeted this on his @1000timesyes account: "Arcade Fire-ready hooks, given a lovely new life as Scottish krautrock.#7.5"

And since "Scottish krautrock" only returns 94 hits on Google, it looks as if we have a new genre on our hands.

In other FatCat news, the label's other Scottish high-fliers The Twilight Sad have been announced as main support for Biffy Clyro's UK tour next month, which includes a date at Perth on 29 April.

Silver Columns 'unmasked'
Not since Burial's shadowy presence on the London dub scene has there been so much Guess Who?-style whisperings over an anonymous musician... Silver Columns set tongues a-wagging late last year with their slinky electro beats lighting up Hype Machine's blog barometer. But in case you didn't hear via Twitter, the protagonists behind the project are none other than Fence Collective co-founder Johnny "The Pictish Trail" Lynch and Adem, the man behind the Takes covers album.

The duo have an upcoming 12" single called 'Cavalier' that's due out on 19 April via Moshi Moshi, and with both halves playing Fence Homegame this weekend, we're hoping for an impromptu show in Anstruther.

Peter Bjorn & John - It Don't Move Me (Silver Columns remix)

Belle & Sebastian set for return
Scots twee-pop legends Belle & Sebastian are set to return from their very long hiatus. In a message sent out to their mailing list, the band said that they have been writing new songs in Glasgow recently and are about to head to Los Angeles to record a new album. But if you want to see them live this summer, you'll have to travel, as the only festival dates announced so far are in Scandinavia and Japan - although more could well be added.

Back to the Futureheads
The Futureheads, the forgotten-but-not-gone Sunderland outfit that once broached the Top 40’s upper echelons with a Kate Bush cover will headline The Mills’ (sort of) two-year birthday bash in Glasgow. The shindig takes place in Oran Mor on Thursday, 29 April, with local tune-churners Lions.Chase.Tigers and Admiral Fallow propping up the bill. In just a couple of years The Mill has seen over 200 acts playing stages in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Given how little most of us achieve in our early years – being unable able to go to the bathroom independent of Pampers Ultra and having no vocabulary beyond ‘waaah’ –it’s an impressive feat. Tickets for the night are £5 and can be found here.

Making Tracks
The good people at TenTracks have launched yet more luscious bundles of music for your listening pleasure. For just a pound you can hear ten specially selected tracks (there’s no subtlety in the name, is there?) from Leith Records that includes such esteemed acts as Over the Wall, the 10:04’s and Come On Gang. For another 100 pence you can own a tasty selection of cuts from last month’s wonderful Hidden Door festival, that includes a ‘hidden mic’ piece composed of conversational clips taken throughout the day.

Meursault? More so
Can’t wait until 24 May to get your paws on Meursault’s new longplayer All Creatures Will Make Merry? Well, if you’re attending the launch nights in Glasgow (Captain’s Rest, 7 Apr) or Edinburgh (Cabaret Voltaire, 10 Apr) you’ll be able pick up a sneaky limited edition pre-launch copy if you pre-order at Song By Toad records here. Based on the band’s recent live excursions with Xiu Xiu, ACWMM (how’s that for an acronym...) looks set to be more volumised than Pissing on Bonfires..., with frontman Neil Pennycook describing the sound as ‘epic lo-fi’, which strikes us a bit of an oxymoron. Anyway, on the back of the new album the Auld Reekie quintet will be jetsetting around Europe in the hope of finally getting the acclaim the deserve.

Mark Linkous RIP
In much, much more sombre news, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Mark Linkous committed suicide on Saturday. As the man behind the wonderful Sparklehorse, Linkous released four albums of extraordinary psych-folk. He also produced Daniel Johnston’s 2003 album Fear Yourself and collaborated with Danger Mouse on Dark Night of the Soul. A statement from Linkous’ family said: “It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous, took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you.” A tragically depressing day for music.

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Radar recommends: 27 Feb - 5 March

Copy Haho
[Copy Haho: gigging across Scotland this week]

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

The best...

James Yorkston & the Athletes, The Phantom Band, Alasdair Roberts Trio, Remember Remember
Saturday @ Platform, Glasgow / 7.30pm / £5 (£3)
Forget those woolly jumper clad men with acoustic guitars. No, folk music's cool these days. Just look at this line-up, where Fence troubadour Yorkston shares a billing with Rock Action upstart Remember Remember.

Futuristic Retro Champions, Skitten, Ace City Racers
Saturday @ The 13th Note, Glasgow / 9pm / £tbc
The 'Champs, who also play Edinburgh this week (see below) launch their new EP at this gig. The CDs are apparently designed to look like coloured vinyl, so it's like retro does retro really. Curious? Read an interview with the band here.

White Noise: Dead Boy Robotics, Futuristic Retro Champions
Wednesday @ Electric Circus, Edinburgh / 8pm / £tbc
Chalk and cheese this one, but none the worse for it. Pulsating shards of electronics and drums from duo DBR, while FRC use synths for more poppy pursuits.

The Mill: Stanley Odd, S.Kay
Thursday @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh / 7pm / Free but ticketed
Just this week we lauded Stanley Odd's "thrilling blend of hip hop, indie and funk", and, as if on cue, they appear for a show at The Mill. Are we arbiters of taste or what? (Don't answer that.)

Copy Haho, eagleowl, Debutant
Friday @ Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh / 7pm / £5
Copy Haho also play The Tunnels, Aberdeen on Thursday
Surely the Holy Grail of gig quests this. Why? Not one, not two, but three UtR-featured bands on one bill. So if you don't enjoy at least one then you'd be well within your rights to advise the PCC to shut us down.

John Knox Sex Club
Thursday @ Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow / 9pm / £tbc
Thursday's a sexy day, get your best undies on and head to this party. Have a wee read about your saucy hosts here.

Tango in the Attic
Friday @ Harley's Bar, Bathgate / 8pm / £tbc
Tango and Cash + Cash in the Attic = Tango in the Attic. In reality, this Glenrothes band make fun, upbeat indie-pop.

Local Natives, Peggy Sue
Friday @ King Tut's, Glasgow / 8.30pm / £9
Folking rock again (yes, that is a sweary pun - the best sort). Think Fleet Foxes with ADHD, bright and poppy. With Peggy Sue minus the Pirates it seems.

The Unwinding Hours + Holy Mountain, Olympic Swimmers
Friday @ Stereo, Glasgow / 7pm / £7
Amazing Aereogramme offshoot who recently signed to the much admired Chemikal Underground label and featured here a few months ago. A couple of stellar supports including the brilliant Olympic Swimmers, also featured on UtR last year.

The rest...

Words: Aimi Gold, Nick Mitchell

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Monday, 25 January 2010

Live review: Versus


Thursday 21 January
The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

On-stage hook-ups can have spectacularly varied results. From The Last Waltz to Band Aid to all those carefully brokered festival duets masquerading as spontaneous 'happenings', there have been good, bad and painful examples. But in its short stint Edinburgh’s Versus night has got the concept just about right: thoughtful curation, proper rehearsals, mutual respect and minimum ego.

eagleowlBut tonight in a busy Voodoo Rooms ballroom we aren't plunged head first into a multi-band spectacle, oh no. Instead the artists perform separate mini-sets as a gentle introduction to the daring experimentation to follow. And it doesn’t come much gentler than eagleowl. With the darkened room almost at capacity, it takes a few moments before most attendees notice that the gig is underway, with the Edinburgh band’s brooding post-folk (c.f. every article ever written about them) making a quiet, undramatic entrance. But Bart Owl (pictured, right) gradually pulls focus stage-ward with his transatlantic vocals and understated but purposeful guitar strumming, backed by Clarissa Cheong on double bass.

Oates FieldAlan Oates of Come in Tokyo makes his solo debut as Oates Field (left) next - although he starts this maiden gig unceremoniously, crouched down at the side of the stage where he tinkers with a tattered synth and loop pedals. It all comes together when he steps up and stomps out a rhythm out on the bass drum, adding direction to his ragged folk rock. A seasoned live musician with seemingly scant concern for the occasion, it feels as if you’ve walked in on a private rehearsal in his living room.

There’s no red carpet in sight for tonight’s headliners, Bafta winners Found (below), but they follow Oates without a hint of grand pretentions, dutifully adding their electro-fringed, funk-flecked fare to the night’s rarefied menu.


The Wee RogueAfter only one initial song they vacate the spotlight for the evening’s first special guest, The Wee Rogue (right). Reminding this writer of Mr Tumnus for a weird moment, the skinny, goatee'd Jamie O’Connor then locates himself nearer 60s America than Narnia with his finger-picked guitar and far-sighted delivery of a single “love song”.

A cover of eagleowl’s 'MF' delivered with relish by Oates Field follows, before Found return with a longer exposition of their assured folktronica. Ziggy Campbell pronounces his sabre-sharp lyrics with evident pleasure, while Kev Sim and Tommy Perman forge a torrent of drenched static, zinging FX and chugging bass. For a trio they emit a surprisingly complex, utterly composed sound.

DebutantThere’s an unintentional interval before special guest number two, which Oates fills with a spot of improv comedy, and it’s to Phillip Quirie’s credit that he manages to shrug off Oates' playful jibes about his spaghetti junction of pedals and hooded jumper as he sets up his gear. Once he gets going, Meursault member Quirie, here tonight as Debutant (left), quickly draws the room deep into his shimmering, stormy realm. It’s his second effort, 'Thirst', that emerges as a highlight, not just from his brief set but the whole evening.

From here on in the 'versus' clause comes into full effect, with eagleowl, Found and Oates Field massing on stage as a kind of shambling supergroup, their mission to find new perspectives in each other's songs. For the most part they achieve this; each musician eyeing one other intently, studying the shifts and pauses and showing the kind of cohesion that must have required real preparation. The sedate pace of the eagleowl material benefits from Found’s box of digital tricks, and they consciously alternate between styles, from three-minute crescendos to American radio rock to segments of unrestrained jamming.

Ziggy CampbellBut with so many cooks crowding over the broth pot, at times it does go off the boil. There are at least two songs which fall flat, prompting the less attentive in the audience to restart their (no doubt essential) conversations.

Despite the downturn, the last song of the night, a version of eagleowl’s normally undulating 'Blanket' (but this time driven by a thumping beat straight from the subwoofer of your local boy racer) builds and builds to a magnificent climax, as if to reaffirm that, despite the risks involved, the pay-off on offer with such boundary-pushing is undoubtedly worthwhile.

Whoever they choose for the next Versus will have high standards to uphold.

Words: Nick Mitchell
Photos: Julia Stryj

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Friday, 11 December 2009

Radar recommends: 12 - 18 Dec

The Twilight Sad
[The Twilight Sad: bringing the festive decibels to Edinburgh and Glasgow]

Status Quo are rocking all over Scotland this week (well, Aberdeen and Glasgow to be precise), so surely there's nothing more to be said for live music over the next seven days? What can possibly survive in the wake of the ponytailed rock gods, you ask?

Well, if Francis Rossi & co don't satisfy your cultural appetite (and what's wrong with you?), then you can at least take your pick from this lot...

Luke Leighfield
Wednesday @ The Tunnels / 8pm / £5
Piano-based pop from the globe-trotting 22-year-old, in support of his recently release pay-what-you-like download album Have You Got Heart?
Also playing Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh on Thursday

Findo Gask, Popolo
Saturday @ Dukes Corner / 8pm / £5
Glasgow's deranged electronic pop purveyors ply their trade at the Dukes on Saturday, with support from highly rated Popolo. Bring your dancing shoes.

Dividing the Line, Proceed, Paradian
Sunday @ Dexters / 8pm / £6
A night of screamo-emo action at Dexter's as part of the 'Fezant is Present Tour'. There will be shredding riffs (and shredded fringes).

Trampoline All Day Event: Mitchell Museum, Lyons, Jonnie Common, Debutant, The Scottish Enlightenment, Jill Leighton, Esperi, Lady North, Conquering Animal Sound
Saturday @ Wee Red Bar / 2pm / £5 (£3)
Over the past few months we have recommended no fewer than six of the acts on this all-dayer from Trampoline, so all that's left to say is get down there if you want to hear some of the best new music in Scotland. Simple really.

Hey Enemy, Gatechien, The Fatalists
Monday @ Sneaky Petes / 7pm / £4
Post-punk beats from London's Hey Enemy on tour with twisted French duo Gatechien. Support from local noiseniks The Fatalists
Also at The Tunnels, Aberdeen on Sunday

The Pineapple Chunks, The Leg
Tuesday @ Wee Red Bar / 7pm / free
You'd be hard pressed to find a more gloriously ramshackle, insane gig than this eccentric pairing of Edinburgh bands.

**UtR's gig of the week**
The Twilight Sad
Tuesday @ Voodoo Rooms / 7.30pm / SOLD OUT
Fresh from taking on the USA yet again, the strangely uplifting home-grown miserablists play a pre-Christmas show. If you have a ticket, enjoy, if you don't, too bad.
Also playing Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow on Wednesday

Little Comets
Wednesday @ Cab Vol / 7pm / £7
Recent Columbia signings Little Comets bring their major label alt-pop up the road from Newcastle, with support from local indie-rockers The Debuts.

Pulled Apart By Horses, Taking Chase
Wednesday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £6
Energetic and highly-rated hardcore from Leeds' Pulled Apart By Horses with support from Edinburgh's own melodic rockers Taking Chase. Lots of ruckus in one very small room.

Hardcore Christmas Party: The Colour Pink Is Gay, Corpses, Shields Up, Hey Vampires, Fights & Fires
Friday @ Bannermans / 8pm / £6
Good value hardcore punk rock christmas bonanza featuring some of Scotland's freshest talent, plus Worcester's Fights and Fires.
Also at Nice N Sleazy in Glasgow on Thursday 17th

The Phantom Band, Lord Cutglass, Sparrow and the Workshop
Saturday @ The Arches / 7pm / £10
Chemikal Underground double whammy as the Phantom Band celebrate having one of the albums of 2009 in Checkmate Savage.

Remember Remember, Happy Particles, Cheer
Saturday @ CCA / 8pm / £4
The lovely Remember Remember wants to say Merry Christmas - and how better than to share beautiful looping tinkly tunes in a party with the equally pretty Happy Particles.

eagleowl, Woodenbox, Withered Hand
Monday @ 13th Note / 9pm / £tbc
E(e)agleowl have a very nice new single called 'Sleep the Winter' which they are launching in Glasgow on Monday. Dan of Withered Hand and Ali of Woodenbox are both keeping it solo in their support slots.

Paper Planes, Peter Parker, Symbolics
Thursday @ Pollokshields Burgh Hall / 8pm / £3
Lucky Number Nine and Say Dirty records team up for a Christmas piss-up in the southside - with UtR-loved Paper Planes and added DJ action from Chris 'Beans' Geddes and Andrew 'Divine' Symington.

Panda Su, Kid Canaveral, The Darien Venture, Tokyo Knife Attack
Thursday @ 13th Note / 9pm / £tbc
Those Glasgow PodcART chaps have good taste, eh? And not just because it's similar to ours. Proceeds from this festive frenzy go to the Yorkhill hospital Christmas fund - which should give you a warm seasonal glow.

Big Ned, Nacional, Black Jash, If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now
Friday @ Captain's Rest / 8pm / £1
"Doom'n'roll" Stooges-esque topless cowboy fun from Big Ned, for the Green Door studios birthday bash.

Words: Craig Dickson, Elaine Liddle

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Sunday, 2 August 2009

Radar recommends: 2 - 8 August

Is it us or does the start of the Fringe have a queer butterfly effect on the Scottish gig scene? Quite simply, there's very little that tickles the fancy of our ear canals outside thc capital this week. Still, like the dilligent scamps we are here at UtR, we've unearthed a few corkers amidst this midden o' dross...

Colin Clyne, Eskimo Blonde
Friday @ The Tunnels | 8pm| tbc
Stonehaven's Colin Clyne takes his acoustic-driven indie-pop up the A90 to the bright lights of Aberdeen ahead of a five night run at the Edinburgh Festival. Established local favourites Eskimo Blonde turn out in support.

Bronto Skylift
Saturday @ Café Drummonds | 8pm| tbc
Come for the beats, stay for the tinnitus as Glasgow-based noise rockers Bronto Skylift unleash their aural assault on the Granite City's collective eardrums.

Fudge presents: Eric Euan, Deadloss Superstar, Bloodnut
Saturday @ The Moorings | 8pm | £3
Punk-metallers Deadloss Superstar join post-hardcore upstarts Eric Euan for a night of raucous rock on Aberdeen's dockside. Bloodnut's brand of death 'n' roll, influenced by veteran Swedish death metal outfit Entombed, adds a bit of bite to the undercard.

All Day Event:
The Daze, Peg and the Bouffants, Colour Coded, Tango in the Attic, The New Times, Cha Cha Heels, Lord Luken, The New Tomorrow, The Loose Channels, The Myths, Root System
Sunday @ Doghouse | 5pm| £5
How many bands?! The Doghouse pulls out all the stops to host a shindig of epic proportions, featuring the cream of Tayside's music talent. Though quantity, rather than quality, seems to be the order of the day here, there's more than enough variety to keep even the most discerning muso happy.


The Llama Farm presents: Yahweh, Debutant, The Plastic Animals
Tuesday @ Henry's Cellar Bar | 8pm | £4
Edinburgh's newest gig night may have a Peruvian feel but the ethos is about supporting great local talent. And to prove they're up to the task, they've only gone and booked two of our favourite acts in Yahweh and Debutant, as well as no-fi Edinburgh band The Plastic Animals.

The Ray Summers, The King Hats
Thursday@ Cabaret Voltaire | 7pm | Free
Swamp rock sludging is the name of The Ray Summers' musical game, while The King Hats adopt a more Holy Bible-era Manics approach to melody making.

Woodpigeon, Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers, Rags and Feathers
Friday@ Sneaky Pete's | 7pm | £6.50
Despite Woodpigeon's delicious sonic melee, it's Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers that truly capture the attention at this Edge Festival-affiliated showing.

Trampoline presents The Radiation Line, The Kays Lavelle, Adam Stafford
Friday @ Wee Red Bar | 7pm | £5
The first of Trampoline's August quadruple serves up the exceptional psychedelic babbling of The Radiation Line and a return to the live fore for heroic Edinburgh tunesmiths The Kays Lavelle.

Trampoline presents Jonnie Common, Animal Magic Tricks, Conquering Animal Sounds
Saturday @ Wee Red Bar | 7pm | £5
Small Town Boredom corroborator Jonnie Common spearheads a magnificent triumvirate that also includes the erudite minimalism of Conquering Animal Sounds.

**UtR's Gig of the Week**

Emily Scott, Rob St John
Saturday @ National Portrait Gallery | 5pm | Free
We're always harping on about Rob St John's elegiac mastery here at UtR so this being our gig of the week shouldn't come as much surprise. But the added bonus of Emily Scott's sumptuous tones and the National Portrait Gallery's refined setting transcends this unique showing into a glorious can't be missed extravaganza.

Final Fantasy
Wednesday @ Classic Grand | 8pm | TBC
Not Scottish but still incredible, Polaris Prize-winning troubadour Owen Pallet brings Final Fantasy's demure swoons to the Classic Grand cove.

Silent Front, Super Adventure Club, Shield Your Eyes
Thursday @ Captain's Rest | 8pm | TBC
Super Adventure Club's exhilarating goth-rock-schlock somehow has to play support to two experimental London outfits of very little cop.

Beerjacket, The Seventeenth Century, The Secondhand Marching Band
Saturday @ King Tut's | 7.30pm | £5
Cor, this is a good 'un. Beerjacket's toyish mute-pop is a sound to be cherished, while the prelude of The Seventeenth Century and The Secondhand Marching Band commands equal reverence.

Bronto Skylift
Thursday @ Market Bar | 8pm| tbc
Bronto may have become Radar Recommends regulars over the last few weeks but this show is likely to be amongst the duo's most intense to date, as local lad Niall Strachan brings the noise back home to Inverness. Not to be missed.

Words: Billy Hamilton & Jodi Mullen

Disagree with our choices? Let us know below...

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Friday, 3 July 2009

Tweet Nothings, feat. Edwyn Collins, Errors, My Latest Novel

Can there be a better way to whittle away the hours inside a sweaty tour van than letting the world know your deepest, darkest thoughts in 140 characters? What’s that you say ? Mind-altering chemicals? Lasciviously-intended harlots? MYSPACE? Pah...whatever Grandad. These hipsters ain’t interested in languid cliches: Tweeting is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll. Fact.

So here it is, the Under the Radar segment you’ve been waiting for with baited breath and giddy stomach: Our weekly round-up of your idols’ idle tweets. HUZZAH...

Edwyn Collins is as polite as you’d expect from a New Pop luminary...
@EdwynCollins: “Up late after busy day. Sunday Times interview, Radio 3 The Verb. Very nice man, Ian McMillan. I sang Home Again and gabbed.”

Tango in the Attic scoff in the face of punctuation as they plan a Glenrothes day out...
@tangointheattic: “ Thinking of putting on a bus to PJs on friday from glenrothes if theres enough demand, give us an email or txt if your interested!”

John B McKenna does his bit for the Glasgow tourism industry...
@johnbmckenna: “Last night a man fell asleep in the pub, wouldn’t wake up, so we phoned an ambulance, he woke up, peed on the wall, fell asleep on the wall.”

Debutant gets dizzy over a cholesterol overload that could only ever be acceptable in Scotland...
@debutantmusic: “Fucking yas! Haggis? WIN! Pizza? WIN! Haggis + pizza? WIN WIN! Exclamation marks all round!”

Pragmatism and capitalisation is the name of the game for Findo Gask...
@wearefindogask: “Are practicing hard in order to BE BETTER THAN WE ARE NOW.”

My Latest Novel wholly embrace the joys of Twitter by giving up on rational conversation...
@MyLatestNovel: “The smurf would turn flesh coloured! Can something be flesh coloured? Surely flesh is a composite of tones not a colour?”

Salesmanship is clearly not Dupec’s forte....
@Dupec: “Try out the new hand driers at @cabaretvoltaire at our gig tonight which is FREE entry and cheap bevvy. On at 8.”

Pooch + tweeting + heat = comedy gold...
@poochtheband: “Contemplating wearing icecream.”

Sixpeopleaway get into the Wimbledon swing of things...
@sixpeopleaway: "The faintly robotic & precisely disciplined motions of the ballboys/girls at Wimbledon is starting to freak me out ever so slightly..."

RBRBR go from a web of sound to a web of SPLAT...
"Big old spider in my trainer this morning. Didn't notice until the shoe was on. :-( "

Unicorn Kid is creating his own heatwave...
@UnicornKid: "Played the sweatiest show in Unicorn Kid history tonight! There was at least a pint's worth in my t shirt."

And finally, Errors say what this half of Under the Radar's editorial team has been thinking all week...
@Weareerrors: "
Too actual f*cking hot to do anything. F*ck off sun."

Words: Billy Hamilton (and Twitter)

Musicians of Scotland: Tweet something interesting/funny/newsworthy this week and you too could feature in Tweet Nothings. Just think how proud your Mum will be.

Spotted any other tweeting gems we've missed out on? Share your favourite weekly tweets with us below...

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Saturday, 20 June 2009

Tweet nothings, feat. Camera Obscura, Dananananaykroyd, The Twilight Sad

Tweet Nothings
With the world living in a nutshell of 140 character statements, getting to the good stuff can be a laborious chore - particularly if, like us, your mum has posted her 1000th account of the cat's bowel movements. But never fear dear reader, we here at UtR have sifted through the Twitter tripe to bring to you an essential weekly round-up of your favourite musical miscreants' idle-thumbed tweets....

Camera Obscura get narcissistic regret...
@camera_obscura: "so. watching yourself on telly is like watching yourself on youtube or looking in the mirror. but worse."

A less than explanatory Dananananaykroyd say adios to bassist Laura...
@dananananaykroy: "Eh, aye, so.. yeah."

The mighty Cancel The Astronauts get some overdue media lovin'...
@canceltheastros: "Tom Robinson's playing us on BBC Introducing tonight! And Steve Lamacq's playing a clip of Fanclub on his show. On Radio 1. That's mental."

Debutant slowly fathoms Twitter and all its meaningless glory...
@debutantmusic: "Twitter confuses me. I wish I was more technology savvy. How do I direct a tweet at a particular person? Technology really is wasted on me".

Best web 2.0-speak ramble of the week comes from Findo Gask...
@wearefindogask: "Hey internet ppz, practice today was an "EPIC FAIL". Hilariously graceless reworks of popular rock songs then sausages".

Edinburgh's The Banana Sessions look for some fee-less PR...
@bananasessions: "We need some snappy way to describe what we sound like... Any suggestions? Multi genre hybrids allowed. Answers on a tweet...".

Pooch give us a fascinating insight into to the culinary habits of a disco-punk band:
@poochtheband: "Having pizza before playin sleazys...roddy + steve have used 'my dad rocks' half price vouchers. Not enjoying being a wife!"

We Are The Physics take the tone down...
@wearethephysics:"We're all going round to Michaelguitar's house tonight to record a song about dildonics. We'll let you know the euphoric results".

While The Twilight Sad find themselves pigeonholed in the UK's biggest weekly music rag...
@thetwilightsad: "
the nme describe us as "awe-metal" and say our epic angst comes from "the fear of cocktail parties or of group oral sex."

to which the Twilight boys retort...
@thetwilightsad: "
we're big fans of both "cocktail parties" and "group oral sex."

And finally...

To fuzz, or not to fuzz? That was RBRBR's dilemma of the week...
Sorry, in a band of 5, would a fourth beard be a beard too many?"

Words: Billy Hamilton (and Twitter)

Spotted any other tweeting gems we've missed out on? Share your favourite weekly tweets with us below...

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Monday, 15 June 2009

On the radar: Debutant


Play: Thirst

The DIY ethos isn't just about buying bathroom fittings from B&Q. It's also being taken to heart by some of Scotland's most interesting new artists. Cynics might say that it boils down to the fact that a record label isn't willing to do the dirty work for them, but in truth, a new wave of bands who aren't just chasing a record deal are injecting a shot of vitality into Scottish music.

No-one appreciates this more than Phillip Quirie, an Aberdonian who goes by the stage name Debutant. "I'm very interested in musicians and bands who take things into their own hands and don't just wait for things to 'happen' for them," he says. "The whole DIY ethos is something I am hugely influenced by and relate to. I just go out there and get on with it. I've been very fortunate to meet and befriend a handful of like-minded fellow musicians during my time on the road so far, and these people are some of my biggest friends and influences."

Debutant started out as a bedroom recording project for Phillip in late 2007, and since then he has been generating much admiration in his home town and beyond for what he calls his "shimmering, atmospheric one-man dream-pop soundscapes."

Influenced by a leftfield range of artists that includes Eluvium, Slowdive and Mogwai, Debutant is the latest exponent of the loop pedal, which Phillip uses to stunning effect to create glacial, transcendent post-rock that almost seems to slow your pulse and raise hairs on your neck. Like recent UtR-featured act The Japanese War Effort, the loop effect can reap rich rewards for a solo act like Debutant.

"It's often been said to me that it's impressive how 'big' one man can sound with just a guitar in his hands and a microphone at his mouth," Phillip says. "But I owe a lot of that to my trusted loop-pedal. I think one of the main things that sets apart the Debutant stuff is that it underlines the fact that music doesn't necessarily have to be complex, difficult or technical in order to sound good. For me, listening to music can be a very emotional experience and so long as my music conveys that to other people, then it need not be technical or complex – merely simple and effective."

Phillip is planning to relocate to Edinburgh in the summer, and he has mixed feelings about the music scene in Aberdeen. "Like all scenes, it has more than it's fair share of average, poor or irrelevant bands and artists, but there are also some extremely talented musicians in the city who receive embarrassingly little coverage from the national media," he says. "However, on the flip side of this, it could be argued that the scene in Aberdeen doesn't really merit any attention from the media because the scene itself is a bit stale - there is a severe lack of cohesion and support amongst many of the bands.

He continues: "Bands and musicians don't generally seem to attend gigs by other local musicians on a regular basis, so friendships are difficult to strike up and maintain. In fact, if anything, I always feel like there is a sense of competition amongst some of the local bands and it's often quite upsetting - people get so wrapped up in their own musical output that they fail to support or recognise others'."

In Edinburgh Phillip may find a more receptive DIY scene for his music. Conscious of the fact that more people are starting to take notice, he's also planning to record an EP over the summer and is plotting a UK tour in October. Record labels? Who needs 'em?

Watch Debutant live at the following dates:

16 Jun @ The Tunnels, Aberdeen (with Viking Moses, Golden Ghost)
6 Jul @ The 13th Note, Glasgow (We Sink Ships exhibition launch)
29 Aug @ Botanic Gardens, Dundee (n_ilk Festival)
16 Oct @ Market Bar, Inverness (with Esperi)
Check the MySpace for further tour details

Play: Means to an End

Words: Nick Mitchell

What do you think of Debutant and the Aberdeen music scene? Discuss...

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