Tag Archives: Be Charlotte

Ones to look out for at Electric Fields 2016

Electric Fields might well be the most exciting festival north of the border this year, with a line up that draws huge talent from both the local pool and further afield and without compromising in talent have drawn together the most attractive line up we’ve seen in a while.

Last year Electric Fields was a real up and comer with a punch, drawing mainly, although not solely, on Scottish acts the festival saw real promise in a glorious location with my only real criticisms of last year’s festival coming in the form of travel arrangements and food, the latter seems to have been sorted with a mouth-watering list of options displayed, but whether it lives up to billing we’ll wait and see.

This year they’ve taken investment on board and expanded considerably, moving to a two day festival with huge headliners in Primal Scream and The Charlatans, while acts like Wild Beasts, Fat White Family and Field Music add to a strong bill that will pull punters from the whole of the UK.

Add to that a strong Scottish contingent, featuring not only headliner Primal Scream, but also SAY award shortlisted Steve Mason and Emma Pollock, the undeniably talented folk rock chops of Admiral Fallow and the irresistible Tuff Love, among others, you’ve got a festival that’s come a long way.

With that in mind we’ve chosen to take our picks for the festival from those that might not quite have caught the wider public eye… yet.

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BE CHARLOTTE

This little songstress had the potential to be massive, and slightly more than a year on from the first time we covered her she’s progressing nicely. Her live set is slick and breath-taking, drawing on vocalist Charlotte Brimner’s immaculate vocal talents with section that go from rap to beautifully sang acapella sections, from experimental drum assaults to shimmering pop glory. Get ready to be drawn in and left bewitched.

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BELLA AND THE BEAR

Ultra talented duo Bella and Bear merge cutting edge spoken word sections with intricate, lush folk meanderings. Lauren Gilmour’s voice oozes character and will add a resounding beauty to a buoyant line up.

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ELARA CALUNA

elara caluna are a band that we have shamefully yet to cover, so Electric Fields should deliver the perfect opportunity, on record their sound merges gothic, baroque and folk influences with electronically generated atmosphere, that we’re excited to finally catch in a live setting.

Sweaty Palms Promo Shot Lo-Res

SWEATY PALMS

There’s not many better live bands in Scotland right now than Sweaty Palms, the Glasgow boys deliver a riotous set that has tore many a basement a new one with their loud and dirty, reverb drenched post punk sound. Electric Fields just might not know what hit it when they take to the Tim Peaks stage early in the day on Friday.

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TEENCANTEEN

TeenCanteen deliver sticky cherry-cola kissed three part harmonies backed by talking toms and stomping beats in a new Wall of Sound, and with their debut album due just weeks after Electric Fields we’re excited to see what they have in store.

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THE VAN T’S

It appears The Van T’s very nearly were not playing this year’s Electric Fields after the very sad news of the passing The Lapelles frontman and their very good friend Gary Watson, however it now appears their 60s vibing garage rock will rear its shimmering head and we’re more than sure they’ll pull out all the stops to honour Gary’s memory.

We’re also excited to catch Northern Irish drone pop merchants Documenta and the dreamy guitar pop of Manchester’s Horsebeach for the first time.

T in the Park, 9/7/16

Day two and the bus issues don’t reoccur, we are however met with a rather more rain soaked affair after torrential rains last night hit the festival site hard, still the news that Tom Odell and Bay City Rollers have switched sets, meaning I get to see some our local heroes for a fun time later on, sets my spirits that little bit higher.

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Over at T Break Domiciles are already in action and the Fife based five-piece deliver a powerful garage tinged psych rock sound that sets the early mood and gets a few heads nodding, while also bringing a few familiar faces as it seems a large portion of Glasgow’s music scene has descended on Strathallan Castle.

There’s a hypnotic feel to Domiciles’ set that you would imagine would mesmerise in a packed venue, still the band adapt to the big stage admirably and play a set as loud as anything I’ve heard on T Break so far.

My first trip to the BBC Introducing stage is for the act that opens it, and it turns out to be the set of the weekend as CABBAGE open things in rip-roaring fashion; screeching guitars collide with powerful rhythms and an in your face sneery chanted vocal that serves up an attitude packed set from the Manchester five-piece.

Their vocalists’ look comes across a little John Cooper Clark dressed as the cast of Friends, with the baggy trousers, shirt and shades get up, still he possesses bags presence and it’s hard to take your eyes off him as he spouts highly satirical attacks on the flaws of the country right now.

There’s a distinct punk vibe to the whole set, from delivery down to lyrical content, and it’s a refreshing thing to see this kind music taking a stand on a stage at one of the UK’s biggest festivals.

A frontman switch and removal of the shades doesn’t quell the energy, and the alternative vocalist goes taps aff and delivers an almost half spoken half screeched track, before rocking on a jaunting rockabilly sounding track about “death to Donald Trump” that culminates in the singer rolling around screaming; enthralling stuff.

Back over at T Break and Redolent is already on, allowing their bizarrely sunny sounding, despite the overriding emo feel, tracks to float effortlessly across the crowd.

The Edinburgh four-piece seem comfortable on the bigger stage as twinkling guitars and bleepy synth loops build huge sounding instrumental tracks that sees the band at their upbeat, expansive post rock best.

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Following Redolent, other Edinburgh residents Mt. Doubt open their set with quite possibly their best track to date in the encapsulating, huge sounding ‘SOAK’ and it does the trick, engrossing the T Break crowd as the band, playing today as a full six-piece, sound massive and fill the tent with soaring synths and Leo Bargery’s enchanting bellow, which is complimented perfectly by Annie Booth’s dimension creating floaty vocal input.

Recent single ‘Afterglow’ follows in the same pop edged indie rock glory, it’s a real testament to Bargery’s songwriting that having only listened to their debut album, In Awe of Nothing, a handful of times that the words already seem to be sticking.

With a bit of luck these guys will continue to progress and could easily make the next step up at a festival like this.

At BBC Introducing I catch a flamboyant burst of The Mirror Trap, the show is full of flailing hands and camp hip shakes and while explosive at points, it does seem a bit too cheesy on the whole, so I head back over to T Break for JR Green’s guitar/accordion led set.

The Highlands based brother have a real modern take on what is essentially tradition music and chants of “my youth is on fire” have the potential to be a real festival staple.

The Green brothers possess a real likable quality that’s driven on by the addition of percussion that adds another bow to their already engaging quality, ‘Nigerian Princess’, from their debut EP Bring The Witch Doctor, is the set standout, but unfortunately the set is severely disturbed by the chatter of a Main Stage crowd sheltering from the rain; apparently Jess Glyne ain’t worth getting wet for.

Back at BBC Introducing and HQFU is blasting us with clattering, glitchy electronics and it would be a real defining set had the outside clatter not been more audible than the quieter portions of the set, as a result it feels like a constant fight for audibility between the promising producer and a set of dodgems; sad reality of playing a smaller stage at a big festival.

It’s a shame as this disturbance seems to really affect the set, which is full of blindingly glimmering beats that would ordinarily see many a dance floor filled, but today, well it’s ruined simply by proximity and despite a number of signs being handed out encouraging people further forward and perks things up a little, but this is one set we’ll have to put down for another day.

Be Charlotte’s set on the same stage suffers a similar fate and for a set that hosts a series of impressive acapella sections, it’s hard for the brash sounds of the shows not to disturb.

Shame because young Charlotte Brimner’s voice is spectacular, still it’s credit to her that she manages to raise her set above it and the dancier numbers shimmer above the mire.

The set itself is full of the ever impressive and chart teasing delights we’ve become accustomed to; go see her in a better setting, you will not be let down.

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The Van T’s seem to do no wrong these days, well drummer Shaun Hood’s hair and get up today is pretty questionable, but tonight they headline the BBC Introducing Stage and raise the volume up to levels that any outside disturbances are drowned out in fuzzy glory.

The four-piece has the same bounce they possessed when they played T Break last year and with impressive new EP, A Coming Of Age, in the bag, along with a couple of banging surfy garage tinged anthem singles this year is looking pretty rosy.

Tonight their set reflects exactly this as addictive harmonies and pounding rhythms punctuate reverberated guitars to produce a set that grasps your attention and never lets go.

And as the three glittered girls up front look as much the part as they sound it, and their drummer maybe even more so, it seems the only way is up.

Following this I drift off over to the King Tut’s Tent for a bit if the Rollers, get taught The Slosh and have a wonderful time; I also get pulled along to The 1975 and Catfish and Bottlemen but neither set catches me as anything of real note.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Cameron Brisbane

West End Festival All Dayer at Oran Mor, 19/6/16

So it’s another dad day and another all dayer at Oran Mor as part of the West End Festival, and while the line up today may not be quite as dad friendly as last year’s fare there is a host of local talent at various stages of their musical development on offer.

Lewis Capaldi

Arriving early we manage to catch Lewis Capaldi opening at the Whisky Bar and the gruff voiced singer-songwriter, who recently sold out his debut headline show at The Garage Attic, portrays plenty of attention grabbing presence.

The load bar is full of bustling punters out for lunch or beers with their dads, but it’s huge credit to Capaldi that he manages to hold his own in loud bar that many would fade away into.

Three Blind Wolves

In the Venue we pop down for the start of local folk rock favourites Three Blind Wolves, whose recent EP The Bridge ranks among the best things they’ve done yet, deliver their ever impressive live set as their rousing musicianship coupled with Ross Clark’s booming vocals is a great way to kick things off downstairs.

Martha Ffion

Alas this can only be a brief visit for the Wolves as the wonderful Martha Ffion is started upstairs in the gorgeous Auditorium.

As Ffion takes the stage early on in the day the beautiful venue is sadly a bit towards the empty side.

Nevertheless Ffion and her band make the most of the stunning venue, performing like the room is full and receiving loud cheers at the end of each song for her charming sugarcoated vocals.

Having built up a large repertoire of 60s fuzzy pop peppered singles it is clear the Irish-born songstress’ confidence and stage presence has grown since I saw her last allowing her to grip her audience’s attention throughout her set closing on the wonderfully touching ‘We Disappear’.

Be Charlotte

We arrive early to catch Withered Hand’s set but are disappointed to find out he is stuck in traffic so we make the decision to head back upstairs to catch the wonderful Be Charlotte.

Having seen young Charlotte Brimner perform multiple time in the last year, the latest being just yesterday for Detour’s Hug and Pint Birthday party, her set comes as no real surprise, but it’s huge credit to the sparkling Dundonian that her set remains as impressive as the first time I witnessed it.

From the beginning of single and opener ‘Discover’ to the end of the set Brimner possess an addictive quality that bursts with an innovative take on pop music that could and should see her to the very top.

Whether hitting out a potential chart banger, chanting almost spoken word eloquence or delivering gob smacking acapella in her unique yet completely stunning tones, it’s hard not to enjoy and become engulfed in her set.

As we cannot possibly drag ourselves away from Be Charlotte, when we manage to head back downstairs for a second attempt at Withered Hand, he’s just finishing his set, however personal favourite, ‘Religious Songs’ allows us a short yet excellent taster of exactly what Dan Wilson’s solo set has to offer.

Catholic Action

Up next are fuzzy-rockers Catholic Action who treat the crowd to a number of new tracks during their set.

Between tracks the band’s on stage repartee is extremely entertaining as frontman Chris McCrory half-joking states “this is a slow song so shut up” in a deadpan manner.

It doesn’t take long for the to band speed things up with a song about pop diva Rita Ora before finishing their set by giving it their all.

With a set that showcases Catholic Action’s musical ability as well diversity, it’s no surprise that their captivating laid back melodies, angsty lyrics and jangly guitar noise create one of the day’s most memorable sets.

De Rosa

In the Venue a wonderful twinkling misery hangs in the air, but despite the glum demeanor De Rosa are mesmerising, Martin John Henry’s heartfelt vocals are believable and hit just the right side of charming, while musically they deliver enough bounce to put a string in your step without becoming jolly.

De Rosa returned at last year’s all dayer with a long awaited bang and while new album Weem didn’t quite drown them in accolades in was a slow burner that cemented their place as a vital part of the scene in Scotland and this set only confirms that.

Pronto Mama

It’s withdrawn but encapsulating, cold yet welcoming; a delightful touch between the fun romps of Catholic Action and next up, upstairs Pronto Mama.

The best set of the day goes to the effortlessly cool Pronto Mama, who from the moment they take the stage grasp of the crowd’s attention.

Their catchy upbeat tracks make it hard to stop everyone from having a little dance, even the band themselves join in and it’s not long until bassist Michael Griffin’s glasses go flying off his face.

The highlight of their set however has to be the courageous acapella ‘Sentiment’, which gives the crowd the opportunity to catch their breath as the whole band come together to deliver the track in beautiful harmony.

Errors

Due to the early start we have to choose a moment to pop out for food, which unfortunately sees us missing all of Crash Club and the vast majority of the heavenly vocaled Rachel Sermanni’s set, however we are back well in time for downstairs’ headliners Errors.

There’s a wee “hello” for Steev Livingstone and we’re off into a haze of fazer ridden, building beats that layers up to points of pounding bass and huge euphoric rises.

The sparse reverb ridden vocals on the tracks from one last year’s stand out albums, Lease of Life, give a live feel not to far removed from the better end of Animal Collective’s solo material, i.e. Panda Bear’s Person Pitch, and as this melds into a cacophony of organic synth and bass from their familiar beat ridden post rock sound.

Tracks from last year’s more dreamy release seem at ease side by side with the driven guitars of their older material and it’s a pleasure to delve into; everything Errors seem to do seems to come off perfectly and as Livingstone dryly asks “have you enjoyed it?” the crowd respond unanimously only for him to come back in the same deadpan tone “good, we’ll play again… some other time”.

Let’s hope it’s not too far off.

So another successful day of music from the centre piece, musically at least, of the West End Festival and the perfect way to spend a Sunday with or without your dad.

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Words: Iain Dawson/Jess Lavin
Photos: Aimee Boyle/Stewart Fullerton

Stag and Dagger (Part Two), 1/5/16

In the previous coverage of Stag and Dagger our reviewer, Adam Turner-Heffer, spoke of the fun of people’s entirely different experiences of the festival.

Intriguingly enough mine and Adam’s days overlap in only two places, one being rejecting the daunting queue for We Were Promised Jetpacks and the other being the early in the day slot of UNDO.

Still, my day, which for a good portion is spent helping out with flyering for the exciting looking Electric Fields, who today have their own stage upstairs in The Art School, is just as engaging and while I wasn’t particularly enamored by the bigger names on the bill there is still plenty of noteworthy performances.

My day begins at 3pm in the Broadcast basement, well almost, the venue is that mobbed I only manage to catch the end of Lovesick’s from the stairs, still from what I can make out the band possess a real rock ‘n’ roll attitude and their sneery vocals provide an engaging focal point on top of plenty of psychedelic tinged indie rock vibes.

Learning my less from the previous set I get down in plenty of time to see The Ninth Wave, and find myself tightly squeezed in towards the from of the stage.

The band’s melodic guitars and synths refreshingly come off a lot more raucous live than they do on record, as clattering, yet groove infected instrumentals are given a pop edge by Hadyn Park’s distinctive pop rock vocals, which give in to some dream pop tinged harmonies courtesy of Elina Lin.

The Ninth Wave definitely come across at their best when they utilise the male-female vocal dynamic to the max, but this is something that’s an almost ever presents and although the set takes a slight lull for some slower material, they make a big impressive in front of surely the biggest crowd they’ve played to thus far.

Over at the CCA there’s a real hush surrounding Bella and the Bear’s set and the extremely talented duo use this to make their cutting edge lyrics stand out on top of their mellow folk twinkles.

They’re a band that have quite rightly had a lot of praise and I’m ashamed to say this is the very first time I have managed to catch them in a live setting, but I’m sure it won’t be the last as Lauren Gilmour’s voice oozes as much character as it does quality, and their arrangements, which occasionally break out into on the button, yet very Scottish, spoken word, leave a touch of beauty that you don’t often witness at a hectic festival.

Popping up the hill for HÆLOS I am greeted with a set full of soaring cinematic electronic pop, and for a band playing their first ever Scottish show they deliver a set that is as vivid and intriguing and it is euphoric.

The band utilise having two drummers in refreshing way; the two percussionists work off of each other to give a really big and ranged sound, rather than just elevating the volume, which seems to be the result when most acts resort to this tactic.

Still, the band delivers a set that well worth catching, full of interesting pace changes and glitches that emphasise on the soaring potential of it all.

Downstairs in The Art School I witness, what for me is, the set of the day and it comes from Laura St. Jude.

The set begins on a hauntingly powerful note, as a cacophony of sound whirlwinds up to something all the more sombre, as St. Jude’s gentle yet firm vocals possess a certain country quality that all comes with a devastating sense of foreboding that drives the set with gasps that provoke a feel of doomed misery, or even comfort in that same feeling.

The set is honest and unnerving and just draws you in for more; it’s a real testament to St. Jude that she manages to maintain the spotlight even when joined on vocals by guitarist and former Amazing Snakeheads frontman Dale Barclay, and while Barclay’s gruff snarl gives the set another post punk tinged dimension, it acts to build an irresistible chemistry and compliment St. Jude’s angelic delivery rather than outshine it, which I’m sure it would do when paired with many musicians out there.

Bumping into The Ninth Wave and their manager I end up down at the ABC for a short blast of The Lapelles, who possess just the right mix of balls out indie rock attitude and earworm worthy tunes that could see easily see them explode.

The reason it’s only a short burst is that Be Charlotte is due to start any second just round the corner, and the Dundonian youngster kicks of with the flawless accapella intro to recent single ‘Discover’, before a simple yet infectious beat adds a real blast of tantalising energy.

Charlotte is an artist it’s difficult not to pay attention to, her performance and set is so engaging and diverse that it’s hard not to be impressed as she switches from gob smacking vocals to cutting edge spoken word to triple percussion assaults that simply silence the crowd and create an awe filled atmosphere.

There’s so much to this girl’s set, just as you think she’s edged onto something that’s a bit too experimental for the masses she pulls another Radio One banger out the bag and in turn demonstrates she’s got all the chops to get to the very top, but isn’t just a straight up pop singer either.

Over at The Art School Stanley Odd are back after a wee break from gigging and they pick up where they left off with consummate ease; Stanley Odd have for a while been one of the most entertaining live acts in Scotland and tonight is no different as Solareye bops around the stage with a gleeful look on his face delivering that distinctive politically charged hip hop we have become familiar with.

The band moves from driving gltichy electronics to huge beats with soaring chorus’, executed flawlessly by Veronika Electronika, to heartfelt speeches to the most moment catching freestyles imaginable, they even manage to leave everyone talking about them despite leaving their most famous track to date, referendum anthem ‘Son, I Voted Yes’ out of the set instead finishing on a new number, which has the packed room chanting “it’s all gone tae fuck” well beyond the end of the set; only in Scotland would you get this kind of reaction to this kind of new material.

Downstairs and I catch a portion of Smash Williams’ compelling electronics that give way to a snarled yet almost folky vocal from Stuart Dougan, I don’t manage to catch much of them today but, from this glimpse, alongside the splattering of material they have available online and the strong catalogue of bands behind the duo, surely any upcoming release is one to look out for.

Over at CCA and Sheffield’s Slow Club begin on a gentle piano led track that simply allows the beauty of Rebecca Taylor’s voice to soar effortlessly over the room, before engaging with the audience in her thick Yorkshire accent with a warm humour that contrasts their beautiful emotive material refreshingly.

There are moments during the set where the crowd seems stuck to the spot, entranced by Taylor’s immaculate delivery, but it’s credit to the duo’s delightful indie pop dynamic that when Charles Taylor takes lead or indulges in harmonies with Taylor the set is just as engaging.

Slow Club are a band that know exactly how to tug on heartstrings and sound immaculate doing it, but equally know how to reign an audience in with amusing banter, keeping their set light and entertaining; they have a new album out this month and tonight along with the consistency of their last three releases suggest it’ll be one well worth checking out.

Following this set I grab a few drinks and hang around til late on to catch Sweaty Palms in action at Broadcast, no one really remembers what happened in this half an hour, but what they do remember is that it was a riot, a phenomenal riot catalyzed by a band that are destined to make waves much much further than a basement in their hometown.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Paul Storr

Be Charlotte – Discover [Electric Honey]

Be Charlotte waltzes into the scene with digital prowess that powers her punchy debut single ‘Discover’.

The chorus is infectious and unexpected after the slow spoken word intro; I cannot sit still as she sings in a flavourful way as if gurgling fizzy pop in her throat.

There is a light-ness to the track and reflected in the high pace production is an urgency to encourage people to take life less seriously.

The song resonates in the same vein as CHVRCHES and the teenager deserves a medal for the way her voice trills vaporously in the chorus.

This stylish act is on a one-way track to grace the synthpop cluster in no time at all.

Be Charlotte’s youthful promise and blistering energy might not be yours to harness, but stood in the crowd at her gig you’re bound to catch some sonic.

Words: Mhairi MacDonald

Wide Days Showcases ft. Be Charlotte, Best Girl Athlete, Elle Exxe, Tongues, The Van T’s, Scumpulse

Having not made the conferences during the day due to work commitment I arrived at Wide Days for, well, the best bit.

Let’s face it people talking about the music industry can be very interesting and entertaining, and there were some topics on this year’s agenda which I would have very much like to have seen discussed, but it doesn’t beat seeing a top live act and this year there’s six on the bill across three venues and all for the wonderful price of nothing.

Arriving at The Pleasance just as one of Wide Days’ founders, Olaf Furniss, is finishing introducing the wonderful Be Charlotte; I’m equally as relieved not to miss her as I am surprised to see the act that I considered to have the most commercial potential on the bill on so early.

From the start young Charlotte Brimner possess a likeable swagger and her output oozes quality, whether it’s smashing a glimmeringly modern take on the pop song or mesmerising the crowd with a breath-taking accapella cut.

Granted the all-seated venue doesn’t suit the Be Charlotte sound, but she does herself more than justice, and had she been placed in a more fitting venue this set would be a real showstopper.

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Following on from Charlotte is another impressive young talent in Aberdeen’s Best Girl Athlete; last year’s Carve Every Word album was a beautiful crafted, emotionally powerful piece of work that elevated it to number two in our end of year lists, so finally seeing these songs live is a treat.

Fronted by Katie Buchan would teams up with a full band, including her father, Scottish folk musician CS Buchan, who helped compose the album, Best Girl Athlete sound pretty emphatic, despite Katie looking a touch on the nervous side, but for the teenager, who’s dad just bought her her first pint in a pub today, this will come as she grows into her live show.

All in all she deals with the set brilliantly, sounding much more composed than I could imagine many high schoolers would in her position; she even deals admirably with some awkward, yet amusing dad chat.

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A short jaunt over to La Belle Angele for London based popstress Elle Exxe, the third of four female fronted acts on the bill, something which has been made quite a lot of, and while admirable for giving a spotlight to some of the many great female fronted acts in Scotland stating you’re doing it does dim it somewhat; regardless, I can vouch that girls on this bill are here on merit and not just a token gesture.

One thing’s for sure Elle Exxe doesn’t hold back on her performance, at points her vocals seem to get lost in the mix, but so full on is this girl’s spiralling, riotous presence that you can’t tell if it’s intentional, just a poor mix or that she’s that into the performance that the mic isn’t quite making it to her mouth properly.

A London based musician, who already seems to have a solid footing in the industry seems an odd choice for Wide Days, but regardless of this Exxe, who seems much more genuine and lovely than her onstage pop diva persona may hint at, gives a performance that’s pure in-your-face theatre, over the top dancing and dirty pop beats that could be huge with the right breaks.

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Next up are Tongues who certainly have the knack for a catchy synth hook, they also deliver their material with such an engaging pop tinged attitude that they have the potential to skyrocket.

If this Glasgow-based four-piece can muster enough songs to match the best they deliver tonight then there will be no stopping them; there’s enough soaring “woahs” to keep the chart touting indie fans howling along and plenty of interesting touches to their song-writing and arrangements, who knows where they’ll end up next.

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Things start to blur into one once we arrive at Electric Circus, people have by now had enough beers to make the networking flow that much easier, still I’m delighted that The Van T’s are only just getting started when we arrive.

The band, we have been championing since very early on, show just why they’re getting all the attention, with a full on rock show filled with surfy goodness and the ever impressive harmonies of the Van Thompson twins, despite being severely dulled by the murky sound of Electric Circus.

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It’s safe to say that Scumpulse are the showcase wildcard and the black metal act soon have the younger, hipper members of the crowd heading towards the exit, or at least the bar.

That’s not to say they’re not good, they technically are excellent delivering easily the most complex set of the day with ounces of punk energy that goes down as well with their diehard fan as it does those that give into their relentless power for the evening; I resisted the urge to mosh or buy a t-shirt… quite a few didn’t.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Jannica Honey

Be Charlotte (single launch) at Stereo, 15/4/16

Stereo is already completely packed by the time I arrive eager for Charlotte Brimner aka Be Charlotte’s first headline show.

Over the past few months the young Dundonian has been causing quite a stir in the Scottish scene by shaping her own unique brand pop songs; breaking the boundaries of what it means to be a singer-songwriter, not only does Brimner sing, but also raps and beatboxes throughout her performance – truly utilising her vocals to their full potential and showcasing her technical ability.

Her vocal range isn’t the only impressive aspect of tonight’s performance as her stage set-up looks like something you expect to see in a much bigger venues, venues that I’m sure Brimner and her band will be gracing soon enough (I mean she already has already has her name in lights!).

Every track in tonight’s set stands out in it own right as each displays its own variety of instruments and effects, leaving the crowd begging for more.

Closing with an acapella version of new single, ‘Discover’, it’s not long before Brimner’s well thought out production kicks back in for a final time ending her set with a bang.

Tonight’s innovative performance demonstrates not only the pastel haired songstress’ artistic talent, but also her determination and ability to path her own way in the music industry.

Words: Jess Lavin

Tenement Trail, 3/10/15

Sauchiehall Street on the day of Tenement TV’s annual Tenement Trail is always packed with musicians and gig goers alike, with an unashamed buzz in the atmosphere.

Often regarded as Glasgow’s best music festival, I start a promising day at Broadcast to see the bluesy folk styling’s of Dundonian band Sinderins.

They kick their set off to a packed venue and without any doubt they deliver a superb and transcendent performance with a certain jazz feel to it.

Having seen them play King Tut’s only a few weeks ago, they are on an even better form, with of course David Webster holding a note to an impressive amount of time much to the crowd’s delight.

The guys definitely set me up for the day and with much optimism the next stop is The Art School to see Be Charlotte, another Dundonian who has had quite an impressive year so far.

This is my second time seeing Charlotte; the first was with her laptop, but today she has her band with her, and by the end of her performance I don’t think much can top today.

Her vocals are splendidly executed with her band creating a buoyant and upbeat vibe that Charlotte can jump about the stage to.

With dignified spoken words and a hip hop and pop feel, Be Charlotte can hold a crowd and make it her own; she’s entirely authentic and shows the crowd exactly what music has been missing.

The band has excellent musicianship and we are consistently blown away when both band mates are on percussion.

Like I said Be Charlotte is hands down my favourite of the day, and later we get to hear some damn good vibes yet again when she collaborates with Crash Club.

The Art School’s line up is incredible; it only seems right to stay here for the next couple of acts.

Pronto Mama take to the stage with a dedicated swarm of fans moving right to the front with a completely full room behind them.
Pronto Mama never fails and is considered one of the best live acts in the country with their unique and enthralling sound.

With songs from their EPs, Lickety Split and Niche Market, played they introduce us to a new one, giving the demand for new material from fans and with an album hopefully to be released soon this goes down greatly.

A Big crowd turn up to see Holy Esque, they have established themselves well and were recently Radio 1 play listed and after this performance it’s easy to see why there star is rising.

They blast through tracks from their Submission EP and the crowd favourite ‘Rose’.

Broadcast seems rather quiet as Other Humans begin their set, but with some classy vocals and synth their sound soon draws people from upstairs to witness something entirely new and fresh.

The band as a whole is solid and has fantastic stage presence, the kind where you are completely in tune with them, while the songs are well written and refined; expect big things from these guys!

Acting Strange take to the stage at King Tut’s too Little Richard’s ‘Keep On Knocking’ and kick things of with the lead single ‘RUMBLE’, from their recently released EP Night On The Tiles, followed by the Dylan esc ‘Oh No’.

With just two guitars, vocals and a stomp box it’s easy to see why these two have created such a buzz in a short space of time.

They power through the rest of the set fusing the best of 60’s pop with a rock ‘n’ roll bluesy swagger; the futures bright, or should I say Strange.

I manage to catch the start of Atom Tree and then am just in time for the end of Young Aviators set – both bands have been gaining a lot of attention lately and Young Aviators in particular put on a good show before the last band of the day take the stage.

As Flat 0/1 fills up you can feel something special is about to happen and Crash Club don’t disappoint.

The place erupts as they begin their set, a mix of euphoria and adrenaline; sweat and bodies are flying everywhere, and the atmosphere can only be described as “pure mental”.

They are joined on the stage by Medicine Men’s Ian Mackinnon to perform the anthemic ‘Recondition’; Mackinnon has the crowd in the palm of his hand and again the place just explodes.

Crash Club also show off new tracks featuring Be Charlotte and storm through the rest of the set showing why they are the band to close the festival.

With Scotland in the bag the sky’s limits for Scotland’s (not for much longer) best kept secret.

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Words: Olivia Campbell

Doune The Rabbit Hole, 23/8/15

Sunday at Doune and we’ve found a touch of familiarity about the site, only today it seems to be filled with yellow as Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 closing things tonight and their fans seem to engulf the festival site in what could resemble a cult if you weren’t aware a silly, fun-times band were at the centre of it.

Still our day starts with food, and the food at Doune is the best you’ll eat at any festival; I opt for the French toast with bacon and maple syrup for breakfast, while Jess turns up with the most colourful breakfast roll I’ve ever witnessed containing; egg, smoked salmon and avocado.

Indeed today is full of indulgence in the food department, from barbeque salmon, to beer roasted brisket and plenty of veggie alternatives too it’s a joy to have this many options at a festival of this size.

The Shithawks-2

For the music my day starts in the Baino tent, as The Shithawks deliver a loud, fast rock ‘n’ roll assault on the those that have hit the darkened tent in the blissful early afternoon sunshine.

When the Dundee act hit their groove it’s powerfully engaging stuff, if a bit overwhelming for those trying to ease themselves out of a Sunday morning hangover.

Still, there’s plenty to dance as The Shithawks’ funk enthused basslines and infectious garage punk vocals, along with a never giving rhythm get things moving early on; it’s powerful stuff; could maybe have done with being a couple of bevvy’s down the line though and I don’t remember them having Aussie accents last time I saw them.

Prehistoric Friends-6

Following the riotous start we find a nice spot to the side of the Jabberwocky stage in preparation for Prehistoric Friends.

Even through the majority of the crowd remain seated (except an the young woman performing yoga with her daughter near the front of the stage – you wouldn’t see this at any other festival) it’s clear they’re enjoying not only the beautiful weather, but also the atmospheric dream-pop coming from the stage.

Originally a duo Liam Chapman and Nichola Kerr are joined by a full band, allowing Chapman to showcase his enchanting vocals.

Prehistoric Friends’ lush synth based tones on a sunny day are the perfect remedy for a hangover and a highlight of the weekend.

Halfrican-4

Moving back to the Baino tent for something extremely different – Halfrican pack a punch as their powerhouse guitar pop shakes you awake.

Their performance is high pace, energetic and intense, but much like The Shithawks feels like it’s in too early a slot.

Nevertheless, it is clear the trio are enjoying themselves as they bounce around the stage in their matching outfits and the crowd clearly share the feeling as the beat drives the performance forward, allowing Sancho Buna’s cheeky sneered vocals to shine, a few even decide to go ‘taps aff’.

Tuff Love-2

Back at the Jabberwocky stage is Tuff Love, whose soft harmonies soaring over fuzzy guitars are as effortlessly vibrant as ever.

Their set is minimalistic, but mind-blowing and even through Suse Bear and Julie Eisenstein come as slightly shy, their music speaks for them gripping your attention and not letting it go.

Tuff Love are an extremely tight live band and deliver 45 minutes of grunged up pop goodness, which draws even the weariest of punters down to the front for a little dance.

C Duncan-5

Next on the Jabberwocky stage is the much talked about C Duncan and this was my first chance to catch him in a live setting and I’m not disappointed as his set seems perfectly suited for the early evening sunshine, as each track seems to seeks out the disappearing rays with fresh and lovely harmonies.

The general comparison Duncan seems to be receiving is to that of early Fleet Foxes, and it’s easy to see why as the gentle builds and lulling vocal style do posses an endearing campfire quality; a truly charming way to spend the sun’s descent.

Be Charlotte-11

I’ve heard good things about Be Charlotte over the last couple months and with Hector Bizerk’s own Audrey Tait on board I’m extremely excited to see what young Charlotte Brimner has to offer.

Brimner breaks the boundaries of what it means to be a singer-songwriter as not only does she sing, but also shows her true musicianship as she raps and plays while still managing to ooze bags of swagger, however Brimner’s voice is what really strikes you, as not only is it completely stunning, but utilised to its full potential, showcasing her unique tone and technical ability.

Them Beatles-1

Then it’s the cheery fun festival finale back at the Jabberwocky stage as Them Beatles pull out their best psychedelia era Beatles attire, hit character and transport you back to the 60s for a set of sing-along fun.

It’s charming stuff, as they delivery an array of favourites in the most convincing fashion you’ll see; tribute acts might not be for everyone, but if you’re going to see one it may as well be Them Beatles.

Before the drive back to Glasgow for the ever-daunting Monday morning in work, I manage to catch a few minutes of the experimental, avant-garde, free jazz stylings of Death Shanties from under the big tree, and while their music takes some accustoming to it deservedly pulls a crowd.

Saxophonist Sybren Renema is situated in the tree with drummer Alex Neilson powering out franticly engrossing drums from the floor below, it’s attention grasping stuff and the ideally bizarre way to end a very special festival.

More Photos

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Words: Iain Dawson/Jess Lavin
Photos: Bill Gray

King Tut’s Summer Nights with Bwani, Whispery Club, Barbary Coast, Be Charlotte, 24/7/15

It’s Bwani’s turn to headline this years King Tut’s Summer Nights and though the smattering of people steadily increases as each of the four acts takes their turn on stage, the venue doesn’t quite hit the atmosphere provided by a full and roused audience.

Be Charlotte (AKA Charlotte Brimner) is a singer/songwriter from Dundee who uses superbly impressive vocal acrobatics to dance around the poppy melodies, which punctuate her upbeat, hip-hop tinged music.

After each song, a couple more people filter through and Charlotte is sure to remind us that she’s without her backing band for the evening.

This doesn’t deplete the delivery however; her unbelievable voice will probably always be the focus of attention, however many people share her stage, but I’ve taken note anyway to go see her when the laptop is supplemented by some more instruments.

Whispery Club take the tone of the show in a heavier direction, snarling with 90’s Americanisms, and being accompanied by a small group of eager fans.

For some reason this is their last show, but they play some pretty cool alt-rock songs anyway and the slightly inflated crowd love them.

I would recommend having a look at them, but the only way to do that now is on YouTube, so crack on and have a good mourn at their demise after you realise they could have been your most favourite new band ever.

The sound of the night once again gets wrenched in another direction, this time by Barbary Coast, and though they seem to be okay at crafting a disco/indie song, their set melds into just that – one massive and samey disco/indie song.

The business of mindless discouragement is a pretty nasty one, so I’d have to say it looks as if a large portion of people watching would whole-heartedly disagree with me, but I just can’t find anything inspiring about the performance.

Be Charlotte has so far outshined the two middle acts, but Bwani take the stage with a kind of confidence that only comes with years of playing music together and fully grab back the attention.

They open with second album track ‘Borneo’, which recently received a Japanese tinged rerelease under the name ‘Tokyo Talk’, which sort of confused me; I wasn’t sure if there was a need to change the song – maybe it was just a fun experiment.

Regardless, they play the original tonight and quickly follow it with ‘Civil War’ – a strong and superbly energetic introduction.

As I said before, the audience hasn’t so far made significant movements towards anything akin to rowdiness and unfortunately it doesn’t look like Bwani’s unique brand of indie is going to loosen anyone up.

This being said, they still muster brilliance, and show once again that their tightness as a group of talented musicians is something to be impressed by and envious of.

For example, the drop in tempo provided by new song ‘ICU’ shows off an ability to be heartfelt and hook-laden at the same time.

As always, each of the individual band members adds something vital to the overall sound: chirpy and bold vocals; complicated guitar work, which blends in perfectly; and a ridiculously tight rhythm section.

Ending on the classic ‘Two Bridges’, Bwani play a set full of very promising new material, which seems to tie together the best aspects of both previous albums.

Special mention also to Indigo Velvet who play a cracking midnight set down in the bar (which sounds surprisingly awesome) after Bwani.

Words: Greg Murray