Friday, 28 June 2013

That's My Jam #20 - Franz Ferdinand - Right Action

Theeeeeeeeeey're back!  Franz Ferdinand return with 'Right Action' after a lengthy absence.  The result are that same insatiable post punk vibe.  The same foot tapping, albeit slowed down, vibe from 'Do You Want To?' proving that Franz Ferdinand do lead singles very well.  The track stays true jangly guitar sound of old, and producers Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, help nudge the track along with a dancefloor vibe.  Expect this to be ripping up clubs across the country all through the summer.

'Right Action' is out now as a double A side with 'Love Illumination' via Domino records.  You can get it on iTunes and on 7" vinyl.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 26th June 2013

Having had the pleasure of hearing an advance copy of 'Imaginary Walls Collapse', I was thrilled to be able to welcome it's creator Adam Stafford into the Pulse 98.4 studios.  We chatted about the forthcoming LP, which is being released via Song By Toad Records on 15th July, as well as discussing Adam's distinctive and encapsulating sound and stage presence.  On top of that, as you would expect from our session guest, there's three live songs from Adam.

Elsewhere, there's a return of regular features 'Re-Mixing It Up' and 'Cover Lover', with a track from Song Of Return and Cairn String Quartet respectively.  And keeping us in tune with the freshest Scottish music there's tracks from Profisee, Lovers Turn To Monsters, The Amazing Snakeheads and more.

The Twilight Sad - The Room

RM Hubbert feat. Aidan Moffat and Alex Kapranos - Car Song - As chosen by Adam Stafford

Adam Stafford - Vanishing Tanks - Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio

Dock Boggs - Sugar Baby Now - As chosen by Adam Stafford

Adam Stafford - Carshulton Girls - Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio

Irma Thomas - Anyone Who Knows What Love Is - As chosen by Adam Stafford

Adam Stafford - Please - Live in Pulse 98.4 Studio

Lost Ghosts - Tunnels
Emma's Imagination - Arms Of Old
Siobhan Wilson - All Dressed Up
Julia And The Doogans - Those Things
Jo Mango - The Black Sun
The Amazing Snakeheads - Testifying Time
Profisee - I Need You
Fabled Circuitry - Warmth
Lovers Turn To Monsters - Big Fish
Now Wakes The Sea - Peak

Re-Mixing It Up - Song Of Return - Torn Between The Tides (Lantage RMX)

Cover Lover - Cairn String Quartet - French Navy

Great Cop - Stop Hiding

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Scottish Fiction - 26th June 2013 by Scottish Fiction on Mixcloud

Gig Review - Lovers Turn To Monsters - EP Launch

I'd never been to a flat gig before, let alone to a flat gig ALONE.  Needless to say I didn't have to worry, for as well as meeting friendly faces there, Lovers Turn To Monsters and flat owner Walker Smith Jr. were perfect hosts.  The setting was small, but intimate and cosy, and was the perfect platform to launch Lovers Turn To Monsters latest EP 'The Skeletor EP', as his music embodies much of the same qualities.  And that it was full of the DIY ethos that Kyle loves didn't hurt either!

Starting the night's entertainment was the flat owner Barry Carty, a.k.a. Walker Smith Jr.  I suppose hosting a gig in your flat is one way of making it onto the line up!  Rocking up with a guitar and some backing tracks, it was a good set. showing there's plenty of ideas and potential once this one man show becomes backed up with a full band.  One track in particular, which I cannot remember the name of, stood out, very fast paced, punchy, oozing influence from The Strokes 'Is This It?' era.  And in terms of closing, there's no finer, or funnier way than a Scottish indie act covering Prince 'Purple Rain'.  Cue mass sing-a-long in the flat.

The week before this gig, Thursday 13th June to be precise, I was along at Algernon Doll's album launch at The 13th Note.  Backed with a full band, including members of Where We Lay Our Heads, it was a boombastic lesson in early '90's alt-rock brought into the here and now.  This evening though, Ewan Grant, a.k.a. Algernon Doll sat on a chair in the dimly lit room and played armed only with raw emotion and delicate guitar playing.  Many of the tracks came from his first album 'Camomile' rather than the just-released 'Citalo-pop' (the tunings are different he tells us), yet I'd hope that based on the joyous set he played at least a couple of people would have picked up his new record.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.  The hour was late (time doesn't exist in a flat party), and the man was buzzing of the company of good friends and fine music.  Regular readers of the blog will know I'm a huge fan of Kyle Wood, a.k.a. Lovers Turn To Monsters (seriously does no one just use their own name any more!), and feel his song writing in particular is straight from the bones of Connor Oberst and Ryan Adams.  Moving between his sticker adorned guitar, a ukulele and a duet with Barry on banjo, the set is peppered with lots of between track banter.  It was a real friendly atmosphere and one or two drinks may have been sipped, but that was all part of the fun.  There's a few older numbers for long term fans like me, such as 'Hunting For Energy', and 'My Dad Doesn't Really Like My Interests...' off the 'Mumblecore' album, as well as some brand new tracks, 'cause as we all know Kyle doesn't rest on his laurels.  The real highlights though as the three tracks from 'The Skeletor EP'.  'Brando' is a track about being a nice guy, 'Skeletor', which closes the evening's set, a song about feeling insecure and lastly 'Big Fish', a beautifully open and honest song about the loss of Kyle's father which rouses a full room to join in with the chorus.  These three tracks represent the finest material Lovers Turn To Monsters has put together, and in the form of 'The Skeletor EP', they have been given some polishing up by none other than Esperi.  Go get a hold of it now right here.

Reverieme - Scottish Fiction Session - Videos

On Wednesday 19th June, Reverieme were our live session guests on Scottish Fiction.  They played an awe inspiring session and chatted about their latest album 'With Up So Floating'.  If you want to check out the full session, and rest of the show, you can do so below:

If however you're just after the solid gold live session tracks, then luckily you can not only hear them, but see them with your googly eyes.  Check out 'Build A Home', 'Dark Matter', and 'Sorry Or Something' below and check an eye on our YouTube channel for plenty more in the future.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Brave Young Red

There's a fair amount of talent oozing out from Ayrshire in the past year or so, and in amongst that bunch are five piece Brave Young Red.  The band do hail from all corners of Scotland, but have got a good history with the music scene in Ayr and are also breaking through into Glasgow and wider afield.  Their debut EP 'Roots' was out at the start of this year, and we caught up with the band for a Scottish Fiction chat.

Hello, how are you?

All: We are very well thanks man.

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

James: We find it hard to define what genre or category that our music falls under…  So yes we do hate this question!  We began as a three piece acoustic group but have developed to include backing vocals, drums, and electric guitars in order to create a much more dynamic and exciting sound.  The obvious influences are Frightened Rabbit, Admiral Fallow and we are also huge fans of Fence groups such as Kid Canaveral and Withered Hand.  In our spare time we like to close the curtains and rock out to Led Zeppelin or alternatively have a good cry to Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells.  So to sum up, we have pretty diverse tastes and influences in music, but if you're a fan of alternative rock, folk, or contemporary Scottish music you'll maybe like us.

What's your song-writing / creative process like?

James: To date, I write all of the material that we play.  The group originated based around my efforts as a solo artist and has developed from there so we have pretty much stuck to the same format where I write all of the songs.  As an artist I like to challenge myself though, I write songs based on poems, paintings, books, whatever has an impact on me really.  I think the rest of the group understand how important the writing process, in particular the lyrics. is to me and just leave me to it!  We're still a young band though and every practice we continue to push the boundaries and experiment with different sounds and rhythms.  I'm really excited about the new material that we are writing at the minute because everyone is getting involved in rehearsals and I think those who already know us as a group will be surprised to hear how dynamic and just generally different a sound we have produced.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Angus: Well James is quite partial to talking to about the pandas in Edinburgh zoo…  But we've changed quite a bit from when we started.  Before you could turn up to hear a nice acoustic band but now we have a much more energised sound which we feel more comfortable playing and have a lot more fun playing whilst we're at it.  So to answer your question; a good time!

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

James: Sucking off a statue of John Lennon with a coffee cup in my left hand during Liverpool Sound City. Angus: My record collection and being able to recite the original three Star Wars films word for word.
Erin: Teaching my dog to sing and being the worst glockenspiel player.
Michael Hepburn & Michael Stewart: Having the same first name in the same band.

What have you got planned for 2013?

Angus: Well we're really excited to being playing up at the HebCelt Fest along with our good pals Rose Parade and Fatherson.  We are also looking to record some more material and release it by the end of the year.

What's your favourite shade of red?

Angus: One of our songs (Little Dove) mentions Persian red however I'm quite partial to the red that is in my Darien Venture (RIP) t-shirt I'm wearing right now.  The red on the spine of the Neil Young book I'm reading just now is really nice too.

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

All: Quickbeam, Blue Rose Code, Evening Hymns, Vasa, Campfires In Winter, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Little Fire (Uncle Sexy), Trusty and the Foe, Mickey 9's.

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

Aye! Why did the man with no arms fall off his bike?

Someone threw a washing machine at him.

Check out more from Brave Young Red

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wounded Knee - Scottish Fiction Session - Videos

A few weeks back I was joined in the Pulse 98.4 FM studios by Drew Wright, a.k.a. Wounded Knee.  You may have listened to the show live, or caught it on repeat via our podcast.  If not, you can do the latter right here.

We also, with the kind help of Calum Morton and Ross Crae, have started videoing the live session tracks for your visual and audio enjoyment.  Because I'm realistic enough to know that some people don't want to hear my prattling interview with our guests.  You just want live music.

So here's the first trio of videos for you.  All our videos will be on our YouTube channel as well.

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 19th June 2013

Phew!  How did we manage to fit everyone into the tiny Pulse 98.4 FM studio I'll never know!  I'm glad we did though because crammed in were Reverieme the latest live session guests to join us.  Chief band spokeswoman Louise Connell chatted, with occasional quips from Andrew, Dougie, Jo and Jamie, about their latest album 'With Up So Floating' and picked some music for us too.  And if that wasn't enough the band played three remarkable live tracks.

Elsewhere we had music from Algernon Doll, Shambles Miller, Camera Obscura, Boards Of Canada and much more.  Enjoy another slice of the finest Scottish music has to offer.

Adam Stafford - Please

Animal Collective - Peacebone - As chosen by Reverieme

Reverieme - Build A Home - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Handle With Care - As chosen by Reverieme

Reverieme - Dark Matter - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

Reverieme - Sorry Or Something - Live in Pulse 98.4 FM Studio

St. Vincent - Year Of The Tiger - As chosen by Reverieme

Algernon Doll - Aerosol
Lovers Turn To Monsters - Worst. Song. Ever
Shambles Miller - Deadpool
Washington Irving - You've Seen The Last Of Me
RM Hubbert feat. Alasdair Roberts - The False Bride
Camera Obscura - This Is Love (Feels Alright)
Friends In America - Quietly Quietly
In Posterface - More Life
Sun Dogs - Lazy Somersault
Numbers Are Futile - Supersonic Speed Freak
Boards Of Canada - Cold Earth
Homework - All I See
Cleavers - Broken Birthday Teeth

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

Scottish Fiction - 19th June 2013 by Scottish Fiction on Mixcloud

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - A Fight You Can't Win

It's almost a given these days that bands have a multitude of labels and genres attached to them, in an effort to both categorize themselves and carve a niche out.  A Fight You Can't Win could easily refer to the efforts to categorize the music of A Fight You Can't Win.  Grunge, punk, rock all with pop sensibilities.  Whatever it is, it's loud and fucking great.

Hello, how are you?

Very well; mostly sweaty, tired and recovering from some kind of mild respiratory infection.

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

Probably the best way to describe out music would be angry noisy pop - lots of lovely vocals and three part harmonies that are infrequently ruined by screaming.  Our usual response to the influences question is that they range from The Bronx to The Cardigans (by way of PJ Harvey and The Pixies).

What's your song writing process like?

Normally Matthew will have a chorus and verse floating about that the band then mash about for a few hours or weeks until we have a fully functioning song, usually after a few savage beatings to iron out any disagreement.  It’s pretty democratic.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Four people sweating, throwing themselves about and occasionally having a look of genuine worry for their physical health in their eyes.

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

It probably sounds like bullshit but we’d say our most recent EP would the greatest achievement.  We really didn’t expect it to come out so well.  Plus the video for 'Burning Sky' is just amazing – so proud that we were part of that (working with the surreally talented Ciaran Lyons of seaoflyons).

What have you got planned for the rest of 2013?

The EP is released on 6th July with a party at Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh with Belfast trio Vanilla Gloom (and TBC).   Apart from that a Scottish and NI tour is in the pipeline for the summer.  We’re also writing material for what will hopefully be a full length release next year.   Probably some kind of prolonged exercise regimen might be in order to ensure we don’t die during the tour.

Who would win in an A Fight You Can't Win group fight?

Probably Robbie, he’d turn into a bear and maul the fuck out of the rest of us.  He’d probably then tearfully go and apologise to our parents and they’d forgive him because he’s such a cute bear with a twinkle in his wee eye (and Lesley’s spinal column hanging from his teeth).

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Too many to mention but for starters you should all get Vasquez, Birdhead, Black International, Shudder, Billy Ray Osiris, VerseChorusVerse, Lafaro, Fat Goth and Hagana in your earholes.  All of them are amazing.

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

Why did Nivea Cream?  Because Max Factor…

Check out more from A Fight You Can't Win

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Friday, 14 June 2013

That's My Jam #20 - Lovers Turn To Monsters - Skeletor

y boi Kyle Wood stuck a new single out last week as a free download.  Under the moniker Lovers Turn To Monsters, Kyle has been a firm favourite round these parts over the last two years.  His quirky, DIY, lo-fi music has got the power to tug at heart strings and his love of a good pop culture reference raises a wry smile. 

'Skeletor' is the lead track from his forthcoming EP, which is being given a release by the super folk at Common Records.  It's a gorgeous journey into alt-folk, slightly more polished than some of his self released stuff, and an ode to love, music and art.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Get Off My Land!

So yeah, we didn't really finish this blogging thing yet.  But I wanted to get a post up before we play this gig tonight at The 13th Note with Algernon Doll, Lovers Turn To Monsters and Now Wakes The Sea.  Ewan said there will be pie and punch.  I doubt this, but there will be his lovely new 12".

Last night I salsa danced with a guy to Lovers Turn To Monsters, not sure how to top that tonight.

Let's look at a few more answers to these questions, today everyone's favourite drummer.

Stuart Bradley (Drums)

1. Song that got you into music? - Rock n Roll - Led Zeppelin.

2. Song that made you want to write? - Not written much but recently the King Creosote & Jon Hopkins 'Diamond Mine' album.

3. Song that changed your musical direction? - Admiral Fallow - 'Subbuteo'.

4. First song you ever learned? - Foo Fighters - 'Monkey Wrench'.

5. Song that makes you happy to be alive? - I'm From Barcelona - 'Dr Landy'.

So... yeah one more post to go.  Hopefully see some of you tonight at the gig.  It's going to be awesome!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Scottish Fiction Fanzine

To help celebrate the blog's second birthday, I asked a few friends and all round good yins, to help with a wee limited Scottish Fiction fanzine.

Inside you'll find 'We're Only Here For The Banter' with Prides, a track-by-track guide to the new Sparrow & The Workshop album 'Murderpolis', some lovely artwork from Neil Slorance and music from Shambles Miller (including exclusive discount code).  Here's a little snippet of Neil's artwork featuring lyrics from Shambles Miller's next single 'Deadpool'. 

There's also artwork and download code for an exclusive FREE EP from Lovers Turn To Monsters.

For the 'zine itself, I wanted to create something physical, rather than the online stuff which floats about the internet in 1's and 0's.  The front cover pictures are old photographs I found discarded, and I like the idea of these 'outtakes' being given another use.  They aren't overly artistic or anything but they do the job.

The fanzine itself is FREE and each one is numbered. Gerry Loves Records and Song, By Toad kindly donated some merch so I'll be doing a prize draw at some point down the line.  The number drawn wins the free merch, so if you do pick up a copy of the 'zine, don't throw it away! 

You can get a hold of a copy online here (only charge is for postage), or you can pick on up in store at LOVE Music.  Also if you give me a shout on Twitter or Facebook I'm sure I can get one to you.

Loads of thanks and stuff to lots of people, especially all the above who contributed, to Pulse 98.4 FM for letting me on air, to people who have done sessions, interviews, gigs, features, and so on.  There's genuinely far too many to mention, but you are all the lifeblood of Scottish music.  And to each of you for reading, listening and sharing.  Thanks for keeping things interesting for over two years.

Cheers, Neil x

Monday, 10 June 2013

We're not quite done yet (extended TAKEOVER!)

Yeah so we were going to finish the week with a big post yesterday, then Wull went out and got really drunk and didn't edit the interviews, so we've still got like 3/4 left to post and other things to talk about.  I'm sure Neil won't mind... (Ed.  Nope he won't!)

So yeah few things to chat about today number one being Danny's band Lost Ghosts single is out today for free download, and it's pretty damn good you can hear it on their Soundcloud.  Try and not dance when the chorus comes in.

We've talked about Common Records a lot in the past week well today.  Algernon Doll's album 'Citalo-pop' is out, go buy it at and also Lovers Turn To Monsters has a new free single out today for his song 'Skelator' from the EP of the same name which you can download here.

Lovers Turn To Monsters

1. Song that got you into music? - The Strokes- 'Last Night'.  I was forced to listen to a lot of music in my youth.  My dad loved Springsteen, Dylan, The Beatles etc. but The Strokes were the first band I called my own (even though my Dad saw them live before me).  I already had long hair due to interest in hippy culture but at this point the idea of modern musicians having long hair blew my mind...

2. Song that made you want to write? - Nirvana- 'Serve the Servants'.  Like all youth Kurt was the first person to make me realise music could have some depth.  I tried to think of the first Nirvana moment that made me REALLY sit up and the opening lyric to this is probably it.

3. Song that changed your musical direction? - Sebadoh - 'Truly Great Thing'.  After maybe a year or two of making music as Lovers Turn To Monsters I was coming to a dead end.  Constantly trying to mask my music in effects, multi layered instruments and God knows what else.  Lou made me realise that all that matters in art is honesty and expression.  You may think that's just our excuses for being lazy and thrifty but whatevs.

4. First song you ever learned? - Ash - 'Kung Fu'.  I was a bass player first and even though I'd jammed on the classic Smoke On The Water's and Seven Nation Armies, 'Kung Fu' was the  first song I could play right through.  Followed swiftly by The Ramones 'Beat On The Brat'.

5. Song that makes you happy to be alive? - Jon Brion - 'Elephant Parade'.  26 seconds of pure joy.  Boom!

Ok we'll have more to follow tonight, or tomorrow...

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Scottish Fiction Podcast - 5th June 2013

It's warm, it's sunny, Scotland don't quite suck as much as football as they did two days ago, and there's a whole heap of music packed into the latest episode of Scottish Fiction.  Oh and there's loads of tadpoles too, but that's completely unrelated to anything else.

Contained in this two hours is a Re-Mixing It Up track from Giant Fang and Prides, a Cover Lover track from Rachel Sermanni, new music from Lovers Turn To Monsters, Birdhead, Quickbeam, Galleries, Primal Scream and many more.  There's also a short documentary looking at the future of record shops.  Enjoy!

Primal Scream - Invisible City
Capitals - Sinking Ships
Book Group - BOP
eagleowl - eagleowl vs. woodpigeon

Cover Lover - Rachel Sermanni - Ae Fond Kiss

Lloyd James Fay - From The Eyewall
Frightened Rabbit & Manchester Orchestra - Architect
Sparrow And The Workshop - Valley Of Death
Birdhead - Time Lag Accumulator
Safe Houses - Phyrrhic

Tweet-a-track - Le Thug - Swam - As chosen by @dodpod24

Sean Armstrong - Midnight

Documentary - Broken Records: Have Record Stores Had Their Day?

Lovers Turn To Monsters - Skeletor
Quickbeam - Mountains
Scarlet Shift - Clouds
Human Pyramids - Relapse

Re-Mixing It Up - Giant Fang - Aqualung (Prides Remix)

How To Swim - Midnight Steak
Galleries - Great Comets (of 1910)
Halfrican - Guillotine

Subscribe/listen to the podcast via iTunes.

I just flew in from New York, and boy are my arms tired.

Hello everyone, are you doing well?  I (Wull) for one am very tired after spending a few great days in Inverness for goNORTH.  This is day six of the WWLOH TAKEOVER, but most of it was written on day five but not completed due to watching Rocky and Rocky II.

What I love about goNORTH is that essentially it brings all the people from Glasgow who are really working hard in the industry together and then gets them drunk and let them see a bunch of emerging acts.  I headed up on Wednesday morning with Calum K West (Common Records), Barry Carty (Walker Smith Jnr), Kyle Wood (Lovers Turn To Monsters) and Ewan Grant (Algernon Doll) and we all arrived in Inverness pretty much just in time to miss all the conferences... Oh well!

After throwing our guitars in the hotel we hit the pub for a few hours and watched Countdown before taking in all the bands.  I think I saw 7/8 acts including good friend Shambles Miller, who went down great during his set.  Highlights for me were; Book Group, an Edinburgh alternative indie pop group with great pop hooks with just the right amount of dirtyness to it, ALARM BELLS who were ridiculously good, groovy math core-ish stuff featuring old members of Danananakroyd and were crazily tight with a real Mars Volta vibe about them and Black International who played just before Algernon Doll at Blackfriars on the Thursday night.  They are a great, no fucking around, noisy twopiece rock with some great vocal hooks and the best drum faces on the planet.  Fact.

Stuart is also a member of Algernon Doll and drove up from Gourock right after work all the way to Inverness, sat down for a bit, played the set, which I like to think was pretty darn good, and then made his way back to Glasgow right after the set which is like 350 mile round trip AND still made it to work in the morning.  The guy is a machine.

COMMON RECORDS (label/family)

Andrew from Common Records was nice enough to answer a few questions for us so you can find out a bit about the label.  Common recently released our single 'Keanu Leaves', which you can still get online and at shows, and is about to release 'Citalo-pop' by Algernon Doll and 'Skeletor' by Lovers Turn To Monsters.

1. How did the label start? - The label was founded when Calum 'Kanye' West and I, along with a bunch of Levites and Hebrews, were traveling through the Egyptian desert after having a bit of a rotten time of it back in Cairo.  During this movement of jah people, Calum disappeared behind a rocky outcrop and came back with a basket of unleavened bread and the words 'Common Records' carved into a stone tablet.

2. How do you select the bands on your label? - Well, along with 'Common Records' there were ten instructions on said tablet.  We've only managed to decipher a few of these because, to be honest, Calum's stone masonry leaves a lot to be desired.  But they do include demands such as 'Release Where We Lay Our Heads single 'Keanu Leaves' because it's bloody brilliant' and 'Hamish James Hawk is ace' etc.  So we base the artistic direction of the label on this largely unaccountable and not necessarily correct plaque.

3. How important is a feeling of community within an indie label?
- The feeling of community is very important, that's why we're commited to building places of shared veneration and benediction to all things Common.

4. What are your expansion plans for the label?
- We have quite ambitious plans for the label, hoping to spread it throughout South and Latin America and large swathes of Africa mainly through force and culture assimilation.

5. Do you think being musicians yourselves helps in understanding your role as a label? - Definitely.  We are followers of a humble carpenter musician and so think it is important that we too are humble among the legions of musicians except we'll have more robes and fancy hats and vulnerable children.

6. Which labels do you look up to? - Sony, Columbia, etc.  You know, the big earners.

7. In which ways is it better to release on an indie label than self release? - Being on a label can give you great guidance and hope, that's why people turn to them in their times of greatest need.  I'm afraid this new strain of militant self-releasism spearheaded by the nasty Richard DIYkins shows the worst aspects of modern life.

8. What's your favourite episode of Friends?  The one where Rachel and Ross finally get together.  Adorbs!

Common have a very special gig on the 13th of this month at The 13th Note for Algernon Doll's album launch featuring Lovers Turn To Monsters, Now Wakes The Sea and ourselves.  It should be a hell of a gig and I do hope you all come down and see us.

There should be another post online this evening.

Wull x

Thursday, 6 June 2013

5 Songs

Good evening!  It is day four of the WWLOH TAKEOVER and as our Wull is off galavanting in Inverness at this years goNORTH! you have me (Alice) for now.  We are continuing our '5 Songs' feature tonight with our very own Ali!
Alison Cochrane (Violin)

1. Song that got you into music - There's not really any particular song.  I remember hearing Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Adam And The Ants and Joni Mitchell when I was younger.  I think the first album I bought as a kid was Good Charlotte's 'The Young And The Hopeless' as my mum was always into punky/rocky music so I ended up going down that route for a few years.
2. Song that made you want to write - 'Machines' by Biffy Clyro.  I was about 11/12 when I was in my neighbour's house, and they had posters from the Blackened Sky and The Vertigo Of Bliss albums up.  I was intrigued, and have spent the years since loving Biffy's albums.  When Puzzle came out I listened to it on repeat for weeks, and I adored 'Machines'.  It's such a beautiful song to end an album on, and it made me realise that strings could work with any kind of music, not just classical or folk.
3. Song that changed your musical direction - Again, not a single song, 'Diamond Mine' album by King Creosote and Jon Hopkins.  I started listening to more Fence Records stuff, and eventually Jon Hopkins' own work.  I never knew that style of music could have so many layers through it that are both subtle and complex.   It completely changed how I think about song structures and dynamics.
4. First song you learned - On violin, it was 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.  I was 8.  As an only child I ended up teaching myself new hobbies (for a lack of siblings to wind up) and I taught myself Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on piano.  Took me months and I can't play it now to save myself!  
5. Song that makes you happy to be alive - 'Hakuna Matata' from the Lion King.  If you can listen to that and not smile, you have no soul. 
Coming up on the WWLOH takeover we have more interviews (that are not just with members of WWLOH!), a goNORTH diary from our Wull and before the week is out we should have some music for you!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

It's late, again, I'm not that sorry

So yeah, day 2/3 on the blog with the WWLOH TAKEOVER.  Today has been a fun day.  Stuart and I (Wull) have been in rehearsals with our good friend Algernon Doll, who is one of my favourite songwriters and people.  He did all of our press shots which we'll posting on this page throughout the week and he is also a part of the Common Records family.

We'll be continuing our '5 Songs' feature today, as people seemed to like it, and it's kind of what we planned for anyway.  So let's start with the newest member of the WWLOH family, Alice, who joined the band last year and then I'll probably rattle on about Ewan a little bit more, while I try and pack for goNORTH tomorrow.  Anyone else coming?

Alice Sinclair (Vocals/Keys/Toy Things)

1. Song that got you into music? - 'The Bends' by Radiohead.  A friend gave me a tape of 'The Bends' at high school, I must have been about 15, I remember listening to it at for the first time and thinking, 'what the hell is THIS?! This is brilliant!'  Radiohead were the first band I was obsessive about, saving my pocket money to buy their music.
2. Song that made you want to write? - 'Company Calls' – Death Cab for Cutie.  I don't do much writing as I am not very good at it!  However, 'Company Calls' was the first song that made me want to be in a band.  It is a great, catchy, awkward pop song, there are great hooks, shouty parts and it made me want to make music that people could dance to.
3. Song that changed your musical direction? - 'Paint Nothing' – Idlewild.  This was the first Idlewild song I ever heard and they were the first band I ever saw live.  They opened up a whole set of new music for me and turned me on to bands like Fugazi, Black Flag, Pixies, Husker Du, Minutemen and Q and Not U.
4. First song you ever learned? - I was never interested in learning to play songs by bands I liked, this might explain why I was in my 20's before I joined a band.  The first song I learned to play properly and in full was when I joined Incrediboy & The Forget Me Nots, and it was 'The Bridge'.
5. Song that makes you happy to be alive? - 'Dancing in the Dark' – Bruce Springsteen.  This song never, ever fails to make me smile and want to dance and punch the air with joy and sing!  I love it!

So Algernon Doll is a great guy.  We first met in November when I booked him to play a show in November or something along those lines after hearing his debut album Camomile and loving it.  I was just amazed by his solo performance.  At the end of his set I said casually, "if you ever need a bass player..." and it turns out he did.  I got to hear his second album Citalo-Pop which I personally think is outstanding.  It's full of amazing 90's dynamics with the same heart felt and honest lyrics as his first album but with the boot in the baws that a full band brings together produced by Tom Mitchell.  The first ever full band performance of Algernon Doll will be at goNORTH at Blackfriars on Thursday 6th at 9pm with Black International on just before us, who I love.  After that we'll be playing in Dundee at Non Zero's on June 11th, Edinburgh at Pivo solo, with WWLOH solo support and then on the 13th at the 13th Note in Glasgow will be his official album launch party with a full band WWLOH support slot and our good friends Lovers Turn To Monsters and Now Wakes The Sea.  'Cause there ain't no party like a Common Records party!

Ewan Grant a.k.a. Algernon Doll

1. Song that got you into music? - Either 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or going back further 'Oh Boy' by Buddy Holly

2.Song that made you want to write? - Probably something off of Bleach like 'Blew'.

3. Song that changed your musical direction? - 'This Time I Think I've Gone Too Far' - Allergo or 'Metempsicosi Del Fine Ultimo' - La Quiete.

4. First song you ever learned? - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or 'Hard Days Night'.

5. Song that makes you happy to be alive? - Haha!  Ummm, 'La Finé Non E La Finé - La Quiete. 

And so sees another day of blogging done.  We'll maybe talk about Kyle Wood tomorrow as I'll be watching Kyle get drunk at goNORTH tomorrow.  It will be fun.  I need sleep.  Night Everyone.


Monday, 3 June 2013

Who's House?

Hello everyone, are you well?  Welcome to the Where We Lay Our Heads blog takeover for Scottish Fiction.  Neil has entrusted us with his site for the next week so we thought we'd start as we mean to go on, by posting our first blog very late at night, but you can enjoy this when you get up too.

For those who don't know us we're Alice, Ali, Danny, Stuart and Wull.  We're an awkward pop quintet who currently live in the metropolis that is Glasgow but we've also got our home town links to Gourock, Inverness and the heart breakingly beautiful Dumfries.  We've been around in a few different forms over the past few years but the line up solidified in March last year when we brought out our debut single 'Bury You'.  In fact our first appearance with the last addition to the band was on Scottish Fiction on Pulse 98.4 FM.

This week we'll no doubt be talking about our friends bands, bands who we should be friends with, the fabulous Common Records and whatever comes to us while we're doing our posts, we'll be doing little features called '5 Songs' for people to highlight influences and give a little background on music we like too.

We've all individually done our answers for '5 Songs' (or are working on them), so we'll start off with the longest serving members (the people who've actually answered so far).

Danny Young (Bass / Backing Vocals)

1. The song that got you into music? - 'Welcome to the Jungle' - Guns N Roses. My dad would play Appetite For Destruction really loud in the living room and I would come running in playing air guitar and singing along to my version of the lyrics. My dad never did tell me what the lyrics "feel my serpentine" meant.

2. Song that made you want to write? - 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' - The Darkness. This song didn't so much make me want to write as it did make me want to be in a band. The first guitar I ever bought was a knock-off white Les Paul. School of Rock came out when I was beginning to really take an interest in music - my friends and I missed school (we were in second year) to see that film, it was the perfect film to see as we were each discovering classic rock, swapping mix cd's and pretending we were bandmates.

3. Song that changed your musical direction? - 'Take Me Out' - Franz Ferdinand. Third year I started taking more of an interest in indie music and it was this album which expanded my horizons. I also remember my friend Stephen introducing me to the Arctic Monkeys first demos when we were supposed to be practising guitar.

4.First song you ever learned? - 'Desire' - U2. First song I learned on guitar. Let's not talk about that. On bass the first song I learned was 'Dreaming Of You' by The Coral, and it's still pretty much the only non-band song I know the whole way through.

5.Song that makes you happy to be alive? - 'Flirted With You All My Life' (Vic Chesnutt cover) - There Will Be Fireworks. Beautiful cover of a beautiful song by a wonderful songwriter. I don't really know what else to say.

Wull Swales (Singer / Guitarist)

1. Song that got you into music? - Nirvana - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or Green Day - 'Basket Case'. I think it was through watching Kerrang and MTV2 that got me into the first set of bands I really listened to. I think guess Spice Girls or the Smash Hits compilations was the first tapes I ever got, but yeah let's stick with my first two answers!

2. Song that made you want to write? - Biffy Cylro - 'Justboy'. It took me a while to kind of realise there was a Scottish music scene or whatever when I started out, as I mainly listened to 90's American punk and grunge stuff. Biffy and a local band called Technicolour Roots showed me that bands next door could produce great material.

3. Song that changed your musical direction? - Malcolm Middleton - 'Loneliness Shines'. Malcolm Middleton kind of showed me how honesty is really important to music, that songs can be dark but also be uplifting. 'Into The Woods' is one of the albums I keep on going back to and also is the album I suggest to anyone going through a songwriting dry spell.

4. First song you ever learned? - Blink 182 - 'Dammit' that was the first thing I learned on bass, which I still consider to be my first instrument, I think the first thing I probably played on guitar was Blink again but the first song I remember learning was 'Ticket To Ride' by The Beatles (who Stuart hates by the way).

5. Song that makes you happy to be alive? - WAVVES - 'King Of The Beach' / Lit - 'My Own Worst Enemy'. I struggled to choose a song for this I love WAVVES because of their great energy but the music also sounds really pure, the King Of The Beach record does kind of have that Beach Boys surf vibe about it but also some kick ass punk rock. I also chose Lit because it straight up rocks, it reminds me of playing punk as a teenager wearing Sex Pistols t-shirts and jumping around like an idiot, suppose I still enjoy doing that.

Anyway I better get to bed, we'll be featuring some of our friends tomorrow so keep your eyes open for that.