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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

The Scotsman, Under the Radar, May 2014

Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 5th May 2014 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss

RM Hubbard, The Scotsman, Under The Radar, May 2014

Regular readers of this column, will be familiar with Edinburgh record label Song, By Toad which not only releases some great music but also gave us the Beer vs Records campaign last year

Several of its artists have been past track of the month providers in their own right, so when we heard that a posse of them had decided to collaborate on a one-off project, our interest was immediately sparked. Titled Farewell, Bastard Mountain, the album was recorded in 2012 when the musicians spent a week working together in the living room of Song, By Toad’s Matthew Young. It features Meursault’s Neil Pennycook and Pete Harvey, Sparrow & The Workshop’s Jill O’Sullivan, Broken Records’ Rory Sutherland, Rob St John and Reuben Taylor. With its sparse arrangement, haunting melody and the complementary vocals of Pennycook and O’Sullivan, the track Meadow Ghosts is one of the best songs we have heard this year and we look forward to hearing the whole album. Released on vinyl and download on 12 May, it will be followed by a launch at Edinburgh Queen’s Hall on 29 May. In the meantime, you can hear Meadow Ghosts at https://soundcloud.com/songbytoad/meadow-ghosts

The goNORTH Festival has announced over 60 live music acts who will perform at the creative industry convention, which takes place in Inverness on 4-5 June. Showcasing bands include; Roman Nose, Hector Bizerk, Garden of Elks, Angus Munro, Schnarff Schnarff, Lionel and Model Aeroplanes (whose debut single is released on 27 May on First Run Records) and there are also several international acts also on the bill. Both daytime panels and evening gigs are free to attend, but require registration via the website www.gonorthfestival.co.uk/register

Hector Bizerk have also made it on to the longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY Award) which features a varied cross-section of Scottish artists. Throughout May, members of the public are able to listen all of the 20 albums selected and you can vote for your favourite from 26-28 May. The album receiving the most public votes secures one of ten shortlist places, with the other nine being decided by the 12-strong SAY judging panel, ahead of an awards ceremony on 19 June. Among the other artists featured are Rick Redbeard, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire and Young Fathers alongside big stars like Biffy Clyro. To listen visit www.sayaward.com

Last year’s SAY Award winner, RM Hubbert, is one of six acts chosen to play the Scottish showcase at industry convention The Great Escape, which take place in Brighton from 8-10 May. He will join the bill which also includes Prides, Honeyblood, Baby Strange, Leon T Pearl, and Neon Waltz at the Dome Studio Bar. Visit http://greatescapefestival.com/gig-planner

Nine-piece Edinburgh act The Black Diamond Express are also set to showcase at an industry event, albeit on the other side of the Atlantic. They play Toronto’s huge NXNE Festival, which takes place from 13-22 June. The appearance will be followed by a Canadian tour and the release of the band’s second album, The Year Of The Snake.

A newly refurbished 1877 cattle byre on the Inchyra Estate near Perth is set to open as a multi-purpose entertainment venue. Inchyra Arts Club will host music, comedy and theatre with a capacity of 600 for live gigs. On 7 June, Glasgow band Kassidy will be the first act to perform at the unusual venue. For full info on the programme visit www.inchyraartsclub.co.uk

Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender returns for the third year from 23-25 May promising over 50 acts across 5 venues throughout Kilmarnock, including a stage catering for all ages. Local stars, Fatherson – who recently sold out the first pressing of their debut album in less than a week – will headline the Saturday. Other acts worth checking out include Tijuana Bibles, Herculean and The Little Kicks. Visit www.facebook.com/KillieWeekender

Celebrating 19 years, the West End Festival takes place across various locations throughout Glasgow’s West End from 31 May to 29 June. Among the music highlights are We Were Promised Jetpacks, The View, an Electric Honey Records Showcase, and the now renowned Oran Mor All-Dayer event. Visit www.westendfestival.co.uk

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Scottish music industry social night Born To Be Wide which takes place on the first Thursday of the month at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus. They will host a panel at this year’s goNorth, as well as a Q&A with filmmaker and former Skids frontman, Richard Jobson. See www.borntobewide.co.uk