Monday, 27 April 2009

Camera Obscura/Attic Lights/Cairn String Quartet - Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow 26 April 2009

This gig wasn’t so much a ‘headline and support’ as a double whammy of pop-tastic acts who treated a packed Barrowlands to a night that will live long in the memory.

With a set tighter than two coats of paint, Attic Lights showed why they should be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years, if there’s any justice. Having left Island Records by mutual consent, the band is working on new material and previewed a new song in the shape of “Stay Before You Leave”. It slipped into the set like it had been there for years and augurs well for their next album.

If Attic Lights were the meat and two veg of the night, Camera Obscura were the most sumptuous of desserts. A sundae of bittersweet lyrics and a luscious sound that you could just melt into.

Coming on to the strains of Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood”, Camera Obscura showed no sign of nerves as they kicked off with the title track from new album “My Maudlin Career”, which as they later informed us with genuine surprise, had entered the UK album charts at 32. Most of the new album was aired, including current single “French Navy”, along with a veritable ‘greatest hits’ of classic singles and much-loved album tracks.

In between all the big pop tunes were the sensitive and haunting “James” and “Country Mile”, which were given the quiet reverence they deserved. The set ended with a double-barrelled blast of power pop as “Lloyd Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken” and “Honey In The Sun” (surely the next single and THE hit of the summer, should the weather oblige) brought the crowd to a frenzy. Old favourites were the order of the day for the encores as “Eighties Fan” and “If Looks Could Kill” brought proceedings to an end. I can only speak for myself but I left the venue with a lovely warm feeling inside and a sense that maybe the world isn’t such a bad place after all. That’s what Camera Obscura’s music can do for you.

The Cairn String Quartet, a quadrumvirate resplendent in black, accompanied both acts. Enhancing an already luscious sound, along with their own growing reputation, these girls are cornering the strings-for-hire market in Scotland. Such is the demand for their services that a studio date with Pop Up beckons and a possible hook up with Ally Kerr. Next stop, the world.

Attic Lights
Never Get Sick of The Sea
Dirty Thirst
Stay Before You Leave
5 Weeks Behind (CSQ)
Wendy (CSQ)
Late Night Sunshine (CSQ)
Bring You Down (CSQ)

Camera Obscura
My Maudlin Career
Tears for Affairs
The Sweetest Thing (CSQ)
French Navy (CSQ)
Let’s Get Out of This Country
Forest and Sands (w/Tim, Attic Lights)
Come Back Margaret
Swans (w/Tim, Attic Lights)
Country Mile
Lloyd I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken (CSQ)
Honey In The Sun
Eighties Fan (CSQ)
If Looks Could Kill

CSQ – Accompanied by Cairn String Quartet

On a personal level, I’d like to offer a big thanks to the Attic Lights guys, the Cairn String Quartet girls and Francis McDonald for their time and chat.

Music in the car going to the gig: Various - Out of Sight: More Sounds from the In Crowd
Music in the car coming from the gig: Billie Davis – Tell Him: The Decca Years

Highlights: Attic Lights “Never Get Sick of The Sea”, Camera Obscura “Country Mile”, the Cairn String Quartet.
Lowlights: The people chatting ALL the way through the Attic Lights set and the bird who shat on me before the gig!

After a couple of dates over the Irish Sea, Camera Obscura head off to America and Attic Lights stay in the UK for some festival dates, including the Darvel Homecoming Festival at Darvel Town Hall on Friday 8 May 2009. See you there.

The Cat

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Is This Music reviews Homegame Festival 2009

Unfortunately, I wasn't there but Stuart McHugh was and he sends this excellent report via

Is This Music also curate the Tigerfest festival and you can see all four shows at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline for £10. Yes, £10 for four gigs, that's a saving of £18. That's the bargain of the century, especially when you consider that those four nights include Ballboy, James Yorkston and a Chemikal Underground night.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Camera Obscura - A Band Beginning With C

At 0055 tomorrow morning (that's very early on Tuesday for you night owls) you can see a great wee programme about Camera Obscura called "A Band Beginning With C". Part of Channel 4's "4 Music: 4 Play" series the band are interviewed and play a tune or two (I suspect).

Here's the trailer:

Tape it, Sky Plus it, what you will.

Hinterland 2009 - Schedule revealed

The full Hinterland schedule including details of who's playing where and when is now online on the Hinterland website here

In addition to the mammoth music schedule, please remember to check out the art side of the event here.

Glasgow PodcART presents The White House - Thursday and Friday 12pm-5pm

We present to you a dazzling array of artwork, performance and installation work in the newly opened White House gallery. Over the two days of the festival between 12 noon and 5pm there will be a wide variety of visual and performance art from some of the most innovative contemporary artists from Glasgow and beyond. Look out for some surprises and impromptu works along the way as well as acoustic sets.

THURSDAY ONLY - LuckyMe are curating an exhibition of new work by the Glasgow School of Art Visual Communication Department responding to the title of Hinterland and Glasgow. Animation and print works will be projected at the Sub Club whilst loud live music and the smell of real soul food ring out. Dante Fried Chicken will be cooking and feeding you to set you up for the evening's voyage of musical discovery.

BOTH DAYS - Recoat Gallery - REKOR and SYRKUS will be creating one-off, large-scale pieces of spray-painted artwork for each of the evening venues.

BOTH DAYS - Jenny Soep - Hinterland’s featured documentary drawer specialises in drawing original alternative musicians during their performance and has drawn from the likes of Bjork, Sigur Ros, Bonnie Prince Billy, Jeffrey Lewis, Arab Strap, Mogwai, Union of Knives, De Rosa, and a whole load of others. See if you can spot her at any number of Hinterland’s venues throughout the evening. We will be launching the art side of Hinterland with Jenny's special Solo Show 'Sketching the Scene' Grand Multimedia Opening - Wednesday 29th April 6pm onwards at Mono, 10 King St, Glasgow, G1 5QP

Tickets for Hinterland available here - get them now!

Keep an eye on our media partners mailing lists, publications and websites for exclusive ticket special offers.

See you in less than a fortnight... the excitement is killing us!

Team Hinterland


Saturday, 18 April 2009

Record Store Day - Monorail/Avalanche, Glasgow

And up the road at Avalanche:

"Avalanche Glasgow schedule for the day (could be subject to chopping and changing over the course)...

Loads of limited 7" singles available including Iggy and the Stooges, the MC5, the Smiths, Sonic Youth, New Order, Slayer and Tom Waits.

Belle and Sebastian

A missive from B&S HQ:

"Hi folks,

In the month of February a certain fan of the band sent a rather sad photo of her beloved B&S Ampersand t-shirt from back in the day (which frankly had seen better days). Her plea was heard and they are now back in production and available from us here at Banchory (

We're also stocked up on 'Scotland's for me' t-shirts again and coming soon, some more classic designs from the archive...

Also, we'd like to invite you to visit the website for Stuart's God Help The Girl project where you can sign up to receive a free mp3 of 'Come Monday Night' the first single from the album. You can visit the site at

The single will be released on 7" vinyl on 11th May, preceding the album which is due for release on 22nd June.

Cheers for now!

B&S and Banchory,"

Friday, 17 April 2009

A Message from Camera Obscura Towers

Its all go here at Obscura Towers...

Our new single, 'French Navy' is out now, available on 7" b/w 'The World Is Full Of Strangers' and CD b/w 'You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven' and Jim Noir's 'French Navy' Remix. It is also available as a download. We are very excited it finally out.

The new album, 'My Maudlin Career', is coming out on Monday 20th April (in Europe) and Tuesday 21st April (in North America) also across three formats, LP. CD and DL.

Some reviews said this:
"Make no mistake, this is a remarkably beautiful record. (It) exists to reward those both mad, and sad, in love." NME (9/10) "A whole album of 60s pop gems." The Word "To sing you into springtime, (My Maudlin Career) is sauntering, glistening, honey-dripping." Plan B

Buy from:

Rough Trade:
Beggars USA:

If we're putting out a new album shouldn't we have a launch party you ask?
Good idea. Becasue we live in Glasgow, we thought we'd have one here, in Mono from 8.30pm on Sunday Night (19th April). Feel free to pop along and here the new album and us DJing, join us for a tincture, and Monorail will even be opening at midnight in case you can't wait till the morning to buy one. There will be a raffle, with prizes, and if any of us are still capable of holding a pen at midnight, we'll sign your albums.

Also, if you find yourself near a wireless or an interweb on Saturday, we're live on Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2 (18th April).

Then on Monday night (12.30am: it's Tuesday morning really, if you insist on pedancy, but you know what I mean) - Paul Morley hosts a documentary on Camera Obscura: A Band Beginning with C, on Channel 4 on your telly.

As if that wasn't enough, the UK and Ireland dates start on Tuesday 21st in Newcastle, then its Manchester Club Academy on the 22nd, London Village at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on the 23rd, Leamington Spa at The Assembly on the 24th, Sheffield Leadmill on the 25th, Glasgow on the 26th at the Barrowlands (goan yersel!), Belfast Stiff Kitten on the 29th and Dublin at the Andrews Lane Theatre on the 30th.

North American Tour runs from the end of May into July, I'd type out all the dates but I can't face that any more than you can face reading them all, they're up on the myspace and the new official facebook page and the new website.

Oh, did I mention the new website will be up in time for the album coming out? same old url

And you know how we're always telling you we were going to get new merch? Aye, well we did, it should be on sale on the tours and will go into the shop as soon as we get it back from the folks making it all.

Bored yet? Fair enough. We are looking forward to seeing you all out and about on tour, and hope you enjoy the new records.


MOBOs come to Scotland

The MOBO Awards will be held outside of London for the first time this year and will be staged at Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) on September 30th 2009.

The announcement was made today (April 17th) by Kanya King MBE, R&B superstar Lemar and X Factor finalists, JLS.

Hosting the iconic awards will see Scotland welcome an entourage of A-List musicians and celebrities as well as thousands of music fans and will reinforce Glasgow’s reputation as a world class destination for hosting music events and emphasise its status as an UNESCO City of Music.

Kanya King MBE, CEO and founder of the MOBO Awards, expressed her enthusiasm for bringing the celebrated music event to Scotland: 'We are delighted to be able to announce that the MOBO music awards show for 2009 will take place in Glasgow. Throughout MOBO’s history we have prided ourselves on finding innovative ways to bring MOBO music and stellar artist performances to our audience and this year we are making another unprecedented move by bringing the awards to Scotland.'

The event will be held at Glasgow’s SECC and will be watched by a capacity audience on the night in addition to being broadcast live nationally.

It is estimated that the MOBOs have an annual global audience reach of 250 million across 60 countries.

Tickets will go on sale for the 2009 MOBO Awards in the coming months.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Big Tent Festival - 26/27 July 2009

Big Tent 2009 is Scotland’s biggest eco-festival and takes place Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July.

The mighty Shooglenifty, talented Attic Lights, the amazing Chipolatas and Mr McFalls Chamber playing Martyn Bennett are just a taste of the music line-up coming your way this July. Our full details to be announced soon.

This year’s festival will include loads of new stuff like: the Climate Challenge Ceilidh, a Climate Champion’s Zone, Earth Action Talks with WWF Scotland, a Family Zone, a brand new Wood Zone, plus the return of our celebrated Food Village.

There’s going to be loads of things to do for everyone - environmental workshops, craft, storytelling, debates, poetry, renga, therapies, exhibitions, book readings, displays, great food, cookery demonstrations and of course wonderful music set against the most amazing backdrop of Falkland Palace and the East Lomond Hill. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, want low carbon energy advice, need inspiration or just want to find out more about climate change then you need to be at Big Tent.

The festival is really accessible and this year we will continue to offer free shuttle buses from the railway and bus stations (so keep the car at home). The campsite is much improved from last year with a dedicated family/quiet zone, a campshop and cafe. We are just a minute away from the historic village of Falkland and even less to Falkland Estate so if you want to get out and explore more of the place then this is the weekend to do so.

If you wish to exhibit at Big Tent please contact and we will send you out an exhibitor’s pack.

Jim Gellatly/Camera Obscura

Instead of posting links to Jim Gellatly's excellent New Music podcast every week, I've linked to it on the right. They really are very good.

There's an excellent Camera Obscura interview in the Scotland on Sunday:

See you all at the Camera Obscura/Attic Lights gig on 26th April at Barrowland Ballroom. Should be a pop-tastic evening.

The McKinleys

On Thursday 23rd April, legendary Liverpool rocker Howie Casey and his band The Slobs will be doing a charity gig for Multiple Sclerosis at Mr Kyps music venue in Poole.

Special guests on the night will be Edinburgh 60s girl band The McKinleys - Sheila (aka Mrs Howie Casey) and Jeanette - whose performance will include their 1964 classic "Sweet & Tender Romance", following its appearance on YouTube. The track was penned by Ken Lewis and John Carter (he of The Ivy League, The Flowerpot Men, First Class, Haystack, Dawn Chorus, Stanford bridge, Kincade fame).

The girls are also well-loved amongst girl-groupies for their Spector-soundalike classic "Someone Cares For Me" and have featured on RPM's wonderful Dream Babes compilations, namely volumes 3 and 4.

More details at Mr Kyps website:

Also at Howie Casey's website:

View the McKinleys' 1964 performance of "Sweet & Tender Romance" on Ready Steady Go! here:

Friday, 10 April 2009

Hinterland 2009

Hinterland, as most of you know by now is mostly about discovering the hottest bands of 2009. We've done a lot of the groundwork for you and booked some of the best acts that the current music scene has to offer including Sons & Daughters, Micachu, We Have Band, Drums Of Death, The Invisible, Tommy Reilly... the list goes on, see here for line up.

However, we have had about 400 submissions from new bands and we're not the types to chuck things straight in the bin. We have spent the last few weeks at Hinterland HQ listening to every single MP3, CD and Myspace page sent our way in the hope of finding a diamond. We have whittled the list down and with the help of some of our partners will be choosing a potential 5 bands to battle it out online to win a very special prize at Hinterland. More news on this early next week but be warned, we will need your input...

In addition to the music at Hinterland, we will be showcasing some of the best new art that Scotland has to offer. This will begin with Jenny Soep who will be our featured ducumentary drawer. Jenny specialises in drawing original alternative musicians during their performance and has drawn from the likes of Bjork, Sigur Ros, Bonnie Prince Billy, Jeffrey Lewis, Arab Strap, Mogwai, Union of Knives, De Rosa, and a whole load of others.

We will be launching the art side of Hinterland with Jenny's special Solo Show 'Sketching the Scene'
Grand Multimedia Opening - Wednesday 29th April 6pm onwards
- Mono, 10 King St, Glasgow, G1 5QP

Tel: 0141 553 2400

Come on down, early arrivals can have a drink on us and get the party started.

Radio Magnetic is one of the longest running underground online radio stations in the UK and has recently joined forces with Hinterland to bring you some up front coverage of Hinterland Festival. Radio Magnetic has been broadcasting fresh contemporary electronic, indie, hip hop and roots music for the past eight years with presented shows, DJ mixes, live sessions, competitions and current contributors including Fabric London, Mad Decent, Jim Gellatly, Electronic Explorations, Little Rock Records, and a host of other taste makers from around the UK.

Keep locked on the Radio Magnetic site for previews of Hinterland featuring interviews and tracks from some of the bands playing at the festival. There'll also be chances to win tickets and live coverage after the events so that you can listen back to your favourite acts and relive the live experience.

Radio Magnetic live here:

If you're out an about in Glasgow this weekend look out for our team at the top of Buchanan Street and come and say Hi.

Please also remember time is running out and you *must* get your tickets now! Hinterland Tickets are the best Easter gift ever! Yes - better than chocolate!

Two day tickets are £42, one day tickets are £23.50.

For this you get the choice of over 100 bands, special club nights, big name DJs, art events and more!

Get them HERE:


Team Hinterland x

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Tigerfest Line-up announced

Tigerfest 09 lineup announced

Tigerfest is pleased to announce its 2009 lineup for May 2009. As ever it's a top-class band roster, combining the best in Scottish acts plus a few performers coming north especially for the occasion. The mini-festival, over the space of three weeks, takes in shows in Dunfermline, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, running in conjunction with its affiliates Baby Tiger, the Carnegie Hall, Interesting Music Promotions, and online/media partner is this music?

Among the acts lined up for Tigerfest 2009 are James Yorkston, Aberfeldy, King Creosote, Alistair Roberts, Amusement Parks on Fire, Lord Cut-Glass, De Rosa, Found, Cruiser, and ballboy.
Full listings can be found below, full details at

Dunfermline highlights:
James Yorkston - part of the Scottish Arts Council Tuneup tour, we can think of no better ideal opener for the Dunfermline leg than the previous Carnegie headliner.

Cruiser / Found / Swimmer One - Three potential bill-toppers on one bill, including local heroes and Radio One favourites Cruiser. Fresh from SXSW, Scots media darlings Found join literate electropoppers Swimmer One.

Ballboy - perennial indie champions, and now technically Scottish scene veterans, the Edinburgh 4-piece are still producing perfect pop as evidenced by latest offering I Worked On The Ships. Following many appearances at Baby Tiger and is this music? shows, we’re pleased to finally put them on the Carnegie stage.

Chermikal Underground night - perhaps the biggest of our four shows and an apt closer with the first full band performance of Lord Cut-Glass - former Delgado Alun Woodward. Plus, perhaps the hottest act in Scotland at present in De Rosa, and some international flavour with Angil + the Hiddentracks.

And that's only Dunfermline, which is Tigerfest week 2, as announced by Vic Galloway on his Radio One show.

Edinburgh - which opens the month’s festivities - sees the return of Amusement Parks on Fire, with support from The Gothenburg Address - a new Edinburgh act which includes former Arab Strap and Zephyrs members in its ranks.

We also have two special shows ‘curated’ by websites / blogs based in the capital. 17seconds recently released the comeback single from local legends Aberfeldy who head up a bill with labelmates Ex Lion Tamer.

Plus, curated by blogger/label song:bytoad, a bill headed up by one of Edinburgh’s most talked-about new acts, Meursault.

Alongside The Stantons and Le Reno Amps, The Gillyflowers feature Kirsten Adamson, daughter of former Big Country guitarist Stuart, and a solo artist in her own right. This gig is a Duty Free night in conjunction with our friends at the Cabaret Voltaire and as its name suggests, offers the chance to check out these three very fine acts, gratis.

The Edinburgh leg also has a dance party vibe on the Saturday with a Fallen Apples-selected bill headed up by Ordinary Allstars.

And then we get to Aberdeen in conjunction with our friends in IMP with 2 special showcase gigs: - a Fence Records night headed up by King Creosote, and a rare foray north from Alasdair Roberts.

Full listings


Wed 6: Amusement Parks On Fire / The Gothenburg Address, @ Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, £8

Thur 7: Meursault / Inspector Tapehead / The Japanese War Effort (Song:bytoad):, @ Bowery. 8pm, £5

Fri 8: Aberfeldy / Ex Lion Tamer / The Gillyflowers (17seconds / ZekePromotions), @ Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, £10

Sat 9: Ordinary Allstars / SupersonicSims / B-burg DJset (Fallen Apple Events), @ Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, £7

Sun 10: The Stantons / The Gillyflowers / Le Reno Amps (Duty Free) , @ Cabaret Voltaire. 7pm, free

all shows at Carnegie Hall

Wed 13 May: James Yorkston / Lisa Knapp. 7.30pm, £10

Thu 14 May: Cruiser / Found / Swimmer One. 7.30pm, £6

Fri 15 May: ballboy / Audrey Sings Nico / The Rosie Thomas Project / Saint Jude's Infirmary. 7.30pm, £6

Sat 16 May: Lord Cut-Glass / De Rosa / Angil + The Hiddentracks. 7.30pm, £6


Thu 21 May: Alasdair Roberts / Kitchen Cynics / Amber Wilson (IMP) @ Tunnels. 8pm, £8 / £6

Sun 24 May: King Creosote / The Pictish Trail / Player Piano (IMP) @ Lemon Tree. 7.30pm, £14

Briefing and background:
Tigerfest has run since 2004 as a regular independent festival of new music. Originated in Edinburgh by promoter Baby Tiger, it expanded to feature showpiece gigs in Dunfermline. It has seen bands such as Idlewild, King Creosote, Emma Pollock, Malcolm Middleton, Half Man Half Biscuit, Nouvelle Vague and Camera Obscura perform as well as promoting early gigs by KT Tunstall, and giving acts such as Frightened Rabbit and Dananananaykroyd headline shows.

po box 13516 linlithgow eh49 6wb ... t: 01506 840063 ... e:

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Here is an update from those wonderful lads in Dropkick, one of Jocknroll's favourite bands:

"Hello everyone and happy Easter to you all.

There's been a lot happening in Dropkickland since I last pestered you. In February, we played our first ever gigs outside the UK with a weekend trip to Mallorca organised by our friend Joan Andreu of Pecan Pie. Thanks entirely to Joan, it was hugely successful for us and we sold more CDs in 1 night than we normally do in about 6 months. Even more miraculously, we even managed to sell some of our new "high quality" Patchwork t-shirts. You too can get your t-shirt at for just £7 by the way... Some photos from the trip can be seen here. Look out for the charcoal caricature of the band that a street artist in Palma drew. You'll see that I appear to have gotten a particualrly rough deal - I seem to have aged by about 89 years in the picture! Also while we were in Mallorca, we found some time to film a promo video for one of our new songs "Don't Know Where It Ends". You can see the result at or on YouTube.

Back in Scotland, we've finished recording our next album, due out before the end of the year. You can listen to 5 of the songs at The album still has no title, so we're open to suggestions. You can email them to me at this email address and the best suggestion received by 17th April will win a free t-shirt. And if that wasn't enough, if we end up using your title, you'll also get a free copy of the album when it comes out.

We've also got a few gigs coming up. Here's the details:
Fri 10th April @ 13th Note, Glasgow. Support from Mr D. Doors 8.30pm. £4.
Fri 24th April @ Aikman's, St Andrews. 9.30pm. Free.
Fri 8th May @ Darvel "Homecoming" Music Festival, Darvel Town Hall, Ayrshire. With Attic Lights, The Primary 5 and The Parish Music Box. Doors are 7pm. Tickets are £15. See for details of how to buy. Should be a reasonably good gig I think.

Well that's enough for now. See you next time.

Alastair Dropkick

Big In Falkirk 2-3 May 2009

Big in Falkirk, Scotland's National Street Arts festival, celebrates its 10th birthday this year with an exciting line up, including world premieres and the return of some much loved acts which have gone down a storm since the festival's inception in 2000.

The Free event, which attracts up to 100,000 visitors, takes place at Falkirk's Callendar Park on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May 2009. People of all ages and tastes will enjoy a diverse mix of live music, outdoor theatre, dance, visual art and pyrotechnics. 2009 highlights include:

In the year of Homecoming, this year's event celebrates another milestone birthday, Robert Burns' 250th and to celebrate, Sunday will feature a world premiere of iconic images, rousing music, pyrotechnics and visual delights in a spectacular finale entitled: 'Burns is Back!' Specially commissioned and produced by Big in Falkirk. Designed by Graeme Gilmour (Sticky; Full Circle; Shock Headed Peter); Lit by Phil Supple (Sticky, Full Circle, NVA's Half Life); Pyro by The World Famous (Sticky, Full Circle and Big in Falkirk finale shows); Directed by Neil Butler. This is the same team that created and delivered the critically acclaimed finale to the 2009 launch of Homecoming and is not to be missed.

Stereo MCsBig in Falkirk has a strong history of discovering acts just as they are about to break through with Amy MacDonald, McFly, Snow Patrol and Sandi Thom having graced the music stage in previous years. Headliners for this year are Capercaillie and Stereo MCs. Capercaillie have been responsible for bringing Celtic music to the world stage and singer Karen Matheson's exquisite voice has made her one of the finest Gaelic singers alive. The band fuses Gaelic music with contemporary and has sold millions of albums worldwide.

Fresh from unleashing their album 'Double Bubble' last summer, Stereo MCs are often labelled as one of the UK's most iconic bands and with Brit Awards and million selling albums behind them, they are back once again to prove that they're as innovative and relevant as ever.

Also featured are some of the best up and coming bands in the UK, including Falkirk's very own, The Ray Summers; Edinburgh's Young Fathers; Glasgow's The Skinflints, Scottish folk band Breabach; Andi Neate, who has been compared to Suzanne Vega and Tori Amos; Esperanza, who blend their own distinctive brand of ska with a few choice covers; Ben Sturrock who has been inspired by Ray Lamontagne and Van Morrison; power pop five piece, The Sears; reggae star Empress Ayeola (making her Scottish debut) and The Dojo Drummers. Back by popular demand are: Danse or Die; Crieff's Day of Days and Carnival Collective.

The TwitchersBig in Falkirk stalwarts, Mischief La Bas have delighted audiences over the last 10 years with some of the most brilliant off-the-wall street theatre in the world. This year sees the world premieres of artistic director Ian Smith's latest productions, Beastly Beauty and Hurty Gurty Man. Over the years, Smith has inflicted his singing on the public in a variety of guises, from ersatz pop singer to faux crooner. Now he wishes to return to street level and these two newly-commissioned pieces show him dress up as a bull and drag a matador around (Beastly Beauty) and subverting the jolly image of the Organ Grinder by croaking out inappropriate songs of doom and despair (Hurty Gurty Man). Smith celebrates his 50th birthday this year and 30 years of artistic meddling - his shows are always a highlight of the event.

Dance plays a big part in this year's festival and new for 2009 is the chance to learn some moves in the Dance Tent which has classes running over the weekend for all ages and levels. Motionhouse Dance Theatre and Gilmore Productions - two internationally renowned dance companies - invite you to come along and shake your stuff and guarantee to get you dancing your socks off!

SnowglobeThe dance programme includes Snowglobe, an installation exploring Flamenco with Angie Dight's beautifully visual spectacle. Motionhouse Dance Theatre presents Underground, attention grabbing performances featuring four dancers using stunning physical dance where the characters are constantly drawn together then torn apart, producing a thought provoking and energetic performance. The Park Gallery hosts Screendance, featuring innovative new works in dance, movement, cinema, moving image and visual art. Each piece provides a unique take on the fusion of dance and technology. The Screendance Film Project is a collection of dance film works created by young people from the surrounding areas. Visitors are instructed to look up high and down low to uncover the dancers and follow the treasure hunt of films waiting to be discovered around the park.

Falkirk's Children's Youth Theatre, in association with Mischief La Bas and Mitch Miller, will premiere their latest show, The Fantastic Staccato Bananas - a rip roaring and side splitting event featuring colourful characters from yesteryear performing ludicrous, exciting and mildly dangerous acts and lure you into the world of fairground life. If you don't find them, they'll find you!

Following on from its success last year, the Secret Garden is back. If you're looking for a break from the main stage, head for the more intimate surroundings of the back lawn and look out for quirky theatre, summer sounds and the Made in the Shade marquee - showcasing emerging design, neo-craft and vintage lifestyle. Expect a rock 'n' roll soundtrack and old-time treats!

The East Village will have an abundance of activities for all ages including an under 5's fun tent with story telling and a range of games.

This year's Fringe Tent offers a platform for the cream of unsigned local bands and young bands from the local Rock the Talk project. You can also try your hand at playing instruments including guitars, keyboards and drums plus jamming sessions with Puff Uproar and the Shimmering Sound Affair who invite over 16s who play a wind instrument to bring it along and jam!

For the more active, there's an abundance of sporting activities including basketball and rugby and, for the more daring, a climbing wall, ski-slope, a bungie run and mountain biking.

The Festival Market is back selling unique clothing and accessories and there's a craft tent and the chance to try out holistic therapies and some tasty treats to suit all palettes from the food stalls.

Colin Macintyre - In Residence

A wee message from Colin himself regarding his imminent residency at 12 Bar Club, London:

"Hi all

A few more bits of info on my London 12 Bar Club London residency dates, which start today, Wed 8th and continue through Weds 15th, Tues 21st, Tues 28th. (see below for more details or click here)

Football Fans - I know some of you (and me, even though Celtic are knocked out) will have one eye on the Champions League football during this time so I'll be taking the stage each night after the games finish - around 10ish - so come along win lose or draw!

(My Gran is coming along this week - all the way to London from Mull - she fed and watered me during the recording back home...I hope she's bringing her Chicken Curry...)

I'll be playing songs from my new album, 'Island', and each week different tracks from The Water, This Is Hope, Us and Loss. I've also had some B-side suggestions too since last week's newsletter. I'm since re-learning the chords to 'Ugly Buildings Are Beautiful', 'Sad Old Day To Be Down' & 'Don't Suffer'. Tweet your requests or follow me on Twitter

More info on Island's worldwide release coming soon.

As I mentioned last week the first play of my new single 'Cape Wrath' will be on Sat May 2nd when I'll be live in session on the Dermot O'Leary Show on BBC Radio 2. Tune in or stream live on iPlayer

Here's a selection of your requests for my live cover version for the show... Rocket From The Crypt, Olivia Newton John, Neil Young, Sebastien Tellier, REM, Husker Du, Indigo Girls. Got some more? If so, email them


For the record I suggested a cover of A1's "Caught In The Middle". Do let me know if he does it!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Head along to the Winchester Club and/or Blackfriars in Glasgow for the Glasgow Rhythm and Blues Festival. Featured bands include Barry Tweed and The Chasers, The Fabulous Ottomans, Jazzman Gerald, Little George Sueref, The Tennessee Hotshots, Glasgow Gospel Choir, Big Boy Bloater and The Bottleneckers. Details at:

All manner of fabulous Scottish acts are confirmed for The Outsider Festival at Rothiemurchus although I can't believe that Sharleen Spiteri is ahead of Teenage Fanclub on the bill but hey, what do I know? More details at:

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Indietracks Festival 24-26 July 2009

Okay, it's not a Scottish festival but a number of great Scottish bands have been lined up to play the Indietracks Festival, which continues to go from strength to strength.

This year's line-up includes appearances from several Scottish acts including Camera Obscura, The BMX Bandits, Wake The President and Butcher Boy.

Go to the Indietracks website for more details.

Paul Haig Day - Monday 6 April 2009

Tomorrow, Monday 6 April is Paul Haig Day.

You can read about the inspiration for this event at the Vinyl Villain blog, including backing from Paul Haig and his management.

This is a great idea and you should all support it, whether you know of Paul Haig's work or not.

Paul has given permission for bloggers to allow access to his excellent 2007 single "Reason". So feel free to download it and enjoy it.

MP3: Paul Haig - Reason

Other Blogs taking part and who may be hosting other Paul Haig tracks include:

Condemned To Rock'n'Roll
The World According To Davenelli (being resurrected especially for this!)
Acid Ted
Exile On Moan Street
Across The Kitchen Table
17 Seconds
Flippin Kids (first time an mp3 will have featured at that place)
Love Shack, Baby
Castles In Space
Blogger's Delite
How Does That One Go Again?
Aye Tunes
Sexy Loser
Armagideon Time
A Sweet Unrest
The Songs That People Sing
Sunset Over Slawit
Manic Pop Thrills
Song, By Toad
London Cafe : The Best Of UK Indie
Helpless Dancer

A "Heaven Sent" idea.

The Ineptors

Following on from Norwich Union (Aviva) and Bounce (Plenty), Preston Pfanz and The Seaton Sands have undergone a corporate makeover and are now The Ineptors. You can hear their wonderful surfing sounds on their MySpace page.

You can also catch them live, supporting Lord Rochester and The Mad Scene at Henry's Cellar Bar, Morrison Street, Edinburgh from 8pm on Wednesday 15 April. A bargain £5/£4 entry for a veritable beat happening.

Thanks to Lindsay Hutton at The Next Big Thing for the heads up. There's not a pulse that Lindsay doesn't have his finger on.