The Dark Jokes

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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

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

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

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

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

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

•  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

The Scotsman, Under the Radar, May 2013

Copyright The Scotsman Newspaper, read direct on click HERE or photo below

Published Thursday 2nd May 2013

Prides, The Scotsman Track of the Month, May 2013

FORMERLY called Midnight Lion, and recently renamed Prides our track of the month providers look poised for great things. Fellow Glaswegian electro-popsters Chvrches recently took to Facebook to promote the video of the band’s Out Of The Blue single and BBC Radio 1’s Ally McCrae liked them so much he decided to manage them – arguably the ultimate endorsement.
You can see Prides live at the Brew At The Bog festival this weekend, at Stag & Dagger in Glasgow on 18 May and at the closing party for the goNorth Festival on 6 June. In the meantime, check out their video here .

Among the other acts showcasing at goNORTH, which is billed as Scotland’s largest creative industries event, are numerous Under the Radar track of the month providers including Fat Goth, Casual Sex, Roman Nose, Garden of Elks and Homework, as well as newcomers like Saint Max and the Fanatics, Pronto Mama, Jemma Tweedie and Dylan Tierney. All the gigs are free and provide the public with a fantastic opportunity to experience some amazing new talent. Visit

The Scottish Album of the Year Award celebrates Scottish artists from all genres and will host an award ceremony at The Barrowland’s in Glasgow on 20 June, with the winner scooping a £20,000 prize and the remaining nine artists picking up £1,000 each. The longlist was revealed last week and throughout May all 20 albums can be streamed for free. A public vote will propel the highest-scoring artist onto the shortlist, with the rest being decided by a panel of judges. Included on the longlist are Under the Radar favourites Meursault, PAWS, Admiral Fallow and Stanley Odd, alongside megastars Calvin Harris and Emeli Sandé. To listen and vote visit

Stag & Dagger takes place on 18 May across seven Glasgow venues and includes performances from We Were Promised Jetpacks, Rachel Sermanni, Fatherson, Prides and Randolph’s Leap. One wristband accesses all venues and costs a most reasonable £21. For full line up and ticket details visit

Another city festival using the multi-venue format is Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender (31 May – 2 June). Among the acts on the bill are Fridge Magnets, The OK Social Club, Banana Sessions and Vigo Thieves. This year the event has added a third venue, catering specifically for an over-14s audience. Visit for details

Edinburgh act The Dark Jokes have put in some impressive performances at Scottish festivals over the past couple of years. This month they play several dates in preparation for a tour of Brazil, where they are booked to play a series of shows at a huge multi-arts event celebrating UK culture. Taking place in San Paolo, the inaccurately named Cultura Inglesa has previously hosted Franz Ferdinand and this year also features Scottish music industry legend Alan McGee.

Other talent from the capital picking up interest outside Scotland includes Bwani Junction and Delta Mainline. The former have released the track Civil War in advance of a European tour, see for details. Meanwhile, psychedelic rockers Delta Mainline are proving a favourite on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music show with the track Misinformation picking up several plays. The band’s debut album Oh Enlightened, which took two years to record, is released on 20 May and has picked up well-deserved interest throughout the UK music press. Definitely worth checking out, this is a collection of songs which should be listened to at maximum volume,

Other releases on our radar are Fife-based Panda Su, whose new single Maps is out on her own Peter Panda Records and Stornoway’s The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. The latter has released his latest video, California ahead of his UK tour.
Visit for full details of live dates, which include a home town appearance at the Hebridean Celtic Festival on 20 July in Stornoway.

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run Born To Be Wide and the annual Wide Days convention. The next event takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 30 May and features a discussion on how to prepare for goNorth. Find out how to get free tickets at