Friday, 4 April 2014

Scottish Fiction Survey

Hi folks,

I'm working on getting the Scottish Fiction radio show/podcast back up and running.  However I'd like to take this opportunity to request some feedback from you, the listeners of the show.  Please take 5 minutes to answer this short survey, which will help me determine the future format of Scottish Fiction.



Wednesday, 5 March 2014

That difficult second album...

I had initially decided not to make any great announcement or statement about this, for fear of being self indulgent, but a number of people have asked over the past few days so I thought it would be easier to let people who care know.

If you've been on the ball you will have noticed there hasn't been a new Scottish Fiction radio show or podcast for the last three weeks, and my blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts have been quiet.

The reasons for this is probably pretty obvious, but I've decided to take a break from Scottish Fiction, both blogging and broadcasting, for the short future.  Those who know me personally will know that as well as running this blog and radio show, I attend college, work, and have a young family with another baby due in July.  Sometimes the old clichés ring true and there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I do believe however that if you enjoy doing something, you'll make time for it, which is why I'm not closing the door on Scottish Fiction, and fully plan to return to radio and blogging at some point in the near future.  After nearly three years of Scottish Fiction, this is an important junction to re-discover the reasons for my involvement, and reassess what aims and purposes the blog and show are.

In the meantime here's a reminder that you can still purchase the Scottish Fiction Sessions compilation which contains 21 tracks performed live for Scottish Fiction and all proceeds raised go towards Pulse Community Radio.  Please do consider purchasing and spreading the word.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Album Review - Mogwai - Rave Tapes

The concept of growing old gracefully has clearly passed Mogwai by.  Whilst they may not be as fierce as they once were, eight studio album Rave Tapes shows that Mogwai have lost none of their power and indeed contains some of their most awe inspiring music yet.

When Remurdered first appeared last year as the first glimpse at the band's new material they sounded like they'd invaded Kraftwerk's Kling Klang studios and forced the synths to mate with their guitars.  That song sets out the stall nicely for the whole album.

There are many Krautrock influences apparent here from the brilliant opener Heard About You Last Night through to Deesh's drones and beats and the album overall mixes the band's trademark power with analogue electronics and almost ambient parts to create a marvellous piece of work.  Amongst the intensity there are glimpses of light too be it in the Simple Simon like intro Simon Ferocious which surely is a computer somewhere saying the track's name or in the uplifting and beautiful closer The Lord Is Out Of Control.

Long may Mogwai reign.

- David McElroy

Mogwai - Rave Tapes is out now on Rock Action Records.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

TeenCanteen - Scottish Fiction Session - Videos

If you are a lover of sweet female harmonies, sunshine coated pop, and sugar sweet melodies then TeenCanteen are right up your street.  Joining me in the Pulse 98.4 studio just before Christmas, the band performed some wonderful session tracks and shared their love of all things pop. 

Below are videos for session tracks, 'How We Met (Cherry Pie)', 'Honey' and 'Friends'.  Enjoy, and check out YouTube page for all session video

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 12th February 2013

e-he-he-ell!  What a show lies in store for you here!  Live session guests in the shape of Audrey and Louie from Hector Bizerk, who played some amazing acoustic versions of tracks from the latest album Nobody Seen Nothing.  Plus new music from the likes of Call To Mind, Poor Things, IndianRedLopez, Wecamefromwolves and more!  It's a party, and you're all invited!

Call To Mind - Breathe

Hector Bizerk - Espange In The Works (Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio)

The Police - Message In A Bottle - As chosen by Hector Bizerk

Hector Bizerk - Colombus (Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio)

Immortal Technique - You Never Know (feat. Jean Grae)

Hector Bizerk - Party At A&E (Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio)

Wecamefromwolves - Paradise Place
Forest Fires - Patterns
Poor Things - Halcyon Days!
IndianRedLopez - No Longer Dying
The Strange Blue Dreams - Reverberatin' Love
Miasma - Goldberg
Two Wings - Peace Fear

#tweetatrack - Quickbeam - Seven Hundred Birds - As chosen by @distortion736

Le Thug - Pals
Blood Of The Bull - Bend Over
Bis - Rulers And The States
Young Fathers - I've Arrived

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Scottish BAMS 2013

The polls are closed, all the votes are counted and the winner of the 2013 Scottish BAMS (Bloggers and Music Sites) can now be revealed.  Voted for by 40 writers from 29 different blogs and music sites. your top 10 albums for 2013 looks a little like this...

1. CHVRCHES - The Bones Of What You Believe (Virgin)

2. Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse (Atlantic)
3. Adam Stafford - Imaginary Walls Collapse (Sony, By Toad)
4. Rick Redbeard - No Selfish Heart (Chemikal Underground)
5. Boards Of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest (Warp)
6. The Pastels - Slow Summits (Domino)
7. The National - Trouble Will Find Me (4AD)
8. Steve Mason - Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time (Domino)
9. Kid Canaveral - Now That You Are A Dancer (Fence)
10. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus (ATP Recordings)

Congratulations to Lauren, Iain and Doc for scooping the now legendary BAMS Buckfast trophy (intact with Buckfast Tonic Wine for celebration purposes!).  Also tip of the hat to Adam Stafford and Song, By Toad for the highest placed 'indie' release.

Head BAMS Mike (Manic Pop Thrills), Lloyd (Peenko) and Stuart (Is This Music?) managed to track the band down to Australia to get a few words:

Congratulations , you are this years' winners of the Scottish BAMS award, how does it feel?  

Thanks, guys.  We are not normally ones for prizes / shiny things, but it's dead nice to know the bloggers enjoyed the record.  You can all get a blast of the buckie.

2013 seems to have been a pretty exciting year for the band, what's been your personal highlights of the year? 

It was a busy year for us but we were really lucky to get the amount of support we did from people, and to play as many different gigs in as many different places as we did.  Supporting Depeche Mode and releasing the record were probably the pinnacles.

When you'd finished recording the album, how did it match up to your expectations?

Since we self-record and self-produce everything, we didn't sign off on anything until we were 100% happy with it, so I guess that means the album meets our expectations completely.

How important do you feel that the support of music blogs has been to the band? 

Without blogs and social networks, it is really unlikely that people would have heard of our band so quickly, and that is definitely one of the reasons we have been able to play so many different shows so early on in our career.  Thanks, bloggers - see you for Album Two.

Each BAM is asked to nominate their 10 favourite albums from 2013.  The lists are then compiled and ranked to produce the final top 10.  For a looksie at who Scottish Fiction nominated, check out our Top 20 Scottish Albums of 2013 post.  You might notice some similarity...

We at BAMS HQ like to think that the BAMS is to the Scottish Album of the Year Award as the Golden Globes is to the Oscars.  A casual glance at this year's Top 10 is enough to indicate that the creativity of the Scottish music scene will ensure that the SAY judges have a tough time in picking a final winner this year.  But few will bet against CHVRCHES repeating the success of Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat who won first the BAMS in 2011 then the inaugural SAY Award.  Will history repeat itself?  Only time will tell...

BAMS 2013 Facts

- 40 writers from 29 blogs and music sites voted for 164 different LPs as part of this year's voting.
- 66 of those LPs received 2 or more votes.
- The CHVRCHES LP featured in the Top 10 of 14 voters, compared to 12 for the runners-up Frightened Rabbit.
- 28 different LPs were given 1st preference votes.
- Only 5 LPs received more than 1 first preference - Frightened Rabbit, Adam Stafford, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Waxahatchee and Jason Isbell.
- The highest number of first preferences was 3 - for both Frightened Rabbit and Adam Stafford.
- 8 of the LPs which received first preference votes received no other votes!

Previous BAMS winners:

2009 - The Phantom Band – The Wants
2010 - The National – High Violet

2011 - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – Everyone’s Getting Older
2012 - Meursault - Something for the Weakened

The 2013 BAMS:

Almost Predictable, Almost, Avalanche Records, Detour, Elba Sessions, Everything Flows, For Malcontents, Vic Galloway, Jim Gellatly, Podcart, The Herald (Alan Morrison), Houdi, Is This Music?, Jock'n'roll, Jockrock, La Terrasse, Last Year's Girl, Manic Pop Thrills, Net Sounds Unsigned, The Pop Cop, Radar, Rave Child, Marion Scott, Scottish Fiction, The Skinny, Song, By Toad, The Spill, Tenement TV, The Tidal Wave of Indifference, TYCI

Monday, 10 February 2014

That's My Jam #30 - Algernon Doll - Spilt Milk Perfume

Responsible for one of my favourite albums of last year, Algernon Doll returns with a brand new single and in doing so takes one more giant leap ahead of the pack.

Spilt Milk Perfume bursts to life with a volley of drums over melodic guitars.  Ewan Grant's slightly distorted vocals ache with the passion that has become his trademark, whilst the notable influences of Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins tumble out, at no point does this track sound jaded or dated.

It's fresh, it's new and it's driven.  Things get more fuzzy and messy towards the end, invoking the image of Grant sprawling about on stage, guitar in throe, lost in the moment.

Spilt Milk Perfume is available as a free download here from Struggletown Records ahead of Algernon Doll's third album 'Omphalic'