Song, by Toad

Archive for the Edinburgh Live Listings category


Juffage at Henry’s Cellar Bar on Friday 11th September

juffage Juffage is a band – well a solo artist, really – that I discovered through that most ancient form of social media: actually talking to people in a pub. I went down to Beacons Festival a few years ago when a pal turned out to have a spare ticket at the last minute, and when we were down there they recommended I come along and see Juffage play. I knew nothing of the music but fuck it, why not, as one tends to say at music festivals.

And he was fucking ace. Ace enough that I bought the vinyl there and then and didn’t hesitate when Jeff got in touch about organising a show in Edinburgh.

His music is fantastic, so you really should come along. I’ve described it as noise pop, and that’s sort of there or thereabouts. It’s quite anthemic, actually, for stuff which is rather down-tempo, and the odder noises do build up into a pretty impressive wall of noise – music to lose yourself in, I suppose you could say.

Plastic Animals will also be playing on the bill, and their debut album is pretty much ready for release as well. One last crinkle to iron out and then we’re there, and it sounds fucking awesome.


Pale Imitation Festival Half Time Oranges

Pale Imitation 2015 digiflyer

Hello folks. Well we are back from Romania, not entirely in jail although it was close, and not entirely burned to a crisp either, although Mrs. Toad was rather in danger of entirely melting on one or two occasions. Go here for the full story – you just have to scroll down a bit.

Anyhow, we return to the second half of the Pale Imitation Festival and there are some absolutely brilliant gigs still to come in our very own celebration of local Scottish music in the heart of the (over-priced, imported rubbish of the) Fringe.

Tomorrow we have eagleowl, on Saturday we have Adam Stafford (whose new album is fucking amazing, by the way) and then next week it’s the Supermoon show at Summerhall and the Night School Records show with Happy Meals and then the closing party. So many good bands. So much beer to drink.

And my mum’s here, so erm, so many disappointed stares to withstand.

All tickets here.

Remaining shows:

Thursday 20th – eagleowl, Now Wakes the Sea, Faith Eliott

Saturday 22nd – Adam Stafford, Wolf, Tryptamines

Thursday 27th (at Summerhall) – Supermoon & Rob St. John

Saturday 29th – Happy Meals, Apostille, Clip Art


This Week’s Pale Imitation Festival Goings On

Whilst I am currently off getting locked up in Romania for speeding offences (in a 1992 Volvo estate – is it even possible to speed in one of these? – apparently so) The Pale Imitation Festival thunders wonderfully onwards.

If you want to see the Rust2Romania updates check out my Tumblr, but this page is about music, and that means two absolutely fucking brilliant gigs at Henry’s Cellar Bar this week, to which you should all very much go.

Firstly, on Thursday 13th we have an indie rock night (do the kids still call it that, they probably don’t, do they) with two of Aberdeen’s finest – Min Diesel and Wendell Borton – joining awesome Glaswegian newcomers Spinning Coin.

And then on Saturday 15th we have the fantastic Save As Collective, with Jonnie Common, River of Slime, Glamour Muscle and MC Almond Milk bringing a collection of music which treads on pretty much all toes from pop to hip hop to electronica to experimental to just plain mental.

They will be fucking great shows, only a fiver in, and all at Henry’s Cellar Bar, starting at 7:30pm. Be there or be sq.. no, sorry, I won’t go there, that’s awful. Please come. Will that do the trick? Advance tickets can be found here.


Pale Imitation Festival 2015

Pale Imitation 2015 digiflyer

Hello folks, it’s well past time to announce the third annual Pale Imitation Festival. Remember T on the Fringe? The Edge Festival? Retreat? Well this isn’t nearly as good as any of those. But this is Edinburgh, where fun and culture are strongly frowned upon, so we are just going to have to make do.

All tickets, including the super-bargainacious season ticket, which gets you into all gigs, can be bought here, unless you just want individual tickets to see Supermoon and Rob St. John at Summerhall in which case this is the page you want. All the other gigs will be at Henry’s Cellar Bar as per usual – one of the key engine rooms of the Edinburgh live music scene for years, and now with extra added nice beer! I know! Amazing!

Once again, this is a fantastic celebration of the best underground music Scotland has to offer. There are established Toad favourites, plenty of Song, by Toad Records bands, a flash night out at Summerhall, plenty of new bands never to play the festival before, and we close on the 29th with a showcase of one of my favourite Scottish labels, Night School, and then a late night party with music and dancing.

In a massive show of endurance and sugar, the glorious Kitchen Disco will be DJing every single night of the festival as well, bringing you awesome tunes and delicious cakes (the latter of which will generally be tenuously related to the bands on the bill through some dreadful pun or other, but will taste amazing whatever they’re called).

It’s going to be fucking awesome, people, get your damn tickets!

Saturday 1st August – Numbers Are Futile, Beam, DTHPDL

Thursday 6th – Garden of Elks, Bat Bike, Passion Pusher

Saturday 8th – Sharptooth, Lush Purr, Breakfast Muff

Thursday 13th – Spinning Coin, Min Diesel, Dune Witch Trails

Saturday 15th – Save As Collective (featuring Jonnie Common, Glamour Muscle, River of Slime & MC Almond Milk)

Thursday 20th – eagleowl, Now Wakes the Sea, Faith Eliott

Saturday 22nd – Adam Stafford, Wolf, Tryptamines

Thursday 27th (at Summerhall) – Supermoon & Rob St. John

Saturday 29th – Happy Meals, Apostille, Clip Art


This Saturday at Henry’s: Songdog, Best Girl Athlete and Grayson King

Well, back here for a day and already firing back into the gigs because, erm, well honestly just because bands I really, really want to see keep on getting in touch, and honestly I can’t help myself. This Saturday 20th June at Henry’s Cellar Bar we have Songdog, Aberdonian prodigy Best Girl Athlete and Edinburgh’s Grayson King – tickets can be bought here for a fiver.

Songdog is the kind of music where, just as the melodies and warmth of the delivery are starting to sink in, and just as you are about to sit back and relax into the music, a jarringly stark lyric just hits you in the head. And suddenly instead of sipping wine and enjoying the ambience, you are hanging on absolutely every fucking word.

“I’m nobody special, but I give pretty good head” Classic romantic singer-songwriter stu… no wait, what the fuck did he say?

I remember that happening when I first heard Songdog’s music, back in two-thousand-and-not-very-much when I Love My Angel’s Plastic Wings appeared on an Uncut cover-mount CD. If I remember, the lyric in question went “I love my angel’s plastic wings/ she likes my nice tight ass and things” – again, it was one of those ‘hang on, he said what?‘ moments; a turn of phrase at once so jarring, so daft, so natural and so discomfiting that it absolutely demanded you listen closely to absolutely everything else.

Due to cash and attention span constraints I didn’t really follow up on that one weird, fascinating song until almost ten years later when the truly superlative A Life Eroding was released. Suddenly I was completely on board once more. It was a dark-as-coal album stuffed with sadness and the very blackest of humour, along with oddly hummable tunes and a near-overwhelming sense of melancholy.

The latest album, Last Orders At Harry’s Bar (see how appropriate having this gig at Henry’s is!), is perhaps a smidge lighter, but still utterly compelling. I am really, really looking forward to this.


Two Moments of Brilliance Left – The May 2015 Avalanche of Gigs is Nearly Over

rope-unraveling-300x113 I have to confess that by the time I looked at the finalised version of my May gig calendar I kind of knew it was going to be like this. Chaos. One gig after another and little time for the blog or the label. I’ve tried to keep both on track of course, but it’s been the absolute bare minimum in both cases, because this month was all about the twenty-seven bands I was going to be putting on over the course of the thirty-one days of May. You may scoff, but I am not a professional promoter, and it has been a shitload of fun, but heavy going nevertheless.

And it isn’t fucking over either, because this week we have the last two shows of our hectic May schedule, and then I am never putting another gig on ever again as long as I live. Or at least until late June when we have Songdog coming to Edinburgh.

TOMORROW, FREE at the Paradise Palms on Bristo Square: Strop (formerly Froth), Psychic Soviest and alansmithee.

The last night of our fantastic run of free shows at the Paradise Palms showcasing the very best new Scottish guitar bands. The first three shows have been incredible and this will be no different. All the bands are raucous, kind of messy and incredibly fun to watch. All three are also on a new 12″ vinyl compilation we’ll be releasing in the Autumn, which I have just about finalised and which is sounding fucking brilliant.

Also, try the Ninja Buns at the Paradise Palms because they’re bloody ace.

FRIDAY: £5 at Henry’s Cellar Bar: Rob St. John, Eerie Idles and Elara Caluna.

Rob is back with a full band for the first time in ages, and this is brilliant news. There’s something so recklessly brooding about them when they really get going, which is a real counterpoint to how lovely Rob’s music can be when he wants to dial it back a bit.

The rest of the lineup can probably at best be described as a little elusive. Eerie Idles only exist at all because we asked Pablo from My Kappa Roots to play and this is what he came up with. I think it’s just one of those occasions when you just have to shrug your shoulders, accept that fuck it, he’s a talented wee bastard and let’s see what the fuck he comes out with.

And finally, Elara Caluna are simply a new Glasgow band about whom I know very little indeed, but who still sound really promising. There are only wee bits here and there on the internet, but those bits are good, and they’ve been on bills with some good bands in Glasgow too, so I am most excited to see them.

Sucker Punch this weekend in Glasgow.

This weekend sees the fabulous Gold Flake Paint celebrating its fifth birthday by hosting Sucker Punch at the Glad Café on the Southside. It’s a fantastic lineup across every single day, and on Saturday Rob St. John and Supermoon (Neil from Meursault’s new thing) will both be on the bill, so if your chief interest is Toad stuff (ha!) then that’s the day to be there.

Honestly though, the whole fucking lineup is absolutely fantastic, so don’t fuck about, just go along to the whole thing.


Rob St. John Full Band Shows Coming Up

bad fun poster

It’s been a while since I saw Rob St. John with a full band. It was his full-band, going electric, judas performance at the Retreat Festival back in 2000andsomethingsomething that I realised I didn’t just like his music, I thought it was fucking brilliant, and after a bit of determined stalking that’s kind of how we ended up releasing his records.

So, after a relatively long absence in this particular guise Rob returns to Scotland next week with two full band shows. One is our own show at Henry’s on Friday 29th May (see the poster image above) which you can get tickets for here. For this show Rob will be joined by Eerie Idles, the new project from Pablo Clark who you may remember from his previous guise My Kappa Roots, and Glasgow newcomers Elara Caluna.

Then on Saturday Rob (along with Supermoon) will be playing at the Gold Flake Paint fifth birthday celebrations at the Glad Café in Glasgow. The event is actually spread over two days and features all sorts of incredible bands, like C Duncan, Kathryn Joseph, Wolf, Apostille and plenty more. You can hear a playlist of all the bands here, and get your tickets from this link.

The song below is one of Rob’s tunes on the new split 10″ vinyl we just released with him on one side, long-time pal Woodpigeon on the other, and paintings by another friend Jake Bee on the front and back covers. It is fucking ace. You should buy one.


MAYDAY! Emergency Toad Gig Guide For the Month

bear I have no idea how I ended up doing this, but it’s mainly, I suppose, because there’s no such thing as a silly idea I am not prepared to run with and make even sillier. The result being that during the month of May, the last week of which I won’t won’t even be in the country for, I am putting on no less than seven gigs in Edinburgh – pretty much two a week all month.

So, to help you out, here is a basic outline of everything, with clickable links to more information:

Paradise Palms Song by Toad Dingus Rock Slop Fest – every Wednesday in May, a free lineup of the very best undiscovered gems in Scottish guitar music at the Paradise Palms on Bristo Square.

Song, by Toad Hidden Door Showcase – an eight band bill of bands on the label, and bands I just happen to really like on Saturday 23rd May at the Hidden Door Festival. It will also be the album launch for Numbers Are Futile’s debut album Sunlight on Black Horizon.

Two BAD FUN nights at Henry’s, with Joey Fourr and Virgin of the Birds on the 16th and Rob St. John on the 29th.

And, if that’s too general, here is a list for you:

Wednesday 6th May at Paradise Palms (free entry):
Halfrican, Dune Witch Trails and Wendell Borton

Wednesday 13th May at Paradise Palms (free entry):
Passion Pusher, DTHPDL and Breakfast Muff

Saturday 16th May at Henry’s (tickets):
Virgin of the Birds, Joey Fourr, Sharptooth and Onions

Wednesday 20th May at Paradise Palms (free entry):
Spinning Coin, Filth Spector and Andrew R. Burns & the Tropicanas

Saturday 23rd May at the Hidden Door Festival (tickets):
Long Room: Le Thug, Supermoon and Numbers Are Futile
Cage Room: Garden of Elks (acoustic) and Adam Stafford
Bongo Club: Youngstrr Joey, Lush Purr and Bat Bike

Wednesday 27th May at Paradise Palms (free entry):
Strop (formerly Froth), Psychic Soviets and alansmithee

Friday 29th May at Henry’s (tickets):
BAD FUN with Rob St. John, Eerie Idles and Elara Caluna


Numbers Are Futile Album Launch at the Song, by Toad Hidden Door Showcase


The Hidden Door Festival this year brings us, amongst dozens of other things, the glorious Song, by Toad showcase that *ahem* the world has been waiting for all these years. And also the album launch for Numbers Are Futile’s debut album Sunlight on Black Horizon, which you can pre-order here if you like.

Tickets here.

We have the continuing rebirth of Supermoon, Adam Stafford is back too and preparing for a new album, and new signings Le Thug and Garden of Elks will be playing too. There will be a weird, somewhat creepy stage up in the Cage Room, and a raucous off-shoot of the Dingus Rock Slop Fest we’re doing at Paradise Palms in May, with brand new bands Lush Purr and Youngstrr Joey, along with Trashmouth Records signings Bat Bike.

In short, it’s going to be fucking awesome and you should come along.

Long Room:
Numbers Are Futile, Supermoon & Lush Purr

Cage Room:
Adam Stafford & Le Thug

Bongo Club:
Garden of Elks, Bat Bike & Youngstrr Joey


Paradise Palms Song by Toad Dingus Rock Slop Fest

Dingus digiflyer

If you read this blog on a regular basis (does anyone actually still do that?) you’ll know that there has been a huge explosion of awesome, DIY guitar music coming out of Glasgow recently, and this free entry mini-festival is designed to showcase as much of it as possible.


We don’t really have a lot of obvious, eye-catching headliners exactly, although you should recognise a good few of those names from various gigs and blog posts over the last year or two, but generally I’m kind of just hoping you’ll be up for just taking my word for it and chancing your arm with these shows. There’s a playlist of all the bands at the bottom of the page to help you make up your mind.

Oddly enough, despite a dozen bands playing at four different shows over the course of a month, I could happily have booked half as many gigs again – there are really just that many fantastic bands playing this kind of shrugged-shoulder guitar music at the moment.  There are often bits of slacker, psyche, lo-fi, punk and surf in there, as well as art- and of course dingus rock. I have no idea what dingus rock actually is, but James from Passion Pusher called his music that and I fucking love the term, so there you go. I know it when I hear it.

Here’s the full lineup:

Wednesday 6th May: Halfrican – Dune Witch Trails – Wendell Borton

Wednesday 13th May: Passion Pusher – DTHPDL – Breakfast Muff

Wednesday 20th May: Spinning Coin – Filth Spector – Andrew R Burns & the Tropicanas

Wednesday 27th May: Strop – Psychic Soviets – alansmithee