Tag Archives: Emme Woods

Celtic Connections: Hazy Recollections at ABC, 4/2/18

Presumably this Year’s Celtic Connections is the most successful yet, but a gig on a Sunday afternoon is what it’s all that about.

Hazy Recollections showcases short sets from a number of artists back to back (with no discernible interval) in a chilled out, generally all seated, environment.

From a personal point of view a rare appearance from Jacob Yates and The Pearly Gate Lockpickers and a headlining set from Emme Woods could not be missed.

Opening proceedings Rhona MacFarlane takes to the stage with a three-piece string section, a folk/pop crossover from this talented singer-songwriter, whose intimate and personal songs go down well with what appears to be a pretty diverse audience.

Although the setup sounds just right MacFarlane expresses her hope for “maybe one day with a full orchestra”.

No sooner had MacFarlane et al left the stage when a three piece Jacob Yates and The Pearly Gate Lockpickers take the stage.

Jacob Lovatt is only accompanied by an acoustic guitar and keys, but that is of little consequence as from the opening bars of ‘Dundee’ you realise that the vocals of Lovatt can all but fill the room themselves.

Introduced as makers of “doomwop” the stripped back nature of this set demonstrate the storytelling ability of Lovatt’s songwriting underpinned by the emotion he puts in to his performance.

A couple of oldies, a couple of new songs, an announcement of a new album, a more gentle love song without the usual darkness and a couple from the latest album, Goths!!!.

Closing with a powerful rendition of ‘The Gospel According to The Selfish Gene’ and that is it; if we can only hold out now until the new music.

Age-Otori is up next and warns us straight away about their potential for inappropriate comments; scaremongering me thinks!

Age-Otori performs solo with a keyboard and sings of personal experiences with anecdotes and stories in between; mum was obviously in the audience and helps out with the forgotten first lyrics to ‘Honey’.

A mix of fun, but with real emotion in some of the more personal songs such as ‘Pulse’ about the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub Orlando, or ‘Jo-Anne’ (about a stripper) whose “not what I’d like to be” and ‘Alaska’ – lets go to Alaska and escape everyone’s stupid ideal.

An emotional performance with Age-Otori attempting to make light of the performance, but cannot hide the personal nature of their songwriting.

Announced as the mystery guest Siobhan Wilson replaces Age-Otori and performs a masterclass touching on her back catalogue.

A beautiful voice with the minimal of guitar accompaniment, as that is all that is required.

Her set includes songs off the new album, There Are No Saints, and some oldies including ‘All Dressed Up’ with some lyrics changed “to make it more evil”.

Wilson finishes with ‘Dear God’ from the new album before making way for Emme Woods.

Emme Woods is one of the hottest properties in Glasgow at the moment and this appearance has the full band line up including Kitty on the keys.

Arguably the strongest of their flexible line ups, but for Barrie-James O’Neill who makes the occasional appearance.

There was a time when Celtic Connections would have been the natural habitat for Woods when her music was more influenced by alt folk, but that is no longer the case.

With the full band set up the afternoon’s rock (and sassiness) levels are stepped up a gear.

2018 is likely to be a big year for Woods with plans for a new EP and the announcement of an appearance at the SXSW.

With the recording of the new EP currently underway we were treated to a new song and the likely title track ‘It’s Ma Party’ as well as old favourites ‘Mother Doesn’t Love You’ and ‘I Was Running’.

A brilliant bluesy rock performance where Woods’ vocals are the focus, our very own Janis Joplin.

Apparently they had missed the soundcheck due to road closures coming from the recording studio, however this is a faultless performance (as usual).

More Photos

Words/Photos: Derek McCutcheon

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.

Ten acts to check out at Tenement Trail 2017

Tenement Trail is back for another year and as they spread a ridiculous amount of bands over 10 venues and over nine hours we made some hard choices for who we think you should go see:

Catholic Action
King Tut’s, 11.15-11.45

This one promises to be a packed one so get yourself along early, not only cos Catholic Action are the last band at the whole festival and have a whole time slot to themselves, but also cos they’re one of the hottest property’s in the UK just now. The Glasgow four-piece are less than a month away from releasing their debut album and from the exuberant, glam tinged guitar pop the have unleashed to date the full could be the thing that ushers them to the huge audiences that have been edging to for a while.

Shredd
Flat 0/1, 9.45-10.15

With a live set that goes from Ty Seagall channeling garage pop to full on heavy riffage Shredd have carved out a reputation for themselves as one of the best live acts in Scotland just now. Expect to see the band being surfed over your head at some point; expect to have the time of your life.

Spinning Coin
Nice N Sleazy, 9.30-10

Spinning Coin’s DIY pop aesthetic has you falling in love with it from the instant you hear it. From luscious melodies to hazy garage, the somewhat Glasgow indie supergroup adds to the right amount of nostalgia and nods to their home town to have you flustered and the lovingly crafted songwriting does the rest.

The Great Albatross
Broadcast, 9-9.30

Wesley Chung’s subtle and beautiful acoustic tracks have been brought to real life as a full five-piece band now puts together The Great Albatross. His recorded material is a transfixing road trip of coherent splendor, however live there’s something vital about the tracks that give them a true glory.

Calva Louise
The Priory, 8.15-8.45

Based in London, but hailing from France, Venezuela and New Zealand, Calva Louise is a band with a high octane, punk attitude of a live show. They may only have a limited amount of music available online, however their surfy shredding, garage rock riffs and squealing guitars make them a live prospect not to be missed.

Edwin Organ
The Garage Attic Bar, 7.45-8.15

Variation is key to Edwin Organ’s sound, still everything he touches comes out golden, his slick, but not unbearably polished production gives his head nodding organic left-field electronica a real desirable sheen. At points it’s super catchy at others a welcoming hug that fuses soul and jazz elements with obvious dance knowledge.

ST. MARTiiNS
Nice N Sleazy, 7.30-8

I’ve not had the opportunity to see ST. MARTiiNS in a live setting as of yet, but their luscious dreamy pop sound has me more than looking to change this this weekend. From our previous reports you could see a set of tropical sunshine or sultry wonder, but either way this duo are definitely ones to keep your eyes peeled for.

Emme Woods
The Garage, 6.30-7

Emme Woods is a talented and witty songwriter with an addictively gruff vocal that transforms her live show from a punk show to a pink swilling blues-rock powerhouse. She also has her wee dog on stage with at all times, you had us at Bubbles!

Wuh Oh
Nice N Sleazy, 5.30-6

While Pete Ferguson aka Wuh Oh’s recorded material is a headily eclectic array of catchy samples, glitchy synths and a peculiar yet entrancing set of time signatures, his live performance takes up a notch both musically and in his bewitching presence; it’s playful, infectious and will get you dancing well worth catching.

Stevie Parker
Broadcast, 5-5.30

Reports would suggest that Stevie Parker’s live show is an immersive, mesmeric experience and that’s what we fully expect from her recorded material, a delicately crafted emotional repertoire powered by Parker’s rich haunted tones that soar with enviable ethereal qualities.

Photo Review: Saint Luke’s All Dayer, 6/8/17

The beautiful east end converted church venue Saint Luke’s and accompanying bar the Winged Ox play host to their second all dayer event that looks to become a fixture of the Glasgow music calendar.

With a host of local talent filling the bill it was a hot ticket on the weekend that many had travelled up north for Belladrum on and plenty were filling their day with music of a different sort at Optimo 20. We sent Kendall Wilson along who took shots of the majority of the bands on the bill to give you a taster of the festival:

Sinderins

Rascalton

LUCIA

Emme Woods

Miracle Glass Company

Campfires In Winter

NIEVES

The Great Albatross

Moonlight Zoo

Harry & The Hendersons

North Atlas

Ryan Joseph Burns

Photo Review: Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2017

In a chaotic affair we ending out not having any reviewers up at Belladrum this year, but we felt we’d be missing out if we called a halt on our photographers Allan Lewis and Stewart Fullerton going, so up they went and they got some great shots. Here’s some of the picks that we thought we’d share.

THURSDAY

SISTER SLEDGE

FIRST AID KIT

LOUIS BERRY

FRIDAY

THE PRETENDERS

FEEDER

DR. FEELGOOD

THE NINTH WAVE

INDIGO VELVET

THE YOUTH AND YOUNG

REVERIEME

HAMISH HAWK

LILURA

SATURDAY

FRANZ FERDINAND

BIRDY

SLOW CLUB

BOSSY LOVE

SAINT PHNX

BLOODLINES

TAMZENE

EMME WOODS

JOSEPHINE SILLARS

POSABLE ACTION FIGURES

WOJTEK THE BEAR