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The Scotsman, Under the Radar, August 2014

Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 4 August 2014 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss

The Dark Jokes, The Scotsman Newspaper, Track of the Month, August 2014

Edinburgh four-piece The Dark Jokes are our track of the month with, ‘Firework Town’ taken from their debut album ‘Ekco Transmissions.’ Recorded in a cottage in the Highlands, and part-financed by their fans via online crowd-funding, the album will be independently released in September. Spending two weeks touring Brazil supporting Kate Nash and The Magic Numbers, plus a sell out home show over the weekend, the band have honed their live set to perfection. Check out the dark, but brilliant video, here:

Keep up-to-date at www.thedarkjokes.com

Festival season continues with Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival this weekend from 8-9 August, in Beauly just outside Inverness, with a myriad of excellent new music, particularly on the goNORTH Festival Stage. Highlights include Garden of Elks, Model Aeroplanes, Hector Bizerk, Neon Waltz, Poor Things, Fat Goth, PAWS, Lionel and Call To Mind. In addition, organisers have teamed up with youth music mentoring project Music Plus, to offer five Highland artists aged 14-19 years their debut festival appearance. Inverness-based DJ / producers Darren Hamilton and Louis Slorach play the Mothers Ruin stage, while singer songwriters Ruth Gillies, Hannah Finlayson and Jacob & Rory Green; two brothers from Strontian in Lochaber, play the Free Range Folk Stage. Visit www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

Jacob & Rory Green will go onto perform at Doune the Rabbit Hole which takes place from 22-24 August on the Cardross Estate in Stirlingshire. The intimate festival will see Hector Bizerk, RM Hubbert, Blochestra, Adam Stafford, PAWS and more perform across the weekend. Full info visit www.dounetherabbithole.co.uk

Chemikal Underground Records’ East End Social, (which featured within the Culture 2014 programme, during the Commonwealth Games), continues throughout August with artists including; Withered Hand, RM Hubbert and Pronto Mama performing in venues throughout the East End of Glasgow. The finale is a festival style weekend at Richmond Park, billed as ‘The Last Big Weekend’ and gets underway from 30-31 August. The spectacular line up features Mogwai headlining with support from The Twilight Sad, Young Fathers, Honeyblood and more. The following day focuses on electronic music, with the legendary James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem, founder of DFA Records) alongside co-curators Optimo plus Hudson Mohawke and new talent like Golden Teacher; a Glasgow six-piece live / electronic collective. Visit www.eastendsocial.com/events

Meanwhile in Dundee, local promoters operating under the banner Dundee Jam, continue to raise money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), combining unusual music events and sport. They have organised over 35 house gigs in addition to charity football matches, the last one, just a fortnight ago, featured Alloa Thistle VS Smells Like Team Spirit; consisting of musicians from 16 Dundee bands including Scary People, The Law, Vladimir, The Hazey Janes and The Merrylees. The latest event takes place on 23 August at a barn on the outskirts of Dundee and will be their most ambitious event to date with five bands, a BBQ, late night films and a disco in the barn. The line up and location are being kept secret but you can follow updates here www.twitter.com/dundeejam

Finally, Song, by Toad Records have announced their excellent Pale Imitation Festival which was launched last year as a reasonably priced alternative to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Running throughout August at Henry’s Cellar Bar, the line up includes Rick Redbeard (of The Phantom Band), LAW, Garden of Elks, Siobhan Wilson, Jesus H. Foxx, eagleowl, PAWS and plenty more. A particular highlight is a farewell gig from Meursault at the Queens Hall on 13 August. Tickets are £5 per gig, or £25 for a festival pass, (with the exception of Meursault at the Queens Hall which is £12). Visit www.songbytoad.com/2014/07/pale-imitation-festival-2014/

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Scottish music industry social night, Born To Be Wide. The next event is Free and takes place as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 18 August with Simon Napier Bell (former music manager of Wham!, The Yardbirds and Japan) discussing his new book. Visit www.borntobewide.co.uk

The Scotsman, Under the Radar, June 2014

Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 2nd June 2014 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss

Neon Waltz, The Scotsman Newspaper, Track of the Month, June 2014

Hailing from Wick, Neon Waltz are one of the most exciting bands in Scotland; their single Sombre Fayre is our track of the month. Recently signing a deal with Noel Gallagher’s manager and scoring airplay from Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 plus festival slots for T In The Park, Wickerman, Tramlines and Y Not Festivals, things are looking incredibly promising. We’ll be down the front for their showcase at this week’s goNORTH Festival (Hootannanys, Inverness, on Wednesday). Having been together for just one year, the Highland six-piece have been busy creating powerful psychedelic soundscapes in an isolated croft on the North Sea coast. With beautiful and haunting scenery in equal measure, the video below showcases the newcomers perfectly. Visit www.neonwaltz.com for more info.

Neon Waltz warmed up for their goNORTH appearance on Saturday night, when they supported Edinburgh band The Merrylees for the launch of their single Forever More. Produced by ace crooner and Mercury Prize nominee Richard Hawley, the band’s line up includes the son of Rab King, who fronted cult capital outfit The Scars in the eighties. The single is out today on Neu! Reekie! Records, which is the label launched by the duo behind the excellent cultural events of the same name. Their next bash takes place in the Scottish National Gallery on 13 June and includes Stanley Odd, Hollie McNish as well as Tam Dean Burn and Optimo’s JD Twitch. This will be followed on 29 June with a German-themed night in partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival at Summerhall. Visit www.facebook.com/neureekie

Also set to combine music with other art forms is a festival hosted by Edinburgh’s Electric Circus, titled Electric Nights, which takes place from 14-18 June. The varied programme includes electronic music, experimental folk and a whole array of art. Highlights include a SAY Award night on 16 June with RM Hubbard, Neil Pennycook from Meursault and the 2013 Arts Prize winner Gregor Morrison, plus a night dedicated to women in the arts with a mini art exhibition from musician Rachel Sermanni and photography from Jannica Honey on 17 June. Visit www.theelectriccircus.biz/live-music

Tenement TV films live music sessions from a tenement flat in Glasgow which it then broadcasts via YouTube. To date, it has had more than two million views, with early sessions from big stars like Bastille, Passenger and Jake Bugg as well as plenty of Scottish talent including; Model Aeroplanes, Prides, Fatherson, Nina Nesbitt and Admiral Fallow. The latest development is the announcement Tenement TV will be filming an eight-part music series to be broadcast on STV Glasgow, a new channel launching today. You can watch the series on Freeview channel 23, Sky (117) and Virgin (159) and also online by visiting www.tenementtv.com

This year’s T Break stage again looks set to provide a platform for some of Scotland’s most exciting new acts to perform at T In The Park and includes Model Aeroplanes, Birdhead, Tuff Love and Fat Goth, all showcased at our Wide Days event. We are also looking forward to seeing Naked and Teen Canteen, who release their single You’re Still Mine on 16 June. As in previous years, the festival organisers appear to have neglected to add the line up to the website, but anyone visiting www.tennents.com/tbreak an download a track by each act.

Finally, The East End Social celebrates Scottish culture in unusual locations in Glasgow’s East End during the Commonwealth Games. Running from June until August with artists like Casual Sex, the festival culminates with a performance from Mogwai in late August. See www.eastendsocial.com/events

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Scottish music industry social night, Born To Be Wide. The organisation will host a panel titled Building A Team, and a Q&A with musician turned film-maker Richard Jobson, at goNORTH in Inverness. On 28 June daytime youth music business event, Off The Record, takes place in Kilmarnock’s Palace Theatre, and at Edinburgh’s Roxy Assembly the following day. See www.borntobewide.co.uk