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.
Hiya folks, once again in advance of the glorious Pale Imitation Festival we have a podcast exploring all the weird and wonderful bands who will be playing in Edinburgh during August for your wild and enthusiastic entertainment.
Because you’re coming along, right? All of you?
Oh god do please come. Please. Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!
Ah fuck that, it’s really undignified when I grovel isn’t it. Fucking come along or you are missing the fuck out on seeing the best under-the-radar bands in Scotland at the most reasonable of prices (a fiver per show or a season ticket to the whole damn thing for £25 – all tickets here) in one of Edinburgh’s most legendary underground venues. (Literally. It’s actually a cellar.)
It’s a bit haphazard, but it’s a bloody great festival, the beer in Henry’s is really good these days and the wonderful Kitchen Disco will be providing cakes and DJing on every single night because they are massive heroes and they are the reason the terrorists will never win.
01. Numbers Are Futile – Monster (00.17)
02. Beam – Hex (08.12)
03. Bat Bike – Willing (18.52)
04. Sharptooth – Queen of Scots (26.37)
05. Min Diesel – War Band (28.32)
06. Adam Stafford – Atheist Money (35.07)
07. Wolf – Tricks and Bones (42.56)
08. Tryptamines – Black and White Blues (47.57)
09. Supermoon – Klopfgeist (55.45)
10. Happy Meals – Electronic Disco (1.03.57)
The ever-awesome Independent Label Market is returning to London this weekend and we shall be there once again (and this time I shall remember to bring all our recent releases along with me as well).
We are on the outside corner of the market, behind Heavenly and Full Time Hobby, and next to BBE and R2 and it would be excellent to see you there if you happen to be in London.
Since I was last there in March we have released several fantastic albums, so have a listen to the following and see if you don’t fancy coming along to pick up a copy on Saturday. Or just buy them on the internet if you prefer that, or don’t live anywhere near London.
Things move fast in the music industry, and memories are short. We released the debut album by Inspector Tapehead back in something like 2010 I think, but they promptly disbanded to the furthest corners of Scotland and, whilst not calling time on the band per se, at the very least meant that we heard little at all from them for the next several years.
I almost forgot about their album myself, shamefully enough, until last year when we moved house and I had to put the office back together again in the new place. I noticed the album when I was unpacking and started listening to it regularly again. And it’s fucking brilliant – eccentric, cheerful, catchy, humorous and just plain fucking weird. It was a nice moment actually. It may not figure on many people’s radars anymore, but it is still a bloody great album – have a listen to Pherenzik Tear if you need convincing.
Anyhow, the band are back. I wasn’t really expecting to hear from them, I have to confess, and we had too many commitments already piled up to be able to release their new record, but they have found a home right around the corner from us at Glint Recordings where you can pre-order the new album. And if you want to see them live for the first time since God was a wee boy then I suggest you come along to Henry’s Cellar Bar on the 2nd of July, where they’ll be joined by friend and collaborator Panda Su.
One of the reasons I have been a little quiet on the blog lately (aside from wheelspinning out of the parking lot of care homes in Canada and racing stupid cars through the mountains of Europe of course) is that I have been very much occupied with recording and mixing the fourth in the Song, by Toad Split 12″ series.
Funnily enough, despite the fact that we have just added all sorts of soundproofing measures to the warehouse specifically so that it can be used for recording, we actually recorded all of this in our new living room. It’s got an incredibly characteristic, very warm sound, and the mixes I’ve done so far very much reflect this. It’s clearly a record made with a very definite sense of place and time and I like that. All the effects on vocals and stuff like that tend to be simply room mics brought up to increase the ambient sound of the room itself.
We’ve got new recordings from Viking Moses (above), Virgin of the Birds and Supermoon (below). The fourth band is yet to be decided, but the three sets of songs we have already mean they will have to be quite specifically chosen – something which fits with what we have, but is still different enough to have its own character. Usually we invite all four bands at once, and that was the same this time, apart from one having to pull out late on so we are now in the position of having to invite someone else, but having a far better idea of what their music will be sitting alongside, which is unusual.
Still, what we have so far sounds absolutely fucking gorgeous, and it’s really nice to record something in the living room before the acquisition of proper furniture dampens that natural reverb down, and before the recording moves out to the warehouse for good.
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.
Numbers Are Futile have just unveiled the video for their new song The Great Chimera. The song is from their new album Sunlight on Black Horizon (get the vinyl here), the launch night for which is at the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh this Saturday.
It’s a fantastic album – the vinyl just arrived this week – and has been described thus by the Sunday Herald: “Right across the album, that shoegaze voice stretches out further, even as the music remains hectic and a chronology of keyboards dive and resurface. Errors, Steve Reich, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis flash past the windscreen as adrenaline injections pummel the heart over and over again.”
The video itself is an entirely DIY affair, made for absolutely no budget at all, but looking excellent nevertheless. That’s why I don’t tend to make music videos; I have a reasonable camera and I know how to edit, but I just don’t have the ideas, really. Fortunately Panos and Felipe do and the results are ace.
They’ll be headlining the Long Room stage on Saturday, and it will be pretty intense, I reckon. Their music is pretty euphoric when it gets going and they’re a fantastic live band so hopefully you can make the time to pop along and see them. I shall be drunk.
It may have been fucking freezing this year, but I really wish I could have gone along, but whatever. That one fantastic photo pretty much justifies the entire festival by itself. Here is an ace tune by the band too, just for shits and giggles, and you can get their debut album on cassette or vinyl here if you like the sound of it.
New Adam Stafford single? Why of course, it would be my pleasure.
He has a new album out in October called Taser Revelations, and a wee tour coming up pretty much now. I don’t want to give too much away about the album, apart from the fantastic artwork by Paul Ryding above. Paul also did the artwork for Adam’s last album, Imaginary Walls Collapse, which you can buy here on vinyl.
Musically, I suppose that having listened to it several times over since Adam first sent through the (still not quite entirely finished) mixes a couple of weeks ago, I can sort of try and give you an idea. As you can hear, there’s a clear progression from his last record, one of the poppiest and in many ways most un-Toadlike songs I ever thought I would release, which I really rather surprisingly happen to love, but then in the second half things suddenly get rather darker.
I dunno, who knows what people will make of it, but I fucking love this record and I’m really looking forward to getting it out into the world (so hurry up and finish those final mixes please, Adam).
May 1st – Newport-on-Tay, New Port Sound, Rio Community Centre May 2nd – Aberdeen, Cellar 35 May 5th – Stirling, Tollbooth May 6th – Glasgow, Glad Cafe w/The Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo May 7th – Leeds, The Fox & Newt May 8th – London, Disorder @ The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch May 10th – Edinburgh, Summerhall Dissection Room