Tag Archives: The Ninth Wave

THE NINTH WAVE – ‘New Kind Of Ego’ [Distiller]

‘New Kind Of Ego’, the latest single from THE NINTH WAVE, finds the four-piece focusing on insecurities and trust issues.

The track builds gradually, beginning with a piercing, distorted guitar, as lead vocalist Haydn Park-Patterson channels his inner Robert Smith delivering the heartbreakingly beautiful howl of “you don’t seem to care and it kills me”.

By the time the minute mark hits, the whole band has joined him and the track flits at various points between melodic electronica, and cacophonous post-punk.

A more complete single you will struggle to find all year, and this is one which finds a band marry their sound and image perfectly.

THE NINTH WAVE is unquestionably one of the most exciting bands in the country at the moment.

After a stream of consistently excellent releases, they raise the bar yet again with ‘New Kind Of Ego’, which more than justifies the belief that many industry tastemakers share that it is a matter of when, not if, the Glaswegians break into the mainstream.

Words: Graham McCusker

New Years Revolution with The Ninth Wave, Das Plastixx at Tut’s, 20/1/18

Snow-related issues around the South Lanarkshire area prevent me from arriving in time to see supports Le Thug and Acrylic, however I manage to catch Das Plastixx, a four piece from Glasgow who describe themselves as employing an ‘exciting brand of psych-grunge.’

Although some hooky melodies are decipherable through waves of shoegaze-inspired noise, it is unfortunate that I was less than excited watching their set.

Headliners The Ninth Wave don the stage a short while later.

Infectious melodies from synth player Louise Maclellan, snare-heavy drum lines reminiscent of Interpol, and spiky guitar riffs all combine together effortlessly.

Frontman Haydn Park-Patterson’s smooth baritone delivery couples well with the voice of bassist Millie Kidd to cut above the instrumentation.

The performance verges on the theatrical; the band has adopted a look somewhere between Bowie’s Thin White Duke and a Smashing Pumpkins video from the mid-1990, and it is rather striking.

For ‘Swallow Me’, Park-Patterson removes drumsticks and a pair of pink rubber gloves from a metal bin, before pulling on the gloves with menacing deliberation and proceeding to use the bin as extra percussion.

There is always a danger that theatrics can be used as a sticking plaster to cover up bad performances or songwriting, however such danger do not arise.

The set is slick and professional; songs like ‘Heartfelt’, ‘Collapsible People’ and ‘We Can’t Go Anywhere Else’ are dark, yet tempered with pop sensibilities; a very enjoyable performance indeed.

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Words: Calum Stewart
Photos: Brendan Waters

Doune the Rabbit Hole, Day 2, 19/8/17

Day two of Doune I start off early and surprising chirper, after a cup of Yogi chai from the Tchai Ovna tent and a haggis roll sort be right out.

So, well prepared I make the journey down the treacherous path down to the Thunderdome stage in plenty of time to catch an otherworldly set from Chrissy Barnacle.

Barnacle’s songs are built on intricate and delicate finger picking, and her soft voice gently sooths with touches of Joanna Newsom-esque flourishes.

It’s the perfect opening to a busy day, some chilled acoustic tracks with crazy premises interspersed with banter that’s as amusing as it is charming.

Over at Baino there’s a real retro feel to THE NINTH WAVE’s sound and look that hark back to the new wave / new romantics of the mid to late 80s, but this comes with a freshly injected energy that has set the band on an ever increasing trajectory.

The sharp yet dreamy vocal interplay from Haydn Park-Patterson and Elina Lin add a nice cushion to their sound, keep your eyes peeled on these guys they seem right on the cusp of something.

Over on the Main Stage and Babe get an introduction that I will neither be able to replicate nor top; it’s surreal and magical and encapsulates their sound perfectly, a dream filled soundscape that lulls you to somewhere else, somewhere you can’t can quite place.

Gerard Black’s vocals are high, immaculate and float nicely above the band as they move into more high tempo sections.

The set evolves from reverby bass heavy tracks to tropical foot movers with sky reaching vocals, with an all round quality remaining the only constants; a special festival cover of Rui Da Silva’s ‘Touch Me’ the cherry on top of a superb set.

You can already hear MISC. MEAT as you take the muddy path down into the woods and you’re hit with sounds of punk fury, only to find yourself engulfed in Fragma’s trance banger ‘I Need A Miracle’, which is delivered with a sneered intensity and power, not an ounce of trance though.

The rest of the set is delivered with the same high octane ferociousness, it’s a proper old school punk sound that draws influence most notably from early 80s America, it’s punk how you want it to be delivered, without any clichés but with plenty of attitude.

RAZA is well into their set when I get back up to Baino and it’s frantic stuff, as the duo make an expansive sound that could well be the best 90s video game soundtrack you’ll ever hear.

It’s a high-energy display from the synth/drums duo that twinkles and drives along getting people moving to their retro goodness.

Their debut EP Futuramayana is definitely one of the most fun released this year and we look forward to hearing a lot more from them.

Back at Thunderdome, being careful not to go beyond, Breakfast Muff is dousing us with their usual set full of charming indie pop / punk vibes, and sharp on point and sometimes bizarre subject matter.

Cultural appropriation is a strong talking point of the band’s set, something that a lot of people at the festival are guilty of, and Eilidh McMillan’s message is simple; it’s not ok.

The trio’s instrument swapping, lo-fi pop via screeched punk sound all the while maintains an endearing lovability that’s infectious and poignant.

Back up at the Jabberwocky Stage those expecting Meursault are hit with The Vegan Leather and those expecting The Vegan Leather in an hour at Baino get something different altogether, still a bump up to the festival’s biggest stage can’t be sniffed at and despite them not bringing the expected dreamy, yet miserable, atmospheric brilliance, they do deliver some unashamed cheese dusted electronic indie rock.

The Vegan Leather is essentially the ideal festival band, charisma filled pop tracks that get your feet moving, I’m sure not too many are complaining.

The pathway to Thunderdome seems to be shut off so Snapped Ankles make an interesting alternative, coated in what appears to be moss and rags, they play pounding reverberating rock that is ultimately really fun for the short spell I see them.

Finally down at Thunderdome, Life Model suffer from the entrance being shut off and ultimately play to a rather small crowd, but as the set builds people start to filter in.

Life Model are a band that have evolved a lot over the last couple of years, gone is the super reverberated vocals and the dream pop back drop, now to their credit they’re a band with a really strong sound that’s difficult to pigeonhole, you could as easily shoegaze to star gaze to Chris Smith’s guitar work, and Sophie Evans’ vocals are clearer than before, maintaining a softness without ever being weak.

The banter is a little questionable as Evans tries to get the crowd to guess what she’s going back to uni to study, and despite it being given away straight away that it’s teaching some guy seems willing to keep guessing; still if not for drum troubles the banter wouldn’t need to be there and still the chat, from Evans at least, does hold a bit of a shambolic charm and as the set ends with Smith on top an amp, things are powered a satisfying conclusion.

Back up the hill Spinning Coin are coating, the currently dry but rain soaked festival, with their own sunshine.

Moving from lovingly carved fuzzy indie pop to scratchy garage rock topped with beautiful harmonies and real powered home sections Spinning Coin’s main stage performance reminds us exactly why they at getting so much attention.

Holy Fuck is a powerhouse of droning euphoric electronics, the duo bop around in front of tables of kit, producing sounds that explode with sheer volume.

On paper they aren’t your typical crowd pleaser at a festival like Doune, but they are an experience that those that have come to see them are embracing and many will go home remembering.

Following them over at The Lodge is Kikagaku Moyo, which means sadly we have to miss the brilliant Jenny Hval, still the Japanese four-piece are an experience, producing an all encompassing psych performance that fizzes up and explodes with sheer energy.

Their long hair makes them appear out of their time, while their music feels from a completely different place, brash bursts of guitar led frenzy move to hypnotic expanses that connect you in to another planet for a short while.

Due to Songhoy Blues absence François & the Atlas Mountains have been bumped up to headliner, luckily their sound is so refreshing and gloriously fun that no one notices who hasn’t heard Songhoy Blues before, add some cheeky dance moves from François Marry and co into the mix and you’re onto a winner.

In his matching shirt and trouser combo Marry possess all the right attributes for a frontman headlining a festival, creating a focal point that you can’t stop watching, match that with their uplifting breezy indie pop sound and you find yourself dancing along in no time.

Over Baino Liverpool based duo Her’s swagger around the stage like men possessed, blasting through some fun garage rock with addictive vocals and a bouncing beat; I don’t manage to catch much of them but there’s enough here to convince me to come back and see them again.

The Cosmic Dead play their annual Doune the Rabbit Hole set, this year at 20 to 1 in the morning, and seem just as loud as ever despite James T McKay’s claims that they have to turn their amps down, and later that they have to turn their drums down bizarrely.

Still whether it’s all just a bit of a faff or genuine idiocy from the sound complaints, I can’t figure where they would come from we’re essentially in the middle of nowhere and the vibration from the dub stage can be felt much further affeld surely, the band manage to tear the festival a new one with an engulfing set of powerful space rock and flailing hair.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Allan Lewis / Harrison Reid

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

TRNSMT After-Party with The Ninth Wave at ABC, 7/7/17

Following on from the success of the first day of Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival, The Ninth Wave have their work cut out for them at the official Propaganda TRNSMT after-party, as they play to an audience who had just experienced the unbelievable two-and-a-half-hour set from Radiohead and hadn’t quite had just enough yet.

However, The Ninth Wave take the stage to perform to an enthusiastic, packed audience who give them an extremely warm welcome.

The short but sweet set does not lack spirit or confidence, as both the audience and the band themselves seem to be enjoying the electric atmosphere and intense energy.

Blasting through their catalogue at a hurtling pace, the four-piece are on ferocious form.

The Ninth Wave do a fantastic job of showcasing their eclectic tracks and impressive musical and performance ability and the band will, without a doubt, have picked up a great deal of new fans as well as delighting existing, devout fans.

The energy continues well into the night as the ABC audience were treated to a DJ set from TRNSMT main stage performers Everything Everything.

Earlier in the day, the band performed a successful, packed set of their funk-pop hits to a large audience at Glasgow Green, and their DJ set was just as much of a success.

The playlist, as expected, included many of the band’s indie pop contemporaries, which was met by a hugely positive reception from the young, lively audience.

Everything Everything fit the bill perfectly with their DJ set and does not disappoint in carrying on the positive vibes which radiated throughout the first ever day of TRNSMT.

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Words: Orla Brady

Top picks for Tenement Trail

This Saturday sees the return of Tenement TV’s all day multi venue festival Tenement Trail so we had a wee peek at the line up to give you our picks of the line up:

Sweaty Palms at Broadcast (5.00)

“Refusing to bow down to the crowd-pleasing generics of what it takes to “make it” the four-piece let their music do the speaking merging a loud, dirty reverb drenched garage sound with anxiety-ridden psych goth flourishes, a touch of joviality and Robbie Houston’s snarled, personal lyrics to create an unnervingly powerful experience.”

THE NINTH WAVE at Broadcast (6.00)

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

TeenCanteen at The Art School (6.30)

“Covered in glitter and dressed like they’ve just come from a fairy themed-fancy dress party, It’s hard to watch these girls without a smile on your face; yes, Carla Easton’s distinctive vocals could be considered somewhat of an acquired taste, but accompanied by three part harmonies they’re addictive and powerful”

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Be Charlotte at The Art School (7.30)

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

The Bellybuttons at The Priory (8.15)

“A well-organised, masterful group of musicians delivering poignant lyrics in flawless fashion as they flaunt their raw prowess and leap-board from their own musical influences to create something pretty magical.”

Breakfast Muff at Broadcast (9.00)

“Their one line description on Facebook sums them up brilliantly: “like Hole but funnier” and their set all seems a riotous disarray, but it’s infectious and charming; Breakfast Muff are fun, funny, engaging and effortlessly likeable, go see them.”

Pronto Mama at The Art School (9.30)

“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”

The Vegan Leather at The Priory (10.15)

“Possessing both the sincerity and conviction necessary to remind any listener than pop can be more than just clean synths and solid marketing. The Vegan Leather are a vibrant and exciting lesson in punchy, hook-laden art pop.”

The Spook School at Broadcast (11.00)

“Covering topics such as sexuality, love, gender issues and standing up for yourself mixed together into a cocktail of indie hits with catchy melodies and lyrics that make you open your mind, The Spook School are the perfect band to channel your kempt up angst and rebellion.”

The Van T’s at Flat 0/1 (12.00)

“The band, we have been championing since very early on, have continuously shown just why they’re getting all the attention, with a full on rock show filled with surfy goodness and the ever impressive harmonies of the Van Thompson twins.”

Electric Fields 2016, Day Two, 27/7/16

Day two starts on a fragile note as midday proves a touch too early to drag myself down for Bella and the Bella, so my day starts lulled next to the sound desk at the Main Stage sipping orange juice from the carton in the sunshine, with the somewhat depleted Palms boys, who still seem more in shape than I am, as The Van T’s deliver another fun filled set crammed with 60s surf vibes and glittery girl gang attitude.

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We’ve covered The Van T’s so much in the last year that it’s difficult to come up with new words to describe their set, regardless they never cease to be enjoyable and today’s set takes on a very special significance when you consider the four-piece nearly didn’t play.

As mentioned in day one’s coverage the passing of The Lapelles frontman, Gary Watson, has hit the Scottish music scene pretty hard and for The Van T’s it not only meant the loss of an individual with tremendous potential and talent, but also the loss of a very a close friend, and it’s fitting that the band request that the festival crowd “go fucking mental” today as that is what their friend would have wanted before closing on a cover of The Lapelles’ ‘Seventeen’.

Over at the Stewart Cruickshank Stage there’s another act that we have seen so many times in the past year but never tire of, truth is we love what Be Charlotte is doing, and have been championing her potential to go very far since first seeing her over a year ago.

It seems ever time they play the live set steps up a level, the music, accompanied by Charlotte Brimner’s voice, has always had the ability to silence a crowd with acapella beauty, get them moving with chart heading hits or engulf them with experimental brilliance, but Brimner’s presence and all round stage confidence just seems to grow.

Upcoming single ‘Machines That Breathe’ encapsulates the pop tilting side of Be Charlotte’s sound perfectly; it’s a bouncing bassy joy, with a hooky vocal, showcasing Brimner’s pop chops and unique, addictive vocal.

Next up are THE NINTH WAVE, who seem to have added an extra shimmer to their sound and in the reasonably busy tent there’s a glossy swagger to them.

Haydn Park-Patterson’s vocals sound more up front complimenting their bouncing electronic indie rock sound; each track seems to pack a punch above what they’ve managed before and another tribute is paid to Gary Watson in the form of a “Gary fucking Watson” chant.

C Duncan has the fortune of the sun baked Main Stage and their sound is perfect for a seat on the grass as calm soothing, hypnotic harmonies drift over the field and set a real harmonious vibe across the site before the more riotous bands take the stage later on.

The lush sounds of Christopher Duncan’s debut album Architect has drawn praise from all corners, including a Mercury Award nomination, and this may well be the perfect setting to witness it in.

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Up next is Glasgow folk rock behemoths Admiral Fallow and it’s pretty much the same chilled sunshine perfection, their deep, folk tinged rock is maybe not as settling as C Duncan, but the vocal dynamic of frontman Louis Abbott and Sarah Hayes is delightful and at times soaring.

The set is interesting, intricate and expansive, calling on the impressive talents of all six musicians on stage, as Abbott adds his strong lyrical content to a tone that’s just right side of catchy for a sun kissed afternoon set.

There’s the tendency for Admiral Fallow to be written off as your typical miserable indie rock band, but they shouldn’t be and they prove this here with tracks that easily get people moving and demonstrating why they are as popular and acclaimed as they are.

Much like Elara Caluna yesterday this is my first time catching West Princes in a live setting, and once again I have no idea why.

Their set is a beautiful sunshine filled ride, it’s jaunty indie pop, with impressive vocal interchanges just one of plenty extras that set them apart. The sound in the Tim Peaks tent suffers a bit towards the lower end, but the band still manage to get your feet tapping with funk filled licks and smooth guitar lines that expand to something with real groove.

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Up next is one of the highlights of last weekend’s Doune the Rabbit Hole, TeenCanteen, and their shimmering indie pop sound is yet again a delight in the Tim Peaks Tent as every track drips with sweetness and pure infectious sensibilities.

It’s hard to watch these girls without a smile on your face; yes, Carla Easton’s distinctive vocals could be considered somewhat of an acquired taste, but accompanied by three part harmonies they’re addictive and powerful, and as the glittered up girls debut tracks from their upcoming album, Say It With A Kiss, you’re left with an inkling of something special to come.

Back at the Stewart Cruickshank Stage Fat White Family get the evening going in proper fashion with a powerful punk set that gives all the impressions of not being slick without ever sounding it.

It takes a couple of songs before Lias Kaci Saoudi has gone topless and his sneer, ranging from pure evil to proper fuck you snarl, fag in hand and all, is encapsulating.

The crowd is at the rowdiest I’ve seen all weekend as flailing arms and pits break loose fuelled from the powerful performance onstage.

Following up that riot is The Go! Team, who’re a completely different prospect bringing a vibe of disco scratching indie rock crossed with Rocky theme song to get people moving in a new way.

Ninja’s lead vocals seem to get a bit lost, but it’s the euphoria inducing samples that make this band’s sound special; at points they go full on folk tinged indie pop, but there’s something very fun about their The Go! Team presence that makes them the perfect act for this time in the festival.

After popping away for a glimpse of Primal Scream then a wee dance to Eclair Fifi I end my weekend with easily the most fun band on the bill; Songhoy Blues.

You have to fight yourself not to dance to these guys and the enthusiasm from on stage just transmits to the crowd with minimal effort.

It’s a joy to see a band having this much fun, the bluesy pop sound of the Mali based four-piece oozes tradition, but also positive vibes and the inhibition to dance; the perfect end to the festival.

Then just as the bell rings on the last act of the evening and everyone is heading back to their tents the heavens open, it’s as if the festival made a deal somewhere, but whatever happened we’re not complaining as it’s been great,

Electric Fields is fast becoming one of the highlights of the summer.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Warrick Beyers / Martin Bone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Photos

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Paul Storr

The Ninth Wave – ‘Only The Young’

‘Only the Young’, from The Ninth Wave’s debut EP, of the same title, balances long melodic guitar riffs with synth and transient harmonious backing vocals, giving this song a hauntingly catchy sound.

Lead singer Hadyn Park has a distinctive voice encouraging us to keep listening from the opening line: “they don’t ever wanna talk to me because they know me too well”.

The heartfelt lyrics continue throughout with driving rhythm guitar and short interludes of rich backing vocals from Elina Lin.

With a relatively slow tempo, the song has a good balance of personality and moody instrumentation as the guitar and synth are layered in a very organic way.

The strong rhythm becomes more prominent as the song goes on as 80’s new wave influences are combined with a catchy indie overtone, creating an infectious and yet unique sound.

Words: Hazel Urquhart