Review of Dante w/ Alan Carberry & Sian + A.H. Doune @ Electric Circus, Friday 23/10/2015

Written by Liam Dickson @ FEAST
As Dante hit the road for a handful of Scottish shows to warm up before heading across the pond for their first foray into performing stateside, I caught up with singer, guitarist and songwriter Sean McLaughlin before their set at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus for a blether about the tour, heading to the states and gearing up for the release of their second album.
So far the tour is going well for Dante; bar one cancelled show each performance has gone down a treat, McLaughlin saying it’s good to get away from the central belt and main cities to beat the track slightly less trodden. McLaughlin hails from Shetland originally himself, so he must be relishing the opportunity to play some more stripped back material in similar locales to where he grew as a musician and as a person; though towns like Perth and Inverness are hardly as rural as Shetland, in comparison to Glasgow or Edinburgh it’s decidedly more modest.
Support tonight came from acoustic two-some Alan Carberry & Sian as well as solo multi-instrumentalist A.H. Doune. I can’t say much on these guys as I was upstairs chatting with Sean during their sets, but the brief couple of minutes I overheard of each set were pretty good – Alan Carberry & Sian performed the most delicate acoustic set, just their fragile vocals and guitar to accompany; and A.H. Doune gave us a set of trippy, bluesy loops and massively reverberated vocals as a one-man band of electric guitar and a desk rammed with a laptop and countless gizmos.
As for Dante’s set, I probably wouldn’t have known it was an acoustic gig if I hadn’t been told – they sounded as confident and full-bodied as any ‘plugged in’ act, the acoustic guitars and mandolin offering an alternative sound to Dante’s music rather than a more minimal one. The financial viability of perfoming in the US has previously been an issue for Dante, citing now to be the time to head over in the run up to their second-album release and now having the far cheaper option of lugging only a handful of guitars across the Atlantic rather than a full band rig, though they should be safe in the knowledge that this decision has in no way sacrificed the quality of their live performance. They play a few existing songs to start proceedings, like ‘Ghost’ and ‘Know Where You Are’ … “A poet’s muse, every line is a bruise, it’s a full time job to pretend you’re abused” It’s a shame their professional sound and stunningly mature lyrics are falling on the ears of a sparse crowd, but it’s their loss!
“Okay, this is the point in the set where it all goes very well, or very badly… Very well, definitely!” McLaughlin is obviously confident in his songwriting ability but that quintessentially Scottish sense of self-doubt can’t help but peek through, more humbling than debilitating and only feeding the emotional strength of the songs their self. His influences range from the obscurest local folk singers of his hometown through to popular modern acts like Frightened Rabbit, Gaslight Anthem and Idlewild – McLaughlin also plays as part of The Birthday Suit, a side project of Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones and he expresses his satisfaction from playing with a musician he looked up to for many years. Mercury prize winning fellow Leithers Young Fathers even cropped up in conversation and shows his taste in music is not just based on folk or indie but anything soulful that comes from the heart and manifests in a primal, unpretentious way.
I asked Sean how the new material would differ from that of the first album (produced again by Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit) and he cites the biggest influence on his songwriting now is parenthood – every singer says the same, that bringing a child into the world shifts your outlook drastically and it undoubtedly spills over into your work. His perspective has changed but his head (or heart, rather) is always cast back homeward as Sean admits that his lyrics are sometimes autobiographical but always set in Shetland; “I’m 30 now, with 2 kid, so I can no longer pretend to be a young guy from Shetland, singing about teenage problems of ‘Ooh, my girlfriend doesn’t like me, I haven’t got any money!’” McLaughlin has changed but Shetland has not, still offering the same emotional pull and warm imagery that defines the lyrical style of Dante. Though one of the songs performed tonight came from such a period (having been written when Sean was only 17) the massive age gap in the songs is unnoticable, the established and the unreleased offering real continuity in the setlist. My personal favourite of the new bunch was ‘Rose’, a quick paced song both fast and mellow with the mandolin constantly picking away a pedal over the top. The whole band provide backing vox to stunning effect, giving off that gather-round-the-hearth country pub singalong feel and it warms the soul.
Of his next album, McLaughlin reckons it’s not as outright ‘folky’ as the first as family life in the capital has obviously distanced him from the comforts of home, though he has no qualms about being regarded as primarily a folk musician. Reductive media tags aside, if tonight’s perfomance is anything to go by they will go down a storm in both Philadelphia and the Big Apple; the market for folk in Scotland is saturated to say the least and will be a welcome, niche change of pace in the land of freedom. Best of luck guys, though I doubt you need it!

SAMA/FEAST SESSION – We Came From Wolves – ‘Paradise Place’

It’s been a busy year for We Came From Wolves who finish of the year with their final show at King Tuts in Glasgow in just over two weeks time (December 9th). Given they’re one of our faves @ FEAST we thought we’d post a video they did in our studios for the #SAMAFEASTSESSIONS – a little taster of the delights in store for you.

We Came From Wolves final show of 2015 is just over two weeks away and tickets are selling FAST.

Grab your’s and join the party on Dec 9th!
Tickets are just £5.00 pre sale here >>>…/we-came-from-wolves…
We Came From Wolves

‘ElevenFiftySeven’ EP by Return to the Sun – Sneak Peek!

Written by Liam Dickson @ FEAST
Return to the Sun
I’ve never reviewed a release, never mind one that isn’t even out yet; but why the hell not if this is the starting point. Return to the Sun caught my eye at a gig at Electric Circus in Edinburgh, myself and front man Stephen McAfferty getting talking online; a few emails later, here we are! The ‘ElevenFiftySeven’ EP, due for release in December, was recorded at The Depot studios tucked away in the deepest reaches of unchartered Granton with the go-to-guy for production in the capital Mark Morrow, five tracks in total. The cover art, designed by bassist Sean Ford, appears to depict some kind of off-kilter granite vortex sucking you into the underworld – the calming blue backdrop and rounded edges offer a levity making it not too jarring an image and suits the music it graphically represents; heavy but alluring. The circular design also no doubt alludes to what is implied in the title… ElevenFiftySeven. Just numbers, right? Wrong! We’ve all seen it on the news before, some crackpot claiming ‘the end of days is nigh’, but when scientists concoct a ‘doomsday clock’ to represent how close we are to, well, doomsday; that’s a pretty frightening thought! If midnight is curtain call, we’re just three minutes away within the timescale of humanity, hence ‘ElevenFiftySeven’… Weren’t expecting that from an EP were you?! The fictional female subject offers us insight into the drug-induced haze the people have adopted to blot out the inevitable in their version of reality (sounds an awful lot like ours too). However, this isn’t a macabre affair, more an inspirational call to arms – shake off your demons, live the life you dreamt of, proclaim your love from the mountaintops! We’ve a limited time in this world so don’t go wasting it – I’d say that is about as damn uplifting a subject matter you could possibly choose.
Right, here we go; no long drawn out introductions here, RTTS are off like a shot with this two minute exercise in no-nonsense riffage, ‘Static’. All instruments are played to full capacity for no longer than ten seconds before giving way to a bassline crawling through the sludge and some seriously cool lyrics, each line broke up with a harsh DA-DA-DA-DA rip on the guitar. “My head is full of static, like a broken TV” goes the chorus; and the verses tell of spiders in his bed, his “anxiety keeps them well fed”; this is the first of many examples throughout the EP where the lyrics written don’t seem to fit squarely into the rhythm of the vocal melody line, but somehow vocalist Stephen finds a way, displaying an aptitude for making the words just flow with unconventional emphasis that makes for a far more interesting listen than if he wrote some boring old nice-and-neat rhyming couplets. He knows what he wants to say, and he knows how he’s going to say it.
Riff verse chorus, riff verse chorus – that’s all there is to this song and that’s all we need; the second chorus really ramps it up with some ‘woo woos’ as catchy as a fish hook. It sounds like a whole room full of people are singing along but I’ll bet it’s down to the production wizardry of Morrow, a near perfect pair-up. A signal of intent this song is, as by the end you already know RTTS have stepped up their game for this EP, both in theme, lyrical content and instrumentation.
Caught your breath? Good, we’ll move on. ‘Waiting to Arrive’ is track number two, opening with delicate piano twinkle mirrored by simple guitar picking, both backed by a rather quick snapping snare click (do I hear the ticking of that doomsday clock?) A bit like Depeche Mode with an undeniable Scots-rock bent in the verse, the chorus comes in kicking like a mule with soaring vocals; ‘Waiting to arrive, but we’re already… heeeere!’ A strong track, though my favourite part has to be the very end; as distorted guitar slowly but surely decays with atmospheric (to put it mildly) broken piano chords played as slow and soft as a funeral march, then before you realize it’s happening that decaying guitar bubbles back up, more and more until it shakes you retinas then – nothing, excluding a mild reverb as the track really does fade out this time. Haunting. Brilliant!
Now we come to, in my opinion, the centerpiece of the record; ‘Electrical Bugs’ is another straight-to-business number, a millisecond of whoosh before the band are in full mid-tempo swing. Now, you might find this a rather odd comparison, but the lead guitar line and various solos throughout this tune reminded me somewhat of the Sonic Adventure soundtrack – you know, that old video game? Not just in guitar tone but in the epic, unpretentious, tears-of-happiness mood it instils in me; maybe an unconventional statement but saying your music reminds me of some of the most care-free moments of my childhood is about the highest accolade I can attribute. The chorus chops and changes between an indie shuffle and onslaught of overdrive, the vocals distorted just a little for that walkie-talkie voice in your head quality.
Stephen has great singing range! He never overstretches his vocal cords or simply start to shout when going up the scale nor does he feel the need to warble like Elvis when bringing it back down again, both high and low-pitched deliveries cutting through and over the other instrument tracks juuust the right amount – it would be a real shame if his lyrical flair was washed away in the ocean of fuzz underpinning the EP’s most intense points.
‘Velvet Sky’ wins the award for best chorus, it’s so familiar but you know it’s doesn’t rip anything off, that feeling of familiarity just indicative of strong songwriting – the best songs make you feel as if they’ve been with you all along. Opening with a steady four-to-the-floor thumping bass drum (that ticking clock again?) and palm-muted lead guitar delayed to the point where you can’t really tell what the root note even was, almost indie-serenity, it truds along all funky, Stephen singing ‘You know that I’d rather be hated, by you than ignored’, once more for good luck, ‘BY YOU THAN IGNOOOORED’ before that previously cited awesome chorus kicks in. I’d love to have been in that studio hearing the playback for this one, getting slapped round the side of the head by those monitors. The lead guitar part around the three minute mark could give the one from Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’ a kick up the backside in a square-go of the solos. Stephen is an absolute dynamite lyricist in terms of imagery; either heart-breaking or life-affirming, I can’t decide. Both, probably.
While we talk of imagery, the closing track fits firmly into the former tag; ‘Until I Fall Asleep’ brings the energy down for a more acoustic-driven track sounding not unlike a somber ceilidh waltz (though not in 3/4, just that you could definitely have a slow dance to this). Soft, simple guitar chords backed by warm strings but just a smidgen, more chamber group than full blown bombastic orchestra. I’m picturing a music video set around the ruined kirk halfway up Arthur’s Seat, fireflies floating about the dusk. This song is stripped of the creeping psychedelia of previous tracks as our narrator/character/subject (whatever term best describes the fictional source of all these thoughts and feelings) loses the ignorant bliss which shielded her from reality and starkly comes face-to-face with what she, and let’s face it, all of us are trying desperately to block out – the big bad world, the collapse of society, the end of days or anything as equally humbling, I’m sure every individual will interpret this differently. If all this philosophical undertone is getting you down in the dumps, go back, listen to ‘Static’ and start dancing round your bedroom all over again!
From start to finish we hear bright vocal delivery with strong lyrics and compelling imagery, varied uplifting melodies, a solid skeletal backbone in drummer Jason Rees, mental guitar work, scuzzy distortion, heartfelt piano lines, I could go on and on… You just know this EP will translate fluently into a live setting (a test run of ‘Electrical Bugs’ at the gig mentioned in my introduction can attest to that), but that’s not to diminish ElevenFiftySeven as a standalone piece of work, more than a mere audio snapshot of ‘where we are as a band’. The release date isn’t for a while yet, so don’t be surprised if you see me pushing this article more than a few times in the lead up to it – like a nagging parent who knows best, you’ll thank me in the long run!
Here are all the links you could need:
Official site:

Review of Spector w/ Golden Arm & Spring King @ Electric Circus, 20/10/2015

Written by Liam Dickson @ FEAST
There was a positive atmosphere the moment I walked into Electric Circus tonight, you feel it on occasion – some kind of general amicability throughout the venue, everyone here for a good time and aware of it in those around them, no deadpan posers leaning against the back wall judging the dancing free spirits down the front and nobody vying for more attention than the bands on the bill. Spector have come straight up the A1 (presumably) from London to Edinburgh for only the second time in support of their new album ‘Moth Boys’ and beat my expectations, performing for a teaming Electric Circus.
3-piece Golden Arm are first on the bill tonight, sounding to some degree like Franz Ferdinand but far more like the old-skool Scottish post-punk scene they were influenced by – Josef K, Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, that lot – and the singer sounds the absolute spit of Edwyn Collins! Up-beat, quick-paced and non-pretentious, their obvious light-heartedness comes through in the music they play and their stage presence. “You’re here to see Spector, I presume?” says the singer; “Well, if they’re here to see the Kooks they’re f*cked!” the drummer chimes in, a solid backbone to the band. The solos sound almost Dire Straits-y and bass and guitar chords move together in big chunky blocks spanning all frequencies. The guitar could have done with a tad more treble to help it cut through the mix just a little bit, but that’s about the only hole I could pick in the set. They have an EP coming out on the 31st October, be sure to check it out!
The main support tonight is from Manchester outfit Spring King who were so much fun! Coming on stage looking like a right motley crew of trucker caps, beanie hats and brandless baseball tops, their high-energy set never relented (apart from one slow one near the end), breakneck indie beats and brash guitars awash with fragmented sharp snippets of reverb and layers of Lennon-esque vocal delay, as in lots of it but not for very long. ‘Can’ sounds like a sweetened Ramones spliced with a slightly less deranged Dead Kennedys – “If I’m not dead, If I’m not dead I’m going home!”, sings the drummer stroke singer stroke front man (quite a mouthful) – and ‘Batman’ was the best of bunch in my opinion, the best example of pace and playing style converging into what is essentially surf-punk without the ‘surf’ clichés, if that’s make any sense at all. “Tonight, I just wanna be somebody else, somebody new” – innocent, youthful lyrics derived from a world of comic book kitsch. ‘My Sleeves’ is that afore mentioned slower one, it’s chilled Motown-like beat playing backing to lyrics both sweet as sugar and weirdly abstract – “Take my hand, take my hand with you”, an odd image if you think about it for too long – the song being filled out with a solo like a more abrasive Mac DeMarco. The band looked like they were having the time of their life pogoing away, except the drummer/singer who was too in the zone and, well, too seated to do the same but his ability to thump away on the kit and still turn in a flawless and composed vocal performance was impressive to say the least.
Headliner time: front man Fred McPherson comes bounding onstage looking, erm, different to how I’d imagined he would; publicity shoots from the first album era look like rejected applications for Made In Chelsea, suits as sharp as a button, the kind of neurotic quiff fixing that Alex Turner is getting a bashing for (not too much of a shock to see some of their past gigs have been sponsored by Topman), and I’ve not exactly been keeping up to date with the band. So I wasn’t expecting a not-so-fresh plain white t-shirt and unkempt ponytails! But if that’s what he’s comfortable wearing, then go for it; stages aren’t catwalks after all, and this more ‘unrefined’ attitude permeated into the performance. The place was packed, and I mean PACKED, the cheers and post-song applauds bigger than you’d think possible in a venue of this size. Spector serve as an almost pop and rock melting pot, the most popular comparison being The Killers, which I find reductive; yeah, big choruses, guitar, 80′s synths, fair enough, but it’s far too easy a comparison. I hear indie rock, new wave, new romantic, synth pop, some straight-up balladry and the tongue is undeniably pressed firmly against the cheek despite the honesty and veiled pain hidden between the lines creeping through. McPherson is a born front man, his over the top mic-stand maneuvers and dynamic use of the limited space on stage would be hackneyed if deployed by anybody else – with McPherson it seems more than natural. He downright refuses to shy away from the audience, maintaining eye contact that makes you feel like he’s peering into your soul (I got it a couple of times, he locks your gaze!) and leaning about as far into the audience over the edge of the stage as gravity would allow – the people down the front must have been able to smell his scent and a lucky few got to hold his hand whilst he crooned directly for them all Romeo and Juliet. New cuts ‘Decade of Decay’ and ‘Cocktail Party’ went down a storm, and these fresh songs were equaled out with picks from the debut so as not to lean to heavily either way. I was never that sure of Spector before tonight but they’ve definitely converted me now. Top set!

Some useful links:

Review of Indigo Velvet w/ Lewis Capaldi & Lisbon @ Electric Circus 9/10/2015

Written by Chloe Mcintyre @ FEAST
When previously asked what the audience should expect when at a live set of Indigo Velvet their exact words were “Sweat, Hip Wriggling..and a party” and they couldn’t be more right! In fact there’s not many bands I know whose music gives the audience just a feel good, let your hair down vibe, but I have to say, Indigo Velvet is definitely one of them. Indigo Velvet
For their first headliner show in Edinburgh, the turnout was absolutely phenomenal, giving you barely any space to actually move around the Electric Circus, but that’s the sign of a good gig to come, am I right?
But before talking about the headliner, I need to highlight the talented support acts because they obviously built up the energetic atmosphere.
Lewis Capaldi is the young talent who started up the party with an acoustic set of his own songs and even a brilliant mash up cover of well known tunes that the crowd could sing along too. All that and his brilliant interaction with everyone in between songs made his set an extremely good one, I definitely have to say that if you’ve not already heard of him, go and listen to him.
Next up were the band Lisbon, showcasing a vibe that reminded me of Indigo Velvet, a lot of dancy, sing a long, feel good sounds. The floor was filled with budding ears ready to hear some new music . I have to mention that the song “Rio” got everyone to their feet, kudos to that. This band deserve a listen.
Indigo Velvet’s set was full of surprises, from fun things like Jason’s see drumming solos throughout songs, talented local performer Chris Greig being invited on stage to perform his cover of ‘Wooden Pavements’ (which I must add was truly phenomenal), even to a member of the crowd taking the microphone and owning the stage at the last song. All in all it was hard to believe that this was the first time the boys headlined a gig in Edinburgh, everything from stage presence, song choice and crowd reactions is definitely one to remember. My only wish was that I was tall enough to catch it all on video! This gig followed the release of the bands new song ‘Blue’ which I will link below, I challenge you to listen to that while trying to sit still, it’s damn near impossible. Anyhow, well done guys, yet again I think everyone’s expectations were filled, heres to next time eh? (link to single)

Review of Be Like Pablo @ The Electric Circus 15/10/2015

Written by Ross Grant @ FEAST
Be Like PabloThe 5 piece powerpop outfit Be Like Pablo headline The Electric Circus tonight. Hailing from the idiosyncratic town of Forres up north, they have gained steady traction since formation. Notable past gigs include Belladrum, Rockness and the Ironworks respectively. Together they take elements from keyboard pop and surf music to create a rather individual style, and I was looking forward to experiencing it first hand.
They’re a colourful bunch, each sporting an impressive piece of gear. I found myself curiously glancing at the Moog Sub Phatty during the set up, which turns out to be the main character in their signature sound. Be Like Pablo waltz on stage very animated and excited to play. While the venue wasn’t packed, a little encouragement from Ewen the lead vocalist had the crowd ease up to front and centre, creating a cosy atmosphere.
Being familiar with only their 2013 LP ‘The New Adventures’, I was pleasantly surprised to see them open with two brand new songs. Both were well received but it was the following song that loosened everyone up. ‘The Post-It Song’ immediately puts a smile on your face thanks to it’s straight to the point opening, and what can only be described as ‘happy’ sounding synths. It all gives off a very Japanese vibe, in the sense that they would probably go mad for this music over there.
The set flowed on effortlessly with the gem that is ‘Julianne’, easily one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard. Folk who didn’t know the lyrics were singing along by the time the second chorus rolled around. The highlight for me was a new song they dropped towards the end innocently titled ‘Do You Wanna Go Surfing?’. Judging by how the band members were bouncing about the stage, It seemed they had the most fun with that song too.
To close the 45 minute set they went with the very Weezer-esque ‘Without the Pain’. Take away the guest vocals on this track and it would probably sound a lot different. That’s why I was genuinely excited when Kuda himself mysteriously appeared from behind the crowd to perform. Although Kuda’s vocals did get lost slightly behind the ringing guitar, it was a great touch to conclude the show.
On a dour evening in Edinburgh I was in need of warming up. Be Like Pablo cooked us up a treat mixing rock, pop and cheese all in the same pan. Very tasty.

Review of The Bohicas w/ Return To The Sun + Whitehill Grove @ Electric Circus (7/10/2015)

Written by Liam Dickson @ FEAST
I wish more bands would take themselves as not-so-seriously as The Bohicas – the passion for performing within a genre you love conveys far more to the listener than squeezing yourself into the earnest-shaped hole you think the public expect. Their second gig in Edinburgh (and coincidentally their second at Electric Circus) was a boisterous let-your-hair-down cure for the midweek blues!
First up tonight, Return To The Sun deliver a top notch set, their more Scots-rock oriented sound standing not in opposition to the bluesy-indie rock of The Bohicas but rather in complementary contrast, a display of the energy of both the north and the south under one roof. The Edinburgh group are doing the rounds in support of their upcoming EP ‘ElevenFiftySeven’ (cool title!) due for release in December; quite a while away but better to have the punters over-hyped and foaming at the mouth rather than under-hyped and indifferent. Turning on a distortion pedal seems like the easiest task in the world but very few really get it right – these guys did, and their heavier sections are glorious! More epic than Rome and tighter than the Tory party budget, they turned in a performance to be proud of. You could listen to the shrrredding lead guitar until your ears bled and the drummer thumped a mean tub with some flourishes and fills that make you say “woa-hoah, where did that come from?!”. There wasn’t much variety in style/sound between songs but that is a moot point; whilst some bands try to adopt a different façade for each of their tunes, others explore all the possibilities within one style that works for them and Return To The Sun have a hell of a lot more room to move within their groove before we get even remotely fed up of it.
Whilst reeeally not wanting to be unduly harsh towards the next band, you can’t help but wonder how Whitehill Grove blagged the main support slot tonight. The pop-punkish three piece turned in a set that, whilst undoubtedly under-rehearsed, still appeared to convey the joy and energy of three lads imitating their idols. Nothing wrong with the performance per se, it just felt like they needed a few extra months of honing their song writing craft and getting it ‘there’ in terms of tightness as a band before they start making some waves. Well, I did think that – right up until they started taking the mick a bit too much. The bassist would sarcastically clap his hands or give an annoyingly arrogant thumbs-up towards the singer anytime a bum note was played; the singer would cast unmissable daggers towards the bassist in response to every piece of improvised banter with the crowd; and the drummer kept looking towards the other two for his queue despite, you know, being the timekeeper. Unless you’re the Gallagher’s this level of obvious tension on stage is just not fun to watch; a bad case of ‘well I didn’t mess up’ syndrome. The thing is though, the singer/guitarist had a good sense of melody and he could really sing – at points his voice had a fantastic raspy quality to it! He’ll do well for himself if he keeps at it and if the band as a whole stops mucking around – there was a fair crowd in Electric Circus tonight and they fluffed up a good opportunity to blag their selves some new fanboys and girls. Sorry guys, I can’t lie! The Bohicas

But enough of that, on to the main attraction – The Bohicas! Essex lads only in birth right, they saunter on stage to some choice soul funk and hit the ground running with ‘Upside Down’, guitarist Dom John with his leather vest and wide-brimmed hat making him look the lovechild of Pete Doherty and Jimi Hendrix and lead singer/guitarist Dominic justifiably confident in himself but not arrogantly so; you see the inherent gratitude when he makes not-uncomfortable eye contact with most in the crowd. The mammoth 12-song set (mammoth for this scale of gig anyway) is unrelenting; even the ‘slower’ ones aren’t even that slow, only describable as such in comparison to the rabid indie energy of tracks such as ‘XXX’ and ‘Crush Me’. A wise decision to never let the pace drop – the crowd just keep getting more and more and more into it as we witness the evolution from head-nodding to body-swaying until every punter on the floor is dancing, and I mean REALLY dancing, excluding those who deem themselves ‘too cool to dance’ who act like I can’t see their feet tapping along in spite of their composed face. The guitar tone is brilliant, both guitarists taking equal prominence in terms of alternating rhythm/lead duties with some mad, mad solos – it’s not ground breaking but they never claimed to be! “We’ve got one more song to play for you” they say… “SWARM! SWAAARM!” the audience scream! They save the best for last, the anticipation within the crowd finally released in a manic performance featuring a riff that seems so simple on paper but is without a doubt their most effective by far. Even after 12 songs the crowd could easily have lapped up more and the faithful quite-a-few scrabble for a copy of the set list (sorry guys, I got there first!). I leave to catch my bus as soon as the performance finishes, and within the two minutes it took me to grab my coat and leave the venue I get outside and see lead singer Dominic ‘swarmed’ by a big handful of fans, pestering for a selfie and singing his praises. I shout over, “You guys were awesome!”, but he’s too preoccupied to notice – fair play to him, that performance warranted some adoration!

Check out Return To The Sun on Facebook for updates on their upcoming ‘ElevenFiftySeven’ EP:
Check out Whitehill Grove on Facebook:
Head over to The Bohicas website for tour dates, tunes and more:

Review of The Winter Tradition w/ Silver Coast & Mt. Doubt @ Electric Circus 2/10/2015

Written by Liam Dickson @ FEAST

Walking into Electric Circus the first thing I am struck by is the stage; a bank of various floodlights and strobes that look fit for an Academy sized venue swallow up half the stage and suggest a band with a musical ambition that massively outweighs the venue they feature in. Rightly enough, The Winter Tradition have been playing some notable larger scale gigs in support of their new album ‘Lumi’ (such as the Belladrum Festival in August) and this is not a case of a band with heads bigger than their fan base, but rather a band outgrowing their old haunts who couldn’t resist playing an intimate hometown show.
First up tonight are Inverness alt rock 4-piece Silver Coast performing their first gig in the capital – nobody would blame them for thinking perhaps this was an ill-fated venture as they walk on stage to a dishearteningly empty room though you’d think they hadn’t noticed. Opening with a sparse sound heavy with reverb and confident vocal delivery before hitting us with a glorious wall of sound, all distorted guitars and crashing drums, you feel they deserve a far better crowd than this. But patience is a virtue, and as the Edinburgh gig-goers finally make their way towards Market Street the venue is packed by the time their set draws to an end. “Come forward, come forward, we don’t bite… much!” jokes frontman Aaron Murray – you get the sense they are a down to earth bunch of lads with a good sense of humour. Current single ‘Wake Up’ from their new EP produced by no other than The Winter Tradition’s guitarist Mark Morrow (who has seemingly produced for every band in the Edinburgh independent scene worth their salt) is performed perfectly, the jangly lead guitar filling our ears with echo and bends that tug at your heartstrings – the vocals are consistently on point even when venturing into falsetto and offering some truly impressive screams. They pull off the loud/quiet dynamics to wonderful effect proving they know when to give it their all and, more importantly, when to hold back.
Up next is 21 year old Leo Bargery – better known as Mt. Doubt – delivering a set of folky ambience infused with a punkish edge. Gruff vocals and unconventional synths pull the band back from the brink of generic folksiness and with a variety in structure keep each song in the set sonically diverse with no musical ideas getting recycled. A couple of songs into the set Mt. Doubt having properly greased up their musical hinges start getting right into it; singer Bargery jitters and jerks at his most impassioned moments seemingly just within the boundaries of self-control. At their best points the band build and build into a cascade of noise briefly toying with chaos before snapping back into seriously delicate bridges topped with vocals more fragile than you could expect given the sheer energy you just witnessed. A female backing vocalist joins the band for the latter half of the set though could hardly be considered ‘backing’ as she mimics the lead vocal line with just as much prominence creating a more complete and well-rounded sound. The heaviness of Mt. Doubt lies in the energy of delivery rather than reliance on pedals and overdrive, the drums being the rawest sounding of all the components. The keyboard player is the unsung hero in this ensemble offering a brevity and diversity that keeps the set really interesting – each song is unique!
The crowd are well and truly pumped for headliners The Winter Tradition, the venue now packed to the brim. The crowd are anticipating a truly special performance from the established Edinburgh group; nobody brings a stage set up like this unless they intend to bring out the big guns. The house lights fade, the band emerge from the darkness to swelling metallic ambience and without any warning or audible count-in launch straight into their set – more than a few distracted punters jump out their skin! Straight to business, The Winter Tradition are note perfect being more than experienced in performing to such crowds; this band have fully realized their sound and are well and truly running away with it. Second song of the set ‘Call’ provides the best example of a selective and seamless use of backing tracks to fill in the gaps when a group of guys with only two arms apiece can’t replicate the grand musical landscape concocted in their rather smart heads. The distorted vocals of singer-come-bassist Ewan Simpson combined with the statuesque silhouette he casts is enough to give you goose bumps and guitarist Mark Morrow knows exactly what he’s aiming for and hits the target. The levels throughout the set are really well balanced and fill your ears, every bit of screeching feedback only enhancing the electric atmosphere in the room. Each song segues smoothly into the next indicating a curated and properly rehearsed set, and the last song of the night is met by massive applause and one particularly ecstatic fan holding his Winter Tradition t-shirt high in the air with pride. The music really connotes wide open spaces as large and epic as their sound, like Ben Nevis in a thunderstorm condensed into a sonic punch in the face. Massive respect for the Winter Tradition for turning in an epic hometown show before heading into pastures greener and far, far bigger!

Check out Silver Coast on Facebook:
Check out Mt. Doubt on Facebook:
Order the new album ‘Lumi’ on The Winter Tradition website:

Review of Tame Impala @ Barrowlands, Glasgow, 8/9/2015

Written by Liam Dickson / Photograph © Izzy Claase 2015, Feast.
Tame Impala
The Barrowland Ballroom has played host to many a band passing through on their ascent to rock royalty – Arcade Fire, Oasis, Muse, Foo Fighters, even U2 – and once again this legendary Glasgow venue will become a landmark moment in the rise of another, this time Australian outfit Tame Impala, freshly reinvented and on arguably their best form to date.
As the house lights dim and the screams ring around the converted ballroom we see a solitary green light appear on the back screen presumably being controlled somewhere off stage. As thunderous bass noise bubbles up through the PA the light slowly begins to spin in a circle, turning and widening and picking up pace until a neon vortex and chest-shaking bass rumble converge in an assault on the senses. Suitably hyped, frontman Kevin Parker and his backing band (he writes and records the music himself, the name Tame Impala just a moniker for his work) emerge from the shadows to rapturous applause and warm up the crowd and themselves with a phat, trippy little jam.
They don’t let the pace drop and fire straight into ‘Let It Happen’, the seven-minute opener from new album ‘Currents’ – many in the crowd are wondering how or even if the band can replicate the editing trickery used on the track to give the mid-section instrumental it’s glitchy electro quality, and they only go and nail it!
Tame leant heavily on new material to fill up their set list with no complaints from the audience (their newest album is getting five star reviews left right and centre). With limited space on the set list for older tracks, Parker shows a keen awareness of his own music with the choice picks he decided to include – ‘Why Won’t They Talk To Me’, ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ and ‘Mind Mischief’ go down a storm from breakthrough second album ‘Lonerism’, and now-an-oldie ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’ was a welcome surprise when nobody was really expecting to hear much from the debut.
The set reached fever pitch about midway through; the foot-stomping glam monster hit ‘Elephant’ that put Parker on the musical map for many causes a near riot before seguing into new cut ‘The Less I Know The Better’, it’s almost Madonna-esque sickly sweet vocals and unbelieeevably funky guitar riff sees a thousand shoulders jostling for space as they do what main man Kevin had realised he’d never seen his fans do before – dance, unashamedly!
This was the thinking behind the change in direction heralded by the release of third full-length LP ‘Currents’ – as Parker improves both in musical ability and in personal confidence he sheds any anxious reservations and escapes the diminutive label of ‘stoner rock’ or ‘psychedelic revival’. Not everyone picked up on the slow decline of the previous generation of bands – the ‘noughties bands’ – that were heralded as the new guard of guitar music; acts like Franz Ferdinand, Razorlight and Kaiser Chiefs have slipped from festival headliner status to relative obscurity, while figureheads Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian have soldiered on upwards whilst morphing into exaggerated caricature versions of their former self. But the noughties are long gone now and a new wave needs to fill the void.
Tame Impala are without a doubt one of the most professional sounding and well-rehearsed bands doing the rounds nowadays. Not content with merely reciting material for a paying audience, each and every song in the set was beefed up, tripped out, extended or otherwise mixed about to some degree to keep the audience on their toes (no pun intended) and to avoid performances from becoming stale – they’ll no doubt be touring this album for a long time and if there’s one thing a band hates, it’s playing the same thing over and over again.
The sound, atmosphere and bright psychedelic visuals came together beautifully, swishing synths echoing round the high rounded ceiling of the Barrowlands. We saw Parker come out of his shell (or at least poke his head out) as he substitutes his guitar for adorable little dance moves on occasion and hilariously throws bottled water over the rabid crowd like a camp fountain – “I feel like I’m saving your lives or something!” Tame Impala have moved tracks and hit a musical goldmine with this new direction, and if he’s done it once he could more than easily do it again. This band will keep changing and subverting expectations and for this they will inevitably rise above the rest. All hail the next great band!

Mac DeMarco @ 02 ABC, Glasgow – 7/9/2015

Written by Liam Dickson / Photographs © Jordan Thomson, 2015, Feast.
Mac DeMarco 1
McBriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco, or ‘Mac’ DeMarco to you or I, is experiencing a rocket in popularity – his gig at the O2 ABC in Glasgow, 7/9/2015, was a sell-out show with more fans stood outside desperately trying to blag a spare ticket. As his name spreads like wildfire through small sects of the music consuming public the adoration held for him by such listeners is only solidifying, apparent in the small army of copycats wearing full length dungarees, flannel shirts, trucker caps or all of the above (not quite a counter-fashion movement, but it’s not a stretch of the imagination).
Waiting for the doors of the O2 ABC to open, the excitement is tangible… Someone causes a flurry of strained necks when they claim to see Aussie psyche-vendors Tame Impala sauntering down Sauchiehall Street – another anxious bystander claims to have spied Mac and his band chowing down in the window of the Thai restaurant over the road and, right enough, backing guitarist Andrew Charles White runs out from the restaurant then round the back of the venue as a fan chases after for a selfie and maybe a cheeky free ticket! One dungaree donning girl gets turned away by the bouncers before collapsing to the floor in silent tears – passers-by look up at the sign reading ‘Mac DeMarco @ 7pm’ then walk on bemused by such a strong display of emotion for a name they’ve never even heard of. The Mac Army have taken the goofy Canadian so strongly to heart – a recent ill-informed Tweet from Londoners Fat White Family threatening to ‘join Isis’ if Mac continues to make music only caused his fans to stand even stauncher on the side of the nice guys as people grow ever weary of the same old dime-a-dozen mouthpieces that tend to front bands (there’s a reason Liam Gallagher has seemingly vanished from the face of modern music!)
Up the stairs and through the double doors the mini-Macs wait patient but fidgety amongst a small ocean of reasonably priced merch shirts with funny biro doodles on the front and tour dates on the back, tonight’s listing mysteriously not present. The support act was… interesting! A German artist called Dinner stands solo on stage with nothing but a mic, a backing tape and some kind of rag to work with (which he drapes over his head as he violently lurches from side to side like he’s got a stomach ache). Half new romantic, half industrial techno – really – Dinner does get cheers from the audience that contradict the confused, wide-eyed faces looking around as if saying “You’re seeing this too, right?!” … a questionable choice until you consider the tongue-in-cheek, whimsical humour as synonymous with Mac as his twangy guitar picking.Mac DeMarco 2
We saw this light heartedness first hand when Mac breaks a string one bouncer of a song into the set, before nonchalantly informing the crowd “Yeah, I need to change a string, but I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my band”, sitting cross-legged on the floor as they launched into an impromptu cover of Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Under The Bridge” – some in the crowd thought it was a muck about until the chorus came in and got a rather decent singalong.
Mac DeMarco can offer to his fans what no other musician can – himself! His music and his character are one and the same, and equally loveable. Restless feet, straight-faced banter, a couple of hit-and-miss attempts at crowd surfing and screaming vocal tics genuinely had people in stitches. “Everyone give a big hand to our sound guy… you know, we only ever talk from this far away. We’ve never actually met face to face”.
There is no lull in his set, every song bringing a venue wide pogo, boogie or arms round the shoulder shout-along. “Okay, let’s keep it moving. We know you like to rock, Glasgow, so that’s what we’re gonna do!” Most if not all songs from his new LP ‘Another One’ get an airing, met with as much enthusiasm as his back catalogue despite being little over a month old. The ode to his favourite brand of ciggies ‘Viceroy’ looks set to be the anthem for a new generation – “Oh baby I’ll smoke you ‘til I’m dying!” we sing, ironically, until our lungs hurt.
As the set draws to a close you believe Mac is the kind of guy who wants his fans to just give each other a big hug and get along with one another – before he comes back onstage to screeching feedback then launching into a breakneck cover of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and starting a mega-mosh – I jump in then get hit square in the eyes by a flying pint of cider. Mac’s critics may poke holes in the similarity in sound between his tunes but here he proves he can nail any style he wants when the mood takes him. Everyone in the place is left panting for breath and soaked through with sweat, the crowd and the band having given it all they could. The gig was truly unique – the intimate tunes weirdly juxtaposed with the carnage ensuing in the mid-sized venue – and considering his last visit to Glasgow occurred two years ago at Nice ’n’ Sleazy who knows where he’ll be playing in another two if he keeps his foot on the pedal.

Control Social Club @ Sneaky Pete’s – 2nd September 2015; ft. The Rockalls, Sweaty Palms, Polarnecks & Facial Slurs

So, having been to Sneaky Pete’s to review a particular band, I’ve never walked out of a venue so chuffed.

I had the pleasure of getting to see a lineup of up-and-coming Punk bands from Scotland (one of which had their first ever live gig: who’d have thought, they were brilliant!) – with this, I’m more than happy to state every single band playing had something good to share.

I would personally describe Sneaky Pete’s in itself to be a low-key, grungy environment to be in – not everyone’s cup of tea, or for those who enjoy a silver suppository – but this completely fit the style we were about to witness.
The Rockalls

Having listened to their music on their Bandcamp page, I found myself wobbling and bobbing around as you do when you like a song you hear. Unless it’s just me when I’m doped up with caffeine. That aside, I found myself thinking, “Hold up. I’m seeing this live,” leaving me with two sudden conclusions. One being, “I need to leave some so I can get a nice surprise when I arrive” (which is why I refuse to check the setlist before gigs, I love surprises!), and “I NEED to see what they can do with a crowd.”

And this desire was fulfilled in great fashion, but I’ll come on to this shortly. I must add that Sweaty Palms have to be credited for their ability not only to play, but for setting the scene for the appearance of THE ROCKALLS, and thus should be given key mention.

People were moshing, a bottle was smashed and there was even enough room for people to crowdsurf, including their adrenalised guitarist. What could possibly top this?

“Could a vocalist ‘a-few-beers-later’ engage with a crowd to such a degree?” Was the general idea of the question asked by a pal beside me, as we stood by, wide-eyed and watched a mass of people down in front, give way to the machine that was about to cause mayhem.

Dom, their singer and said machine, had a quick chat with me outside after and did ask me not to mention the level of intoxication he was under, so we won’t go any further on that note. Sorry Dom! When asked about influences, he simply replied “Name any Punk band,” and given their categorisation as Garage Punk, this was certainly made obvious during their performance.

Dom even managed to nail every note, and leaped off-stage a number of times to engage with his audience and they went ballistic in turn; this is the type of energy that one might expect from this style of music, and they completely surpassed requirement. Cables were taught, and mic stands were everywhere. One was at a point where I thought it was going to catapult, so the inner sound tech in me jumped out in order to rectify this, hopefully saving someone’s head from being knocked off. After a pat on the back from one guy for my efforts, I was instantaneously thrown back into the pit for more fun and laughter.

With regards to their setlist, they played a variety of their own songs, particularly a few of their older ones which for me had a harder edge and showed the band for their true colours. (‘That’s really heavy, man.’) This also included songs from their most recent EP mentioned above, which is linked below with my sincerest recommendation. Please check it out, and you can buy it for just THREE POUNDS! Yes, three!!! Or a little more if you’re feeling generous, they deserve it.

And the gig was to be rounded off in the most down-to-earth and ridiculous way. We see Dom sitting on the floor in front of the stage, without a care, and addressed us all with the question: “I’m feeling pretty tired, man. What about you?” And we replied appropriately.

Exhaustion mutually acknowledged, this was followed by a final performance of the EP’s title track, “Wolfman”. I had the utmost pleasure of dancing to this (or ‘dancing’) with everybody; along with speaking to the boys afterwards, during which I was told that they are playing Sneaky’s again very soon.

Like Punk; the abundance of sweat, and overall brilliantly executed entertainment topped with good patter? THE ROCKALLS are the band for you, and so is the EP below.

They can also be found in their natural habitat of Glasgow, and on these other pages:

You’ll hear more from me in my review of Solitude, stay in the loop for that one!

Rusty @ FEAST



It is by far an amazing experience to discover new local bands in your area, especially when they are out supporting one of your favourite acts. This is exactly the case when I first heard Indigo Velvet when they supported The LaFontaines on their Edinburgh show in June of this year at The Liquid Rooms
Indigo Velvet describe themselves as a Tropical Pop Quartet and definitely have a feel good vibe both in their recorded music and their live performances.
The guys have been extremely busy right now with various exciting things such as bringing out a new single, playing Electric Fields Festival and an upcoming Edinburgh Headline show so it only felt right that I got in touch and seen what they had to say!

How long have you guys been making music together?
- “We have been making music together for almost two years now, and we really feel it’s starting to come together now!

How did you come up with band name “Indigo Velvet”?
- “Basically, trying to think of band names is the most tedious part of starting any band. We were sitting in Lauries house (bassist) and he had a purple throw lying on this bed. It’s so happened to be velvet so we then tried out different with the word ‘velvet’ and ‘indigo’ just really seemed to stick.

What are the bands musical influences?
- “Our musical influences all vary widely with Jason (guitar/ back vocals) taking a lot of his from listening to Nile Rodgers and Michael Jackson. Darren (vocals/guitar) taking his from growing up and listening to the likes of Queen and The Boss Bruce Springsteen. It kinda works though..when Billy’s (drummer) element of Little Mix gets thrown into the pot!”

What processes go into the way you guys write your songs?
- “For our song writing, we’d usually go into our studio and down to basically discuss what type of song we want to go for…but 9 times out of 10 that never seems to work and we end up writing the complete opposite! Usually we structure out songs round a solid drum and bass body and then we let Darren and Jason come up with neat guitar parts. Once that is done, Darren would then hum a melody and then take that away and write the lyrics by himself.

What can people expect at one of your shows?
- “Sweat, Hip Wriggling..and a party”

What is the funniest thing to happen at a gig?
- “Funniest thing that ever happened at a gig was when we played a festival a woman asked Jason mid-set if she could get up on stage and use a mic to try and find her friend. We were completely oblivious to what she was saying as it was all slurred..but she left before we could find her pal.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
- “We have a new single out 4th of September called ‘BLUE’ and a headline show at Electric circus on the 9th of October with Lisbon and Lewis Capaldi supporting. We have a lot of stuff lined up for the start of 2015 which will hopefully get us on the write track to success.

So that concludes my online interview with Indigo Velvet, but hopefully it won’t be the last time we hear from them! Below I have added ways to like/follow the band for future updates and to give them the support they deserve, thank you to Darren, Jason, Billie and Laurie for answering the questions.

Posted by Chloe McIntyre

Facebook- Indigo Velvet
Tickets and Merch-

Live Preview – The Rockalls, Sweaty Palms, polarnecks, Facial Slurs @ Sneaky Pete’s, Wednesday 2nd September, 7.00pm

Tomorrow night (Wednesday 2nd) sees Control Social Club (cscevents) showcase a Scottish Punk / Rock n’ Roll happening featuring Glasgow’s The Rockalls, Sweaty Palms, Polarnecks and a live debut for Edinburgh’s Facial Slurs.This will be a great show, only a fiver in, and all at Sneaky Pete’s one of the best live music venues in Edinburgh for the last few years, starting at 7:00pm. Amazing!

More details can be found at:


Interview – Artist management in the 21st Century (part 4)

With the music business changing at an incredible speed, Feast invited Biffy Clyro manager Dee Bahl and Idlewild manager Bruce Craigie to discuss the ever-expanding role of the artist manager in the 21st Century. In the last of our four instalments Dee and Bruce talk about the investment, marketing and the Music Managers Forum.

Q: Are independent investors including management companies a realistic alternative to labels?

B.C. Yes, I think so. As I said, because it’s easier to get your music out there, there’s no reason why, if you build that team around that investment, there’s no reason why you can’t build up the artists profile to a certain stage where it becomes inevitable that a bigger record label might come along and pick you up. Ed Sheeran is the perfect example of that. He’s got to such a size where he had to be picked up. These stories are few and far between unfortunately, but it shows it’s possible. If you can work with a management company or a set of investors that understands the needs of the music business, I guess that’s one of the issues because the music business is one of those industries that’s very difficult to invest in because the goalposts change or the length of time it might take an artist to get onto that ladder or get successful might take longer than an investor anticipates and in the time of economic crisis it might be hard to find those investors that will give that amount of time and the repayment terms may not be satisfactory to the artist where the investor wants their money back a bit quicker. All of those things have to be taken into account but it’s a question of finding money wherever you can but you have to make sure everybody’s comfortable with the deal.

Q: How important is marketing and innovation important in creating and building an artists’ fan-base?

B.C. I’m still of the opinion that talent and ability is the basis of any career. It is important to get that out there but I’ve always felt slightly nervous of things being hyped or marketed because I think that people do see through that quite quickly. Whatever you do it needs to appear natural. I mean we all know how a piece of music on a bit of Youtube footage can suddenly exalt you into the stars so it can happen very naturally that way as well. It’s the trick of finding a nice natural way to do it but it does come back to talent and ability.

D.B. It’s almost everything. It’s vital in breaking a new artist or a new release. That’s why bands end up signing with major labels. The marketing budget that the majors can afford on campaigns is huge. It’s very difficult to do it online yourself. To have everything working in a coordinated fashion to gain a reaction from an audience is an expensive and time-consuming process.

Q: In the recent past there was a good deal of publicity around the appointment of Brian Message to head the Music Managers Forum. How do you feel about his appointment and the relevance of this trade organisation to the way managers do business?

B.C. I’ve never been a member of the forum, not for any real reason. I’ve been lucky in my early career as I had lots of experience at record company level so I kind of knew what was going on at record companies. I think it’s probably not a bad thing these days to have the forum there. If a young manager can learn from any individual or organisation that would seem to be a good thing from my point of view. Brian has been very successful in what they’ve done. Part and parcel of the way they do business has worked very well for them and they’re investing money into the business themselves so you can only applaud that kind of investment from their point of view.

D.C. Brian Message was originally an accountant, if I’m correct. In this day-in-age you need new business partners to emerge simply because of the lack of investment. So having someone like that who understands the business and how money can be generated can be a positive thing which other aspiring managers can learn from and Brian becoming the head of the MMF can only be a positive given his background with Radiohead. He must have learnt a lot given his experience as an accountant but he must also have learnt a lot from managing one of the biggest bands in the world. The organisation is relevant because people like him can pass that experience on and that can only be a positive. I’ve never actually joined the MMF but I recognise it’s a great way of networking. I’ve sort of gone out on a limb myself and I’ve learnt along the way and it’s worked out okay for me so far.

Interview – Artist management in the 21st Century (part 3)

Interview – Artist management in the 21st Century

With the music business changing at an incredible speed, Feast invited Biffy Clyro manager Dee Bahl and Idlewild manager Bruce Craigie to discuss the ever-expanding role of the artist manager in the 21st Century. In the third of our four instalments Dee and Bruce talk about the changing media landscape, funding and the changing role of the record label.

Q: Artists are increasingly gaining sponsorship from brands of all kinds. How do you feel about the way the market is moving?

B.C. I don’t really have a problem with sponsorship. I guess it depends on who the sponsor is and dependent on the artist really. Artists need financial help and you need to take it where you can really. It’s almost impossible to walk down the street without finding a sponsor somewhere. Most of the venues you play, the bigger venues are sponsored by somebody. I suppose it’s a question of where do you draw the line. I mean if they can help you realise your dream and help support you at an early stage then I don’t have a problem with sponsorship really.

D.B. It depends on the brands credibility and anything is acceptable depending on a bands situation. It depends on your values and your outlook on life. For me there has to be a balance because there is so much commercialism and you have to be aware of the feelings of your fanbase. If there is a negative connotation towards the brand that can have an adverse effect on your fanbase. There is no right or wrong here. It just means that there are potential opportunities for new ways of funding and if it’s an appropriate fit for the band then go with it. Things have to be run passed your lawyer and you must ensure your management team are not just doing it to make money.

Q: How has the changing media landscape affected the way you do business?

B.C. I think it’s changed certainly if you take into account the digital landscape as part of that it’s changed the way the business has worked in the last ten years. There is a saturation of digital outlets and you can spend all day everyday combing various outlets to look for music and find music. I still think it’s like back to the basics because you’ve still got to find the band and find what makes people come to that band. In many respects it was easier when there was just fewer outlets of media, you know you only had two radio stations or you only had three magazines. Now there’s magazines and online presence wherever you look. It’s very dissipated so it’s a question of using these to your advantage, finding the tastemakers that seem to be important. It seems that your facebook presence or you social media presence is important in terms of getting lots of people to your site and then those in the industry can see that and they can check on your status in terms of booking you for shows or getting involved with you and they can make a judgement on that straight away.

D.B. Bands have to work so much harder now to assess all the digital outlets available to them to for channelling their music to their fanbase or to continue to build their fanbase. Before the internet there were fewer media channels and so it was more straight forward about how and who to get your music to. There are now many more avenues for people to access and consume music and bands have to be more active in interacting with their audience and trying to establish a more direct relationship with their fans.

Q: Do you think the way people discover artists now has an impact on the longevity of an artist?

B.C. There are still those tastemakers such as Steve Lamacq and the Evening Session and previously John Peel or a writer you trusted in NME for example. Now it’s also a question of blogs and other artists building up profiles for other bands and recommendations and so there’s always going to be these tastemakers at local radio stations and small stations. Talking about the shelf-life for an artist, for a guitar band it used to be on a two to three year cycle when you made a record it would take another six months for the record to come out then you’d tour for a year and a half and the you’d make another record and before you knew it it was three years gone and it seems that with artists nowadays they have a new record out every other week if they’re popular and everything seems to be hammered home so quickly because the shelf-life seems to be so much shorter.

D.B. In terms of reality talent shows very few of them stay around for very long because the talent is questionable and also they may not be prepared to handle the exposure since the rise to the top is instant in their case.

Q: Given everything you and the artists need to supply to the labels and the media how has the role of labels changed?

B.C. In terms of the smaller labels they tend to take a lot less risks now because they don’t have the finances themselves to be able to support that world tour or make that big record in America or go and mix the record somewhere exotic. That just doesn’t exist anymore which may not be a bad thing. It does seem that with some of the labels or distributors you take a finished record to them now and sometimes cover some of the costs of the marketing and promotion yourself. There are less mid-sized labels now so you have to find the money to make the record before you approach the record company or the distributor and although it’s cheaper to make a record now you still want to make a good record to deliver to the label.

D.B. Labels are looking at other income streams now. For example, it’s not unusual for labels to have management teams or publishing and be involved in 360 degree models and be involved in every aspect of a bands career. Labels have changed as well due to how music is now being consumed. There were a lot more labels twenty years ago and there is not a lot of money available for development and that has a knock on effect on the money that’s available for new artists. How many bands have come through in the last five years from small venue to stadium level – very, very few. There is a direct lack of funding, if you haven’t made it on your first album you get dropped. How are people meant to succeed? With Biffy Clyro we were very lucky as we started on the independent label Beggars Banquet and we were allowed to go and make three albums and learn our trade before we went onto a major label. These kind of opportunities are very rare or don’t exist anymore. Very, very tough times out there.

Interview – Artist management in the 21st Century (part 2)

With the music business changing at an incredible speed, Feast invited Biffy Clyro manager Dee Bahl and Idlewild manager Bruce Craigie to discuss the ever-expanding role of the artist manager in the 21st Century.  In the second of our four instalments Dee and Bruce talk about the day in the life of a manager, how the role has changed and what a manager should look for in a band.


Q: What is a day in the life of a music manager like?  What aspects of your bands’ careers do you look after?

B.C.  It’s an interesting one that, particularly now, as it really depends on the role that you take on with the band and what part of their career you get associated with as I guess what the artists needs and what the artist wants to do is what basically changed my role.  Basically looking at the areas where they need assistance whether it is help with the show or help with the crew and building a team around the band if you don’t have a traditional record company.

D.B.  Pretty much on a day to day basis I’d be dealing with the bands lawyer, dealing with the accountant , their agent.  The international department of the label or the press department or it could be the TV department.  Really depends on where you are in the lifecycle of an album or a release which dictates what your day is going to be like.  With Biffy Clyro they’re a heavy touring band so a lot of time is dealing with aspects of that such as putting a crew together, appointing a tour manager and so I have to think months ahead of what the band might be doing.  I spend a lot of time with the bands accountant working on budgets with the record label.  If you’re going into record an album I’ll deal with liaisng with the record label, with the producer, with the producer’s management.  It’s never dull.


Q: What should other aspiring managers look for in a band?  What important contractual issues should a manager look out for, or what red flags should they be wary about when considering getting involved with managing an artist?

B.C.  When you’re looking for a band you’re looking for somebody that’s going to entertain you, that can write good songs, somebody that has an idea of their direction, somebody that has the drive and knows what they want to do and why they want to take on a manager.  What’s the right time to take on a manager?  What role do you want to take on as a manager and what are you able to facilitate?  I particularly go back to the artist having drive  if they want to have a career out of the business.  Pretty much every band I’ve worked with from within record companies, publishing companies, right through to managing bands has had a very strong idea of what they wanted to do and what they wanted to achieve out of music.

D.B.  They’ve got to love the music that a band are making because if you don’t you won’t love the people making the music and it’ll be difficult to sell the band to the world.  It was really hard in the early days to get people to believe in Biffy Clyro.  If I didn’t love their music I couldn’t have done that job.  Obviously you want people who can write good songs, who really want to succeed and are attentive to what you’re saying.  A manager can bring opportunity and a band have to be ready and willing to take these opportunities.  In terms of contractual issues, the term of the contract, your commission, your expenses – make sure you’re not saddled with a lot of the cost.  Also if the term of the contract is up or the relationship breaks down you need to know what you’re entitled to given the amount of work you’ve put in.


Q: Since you started being an artist manager do you find that the role is changing?  Are you becoming more central to the whole industry?

B.C.  Definately changed.  The traditional way for a manager of earning any money has changed.  It used to be that you’d find an artist and you’d take them to a record company or publishing company and they’d offer you an advance and then you’d take a commission on the advance from the artist.  There are a only a few of these deals done now as the industry has shrunk and the amount of money available has shrunk.  That has made the role change a lot really.  The role used to be to motivate your artist and motivate the label and that was an important thing and now you have to do what the labels used to do and you have to be an all-encompassing person so instead of going to the label and saying what do you think on the marketing campaign you’re now involved in that sort of thing.

D.B.  Looking after the band, the tours, the releases are the same.  However as technology develops the change has been in online activity, social networks and how music is accessed and consumed.  There has been changes in how much labels have become involved in all aspects of a bands career.  They will only get involved if a band signs a 360 deal.  They are much more cautious now about signing and working with bands.


Q: Is now a good time to be a manager?

B.C.  Sort of.  It’s exciting but it’s difficult to make any money and that’s the big issue. Unless you’re bankrolled by a big company or you have a huge act that can let you take on a few other things and develop them at the same time then it’s becoming increasingly more difficult. That’s one of the reasons  I wanted to get involved on the El Jam project as I thought there are good bands out there that don’t have the access to the knowledge and the wherewithal about developing as a band. For example, it’s surprising how many bands playing gigs don’t have a website or don’t have a logo and are giving away music at venues and not thinking about the future and it seems fundamental advise that needs to be given and that can set bands back.  If they get an opportunity and they’re not ready  it can set them back and that is really damaging for bands.

D.B.  It’s always a good time to be a manager.  It’s always going to be a tough job and a thankless job.  There are a lot of opportunities out there it just depends about how you want to make a difference in relation to the band you want to work with.

Interview – Artist management in the 21st Century (part 1)

With the music business changing at an incredible speed, Feast invited Biffy Clyro manager Dee Bahl and Idlewild manager Bruce Craigie to discuss the ever-expanding role of the artist manager in the 21st Century. In the first of our four instalments Dee and Bruce talk about the music industry in 2015 and their introduction to the role of artist manager.

Q: What are your predictions for the music industry in 2015?

Bruce Craigie: Hard to say unless the economy settles and the industry takes some better shape. In regards to the record labels they are either very big or very small with nothing in between and this has been lacking in the last few years which has made things very difficult for the development of rock bands or anybody who needs to tour because there hasn’t been the support network that there used to be when you were lucky enough to have a record deal that could help you with those things. A tricky time which I don’t see being any easier this year unless the economy settles.

Dee Bahl: Difficult to make predictions in this volatile climate but I’m hoping there is a sort of rise for the independents and they become a lot stronger and I’m hoping venture capitalists take a chance on emerging talent because it’s really hard to get funding and it’s really hard to get finance. There are some people out there with a little bit of money that can make a huge bit of difference. You’ve only got the three major record companies and there is not a hell of a lot of signing going on there, it’s very guarded considering the usual things I see getting picked up. I’m really hoping that the independent sector becomes a lot stronger and I think with the lack of money there will be opportunities for independent labels.

Q: What are you excited about in the music industry for 2015?

B.C. I think at the current time for better or worse in the digital era it’s never been easier to record music and get your music out there so that’s one of the things that’s really exciting but on the downside it’s never been harder to make a living out of the music business so it’s very difficult to quantify where you can collect any money from since it’s just such a broad scope of things that go on but what I like about it is that it feels like it’s back to being a cottage industry again in many ways and one of the things I’ve been talking about with the EL Jam project is that aim of self-sufficiency and building up your local scene and building up your own reserves and taking it one step at a time.

D.B. I’m becoming more aware of different business models of people who are trying to do things differently and almost go out on their own and give it a go and that’s exciting. There are a lot of bands out there who are doing their own albums and a whole range of people being creative and that can only be a good thing.

Q: Any great new bands and/or record labels you’ve come across?

B.C. All three of the bands within the EL Jam project are interesting in their own way. There’s Nick Tait & The Sharks who are the sort of middle group between ages of 16-18, there’s three sets of age groups and then there’s a young band from Preston Pans called The Next Big Nothing Band and then there is Art of Privilege who are the band from the18-25 age group so we’ve split it into three age groups for this pilot scheme. Beyond that I’ve been helping out this band from Glasgow called Fatherson who played at The Arches in Glasgow recently and they had a mini orchestra on stage with them which was very interesting. Then there’s a young band from Edinburgh I like called Precious & Grace and they’re students over at Edinburgh College and they’re a bit out of sync in terms of what they play musically – they sort of play seventies rock so they don’t sound like anything else and part of me likes that idea about them and they have lots of enthusiasm and so one to check out and of course the new label Tangerine, what more can I say.

D.B. Because of what I do a lot of my time gets absorbed in what I’m doing so it’s not always easy to come across new bands with limited time There is a young guy called Jonathan Carr and his music is slightly different and I’d like to see him do well. I’m looking at another act at the moment just to see if they can make the next step up so to speak.

Q: What led you to get involved in management?

B.C. I’ve been managing bands for about thirteen or fourteen years now and before that I worked in record companies. I worked at Go Discs and I worked at Chrysalis and I started of at Stiff Records and I ended up at a little label called Deceptive Records which I did some consultancy work for and that’s how I became involved in the management side of things by one of the bands that came through which is a band called Idlewild and I basically managed them from day one really and continue to do so. I came across Idlewild when I was working at Deceptive and we signed their publishing and we had a publishing deal through EMI music and that gave me the chance to quit the day job for a few months. They wanted to make some records with Deceptive so we put some records out and in the meantime we were negotiating a record deal for them and one of the labels that was interested in signing them said to the band why don’t you get Bruce to manage you and they said what a great idea and it just fell into that way and I’d been asked a number of times to manage bands but never actually taken the plunge as it were and that’s how I sort of fell into the management side of things really.

D.B. It happened by complete accident if I’m being honest. I’ve always been a bass player in various bands over the years and I came off tour once and my next gig wasn’t for a while and I always had this ambition to set up a small record label and so that’s what I did with a couple of mates. We didn’t have much money and we had to borrow money. Once we got things moving the two bands that we got for the label was a band called Aerogramme and a band called Biffy Clyro and we put out their first releases and one thing lead to another and basically by default I ended up doing a lot more for these bands and before I knew it I was their Manager. From my days of being in bands, any management company that had managed me or the band I was in basically had to come through me and I just had an aptitude towards management and I just knew how it worked. I also had a degree in Marketing and Management and I’m not saying that’s what cuts you out to become a Manager, you either have it or you don’t. I don’t see why anybody who is young and is aspiring to become a Manager can’t become one because as you go further into your career you learn a lot more. It’s not for the feint hearted. It’s not a dull job, it’s a very demanding job and it’s twenty-four/seven and I mean twenty-four/seven. However, the rewards are there to be had and it’s a very fulfilling job.

Posted by JD, 18th March, 2015



Following the recent release of their debut single ‘Young Souls’ and on the eve of their show with F**k Art, Let’s Dance and Penny Black at Cabaret Voltaire, FEAST met with Beeches for a chat.

How long have you been making music together?
A long time! Me (Oscar), Robert and Walter have known each other since before school and only began writing p in 2010. We met Amadeus in 2012 and asked him to play Bass while we were under the name ‘Chordless Beaches’. It all started from there really. It was around December 2013 when we changed to Beeches.

Is there a story behind the name?
We thought of Chordless Beaches at the very beginning of our band with a slightly different sound and line up, so by late 2013, we felt that it was right for us to change to Beeches. There were quite a few names in the running but Beeches just seemed to fit best I guess.

Who are your musical influences?
Hmmmm… always hard one. We have a pretty large variety of Influences. Bombay Bicycle Club, Dry the River, Jeff Buckley, the Maccabees and that kind of stuff influences our style directly. I would also say that the other genres of Music we’re into (classical, RnB, Jazz, prog. rock) affect the overall outcome of our music quite a lot too.

What process goes into the way you write songs?
Usually Oscar will write something on just one guitar, and then bring it to the others to ‘Beech’ it up. The finished product sounds pretty different from the original ideas quite a lot after this. Sometimes we do just sit down as a band and write a song together if we’re in the mood.

What can people expect from your live shows?
We like to think that we have a pretty dynamic live show. Loud, soft, ambient, upbeat, mental… We try to vary the moods and atmospheres in our songs to suit a live crowd and (hopefully) convey something to the listener.

The crowd usually goes mental too.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?
Hahaha, I’d love to be able to say we destroyed cab vol one time, or that I broke my ribs stage diving off a humongous PA… but in reality our gigs seem to run pretty smoothly. At our last gig we covered 7 days by Craig David and that was pretty funny.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
We had our single launch for our first official release under ‘Beeches’ at the Liquid Room on the 15th of March. We hope to record some more in summer too, and hopefully this will be released before autumn 2014.

In general though, Beeches will be gigging and as much as we can 2014.

Beeches play Cabaret Voltaire tonight (Friday 27th June). Doors 7pm. Tickets available

Becky & The Lunar Orchestra – E.P. Review

Becky & the Lunar Orchestra Ep CoverI first heard about Becky and the Lunar Orchestra from Thisis Feast’s media bezzies, Edinburgh Undersound, who are very enthusiastic fans.

There are a really wide range of styles demonstrated in this strong E.P and with six members Becky and the Lunar Orchestra has the ability to produce a range of tracks that go to some really nice sounding places. For me, Questioning and Madrigal stand out as the best tracks. I have been listening to Questioning on loop for a fair wee while, with shades of Otis Redding, and Lianne La Havas mixed with Amy Winehouse, this is a lovely track with beautiful vocals that sound familiar but are original enough to have their own distinct and rather pleasant sound. Tune!

Madrigal is the other stand out track which again has really strong personality and sound.  This is a pretty moody track but Becky Sikasa’s vocals lend it a really sweet feel, this is a very different sound to Questioning and its shows the band are versatile writers and performers because its another great tune.

Plastic Toys and Cabaret don’t come across on record as much as they could, and these two tracks they don’t quite reach the same level of production with superficial inconsistencies with the final mix that could be ironed out quite easily, making the record more cohesive. Live and I am sure gigs with Becky and the Lunar Orchestra could have moments in them where the hairs on the back of your neck would stand on end, because they have got some songs that have the beginning of something that could be really, really good. The are away in July on a German tour but look out for them playing in Scotland soon and go and see them if you can.

Jamie & Shoony – Why Do I

Check out the great new video from Edinburgh’s Jamie & Shoony. One of the most energetic and lively band playing at the moment. I caught them last year at Linkylea and it was a riot. Catch them when you can.

Fatherson’s new video

Hot on the heals of their live session for Feast/ SAMA, Fatherson have just released their new video ‘I like not knowing’.

Fatherson SAMA/FEAST session (part one)

Here’s the first video from the series of studio sessions we are doing with SAMA (Scottish Alternative Music Awards). This is the awesome Fatherson, with First Born for me, an acoustic mashup of two of their regular songs.

Outfit Q&A


Liverpool has no shortage of great artists and another one to add to the list is Outfit. They released their debut album ‘Performance’ and are due to release the next single via Double Denim Records. We caught up with the five piece ahead of their set at the 6 Music Festival.

What gave you the idea to form a band? We’ve all played a wide range of music in other bands before, from noise to techno and with a fair bit of off-kilter pop music in between. We formed this one in the hope of generating a kind of emotional resonance that we weren’t getting from our projects at the time, but ultimately people form bands because of other bands – the desire to make something a listener can inhabit in the same way you do those first big albums you grow up with.

Is there a story behind the name? It’s a purposely open-sounding name, linking in to ideas about identity and self-presentation that we explore on the album and in our music in general. On the one hand it suggests artifice, while on the other it’s a broad and generic name for a group – basically both the big perils of naming your band.

How long have you been making music together?
With Outfit, three years but there are some long musical relationships from past collaborations, and me and Andy are brothers so we had a head start. Chris was the latest to the party, but there was around four years where the rest of us lived and worked together on a lot of different things, so we’ve built up a clear sense of how we gel together musically. We know each other so well that sometimes I get annoyed by the way Tom breathes.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened at a gig/on tour? Leeds festival wouldn’t let us in, so Andy had to log on to our facebook to prove our identity. Then we played at the same time as The Cure, and they played The Cure before we went on. Thinking about it, I’m confusing “funny” with “humiliating”. Happens.

What’s your favourite track to play out live? The live version of Elephant Days is a bit more foot-on-the-monitor rock-out than might be expected from an Outfit set, as a closet metalhead I find that gratifying.

Can you tell us a bit about the music video for ‘I want What’s Best’?Andy sought the golden cowboy in the depths of Liverpool, once found his story was too good to miss – redemption through spraypaint and robot dancing, with a particularly cinematic pigeon. Check it out.

What are you up to in 2014? After this tour we’re going to hole up indefinitely and write a perfect album. The airwaves are clogged with enough mediocrity as it is – people should make less music, and listen more selectively.

Originally posted by Kyle Wilson in Through The Wire

ShowNProve Q&A


Hi Show firstly thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to share your experiences with FEAST in an industry that we know is constantly in a state of flux.

So 2013 has been huge for you, how busy are you and how much work did you have to put in to achieve the success, its not as easy as people think is it???
Thanks man, it’s not been easy at all, ive been working on music since i was like 14 and djing since 11. It’s been ups and down but you’ve got to stick at it.
It’s all about staying busy with me though, trying to stay in the zone. It has a lot to do with timing I’m noticing too.

How do you prepare for the changes in the industry and how do you keep on top of the changes?I wouldn’t say I prepare for them or that I’m even that aware of them, I stay in my own bubble. I try to listen to as much stuff as I can to stay up to date but that’s about it really.

What’s in store for Show n Prove in the new year??
Lots! New single, new video, new gigs, new collabs. Maybe an instrumental release.

You’ve have worked with some great artists in the past who was the easiest to work with, the most fun to work, and are there any artist you worked with you just couldn’t believe you would ever have the chance to work with??

ermmm, Skinnyman is a lot of fun to work with, Rizzle Kicks too. Edinburgh rapper DeeZy was definitely the most difficult to work with. dally is really easy to work with, very professional. i was pure gassed when i worked with Big Narstie too, star struck even! he’s a legend.

Might have to drop the bombshell now but you use to study at what is now Edinburgh College Milton Road Campus how was college for you and did it help you become what you are today?
Yeah it probably did, I already knew a lot of what they were teaching us but for me at the time it was amazing to just have a place with an up to date computer I could go to and make beats. Plus a nice wee bursary bonus.

Are there any words of wisdom you can give to the would-be producers/artists studying at the campuses up and down the country??
Take advantage of free studio time and spend your bursary on travelling about I guess. That’s what I did.

Show N Prove’s new tunes ‘My People’ and ‘Zimma Frame’ are out now via iTunes & Amazon.
Posted by Duane

Lyndsey Craig Q&A

Lyndsey Craig

With the imminent release of her debut ep ‘Blue Jays’ and a forthcoming launch night at The Counting House in Edinburgh, Feast caught up with Lyndsey Craig for a chat.

How long have you been making music?I’ve been making music since the age of 8. My dad taught me ‘Twist And Shout’ on guitar and ever since I was hooked. I started writing much more serious songs at 12 and that’s when the YouTube channel was set up.

Who are your musical influences?
My Dad’s music taste really rubbed off on me as a kid. I grew up listening to rock n roll- Hendrix, Clapton (the lads.) But like any other musician I’m sure, my music taste changes daily. For example, I am absolutely loving Lorde and Disclosure right now.

What process goes into the way you write songs?I wish I could say I had some sort of recipe for writing a song but it’s all very random. I go through periods where I can’t write anything at all and then all of a sudden I’m writing a song in 10 minutes. Those creative times are when I abuse my guitar and songbook the most!

What can people expect from your live shows?
I adore playing live! My gigs are usually pretty intimate and end in me chatting and getting to know almost everyone there which i think is really important.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?
My big sister crying. Literally every gig of mine she comes to she has tears in her eyes because she’s the only person who really knows what the songs are about. It’s quite adorable but I find it hilarious!

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
2014 is a busy year for me. I have the launch of my debut EP, ‘BLUE JAYS’ 7.2.14 with the launch at the Counting House at 8pm. I’m playing numerous gigs around Edinburgh during February, March and April including playing alongside Natalie Reid at Sneaky Pete’s on the 28th of February. I also have a potential studio recording with an amazing artist who I won’t name just yet! She’s a big influence of mine and has a massive online following though- hint hint! Then just gig gig gig till summer and that’s when all the excitement really begins!

The Winter Tradition Q&A

Winter Tradition
At Feast, we like our local music. So Leah Curtis at Feast had a wee chat with Mark Morrow, guitar and backing vocals for “The Winter Tradition”.

What got you into music?
I was brought up in a very musical household. My dad was a drummer in a rock band, and his Dad played trumpet for a big band at the Glasgow Barrowlands. My uncle played guitar and I was always fascinated with it. I started playing when I was 7 and always wanted to start a band, even from that age!

Who or what inspired you to do so?
We first started a band when we were young at high school. I think around the age of 13/14. We used to listen to a lot of fast pop punk bands and always loved the idea of being in a band! We started playing our favourite songs together and gradually started to write out own.

What’s it like playing on stage? Do you get nervous?
Playing on stage is great – our band loves playing live and we are always trying to better our live show and production with each gig. We don’t really get nervous as such, is more of an excited feeling. Before we go on stage, we’re in our room doing vocal warm ups and generally trying to keep our excitement level stable!

Do you get recognised walking down the street?

Haha, I wish we did! We sometimes walk down the street and see the odd person walk past wearing our t-shirt. It’s a strange but good feeling!

If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

Good question! And one question I spend lots of time thinking about! I think I would chose the power of flying. No reason really – just think it would be fun to be able to do.

What advice would you give aspiring musicians and/or bands who are starting out/wanting to start something?
Being in a band is hard work and covers a wide range of jobs. Writing and performing music is quite a small (but most important) part of being in a band. When you start out, you are acting as manager, booking agent, press contact, driver, roadie, merch seller and lots more! It’s very fun but can be quite intense sometimes! Put in the hard work and you will start to see what works and what doesn’t!

The Winter Tradition are on tour during Jan/Feb. Tour dates are as follows:

29th Jan – The Cookie Jar, Leicester
30th Jan – The Hop, Wakefield
31st Jan – Upstairs @ The Garage, London
6th Feb – King Tuts, Glasgow
7th Feb – Tolbooth, Stirling
8th Feb – Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen
9th Feb – Madhatters, Inverness
10th Feb – Heriot-Watt University, Galashiels
11th Feb – Duke’s Corner, Dundee
15th Feb – Twa Tams, Perth

New Single ‘Departures’ out 10th Feb on iTunes and .
Posted by Leah

Edinburgh Hogmanay Review

Feast started the night over at the main stage enclosure with Edinburgh’s own The 10:04′s opening the proceedings.
The band only played a 20 minute set, but they made sure they left a lasting impression on the huge crowd.
Having seen the boys play in practically ever venue across the city, they showed that they have the tunes and the swagger to make the leap into the big time league.
The formidable frontmen of Steven Bolton and Danny Scrimshaw looked confident, as they exchanged vocal duties
The brooding ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Throes’ sound taught, delicate and romantic, yet full of harmony,sung with boys Scottish brogue, it’s a fantastic contemporary direction.
They played a set laden with newer tracks, it was a great showcase to highlight the fantastic new music, currently being produced in Edinburgh.
Whilst I wished the 04s had ended their set, how they normally do, with the gloriously noisy ‘About Tonight’, as it would’ve kicked off the night with a bang, but that’s just preference.

Next up we meandered through the masses for Chvrches.
The next big Scottish export for sure, having enthralling audiences across the pond and their tracks being played absolutely everywhere.
Chvrches cross-over success has been astounding and looks certain to continue with mainstream dominance in 2014.
Devoid of any, high tech lighting, or imagery, the trio, let their music let the crowd know exactly what they were about. The trio made up of Iain Cook and Martin Doherty mixing familiar yet bittersweet electro soundscapes behind Lauren Mayberry sugar-sweet vocals, effortlessly cajoling those in front of them to dance.
Mayberry’s haunting vocals soared across the still night air as the synth pop soundscape of We Sink and the aura of The Mother We Share further set
The gem of their set proved to be the shimmering Under the Tide, with Doherty taking the mic – the vocal exchange between him and Mayberry creating a pumping electro but brilliantly understated track. A fantastic set from Scotland’s next massive band.

Django Django are the new party band!
The new festival headline band du jour!
End of story. The atmosphere before the boys jumped on stage, was electric.
These boys have upped the game, before,they were eclectic, enthralling and exciting, now they are the finished article, strutting about the Waverly stage they had the crowd dancing as they juggled instruments and synths as their arsenal of tracks stormed the stage.
The mathematical future disco kings warp a plethora of influences from 70s prog, afrobeat percussion, and pounding synths into a a full on pounding, euphoric, electric party.
Crowd favourites ‘Hail Bop and ‘Default’ had the crowd bouncing into a fevered mess before the bells and fireworks.
A completely fitting night, to one of the country’s exciting band, here’s hoping Django Django are playing the festivals.

With such a strong Scottish line up (we’re claiming Django Django as half of the band are Scottish) of exciting music, its a great platform to show off the Scottish music scene.

Posted by Stacy

Let Love Rule Q&A

Let Love Rule

Currently rehearsing for their headlining show at Sneaky Pete’s this Sunday (22nd Dec), I caught up with Edinburgh band Let Love Rule.




How long have you been making music together?

We formed earlier this year and have been gigging since June.

Is there a story behind the name?

Yes, it’s actually the name of Lenny Kravitz’s first album! It’s also represents a kind of attitude about letting your passions determine your ambitions.

Who are your musical influences?

Jeff Buckley, Karnivool, Deftones, John Martyn, Jamie Woon, Palms, Sigur Ros. Also a lot can be said for more local acts and friends who share similar ideals.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

I write the chords and vocals, and a have a general outline of where the song needs to go. And then I’ll take it into rehearsal and the guys are so creative in their own right they always add so many more dimensions and take it to another level.

What can people expect from your live shows?

We are still refining our sound, so we cover a few different elements. We always try to create a big atmosphere though by building to climaxes in some songs, but always having them rooted in layered, spacey melodies. Our next one is going to be the best yet!

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?

Our gigs are usually very sombre affairs. Handkerchiefs, tubs of Haagen-Dazs, and communal tear jugs are a regular feature. We are working on this though, and have a slapstick routine lined up for the next one! ;)

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?

We are going to be recording early next year and will have a single out by spring, with an EP coming out in time for summer. We are also in discussions with some summer festivals and are hoping to get plenty of gigs up and down the UK around the same time.

Let Love Rule play at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh on Sunday 22nd December, 7pm.


Posted by Paul.



Live Review – STRFKR at The Electric Circus, Edinburgh







Artist: STRFKR
Support: Miracle Strip
Rating: Despite their relatively unknown status in the UK, STRFKR performed to a near capacity venue and gave everyone in the room a reason to just let themselves go.

STRFKR are no strangers to touring but you could say that they are strangers to our side of the ocean. Embarking on their first ever full UK tour, the band started at London’s Hoxton Plaza and ended with a date at the Bodega Social Club in Nottingham. Wedged in the middle of the five British dates, the Portland four piece played in Edinburgh’s very own Electric Circus to an energetic crowd, and they showed exactly why their live shows are so well liked.

Scottish band, Miracle Strip, were the one and only support band for the night and, from the couple of songs that I managed to catch*, I just…got them. Sometimes you see support bands and you wonder why on earth they’re supporting certain acts, but these local lads fit the bill just wonderfully. They were able to warm up the crowd just right for the headliners, and I definitely expect to see more from them.

After just a short break, STRFKR took the stage and own it they did. Playing songs such as Atlantis and While I’m Alive, as well as their own cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, they gave the crowd a perfect reason to just forget everything and everyone around them. Looking around, the entire room was moving from people full on dancing by themselves to others bobbing along with every single word that came out of the singer’s mouth.

This show saw singer, Josh Hodges, and drummer, Keil Corcoran, swap places for a couple of songs, and this threw in a little more magic to the mix. With the venue having a strict curfew of 10pm, the band finished their set but found it difficult to ignore the Edinburgh chants of “one more tune!” over and over again. They threw caution to the wind and ignored any shouts that they may have received, playing that ‘one more tune’ for attendees and fulfilling everyone’s wish like asked.

Their one final push, including them joining the crowd and sending everyone crazy, left everyone in the room more than satisfied and gave everybody a night that they’re sure to remember. They proved that they don’t particularly need the theatrics of their other shows and are more than able to give an amazing live show no matter the venue, the crowd size or whatever country they happen to be in. Big things are coming for them and, personally, I can’t wait to have them back on Scottish soil.

(*I was lucky enough to sit down with Josh (vocals) and Patrick (guitar) for an interview just before their set. Look out for that pretty soon!)

Posted by: Hayley Isara

(Originally posted on: (RE)DISCOVER

GoodCopGreatCop Q&A


Currently in the middle of a Scottish tour to promote their brand new single “Stuck Amongst The Details”, I caught up with Perth based band GoodCopGreatCop




How long have you been making music together?

As a full band about a year and a half.

Is there a story behind the name?
We’re a fan of four syllable band names, American Cop shows and The Naked Gun 2.

Who are your musical influences?
Foals, The Gaslight Anthem, The National, The 1975, The Xcerts, Brigade, Twin Atlantic, Biffy Clyro, really any band which has worked hard to be in the place they are today

What process goes into the way you write songs?
Well, one member of the band usually comes up with an idea or a template for a song, once we’ve got something solid, we play around with rhythms, vocal harmonies and try and develop some kind of interesting structure. We originally wrote songs to try and be different in terms of structure but recently we’ve found our poppier side which is probably better for a wider demographic. Our vocalist and guitarist Andy usually writes most of the lyrics while the general bass, melody and rhythm parts are written by everyone else.

What can people expect from your live shows?
We’d like to say fireworks, dragons, dancers and a monkey riding on a Segway whilst downing a pint of Jaeger but unfortunately we’re not financially stable enough in order to provide our audience with such perks. Instead you can expect a lot of energy and some half decent loud pop/rock songs, chants and maybe the odd ginger.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?
Either, having to pay to play for a competition that we won through a voting system OR getting Glasgow’s 13th Note to “dae the bouncy”. We may have promised every member of the audience a pint if they were to do so…….

What can we expect to see/hear from you in the future?
Hopefully, lots of gigging including festival slots, a brand spanking new EP released before new year, some radio play, hopefully more interviews like this and our general enthusiasm and love for this band.

And finally, do you have any advice for up and coming musicians?
Well, since we are basically up and coming ourselves all we can really say to bands starting out is don’t be afraid to approach everyone, these people may be promoters, A & R’s, talent scouts or they may just generally know someone of use to you. There’s no point in starting a band unless you’re able to speak to folk and seem approachable yourselves.

The GoodCopGreatCop tour continues:

Friday 15th Nov – Monty’s Bar – Dunfermline

Saturday 16th Nov – The Green Room – Perth

Sunday 17th Nov – Buskers – Dundee

Saturday 23rd Nov – Henry’s Cellar – Edinburgh

Saturday 30th Nov – Bar and fly – Glasgow


Honeyblood Q&A

honeybloodTheir single ‘Bud’ has just been released and they have recently just been on UK tour, I caught up with Glasgow based Honeyblood.

How long have you been making music together?

We started the band around the beginning of 2012. I’d been writing a few songs before that but didn’t have our first gig till Feb and then we released our tape in April.

Is there a story behind the name?

It comes from a few things… i think it fits our bittersweet nature. It’s also a lyric from a Hole song.

Who are your musical influences?

The Breeders, Throwing Muses, PJ Harvey, Jenny Lewis and Morrissey… to name a few!

Funniest thing that’s ever happened at a gig?

We crashed our car in London last week before our single launch at Servant Jazz Quarters. It wasn’t funny at the time but we’re laughing about it now.

What was it like signing a deal with FatCat?

It’s been great. Fat Cat are like a family. We’ve had an absolute ball working with them to date so hopefully it can only get better with the album.

You’ve just released the single ‘Bud’, what’s on the cards for the future?

Yep, so we’re away to America this week to record an album which should be out next year.

And finally, do you have any advice for up and coming musicians?

Always play as loud as you can.

Latest single from Honeyblood

Posted by Kyle Wilson

(Originally posted on throughthewire:

Award Winners, Nominees & Hit Makers – This week’s gigs in Edinburgh.

D Feast Logo (lofi)Hello! We have another week of quality gigs coming up in Edinburgh. The Queen’s Hall plays host to Mark Lanegan this coming Monday. The following night at the same venue, Irish- indie quintet, Villagers, follow up their 2013 Mercury Music Prize Nomination with a visit to Edinburgh. On Wednesday night former drummer for The Coral, Ian Skelly, plays The Voodoo Rooms with his band The Serpent Power. Also on Wednesday Bipolar Sunshine and Public Service Broadcasting take to the stage at The Electric Circus and The Picture House respectively. If you like your Rock music with a tint of Blues local three-piece The Southpaws play Whistlebinkies this Thursday night. BBC World Music Musician of the Year Winner, Rokia Traore, takes to the stage at The Liquid Room on Friday Night.

This Saturday we are spoiled for choice. There’s a massive ten band bill at Verden Studios in Portobello as part of a showcase to highlight fantastic local talent with entry just £7. It seems like an age since Turin Brakes once peppered the single charts with hit after hit, they’ve put their hiatus to the side and return to Edinburgh’s The Pleasance as part of a small UK Tour. William Douglas and The Wheel, Woodenbox and Hanna Tuulikki’s new project Two Wings are also playing at various venues this Saturday. Finally, Glaswegian Singer-Songwriter and BBC Radio DJ Roddy Hart continues his Scottish Tour at The Voodoo Rooms with his band The Lonesome Fire on Sunday Night. Happy Gigging!

Monday 4th of November

Mark Lanegan

The Queen’s Hall 7pm £20

The Sunshine Underground & King Dinosaur

Electric Circus 8pm £12.50

Gabby Young and Other Animals & Old Dollar Bill

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £8

Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm Free

Chris Finn

Royal Mile Tavern 9pm Free

Tuesday 5th of November


The Queen’s Hall 7pm £12

Hamish Hope, Pistol Day, Compliments Of & The Diversions

Whistlebinkies 8pm Free

The Tillers & Pokey LaFarge

The Liquid Room 7pm £15

The Coal Porters

Leith Folk Club 7.30pm £9

Kapten Trio

The Brunton, Musselburgh £6 1pm

Wednesday 6th of November

Ian Skelly and The Serpent Power & The Jackals

The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £12

Public Service Broadcasting

Picture House 7pm £12

Bipolar Sunshine

Electric Circus 7pm £6

Chris Thile

The Queen’s Hall 8pm £15

Chris Finn, Tombstone Houseband & Splendid Gentlemen

Whistlebinkies 7pm Free

Thursday 7th of November

The Last September & Jake Morley

The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £6

The Southpaws & Lee Paterson

Whistlebinkies 7pm Free

Anna Massie & Mairearad Green

42 Royal Park Terrace 7.30pm

Future Heroes

The Jazz Bar 11.30pm £3

Born To Be Wide: Record Shop Seminar

Electric Circus 7pm £5

Friday 8th of November

Mt. Wolf

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £7

Afterlife, Garrison & Moosenuckle

The Voodoo Rooms 7pm £10

Shooting Stansfield

The Real Mary King’s Close 10.30pm £8

Rokia Traore

The Liquid Room 7pm £19

Chordless Beaches, Slumber Club, The Mona Lisa’s & Fall Rockets

Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £5

Saturday 9th of November

Turin Brakes

The Pleasance 7.30pm £20.50

William Douglas and The Wheel, Jaquimo & Elyssa Vulpes

The Voodoo Rooms 8pm £8

Numbers Are Futile, Your Loyal Subjects, Birdhead, And The Moose Came In Second, Pineapple Chunks, The Tide Inside, The Blue Ship, Royal Edinburgh Music, Lipsync For A Lullaby & The Forgotten Works

Verden Studios 7pm £7

Woodenbox & Pronto Mama

Electric Circus 7pm £7

Two Wings, Doug Tielli & Nap Shortly

The Wee Red Bar 7pm £6

Sunday 10th of November

Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire

The Voodoo Rooms 7pm £12


Usher Hall 7pm £20

Eric Bibb & Michael Jerome Brown

The Queen’s Hall 7pm £20

Sweet Baboo

Electric Circus 7pm £7

Ross Arthur

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7.30pm


Posted by James Scott



Label: Polyvinyl Records
Listen to: Beach Monster, While I’m Alive, Florida
It was through the grapevine – a grapevine in the shape of Youtube daily vlogger, Charles Trippy (Internet Killed Television / CTFxC) – that I discovered this band in 2010. Starfucker, stylised as STRFKR, are an electronic infused four piece hailing from Portland, Oregon and are what you would get if you threw the likes of Miniature Tigers and The XX into a mixer and pressed ‘go’. You may be wondering what the outcome of that would be, and the answer is simple: endless minutes of unadulterated awesome.

After signing to Illinois’ Polyvinyl Records, STRFKR have released two full length albums with their most recent, Miracle Mile, being released in February of this year. With songs that fit any kind of mood, the band can accompany you while you do anything from studying or driving to dancing as though you’re having the time of your life. It’s with Miracle Mile that the band are hopping across the big pond for a slew of UK tour dates this autumn, hitting Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 16th with Miracle Strip. They’ll be bringing their catchy, “foot tap worthy” songs along with them and their passion fueled live shows are sure to leave any fortunate passer-by a new but thoroughly satisfied fan.

Tickets for the band’s show can be bought at Ripping Records (Edinburgh), Tickets Scotland (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or through the venue itself.

Posted by Hayley


Fortune’s Oxjam & more- this week’s gigs

1379690_528759867194830_1671516582_n[1]Hello! This weekend in Edinburgh we welcome back the Oxjam Unsigned Festival. Over Friday and Saturday Oxjam gives us the opportunity to see some of the best names in the local music scene and all for a good cause too. The three venues hosting Oxjam this year are The Banshee Labyrinth, Bannermans Rock Club and The City Café. The notable acts on show over the weekend include Feast favourites Redolent and Victorian Trout Conspiracy. The festival also plays host to Sea Bass Kid, New Urban Frontier, Plastic Babies, Jamie & Shoony and one of Edinburgh’s hidden musical gems Matt Stockl. For all info on Oxjam click here

Outside of Oxjam Universal Thee play their fourth Edinburgh gig in two weeks as they support Plastic Babies at Sneaky Pete’s on Thursday night. With a cracking set, increasing audiences and national radio play Universal Thee are fast becoming the must see band in Edinburgh. Also on Thursday Meursault play support to Saint Motel in a free gig at The Caves and The Deep Red Sky play Electric Circus. On Saturday Bergen’s finest female rockers My Misspent Youth play Henry’s Cellar Bar and Song, By Toad Records have a showcase at The Pleasance with William Henry Arthur and Zed Penguin amongst the host of acts playing. Finally, if you fancy some early Halloween fun, Gin Goblins, Critikill and Geek Maggot Bingo play their yearly Halloween gig at Bannermans this weekend, it will be extremely loud and probably not one for the faint hearted. Happy Gigging!

Monday 21st

Grant Hart

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £8

Euros Child

Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £10

Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm Free

Brian Hogan

Malone’s 10pm Free

Alex Taylor

Finnegans Wake 10pm Free

Tuesday 22nd

Mike Heron & Trembling Bells

Electric Circus 8pm £10

Heather Peace

Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £21

Alex Taylor, Pork Pie & The Diversions

Whistlebinkies 8pm Free


Black Bull9pm Free

Cherry Pickers

Finnegans Wake 10pm Free

Wednesday 23rd

Let’s Buy Happiness

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £6

The Growlers & Tomorrows’ Tulips

Electric Circus 7pm £7.50

Swim Deep, Prides & Purple Emperors

Picture House 7pm £8


The Caves 7.15pm £16

Eddie Walker & Fraser Speirs

The Pleasance 7.30pm £10

Thursday 24th

Plastic Babies, Universal Thee & Little Love and The Friendly Vibes

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm

The Garden Gang

Citrus Club 7pm

The Deep Red Sky, Amidships & Owls In Antarctica

Electric Circus 7pm £4

Conquering Animal Sound, Little Buddha, Plum & Engine7

The Pleasance 7.30pm £7

Saint Motel, Meursault & Star Wheel Press

The Caves 8pm Free

Friday 25th

Oxjam Unsigned 2013: Victorian Trout Conspiracy, Redolent, New Urban Frontier, Let Love Rule, Another Blurry Photo & Lethalise

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm (£6 Day Ticket £10 Weekend Ticket)

Oxjam Unsigned 2013: The Jacarandas, My Electric Love Affair, Sonic Hearts Foundation, Kung Fu Academy, Where’s George & Lewis Kaye

The Banshee Labyrinth 8pm (£6 Day Ticket £10 Weekend Ticket)

Oxjam Unsigned 2013: See Bass Kid, Mad Tango, Green Tambourine Band, Keli Thomson, Rebecca Shearing & Becky and The Lunar Orchestra

The City Café 8pm (£6 Day Ticket £10 Weekend Ticket)

The Outer Church, Black Mountain Transmitter, Embla Quickbeam & Broken 3

Wee Red Bar 6pm £5

Three Blind Wolves

The Pleasance 7.30pm £8

Saturday 26th

Oxjam Unsigned 2013: Matt Stockl, Jamie and Shoony, Plastic Babies, The Violent Mood Swings, Frantic Chant, Gigantic Leaves, Isaac Webb and The Ransel Men, Georgia Gordon, Berg and Boys & Publisher Arno Blok

The City Café 5pm (£6 Day Ticket £10 Weekend Ticket)

Oxjam Unsigned 2013: Charly Houston, Folk Rag, Shuna Cook, Thirtythreeconnection, The Monalisa’s, Man of Moon & Collar Up

Banshee Labyrinth 5pm (£6 Day Ticket £10 Weekend Ticket)

My Misspent Youth & Mayonnaise

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

Gin Goblins, Critikill & Geek Maggot Bingo

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

William Henry Arthur, Le Thug, Naked, Plastic Animals & Zed Penguin

The Pleasance 7.30pm £12

Sunday 27th


Studio 24 7pm £10

Catfish Keith

The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £12

The Bermondsey Joyriders & Media Whores

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £8

Holy Moly and The Crackers & Firedog Empire

Wee Red Bar 7pm £5

Lucky Red Hat

Belushi’s 6pm Free


Posted by James Scott

Album Review – TH!NK | Headspace

think 2I got TH!NK’s record a couple of weeks ago and I have been listening to it every day since. It’s full of top tracks with old school sounds and rhymes that are well-constructed, cool, funny and thought provoking; and if you’ll excuse the pun- I think that’s the point. Headspace shows TH!NK has a pretty cool record collection and his album is full of great samples, loops, beats that sits it on the wrong side of copyright clearance so this might be a collection of tunes that don’t stay around for ever.

There are a hell of a lot of standout tracks and this makes Headspace a pretty remarkable body of work. If I had to single of some tunes I’d start with his track Idris which I thought  was about Stringer Bell, simply because both the track and Idris Elba are cool as, but it turns out it uses a sample from a tune featuring  drumming legends Idris Muhammed. Consider me educated.

Mingus is also killer track which also has my second favourite funny as f**k lyric and rhymes that sum up a lot of people’s opinions on politics.

There are many reasons I have been listening to Headspace over and over; its packed full of real highlights, Natural has a rather wicked love letter to women that has one of the best sing-a-longs I’ve heard in a while, but it’s almost unfair to single out individual tracks as there are just so many great tunes. I had a long chat with TH!NK about his record. He wanted to make an album that gave people a window into his head and what occupies his mind.

Surprisingly for such a well-constructed collection, he hates mixing. He talked about how his tunes evolve from samples, loops, beats and rhymes. He also talked about making tunes quickly. This was something that he’s only learnt recently; the tunes you make and put together quickly have the best energy, the ones that take too long lose their power. Headspace been two or three years in the making and TH!NK has plenty more tunes, rhymes, and styles to push. Currently making his way through South America and up to New Orleans, I am sure he will find more inspiration along the way.  Check Headspace out sharpish.

Interview: Average Andy

D Feast Logo (lofi)Alternative rockers (with a punk ethos) “Average Andy” from Glasgow have been blasting your eardrums with music since 2012. Leah Curtis from Feast had a chat with the man who started it all.

Feast – So Andy, you actually started as a solo project in 2011. What made you gather a group of lovely people to play with you?

Average Andy – I started off the Average Andy project in 2011 with the intention of building it into a band. It wasn’t until mid-2012 that I started looking for band members. I wanted my music to have a richer more full bodied sound. Although, I often play acoustic gigs I wanted to play in an Alternative Rock band, and to get that I needed band members. I have been through more band members than Spinal Tap has drummers. This was due to the fact I like to work at a fast rate and a lot of players cannot keep up. I have found that a lot of players have a pessimistic attitude to making it. I have had good musicians play within the band before but the current line-up has been the most efficient and functional so far. Everyone is a top player and I am lucky to have them on board.

Feast –  So, what made you think of the name “Average Andy”?

Average Andy – The name Average Andy came about so I could have a sort of alter ego for the music so that I was more flexible in what I could write and could keep my music and personal life a bit separate. In my opinion the to have people check out your stuff as a musician you have to have a memorable name, it has to be found easily and if you are lucky it sounds cool or is interesting. The later not that important. So I chose Average Andy as my name is Andy, the name roles of the tongue, there was no one in music using the name and the name is rather unique. It also has a punk undertone to it. The Average man doing good. Also, I thought if I called my act Average Andy I wouldn’t have to worry about being flamboyant and people thinking I was egotistical. Surprise surprise, people think I have an ego with the name. Haha! The band is called Average Andy the way Jimmy Eat World etc. have a name in the title. If you Facebook or Google search the name we dominate the first two pages.

Feast – I’ll have to check that out then! Who is/are your biggest inspiration?

Average Andy – The other band members all have a number of their own influences. Mine are David Bowie, Billy Corgan, Kurt Cobain, Johnny Cash, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel Armstrong, The Rolling Stones to name a few in the music industry. I take a lot of influence from art, books, and online media as well. A few of my favourite writers are Philip K. Dick, Terry Pratchett, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. I like the work of a number of philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Abraham Maslow and Socrates. I like Mark Twain’s work too.

Feast – Sounds awesome! Do you have a favourite record?

Average Andy – Ah…that is too hard to answer. That is like asking a musician do they have a particular air molecule they enjoying breathing. Of the top of my head, a number of albums that are albums I have enjoyed are “Hunky Dorey” by Bowie, “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Trompe Le Monde” by The Pixies, “Rated R” by Queens of The Stoneage and “The Bends” by Radiohead.

Feast – Nice! If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

Average Andy – I like the thought of self healing and anti- aging. Technology seems to be doing a decent job of that just now. Haha. Some sort of mind control that would let me tune everyone’s brain so there was no apathy and greed in the world. Tune in peoples thoughts so they can discuss ideas and come up with solutions that benefit mankind. Failing that the water to booze trick Jesus does. It would be great at parties.

Feast – Sounds cool! And finally, any advice for young people who are just starting off in a band? (Regardless of the genre of music they play)

Average Andy – Number one would have to be write good music. Let friends who are critical but who will not friends who get jealous rate your music. If you get a critical opinion from an honest bundle of friends that say your music is good then you know you are onto something. Let strangers here your music. If they like it then you know you are on the right track. Do not hang around people who are negative towards your music once you know it is good. They will only hold you back.

Second, don’t aim to be similar to a band. Aim to be better than them. It is hard to stand out nowadays and there is no point trying to be the next Paramore, Foo Fighters, Oasis etc. when there are plenty of bands like these about. Make your own sound. Take elements of sound from other bands but have your own sound. Do you want to have limited success and live in the shadow of a band or aim as high as possible?

Have an aim of where you want to be with the band. Then work back the way figuring out how to achieve this. You want to play T in the Park? Well who are the organisers and the people who will get you on the bill? Impress them. Find out which taste makes and gate keepers you need on your side and go impress them. You will need to work hard and play small gigs to build a fan base. Then play bigger gigs with known bands. Play gigs with promoters who work with the people who get you on to T in the Park and impress them. If you have several people who are respected by the organisers/people who put on T in the Park then they will check out your band and you are in the running for getting a slot.

Build a buzz for your band. At first people will not be interested in you. Keep at it. Keep building your fan base till whoever you want playing your music or writing about you has to do it because you are so popular. If you go to a local radio presenter and say that you have an online fan base of about 3,000 people and these people will probably listen to your show. Then chances are the presenter will play your track.

Build a band CV. Why should promoters, presenters, writers check you out? Good stats. If you have supported a number of known local bands, have a decent sized fan base etc. then these people will check you out and may work with you as you can sell their show, gig, online blog etc. Your band CV has to be better than 10,000 other band CV’s out there to get somewhere.

There are many other pieces of advice I can offer to bands. If you want to ask a question then feel free to PM the band on Facebook or tweet us on Twitter and we will get back to you.

The final piece of advice I will give here is DO NOT PLAY A PAY TO PLAY GIG. It is exploitation. The 90% of promoters that use this practice will not do anything to benefit your career. They actually hinder it as they will be taking away your hard earned income which you can be used to promote your band in a more efficient way. If you want to know which promoters to use around the central belt of Glasgow and the West coast of Scotland then message the band. We will share the info. We are currently working on our network around the North, East and South of Scotland too. If a gig really benefits you then play it for free. If not then expect to have a cut or be paid. DO NOT DO PAY TO PLAY GIGS. The promoter is putting money before your music.

Feast – Wow, thanks for that Andy! I’m sure a lot of people will be grateful for your advice! J

Average Andy – Thanks for the interview!

Average Andy’s upcoming gigs:

16th October 2013 – Supporting ifoundation for jogle 2014

19th October 2013 – Dundee Oxjam

27th October 2013 – Supporting “The Ratells”

You can find the boys on Facebook at:


Posted by Leah Curtis

Haddowfest & more

Hello! Edinburgh serves up a truly phenomenal feast of music this week! Haddowfest returns on Friday and Saturday with a huge number of bands playing in various venues across the city. The Rifles, The Holy Ghosts, Dry the River and We Were Promised Jetpacks are the headliners with some quality bands further down the bill including Ded Rabbit, OK Social Club, Caravan Club & Death Ape Disco. You can get all the all the info on who’s playing here at

Outside of Haddowfest Johnny Marr & Ellie Goulding both play on Tuesday night at The Picture House and Usher Hall respectively. On Wednesday one of Jim Gellatly’s new favourite bands, Universal Thee, brace the stage at Bannermans where they deliver music that has been described as “reminiscent of The Pixies at their finest”, With support coming from Headshrinker and Fishing For Seagulls it will be a memorable night. Also on Wednesday the fantastic Redolent and Ruby McKinnell play The Voodoo Rooms. Furthermore Miaoux Miaoux, John Knox Sex Club, Lanterns on the Lake, Siobhan Wilson, Kathryn Williams and Victorian Trout Conspiracy are all playing this week. Rarely does any city anywhere produce such a sumptuous line-up in just one week. Happy Gigging!

Monday 7th

Blue Embrace & Neon Tetras

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

Denys Baptiste

Usher Hall 7.30pm £16.50

Scholars & Copper Lungs

Electric Circus 7pm £6

Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm Free

Nordic Giants, Vasa & Tidings

Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £5

Tuesday 8th

Johnny Marr

Picture House 7pm £19.50

Ellie Goulding

Usher Hall 7pm £19.50

Ed Muirhead

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm

Scott Cook

Leith Folk Club 7.30pm £7

Crosscut Saw & The Diversions

Whistlebikies 8pm


Wednesday 9th

Universal Thee, Headshrinker & Fishing For Seagulls

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

Splashh, Charlie Boyer,  The Voyeurs & Deathcats

Electric Circus 7pm £9

Victorian Trout Conspiracy

The Blind Poet 10pm Free

Scotia, Redolent, The Rich & Ruby McKinnell

The Voodoo Rooms 7pm £5

Chris Finn, Let Love Rule, Kings Close & Splendid Gentlemen

Whistlebinkies 7pm

Thursday 10th

Miaoux Miaoux, Jonnie Common & Cairn String Quartet

The Pleasance 7.30pm £9

The Jim Jones Revue

The Caves 7pm £14

Bat-Bike & Fats Dominion

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

Two Wings

Wee Red Bar 7pm £6


Picture House 7pm £19.50

Friday 11th

Haddowfest 2013 Day One

Various venues around Edinburgh (

Kathryn Williams & Alex Cornish

The Caves 7pm £15

The Ramonas

Electric Circus 7pm £8

John Knox Sex Club & Over The Wall

The Pleasance 7.30pm £6

The Spook School & Plastic Animals

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

The Rifles & The Holy Ghosts

Picture House 6.30pm £15

Saturday 12th

Haddowfest 2013 Day Two

Various venues around Edinburgh (

Ahab, Matt Norris and the Moon & The Blind Dog

Electric Circus 7pm £7

Brown Brogues

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

Rick Redbeard, Honeyblood, Law & Siobhan Wilson

The Pleasance  7.30pm £7

Lipsync For A Lullaby,  Your Loyal Subjects & Numbers Are Futile

The Voodoo Rooms 8pm £4

The Canyon & The Scabby Queen

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

Sunday 13th

Lanterns On The Lake

Electric Circus 7pm £8

Culture Shock, Roots System, Big Fat Panda & Random Scandal

Citrus Club 7pm £10

Hooded Priest, Arkham Witch, Iron Void & Atragon

Bannermans Rock Club 7pm £6

The Simon Brett Band & Bannockburn

Whistlebinkies 9pm

Warsaw Village Band

The Jam House 7pm

Gig Listings 30th September- 6th October

Greetings and Fàilte! Another week of quality gigs coming up in Edinburgh this week. Amongst the big names in town this week are Laura Mvula, 2013 Glastonbury debutants Everything Everything and Ex-Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell.

At the Usher Hall on Tuesday night is Joy Division Reworked, an ‘Electro-Orchestral reinterpretation’ of Joy Division’s best work ‘delivered in a unique audio-visual manner’. Having drawn many comparisons with Biffy Clyro and Jimmy Eat World Belfast’s best More Than Conquerers rock up in town at Sneaky Pete’s on Saturday night. Following on from spontaneous gigs in their local Asda (seriously, google it if you don’t believe me) Jamie and Shoony play the Liquid Rooms with Kooks-esque catchiness. Finally, for anyone out there who is a fan of Celtic Trad, you know who you are – you tell your housemates that you were channel flicking and just happened by chance to stop on BBC Alba, then Corran Raa are a must see. They formed, somewhat inevitably for a Trad band, on an uninhabited Hebridean Island and have had people jigging on both sides of the Atlantic ever since. So, once again, Dùn Èideann gives us a giant eclectic musical hug! Happy Gigging!

Monday 30th

Laura Mvula
Queens Hall 7pm £15
CJ Boyd, Mikael Lind & Convex Mancave
The Banshee Labyrinth 8pm £5
Dead Meadow
Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £8
Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage
Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm Free
Muckle Flugga
Whiski Bar 9.30pm Free

Tuesday 1st
Joy Division Reworked
Usher Hall 8pm £18.50
Johnny Borrell, Zazou, Pat Dan Smyth & Z Berg
Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £10
Greg Trooper
Leith Folk Club 7.30pm £9
The Twang & Jaws
Electric Circus 7pm £14
The White Wizard, Monument & Toledo Steel
The Banshee Labyrinth 7pm

Wednesday 2nd
Gramme & Digital Jones
Electric Circus 7pm £7
Adam Holmes & The Embers
The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm
The Jazz Bar 8pm £7
Corran Raa
Edinburgh Folk Club 8pm £10
The Imperfectionists
The Jazz Bar 6pm Free

Thursday 3rd
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £7.50
Happy Chichester & New Killer Shoes
The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £8
The Revellers & Scaramanga
Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £5
Future Heroes
The Jazz Bar 11.30pm £3
Paul Gilbody & Siobhan Wilson
The Jazz Bar 9pm £5

Friday 4th
Trevino & Wasted Days
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5
Jamie and Shoony
The Liquid Room 7pm
The Little Kicks, King Eider &The Book Group
Wee Red Bar 7pm £5
Lorraine and The Borderlands
42 Royal Park Terrace 7pm
Let’s Say We Did, Et Tu Brute?! & Zed Penguins
Henry’s Cellar Bar 7.30pm £5

Saturday 5th
Johnny Flynn
The Pleasance 7pm £17
The Moon Kids, Huevo and The Giant, Sunset Abbey & THe Haar
Cabaret Voltaire 7.30pm £8
More Than Conquerers & A Fight You Can’t Win
Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £5
Spear Of Destiny
Electric Circus 7pm £13.50
Everything Everything
The Liquid Room 7pm £15

Sunday 6th
Sleeping With Sirens, The Summer Set, Hands Like House & The Getaway Plan
The Picturehouse 7pm £16
The Sunday Sinners
The Jazz Bar 11.30pm £3
Sister Sin, Honeycomb & Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £8
The Jensen Interceptors & South
The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £8
Bannermans Open Mic
Bannermans Rock Club 3pm Free

Gig Listing 23rd-29th September

Gig Listings 23rd – 29th September

Hello! There is a very international flavour to the gigs in Edinburgh this week. Auld Reekie plays host to a Maltese Death Metal band (Abysmal Torment), Norwegian Punk (Honningbarna), French Indie-Pop (Melanie Pain) and intentionally absurd Ska music from the Balkans (Bobok). Incidentally, Bobok claim that some of their music is inspired by “the absence of bananas in Siberian concentration camps” – obviously a burning issue in North Eastern Europe. Furthermore, some very big fish in the music world stop by to share their talent with us. English Folkster Laura Marling, US Guitar Virtuoso Joe Bonamassa, Brit-Pop survivor Tim Burgess and Scottish Album of the Year award winner RM Hubbert are all in town this week. Some head scratching decision making and rearranging of diaries appears to be in store for all of us. Happy Gigging!

Monday 23rd

The Primitives

Electric Circus 7pm £10

Fighting Fiction

Opium 7.30pm

Coldroad, Kings Gambit & Southpaws

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

Akord, Mountains Under Oceans, We came From The North & Alphasky

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm

Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7.30pm Free

Tuesday 24th


Electric Circus 7pm £6

Joe Bonamassa

The Edinburgh Playhouse 7pm £36-£76

Sarah Slean & Unkle Bob

The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £10

Violent Whispers, Lieutenant Tango & The Diversions

Whistlebinkies 8pm Free


Leith Folk Club (Victoria House Hotel) 7.30pm £7

Wednesday 25th

Laura Marling

Usher Hall 7pm £17.50

Tim Burgess, Hatcham Social &Velveteen Saints

The Pleasance 7.30pm £15.50

Beans On Toast

The Voodoo Rooms £7.30pm £6

Hanzel Und Gretel, Deadcell & Metaltech

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £9

Chris Finn, Tombstone & Splendid Gentlemen

Whistlebinkies 7pm Free


Thursday 26th

RM Hubbert, Aidan Moffat & Craig B

Electric Circus 7pm £8


Wee Red Bar 7pm £5

Abysmal Torment, Inveracity & Neuroma

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £10

Trace Bundy & Kat Healy

The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £9

Future Heroes

The Jazz Bar 11.30pm £3

Friday 27th

The Media Whores, The New Shmoo, Satellites, The Minionz, Columbia, The Signals, High Priority & Bond Jovi

The Liquid Room £5 6pm

Gerry Jablonski And The Electric Band & Main Street Blues

The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £8.50

Harvey Lanes, Cowboy Horrorshow & Dancing Mice

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

AC Rid, The Omega Corridor & RJ Feathers Blues Band

Wee Red Bar 7pm £5

Billy Letford, The Wellgreen & Linden

Summerhall (The Meadows) 7pm £7

Saturday 28th

The Wynd

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

Ben Poole

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £8

Melanie Pain

Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £12

Shock And Awe

Citrus Club 7pm £5

Led Astray

Electric Circus 7pm £8

Sunday 29th

John Gomm & Kat Healy

Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £10

Spirit Kick, Rothschilde & Southpaws

Whistlebinkies 9pm Free


Bannermans Rock Club 3pm Free

Bedford Falls

Barony Bar 7.30pm Free

Joanna & Ged Milroy

Dalriada 3pm Free

Posted by James Scott


Live Review – WIRE at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

King Tuts Glasgow
Wire do not reform as do other groups from the past, they reconvene. This has happened two or three times in fact since their illustrious beginnings, coinciding with the emergence of punk in the 1970’s. Three great albums were released starting with Pink Flag in 1977, quickly followed by Chairs Missing in 1978 and 154 in 1979, each wildly different from the other. If you’ve never heard these albums then the tracks below will give you a taste of their unique approach to music making.

After the release 154, Wire wrote songs which sadly never saw the light of day. This has now been corrected with the recent release of Change Becomes Us, a re-working of many of these songs which effectively would’ve been their fourth album.

At Kings Tuts tonight they showcase a handful of songs from this album including the mighty “Stealth of a Stork”, “Adore Your Island” and “Magic Bullet”. These are interspersed with tracks spanning their whole career to date from Pink Flag to 2011’s Red Barked Tree. Many of tonights songs such as the wonderful “Map Ref”, from Chairs Missing, clock in at under four minutes which demonstrate a restless energy within the band to continually push the boundaries of angular guitar pop.

Wire also included new tracks in their set due to be released on a new album in 2014, “Blogging for Jesus” and “ Flying Dutchman” which drove one member of the audience to chant for more familiar songs which Wire clearly had no intention of playing, causing Colin Newman to retort “someones only heard one Wire song”. There is no room for sentiment in Wire songs and the band don’t hang about on stage with either tuning up or exchanging pleasantries with the audience. Theirs is generation punk – existential.

Your Five A Day Feast!

Gig Listings 16th-22nd September

Monday 16th

Alistair Griffin: The York based singer-Songwriter continues his Foodbank Tour in which he donates his gig earnings to foodbanks across the UK in association with the Trussel Trust

The Outhouse 7.30pm £10

Joe Pug & Aaron Fyfe

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £7.70

Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7.30pm Free

Amy Dawson

Captains Bar 8.30pm Free


Earl of Marchmont 9pm Free

Tuesday 17th

Mick Hargan & Rachel Ann Weiss

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm

Stevi Zafani, Otoban & Splendid Gentlemen

Whistlebinkies 8pm Free

Knox and Ion

Usher Hall 11am £3

Sarah McQuaid

Victoria Park House Hotel 7.30pm £9

The Songwriters Cellar

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm Free

Wednesday 18th

The Magic Numbers: The Stodart and Gannon siblings continue to deliver indie-pop of the catchiest calibre. With six Top 40 singles and three Top 40 albums already under their belts The Magic Numbers have managed to mantain popularity without major publicity.

The Pleasance 7.30pm £15.50

The Foo Birds

Wee Red Bar 7pm £4

Brave Yesterday

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £4

Jim Malcolm

Edinburgh Folk Club 8pm £10

Jack Badcock & Ciaran Ryan

Captains Bar 8.30pm Free

Thursday 19th

RM Hubbert, Aidan Moffat, Rick Redbeard & More

The Jam House 7pm £10

Human is Not Alone: Fat Goth, United Fruit, Hey Enemy & Vasquez

Electric Circus 7.30pm £6

Let’s Play God

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £4

New Urban Frontier, Makak & Wavy Blue

Henry’s Cellar Bar 8pm £5

Mr McFall’s Chamber

The Liquid Room 7pm £14

Friday 20th

Caravan Club, Black Riot Valves, The Rhemedies & The Litigators

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £6

Big Fat Panda & Post Oragasmic Sunshine Band

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

Dapitz, Subvision, The Phlegm &Last Stand

Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm £5

Full Moon Freaks, The Pumpin Jehsofatz & The Bloodslugs

Wee Red Bar 7pm £5

The Wave Pictures & Miracle Strip

The Pleasance 8pm £7

Saturday 21st

Boyce Avenue

The Liquid Room 7pm £25

Cullan, Donny Willow, Miasma & The Saccharines

Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £5

Exit Calm & Delta Machine

Electric Circus 7pm £7

Mechanical Arms, Vertebrea & These Fading Polaroids

Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £5

Stuart Davis

Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £7

Sunday 22nd

65daysofstatic & Sleepmakeswaves: Since releasing their debut album, The Fall of Math, to critical acclaim in 2004, 65daysofstatic have been peculiarly under the radar. They play The Liquid Room as part of a small UK Tour to promote their fifth studio album Wild Light.

The Liquid Room 7pm £13.50

Royal Southern Brotherhood

The Caves 7pm £17.50

Sea Bass Kid & Macpolvo

Whistlebinkies 9.30pm Free

Absent Friends

Finnegans Wake 10pm Free

Fintan Hunt & Ray Considine

Malones 5pm Free

Posted by James Scott

Linkylea Festival 2013 – Review

Linkylee LogoWell… I am not going to write about everything I did, rather I am going to write about what I can remember. Linkylea is a small boutique festival situated for the first time this year in Coulstoun Estate, near Haddington. It has been running for about nine years and it’s a charity festival with all the profits going to disadvantaged children and young adults in Gwalior, India – so far it has raised around £35000.

Its run from Friday teatime till the wee small hours, and Saturday all day till about 3am. You can camp from Friday till Sunday morning, or drop in fresh and clean for Saturday when the festival is in full swing. On site there are two stages for bands, a dance tent and several other activities and stalls for adults and kids. I could only make it for a couple of hours on Friday night which was a real shame, but I did catch Jamie & Shoony who were fantastic. They are Radio Forth’s “one to watch” of 2012, and you can see why as they have great stage presence and some really catchy tunes. I caught up with “&” from Jamie & Shoony, who is drummer Richard Neil, and hopefully Feast will be doing some recording with these guys soon.



Later on I had a wander around and caught up with a few of the bands playing on Friday and Saturday and most of them were camping despite the torrential rain on Friday night. I also popped into the dance tent and caught up with the Chappel Perilous Sound System crew who have had a busy summer supplying their humungous sound system for Linkylea, Audiosoup and Glastonbury. I was really disappointed not to the catch Battle of the Zoo later but they were on well past my bedtime. I heard they had an absolute blinder of a set.

I arrived on Saturday to sunshine and I managed to stay for about 7 hours and catch so much more that Friday. I saw a few songs by Folk Rag who had some beautifully crafted songs with truly lovely vocals and harmonies from Pete and Lisalot. I chatted to David from the band and again we are looking forward to working with these guys in the future. I also had the pleasure of bumping into promoter Steven Mackay who is always great company and always involved in looking for new music. He introduced me to Georgia Gordon who has a wonderful voice and played a sweet set .If you are a sucker for singer/songwriters, Georgia is very good indeed. I couldn’t be everywhere at once and there were just too many musicians I missed. Shuna Cook got great feedback when I asked around and I look forward to hear more of her stuff when it comes out – she could be one to watch.

Feast had brought a couple of bands to the festival and I cannot over-emphasize how good they both were. When Man of Moon played they created such a spell on the audience that by the end there was a crowd chant of their name. Mike and Chris are such talented song writers and musicians and Feast is really looking forward to working with them on a couple of videos and their debut E.P. which should be coming out early next year.



Redolent rather honourably swapped sets with Man of Moon due to Chris having to split early.  Three of the band had camped on Wet Friday but this had not dampened their spirits. By the time they came on at 7pm, they hit the ground running. I have seen them about three times and they have only played about 20 gigs. Even still, they are getting better each time. Still a wee bit shy onstage but with such great sounding tracks and skill they just keep getting better and better. I know I am a sucker for new music with strong vocals and layers of talent because that what Redolent have.  The front of house mix by Brian Jones (an ex-student of Edinburgh College) was the best I have heard from these guys, and it made all their songs sound magnificent.

RED 51


There were so many other highlights from Linkylea but I am sorry to say I missed the Stagger Rats, the Merrylees and the Victorian Trouts which was a real shame. You can never catch all the bands you want when you go to a festival.

I would like to thank so many people for making Linklylea so brawsome; Bonnie , Callum, Granny Radge, and many more,  have wokered so hard to built such a cool festival.

I would however like to give special thanks to all the students and ex-students from Edinburgh College who did such a good job running the sound for both tents, playing on stage, and photographing the whole thing. You know who you are and you were all great.

I salute you all and look forward to keeping on working together. Well done.ß

Edinburgh Gig Listings 9th-15th September

Monday 9th

Lach’s Antihoot Open Stage
Henry’s Cellar Bar 7.30pm Free
Ross Arthur
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £4
Ewan Forfar
Captain’s Bar 8.30pm Free
Graeme E. Pearson
Black Bull 9pm Free
Ken Johnston
White Hart Inn 9pm Free

Tuesday 10th

The View, OK Social Club & Radio 1’s Ally McCrae: Mercury Nominated The View look to cement their place in the hearts of a new generation of indie music fans at this year’s Freshers week. Expect the usual catchy songs and guitar riffs blended with onstage hijinks. Support provided by Edinburgh’s up and coming OK Social Club with the event hosted by BBC Radio’s Ally McCrae.
Potterow Venue 8pm £10

Greg Kristine, The Rich & The Diversions
Whistlebinkies 8pm
Craig Finnie & Friends
The Blind Poet 9pm Free
Declan Hegarty
Black Bull 9pm Free
Martina Cannon
Ale House 9.30pm Free

Wednesday 11th

Adrian Boyle, The Litigators & Matt Stockl: Having built up a cult following in his native Ireland, Adrian Boyle makes his live UK Debut. The Litigators deliver a modern take on 60s Blues/Rock with Scottish swagger and Matt Stockl continues to charm his audiences with soulful and somewhat strange musical outpourings.
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £5

Stu Larsen & Natsuki Kurai
The Caves 7pm £7.95
Chris Finn, Clash Livi Rockers & Splendid Gentlemen
Whistlebinkies 7pm
Second Hand
Malones 10pm Free
Andy McCabe
Mitre 9.30pm Free

Thursday 12th

The Deep Red Sky, Al Shields & The Blind Dog
The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £5
Ryan Morcombe, Big Tuna & Glamour and the Baybes
Whistlebinkies 7pm Free
The Scams, King Lizard, Fuzz Drivers & Pyscho Sunday
Bannermans Rock Club 7pm £6
Justin Currie
The Queens Hall 7pm £20
Freshers week Student Band Night
Teviot, Underground 8pm Free

Friday 13th

Old Earth, Hiva Oa & Mat Riviere: This trio of acts delivers low key experimental electronica/indie that falls somewhere in the bracket between Spiritualized and Jónsi Þór Birgisson.
Henry’s Cellar Bar 7pm

Stubborn Heart
Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £6
Bluesoul, Joy & Superhouse
Whistlebinkies 7pm £4
Propaganda Rock n’ Roll Party
The Liquid Rooms 10.30pm
Murray Sim, Aimee Russell & Megan Swanson
Cabaret Voltaire 7pm £5

Saturday 14th

The Rhemedies & Support
The Citrus Club 7pm £8
Adam Stafford, Thank You So Nice & Et Tu Brute???
The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm £6
Warrior Soul, Ritual Spirit, I.C.O.N &Paper Beats Rock
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £11
Ged Hanley Trio, Safehouse & U Know How
Whistlebinkies 7pm
The Martyn Bennett Prize Concert
The Queen’s Hall 8pm £15

Sunday 15th

Pumajaw, Candythief & Jo Foster (Single Launch Party)
The Voodoo Rooms 7.30pm Free
The Falling Rain, Red Command & Ale Shores
Sneaky Pete’s 7pm £5
The Russ Tippins Band
Bannermans Rock Club 8pm £8
Richt Hoat Chillis & Bannockburn
Whistlebinkies 9.30pm Free
We’re Not Iguanas
Blind Poet 10pm Free

Posted by James Scott

Interview – Julian Ruppel, Sound Technician

Blazing lights, the stamping of feet, the clapping of hands, the music that gives you Goosebumps. The crowd fixated on the band taking the stage. But what about the people that make it happen?  Leah Curtis at Feast had a chat with Julian Ruppel, a young sound technician from Germany, about what it’s like to work in the job.
1. Hi Julian! A lot of people know you as the sound technician for the Stuttgart Metalcore band “We Set Our Dreams”. How did this come about?
Hi Leah! Yes, you’re right. I met the boys at a gig that they were playing, and where I was booked to do the live sound. Something sparked between us and since then I’ve been on the road with them and did the sound for them at their EP release show in March.
2. Wow! You went on tour with the boys when they released that EP (Humanity). How was it for you?

I had a great time with the boys. During the tour, the relationship between us changed from job to friendship. I enjoy being on the road with them. It was nice to see that the time they put into “Humanity” really paid off, it’s a great EP with great songs.
3. You created your own Events Company (Stay True), which came about whilst you were still doing an apprenticeship and working part time at a venue. Was it hard to juggle all of these things at once?
It was alright. “Stay True” is primarily a project to be able to show what I can do, to apply myself as a sound technician, but also to be able to put on shows that aren’t too expensive, but still have an amazing line-up. But I spent a lot of my free time on it, so it wasn’t too hard to do everything.
4. How long have you been doing this kind of thing? What made you want to get into the job?

I’ve been doing it for nine years now. Back when I first started it was the technical side and my interest n music that got me into it. I don’t play an instrument, so I started on the mixing desk and found out that I enjoyed it.
5. Sounds great! Is it sometimes difficult to work with bands or are there any arguments with members of the gig audience?
It’s only difficult when the bands get it into their heads that what the sound guy is saying means nothing and then don’t listen to you. That’s where there’s sometimes an argument. I never really get into arguments with members of the audience, most of the time they just complain about how loud it is (and these are the people who are standing right next to the PA, so it’s no wonder) or they’re just drunk and endanger the equipment with drinks.
6. One last question. Do you have any advice for any budding sound technicians?
Don’t let anyone tell you how to work. Everyone has their own way and “style” of how the do it.
Thank you for your time Julian! I wish you all the best and good luck!
No problem! Was a pleasure and thank you!

Posted by Leah Curtis

T in the Park

Feast put their party hats on and headed up to Sunday’s T in The Park, to celebrate the 20th birthday of the Balado behemoth which baked in glorious sunshine. There was a definite fiesta to be had!

The festival has come under a lot of criticism for it’s recent line up with fans blasting the increasing commercial and X- factor pop contingent, however there were some great bands playing, and an array of fantastic new Scottish talent was showcased over the weekend.

Deap Vally had an early start, looking like a rock n roll, trailer version of Thelma & Louise, they played their take on White Stripes stripped back, blues rock riffage, with tracks such as Walk of Shame and Baby I Call Hell were greeted by loud hollers from the hungover crowd.
On the main stage Earth, Wind and Fire got the crowd dancing to ‘Boogie Wonderland’ and several disco hits, some would say a strange booking, but people ran from all directions to dance in the dusty sunshine disco.

We popped by to see The 1975, to be met with a heaving tent and from what we saw ‘Chocolate’, The 1975 look to be another band who could do well once their debut album drops.
Disclosure could easily be dismissed as remashed deep house, however the brothers delivered a strong set of their own material, which the young crowd sung back with loud exuberance. Tracks such as ‘White Noise’ in which Aluna of AlunaGeorge dropped by to was lapped up with wild abandon.

The ascendant of Chvrches over the past year has been quite remarkable, and one that looks set to continue with a dramatic and energetic performance, showcasing from their forthcoming electro synth pop debut album. The next big Scottish export for sure.

Foals are another band who look likely to soon be stepping up the headline big league, but unfortunately the crowd seemed largely uninterested with the band’s soaring angular indie, and preferred to clap politely and wait for David Guetta…

Dundee’s Fat Goth also put in a notable performance , drawing a large crowd to the T Break stage. A fast rock band with slithers of metal, delivering loud, raw riffs. The trio powered through tracks from their debut Stud. Energetic and visceral, Fat Goth should be the next Dundee band on everyone’s lips.

Stand out performance of the day was New Yoik’s juggernaut Yeah Yeah Yeah’s who stormed through their headline set at the King Tut’s tent with Karen O delivering a electrifying performance as a red Majorette minx.

Launching straight into Sacrilege and Gold Lion it was intense spiky introduction, the YYY’s stamping their arrival and leaving the indie kids in a heaving, sweaty mess. The band trail blazed through their back catalogue with Cold Light, Heads Will Roll and Miles Away all receiving a fevered welcome.

Ending with Zero and returning on stage with THAT jacket, a touching Maps and a snarling finale of Date with the Night, the YYY’s delivered a blistering set full of proper rock n roll, which the heaving crowd lapped up, and ended with Karen O shoving the mic down her pants. Exhilarating.

That was it for the day, as Feast made their way through the site, bodies and bottles strewn from the aftermath of the four-day bender, the booming voice over the tannoy announcing next year’s ticket sales, just moments after the fireworks overhead finished. Party overkill Mr. Ellis, and we left wondering if the thousands left would accept their ‘invite’ to next year’s party?

Live review, Young Fathers, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre.

photo (8)Young Fathers were on thunderous form when we walked in on the second song of their first Great Escape set. Since I last heard them a couple of years ago these four guys from Edinburgh have taken on a darker sound but this makes their performance all the more compelling and the energy that they attacked this gig with was so gobsmacking that no other artist we saw at the Great Escape festival over the three days came close to this sort of intensity. Tribal beats, super tight rapping, sparkling almost boy band-like harmonies and powerful lead vocals made this set genuinely exciting and even unexpectedly moving.

Pirate Sons – E.P Lauch:223U

PS SmallIf you look at the picture that come with press pack the untrained eye can spot a few tell tall signs that the band like to party. Beer in hand, an emptied glass on the floor, a discreet hip flask. All the band are smoking and I think one of them might be wearing a fur coat with not much else on. I am not sure if this is a pre-party shot are this is how the guys look after a 24 hour bender, cause I know Pirate Sons can play hard. I think they can party hard as well.

They have built up a solid reputation since they formed in 2012 and although they have had a few changes in line up they are settled with the current team of Guitarist and Vocalist Ceallaigh Corbishley, who moved over from New Zealand in October 2011, Drummer Angus Ross joined in january 2012, and new addition Bass player Tom Diaz who joined Pirate Sons after living with the other guys for 6 months in a flat they shared..

Pirate Sons image


This flat is the inspiration for their E.P and with songs like Dirty Dirty Rascals I can only shudder to think of the kind of crazy s**t they got up in their time. The E.P. is jammed packed with rock n’ roll tracks inspired by the likes of the Blacks Keys, Iggy Pop and the White Strips and with the songs being recorded on 2″ tape and Chambers Studio, and the restriction of 24 tracks (compared to the unlimited tracks available in the digital age), has helped the band print a tight sounding record. They are already making a name for themselves north of the border and moving in the same circles as the likes of Glasvegas and Wet Nuns, Pirate Sons are serious rock n’ roll players with an attitude to match.






End of Neil – Crossing the river in my sleep

End Of NeilAcoustic/Folk singer songwriter End of Neil stopped in at Edinburgh College’s SSL studio’s lately to record his track ‘Crossing the river in my sleep’ and shoot a session video with Edinburgh Undersound.

The highly talented Stirling based artist is a prolific gigger, usually a date every week or so in his home town or Edinburgh. Check his diary out; he has dates up until the end of December so I’m sure you can catch him at some point! When playing live he has a stripped back set usually, but for this session Neil played all the instruments, drums and vocal parts.

After initially hearing Neil’s music I was hooked, he has a natural ability to write clever, catchy songs with solid tight instrumentation behind him. Be sure to check out his latest work ‘My Games’, it’s an awesome piece of work.

For the release there will be three tracks and a Session video (shot by UndersoundTV).  There will be the original song, an arrangement with added Piano/Cello overdubs and a track with the addition of Scottish emcee ‘TF’ currently working with Undersound Records.  Neil has created some unique, beautiful artwork specifically for the single release also.

Neil is very creative, naturally talented musician who was great to work with. Be sure to check out his page for the upcoming release.

Check out his work @ +

Undersound Sessions at

Check TF’s debut EP out at

Tracks recorded, Mixed and Mastered by James Bowie + Darren Knox (Edinburgh College)

TF feature Track mixed and mastered by Undersound Records.

Live Review – Fatherson @ Dome Studio Theatre and the Prince Albert

IMG_1024Glad to have caught Fatherson at TGE. Saw them at the Dome Theatre in the afternoon and then the more intimate Prince Albert at night. Different size venues can affect the power and effect of a song meaning that some bands are often only suited to one type/size of venue. However, no such problems for Fatherson. The smaller venue adds more intensity to their songs whilst the larger venue allows more space to appreciate the dynamics and the emotional impact of their set. Their power and intensity remind me of the wonderful Swervedriver and lyrically I’m reminded of the writing of Iain Banks.

Live Review – Blue Hawaii @ The Old Ship Paganini Ballroom

IMG_1024 Love this proper old ballroom, more suited to Bach recitals but used today by Hype Machine to promote Blue Hawaii amongst others. Best show so far after Young Fathers. Blue Hawaii combine emotional lyrical content,looping vocals and deep Detroit style techno with a European dance aesthetic. Like combining Deepchord with Grimes. Really groovy.

Live Review – Thumpers @ Komedia Downstairs, The Great Escape

IMG_1024 Sometimes its best to just walk in on a band with no preconceived ideas about what they look or sound like. And so we happened upon Thumpers. Funny how a band can lift your spirits whilst another band can leave you despondent. We approached Komedia with dampened spirits but Thumpers picked us right back up with their tight vibrant groove mixed with catchy five-part harmonies. A brilliant drummer almost navigated each songs path, invigorating and infectious. Great. Komedia Downstairs is a great venue and the best at TGE.

Live Review-The Elwins@The Blind Tiger, Great Escape.

IMG_1024 First band to see @ The Great Escape are the vibrant and uplifting Elwins. Thursday afternoon and the band and audience are up for this Toronto band’s angular take on pop. A bit like Vampire Weekend meets Orange Juice. Great start to the festival. Will look out for them when they come back in October.

Live Review: The Dark Jokes+Big Fat Panda+ Victorian Trout Conspiracy .

Liquid Rooms LogoI arrived during the opening set with a confused look of wonder on my face. The dark stage was lit up by a few spotlights, setting an ominous atmosphere. My ears were alerted to the ambient instrumentation of the opening act delivered by the shaking bass vibes that shot up my spine. I had previously heard of the Dark Jokes but until now was unfamiliar with their sound, maybe even guilty of judging a book by its cover and pegging a band because of the connotations the name had. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren’t what I had bargained for but exceeded all expectations I had previously.

The instrumentation they used really separates this band’s sound from most bands in the local scene. Their sound is truly captivating; it is wide and ambient with a real energy and depth but at time’s can be darker and heavier whilst maintaining the elements that are synonymous with their ability to engage with their audience. The string section rolls off the back of the soft and beautifully delivered vocal melodies.  This opens up the sound of the band’s diversity gripping the attention of the listener and forcing them to take notice, something I felt as soon as I arrived at the gig.

D J 2


The band played to a fairly empty room however they were able to fill out the fallow space with their powerful sound, so much so that I was unaware of the crowd gathering throughout the set.  I still had no idea who this band were and felt hypnotised by their energy.  They had a dark stage presence which fits with the sound and really sparked my interest. So much so that I had to ask a random person next to me; “who is this band?”, I was met with a sense  of agreeable surprise.  The penny just dropped. In a way, I was regretting not listening to this band before now but also felt a stronger connection with them as I first experienced them without any pre-existing judgements or expectations, which may have influenced my decision on them.

D P 1

Next came the cheers of; “BIG FAT PANDA, BIG FAT PANDA!!” as the Ska outfit took to the stage. I have always been sceptical when it comes to traditional Ska bands as a whole really, it’s something I feel has been done for a long time, there’s lots of similar bands out there and in my opinion they all stick to a similar structure. Big Fat Panda however are at the top of their game and delivered a wild, upbeat set to a growing crowd in The Liquid Rooms, they put on a fantastic show. Although, sticking to the traditional sound of Ska I think the tightness and stage presence of the band make them stand out as THE Ska band to take notice of in the city. Comprising of a brass, keys, guitars and a larger than life lead vocal… in all manners! This band will, without a doubt, get you moving.

Having watched the second act’s full set I felt VTC would have to really up the game to follow such an energetic, tight support act. The emotions on stage were visually strong; one thing that stood out to me was the bands enjoyment whilst playing to the crowd. They looked like they were having just as much fun as the fans, charming the mob with their set.

The venue filled out for headliners The Victorian Trout Conspiracy, there was ten band members in total! It was clear who the fans had come to see this evening. I had never before experienced The Trout’s; the reputation the band has in the city was enough to excite me for their performance.

You cannot put this band into a category, what if a friend asks; “What kind of music is it?” You have two choices; find a new friend or get into a ten minute discussion on how a band with so many members and varying influences can be pinned down by one genre. There is a clear heavy Ska influence; however, this is not a straight up Ska band. The complex song structures are reminiscent of some Punk, Rock and even Surf music. They use various melodies within one track, different sections that other bands may use to write various compositions, giving me the strong impression of musical dexterity within the collective. There are elements of Reggae and Blues in places you just would not expect. One attribute to the band I can highlight is the unbelievable crowd participation they have whilst on stage. The Trout’s had the crowd energetically thriving from start to finish mouthing lyrics to favourites ‘Cider bam’ and ‘Super Duper Electric Scooter’.


After a storming set the band returned to the stage for a well-deserved encore playing a medley of ‘Tarantula’, ‘Slam’ and ‘Propane Nightmare’s by Pendulum. The place literally went off. The energy in the room was elevated back up to a higher level than before as the crowd went wild for one last dance.

As the lights came on and the crowd dispersed it was clear that all these different people from various walks of life were mutually united under one roof to experience the captivating sound of The Victorian Trout Conspiracy.

Do not go and see this band… Don’t do it! Unless you want to find yourself totally obsessed, scouring the net for the next month for material and upcoming gig dates! Once you have experienced a live show from the VTC you may find yourself at a loss next time you find yourself at a local venue. Unless they’re on the bill of course!

Mon the Trouts’

Edinburgh Undersound. X

“Tonights The Night”


Yes as the great Neil Young said, tonights the night as we host an extravaganza of musical delights as 7 new labels launch their debut singles from their first artists. Chaos may ensue but hopefully everything will go to plan or thereabouts (fingers crossed). Should be a great night.

The Cosmonauts with their energetic guitar riffs, atmospheric cello and lyrics that resonate, bringing the passion and excitement of a bygone era bang up to date with a heart pounding crash.

The Well Rested - music made by Oliver Ninnis, James Albon and Tim Davey with a mic tied to a cymbal stand by a sock.

Hotel India and their pop/rock/psychedelia/indie groove

Onetzu – after his childhood, raised by wolves and fundamentalist protestants in the wilderness, Onetzu arrived in Edinburgh, made himself a microphone out of tin cans, old shoes and bits of discarded furniture. He’s never been the same since – rapper’s delight!

The Maybes - a guitar based band from the South Side of Glasgow

Silvertongue – 22 year old emcee, born in the Highlands. Now lives in Edinburgh.

Panda Trap - Alternative rock band from Perth

See you at the bar for a few shandys!!

Live Review Pere Ubu at Mono, Glasgow

Mono Glasgow

35 years ago Pere Ubu released a truly great album, The Modern Dance and were hailed as one of the leading art rock bands. 2013 sees the release of their 17th studio album, The Lady from Shanghai and the UK tour to promote the album brings the band and FEAST to Mono in Glasgow. Bandleader David Thomas is in playful mood tonight entertaining the audience with a monologue of the bands extensive touring plans which includes ’17 nights at Wembley Arena’!
Half the set tonight is taken from the latest album which Thomas has described as “dance music, fixed.” Indeed there is a four-to-the-floor feel to some of the tracks such as “Thanks” which takes off from Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” and “Free White”. The set kicks off in a similar manner with “Love Love Love” from arguably one of their best albums, Cloudland. The band have always subverted and played around with the concepts of rock’n’roll and this is evident tonight in the half dozen songs they play from their back catalogue including great renditions of “The Modern Dance” and “Misery Goats”.
Thomas’ unique charisma and satiric wit are intact and he is in rare form throughout, just sounding like he’s having a great old time and it’s good to witness the band again, still magical, cogent and coherent .

Victorian Trout Conspiracy: E.P Launch

VTC ThumbnailI think I’m busy. I mean I got three kids, a full time job, and I write this stuff in between. Don’t worry, I not soul searching its that I just got off the phone with Phil from the Victorian Trout Conspiracy and he’s a busy man. If you haven’t heard of them, you will no doubt be wondering about their name. WTF the VTC?


I prefer to think it has hidden meaning but Phil said the name sort of came to him after walking up Leith Walk. The power of Leith! Born from several Edinburgh bands, the main members Phil Ramsey, Fraser Fulton, Rhuaridh Turner and Calum Mason expanded to the whopping 10 piece they are today. Sometimes they play as a duo, sometimes a five piece, and sometimes the mighty deca-bonus-band-ten-piece. Since March 2012, when they got together, they have so far have played over 150 shows (and still racking em up) all over Scotland including Edinburgh’s HMV Picture House and Glasgow’s QMU, also not forgetting having already had multiple SELL OUT gigs here in their home town of Edinburgh.

After seeing them on a number of occasions, I can definitely say that this has made them a very, very, tight live band. Their gigs are real events and the last one at the Annexe had a free after-show party where all the audience where invited. That’s a band who knows how to look after the fans, give them value for money, and give them a night to remember.


VTC Ticket


Next week on the 2nd they play Edinburgh’s excellent Liquid Rooms. Promoting their new EP (recorded with Feast’s help, fact fans) which was engineered and produced by Jim White, it’s a 4 track that showcases Trouts’ sound; big, bold, catchy, energetic, and full of life. These guys are serious about what they do as the gig also launches their merchandising range. It’s time to buy your VTC t-shirts.

Here is a slice of what’s coming up for the Trouts in May alone:
2nd May Liquid Room, Edinburgh
10th May at Box, Glasgow
17th May, Brixton Hootananny, London
18th May, Mau Mau, London

In the summer they are playing a mammoth 11 festivals from the north of England and throughout Scotland. They have a long term ambition to touring America and with this much drive you feel like anything is possible for the Victorian Trout Conspiracy. Told you they were busy.

Live Review- Furrow, Henry’s Cellar Bar

Henrys LogoThey practice in a caravan in a field apparently. Despite the rural sounding name (and practice room), Shropshire based band Furrows are a long way from the folky, pastoral vibes you might expect from such surroundings. To describe their music I’m going to refer to the talent spotting checklist I had made up especially for the evening:

Number 1- Drummer should thwack the floor tom like he is trying to dispatch a wild hare to the great carrot field in the sky with a single swipe of his drumstick.

Number 2- Drummer should sing as well as playing kit. Actually, ideally should sound like Mark E Smith doing an impression of Karen Carpenter singing ‘Blue Monday’.

Number 3- Must be a duo featuring only bass drums & vocals. Absolutely no six stringed instruments, trumpets or keyboards.

Furrow spookily ticked all of the above boxes.  I also liked the way they often opted not to finish songs together at the same time- very post-modern. All in all a very enjoyable night organised by Song, by Toad, with Glasgow’s North American War also on great form. In Henry’s Cellar Bar North American War’s live sound perhaps inevitably lost a bit of the subtlety of their recordings but instead came across more like a lost treasure from CBGBs.

Live Review – Euan Weddell & Ded Rabbit

Henrys Logo

Sometimes it’s a real honour seeing a live band in a small venue that delivers a great sound and more often that not Henry’s Cellar Bar on Morrison Street is one of those venues. Most of the engineers that work there get a fantastic sound from a wide selection of bands in a venue that is not really designed for live sound. It’s no mean feat.

Arriving late, I caught about four tracks from Euan Weddell, and boy, did I love them. One vocal and electric guitar all delivered in a choppy punk feel. At times I though I was listening to Ivor Cuttler’s long lost son. Euan has a wonderful mix of funny, raw lyrics and music shown mostly clearly on his track “Awkward”. I didn’t know if I should be laughing so much at his lyrics about his inabilty to talk to girls, or if I should just give him a wee pat on the back and tell him it’s all going to be alright when he gets older. His between track banter was just as good as well. Golden.

By the time Ded Rabbit took stage, Henry’s seemed stacked to the rafters and after they struck their first chord you could see why. Most bands would bite there own hands off to have a couple of catchy tunes like these guys. If you add their great stage presence, then you know you are watching a band that could go very far. It’s no wonder that they are playing Sound City @ Liverpool.  There were just so many stand-out tunes  that got the crowd jumping.  ”Down and Out” sounds great live – I am looking forward to it being released as their single. Sometimes, everything works together and you could see why the band invited the audience on stage for their last track; everyone was involved in making this a great gig. At the risk of repeating myself – check them out!

POST launch debut album

POST are a band we’ve been following for a while and having heard their contribution to the Mao Disney compilation from label We Can Still Picnic and a great session on 6music’s Marc Riley show, it’s good to be able to mention the launch of their debut album at Nice n Sleazy’s on Friday April 26th. Looking forward to this.

POST album launch

Live Review – Johnny Marr, ABC Glasgow

Johnny MarrThe ABC Glasgow is packed tonight and the crowd are in fine form chanting “JOHNNY, JOHNNY, JOHNNY F***ING MARR!” Rising to a crescendo, the man himself takes the stage with his band for his first solo tour as a frontman proper, following the recent release of his solo debut album, The Messenger . “My mum won’t like that, but I do” retorts Marr and it’s clear he’s in the mood to enjoy this show as he launches into the lead track from the new album, “The Right Thing Right” quickly followed by one of many Smiths classics played tonight, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”. This receives rapturous applause from the audience.

All songs from the new album, bar one, are aired tonight which is good as for the most part it is a strong collection of songs, and in the case of New Town Velocity, up there with any of his earlier classic work with The Smiths. Halfway in and another great Smiths track, the raucous and evocative “London” (the B-Side of Shoplifters Of The World Unite) is brought back to life. This emphasizes one of the main points about The Smiths, a classic singles band, that to them, every detail from artwork, to how the band were mentioned on the sleeves, B-Sides mattered enormously. The fact that one of their greatest songs, “How Soon Is Now?” began life as a flip-side is testament to the effort that they put into each and every detail of their career.

The band encore with a cover of a cover, The Clash’s definitive version of “I Fought The Law” followed by “Getting Away With It” from Electronic, the band Marr formed with New Order’s Bernard Sumner in the late 1980s. The best however is saved to last as Marr and his band deliver a beautiful rendition of “How Soon Is Now?” and end on the brilliant “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” conveying wonderfully the feelings of longing and escape that encapsulated so many songs by The Smiths.

Live Review – Stu Larsen @ The Caves in Edinburgh

Caves Logo for FeastAs I make the brisk walk across Edinburgh’s city centre towards The Caves I am cold, my legs tired and I am regretting not getting the bus. However my self-loathing is put massively into perspective when I consider whom I am about to see. Stu Larsen gave up his humble nine to five bank job in Queensland, Australia three years ago to pursue a life on road. He has travelled across the globe venturing to such places as far afield as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and thankfully Britain. This must seem like your average jet set tour plan but consider that he has done this as an unsigned artist and most of his travels are done in his self-driven van.

The gig kicks off with the warm, country fuelled music of Andrew Mill and The Stolen Pirates. The mix of banjo, guitar, fiddle and his rich voice really set the scene for the evening, creating a welcome atmosphere that the crowd loved. He did however take a break mid-set to allow highland poet Donald Ker to give the audience some of his favorite rhyming tales. This would be one of their last gigs before Andrew and Donald set off on a tour of the southern states of America.Up next is Esther Swift a singer songwriter with a difference; you might expect she would have an acoustic guitar, piano maybe even a ukulele. Nope, a full sized harp is her instrument of choice. A classically trained musician with a beautiful voice pulls the gig goers in with her subtle melodies.

Stu Larsen takes to the stage and as he kicks into his first song it becomes apparent that his nomad lifestyle is clearly his greatest muse. A personal favourite of mine being San Francisco a tale of travelling north listening to music and being on an adventure. He mixes his music with tales of the road that are just as intriguing as the music and the man himself. He takes note of his surroundings in the historical caves, a perfect backdrop to his music.

Larsen also throws in a few treats for the audience by inviting Esther back up on stage for a few numbers and the rest of the support up to sing along with the gigs last song. All in all a great performance from Stu Larsen complimented by the hand picked support acts.

Live Review – Redolent @ Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh

Cabaret Voltaire ScrabbledBeing Redolent’s debut gig this was the first time I, or anyone else for that matter, had seen them perform in a live venue. However, you would be mistaken for thinking that they have been performing together on stage for months as they turned in a solid and thoroughly entertaining performance.

Taking place in one of Edinburgh’s best known and loved venues, Cabaret Voltaire provided an intimate and not too intimidating arena for the band to debut their tracks to the audience.

Great vocals from the singer mixed well with their blend of intricate guitar picking and interesting and changing rhythms. A mix of solid bass playing and driving drums provided a great platform for the guitars to shine through and take centre stage on the tracks. The bands use of dynamics created interesting changes in the songs and kept the audience on their toes.Blog Stage Image

Full of nervous energy at the beginning, the band seemed to relax into the gig very quickly and throughout the show they had a great command of the stage. They did not just play through their set but gave a performance that was entertaining, well executed and most importantly full of good songs.  Due to a couple of small technical difficulties the sound was a little muddy at times, although this was nothing major and did not take away from the performance of the band.

All in all Redolent’s debut gig was a triumph, with the band showing great potential and promise for the future, whilst looking like a band that has already worked out how to perform well with each other.

Have a listen to the demo of their track “Useless”. Its another great tune which has, for some reason,  a picture of a redhead lying on the grass to go with it. Go figure!.

Live Review: Of Monsters and Men @ the O2 in Glasgow

Okay…so the big question about Of Monsters and Men ‘s gig at the O2 is not ‘how did this band having only formed in 2010 and having  released only one album have to get this gig moved up from Oran Mor to the sold out O2?’  Nor is it ‘how does the tiny Icelandic community (only 320,000 of them) keep producing these amazing bands with such individual sounds?’.   Nor is it ‘how can this new band have fans from every age group, social class, colour from young hipsters to old folkies;  from 12 year olds to guys in tracksuits and bad bad haircuts?’

No. The real question is – just who is having the most fun, us or the band on stage?

Because they were having the time of their lives.

As the first chords were struck and harmonies sung, the band had us totally in their hands and we were in very, very, safe hands.  Live, they managed to really rock out and then rein it in for the soft lullabies and handle each as if they had been doing this for decades.  They managed to keep the harmonies and warmth of the songs whilst still bringing them alive on the stage.  This was far from simply hearing an album played live, this was a band giving a new expansion to each and every song.

And what songs! From the hit single Little Talks to the sweet ballad Sloom, every song was welcomed and luxuriated in by the fans.  Seen live, you realise just how sing-a- long most of their tunes are.   These are the songs that your neighbours will learn to love as you drunkenly sing them, loud and proud at 3.00am of a Friday night.

They have been winning plaudits all over Europe and the US with their festival tours, and by end of the gig, every one left the O2 with a warm glow. It was just like those old ads for Ready Brek (kids- go ask your dad)

If you weren’t there? You probably should’ve been.

Live Review – Ded Rabbit @ the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh

Ded Rabbit Live @ Jazz BarFeast went along to Chambers Street to see Ded Rabbit, who are an indie rock type of band. They have the usual set-up of guitars, bass and drums but introduce sax into various songs which adds a bit of spontaneity to their approach. The tunes are infectious and really catchy without being too polished or in the least bit predictable, pushing and pulling in various directions but never seem to overstay their welcome.

They put a smile on my face and are they are at ease about how they deliver their songs.Tonight amongst other songs they play tracks from last year’s ‘Ice Cream’ EP which is great and well worth searching out. They have an ability to combine several influences whether it be funk, jazz, indie, prog and somehow bring them together to produce something original that feels totally natural but has an intensity and excitement which is infectious. Given this, the packed audience really warms to the band and many, including me, have become fans of Ded Rabbit.

See them for yourself when they play Henry’s Cellar Bar on Friday 15th March.

Studio Session: Pirate Sons

Pirate Sons at Edinburgh College

Garage rock outfit Pirate Sons dropped by the Edinburgh College studios recently to record a few tracks, and they shot a session video with EdinburghUndersound.

Originally formed in New Zealand by front man Ceallaigh Corbishley. Pirate Sons began as a two piece ‘lets bang on stuff and see how it sounds band’ not really taking their musical venture that seriously. After the addition of a bass player who couldn’t (at the time) play bass, the band were now ready to take there musical careers to the next level and progress as a band.

A move across the pond to Scotland’s capital city has lead to a line-up change and with it has come the development of their unique in-your-face-energetic-fuzzed-out rock sound that is synonymous with the charismatic three piece.

Now comprising of a Kiwi, a Scot and an Englishman the band are serious as ever and continuing to secure themselves in the local scene as a hardworking, creative act and a band to certainly watch out for after a string of track releases, a video release and a bunch of reputable gig slots supporting The Fire and I, The Minutes and a recent headline slot at the Official Glasvegas gig aftershow party.

Think The Cribs meets The Black Keys before they both got a bit too big for their boots. Described as ‘buzzing’ by The List.

Check Tom, Ceallaigh and Angus out live at Broadcast in Glasgow on 08/03/2013 as main support for SOS.

Currently recording new material due for release May 2013, keep updated with their goings on at


Dirty Dirty Rascal by Pirate Sons Recored by Greg Dodgson & Joshua Taylor. Mixed by Hubert Aniolek Go to Feast Soundcloud to hear more artists

Live Review – Everything Everything @ Oran Mar

Everything EverythingHaving not been through to Oran Mor but knowing it was a renovated church, I had a rather misguided idea about the place. I didn’t know it had a downstairs venue, so I thought I might be going to a gig plagued by uncontrollable reverb. How wrong I was. Underneath the church is a really cool space which is very rock n’ roll looking and has an equally great sound. It’s perfect for going to see an intimate gig and I L.O.V.E going to see a band in a small venue. It’s a real celebration of music; close, loud, and a great way to see bands deliver what they do, right in your face.
Arriving a little late after some excellent noodles from Wudon (535 Great Western Road, brilliant food, 5 mins from Oran Mar but I digress…), we only caught three tunes from the support band Post War Years. Looking like a mix between fourth year uni students and staff from Waterstones, this hirsute bunch’s live show hit much harder than their tracks online suggested. Great vocals from three of the band; mixed with drums, keys and launch pads (and at points two basses), this band where a fantastic support to the main act. Apart from the drummer the other three members where locked behind a mountain of equipment and visually this sometimes put a barrier between them and the audience but the tunes soared very high indeed. They had elements of Arcade Fire in the vocals and a great bunch of synth lines, beats, and guitars. What’s not to like?

You might wonder if the studio-based sound of the headline act could be delivered live(we did) but it was obvious by the excellent second track in the set, Torso of the Week (got to love the Heat referencing!) that Everything Everything can deliver their tight and varying sounds on stage with real balls. There are no weak members in the band. Both Jeremy Pritchard and Alex Robertshaw supply their bass and guitars respectively. They also switch to keys when required, back and forth mid-track. Michael Spearman is a fantastic understated drummer swapping between his analogue kit and pads to lift the band’s live sound with ease. On top of this all three supply backing vocals to help create the punchy vocals so prominent on their records.
Everything Everything are helped greatly by the additional keys player and this frees Jonathan Higgs to concentrate on his vocal and guitar duties. This worked so well. Before he was locked to one place but now he is free to roam the stage and you could see, feel and hear how much pleasure this gave him and the crowd. On stage he was obviously having the time of his life and why not? He is a fantastic vocalist and guitarist and lyricist. How often do you here lyrics like “I’m genuflecting in a penitent way”? At times he was finding it hard to wipe the smile off his face and with truly epic versions of tunes of their 2009 Mercury-nominated CD ‘Man Alive’ and the excellent new ‘Arc’. You can understand why. Moving from between up-tempo tunes like ‘Qwerty Keyboards’ to slower tracks like ‘Choice Mountain’, you are aware you are watching a band who can deliver an incredibly wide range of feeling from their music. The crowd lapped it up and it was hard to know who enjoyed it more.

Listen to their two excellent CDs and catch them live if you can.

Jonathan Higgs; even if your nephew doesn’t like your band. Feast does.

Redolent Live at the Depot

New Edinburgh band Redolent have been awful busy making music since hatching 6 months ago. Here is our current fave, but check out our youtube channel for more from these guys.

Join the Library (#2)


The Fall Dragnet

This is the second in a series about how my local libraries (Baillieston and Shettleston) afforded me a wonderful musical adventure and the huge impact they made on me. I joined them as a 16 year old because I couldn’t afford albums and borrowing from them appeared to me to be the perfect solution…which it most certainly was.

In my 5th year at high school one of the novels my English teacher selected was The Fall by Albert Camus. This was the only reason I picked up a copy of Dragnet, which had been released a few months earlier. Everything about the album was challenging but also exhilarating and liberating and, like me I’m sure it lead others to form their own groups free from restrictive ideas about song structure and musicianship.

The line-up included Mark E Smith (vocals), Marc Riley (guitar), Craig Scanlon (guitar), Steve Hanley (bass), Mike Leigh (drums). Leigh was replaced by Paul Hanley shortly after and this became as I’ve come to think, the second classic line-up of the band. It is a band discovering their sound, lo-fi and angular which I found hard to listen to at first, especially the second side but it was the wild and weird garage-like pop of tracks such as Printhead with the wiity opening line “Hey badges tinkle T-shirts mingle
Hey you horror-face!” and Dice Man that won me over to the bands radical approach.

Of all The Fall albums I’ve listened to, over time this is my favourite. It’s rough and I found out later that it was recorded in 3 or 4 days, but for me it demonstrates the essence of The Fall, raucous and uncompromising determined to mine their own musical path. My excitement about the album lead me to see the band at the Tech when they came to Glasgow in tow with another great band The Cramps which is one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.

The next time I saw the band was at The Plaza in Glasgow, this time supported by brilliant Edinburgh band The Scars. By this time I was well and truly one of The Fallen!

Fridgemaster signs to Feast

Thisisfeast is delighted to announce the signing of Callum Easter as Fridgemaster. We are working with him on three new tunes and are super excited to be working with such a talented artist. We will keep you posted and up to date with Fridgemaster and his developing career right here.


Join the Library (#1)


From Wiki

“The Pop Group were a British post-punk band from Bristol, England, formed in 1978, whose dissonant sound spanned punk, free jazz, funk and dub reggae. Their lyrics were often political in nature.

Formed by Mark Stewart (lyrics, vocals), Jon Waddington (guitar), Gareth Sager (guitar), Simon Underwood (bass) and Bruce Smith (drums, percussion), they issued their debut single, “She is Beyond Good and Evil” on Radar Records in March 1979.

Their debut album Y, was produced by Dennis Bovell to critical acclaim but low sales figures. Although it did not chart, the album’s success was sufficient to convince Rough Trade to sign the band, but not before more line-up changes, with Dan Catsis replacing Underwood on bass.

The band’s career with Rough Trade commenced with what is possibly their best-known single “We Are All Prostitutes”, which featuring a guest appearance by free improviser Tristan Honsinger on cello. This was followed by the release of their second album, For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder? in March 1980, which included a contribution from US proto-rappers The Last Poets.

The photo on the cover is the famous photograph, “Two Gypsies” by André Kertész.”

This is the first in a series about how my local libraries (Baillieston and Shettleston) afforded me a wonderful musical adventure and the huge impact they made on me. I joined them as a 16 year old because I couldn’t afford albums and borrowing from them appeared to me to be the perfect solution…which it most certainly was.

I first came across The Pop Group’s second album in the racks of Shettleston library. I was subscribing to both NME and Sounds at the time but it was only in retrospect as I flicked through past copies that I came across photographs and interviews of the band which made me more aware of their interests and approach to music. It was more to do with the strange mixture of the band’s name combined with the album’s title and sleeve artwork…alarming, mysterious and confrontational. Then there was the track titles such as Forces Of Oppression and Feed the Hungry….I just had to hand over my library card (it didn’t cost anything to borrow music then) take it home and listen.

WOW…for someone who only a year earlier had been a huge fan of The Jam this was intense! It was an aural assault but exhilarating, challenging and just like nothing I’d ever heard before. To my youthful ears, the heady brew concocted by Bruce Smith, Gareth Sager, Mark Stewart and Dan Catsis was a revelation on all fronts musical, lyrical and artistic. To my mind there has never been a better opening track to an album than Forces Of Oppression. With its opening chants and unrelenting groove the band creates their own ‘cold sweat’.

Interview: Battle of the Zoo

Thisisfeast likes to listen to lots of new music so we were keen to have chat with Battle of the Zoo members Aymen and Mark.

Thisisfeast: Tell us a bit about yourselves…

Aymen: We are called Battle of the Zoo and we are releasing a free EP. We have been finishing off our artwork, and just sort of trying to find roots to release it, like our website, Facebook, and other social media things that people tune into.

Thisisfeast: What’s your music like?

Mark: I suppose we play stuff that we kind of like, and what we would like to buy ourselves; which makes it kind of easier to do and make it far more enjoyable and pretty good fun. For our style it’s hard to explain. We can sit down and do a track that is completely different from one we have done before. But we will really dig it, enjoy it, get into it and see where it goes, and it might end up on the album or on a download. That’s the way we are going to attack things, instead of hitting the same genre or style all the time. A lot of the tracks are really different and I suppose that’s because we like a lot of different styles of music.

Thisisfeast: How long have you been working on your tunes?

Mark: We have got up to 30 tracks we have been working on over a while which we have been whittling down to this 4 track EP that we are going to give freely away. We want to follow it up pretty quickly with a main single with a couple of tracks, and then an album. Over the last while we have been sussing out tracks we really like. We have been trying them live and seeing good responses from crowds which has really helped us choose what’s coming out first, and what’s going to make the album. We have played a couple of live gigs with all the kit, running sequencers, hitting off trigger pads, keyboards, running Reason and Aymen doing all the vocals live. We have been working hard on that to help fine tune, but we knew which ones worked and it’s kind of been confirmed by the crowd.

Aymen: We wanted to test drive some tracks and we played a gig in a place called the 3rd door in Edinburgh, and did one at Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh with Simian Mobile Disco

Thisisfeast:  That all sounds good. On another tip, I heard you got a remix with Paul Weller, how did that come around?

Aymen: We sent our demos away to some labels. We ended up meeting someone who works for one of the record label. We gave him the demos, basically he was asking what we were up to, and he liked the stuff we were doing. We sent him some original tracks; we had a few chats and strong meetings with him; just some good general conversation from these guys in London, sort of bigger label guys. Off the back of that they asked us if we would be interested in doing some remixing. So from there they sent us the stems for Paul Weller next single. Bearing in mind they told us, it was more than likely that they were not going to accept it.  But we finished it, they liked it and Mr Weller had it played to him and he liked it too. From that we have been asked to do some other remixes, but at the moment we are just trying to concentrate on our own stuff.

We have been given access to the new tracks from Battle of the Zoo. Have a listen to them and next time your see their name, go check them out. Enjoy and look out for the ’FK the DET’ E.P out on Monday the  5th of November

FKDET – Battle of the Zoo by Thisisfeast

Turn a Blind Eye – Battle of the Zoo by Thisisfeast

EH1 Live review.

Now in its second year EH1 Live has gone from strength to strength, showcasing some of the country’s finest unsigned talent.

Feast started the day the Electric Circus with the fantastic Gold Lions, their set didn’t start the festival gently but kicked it right in the teeth, ripping away the early Sunday cobwebs with their searing, relentless blues rock/garage sound.
They have been described as a Scottish White Stripes but that’s just lazy journalism, sure the homage to Jack White is apparent, but these boys rip apart the rulebook and batter it with blistering fever.
’1000 Ships’ and ‘ Elsie’s House’ were particular highlights, all energetic energetic fretwork and pounding vigour.
The Gold Lions simply deserve to be, the gem of the day!
Next up was troubadour Jack Rowberry
who belted out the tunes, with his backing band adding extra depth to his acoustic craftmanship.

The hotly-tipped The Machine Room’s set was unfortunately marred with technical difficulties, but the band soldiered on delivering an interesting indie pop set in which they flit between swapping guitars and keys, there’s a good buzz building up for the band and hopefully bigger stages beckon soon for the band.
The Modern Faces are a true festival band, full of bravado and rock and roll swagger, smashing the hype with a ‘Mon Then’ snarl.
The Dunfermline five piece delivered each stomping track with energy and passion. Their anthemic brand of britrock should easily equate to masses at the festivals. Definitely a band going places.

The Stagger Rats were excellent, and in true Stagger Rat style they were a member down but delivered a superb set which the heaving Liquid Rooms lapped up, especially stand out harmonious pop single ‘Fuzzy Fuzzy’ which had the local crowd in rapture.

Each track is consistently interesting, jumping from sweet melodies to gypsy guitar riffs. The Stagger Rats are an asset to the unsigned Scottish scene.
The Ok Social Club bounded on the stage and blasted their way through their hook driven, glossy spiky guitar pop set with vigour delivering tracks such as ‘The Late 90′s’ to the bouncing packed out crowd.

All in all EH1 was an incredibly well organised affair, but more importantly, it showcased some of Scotland’s more diverse and exciting talent.

Furthermore, to all the doubters that disagree that there is no Edinburgh scene or Scottish bands who are not good enough to break, you couldn’t be further from the truth, which the EH1 boys highlighted with a right good festival!

See you next year!

Fortune’s Unsigned Festival

Fortune Promotions has decided to use this Opportunity to take part in this years Oxjam Takeover for the first time, we have decided its our time to do our bit for charity by hosting a one night unsigned festival showcasing Scottish talent. The event is to raise money for Oxfam and it is our goal to raise £800 for the night. The event is called Oxjams Fortune’s Unsigned Festival with Fortune Promotions. This event is taking place in Edinburgh between Bannermans Bar and The City Cafe hosting 18 of the finest unsigned bands from across scotland (Dundee, Glasgow, Falkirk and Edinburgh) including Aperture, Sonic Hearts Foundation, Kung Fu Academy, Fuzzy and the Peaches, The Directors, My Electric Love Affair, In A Dollhouse and Jen & The gents, all for £7 a ticket thats 0.38p per band now who can argue with that tickets are available from Ticket Scotland. The event will be taking place on Friday the 19th of October at 6pm with The Dirty Suits kicking things off. All of the details are link below ( set times, bands taking part and locations of the acts)

To buy online tickets click here

Oxfam Fortunes Unsigned Website

EH1 Live

EH1 Live is back with an almighty bang, showcasing some of the very best unsigned Scottish bands, this year’s festival takes over Edinburgh on Sunday 16th September with over 40 unsigned acts playing at the the Liquid Rooms, Cabaret Voltaire, Electric Circus, Sneaky Pete’s and Whistle Binkie’s.

The eclectic line up includes tipped for the top The Imagineers, Davey Horne, Modern Faces and headliners The Phantom Band.

The one day events also celebrates the capital’s fantastic live scene with local heavyweights The OK Social Club, The Stagger Rats and troubadours Jack Rowberry, Greg Pearson and Callum Beattie.

Feast will also be looking forward to catching Leicester’s The Lysergic Suite who are by all accounts fantastic live, a heady mix of driving synths and psychedelica, and Edinburgh’s The Gold Lions who will definitely get you in the festival mood with their blend of dirty garage-blues.

The lineup highlights some of the very best in unsigned talent, and all for a mere £18, and we’ve all got a Monday holiday as well!

Preview: Nature Boys Boat Launch

The Nature Boys are launching their new single next Saturday and where better to launch than on a boat? The gig is at Cruz (that boat in Leith that’s actually a bar) and the single, ‘Going Nowhere’, is great; a taut rabid monkey of a record.

The recording goes a good way to capturing the anarchic energy of their gigs while adding just enough in the way of fuzzed bass overdubs, chanted vocals (and even subtle psychedelic guitars) to lift their punk drum bass ‘n’ guitar onto a more singletastic plane.

On top, like the finest Bonne Maman jam on this fresh punk croissant, is Cammy’s vocals, with a vocal performance that shows his vocal talents go way beyond the ‘Fall’ talk/sing type splendour of previous Nature Boys recordings. While I hope he doesn’t abandon his more customary drawl altogether it is great to hear him sing like this and suggests the boys have the crossover potential to go on to great things.

The launch of the Going Nowhere is on Saturday 25th, at Cruz Bar in Leith, doors at 8pm. Support is from the Begbies and Jack Rowberry. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the band here they are in our CRE-8 studios at Jewel & Esk College earlier this year.

Interview – The Asps

We had the Asps in the studio at Jewel and Esk a wee while ago and thisisfeast managed to catch up with Paul to check what they have been up to since we last hooked up.

thisisfeast: For those who don’t know, who are you guys?

Paul: Well we are the Asps, and I am the singer – my name’s Paul Dourley. I also play rhythm guitar, the lead guitarist is Chris Simpson, and we have a synth player Michael Barry, the drummer is Lewis Hutchison, the saxophone player is Graeme Renwick and the bass player is Craig Renwick, both brothers.

thisisfeast: Why did you call yourselves the Asps?

Paul: We got the name from the song “Man on the moon” by REM. One of the lyrics is – Egypt is troubled but the horrible asps. It’s always a lyric I enjoyed singing and the word itself is phonologically pleasing.

thisisfeast: I like the use of phonologically, I might have to look that up later. What have you been up to since we last saw you a few months ago?

Paul: We have been working away on stage set-ups and working on our new tracks, this month we are quite busy. We are playing BT London Live in Hyde Park, we are expecting a quite a busy crowd and quite a lot of exposure. We are also playing at Victoria Park for an hour on the same day, so we are very excited about that.

thisisfeast: How did you get the gigs in London?

Paul: We got it through Live Nation which is part of a thing called Live Connection, who we got in touch with last year. They are kind of reaching out to unsigned bands. You submit your music and they troll through the music and they pick you to become part of different events. Live Nations have been dealing with high end bands for a long time and I think that they want to reach out and offer unsigned bands a bit of an opportunity as well.

thisisfeast: I want to talk about your songs a little bit. Who writes your tunes and what does it involve?

Paul: Usually the main substance of the songs, well certainly with Microchip and Learn to Fly, is written by me and Michael Barry on keyboards.  He usually comes up with some music and I come up with the lyrics and melody, and then the rest of the band add their magical icing to it.

thisisfeast: I been listening to the mix of Microchip over the last couple of days and its sounding great. I was just wondering what the song about?

Paul: It’s a love song to the microchip. Lots of things would not be possible without the invention of the microchip. One of the main lyrics is ‘Computer subordinate we need Microchips invented’.  It’s harking back to a time when computers where pretty rubbish, you know all they did was calculate things and how frustrating they used to be, although they obviously still are. It’s really a love song to technology. (Paul texted me a later “its really a love song for robots”)

thisisfeast: What are you up to in the future?

Paul: Well, we recently signed a publishing deal with Sony and we are in the middle of re-negotiating, because they’re quite interested as we are making an album with Ron Nevison next year in San Fransisco and they kind of picked up on that. (Ron Nevison has worked with The Who, Led Zepplin, Bad Company, Kiss amongst others)

thisisfeast: How did the recording with Ron Nevison come about?

Paul: It was through reverbnation – we submitted our music to a competition. They got in touch with us about a month later and out of 9500 entries they chose ours, which was crazy.

Microchip – The Asps
Engineered by Gavin Whyte & Hubert Aniolek
Mixed by Stuart MacLaughlan

Live Review GoNorth – The Machine Room at The Room, Inverness

This is the second time Feast has seen The Machine Room and they just get better. Tonight they introduce their new drummer who does a brilliant job given this is his first show with the band. Their song structures demands a lot from the rhythm section upon which are layered synths, guitar and keyboards.

Amongst the songs they play tonight are the tracks which make up their great ‘Love from a Distance’ EP which you can get via their Facebook page. Their electronic dream-pop is so catchy and songs such as ‘Your Head on the Floor Next Door’ and ‘Camino De Soda’ deserve to be playlisted on our airwaves all summer long. They are amongst the freshest electro new wave bands to come around which also includes Kitsune signings Juveniles and Citizens. Their sound is big and expansive but remains highly emotive and subtle and they are extremely groovy…

They are due to play T in the Park and Wickerman this Summer…so you know who to see if you find yourself at these festivals.

Live Review – Honeyblood, Secret Gig, Edinburgh

This is bizarre gig number 2 following on from our first bizarre venue outing to Mrs. Fitzherberts in Brighton at The Great Escape Festival. We went through a black door and up a spiral staircase to find the ‘lounge’. The next room was the bar and down the corridor was the room where Honeyblood would play. The low ceiling meant that being 5ft 11inches in height I found myself for the first time ever at a live show, sitting on the floor – rather hippyish I thought.
Given how precarious the live music venue situation is in Edinburgh at the moment, this is a great little hideout so look out for more shows coming from 39 Niddry Street.

Honeyblood however are not ‘hippyish’ but describe themselves as ‘two girls who play some songs about stuff’. Although the sound is muddied their songs still hold a huge appeal. The songs swagger like the best garage rock/pop. The good thing about them is that they’re something new. Too many new bands are so retro, harking back to the 1980’s Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester bands and in reverence to C86. Honeyblood lyrically can be wise, ferocious, bitter and hopeful and can musically evoke high emotion all within one song and I think this is the exciting thing about them that they can convey this with only a voice, a guitar and a drum kit, they just have a way musically of being able to get under your skin.

At least three songs in their set sent shivers down my spine, which few groups seem capable of doing these days. Slightly raucous but gutsy as hell with songs as good as No Spare Key, Bud and Super Rat. They also do imaginative re-interpretations as on the cover they do tonight by Boston band Doctors and Lawyers. Honeyblood proved that they have the songs, the style and the guts to be the best. You can get their first release from

They played their first shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh only recently so hope and expect to see them round your way soon starting with this Sunday (3rd June) at Henry’s Cellar Bar where they share the bill with Plastic Animals. Enough said, they’re great and they’re on your doorstep, so see them.

Django Django, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton.

Django Django formed in Edinburgh in 2009 after meeting at Art College. We caught them at Brighton’s Pavilion Theatre, the huge queue outside a fair indication of how the band’s following has built up over the last couple of years although  undoubtedly the crowd is swelled further by the fact that they have been on Jools Holland’s TV show the night before.

On their eponymous album, released earlier this year, there are definite whiffs of the shambolic charm of the Beta Band but live I am surprised to find they have a pristine sound and incisiveness  which adds an epic quality that I wasn’t expecting. There is actually a Beta Band connection though as it turns out as drummer David Maclean’s big brother was a member of the much missed outfit.

Like the Beta Band Django Django understand how to mix their musical influences together in intoxicating ways: The keys cut through the mix  aggressively, threatening to turn the gig into a nineties style rave, the vocals float above the rest of the music with spacious psychedelic harmonies and the cowbell clanks as if your head is in a metal waste paper bin and Mr T is on the outside hitting the bin with a gold drumstick. At one point  the keyboards cut out, just as Grimes’ sequencers will do the following night but nothing can stop the Django feel good funnel for long and the ivories kick back in after a couple of minutes, albeit in mono.

From where we were standing, which was admittedly fairly near the back,  the pleasingly surreal impression I got of the band visually was that the group was made up of New Order’s Bernard Sumner on vocals, Jimmy Carr, the unnaturally huge headed joke jockey, on guitar and playwright Dennis Potter on keys.  On later reflection having seen their video appearance on BBC iplayer I realise this impression was possibly, arguably, slightly wide of the mark.  Either way Django Django are one of the best bands to emerge in the UK in a long time and live manage to be charming, exciting and original all in one accessible, love-able package and there just aren’t too many new bands around just now that you can say that about.

The Great Escape Festival – Juveniles at Komedia, Brighton

The French electronic/indie label Kitsune has been releasing good new music recently, especially the Citizens! debut album produced by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand and a couple of EP’s by three musicians from Rennes who call themselves Juveniles.

Juveniles are the first band Feast see today – a busy lunchtime show downstairs at Komedia and they turn out to be a brilliant start to the day. This French trio were a real find and I suppose this is what makes The Great Escape so alluring as a festival. I knew nothing about them except that they had recently signed to Kitsune. They announce that their next EP “One O Six” is due to be released in June.

Their sound combines guitars, drums, synths and programming which is inventive and energetic mixing electronica, punk rock and pop into an eclectic genre of music.
They stand apart in terms of electronic music the way that Daft Punk and Air did on their initial releases and are just as enthralling. The festival only schedules thirty minute live sets but Juveniles could have happily flexed and spread their sounds for a lot longer given the reception and encouragement they received from the crowd.

Live Review – This Is Music 6th Birthday feat. The Machine Room, Honeyblood and Magic Eye at Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

Happy birthday This Is Music, you certainly know how to celebrate in style. We went along to join in the celebrations. Appearing tonight was an Edinburgh band and two Glasgow bands supporting Sub Pop favourites Still Corners. Being based in Edinburgh we’d heard good things about The Machine Room but didn’t know much about either of the Glasgow bands, Honeyblood and Magic Eye.

Magic Eye have just released an EP on cassette tape which you can get via their tumblr site at and tonight’s show coincides with their tour to promote it. They create tender melodic songs which are like sonic dreamscapes which wouldn’t be out of place in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Heavily reverbed guitars swirl around dreamy vocals grounded by a solid electro drum beat. They’re back in Edinburgh with Honeyblood on Tuesday 29th May.

Honeyblood announce they only have six tapes left and wonder if anyone is going to go through to Glasgow the following day to see them at The Stag and Dagger Festival. I love it when you see a band you don’t know anything about and you get it and they’re great. This quite simply sums up Honeyblood. They term themselves a ‘garage rock-crunch pop’ band. Lyrically eloquent, they don’t pull their punches, as on Super Rat about a former relationship, “I will hate you forever, scum bag sleaze slimeball grease”. Single ‘No Spare Key’ is a standout as is their electrifying cover of The Innocence Mission’s ‘The Girl On My Left’. Probably no tapes left but visit their site anyway Got to be THE show of the week when they play with Magic Eye next Tuesday (29th May ) at Door 39, Niddrie Street.

The Machine Room come on stage all very unassuming; plug in, smile, and in an instant hit the audience with a brilliant electro-esque wall of sound which is made up of tracks from their recent ‘Love From A Distance’ EP. Each of their songs creates a lasting impression, highly emotive, full of synth stabs and echoing vocals and the crowd are obviously well aware of the qualities of this band when they cheer from the vocals which opens standout track “Camino de Soda”. All of their songs intrigues, building layer upon layer of sound into a catchy and very individual approach to creating haunting and beautiful music. See them at the end of term Edinburgh Art School revel on Friday June 1st.

No Spare Key by Honeyblood

Flamin’ Teenage by MAGIC EYE

Alabama Shakes, King Tut’s, Glasgow

Star studded audiences, tickets going for ten times their value and riding on a whirlwind of frenzied hype the Alabama Shakes rode into Glasgow. The atmosphere in ‘Tuts was electric, a packed crowd grinning in fevered anticipation, and there hung a hopeful sense of magic in the sweaty air. All too often bands arrive amidst the frenzied ‘the next big thing’, ‘band du jour’ and even every once in a while ‘the voice of a generation’. The album delivered but will the live performance equate the hype?

Bounding onto the tiny stage like a Southern preacher, Brittany Howard had the crowd in the palm of her hand from her first breaths ‘Goin to the Party’. Her soul-drenched holler has been compared to everyone from Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf and Aretha Franklin her voice is something to really behold a Southern bellow that defies belief and stereotype in equal measure, whilst she contorts her face and attacks her geetar with bullying vigour.

Throwing their biggest song, the gospel-tinged ‘Hold On’ so early into their set could prove catastrophic for many bands but the ‘Shakes pull it off with ease, with the audience joining in the sermon all hands in the air and singing along.
Most of their debut album ‘Boys & Girls’ gets a preview with the soulful refrain ‘Hang Loose’ and the hearfelt, spine tingling ‘I found You’, follow in quick precesion. ‘Boys & Girls’ starts with Howard telling the crowd ‘I’m gonna tell y’all a lil storee….’ in her honeyed Southern drawl as the crowd whoops and claps, hanging onto every word and hollered syllable. Whilst the rest of band Heath Fogg and Zac Cockrell (can you get much cooler) and Steve Johnson also deliver a confident, assured and energetic performance. ‘Heavy Chevey’ is a rollicking, raccous shot of Southern rock n soul, a perfect set closer.

Remarkably, Alabama Shakes are doing nothing new, or fashionable but a band who with so much soul and conviction that everything else seems irrelevant. This time, believe the hype.

The Great Escape Festival – Holland at Mrs Fitzherberts, Brighton

The Great Escape is a new music festival and convention held over three days every May in Brighton. Being a fledgling blog who have also started a record label and soon to release our debut single by Maydays , we were really interested in attending the DIY panel discussions on how to develop and promote a record label in a rapidly changing music industry environment.

The other reason to attend was to see some great new bands that we could champion in an unlikely ploy to help attract these bands to come and play in Edinburgh. I do hope The Great Escape sticks to focussing on new bands and stays well clear of putting on a headline act to generate publicity which sadly Edinburgh’s own Haddow Fest did last year by booking Razorlight – paying a band who have no interest in the longevity of the festival a massive fee, which is perhaps one of the reasons the Festival has yet to appear this year, and in the process potentially depriving local bands of the experience of performing in a festival setting.

We arrive on the Wednesday evening which is when the Alternative Escape begins. This is a platform for bands who are not on the official festival playlist. We decide to go to the ‘Made In Cornwall’ night upstairs at Mrs Fitzherberts pub, but as we are pretty late in arriving only manage to see the last band of the evening called Holland.

Decked out in Cornish flags, upstairs at Mrs Fitzherberts is so small that getting thirty people in is pretty much a sell-out show. On first appearances it looks as if the band members are four feet tall, however the ‘stage’ is actually a two-foot drop from where the audience stands and a wide pillar which blocks the view of the band pretty much means that the singer is facing a wall for most of the set – a bizarrely intimate venue.

Holland are not influenced by The Beach Boys despite their name being the title of one of the bands’ great early ‘70’s records. Their music is fast and frenetic combined with dream-like vocals, but clearly they know how to create a dynamic within a song which keeps their slightly shoegaze approach appealing. They are incredibly tight and have a good sense of how to pace their set with current single “Lovely Bones” being a standout track which keeps this small but highly enthusiastic crowd jumping in admiration.

Holland – Lovely Bones 7″ by destinationmoon

The Great Escape Festival – Grimes at Digital, Brighton

There is a real sense of anticipation amongst the packed audience as Montreal electro-pop artist Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) sound-checks her own equipment. However, as the show starts, Boucher signals to the mixing engineer that there’s no sound emanating from her keyboard before realizing she hasn’t turned the volume up on it. An apologetic cry of “oops” only serves to endear her to the audience even more.

In between playing keyboards, sometimes two at the same time, Boucher howls and yelps into her microphone whilst doing some live looping, dancing and bouncing to the beat. She plays “Vanessa” which brings a huge cheer followed shortly afterwards by “Oblivion” and “Genesis” from her recent 4AD album “Visions”.

Boucher sports an ‘Anarchy’ t-shirt which is apt given the cacophony of sound she has mutated into what can only be termed wondrous and beguiling songs. She is joined on stage by two dancers decked out in all black clothing, sporting chalked faces weaving shapes to exemplify the twists and turns of Grimes’ musical vision. A great album…a brilliant performance.