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Enfant Bastard Covers Withered Hand

I actually meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, when we seemed to be having an ‘Edinburgh bands cover one another’s songs’ love-in here on Song, by Toad, but I somehow managed to get distracted (I know, I was amazed too).

This is Enfant Bastard’s chip tune version of Withered Hand’s rather brilliant For the Maudlin, and I honestly don’t know if I’d have recognised it if not for the title.  Once you realise what it is then it becomes massively obvious of course, but out of musical context it’s amazing how easy it is to miss even melodies you should know inside out.

Anyhow, this is from Enfant Bastard’s new record (on teeny-tiny CD) Master Dude which you can preview in its entirety and buy from here.  And the original version of the song can be heard below:

Withered Hand – For the Maudlin

Enfant Bastard - Pigsty Tapes

Enfant Bastard

A little early in a career for a Best Of, one might argue, but given that Enfant Bastard‘s output is sprawled aver CD-Rs distributed haphazardly across the music collections of a few hundred Scottish music fans I admit that it does make sense to pull it all together at some point and try to, at the very least, take stock a little.  And for those of you who don’t know the man, it works nicely as an introduction.

To say that Cammy is likely to prove to be a little polarising is an understatement.  Basically, I reckon that a lot of you are going to genuinely think that this is awful.  A few though, will think that it’s genius.  And maybe a few more might be more like myself: staring fascinatedly at it for ages before deciding that you love it.

Enfant Bastard seems like the ultimate stream of consciousness music.  You can almost imagine his albums being recorded in one take from start to finish, and half the original songs being left off in favour of ones he happened to think of as he was playing.  I’ve never heard anyone sound like they were putting less effort into their singing, or in some ways the guitar playing, which sounds like it knew the chords once but can’t really be arsed remembering them now.  You almost get the impression that at some point he’ll have had enough, throw his guitar on the floor and tell both song and audience to just fuck off.

The thing is, in amongst all this… well, what is it?  Prickliness?  Awkwardness?  Borderline hostility?  Whatever it is, in amongst it all there are some genuine gems of sensitivity, some brilliant lyrics and some surprisingly slick pop hooks.  It’s almost like ambush music – allowing you to casually think ‘What the fuck is this?’ before sucker-punching you with something brilliant.

Even for fans like myself, though, there’s always a sort of trepidation that you might hate the very next thing he does just as much as you loved the last one.  In a way that’s part of the appeal though: it’s genuinely an event, putting an Enfant Bastard album on the stereo.

Enfant Bastard – Joanna Newsom 666

Enfant Bastard – Gremlin

Enfant Bastard – Vessel

Buy from Enfant Bastard’s MySpace

Don't Make a Scene


A couple of years ago I wrote a surprisingly popular post called ‘A Few Reasons Promoters and Bands Don’t Get Along’. I’d just got into regular gig promotion and was only just starting to get my head around the difficulties of doing it right. I’d spent a lot of time around bands at that point, and had heard complaint after complaint about promoters, whether they be amateurish, dishonest, spiteful, or just disorganised and I was absolutely adamant that I wasn’t going to become one of those promoters.

It’s tough though. As I started to get my head around it I started to realise, for example, just how hard it is to pay a band a decent fee. Never mind all the other stuff about decent food, a nice place to stay, actually turning up at the gig and being friendly – it’s actually tough as fuck to even do the bare minimum and pay a band even a cursory fee. So I wrote about it – about all the pressures on a promoter and all the pitfalls they face, and about what I myself understood about the difficulties of touring and what makes a gig feel worthwhile or otherwise for a band.

Basically I was trying to show how hard it is to make the requirements and obligations of both actually meet in the middle. I’d heard so much about dreadful promoters, but I also thought a lot of bands didn’t really appreciate how tough the job was and I thought some explanation of the mismatch of expectations or the simple impossibility of some of the economics would be helpful in making things a bit less attritional.

Rob St. John and Bart from eagleowl are two people who have both toured extensively in bands, both their own and other people’s, and who have also spent significant periods of time doing regular DIY gig promotion. They’ve both experienced the frustrations of both sides of this particular fence, so some time earlier this year they decided to compile a collection of anecdotes and advice from people involved in DIY gig promotion, to try and give people a bit of help navigating this particularly tricky terrain. They kindly asked me to contribute, and so I sort of re-visited the article I told you about above.

The resulting zine is called Don’t Make a Scene, and you can pre-order one here (they’ll be posted out in late November).  There are loads of other contributors too, along with illustrators and photographers, and I haven’t seen the final product yet, but I am really looking forward to getting my grubby hands on one.

Contributors include Chris Tipton (Upset the Rhythm, London: ‘Curate your event with imagination, honour and taste’), Sofia Hagberg (End of the Road / Sam and Sofia, Sheffield: ‘Advancing a show’), Emily Tracer Trails (Edinburgh and Glasgow: ‘A guide to not losing money on gigs’), Fielding Hope (Cry Parrot / Cafe Oto, Glasgow / London: ‘Applying for funding’), Andy Inglis (5000 / former manager of the Luminaire, London: ‘We’re good at taking things for free’), Matthew Young (Song, by Toad, Edinburgh: ‘Bridging the promoter-musician gap’), Johnny Lynch (Lost Map, Isle of Eigg: ‘Some things I’ve learnt about putting on gigs’) and Andy Abbott (That Fucking Tank, Leeds: ‘DIY bother? Reasons to keep doing it’) and many more.

Don’t Make a Scene contains new visual art, illustration and photography by Lizzy Stewart, Tommy Perman, Sarah Tanat-Jones (Synaesthete / Kit Records), Craig Coulthard, Neil Cammock, Matt Pattinson and Cammy Watt (Enfant Bastard).  

The zine features an interview with Marie Tippex (from booking agent Julie Tippex), and articles on DIY sound engineering by Tim Matthew (regular engineer for Lau); all-ages gigs by eagleowl’s Clarissa Cheong, setting up DJs and club nights by Malcolm Benzie (Papi Falso) and Lisa Brook (founder of Cafe Kino in Bristol and DJ Cupcake); and advice for prospective promoters from experienced touring musicians David Thomas Broughton, Mark Andrew Hamilton (Woodpigeon) and Dan Willson (Withered Hand).

The first edition of 300 copies will be released on 24th November 2014, reasonably priced at £4, and will be available for pre-order through  Don’t Make a Scene was riso printed by Footprint Workers Co-op in Leeds using soy inks on recycled paper.

Video Nasties

“Aaaggh my eyes, my eyes!” Yes, that is indeed *cough cough* Edinburgh rock ‘n’ roll pinup Mr. Neil Pennycook of Meursault in that video there.  These are from a session for Location Music TV, which Neil recorded with Scott from Frightened Rabbit.  You can see all the videos on their YouTube channel, including Scott and Neil doing a Bruce Springsteen cover, as well as Scott’s solo version of Fun Stuff.

Red Candle Bulb, the song at the top of the page, was originally written by Dan Willson from Withered Hand, and it appears on Meursault’s Nothing Broke EP, as well as Withered Hand’s You’re Not Alone under the name of Oldsmobile Car.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous song, which Dan apparently wrote in collaboration with Neil as well as Cammy from Enfant Bastard, and I have heard rumours of an absolutely brilliant live Enfant Bastard version of this, although never been lucky enough to witness it myself.  Meursault actually recorded an amazing version whilst pissed in the back of our van a couple of years ago, and despite the sound coming from nothing but the built-in mic on the camera it actually sounds amazing.

I’ve embedded the Toad Van version below, as well as the Location Music version of Flittin’ which I kind of assume will be making an appearance on the third Meursault album, and for all the rest of the session, including the Frightened Rabbit stuff, go to

Toadcast #189 - The Comacast

Comacast?  Yes, because of the imminent onset of a post-Festival coma.

After trying to juggle two gigs of my own, two gigs I wanted to attend, the Antifolk-off and the visit of a good friend I haven’t seen in a couple of years and the Retreat Festival this weekend I think I am now ready to officially declare August over and collapse into a somnolent stupour.

In short, I need to sleep.  A lot.

Mrs. Toad came back from a ten-day holiday last night as well, and that always restores a sense of equilibrium.  She doesn’t do much except swear at me and tell me to leave her the fuck alone, but for some reason I find that inordinately comforting in times of stress.  I think it might be because I am a fucking idiot.

Direct download: Toadcast #189 – The Comacast

1. PAWS – Booger (00.08)
2. Trwbador – Sun in the Winter (07.09)
3. The Walkmen – On the Water (16.35)
4. Arcade Fire – City With no Children (20.05)
5. Enfant Bastard – Pob is Not Interested (26.33)
6. Michael Kiwanuka – Tell Me a Tale (34.49)
7. Electrelane – I’m on Fire (Bruce Springsteen Cover) (42.22)
8. The Love Gestures – Joanna Newsom 666 (49.55)
9. Ghost Outfit – Those Ghosts (52.54)
10. Lach – Blue Overcoat (60.12)

Live in Edinburgh This Week - 18th July 2011

 Well after an extremely successful Ides of Toad on Saturday (a massive thanks to the excellent bands, and to the fucking loads of people who came along) I think this week I shall be putting my feet up and letting other people do the work for a bit.

And what a fuck of a lot of work they’ve been doing, too, because this week is a bit mental in terms of excellent gigs at which to drink yourself into an early grave. So much for the pre-Festival wind-down I discussed last week.

As well as having their album launch this week, Kid Canaveral are coming round to our house to record a Toad Session and get some beers down them, so umm… well, don’t expect me to be much use to anyone on Thursday, s’all I’m saying.

And from a gig-going perspective, well, Friday looks like a bit of a challenge, eh.

Thursday 21st July 2011: Sara Lowes & the Easy Tigers at the Electric Circus.

Sara Lowes is a sometime member of the Earlies and has played on some of my favourite albums of all time, by the likes of King Creosote and Micah P. Hinson.  In her solo guise she makes extremely pretty pop songs, and her new album is absolutely lush.

Sara Lowes – Night Times

Bronto Skylift, PAWS & A Fight You Can’t Win at Sneaky Pete’s.

If, on the other hand, you want to end Thursday with bleeding ears then I recommend this one.  Bronto Skylift can head a bit too far in the direction of freeform noise for me, I have to confess, and I know next to nothing about the openers, but any chance to see PAWS should be taken, because they’re fucking great.

PAWS – Ariel

Friday 22nd July 2011: Live Lounge at the Electric Circus with Lach, The Pineapple Chunks and Randan Discotheque.

The Pineapple Chunks have kindly agreed to let us host their album launch during the Festival, and this will be a wee preview for you, as well as being the first full gig outing for Lach on his return to Edinburgh in anticipation of the return of both his one-man show and the Antihoot to the Edinburgh Festival.

Lach – Break the Day

Friday 22nd July 2011: Plastic Animals, Black International, Supermarionation (solo) & Loch Awe (solo) at the Wee Red Bar.

This event marks the launch of Fresh Air’s Inside Track 2011 charity album (last year’s can be downloaded here),

Plastic Animals – It Fell Apart

Friday 22nd July 2011: The Just Joans, We See Lights & The Occasional Flickers at The Bristo Hall.

This is an Unpop night I believe, and they’ve assembled a bill of some of the finest indiepop around.  I haven’t heard much out of the Just Joans for a while actually, but when their skewed, cobbled together guitar pop and first rate lyrics really are an excellent combination.

The Just Joans – Hey Boy… You’re Oh So Sensitive

Saturday 23rd July 2011: Kid Canaveral album launch at Avalanche Records.

I need say no more about Kid Canaveral on these pages, surely?  Indiepop.  Awesome.  Some wonderfully sad moments.  Brilliant fun live.

Kid Canaveral – Stretching the Line

Saturday 23rd July 2011: Enfant Bastard, Moustache of Insanity & River of Slime at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

And finally we come to Enfant Bastard’s final Edinburgh gig for the foreseeable future.  Cammy is moving to Sweden, and will be supported at his farewell show by Moustache of Insanity and FOUND’s beepmaster general Kev Sim, under the name of River of Slime.

Enfant Bastard – Demo Scene

Toadcast #181 - The Fastcast

Fast because I need to squeeze eleven songs into an hour because I just didn’t want to trim the playlist, fast because I want to get out into the back garden asap to enjoy the sun, and fast because um… well, just because.  I dunno.  Fuck you, anyway, this is the one-hundred-and-eighty-first stupid name for one of these damn things I’ve had to come up with.  The names were bound to get worse over time really, weren’t they.

Anyhow, once this is done, I expect to get a couple of hours out in the garden before buggering off to Henry’s for the Edinburgh School for the Deaf, Zed Penguin and Spook School gig.  These things have to happen on bloody glorious days, don’t they. Ah well, at least it wasn’t a Toad Session this time, like it usually is the moment we get a sunny day.

Direct download: Toadcast #181 – The Fastcast

01. Yo La Tengo – Outsmartener (00.25)
02. Enfant Bastard – Demo Scene (06.40)
03. Lambchop – Came Home Late (12.34)
04. Smog – Teenage Spaceship (16.35)
05. Castor – Watcher Buckles (21.56)
06. Boring Girls – Tin Foliage (27.57)
07. Mitchell Museum – What They Built (32.15)
08. Plastic Animals – It Fell Apart (35.27)
09. Seafieldroad – Cramond Island Causeway (40.56)
10. Sun Glitters – Things Are… (47.11)
11. Little Deadman – Post Helado Madness (52.31)

Friday is Working to a Strict Deadline

Let’s get one thing straight, no matter how fucking busy I am today I will be out in that damned garden by four o’clock this afternoon with a beer in my hand or there will be hell to pay!

I am currently working on the Scottish Enlightenment Toad Session, due to go up tomorrow, and it’s going to be tight, but dammit the weather in Scotland is this nice so fucking rarely that days like this must be seized, with some determination.

Actually, if we can get it to stay this nice for a couple of days we are likely to have a barbecue before the Alex Cornish and Avital Raz House Gig tomorrow.  If it’s sunny come by from about five or six and we will be out the back relaxing!  If not, then just turn up whenever, of course.

I am really looking forward to this one, as well as being a little nervous.  Apparently Alex is bringing a full bloody string quartet with him, which is a slightly terrifying (if rather cool) prospect. As ever, please let me know if you’re coming down so we can be prepared!

Anyhow, better get this posted, or I’ll never meet my four o’clock deadline!

1. Favourite barbecue food.
2. Shorts – yes or no?
3. Can you manage to not look a tool in shades?
4. Do you burn quickly in the sun?
5. Are you passive or active when barbecues are being lit, and then cooked with?

Enfant Bastard – You Are My Fucking Sunshine

Lambchop – Your Fucking Sunny Day

The Bees – Sunshine

Yo La Tengo – Beach Party Tonight

Belle & Sebastian – A Summer Wasting

Live in Edinburgh This Week - 16th May 2011

For those of you who missed this week’s podcast (and if you did, then shame on you indeed) then you will know that Mrs. Toad and I went down to London for the weekend to visit some old school friends.  It was a little odd.  The couples with kids asked the married couples about marriage and the couples who were married asked the ones with kids about kids, but none of the couples who were married were the ones with the kids.  If only any of our gay pals had been there we’d probably have been able to engineer the final downfall of Old-fashioned Family Values (TM) all by ourselves.

Anyhow, we had a great time, but it can be a little tiring meeting people at lunch, then other people for dinner, and drinking all the way through both.  Mrs. Toad has already taken to her bed wailing about illness, and I doubt I will be putting in much of a shift once my daily tasks are over.

We have our next Ides of Toad gig on Saturday though, and I think that is the first exciting thing I am obliged to do this week, so there will be plenty of taking it easy I suspect. I may even start a new book.  Oooh, you can just feel the rock ‘n’ roll oozing from my pores can you not.

Friday 20th May 2011: This is Music 5th birthday celebrations at Sneaky Pete’s.

I find it amazing to think that This is Music is now five years old.  In promoter years – loosely similar to dog years – that is a hell of a long time, and I tip my hat to Jim and Tallah who are doing the work these days, as well as pals like HP, who only recently quite the team.  To celebrate their figuratively greying hairs they are hosting two nights, one on Friday at Sneaky Pete’s where Chad Valley will be making an appearance, and one the following week at Cabaret Voltaire with Penguins Kill Polar Bears.

Saturday 21st May 2011: Jonnie Common, Kill the CaptainsEnfant Bastard at the Wee Red Bar.

Jonnie Common has a new album on the way, which I can promise you is completely brilliant.  The video below is for Photosynth, the first single, and one of my all-time favourite songs of Jonnie’s.  Kill the Captains are on Armellodie Records through in Glasgow and when Johny Lamb recorded his Thirty Pounds of Bone Toad Session a couple of months ago he described them as a/ awesome and b/ face-meltingly loud, which sounds very promising indeed. And as for Enfant Bastard, well Cammy has been adding depth and beats to his chiptunes recently, and the whole thing sounds really good.  It might be the last time we see him perform for a wee while too. Tickets for this event can be had here for a fiver.

Live in Edinburgh This Week - 25th April 2011


Mrs. Toad's Lettuce

The above picture shows how our veggie patch is doing, for those of you who give a flying fuck, which admittedly might not be many of you.  Sunday was spent lying about in the garden reading books, which was nice and relaxing after getting pished late into the night with Monster Island, These Single Spies and Kid Canaveral after the Henry’s gig on Saturday night.

This Saturday we will be collecting for the RNLI in Stockbridge, so if you want to help out please do get in touch as we will need all the people we can get our hands on.  We promise to feed you and ply you with booze, and it’s generally a really enjoyable day.

Tuesday 26th April 2011: Golden Grrrls, The Oates Field & Fuzzy Star at the Wee Red Bar.

Fuzzy pop reigns this week at The Gentle Invasion’s latest gig, with The Oates Field performing alongside two relatively longstanding Scottish bands I have to confess, rather shame-facedly, to never having heard of.  A bit of an internet poke-around later and it sounds like the whole lineup should be right up my street.  And, hopefully, yours.
WrldPeace by Golden Grrrls

Wednesday 27th April 2011: Pensioner, PAWS & Pinky Suavo at Sneaky Pete’s.

This is likely to be quite similar, in a sense, to the Gentle Invasion gig the night before, with the emphasis on rock rather than pop, but nevertheless blanketed in a haze of guitars.  It is also the Pensioner album launch – they have a new album out on Olive Grove Records.

PAWS – Miss American Bookworm

Thursday 28th April 2011: Nan Turner & Enfant Bastard at the Collective Gallery.

WH666 presents another rather interesting lineup.  Nan Turner sings and plays drums in New York anti-folkers Schwervon, but listening to her MySpace page that doesn’t give you much idea what to expect from her music.  Also, Enfant Bastard has started adding more to his chiptune stuff which, if I am being honest, pushes it back much closer to the kind of thing I personally am into.  Come along, it’ll be a good ‘un, this.

Friday 29th April – Sunday 1st May 2011: The Grassmarket Festival (Facebook event).

The Grassmarket Festival is a street festival involving all the traders with shops on and around the Grassmarket, and will involved vintage clothing, tat stalls, book and records as well as lots of live music.
The lineup looks roughly like this:
Friday 29th: 6pm, The Last Battle; 7pm, Ballboy.
Saturday 30th: 5pm, Star Wheel Press; 6pm, The Gillyflowers; 7pm, Burnt Island.
Sunday 1st: 3pm, A Right Royal Open Couch Session (in Red Dog Music); 5pm, Edinburgh School for the Deaf; 6pm, Second Hand Marching Band; 7pm, TV21.

Burnt Island – A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

Edinburgh School for the Deaf – 11 Kinds of Loneliness

The Second Hand Marching Band – Don’t!