Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Ones to Watch 2011 - ( 7 a month )

Later than everyone else`s list.
A reoccurring pattern is occurring.
As proven by Friction Burns (The Alternative Burn`s Supper) we`re doing on the 3rd February.
Timing is over-rated, quality is infinite.
I decided to try out 2011 first a little like trying on a new pair of shoes. 
Walk around a bit, mould myself into it.
This is not who I tip for greatness as last year I tipped 3 bands who split up.
I also think we all know by reading the other lists who is likely to do well so I`ve avoided *researching others list`s in an attempt to look all cool and all .knowing 
(*Copying other lists -  The reason your supposed to do a list in mid January)
this is more of my list of new music that I personally enjoy and hope will do well.
Music is personal so of course it`s biased. (Tisdamuthaflippinmusicindustryafteralllbiatches!!!)
I`m gonna try do something like this once a month to reflect what I`ve been listening to most so don`t worry if your bands not here (There`s at least another 10 who could`ve, should`ve , would`ve been)
so the idea is 7 a month. EVERY month.
Keep your ears peeled and your eyes to the ground for this lot over the coming months...

I cant get enough of the Sun Dogs right now (http://soundcloud.com/sun-dogs)
 New songs sporadically appear then disappear some then re-appear with new layers some disappear forever. A true perfectionist is at work here and there surely must be at least one great albums worth of material ready by now (?) 

 It must be the only Soundcloud page I`ve ever bookmarked and visit on the regular. Lovely dream like melodies, layered, spacious and produced with a thin tooth dog comb. Perfect chill out songs such as `Miwersa` and `Dream and Machine` Then there`s songs such as `The Meddler` and `Drip Effect` which are modern folk with fuzzy guitars and phone-box vocals. There seems to be a lot going on between collaborations and remixes so expect the debut live show this year to be a buzz gig of mass proportions as more and more catch onto the genius at work here. No gimmicks, photoshoots or angles, The music does all the talking here.

The Madskull boys first came to my attention a couple of years ago when they gained a huge myspace* following (*Myspace was a very busy internet site many moons ago) and like a refreshing needle in a haystack of shit they stood out head and shoulders. Although there was many crazed artists making original music there`s always seemed to have a point to it and never went too obscure. I first described it as `The Beta Band produced by Dr. Dre` and it`s still probably the best I can come up with in explaining the sound they have invented and called `Bongbeat` . 

They toured with their good friends Glasvegas when they first started travelling round the U.K but their sound is nothing like what they guys do. It`s more upbeat, They use a DJ rather than a drummer, And Marco effortlessly sways between flows and singing.  They have been locked away in the lab for over a year now and I`ve been lucky enough to hear a few exclusive peaks at what they`ve been up to. It`s sounding bigger and better than ever so can`t wait for the return of the mad skwad with an entire new set, new album and a new monthly night at Stereo called `Glasgow City Scoundrels` excites me a lot. See the start of something big happen on January 26th at Stereo

It astounds me that these guys aren`t on too many lists i`ve seen because 
1. They fucking rock it big time
2. They have a top class album recently recorded , mastered and ready to sell to the masses
3. They work harder than most notching up a shitload of gigs* last year (A shitload equates to more than 80)
4. They have songs called such things as `Anal Blues` and `Hail to the Memory Wank` (!!!)

The best part is there`s only Two of them in the band but it sounds like a cavalry charge. It`s the band the White Stripes could have been if they had replaced the female drummer with a shit hot guitarist and got Jack to play better, sing better and kick a half a drumkit on the stage while he does it. Maybe it`s coz they`re from Montrose noone else down here has caught on yet how good this is to watch live. They rocked a Traffic Cone night in December  (Video above- breaking a string halfway through a song only enhanced the performance)  and will be launching their album proper in Glasgow come March-time.  Between now and then I hope Glasgow wakes up to this duo. Their also playing the Madskull/ Stereo gig on the 26th so hopefully that will give them another wee platform to impress.

One band who will emerge you have not heard of yet will probably be The Dirty Honchos. One of the most entertaining bands I seen live last year was `We Are Jawbone` and this is what I would consider the sequel to that.

Joe has a good following, plenty of experience and is one of the best frontmen I have seen at first hand. He joined another legend Hugh Reed onstage last August at The Pandora which proved to me that he`ll be fine whoever he recruits in and im looking forward to some more dark, topical, real music from him and his. 

They will support `The Men They Couldn`t Hang` on April 1st at Ivory Blacks. More details here

You can call me biased till the cows come home but the last few week`s I have been listening to what The Giro`s have been recording and have genuinely been blown away by how far all of them have come. The `Social Not Working` CD was recorded over 2 days, mixed in 1 and the sound completely reflected that which worked for they songs. However, the new one tentatively named `Countdown to Tinnitus`  has been a far slower, composed process of getting everything sounding right, sleeping on it, Recording demo`s and discarding them. It`s going to make for a fuller and more complete sound . Im hoping to release it VIA Traffic Cone Records in March/ April time and I can assure everyone it will well be worth the wait. Sneak previews coming to the mailing list in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can get on that list and download the last release for a name-your-price dillio by going here FREE D.L of `Social Not Working`. The Girobabies will be premièring new material also at the Madskull/ Ghosts of Progress gig so make sure you get there to Stereo early on the 26th January  

 Sticking to the Giro theme is a band known only as `Portraits` . I can reveal that the bassist is Martyn Yuen (Ex- bassist of The Giro`s) They don`t have a website or even a Facebook yet but I have sneaked an exclusive listen to them. It`s lo-fi post-rock instrumentalisation at it`s finest. So if you like Mogwai et all then you`ll prob be digging these guys. They make their live debut opening at the Glasgow City Scoundrels (Launch Night) on Jan 26th, yet another fine reason to make sure your there. They`ll be on first and it could be a little bit of musical history happening right there.

Last but not least is another brand new band going by the name of Crash Club. I know a couple of the guys from their last project (popular Indie band `The Front` ) who disbanded a couple of years back. Since then Arran and Neal have been recording live instruments over Sammy`s banging dance-fused beats. They also make their live debut this month at Stereo (2 days later on the 28th) supporting Versus Versus and The Draymin (One of my fave bands of 2010) . The music is completely different from heir last incarnation and I`m really looking forward to how these guys translate it to the live arena. You can find all the details of the gig  here and they`ll be an after-party in Stereo feat. Will Bailey, Crocky, Foley Foliage and more . all the details can be found here

Monday, 10 January 2011

F.U January night (REVIEW)

Many people were poor. Many bedridden with flu.  Many people snowed in. Many deluded with the fantasy of a new clean cut lifestyle involving no beer, no fags and a an overpriced gym membership.

 but there was also a swarm of music fans who cancelled the gym membership, downed some lemsip, dived  into the snowplough mobile and attended Pivo Pivo for beer, free pizza and live music on January 8th to unite and repeatedly shout `Fuck You January` at various intervals.

The night was opened by Homesick Aldo. A natural born entertainer who came all the way from Fife to deliver a set so good and concise that the mind boggles as to how he actually finds time to breathe throughout. All he has onstage is himself, a harmonica and a snare drum and when the blusey harmonica briefly stops he belts out a soulful vocal  from the heart that demands the attention of his audience. A true original who danced around Pivo with passion and panache.

Next on was Sleepy Eyes Nelson who kept the January blues away and continued the bluesey theme nicely where Aldo had left off. Ive seen Sleepy a few times and he never fails to deliver. Just one man and a guitar who makes a soundtrack live that belongs in a classical yesteryear of smokey bars, Pretty broads and poker games that descend into Jack Daniels benders and an eventual arrest from a stuffy detective dressed like Colombo but definitely not Colombo. I especially enjoyed his epic version of `You Dont Steal From Me`  with lyrics such as `I Keep a hammer under my pillow/ I keep it there for Mr.Intruder` all sang with a rather matter-of-fact charm. How could you not?

Next up was PHLOX who were playing without their frontwoman Alison who was unfortunately snowed in. PHLOX plowed on through and created a psychedelic wall of sound with effects galore that hit you like a ton of LSD. Trippy and mystical the boys did good and bonus points for not cancelling despite an absent band member that would have scared most off from playing.

The last act Colour Cells were in celebratory mood as Andy Kelly (Drums) was having a birthday bash and this was their first gig since Doc (Vocals/ Guitar) became a father for the first time. The boys are currently recording a Debut E.P/ Album which I cant wait to hear as their recordings on myspace dont quite do the band justice as their live set is full of potential hits and pack a punch with sweping Pixies style harmonies with a cutting edge of grunged out effects. Filled with soul, meaning and anthemic choruses brought together with perfect rythym. The band loves their music and it shows which propels their likeability to greater heights. Even after a shandy or 2 they never missed a beat and sounded tight throughout.

 They were joined onstage by Homesick Aldo for `Roughman`s Blues`  (a song he had never even heard before) all he knew was that the song `was in G` and he played along with it as if he had been in the band for years. A definite highlight of the night for sure.  as was the other surprise cameo of Alara the Romanian Rose seller joining onstage with the Traffic Cone F.U January festivities.

Next Traffic Cone events coming up ......

Jan 26th @ Stereo- Madskull, Girobabies, Ghosts of Progress, The Unstoppable Flying Raincoats, Portrait

Feb 3rd @ Pivo- The Alternative Burn`s Supper

Feb 19th @ Soundhaus- Live & Underground

Feb 25th @ Taylors, Kilwinning- A Thunderous Night of Rock for Scottish Cancer Support

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

F. U January.... This Saturday (08/01/2010)

Im not the type to blame calendars for bad times. I dont believe in the phrase `Cant get wait to get this year out of the way` after you`ve had a rough time of it. Every new day is a new year with new opportunities to do something new, something different. You can change what your doing at any point. BUT.... having said all of that, January is a bit of a bitch. Everyone`s hungover, suffering from come-downs, Loaded with the flu, disappointed  with a below par Christmas holiday, everyone is skint from consumerism and hedonism and the trains are usually fucked!  Normally I hibernate as much as possible to avoid the cold, dead eyes and the commuter misery. However, not this year. Im gonna throw a party on Saturday to get rid of those January blues with a perfect antidote of beautiful, soulful music that will ease you back into reality

Top of the bill is Colour Cells  who make harmonic soothing pop rock that packs a punch. Beach Boys harmonies with a dash of Beatles and a catchy Weezer (Good Weezer) edge. Half the boys fare from Ayrshire, Half from Glasgow and it`s the drummer Andy Kelly`s birthday (a master of all trades in his own right) They are currently recording their first studio CD which will hopefully do their frantic note perfect live shows justice 

Before Colour Cells headline expect a large slice of  easy listening psycadelia from PHLOX. I first came across Willie Copelands other project Alien Pig years ago. True Glasgow legends of the underground of the last decade (s) . and the PHLOX incarnation blew me away with Alison joining in on vocals. She sounds brilliant and you can tell they have fun when they strut their stuff live.

Phlox- Spin & Crawl

Next up on the bill is Scottish blue`s legend Sleepy Eyes Nelson. He`s played with us before and there will be nothing like a blues genius to rid you of those January blues. He sings and plays from the heart, Looks impossibly  too young to be capable of the complex technique involved in playing what he does. He has over 100 videos on youtube so I`ve just randomly picked one below 

Sleepy Eyes Nelson- Some Cold Rainy Day

Last but certainly not least is Homesick Aldo who will open proceedings with a harmonica, a snare and a voice that will will make you take notice. Nobody does with Aldo does. It`s refreshingly different and passionate. He takes a retro idea and adds his own punk style twist to proceedings. This will be first time I`ve seen him in the flesh but the many reviews and vids I`ve seen make it highly anticipated

Homesick Aldo

As you can see it`s a fantastic line up, we will have top banter and  FREE PIZZA, cheap drink promos, a special guest host/D.J and a few surprises up our sleeve. Let`s try start January with a bang rather than a whimper slumped under a quilt. Lets send a little message out to the first month of the year.... 
 Fuck You January! This time we wont back down. 

£3 entry
doors 7.30pm 
Facebook Event page below...

The Best Gigs of 2010 .....

I am indecisive, sometimes forgetful and reserve the right to change my opinions in the blink of the eye. I dont like other people who do this, Which makes me a hypocrite. Knowing that I`m a hypocrite may make me better  than the average hypocrite... Or it may make me worse depending on how I`m feeling.

I`ve been toying with my end of year lists for the last few weeks or so as i`ve voted in the Ayetunes, The Peenko and the music-news.com awards so far. I assumed the Peenko one was meant to be Scottish (I was wrong) then I voted for Ayetunes with no geographical banner (I think that was wrong) and although music-news.com is an international website I pretty much stayed biased to the Scottish scene as the older I get the less fixated i`ve become on the big bands, the big gigs and genuinely find more enjoyment in the new music in the local scene and watching it grow (or indeed implode)

I find it hard to number bands or songs or albums so here`s a list of music and gigs that have made 2010 a better  place. The running order is in no particular order and I may have omitted some belters by mistake as I try and trail through my hazy recollections of the last year which have seen me take in over almost 200 gigs and listened to/ reviewed around treble that amount in albums.

Best Gigs-

Leftfield at Rock Ness
Brian Jonestown Massacre at the ABC
Grinderman at the Barrowlands
Ghosts of Progress/ The Fold at Pivo Pivo
Beerjacket at Oran Mor
Alabama 3 at Wizard fest
Steve Mason at Stereo
Babybird at King Tuts
Coco Bryce at Bar Bloc
La Fontaines at Detour/ Bar Bloc
Chris Helme at Pivo Pivo
The Draymin at Rock the Boat
Peatborg Fearies at Wizard fest
Roscoe Vacant and the Gantin` Schriechs at the 13th note
Hugh Reed at Bar Libertine
We are Jawbone at Rockers
Madness/ Paul Heaton at the Academy
Jinx Lennon at the 13th note
Colour Cells/ Annie Stevenson/ Girobabies  at Equinox 
The Detour Wee Jaunt 2
Happy Mondays at Wizard fest

Im gonna stop at that as I risk upsetting people who weren`t on the list that I also enjoyed and can`t remember  but please bare in mind that I went to a LOT of gigs/ festivals,  almost daily. These are the ones that stood out off the top of my head at this point in time right now as the flu replaces my new year hangover