Thursday, 25 March 2010

Live review: RBRBR EP launch


The GRV, Edinburgh
Saturday 20 March 2010

This may be the launch show for RBRBR’s shiny new Bobby Masicks EP, but it doubles as a handy opportunity to catch some of Scotland's finest electro-indie acts live.

Dead Boy Robotics are up first, and if you're a regular reader you'll need no introduction to this Edinburgh duo. The interplay between the live instruments, vocal harmonies and backing tracks is well orchestrated, the disparate sounds coming together in unexpected ways - each song like the surprising outcome of a successful experiment.

The use of the floor toms during synchronised rhythm breaks adds a welcome bit of showmanship to an otherwise low-key stage presence. A little more energy in the delivery wouldn't go amiss, but DBR still show the inventiveness for which they're becoming known, and much is expected of their EP, due out in May.

Any Color BlackThings get off to a promising start for Glaswegian 'house rock' two-piece Any Color Black, with strong vocals and rock-star poses suggesting a more upbeat set to come. Mixing live guitars with laptop beats, the bells and whistles serve to disguise more conventionally-structured songs, bringing to mind polished 90’s electro-poppers Garbage and their ilk.

Perhaps it’s the mix tonight, but the disparate strands don’t mesh as you might hope, with the guitars often sounding more like an afterthought than an integral cog. The crowd too don’t seem as engaged, with chatter audible in the quieter moments. All the pieces are in place and the performance is competent, but somehow it never quite gels. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what is missing, but there's something about this performance that sadly fails to satisfy.

RBRBROn then to the headliners and the reason for tonight’s get-together. RBRBR have been plying their trade for a few years now, and have used that time to conjure up their own madcap world. With cardboard cut-outs of demented animals from their EP artwork decorating the stage, and band members adorned variously in fairy lights, fighter-pilot uniforms and ninja outfits, it's a strange and intriguing place.

The benefit of the first live drummer of the evening is immediately felt as the band bounce into EP opener ‘Maff’. The full band helps the whole performance feel more organic than what has come before, which is not to say that there aren’t lashings of electronic beats and unfeasibly deep bass tones pumping through the speakers. This is amply demonstrated in final number ‘Masick’s Groove’, a dance-a-long beast of a tune.

With this EP launch RBRBR show that they can match their recorded talents in person. Mission accomplished.

Words: Craig Dickson

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Radar recommends: 4 - 10 Oct

Over the Wall
[Over the Wall, playing The Skinny's Birthday Party. Image: David Forcier]

In true Scottish style, we seem to have left our damp squib of a summer behind, skipped over autumn and plunged headfirst into the tree-bending winds and Arctic chills of winter.

On the bright side, at least 'fashion scarves' can now serve a practical purpose, and we can all converge at the nearest gig venue to huddle together like penguins and maybe even watch a decent band...

Sky Larkin, Copy Haho, Marionettes
Monday @ Cafe Drummonds / 8pm / £6
Still promoting their album six months after its release, Leeds band Sky Larkin come to Aberdeen with support from the very tight Stonehaven boys Copy Haho and Killers-like Marionettes.

Cats & Cats & Cats, Greater The Shadow, Katerwaul, Free Korps
Monday @ The Tunnels / 7.30pm / £5
Ahead of the release of their new single Staines band Cats & Cats & Cats travel north with support from the brilliant Aberdeen band Katerwaul, as well as Greater the Shadow and Free Korps in this rather epic line up.

Three Blind Wolves, Washington Irving
Thursday @ Snafu / 10pm / £3/£2
A busy, busy week in Aberdeen with Bloc Party, Turin Brakes and Nerina Pallot but the cool kids will be going to the Dirty Hearts Club to see Ross Clark's newly renamed band play some top class alt-folk.

RBRBR, Call To Mind
Thursday @ The Doghouse / 8pm / £5
Edinburgh electro five-piece come to Dundee supported by the rather beautiful sounds of Call To Mind.

Dizzee Rascal
Sunday @ HMV Picture House / 7pm / £17.50
He's just a rascal, a sell-out rascal.

Indian Red Lopez
Tuesday @ The GRV / 7pm / Free
Aberdonian band with "great tunes, clever lyrics and top class musicianship." According to us.

Cats & Cats & Cats, There Will Be Fireworks, Free Korps
Tuesday @ Cabaret Voltaire / 7pm / £6
Every old spinster's dream scenario are also London indie types, but we're more interested in one of 2009's finest new bands, There Will Be Fireworks.

Mudhoney, The Vaselines, St Deluxe
Friday @ HMV Picture House / 7pm / £17.50
Pretend it's 1992 all over again. And don't say you're too young to remember 1992.

This is Music: Jesus H. Foxx, Boycotts
Friday @ Sneaky Pete's / 8pm / £3
A night of clattering punk-funk and sharp garage rock as these Edinburgh and Glasgow bands go head to head.

Micachu & the Shapes, The Invisible
Saturday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £6.50
Quirky pop from these mega-hyped Londoners.

Ten Tracks
Saturday @ Electric Circus / 11pm - 3am / £6
Scotland's version of iTunes hosts its own gig night, featuring Popscure and The Vangelis.

The xx
Monday @ The Captain’s Rest / 8pm / Sold out
Gothy, moody, minimal-electro; were you cool enough to buy a ticket in advance? Me neither, wow – you think the hype is unfounded too. We’re so similar.

Sky Larkin, Copy Haho
Tuesday @ Classic Grand (2nd Floor) / 7pm / £7
Can’t think of anything good that comes from Leeds? (Don’t you dare say Chris Moyles.) Meet Sky Larkin, a bit Pretty Girls Make Graves, a lot awesome. With Copy Haho in support the night can only go well.

The Mill: United Fruit, Orko
Thursday @ Oran Mor / 7pm / Free but ticketed
We’re in a recession. This is free. You should go.

Kill it Kid, Sparrow and the Workshop
Thursday @ The Captain’s Rest / 7.30pm / £6
Kill your Thursday by kindly treating it to this combo of Arcade Fire likened headliner and Glasgow based folk-pop support. Also playing Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh on Wednesday.

J. Tillman
Friday @ Nice’n’Sleazy / 9pm / £TBC
Bluesy, soul solo show by one quarter of Fleet Foxes.

Fiery Furnaces, French Wives
Saturday @ Nice’n’Sleazys / 7.30pm / £8.50
Boy/Girl Indie Rock served up on American and Scottish platters.

**UtR's gig of the week**
The Skinny and Ten Tracks Twisted Kids Birthday Party
Saturday @ The Arches / 10pm-3am / £7
A proper celebration; P.A.R.T.Y through to the wee hours with Meursault, The Blessings, Over the Wall, RBRBR and a whole host of DJs.

Words: Aimi Gold, Nick Mitchell, Andrew Learmonth

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

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Radar recommends: 27 Sep - 3 Oct

[Kochka: launching their second EP at Mono on Thursday]

It's Sunday. Perhaps you're still in bed nursing a hangover. Or maybe you're surrounded by the papers and coffee. Or idly browsing your friends' Facebook updates.

Whatever you're doing, it can't be that important. So go and grab your diary and take note of which gigs to attend this week...

Strike the Colours, Zoey Van Goey
Sunday @ Electric Circus / 7pm / £4
The twee-meter will probably self-combust at this leg of these two bands' joint UK tour. Also playing Stereo, Glasgow on Friday.

Trapped in Kansas - CANCELLED, Glasgow gig still on
Wednesday @ Sneaky Pete's / 7pm / £tbc
One of the most talked about bands in Scotland at the moment, and rightly so. Also playing Stirling Uni on Thursday and the Flying Duck, Glasgow on Friday.

The Mill: Be A Familiar, Cancel the Astronauts
Thursday @ Cabaret Voltaire / 7pm / Free but ticketed
We were wondering if straight-up indie-pop bands still existed. This gig may be the proof.

Stanley Odd
Friday @ The GRV / 7pm / £5
The latest act to come off Scotland's small but diverse hip hop production line.

Bloc Party, Grammatics
Saturday @ HMV Picture House / 7pm / £22.50
Never heard of 'em. Much kop?

The Low Miffs & Malcolm Ross
Sunday @ Nice N Sleazy's / 7.30pm / £tbc
Killer kitsch guitar pop - 80s indie legend joins forces with the energetic Miffs.

**UtR's gig of the week**
Kochka (EP launch)
Thursday @ Mono / 8pm / £tbc
The Glasgow/Falkirk/Stirling/Perth/York band (how the heck do they rehearse?) launch their Dacha/Summerhouse EP, with help from Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones (his first ever solo gig), The John Langan Band and Errors' Stephen Livingstone on the decks.

Any Color Black, RBRBR, Fridge Magnets, Skitten
Friday @ Captain's Rest / 8pm / £tbc
Pull some shapes (the more angular the better) at this Friday night electro-frazzled party.

Three Blind Wolves, The John Knox Sex Club, Martin John Henry
Saturday @ Captain's Rest / 7.30pm / £4
Three Blind Wolves used to be Ross Clark & the Scarves Go Missing but have opted for a more equalitarian name now. Support from the enigmatically brilliant John Knox Sex Club and former De Rosa frontman Martin John Henry.

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

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Radar recommends: 23 - 29 August

We Were Promised Jetpacks
[We Were Promised Jetpacks: Milling about on Thursday]

Edinburgh and Glasgow always mop up the most gigs in Scotland, but usually we find a few in the likes of Aberdeen, Dundee or Inverness. Not so this week. Diddly squat.

If you don't believe us, leave a comment to tell us what we missed.


YourSound showcase: Mitchell Museum, RBRBR, Dupec
Sunday @ Cabaret Voltaire / £6 / 7pm
Three of our favourite Scottish bands on one bill. Mitchell Museum and RBRBR are dab hands with the synths, while Dupec are an all guns blazin' indie three-piece.

Neoviolet, Hannah O'Reilly, Jym Ponter and Come In Tokyo
Thursday @ The Ark / £4 / 7.30pm
Local bands, including hard-rocking duo Come in Tokyo.

Strike the Colours and Zoey Van Goey
Thursday @ Electric Circus / £4 / 7pm
Twee goodness, with Glasgow indie songstress Jenny Reeve's Strike the Colours and the finely-honed melodies of Zoey Van Goey.

Malcolm Middleton
Thursday @ Cabaret Voltaire / £12.50 / 7pm
Everyone's favourite miserablist stops by for the Edge Fest. But with talk of a hiatus, will this be his last show for a while?

Withered Hand, Meursault
Friday @ National Portrait Gallery / Free / 5pm
The lastest Rough Cut Nation gig comes from Edinburgh's Withered Hand, with a little help from friend and collaborator Neil Pennycook of Meursault.

Penny Black Remedy, The Red Well, Fanattica, The Stormy Seas
Saturday @ Henry's Cellar Bar / £5 / 8pm
A night of Balkan-ized tunes and bracing rock shanties.

Attic Lights, Sketches
Saturday @ Sneaky Pete's / £7 / 7pm
Teenage Fanclub devotees Attic Lights haven't lived up to the early hype, so they have something to prove at this show.


Bill Callahan
Sunday @ Stereo / £12.50 / 8pm
Smoggy no more, the legendary lo-fi songwriter promotes one of this year’s best albums, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle.

Sleeping States, The Seventeenth Century, Andrea Malini
Monday @ Captain’s Rest / £6 / 8pm
Gorgeous, melancholy instrumentation from hotly-tipped Bella Union band. Support from Radar recommended folk The Seventeenth Century, and Andrea Marini.

Soulsavers ft. Mark Lanegan
Tuesday @ Oran Mor / £12.50 / 7.30pm
Dark electronic project featuring the former Screaming Trees frontman’s unmistakeable vocals.

**UtR's gig of the week**
We Were Promised Jetpacks, Some Young Pedro, Broken Records, Sparrow and the Workshop

Thursday @ The Mill (Oran Mor) / Free but ticketed / 8pm
Celebrating its first birthday, one of the better things corporate America has done for independent music welcomes back some favourite headliners and their own hot tips. Tickets are predictably like gold dust, but it’s sure to be a great night.

Proud Mary, John Rush, Majestic Dandelion, The Scuffers
Thursday @ ABC2 / £10 / 7pm
Up-and-coming Glasgow-based Americana from the Scuffers, kicking off a night in support of Proud Mary’s new album. Local acts John Rush and Majestic Dandelion complete the bill.

Run Toto Run, Maple Leaves, Sorren Maclean
Friday @ King Tut’s / £5 / 8.30pm
An eclectic line-up courtesy of Exposure Showcase, claiming to highlight the best of new bands across the UK. Run Toto Run make playful, sweet-voiced electropop while Maple Leaves’ summery folk has already come recommended. Mull-based singer-songwriter Maclean completes the line-up.

Words: Lisa-Marie Ferla, Nick Mitchell

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

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Radar recommends: 9 - 15 August

[Dollskabeat: playing support to Telepathe on Wednesday]

The size of this column seems to ebb and flow from week to week. Last week there was little musical sustenance for Scotland's music lovers; this week there's enough out there to give you a dose of heartburn if they're not careful. If you happen to live in the 'big two' that is...


The Lost Brothers, The Kays Lavelle
Sunday @ Sneaky Pete's £6 7pm
Melancholy folk from The Lost Brothers, with piano-led indie-rock from Edinburgh's Kays Lavelle.

Telepathe, Dollskabeat
Wednesday @ Sneaky Pete's £7 7pm
Trendier-than-thou Brooklyn electro dames roll into town, flanked by Edinburgh's own glitch queen, Dollskabeat.

This is Music: Dead Boy Robotics, The Foundling Wheel
Friday @ Sneaky Pete's 7pm £tbc
The August instalment of Auld Reekie's finest monthly gig night showcases the talents of two noise-inclined members of the Bear Scotland collective.

The GRV Fest: Ritalin Kids, Dupec, Boycotts, The Nature Boys
Friday @ The GRV £tbc 5pm onwards
The first night of The GRV's big bash is stuffed with local talent, including two of our favourites in Dupec and Boycotts.

The GRV Fest: The Debuts, Epic 26, OK Social Club, 10:04s, The Breech, Homework, The Steals
Saturday @ The GRV £tbc 3pm onwards
Day two of The GRV Fest is even bigger. Can you last the distance?

Young Fathers, Unicorn Kid
Saturday @ Cabaret Voltaire £7 8pm
Proving that Edinburgh's music scene is more diverse than first meets the eye, Young Fathers and Unicorn Kid bring bombastic hip hop and sugar-rich techno to the table respectively.


Stellar Sounds: Rio Callahan, Funksion, Federation of the Disco Pimp
Wednesday @ Glasgow Science Centre | £12 | 7pm
A gig with a difference this, given that it takes place in a planetarium. See Stevie's preview a few posts down the page.

The Mill: Maple Leaves, Panda Su
Thursday @ Òran Mór | Free but ticketed | 8pm
Delectable folk-flecked indie from two of Scotland's brightest acts.

Telepathe, RBRBR, Super Adventure Club
Thursday @ King Tut's | £7.50 | 8.30pm
The aforementioned Telepathe head west, bringing with them two of Edinburgh's best new bands as support.

Attic Lights, The Seers, Invisible Republic
Friday @ Stereo | £9 | 7pm
Fundraiser for the Scottish Epilepsy Initiative, headed up by the winsome indie-pop of Attic Lights.

Boycotts, French Wives, Kalla Heartshake
Saturday @ ABC2 | £5 | 7pm
Boycotts launch their eagerly anticipated EP at this gig, with excellent support from French Wives and Kalla Heartshake.

Múm, My Latest Novel
Saturday @ Òran Mór | £15 | 7pm
Exquisite electronica-tinged indie from Icelanders Múm, not to mention the forward thinking sounds of Greenock-based My Latest Novel.

The Second Hand Marching Band, Over the Wall
Saturday @ The 13th Note | £tbc | 9pm
We can't get enough of SHMB's heartfelt shanties - or Over the Wall's textured pop for that matter.

Words: Nick Mitchell

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

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

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...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

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...

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share