Sparrow & The Workshop
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Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 5th May 2014 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss
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
Copyright The Scotsman Newspaper, read direct on Scotsman.com click HERE or photo below
Published Monday 29th July 2013
We recently saw Sparrow And The Workshop perform at one of the Dewar’s House Experimental Batch gigs, hosted in Edinburgh’s Caves venue, and were highly impressed. The Glasgow trio combine female vocals with some fantastic guitar sounds and crashing drums. Their album Murderopolis was released earlier this summer on Song, By Toad Records. The single
The Faster You Spin
is one of the finest tracks we have heard this year and boasts an excellent video poking fun at Britain’s leading politicians. See the band perform at Henry’s Cellar Bar in Edinburgh on 10 August. www.sparrowandtheworkshop.co.uk
Gone are the days when music found itself sidelined at the Edinburgh Fringe, with key venues renting themselves out to a host of other performers. This year several independent labels and promoters will be hosting a wide range of shows featuring both local talent and artists from further afield.
Among the most ambitious is the Pale Imitation Festival hosted by Song, By Toad Records which is set to promote nine evenings at Henry’s, beginning with William Henry Miller on 1 August, and ending with eagleowl on 31 August. The gigs have a strong focus on Scottish talent, as well as hosting several acts from further afield.
Glasgow-based Armellodie Records will also be using Henry’s to host two label nights featuring some of their excellent roster. Taking place on 7 and 15 August, participating acts include Le Reno Amps, the excellent punk of Cuddley Shark, Gastric Band and Saint Max & The Fanatics.
For those who prefer dubstep and bass, the White Knuckle Collective will host an extravaganza at the Collective Night in Sneaky Pete’s on 11 August including several acts on Edinburgh label Abaga Records. These include TeKlo, Tactus and Dunt. The night is free and is on until 5am.
Catering for anyone who prefers to enjoy their music in the daytime, Electric Circus is programming a mini festival titled Born And Bred which takes place from 12-15 August and features a series of lunchtime performances by acts including Carrie Mac, Sienna and Donald Macdonald & The Islands.
Meanwhile, the organisers behind Edinburgh’s multi-venue Haddowfest are to host a series of gigs under the banner of Haddow On The Fringe. Broken Records are among the Scottish headliners, as are Kid Canaveral who will be performing with the amazing Cairn Quartet. The latter will also be appearing in their larger guise, the Electric String Orchestra, when they perform with Edinburgh hip-hop stars, Stanley Odd, at the Queen’s Hall on 2 August.
Staying in the capital, music will again be incorporated into the Edinburgh International Book Festival with numerous artists participating in this year’s event. For followers of the Scottish scene we recommend two of the Jura Unbound events. On 14 August John Lemke and Poppy Ackroyd perform as part of the Writers’ Block evening, which includes spoken word recitals inspired by their debut albums. On 20 August, veteran Radio Scotland presenter, Vic Galloway, reads from his debut book Songs In The Key Of Fife, which focuses on growing up with the East Neuk scene which spawned the likes of KT Tunstall, the Beta Band and the Fence Collective.
Several well-known Scottish bands and artists, including Biffy Clyro, KT Tunstall and The Proclaimers have been showing their support for the creation of a Scottish Music Hall of Fame to be built in Glasgow. The stars have filmed nomination videos detailing acts they believe deserve to be inducted, and the public can vote by visiting www.myhof3.co.uk
Long-standing Glasgow label Chemikal Underground has been given Creative Scotland support to run a diverse range of music activities for the next 12 months to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The initiative will focus on the city’s Bridgeton area, where the company has been based since it was formed 16 years ago, and promises to use a wide variety of unconventional locations including parks, train stations, sports centres, town halls, pubs, bandstands and schools, as well as regular venues. A combination of international, emerging and unknown acts will feature
• Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon host the Born To Be Wide music business and showcase evenings. Their next event takes place on 4 August at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus and features ten minute sets by ten Scottish acts who are playing during the Fringe. See www.borntobewide.co.uk for more details