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The Scotsman, Under the Radar, February 2015

Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 1 February 2015 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss

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Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon report on music events across Scotland in February 2015

GLASGOW rock four-piece Tijuana Bibles have been steadily building a following over the past year, supporting acts such as The View and Alabama 3, as well as securing festival slots at T In The Park, Belladrum and Wickerman.

This month they go on a Scottish tour taking in towns such as Perth, Bathgate, Dunfermline, Wick and Thurso, often left off the touring map. Then in March they embark on a UK-wide excursion as part of XFM’s travelling club night, This Feeling, which takes in Edinburgh (Sneaky Pete’s) and Glasgow (Broadcast).

Tijuana Bibles’ new single Sun Chaser, which is released on 2 March, is our track of the month and has been made available via Soundcloud to coincide with the publication of our column.

Last year’s Glasgow International Film Festival premiered the Scottish Bafta-nominated From Scotland With Love, with King Creosote playing live while the film was screened. Taking place from 18 February until 1 March, this year’s event devotes a whole section to “sonic cinema”. Entitled Sound And Vision, it includes a special event co-curated by Lost Map Records on 19 February. A Night At The Regal includes live performances by eagleowl, Monoganon, Joe McAlinden and British Sea Power, playing along to a selection of videos and films. Visit

First announced at our Wide Days convention in 2013, grassroots touring and gig-swap network Off Axis officially launches later this month. Based on the hugely successful Brazilian venture, Fora Do Eixo, acts who are able to guarantee an audience of at least 70 in their home town invite a support act from elsewhere in the country and in return gain credits which they can use to request a gig further afield. Artists can register their interest and details of the scheme are included in this presentation.

Edinburgh folk band, Little Kingdom, release their single Yesteryear on 9 February with gigs at Hootananny in Inverness on the 7 February and The Electric Circus on 12 February. They are joined for the latter by Edgar and Sea Of Crowns, with all three bands the latest to have completed a recording/mentoring scheme developed by engineer/producer Garry Boyle and supported by Creative Scotland. Visit Don’t Make A Scene

Highland podcasters, promoters and bloggers Netsounds Unsigned have signed up former MFR presenter Marion Irvine to their team. They have also unveiled plans to expand their support for live and independent music in Inverness, with a monthly gig/club night, Unknown Pleasures, which launches at the Ironworks on 6 March. Local band Lionel are joined on the bill by Hunter & The Bear, with Netsounds and IndieNess overseeing DJ duties. Visit

Another gig/club worth looking out for is MILK, which takes place at Glasgow’s Flat 0/1 venue on 11 February and features live performances from Man of Moon and Algernon Doll, as well as DJ sets from Fantastic Man and the night’s organisers, who are promising to have an anti-Valentine theme.

One of Scotland’s longest running and most eclectic festivals, Knockengorroch World Ceilidh, returns from 21-25 May. Now in its 18th year, it recently announced Edinburgh’s Young Fathers as one of the headliners, with other confirmed acts including Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty, Scratch Perverts and Mungo’s Hi-Fi. Visit

Belladrum Tartan Heart festival has added a third day to this year’s event, which takes place from 6-8 August. A handful of acts have already been confirmed, including headliners The Proclaimers and Kaiser Chiefs, as well as track of the month providers KLOË and Honeyblood.

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the Born To Be Wide music-industry seminar and social events. The next night takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 5 February and includes an interview with SSE Hydro director, John Langford, and a discussion focusing on music tourism. Visit

The Scotsman, Under the Radar, January 2015

Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 5 January 2015 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss

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Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon report on music events across Scotland in December 2014

HAILING from Clydebank, 18-year-old artist KLOË has been creating a stir in music business circles in recent weeks. Her debut single Grip – our track of the month for January – has already notched up a respectable 27,000 plays since being uploaded to Soundcloud at the beginning of December. Listen here

King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution returns from 3-17 January with over 30 emerging bands performing, including Edinburgh newcomers Indigo Velvet, The Moon Kids and Inverness-based youngsters Lionel. The following month, the venue celebrates its 25 anniversary with a fine selection of Scottish talent. Highlights include Fatherson, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad and Willie Campbell. Visit

Meanwhile, vowing to celebrate “the spirit of independence and culture of live music” Independent Venue Week is set to showcase emerging talent across the UK from 26 January until 1 February. Participating venues in Scotland include The Moorings in Aberdeen, The Electric Circus and Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh as well as Broadcast and Audio in Glasgow. Many acts have still to be announced; however Sneaky Pete’s has confirmed some favourites of this column: Honeyblood, Withered Hand and Tuff Love. Visit

Don’t Make A Scene is an innovative new guide created by musicians Bartholomew Owl (Eagleowl) and Rob St John with advice, resources and tips on successfully creating DIY gigs and events. Contributors include artists, independent promoters, label/venue owners and tour managers with some notable figures such as manager Andy Inglis, Lost Map Records owner Johnny Lynch, Dan Wilson (Withered Hand) and Matthew Young of Song, by Toad.

Big Burns Supper in Dumfries has been expanded to a nine-day event this year and runs from 23-31 January. Incorporating music, comedy and theatre, it includes young contemporary musicians Nina Nesbitt and the mighty hip-hop act Hector Bizerk, Scots Trad Music Awards nominees Skerryvore and heritage acts such as The Vaselines, Hue and Cry and The Undertones

Celtic Connections takes place in venues throughout Glasgow from 15 January to 1 February and is the biggest winter festival of its kind, with an 18-day programme featuring more than 2,000 performers from around the globe. There is plenty of local talent, including an opening night dedicated to Martyn Bennett, a collaborative concert from Withered Hand and Brazilian MC Criolo (21 January), King Creosote’s From Scotland With Love (22 January), Findlay Napier (17 January) and Rachel Sermanni (21 January). Also featuring Glasgow-based composer Craig Armstrong, whose film score credits include Neds plus Hollywood movies Ray and The Great Gatsby (27 January), plus plenty of traditional/world concerts from the Young Traditional Musician of the Year to Treacherous Orchestra and Skerryvore. Full details can be found HERE

Randolph’s Leap release their latest single Weatherman today, accompanied by a video featuring veteran forecaster Michael Fish. The clip has already garnered attention thanks to its inclusion on Q Magazine’s website. To coincide with the release the band have put early bird tickets on sale for their I Can’t Dance To This Music event at Glasgow’s CCA on 21 March, which also features comedy, watch the video

Having established an international reputation over more than a decade, Scotland’s largest creative industries festival goNORTH, is now to be known as XpoNorth and will take place on 10-11 June. Applications for the music showcase are set to open soon.

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the Born To Be Wide music-industry seminar and social events. The next night takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 5 February. Visit