Tuesday, 23 December 2014

2014 review by Skinny Dipper

Skinny Dipper are a relatively new addition to the Olive Grove Records collective and they released a beautiful EP back in September. They create a beautiful organic sound full of melody and hope.

Alex from Skinny Dipper answered a few questions on 2014.

1.       What singles/songs that have been released in 2014 have stood out for you?
A few standout singles from this year are:
-       “She’s Not Me” by Jenny Lewis off The Voyager
This is one of my favourites off of her new album and the song is just contagious in its melodies. I catch myself humming this all the time!
-       “Disco/Very – Keep It Healthy” by Warpaint off their self-titled album
This is cheating a bit, they are my two favourite songs off of the new Warpaint album. They were combined together for the music video so I will combine them as well. the songs are on opposite spectrums but show both sides of what I love so much about what Warpaint does

-       “Gimme Something Good” by Ryan Adams off his self-titled album. I heard this being played quite a lot on BBC Radio 6 and didn’t realise at first that it was Ryan Adams. It grew on me each time I heard it and now I absolutely love it.

2.       What albums released in 2014 have you enjoyed?

These 6 have been my most listened to albums so far this year. Well, the Hey Rosetta album only just came out but I love it and them so I couldn’t not include it. July Talk was technically released in 2013, but a deluxe edition was released this year so I’m going to include it as it has been probably my most listened to album of the year!
-       Warpaint - Warpaint
-       Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
-       July Talk – July Talk
-       Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
-       Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
-       Hey Rosetta! – Second Sight
-       Hard Working Americans – Hard Working Americans

3.     What old music/bands have you discovered/gone back to in 2014?

In the excitement of Robert Plant playing Glasgow this month I have been going back and listening to lots of Led Zeppelin recently. That never gets old.


4.     What has been the musical highlight of 2014 for you?
I would probably have to say getting to see Jenny Lewis in Glasgow at the end of August. She is just amazing. She did a great mix of new songs, all my older favourites of hers plus a bunch of Rilo Kiley songs I never thought she would play!


5.     What are you plans for 2015?

For Skinny Dipper, we are looking to write some more songs in the new year and get those gig ready and recorded. We are really excited to be playing Celtic Connections in January (25th as part of Hazy Recollections)! 2014 has been an amazing year for us so we can’t wait for 2015 and hope it is even better!

Friday, 19 December 2014

2014 review by Fatherson

Fatherson have had an incredible 2014, releasing their debut album I Am An Island to critical acclaim, touring Europe and playing some huge shows in Scotland including the King Tut's tent at T in the Park. Check some footage at the end of this blog - it is truly remarkable to watch the audience going nuts and singing along as passionately as the band. The crowd is a size that many signed artists would kill for.

Fatherson seem to be going from strength to strength with word of mouth helping the band to gain new fans with each passing month.

I caught up with Ross Leighton, the singer and songwriter behind Fatherson, to find out what music has caught his ears through 2014.

1. What singles/songs that have been released in 2014 have stood out for you?
Feel - Bombay Bicycle Club
Messiah - Prides
Iron Sky - Paolo Nutini
Last January - The Twilight Sad

2. What albums released in 2014 have you enjoyed?
My favourite albums of 2014 currently would be :

Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow
Lonely the Brave - The Days War
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling
The Xcerts - There Is Only You
Phox - Phox

But I would also say the 'Niche Market' by Pronto Mama is the best EP of the year by far.

 3. What old music/bands have you discovered/gone back to in 2014?
Every month of so I go back and listen to 'Grace' by Jeff Buckley and 'Channel Orange' by Frank Ocean.

However my biggest return to an old band is always going to be my favourite band; Thisfamiliarsmile. I think i've re-bought their debut album 'Ribbons, regards and the more machine' like four times now and I love it more every time I listen to it.

4. What has been the musical highlight of 2014 for you?

My musical highlight for 2014 would have to be touring Europe with WWPJ, they took us to so many cool places and we just played our hearts out and loved every minute of it.

However, T in the Park this year we got to play the King Tuts Wah Wah Tent and had an unbelievable show that was the on the red button for a few weeks. I don't think I'll ever forget that day.

5. What are you plans for 2015?

Currently (writing in November) the only plan is to perform at SXSW 2015, which seems like a crazy thing to say, but it's true and I can't wait!

F A T H E R S O NWebsite: www.fathersonband.co.uk 
Like: facebook.com/fathersonband 
Follow: @fathersonband

2014 review by Kevin Harper

I've met some brilliant people involved in the Glasgow/Scottish music scene since I started this blog, putting on a few gigs and managing/advising bands. One of the nicest, funniest and most knowledgable guys (about music and films at least)  I have met is Kevin Harper, formerly lead singer and guitarist with Little Eskimos, sometime contributor to (Glasgow) Podcart and now a solo artist - check his incredible album Kingdom of Wires if you haven't already.

I have fond memories of a brilliant night at a youth hostel in Loch Lomond when Kev played  alongside Sonny Marvello and I DJ'd and we partied long into the night.

I caught up with Kev to see what music had been turning him on through 2014.

1. What singles/songs that have been released in 2014 have stood out for you?

Ahhh as much as I hate to say it, Swifty's 'Shake It Off' is pretty much perfect, (as perfect a pop song as Call Me Maybe and Heart Of Glass) but that's all I really wanna say about it. 

It's been a long time since he interested me (and I'm speaking as someone who used to be *obsessed* with his work) but I have to say, 'Gimme Something Good' by Ryan Adams is just a fantastic tune. I can't wait to get sick of it. And it's an apt title. When he's good he's great, but he seems to have no internal filter. If he was accidentally recorded farting in the next room I'm convinced he'd release it. The rest of the album bores me. He uses pretty much the same chorus on two songs. 

The main song from the soundtrack to 'Battered Bastards of Baseball', Man With A Broom by Brocker Way is my song of the year. And as a sidenote, if you haven't seen that film yet, do so at your earliest convenience. 

2. What albums released in 2014 have you enjoyed?

I haven't had a lot of time to listen to any albums this year, I'll be honest, but' Alvvays' by Alvvays took me right back to the glory days of the 90's (in fact you can apply this to all the music I like. If it's from or evokes the US indie tidal wave that hit just before Britpop happened then it's A-Okay with me). 

The new Deerhoof is as weird and wacky as is to be expected, but god damn it could possibly be their best album. 

'Complete Surrender' by Slow Club is just great. Songs which would make Goffin and King proud. Those guy are two or three years away from being HUGE. And by god they deserve it.  

I feel redundant including Sharon Van Etten's 'Are We There' despite it being beautiful, because everyone else has already sppken at great length at how great it is. That woman can seriously do no wrong.

3. What old music/bands have you discovered/gone back to in 2014?

I got re-acquainted with two of my favorite albums this year, Illmatic by Nas and Girls Can Tell by Spoon. Neither of them should require any introduction. If you haven't heard them, then you should totally do that. 

This year I came to the conclusion that there's no point whatsoever in trying to decide which is the best British space rock album between 'Northern Soul' by the Verve, 'Lost Souls' by Doves or 'Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space' by Spiritualised. So just listen to all three of them. At once. While on drugs.  Sorts the wheat from the chaff. 

Also, I've been hammering the hell out of everything Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra did. God they were nuts. There's something almost Vic and Bob about them.. But Hazlewood was a pioneering producer and not a bad songwriter to boot.

Realising how insipid and bland Tegan And Sara have become, I went back and listened to The Con to make sure i wasn't imagining a time when they were fantastic. I wasn't imagining it. It's a shame when that happens eh?  

4. What has been the musical highlight of 2014 for you?

Let's see... Sharon Van Etten utterly KILLED IT on Jools, Like i said, she can do no wrong. I have to say I felt a considerable bit schadenfreude when Beady Eye split up. Oasis without the songs: what's the point? 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something.....

5. What are you plans for 2015?

Well I soon shall be welcoming the birth of my son (congrats on the birth of Jackson), and everything that that entails, (developing a fear of sharp corners, beginning my sandal collection, all music instantly becoming 'noise') and if I get the chance I hope to record another album. Hopefully I get to do that but my focus is shifting on to other things anyway, things that take time, like writing, film making. Whatever happens, I feel it's time to stop writing songs about girls, definitely. It's already gotten me into too much trouble

Sunday, 14 December 2014

2014 review by Craig from DF Concerts

Craig Johnston has a job that I once dreamed of (I guess I still do!)- working for DF Concerts, watching bands, keeping up to date with the music scene and booking them for King Tut's - one of my favourite places in the whole world.

I couldn't think of a nicer guy to have this dream job. Craig cut his teeth putting on shows in venues like Maggie May's, building up his knowledge and contacts. Craig is always vocal about bands he believes in and has been singing the praises of young Scottish unsigned/DIY acts like Vigo Thieves, Fatherson and La Fontaines and working with them beyond King Tut's to book them into the Arches and ABC - next stop the Barrowland!

Craig's passion shines through in person and online and I always enjoy checking what he is listening to as his taste is eclectic and he is usually ahead of the game. So this was one review of 2014 I was particularly looking forward to.

And here it is....

1. What singles/songs that have been released in 2014 have stood out for you?

This was a hard one and I think this list shows my mental taste in music.  I don't trust people who say they don't like pop music, I understand not liking the idea of the whole pop machine but then those same people say they like motown... wake up... it's the same thing! A few years ago I decided I would judge each song on the song rather than thinking of it a genre or who done it etc and it has totally opened me up to all different styles of music. If I like the song then I like the song.  I think people who dismiss pop music are just doing themselves out of hearing some great music and are obviously lying to themselves as everyone likes at least one Spice Girls song. Anyway this list isn't just pop but these are the songs that were released this year that I have listened to most.

Ariana Grande - Break Free

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

Little Mix - Salute

Paramore - Ain't it Fun

Ten Walls - Walking with Elephants

Paolo Nutini - Scream (Funk My Life Up)

The Xcerts - Shaking In The Water

Wet - Don't Wanna Be Your Girl

Little Simz - Devour

2. What albums released in 2014 have you enjoyed?

Fatherson's "I Am An Island" came out this year and it is amazing.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this band.  I have been promoting them since they weren't old enough to get drunk after gigs.  I have watched them grow from a school band to and that are loved throughout the Country and when this album came out it was a really proud moment for me.  I imagine it is the same feeling that parents get when they take their kids the first day of school.  I am so proud of the boys and it is genuinely my favourite album of the year and not just because of my relationship with the boys but because the songs are belters, it is a massive step up. If you haven't heard this record yet then get on it you are missing out.

3. What old music/bands have you discovered/gone back to in 2014?
When I was at SXSW in March I found myself listening to Taylor Swift's Red album again, lots! I thought the album was good when it came out but I fell in love with it this year.  I was convinced it was because I had spent the two months leading up to SXSW listening to up and coming bands, bad recording and garage rock as prep I just needed some great pop in my life to redress the balance but thinking about it... It is weird that I got into the album in the quarter that Taylor was being relauched in prep for her new album.  Was she around the press more or on TV more so that made me pick that album over the debut Spice Girls example for example? So did I fall in love with the Red album because it is one of the best pop records of all time, was I a victim of the labels subliminal advertising or a bit of both?

4. What has been the musical highlight of 2014 for you?
T in the Park seems to be my answer every year but this year was very special.  When I was 15 I went to my first T in the Park and it was on that airfield in Balado that I got the bug for finding new bands. Later that year I went by myself to a gig for the first time (at the time I didn't know it would be the first of many) I went to the Martell in Falkirk and seen a band called Biffy Clyro.  This was the year I fell in love with both that airfield in Balado and Biffy Clyro so this year to see Biffy headline the last T in the Park on that airfield was a very special moment for me it was made even better now that I am part of the team that puts T in the Park on. Also seeing Fatherson play to a near full King Tut's Tent (12,000 capacity by the way) was very special I really hope there were a few wee guys and girls in that crowd that got the bug for live music like I did.

5. What are you plans for 2015?

Going to more gigs by myself..  really looking forward to the Years and Years, Soak and Prides records coming out (if that is their plans).  Also King Tut's 25th Birthday will be fun!

Friday, 12 December 2014

2014 review by Model Aeroplanes

Model Aeroplanes are one of the hottest young bands on the Scottish music scene, with emphasis definitely on young (teens) and hot (in terms of growing fan base, industry interest and the fact that they are pretty good looking young guys!).

They first came to my attention through Stevie from Vigo Thieves who is good friends with their manager Paul - a lovely guy who is working hard for his band and is getting a lot of positive results. 

I first saw them supporting Vigo Thieves back in September 2013 at the Arches. I was struck by the beautiful huge Eddie Cochran style guitar that the lead singer was playing. It almost dwarfed him.

I last saw them storming the main stage at the Wickerman Festival this summer. The difference in their confidence and the new songs they played was incredible. That is the result of playing live regularly, ever improving songs and the reaction they are achieving live, on the radio, in the press and online.

Funky rhythm sections, imaginative and playful guitar riffs, pop melodies and choruses that some boy bands would kill for are what make Model Aeroplanes stand out. 

Fingers crossed that they continue to progress in 2015.

I caught up with Rory and Grant to find out what has floated their boats in 2014.

1. What singles/songs that have been released in 2014 have stood out for

Rory: Fat White Family’s “Touch The Leather” is a personal favourite of mines this year and Kieran really likes Pharrell’s “Gust of Wind”, you can tell we all like to juxtapose one another’s tastes. 

2. What albums released in 2014 have you enjoyed? 

Rory: Crystal Fighters’ ‘Cave Rave’ has been my favourite album release this year, it’s cool to see how their sound had progressed and become more poppy whist still being ‘Crystal Fighters’ since ‘Star of Love’. Great album.

Grant: We loved ‘So Long See You Tomorrow’ - Bombay’s most recent album, they can really do no wrong in our eyes and we also really liked Catfish and the Bottlemen’s debut album, ‘The Balcony’, it’s got some absolute bangers on it. 

3. What old music/bands have you discovered/gone back to in 2014?

Grant: So many, we’ve always listened to older artists but I think this year they’ve really sat in the front seat when it comes to inspiring our music. We’ve always stated that we’re huge fans of the likes of Prince, Hall & Oats and Paul Simon; These guys really do have big part to play in what we do.

Rory: I’m really in to hip hop, making a lot of people cringe, but I’m loving a lot of Old and New artists. I’ve also got really in to Patti Smith again. It all seems like a completely random assortment of music but it seems to make sense to us. I’m not sure about what everyone else has been listening to recently, though, Grant owns “The Best Playlist in the World” - feat. Green Day, need I say more? 

Grant: We’re always mixing new with old. Theres a reason certain artists are legends and it’s because they got it right the first time. 

4. What has been the musical highlight of 2014 for you? 
Rory: T in the Park this year was absolutely incredible. 2013 was good but we were a new, unknown band, this year we had a near full tent of fans dancing and singing our songs. It was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced but, being Scottish teenagers, TITP is always going to have a special place in our hearts, whatever stage we play. 

5. What are you plans for 2015? 
Rory: Many secrets. 

Grant: Na we don’t know, we can make plans but one thing we’ve learned already is to play everything by ear in this industry. We’d love to release an album, so hint…

Rory: If we could tour Britain/Europe or something I’d be happy.

Just announced;

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

2014 review by Duglas T Stewart

Duglas T Stewart has been writing, singing, recording and releasing music with the BMX Bandits since 1986. Duglas' musical taste and knowledge is absolutely incredible and he has turned me on to many fantastic songs and artists via Facebook and Twitter - not only from older artists but also new and emerging artists whom he supports wholeheartedly - Randolph's Leap and TeenCanteen are just a couple of examples of young Scottish bands that Duglas has helped and supported.

On a personal level, I have been enjoying Duglas' music since I was in my mid-teens and it has been tremendous to watch him develop as a writer and artist. The last three BMX Bandits have been exceptional and deserve a wider audience. This years single My Girl Midge is heartbreakingly beautiful.

I caught up Duglas for his review of 2014.

1. Album of 2014

How Many Glasgow by Tenniscoats, Jad Fair and Norman Blake

The group I have listened to most this year are Tenniscoats.

2. Track of 2014

It's actually a cover version but it's a great song and I think this is the best version. Their album is beautiful.

3. Man of 2014

Stuart Kidd - Stuart was a BMX Bandit for a number of years. He joined us when he was still just a kid and I have felt a sense of pride watching him grow as a musician and an artist. He has been so prolific; contributing (sometimes as a writer, singer, sometimes a musician and a player, or all at the same time) to many great records over the last few years by acts including Dr Cosmos Tape Lab, Poundstore Riot, The Pearlfishers, Jad Fair, Norman Blake, The Wellgreen, Euros Childs and others.

Stuart has also played a couple of shows with me and we've worked on some recordings together. He's a great and prolific talent. He does everything with a sense of joy and positivity and with great taste and instincts.

Stuart on the left - his album with Dr Cosmos Tape Lab was a personal fave of mine in 2014

4. Looking to 2015

2014 has been the hardest year of my life and I approach 2015 with fear but still praying for a miracle.

There are things I look forward to; the debut album by TeenCanteen, new albums by Teenage Fanclub, Tenniscoats have made an album of Bill Wells cover versions that I'd love to hear. I think Euros Childs is sure to make a new album. I had hoped to make a new album with Chloe but don't know if we will but it's still a dream.

I'm also looking forward to the debut album by Glasgow duo Elara Caluna and a Joe Meek tribute album by JONNY (Norman Blake and Euros Childs) called Jonny Remembers Him.

Euros and Norman - JONNY
5. Favourite live shows of 2014

TeenCanteen at Broadcast, Burt Bacharach in Edinburgh, The Rutles at King Tuts, No More Tiger at Broadcast, The Pearlfishers at the Tolbooth in Stirling and Tennis at Broadcast.

TeenCanteen at Broadcast

Sunday, 7 December 2014

2014 review by Crash Club

One of Neal McHarg's favourite albums of 2014 from one of his favourite bands
I first met Neal McHarg when Nevada Base ventured out to Ayrshire to play with Neal's band Crash Club. I admired the way he played the bass, there was real attitude. We got talking, discovered we shared similar taste in music  and have talked on and off ever since and when I got tickets to Primal Scream's secret show at the Poetry Club last year, Neal was one person I knew that would truly appreciate a ticket.

Neal's passion for music is clearly evident to anyone who has ever met him. He has a thirst for new music and a desire to delve back into musical history to discover all kinds of stuff.

Crash Club have really kicked on in 2014 and 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for them. They play King Tut's on New Year's Eve with Medicine Men and Tijuana Bibles.

I caught up with Neal to find out what he had been listening to through 2014. I'm sure you'll agree that it is a superbly eclectic mix. I hope Neal dj's sometime!

1. What singles/songs that have been released in 2014 have stood out for you?

the war on drugs -  red eyes
I remember hearing about them for a while and never really getting excited then I heard the new album and being blown away, this is the stand out for me.

Todd terje - Delorean Dynamite
thanks to a night out with Nevada base’s calum muir I discovered this track, the drive of the track just caught me straight away, yet parts of it sound so chilled, amazing mixture.

Medicine Men – Show What You're Made Of
Can’t get enough of this, tho big Ian defo gets enough of me telling him how much I love it ha. Brilliant groove and it just gets big as it goes on. Live wise its just unreal. 

Medicine Men

Tijuana bibles – Crucifixion
Dirty sleazy rock and roll at its finest, fat fuzzy bass line to tony’s husky vocal this is how rock n roll should sound.

Vigo Thieves – This Love

Remember hearing this for the first time on my way to Ayrshire and just feeling uplifted and having to listen to it over and over again, ridiculously catchy.

2. What albums released in 2014 have you enjoyed?

black angels – clear lake forest
they really can’t do anything wrong in my eyes, yet another great explain of why their one of my favourite bands ever.

klaxons – love frequency
was really surprised by this, I wasn’t really a fan of the new rave stuff they done and we I listen to this for the time, I was amazed at how early 90’s influenced it was. Right up my street.

the war on drugs – lost in the dream
as I said earlier, the album is just outstanding.

deathcats -  all hail deathcats
got to love james and the boys, one of the hardest working bands in Glasgow and this album is great fuzz rock, Saturday night golden retriever is my personal stand out.
jagwar ma – the time and space machine dub sessions
Jagwar ma are right now my favourite band in the world, the album last year was unbelievable, and tho these sessions appeared on line last year, the vinyl only came out this year, and its so different track remixes yet still brilliant.

3. What old music/bands have you discovered/gone back to in 2014?

the bee gees – first 
they get a bad rep for cause of the whole disco stuff, but people forget how good the bee gees actually are! First is a 60’s classic.
john kongos – he’s gonna step on you again
all thanks to the happy Monday doing a cover of this with step on.  Love both but hadn’t really listened to the original for a long time.

supergrass – in it for the money
I miss supergrass loads, and with gaz releasing his next solo album, I went back and listened to my favourite supergrass album

Relaxed Muscle -  a heavy nite with…
my mate G loves Jarvis cocker during this part of his love, and when it was first out I wasn’t really listening to much of this period, but found my way back to it at the start of this year.

Nirvana- Bleach another album you kinda forget about just because what was to follow  blew your mind. brilliant all the same.

4. What has been the musical highlight of 2014 for you?

Seeing nine inch nails at primavera sounds was one hell of an experience so that is definitely a highlight, along with jagwar ma at the art school for stag and dagger.
but being asked to open for the klaxons and to finish of the year playing with 2 bands I love and have worked with in medicine men and Tijuana bibles will be up there as well. 

5. What are you plans for 2015?

We’re going to put out a vinyl with yoko pwno next year which will be brilliant to do, keep the momentum going for this year and step it up another level with the live show, introduce some visuals and stuff along with the lights, and target doing some festival shows this year.