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 utr.scotsman@gmail.com or tweet us @under_the_radar

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Saturday, 9 May 2009

Radar recommends: 10 - 16 May

FOUND
[FOUND: playing the Carnegie Hall (Dunfermline, not New York) on Thursday]

Another week, another set of gigs to get your lugs around. And, we're glad to say, there's more than just a delectable selection from Glasgow and Edinburgh thanks to Tigerfest's week long stint at Dunfermline's Carnegie Hall. Praise be. So, here you go, this is UtR's choice picks for the next seven days...

Metal 2 the Masses: Alba Gu Brath , Bonesaw , Skinkarver , Syth
Sun 10 May, Classic Grand, Glasgow. Doors 7pm, £6
Taking to the stage in a sea of kilts and long hair, Glasgow's Alba Gu Brath are a bit special. Their brand of folk-tinged battle metal blends traditional instruments and thrashing guitars, with many songs drawing lyrical inspiration from events in Scotland's history. They're joined on the night by Aberdonian death metal veterans Bonesaw, Skinkarver -Paisley's answer to Pantera - and Glaswegian power-metallers Syth. [JM]

The Balky Mule

Mon 11 May, The Bowery, Edinburgh. Doors 7:30pm, £5
If you’re after something a little different this week, then head along to The Bowery on Monday night. Hailing from Bristol but now resident in Melbourne, Australia, Sam Jones has recorded intermittently as The Bulky Mule for over a decade but is now focusing his energies entirely on the project. The sound switches neatly between electronic and acoustic, with some interesting bluesy influences and a vocal that lies between Syd Barrett and Ray Davies. Definitely intriguing. [SK]

The Amorettes
Mon 11 May, Bannerman's, Edinburgh. Doors 9pm, £4
With just one gig under their belts, what The Amorettes lack in experience they more than make up for with enthusiasm. From the rude and raunchy lyrics to the tight denim, the all-female three-piece from West Lothian make it abundantly clear that they're here to RAWK. Fusing a classic rock'n'roll sound with a punk rock attitude, the girls are about as subtle as a slap to the face but no less enjoyable for that. [JM]

Tempercalm , The Kamillas
Wed 13 May, Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow. Doors 8pm, £tbc
After the success of last year's debut album True Novella, Glasgow's Tempercalm make a quick stop in their home town to kick off a ten-date tour of Scotland. The band's polished grunge-rock has been compared favourably with the likes of Biffy Clyro and early Foo Fighters and, if the most recent demos are any indication, their upcoming second album is set to be another cracker. Tempercalm are supported by Greenock's The Kamillas, who combine slick alternative rock with bluesier influences. [JM]

Tigerfest presents: James Yorkston, Lisa Knapp
Wed 13 May, Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline. Doors 7.30pm, £10
There are few more mesmerising sights than James Yorkston on stage. A writhing blur of convulsive energy, the ex-Fence luminary shudders like a demon on heat while his heavenly acoustic swathes impregnate the airwaves. Armed with a voice cut from the sweetest larynx and a set of melodies that bleed pious beauty, Yorkston’s Tigerfest showing is sure to hypnotise what few unbelievers remain. [BH]

Sparrow and the Workshop
Thursday 14 May, Captain’s Rest, Glasgow. Doors 8pm
Prior to their UK wide tour alongside Broken Records, Sparrow and the Workshop return to their home city of Glasgow for a gig that marks the launch of their new single ‘Devil Song’. The Scottish/Welsh/American trio have made a name for themselves across Scotland with relaxed harmonies underpinned by a stripped down sound which has the capacity to captivate audiences. With their success taking them increasingly further afield, this is a great chance to catch them on their home turf. [SK]

**UTR's Gig of the Week**
Tigerfest presents: Cruiser, FOUND, Swimmer One
Thu 14 May, Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline. Doors 7.30pm, £6
Synthesisers all round at this invigorating Carnegie Hall billing. Exuding an air of lilting reticence, Cruiser spray coruscating keys across dejected, tear-duct seeping laments; while Swimmer One’s Casiotoned iceberg slowly melts into an ocean of gorgeous melodic poignancy. Of course, it’s FOUND that truly stand out here. More probing than a colonic irrigation, the Edinburgh quartet spew out rhythmic pulses with a throb that could register on the Richter Scale’s upper echelons. All in all, an unsurpassable sonic treat for any gig goer. [BH]

- Words by Billy Hamilton, Jodi Mullen, Stevie Kearney

What gigs are you going to this week? Have we missed anything? Let us know below...

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Tuesday, 5 May 2009

UtR's Tigerfest five

Now in its sixth year, Tigerfest is an indie-kid’s wet dream. Sprawled across Edinburgh, Dunfermline and Aberdeen, the month long extravaganza oozes pleasure in every quarter; be it the cubby-hole intimacy of its venues, the obscure white label-like roster or the Credit Crunch busting door prices.

Yep, Tigerfest is a festival that truly shuns the modern era’s cash-money clutching, preferring craft and ingenuity to glitz and glamour. So in tribute to the sterling work by those in Tiger Towers, UtR has assembled its five ‘must see acts’ at this year’s Tigerfest.

Amusement Parks on Fire
An impenetrable swill of feedback and percussion, Nottingham’s Amusement Parks on Fire are the aural equivalent of a fist to the face. Their first two LPs were chiselled slabs of ice cold shoegaze, frothing with passion and, most importantly, decibels and the subsequent live shows were equally as lug-splintering. Back on the road in support of new EP ‘Young Fight’, the towering quintet are certain to pulverise solar plexuses with their battering-ram sonics - just remember to bring your ear-plugs.
Amusement Parks on Fire play Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire on Wed 6 May (7pm, £8)



FOUND
It’s strange to think that FOUND are only now on the cusp of a breakthrough. In fact, UtR was recently approached by a certain ‘taste-making’ webzine enquiring whether we’d heard of this “new” band. Oh how we chuckled. Now in their fifth year, the Edinburgh based ensemble are beginning to make ripples down south thanks to a stint at this year’s South By South West festival in Texas and the release of the majestic 'Fidelities EP'. The band's live show at Tigerfest will no doubt affirm their oddball eccentricities, but underneath that goofy exterior lies a truly remarkable group waiting to be FOUND
FOUND play Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall on Thu 14 May (7.30pm, £6)



King Creosote
Kenny Anderson doesn’t need much introduction. Head honcho of Scotland’s leading label Fence Records, he also creates sublime swathes of melody under the guise of King Creosote. Anderson’s early work was whimsical in vein, with linear folk strains blushing through rousing melodies, but new record Flick The Vs furrows more experimental pastures where shards of synth pulse like an eager tectonic plate. One thing, however, still remains: that astonishing falsetto crow soaring higher than Scotland’s towering topography.
King Creosote plays Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on Sun 24 May (7.30pm, £14)



Meursault
If you haven’t heard of Edinburgh quartet Meursault by now you’re more than likely part of the myopic English media with eyes only for London. Quite simply, this is Scotland’s most spell-binding live band. Frontman Neil Pennycook has an inextinguishable vocal, the sort that excavates ear-canals with emotional piety; while the music is a vacuum of acoustic folk and jitterbug electronica. Almost too sublime for words, Meursault make a mesmerising live proposition that’s sure to hypnotise Tigerfest’s clued-up crowds.
Meursault play Edinburgh’s The Bowery on Thu 7 May (8pm, £5)



Swimmer One
With their sweeping, autumnal melodies and poetic verses, Swimmer One epitomise a modern Scottish band. Yet, there’s more to the Glaswegian duo than terse, melancholic laments. Theirs is a sound strewn with texture and punctuated with intensity; entangling itself in the heartstrings with a slew of 80s synth pop poignancy. Live, the brooding narratives succumb to an instrumental minefield that scuffles from bombast to brittleness with fluid aplomb. Certainly one to keep your ears peeled for at Tigerfest.
Swimmer One play Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall on Thu 14 May (7.30pm, £6)



Tigerfest runs from 6 - 26 May across venues in Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Edinburgh. The full line-up plus ticket details can be found at the
Tigerfest website.

- Billy Hamilton

Who are you going to see at this grrreat festival? Let everybody know below....

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