Monthly Archives: December 2013

Kingdom Cuts – Thats All Folks

By Neil Kerr

Having been invited to the Kingdom Cuts Christmas party this year was for me a very exciting prospect. Generally a gig for the musicians, bands and staff involved in the making of the excellent shows that the committed people there produced, I felt greatly honored to be asked to go along and join in the festivities. Kev, the organiser who asked me along had arranged a great line up of local talent from Fife to entertain us all. However this he told me was to be the last ever Kingdom Cuts gig, a shocker for me and everyone who has ever been a part of this superb initiative, giving new local talents a chance to be heard by 4000+ pairs of ears. Something as you well know I am passionate about. Such a shame, however Kingdom cuts was not going out the back door……

Sandy Power

First up in the Echo Chambers Studio on the night was Talented singer songwriter from Kirkcaldy Sandy Power. The Young musician took the stage in his tartan santa hat and got straight to it introducing himself before striking up some great tunes. His acoustic set of a mix of covers and some of his own creations was rather good. One or two of his songs including “New Age” reminded me of the great Neil young, both in style and sound, The young musician carried on through his set,

Sandy Powerpausing only to introduce his songs and tune his guitar. Sandy had the gathered musicians singing along to his great cover of Blur’s “Woo Hoo” and he treated us to some tracks from his upcoming EP to be released on CD 1st Febuary 2013. I think Sandy power who also plays cello for Our Smallest Adventures will be hearing from Voice of Scotland again in the near future so once you have downloaded his new EP, look out for more on him here. Check Sandy’s soundcloud out here https://soundcloud.com/sandy-power-music and his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sandypower89?fref=ts

Darren Forbes

Next up to entertain our ears was a young musician I have been wanting to see for some time now, another singer songwriter, also hailing from Kirkcaldy, the very talented Darren Forbes AKA Forbes Acoustic. Now, not seeming that different to Sandy, Darren took the stage with his guitar and a harmonica but no hat. He also started by introducing himself, something that pleases me no end as a lot of musicians just take the stage, play and leave, leaving some folk wondering who the heck they were.

Darren Forbes

Darren cracked on with a set similar to sandy with covers and some of his own great tracks, his talent with a guitar becoming immediately apparent. His style was very much his own and he demonstrated a consistent ability to switch between vocal and harmonica to great effect. His set was a credit to him, well rehearsed and effortlessly performed. I think this young man will be around for a while. He has high hopes for 2014 and I think he will certainly shine as the year progresses. Again he will definately be hearing for Voice of Scotland again. Check him out on his soundcloud here https://soundcloud.com/darren-forbes-7 and on facebook https://www.facebook.com/darren.forbes.58?fref=ts

The Mona Lisas

Now, the third band that Kev had arranged to grace the stage for the Kingdom Cuts Xmas party was a band I have seen several times before and, as yet I have not written anything about. It’s not that I don’t like them, nor is it that I don’t want to write about them, I do, and I will. However, and the band may hate me for this, I am not going to write too much about them here; as I am going to see them again next week and intend do take a full review from that gig.

The Mona Lisas

 It was fantastic Fife band The Mona Lisas, Winner of Voice of Scotland’s first ever single of the week, I will say that every time I have seen them the setting just wasn’t right, although their performances have blew me away each and every time. They are energetic, and their well put together music is sure to please. Needless to say they rocked the stage at the Kingdom Cuts party Getting the whole room moving to their sound and they gave their all for the stars of the night, the Kingdom cuts legends. But like I say more on them very soon. Again check these guys out on soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/themonalisas-1 and on facebook https://www.facebook.com/themonalisasband?fref=ts

Supa & Da Kryptonites

Last up for Kingdom cuts’ farewell xmas gig were another favorite of mine Supa & Da Kryptonites who, as ever were just brilliant, they have the power, the power absorbing Kryptonites that is. They engaged the audience and owned the stage from the out as always treating us to some fine tunes again though I am not going to say too much here as I have more coming on them soon and there is already something on our blog about them.

Supa & Da Kryptonites

so while you wait for more. Check them out on our blog here  http://myvoice.myvoiceofscotland.net/supa-da-kryptonites-were-lovin-his-nandos-too/ Or on their soundcloud here https://soundcloud.com/supa-da-kryptonites  and facebook too https://www.facebook.com/SupaKryptonite?fref=ts What more can I say other than the best things come to those who wait!

Kingdom Cuts will leave a huge gap in Fife’s local music scene, a gap that will be hard to fill, there presence will be missed by a good many musicians and fans alike. The shame is that as always in the music industry cash seems to be a major part of the end of this great promoter of local talent. If you don’t have cash you wont make it seems to be the norm across the industry which I think sucks, So much talent is never heard because it costs so much to record a CD and they just cannot afford it, which is why initiatives like Kingdom cuts are such a big help to new musicians, it gets them heard, and other DJs and radio stations listen to these things for sure, which spreads the word yet further.

However, thats it from Kingdom Cuts…… For now anyway, because with a wee bit of luck someone might just have boots big enough to fill the gap. Until then, Big Up to all at the legendary Kingdom Cuts to every person who gave their time to make it happen. We salute you all and wish you all the best with your future…. Keep in touch.

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Louise Rutkowski Live Performance – Review

 

By Harsharan Hoonjan

LR 5

Once you start listening to Louise Rutkowski, you’ll wonder why you have not investigated further into the depths of great female singers in Glasgow, perhaps even Scotland. I visited Louise’s website: www.louiserutkowski.co.uk

I was amazed but had no doubt as to why Louise was signed at 19 to CBS records. It was signing up to 4AD records that would create the spotlight Louise deserved though.  From there on in Louise began stunning music moguls and winning hoards of fans, establishing herself as a remarkable artist.

As soon as you listen to one of her songs online you too will instinctively want to read all about the singer’s life and music history in a matter of minutes!  It’s very natural for us to want to know more about musicians of this standard. I’m sure Louise is used to all this attention by now…

I was intrigued and wanted to see how Louise would sound live, would she be as mesmerising as she had been on my first listen? Luckily I was able to catch Louise playing at 13th Note in Glasgow.

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As soon as Louise took to the microphone the whole packed out room in that basement bar stopped dead, I had my answer.  We were all drawn in under a hypnotic spell. Louise’s voice was slow, powerful and emotionally charged. Everyone’s eyes and ears were fixated on the person behind the voice and that was just her introduction. Wow!

Louise performed an incredible 14 tracks from her impressive music library, with support from Martin Stuart Taggart on guitar and Villy Karagouni on keyboard. Tracks taken from This Mortal Coil, The Hope Blister and collaborations with Craig Armstrong (with Interscope Records*) and cover songs from Randy Newman exemplified the continued high quality and versatility of Louise as a strong musician.  From song one, ‘I Come and Stand at Every Door’ we were hanging onto Louise’s every word. At the end of track three ‘Hanky Panky Nohow’ the room erupted by way of cheers and slapping hands together with glorious smiles.

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‘High’, one of Louise’s latest offerings is an up-tempo track which explored Louise’s full vocal range – all eyes and ears were glued to the stage! ‘High’ will feature on Louise’s upcoming album ‘Diary of a Lost Girl’, due for official release in February 2014.  ‘Tough Skin’, a delicious sweet number is a song by Chiara Berardelli (another beautiful singer and songwriter) who joined Louise on stage; Chiara played the keys whilst Louise sang her friend’s song. It was gorgeous to listen to and watch the pair work together, dulcet tones swept over me, what a real treat!

For more on Chiara please visit: http://www.chiaraberardelli.com/

‘Remember’ which Louise wrote whilst on a bus is another single taken from her album ‘Diary of a Lost Girl’, this oozed serene soul with skyscraper high vocals. By the end of this number, the crowd went wild with heartfelt admiration.

‘Go Louise!’ – chanted her fans.

Louise’s song choices covered  living and dying, being dumped, stalkers, emotional girls, kids as well as love. Louise’s performance portrayed a way of depicting musical messages with a raw, chilling authenticity. You would not think some of these tracks were covers as Louise takes them in and makes them her own. Through Louise’s sophisticated and soulful melodies and Villy and Martin’s support, the band made for a breath-taking show.

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Amongst the crowds the ‘Team Louise’ boys who have been fans of Louise since her This Mortal Coil years described Louise’s quality:

‘Louise has the same quality of Annie Lennox and Kate Bush but she’s not like them, her quality is matched to that of them though, she’s up there! She’s just incredible!’ – Robbie and Pawel

Louise’s finished off her impressive set with; ‘I’ll be there’, a warm soothing song and ‘Listen She Loved Me’, from Toy Story 2, both Randy Newman covers. This was after members of the crowd wailed:

‘One more song!’

‘One more song!’

‘Two more songs!!’

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It’s safe to say that Louise had us in a hypnotic trance from the outset, the close of her performance was no different.  Listening intently as she closed her set to epic applause and cheer. I’m sure we could have listened to her all night! I certainly could, It really was a stellar performance and one I am proud to have witnessed live in my original hometown of Glasgow. Louise Rutkowski’s talent and her continued creative ambition has certainly made me want to source out other female musicians I don’t already know about!

Thank you for having me Louise and I look forward to the album launch for ‘Diary of a Lost Girl’ next year!

For more information, updates and to pledge your support for Louise’s music please visit:

http://www.louiserutkowski.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/LouiseRutkowski?fref=ts

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/louiserutkowski

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A Red Hot Interview with Taylor Red

By Harsharan Hoonjan

Taylor Red - Band Image - With permission from Taylor Red Management

You’ll be sick of the name Taylor Red!’ – Chris Gore (Band Manager on the band in 2014)

Nicola Taylor, Chris Taylor, Gavin Paterson and Bradley Smith* make up the band Taylor Red.  The band offers an array of musical talent that suggests one thing. Perhaps we’ll be sick of the name Taylor Red but sick of the music they produce? I doubt it, very much.  On Saturday 21st December the band take the main stage at the Glasgow O2 Academy. The name of the event is Futures Fest 2013, this looks promising, I decided to find out more.

Taylor Red - Band Image - With permission from Taylor Red Management

Hi Taylor Red!

Tell me how you went from a brother and sister writing songs to forming the 4 piece that you are now.

Nicola:  Well Chris and I have been writing since we were about 13. It’s been a long period of time! As we got older we’ve had loads of different line ups, in different groups. None of them worked out, we got to a point where things had to get more serious. We wanted people to be more committed.

Chris:  Wanted to be more professional

Nicola: We wanted people to have a more positive attitude. We found that within the last year.

You’ve got quite an eclectic sound based on your own description:

‘Their material very melodic and harmonious yet combined with rhythmic sophistication to create a style which features the simplicity of pop music, the rhythmic diversity of funk and the hard hitting edge of rock.’ – www.facebook.com/taylorredmusic/info

You’ve released your EP on iTunes as well as numerous singles and fans are growing at a rapid rate. Within one week fans have grown from the 800s to the 900s and not long till you reach the 1000 fan mark. How does all that feel?

Nicola: Really exciting! Never really had this before and it’s so good that so many people are kinda checking out our music and liking us and want to come to gigs. It’s quite kinda overwhelming. It’s taken us a long time to get here so we really appreciate it.

Any tracks that are quite significant made for a specific purpose or inspired in a unique way?

Nicola: Every song!

Chris: Very emotionally driven, lately we’ve been doing quite dancy stuff

Nicola: Yes we’ve changed our route, we’re not pigeon holing ourselves, we just want to try anything, and just whatever comes to us that sounds good.

Taylor Red - Band Image - With permission from Taylor Red Management

Do you have a target audience or is your music aimed at everyone?

Chris: It’s for all but our target audience, it’s actually Facebook that have done it, is between 18 and 22 roughly.

But it’s open for everyone.

Do you carry any notebooks around with you like other bands to note down ideas for songs?

Nicola: Yes, yes! Chris is really bad for it; Chris would just turn up and say I’ve just got this bit of paper here and here.

And you have to try and work out what it says?

Nicola:  Yes *laughing*

Your last two tracks, ‘Wake Up Alone’, ‘Chameleon’ are completely different from each other.  I also noticed you did a cover of ‘Can’t Hold Us’, where you are MCing as well!

Nicola: It was just one day I kinda said to Chris, I heard this song on the radio and I said I really like that, I’ll try it. Chris said: “why don’t you?”  So it was really just trying anything and just going in a different direction.

Chris: It’s about versatility

It definitely shows off your versatility which is brilliant again

Chris: We’re thinking of trying some gangster rap next! *laughing*

 Who are your musical influences?

Nicola: Aww too many to name, far too many. Think that’s why we can’t stick to one style.

 

Who would you like to record with or jam with if you could choose anyone?

Nicola: Personally, Jessie J but that’s just me and White Snake as well

Chris: Michael Jackson, if he came back we could recreate Thriller!

Some of the Bee Gees as well! *laughing*

 Am I right in saying 50% of your sales go to the Charity Water (through reverbnation):

Chris: That’s right yes, through reverbnation and basically for every single you sell 50 percent is donated to charity**. It’s the water charity in Africa. I just thought, why not?

That’s really admirable

Nicola: We’re not really fussed about making money, there are so many people that don’t know us, and we’re not really that well known. It more just about kind of getting out there and for people just to listen to us

Chris: At the moment!

 Your upcoming gig on 21st December is called ‘Futures Fest 2013’. Tell us more:

Chris: It was through Box Glasgow, we’ve played there a few times. Our names got pushed to the front, it was by competition and we got asked to play it.

How did that feel?

Chris: It’s what we do!

Taylor Red - Band Image - With permission from Taylor Red Management

 

Gig plug time!

Tell us what to expect and what you’ll be bringing at your gig?

Nicola: Gonna do all the songs we have recorded which is on our SoundCloud and our Facebook. It’s a 7 song set and we’ve got 2 covers, 2 surprise covers, nobody else knows what they are…. Other bands like Sergio Sergio will be playing as well.

Chris: We’re bringing the HEAT!

Anything you want to say in association to Scotland and being a Scottish band heading towards the mainstream?

Nicola: A lot of bands have lost faith; we’ve just got this inner strength though.

Chris: We’re gonna bring it back!

Nicola: We’re gonna bring it back and really go somewhere.

Chris: There are a lot of great unsigned acts and bands in Scotland but we’re gonna try and push it! Gonna try and get up there you know.

Are you looking for a record deal?

Chris: We’ll try and get some good support slots and work our way up. Just doing it the honest way you know. It’s a slow game…

What’s it like to be on the Taylor Red bandwagon then?

Gavin: Great, been in loads of bands and this is the only one that has actually gone anywhere.

Nicola: We’ve a good vibe, good energy between us, good chemistry.

Gavin: Very good!

Nicola:  Makes it more exciting and fun to work together.

So you bond well together?

Chris: Kinda got to that point now, we’ve went through a lot of different members and messed around so now it’s kinda this solidarity, we’re in it together. Just the way it is aye, it’s good.

Taylor Red - Band Image - With permission from Taylor Red Management

Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years’ time?

Nicola: Touring all around the world!

Chris: Pretty much feel the same; I don’t see anything stopping us. A top 40 band!

Any words of wisdom you want to give to future bands?

Chris: Stay out of music cos it’s ours!! *bursts of laughter*

Final words Taylor Red:

Chris: Look out for us next year because our manager Chris will be sorting us out with couple of tours.  We’re gonna be here there and everywhere!!

Manager: You’ll be sick of the name Taylor Red!

Chris: In it to win it!!

I look forward to you bringing as much energy to your gig like you have today. Thanks Taylor Red, see you on the 21st!

They really are Chameleons, Chvrches watch out; this lot are hot on your tail! I’m looking forward to watching Taylor Red unfold on the big stage. Come and join me in celebrating a band that is accelerating at a rapid rate. They’ve surprised, delighted and overwhelmed me. Thank you again Taylor Red, see you on the 21st!

For more information please visit:

www.facebook.com/taylorredmusic

https://soundcloud.com/nicola-taylor-1

https://soundcloud.com/taylorredmusic

Singles and the E.P. are also available to buy and download  from ITunes

*Bradley Smith was not available at the time of interview

**Any band that uses Reverbnation’s Music for Good feature gets to choose 1 of 13 charities, where they can donate half their sales.

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Supa & Da Kryptonites – We’re Lovin His Nandos too.

By Neil Kerr

Supa DaKryptonites at the launch gig

Supa &Da Kryptonites at the Oxjam launch gig

Supa & Da Kryptonites are another of the bands I discovered at the Dunfermline Oxjam acoustic launch gig at The Green Room back in October, as I wrote back then I found their superbly different beats quite irresistable. Their reggae, rap, funk mix is unusual to say the least, which left me wanting for more, I wanted to see the full band play a full set. So when I heard that they were playing PJ Molloys, supporting The Lafontaines, I couldn’t resist another trip across the Forth bridge to Dunfermline for the gig.

Jay Supa

A soon as Supa and his Kryptonites took the PJ Molloys stage they engaged their audience introducing themselves, thanking us for coming and encouraging those still seated to get down the front and throw some moves. A smart move in my opinion, to many bands just get up and play leaving some audience members with no idea who they are. Then the glorious noise began with their opener “Tell No One” which got the attention of the gathered audience good and proper filling the floor before the band quick, and a good many folk there were gathered too.

Supa is a fantastic performer, he owned the stage from the moment he got on it having another wee chat with his audience before launching himself into his next offering “Diamond In The Ghetto” another catchy tune. By this time my attention was drawn to his drummer, Dean Mackie, I have never encountered a drummer with a vocal like this guy, it is bloody good, a clear crisp vocal that never sways or falters from its path, a huge part of Supa & Da Kryptonites enlightening sound.

The band carried on with the cracking tunes treating us to “Hemperor”  then Supa told us they weren’t even warmed up yet, before naming and thanking the individual members of his band “the power absorbing Kryptonites” as he called them, Lee Greenhorn on the bass, Matthew Edwards the trumpeter, Scott Brydson bringing guitar + vocals, and of course drummer Dean Mackie, to rapturous applause and cheers from the growing PJs crowd.

Supa and Da Kryptonites continued with their rousing set with the crowd growing and feeding off their energy, and vice versa, the band were gathering more energy into their performance from the gathered music lovers. A neat trick was getting the audience to crouch in front of the stage while the beat was low and slow bringing them jumping to their feet as the beat jumped up a notch or two and took the roof off the place energising the already jumping crowd. It really was a sight to behold.

The audience crouches in growing anticipation

My personal favorite on the night was “My Love Fir Nandos” another crowd pleaser, which we put up for our single of the week and it duly won with 56% of the vote, a credit to the band and their loyal fans.

You really should get out there and see this band, no need to like hip hop because it aint really hip hop even though it is hip hop… Confused? Then go see them and you will see what I mean. It will be a great night if you do go to see Supa & Da Kryptonites that I guarantee you. I liked it so much that I for one will be going along again sometime soon for another fix of their magic.

You can find out more about the band on their facebook page including upcoming gigs here:

https://www.facebook.com/SupaKryptonite?fref=ts

You can also listen to some of their music and get some free downloads “because thats how we roll” as Jay supa told me here:

https://soundcloud.com/supa-da-kryptonites

Enjoy folks…. I sure as hell did!

 

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Eastwood – A Band With A Story

Eastwood Interview with lead vocalist George Murray

By Harsharan Hoonjan

Eastwood are a band with an effervescent style of music that uplifts, soothes and makes you want to throw some shapes on the dance floor! Their sound instantly grabbed my attention; I wanted to find out more about the band.

On reading up about Eastwood and their history, I was moved and decided to visit 13th Note for the second time in 48 hours to catch them.

I managed to catch up with George from Eastwood for a brief introduction and overview of the band and here’s what he had to tell me:

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Eastwood at 13th Note

Hi George, thanks for agreeing to this interview with me for Voice of Scotland, can you give us a bit of background information about your band Eastwood?

Thanks very much indeed.  Well the drummer Stuart and I lost our wives to Cancer.  Over a period of 4 years for me and Stuart lost his wife a year and a half ago (please visit the link at the bottom for more on this moving story).  We both played in bands for years, different bands,  but we’ve come together now and again. Then my friend Liam who is the keyboard player, opened a recording studio in Dunfermline and I had all these songs that I wanted to record and I wanted to do a fundraising gig for Ovarian Cancer Research and Sarcoma UK which is the Cancer that Stuart’s wife had. We decided over a period of 6 months to record the album and then we played a sold out gig in Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall (which holds 512 people) and raised over £6000 for the two charities! (Fantastic!).

Basically I went in the studio, Stuart played drums, I was on the acoustic guitar and he did the drums in two days actually. Then we brought people in, we brought in Gill Alan who is plays bass, a guy called Ali Ferguson who plays guitar.  Ali also plays with Ray Wilson and stiltskin, he’s done gigs all around the world, so Ali decided to come on board and put the guitar down (exciting stuff). We kind of made up a band with Liam as keyboard player and co-producer of the album, so that’s where we are just now. We did another fundraiser last week for another cancer charity. We raised over £16,000 which was in partnership with another group of people.

Tonight we are helping out a good friend East Coast Defector, they asked us to come and do a gig. Money made from CD sales and our contributions toward ticket sales are going towards the charity. (All the money from music sales and gig money will go towards the Nicola Murray foundation and to Sarcoma UK on behalf of Ruth Henderson)

You’re doing fantastically well; you’ve raised lots of awareness and a load of money for your charities!

It’s brilliant, it’s been quite a healing process, we’re all good friends anyway and tonight actually we’ve got a guy called Stephen Fraser here who plays in another band with the guys, he’s helping us out, so we’ve got this pool of musicians who will come and help out when we want to do gigs. We want to do more, we want to do another fundraiser next year and we’ve sold over 500 copies of the album! (Absolutely brilliant!) People are beginning to enjoy it and wanting to see us more live so that’s the kind of next step, you know playing in the pubs! *laughing*

 How are you finding gigging so far?

This is only our third gig together and the first gig in Glasgow but between us, we’ve been in bands for 20 years, (you can tell from listening to them) we have been up and down the country playing. So we were just laughing tonight going, ‘We did all this 20 years ago and here we are again’. A couple of us are in our early 40s.  This is brilliant we’re “living the dream again,” carrying our guitars around!

Was it a lengthy process from recording, bringing out the album to then playing gigs?

Yea the whole writing process was, I had a few songs already, I actually wrote four while we were recording. Because things were coming up in my life and I just wanted to document them, so some of the songs I‘ve had in the bag for a couple of years and some are new. And then you’ve got the rehearsals. We spent a lot of time on the album and it’s quite polished but we’ve got to go play live. We rehearsed for about 6/7 weeks before the big gig and we put a lot of work into it, we’ve all got full time jobs and that’s the other thing, some of the members are family men as well so it’s kinda fitting round everything and doing the gigs that we enjoy doing.

There are 14 tracks to this album, that’s quite a number; obviously you’re quite dedicated to the cause and to this journey. How did you manage it?!

Well actually I was on a career break, the year that we recorded the album,  so that helped me a lot I could spend a lot of time on the album and time with Liam and Stuart in the studio, Liam is in the studio full time so that was easier to manage. If I was to do it now, it would be difficult. We do have a few songs in the pipeline for a potential second album.

It’s all self-funded; I’ve set up a record label as well, to self-release it.

You have your own Record Label…

Through PPS and PPL you’ve got to register as a name so we decided to set up the company of ‘Round Face Records’, so that’s what it’s released on. It’s all exciting stuff because, you know, we’ve not done this for years but before you know it you make demo tapes and try and sell them at gigs, make your own t-shirts and go back to that kind of way of doing things. *Laughing*

It’s come together quite easy because we know each other quite well. We have our moments as guys do, as musicians do! You know, we all have disagreements but it’s been healthy.

As a band you’ve bonded quite well?

Oh yea, we’re all very close friends, I was at school with Liam, so I’ve known Liam since I was 13 years old and I’m 21 next week! *laughing*

Fantastic to hear, with the album charting your journey; there are some songs on your album that are very moving, any that you are particularly proud of?

Yea there are some songs that are really personal. ‘White Feather’ being one of them, I wrote that when I was feeling really down with what had happened. It’s really about the last days of having cancer and working through that, that was played in Carnegie Hall and I don’t think we’ll ever sing that again (have a listen to hear why) think that will be it, we won’t do it tonight!

There’s another song, ‘Try My Best’ which we will do tonight, which is all about continuing and to keep going, a lot of people can relate to the songs. If you know someone who has died from or suffered from cancer or any situation which is horrendous in your life, you can maybe look at some of the lyrics and the songs and say well I can relate to that and get some sort of peace from it.   I’ve played this song enough that the emotions are still there but I can control it more. The gig at the Carnegie Hall was tough because that was a healing gig and there were amazing responses from the people, family and friends, they rallied round, it was brilliant for all of us.  It kind of closed a little door and it was like, right lets go on to the next chapter.

It wasn’t the band’s intention to help inspire others but…

If that happens that’s great…it wasn’t a motivation for us, I can see why people can pick that up, the songs are very personal to me, people have come up to me and said, this song has really helped me as this is my story. Its nice people have got some comfort from it. The prime objective wasn’t to do that, it was to raise money for the charities but it’s just a bonus that that can happen.

There are some songs in the album that don’t mean anything; it was just a little pop tune that needed some lyrics! People have been looking into the album and have come up and said, ‘well what’s this song about?’

‘Nothing really! It’s just a word that rhymed with that!’ *laughing*

That’s very commendable and your family and friends have been quite supportive in the process.

Oh yea, there’s a good team round us all actually. Now Stuart and I have come closer together. We’re all daft as brushes to be honest and we’re at that stage where we don’t care anymore, always playing practical jokes on each other and having a laugh!

George Murray

From having fun to producing Features…

‘We were on Radio Scotland and had a feature on STV’

It was a valuable experience, really good; they did features on me and Stuart from the angle of losing wives and raising money for the charity. It was brilliant that they got that out and we got a lot of ticket sales because of it, it was really quite good. We do want more radio play; we want people to listen to the album.

We haven’t got another gig planned, we do want to do another either Carnegie Hall gig in Dunfermline or another gig that will hold 150/200 people.

I want to promote a lot more now; I think the album should be heard by people

I think it’s a bit different from what’s going on these days, some pop songs in there and some are really quite profound.  People have told me it’s an enjoyable experience from start to finish, they can get a lot out of it, so we just want to try and promote it as much as possible.

Do more gigs like this, doing 40 minutes is ideal, just go on, enjoy ourselves, and come off

It’s quite different to doing a 4 hour wedding, which is a real job, this is different and it’s fun!

 

Any tips for bands or musicians starting up?

I think the thing is to be you, don’t try and manufacture music or think about what other people will like.  Just do what you do; because that’s what we’re doing, we’re just coming and playing songs, if people don’t like them we’re not that bothered. If they do like them, brilliant! I think there are a lot of people that are manufactured these days with your x factors and things like that. I’m not a guru of music or anything like, I’ve just been playing music for years and been touring and so it’s all new to me. What we’ve found is our attitude is so simple, laid back and if success happens it happens but if it doesn’t we’re not going to get stressed out about it because we’re all still doing what we love – playing music! Having a good time as well!

Thanks George on behalf of Voice of Scotland

The Eastwood boys played a blinding set; it looked like they were having a great time, as were the audience at 13th Note!  The guys took to the stage as if they owned it, total professionals at work! They played numbers for you to dance to, sing along to and reflect to. Their music is inspiring, uplifting and definitely moving. I loved hearing a few of my favourites ‘backbone’ and the heartfelt ‘try my best’, I really wanted to just dance in front of the stage! These guys are artists that deserve as much attention as they can get.  Eastwood’s journey is one you have to hear about and read about! I think everyone should invest in their album and  see them live at least once, you will not be disappointed.  It will be an investment you will not regret in more ways than one.

For more information, to hear a taster and to download Eastwood’s album, please visit:

http://www.eastwoodband.co.uk/

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Review – Wolf Ruby

Review – Wolf Ruby                                                                       By Harsharan Hoonjan

The basement of 13th Note proved the perfect setting for an intimate gathering of appreciative and supportive music fans; with its low lights and retro garage style set up. The room slowly filled to maximum capacity as the first act – Wolf Ruby, prepped the stage. Wolf Ruby which normally consists of four girls was down to two. Claire Campbell was on the keyboard and Siobhan Glendinning on guitar and lead vocals. The other two members of the band are Sam Good (guitar/bass) and Laura-Ann Smith, also known as Sanjo (drums).  The two ladies were to carry off songs that were normally performed by the four piece outfit, I was intrigued.

I managed to catch up with the girls briefly before they took to the stage to get some background into the band and its foundations.

‘There are not many all-girl rock bands’ – Claire Campbell professed (and this is also on their Facebook page here  https://www.facebook.com/WolfRubyGlasgow?fref=ts ).

After meeting each other at the Academy of Music and Sound based in Glasgow, the girls realised they shared the same passion for all girl bands.  Wolf Ruby was therefore formed in 2011. The Academy is also where they met Louise Rutowski, the evening’s main act. Claire confirmed the band’s musical influences include; Kate Bush, Radiohead, Muse and Maroon 5.

An excited Siobhan affirmed defiantly before going on stage, that they are ‘doing it for the girls’ her fist in the air.  Leaving me thinking of the ladies as a passionate, energetic and feisty bunch that everyone especially women could really appreciate, myself included; I couldn’t wait to hear their set! I was also happy to see a healthy proportion of the females in the crowd were positioned in front of the stage ready to cheer on the ladies.

With their first track ‘Chase me to the end of the earth’ – The Wolf Ruby girls packed a punch, the girls voices melted into the air with a sweet harmony and rhythm, the notes echoing into each other, it was a superb opener. The girls then went on to perform a Cranberries cover of ‘Zombie’, Siobhan’s strong vocal range was displayed in her ripping tones as she raised the bar on her range with edginess sneaking through as well. The next two songs were Kate Bush covers in honour of Louise Rutowski who is a big fan.  Their performance of ‘Hounds of Love’ and ‘Running up That Hill’ were enchanting to my ears, smooth, very elegantly sung and again harmonised brilliantly from guitar to keyboard. Their renditions received fantastic appraise from Louise as well.

‘Disarm’ a Smashing Pumpkins cover was a surprising offering of the whole set which was dramatically projected as Siobhan and Claire belted out the track to timed perfection. The crowd really warmed to the girls as they finished with their final track of the night, ‘Gotta get away from you’, which is a Wolf Ruby original, it really showed their creative skills as songwriters, musicians and performers.

Asked to describe their music in her own words ‘haunting harmonies’ is one of the phrases Claire used.  I’d like to say that I agree the music is edgy, dramatic, enchanting, smooth sounding yet dramatically projected. Could this be the band that inspires other girls and ladies to form their own Scottish/UK all girl rock band? They might just be…

I believe the girls are incredibly talented and they appear to have fantastic potential. With just half the band playing at 13th Note, out of the four professional singers that make up Wolf Ruby I was highly impressed. However to catch all four of them together is going to be a real treat, I am eager to see what that looks and sounds like live! Here’s to the next one!

For future updates, news and information on the band please visit and like their page:

https://en-gb.facebook.com/WolfRubyGlasgow

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Echo Arcadia – Interesting, quirky, funny & talented

By Neil Kerr

Echo Arcadia came to the attention of Voice of Scotland in October when I caught them doing a wee acoustic set in Dunfermline’s Green Room where I was enchanted by their unique sound. So I snooped around for a wee while checking them out and finding more of their music to listen to and a little bit more about the bands roots. Then, suitably intrigued, I set about finding another gig to go to and upon finding the perfect gig, for me anyway, in the intimate surroundings of The Watering Hole once again in Dunfermline, I contacted the band to see if they fancied a post gig interview to which they immediately agreed.

Echo Arcadia at The Watering Hole

I won’t go into the detail of the gig that day here, as we want to feature a full gig review in the new magazine next year, except to say that the band demonstrated their ability to impress with great ease and their passion for the music was very apparent during the performance. So I am giving myself the review  excuse to go and see them again (not that an excuse is needed).

After the gig I found the band waiting for me in one of the many wee nooks the Watering Hole has to offer enjoying a bite to eat. In the nook and making me feel very welcome were; frontman and rhythm guitarist Leigh Moyes, vocalist and lead guitarist Vonny Moyes, keyboard player and vocalist Pete Nicholson, violinist Andrew Grey and bass guitarist Euan Mushet. The other band member, drummer Dan Ceiseilski unfortunately had to run and couldn’t join us for the interview.

Euan Mushet

The band met when Dan, Leigh and laterly Vonny who replied to a gumtree ad were part of a band called Brightside, and when some members of Brightside left they sought to continue the band under another name. Vonny brought in Andrew who she knew from school and various others have came and went through changing circumstances, Euan came as a previous musical acquaintance of Vonny and Pete was a later addition, as leigh said “it’s been a cumulative effect, we didn’t just spark into life like the big bang”. Today, having been together for four years, they are a very close knit band I saw that both during their performance and during the interview “we are like family” Vonny told Voice of Scotland “we’ve never had a bad word” and Leigh quipped “there’s been a few brotherly slaps in the face though” which demonstrates the banter that goes on amongst the band members, which I must say I enjoyed as a lover of comedy too, it was interesting to hear Euan confess “I am a reformed comedian, I used to do stand up”. I suspect he may have been rather good at it too.

Vonny Moyes & Andrew Grey

The name Echo Arcadia Came from their old Keyboard players wife, an Art historian, who suggested Eccy Arcadia which means into paradise however the band didn’t fancy the Eccy part because of the Scottish slang use of the word to describe the drug ecstasy so they opted for Echo which is something they picked up from the studio effects called Space Echo which Leigh said they loved, and so Echo Arcadia was born.

As for their music, inspiration is gathered from a broad spectrum of influences as all the band members have varied, broad musical tastes fleetwood mac and “jangly stuff from the eighties” were mentioned as big influences and Pink floyd, Morrissey and radiohead amongst others were mentioned as favorite bands, proving the broad spectrum they mentioned to be spot on, which I must say came as no surprise having witnessed their unique sound.

Echo Arcadia at the Oxjam launch gig

Writing is “a cumulative process again” Leigh told me  ”95% of the time it’s me that writes the lyrics and I might have an idea for some basic chords to go with them, Vonny & I have written loads of stuff together and when Pete came on board he took an active roll in the songwriting”. Pete I was told has the uncanny ability to translate what Leigh has in his head into the skeleton of the finished product, a real valuable band member in my opinion. Violinist Andrew or “Mr Fiddles” as Vonny affectionately referred to him, said he too has a lot of freedom if he thinks something harmonises quite well with a song the he runs it by the guys and they are all ears, which is a real good thing and is a big part of what makes their sound so unique as its not just one persons work. Lyrics however are up for change during gigs mainly for amusement, I was told a story of Leigh asking Vonny to write down the lyrics of love song for him before they performed it, for him to refer to while singing, while he was away Euan encouraged Vonny to write the lyrics in a Japanese accent which she did, much to Leigh’s amusement as he announced to his audience “apparently this song is called ruv song” another sign of the closeness and fun the guys share.

Leigh Moyes & Pete Nicholson

The five confessed their favorite venue is the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh because they have had some real good gigs there and won the Lloyds TSB Battle of the Bands there too, as well as playing there during Haddowfest with some other great bands. They also had their best ever moment on stage there which was battle of the bands. Vonny told me “playing that gig felt really good, it felt like something had clicked”. their worst moment on stage was a gig at Nobles Bar where everything went wrong, “it sucked dick” was the description I was given of that gig, “there was no making the most of it”.

The band thrive on feedback from their audiences, and their modesty shone through during our chat, they are clearly in it for the love of music and not strictly for monetary gain, ambitions include getting on a Jools Holland show and hearing an audience sing one of their songs back at them, the latter of which I think will happen soon.

The guys told me that since the release of their first EP Broken Chapters in 2010 they have spread out more, they occupy more space, “we’ve not just stuck in that middle sound”  with Andy’s violin and all the effects that Euan brings being a big part of that. They have learned to let each other do their part to create the sound they want. Their confidence has grown in a big way since then allowing them to be more creative. The song which they say best defines the sound they want to achieve is “voices”  although their new album which is to be released on the spectrum label in February 2014, I was told is the sound that we can expect from Echo arcadia in the future, I look forward to that album, it can only be good in my opinion.

Echo Arcadia after our chat

All in all Echo Arcadia are a rather interesting band, quirky, funny, and very talented musicians. together they have the ability to go far and I think that they just might do that, and soon too. The label that they are with is big, a clear sign of their appeal and talent. The release of their album next year may well be a turning point for them enabling them to make the move from being part time musicians with day jobs to pay the bills, to becoming full time musicians,which would be fantastic as it would allow them to concentrate 100% on their music which would surely bring about great things.

We look forward to the release of their album ’Beauty in an Average Life’  in February 2014 for which the band are having a launch gig at Sneaky petes in Edinburgh on the 8th of February. Meantime look out for them in a venue near you.

You can check them out on facebook here https://www.facebook.com/echoarcadia?fref=ts

And you will find some of their tunes here too https://soundcloud.com/echo_arcadia

Enjoy and we hope to see you at an Echo arcadia gig soon.

 

 

 

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