Tag Archives: François and the Atlas Mountains

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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François and the Atlas Mountains, Spinning Coin at Mono, 30/3/17

François and the Atlas Mountains open with a clutch of songs from brilliant new record Solide Mirage, including ‘Tendre Est l’Âme’ and the gorgeous calypso lilt ‘Apocalypse à Ipsos’, each of which turns on a variation of a single groove; peaking and dipping like a gentle wave.

The highlife-inflected ‘Grand Dérèglement’ is an early standout; a joyous, blue-sky riff taking flight over a brooding synth-pop groove.

I quickly find myself entranced, caught in a rhythmic spin-cycle I’ve no hope of disentangling myself from.

The high-tempo ‘Âpres Après’ sets pulses racing, as an insistent synth arpeggio wraps itself around a busy backbeat to the point of bursting before being sweetly interrupted by François Marry’s fey, pleasantly reedy vocal.

Reflecting on acts who have similarly captured me through the art of repetition, I find them to be generally cut of more extreme cloth (see Earth, Swans, Sunn O))) et al): 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.

Gerard Black – a longtime fixture of the Glasgow music scene and better known for his work with Babe – joins the fivesome on an already cosy stage to add vocals and keys, and is instantly all smiles and jokes, like everyone’s favourite cousin unexpectedly dropping in to an already great party.

François and the Atlas Mountains impress me no end tonight: having never caught them live before, I’m taken aback by how genuinely uplifting their breezy indie-pop becomes when performed without inhibition for an eager, optimistic crowd.

It’s an immersive, social, and wholly positive experience: what glossy O2 adverts try to trick you into believing every soulless stadium rock show is like, well, a François and the Atlas Mountains show is really like.

A well-deserved shout-out goes to Glasgow’s own Spinning Coin, indie four-piece signed to Stephen Pastel’s Geographic imprint, who shine in support.

Marrying fuzzy squall with jangly sweetness as aptly as their label boss did in the ‘80s and ‘90s, it’s clear as day why they were snapped up as eagerly as they were – recent single ‘Raining On Hope Street’ is a real highlight.

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Words: Graham Neil Gillespie