Live in Edinburgh This Week – 28th June 2010

Ah the cooling touch of sweet, clean porcelain.  And it may well be hot in our house, but dammit I have never experienced such an unpleasant sleeping experience as being baked alive inside a tent when the sun comes up as fiercely as it did this weekend at Glastonbury. Dear God almighty that was a nasty way to wake up, especially with a vindictive little bastard of a hangover kicking away at the inside of your head.

We didn’t do too badly for facilities actually – it’s the single greatest advantage of going to festivals with a band – but I am reminded of a daft little toilet story from my old job (no, STOP IT, it’s nothing like that, honestly) which I have intended to mention for a while and always forgotten.

Scotland is a very long way north, a very, very long way north in fact, and this means that during the Winter you arrive and leave work in the dark.  It can be lighter in the mornings, but by the time four in the afternoon rolls around, it is generally pitch fucking black outside.  Add to that the fact that we used to do most of our work on computers, even when the sun was shining the blinds were generally pulled right down so that people could see their monitors.

So yes, it was quite a dark place to work, with one glorious exception: you guessed it, the men’s toilet.  I’m not kidding.  That side of the building was south-facing so, you could be sitting in a dingy office with the blinds drawn all day, arrive and depart in the dark, but every once in a while, on one of those beautifully clear sunny days that Scotland has, you would walk into the loo and be confronted by this blaze of sunshine.  It was great.  It just lifted your spirits.

Now I’ve managed to tell you that little story in total sincerity and with a (largely) straight face, do you think I can trust you to be grown ups about it in the comments?  No, probably not.   Honestly, you people…

Thursday 1st July 2010: The Last Battle single launch at the Wee Red Bar, with Meursault and Jonnie Common.

The Last Battle’s new album is due out on 17 Seconds Records, and this is the first single from that record.  They play quite traditional folk, with cello and lovely male/female vocals but this song is a bit rockier in that ‘Christ alive, is that an electric guitar?’ sense, and a good, beefy introduction to the band.  I have a feeling the Meursault might be solo acoustic, but I am not entirely sure.

The Last Battle – Ward 119
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/TheLastBattle-Ward119.mp3]

Thursday 1st July 2010: Born to Be Wide Booking Agent Special at the Electric Circus.

To be brutally frank, my little experience in the music industry has taught me that the following is as close to a cast iron rule as there exists: labels and PR, cannot make you famous, only you can make you famous.  You can only do that if you play as often and as well as possible, and in doing so build up enough momentum and buzz around your band that everyone else, be it press, radio, fans, whatever, absolutely has to take notice, or they simply wouldn’t be doing their jobs.  There are exceptions of course, there always are, but that is pretty close to a hard and fast rule.  Booking tours and getting gigs is far from easy however, I’ve done it myself and it was shit and I was shit at it, so I strongly recommend you come along to this and pick the brains of some professional booking agents.

Thursday 1st July 2010: Stringjammer at the Roxy Room.

This may be a little more related to the likes of blues and traditional folk than most of you are used to, but I think there’s a lot of good stuff going on in Stringjammer’s music.  Long Road Home, on their MySpace page, is a case in point, and there is more there like that.  There’s a lot of experimental and strange stuff in there, but they obviously started from quite traditional base material before they went and made it all weird, so I think this one should appeal to readers of Toad.

Saturday 3rd July 2010: Kid Canaveral album launch at the Roxy Room, with Come on Gang! and the Scottish Enlightenment.

Tickets for this can be bought from the band here, and I recommend you do so. Kid Canaveral are not exactly a fashionable band – they’re not even close to being arch enough for that – but they have an amazingly consistent talent for writing infectious indie-pop melodies.   Also, The Scottish Enlightenment – I might finally get a chance to see the bastards play!

Kid Canaveral – Stretching the Line
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/KidCanaveral-StretchingtheLine.mp3]