Song, by Toad

Posts tagged black tambourines


ALBUM STREAM: The Toad Sessions

Toad Sessions 2

Toad Sessions 1

I think it’s fair to say that the Toad Sessions are one of the things we’ve done since starting this whole enterprise of which I am the most proud. I just, honestly, think they are way better than almost all other internet sessions. It’s not about our ‘one gimmick’, we ask the band about some of their favourite music, we do a nice big long interview with them,  we give them really nice recordings at the end of it – it feels to me like our sessions are more genuinely about the band than most others.

It feels more like a benefit to the band than most others out there too, and there’s none of this ‘hahaha, here’s a session from the back of a chip shop in Shoreditch – wahey!’ nonsense, which I have to confess I am starting to find really annoying.

Having said that, that appears to be pretty much my opinion and my opinion alone. The sessions and the accompanying videos are actually some of the least popular material we publish, judging by the stats. I tend to ignore stats anyway, however, so don’t worry they won’t be going away just because people don’t seem as interested as I would have expected. I hate people who point to stats when it comes to things like music. I think you should have some fucking courage in your creative convictions in this industry, and in a way I guess the Toad Sessions are one of the most obvious ways I try and do that.

You can see them all on their own dedicated site too, if you fancy a browse and still have some time to kill this Friday afternoon…


Toadcast #278 – The Smashcast

TAG Smash as in smash hits, of course, we don’t condone vandalism here at Song, by Toad! No, this week we have a podcast full of what can really only very tenuously indeed be described as banging number one smash hits. Or, perhaps more accurately, a lot of single releases.

We’ve the next 7″ from Gerry Loves Records, some new stuff by Vadoinmessico, the new single from local favourites Honeyblood and Halfrican, and the something off the new Black Tambourines album. I add to the smash hit single vibe by including a couple of absolute corkers from varying degrees of yesteryear, in the form of The Animals and the Shout Out Louds, largely because they’ve been on tapes in the car while we were driving to France and back to visit Mrs. Toad’s family.

While I was there I took the opportunity to mix a whole pile of new Toad Sessions, and they’re all awaiting editing now, so I thought I’d also include one from the recent Old Earth Session as well. I think you’ve heard stuff from The Yawns and Sparrow and the Workshop already, so I figured something new might be interesting for you. And there you go, that’s pretty much the lot. Pour a big ol’ gin, as I am about to, and wrap yer lugs round this little lot.

Toadcast #278 – The Smashcast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

Direct download: Toadcast #278 – The Smashcast

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01. The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (00.44)
02. Honeyblood – Bud (08.34)
03. John Knox Sex Club – Animals (13.44)
04. Over the Wall – Tell Her I Love Her (18.26)
05. Old Earth – Themes and Alarm (Toad Session) (28.27)
06. Halfrican – Cocksucker (36.17)
07. Vadoinmessico – Perfect Strangers (42.25)
08. The Black Tambourines – Out Cold (46.07)
09. Dim Peaks – Reason (52.53)
10. Shout Out Louds – Tonight I Have to Leave it (1.01.29)


Five for Friday: 8th February 2013

2013-01-04 11.51.05

Seeing as Mildred has been preventing me posting this any earlier by doing pretty much exactly what she is doing in that picture – i.e. sitting in my lap and DEMANDING attention – I figured I might as well start off with a cute cat picture.  This is the internet after all.

Anyhow, welcome to the Friday Fives, where I fire in links to five things which have caught my eye this week, and you either slag me off for being shallow, infantile and easily impressed or chip in with your own interesting stuff in the comments section.

1. BAD FUN at Henry’s tomorrow: 7pm, £5.

It’s a really exceptional lineup at Henry’s tomorrow.  The Black Tambourines were so good when they played here just before Christmas 2011 that we tried to sign them.  Their music is basically a very surfy, lo-fi guitar pop but it’s played with such reckless abandon that you can’t help but get carried away with it.  Their Toad Session is great too – that’s the main video above, and the whole thing can be found here.

North American War are another one of my favourite ‘Scottish bands no-one seems to have heard of’. It’s a shame really, because they are more accomplished and fiercer live than most bands we’ve seen at the Toad gigs.  These two will be joined by the excellent Honeyblood, who I’ve been trying to put on for ages, and who have exciting plans in the pipeline apparently, I’ve just not yet managed to weasel out of them what they are!

The gig is at 7pm, and you’ll pay a fiver on the door, which includes free entry to the club night afterwards, because Henry’s are that nice!

2. Scary Airports

Kai Tak airport, Kowloon: A plane approaching the airport

I am a bad flyer at the best of times, and this Guardian gallery of the world’s scariest airports is quite literally the stuff of my nightmares.  There are at least two or three of those airports I have had horrendous dreams about, without knowing that they genuinely existed somewhere in the world, including the one above, where there basically is no fucking airport!

3. Song of the Day: Shock Shock by Sparrow and the Workshop

Well it kinda had to be this one, didn’t it! As you’ve probably gathered by now, we are releasing a couple of singles by our good friends Sparrow and the Workshop in the run up to their third album, which will be out later this year.  I’ve wanted to work with these guys from the day they recorded one of the first ever Toad Sessions back in 2008, and after constant, undignified pleading and hanging around outside their flat all hours of the day and night, it seems they have come to their senses at last!

4. Awesome Coloured Vinyl


Purists hate coloured vinyl because apparently it doesn’t sound as good.  Personally, I don’t have a particularly cultured ear, and so I fucking love it.  It looks amazing! Come on, you joyless fuds and gaze upon the multicoloured swirls and sparkles!  The gallery linked above is from Official FM Vinyl, who make short runs of 50-100 records, which is something we might well look into doing next year if we can, so the fanatics can have vinyl while the rest of the world wants CDs.  And, as a bonus link, here is a bit of a rant against the vinyl revival, just as a couterbalance.

5. Hartley and Poole score for Hartlepool

Seriously, this is the ‘lighthearted chuckle at the end of the news’ section, but honestly it did happen.  Last week Peter Hartley and James Poole scored for Hartlepool as they beat Notts County 2-1.


Toadcast #259 – The Stiffcast

mp3tag The Stiffcast is not the cheap innuendo I am sure you assume it to be.  No no no, not that sort of stiff, the sort where every joint and muscle in your body aches because you are woefully out of shape and attempting to run around like a teenager.  That sort of stiff.

Yes, after three months out with a groin strain (no sniggering at the back, please) I have tried to go back to the gym and to five-a-sides over the last week or two with what can only be described as somewhat mixed results. I am sure it didn’t use to be this hard to get back in the saddle, as it were.

The one undeniable result, however, is that I have been hobbling around like an old man, because every morning without fail I have been stiff as a fucking board with aching muscles and sore joints. This must be what it’s like to wake up as C3PO.

Toadcast #259 – The Stiffcast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

Direct download: Toadcast #259 – The Stiffcast

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01. The Black Tambourines – Ghost at a Party (Toad Session) (00.25)
02. Jonnie Common – Figurehead (Dry) (05.57)
03. Peace Arrow – Gems (11.27)
04. The Hundredth Anniversary – The Jump (15.05)
05. Shiny Darkly – Diana (20.27)
06. The Android Angel – Her Shoulders (27.27)
07. Weeknight Sinners – Give Me a Taste (35.07)
08. True Gents – Honeycomb Heart (39.57)
09. North American War – Geraniums on a Spit (47.46)
10. Mat Riviere – Wool (54.20)


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 4th February 2013

ToadGig2013 2 Digiflyer

Well of course all anyone in Scotland could possibly be talking about this week would be this Saturday’s BAD FUN at Henry’s Cellar Bar (with an actual cocktail menu these days, would you fucking believe it) where we will host the fabulous Black Tambourines, the amazing North American War and the awesome Honeyblood.

We recorded a Toad Session with the Black Tambourines last time they were here, and it is bloody excellent.  If you fancy some videos, an interview and some free tunes, go here. And hopefully see you on Saturday.

Other than our own amazing lineup (cough cough) there will be another fine gig on Saturday night, with Edinburgh School for the Deaf and Battery Face joining last month’s BAD FUN headliners Plastic Animals at the Voodoo Rooms for a Strange Fish Records-themed Limbo.

And finally, in something which is not a gig but nevertheless entirely music-related, Sofi’s Bar down in Leith will be screening the LCD Soundsystem film Shut Up and Play the Hits on Thursday night.  Entry is £3, which will go towards Mtondia Orphan school in Kenya.  Plus, of course, they’re a bar so, y’know, they have beer and stuff.

And that, I think, is it.  Did I miss anything excellent?

[EDIT: Christ, I am a bellend.  I managed to survey the Electric Circus’s listings and miss that the Robin Guthrie Trio (that lad fae the Cocteau Twins) is playing on Thursday, along with Mark Gardener from Ride.  Apologies, I am a muppet.]


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 21st January 2013

ToadGig2013 2 Digiflyer

So, apart from complaining about the snow is there much going on this week? The answer, I think, is not all that much so I thought I might take the opportunity to plug our next BAD FUN gig at Henry’s.

There are, however, a couple of things going on in which you might be interested, so let’s get that dealt with first, shall we. Neu Reekie are hosting a rather interesting-looking Burns Night thing at Summerhall, but it’s sold out so umm… well, tough tits really, if you don’t have tickets yet.

Something you can actually attend though is the Sick Kids Foundation benefit gig at the Wee Red Bar on Saturday 26th. Playing will be Book Group (who you might know as the Bad Books), along with solo shows from the Last Battle and Meursault, so it should be a good ‘un.

There are also a couple of gigs on the horizon to keep an eye out for, as tickets may become an issue closer to the time; namely Richard Hawley at the Picturehouse in February and Meursault at the Liquid Rooms in April.

And finally, that BAD FUN gig I was promising to flog – well after the success of Saturday’s gig I am now doubly looking forward to this one. On Saturday 9th February The Black Tambourines will be returning to Edinburgh for the first time since we recorded their Toad Session a little over a year ago, and will be playing with North American War and Honeyblood, two absolutely awesome Glasgow bands. Hope to see you there.


Toadcast #250 – The Black Tambourines Toad Session

Videos: VimeoYouTube
Photos: Flickr
Audio: zip download – mp3s below

For the utter shame of it, we actually recorded this Toad Session back in December last year.  I know we can be a little tardy publishing these fuckers, but this has to be something of a record.  I blame the fact that The Leg, The Foxx, Meursault and the Split 12″ albums all ended up being released within a month or so of each other for knocking me firmly out of my stride, but well, there’s always an excuse isn’t there.

We actually recorded this on the Monday after a fearsomely brilliant gig at Henry’s Cellar Bar last Christmas, and did a session with the brilliant Joanna Gruesome on the same day. It was a bit rough, just a little bit like hard work, and I have no idea how the neighbours decided not to complain to the coppers, but I hugely grateful that they didn’t.

Massive thanks for this one are owed to Dylan Matthews and Ashley Hampson for their video camera work, to the consistently awesome Nic Rue for taking the pictures, and to Rory Sutherland for helping me with the recording, the mixing, and for also wielding a video camera during the session itself.

The Black Tambourines – Bad Days (Toad Session)

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The Black Tambourines – Let You Down (Toad Session)

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The Black Tambourines – Ghost at a Party (Toad Session)

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The Black Tambourines – School Level (Toad Session)

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Direct download: Toadcast #250 – Black Tambourines Session

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01. The Black Tambourines – Bad Days (Toad Session) (06.37)
02. Jeff the Brotherhood – Bone Jam (11.27)
03. Ringo Deathstarr – So High (14.39)
04. The Black Tambourines – Let You Down (Toad Session) (21.02)
05. T. Rex – Life’s a Gas (26.53)
06. Can – Moonshake (29.29 )
07. The Black Tambourines – Ghost at a Party (Toad Session) (37.00)
08. The Germs – Forming (41.04)
09. Y Niwl – Dau (42.55)
10. The Black Tambourines – School Level (Toad Session) (46.54)


Friday is Denying the Festival

 I get in trouble from some of my friends for my dislike of the Edinburgh Festival of Trite Imported Garbage (and Comedy) but over the course of the last week I have decided.  It’s fucking shit, the city fills up with unspeakable cunts and you are best advised to stay safely in Leith to ignore the bastard thing.

Trying to get to and from the Record Fair at Summerhall last weekend I honestly needed a fucking snowplough on the front of the fucking van just to get the fuckers out of the way.  It’s a RED FUCKING MAN you retards, what the fuck does that tell you?  Get the fuck out of the fucking way or I will mow you fucking down.

Mind you, there are positives, I suppose.  I am back on Fresh Air on Fridays, for example.  And you can tune in! And it will be amazing! Continuing from last week’s label special I will be going through another pile of independent labels I happen to really like, because of course I barely covered half of them last week.

On air 6-8pm UK time – listen live here

And in the meantime, or during the meanwhilst as Monty Python might say, we have our traditional five stupid questions for you to answer as a means of frittering away what little useful time remains of the working week.

1. What was the last thing which made you really, really laugh.
2. Who is the least funny comedian you can think of?
3. If there was one (living) comedian you might consider seeing, who would it be?
4. Do you like the theatre much?
5. In percentage terms, how shit is it that there will be NO RETREAT FESTIVAL THIS YEAR (curse you, Bart).

The playlist for the radio show will appear live below from 6pm:

Chemikal Underground
1. The Delgados – The Actress
2. Arab Strap – There is No Ending
3. Mother and the Addicts – So Tough

Fat Possum Records
4. R.L. Burnside – Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down
5. The Walkmen – Line By Line
6. Sonny & the Sunsets – Heart of Sadness

Empty Cellar Records
7. Sonny & the Sandwitches – Throw My Ashes From This Pier When I Die
8. The Sandwitches – Summer of Love
9. Pillars and Tongues – Thank You Oaky

Song, by Toad
10. The Leg – Witch at the Speaker
11. Meursault – Lament For a Teenage Millionaire
12. Jesus H. Foxx – Permanent Defeat

Art is Hard
13. The Black Tambourines – Bad Days
14. Gorgeous Bully – Never Cry
15. Gum – Cherryade

Full Time Hobby
16. Micah P. Hinson – Seven Horses Seen
17. The Leisure Society – Last of the Melting Snow
18. Timber Timbre – Woman


Toadcast #226 – The Rainbowcast

Ian and myself were down in Brighton for most of last week with The Great Escape, and that’s pretty much what this podcast is about from start to finish.  It’s hardly a studied analysis of course – and I sincerely doubt you’d expect one – instead it’s more of a chatter about the Brighton fun we’ve had and the people we’ve met.

Scotland is actually rather isolated when it comes to music.  Hence, I suppose, the importance of the local Scottish music community to bands and labels based up here. Nevertheless, it is really important to connect with the rest of the UK.

A lot of our most appreciated supporters are people I know only from Twitter and the other end of an email, be they fans, label customers, writers and broadcasters who have supported us or labels who have inspired us.  So, in the interests of cementing these relationships, meeting new people and drinking an absolute fucking shitload of beer, off to Brighton we went…

Direct download: Toadcast #226 – The Rainbowcast

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01. Hot Panda – Fuck Shit Up (00.24)
02. Slow Down, Molasses – Light (07.44)
03. Born Gold – Lawn Knives (16.19)
04. Odonis Odonis – Tick Tock (23.07)
05. PAWS – Bainz (26.17)
06. The Black Tambourines – Let You Down (Toad Session Sneak Preview) (34.15)
07. Fear of Men – Doldrums (44.06)
08. PINS – Eleventh Hour (47.13)
09. Perfume Genius – Lookout, Lookout (55.02)
10. Fanzine – L.A. (62.51)


Song, by Toad Records Free 2012 Sampler

 Song, by Toad Records hereby release into the world what we reckon is going to become an annual free sampler, mostly as a free download, but with a few CDs given to local record shops and available at gigs as well.

The sampler is a combination of things we’ll be releasing this year, mixed in with a couple of things from 2011 and interspersed with a few brilliant moments from the late Kenneth Williams’ reading of the Wind in the Willows. Snippets from this reading litter my own weekly podcast, and inspired the name of the label in the first place, so it seemed kind of fitting to pop a couple on here.

You can download this little parcel of digital fun from Bandcamp for free, and we are sending out a few to our favourite record shops to give away as well, so if you want a CD either come to a Song, by Toad gig in Edinburgh or go to a record shop.


02. So the Wind Won’t… by Jesus H. Foxx
I’ve been waiting for their debut album through two years of ‘nearly theres’, but it is finally finished, it sounds brilliant and will be ready for release on 14th May 2012.

03. Twitching Stick by The Leg
Formerly Khaya, then Desc, The Leg are veterans of several Peel Sessions and several releases already, but have agreed to release their next album An Eagle to Saturn with us. Coming out on 30th April, this is abrasive as fuck, but definitely still surprisingly poppy, considering.

04. The Acid Test by Rob St. John
We released Rob’s debut album Weald on vinyl last year, and the response was so overwhelmingly positive we’ve decided to give it a wider release on CD too. Rob being Rob, of course, he’s already planning to record his second album, probably in our living room again.

05. Sorry by Waiters
06. Teenage Bloom by Dolfinz
08. Gay Marriage by Sex Hands
On the subject of recording in our living room, the Waiters, Dolfinz and Sex Hands tracks are from a split 12” (which will also include hotly-tipped* Glasgow band PAWS) all of which was recorded almost entirely live in the living room of our house by myself and Rory Sutherland from Broken Records. It’s sort of a compilation of some of my favourite underground, garagey (and frighteningly young) bands, and we’ve just had it mastered, so it will hopefully be ready for release in late March or early April.

09. A Mother’s Arms (demo) by Meursault
It feels like we’ve been waiting quite a long time for the third Meursault album too, doesn’t it. Well it’s finally done, and we are looking at a release date in mid-July, with a release night pencilled in for Saturday 7th July in the Queen’s Hall.

10. School (Toad Session) by The Black Tambourines
We recorded a Toad Session with these guys last year and immediately offered to release something. I’m not sure what it’ll be yet – probably an EP in the Autumn I would guess.

11. Lay Me Down by Yusuf Azak
From his unspeakably gorgeous second album, due out in 2012 sometime, depending on when I get a final master.

12. That is a Big Door! by Trips and Falls
From their second album, People Have to Be Told, released in September 2011.

13. Dead Golden Girls by Lil Daggers
From their self-titled debut album, which we released on vinyl at the end of last year.

14. Pinkening by Animal Magic Tricks
This was recorded just after 2009’s stunning Cold Seeds album, which was a collaboration between Frances from Animal Magic Tricks, Pete Harvey and Neil Pennycook from Meursault and Kenny Anderson from King Creosote. There still isn’t what you could describe as a finished version, but I am not giving up hope because it is a gorgeous album, even just as it stands at the moment.

15. Pool Attendant by The Japanese War Effort
This is from 2011’s Summer Sun Skateboard, and we hope to release another mini-album with Jamie in the Autumn of 2012.

16. Blue Overcoat by Lach
From 2011 vinyl album Ramshackle Heart.

18. Movies and Magazines by King Post Kitsch
A free dowload from After a year in Glasgow, Charlie has moved back down to London, and after his awesome debut The Party’s Over in early 2011 I am eagerly looking forward to new material.

*Yes, I know I said ‘hotly-tipped’, but honestly, they are, I’m not just copy-and-pasting from The Big Book of PR Clichés.