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The Scotsman, Under the Radar, February 2015

Published In The Scotsman Newspaper: Monday 1 February 2015 | Words by Derick Mackinnon and Olaf Furniss

Click photo to read on Scotsman.com

Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon report on music events across Scotland in February 2015

GLASGOW rock four-piece Tijuana Bibles have been steadily building a following over the past year, supporting acts such as The View and Alabama 3, as well as securing festival slots at T In The Park, Belladrum and Wickerman.

This month they go on a Scottish tour taking in towns such as Perth, Bathgate, Dunfermline, Wick and Thurso, often left off the touring map. Then in March they embark on a UK-wide excursion as part of XFM’s travelling club night, This Feeling, which takes in Edinburgh (Sneaky Pete’s) and Glasgow (Broadcast).

Tijuana Bibles’ new single Sun Chaser, which is released on 2 March, is our track of the month and has been made available via Soundcloud to coincide with the publication of our column. http://tijuanabibles.co.uk/

Last year’s Glasgow International Film Festival premiered the Scottish Bafta-nominated From Scotland With Love, with King Creosote playing live while the film was screened. Taking place from 18 February until 1 March, this year’s event devotes a whole section to “sonic cinema”. Entitled Sound And Vision, it includes a special event co-curated by Lost Map Records on 19 February. A Night At The Regal includes live performances by eagleowl, Monoganon, Joe McAlinden and British Sea Power, playing along to a selection of videos and films. Visit http://www.kingtuts.co.uk/kingtuts25th

First announced at our Wide Days convention in 2013, grassroots touring and gig-swap network Off Axis officially launches later this month. Based on the hugely successful Brazilian venture, Fora Do Eixo, acts who are able to guarantee an audience of at least 70 in their home town invite a support act from elsewhere in the country and in return gain credits which they can use to request a gig further afield. Artists can register their interest http://offaxisnetwork.com and details of the scheme are included in this presentation.

Edinburgh folk band, Little Kingdom, release their single Yesteryear on 9 February with gigs at Hootananny in Inverness on the 7 February and The Electric Circus on 12 February. They are joined for the latter by Edgar and Sea Of Crowns, with all three bands the latest to have completed a recording/mentoring scheme developed by engineer/producer Garry Boyle and supported by Creative Scotland. Visit Don’t Make A Scene

Highland podcasters, promoters and bloggers Netsounds Unsigned have signed up former MFR presenter Marion Irvine to their team. They have also unveiled plans to expand their support for live and independent music in Inverness, with a monthly gig/club night, Unknown Pleasures, which launches at the Ironworks on 6 March. Local band Lionel are joined on the bill by Hunter & The Bear, with Netsounds and IndieNess overseeing DJ duties. Visit www.netsoundsunsigned.com

Another gig/club worth looking out for is MILK, which takes place at Glasgow’s Flat 0/1 venue on 11 February and features live performances from Man of Moon and Algernon Doll, as well as DJ sets from Fantastic Man and the night’s organisers, who are promising to have an anti-Valentine theme. www.facebook.com/milkglasgow01

One of Scotland’s longest running and most eclectic festivals, Knockengorroch World Ceilidh, returns from 21-25 May. Now in its 18th year, it recently announced Edinburgh’s Young Fathers as one of the headliners, with other confirmed acts including Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty, Scratch Perverts and Mungo’s Hi-Fi. Visit www.knockengorroch.org.uk

Belladrum Tartan Heart festival has added a third day to this year’s event, which takes place from 6-8 August. A handful of acts have already been confirmed, including headliners The Proclaimers and Kaiser Chiefs, as well as track of the month providers KLOË and Honeyblood. www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the Born To Be Wide music-industry seminar and social events. The next night takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on 5 February and includes an interview with SSE Hydro director, John Langford, and a discussion focusing on music tourism. Visit 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