Tag Archives: Frightened Rabbit

EPs of 2017 (10-1)

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

10. Foreignfox – I Used To Be A Bellydancer [Scottish Fiction]

Explosive, passionate and honest, I Used To Be A Bellydance added another EP to Foreignfox’s collection, establishing their identity and staying true to the burly Scottish accents and deep-seated, emotive melodies we’ve come to love. Huge, suspense-filled tracks, that are occasionally politically charged, Foreignfox show a concern for humanity and communicates a sense of disconcertion with the current state of things. A mixture of post-punk creativity and Scottish coloured indie-rock, the range of skill offered on this EP are is so potent and so memorable, it’s almost like a trip through a rugged wilderness with your closest friends as Jonny Watt hits you in the gut and grabs your deepest emotions through honest lyrics that convey both vulnerability and sincerity.

9. Hostel Freaks – Squad Goals [City of Glass]

Hostel Freaks, aka David Maitland, produced something with Squad Goals that used a strong formula of repetition and experimentation to set up an intriguing record, which is more than capable of breaking beyond its somewhat obscurity to break any open-minded dance floor.

8. E Bias – The Emmanuel Bias [Kick N Clap]

The Emmanuel Bias, this is not your usual release – how often do you get a supergroup with a Turner prize nominee and a member of Franz Ferdinand chucking out some quirky deep house? E Bias, the project of Luke Fowler, Paul Thomson and the ever versatile Richard Youngs, produced a pretty storming little EP, strong on Chicago vibes whilst not being oppresively old school. Great grooves, simple, stripped back Chicago style drums and bassliness; utterly functional and more beautiful for dispensing with too much ornamentation. Great record with six tracks that look back, but manage to be rather unique and forward-looking at the same time; impressive simplicity beautifully realised.

7. Dama Scout – Dama Scout [Father/Daughter]

Dama Scout’s EP veered from the conventional indie pop formula and delivered unexpected moments round every corner delivering a memorably and joyous record. Exploring a catalogue of theme the band have blossomed in 2017 and their every unravelling breezy sound is one that we can’t wait to hear more of.

6. KAPUTT – Demo 2017 [Fuzzkill]

Demo 2017 is a lively and innovative take on the post-punk, highly energetic cacophony of sounds create a very refreshing and amusing EP, setting KAPUTT but as one of the new bands that everyone should keep their eye on.

5. Frightened Rabbit – Recorded Songs [Atlantic]

Requiring no introduction Frightened Rabbit released Recorded Songs to little fanfare, still this three-track release stands alone as a strong part of the band’s ever impressive back catalogue. Most of the EP’s attention has been centred around ‘How It Gets In’, which the brilliant Julien Baker lends her voice to, but beyond that is another gem that’s well worth getting you hands on.

4. HOME$LICE – Young Creatives

Young Creatives is the sound of a band knowingly stepping up their game, and doing it with ease as HOME$LICE cement themselves as the trailblazers of a lo-fi scene which has been gathering momentum for several years. The band manage retain the edge that separates them from an ever-populated scene, however, they are evidently aware that their knack for a good melody deserves a wider, more commercial appeal.

3. Shredd – Every Time We Meet I Wanna Die [Fuzzkill]

With Every Time We Meet I Wanna Die Shredd offered a sense of levity and enjoyment without sacrificing their integrity. The EP is a party starter fusing garage, punk and pop elements, as gentle, meandering vocals juxtapose more coarse punk vocals perfectly, while fast, complicated bass; fun, entertaining, technically well executed guitar and cymbal laden, powerful drums. The release seems to descend deeper into traditional garage and punk material with each song without letting go of the vocal work and long-form guitar that distinguishes it from faster, punchier gear. It’s a border smashing debut that whets the appetite for future releases perfectly.

2. RAZA – Futuramayana [Save As]

Glasgow duo RAZA refer to themselves as a “heated conversation”, funny that, because the temperature which radiates off these four songs on show within this beautiful little EP Futuramayana is quite something else, these pieces of beats are reeking of subtly spiced garam masala (and more than a couple absolutely-stonking melodies). Dripping in grease proof stains of lovely synthesised unspoken syllables which cathartically delve their teeth into a violated surface of fun and tango, here we have profusely prolifically the wonderful dynamic which makes RAZA tick over quite deliciously.

1. The Bellybuttons – Wires [Fuzzkill]

Wires highlights an irreplaceable coolness with slick 90s vibes, ‘Referendum on you (enemies)’ captures a calming and airy dynamic, cleverly put together and creatively charged, effortlessly gliding into ‘Autumn Song’, flowing flawlessly alongside the damp and subtle bassline. There’s an immediate sense of togetherness when listening to this EP with a distinct charm drifting from start to finish. Wires is a slow and easy gem, presenting itself with resonating style, creating a playful head-space and good vibes – a severely obvious intelligence.

Electric Fields, Day 1, 1/9/17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frightened Rabbit, PAWS, Be Charlotte at The Barrowlands, 18/12/16

Wow, just wow; if you want to see Frightened Rabbit then this is how you should see them.

A sweat lashed love between crowd and band in a packed iconic venue groaning and pulsating with the raw emotion delivered by the lyrics and music of one of Scotland’s finest bands at the absolute pinnacle of their powers.

Punters spew out into the gloom of the Glasgow night excited and drained in equal measure from Frightened Rabbit’s self proclaimed “office Christmas night out,” having experienced a gig that they won’t forget for some time.

Before the arrival of tonight’s heroes a healthy crowd have the pleasure of Be Charlotte and then PAWS.

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Dundee three piece Be Charlotte is an intriguing young band with a unique sound that uses clever pedal loops and no guitar.

Pushing out a splendid blend of electro pop and Scottish hip hop it is clear by the size of the early crowd that many had turned up purposely to take them in.

It’s wonderfully hard to pigeon-hole their sound or compare them to other band, diminutive singer Charlotte Brimner spat sings and rapped out nine tracks to an appreciative audience with ‘Drawing Windows’ and, upcoming single, ‘One Drop’ being the standout songs.

The former, a melodic piano driven extravaganza with a full sound and thumping bassline complementing Brimner’s impressive vocal range and the later an out and out electro sound with a layered pedal loop and a partially rapped vocal.

Fantastically different and eminently enjoyable there is no doubt that this band will soon be filling venues like the Barras under their own steam.

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A thrashing frantic 45-minutes of Atlantic punk follows with PAWS taking the stage and ramping up both the volume and pace, which barely drops during their set.

Dark and manic frontman Philip Taylor demands attention and the crowd lap up both his performance and his banter as he engages willingly with his home city audience, however no matter how enthusiastic the reception there is no doubting this is Frightened Rabbit’s crowd and the now packed room are delighted when Scott Hutchinson joins PAWS on stage to sing ‘Erruer Humaine’ from their 2014 album Youth Culture Forever.

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Leaving a respectable gap to build anticipation to a palpable level Frightened Rabbit take the stage and fire straight into ‘Get Out’ from last release Painting of a Panic Attack.

A brilliant track to start the show and the devoted audience participate by singing, jostling and dancing to set the tone for the rest of the set.

Frontman Scott Hutchinson looks to be adulation thrown back towards the stage and engaged in affectionate banter with the crowd: “This is the last night of three at Glasgow so you either really love us or you left it late to buy tickets. What kind of crowd are you?” – “Ask yer maw!” This is a Glasgow crowd!

And it was one that was not to be disappointed as Frightened Rabbit explore all five studio albums in what is truly a show for the fans.

Rarely letting the pace drop the band are in excellent form with the excellent ‘Holy’, sombre ‘Wish I was Sober’ and ‘Living in Colour’ soon belted out amongst others leaving the audience in a strangle hold of ecstasy.

What follows is a 15 song set dripping with Frabbit classics with among the highlights ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ and an absolutely spell binding version of ‘Things’ that is brought to an utterly show stopping crescendo of light and sound in a moment that could only be classed as close to a rock and roll moment as a Scottish indie folk band can get.

The Twilight Sad singer, James Graham then joins the band on stage to provide the vocal for a track before the band brings things down a notch for ‘Floating in the Forth’ and the wonderfully folky ‘Old Old Fashioned’.

The curtain is brought down with a rocking ‘Lump Street’, but the crowd want more and much stomping and cheering brings Hutchinson back on stage for an acoustic sing along of ‘Scottish Wind’, ’Snake ’and ‘My Backwards Walk’, before being joined by the full line up for ‘Woodpile’.

Crowd pleaser, ‘The Loneliness and the Scream’ is then performed by both Frabbit and PAWS to bring the show to a close.

The crowd want more though and refuse to budge hollering the chorus to previous song over and over until Hutchinson and co return for one last track.

A memorable sing along of ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ ensues before the lights come up and the grateful band leave stage and a happy crowd wandered out.

Get to see this bunch if you can, this was the musical highlight of 2016.

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Words: Peter Dorrington
Photos: Paul Storr

T in the Park, 8/7/16

It’s that time of year again and T in the Park raises it head one more time; now there’s always plenty of bad things to say about Scotland’s biggest festival and this year is no exception, however during this review I will do my best to make it as much about the music as possible and leave any ugly happening out.

Unfortunately I’m forced to via away from the music from the very start of this review due to the service I received personally from the festival’s bus service provided by CityLink, which drove directly past me waiting at my stop, with the only excuse being the driver didn’t know to stop there.

The results of this were that I had to catch the next bus, three hours later, causing me to miss some of the bands I intended to cover, and the only thing CityLink have offered is a refund of that singular bus ticket; frankly disgusting service.

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The first band I manage to catch is down at T Break and THE NINTH WAVE’s glittery, soaring indie rock does not sound out of place on a big stage.

There’s a swaggering confidence to the four-piece, who are certainly putting the effort in to looking the part, although frontman Haydn Park-Patterson’s trousers look a little too much like jammies for this festival vibe.

The band sound at their best when they utilise the male-female vocal dynamic of Park-Patterson and Elina Lin, with electro pop tinged ballad ‘Only The Young’ sounding the most likely to hit the heights of some of the other indie stars on offer this weekend.

However it is in the latter portion of the set that they sound at their strongest with Lin’s vocals coming up front and centre with big “ooohs” and shrills screams adding something different to their strong set.

THE TELERMEN are up next and I catch a short burst of their rhythmic alternative indie sound; the Glasgow four-piece look as young as they come but there’s definitely a certainly something about them.

From image alone you get the impression they could go full on lad rock, frontman Dillion Squire’s long jacket could easily be something Liam Gallagher sported in the 90s, but they toe this line perfectly keeping the vocal delivery the right side of an “I want to fight you” sneer and there’s a certain humble feeling to how they interact with the crowd; definitely worth keeping eyes peeled for how they progress.

My first trip to the bigger stages sees Oh Wonder over at the Radio One Stage and their synth and rhythm based indie pop is plenty charming; it’s lightweight, floppy haired, well-groomed, sappy radio charming, but charming nonetheless.

You can’t complain on a windswept, yet dry point at a festival that would go on to receive more than its fair share of rain, and one half of the duo, Josephine, seems in glorious spirits, even if her chat comes off slightly more on the side of gleeful children’s TV presenter than part of one of the most tipped bands in the country.

The outstanding act of the day however, comes back at T Break, but London’s Izzy Bizu isn’t one of the local acts the stage is showcasing, but still one with outstanding potential and endless raw talent.

As she begins her set there’s a relatively small crowd gathered, but she certainly proves she deserves better as not many that wonder in bring themselves to go anywhere else.

Her voice oozes gritty pop star potential and while some of the tracks reflect the funk-tinged sound that backed Amy Winehouse’s catalogue, there’s still plenty here that portrays Bizu as way more than an emulator.

As the set progresses a more upbeat side to her sound shines though, getting people moving more than I am yet to witness at this year’s festival; there’s a true likeability to her somewhat shy presence and this along with her undoubted quality makes it seems we may have a star in the making.

Speaking of getting people moving, my next trip is over to the Main Stage for a glimpse of phenomenal, genre affirming electronic duo Disclosure, who quite simply play a set full of bangers that’s only real criticism could be that they’re more suited to an after sunset slot, much like how they would kill a club slot in relation to an evening gig one.

I’ve yet to witness them in a club setting, such is their demand now that it’s doubtful it will happen on a UK tour, still the material from their debut album, Settle, remains as ground-breaking and forward thinking as any dance music that has hit the charts recently and ‘White Noise’, alongside signature flashy visuals, remains as fresh sounding as it was three years ago.

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Still, I pull myself away as local heroes Frightened Rabbit are due on over at the King Tut’s Tent, however the ridiculous location of said tent (a strange loop past the Taste T section, past the Slam Tent and over a river, with still a wee trek to go) means I only catch a short burst of Scott Hutchison and co. and it also seems to have put plenty of people off as I find then tent practically empty.

Still Frabbit have those who have made it round in the palms of their hands, with Hutchison being handed an acoustic guitar and quipping “what’s your favourite Mumford and Sons song?… Mines is none of the them”, before cruising into the brilliant ‘Old Old Fashioned’.

I’ve always felt that these guys are a band that I really shouldn’t be into, that acoustic tinged indie rock sound never really being my vibe, however I can’t find fault with them, the songwriting is at the very top of the game, laying their contemporaries in the dust and Hutchison is so compelling as a frontman that it’s hard not to like.

It is a festival set though and somewhat predictably ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ goes down with the biggest reaction, as the shagging anthem provokes mass sing-along; true it is their most ‘T in the Park’ track, but it is a glorious thing seeing this many people chanting “I’ll get my hole” in unison – and actually understanding it.

The guys have two dates at the Barras later this year, and it looks like you could fit the people here easily into the legendary ballroom, still they’ll pack it out twice with no problem on what promises to be a belter of a homecoming.

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Following this I hang on at the Tut’s Tent for Jamie xx’s headline slot and what promises to be the quietest headline slot this tent has ever seen, still this is no reflection on the man’s set as it should be absolutely jumping with the sheer overwhelming intensity of the music.

The bass has you quivering and the surges of synth set you going without really letting go; it’s perfect teasing dance music that bends genres and builds adrenalin with ounces of wobbly tones and perfectly placed samples.

Jamie xx is someone you really need to see live, sadly a full house would have made this set so much more fulfilling.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Cameron Brisbane

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, 8/8/14

Belladrum Tartan Heart is truly a family friendly festival, when most festivals advertise as such what they really mean is “if you can’t find a babysitter you can drag ‘em here and we can definitely maybe pretty much guarantee there’ll be no stabbing”.

At Belladrum, the tot to teen ratio is on actually on an even keel, the kids are as happy as the pensioners are pished, everyone, yes everyone, is having a good time.

As the years have gone by the family campsite has ballooned, with folk from dads to dealers proclaiming it “the new general”, The general campsite has remained much the same: good size, good craic, good messy mess.

It’s this mixed demographic that makes Belladrum about more than the music, in 2014 Belladrum is somewhere between a cultural showcase, a foodie festival and a boutique weekend, there are mussels, there are muscles and I shit you not there are hot tubs.

The music, of course, remains important, the festival provides the very first stage for some local acts to play on, it’ll be the first time some of the crowd will get to experience seeing emerging bands from bigger-city ‘scenes’, it’s one of the few festivals that acknowledges traditional can be rock ‘n’ roll, with good slots given to the Electric Ceilidh Band and Capercaillie.

This year, for most, it was all about one man… Tom Jones, it was a wonderful booking from the festival that turned the owls to early birds; the tickets sold out almost immediately, however, there was a general feeling that the line-up was sparser than year’s past, considering the RockNess’ absence from the Highland summer and that many acts play for free, there was a feeling that ‘bigger’ acts could have been booked.

Throughout the weekend, amid laughing at people fall on the roller disco and getting dangerously close to fire theatre group Pyroceltica, I see some great things and speak to others about their favourite festival moments.

Friday starts early on the Free Range Folk Stage with some fresh talent courtesy of Culloden acoustic songstress Ruth Gillies, “she did brilliantly – she’s only 17” says audience member Alison “… she did some covers, which was fun, but I really liked ‘3 Day Summer’ which she wrote herself!”

Representing Subcity radio and getting the Mother’s Ruin dilapidated dance bothy warmed up is Salad Days (Michael Pellegrotti), he plays a well-received house set with some Bill Withers and Tori Amos thrown in for surprise.

Dropping in Tim Deluxe’s ‘It Just Won’t Do’ definitely provides most people’s first bounce of the weekend and as he finishes up and another DJ begins, Salad Days’ soulful choices are clearly missed – the average audience age significantly lowers as the tempo is quite suddenly raised.

On the Mainstage, much to the crowd’s delight, Fatherson have arrived, there has been some lineup jiggery-pokery (to be explained later) and they are here to save the day – as quick as a (Grandmaster) flash they were lapped up as a ‘surprise act’ at Brew at the Bog festival a few miles and months away and they suit being brought out of the blue today too.

Fan Andrew says “I’ve seen them before, didn’t expect them today, they’re such crowd pleasers,” he continues “it was nice to hear ‘Not Knowing’ and they finished with ‘James’”.

Next, Frightened Rabbit are met with expected hysteria, the band are ever popular at Belladrum and don’t disappoint playing more songs that are off the beaten track this year, perhaps after realising last year that the Belladrum audience will be receptive to any and all of their catalogue.

“‘Oil Slick’ and ‘Square 9’” were my highlights, say Mark “…and watching FRabbit raise a YES flag to ‘Scottish Winds’ was a pretty big moment,” Frightened Rabbit weren’t the only ones defying BBC and festival wishes by bringing up the referendum, Billy Bragg did the same (at, you could say, more length and less impact) on Saturday afternoon.

Over in the Hothouse tent Little Comets play to a small but enthusiastic crowd, they play a lively indie Kooks-esque set with punchy ‘One Night in October’ rousing few shouts.

And here he comes Tommy J, The seventy odd sex bomb swaggers onstage looking suave and serene, it’s only as he plays that you realise just how many hits the legend has, he stands in front of a typically Tom backdrop of sexy lady silhouettes being licked by flames and stomps through some 90s era hits that my generation (I had his Reload album, ruddy loved it) roar along to.

‘Sex Bomb’ is an obvious favourite, ‘Mama Told Me Not to Come’ and ‘Burning Down the House’ bring memories surging back and the audience love it, his newer songs create an understandable downtime but the magic of ‘Delilah’, ‘It’s Not Unusual’ and ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ with a full band and festival chorus overrides any duller moments.

What was his voice like? To be completely honest, I’m not so sure, it’s hard to hear over so many happy voices.

BUT Tom Jones was NOT the man of the night, Oh no, Grandmaster Flash, having been adamant with the organisers that he was to play on the Mainstage, was due to play when Fatherson did, however, having missed his flight he played (as the organisers had originally wished) as a late night act in the Hothouse Tent after Mr Jones had finished.

I’ve never seen so many people rammed into the Tent and I’ve never heard so many hip hop classics crammed into a DJ set, in the words of Grandmaster Flash’s Twitter ‘Belladrum was massive … so powerful’!

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Words: Leonie Colmar
Photos: Charlotte Hornby

Owl John, Phillip Taylor at Cottiers, 23/7/14

The addition of Phillip Taylor of PAWS to tonight’s show was more than welcomed, we’ve watched PAWS grow from playing support slots in empty venues to touring with some of indie’s biggest names, and the constant touring has turned Taylor into an incredible songwriter and singer.

Tonight, his set consists of acoustic versions of new PAWS songs, classic PAWS (yes, there is now such a thing), and a beautiful cover of Magnetic Fields’ ‘I Don’t Want To Get Over You’, his voice is on impeccable form tonight; a great opener for the show.

Everything about tonight just seems perfect – the weather, the people, the line up, and of course the venue; Cottiers, a converted church nestled in the quiet, leafy, west end of Glasgow is incredible and Scott Hutchison (of Frightened Rabbit playing under his solo handle Owl John) makes a point of letting the crowd of much he adores it, saying what every music lover in the city thinks – it’s a grossly underused venue for music, perhaps, though, this adds to its charm.

Hutchison tells the crowd what the deal is after opening up with one of only two released Owl John songs, ‘Hate Music’, he’ll choose one song and then he is open to suggestions from the crowd, and the set will mainly consist of Frightened Rabbit songs, rather than simply playing Owl John songs nobody has actually heard yet.

Straight from this the crowd starts shouting suggestions at Hutchison, which mainly consists of people just shouting ‘Snake’, Hutchison agrees to this only if the crowd buys him strong alcohol.

At times, the venue is completely silent, Hutchison’s voice and sole electric guitar encapsulates the audience into a sense of awe; the only sound other than the music is the ringing of the cash register from crowd members buying drinks for Hutchison.

This sums up the atmosphere, the sun is shining, everybody is in a good mood, and this turns into a half music gig and half comedy gig, with Hutchison joking with the crowd, and vice versa.

The set is a strong mix between new and old Frightened Rabbit songs after Hutchison ends the Owl John songs with ‘Red Hand’.

As he makes his way through classic Frightened Rabbit songs he finishes tonight’s set with ‘Old Old Fashioned’, and finally giving the crowd what they’ve been asking for all night and coming back to the stage for an encore to play ‘Snake’.

The crowd welcome the new songs, and this settles Hutchison’s qualms about whether or not anybody will actually like the Owl John music, from the introduction tonight’s it’s easy to tell the songs will have a great reception within a bigger audience.

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Words: Joshua Campbell
Photos: Vito Andreoni