Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tijuana Bibles: Wild Intentions

By Harsharan Hoonjan

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Tijuana Bibles is one of the strongest bands to have come out of the Glasgow music industry.

Gritty, jaggy round the edges is what I am talking about, creating a tidal wave rush, they define alternative. Making music for punk rebels, deviating from the norm and killing off the generic; they can provide the antidote to a turbulent day.  Their music is laced with wild intentions.

“Wild like the river of my love for you” – Wild, Tijuana Bibles

When they perform, Tony Costello throws as much passion into his moves as he pours into the mic. I am not sure how many tracks the guys have played to get to a level of utter dissonance, but they have come a long way since their first rodeo. Their videos give you a glimpse of their style,  but an actual gig is where you see the congruent force behind scream worthy unrelenting  guitar hooks, licks that pierce your brain, uncompromising super bass, knock ‘em dead drums and a voice so beefy and thick, it could be a five star steak.  And those lyrics…you just have to listen and prepare to be wowed on impact by their collective weapons of mass compulsion.  I was hooked from day 1.

TB OMAt a gig, for This Feeling, the vibe was like fire/smash and grab, urgent and important, pumping a feeling of adrenaline our way.

“Ain’t nothing but a dirty deal, troubles that the world won’t heal,

Ain’t nothing but a dirty deal…gone wrong…wooo hooo hooo hoo, woooo ooooh”

“Oh lord what I wouldn’t give to taste another one of your sweet lies.”

“Now brother please, for you accused, you better walk a mile in ma shoes.”

– Toledo

Their first E.P. titled ‘Wild River’ is four cracking tracks loaded with the band’s signature sound.  Listen out and discover for yourself the mastery contained in lyric and sound dynamism – woo! . Latest releases include Toledo, Crucifixion and Sun Chaser. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy was the venue of choice to launch ‘Crucifixion.’  The gig was so packed; crowds were creeping up to the stage. At this point, it was blindingly obvious the band had succeeded in packing out venues in their home city. Tony even told me that at their Broadcast gig, people were actually lined up outside, and it almost became a 2 in 1 out door policy.

There is absolutely no doubt the amount of attention and fan loyalty Tijuana Bibles have as they get better with each performance. This must be down to all that practising and going on back to back tours.

3From Aberdeen to London, to playing a range of local and widely recognised festivals, they have got plenty of opportunities in front of them.  After first seeing them at Voice of Scotland showcase last year they have spanned the circuit and created quite an imprint.  Managing to land a spot at the King Tut’s Tent at T in the Park last year was understandably one of their biggest achievements. This year they return to the new home of T at Strathlain Castle to play the most lusted after of stages, T-Break.

They’ll join friends, Crash Club who are also playing the stage, and Tony even features on track, ‘Final Dance.’  Crash Club in itself are owed their own review, as they are unstoppable at creating the most exhilarating up-tempo beats. Crash Club will stop you from going to the bar and glue you to the floor. So Final Dance together with Tony Costello from Tijuana Bibles is a completely different animal.

It’s definitely exciting watching Tijuana Bibles smash every opportunity they get.

And as mentioned when they got a double page spread in the papers this year,  Tijuana Bibles should be on your ‘gonna be massive’ list.

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Look out for them playing at a show/festival near you.

To the band, thanks for making music guys!

And congrats to all the T-Break Finalists!

Hari

Discover Tijuana Bibles here:

Website: http://tijuanabibles.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tijuanabiblesofficial?fref=ts

Twitter: @Tijuana_Bibles

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The Rising Souls: The Norman Yarrow Parkinson’s Benefit Review

by Harsharan Hoonjan

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Like nectar to a bee, Dave Archibald, Tom Reed, and Roy ‘Kelso’ Laing slammed on those seats at The Record Factory when they headlined the Norman Yarrow Parkinson’s Benefit in April, People ate up their words, melodies, bass, percussion, guitar and even their CDs. Their stripped back soul was a recipe akin to creating honey.

The multiplicity generated from the Edinburgh 3 piece was palpable.

Here are some comments from after the show; these are from 2 people who saw the band for the first time that night:

“I love The Rising Souls!!”

“I just bought their album…”

TRS5During the set, Dave championed ‘Drunken Rab’, ‘Boxer’ , all the songs from their then newly released E.P. and at least half a dozen more from their debut album.  Roy swiftly changed gears, tempo and churned out guitar greats, and Tom accelerated the action with his multi-talented percussion mastery. Sitting before us were three credible musicians who came all the way from Edinburgh to headline the charity event.

Driving through for a cause like this after work on a Friday exemplifies what it says on their website; there really is no gig too big or too small for them. They are dauntless and with good reason, they have a portfolio that makes you positively glow, speaking as a promoter and as a live music enthusiast. Their attitude to the scene is a welcome notion that shrugs off any doubts about working with them again.

TRSCandid in their approach and superb quality on stage, toward the end of the stage curfew, they performed three songs for the price of “one more tune!”  The Rising Souls definitely gave their all and made the event worth every minute.

Thank you to everyone that joined in and supported the event. Also,  special thanks to Scott McWatt (who also hosted – an absolute legend, thank you Scott!),  Jonny Jack (who performed an exclusive solo set for us, thank you Jack – another star!), and to Formal Party, who played a blinder as well (thank you very much).

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The Rising Souls are magnetising audiences with their version of  stripped back soul,  and for that they are becoming one of the most reputed bands in Scotland.

There is a far weightier account of all the greats the band has achieved, and you can read all about them and source some of their music from the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/therisingsouls

http://www.therisingsouls.com/

www.soundcloud.com/the-rising-souls

Thanks once again!

Hari

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Jonny Jack Release ‘SHE’

by Harsharan Hoonjan

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Douglas, Jonny, Michael and Paul are the easy to approach, friendly four-piece from Glasgow. You may have even read their interview with me on these pages (June, 2014) last year.

Listen to their songs and you can associate them being made for play during a romantic evening, walk along the beach, or at a BBQ.

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But I find new release, ‘She’, represents that uneasy starved feeling you get at the pit of your stomach.

Laced with break –up anguish, She, is a track that will puncture.  The lyrics layered with intense throbbing tones gear you up for a tearjerker.  Produced by Jonny’s vocal prowess and synchronised with echoing rhythms, and beats. It’s in contrast to their previous tracks in tone and subject matter.

 

 

 

“Sheeee don’t care about meeee…” is just one line of thought we get to hear.

And it’s shorter than their other songs too; it’s a mere 2 minutes and 20 seconds long.  But it’s concise and the emotion expresses itself fluently.

JJ12If you are new to Jonny Jack, they are best known as a band with an‘unforgettable’ (NME) sound and ‘irresistible’, Tim Robinson (BBC Introducing), vocals.  So when Jonny agreed to perform (a special solo set) at The Record Factory for The Norman Yarrow Parkinson’s Benefit in April, I was thrilled! Whether solo or full band Jonny Jack play as if their family or best friends are in the audience.  Endearing?   Completely, I believe the band is both on and off stage.

Because as Jonny went to leave after another soul touching performance he stopped, chatted briefly, posed for photos, signed autographs, and said with a straight face:

“Make sure you get home alright.”

Unless close relatives or friends, these days, does anyone ever say things like that to you?

That feeling is resonated in their music.

Music that’s so real…

…It feels wrong.

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Discover Jonny Jack for yourself and sample ‘She’, here:

https://soundcloud.com/jonnyjackmusic/jonny-jack-she

https://www.facebook.com/JonnyJackMusic

 

 

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West Lothian Rockers Make Waves Across The World

by Harsharan Hoonjan

The Phantoms 55It would seem, Broxburn Band, The Phantoms is making waves in Scotland, England and across international waters too.

From write-ups spanning America ( both Argentina, and New York), Australia, England, and Scotland (including words from the reputable Jim Gellatly). The Phantoms are gaining recognition from rivers to oceans. Not only have they headlined King Tut’s thrice, they’ve supported  Catfish and The Bottlemen, We Were Promised Jetpacks, and recently played at London’s Palomino Party, supporting Bombay Bicycle Club DJ set, they have also bagged a Sheffield gig in July. The Phantoms are jetting through the circuit and quickly aligning themselves as a household name.

tp6Their influence was strengthened last week when they landed in London’s Amersham Arms on Saturday night. Colin Simpson, Colin McKillop, Blair Cullen and Zach Tarimo Goodhur played to a 100 man strong crowd.  The gilt-edged young rockers provided the essential warm up before Bombay Bicycle Club’s DJ Set, blasting out tunes till the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Colin Simpson was delighted saying:

‘It was amazing, we smashed it!’

 

So much so, that the venue organiser got back in touch, mirroring their positive response; London wants more of The Phantoms.

The band’s Facebook and Twitter posts read:

‘London thanks for having us!!!! That was incredible, one of our best gigs yet!! We will be back soon…’

tp8Big cities seem to love this band; they have a way of making things come together.  In Edinburgh they’ve been packing out shows in both Sneaky Pete’s and Cabaret Voltaire. And in Glasgow The Phantoms managed to supply a bus load of hometown supporters to attend their gigs at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in August and December last year.  On the back of that, they were requested to perform again in March this year. On this occasion they scored more sales than the main band and in an unprecedented landslide, wound up being the ones to headline!

If that doesn’t surprise you, then maybe finding out about the number of bloggers who pen review after review of the four-piece through each stage of their journey will, and it’s been non-stop (Ahem!) Ralph from Ralph’s Life, even has a poll of most blogged bands, at one point The Phantoms were number 1!  Bloggers from Scotland to Australia have had a thing or two to say about the band. The Phantoms music was described in one review as, ‘Arresting’ Well who can contest that?!

Also, Jim Gellatly not only featured The Phantoms latest release on his XFM Drive time show, he wrote impressive things about them in his weekly column with The Sun as well.

‘What Oasis would have sounded like if they had listened to The Doors rather than the Beatles’ – Jim Gellatly on The Phantoms

Intriguing!

tp9Additionally, the lads recently  supported Kyle Falconer from The View on 5th June in Edinburgh. They’re also set to play Tramlines Inner City Music Festival in Sheffield, on 25th July. And of course they are just fresh from rubbing shoulders with members of Bombay Bicycle Club.

Successful shows and rave reviews from Scotland, England, America and Australia are definitely great feats for the 20-somethings who are sharp as tacks, producing noteworthy tracks that hook an audience locally, nationally and internationally.

 

Wasting Time and Revolution are just two examples of their potent style.

Listen now:

https://soundcloud.com/thephantomsuk/revolution

https://soundcloud.com/thephantomsuk/wasting-time

Also, news just in confirms there are only 10 tickets left for The Phantoms upcoming headline show at Sneaky Pete’s this Saturday. They sold out all their presale tickets, surprise has left my face and in its place is… excitement.

What are you waiting for?

Sneaky Pete’s Event Link:

http://thephantoms2014.bigcartel.com/product/headline-gig-sneaky-pete-s-edinburgh-saturday-27th-juneBand

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Links:

https://www.facebook.com/TMATW

https://twitter.com/Phantoms_The

https://soundcloud.com/thephantomsuk

 

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Supa & Da Kryptonites Will Play to Win at Wickerman Warm Up Gig

By Harsharan Hoonjan

SKNews about a sizzling gig has set tongues wagging. Supa & Da Kryptonites are playing a Wickerman Warm up gig this Thursday night (25th June), at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy in Glasgow.  Along with three other impressionable acts; The Van T’s, The Turning Plates and Hello Future, Supa & Da Kryptonites will compete to play and open with their set on Wickerman’s Main Stage this year.

The band were voted and narrowed down to 1 of 4 best unsigned bands in Scotland by Sunday Herald readers. Winning the chance to open one of Scotland’s favourite festivals would be an incredible opportunity for all acts, including the Hip-Hop/Grime/Reggae Ska Funkmeisters.

 

When asked about winning Jay said:

‘It would mean a lot to us all, Pretty humbled to just get this far’

‘Winning I suppose is something I haven’t really thought about,

‘Would be funkin pukka though.’

This event organised by The Wickerman Festival, in association with XFM Scotland and The Herald, is also being headlined by none other than the revered Hector Bizerk!

If you need a Thursday night gig fix, or if you want to see some spectacular performances to accelerate your weekend while supporting Scottish musicians, this gig comes highly recommended.

Here’s Funks The Only Time (I Get Down) which is Supa & Da Kryptonites latest release. Having added the sultry smooth vocalist that is Sarah Knowles to the line-up in November last year, Conal McIntosh  (bassist) in March,, and Jonathan Ginty (alto-sax) last month, their sound has been spiced up once more, Jay’s daughter, Ava,  also introduces this track and the combination is irresistible.

Have a listen here:

https://soundcloud.com/supa-da-kryptonites/funks-the-only-time

Wickerman Warm Up Event Link:

http://www.synergyconcerts.com/listings-tickets/events/25-jun-15-the-wicker-warm-up-nice-n-sleazy/

 

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Mickey 9s: The Party Manifesto

by Harsharan Hoonjan

2015-06-24 09.18.15

Date:  16h May 2015

Venue: Stereo

Band: Mickey 9s

Hometown: Glasgow

Formed:  01/01/09

Genre: ‘Superfluent Sizzle Beat’   - www.facebook.com/mickey9s

Event:’ The Party Manifesto’ Album Launch Party

Album Release Date: 19th June 2015

1The Yellow Movement means happy times! But what is this masked man and his fellow comrades communicating to us? The venue is Stereo, and Mickey 9s are the funk.  The debut album launch party for ‘The Party Manifesto’ had finally arrived. And glistening faces in the filled out venue marked the eminence of a vibrant collective fan base.

But when Mickey 9s were up there in lights, I was transported back to 2013; it was Stereo again, in winter (a Christmas Gig). The Post Orgasmic Sunshine Band had headlined that night.

Mickey9s however were playing first, but they were not meant to be first on the bill. I clocked the lead singer we’ll call him masked man again. He was coming out from the shallow opening in a dark corner.

Into the stage he pounced and started jolting out song after song.

There was no stopping the sheer force or movement emitting from this yellow and gold mask- wearing man, and the rest of the band. He was galloping, he was kicking, he was imitating a few Macarena moves and he was telling us to ‘Find A Thing’ to dance to.

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In all honesty, there was a level of calm I was expecting unfortunately for my expectations; there were little calm moments during the performance. It was high octane energy and I was struggling to catch each moment, scene/ word.

This all passed by so quickly I hardly recognised myself getting sucked into Mickey 9s quicksand. It was all a bit hypnotic and mind altering. I wanted to dance but couldn’t, I wanted to sing but didn’t know all the words, and I wanted to say all the right things on paper, but they had that covered too.

On the album launch night, I felt a similar affliction to when I had seen them for the first time. They have definitely improved their performance standards. The masked man may have calmed his movements, but not the energy, or beat, and if the mood takes him he will still kick and jump on the spot. Leaving his signature colourful socks on as well – not conforming to shoes on stage yet.

So in winning the Scottish Alternative Music Award in March 2014 for Best Live Act, it was crystal clear why.

Mickey 9s might just be one of the coolest bands I have ever seen,

With their main influence being Daft Punk, they have succeeded in producing a sound that is uniquely fused with funk, whilst sticking to its Glasgow roots and Scottish heritage.!  Patter filled tunes, like ‘Psycho Control’ and ‘Shark in the Water’ exemplify this. Songs like Ammunition and Berlin are also great examples of the band dissecting a piece of history into factual digestible chunks of dancefloor gold.

The album which was available to buy on the night of the launch, gave us a 5 week exclusive over those who didn’t make it. Proceeds also went towards a children’s refugee charity. This is not that surprising a gesture, as philanthropic acts like this is a regular event for Mickey 9s. I can remember at least a dozen gigs last year alone where ticket sales went to a charity of some sort/or they played for free. And it always feels good paying for quality while helping out a worthy cause.

And their album is quality! Containing 10 fiery tracks that leave you fully charged.  It’s not one of those albums that plummets and rises; it’s got a consistent beat and bass power that allows you to enjoy the whole record, without evoking any melancholy. You can nod/bounce on the spot or back flip to the tracks. These four funkmeisters have mastered the art of engaging the listener to their fizz fueled sounds, while delivering sometimes serious political/sociocultural messages.

Their style is to be admired, should you be inclined by a ‘super fluent sizzle beat.’

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What else is there to mention? Well the band did provide complimentary gold masks for everyone at their album launch and before that the single launch for Psycho Control. They have their own comic strip providing a further political back bone to their works, portraying the band as musical superheroes.  Also they are always innovating and making it fun for themselves and their fans. For instance, inviting fans to help design their latest batch of T-Shirts. Yes, it’s top drawer jumping on the Mickey 9s bandwagon.

Mickey 9s might just be one of the coolest bands I have ever seen.

 

Every ounce of their beat, bass, electric guitar, and vocals feels surreal. From singing about Electric Eels, Christopher Walken, dancing to Shark in the Water and Find A Thing to trying to match their stage energy, It is a trip of a show ladies and gentlemen. It’s a smile inducing, goosebump creating, happy after effect, singing their songs for days on end show. That is what I believe they are communicating to us…

That’s the Mickey 9s effect.

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For consistently producing this effect and always giving 100 percent, I only have one thing left to say.

Thank Funking Yaldi for the Mickey 9s!

 

 

34bAdditional Notes and Summary:

1)   Psycho Control was also issued in an 8″ Vinyl format for Record Store Day at Love Music Glasgow.  They also produced Tins O’ Funk. This is likely a tin of beans wrapped in animated packaging.  Dave Arnott is the face of the new product.  It’s said to contain bits of shark too!  Last time I checked, Love Music  confirmed it still had copies of their single, ‘Psycho Control’ on vinyl , the album , The Party Manifesto, and plenty of Tins O Funk!

2)      Only 200 physical copies of the CD for Psycho Control were produced

3)     They won a SAMA Award last year for Best Live Act, then played an after party  set at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy’s

4)      As well as major cities, they’ll sometimes come to places like Cumbernauld, Greenock and Hamilton to play, adding to their already impressive gig map.

5)      They rock every crowd no matter how many people show up.

6)     Official launch date for the album was June 19th 2015. But they gave album launch party attendees a 5 week exclusive over everyone else.

7)      Ammunition is actually about the Holocaust

8)      Psycho Control is based on David Cameron and the Tories

9)      Mickey 999? That one is actually about the Mickey 9s

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Enjoy the album and the gigs  – worth every penny.

To Mickey 9s, thanks again for having me and congrats on your superb debut album!

Hari

 

Album Launch Night Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPCBPQTYofo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T42F7-lpwHg

Band Links:

www.mickey9s.com

www.facebook.com/mickey9s

https://mickey9s.bandcamp.com/merch/ticket-for-king-tuts-17th-july

Upcoming Events:

Friday 17 July 2015

King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, UK

Saturday 18 July 2015

The Tunnels, Aberdeen, UK

Friday 07 August 2015 – Sunday 09 August 2015

Mugstock Festival  at Mugdock Country Park, Glasgow, UK

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Marmion: E.P. Review, ‘Prophylactic Groove’

by Harsharan Hoonjan

MARMION 1

Band: Marmion

Members:  Sandy Power (vocals, keyboard, mandolin), Carlos Donaire (Guitar), Caroline Mayo (Guitar), James Lagarde (Bass), and Liam Tucker (Drums)

E.P. Title: Prophylactic Groove

Released: 17th April 2015

Location:  Edinburgh

Formed: 2014

The sensational Sandy Power is back! Not on his own though, he’s returned to the music scene with college mates: Carlos Donaire, Caroline Mayo, James Lagarde, and Liam Tucker. Together they make up the Edinburgh band known as, ‘Marmion’, and they released their debut E.P. on 17th April. Combining glistening vocals with an eclectic blend of poppy /psychedelic alternative rock, the musical agility binding Prophylactic Groove is interesting.

The title, Prophylactic Groove, actually defines the healing/medicinal benefits associated with music, and this theme is served up in each song.  Also, not only have Marmion produced a lot more tracks than is expected for a debut E.P. But the band contributed to charity organisation, Drake Music Scotland, handing over a £120 cheque for the first batch of sales made as well. Already setting in motion their promise of a band that ‘intrigues and excites.’    – http://marmion.instapage.com/

Prophylactic Groove’s tracks:

1) Mindscape this lets you into relatable yet, “uncomfortable at best” head of a troubled soul. It’s reminiscent of Sandy’s solo efforts, and the band just heighten the hedonistic experience.

2) Going Out is dance floor gold. Full of swaggery hooks and powered up vocals. It evokes head banging, toe tapping, and dance shaped bodily reactions.

3) Goddess is a slow but steady stunner, beautifully arranged and nicely played.

4) City Dreams is a quirkier tale, which will build smiles on any journey.

5) Walking on Water captivates; the story’s romantic entanglement will put you under a trance of hypnotic proportions

6) Sapphire Skies contains intriguing notes that end on an enthralling finale.

The vocals and instrumentation on each track is uncompromising, which makes Prophylactic Groove a finely crafted E.P.

I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from this talented lot.

Well done Marmion!

Hari

MARMION 2

Links:

 

 

Images used with permission.

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East Coast Defector & Universal Thee -Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh, 15th May 2015

As my friend Thomas (brother of Universal Thee bassist Andrew Perrie) picks me up Glasgow after he finished his shift at the place I used to work, I’m feeling philosophical about life in general. My intention is to drink Irn Bru and do some photographs of the bands and not consume alcohol at any point in the evening. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, not that I’m suggesting that Edinburgh is in any way Hell. I quite like the place. Just sometimes setting yourself aims that are unachievable can only result in a fall.

The Motorway zooms underneath the car as Thomas becomes my proxy psychiatrist and we get to Edinburgh faster than you could say akataphasia. I’m rambling on a lot, he is driving so is a captive audience as we hit the outskirts of the capital. This is where the real problems begin though. Both of us kind of know where the venue is. However Matt Berry’s voice on the Satnav and the one way systems in the City cause a disconnect between where we are and where we hope to be. “fire the nuclear weapons!” and “tuuurn riight in 23 yards!” throw us a bit. “I’m a pedestrian” I shout aloud as Berry’s voice misguides us further away from the venue, of course he is not listening as it was just a recording of his lines. Thomas, a native of this fair City, eventually gets us close enough to park the car and walk to where we hope The Wee Red Bar is. This works tremendously as my innate navigation (due south of the Castle) gets us to the entrance of the Edinburgh Art College, where helpfully someone has chalked “follow the monkey” on the ground. This low tech approach takes us to the place we want to be, and would have been at earlier no doubt, if it wasn’t for that pesky Matt Berry Satnav!

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We arrive just as The Indos are finishing their set, so I’ll leave a review of that band for another time. What I heard was nice though so I hope to see them at a future gig. The Wee Red Bar itself is a typical small student bar/venue which is nicely full of people who seem to like live music. Alan Clarke from East Coast Defector comes over and asks me if I’d like a drink. I automatically say “lager or something” and my soft drink dreams are shattered in three words. It is all his fault…well not really, I blame Matt Berry and his confusing directions on the Satnav.

 

Also at this point, I wonder about the possibly ex Spetsnaz security guard outside the place who was a bit worried about people smoking at the smoking area and requested we move aside for a trolley full of soft drinks and snacks whilst it was still out of range. We complied of course as we wanted to see the bands and not engage in combat. But for him I might have heisted a few Mars bars and some cans of Fanta as part of my world domination plans. Alas I was thwarted so I chatted with the bands for a bit instead.

 

And so…Universal Thee take to the stage and begin a fantastic set comprising of some songs from their first album : Back to Earth, interspersed with some new tracks from the forthcoming and as yet untitled LP. There is a dynamic at play with James and Lisa Russell’s vocals on top of Robin Spivey’s guitar riffs which are riding on top of Andrew Perrie’s bass and Matt Grieve’s drums. Like a layer cake or a pyramid. It would work just as well inverted. Universal Thee are poppy and punky and indie and rocky in equal measures. And their set is tight and organised despite their quirkiness and perhaps seemingly shambolic presentation. They come across as shy and a bit quiet in between songs, then hit you right in the face with some quite powerful lyrics and arrangements. I only do pictures for 2 or 3 songs so I can watch this band play (I also made a video on my phone can of  Xang : linked below.*)

Universal Thee 7

Universal Thee open with Keep Falling which is has the line “Chastity, I left my belt at home tonight” after it’s bouncy guitar/bass/drum intro.

New tracks Speaker and Hamlet 3 are high points in the set. Andrew’s bass playing suggests a baroque feeling whilst his energetic movements and genuinely joyful stances suggests a more free outlook. Robin gets tore in with his wonderfully off kilter riffs and phrases on guitar. Matt rocks out with his Cardiacs T shirt on and cowbell ( on just one song, but we are all waiting for it - Xang being the track in question.)  And Eric is done without an explanation of 0800 chat line numbers for a change (maybe I should have shouted “hey what is this song about?” )

 

Universal Thee 7 by Pat McGuire

Who do they sound like to me? Pixies and Pavement spring to mind of course. But there is also an extra thing going on with Universal Thee that I can’t quite put my finger on. Do I like them? Yes, of course. They have that unquantifiable and elusive ingredient that other bands sometimes try too hard to find but which will stay elusive unless you have it inherently. They have that thing that makes you like them as people as well as a band and makes you enjoy them more and more on each listen. That “thang” or that “xang” that just can’t be faked or manufactured. It has to just happen, it has to be part of an alignment of fate/synchronicity/talent and of course, hard work.

 

See Universal Thee’s Facebook page for more info here

My set of photographs of Universal Thee from the gig can be seen here.

Xang by Universal Thee on YT :

 

 

The headliners tonight are also friends of mine whom I’ve reviewed before. East Coast Defector. So tonight was pretty amazing for me as I got to see two of my favourite bands playing the same place on the same night. At this rate I might be up for a lottery win soon.

 

East Coast Defector are a band I’ve seen a few times in Glasgow. But tonight (to paraphrase Danny Dyer) “I’m on their manor, and things are about to kick off!” ECD (as us in the know refer to them) are an astoundingly good band. At first you would be forgiven for thinking that they shouldn’t exist, they do come across as if the universe had twisted itself a bit and came up with a random number pattern. Alan Clarke seems even taller as there is no stage in the Wee Red Bar. His frame dominates the centre as he hooks on his guitar and they go into the set. Winged by Kevin McCollum and Andrew Clarke on guitar and bass respectively. And With Albie Clark on drums holding the midfield they proceed to do what ECD do. Which put simply is to play some beguiling and lovely songs that transcend the bounds of “genre” music full stop. Some folk leaving the venue are drawn back in, at first their “WTF?” facial expressions change to smiles and thence to enlightenment.

You would be forgiven I suppose to assume that ECD are just having a laugh, they are to an extent in that they don’t take themselves too seriously, but at the same time they are a proper band who deliver an eclectic set that leaves you feeling happy and fulfilled. And also perhaps wondering about space travel, videostores, alt rock/indie music and The Hoff.

ECD 1_

Due to the curfew being 10pm and me being a bit wobbly, I didn’t manage to get a video of ECD from the gig, but trust me, they were amazing. Alan switches between guitar and mini keyboard depending on the song and the entire ensemble works with noisy indie pop rock music. There are periods of constructed feedback and heavy drummage (one song in particular displays Albie Clark’s love of Grohlesque drums as an outro.) And then a particularly lovely cover of Daniel Johnston’s “True love will find you in the end” reveals, perhaps where ECD are coming from.

Eastcoastdefector 8

My personal favourite of the night was Blu Glo which is perhaps a song about facebook addiction. But at the same time I’m always a sucker for Mixtape which they delivered with panache and style. I will always have a soft spot for ECD for many reasons. Alan buying me lager when I was foolishly considering a soft drink, is just one of them.

 

East Coast Defector are on Facebook here.

My photographs of East Coast Defector are here.

 

Review and photographs : Pat McGuire / PMGphotog

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Ian McNabb & Cold Shoulder / Daniel Wylie @ Barrowlands 2 December 13th 2014 : preview by Pat McGuire.

Those lovely people at STG Promotions tend to put on great gigs but this one might make my Xmas. In a show which has had it’s venue changed from the now sadly defunct “River” to Barrowlands 2 we lucky people will get to see the legendary Ian McNabb & Cold Shoulder  supported by the equally legendary Daniel Wylie.

For those who tend to live under rocks, Ian McNabb was the singer/guitarist in The Icicle Works, a band that have played up here a few times before and he will be fronting Cold Shoulder in possibly his last full band show in Scotland for while (unless of course people wake up to how good they are and maybe something nice happens.)  His last album Eclectic Warrior was a cracker (people who know me will know the opening  track - Smirtin’  see the yertube video at the bottom of the page.) I don’t know what Ian and the band will be playing on the 13th December, old stuff? New stuff? But I do know it will be good stuff. Forget the rubbish office parties and the horrible clubs, get your rear ends to this gig and we might end up Smirtin’ together.

The support for this gig is as near perfect as anyone could wish for. Daniel Wylie aided and abetted by Neil Sturgeon will begin proceedings. Daniel is a singer songwriter most famous for Cosmic Rough Riders. A Castlemilk guy who knows how to write a tune or and has a great voice too. The last time I saw him live at The Old Hairdressers he was excellent. He did songs from Fake your own Death LP as well as older material.  I hear rumours of a new record for 2015 so we might get to hear a taste of that if we are lucky and maybe a cheeky wee cover of  some Velvet Underground too…we won’t know until the actual gig so come along and we can find out together.

Pat McGuire.

Links :

STG Promotions on facebook.

Ian McNabb - Smirtin’ ( from Eclectic Warrior )

Daniel Wylie - It’s Always Been You ( from Fake Your own Death )

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Teenage Fanclub / Linden @ Kelvingrove Bandstand Friday 15th August 2014 : Pat McGuire.

I’ll never know which way to flow, set a course I just don’t know

A simple enough line at first glance, but one that comes back on you decades later. Even if you didn’t write it you, if you are a human being, may be able to relate to it. I’ve found it resonates for me often. Every time I make a change in my life, everything flows.

Friday night at the recently refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand being a case in point. The last time I was here it was derelict and full of scrubs. I took some photographs and my daughter said it would be a great place for bands to play in. Even as we both gazed into the rubble and rubbish below the stage she was as sure as a 10 year old can be, that this place would be a great venue. That was two years ago. I didn’t mention to her that I had seen bands playing there decades before she was born, when it was still a nice place and the stage was solid. The seating was still basic, almost like a Greek amphitheatre but it was a nice place to see bands. I can’t remember which bands exactly back then, but that doesn’t matter. The fact that this place is now a venue for bands is important.

Tonight we have something excellent and special. And this is even before Teenage Fanclub play. The support act - Linden.

Linden by Pat McGuire

Joe McAlinden has been a Boy Hairdresser, a BMX Bandit, A Superstar, and now has recordings produced by Edwyn Collins with a Sex Pistol playing drums on some of his stuff  (Paul Cook) and creates a wonderful hymnal presence as Linden (See what he did there?). Featuring members of The Wellgreen in his band he takes the early evening crowd on a melodic trip through his musical adventure with gloriously uplifting songs with amazing grace. There are nods to the classical frame as well as gentle pop themes as Joe and the band create some fantastically evocative music. Gentle hooks and phrasing on guitar and Rhodes keys set a great mood tonight. Ascending and descending on “Brown Bird Singing” for instance. Personally I’d love to see Linden in a more enclosed venue just so we could all enjoy and focus on what they do so well. Sublime greatness sometimes runs under the radar. Linden are great, adjust your radar and pick up on them please.

http://www.joemcalinden.com/

 

It starts to get dark in the bandstand. Dusk is settling over Glasgow. The queues to the toilets and bars seem a bit longer than before. I’m trying to have a smoke and use the facilities so that I can get my camera sorted for the main act. As I walk back down to the stage area there is a kind of electricity in the air, some of it perhaps from cider or lager, other parts just from a pensive excitement. As I trip then regain my footing, I notice that the place is mobbed. Since I went for a smoke it seems like all the vantage points I had scouted are now full. So I rush as fast as a 45 year old man can towards the stage whilst trying to retain at least some small part of my dignity. Of course I fail, and end up out of puff as I get my camera out and insert a blue extra chewing gum in my mouth. I’m nervous because I want to try to get some decent pictures and I’ve not seen Teenage Fanclub live since The Leadmill in Sheffield in 1990 something….

I manage to get into the photo pit with some time to spare so I mess about with my camera to pass the time and somehow appear as if I know what I’m doing. The fact is I’m more nervous taking pictures of bands than I ever was when I played in one. But that nervousness is good, it means I want to do it, it’s good nerves. I thrive on it.

Teenage Fanclub are playing in the Bandstand at Kelvingrove. Get that into your head. Two years ago I was doing black and white photographs from the stage that they are about to play on.  The place my daughter said would make a good venue. It of course looks a lot better now and it is full to the brim.

Teenage Fanclub begin with “It’s All In My Mind” and I’m still thinking it is. But I keep trying to take pictures anyway. I do my pit pictures, catch a breather and head to the sides to soak in the music and chew more gum. I’m scanning the crowd too and see so many familiar faces.  ”I Don’t Want Control of You” floats over the audience with smiles and people singing back to the band and I’m feeling wobbly and emotional. The stage lights are scanning the crowd too. A nebulous feeling of togetherness is happening and it is wonderful. The rest is a bit of a haze for me as I try to get some long shots of the performance. I meet and say hello to folk I know and they say hello to me too.

Teenage Fanclub by Pat McGuire

You could say the gig was done in three parts, a bit like a symphonic review. It began mellow and light, the in the mid part it picked up on tempo, for the end part it really took off with “I Need Direction” which was a surprisingly beckoning song to draw lots of folk to the front of stage but it did. The Middle Aged Fanclub got off their seats, abandoned their wives and children en masse and began to mosh like it was the early 90′s again.

Sparky’s Dream” took people to another level. One of the security guys started dancing to that at the back. But stopped when he saw my camera. Sorry man. You should keep on dancing.

Then “The Concept” happened. And I think that if there was a roof it would have lifted off and flew over the City spreading it’s slacker drums and bendy twangy guitar greatness like Soma. The outro to this song is an anthem for lost love and failed relationships and general sing along tunes no matter who or what you are.

Teenage Fanclub leave the stage. The crowd start chanting for “The Fannies” which is an endearing term but not one you would use out of context perhaps. After a slight pause, the band return and treat us to three more songs, the final one being “Everything Flows” Which results in some people stage diving, and falling over the stage barriers. All in good fun I’m sure. At this point I remember joking with Alan Clarke of East Coast Defector earlier in the week about meeting him at the front for a stage invasion. Is that Alan’s legs I see being held in the air by two security guards? I’ll need to ask him later. I chickened out of course, I’ve already tripped up once tonight, I don’t want to put my back out…

The experience was uplifting and life affirming. A special gig in a special place in our special City. I saw many people I’ve know through bands and gigs over the years as well as lots of new faces too. Teenage Fanclub have that effect on folk that makes them feel close to each other. On the way home whilst standing at the bus stop as the crowd drifts past I hear one group of people talking about the concert. “Did you see that old guy with the camera tripping up?” As they walk by laughing I’m thinking “another one?” Then realise it might have been me.

 

And as I said at the beginning of this review…

I’ll never know which way to flow, set a course I just don’t know

http://www.teenagefanclub.com/

Pat McGuire.

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