Tag Archives: PAWS

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

PAWS (album launch), The Spook School, Adam Stafford at Stereo, 25/6/16

Adam Stafford opens the night with an intense set of long repetitive soundscapes, using looped riffs to create atmospheric noise between prog-rock and post-punk.

The crowd maintains a subdued vibe for the first half of the show, with a solitary Saltire hanging in the sound booth in the middle of the room, the one clue as to the political disaster getting many people down.

The Spook School bring the energy up with their medley of queer pop songs.

Singer Nye Todd prefaces the poignant ‘Try to be Hopeful’ by recognising how hard hope feels in the wake of Brexit, but wisely urges us to “keep focussing on making life as hard as possible for Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage”.

The melodic indie pop song, sung from one friend to another about staying positive through adversity, is the perfect antidote to the defeatist mood of the weekend, carrying the character of the band with it: challenging dominant thought and hard issues through affectionate and catchy music.

The Spooks’ merchandise game grows stronger by the year as they now sell mugs branded with the slogan “Burn Masculinitea” in tribute to their song ‘Burn Masculinity’, about how “being male doesn’t give you the right to be a dick to other people”.

Headliners PAWS go straight into old favourite ‘Catherine 1956’.

Bassist Ryan Drever head-bangs vigorously, risking concussing himself on the pillar on the industrial basement’s stage.

There are throwbacks to 2012’s Misled Youth EP, including the melancholy emo of ‘Bainz’.

Angst-fuelled anthem ‘Get Bent’ elicits a passionate sing-along from the crowd.

Drever hands his mic to some keen fans in the front during ‘Bloodline’, transforming the show briefly into punk karaoke, which gets painful to listen to by halfway through ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’.

Many in the crowd must be transported back to being 15 and bored in small Scottish towns, watching the actual teens moshing at the front who invade the stage as a concerned Phillip Taylor warns them not to hurt themselves.

For an album launch show the new songs are not the focus of the set as expected, but the band please their hometown crowd with songs stretching back to when they played their first ever show in this venue, six years ago.

Title track ‘No Grace’ from the third album, which is their first ever to chart since its release, is a rousing call-to-action for creative youth inspired by being skint musicians giving it their all on tour, with the lyrics “you don’t even know who you are yet / cut the crap and give until you’ve got no more.

The first release from their new set of songs, Mark Hoppus’ production makes a clear impact on its punchy chorus and urgent drumbeat.

Inviting two guitarist friends on stage with them, PAWS finish with the darkly atmospheric and bass-heavy ‘War Cry’.

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Words: Ellen MacAskill

PAWS – No Grace [FatCat]

PAWS third studio album, No Grace, has arrived to give your eardrums a good thrashing.

Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus was enlisted to aid the band in producing the album, making the final product appear as a salute to the pop-punk era of the late 90s, of which Hoppus’ band was a firm member.

The prominent throbbing bass lines, rocking drum beats and lyrics full of angst are reminiscent of this genre and make clear the influence Hoppus had on the tracks, however the band don’t lose their own sound in the mix as each track still keeps that unpolished raw element that makes PAWS who they are.

This pop-punk ‘don’t give a fuck’ tone that is central to the album perfectly compliments the message that encapsulates No Grace.

The hardship that is faced by most bands on the arduous road to success has enlightened the music and resulted in them going big, rather than going home.

With the lyric “be who you wanna be” poignant throughout ‘N/A’, the latest release from the album, it doubles as an echo of the band’s journey to discover that perfect trademark sound as well as providing a positive outlook for listeners who may be facing similar struggles in life.

This concept is followed through in ‘Impermanent’, which acts as a personal epiphany to live in the moment.

The energetic instrumental ‘Salt Lake’ is destined to become a live performance staple as it provides the perfect head-banging soundtrack.

With over two minutes of heavy and distorted guitar riffs, the track acts as a break within the album’s track list differentiating it from the lyric-centred songs that have come before.

No Grace acts as a personal reflection on the band’s progress and along with the help of a veteran of the pop-punk scene, PAWS have provided us with an album that is sure to please the fans.

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Words: Laura Imrie

The Cribs, Pulled Apart By Horses, PAWS at Barrowlands, 20/10/15

October is a funny month, the autumn transition to winter seems to always drag people’s morals down a bit more than usual, the temperature drops and the nights are getting longer and longer.

It is, however, a great musical month, where bands start touring again after their relentless multi-festival appearances.

Tonight does feel like a sonic miracle (or false advertising, depending on your level of pessimism). PAWS, Pulled Apart By Horses and headliner The Cribs have decided to join the old ballroom stage to provide people with loud noises and heavy riffs, maybe in order to reset the clocks themselves and take over this night and turn it into something more than just a gig.

The singularity and reciprocity between those three bands, who swear by metallic riffs, heavy vocals and an old school punk-like attitude, should leave marks in memories for a while; get ready to put your earplugs in!

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It is quite shameful that the first two acts never get the proper audience for their sets; PAWS illuminate the stage with incessant and rapid melodies while Pulled Apart By Horses share their psychedelic vision of punk/ rock with the few souls that dare dwell the premises.

When the nine o’clock bells resonate it is already time for the cherry on top and what a cherry!

As much as anticipated as ever when touring The Cribs take over the stage while finally the crowd has decided to show up to fill the laminated floor of the aging venue.

The band is greeted frantically by a Glaswegian audience already aware that the Jarman twins are celebrating their birthdays tonight.

The first musical fulfilment of the night arrives when ‘I’m a Realist’ is thrown in the air, reverberating into everybody’s minds, reminiscing those younger years where life seems easier to get a grasp of.

The atmosphere is electric when ‘Come on, Be a no-One’ detonates, the temperature raises up a few degrees while the Jarman’s scream: “for youuuuuuuuuuuuuu yeahhhhhhhh!” as the lightshow intensifies, rejuvenating the old ballroom into what it used to be.

The Cribs @ The Barras Oct 2015 07

From then on, the show is a fast track race intermitted a few times by the Jarman’s’ distinctive Wakefield accent thanking the crowd.

The night goes on even wilder after the crowd decides to render their own version of ‘Happy Birthday’, humbling the twins.

By that point, the temperature has reached a new high and the band uses their extensive musical catalogue to please the audience as much as possible.

No album is spared, from ‘We Were Aborted’, ‘An Ivory Hand’ to ‘Moving Pictures’, ‘Hey Scenesters!’ the Wakefield fraternal trio exposes that even if they started a decade ago they are still present and ready for the next 10 years.

The venue is on the verge of effervescing when the slow dragged poetic ‘Be Safe’ bounces off the walls, mesmerizing the audience.

The Cribs might look like teenagers that never aged but they still stand on an impressive career that any new band would sign for nowadays.

Their intensity and ways of getting through to their audience make them a cornerstone in the musical indie landscape even if that landscape is rather blotted at the moment.

The 21 songs set finally ends up with no encores, leaving the audience hungry for more screaming and shouting their favourite band of the night’s name until the lights get turned back on.

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Words: Jeremy Veyret
Photos: Stuart Westwood

Bo Ningen, PAWS, BABY STRANGE at The Record Factory, 30/8/15

The crowd in The Record Factory are in high spirits for a Sabbath evening, with a jovial 50th birthday party at one end of the long bar and free Sailor Jerry’s tokens being handed out on the way in.

The gig starts out with a local feel, with BABY STRANGE warming up followed by PAWS.

BABY STRANGE is having a formative year, gearing up for a headline tour in October and supports slots for Slaves after that.

‘Trouble’, released on vinyl this summer, is an indie-disco tune with Johnny Madden’s vocals lamenting over thrashing guitars.

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PAWS deliver as always, both the raucous punk tunes and the endearing onstage patter; fresh from recording their third album, they preview new tracks from it, including at least one upcoming single.

The influence of new producer Mark Hoppus can be heard, but with a raw live sound and philosophical lyrics the sound has adapted Blink-182 basslines and energy without regressing into teen-angst pop.

There are many familiar tracks in the set tonight too, including ‘An Honest Romance’ and ‘Jellyfish’.

Bo Ningen (5)

When Bo Ningen arrive, the safe Scottish atmosphere is blown right out of the water.

Touring from Tokyo via a string of British festivals, the Japanese band are exactly the spectacle of rock showbiz the Glasgow scene craves.

The set is a melodic wall of sound from beginning to end, with songs crashing into one another, and the crowd seems stunned into a trance until an uproar of applause when they leave the stage.

Singer and bassist Taigen Kawabe has presence like a performance artist in their own right; long hair swishes around, wrists flick up towards the ceiling, and their bass face looks like an exorcism is being performed through the medium of guitar.

The gig does in fact feel like being inside the soundtrack to an arthouse horror film, as every song is heavy on reverb and soaring electronic effects.

The ‘About’ section on Bo Ningen’s website opens with: “enlightenment activists from far east psychedelic underground”.

Glasgow has been enlightened by Bo Ningen again.

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Words: Ellen MacAskill
Photos: Nadia Murdoch

Electric Fields, 29/8/15

The journey down to Electric Fields begins post 9am and a ‘Happy Bus’ from Buchanan Bus Station; how anyone can muster up the energy to be “happy” at this time in the morning is beyond me and the atmosphere on the bus is as you’d expect from bed missing music lovers with not to many getting mad for it from the off.

Arriving a good portion of time before the gates are officially opened, even after a lengthy toilet stop, you can’t help but feeling an extra hour in bed could have happened and with the promise of showers and the potential of thunder and lightning forecast it’s going to take that first beer to get things into gear.

Once in the queue things start to spark up, as the guys on the gates seem full of optimism and banter and waste no time jumping up the line to check bags in advance, speeding up entry.

Once we’re in a look at the fact that tokens that need to be purchased separately to exchange for drinks brings back horrific memories of queuing all day; but a cheeky six tokens for £20 offer, the beer being Innes & Gunn by the (cold) can and not the usual warm watered down piss you’d find at any other festival offering a similar policy, a lanyard for a sole quid and that the festival isn’t quite large enough, or it’s prepared well enough, to not have any queues of note leaves these initial quibbles at the gate.

The set up of Electric Fields is intriguing with the two main stages titled Carse Valley, a bizarre blow up effort, and The Arc sitting right next to each other in order maximise the amount of bands that can play, while the smaller To Lose La Trek uses the same music friendly set up of the larger ones in system used at a bigger scale in forward thinking international festivals like Primavera Sound.

FOREIGNFOX

I begin my day down at The Arc for Dunfermline’s brilliant FOREIGNFOX, who deliver a set full of storming indie rock with soaring hooks fronted by Jonny Watt’s distinctive Scottish twang that powers above the bold instrumentals.

Watt could be found later wandering around steaming firing a ravechild tote bag over folk’s head and other things, but more on that later; his band touch on the poppier side of post rock and the indulgent side of indie, but the crowd that have arrived on site early are won over confidently down at a side of the field that could have done with a few less tractors running over it, something I’ll learn more first hand later on (yeah I decked it!).

On the other side of the field is The Skinny Tent, and here we find the stage that boasts the best sound of the day, as the tent seems set up to perfection to host an array of loud, danceable and fun acts from Scotland and afar.

My first venture here is for Glasgow krautrock touting psycsters OUTBLINKER, who look a much more conventional band on a large stage than when they were crammed into The Hug and Pint’s tiny basement a few months ago, and it seems they take to the bigger space with ease despite its light and airy feel and green house-like qualities.

OUTBLINKER do generally need time to grow into a set and with only half an hour to play with they have to speed up this process; they do this to perfection building from swirling noise before a monster riff kicks in and they smash the possibilities wide open.

Technically this band is gobsmacking, and they’re driven by tight and emphatic rhythms from a drummer who delivers with real attention grabbing purpose.

They do enter a heavily distorted mid section that seems to build for a bit too long, but OUTBLINKER are still maybe a bit short on material, give then time and this could be one of the best live experiences you’ll get.

Randolphs Leap

Back over at The Arc we get our twee dose of the day (sorry guys), and the sun is out as Randolph’s Leap produce a set of infectious, brass enthused indie pop joy.

It’s endearing, uplifting stuff full of charming rhymes that really shouldn’t work; it’s the ideal sound to take a seat and relax to, shame the floor’s too wet.

Early afternoon and those promised showers seem an age away, and as singer Adam Ross expresses his regret for wearing a jacket someone for the audience shouts “take it off”, to which he obliges as the brass section provide obligatory strip tease music and the quip of the day comes in the form of “look out ladies he’s down to his woolly jumper”.

Pronto Mama

The big clash of the day comes at 2pm as enchanting indie rockers Catholic Action take to The Skinny Tent at the same time as the pop filled fun of Pronto Mama take to the inflatable Carse Valley stage; I go for the later due to the sunshine and an impatience waiting for The Skinny tent to get set up and I’m not let down as I’m met with a live sound that is just as engrossing as their records.

Pronto Mama’s sound is full of soul and comes with an enabling touch of brass and plenty of cheeky funk that sets a grove while withstanding becoming cheesy.

Pronto Mama impressively walk a slippery path with a sound that could so easily fall into the pitfalls of becoming like so many bland Scottish folk acts or go the other way turn into unabashed naff ska, instead they come out with something truly infectious and original in the early afternoon sun.

Their set is warm and engaging and as Hector Bizerk’s Louie stresses to me “they’re the most underrated band in Scotland,” I’m inclined to agree.

The Van Ts

A late addition to the line up in replacement for the ill KLOE, The Van T’s get the opportunity to thrive in the sunshine and thrive they do; their set is full of pure good times surf enthused garage rock that oozes rock’n’roll energy in a truly infectious manner.

The Thompson twin’s harmonies sparkle in the open air and there’s no denying they look cool as anyone on today’s bill; a more than adequate replacement for KLOE’s soaring pop.

Fat Goth

As The Van T’s finish you can hear the sheer power of Fat Goth from across the field as they take to The Skinny Tent and once I arrive in the tent they capture me instantly with their sneery, distressed and devastatingly loud performance.

It’s impressive stuff from the Dundee trio who produce a frantic display that acts as welcome escape from the sunshine soaked pop vibes outside.

They tear through classic metal sounding riffs with pounding rhythms and an addictive quality that is difficult to match.

Another blinding set from one of the best named bands in Scotland; throw in a bottle of Buckie and some incredible drummer faces and you’ve got one of the most emphatic sets of the day.

United Fruit

Following Fat Goth at The Skinny Tent isn’t an enviable task, but United Fruit are more than equipped to do so and release another ball of fury into the immaculate sounding tent.

United Fruit unleash another powerful set that has become typical of their intense live show; on record Iskandar Stewart’s occasionally touch on whiney, but live they’re strong, sneered chants that drive impressively over a pulverising instrumental assault.

Following them, on the same stage, I get to cover Happy Meals for the second time in just over a week and the duo produce a set that blows away their understated late afternoon appearance at Doune the Rabbit Hole the week before.

Shrouded in smoke they produce an indulgent set of lush organic synths that cruise beautifully into a tent that’s just starting to get its feet moving.

Towards the end of the set Suzi Rodden jumps into the crowd and prances about while partaking in some crazed dancing, all while delivering her endlessly adorable French vocals, while Lewis Cook adds the synths from the stage, creating a tent filling brilliance.

It’s pure indulgent fun from a band that seem to be pulling it all out the bag, except the compulsory toy you get with their namesake of course.

Indeed, the one let down of the festival is you struggle to find anything better than a Happy Meal to eat; the four vans only seem to cater for mediocre fast foods and veggie options which don’t expand much further than toasties, but still this is a festival in its infancy, the good food will come; next year please!

Miaoux Miaoux

Bumping into a few folk I only manage to catch Miaoux Miaoux from afar, still their infectious synth tones and stick in your head vocal hooks seem to spark through the festival site contagiously and start the evening portion of the festival with a dance as the potential for beer weariness rears its ugly head.

The Twilight Sad

Over at The Skinny Tent and it’s the turn of the secret guests, who the festival had revealed to anyone who had guessed from a rather creative image as The Twilight Sad earlier in the week.

In fact it’s just James and Andy producing a stripped back set, which on paper should showcase the raw emotion that comes across in James Graham’s powerful delivery; sadly although captivating in moments, it doesn’t quite hold the same effect without a blasting wall of sound behind it.

Still, for some ultra fans, including FOREIGNFOX’s Jonny Watt who exclaims he would “suck everyone of their dicks”, the set goes down a storm and there’s a humour rarely seen on stage from Graham stating “I wish Erasure were playing, it’d be much better than this miserable shit,” while exchanging chat with the crowd.

Over at Carse Valley Golden Teacher suffer an out of place set in early evening daylight; last week at Doune they set the place alight in the early hours of the morning, but playing a more restrained set at a more restrained hour doesn’t seem to suit them.

Although musically they are solid as ever, with on touch disco tingling beats, plenty of experimental flourishes and quirky dance moves that keep things interesting, it never really lifts beyond that; if this is your first experience of GT live don’t take it by the book, go check them out when they hit their stride best; in a post midnight slot when everyone has their dancing shoes on.

PAWS

Following the festival I had a slight misunderstanding with PAWS regarding a word being taken out of context, still that was quickly ironed out and their set begins over at The Arc with drummer, Josh’s stool breaking and what appears to be some jovial chat about it.

I later learn this to be more dangerous than I’d imaged and in hindsight it seems to take some of the drive out of a band that is usually a formidable live prospect, regardless they deliver the same infectious pop punk glory as ever, but seem to take a while to settle, while the sound being a touch quieter than you’d expect and the rather static audience do them no favours.

PAWS are best enjoyed at full pace and full volume, with that full on urgency that the trio have come to embody and install in their crowds; still, regardless of any grievances the set is still plenty of fun and a great way to spend the remainder of the disappearing daylight.

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Back over at Carse Valley it’s the turn of potentially the most exciting act on the bill; Hector Bizerk start on a somewhat sombre tone, not that that’s a bad thing, still it’s one of those calm before storm things as before long, Louie, hood up and unphased, blasts into an all out lyrical assault.

This is a band at the top of their game, as Louie takes the crowd under his command and the band plough forward with precision and impressive zeal.

There’s another airing of their ‘Song 2’ cover, which Louie adds a touch of freestyle brilliance to before tracks like ‘Rust Cohle’ and ‘Columbus’ blow everything out the water; extraordinary stuff that only seems to be getting better.

Hearing The Xcerts from afar is more than enough, but thankfully Jonnie Common is taking the stage just over at the smaller To Lose La Trek, a stage I have wandered over to a couple of times, but have not had the chance to see a full set at due to distractions elsewhere.

Common is a far fly away from the painful sound at the main stage, and delivers a brilliantly cheeky performance in his own addictive sort of way.

His set is full of dry humour, clever synths and plenty of ‘give a fuck’ attitude and the healthy crowd seem to give his set that extra kick.

Common’s CARBS bandmate Jamie, aka MC ALMOND MILK, joins him for a few songs later on, showcasing some of his solo material in Common produced ‘How2B Cool in 2014’ as well as CARBS standout ‘Stick A Flake In Me (I’m Done)’, and it’s more addictive stuff, in a very geeky Scottish sort of way; this could be the most fun set of the day.

The Phantom Band

Back over at Carse Valley and The Phantom Band produce a barnstorming performance full of shiver inducing builds and Rick Anthony’s deep, velvety delivery; I’ve jokingly labelled these guys The Phantom Bland before now, but on this showing that label can go in the bin, The Phantom Grand it is then!

King Creosote

The beers have kicked and the long day is taking effect by the time headliner King Creosote takes to The Arc stage, but the singer seems to be in joyous spirits delivering a set choked with a warming beauty that emulates most of his back catalogue and more specifically last year’s standalone From Scotland With Love LP.

There’s no doubting he’s the stand out name on a bill crammed with emerging Scottish talent, the line up is nearly all Scottish barring a few exceptions in The Skinny Tent, but maybe seeing him in the sobering daylight might have been a more uplifting experience, but for those with more stamina, or maybe more time in their bed, than myself this should feel like the perfect end to one of Scotland’s most exciting upcoming festivals.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Stewart Fullerton

Doune The Rabbit Hole, 22/8/15

A curing tea, a rather hefty haggis roll and some cute bunnies later and we’re just about ready to go on day two at Doune, after sleeping in a tent proved a much more difficult task that it had been previously.

Still a wee seat down at the Whistleblower stage we catch Glasgow funk rockers Perche, who deliver a set of heavily funky basslines, and some cheery covers that include the likes of Sia, The Animals and Mark Ronson, still it’s not the most convincing of sets and is easily forgotten.

Fallope & The Tubes-7

Over at Baino an hour or so later Fallope & the Tubes are using different tactics completely to stick in your head; their set is full of props, instrument swops, engaging visuals and costume changes that beg your attention.

I arrive half way through their set, but the portion I witness consists of bass and keys led pop songs that are delivered with a tongue in cheek attitude, as the band let their abilities as entertainers do most of the talking.

At times they come across as shambolic, at others rousingly fantastic, but not in one moment are they not engaging and as they finish their set all sporting light-up vagina head gear (just tell the kids they’re Adventure Time monsters, right?), with the forewarning “this one’s serious” before escalating into screams of “psychic orgasm,” you’re not quite sure where you stand, but that doesn’t really matter.

Insect Heroes-6

Being a big Lost Map fan, I head to catch Insect Heroes set down at the Jackerwocky stage in the glorious early Saturday morning sunshine.

Their set is packed full of scratchy banjo and wobbly static, spitting synths that frontman George Thomas moves frantically around the stage to in an eccentric boiler suit, which fits in well at this peculiar festival.

Insect Heroes sound is both extremely rare and mesmerising making them a refreshing addition this weekend’s line-up.

After last night’s lack of sleep I took the opportunity to take a nap, which doesn’t seem to satisfy the amount of sleep needed, yet somehow has me disappointingly missing a few bands I had pencilled in to see.

Phantom Band-5

We arrive back in time to catch The Phantom Band at the Jackerwocky stage; the last time I saw these guys I was sadly underwhelmed, despite loving Rick Anthony’s deep and velvety tones and the band’s ability to utilise a variety of genres and styles.

Therefore, I was extremely pleased today’s set is a whole different story as they captivate from the moment they step on stage.

Crowd pleaser ‘The Wind That Cried The World’ is a standout, allowing Anthony to showcase his unique vocals.

The band’s charm brings a light-hearted atmosphere despite the music’s often foreboding nature – perfect for a cool, but sunny midsummer evening.

I’m extremely excited as PAWS take the stage in the Baino tent, having seen them on a number of occasions before I know I’m for a treat.

The trio don’t disappoint as they deliver a highly energetic and enthusiastic set, which encourages the crowd to dance around.

Their energy continually builds throughout with frontman Phillip Taylor even climbing onto the drum-kit during ‘Sore Tummy.’

The band play a diverse set mixing loud screeching vocals and heavy riffs with tenderly delivered lyrics and melodic rhythms, which blow the crowd away.

On a short trip back to the campsite you can hear the unique ‘acid croft’ sound of Shooglenifty, but I don’t hear enough to convince me that they’re anymore than a novelty and delay arriving back to the arena until Kiran Leonard is set to take the stage.

Leonard is rousing singer-songwriter who is elevated live convincingly by a talented full band performance, and for a set that finishes just before morning hits, he pulls the slot off a remarkably.

It’s an upbeat set that captivates with chanting vocals and quirky guitar lines, still you can’t help feeling this would have gone down better in the sunshine.

At this point fatigue seems to be kicking in, and illness if you consider my cohort, still I get them back to the tent with all intensions of returning for the ever fun Trash Kit and SHARPTOOTH; needless to say lying down was a bad choice… zzz

More Photos

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Words: Iain Dawson/Jess Lavin
Photos: Bill Gray

PAWS, Polarnecks at The Poetry Club

Fresh from being nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year Award, Glasgow based trio PAWS play a sold out show in The Poetry Club.

Support for the evening comes from Polarnecks; it’s a very lively set from the Glasgow based alt/punk rock band, with emotive lyrics, rasping guitars and a drummer that makes you dizzy just watching him, they really set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Suitably warmed up, PAWS take to stage; their first show in Glasgow this year and they return back with a bang!

Bursting into a heavy new song, ‘Complete Contempt’, then straight into crowd favourite ‘Tongues’.

A timid crowd to begin with but PAWS are veterans in working a crowd and the whole room is dancing and singing in no time.

Highlights include ‘Bloodline’, crowd sing-along ‘Catherine 1956’ and ‘Miss American Bookworm’, which, according to bassist Ryan Drever, is only the fourth time the band have played it live ever.

Also, we were treated to some new songs from the forthcoming third album

The night finishes, “quickly, before we get kicked out!”, with frontman, Philip Taylor joining us in the crowd to play last single, ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’, inviting the crowd to sing with him.

The sheer talent and musicianship shines through the closing song as they stop and start in between sections flawlessly despite not being able to see one another.

The band finished the hour-long set looking exhausted, but extremely proud of the performance they had just put on.

PAWS are rapidly growing a great fan-base not only in the UK but also overseas in the US.

Recently touring with We Are Scientists, their new best pals, it has also just been announced that new friend Mark Hoppus will be helping them in recording their upcoming album.

More Photos

Words/Photos: Nathan Matheson

Under The Covers Valentines Compilation [Fuzzkill]

Fuzzkill Records are becoming a force of nature on the Glasgow music scene, putting out releases by a wide array of great local bands, throwing the odd party of a show and generally just enjoying the well-deserved success that has been growing for a good while now.

This Valentines special cover comp is indicative of a label that’s in good form, one that gets to pull off the good idea for a good cause (all donations going to charity) and gets to bring together the roster and associates alike.

More importantly, for the bands themselves it’s a chance to have a good old legitimate chance at doing a favoured song, everybody in the hunt to do a good tribute.

I had the pleasure of playing with The Bellybuttons back a few months ago and I really dug on them, I loved the sound, so it was a pleasure to hear them open proceedings, doting their hat in a fine fashion to Arthur Alexander on ‘Anna (Go To Him)’.

The dreamy guitar lines here doing all the right things in place of the piano, good sincere vocals and all round a great cover.

Much loved PAWS bring a wonderful ‘Sea Of Love’ to the table, very distinctive in their style, and a short and definitely sweet effort.

I’m always pleased to see anyone cover Teenage Club, Pinact doing the right thing by being the band to do it here with a great no frills cover of the classic ‘Sparky’s Dream’.

The Beatles get representation in the form of ‘I Will’ as Poor Things do a buzzing and punk rock rendition.

Some choices are more eclectic and to great effect.

My hat goes off to The Shithawks for hitting the ball out of the park with the manic ‘She’s Like The Wind’ by Patrick Swayze.

Indeed some of the choices here I’ve not heard before, and my thanks to Catholic Action for introducing me to Emitt Rhodes, and hopefully some more people too with the cracking ‘Somebody Made For Me’.

A compilation should be well rounded, and here in this great mix of obscure and more known choices we get different styles of interpretations to others (see Tuff Love’s great lo-fi version of ‘Lovely Day’), but with the more straight up covers, of all the bands playing to their strengths, SHARPTOOTH’s brilliant Shangri-Las cover of ‘Remember Walkin’ In The Sand’ really does the song and themselves justice.

When you got the voices for it, this haunting and infectious tune is all yours: the building shimmering chords, the clicks and clatters over the grooving bass, the striking melancholy of the lyrics.

This album has a good and hearty selection of songs with something for everybody, a recommend listen for sure.

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Words: Matthew Thomas

Album of 2014

Andrew Person & Lovers Turn To Monsters – Everything We Miss17 Andrew Pearson & Lovers Turn To Monsters – Everything We Miss [Common]

A combination of two endearing singer-songwriters, brought together under the umbrella of Common Records in the dismal Glaswegian rain, resulting in an equally endearing collection of tracks. Taking a song each throughout the track listing, the single ‘Juan Antonio’ is a standout track in an octet of tracks that will coax out a tear if you let them. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Fat-Suit – Jugaad17 Fat-Suit – Jugaad [Equinox]

With a 15 strong collective of highly trained musicians, in the later part of 2014 Fat-Suit released an instrumental album of innumerable sounds and styles all expertly welded together. Tight grooves splashed with influences from traditional Scottish music and a heavy emphasis on jazz and experimenting ensures that Jugaad is a big, unique flag planted firmly in a Scottish music scene which is very lucky to have Fat-Suit in its midst. (Greg Murray)

[review]

National Jazz Trio of Scotland – Standards Volume III17 National Jazz Trio of Scotland – Standards: Volume III [Karoke Kalk]

Bill Wells has made his name by his collaborations and his experimentations, which often take him to pry the envelope of pop music to great result, at first, Standards: Volume III could appear to be a glossy but unwavering pop album, but upon repeated listens this record is a richly endearing effort for fans and casual listeners alike.

[review]

The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads17 The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads [Domino]

Amphetamine Ballads does take some warming to, but after a number of listens and a full appreciation of its delightfully refined latter half, this album is undoubtedly one to be treasured if it appeals to your sense of artistry.

[review]

Withered Hand – New Gods15 Withered Hand – New Gods [Fortuna Pop]

New Gods might at first fool you as sounding like inoffensive dentist-waiting-room shmooth-fm folk-pop; clean but still sensibly naturalistic production, tons of hooks, catchy choruses, acoustic guitars and simple song structures; yet lurking in the lyrics there’s an extremity of emotional tension that swings between stark ugly introspection on one hand and manic optimism on the other.

[review]

Andrew Montgomery – Ruled By Dreams15 Andrew Montgomery – Ruled By Dreams

Former Geneva vocalist Andrew Montgomery went solo with Ruled By Dreams, and has successfully created an album that showcases his writing strengths, both musically and lyrically.

[review]

Thin Privilege - Thin Privilege12 Thin Privilege – Thin Privilege [Struggletown]

For me, Thin Privilege is the band of 2014. With their intense live show alienating crowds’ left, right and centre, I had very high hopes for this record and was not disappointed. This noisy, duel bass assault of an album really grasps the energy of what this very short-lived band was. (Iain Gillon)

[review]

Jonnie Common – Trapped In Amber12 Jonnie Common – Trapped In Amber [Song, by Toad]

Bizarre in all the right places, in all the right ways, Trapped In Amber is perhaps best described as “bizarre pop” as a direct consequence. Pleasingly simple soundscapes provide the backdrop to lyrics that span the board from drama to comedy, with hints of balladry (‘Fractal’), hip-hop (‘Crumbs’) and amazement (‘Binary 101’) all contributing to a record of abundant imagination. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Young Fathers – Dead12 Young Fathers – Dead [Anticon/Big Dada]

2014 was Young Fathers’ year, taking home award after award with critical acclaim following them at every turn. Dead was the centre piece of it all, an intoxicating multicultural record that took elements of hip-hop, electronica and pop and put Scottish music firmly back on the musical map.

Rustie – Green Language11 Rustie – Green Language [Warp]

Rustie deserves every single bit of credit that comes his way, while fellow Glaswegian label mate Hudson Mohawke jets off with the glamorous names, Rustie has stuck to his guns and make a record that feels like natural progression. Green Language has all of Rustie’s punch and some very special moments, still we can’t help feel his best is yet to come and we can’t wait.

Beerjacket – Darling Darkness10 Beerjacket – Darling Darkness

Darling Darkness makes for a relaxing listen, but there’s more to it. There’s a depth and texture that goes beyond your ordinary singer songwriter. To mark 10 years of Beerjacket, Peter Kelly has released a beautiful, cosy, folk masterpiece. (Alisa Wylie)

The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave8 The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave [FatCat]

One of the years later releases but well worth the wait, aside from their debut it could be their best yet. The production values like always are superb and the songs reek of melancholic angst and pain just what you’d expect from Scotland’s gloomiest export. The album deserves all the praise it gets. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Mogwai – Rave Tapes8 Mogwai – Rave Tapes [Rock Action]

A lush set of songs that breathe a warm melancholia; flourishes of ambient and electro sounds underpinned by one of the great guitar arsenals in all of music. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Stanley Odd – A Thing Brand New7 Stanley Odd – A Thing Brand New [A Modern Way]

The Edinburgh sextet’s third album sees them at their creative best, with their usual concoctions of politics, pop culture and poetry shifted into the next razor sharp gear. Tackling issues of parenthood and imperialism, likely catalysed by recent arrivals and national political awakenings, among other things, A Thing Brand New is thought-provoking and head-nodding perfection. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Fatherson – I Am An Island6 Fatherson – I Am An Island [A Modern Way]

Incredible, conceptual debut from a band that looks set to take off in a big way in 2015. Sounds absolutely massive. (Alisa Wylie)

[review]

PAWS – Youth Culture Forever4 PAWS – Youth Culture Forever [FatCat]

Youth Culture Forever might be the perfect follow up to Cokefloat! It takes its predecessors themes and then follows up on them, while also covering some new ground; plus the production is a serious step up and it shows. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Deathcats – All Hail Deathcats4 Deathcats– All Hail Deathcats [Fuzzkill]

I never thought Deathcats would get a full LP release, 2014 truly was a brilliant year for Scottish music. From the get go Deathcats display a penchant for crafting some of the most infuriatingly brilliant melodies in recent memory. Aside from this it’s great to see the band really test their limits and put some of their live show into the record with the great linking sections between songs. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Algernon Doll – Omphalic3 Algernon Doll – Omphalic [Struggletown]

Emo/alt-rock is a genre I that I don’t often indulge in anymore but every so often something pops up which shakes me from that angsty slumber and reminds me that it’s still possible to create original and awesome sounding music in that style. Ewan Grant’s Algernon Doll and their album Omphalic is the perfect example of this, and legendary producer Steve Albini will no doubt help them carry their momentum into next year, with their fourth release in as many years. (Greg Murray)

[review]

King Creosote – From Scotland With Love2 King Creosote – From Scotland With Love [Domino]

A stirring celebration of Scottish pride and resolve; a profoundly evocative album, which handles its subject matter with gentle reverence. This record is nothing less than a masterpiece, and its release saw it receive the critical acclaim that it rightly deserves. The album provided an evocative accompaniment to Virginia Heath’s documentary of the same title, although despite its status as a soundtrack, it is a piece of art in its own right (Brendan Sloan/Ellen Renton)

[review]

Honeyblood – Honeyblood1 Honeyblood – Honeyblood [FatCat]

Glaswegian duo Honeyblood’s self-titled debut unleashes a wave of emotionally aggressive lyrics mixed with sweet melodies and harmonies reminiscent 90s grunge and fitting to their name. The band’s stripped back and minimal setup is compelling, allowing vocalist Stina Tweeddale to showcase her enchanting voice. (Jess Lavin)

[review]