Song, by Toad

Posts tagged chris devotion and the expectations


Armellodie Records Come to Edinburgh


Other people’s record labels are a tricky thing. No-one’s taste overlaps perfectly, so even people who I would consider like pals as well as ‘fellow travellers’, as it were, release records I like more and records I like less.

Fence Records 2012, for example, wasn’t so much my thing, despite sharing huge amounts of taste in common with Johnny who runs the label. In 2013, on the other hand, it’s likely that three of my top albums of the year will end up being Fence releases, and that’s just how it goes.

So while Armellodie Records do release some stuff I’m really not that into, there is absolutely loads of stuff on their label which I think it fantastic, and Al himself is one of my favourite people in Scottish music. Thirty Pounds of Bone, The Scottish Enlightenment, The Douglas Firs, Chris Devotion and the Expectations and Trapped Mice are are all really good bands, and whilst they can’t all make the two label showcase events taking place in Edinburgh in August, a good few of them can.

Taking place at Henry’s Cellar Bar, the two shows take place on Wednesday 7th of August, and on the one Thursday in August when there is no Pale Imitation show: the 15th.

Wednesday brings us Super Adventure Club, Galoshins, Cuddle Shark and Thirty Pounds of Bone, and then on the 15th it’s the turn of Gastric Band, Saint Max and the Fanatics, Chris Devotion and the Expectations and Le Reno Amps. You can preview pretty much all of this stuff on the Armellodie Bandcamp page, along with most of their other releases, and I highly recommend you go and have a wee poke around.

These guys can’t play either show, but I just thought I’d remind you what an awesome band they are. Still my favourite release on the whole label, I think.


Final Fresh Fringe Friday

 This evening is the last of my shows for Fresh Air Radio as part of their Fresh Fringe programming. I’ll be continuing to do mini features on record labels I love because… well, I started and I haven’t got through all of them yet, so I might as well finish don’t you think?

This week we shall have Olive Grove Records, Armellodie, 4AD and Tye Die Tapes, amongst others, so if you are fans of this lot then I suggest you tune in, because it’s going to be special.

Yesterday I went to see Liverpool vs. Hearts because, at the last minute, a friend was able to offer me a ticket.  It was fun, despite being a pretty poor game.  I guess because I get to see so little live football at the *cough cough* ‘top’ level there is still a novelty value to it.

Add to that the fact that Tynecastle is a tiny little stadium, with steep stands very, very close to the pitch, and that there was a cracking atmosphere in the ground, and the whole thing still felt pretty intense, even for a match which was in itself quite insipid.  Also, Jonjo Shelvey is absolutely rubbish at football.

Anyway, Fresh Air Radio, yes, here we go:

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

And in the meantime, here are five utterly pointless questions for you to answer as you wait breathlessly for two hours worth of glittering radio perfection later this evening. Or something like that.  I’ll have been drinking anyway, so it might at least be funny.

1. What spectacle do you quite enjoy just every once in a while, thanks.
2. What landmark was actually far less impressive than you expected.
3. And which rather impressed you?
4. Is it going to be a heavy weekend or an easy one?
5. What did you draw all over your school books when you were a kid?

Radio show playlist will appear live below as we go along:

Shape Records
1. Islet – Entwined Pines
2. H. Hawkline – Black Domino Box
3. Sweet Baboo – If I Died Would You Remember That You Love Me?

4. Kurt Vile – Society is My Friend
5. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who
6. Grimes – Genesis

Sways Records
7. The Louche – Only in a Dream
8. Money – Goodnight London
9. Ghost Outfit – I Was Good When I Was Young
10. Weird Era – Summer Heights

Olive Grove
11. Randolph’s Leap – Bile
12. The Son(s) – Radar

Bathetic Records
13. Angel Olsen – So That We Can Be Still

Night People
14. Peaking Lights – Lifed
15. Terror Bird – Married Women
16. Ela Orleans – I Know

Tye Die Tapes
17. Slowcoaches – 2:54
18. Fawn Spots – Spanish Glass
19. Ethi0pians – Buddha Tone (Organ Version)

Armellodie Records
20. The Scottish Enlightenment – Necromancer
21. Thirty Pounds of Bone – Uyeasound (Toad Session)
22. Chris Devotion & the Expectations – Tell the Girl


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 2nd April 2012

Sometimes I take the wrong message from advertising.

You know those adverts where they hysterically proclaim that there are many more bacteria on your chopping board than there are on your toilet seat?  Well I assume the message they are intending to put across is something like this:

“Aaaagh, ohmyfuckinggod, what have I done, I’ve poisoned my child, I’m a SUCH A BAD MOTHER I MUST BUY MORE OF YOUR CHEMICAL SHITE!”

I, on the other hand, take the message to be this, pretty much:

“Ah well, no need to worry about the toilet seat then.”

But then I don’t think I’m entirely in their target audience, although I could be wrong.

Anyhow, for all there isn’t really all that much going on this week, it does rather annoyingly all seem to be taking place on the same two days at the end of the week.  And once again, I happen to have accidentally ended up putting on a gig at Henry’s at the same time as Pendulum Man puts on a Song, by Toad Records band at the Banshee Labyrinth.  Balls.

Friday 6th April: Edinburgh School For the Deaf, Chris Devotion and the Expectations & Blank Canvas play Limbo at the Voodoo Rooms.

I haven’t seen Edinburgh School For the Deaf since noise-merchant Kieran Naughton moved down South and the band had to rejig their lineup slightly, so this looks really good.  The whole lineup is strong actually, because CD/EX were fantastic at the Ides of Toad earlier in the year, with an awesome set of boisterous rock ‘n’ roll.  And Blank Canvas I have yet to see at all, despite their generating a good bit of buzz around these parts recently.

Edinburgh School For the Deaf – Love is Terminal

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Friday 6th April: Indie Funday Friday with Cancel the Astronauts, The Cosmonauts, Fishing for Seagulls & Astronaut Head and at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

All the proceeds from this night of pure bouncy indie-pop fun go to Capability Scotland, so as well as fun, you can also reassure yourself that you are making a positive contribution to the world, rather than just going out and getting pished like you normally might on a Friday night.

Cancel the Astronauts – I am the President of Your Fanclub (and Last Night I Followed You Home)

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Saturday 7th April: North American War, Plastic Animals & Palms at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

I’ve been trying to get these two bands through to Edinburgh for a while, and it is finally happening this weekend.  Palms still only have a single song on their Soundcloud page, so I honestly don’t know all that much about them, but North American War’s five song Me and My G.I. Joes EP is really good, and Plastic Animals have been recording recently, so they should be ready to release EP4 into the world relatively soon.  All in all this should be an excellent evening of guitar music which is pretty constantly on the verge of falling to pieces.

Palms – Wolf

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Saturday 7th April: The Japanese War Effort, Ten & Convex Mancave at the Banshee Labyrinth.

For those of you not so very much interested in guitars, across the city on Saturday there will be something altogether more layered and experimental, with Song, by Toad’s favourite buckie-fuelled smart-arse The Japanese War Effort on a bill with Ten and Convex Mancave.  Tickets can be bought here, and come with a free download of a couple of tracks from the bands on the bill.

The Japanese War Effort – Summer Sun Skateboard

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Live in Edinburgh This Week – 13th February 2012

 Assuming you are all boycotting Valentine’s Day which, let’s face it, you really should, we finally enter a week in Edinburgh where there are plenty of options for Superior Fun, after a longer than usual hangover from the Christmas period this year.

Limbo is back on Friday too, which is good news.  It’s not really my kind of lineup I must confess, but Limbo gigs are always good ones, so check it out here.

It’s also quite a Toady week as well, which is nice.  We have our first house gig of the year on Wednesday, which I am hugely looking forward to.  And then on Saturday the Ides of Toad return to Henry’s Cellar Bar, and Song, by Toad Records hero Rob St. John is also playing at the Banshee Labyrinth.

It’s an unfortunate clash, but both promises were made a long time ago, so there was nothing to be done about it, you’re just going to have to gird your loins and pick a favourite.

Tuesday 14th Feb: Akke Phallus Duo, Cat Hawed & Scrim at the Canon’s Gait.

The consistently excellent Powan Presents have a night of noise, found sounds and collage at the Canon’s Gait on Tuesday (forgive me if I get my genres wrong, I am not exactly an expert on this kind of music) and I guarantee you it will be better than awkwardly sitting in an ironed shirt at some restaurant which you don’t really like but is expensive enough to look like you made an effort while your other half wishes you could skip all the tedious small talk and just get to the shagging already.

Bacchus Frolicking In The Snow excerpt by Akke Phallus Duo

Wednesday 15th Feb: Randolph’s Leap & Molly Nilsson Song, by Toad House Gig.

Doubling as the album launch for Randolph’s Leap’s new release Randolph’s Leap and the Curse of the Haunted Headphones, this gig also sees Swedish Molly Nilsson popping up to play, after I was introduced to her music by some friends in Manchester. Please try and buy tickets in advance if you can (from here) because our house isn’t all that big and a bit of advance planning is a big help.

Randolph’s Leap – I Can’t Dance to This Music Anymore

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Friday 17th Feb: Ian Nagoski and The Family Elan at the The Pleasance Cabaret Bar.

This looks like being a very Eastern European/Levante flavoured psyche-folk event, with strong links archiving and field recording work.  Nagoski will be discussing as well as playing stuff from his new release To What Strange Place.

Saturday 18th Feb: The Ides of Toad present Chris Devotion and the Expectations, My Tiny Robots & Morris Major at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Chris Devotion and the Expectations are launching their new album at Henry’s at the first Ides of Toad show for 2012.  They will be supported by Edinburgh’s My Tiny Robots and Edinburgh-via-Manchester band Morris Major. It’s all very indie, this lineup, with plenty of catchy guitars and eminently hummable choruses and should be great fun.

Chris Devotion & the Expectations – Tell the Girl

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Saturday 18th Feb: Rob St. John, Hiva Oa & Cheer at the Banshee Labyrinth.

Song, by Toad Records’ own Rob St. John returns to town to play what I believe is going to be a rather heavy, droney set at the excellent Banshee Labyrinth, accompanied by visuals, I think. Support comes from promising local band Hiva Oa, and Cheer, about whom I have to confess to knowing almost nothing.

Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea

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Toadcast #213 – The Footiecast

Don’t worry, this podcast really isn’t about football.  I might have been tempted, but in all honesty, but I can’t really think of all that many good songs about football and if I am being truthful with myself I can’t imagine you lot really enjoying a podcast about football all that much.

More to the point, I am back playing football myself now, after something like two years out with back problems.  Two years really is a long time to miss out on something you love doing, and even more so when you’re past your mid-thirties and every year you miss is one of the last you’ll get the chance to play at all.

So, in amongst the new songs and all the usual things you would expect from a Toadcast (i.e. mostly swearing) there are a couple of songs which represent my reaction to getting back to playing football again, and my reaction to some of the more newsworthy moments of the footballing week as well.

Direct download: Toadcast #213 – The Footiecast

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01. Morris Major – Seymour Grove (00.17)
02. Chris Devotion and the Expectations – A Modest Refusal (07.27)
03. Billy Bragg – A Lover Sings (20.13)
04. Bob Dylan – Oxford Town (24.07)
05. PAWS – Bainz (30.17)
06. Coast Jumper – Lawless (37.49)
07. That Ghost – Morning Now (42.09)
08. Now Wakes the Sea – Propranolol (50.31)
09. Smackvan – 4am (54.19)
10. Mark Lanegan Band – Bleeding Muddy Water (64.01)


Friday is Back on Fresh Air, Plus a House Gig on Wednesday

 Yes, this coming Wednesday, the fifteenth of February!!!  Get it in yer diaries! This is going to be the Edinburgh launch for Randolph’s Leap’s rather excellent new album Randolph’s Leap and the Curse of the Haunted Headphones.

It’s a brilliant album of lo-fi charm, moving effortlessly from humour to pathos, and will be available on Peenko Records on a limited run of 30 tapes.  Well, 29 as far as you’re concerned, because I will be having one.

Also on the bill will be Molly Nilsson, who is pals with friends of ours from Manchester and touring the UK at the moment.  She too is a little eccentric, but completely compelling, and I reckon this could be one of our best house gigs yet.

In other news, Brian, El and myself are back on Fresh Air Radio from half past three this afternoon. It will be your usual pre-pub Friday Five show, and I might even sneak on some naughty previews of Song, by Toad Records’ upcoming releases too, just because I am too excited to keep them to myself, but don’t want them out there in a format people can rip and pass around.

On air from 3:30pm UK time – listen live here.

Now, as to the Friday Fives themselves, here are your five stupid questions for this evening:

1. Given every venue in Edinburgh seems to be closing, where should we host gigs in future.
2. Where is the oddest place you’ve been to a gig so far?
3. If you had to name a venue, what would you call it?
4. Who doesn’t seem to be touring, but you would really like to see?
5. What are you looking forward to in your immediate gig-going future?

And in terms of the Song, by Toad House Gig, tickets are a mere £5, all of which goes straight to the artists, and can be purchased by clicking on the link below:

Randolph’s Leap – I Can’t Dance to This Music Anymore

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Playlist for the Fresh Air Funtimes…:
01. Molly Nilsson – A Song They Won’t Be Playing on the Radio
02. Randolph’s Leap – Bile
03. Sex Hands – Chandler in a Box
04. Dolfinz – Jennifer Finch
05. Police Teeth – I Made Out With You Before You Were Cool
06. Crocodiles – Stoned to Death
07. Wanda Jackson – Funnel of Love
08. Chris Devotion & the Expectations – Tell the Girls
09. Morris Major – In Amongst My Ideas
10. Warm Ghost – Open the Wormhole in Your Heart
11. LeThug – 3rd Lanark
12. R.M. Hubbert – Sunbeam Melts the Hour
13. Memory Tapes – Bicycle (Little Loud Remix)
14. PAWS – Chair
15. Waiters – Brisk


Ides of Toad in the New Year

Alright, I know that by the end of January you are supposed to stop using terms like ‘new year’ but I reckoned it was about time for an update on these matters, and that seemed the most appropriate way of phrasing it.

So, with a flurry of album launches coming up in the late Spring/early Summer, we have a small but exciting fistful of gigs to tide us over until then, which I will list below.  Apart from the aforementioned launches, which we’ll generally try and do somewhere a bit strange, I am looking at putting on as many of my events as possible at Henry’s this year.

This is for numerous reasons, but chief amongst them Nora and Claire have been there at every gig and have been a real pleasure to deal with.  When you’re a relatively rookie promoter, having sound engineers and venue managers who just take care of shit in the calmest possible way makes a huge difference, leaving you to panic about attendance at your leisure.  Also, I just kinda like the place.  It’s scruffy, sure, but in many ways it’s a classic dive bar – it’s where gigs should be taking place.

Anyhow, our first gig is in a few weeks and it will be Armellodie Records’ Chris Devotion and the Expectations but umm… well, I’ll write down a handy list for you because, maybe even more than it loves kittens, the internet just loves lists doesn’t it. And as per usual, all tickets will be available from Brown Paper Tickets, and from Avalanche Records down on the Grassmarket.

Saturday 18th Feb: Chris Devotion and the Expectations, My Tiny Robots & Morris Major.

Chris Devotion and the Expectations have a new album out on the brilliant Armellodie Records, and will be playing some dates to support the release.  Their smart, slight stylised indie pop should work well with My Tiny Robots, who are also rather stylish indie poppers, albeit in a rather different way.

Friday 24th Feb: The Pineapple Chunks, Brown Brogues & Zed Penguin.

Er, ramshackle and idiosyncratic – is that the best way to describe this lineup?  I think it might be.  Zed Penguin have a new EP and a new full band lineup, and Brown Brogues a new single on the way, so this should be perfect timing.  All these bands make a bit of a racket, and none of them seem entirely right in the head, which er, well, should probably make for a brilliant night I reckon.

Saturday 25th Feb: Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six, Skeleton Bob (I think) and Lee Patterson at the Third Door.

Louis Barabbas were absolutely mental and absolutely brilliant when they last played Edinburgh, in the middle of last year.  They’ll be joined on the bill by Lee Patterson, who I first happened across at this year’s Antihoot in the Summer, and hopefully Skeleton Bob.  Actually, for all they said ‘yeah, awesome’ when I asked them to play, I have yet to get proper confirmation from Skeleton Bob actually, so I’d better get on top of that, now that I think about.  Also, please note that this gig is at the Third Door, not Henry’s.

Friday 9th March: So Many Wizards and LeThug.

This will be a pop night, sort of.  All the bands take their pop and make it weird, be it by fuzz or by skewed eccentricity.  So Many Wizards are over touring from the States, and LeThug are a really promising new Glasgow band I wrote about on Song, by Toad recently, and if you haven’t already checked out their stuff then you should.

Saturday 24th March: Post War Glamour Girls, Dolfinz and Slowcoaches.

Two Leeds bands accidentally ended up on the same bill here, so I hope they get on. Dolfinz are favourites of ours already, as you know, and they are touring with Slowcoaches, so you can expect some fine, garagey racket from those two.  Post War Glamour Girls are just a tad more restrained and stylish I think