Ruth Gillies

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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