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ONE of the first acts we featured after arriving in this slot in February was Kathryn Joseph , which involved getting the camera-shy artiste to agree to her first ever photo shoot. Little did we know that four months later she would scoop the Scottish Album of the Year Award.
During the summer there was much discussion about the lack of female acts on festival bills, so in the hope that promoters are reading, we’ll take this opportunity to name a few we featured: the joyous Best Girl Athlete, the innovative Be Charlotte and energetic duo Sacred Paws. Among the male acts we singled out, C Duncan picked up a Mercury Music Prize nomination, and pop talent Greg Pearson was featured as single of the week on Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth show. Other highlights included beatboxers Bigg Taj VS Spee Six Nine plus JR Green and the effortlessly cool Catholic Action . 2015 also proved to be the year in which Fatherson, KLOË, Model Aeroplanes and WHITE – all previously tipped by us – rose above the radar after signing major record deals. We look forward to bringing you more exciting Scottish acts in 2016.
Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the music industry seminar and social evenings Born To Be Wide visit www.borntobewide.co.uk
** For consideration as our artist of the week or any other news please contact: Derick Mackinnon
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