Born To Be Wide
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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 http://www.kingtuts.co.uk/kingtuts25th
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 www.independentvenueweek.com
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 www.bigburnssupper.com
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 www.borntobewide.co.uk
Neu Gestalt is the alter ego of reclusive Edinburgh producer and musician Les Scott, who divides his time between creating soundscapes and working as an architectural consultant. His latest collection of compositions, Rain Chamber, was released on Edinburgh label Alextronic Records on Friday and the track Capsules features fragments of Japanese language reassembled into new words, set to fretless bass lines, exotic noises and even some bowed-in guitar. We recommend that anyone needing an antidote to horrendous Christmas hits, darkens the room, puts on Rain Chamber and embarks on a musical journey with Neu Gestalt. Listen here
2014 has proved an eventful year for many of the acts who have previously provided our track of the month. Young Fathers scooped the Scottish Album of The Year award for the excellent Tape 2, then went on to win the Mercury Music Prize, in October, with the follow up, Dead. The band’s Graham Hastings, used an interview with the Guardian to offer a robust critique of the impact the Councils noise regulations are having on the capital’s music scene. Visit www.young-fathers.com
A few days later, the quotes were picked up by the Edinburgh Evening News, which led to over a 100 promoters, venue owners, musicians and music journalists turning up for a meeting to discuss the future of Edinburgh’s live scene. With the Picture House on course to being turned into a JD Weatherspoon ‘super’ pub, the Queen’s Hall being forced to take down posters for forthcoming gigs and many music locations complaining about punitive sanctions from the Council’s planning and licensing departments, expect 2015 to be an interesting year behind the city’s music scene.
Stanley Odd frontman Dave Hook [aka Solareye] was a particularly sought after voice in the run up to the referendum and [perhaps unsurprisingly] Nicola Sturgeon declared the song, Son I Voted Yes, one of her all-time favourites. Another fan is Alex Salmond’s niece, or at least that’s who he said the autograph was for when he called by the band’s dressing room last month, to get his vinyl copy of their latest album, A Thing Brand New, signed. Visit www.stanleyodd.com
Dundee act Model Aeroplanes have lived up to expectations. This year they’ve supported Editors, The View and performed at T in The Park, Electric Fields and Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Their second single Electricity was released in May, and went on to garner spins on Radio 1, XFM and a sync placement on Made In Chelsea. Check them out at Stirling Castle on Hogmanay. Visit www.model-aeroplanes.co.uk/
Way beyond the Central Belt – Wick to be precise – six piece Neon Waltz have certainly made a significant impact in their first year. The band signed a deal with Noel Gallagher’s manager, secured airplay from Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens and performed at numerous festivals including T In The Park and Tramlines. Currently touring the UK it looks like the buzz will continue over the coming months. Visit www.neonwaltz.com
On the festival front, new kid on the block, Electric Fields proved a big hit with lovers of emerging Scottish talent. Hosted on the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, the sell-out event promptly announced 29 August as its 2015 date. We expect great things, not least because one of the organisers is leading taste-maker Chay Woodman, who until recently has booked The Wickerman Festival’s excellent Solus Tent. Visit www.electricfieldsfestival.com
This year also saw creative companies go from strength to strength, most notably Tenement TV . It started life filming from a tenement flat in Glasgow’s West End and broadcasting sessions via YouTube, it has picked up 3million views, thanks to featuring stars including Bastille, Passenger and Jake Bugg, as well as Scottish talent Model Aeroplanes Nina Nesbitt and Fatherson. In addition to this, the company has added a multi-venue festival Tenement Trail and an eight-part series for STV Glasgow. Visit Tenement TV
Another company which is hoping to establish growth in 2015, is Edinburgh-based Skoog Music which has launched a crowd sourcing campaign to manufacture a new instrument – Skoog 2.0 – a squeezable foam cube which produces a variety of sounds. The deadline to pledge is 8 January info visit http://igg.me/at/skoog
• Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss organise the Born To Be Wide music industry seminar and social events. In May the Wide Days conference hosted by the company, picked up Best Networking Event Award at the Yearly Music Convention Awards, and in November Furniss won the Creative Edinburgh Anchor Award for “an outstanding contribution or activity from a professional individual.” Visit www.borntobewide.co.uk