Song, by Toad

Posts tagged garden of elks


Toadcast #320 – The Lithpcast


The Lithpcast is named after the rather impressive lisp I have developed since my dentist yanked my front-left incisor out of my mouth the other day and replaced it with empty space and stitches. There will be a new tooth bunged in there at some point, for the time being I have a rather uncomfortable denture which I don’t wear, a bad lisp, and a general sense of trepidation about how I am actually supposed to fucking eat.

The tunes this week are somewhat defined by the fact that various things have nudged me out of the way of new music, so there is a lot of Song, by Toad Records stuff, but for some reason also a lot of profoundly obscure other songs too.

I feature three really good compilations put together by other folk, a wee plug for a pal’s label, and there’s even time for some surprise Chumbawamba. Who could possibly resist.

Toadcast #320 – The Lithpcast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

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01. Blood of the Bull – Hold Your Head Up High and Go Fuck Yourself (00.22)
02. Wendell Borton – Saucy (06.39)
03. Joyce Delaney – Don’t Be an Asshole (09.41)
04. Dead Fader – Nightmare Sequence (13.36)
05. Chumbawamba – New York Mining Disaster 1941 (23.07)
06. Garden of Elks – I Hid Inside (26.44)
07. Super Inuit and Jessica Schouela – Blue-Greens (32.36)
08. Call to Mind – Breathe (36.37)
09. Youngstrr Joey – Listen to Antique Pony Too Much (42.20)
10. Don’t Die – What is Luvv (Haddaway cover) (48.23)
11. Davina Shell – All the Things She Said (t.A.T.u cover) (52.00)
12. Virgin of the Birds – Spooky, Stony, Barely Over Thirty (unmastered) (59.22)


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


Garden of Elks at Brew at the Bog


I really just had to post this on account of the picture being so fucking fantastic. Paul Campbell (Flickr) took this photo and has a whole album of photos from this year’s Brew at the Bog Festival on his Facebook page.

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.


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


Toadcast #315 – The Cherryblossomcast

mp3tag Fuck me, sorry, I seem to have managed to not do one of these for about two months. That totally took me aback, I have to confess.

Ah well, I suppose it was inevitable. Due to slightly ambitious scheduling we ended up with four or five releases all being live at the same time in the late Winter/early Spring period and I was kind of overwhelmed with all the work which needed doing for all of them I am afraid, which kind of accounts for how overwhelmed I ended up getting.

The Cherryblossomcast was suggested by Stephen Lappin on Twitter, as I took that picture over there of our front door once the two cherry trees which flank the gate started flowering this week.

It’s been sunny and gorgeous here in Edinburgh, and we’ve been doing that classic thing you do in Northern cities, and sitting outside and drinking too much absolutely every available sunny second, and sometimes persisting way after it’s become far too cold to reasonably sit outside. It’s just such a joyous relief to feel the warmth and the sunshine, much of a Winter fetish as I do have.

Toadcast #315 – The Cherryblossomcast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

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01. Garden of Elks – I Hid Inside (00.22)
02. Rob St. John – Young Sun (06.02)
03. Woodpigeon – When You Look For Trouble, Trouble Comes (10.30)
04. Youngstrr Joey – Cheerleaders (16.43)
05. Bat-Bike – Raw (20.51)
06. Taman Shud – The Ziggurat, A Mirage (24.49)
07. Chump – Sleep In (Bedroom Demo) (30.42)
08. DTHPDL – The Future (Live Demo) (39.50)
09. Passion Pusher – Thinking Very, Very Hard (44.23)
10. Wendell Borton – Saucy (51.34)
11. Slows Down – The Blues Easing (56.14)


Garden of Elks – A Distorted Sigh Out Now


Garden of Elks themselves call this ‘thrash-pop’ and I really can’t think of anything better, to be honest. In the words of Whisperin’ and Hollerin’ it’s “ten ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-them’ tunes that sound like the missing link between The Ramones and Sonic Youth”.

Or inbetween Arcade Fire and Iggy Pop if you look at the playlist on KEXP the other day.

Whatever you call it, this is pop music which is intense, exuberant and aggressive and, as all good pop music should be, absolutely hummable as fuck. It’s out on vinyl and cassette, and can be found in Monorail and LoveMusic in Glasgow and in VoxBox and Coda here in Edinburgh. If you want to see more pictures of how pretty it is, like the one above, then go here.

The band will be headlining the Bongo Club Stage at our label showcase at the Hidden Door Festival this year (although that’s a secret for now, so sssh), as well playing Power Lunches in London on the 29th April, and we’re working on a few other festivals for them as well. In the meantime though, if you can’t enjoy this stuff as much as the kids in the video below, you must just hate fun.

Garden of Elks – SWAP from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.


Garden of Elks Album Launches Tomorrow and Sunday


Yep, that’s right, A Distorted Sigh by Garden of Elks is coming out soon – early April, actually – but the vinyl has arrived and I am collecting the tapes from Glasgow today so if you can catch them at their next couple of shows then you can get a copy slightly ahead of time (alternatively, you can order one from us online). They look and sound ace, too.

The lads are playing two dates with Broken Records this week, one at Summerhall in Edinburgh tomorrow and the other in Glasgow at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s on Sunday, so pop down if you want to see them.

Tomorrow is the first night of a series of gigs at Summerhall under the Nothing Ever Happens Here banner, something which is hopefully going to bring mid-level touring bands back to Edinburgh for the first time in what feels like years. It’s perfectly placed inbetween the smaller venues like Henry’s, Sneaky Pete’s and the Electric Circus which we’re actually relatively well-served with here, and the bigger places like the Queen’s Hall, who have to be a bit careful who they book because it’s a big venue and they have to be confident that they can draw enough people.

One of the key things I am hoping the press surrounding these nights will do is start to dispel the impression that Edinburgh isn’t well-served for music. As the name implies, it’s a popular perception, but in fact there is quite a lot going on in Edinburgh if only we could persuade people to come along to it and take a more regular interest. And hopefully some of this more well-publicised, high-profile stuff can encourage people to poke around and see what else is available, particularly if, as is the plan, a lot of the smaller bands playing these more underground nights get the chance to play more high-profile support slots at the Summerhall shows.

Anyhow, see you there tomorrow? Don’t let yourself down by making bad life choices.

Garden of Elks – SWAP from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.


New Garden of Elks Single

Garden of Elks – SWAP from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.

The Garden of Elks debut album A Distorted Sigh is coming out on Song, by Toad Records in April, and this is the first single.

The video, like the song, cavorts joyously along for a couple of minutes and then packs it in – no fussing, no unnecessary embellishment, no fucking about. That’s pretty much what the album is like too, and that is why I love it.

We’re currently booking gigs around the UK for them to celebrate the release, and they’re playing Edinburgh and Glasgow with Broken Records for the Scottish launches. Pre-order the album on cassette or vinyl from here.


Dearness – Accidental Gold

dearness  Ah, lo-fi tape releases. Hooray for the internet. Funny that something so ephemeral should have ended up encouraging something so very string-and-brown-paper, but it seems to have. If anything, I think the lack of actual need for a physical product has reminded a small group of people why they actually want one.

There are reasons this is a relatively small DIY release, I think, and two of the main ones are ‘other bands’. Ryan Drever also plays in PAWS and in Garden of Elks, whose debut album we will be releasing here at Song, by Toad Records in a couple of months, and I guess that almost automatically means he has to limit the amount of energy he puts into his own stuff.

It’s good though, if somewhat unassuming. On first listen I thought no more than ‘oh, this is decent’, but repeated listens have significantly improved that somewhat lazy first impression. There are elements of meandering bedroom lo-fi here, with songs so unfocussed that they feel like the very most slack of the slacker end of the spectrum. Less that halfway into Accidental Gold you find Frank Devereaux, which is distant, muffled and minimal. Then you get into Stationary Waves and it feels like everything is kind of grinding to a premature halt.

That song is basically just a long, rambling monologue over the top of a background of incidental music that feels like the EP is drowning in its own fuzz and mumble. But then it suddenly springs into life, with what is basically just a big old riffy pop song, called It’s OK, You’re Fine.

Second-last seems like an odd place to put what is closest to your ‘big pop song’, but it throws everything which has gone before it into sharp relief. Closer Nobody Knows (What the Fuck They’re Talking About) is upbeat again, with what sounds like distorted fragments of TV or radio broadcasts interspersed with classic, direct, fuzzy indie rock. It’s nasty, but it has real drive and pace and is a great way to end everything.

As I said, this sudden burst of energy changes how everything before it feels, and what seemed like a weird, distracted meander suddenly turns out to be a really well-assembled collection of rough and ready songs – enough pop to be fairly instantly engaging and enough experimental nastiness to be really interesting. I don’t love Roads + Rails particularly – I am not sure the way it’s sung particularly suits Ryan’s voice – but that’s a pretty small gripe because for the most part this is really good. And there are only a couple left too, so get one quick if you want one.