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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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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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.

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

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Monday, 1 March 2010

Newsbits: Scottish Alt. Awards, Aberdeen protest album, Haiti appeal and more...

handbags at dawnIf ducking a handshake constitutes a front page splash, then god knows where that puts our weekly round-up of press releases and music related titbits. At a guess, we’d say page four. You know, just behind that elegant snap of a scantily clad female who’s putting the world to rights in the shape of two mountainous mammary glands.

Anyway, as this is a website there’s no need to concern ourselves with trivial matters like page numbers or, sadly, topless models. Instead, you can rest assured that what you’re reading right now will probably stay at the top of the page for the next 24 hours without subjecting you to nudity of any form.

Trapped in Kansas scoop alternative gong
UtR favourites Trapped in Kansas scooped the ‘Best Rock/Alternative’ prize at last week’s Scottish Alternatve Music Awards (SAMA). The Glasgow based quartet fought off fierce competition from Make Sparks and This Familiar Smile to be crowned the most rocking alternative act in the land (or something). Other winners included As Darkness Falls (Best Newcomer), Promised Only Lies (Best Metal) and The LaFontaines (Best Live Act). Bronto Skylift bafflingly walked away with nada, but that’s that nature of open-vote awards for you.

SAMA organiser Richy Muirhead said: “The past seven months have been an amazing and great learning experience for myself. The music scene in Scotland is forever growing, and I hope everyone involved can now appreciate it more from this event. It's been a real blast, and I've already started brainstorming for next years festival.”

A heartfelt protest
Remember the (often abysmal) vehicle for social change that was the protest song? We don't, but that's mainly because we were born in a time when Thatcher’s Conservatives crushed the voice of opposition. But up in Aberdeen a collective of local musicians do. To voice their disdain towards the City Square Project – a planned £50m facelift of Aberdeen’s city centre which includes the uprooting of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) – 20 Aberdeen acts have come together to produce the ‘We heart UTG’ record. Encompassing a spectrum of genres from modern bluegrass to funky house, the download-only record can be acquired on a ‘pay what you like’ basis, with all proceeds going to the UTG campaign. To get your mitts on it, click here.

Scots bands put out for Haiti
Four Scottish acts have donned their philanthropist capes and donated tracks to a Haiti benefit compilation. There Will Be Fireworks, Lions.Chase.Tigers, Farewell Singapore and Three Blind Wolves have forwarded cuts to New Jersey-based Dromedary Records for inclusion in the digitial-only release of Make The Load Lighter - Indie Rock for Haiti. All proceeds for the record will benefit the victims of the Haitian earthquake through an all-volunteer organisation called Vwa Ayiti (Voice Of Haiti). Label owner Al Crisafulli said of each band’s input: “It’s been great communicating with all four bands - this collection really has been a ton of fun, and it’s awesome to be able to do something quickly to raise money.” You can download the album here or, in a move which seems to be against the point of the record, you can listen to it here for free.

Selling out has never been so easy
Last week’s announcement of ‘the best T in the Park line up ever’ resulted in the festival selling out in less time than it takes Inverness Caley Thistle to put four goals past Raith Rovers (less of that please - ed). Unable to resist a roll call of Eminem, Muse, Jay-Z and The Black Eyed ‘why don’t they split’ Peas, Scottish punters snapped up 85,000 tickets in 90 minutes. We’d like to think this record breaking frenzy was in some way aided by the inclusion of Dirty Projectors and Broken Social Scene but, let’s face it, we’d just be deluding ourselves. For the latest line-up news all you need to do is click here.

Chewing the festival cud
In harder-than-it-looks news, chewing gum company Trident are seeking to exchange £30,000 for someone to visit 30 music festivals over 30 weeks. Taking in festivals around the globe, all you need to do is document the experience via Trident's festival website, through tweets, blogs, photos and videos, with reviews, gossip and celebrity interviews. Sounds easy, huh? Well, the challenge is actually getting the job, which will involve an online application, a face to face interview and, if you get that far, an all-day assessment in front of a panel that includes having to meet the insanely irritating George Lamb. See, told you it was tough. More info can be found here.

Twilights get a room
The Twilight Sad get back to the campaign trail for last year's still-growing-on-us album Forget the Night Ahead by releasing new single 'The Room'. Rife with the usual clash of miserabilism and voluptuous arrangement, the track offers the added bonus of My Latest Novel's Laura McFarlance guesting on violin. And for you for your aural/visual enjoyment, you can watch the fancy new video of said track below:

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Friday, 26 February 2010

Newsflash: DJs give you wings

[Slam dunk: Stuart MacMillan and Orde Meikle will reveal their secrets]

It's fair to say that dance music doesn't figure too heavily here on UtR. Although we've covered various electro-leaning acts like Tokyo Knife Attack, Unicorn Kid and Findo Gask, we tend to leave the proper techno to those who know their Tiefschwarzs from their Tigas.

But, with our 'champions of new music in Scotland' cap on, it would be remiss of us not to notify our readers of an event taking place in Glasgow this weekend.

The Red Bull Music Academy, a project which offers free workshops and lectures to aspiring DJs and music bods (while simultaneously advertising a certain energy drink, it has to be said), rolls up in Scotland's biggest city after stints in places like New York, Sao Paolo and current host city London.

SWG3 will host free lectures from 5pm to 9pm today, where dance pioneers including Soma Records and Slam promise to reveal some "secrets of the mixing desk". A special aftershow party runs from 9pm 'til 1am with a DJ set from Slam and DJ Buckley and a live set from Marco Bernardi.

On Saturday the Apple Store will be host a live demonstration masterclass from techno DJ Tony Lionni, and that night the Sub Club hosts another Red Bull Music Academy party in collaboration with Sub Culture, headlined by Kerri Chandler.

Altogether now, reach for the lasers. Or something.

Friday: 5pm–1am: SWG3, Eastvale Place - Free
Saturday: 4pm-5.30pm: Apple Store, Buchanan Street - Free
Saturday: 10pm-3am: Sub Club, Union Street - £9/£12

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Monday, 22 February 2010

Newsbits: Stag & Dagger, 'quadraphonic' gig, PodcART live and Calvin's new label

We Were Promised Jetpacks
[We Were Promised Jetpacks: playing a Stag night in Glasgow]

Do you ever wonder who sets the news agenda? Have you ever asked yourself when reading the latest update of the Cheryl/Ashley pantomime: "Who the hell decides what the public needs to know about?"

We did once, back in those dark, dark days in journalism school where we suffered the indignity of scouring broadsheets that got ink on our fingers and studied weighty tomes that harped on about the media having 'power and responsibility'.

Anyway, now we're older, wiser and much more enslaved to 'The Man' it's clear news is made up by PR men and women who churn out press releases to lapdog-hacks like yours truly, who subsequently turn it into 100 word filler pieces. So, here you go... another batch of news items spun up from our inbox.

First batch of Stag & Dagger acts announced...
Exciting news on the Stag & Dagger front. Organisers PCL have just announced the first batch of melody makers for this year’s multi-venue festivities and it’s looking pretty tip top thus far. Headlined, we’d presume, by local heroes We Were Promised Jetpacks and, not so local heroes, Wild Beasts and The Antlers, the festival’s booking men and women seems to be earning their bread by cherry picking the cream of UK talent. Hotly tipped crowers Esben & The Witch will mingle with UtR-featured Divorce and The Unwinding Hours. With a shovel load of acts still to be confirmed and early bird tickets going for about twelve quid, we reckon this has the makings of a rather spiffing night out on the West Coast.

A quadraphonic twilight...
Doom-laden noise mongers The Twilight Sad are going quadraphonic. Now, don’t worry, it’s not some debilitating muscular disease, in actual fact they’re bringing a new listening experience to the Glasgow masses at a gig in the city’s ABC. The set-up consists of PAs being placed at both the back and front of the room while a central control module manipulates the output of each speaker.

Those ever informative folk at FatCat elaborate: “There are limitless possibilities with this technology as it incorporates software that allows shapes to be drawn on a screen that are then replicated by the speakers, meaning that a guitar line can fly around the room or a drum roll can begin from the front of the venue and finish at the back. Each song can be mixed in a different way that will only add to the already immersive live experience that The Twilight Sad are famed for.

It all sounds a bit like another madcap invention by the professor in Futurama if you ask us. The gig is on the 2nd of April at the ABC. It’s probably advisable to lay off the mushroom soup before you make your way over.

PodcART live and uncut...
In swearier news... Our expletive espousing pals over at Glasgow PodcART are recording a live podcast this Friday (26 Feb). This nerveless display of audio-tomfoolery will include live performance from Big man/little lass combo Conquering Animal Sound and Scottish Alternative Music Award nominees Make Sparks. Taking place at Creation Studios between 3pm-6pm, it will be the usual high japes played out in a traditional West Coast brogue - only better, because everything’s better when it’s live, right?

Calvin Harris to launch record label – apparently it won’t be “shite”
Extraordinarily awful but very jammy electro-pop Scot Calvin Harris has announced that he’s to launch his own record label, called Fly Eye, in May. The first release will be a single from some fella called Mr Blink, (probably so titled because if you blink you’re gonna miss him... ho ho ho ) called 'Gecko'. Harris declared to some non-interested hacks: "My goal for Fly Eye is to release the most exciting club music I can get my hands on. There will be absolutely no shite". Sure Calvin, sure.

Words: Billy Hamilton

Whiffed a story from the Scottish music scene? Send it to or tweet us @under_the_radar

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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Newsbits: Ballroom, blogs, Biffy and Berliners

Steven Milne
[The Little Kicks - strictly ballroom this weekend. Photo: Nick Mailer]

• We'll be the first to admit that Aberdeen doesn't always get the recognition it deserves from the central belt music meeja. But three bands who graced this blog in 2009 are about to play a special show called Live at the Ballroom - so allow us to take this opportunity to give them a wee plug.

Following in the footsteps of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, local acts The Little Kicks, Indian Red Lopez and Cast of the Capital (along with The Underkills) will grace the stage of the city's Beach Ballroom this Saturday. It's a must for anyone involved in the Granite City scene, and more information can be found here.

• This week Under the Radar came 6th in a vote for the best so-called 'mainstream' blogs. We're quite happy to rub shoulders with political pundits like Brian Taylor and Iain MacWhirter, even if we'd have probably been more at home in the music category. Musn't grumble though, and thanks if you voted for us.

• In other X Factor-esque news, Ayrshire trio Biffy Clyro came out on top in's readers' poll of the best Scottish bands of the Noughties. A result sure to raise a few eyebrows, even if it does reveal a lot about how more adept some bands are at organising their online marketing than others. Good showings for Frightened Rabbit (3rd) and The Twilight Sad (9th) too.

• Teutonic tunage will be the order of the day when Born to Be Wide celebrates its sixth birthday tomorrow (Thursday) at Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms. With a promise of "All you need to know about the German music scene", the event boasts a seminar with bookers, journalists and agents, a German music quiz, DJ sets (including Mark Chung of Einstürzende Neubauten) and a performance from Berlin band Jeans Team. More information here.

Got any other Scottish music news tips? Send them to or get in touch via Twitter

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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Newsflash: Going for a gong

[Dananananaykroyd: in the running for award. Photo: Su Anderson]

In an attempt to stave off the general ennui of the first few weeks of the year, when we're all coming to terms with the return to work/school/studies and the weather's still pelting us with sub-zero sleet, people make up awards.

Have a glitzy, booze-fuelled party and cheer up, the thinking goes.

Earlier this week we told you about the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (see below), and today we've got wind of a few more.

Radio station Xfm have launched their New Music Awards for 2010, which considers any bands who have released a debut album over the past year. You can vote for whoever you like here, but they have published a list of suggestions, which includes Scots acts Broken Records, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Wake the President and Dananananaykroyd.

But as long as La Roux doesn't win we'll be happy.

In other award-related news, Under the Radar is up for another gong, in the Scotblog Awards 2010. As anyone could nominate anyone, there's a massive longlist of 142 Scottish blogs, and you can vote for as many as you like. Other music sites in the running include The Pop Cop, Peenko and Aye Tunes.

Cast your vote here.

And finally... Celtic Connections starts in Glasgow today, with over 200 artists set to take the stage over the next fortnight. There are opportunities aplenty to discover new talent, especially at the Danny Kyle Open Stage, and we'll pick a few of our favourites in Radar Recommends this week and next.

Got any other Scottish music news tips? Send them to or get in touch via Twitter

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Monday, 23 November 2009

Newsflash: Your chance to record King Creosote

King CreosoteSanta may not have got round to pressing his gigantic red pantalons yet, but UtR’s mind is already getting giddy at the prospect of next year’s Homegame.

The annual Fence Records spectacular takes place in and around the quaint Fife seaside town of Anstruther on 12 – 14 March 2010.

Sure, it’s months away, but, with a roster that always guarantees an exquisite selection of tasty tunesters, tickets sell quicker than hot cakes on a frosty day in fat camp.

And, just to make sure you put Homegame tickets on your crimbo list, those relentless teases at Fence have dropped one humdinger of a pre-Xmas news nugget.

King Creosote, also known as fence luminary Kenny Anderson, will be playing his newest, as yet unreleased, album My Nth Bit Of Strange In Umpteen Years in its entirety at the Fence bash.

‘So what?’, we hear you holler. Well kids, Mister Anderson is allowing punters at Homegame 7 to record the entire show. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it PirateBay.

Anderson says: “Since the release of Flick The Vs in April I’ve written ten new songs for an album that, for various reasons, I’d rather not record and release in the usual way. Instead I’ve come up with this idea of a live album, and together with Fence drummer Captain Geeko, I performed My First Bit Of Strange In 13 Years in its entirety at the Fence Hallowe’en weekend in front of an invited audience. The members of this audience were asked to record the show for themselves on battery powered equipment, and at my behest these recordings have since been passed around in the hope that they present a poor substitute for the show itself.”

Apparently, Anderson will be playing the 'album' set a shattering seven times due to microscopic venue sizes. The shows will be the only King Creosote ‘gig’ over the weekend and ticket holders will be alloted a specific show to attend.

One interesting stipulation is that each person has to have a recording device of some sort on their personage to access the show. What constitutes a ‘recording device’ in this day and age is anyone’s guess, but if you’ve got one of those web-browsers that also masquerade as a mobile phone we reckon you’re okay.

“This new album will naturally evolve over time, and My Second/Third/Fourth ... Eighth Bits Of Strange In 14 Years will all be performed at Fence Homegame7 by King Creosote with various special guests.” Anderson explains. “That’s seven performances for 40 people at a time over the course of three days. And if recording the show for yourself scares you, we might well have a fortifying wee dram for you during the interval.”

We’re not quite sure how it’s going to work, but the concept of having fans (and, more interestingly perhaps, non-fans) record his album is certainly typical of Anderson’s songsmithery-for-all ethos. And for that, you really do have to admire the man.

Words: Billy Hamilton

Homegame runs from 12 – 14 March 2010. Weekend tickets are £75 and go on sale at Noon on Tuesday 1 December 1, 2009. The full line up will be announced nearer the time. For more news click here

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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Download the new Twilight Sad track - for free!

The Twilight Sad

If you weren't tingling with excitement at the prospect of seeing The Twilight Sad at this weekend’s Stag & Dagger festival, you will be now.

UtR’s got its mitts on the opening cut from the Glasgow quartet’s forthcoming LP Forget The Night Ahead and we can confidently inform you it’s a shuddering work of aural brilliance.

'Reflection of the Television' is everything you’d expect from this misanthropic ensemble: chasmal atmospherics reverberating to the shrill of ruminative guitars and James Graham’s strangulating crow.

Play: The Twilight Sad - Reflection of the Television

But rather than rehashing the sound of 2007’s astonishing debut Fourteen Autums & Fifteen Winters, the Twilights have retuned their focus; thrusting Graham’s foredoomed strains to the fore while a tundra of bombast uncoils behind.

In short, it’s an unhinged, gargantuan track that bodes thrillingly for the release of album number two on 21 September.

And the best thing about it? Well, being the magnanimous chaps we are at UtR, it’s all yours for free. That’s right F-R-E-E.

[Totally legal] MP3 download: The Twilight Sad - Reflection of the Television (Right click and 'Save Target As' to save to your computer)

Catch The Twilight Sad at Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger festival this Saturday [23 May]. They play ABC1 along with Frightened Rabbit and Cold War Kidsat and are on stage at 7.30pm . Tickets for the event are a wallet-friendly £16.50, which includes access to a whole ream of musical delicacies that evening. Further information on said festival can be found here.

Words: Billy Hamilton

What do you think of the track? Share your thoughts below...

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Sunday, 17 May 2009

Newsflash: goNORTH bands revealed

[Yahweh: heading north in June]

When RockNess descends on Inverness next month, it won't all be about ageing dance acts and platinum selling rappers. In the days immediately before the festival proper, goNORTH takes place in various venues throughout the city, with the mantra of exposing the best new musical talent in Scotland to the incoming A&R men, talent scouts and, yes, even the public at large.

We applaud this benevolent initiative (all gigs are free entry) and it's good to see some of our favourite bands in the mix.

Here's the line-up in full:

Abagail Grey, Alex Cornish, Barn Owl, Bronto Skylift, Call To Mind, Casiokids, Cast Of The Capitol, Colour-Coded, Come On Gang!, Daily Bread, DOTJR, French Wives, Hey Enemy, Jack Butler, Keser, Mitchell Museum, Nacional, Our Lunar Activities, Pooch, Robin Lewis Adams, Sean Harrison Band, Strawhouses, Spyamp, St Deluxe, Team William, Theatre Fall, The Breech, The Naked Strangers, The Ray Summers, The Side, Tone, Trapped In Kansas, The Now, United Fruit, Vchecka, We See Lights, Yahweh, Zombie Militia, 28 Jacks

goNORTH takes place on 11 and 12 June in Inverness

What do you think of the line-up? Discuss...

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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Newsflash: Limbo launches first in series of live albums

Limbo liveOf all the promoters staging live music in Scotland, few can claim to have worked as tirelessly as Limbo over the past year and a half.

The 'live music dance party' hosts three bands a week in the plush setting of Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms, and its two head honchos, Dave Cummings and Andy Richardson, have been recording it all for the first of a series of live albums. UtR asked Cummings about his plans.

How did you choose which bands to include?

Purely on the basis of which recordings made sense. We've recorded about 120 bands now and these are just some of the first that we mixed down properly over the first six months. Volume 2 will come out in June and once again it will include a wide variety of different bands, including some of the early recordings which we've not mixed down properly yet.

What are your ambitions for the album?

Limbo Live is an ongoing project to document a Scottish music scene that is currently punching way above its weight. In this respect, series such as Live at the Blue Note were definitely an inspiration. We'll be putting out new volumes as often as we can. From another angle, the series also gives bands an opportunity to get their music to a much wider audience more quickly. We can get very good recordings much more straightforwardly than having to go into a studio. We'll see how this one fairs but we're confident of the fact that it will have wide appeal because of the quality of the recordings.

What's the tracklisting?

1) Zoey Van Goey - City Is Exploding
2) FOUND - When You Fall
3) Punch & The Apostles - Asylum
4) Meursault - Pissing On Bonfires / Kissing With Tongues

5) Sparrow & The Workshop - Last Chance

6) Isosceles - Get Your Hands Off
7) Over The Wall - A History of British Welfarism 1945-1984

8) A-lix - Never Grow

9) Cancel The Astronauts - Slow Dance At The Disco

10) Thieves In Suits - Clockwork

11) Come On Gang! - Spinning Room
12) Kid Canaveral - Second Time Around
13) Haight-Ashbury - Favourite Song
14) Night Noise Team - Menolick

When is it coming out?

Limbo Live Volume 01 launches tonight (23 April) at Limbo. Nine of the bands on the CD will be playing in collaborative and experimental ways at the launch event.

Where will it be available from? and 'all good record shops'.

The Limbo Live launch takes place tonight (23 April, Doors 8pm, £5) at The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh. Playing live in some shape or form will be Meursault, Sparrow and the Workshop, Isosceles, Over the Wall, A-Lix, Theives in Suits, Kid Canaveral, Haight-Ashbury and Cancel the Astronauts. There will also be an after-party at Sick Note, Cabaret Voltaire, with the Black Spring DJs playing a headline DJ set (11pm-3am, free entry).

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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Newsflash: Jetpacks launch UK tour

Scotland’s latest dispatch of heroic tunesmiths, the mightily monikered We Were Promised Jetpacks, will embark on their first major UK tour this summer.

Coinciding with the 4 May release of single 'Quiet Little Voices' and the June-time follow up of their much anticipated debut LP These Four Walls, the Fatcat-signed quartet will stop in at a slew of Scottish cities, including two stints at this month’s Hinterland Festival.

Dates are as follows:

30 Apr - Hinterland Festival, Glasgow
1 May - Hinterland Festival, Glasgow
14 May - Water Margin, Brighton (FatCat Showcase - Great Escape Festival)
15 May - DrownedinSound Stage, Brighton (Great Escape Festival)
23 May - Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool (supporting Sky Larkin)
09 Jun - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
10 Jun - Doghouse, Dundee
15 Jun - King Tuts, Glasgow
16 Jun - Night & Day, Manchester
17 Jun - Bodega, Nottingham
18 Jun - The Lexington, London
19 Jun - The Cockpit, Leeds
20 Jun - The Head of Steam, Newcastle
28 June - Outsider Festival, Rothiemurchus – Cairngorms National Park
24 July - Wickerman Festival, Dundrennan

UtR has had a sneak preview of These Four Walls and it’s safe to say it’ll be trimming the top of every tastemaking hitlist come the end of the year.

In the meantime, to keep your lugholes nicely oiled in anticipation, we’ve got our paws on a stream of We Were Promised Jetpack’s veracious new single 'Quiet Little Voices'. So sit back, relax and let these Jetpacks take off...

Play: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Quiet Little Voices

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Monday, 13 April 2009

Newsflash: Tigerfest '09 line-up announced

Tigerfest is always greeted by us here at UtR with the sort of delirious whooping and cheering normally reserved for American sporting events.

So, with oversized finger ready to be pointed and waggled, we’re delighted to tell you the month-long, Scotland-wide (i.e, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dunfermline) festival’s May line-up has just been announced and, boy, does it look like a cracker.

Combining an array of dazzling Scottish acts with some of the finest artists from around the globe, Tigerfest is set to be one of the most effervescent draws on the festival circuit.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at this stellar roster of talent:

Wed 6 May: Amusement Parks On Fire , The Gothenburg Address, Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, £8
Thur 7 May : Meursault , Inspector Tapehead , The Japanese War Effort (Song:bytoad):, Bowery. 8pm, £5
Fri 8 May: Aberfeldy , Ex Lion Tamer (17seconds , ZekePromotions), Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, £10
Sat 9 May: Ordinary Allstars , SupersonicSims , B-burg DJset (Fallen Apple Events), Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, £7
Sun 10 May: The Stantons , The Gillyflowers , Le Reno Amps (Duty Free) , Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, free

Dunfermline (all shows at Carnegie Hall)
Wed 13 May: James Yorkston , Lisa Knapp. 7.30pm, £10
Thu 14 May: Cruiser , Found , Swimmer One. 7.30pm, £6
Fri 15 May: ballboy , Audrey Sings Nico , The Rosie Thomas Project , Saint Jude's Infirmary. 7.30pm, £6
Sat 16 May: Lord Cut-Glass , De Rosa , Angil + The Hiddentracks. 7.30pm, £6

Thu 21 May
: Alasdair Roberts , Kitchen Cynics , Amber Wilson (IMP) Tunnels. 8pm, £8 , £6
Sun 24 May: King Creosote,The Pictish Trail , Player Piano (IMP) Lemon Tree. 7.30pm, £14

More information can be found on the Tigerfest website.

And here's a video of Carnegie Hall opener James Yorkston to keep you on tenterhooks:

Are you as excited about this as we are? Let us know below...

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Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Newsflash: The Twilight Sad plot live return, finalise second album

The Twilight Sad

The Twilight Sad, Kilsyth's finest ear-blasting post-rockers, have announced their live return with a series of shows in May.

James Graham & co are currently putting the finishing touches to the follow-up to their debut LP Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, one of the standout albums of 2007 and an awesome mix of thundering guitar squalls, plaintive alt-folk and West Coast angst.

The band then jet off to America in support of Mogwai at the end of this month, but will return to our shores in May for what will surely be a thrilling series of dates across the UK.

Their Glasgow show forms part of the excellent mini-fest, Stag & Dagger, which moves north from London for the first time. We'll have more features on this nearer the time.

May dates are as follows:

Wed 13: Birmingham Rainbow
Thur 14: The Great Escape @ Brighton Water Margin
Fri 15: Cardiff Barfly
Sun 17: Oxford Bullingdon Arms
Mon 18: Nottingham Bodega
Tues 19: Southampton Joiners
Wed 20: Bristol Fleece
Thur 21: London Stag & Dagger
Fri 22: Leeds Stag & Dagger
Sat 23: Glasgow Stag & Dagger

Video: The Twilight Sad perform live in Aberdeen last year:

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Monday, 6 April 2009

Newsflash: Dananananoutnow!

One of our favourite new(ish) bands from Scotland (or anywhere for that matter), the massively monikered Dananananaykroyd, drop their highly anticipated debut album today.

For a band with the combined energy of Douneray and Sellafield (without the poisonous side-effects) and a prankster attitude that extends to their online forays, it's quite fitting that they've called it Hey Everyone!

So if you're feeling like a blast of fight pop, or thrash punk, or whatever you want to call their frenetic sound, you can buy the album here. As a tribute, here's the video to recent single Pink Sabbath:

Their official album launch is tonight at The Arches in Glasgow, and they play Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh tomorrow night.

Before we're accused of acting as Dananana's PR agent, we'd better inform you of what else is hitting shops as we type.

Well, keep your eyes peeled and your ears alert for a new single from Jesus H Foxx, an EP from Copy Haho, an album from Big Ned and, looking ahead, a single from Broken Records on May 11th - the title track from their upcoming album Until the Earth Begins to Part. We can hardly wait either.

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