Tag Archives: Babe

Tracks of 2017 (20-11)

20. Golden Teacher – ’Spiritron’

‘Spiritron’ was the standout in an unexpected joyous surprise of a Golden Teacher full-length, No Luscious Life. The track captures the band’s effervescent live sound with an addictive mess of punk energy, otherworldly synths and Detroit funk, dancefloor hitting beats.

19. Shredd – ‘Flight of Stairs’ [Fuzzkill]

‘Flight Of Stairs’ begins with a thundering bass, and little time is wasted before the riffs are brought out backed by powerful, crashing drums. It’s Shredd by name, shred by nature as lead vocalist as guitarist Chris Harvie unleashes a relentless assault on his instrument and his distorted howls carry throughout, with a style reminiscent of Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer. The end product sounds absolutely massive, benefitting massively from the production of Bruce Rintoul, who has encapsulated the intensity of their riotous live performances.

18. Be Charlotte – ‘One Drop’ [AWAL/Kobalt]

The industrious trio Be Charlotte, fronted by hyper-talented vocalist Charlotte Brimner brought some damn good vibes early in the the year with ‘One Drop’, a glorious mashup, encompassing indie pop, slick beat boxing and electro. Delivered in an unmistakably Scottish accent, which, refreshingly, Brimner makes no attempts to minimise, with lyrics “filling me with doubt, that I can’t compete with the rest” are surely redundant given this band’s inevitable future success.

17. Martha Ffion – ‘We Make Do’ [Turnstile]

Running at only two and a half minutes, ‘We Make Do’ is perfect in its form, from the hook laden chorus, to the timely middle-8 and its radio-talk vocal treatment, it sits perfectly ready for you to press play once more.

16. Monoganon – ‘Black Hole’ [Lost Map]

Comparable to the all-encompassing black holes drifting through our solar systems, the five-and-a-half-minute track is an immersive experience, holding its listener in one place while dreamy synths and scattered drum beats unravel over introspective lyrical refrains of: “Crush me, I am nothing.” As ‘Black Hole’ culminates into a haunting piano and vocal ending, there is time for reflection of Monoganon’s interstellar journey through galaxies of wonder, psych-pop and gender contemplation.

15. Spinning Coin – ‘Raining On Hope Street’ [Geographic]

There’s something out of time about ‘Raining On Hope Street’, a sense of being suspended in a fleeting, wistful dream. This paean to the simple joys of friendship, collaboration and time spent just hanging out in the country and city tugs the heartstrings in all the right places, reminding us that solidarity in any form should be cherished especially in today’s volatile, isolating times.

14. FOREIGNFOX – ‘Lights Off, Carry Me Home’ [Scottish Fiction]

Dunfermline five-piece FOREIGNFOX used an intersection of opposing genres to make ‘Lights Off, Carry Me Home’ a captivating culmination of despair, hope and optimism. You can hear Jonny Watt’s pain in the track, released as a double A side split with Mt. Doubt; it’s beyond sadness and feels like there’s a need for respite, a desire to return home. ‘Lights Off, Carry Me Home’ is a climatic force in the face of dismay, building to a brutal honesty finale.

13. AMOR – ‘Paradise’ [Night School]

Inspired by the disco sounds of 70s-era Philadelphia International Records, AMOR bring their avant-garde disco sensibilities to life through epic soundscapes. The debut single from the supergroup featuring Paul Thomson of Franz Ferdinand fame, Richard Youngs, Luke Fowler and Michael Francis Duch, begins with a Blue Monday-style thumping kick drum, before a light funk instrumental gives way to a full-on funk stomp with Richard Youngs’ Bowie-esque vocal refrain of “calling from paradise/can you get through?” piercing through the heavily-layered synths. Pushing the 15-minute mark this is never going to be considered radio-friendly hit, however, there is enough here to suggest that AMOR will continue to be an ongoing concern amongst the members’ other projects.

12. Babe – ‘Wisteria’ [Kartel]

Sheer twinkling beauty in an addictive pop shell, ‘Wisteria’ was our pick of Babe’s Kiss & Tell album, however it could have been any number of tracks from that release. This slice of buoyant electronic bliss is special in it’s own right and shows Babe at thieir glimmering best.

11. The Spook School   ‘Still Alive’ [Alcopop!]

The infectious indie pop delivered by Edinburgh four-piece The Spook School has all the honest charm of previous efforts with a punchy joyfulness that has become synonymous with the group.  On ‘Still Alive’ dreamy vocals soar over traditionally catchy riffs, perfectly sound-tracking the nostalgia and hope of today’s twenty-somethings. 2017 Spook School ooze confidence, displaying the features of a band ready to emerge from the Glasgow winter gloom with self-assured melodic indie that could warm the coldest punks looking for a new contemporary musical home.

Albums of 2017 (10-1)

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

10. Bdy_Prts – Fly Invisible Hero [Aggrocat]

We would say that Fly Invisible Hero is a record that’s seldom seem in this day and age, but we’ve place another album slightly further up the list that BDY_PRTS will no doubt have taken influence from, what we can say is it is certainly a joyous shimmering piece of fresh air the accomplished duo. BDY_PRTS have built a reputation for their colourful live show over recent years, with bright beautiful costume designs and choreographed movements, but what this record proves is that beyond this what shines the brightest is the power of their powerful pop inflected tracks and beautifully hooky harmonies.

9. Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life

Golden Teacher came tumbling back into our ears in a familiar yet chaotic fashion, and it’s really is quite difficult to think of anyone capable of swapping places with them now they’re all but done. No Luscious Life chucks out a barely-tamed mix of housey beats, rhythms and quacks married to sometimes sinisterly spat vocals and the deepest of deep dub: it does bring to mind the marriage of punk and dance of bands, but this is nonetheless pretty original stuff and wild stuff. This is a blinding release: perverse, groovy, contorted and never far away from a shady disco.

8. Out Lines – Conflats [Rock Action]

Out Lines who could loosely be termed a Scottish super group, with Twilight Sad’s James Graham, SAY Album of the Year (2015) award winner Kathryn Joseph and producer Marcus MacKay, who were all drawn together on the back of a project from Platform, a multi-arts and community space in Easterhouse.  The product is Conflats an album of bleak and stark music, totally mesmerising with a gritty reality which draws you in. The album has a strong Scottish/Celtic thread running through it, be that from the unique vocals style, traditional folk elements, Marcus’s percussion, the harmonium or the stripped back nature of the music; there is nothing else out there like it.

7. Meursault – I Will Kill Again [Song, by Toad]

Essentially now the solo project of Neil Pennycook, despite an impressive cast list flitting through the revolving doors, Meursault returned this year with a really rather triumphant album. Usually a more interesting live proposition than on record it seems with I Will Kill Again that things have finally been translated more fully onto wax, capturing the intimate yet primal elements that define the band on stage: the introspective yet powerful darkness apparent in the soul of the main man is given free rein. Beautiful melodies and immaculate production with a hefty dose of reality – can’t ask for much more and one hopes this reincarnation carries on with more releases to come: Meursault come of age and are a very exciting proposition at the moment, very exciting indeed.

6. Breakfast Muff – Eurgh! [Amour Foo]

Breakfast Muff is that chaotic clatter in the corner, the clutter of noise you cannot quite ignore no matter how many times you slam the window shut, not that you’d want to! Eurgh! is a bit like that conversation you had in the smoking area of a clubbing nightspot last weekend, desperate to eloquently express views of social anxiety and repressed demeanour with the attention span of a gold fish. Gender, arousal and pervasion of society rocket under the sirens of beautifully crafted lo-fi punk scuzz across the thirteen songs from the Glasgow three piece.

5. Marnie – Strange Words and Weird Wars [Disco Pinata]

On Strange Words and Weird Wars the intoxicating pop-sheen is spread liberally: unapologetic pop, as it should be: there is a dark undercurrent but a pleasing shimmer outs itself. Pop needs records like this: records that can, in record company speak, hit different markets at once: records that sound great coming from crappy car stereos on the school run but also have a rather heftier undercurrent. Impressive stuff from Helen Marnie: breezy electronic music than can be consumed as just that…or on a number of other levels.

4. Pronto Mama – Any Joy [Electric Honey]

With six multi-instrumentalists you could almost start to think that Any Joy is going to be a little chaotic, yet with a sharp tongue the lyrics are bold, and the music is a beautiful concoction of sounds with each track having a story to tell and it’s own unique character. From solemn and sincere tracks to ones that bounce along and make your feet want to move, Pronto Mama don’t follow convention in any way and this is what makes them a genuinely unique band. They have established their own sound and are able to exhibit their extensive musical ability by pushing the boundaries of various genres. There’s so much being offered in Any Joy you need not look any further for a truly fulfilling album.

3. Spinning Coin – Permo [Geographic]

A surreal, pop-glazed jaunt through everyday life, flavoured with Pastels-style vocals and grounded by a knack for jangly hooks and hazy refrains. Blending indie nostalgia with a fresh take on questions both personal and political, this is DIY at its dreamiest.

2. Sacred Paws – Strike A Match [Rock Action]

Strike A Match captures the magic of the intoxicating musical landscape of Sacred Paws’ live shows, while navigating the melancholy of break ups and millennial mid 20s crises in a uniquely upbeat and comforting way. Moving to incorporate more instruments into their complicated African highlife rhythms and constantly catchy riffs, Sacred Paws bring humour and depth to their already full sound without compromising on Rachel Eggs’ signature guitar sound. Whether your dancing round your living room or trying to suppress a smile on the tube, this really is an album you could fall in love with over and over, and although it was released in winter it remains perfect indie soundtrack to your summer and beyond.

1. Babe – Kiss & Tell [Kartel]

Kiss & Tell, the second full length offering from Babe came too us quite late in the year, but it left quite the impression causing us to pap it slap bang at the top of the list. Whether it’s soft, synth laden R&B goodness, infectious electropop or Gerard Black’s immaculate falsetto Kiss & Tell charms with every bleep and handclap of its existence. Babe have always threatened something brilliant and with Kiss & Tell they’re produced a genre crossing album that’s smart, cohesive, fun and full of addictive charm.

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1

Doune the Rabbit Hole, Day 2, 19/8/17

Day two of Doune I start off early and surprising chirper, after a cup of Yogi chai from the Tchai Ovna tent and a haggis roll sort be right out.

So, well prepared I make the journey down the treacherous path down to the Thunderdome stage in plenty of time to catch an otherworldly set from Chrissy Barnacle.

Barnacle’s songs are built on intricate and delicate finger picking, and her soft voice gently sooths with touches of Joanna Newsom-esque flourishes.

It’s the perfect opening to a busy day, some chilled acoustic tracks with crazy premises interspersed with banter that’s as amusing as it is charming.

Over at Baino there’s a real retro feel to THE NINTH WAVE’s sound and look that hark back to the new wave / new romantics of the mid to late 80s, but this comes with a freshly injected energy that has set the band on an ever increasing trajectory.

The sharp yet dreamy vocal interplay from Haydn Park-Patterson and Elina Lin add a nice cushion to their sound, keep your eyes peeled on these guys they seem right on the cusp of something.

Over on the Main Stage and Babe get an introduction that I will neither be able to replicate nor top; it’s surreal and magical and encapsulates their sound perfectly, a dream filled soundscape that lulls you to somewhere else, somewhere you can’t can quite place.

Gerard Black’s vocals are high, immaculate and float nicely above the band as they move into more high tempo sections.

The set evolves from reverby bass heavy tracks to tropical foot movers with sky reaching vocals, with an all round quality remaining the only constants; a special festival cover of Rui Da Silva’s ‘Touch Me’ the cherry on top of a superb set.

You can already hear MISC. MEAT as you take the muddy path down into the woods and you’re hit with sounds of punk fury, only to find yourself engulfed in Fragma’s trance banger ‘I Need A Miracle’, which is delivered with a sneered intensity and power, not an ounce of trance though.

The rest of the set is delivered with the same high octane ferociousness, it’s a proper old school punk sound that draws influence most notably from early 80s America, it’s punk how you want it to be delivered, without any clichés but with plenty of attitude.

RAZA is well into their set when I get back up to Baino and it’s frantic stuff, as the duo make an expansive sound that could well be the best 90s video game soundtrack you’ll ever hear.

It’s a high-energy display from the synth/drums duo that twinkles and drives along getting people moving to their retro goodness.

Their debut EP Futuramayana is definitely one of the most fun released this year and we look forward to hearing a lot more from them.

Back at Thunderdome, being careful not to go beyond, Breakfast Muff is dousing us with their usual set full of charming indie pop / punk vibes, and sharp on point and sometimes bizarre subject matter.

Cultural appropriation is a strong talking point of the band’s set, something that a lot of people at the festival are guilty of, and Eilidh McMillan’s message is simple; it’s not ok.

The trio’s instrument swapping, lo-fi pop via screeched punk sound all the while maintains an endearing lovability that’s infectious and poignant.

Back up at the Jabberwocky Stage those expecting Meursault are hit with The Vegan Leather and those expecting The Vegan Leather in an hour at Baino get something different altogether, still a bump up to the festival’s biggest stage can’t be sniffed at and despite them not bringing the expected dreamy, yet miserable, atmospheric brilliance, they do deliver some unashamed cheese dusted electronic indie rock.

The Vegan Leather is essentially the ideal festival band, charisma filled pop tracks that get your feet moving, I’m sure not too many are complaining.

The pathway to Thunderdome seems to be shut off so Snapped Ankles make an interesting alternative, coated in what appears to be moss and rags, they play pounding reverberating rock that is ultimately really fun for the short spell I see them.

Finally down at Thunderdome, Life Model suffer from the entrance being shut off and ultimately play to a rather small crowd, but as the set builds people start to filter in.

Life Model are a band that have evolved a lot over the last couple of years, gone is the super reverberated vocals and the dream pop back drop, now to their credit they’re a band with a really strong sound that’s difficult to pigeonhole, you could as easily shoegaze to star gaze to Chris Smith’s guitar work, and Sophie Evans’ vocals are clearer than before, maintaining a softness without ever being weak.

The banter is a little questionable as Evans tries to get the crowd to guess what she’s going back to uni to study, and despite it being given away straight away that it’s teaching some guy seems willing to keep guessing; still if not for drum troubles the banter wouldn’t need to be there and still the chat, from Evans at least, does hold a bit of a shambolic charm and as the set ends with Smith on top an amp, things are powered a satisfying conclusion.

Back up the hill Spinning Coin are coating, the currently dry but rain soaked festival, with their own sunshine.

Moving from lovingly carved fuzzy indie pop to scratchy garage rock topped with beautiful harmonies and real powered home sections Spinning Coin’s main stage performance reminds us exactly why they at getting so much attention.

Holy Fuck is a powerhouse of droning euphoric electronics, the duo bop around in front of tables of kit, producing sounds that explode with sheer volume.

On paper they aren’t your typical crowd pleaser at a festival like Doune, but they are an experience that those that have come to see them are embracing and many will go home remembering.

Following them over at The Lodge is Kikagaku Moyo, which means sadly we have to miss the brilliant Jenny Hval, still the Japanese four-piece are an experience, producing an all encompassing psych performance that fizzes up and explodes with sheer energy.

Their long hair makes them appear out of their time, while their music feels from a completely different place, brash bursts of guitar led frenzy move to hypnotic expanses that connect you in to another planet for a short while.

Due to Songhoy Blues absence François & the Atlas Mountains have been bumped up to headliner, luckily their sound is so refreshing and gloriously fun that no one notices who hasn’t heard Songhoy Blues before, add some cheeky dance moves from François Marry and co into the mix and you’re onto a winner.

In his matching shirt and trouser combo Marry possess all the right attributes for a frontman headlining a festival, creating a focal point that you can’t stop watching, match that with their uplifting breezy indie pop sound and you find yourself dancing along in no time.

Over Baino Liverpool based duo Her’s swagger around the stage like men possessed, blasting through some fun garage rock with addictive vocals and a bouncing beat; I don’t manage to catch much of them but there’s enough here to convince me to come back and see them again.

The Cosmic Dead play their annual Doune the Rabbit Hole set, this year at 20 to 1 in the morning, and seem just as loud as ever despite James T McKay’s claims that they have to turn their amps down, and later that they have to turn their drums down bizarrely.

Still whether it’s all just a bit of a faff or genuine idiocy from the sound complaints, I can’t figure where they would come from we’re essentially in the middle of nowhere and the vibration from the dub stage can be felt much further affeld surely, the band manage to tear the festival a new one with an engulfing set of powerful space rock and flailing hair.

More Photos

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Allan Lewis / Harrison Reid

Preview: Doune The Rabbit Hole (Saturday)

With Doune the Rabbit Hole coming up next weekend we thought we’d give you a run down of some of the acts to check out, problem was we felt the line up so strong that we couldn’t limit it down to a certain number, here’s a wee day by day effort to keep you occupied:

SATURDAY

With a headline slot from the wonderfully effervescent Songhoy Blues, Doune the Rabbit Hole’s full on early afternoon til early morning promises to be a day of fun, that said there’s plenty of other acts to tickle your fancy dotted about.

JENNY HVAL (21.00, Baino)

Possibly the highest up the bill that we’re featuring, in terms of poster anyway, the critically acclaimed Norwegian artist Jenny Hval could not go without a mention. Unnerving, unsettling but ultimately engrossing she has produced some the darkest yet beautiful records of recent years, witnessing her live can be a near spiritual experience.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/192981983″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

FRANCOIS & THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS (20.00, Jabberwocky)

Rarely do an indie-pop band command this enviable power, but François and the Atlas Mountains certainly do. More than being excellent performers, they’re also the sort of guys you just want to be friends with. They convey an irrepressible bonhomie from the stage, flashing knowing grins at one another during a particularly sweet turn of musical phrase, or swaying in sync to the big refrain as easily as if they’d been at it since they were 10.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/315899761″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

THE COSMIC DEAD (00.40, Baino)

On the first time I attended Doune the Rabbit Hole, when it was actually in Doune nonetheless, pace rock Odysseans The Cosmic Dead played pretty much every day and at all times of the day – drifting off on a wooden floor to them jamming at around 4am sticks with me somewhat. Since then they have pretty much become a fixture of the festival, and must sees on top of that, they bring an enviable power encapsulating audiences in their sheer psych presence.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/247364113″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

BABE (13.45, Jabberwocky)

At times immersive and beautiful at others buoyant and glitchy Babe are a band that’ll bring a smile to the face of anyone. Another returning act from last year, another act that we won’t be missing again.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/312512208″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

MEURSAULT (16.45, Jabberwocky)

Recently re-emerging Meursault is a musical behemoths, returning with an EP at the end of last year and this year’s SAY Award nominated I Will Kill Again, Neil Pennycook has crafted a sound that will leave you astounded, it’s emotion tugging stuff that goes from drearily lows to upliftingly epic highs, all topped with Pennycook’s distinctive holler.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/183458549″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

SPINNING COIN (18.15, Jabberwocky)

Marrying fuzzy squall with jangly sweetness it’s clear as day why Spinning Coin they were snapped up by Domino Records as eagerly as they were. Spinning Coin engulf you in a sound that seems made for any mood; you could swagger along to this at the top of your game, or perk yourself up with this from a downer, or indeed be relaxed in the comfort with this on in the background.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/305570085″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

HER’S (23.00, Baino)

Drum-machine led Liverpool pair Her’s, although undoubtedly indebted to the likes of Mac DeMarco have crafted a sound with leave you gleefully captivated and eager for more. We’ve never had the pleasure of catching them live but there’s not much doubting they’ll bring the sunshine for a small portion of time at least.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/316831409″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

BREAKFAST MUFF (16.00, Thunderdome)

Breakfast MUFF’s punk vigour is contagious; they’re a band with a joyous energy – and raw talent. Pop at its filthiest, they’re fast, aggressive, punchy and are absolutely wild fun with an effortless charm.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/316817124″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

HAPPY MEAL (ASHRAM SET) (16.00, Baino & 23.00, 0///Dome)

Happy Meals’ second set for the weekend is their Ashram Set, which we can assume comes from their recent LP Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony expect a fresh atmosphere, an openness to texture, depth and modulating mood. An potentially chilled affair that will lull you beautifully before Lewis’ other band The Cosmic Dead blow you away later on.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/323915201″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

LIFE MODEL (18.00, Thunderdome)

Chris Smith’s pedal loops and gradual swells give Life Model’s tunes a gorgeous phosphorescence that, alongside Sophie Evans’ vocals, evokes the best work of post-rock luminaries Slowdive. They make shimmering noise pop with a touch of nineties shoegazers and see to get better every time we see them, let’s hope that continues.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/326932415″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

RAZA (14.30, Baino)

With a gloriously addictive set of jazzy bleeps, soaring electro scapes and some 90s computer game vibes RAZA promise to be one of the more colourful acts of the festival. Masterminded by stalwart of the Glasgow scene, both on stage and behind the desk, Gav Thomson, RAZA will have everyone dancing and inventing their own terms for what they hear in no time.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/319119091″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

HEIR OF THE CURSED (19.15, Thunderdome)

Kenya born now Scotland resident Beldina Odenyo Onassis aka Heir of the Cursed possess some of the most beguiling songs you will experience yet also holds a voice that packs as much power as it does soul, we’ve only yet caught her in a stripped back scenario but we expect her to really pack a punch at the festival.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/308497740″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

BROTHER MICHELLE (21.45, Thunderdome)

A solo project from one of the guys from LYLO, Brother Michelle has established itself as one to watch in itself with a live shows that full of impressive dance moves and jam-packed full of energy. Musically expect some dark R&B tinged pop but with plenty of beats to keep you going enough to dance along or simply let it drift you away.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/303307260″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

MISC. MEAT (14.00, Thunderdome)

It’s been a while since we saw this noisy punk trio, which is a surprise considering the sheer amount they seem to play. Still, we’ll make the effort to get to see them tear up the festival with their high energy set.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/283541129″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

CHRISSY BARNACLE (12.00, Thunderdome)

Chrissy Barnacle is a real joy whether telling humour dripping stories or delivering honest nylon-stringed folk, that covers your day to day musing to the complete ridiculous; a real charming set to be expected.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/187938184″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Doune the Rabbit Hole, 19-21/8/16

Doune the Rabbit Hole is now been pretty high our list of summer events, the family friendly vibe, typically diverse and entertaining line up and an array of delightful food, plus the influx of dogs make it one of the most delightful festivals of the summer.

Sadly my experience this year is smattered with illness and severely cuts short my festival experience, illness coupled with the rain drenched conditions weren’t the best pairing, but that’s no disrespect to the festival just an unfortunate scenario.

IMG_8463

My weekend begins on relatively well footing at the Jabberwocky Stage with Glasgow favourites Babe, after a long and painful, but completely necessary set up, get people moving from the off with glitchy synths that twinkle above the soggy field.

Still it’s rewarding stuff as Gerard Black, kitted out in green trackies and umbro training top, lets his soft yet high-pitched tones drift and sooth, never failing to put a smile on your face.

The band is joined later on by the delightful Rozi Plain who brings an extra touch of charm to set simply oozes it.

Hoping for a bit more glitchy brilliance we head over to the Parabola Stage to catch a bit of HQFU, sadly the stage suffers from a host of sound difficulties and the set’s low volume becomes somewhat lost in rain and chatter.

It’s a shame as Sarah J Stanley’s performance at its peak is an infectious experience, sadly this isn’t quite the ideal setting and the tunes simply meld into the surroundings.

IMG_8727

12-piece Scots-Irish folk super group, Treacherous Orchestra fill up the Jabberwocky Stage as they treat the crowd to an engaging, high-energy musical showcase which encompasses bagpipes, guitars, whistles, fiddles, double bass, banjo and drums alongside many others.

Their cabaret style set-up complete with outfits that could stand up to the likes of My Chemical Romance creates a truly entertaining performance, which encourages not only foot tapping from the crowd, but also some full on ceilidh dancing.

Both Treacherous Orchestra’s style and sound is the perfect fit for the eccentric Doune The Rabbit Hole and just what is needed to get you in the mood to dance the night away.

We’re in high-sprits as we make our way back to the Parabola to catch personal favourites Bossy Love.

At first I’m worried Bossy Love’s huge sound will suffer the fate as HQFU did earlier in by appearing on this smaller wooden stage, however Amandah Wilkinson’s sweet, thick vocals and catchy chants power through showcasing her true talent.

Per usual Wilkinson holds an enormous presence on the stage encouraging the audience to dance their hearts out as she leaps off the stage to join the in the crowd.

Bossy Love possess everything you could possibly want from a RnB/pop duo as both Wilkinson and her partner John Baillie Jnr.’s immense energy, catchy melodies and defining facial expressions create a highly entertaining performance.

By the time Blanck Mass takes to the Baino Stage it’s getting a bit late, but such is Benjamin John Power’s mastery of this drone-y experimental dance sound that it’s something that keeps you dancing to entrancing end.

Every part of the set seems to fall into the right place without ever needing to hint a big drop; it’s expressive, glowing and immersive stuff and the perfect end to an evening before things take a downward turn that sees me spending most of Saturday in the medical tent.

IMG_9696

Leaving Iain behind to get some much-needed rest I head to the arena in time to catch some of Admiral Fallow‘s uplifting set.

The Scottish folk ensemble treats the crowd to tracks both old and new as their soaring guitars, tender harmonies and atmospheric melodies feel perfectly at home.

The highlight of their set comes in the form of personal favourite ‘Guest of the Government’ as even those not familiar to the band can not help but move to its catchy beats.

With a temporary change in lineup Polarnecks are the next on tonight’s list, providing a darker emotive sound than tonight’s previous performances, the trio act as a refreshing change to the festival’s scene.

Combining gloomy melodies, thundering guitars and echoing vocals with a touch of unnerving distortion Polarnecks live show truly showcases their strong musicianship, which, alongside thought-provoking lyrics, create an overall a distinctive sound.

Having only recently arrived back in the country after some months away in Thailand I am excited to see the effects travelling have had on December ’91‘s sound.

Playing solo tonight doesn’t hush frontman Craig Ferrie’s booming vocals as he gives a truly heartfelt and powerful performance.

Ferrie’s onstage presence is as endearing as always, as he continually cracks jokes with his intimate audience.

Even though smaller than most crowds this weekend, its size works in Ferrie’s favour allowing him to deliver a set more than capable of sending shivers down your spine.

By the time I make it to along to Whistleblower Stage for Shopping‘s set the night is beginning to become quite blurry, however the trio still manage to make quite a memorable impact as they bounce around the stage and encourage the crowd to do the same.

Combining lo-fi guitars, angular riffs and yelping vocals Shopping treat their audience to a variety of catchy upbeat tunes from a mix of their albums, which truly showcase both their showmanship and musical skill; a wonderful end to an excellent evening of live music.

Sadly the aforementioned illness means we only make it along to one of Sunday’s performances, however we have saved the best to last as the incredible TeenCanteen serve as the highlight of the weekend.

Covered in glitter and dressed like they’ve just come from a fairy themed-fancy dress party, TeenCanteen’s aesthetics perfectly match their sound as they deliver a set packed full of catchy beats, heartfelt lyrics and elegant harmonies from the band’s three frontwoman.

Their sickly-sweet indie-pop melodies are the perfect soundtrack to this afternoon’s sunshine, and being able to sit on the grass by the Jackerwocky Stage brings back good memories of last year’s better health and weather.

More Photos

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/253237195″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Words: Iain Dawson / Jess Lavin
Photos: Leif Nicholi Alexander Langvand

Babe – The Hereaftergo’ers [Moshi Moshi]

Babe released The Hereaftergo’ers EP at the end of April, following up their debut album Volery Flight (2014); again the band is working with Moshi Moshi.

I have to admit selecting to review was to satisfy my curiosity, as though Babe are French based they contain mainly Scots, half of Findo Gask, and it is always interesting to listen to what an ex-band mate is doing isn’t it?

Gerard Black’s vocals are in front of all mixes, however with more detailed instrumentation around them – this is in reference to the work done with Findo.

The instrumentation of the band rarely sounds like a live band, the combination of samples, synth lines and melodic percussion suggest Django Django or The Phantom Band at times, however with a brilliantly added camp tropical aspect, the result of European sun no doubt.

The EP is a bouncy listen that is easy to sit through in one sitting, the shifts in gear on tracks such as ‘The Warbling’ intrigues me to what the current live show consists of.

Babe plays The Glad Café on May 30.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196498993″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]