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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

The Scotsman, Under The Radar, September 2013

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

Published Tuesday 3rd September 2013

LAW, The Scotsman Track of the Month, September 2013

ONE of the best gigs we have attended in months was an intense performance by solo artist Lauren Hold, aka LAW, at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s.

Boasting a distinctive vocal style set to beats composed with Young Fathers and producer Tim London (who scored a hit with Hippychick for the band Soho in 1990), her music is a fresh and exciting addition to Scotland’s music scene. The song Hustle gives a good taste of what is to come.

More info visit www.lawholt.com

One of the biggest talking points in the Scottish music scene is the news that the legendary Fence Collective is to split. Founder Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) plans to relaunch in January, while his former partner Johnny “Pictish Trail” Lynch plans to release many of the acts formerly on the label via his new venture, Lost Map Records http://lostmap.com A free sampler featuring tracks by eagleowl, Kid Canaveral, Monoganon, Rozi Plain, Seamus Fogarty, Randolph’s Leap and The Pictish Trail is available to anyone who signs up to the mailing list.

Hip-hop supremos Hector Bizerk are to mark the release of their new album with two launch parties, in Stereo, Glasgow on 21 September and at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh the following night. Billed as “Hectember Weekender”, the band are offering a limited number of seats on their Hector Bus from Glasgow for Edinburgh. The band had the plugs pulled on their last gig in the capital (at the BBC’s Fringe tent), when security appeared to take exception to enthusiastic fans going in for some “taps aff” action. www.hectorbizerk.com

Hector Bizerk will also be appearing at Jocktoberfest, hosted by the Black Isle Brewery near Inverness this coming weekend. This year’s bill is shaping up to be the best yet – it includes Casual Sex, Be Like Pablo, Woodenbox, Dylan Tierney and the fantastic Cairn String Quartet. www.jocktoberfest.com

On the other side of the firth, Moray Culture Day takes place in the Findhorn Bay area on 21 September. The free event will feature more than 80 artists with music, theatre, exhibitions, seminars and film all represented. The organisers of the goNORTH Festival have programmed a series of industry panel sessions, a screening programme and live music showcases in the evening. Artists performing include Fatherson, Be Like Pablo, The Oxides and Dave Martin & Graeme Rogers (DJ set) at Mosset Tavern from 9pm. Other pubs in the area will host Highland singer songwriters Jemma Tweedie, Dylan Tierney, Blair McLeod and Irenie Rose. www.findhornbayarts.com/night.html

Also taking place in the Highlands over the same weekend, is Ullapool’s Loopallu Festival www.loopallu.co.uk This year’s line-up features emerging Scottish acts Fake Major, Blood Relatives and former track of the month provider Prides, as well as headliners Newton Faulkner and The Enemy. Also appearing is Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire whose eponymous album was released on the Middle Of Nowhere Recordings (www.monr.co.uk) co-owned by Loopallu promoter, Robert Hicks.

Over in Stornoway, goNORTH organisers present a free Music In Broadcast seminar at the Jäger Rooms on Wednesday. Speakers include Duncan McCrone from MCPS, representatives from MG Alba and goNORTH Director Amanda Millen. www.gonorthfestival.co.uk/news

Quirky Edinburgh indie-pop outfit The Spook School are to release their debut album with Fortuna Pop! The group have also scheduled a UK tour with dates in Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London in September and October. www.thespookschool.com

•  Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run regular music business event Born to Be Wide, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus from 7:30pm on 3 October with a seminar entitled Promoting Gigs. Speakers include Regular Music’s John Stout, who is also a booking agent, and Synergy Concerts’ Grainne Braithwaite. Additional participants TBA. www.borntobewide.co.uk for more details