Monday, 29 March 2010

Newsbits: End o' Findo, Fanclub return, Astros freebie, Swimmer One album

Findo Gask
[Findo Gask at T in the Park '09 - photo by Su Anderson]

Findo Gask call it a day
We heard a rumour about this from one of our Glasgow writers a few weeks ago but we didn't want to believe it. Alas, it turns out to be true: Findo Gask, purveyors of perfect electro-pop, have turned off their synths for the last time. A blog on their MySpace reads: "It has come to an end, or at least it will have done pretty soon. The tyres were shot out a while ago, the engine is kaput, and we're slowly coasting to a stand still. Before that happens, we will finish the album we should have finished ages ago." Findo were real highlights at Homegame recently (twice), so it's surprising and sad to see them go. Awrabest.

Fannies plot their return
They might have outgrown their own name, but perennial indie favourites Teenage Fanclub have announced details and tracklisting of their long-awaited ninth album. It's called Shadows and is released on 31 May. A preview of the track 'Baby Lee' is streaming on their official website. Let us know what you think below...

Astronauts re-launch Fanclub EP
Fresh from their showing at yesterday’s Haddow Fest, indie-urchins Cancel The Astronauts have announced that last year’s superlative-inducing EP, I Am The President Of Your Fanclub (And Last Night I Followed You Home) is available as a free download. The band’s joyful philanthropy whets our already eager palate in anticipation of their soon to be released follow-up EP, which if recent shows are anything to go by is bound to be a another glorious slab of hip-swivelling pop-picking. Get your paws on said EP here.

Swimmer One front crawl into fore
Esoteric synth-poppers Swimmer One are set to return with a new record, the chirpily titled Dead Orchestras. The follow-up to 2008’s persuasive Regional Variations – a record one UtR hack described as “captivating to the point of hypnosis” - is released through local label Biophonic Records and enters the musical stratosphere on 31May. According to the press release it’s an album that “finds room for both a 12-minute, three-part pop symphony and a simple, two-minute acoustic lament. It is even a concept album, of sorts, a collection of songs about the things we leave behind when we're gone - as parents, as lovers, and as a species". Now that's what we call avant-garde.

And finally...
Last week we forewarned you of some news of our own. Check back here tomorrow and all will be revealed.

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

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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Under the Radar podcast #7

Podcast #7It was looking like it might never happen, but finally we have recorded our first podcast of 2010.

Two months away from the microphone has rendered some of our chat slightly nonsensical (what's new?), but the standard of music on this podcast is probably the best so far...

We were fans of The Japanese War Effort from the first time we saw him play at the erstwhile Bowery venue last year, and we open on 'Usain Bolt', taken from his new LP, I Will Leave You Now, And Two Loudspeakers Will Take My Place. The fastest man alive should be proud.

Another act to have graced this blog are The Unwinding Hours, the new band comprising one half of Aereogramme, and from their self-titled debut album we've chosen the spine-tinglingly epic 'Tightrope'.

We also turn our attention to this weekend's main event, the Fence Collective's annual Homegame festival in Anstruther, Fife. In anticipation of three days and nights of crammed pubs, fish suppers and maybe even the odd bit of music, we've got tracks from a trio of acts on this year's bill: Django Django, Findo Gask and Silver Columns.

And that's not all. There's more tuneage from the sickeningly talented Miaoux Miaoux and the ethereal Call To Mind (both of whom have new EPs on the way), as well as the obligatory 6 Music post-match analysis.

Hope you enjoy, and, as ever, let us know what you think below...

Play: Podcast #7

Running order:
00:00: The Japanese War Effort - Usain Bolt
04:04: The Unwinding Hours - Tightrope
08:58: Django Django - Storm
14:59: Findo Gask - Va Va Va
18:42: Silver Columns - Brow Beaten
25:10: Miaoux Miaoux - Dream On
34:02: Call To Mind - Breathe Pt. 1

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Podcast: Billy Hamilton, Nick Mitchell

Previous UtR podcasts

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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

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

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Friday, 20 November 2009

Radar recommends: 20 - 26 Nov

Findo Gask
[Findo Gask: bringing their own version of Crufts to Sleazy's on Saturday]

If you live in certain parts of the country, venturing out to a gig is probably the last thing on your agenda, nevermind the fact that you'd need to build some kind of Noah's Arc contraption to go anywhere. But for the rest of us, if you don't mind the whipping wind and lashing rain (and living in Scotland you should be used to it by now) here's this week's gig guide...


The Slipper Room – Mr Choade’s Wild Ride
Monday @ The Tunnels / 8pm / £5
Something a bit different for Aberdeen on a Monday night. The driving force behind the New York Burlesque scene brings a house band made up of members of Belle & Sebastien, the Vaselines and Teenage Fanclub.

Bo Ningen, Amber Pilot, Sarah J Tingle
Wednesday @ The Tunnels / 8pm / £5
Japanese punk rock that The Observer once described as being somewhere between wolves and Nintendo. Supported ably by the quite exciting Amber Pilot and the brilliantly versatile Sarah J Tingle.

Fat Hippy Showcase
Friday @ Café Drummonds / 7.30pm / £3
Local label Fat Hippy put on another night of local talent made up of acts on their roster or who’ve impressed them suitably when using their fine recording studio. Hardest working man in Aberdeen and possessor of a fine voice Nicky Powell headlines with support from Turning 13 and the Marionettes.


Charity Baw
Saturday @ Roxy Art House / 7pm / £10
Raising more cash for Oxfam, this packed line-up of talent includes The Real Tuesday Weld, Aberfeldy, Withered Hand, The Parsonage, Come On Gang!, Big Ned, Little Eskimos and Benni Hemm Hemm. Radio 1's Vic Galloway, The Pictish Trail, On the Fly and Paul Vickers will be DJing. Optional fancy dress theme: Ball Boys and Belles of the Ball.

Field Music, Snide Rhythms, Epic 26
Sunday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £6.50
Acclaimed experimental indie from North East England.
Also playing Captain's Rest, Glasgow on Saturday.

Good Shoes, Copy Haho, Jesus H Foxx
Thursday @ Electric Circus / 7pm / £8
Copy Haho are cadging a lift around the UK from this London band in November, and for their Edinburgh show they've booked recent UtR stars Jesus H Foxx.
Also playing King Tuts, Glasgow on Tuesday.

Futuristic Retro Champions, Vendor Defendor, Death Trap City
Friday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £4
Brighten up your Freitag with indie-pop from the headlining Champs.

Tango in the Attic, Pose Victorious
Friday @ Cabaret Voltaire / 7pm / £5
Upbeat indie-pop in the vein of Vampire Weekend - with Fife accents.


**UtR's gig of the week**
Crufts: Yellow Magic Orchestra Tribute
Saturday @ Nice'n'Sleazy / 7.30pm / £tbc
Findo Gask's residency pays homage to the Japanese act, with sets from UtR favourite Tokyo Knife Attack and Adult Emergency.

Aurora Stands In Snow, Conquering Animal Sound
Saturday @ The 13th Note / 9pm / £tbc
If you missed their early and curtailed Oxjam show, here's a chance to get acquainted with the understated allure of Conquering Animal Sound. Aurora Stands In Snow seem to be kindred spirits, judging by their MySpace.

The Little Kicks
Sunday @ Nice'n'Sleazy / 7.30pm / £tbc
Aberdonian indie-pop band who we recently interviewed on our Oxjam podcast while inebriated.

Burnt Island, Rick Redbeard, The Starlets, Autistic Angus
Thursday @ Captain's Rest / 8pm / £tbc
No, their not a tribute to the Fife seaside town. They're the band fronted by novelist Rodge Glass. Support from Phantom Band singer Rick Redbeard and a mystery act with a very un-PC name.

The Pastels, 1990s, Golden Grrrls
Friday @ King Tuts / 8.30pm / £12.50
Glasgow indie stalwarts bring their twee fare to Tuts.

Words: Nick Mitchell, Andrew Learmonth

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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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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Radar recommends: 13 - 19 Sep

Findo Gask
[Findo Gask at Sleazy's on Saturday: "Imagine Crufts but with just men"]

It doesn't really come under our purview (a Malcolm Tucker reference there folks), but last week we mentioned a certain midweek football game. So we should probably let all you sports-hating music fans know what happened.

Scotland lost - in that valiant, heads-held-high style of losing we specialize in. And now with nothing but the depressing prospect of two big Glasgow teams battering wee diddy teams week in week out for the next year, at least we can console ourselves with plenty of live music...

Hip Parade, Colour Coded, The New Times
Friday @ Fat Sam's / 8pm / £6
Tabloid-friendly rock schlock. Not exactly recommended but the good people of Dundee need something.

Jeremy Jay, Tissø Lake, The Colourful Band
Monday @ The Bowery / 7pm / £7
Californian Jeremy Jay does the whole frail-voiced, affirming thing, and does it very well.

Second Hand Marching Band, Withered Hand, Wounded Knee
Wednesday @ Wee Red Bar / 7.30pm / £4 (£3)
One question arises from this: how do you fit Scotland's biggest indie marching band into the Wee Red Bar? Turn up to find out, and witness two of Edinburgh's most interesting songwriters in support.

Banjo or Freakout, Dead Boy Robotics
Friday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £5
London-based Italian Alessio Natalizia goes by the name of Banjo or Freakout and does lo-fi covers of Burial and LCD Soundsystem. DBR need no introduction to readers of this blog.

Gang Of Four
Friday @ HMV Picture House / 7pm / £18.50
The original post-punk iconoclasts return. Well, half of them do anyway, to play their best album, Entertainment! Also playing ABC, Glasgow on Saturday.

Emily Scott, Beerjacket, Julia and the Doogans
Saturday @ Wee Red Bar / 7.30pm / £7
Trampoline presents a night of stellar acoustic talent, with UtR-tipped Emily Scott and Beerjacket, plus the moonlit lullabies of Julia and the Doogans.

The OK Social Club, Black Alley Screens, Sebastian Dangerfield
Saturday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £5
Scuzzy indie rock from The OK Social Club, with local support.

Brother Louis Collective
Monday @ Capitol / 7pm / £tbc
Please your ears by getting them near this orchestral-pop marvel. Featured a few weeks ago right here; check it.

Theoretical Girl, Tango in the Attic
Monday @ Captains Rest / 8pm / £5
Posh sounding chamber-pop hottie swims up from London to hook up with a few boys from Glenrothes. Sounds like a match made in personal ad heaven.

Aidez Moi, Cursive Hearts, Clear Air Turbulence
Tuesday @ Nice'n'Sleazy / 7.30pm / £4
Keyboard-wielding, electro-loving, post-industrial Aidez Moi - describe them however you like and enjoy the pop tunes.

Clara Belle, Earl Grey & The Loose Leaves, D Bass Collective
Wednesday @ Nice'n'Sleazy / 7.30pm / £tbc
Scottish/Japanese Clara Belle's sweet voice captures the heart with delicate melodies strummed along by ukelele. Expect things to get jazzy with tea-obsessed Earl Grey and multi-member D Bass Collective.

Codeine Velvet Club
Wednesday @ Classic Grand / 7.30pm / £8
Jon Fratelli takes time from his day-job and pairs up with cabaret-loving singer and Glasgow Club Noir regular Lou Hickey.

Times New Viking, Copy Haho, Mellifluous, Surreal Knights
Thursday @ Nice'n'Sleazy / 7.30pm / £7
Fuzzy, loud and fun lo-fi rock from Ohio's Times New Viking perfectly complemented by indie/pop fun from Copy Haho.

Cassidy, Three Blind Wolves, Paper Planes
Thursday @ Oran Mor / 6pm / Free

They've got wood; and they're not afraid to use it. All acoustic four piece joined by a couple of Glasgow's darlings. FYInteresting information, Three Blind Wolves were formally Ross Clark and the Scarfs Go Missing.

Sugar Crisis
Thursday @ The Apple Store / 7pm / Free
Glasgow duo Sugar Crisis offer a taste of their sweeter than sweet electro-pop (think Bis but even more hyper) with this free in-store gig.

Come on Gang!
Thursday @ Captains Rest / 8pm / £tbc
Come on then! What are you waiting for? Like you have anything better to do on a Thursday night than get a little closer to this sexy three-piece.

Zoey Van Goey
Friday @ Oran Mor / 7pm / £6
Recent Chemikal Underground signings Zoey Van Goey play from their acclaimed debut album.

Charlotte Hatherley
Friday @ King Tuts / 7pm / £7
Out of the Ashes... hmmm... might just stay well clear of that pun. Sometime Bat for Lashes guitarist, multi-instrumentalist brings it to Glasgow solo-style.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band, The Declining Winter, Second Hand Marching Band, Burnt Island
Friday @ Captain's Rest / 7.30pm / £5
The live arm of Is This Music? returns with New York's Phenomenal Handclap Band, plus UtR favourites the Second Hand Marching Band and the melodic Burnt Island, a musical venture from author Rodge Glass.

Our Lunar Activities
Saturday @ King Tuts / 8pm / £5
Placebo rip off or not Placebo rip off, if you have yet to see this band you should. Even if it's just for the plain fact that they have been around for so long.

Boycotts, The King Hats, Popolo
Saturday @ Captains Rest / 8pm / £tbc
Boycotts are celebrating a birthday and everyone's invited. If you want to see the best new music from Scotland get there sharp.

Stereo Open Day: Correcto, Jacob Yates & the Pearly Gate Lockpickers, Tut Vu Vu, DeSalvo, Fox Gut Daata, Gummy Stumps, Furhood, Schnapps, Peter Parker, Chlorinide and Nanobots
Saturday @ Stereo / 3pm / £5
With this lineup, Stereo and organisers Huntleys & Palmers Audio Club are really spoiling us. All day sharp post-punk/"Doom wop"/screamy masked terror/MCs/rock'n'roll/etc fun for a bargain price.

Sounds in the Sububs: The State Broadcasters and Vinny Peculiar
Saturday @ The Woodend Tennis and Bowling Club / 8pm / £7
This Jordanhill venue might be out of the way but it's worth the trip to hear this Americana-inspired six-piece, playing from debut album The Ship and The Iceberg.

**UtR's gig of the week**
Crufts #1: Findo Gask, The Happy Particles, Popolo
Saturday @ Nice'n'Sleazy / 7.30pm / £4
Former UtR guest bloggers Findo Gask present the first of four monthly nights at Sleazy's. Members of Remember Remember, Stapleton and Simplestorm make up The Happy Particles and UtR-tipped Popolo join the bill. Top dog.

Words: Elaine Liddle, Aimi Gold, Nick Mitchell

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

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Friday, 28 August 2009

This week we have been mostly listening to...

Ordinary Allstars – I See

The Ordinary AllstarsHaving spent the last few days trying to make a podcast out of Scottish hip hop acts, we realised how little there were around worth playing. This makes the Ordinary Allstars all the more remarkable, as this track can hold its own in any company. With raspy vocals and slick production, MC Hasta and the troops have pulled off something rare – quality Scottish hip hop.

MySpace / UtR profile

Stevie Kearney

Roddy Hart - Dead of the Night

Roddy HartThe trouble with iTunes (oh, insert your computer-based music management system of choice) is that you have a tendency to add tracks and forget all about them until they pop up in shuffle mode one day. It took me a long time to place this slice of summery guitar-pop, because the last time I came across Roddy Hart he was playing a weekly acoustic Americana session in a Glasgow pub. If 'Dead of the Night' is anything to go by, second album Sign Language (due October) is going to be a stonker.


Lisa-Marie Ferla

Money Can't Buy Music – Thunder + Lightning

Money Can't Buy MusicA couple of weeks ago an album by a duo called Money Can't Buy Music winged its way onto the UtR desk. Whether the name is a knowing stab at the heart of the record industry or an attempt to put music on some kind of artistic pedestal is anyone's guess, but what is noteworthy here is that one half of MCBM is Gordon McIntrye of Edinburgh indie veterans ballboy. The album is a gentle thrum of autumnal soundscapes and brittle drums, while McIntyre - joined by Swedish singer Maja Mångård - observes Edinburgh life from his own detatched but curious stance.


Nick Mitchell

And So I Watch You From Afar - Set Guitars to Kill

ASIWYFAThey may not be Scottish but I was lucky enough to catch Belfast-based math-rock juggernaut And So I Watch You From Afar at Sneaky Pete's in Edinburgh last weekend and was utterly blown away. The studio version of 'Set Guitars to Kill' doesn't nearly do justice to ASIWYFA's jaw-dropping live performance but it's still an absolute belter of a track.


Jodi Mullen

The Foundling Wheel - Mixed Minds and Missteps

The Foundling WheelSome weeks were made for The Foundling Wheel - this was most definitely one of them. With its pulsing drum undercurrent and peel of melting chimes, 'Mixed Minds and Missteps' catered for every vicissitude in the wayard roller coaster that was the last seven days. Played loud, it’s one of the most furious, grey-matter gnawing booms to emerge from Edinburgh in the last few years. But, de-volumised, a delicate tapestry of melody emerges that tugs heart strings and dampens tear ducts. Climaxing with a cacophonous flush of keys and beats, its one of those cuts that just makes everything better.


Billy Hamilton

What have you been mostly listening to this week? Tell us below...

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Thursday, 16 July 2009

Findo Gask at T in the Park

Findo Gask
[Findo Gask singer Gerard Black at TitP. Picture: Su Anderson]

After being thoroughly impressed with Findo Gask's early afternoon show on the BBC Introducing stage on Sunday at T in the Park (see below for review), Billy Hamilton and Nick Mitchell sneaked backstage for a pint and a chat with the band, where they gave us an insight into all things Findo...

Audio: Findo Gask interview, after their T in the Park set

Findo Gask's T in the Park diary

Wake up at 8am, in the van by 9, taps aff by 10. It's the T way. The seatbelts quickly become all slippery with Findo anticipation. We're drinking whisky out of a coke bottle in the staff car park long before the afternoon has started. Not too much mind, I have indigestion from nerves, no breakfast and the sickly stench of urine fogging the atmosphere. We load in and set up with maximum ease – there are stage hands and engineers swamping the floor of the BBC Introducing stage. You could get used to this sort of treatment.

The show isn't perfect but we still leave the stage buoyed by our performance. There's a couple of interviews to conduct afterward, each executed with a respectably small amount of nervy self-consciousness.

It's still very early in the afternoon by the time we head out to watch some music. The clouds disperse and the sun peeps out, radiating unreservedly as we share familiar patter with familiar faces.

The highlights come towards the end of the day. The Pet Shop Boys really are spectacular. Their stage show is unparalleled, it is one of the most cleverly designed and choreographed shows I've ever seen. It's also surely one of the gayest things ever performed. Brilliant. We grin like idiots and gulp down sangria. Mogwai are on afterwards. The tent is much quieter but every individual there seems locked-in to the stage. The sound is awesome, their sound is awesome. It is a renewal of vows for me, a reminder of why I used to wet my pants over their records, a promise that I'll do it again.

We're back at the van as the fireworks go off, taps well and truly on. Kincardine, Cumbernauld, finally Glasgow and bed. Only 363 days to go till next year.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

T in the Park review: Sunday

[Sunday in pictures, by Su Anderson; music by Findo Gask]

Saturday was a hard act to follow with great shows from Broken Records, Bronto Skylift and Young Fathers, but Sunday did not disappoint as UtR returned to an over-populated airfield in Balado. If only we could work the waterproof poncho look...

Findo Gask
BBC Introducing Stage, 12.30pm

Findo GaskSunday’s opening act on the BBC Introducing stage is a sight for sore eyes and a sound for cold ears. Led to the fore by luminously attired frontman Gerard Black, Findo Gask’s melody-stained motifs brilliantly shake away the day’s rain-sopped inception.

The zig-zagging splendour of Korg and percussion emanating from this nerdish quartet has a bulging crowd jigging from the off; with tracks like 'Go Faster Stripe' and 'Va Va Va' revisiting the gleeful slurps of jangle-friendly vanguards Orange Juice.

But where Edwyn and co glossed up a distinctly New Pop finish, Findo Gask fashion out demented sonic lightning bolts that sound equally at home on the moshpit of a muddy field as they do an indiekid’s darkened bedroom.

Pirouetting across the stage one final time, Black bows his head to a bluster of clapped hands. If they maintain this heady momentum, there’ll be much, much more to follow. [BH]

Barn Owl
T Break Stage, 12.50pm

Barn Owl's shimmering, melancholic indie rock is the perfect accompaniment to a dreary and hungover Sunday afternoon at T in the Park. That said, with the heavens pouring down outside, it's not entirely clear which is the bigger draw: the band themselves or the sheltered confines of the T Break Tent.

Either way, Barn Owl take it in their stride, delivering a dreamy and gentle set to a chilled out crowd. Occasionally, the Glasgow five-piece meander into a soaring chorus, slightly reminiscent of latter-day Idlewild, but calm is soon restored and we return to emotive minor chord progressions, accompanied by rich and resonant percussion.

Indeed, Barn Owl's elaborate percussion ensemble is one the more intriguing aspects of the performance, a collection of bells, chimes and xylophones adding a wistful, ethereal dimension to their sound. As the set draws to a close, the clouds outside finally break, revealing a thin crack of blue sky.

But, even as the sun makes a fleeting appearance, still the punters try to push their way inside the packed tent. It seems Barn Owl don't need the Scottish weather's help to fill the canvas arena after all. [JM]

Tango in the Attic
T Break Stage, 1.30pm

Tango in the AtticEvery year there is one T Break band who do the pre-show legwork to ensure they're not playing to a wind-whipped, half-empty tent. Judging by the discarded flyers that litter the ground, the makeshift banners held aloft and the fans clad in branded t-shirts, this year that band is Tango in the Attic.

But at least the chirpy Fifers repay the sizeable crowd they have amassed with an energetic performance of their sun-flecked guitar pop grooves. Embellishing the standard garage rock set-up with an antique organ and sax, the smiling quintet belie their band-next-door image with tightly-coiled, sonically distinctive jams.

When they kick into the double-speed, Vampire Weekend-esque beat of 'Blunderground', their branded fans go wild with the kind of enthusiasm that no exhaustive marketing could inspire. [NM]

The Twilight Sad
BBC Introducing Stage, 2pm

DananananaykroydIt's slightly ironic that the sun breaks out over Balado and the rain finally stops as The Twilight Sad begin their show at the BBC's Introducing stage. The hyped Kilsyth band make the kind of brooding rock that's more apt to soundtrack rolling thunderclouds than blazing sunrays.

But any contextual niggles are soon rendered irrelevant as the band launch into one of their best, albeit briefest, live shows in recent memory.

In a half-hour set it seems daft to select highlights, but 'I Became a Prostitute', the disturbingly primal new single from their upcoming album, is undoubtedly it, closely followed by traditional set-closer 'And She Would Darken the Memory'.

Before they leave singer James Graham jokes, "What the f*** are ye daein' here? The Saturdays are on!" Evidently some T in the Parkers still value good music over good looks. [NM]

We Were Promised Jetpacks
T Break Stage, 6.40pm

It can be a challenge for bands in the T Break tent to do anything more than give the audience a taster of their burgeoning opus in the alloted 30 minute slot. But when fast-rising Edinburgh-via-Glasgow band We Were Promised Jetpacks inspire a mass of sweaty kineticism and unprovoked clapping, it feels like an occasion.

It's not that the cherub-faced four-piece do anything special to rouse the 1,000-odd folk in attendance. But then they don't need to, because their rough-edged, propulsive indie-rock is performed with such effortless gusto and untamed aggression that you can't help but be taken along for the ride.

Like most of the tracks from recent debut album These Four Walls, 'Thunder and Lightning' has added drama today, and when they launch into 'Quiet Little Voices', it really does feel like a T in the Park moment that will live long in the memory. [NM]

BBC Introducing, 8pm

DananananaykroydScotland's most ridiculously named band need little introduction to native audiences after blazing a path across the country with their anarchic gigs over the past few years. But to anyone stumbling across them for the first time, this was a fitting first encounter.

Boasting two drummers, two guitarists and two singers at various points in their set, the now all-male Glasgow group (having dropped bassist Laura) are an assault on the senses, albeit a non-threatening one.

Because when they ask two halves of the audience to part and run towards each other, the goal is not a 'Wall of Death' but a 'Wall of Cuddles'. Perhaps unaccustomed to trying this out on such a tightly packed crowd, this time it results in half the onlookers falling like dominos before laughingly helping each other up.

While their debut album Hey Everyone can be a trying listen, Dananana... are designed to be experienced up, close and personal, and with their endless crowdsurfing and cuddling, it doesn't get much more personal than this. [NM]

Words: Nick Mitchell, Billy Hamilton, Jodi Mullen

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Thursday, 9 July 2009

T in the Park: 10 essential acts

Findo Gask
[Findo Gask: BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday]

It's that time of year again. The time when 80,000 singing, drinking, welly-booted, fluorescent, sunburnt, hat wearing punters - and perhaps even a few music fans - converge on a disused airstrip near Kinross.

And while it's not everyone's cup of T, Scotland's biggest music festival is so - well - big, that even the most discerning muso can plot an entertaining path through the line-up. You just have to know where to look.

This week we've introduced you to four bands who we'll be watching at Balado: Barn Owl, Tango in the Attic, Trapped in Kansas and Bronto Skylift. But that barely scratches the surface, so while you're dusting down your tent and packing your wet wipes, have a listen to a few more must-see acts...

Dead Boy Robotics
T Break Stage, Friday

"Bound by the idea of making guitars squeal like Gameboys, the duo have rapidly escalated from late night drone to melody laced avant-gardism and cemented themselves as one of the capital's most alluring live spectacles."

Ming Ming & The Ching Chings
T Break Stage, Friday

"Orchestrated by Craig Wilson’s howling shrill, Ming Ming fuse the visceral horror-schlock stomping of The Cramps with Josef K’s iconoclastic rumbling to produce a sound that’s rawer than an acid burn laceration."

Broken Records
BBC Introducing, Saturday

"Bastions of Edinburgh's bulbous music scene, the baroque-swaying Broken Records get back to the nitty gritty of the live domain, tautening up new numbers and bellowing out old faithfuls."

T Break Stage, Saturday

"Heavy rock with a melodic sensibility, this band are starting to make waves in Scotland's hardcore rock community"

Paper Planes
T Break Stage, Sunday

"Their style draws heavily on a wide spectrum of Yankee sounds, from the elemental pop of the 1960s to wild alt-rock via drawling outlaw country, all energised with propulsive rhythms."

Unicorn Kid
BBC Introducing Stage, Saturday

"17-year-old Oliver Sabin is the epitome of the bedroom DJ, except he also has a nationwide and American tour lined up and is fast becoming a worldwide hit with his ringtone-friendly electro-pop."

Findo Gask
BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday

"Formed just two years ago, the band have indented the Scottish music scene with smoulders of zigzagging electronica and Indie-Pop melodies."

The Twilight Sad
BBC Introducing Stage, Sunday

"...chasmal atmospherics reverberating to the shrill of ruminative guitars and James Graham’s strangulating crow."

We Were Promised Jetpacks
T Break Stage, Sunday

"Formed in Edinburgh but switching to Glasgow, they blend post-rock with folk-flecked tendencies and even the jagged angst of Biffy Clyro to create a full-on noise best experienced live."

My Cousin I Bid You Farewell
T Break Stage, Sunday

"Reminiscent of Arcade Fire with undertones of Bruce Springsteen, MCIBYF's haunting darkness adds to these influences and it just works."

A few of us Under the Radar bloggers will be at T in the Park this weekend, trying our best to fit in some live music between all the interview chasing, video editing and bar queueing. You can keep up with all the coverage on the blog or at

And if you've not got a ticket and all this preview stuff is driving you mad, we'll have a wee guide of what brave souls have dared to stage a gig elsewhere in Scotland this weekend...

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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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Friday, 24 April 2009

On the radar: Findo Gask

Findo Gask

There’s a general consensus that Glasgow quartet Findo Gask are a band on the brink. But just what they’re on the brink of depends entirely on your own predilections.

For the luddites, their Casiotone-skittered kaleidoscopes border on irksome pastiche; too cluttered and hyperactive to ever make the grade. Yet, more dynamic sorts [and you can count UtR amongst them] believe the group’s transcendental Poptronica is ready to perforate the lugholes of the unassuming UK public.

Ever the progressives, Findo Gask are already setting out a plan to bridge the divide: “We hope our music has the potential to be liked by a wide range of people despite its strangeness - a top ten hit would be the icing on the cake,” says bassist Gregory Williams.

Play: Findo Gask - One Eight Zero

Formed just two years ago, the band have indented the Scottish music scene with smoulders of zigzagging electronica and Indie-Pop melodies. Their debut single, the thrilling algorithmic hip shaker 'Va Va Va', was an instant classic, with Radio 2 luminaries Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie decreeing it “astonishingly good.” High praise, indeed.

So what makes Findo Gask stand out from today’s identikit tunesmugglers with a penchant for synthesisers? “As Gavin [Thomson – Keyboards] once said, it's about going to the periphery of music and bringing ideas back to the middle,” explains Williams. “We try to use diverse sets of sounds to squeeze a lot of ideas into what is essentially pop music. We hope that this characterizes the music as innovative.”

The vibrant illumination of Findo Gask’s sound is reminiscent of a modern day Orange Juice, but underneath this feel good sensibility lurks an ear for meticulous compositions: “The Beach Boys have been an inspiration to us in terms of song-writing and arrangement," says Williams. "Brian Wilson's harmonic intuition combines wonderfully with his ability to make melodies both complex and immediately accessible...We like to think our music can do a lot of different things between out and out banging to soft and tender.”

And variety is exactly what Findo Gask offer. Not only are they traders in delectable Electro-Pop ditties, but they also do a mean sideline in club friendly remixes, notably jiving up cuts for Bloc Party, Psapp and Yoko Ono (yes, apparently she makes music).

As for the future, Findo Gask wish only for simple pleasures: “The immediate aim for all of us is to be able to make music full time, giving us the ability to pursue all creative urges. It would be brilliant to be able to travel with our music, to meet and make friends with music lovers and lovely people in far away places.”

Intrigued? Discover Findo Gask for yourself at the following shows:

25 Apr: Greenside Hotel, Leeds
12 May: The Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
18 Jul: Narc Fest 09, Newcastle

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