Tag Archives: And Yet It Moves

A Gift from the Reaper

The world of And Yet It Moves had fell quiet for some time, and no one despite a small group of people knew exactly what was happening, however Dale Barclay the frontman of the group contacted me wanting to shed light and share exactly the ordeal that has happened.

Cutting to the chase, at the tender age of 32 Barclay was diagnosed with grade four glioblastoma brain cancer and as a result has relocated home to Glasgow from the band’s Berlin base to focus on fighting that, but from what is a quite terrifying reality has born a man more awake than ever before.

When I met up with Barclay and band mate and now wife Laura St. Jude, they came across like they had done in the past, the most welcoming enthusiastic people you could ever meet in your life; now two artists caught up in a whirlwind of a medical catastrophe are making the only choice; to face to head on, keep creating, keep fighting and enjoy everything that comes your way.

When putting together this piece I wasn’t quite sure how to approach this piece, however the best way felt to go Barclay’s raw dialogue, a stream of inspiring consciousness, about fear, life, beauty and what really matters:

Being diagnosed with cancer is potentially the scariest thing that can happen in someone’s life, can you explain what your initial reaction to finding out was? 

Exhilaration, doom, sadness for my family and Laura (St. Jude), seeing them upset was worse than being told. The fog only really clears after surgery for me. My surgeon, Mr Alakandy, telling me my adversary was turbo charged is the moment I’m recalling. Post surgery. A moment seared into me. Grade four Glioblastoma brain cancer. Unmethylated. Wild type mutation. It’s pure instinct. Run or fight. It was a morning of crystal clear clarity, every detail is there, the power of facing uncomfortable truths, it has to be faced. A lesson for some in never jumping the gun. My reaction now is rage, I’m fuckin raging and must remain so. I’m in the fight of my life. I have much to do. The stage, they say, is set. Cancer can fuck off. All barrels are loaded. Fight, fight, fight every day is the way. Music and words are the bullets. Clarity is the light.

Can you go into detail about the scenario that led to going to hospital and finding out?

I had two seizures, one in Frankfurt before a Laura St Jude gig, the second was the night before an And Yet It Moves show in Portsmouth. Laura and I had been living in Germany but after the second one returned to Glasgow. The docs were testing me for epilepsy, there’s no history of that in my family, so, there was one doctor in the RAH that flagged it and got me a scan, and by that point I was drugged up enough to forget her name. I shall be forever grateful to her. If she hadn’t taken the initiative then, the tumour may have keep growing until it was too late to rumble with it. My lady of the RAH I thank with every ounce of my being. I remember much more after surgery, waking up with a tube sticking out the side of my head, the nurses that took care of me, I remember everything, being told it was grade four, the docs faces, the tears from the people I love and who love me, my tears. I felt no fear. I feel no fear. I feel awakened. If you’ve watched the Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson then that’s it. The sky has never looked so beautiful. I feel more alive now than ever before. Cancer has brought liquid gold clarity to me, like a gift from the reaper, I am grateful. A clear mind now is paramount. I must fight and will. No mercy will be shown and none asked for. It’s war, let there be no doubt.

Without going into too much technical details can you tell us aboit the form of cancer you have?

I have grade four Glioblastoma brain cancer. All cancer is aggressive. Some more than others. Mine is primary, which means it’s contained in my brain and has not spread or migrated from anywhere else in my body. I am extremely fortunate that that is the case. Fight or flight time and it’s all on black. Run and die or fight and live. No heads in the sand here. Ever. Never. My surgeon, Mr Alakandy, his team, Wuillie and Big Chris, cut 90% of the cancer out, the remaining 10% must be burned. I’m on Chemo, Radiotherapy and a clinical trial. I attend the Beatson in Glasgow. My treatment is on going for the next six months at the very least. I would also urge anyone reading this that has cancer or if someone they love has it to Google cannabis oil and cancer.

You recently got positive news, what was that and how did that effect you?

I recently got my first MRI scan since leaving hospital and starting treatment. No growth. A smiling oncologist is worth more than heaven could hold. No doubt. A fine day. First one so it’s a gravel pit to now bounce to the future off of. And it warmed my blood to see Laura and my family and friends smiling. Good vibes all over. It’s always onwards never a backwards step. Onto the next one.

How has having cancer affected yourself and those around you, both in terms of living habits and life view?

There’s before and after no doubt. A silver edge crossed and there’s no way back even if I wanted to. And I wouldn’t if I could. Cancer can’t be ignored. Or it can but you die if you do. I refuse to die, I have too much to do and see, too much music to make, I fight with drugs and music and love and friendship, all remnants of bullshit have been flamethrowered from my being. Sugar is gone, cancer loves sugar, the solution they inject you with when you get an MRI scan has glucose in it, when it gets to the tumour it creates a creates a feeding frenzy and the fucker lights up like Christmas. If anyone reading this reckons it’s a good idea to feed your enemy I would urge them to take a permanent swim in the Clyde. Certainly trying to cut back on the smokes and the cocktails is recommended. It can be done. Put your arms around anything or anyone you love and don’t let go. Now.

You’ve kept on writing and performing since having the operation, has cancer affected your approach to this in any noticeable ways?

My love for my loves has increased more than I ever thought possible. I’m greedy for beauty and it’s everywhere. I would not go back given the choice. Music, writing, reading, friendship. I have not stopped writing since leaving hospital, I thank Steven Thomas especially for the encouragement and inspiration to not stop. I haven’t. Thank you Steven, my brother. The truth is in the book. I want more of everything I love. I want to be in good company more than ever. All doubt is gone. I have no need for it any more. It’s fuelled me up to now but cancer has cremated it. I’m grateful. My purpose is music. It’s in me. Where it goes I go. Laura and me are here for music. Music is the answer and the source of all my power. Life. Source. All of the above.

What does this all mean for And Yet It Moves?

And Yet It Moves live and create in Berlin. Laura and I have to be in Glasgow for 2018, my treatment is on going for this year, so until I’m not shackled to the hospital we can’t tour. We were just setting up album two. To be continued…

You have formed the Cain’s Collective, can you tell us more about that (who it is collectively, what they do, how you met and what is planned release/event wise for the future)?

CC is Laura St Jude, Dale Barclay, Steven Thomas (poet), Kelsey Black (painter), Paul Barclay (photographer). Paul and I met at T in the park, when the Snakeheads played there. Many miles together since. Laura and I and Steven and Kelsey got talking at a And Yet It Moves gig and haven’t stopped since. Steven’s first book will be published by Cain’s Collective. Steven will have a 7” vinyl out soon. Me and Laura are will have a split 7” out in June. Kelsey’s artwork will be landing. Steven is main support for Dale Barclay and Laura St Jude shows in June (21st, Edinburgh-Sneaky Petes, 22nd Glasgow-The Art School). Steven’s book and the vinyl will be on sale at the Cain’s Collective stall at the gigs.

Has Cain’s Collective been something you’ve thought of putting together before this happened, or is it more a case of seizing the scenario that life has thrown your way?

Cain’s Collective is most definitely seize the moment, we unexpectedly find ourselves back in Glasgow fighting brain cancer, so what can be done now we are here? That was the question. I’ve never been more sure of anything before. Magic is real and fairies exist, there will be blood.

The battle commenced. It must be fought to the death. Poetry, music, imagery from a deep dark place speaking many uncomfortable truths!  We create through the inspiration of each other as part of Cain’s Collective! Cain’s Collective is a group beyond society a family of creatives, brothers and sisters bound by blood and bone. If you lift the dirt and the gravel, you will find us there. Creation on many different platforms, from blood, from love. Darkness guides our hands and heads, our pens and paint brushes, it seeps from cracks and minds alike. In this ceaseless war of life, we are here to put forward our woes and worries, our love and hate. The truth is on every line and can be read between. In the field Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him, what have you done? Listen! Your brothers blood cries out to us from the soil. It’s head in hands, the sweat dripping down your cheek, a clear vision. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable, we confront with dilated pupils, we confront. It’s a dark night, it’s a throat cut, it’s a warm embrace here at Cain’s Collective. Welcome to ‘Cain’s Collective’, publishing, bookmaking and record company for the rebel hearted among the humans. In the great tradition of independent labels and publishers we provide cover for outsider artists that the mainstream media can neither fathom nor handle. Words, images and music from beyond the standard model. We only release work we truly love with focus on quality and clarity. Cain’s Collective; for those creative souls cursed to wander through a life of artistic exile, shunned by the ignorant and ignored by the masses. We aim to liberate those minds from the shackles of modern society through art, poetry and music. Bound together by a need to create, we are a band of brothers and sisters working collaboratively as a non-profit organisation to produce widely accessible, inclusive to all anti-authoritarian art. We believe in artistic liberty and freedom of speech for all. We denounce any use of censorship, our work is honest and must be acknowledged. Condemn those who create for profit. Art for art’s sake always. No exceptions.

Steven Thomas of Cain’s Collective

During all of this you and Laura got married, was this something that was in the pipeline for a while, it doesn’t seem to have changed anything between the pair of you, but it would be good to get your feelings on what made you take that step.

Yes, we had been engaged to be married for two years, living together for six, it was past the time to do it and there is no more waiting. When Sailor married Lula, it was no cold December, for true love and the sacred heart, a Saturday morning to remember. A moment of pure beauty in a sea of darkness. A blood red wedding. Boots size nine. A Benny Hamish special. Sailor and Lula forever and always.

Cain’s Collective established February twenty eighteen for good reasons. Based in Glasgow, Scotland. Limited run signed and numbered books, paintings, prints and vinyl releases coming soon. Dale and Laura play 6/5 Stag and Dagger, 12/5 Pie and Brew, Glasgow (acoustic)

And Yet It Moves – Free Pass To The Future

Where to start with this one then?

Free Pass To The Future by Berlin/Glasgow five-piece And Yet It Moves is all over the place, nuts, crams in about 27 different styles – often within one song – and is 100% mental.

Good thing or bad thing?

On initial listenings, lord only knows really, but this collection is certainly original and puts down an early and solid marker for the barker of the year award.

What you get is guitars – lots of them – which happily hop between heavy, swampy rock to breezy and jolly pop: so far so normal.

Then we get to the vocals by Dale Barclay, which quack about in a Captain Beefheart-like fashion at times and suggest someone you should either run away from or run away with should you encounter them at a party; faintly daft, completely confident and uncaring of any convention.

The fact the singing occasionally and attractively then sounds like Lloyd Cole only adds to the surreal nature of goings on here: you may be enjoying that relatively calm aspect but it’s swiftly ditched and the drums and guitars kick into a cacophony that suggests someone has just driven a truck through the studio.

At first, it’s quite hard to know whether Free Pass To The Future is any good or a load of old rubbish: it’s scattergun noisy racket is so all over the place it has little to compare it to.

Beware, however: on the third, fourth and fifth listening, it all begins to make sense and becomes faintly irresistible.

The thumping rock parts are certainly stirring, the winsome backing vocals are attractive in a bit goth kinda way, the structure and rest of it is freestyle, but now in a rather impressive and seductive way: all in, if you suspend disbelief and go with the flow, it turns out this is a great record.

Perhaps the eccentricity and indeed the length of some of the songs – eight minutes, count ’em – put Free Pass To The Future into the prog-rock revival category?

Possible, but, if it is, it’s at the harder end of the spectrum.

They’re also in the cul de sac where drum and bass-type percussion can be lobbed into the mix [see intro to ‘Brother Henry’]… niche, for sure.

We even get some classic Scottish scratchy guitar pop on ‘Second Earth Song’.

A bit discordant but you can see the lineage to Glasgow bands of the early ’80s though naturally some of the vocals are then fed through a vocoder and things get rather raucous.

‘Second Earth Song’ is ultimately a triumph though: the high point here.

It may be nuts, it may be yelling, “fuck you“, all over the place but it has a joyousness about it, a celebration of itself.

It’s hard to imagine another record like this appearing anytime soon – reason enough to commend it.

The fact that, with a little perseverance, it’s also a hoot only adds to the plus points.

Dive in…with a crash helmet and an open mind.

Words: Vosne Malconsorts

Tracks of 2017 (40-31)

40. Marble Gods – ‘Washing Machine’

“a song about finding your feet and washing your socks”, it couldn’t have been put any better. Marble Gods are a band that exude joy, and ‘Washing Machine’ is the perfect example of that with its delightful lo-fi indie pop jangle, sugar coated C86 vocal displays and whimsical lyrics.

39. L-space – ‘Aloe’

‘Aloe’ is about someone being turned into a giant metal bird, need we say more. It’s also a dark, sinister yet dreamy piece of pop that stood out as the best work of an exciting band to emerge in 2017. L-space released a couple of promising EPs this year but it was this single released towards the end the calendar that caught our attention the most as it built from atmospheric beginnings to a ominous climax and left us wanting more.

38. Dama Scout – ‘Suzie Wong’ [Father/Daughter]

‘Suzie Wong’ was just one example of the creative and unpredictable charm of Dama Scout in 2017, and the track centred around a recording of a child’s guitar the band found while on holiday in Portugal is a delightful effort. Another modern pop number that takes in warm and classic indie influences while maintaining a truly fascinating sound, while sugar-coated, dreamlike vocals and and buzzing off-kilter melodies make it one that we’ll keep coming back to.

37. Walt Disco – ‘Jackets’

Walt Disco emerged this year with a shimmering, flamboyant talent and their debut single ‘Jackets’ gave us a taster of what to expect in the near future. The young five-piece here have meshed a charismatic lead falsetto with dynamic guitars and synths to great a sound no doubt indebted to a time before these guys were born, while feeling refreshingly current and exciting.

36. The Vegan Leather – ‘Shake It’

Instantaneously the massive, dirty electronics kick ‘Shake It’ into life, with the boy/girl trade-off between vocalists Marie Collins and Gianluca Bernacchi. Around two and a half minutes in, ‘Shake It’ essentially stops before becoming a different beast altogether. An instrumental seemingly custom-made for big dancefloors reverberates before the chanting finale of “SHAKE! SHAKE IT! SHAKE IT OUT!” Despite still being in their relative infancy, The Vegan Leather already now have an absolute banger, which sets them in good stead for fulfilling their definite potential.

35. And Yet It Moves – ‘Second Earth Song’

Free Pass To The Future was such an intense and genre spanning album that selecting a song wasn’t easy, we’ve gone for ‘Second Earth Song’ though, It’s a bit discordant but you can see the lineage to Glasgow bands of the early ’80s though naturally some of the vocals are then fed through a vocoder and things get rather raucous. It may be nuts, it may be yelling, “Fuck you”, all over the place but it has a joyousness about it, a celebration of itself.

34. Sister John – ‘Sweetest Moment’ [Last Night From Glasgow]

Meeting through the Parsonage Choir, Glasgow’s Sister John make beautiful lo-fi pop with a touch of Americana to their lush, warm harmonies. It’s startling just how assured the songwriting feels right off the bat on ‘Sweetest Moment’, from the conversational opening bars to the beautifully simple refrain “I’ll take it, break it and just before it cracks, it’s the sweetest moment,” it’s one of the most charming and effortlessly melodic tracks of the year. Keening fiddle adds a touch of Gillian Welch, while the gentle backing vocals lend a Laurel Canyon lushness to a track that floats past like a hazy evening breeze.

33. CHUMP – ‘At Least We Got A Song Out Of It’ [Gerry Loves]

‘At Least We Got a Song Out of It’ is rhythmically hypnotic and oozes professionalism and poise as well as laid-back resignation; it’s vocally endearing and musically explorative, well engineered and beautifully recorded. The wash of the cymbals is well placed and overlays the other instruments with a sense of distance. CHUMP do a good job of embracing and balancing the sound of its global and local acoustic elements.

32. December ’91 – ‘Starin’ At The Freaks’ [GoldMold]

We’ve been used to dark, misery drenched sometimes beautiful, sometimes frantic lo-fi punk come alt-rock from Stirling resident Craig Ferrie, aka December ’91. With ‘Starin’ At The Freaks’ is noticeably less lo-fi, with a lively optimistic sounding constantly driving backdrop that comes with an addictive vocal line that recalls the likes of Kurt Vile’s drawl delivery. A bright bit of alternative pop that brings in all the sunshine of the boat journey captured in the track’s video and brings a welcome upbeat addition to the ever growing December ’91 catalogue.

31. Emme Woods – ‘I’ve Been Running’ [Last Night From Glasgow]

Emme Woods is an act that has been rather underlooked by us over the past year, so much so that this single completely bypassed us when it came out, ‘I’ve Been Running’ is a dark contemplative track that perfectly shows Woods’ unique and impressive vocal stylings along with her unquestionable songwriting ability.

Albums of 2017 (20-11)

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1 EPs 30-2120-1110-1

20. And Yet It Moves – Free Pass To The Future

With And Yet It Moves you never knew what to expect, from jaw dropping experimental jam-like frenzies to full on aural assaults they are the ever encapsulating live band led by a frontman in Dale Barclay that you just can’t take your eyes off. On record that don’t quite carry that same presence, but is Free Pass To The Future they channel their all encompassing live show as best to can on record, giving touches of every genre you can imagine with a raw energy that explodes him intense bursts of power.

19. MC Almond Milk – Full Day, Cool Times

The postman from sunny Govan returned with the excellent Full Day, Cool Times, that through a number of ups and downs, show a real insight into the mind of this exciting MC. MC Almond Milk mixes wittily crafted lyrics, cheekily Scottish references with at times dreamy at others full on party beats. Lyrically Full Day, Cool Times sees the Glasgow MC take a sardonic look at youth culture, go on a nostalgic journey through his past, as we see him try to make sense of culture and himself. It’s a joyous listen from a very funny yet also very socially aware individual and is well worth delving into.

18. Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun [Rock Action]

Whether crashing tides of art-rock drums over scintillating melodies on ‘Brain Sweeties’, or returning to the familiar slow build of a classic Mogwai anthem on ‘Coolverine’, this record solidifies a leanness of sound that sometimes bursts into reflective expanse. The nebulous haze of intense guitars recedes in gentler clefts of quiet chorale (‘1000 Foot Face’), while tracks like ‘Don’t Believe the Fife’ pound through the sublime intensity that Mogwai do best.

17. The Cosmic Dead – Psych Is Dead [Riot Season]

The Cosmic Dead’s sixth slab of music in recent years opens with a meditative trance, a wash of modulating drone pushed alone with a jarring sparse bass groove bringing to mind the brittle dry tones of Slint’s Spiderland. This is on top of waves and gargles of synth mixed with the effected guitars, the tropical watery arpeggios bring the refreshment to the scene created. This pleasance this comes to an end as the temperature rises to that of a burning comet heading straight for the listener’s temples. Links to their live set can be heard in the closer ‘#FW’, where after the howl of what sounds like “fuck Westminster” the headbanger material comes out; the riff gather a playful side as a bit crushed hooks is typed out as the record draws to a close.

16. The Great Albatross – Asleep In The Kaatskills [LP]

Recorded over four years in various bedrooms in Scotland and California Asleep in the Kaatskills by The Great Albatross is a tremendously coherent and enjoyable album, worth more than the sum of its parts, failing at no point to impress, falling at no point into a pigeonhole and feeling at all times extremely professional. Despite embracing a number of popular sounds and dimensions, the album has a lot of originality, it is experimental without sacrificing its cohesiveness or purpose. Neither too light nor too dark, not too happy or sad, neither too serious nor too jovial, too simple or too complex, the catchy parts aren’t too sickly and the record has popular appeal without sacrificing an ounce of integrity; it is highly emotional but not sappy; combined, the balance of these aspects makes an exceptional debut, incorporating a wide variety of instruments in sensational harmony.

15. Catholic Action – In Memory Of [Modern Sky]

Catholic Action built a stellar reputation over a few years and their debut LP demonstrates their knack for killer choruses, it’s a remarkably well put together collection, with crisp, bright production and a multitude of hooks ringing out like church bells. At their best Catholic Action channel both the humour and the classic power pop songwriting of bands like Cheap Trick or The Cars and it’s when Catholic Action compress themselves into these compact forms that the best moments on In Memory Of arise. It might not be the most coherent album you’ll hear but it full of such joy enthused tracks that it has to be considered one of Scotland’s best in 2017.

14. Annie Booth – An Unforgiving Light [Scottish Fiction/Last Night From Glasgow]

Edinburgh based artist Annie Booth has received critical acclaim and continued to impress in her new release An Unforgiving Light. Booth is on point with not only her song writing, but her capacity to communicate many deep sentiments through her work. An Unforgiving Light will at points send shivers down your spine with beautifully concocted mellow numbers, but Booth shows mastery in her capacity for crossing many plains of musical forms using punchy lyrics, calypso like guitar at points to keep the piece both catchy and addictively pleasing to the ear, all the while Booth’s voice is showcased in her ability to move seamlessly across octaves while maintaining accuracy in pitch and harmony. An Unforgiving Light is the perfect combination of musicianship, meaningful lyrics and originality while still being comforting.

13. Sister John – Returned From Sea [Last Night From Glasgow]

Sister John has spend the last year meticulously constructing a grown up record that touches on pastoral folk to put together a beautiful record with conscientious craftsmanship. Even when the arrangements are sparse, light and airy, they are impeccably constructed; layered up and mixed together. The promotional material for the record makes the bold claim that this is a record that would sit comfortably alongside such classics as Neil Young’s Harvest, The Band’s Music From Big Pink, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours or Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate; the highest compliment you can pay Returned From Sea is that after a few listens this comparison no longer seems so far-fetched.

12. Monoganon – Killmens [Lost Map]

Killmens was another record that maybe hasn’t quite had the chance to settle in before putting this list together, such was the proportions of John B McKenna’s double record opeth that it was huge listen that just gets better on further listens. Monoganon has always been an exciting artist, but with Killmens it appears McKenna has hit real odyssey territory as he breaks down and blows apart basic masculinity and leaves us with an expansive psych pop gem that we won’t stop playing for some time to come.

11. Banana Oil – Banana Oil [Winning Sperm Party]

Banana Oil were an expected yet absolutely intoxicating surprise for 2018, the trio of Joe Howe (Ben Butler & Mousepad), Niall Morris (Sham Gate, LYLO) and Laurie Pitt (Golden Teacher, The Modern Institute) brought about a jazz fuelled post punk explosion, full of entrancing grooves and a raw unpolished edge.

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1

Electric Fields, Day 1, 1/9/17

Another year and another weekend at Electric Fields probably the best outdoor festival in Scotland just now and we definitely have the weather for it; I have the privilege of my own bed each night so don’t witness the late nights and early mornings, but for all the time the main arena is open not a drop of rain falls, a near miracle considering we’re in Scotland in September.

In fact as we arrive following a scenic drive down towards the picturesque Drumlanrig Castle we find a leisurely field and one of the most conveniently set up festivals you’ll find, it seems after last year’s fine tuning Electric Fields may have nailed its perfect set up.

Audibly a force to be reckoned with local boys Tiderays open the main stage with a wickedly rocking sound.

Their presence is informal, with a keen attempt to bond with their fans, they throw out a characteristically Scottish indie sound, so nonchalant they aren’t even sure of the name of some of their own songs, yet nevertheless a well constructed outfit.

Opening the festivals biggest tent, the Discover Stage, we find that Modern Studies are no longer playing, but have been replaced perfectly adequately with the well-honed singer-songwriter tendencies of Alex Maxwell.

Stepping up his game for the early arrivals Maxwell’s Scottish folk rock leanings with a bouncing alt rock touches are a nice thing to ease you into the festival atmosphere, his strong Scottish tones echo around the tent in an uplifting manner and after only making it here with minutes to spare (he reveals he only arrived seven minutes prior to his set), he sets us going nicely.

Local electronic indie act Onr. have a huge synth led rock sound that could easily squeeze into the mainstream with the sort of hooky tracks that the like of The 1975 would be proud of, and they have the perfect slot for it at second on the main stage just as people start to feed in from the campsite.

Their set is full of sky-scraping tracks that beg for a huge audience, add to that some hunks of 80s pop it seems they might have the right sound at the right time to achieve that.

A graceful display of simple sentiments, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever bring an addictive sound with a fierce, cohesive stage presence.

All the way from Australia, the guys all bounce their heads along in concert, while drummer, Marcel Tussie, shines in his ability to keep the pop-punk tempo.

Never before have I seen such a well matched group of musicians, they exude confidence, and rip up the Discover stage with their self acclaimed “punky jangle pop”.

Popping over to the Neu Reekie stage, a lovely set up that showcases some of the best poetic talent the country has to offer, before turning into Sneaky Pete’s ,the festival’s dance tent, at 7pm each night, I’m told the news that I’ve missed the local garage pop of Savage Mansion after they take an earlier slot than published on the Redeemer stage, however Louie & the Lochbacks quickly have me forgetting that.

It seems a while since I’ve seen Louie perform, and I’d almost forgot how much a commanding presence he holds, even without a full band behind him; today however he is joined by three of the strongest vocal talents in Scotland just now in Be Charlotte, Pronto Mama’s Ciaran McEneny and Stuart Ramage, formerly of Bella and the Bear now performing under VanIves, delivering a mainly acapella set with Louie’s sharp poetry on top.

It turns out that Louie has misplaced his book of poetry so he delivers a few classics and throws in a couple of Hector Bizerk numbers as a welcome treat to a few fans gathered in the audience, his strong Glaswegian accent lends a real grit that is essentially already their in his words, while the vocal trio deliver an angelic and warming back drop.

Adding a touch of guitar Be Charlotte takes centre stage to being a chirpy number before Louie comes back in on full pelt rap, it’s an impressive set from some of the most talented people in Scottish music just now.

Over at the main stage the crowd seem a bit subdued for Marnie‘s set but the sound coming for the stage sparkles with synth pop brilliance.

Helen Marnie’s tones are coated is sultry pop brilliance while powerful drums and euphoric synths engulf the field, it’s effortlessly cool breezy electronic music that chills as much as it gets you going and the perfect set for the sunny afternoon.

Nothing has a churning rock sound and a non-giving energy that is just explosive.

They’re well documented at having a rather troubled past, but they immerse the Discover tent in volume as the band deliver the loudest set of the festival so far.

At points Domenic Palermo’s heartfelt vocals float over soft drumbeats, but the rest bite is short lived as the set thrusts into gear.

Halfway through the set you witness the fickleness of festival crowds, the tent is never mobbed sadly but one second you see a guy having the time of his life pummelling his air drums the next second he’s being led off elsewhere, clearly not enjoying himself enough or his pals aren’t, still that’s kind of what festivals are about and the set continues on through and sees Palermo climbing up the tent poles with guitar and mic in toe.

Anna Meredith follows on and has one of those truly overwhelming sets, as a composer she is so revered and it’s clear to see why here, live it sounds huge with a touch of impending danger that submerges the emotions and leaves you dancing to quell the fear.

Epic doesn’t even begin to describe this musical collective; think orchestral prowess meets techno beats, the sound is bold and each track a climatic experience.

Despite the lack of vocals for the most part (not proper music according to Meredith’s niece and nephew) there’s a huge emotional depth in their sound that has the crowd lost in the sheer complex beauty they deliver.

At points the sound moves to tropical touches dance vibes at others vocals kick in to add to new urgency that just reassures how impressive an act you’re witnessing.

From one landscape to another, And Yet It Moves do power on a different level, with a set full on genre defying intensity that moves from quivering high keys to a beastly rhythm section to Dale Barclay’s sheer presence.

Yeah he may look like he’s dressed as a Christmas stocking in his glittery red polo neck (which he quickly sheds), but there is no doubting he is the real deal with sneered vocals and a presence that you just can’t take your eyes off; these guys deserve the big crowds.

Bringing in the evening with Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook and the Light clearly have a strong following.

Solid 80s vibes pulsate through the fields of Drumlanrig, exuding expertise of the synth variety.

A dizzying confession of angst, anger and revolt, thumping out rock beats backed by clever hooks and clean vocals, Car Seat Headrest is not your average rock band.

They bring a sound that’s both large and loud with a hope their audience is entertained as much as them.

As the band grow into their set of first wave channelling emo that has enough pop hooks to addictive angular guitars to get you addicted, it quickly becomes overpowering and they close to huge sing-along chorus’, crowd surfing and soaring belters.

Across the Atlantic Band of Horses would headline a festival of this size, on a worldwide scale they’re the biggest band on the entire line-up, and they prove why with a set dotted with huge sounding tracks that keep the main stage bouncing along.

There’s touches of country to the Seattle based five-pieces catalogue but when they get to hits like ‘The Funeral’ they reach real classic American indie rock territory which has the now pretty substantial main stage crowd singing along.

Known for their partly psychedelic, fuzzy tunes, Temples don’t disappoint and allow for a reminiscence to 60s rock while maintaining skilful melodies.

A little mysterious and reserved, Temples’ stage performance is one of aloofness and grandeur.

Hidden away from all the bands, starting later on each night is a dance paradise that’s rammed as much as the Slam tent would be for Jackmaster, the Numbers founder is an incredible prospect as ever delivering a diverse maximal set that has everyone moving.

He gets on his horse a wee bit with an inflatable ball hitting him a couple of times, but who wouldn’t, he has to leave directly after his set to play the Sub Club, but and who would have thought there would be a bigger crowd for him in Dumfries at 9pm.

Closing the main stage are a band that, in this part of world at least, need very little introduction; but as a somewhat flattered Scott Hutchison notes, Frightened Rabbit aren’t a band that gets to headline festivals, let alone follow one their favourite bands to it, still they promise no confetti no fireworks just a fuck load of songs and they more than deliver.

They’re on stage for a bumper set that draws from their increasingly strong back catalogue of superbly structure Scottish vocals, folk tinged alternative rock that moves from tracks of moving beauty to belting sing-alongs about shagging, a superb way to close the first night.

More Photos

Words: Iain Dawson/Rachel Cunningham
Photos: Allan Lewis/Erin McKay

Ones to Watch: Electric Fields 2017

Electric Fields was one of the highlights of last year’s festival season, a bargain price and some stellar acts combined with a fully fledged but also kid friendly festival atmosphere to make it a festival that won’t have many people saying no to.

This year they look to capitalise on the absense of T in the Park, albeit the Glasgow based replacement TRNSMT seems to have been a huge success, but not quite the same market as Electric Fields in aiming at.

This year’s headliners, the even dependable and super popular Frightened Rabbit will have everyone crying, cheering and singing along while Dizzee Rascal will almost undoubtedly bring the party closing Saturday night’s activities.

Add to that a stellar backing cast of superb acts that make up the mainstage stage and other stage headliner affairs; over the Atlantic Band of Horses would headline a festival of this size, while The Jesus and Mary and Arab Strap’s reputations are formidable.

Our ones to watch are coming from further down the bill looking at local up and comers and smaller touring acts.

Friday:

Marnie (Main Stage 16.15)

Glasgow based Helen Marnie may be better known for her work Liverpool electro-pop maestros Ladytron, but her solo work is every bit as glimmering. Her latest album Strange Words and Weird Wars is a breezy joy that thrills on a pop level without ever becoming too easy.

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Anna Meredith (Discover Stage 18.30)

Last years SAY Award winner is a special talent, the composer, performer and musician seem to emerge into the pop world out of the blue with her Varmints album last year, an all encompassing release that saw jazz and electronic sounds combined to make a record of bewildering propositions that is even better experienced in a live setting.

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And Yet It Moves (Redeemer Stage 19.00)

And Yet It Moves have been bubbling away for over a year now, evolving, engulfing and enhancing with each visit, they seem a different band at every visit. The now Berlin based band led by the powerful live presence of Dale Barclay are set to take the festival stage as their own, expect something haunting, something powerful, something that you won’t forget in a hurry.

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Modern Studies (Discover Stage 14.30)

Steeped in rural folk, chamber pop super group from Perthshire-via-Glasgow-via Yorkshire Modern Studies paint delicate experimental landscapes that hypnotise and engross. They’re a band that promise lots and seem set to deliver, Electric Fields may provide the stage their beautiful recorded music needs.

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Savage Mansion (Redeemer Stage 16.00)

One of the biggest prospects of Scottish guitar music at present Savage Mansion are band that individually have cut their teeth in a collection of impressive acts, but seem to have came together to create something that captures the moment with sultry beauty. The four-piece deliver fuzzy guitars, bouncy drums and catchy basslines coupled with Craig Angus’ (formerly of Poor Things) coolly delivered, conversational vocals that give an effortless pop aesthetic and chilled out reflection that recall the like of Parquet Courts and Mac DeMarco.

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Saturday

Aldous Harding (Discover Stage 15.15)

Compelling and theatrical New Zealander Aldous Harding has the sort of bewitching live show that will leave you lost for words. The recently signed to 4AD performer’s show can be as powerful as it is delicate, and her captivating charm and atmospheric tracks will be well worth getting along for.

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Sacred Paws (Main Stage 13.30)

Another SAY Award winner, this time the current holders Sacred Paws bring a fun energy to any stage, Rachel Aggs’ undeniable talent and unique tropical guitar sound has been a fixture of her work for years now and Sacred Paws are every bit as exciting as her other projects Shopping and Trash Kit. Add Eilidh Rodgers’ playful percussion and interweaving backing vocals, plus a touch of subtle brass you’ve got a band that can bring the sunshine to any festival.

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Whyte Horses (Main Stage 14.30)

Enigmatic psych group Whyte Horses have a eclectic array of influences, filtering through a modernist take of fuzzy tropical sounds, Krautrock vibes, 60s girl group pop, psychedelia and much more Whyte Horses present a spirally sound that will sending you away to dreamy hypnotic daze while having all the pop presence to keep the energy flowing. Initially imaged as the band to complete the catalogue of band leader Dom Thomas’ Finders Keepers label the band have evolved into something that simply can’t just remain a side project.

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Edwin Organ (Redeemer Stage 15.00)

Variation seems to be key to Edwin Organ’s game, still everything he touches seems to come out golden, his slick, but not unbearably polished production gives his head nodding organic left-field electronica. At points it’s super catchy at others a welcoming hug that fuses soul and jazz elements with obvious dance knowledge, expect to get lost in this one.

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Brat and the Bonemen (Discover Stage 12.00)

We don’t know much about these guys and have heard very little, but what we have heard for the Dumfries & Galloway based act suggests that they’ll be an explosive live act that expel a raucous distorted post punk energy that will be brimming with attitude.

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And some honourable mentions go to This Is The Kit, Skjor, Stillhound, Future Get Down.

And here’s some of the bigger acts on the bill that we think are definitely worth getting down for: Glass Animals, Real Estate, Foxygen, Nothing, Car Seat Headrest, Shogun, British Sea Power.

And Yet It Moves, Sweaty Palms at The Rum Shack, 4/7/17

Just last week I received a message from a band who took great pride in being described “genre busting”, that band I have yet to listen to, although after writing this feel I will definitely have to give then a listen, but since they also happily used the word novelty in their bio I found myself questioning.

One band who could definite the term “genre busting”, without an ounce of novelty thrown in, are And Yet It Moves, who returned to Glasgow for a session and decided to throw a last minute party to fundraise their upcoming album.

Tonight’s show would have clashed with the huge Green Day show over at Bellahouston Park, had that not fallen apart, but needless to say this show would not have suffered or gained from those events, aside from a bit of banter.

Opening up proceeding are Sweaty Palms, who are on a fundraising mission of their own to put out their debut album, an album that is ran through start to finish tonight, and the band take you on the creepiest rollercoaster ride you’ll ever go on, but leave you wanting to jump right on again.

Most of tonight’s material is new, but still hits the marks that the band is loved for, eerie guitar work and riot inducing garage rock rhythms allow Robbie Houston’s cathartic howl to ingest the audience.

Numbers from 2015 EP, Hollywood Wax, like ‘Captain of the Rugby Team’ make the cut and add a nice familiarity to the ghoulish aesthetic and spiting lyrical assaults.

The album will be one to look out for, and the closer, which sees Houston taking on an almost Aidan Moffat like spoken word delivery, with a more spiteful, gritty edge, has those collected mystified at what may happen next.

And Yet It Moves on the other hand, pushing the curfew are far as they can possibly push it, show no familiarity in their set choice, if anything in this set has seen light of day before it is in a radically different guise to its previous incarnation.

What does stay recognisable about this band is the sheer presence of frontman Dale Barclay, his notable sneer is front and centre since co vocalist Michael Højgaard left the band, and the band are better for it.

Barclay has always been the focal point of this band and his presence demands full attention, although the man himself would no doubt argue his bandmate’s cases.

That said the band do an astounding job, busting through a genre-defying set that bridges on full on hardcore at points and almost calypso vibes at others, plus everything in between and more.

Softer numbers allow the serene beauty of Laura St Jude’s vocal the chance to shine, and although very low in the mix we get a taster of her undeniable talent, and when paired with Barclay’s guttural snarl it creates a tremendous juxtaposition that has proven to work all the way down to stripped back acoustic tracks.

Still, you won’t find any of that here, And Yet It Moves are here to create uproar, to create unnerve and to leave you undoubtedly talking about them.

Since forming not long over a year ago And Yet It Moves have toured three times and gone through a good deal of hard times during this, that has seen line up changes, money struggles and relocation to Berlin, but from tonight’s evidence the beast that is And Yet It Moves keeps evolving and will keep on doing so.

This is my third time seeing them and every time was drastically different from the last, and with an album finally in sight we still have no idea what to expect and that’s the way we like it.

Words: Iain Dawson

Premiere: And Yet It Moves – ‘No Way Back To Lunch’ (Live at Green Door Studio)

We caught up with And Yet It Moves’ Dale Barclay to shed light on his new project a few months ago and since then the band have hit the road on a full UK tour, which has been met with huge praise, casting off the Amazing Snakeheads shaped shadow with their genre defying, all engulfing live show.

It’s now our honour to bring you the first recorded material by the band, a live recording of ‘No Way Back To Lunch’, recorded at Glasgow’s fabled Green Door Studio, mixed by Emily Mclaren and Stu Evans and uploaded via Black Sheep Records.

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The 12-minute epic, which had previously been available as a short sampler, starts off in a foreboding field of feedback before a pounding rhythm kicks in and allows Barclay’s sharp and recognisable vocal to spill poetic bile over proceedings in the best way possible.

Around the four-minute mark octane starts to build and a drilling cacophony of sounds pulverise you ears for a good minute before disappearing to background chatter and the odd twinkle of instrument

Shortly a background sax gives way to what at first seems a skit with Barclay quipping “your table sir”, before the band seamlessly take over and Barclay’s commentary takes you on sneered journey down the darker side of society.

The final couple of minutes take another turn as well, as the band cram a bit of everything into this intoxicating listen with echoing guitars and a building pace grasping and thrusting you into the mist of the what lies ahead before spitting you out leaving you lost and wanting more.

There’s something hauntly captivating about And Yet It Moves and Barclay’s voice that has been hugely missed and ‘No Way Back To Lunch’ is just a taster of what to come.

And Yet It Moves head out on tour in November on the following dates:

3rd – Dundee – Buskers
4th – Edinburgh – Mash House
11th – London – The Shacklewell Arms
12th – Ramsgate – Ramsgate Music Hall
13th – Brighton – Hope & Ruin
16th – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
18th – Manchester – Night & Day
19th – Leicester – Soundhouse
20th – Birmingham – The Sunflower Lounge

And Yet It Moves… Dale Barclay is back

“Snakeheads are over and are never ever ever ever coming back! It was a beautiful time in my life, something that I’ll always love, but it’s over and I can only hope that the people that were into what the Snakeheads were doing remember it for what it was; it was fucking real, it was beautiful, but it’s over, it’s in the past.”

Dale Barclay has been gradually building up to something since he ended the Amazing Snakeheads a couple years ago, and it’s our great pleasure to announce his new band And Yet It Moves.

The new band emerged out of relatively unlikely conditions and a couple of rather fortunate timings.

Barclay initially met drummer Jonas Duus at a jamming session in the wilds of Norway and got on like a house on fire; a meeting that may not have happened if Barclay hadn’t pushed himself to go.

From then things really kicked into gear as Duus, who also plays in Cozmik Onion Express with Fat White Family’s Taishi Nagasaka, soon after travelled to Glasgow to continue this process with Barclay alongside current band members Laura St. Jude and Roddie McGrath.

Handily Duus was based in Berlin and St. Jude’s own band, which Barclay and McGrath play in, was over in Germany on tour so the jamming sessions got a chance to continue and that was where Barclay was introduced to Duus’ friends Jesper Lapp and Michael Højgaard, who would go on to be part of the band.

Even luckier was the fact that Barclay had been asked earlier in the year to play a couple of shows in Hamburg and Cologne under his own name, slotting handily into St. Jude’s tour, which would become the first shows with this line up.

“Me and Jonas really connected musically so we decided to follow it up and get together, so he came to Glasgow to kick out the jams so to speak.

“We went to Berlin, and we just played; the music was cooking, there was a real connection and we were all feeling it and we were all getting into it.

“I had the Cologne and Hamburg shows, so I just said to the fellas “look do you want to come and play the shows?” They came and played and we knew this was going to be a band, there was absolute agreement that this was going to be a band.”

However, there wasn’t always this hope that a new band would ever happen; for a while, after the demise of the Snakeheads, Barclay felt that going solo was his only option:

“I was making music under my own name cos after the Snakeheads I didn’t really see where to go, the thought of starting another band or even being in another band made me feel queasy.

“Snakeheads was my life, that was my own band, that was the only band I wanted to be in, so when I scuttled that I felt there was nothing left to do but make music under my own name, it seemed the only thing I could do.

“It’s funny how things change and it’s the wonderful thing about life and making music; you keep doing it, you keep living, you keep playing, keep putting yourself out there musically and you never know what’s round the corner and that’s really exciting.

“I never wanted to make music under my own name, it was never something that excited me, it was something that came out of necessity, but meeting Jonas, Michael and Jesper, already having Laura and Roddie really changed things.”

Barclay is clearly an individual who has seen a lot of the darker inside of music industry and came out bruised from it, but And Yet It Moves seems like a fresh beginning.

When Barclay reminisces on his time in the Snakeheads he talks in positive terms, but is also eager to cement the band in the past:

Amphetamine Ballads is like a Polaroid, it’s a snapshot of a time of my life in Glasgow, but when I think about it, it’s paper-thin.

The experience of being in the Snakeheads let me see all the bullshit; if you’re into truth and honesty then being in the music industry well, it’s a long shot, but it’s fine cos there’s no other way we can do this and whoever we bring into this world we’re creating is going to be the right people and that’s the be all and end all.

“This is all about the music, all my experiences up to now have led me to know what I want from music and what I don’t want from music, it’s as simple as that.

“We want to make music, we want to connect with people musically in an environment that is positive and healthy… you have to feel like it’s a worthwhile experience, cos it’s a wonderful thing to get to do.”

This new project is set to be released with the management of Gerry Blythe and Black Sheep Records and Barclay is keen to point out that Blythe is someone that he trusts wholly to do the right thing with the band and allow him to concentrate on the music without all the power struggles of the past.

But what can we expect from And Yet It Moves? A sampler of the hugely expansive, shiver inducing ‘No Way Back To Lunch’ has emerged online and shows a new step in Barclay’s musical output.

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Describing the direction of the new band is something Barclay finds difficult to express, but one thing is clear: that his music has come on a long way from the Snakeheads’ straight up rock‘n’roll.

“To my ears and to my thinking this new band are going to make the Snakeheads sound like children’s music, I can feel myself getting more into the music… it’s getting wider, it’s get deeper and it feels good.”

Barclay is a man thriving on a new beginning, a beginning the initial rumblings of are very exciting.

The new track is an intense 12-minute cacophony of post punk tinged brilliance, all with Barclay’s familiar sneer of the top of it, but Barclay feels there is no end what the new band could do.

“It’s more like a collective, it’s the six of us, but the exciting thing for me is who else can we bring in to play with us to enhance the music, push the music on.

“We also have three, well two definite vocalists, in Michael and Laura, and one, me, well shouter/mumbler; it’s going to be real interesting to see what we can do, the music we have just now is prominently just my voice, but the fact we have three vocalists in the band is really exciting.”

A full UK tour is booked under Barclay’s own name for late July, beginning in Cardiff on the 20th and finishing back in Glasgow 10 days later, and although the tour is under his own name this will be the first chance for a UK crowd to see the new band in action before they’re unleashed under And Yet It Moves title.

The tour is an exciting prospect and anyone who has witnessed Barclay live, whether that be in the Snakeheads or even as part of St. Jude’s band, will testify to that.

Whether we’re going to get the high-octane, taps aff punk energy Barclay embodied in his Snakeheads days, or something completely different not even Barclay knows.

“I don’t see myself as being a frontman, or even a singer and never have and I don’t really know what goes on when I play music live, something happens and when it’s working, when the music’s cooking I just go somewhere else in my mind and think that’s always going to be that way.

“I can only urge anyone that’s interested to come and make up their own mind, I could talk all night long about what this new band is going to be, but it would be doing it a disservice.

“We’re not creating an exclusive club for ourselves, we want people to come and get down to the music and get something from it; I know that it’s possible, I felt it with the Snakeheads; somehow the music you make can connect with strangers, you can move mountains, and I want that again.”

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Tour Dates (July 2016):

20th Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
21st Bristol – The Stag and Hounds
22nd London – Seabright Arms
23rd Brighton – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
24th Manchester – Soup Kitchen
28th Edinburgh – Henry’s Cellar Bar
29th Dundee – Buskers
30th Glasgow – Broadcast