Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 17th October 2012

Took a while to get this podcast up (apologies) but you can forgive me as on this show we have a plethora of new music from the likes of Gav Prentice, Salo, Vasa and Three Blind Wolves. There's also all four of the Peenko Postcard tracks scattered across the show.

Our Aye Tunes Friday Freebies track comes from op, our Re-Mixing It Up track is a Discopolis remix of a Miaoux Miaoux track, our Featured Artists is the wonderful Withered Hand and our Classic Scottish Album is Admiral Fallow's debut 'Boots Met My Face'.

Johnny And The Giros - I Don't Need A Lover
The Douglas Firs - Backroads
Behold The Old Bear - C403
Three Blind Wolves - Parade

Classic Scottish Album - Admiral Fallow - Old Balloons - Boots Met My Face

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - op - 4

RM Hubbert - Heisenberg
Kitty The Lion - Duck!
Thank You So Nice - Plasticine
How To Swim - It Doesn't Even Have To Be You
French Wives - Halloween
Gav Prentice - Give It Up
The Son(s) - All My Days Are Shorter
Sálo -  Without Skin

Featured Artist
Withered Hand - Religious Songs
Withered Hand - Heart Heart
Withered Hand - Inbetweeners

Vasa - Cynthia
Cancel The Astronauts - Seven Vices

Re-Mixing It Up - Miaoux Miaoux - Better For Now (Discopolis Remix)

Lovers Turn To Monsters - Rabbits
Very Well - Dead Happy
Randolph's Leap - This Ain't It
Drunk Mule - Am A Hardcore Dancer

Scottish Fiction Presents Aye Tunes vs Peenko

ast Saturday saw the inaugural Scottish Fiction Presents Aye Tunes vs Peenko gig go off with a bang at The Flying Duck, with great performances from The Bad Books, Cancel The Astronauts and French Wives.  All in all we had a great time, and hope you did do. 

And for our second trick...

We'll be returning to The Flying Duck again for another ridiculously good line up on Saturday 24th November.  Here's what you can expect this time round:

Behold The Old Bear - Behold The Old Bear are a five piece from Glasgow and are the brainchild of Mitchell Museum drummer Raindeer MacFarlane, who over time have grown to a seriously good band all in their own right.  We're very excited to welcome them onto the bill.

Campfires In Winter
-The boys from Croy are favourites of ours, and after this gig will be favourites of yours too!  The bearded four piece have posted several album demos on their Bandcamp page and are building up to a single release.  Not to be missed!

Gav Prentice - Over The Wall frontman Gav Prentice has got a shiny new solo album out called 'The Invisible Hand' and if you haven't listened to it yet, what have you been doing?  It's a cracking album, and Gav will be showcasing it as the gig is his official album launch. 

With a line up like that you can tell it's going to be a doozy, and we'd love to see you there.  Saturday 24th November from 7:30pm at The Flying Duck for all of this and more!  Once again entry to the gig gains you FREE entry to The Flying Duck's club night 'Houndin The Streets' if you want to make a night of it!

Tickets are £6 and are available on the door on the night.

See you there

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - Brown Bear And The Bandits

The summer of 2012 say Ayrshire three piece Brown Bear & The Bandits play festivals across Scotland, including T In The Park, as well as further afield.  They were the winner of the Best Acoustic Act at this year's SAMA's and have been tipped for bigger things by many.  We caught up with lead singer Matt.

Hello, how are you?

I'm great thanks, yourself?

Good thanks!  It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

We are a three piece from Ayrshire that draw influences from indie, pop, rock, country and folk in terms of genres and artists such as Queen, Muse, Talking Heads, Ray Charles, Fleetwood Mac and The Dave Matthews Band

What's your song writing process like?

Its not always a set way.  Sometimes I (Matt) have a song written or an idea I take to the band.  Sometimes it starts out as a jam at practice.  In general so far the songs have been written first then taken in and worked on as a band.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

First and foremost energy!  We always put everything into our performances.  We tend to play upbeat songs and try and keep the tempo and momentum up throughout the whole set.  We like to get people dancing and clapping along.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

If it was all to end tomorrow - I would say playing T In The Park was pretty great, something most bands and I think all Scottish bands aspire to do.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

I think it's strong.  People really seem to get behind you and overall the artists we have encountered have been very pleasant.  I think its great that there are so many bands in Scotland you can see making it and breaking through - testament to how strong the music scene is at the moment.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

I'm a huge fan of Stanley from Aberdeen.  Davey Horne is also brilliant.  Really into Miniature Dinosaurs from Stirling.  Recently came across Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher and was really into their stuff as well!

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

Thanks for chatting to us!   Eh... What did the leper say to the prostitute?   Keep the tip

Check out more from Brown Bear And The Bandits

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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - We Are The Physics

We Are The Physics, may not actually be masters of the molecule, but when it comes to crafting fun filled quirky pop songs they've got their PhD's hanging on the wall.  New album, 'Your Friend The Atom' serves as further proof of this, and contains plenty of great tracks alongside recent singles 'Goran Ivanisevic' and 'Applied Robotics'.  We caught up with Michael from the band (which one?  You'll have to guess!) for some Scottish Fiction style banter.

Hello, how are you?

Absolutely okay!

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

We call our music 'mutant science punk rock', but that's actually just a way of making derivative music seem more exciting.  It's basically just fast, jerky, springy music.  We stole all our ideas from bands like Ex Models, Devo, Polysics, Brainiac, The Skids, Buddy Holly, Servotron, Mocket, A Flock Of Seagulls, Adam & The Ants and Del Shannon.

What's your song writing process like?

It's usually a case of someone having some wee embryo of an idea that we nurture until it sounds much much worse than it originally did, and that's how our songs are born.  We went through a phase of writing out formulae for each song.  None of us can read music or really know anything about the theory of music, so we'd phonetically write out noises and musical phrases that we wanted, then just follow the formula.  They would typically read like this: Boom, boom, TIIIIING *drawing of a mountain*, sloooooooow bit, BADDA DADA DOOF, etc. etc.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Four grown men embarrassing themselves for little or no money.  We like to treat each gig as an event and our one basic rule is to never ignore the audience.  We used to see so many bands just dully and dutifully going through all their songs with a pointless 'thanks' after each one was met by a polite and expected applause.  Why are those gigs even happening?  Nobody's getting any pleasure from it!  It's like a horrible ritual where everybody knows what's expected of them and urgh.  We appreciate the fact people have turned up to see us, and we won't let them go home uninterested, even if they have to stay behind for a punishment exercise.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

What's ending?  Us, or Planet Earth?  I suppose getting to the end of time was pretty decent of us.  As a band, I think our greatest achievement, apart from this interview, has been managing to be so bad for so long with very few people trying to murder us.

What have you got planned for the second half of 2012?

Our UK tour to promote our new record starts tomorrow, we'll probably have a new 7" record out in November and we're off to do some Christmas gigs in December.  Then we will celebrate Christmas by eating and eating and eating, then I think we'll be off out on tour again across Europe and Russia and Japan in the new year.  It all depends on how much time Michaeldrum can get off work.  He's a commercial airline pilot.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

I think, in honesty, we've never really felt any part of any community, not even as a Scottish band.  Scotland produces some brilliant music and it's great to have that heritage, but we've never felt accepted by any musical scene or community and, in fairness, that's good - we don't really trust flag-wavers.  Scenes and communities are usually about spotting similarities between bands and people in bands and heralding that as a good thing, but we've always preferred bands who sat on the fringes.  The good thing about Scotland is that it does produce such diverse bands, it's a shame that there's got to be a 'scene' surrounding it for it to do well elsewhere.  Scottish bands pouncing on other Scottish bands for having any success is a bit of a shame, but I can understand that their nationality being the only thing that unites them isn't enough.  Although, we all know how tough it is to get out of Scotland to do gigs, so it feels like should applaud those who do rather than scorn them.  There's quite an insular attitude to some of the bands who'll do Scottish tours but rarely ever go south, whereas our whole shtick was to get out and play the rest of the world as soon as we could.  Scotland's our home, and it's an amazing place, but there's a whole world out there; there are a lot of bands who just stick touring Scotland, grow a huge loyal home fan base, but couldn't fill a toilet past Carlisle.  By all means, bring more tours to Scotland, tour Scotland more, but don't limit yourself to one country like a creepy tribe.  It's the first rule of good genetics - spread the musical genes across the world.  This is starting to sound like we're promoting invading countries aurally.  And we are.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

I reckon every Scottish band is bigger than us in Scotland, so they should probably be recommending us.  There's the lovely We Were Promised Jetpacks, of course, PAWS, Ex Wives, Divorce, Hivver, Miss The Occupier.  I remember I heard a band a few years ago called The Videos on that thing called MySpace, and they were amazing - I think they'd split up by the time I found them.  But we shouldn't forget some of the bands who came and went who didn't get the recognition that they probably should have like Invisibles, Take A Worm For A Walk Week and Astral Planes.  Oh, and Bis.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

We Are The Physics.  Biggest joke oot, mate.

Check out more from We Are The Physics

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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Scottish Fiction Presents Aye Tunes vs. Peenko: Blogtoberfest

ou're all expecting me to spam you about the upcoming Scottish Fiction Presents Aye Tunes vs. Peenko: Blogtoberfest so I don't want to disappoint.

In case you don't know, or you're sitting on the fence, on Saturday 27th October (this Saturday!) Scottish Fiction join forces with Jim from Aye Tunes and Lloyd from Peenko to bring you the first in what shall hopefully become a regular occurrence.

And what better way than to kick things off with a line up of The Bad Books, Cancel The Astronauts and French Wives.  On top of that after you've been treated to some of the finest indie pop we have to offer, you can bump and grind NYC style at The Flying Duck's very own 'Houndin' The Streets' club night.  Brawsome!

Tickets are available for £6 at the door or, if you like, online right here.

Here's a sample of what you might here if you come along on Saturday night:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - TeenCanteen

It's no secret that I love female vocals, see Rachel Sermanni, Amber Wilson, Julia And The Doogans, so TeenCanteen, an all female four piece band from Glasgow (and beyond) are right up my street.  They have got a wonderful '60's surf pop vibe, with great vocal melodies.  Their live set at Doune The Rabbit Hole was a highlight of the festival for me, and the track 'How We Met (Cherry Pie)' is one of my favourites of 2012.  We caught up with Carla from the band for some Q&A.

Hello, how are you?

Happy and thank you for asking.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

We make pop music with 4 part girl harmonies.  It's a little bit DIY, sometimes very sad and sometimes very happy.  We've had some people say we are twee and some people say we are girl-punk.  I like to think we fall somewhere in between.  I'm influenced by the girl group sound (1957-63) and my favourites are The Cookies and The Chantels but we all like different music and it all feeds in.

What's your song writing process like?

All the songs start out with just me and my keyboard and are usually musical reactions to something I've done or seen.  I record a video of me playing the song and then email it to the other girls.  They then come up with their harmonies and parts and then we all come together in the rehearsal studio and put it all together.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

We love playing live.  Sometimes Eugene Kelly plays guitar with us and sometimes Duglas T. Stewart sings with us.  We never know what's going to happen which makes it fun!  I wouldn't know what to tell people to expect as we've only been playing live for 5 months so I don't really know what to expect myself.  But that's what makes it exciting.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

If it ended tomorrow then we could say that over the last five months we have met some amazing people and enjoyed developing the band to what we are at the moment.  Our greatest achievement hasn't happened yet. We're anticipating it.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2012 and into the new year?

We have our gig at The Poetry Club in Glasgow with Stevie Jackson supporting us on October 27th -  Then we'll go back to the recording studio. We've just written a Christmas song with Eugene that we are performing at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh in December with a few shows lined up prior to it.  We're just going to keep writing and recording and playing live.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music community?

Helpful, supportive, enthusiastic, endearing and charming.  It's really quite wonderful to be able to work with people you have grown up listening to.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

We love BMX Bandits and are so excited about their new album 'BMX Bandits in Space' coming out!  I also think that Sacred Paws are excellent and would love to play a gig with them.  I managed to catch them at Doune The Rabbit Hole and thought they were one of the best new live bands I had seen in years.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

How about a video?  Here is Duglas singing our song Fireworks to a puppet:

Check out more from TeenCanteen

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Sunday, 14 October 2012

Gig Review - Rachel Sermanni @ The Arches

Deary me, haven't done one of these for a while.  Not that I've been avoiding gigs, simply avoiding reviewing them.  Yet on Friday I made the decision to forgo the Wales vs. Scotland game (a wise choice in hindsight) and plod done to The Arches for a smorgasbord of singer-songwriter talent.

Opening support act Michael Cassidy, is no stranger to the Scottish Fiction blog and we even had him playing for us before.  Things are really shaping up for the Gerry Rafferty Song-writing Prize winner, with his single Battleships dropping on 22nd October, and a début album 'My Electric Heart' is forthcoming in the new year.  I've already had the pleasure of seeing Michael play arguably his biggest Scottish date supporting Frightened Rabbit at UWS Union, but for tonight's set he's back to a solo set.  I must admit, I much prefer a stripped back solo performance (although some songs did gain a certain oompf with the backing of the band), and was glad to see Michael on top form tonight.  A booming friendly voice echoed across the empty floor, but after the intro to second track 'Everybody's Scared' began, the crowd edged forward and closer to the stage.  Like candy from a baby, it's hard to resist the mesmerising draw of the song.  Michael's legendary on stage banter was present and correct, and helped create a warm and friendly atmosphere whilst he played familiar tracks such as 'Dancing At The Devil's Door', the above mentioned 'Battleships' and the track that won him the Gerry Rafferty accolade 'The Men Who Stood Beside Me In The War' a mellow and introspective song.  There's also room for a new track, 'No One Else's Mine', which sounds a little more alt-country influenced.  Closing off his set, is foot stomper '15 Years', which if you fancy a bargain you can find for free on our very first Scottish Fiction EP right here.  And you should also pick up his self titled EP as well.

Who ever booked the support for this gig deserved a firm pat on the back, as following Michael Cassidy is the charming and extremely talented Beerjacket.  Last album 'The White Feather Trail' still remains a favourite from 2011, and he's been teasing us with mentions of new material on Facebook and Twitter.  'Eggshells', the Beerjacket song not Rachel Sermanni's track, showcases exactly why so many have made the effort to be here early.  There's a nice contrast between Beerjacket's voice and earlier support act Michael Cassidy's, with Beerjacket having softer vocals.  After next track 'The Bar That Never Closes', it becomes apparent that many of Beerjacket's students (he's an English teacher by day) have made the journey down tonight, as he jokes with the crowd about marking papers.  Much of the material on show tonight comes from the above mentioned album, yet there's room for new song 'Antlers', which after a much delayed start Beerjacket invites us to rate.  It's an excellent song, showing musical progression and also the same wordsmanship that has served Beerjacket well.  9/10.  Closing the set are crowd favourite 'Cave', which draws cheers and ukele driven 'Poor Captain Of The Soul'.  Head over to Beerjacket's Bandcamp page and pick up a copy of latest album 'The White Feather Trail'.

I've said before on many occasions just how talented I think Rachel Sermanni is, and don't want to spend too much treading over the same water.  All I will say is that Friday night for me was an affirmation of that opinion, and a truly, truly wonderful performance.

Beginning with 'Ever Since The Chocolate', Rachel stood solo, back lit by a single light, the atmosphere silent whilst her gentle voice pierced through.  Last time I saw Rachel was with the backing of her band, yet sans the backing of strings and percussion her voice is the sole focus of the crowds attention.  'Breathe Easy' is simply stunning as 'Waltz'.  The success of her 'Black Currents' EP and now début album 'Under Mountains', both of which were being eagerly snapped up by new fans from the merch stall, provided a cushion of confidence as Rachel conversed with the crowd and also opened up about the origins of several songs in the set.  We found out that 'Sleep' is a rather bitter song, whilst 'Marshmallow Unicorn' was named such by a drunken Irishman.

The set consisted almost exclusively of tracks from the 'Under Mountains' album, with the sole intruder being 'The Burger Van Song' a jaunty, more upbeat number about the perils of working in the burger van.  As the trains rumble overhead, and the moving lights pierce the silence, I find myself in awe at the spell which Rachel seems to have cast over the receptive crowd, each face intently looking, each set of ears hooked on the bewitching range of Rachel's vocals.  The whole experience was quite other worldly.

Rachel closed her set and the evening in rather fine style, with a trio of the eerie sounding 'The Fog', 'Song To A Fox' sang completely acoustic and recent single 'Eggshells' rounding off a wonderful evening spent in the company of some of Scotland's finest.

Grab yourself a copy of Rachel Sermanni's début album 'Under Mountains' here and enjoy 'Waltz' below.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Battle Of The Bands - Round 7

It's my favourite thing to do on the Scottish Fiction blog... beating Kowalskiy in our fortnightly duel Battle Of The Bands!  It's not always such a forgone conclusion though, and in the words of The Rolling Stones, "you can't always get what you want".  So with things tipped slightly in David's favour following his victory in Round 6, we marched on confidently to try and bring things back to an even keel.

And what better way to do it than bringing on board, the bearded battalion, something to put some fire in the Scottish Fiction camp, the creme de la Croy (sorry David had to steal that pun!)...  Campfires In Winter.

Just look at those stats.  With an array like that it should be impossible to lose!  As David had first dibs last time out, it's my turn to choose the categories.  If you didn't follow events on Twitter, then let me guide you through proceedings, blow by blow.  Before that though, here's David's choice this week; Toy Machene.

Ding!  The bell goes and it's into battle, Top Trumps style.  Given that the Campfires lads have been musical pals now for 8 years, I pulled out the strongest stat first, going for Years Since Formation.  With a mighty 8 to Toy Machene's 2, it was 1-0 to Scottish Fiction.

The second point in a best of three game is crucial, so given lead singer Boab's penchant for tweeting, I went with Twitter Follow Ratio as my next pick.  Campfires In Winter boasted a healthy 1.36 over Toy Machene's meagre 0.32.  2-0 Scottish Fiction, and game to me.

But why leave it at that.  Why not rub the salt right in the wounds?  After all, all's fair in love and Top Trumps!  So for the final pick, I plumped for Band Name Scrabble Score, and as I'm sure you can tell from the bandcards above, 29 pips 20, meaning a full 3-0 victory for Scottish Fiction and Campfires In Winter.

Of course, you all know that my gloating is superficial, and that as always it's all about the bands.  David and I will be back in a fortnight's time with our silly rivalry and a fresh set of Scottish artists to battle it out for Round 8.  Until then I leave you with this week's competitors.

Toy Machene were an unknown entity until David unveiled them as his choice this week.  The three piece from Edinburgh make fun indie pop music, and have a début album 'Welcome To Toyland' out now.

I'm big fans of Campfires In Winter, and having now met the lads on numerous occasion can confirm they are lovely chaps to boot.  There's promises of new material soon, which is great news as their alt-indie sound is brawsome.  Check out their most recent set of demo's on Bandcamp.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - DEATHCATS!!!

All hail DEATHCATS!!! a side project of James from Queen Jane, who are bringing fun, noise, scuzz and all out passion with their music and live shows.  The band put out their first bunch of material recently, and have a whole raft of shows coming up.  We chatted to James to get the low down on DEATHCATS!!!

Hello, how are you?

Hello Neil.  I am good, thank you.  We eventually decided to record some songs the other weekend.  We recorded them at our friend, Josh’s house in one day.  Very half arsed but very fun.  We’re happy with how it’s sounding and other people seem to be stoked on them, so yeah, I’m good.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

You could call it garage/surf/punk.  I like to call it Post Surf or Catcore.  It’s got lots of reverb and energy.  It’s aggressive but in a positive, non threatening way.  When writing DEATHCATS!!! material I’ve been influenced by early Beach Boys, Beach Fossils, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Spectrals and Japandroids.  Non –musical influences include skateboarding, cats, 80s skateboarding culture, late 70s/early 80s american hardcore, goofyness, 50s Californian Surf culture, Spongebob Squarepants, my girlfriend, my friends and nostalgia.  Basically just things that make me happy influence the music.  No serious emotional stuff here.  It’s all about having a laugh and not taking anything too serious.

What's your song writing process like?

I really don’t know.  DEATHCATS!!! was started as a joke, a sort of side project.  I messed about with some simple songs and they’d be written in about ten minutes.  Before I knew it I’d have a full song.  Right now we have about ten songs that we plan on recording so I’m not writing much until we work our way through them.  Last week my girlfriend said it would be funny to write a song about climbing trees, so I did.  It’s real fun to play.  But aye, I come up with something I like.  I try to keep it simple and take it to the other two and we whack it out.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

There is lots of energy.  I really go for it when playing.  In the other band I play in there is quite complex vocals and I have to hit pedals here and there etc.  There are more riffs so I can’t jump about too much.  With DEATHCATS!!! it’s all easy to play so I just throw myself about and contort and twist myself into mad shapes.  We all spend most of our time in University or work so when we get thirty minutes to let loose we make the most of it.  At the end of our last show I sort of jumped/collapsed off the kit and banged my head pretty badly.  I felt rubbish for the rest of the day but it was worth it.  So you can expect lots of movement, goofy screaming and head injuries.  No leather jackets or Jesus And Mary Chain style standing about shit.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

Our greatest achievement has been actually getting around to doing this.  We talked about it for so long and never done anything about it.  Once we played our first show we thought we might as well keep going.  Also, we know that if Piers Morgan heard us he’d be disgusted and I’d die happy knowing I gave that useless man sore ears.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2012?

Playing a lot of shows, supporting bands and also putting on gigs with bands we like.  We’re playing MILK on October 17th, supporting The Spills at Bloc on October 24th.  Putting on our own Halloween show at Pivo Pivo with Captain Majestic, Halfrican and Killl Surrrf on November 1st and then supporting Hooded Fang on November 14th at Nice 'N' Sleazy's.  We also plan on giving the EP to as many people as possible.  I’m going to make some tie dye t-shirts, maybe some DEATHCATS!!! badges and balaclavas.  You know, capitalise on our passion for fashion.  Definitely record some more stuff and put that out for free on our own label.

Explain the name 'DEATHCATS!!!'?   Is it proclaiming death to cats, or are you named after cats who bring death?

DEATHCATS!!! is not just a band.  It’s a collective.  Once you are a member it’s for life.  Hence why in all press related photos our faces are covered as the identity of the individuals are not relevant.  The individuals you see playing live are just members of the collective, who believe in the All Mighty Lord DEATHCAT, Lubocrantinus.  But basically it’s a funny name that we liked.  We knew we wanted it to be more than a band.  We wanted to put on shows with bands we like and get our friends involved whether it’s making videos, helping with art work or whatever else.  So DEATHCATS!!! is a gang.  If you like garage music and jumping about then you’re more than welcome to join our gang.  Also, we’d never proclaim death to cats or any animal.  We love animals, especially cats!

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

I thought about this for a while and came to the conclusion that it’s great, well here in Glasgow.  There is so much going on in Glasgow.  One thing I find now with music though is that less people go to see a band or artist until they have had a good bit of hype on the internet.  I think the internet has kind of killed the curiosity element of music.  There are a lot of great bands no one knows about because said bands don’t bombard bloggers, radio presenters and promoters or record one single a year as they won’t bring out a proper record until they get signed, SPAM constantly on Facebook or film cliché music videos that act as more of an advert as opposed to a piece of art.  So a lot of people don’t go to shows until they have heard a lot about the band but not actually went to hear the band.  There is a guy who always goes to Milk and wears glasses and always has headphones around his neck.  He always calls me the wrong name and he’s always usually quite drunk.  But he is always at shows, regardless of what type of act is playing.  People like him are an example of what is good about the community.  But I think the internet has definitely killed the curiosity side of music.  People don’t venture out to shows as much as they did as they can check out a band on Facebook.  That band might not have the best recordings online but could be amazing live.  On the other hand there are also lots of very amazing people out there such as Stephen from Flowers In the Dustbin, Fielding from Cry Parrot, Hannah and Aileen from Milk and people like yourself who run wee blogs with more energy and devotion than paid journalists and get nada out of it apart from self satisfaction.  You are what creates this community.

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Kill Surrrf, Halfrican, Baby Strange, Future Glue, Campfires In Winter, Secret Motorbikes, The 10:04s, Kick To Kill.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

Piers Morgan getting paid to have an opinion on things, that’s a joke.

Check out more from DEATHCATS!!!

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Scottish Fiction Podcast - 10th October 2012

That cuddly gentleman above is Boris The Bear.  The guy holding him was our latest guest on Scottish Fiction, Ewan Grant a.k.a. Algernon Doll.  Ewan joined us for a chat about his music, his lyrics and songwriting, and his forthcoming vinyl release of 'Camomile'.  He also treated us to three live tracks, and song top notch song selections.

As well as that we also had the Aye Tunes Friday Freebie track which this week came from Trapped Mice, our Featured Artist was The Beta Band, and we had new music from PAWS, Fat Goth and Bellow Below.  Listen again and join the fun!

We Are The Physics - Napoleon Loves Josephine
Bellow Below - Southern Opal
Rachel Sermanni - Waltz

Featured Artist
The Beta Band - The Beta Band Rap
The Beta Band - Assessment

Campfires In Winter - Outside
Toy Machene - Momentum
Fat Goth - Debbie's Dirty Harry
The Spook School - Here We Go
PAWS - Catherine 1956

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - Trapped Mice - Mona Lisa

The State Broadcasts - Takeshi (Live in Pulse FM Studio)

The Twilight Sad - The Room - As chosen by Algernon Doll

Algernon Doll - Son Of A Gun, Brother To None (Live in Pulse FM Studio)

Kaddish - The Great Apart

Algernon Doll - Feather To A Fall (Live in Pulse FM Studio)

Arab Strab - I Would've Liked Me A Lot Last Night

Algernon Doll - Cut-throat Kid (Live in Pulse FM Studio)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Scottish Fiction Olive Grove EP

Wipe away those tears, as even though we have reached the last Scottish Fiction EP (at least for the time being) it's a helluva way to end.  This year we've been loving all things Olive Grove Records, from The Son(s) EP 'Leviathan', to The State Broadcasters album 'Ghosts We Must Carry', to Jo Mango's recent single Cordelia and the forthcoming album 'Murmuration'.

We've had a whale of a time with the roster live in the studio; Adam from Randolph's Leap joined us first, followed by Graeme and Gill from The State Broadcasters, and then label moguls Lloyd and Halina.

So it is with extreme pleasure that I present to you the Scottish Fiction Olive Grove EP.  Included on this EP is a track called 'Radar' by The Son(s), an exclusive remix from Jo Mango called 'Cordelia (Choral Version), a classic track, 'Counting Sheep' from Randolph's Leap, and lastly a live version of 'Takeshi' performed by Graeme and Gill of The State Broadcasters, taken from the Scottish Fiction Session on Pulse 98.4 FM.  Below are links for our Q&A with each artist, and also a stream/download of the full EP.  Enjoy!

The Son(s)
Jo Mango
Randolph's Leap
The State Broadcasters

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 3rd October 2012

As always if you missed Wednesday night's show then fear not as here is the show to listen to again!  This week's podcast see the return of new feature Re-Mixing It Up with a track from the forthcoming The Twilight Sad 'No One Can Ever Know Remixes' album. We also have an Aye Tunes Friday Freebies track from Arran Arctic, a track from our Classic Scottish Album which is Idlewild's '100 Broken Windows', and three tracks from our Featured Artist, Boards Of Canada.  There's also new music from PAWS, RM Hubbert, Emma Pollock, Errors and much more!  Enjoy!

tom - boy2
Errors - Relics
RM Hubbert - SG-666

Aye Tunes Friday Freebie - Arran Arctic - Covers

Lovers Turn To Monsters - Providence
Panda Su - Alphabet Song
DEATHCATS!!! - I Wish It Was Summer

Re-Mixing It Up - The Twilight Sad - Nil (Liars Remix)

PAWS - Sore Tummy
The Cherry Wave - Doe Eyes

Classic Scottish Album - Idlewild - Little Discourage - 100 Broken Windows

The Son(s) - Radar
Lenzie Moss - Where Eagles Dare
End Of Neil - Escape At The Zoo

Featured Artist
Boards Of Canada - Peacock Tail
Boards Of Canada - 1969
Boards Of Canada - Rue The Whirl

Emma Pollock - Dark Skies
Leftchild - P.S. I'm Dead
Three Blind Wolves - Parade
Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land

Monday, 1 October 2012

We're Only Here For The Banter - The State Broadcasters

I was lucky enough to have been joined in the studio by Graeme and Gill of The State Broadcasters about a month ago, and along with having their new album 'Ghosts We Must Carry' on constant repeat, they have really enchanted me.  Below is the transcript of that interview for you to check out.

Hello, how are you?

Graeme - We are all fine and dandy, thank you!

It's the question that everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and influences?

Graeme - We've been about in various different forms for a good wee while, probably about 7 or 8 years all in.  We put out our first record in 2009 through Electric Honey, and we've just released the second album.  We are a six piece most of the time, and we've been described as various different things from folk-pop to Americana to indie-folk so I don't know!  It's the hardest question in the world a band can get asked is, "what's your music like?"

Tell me about the new album 'Ghosts We Must Carry'.

Graeme - The album itself has been finished for the best part of a year, but for a variety of reasons we had to leave it until September to put it out.

Gill - We are really lucky in that Pete, who is a band member is also the producer.  Which is brilliant because we can make all of the recordings literally in his bedroom, which is fantastic.  But at the same time it's easy to take a long time to do things, and also we've all got other things going on and life gets in the way.  But being able to take your time over it is a mixed blessing because you realise a whole year has gone by, but it's nice to take your time over it.

Graeme - It sounds a bit weird to say this, but the songs on the new album, with the exception of one song which is quite old and another which is a cover, were all written in a very short period of time.  What we wanted it to feel like this time round was an album which had a very strong sense of cohesion.  So although it's taken a long time for it to come out, the actual songs themselves were all written in a short space of time close together.  We worked pretty hard, Pete especially, to try and get the sounds we wanted this time as we had a very definite idea about what we wanted this album to be like.

How did you come to start working with Olive Grove Records?

Graeme - Well we kind of met Lloyd, and I'm not really sure how, which is often the way with Lloyd!  We let him hear it and he liked it.  We were looking for someone to put it out and liked the way that they were wanting to do that.  For us this time, it was really important that we went with people who were really enthusiastic about the album and the songs.  For me that was more important than having a big budget.  And that really came across for us, and was a big factor in our decision.

What's your song writing process like and does having so many instruments to call upon influence that?

Graeme - Pete MacDonald who plays trombone, piano and also sings, it's him and I who do most of the writing and the initial arrangements.  I don't tend to think of instruments when I'm writing a song, but maybe when you get to the arrangement stage.  A lot of the songs from the first album I had written before we'd formed the band, so there was no pre-conception of what it will sound like.  But with the songs off of this album, were all written with the band in mind.  So oddly enough it does start to influence your writing and the type of instruments that people play in the band.  Some times it's really clear, there's a couple of songs on the album that I knew exactly what I wanted them to sound like, but others I had to sit down and strum it out and the others would come in with their ideas. 

In terms of writing, sometimes I'll go to Pete with the chords and the lyrics, and Pete will embellish it.  Sometimes he'll have the piano part and then I'll add the lyrics and maybe add something.  Everyone tends to write their own specific parts.  Sometimes we'll have a clear idea and say we want it to sound like this, but everyone does write their own parts.  We tend to have the songs worked up before we record them.

Have you got any gigs coming up that people can catch you at?

Graeme - We have a launch night for the album on 21st October, which we are going to try and make a really special night.  We are going to premier a video that was made for 'Trespassers', and it's in a really pretty venue in the West End of Glasgow, The Wellington Church on University Avenue.  So hopefully that will be a really special night, we wanted to try and do something a bit different for the launch of the album. 

Gill - The video that was made for 'Trespassers' was along the theme of light, and I think there's going to be some quite special things at the launch night.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Gill - That's a good question!  I really really enjoy playing live with The State Broadcasters, because I think everybody's really nice in the band!


Graeme - The trouble we have, is that when we rehearse we rehearse acoustically, we don't go into a rehearsal studio and plug in.  So some times when we plug into a PA and stuff like that, if it's not quite coming together it can make things a bit difficult.  I think we've got better as we've gone along.  And also because some of the instruments we use are a bit unusual.  We're not really selling ourselves!

Gill - If I was in the audience I would think it was great!

Graeme - I would say that I think there's a warmth from what we do.  One of the sounds I wanted from both albums was a feel of being able to comfort people.  It sounds a bit grandiose, but I mean that it can make you feel a bit better.  I think because we genuinely enjoy it ourselves, we hope that comes across.  If people are into it, then it's a great feeling.

Gill - There's some quite unusual moments because having two trombones in the band, you do the warmth of two trombones and the cello, along with the guitar, the harp, the accordion and the banjo it is really warm.  And we've worked quite hard on making sure there's lots of vocals so sometimes we're all singing and it's really lovely.

The new album is called 'Ghosts We Must Carry', and it's a name which really entriuges me.  Is there any particular meaning behind it?

Graeme - Yes there is!  It's really difficult to try and distil it down.  It's got a range of meanings.  I guess what I was thinking with that title, the 'ghosts' are either actions you have committed, or have been committed upon you, that occur throughout your life.  Whether that be someone passing away or someone kicking your car door in.  These things stay with you and they're kind of the 'ghosts' I refer to.  No matter how you progress on with your life, and things changes all the time, these are the thing that stay with you and part of what makes you what you are.  It also has a very literal meaning of people that are no longer here, that you still think about.  There are two or three different meanings to it, but I hope that makes sense.  The album is what we would consider a traditional album, that's designed to be listened to from beginning to end.  So when we produced it, we wanted a title that reflects that, so this is what we decided upon in the end.

At Scottish Fiction we focus on new Scottish music, how do you as a band view the Scottish music 'community'?

Graeme - I personally am a bit detached from it now as I don't go out very much!  In a way it's kind of sad that there are so many great bands and talented people, and so few of them are playing to bigger audiences, which sometimes can depress you.  But I am also full of admiration for people who are doing it just because they feel it's a calling, or because they like doing, but people who just carry on regardless, I have nothing but admiration for that.

Gill - From my perspective, coming from a more traditional background, can see huge developments in the traditional music world. 

What other Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Gill - I've been listening to loads of Joanna Neeson recently.

Graeme - I haven't been to see many local bands recently, but a person who I have never ever fallen out of love with in terms of the Glasgow scene is Beerjacket.  I think for as long as I can remember he was been so consistently good.  And I'm really pleased for him that his last album seemed to really take him to another level in terms of the audience he is playing too.  And the songs that he has been writing for about the same length of time that we've been going, the standard is just up there all the time.

Check out more from The State Broadcasters

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