Song, by Toad

Posts tagged jonnie common


Song, by Toad Records Sampler 2014

a1625803646_2 Yep, it’s that time of year again – the time when I try and parlay your loyalty and support into something altogether more cynical and tawdry: email addresses for our mailing list.

Well, that’s not entirely fair. Actually, you do get plenty in return for either your email address or modest donation: ten fantastic songs from our upcoming releases in 2014.

This includes an exclusive new track from Sparrow and the Workshop, a sneak peak at our next Split 12″ and a song from a fantastic collaborative album between David Thomas Broughton and the Juice vocal ensemble, due out in September.

So happy, erm, I don’t know, is it Easter soon? Or Chinese New Year? Well happy them, then, and don’t say we never give you anything.

Song, by Toad Records Sampler on Bandcamp.

2. Ilona, You Should Still be My Vampire Attendant by Virgin of the Birds (4.39) 
A slick pop classic from Abandoned Love, part of our Five Years/Five Records anniversary box set. We’re also releasing the next album by the band, who are from Seattle: Winter Seeds, out on 7th April.

3. Photosynth (Split 12” version) by Jonnie Common (4.58) 
This is an off-cut from our third Split 12” album, which we recorded up at the Insider Festival in June last year. The others on the split are David Thomas Broughton, Sparrow and the Workshop and Siobhan Wilson.,

4. Sex Acts by Animal Magic Tricks (3.10) 
Another from our Five Years/ Five Records box set, this is from Brighton-based Animal Magic Tricks debut album Sex Acts. Frances’ last appearance on one of our releases was with Meursault and King Creosote on the Cold Seeds album from 2009.

6. Yorkshire Fog by David Thomas Broughton & Juice (3.54) 
Vocal ensemble Juice and experimental pop maverick David Thomas Broughton will be releasing a collaborative album with us in September 2014.

7. Ghosts by Plastic Animals (4.47) 
After their brilliant contribution to our second Split 12”, released last year alongside the Beer vs. Records project, we are currently working on Plastic Animals’ debut album. This song will be on there, but this version is an old one.

8. Dear God by Siobhan Wilson (5.08) 
Another gorgeous song from the Glasgow-based singer-songwriter, this is also from the third Split 12” recorded up at the Insider Festival.

10. Dirt & the Roots (2014 version) by Meursault (3.24) 
Another tune from the Five Years/ Five Records box set, this is from Kissing on Bonfires by Meursault which is a complete, start-to-finish re-record of their classic 2008 debut album.

11. In Heaven by Naked (4.29) 
The b-side to the Edinburgh band’s debut single Lie Follows Lie, which we released last year, with their follow-up effort Tell Me What is Not Yet Said due for release in May.

12. Switches by The Leg (3.27) 
From The Leg’s gloriously abrasive 2008(ish) album What Happened to the Shrunken Tina Turner, this is as gentle a song as there probably is on the album. Another from our box set.

14. One Brush by Sparrow & the Workshop (2.22)
And finally, we finished with an exclusive new tune by Sparrow and the Workshop. This was an off-cut from their brilliant album Murderopolis, which we released last year. The band are also on the Insider Split 12”, out in June.


Toadcast #288 – Song, by Toad Records 2014

Sampler 2014 SleeveWelcome to our sneak preview of Song, by Toad Records’ plans for 2014. For the most part this is the exact track listing in the exact order of the free sampler we’ll be putting up for download soon, although there are a couple of little tweaks.

I’ve even snuck in a special wee preview of Bastard Mountain – a tune which won’t be on the sampler – primarily because that spot will be taken by The Leg, but I’ve played quite enough from Shrunken Tina Turner in the last few months, so I thought I would give you an exclusive treat, seeing as you’re one of the 4-500 people who download this thing religiously every week.

Actually, I suppose far fewer actually download it every single week – maybe you’re one of the 8-900 people who download the podcasts ‘when they think about it’, which results in that regular listenership of about 500. Who knows how many ‘kinda’ fans you have to have to regularly get 500 listeners in the first week, but I bet it’s a fuck of a lot more than 500. Anyway, however many of you there are, it’s a wee treat for you. You’re welcome!

Toadcast #288 – Song, by Toad Records 2014 by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

Direct download: Toadcast #287 – The Hibercast

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01. Virgin of the Birds – Ilona, You Should Still Be My Vampire Attendant (00.22)
02. Jonnie Common – Photosynth (Split 12″ version) (09.00)
03. Animal Magic Tricks – Sex Acts (16.30)
04. David Thomas Broughton & Juice – Yorkshire Fog (19.45)
05. Plastic Animals – Ghosts (26.42)
06. Siobhan Wilson – Dear God (33.00)
07. Meursault – Dirt & the Roots (2014 version) (39.47)
08. NAKED – In Heaven (43.27)
09. Bastard Mountain – Something on Your Mind (53.27)
10. Sparrow and the Workshop – One Brush (59.16)


So, What’s Happening This Year at Song, by Toad Records

friends019 I am sorry to do this to you, because I am well aware that posts about the label have been completely overwhelming the posts which are just about new music recently but, well, it’s the New Year, and that’s what I find myself mulling over at this time of year, sorry.

So, what do we have to look forward to from Scotland’s most cantankerous label in 2014? Well, maybe I’ll start by contrasting it with last year instead, because I think there will be a slight shift in emphasis, but it probably won’t look all that different from the outside.

To a large extent this is down to the releases we have in the schedule for this year, which are pretty notably different to last. Last year we were facing up to substantial investment in the Sparrow and the Workshop album, as well as putting a lot of money in Beer vs. Records, and also doing our first release with Adam Stafford. None of this is exactly huge on a global scale, but we knew we were working with artists who were a lot more established than usual, had a few albums under their belt, and had a pre-existing audience, particularly here in Scotland.

This doesn’t mean we felt we had to aim for the stars particularly, but when a band comes to you having achieved a certain level already, then at the very least you have to live up to that, and then try your damnedest to exceed it. So we pushed quite hard for quite a few things last year, investing more and seeing if we could nudge perception of the label to a new level.

Generally that went really well, but this year our projects aren’t really suitable for that kind of approach, so I think we’ll end up working a little differently.

Firstly, we have a couple of debut albums, one (which isn’t strictly a debut album in fact, but is as far as a UK audience is concerned) by Virgin of the Birds, and then later in the year, one by Edinburgh’s Plastic Animals. Debut albums are very, very hard to predict, honestly. Sometimes we’ve had a great reception and sometimes we’ve faced blanket indifference, but the fact that people have generally not heard of the band in question means you’re often fighting a bit of a battle to get writers to take an interest, although once they do, the results can be brilliant.

You have to run a fairly measured campaign though, because it’s pretty impossible to tell what level of investment is commercially justified, simply because you can’t really tell what people’s reactions to the band are likely to be. That’s largely why people tend to release a couple of singles in advance – just to test the waters – but we don’t release a lot of bands who really suit singles, so I tend not to approach things that way.

As well as these two we have a bunch of weird projects, all of which are hugely exciting, but none of which scream ‘runaway commercial success’ at me.

We have the next Split 12″, for example, recorded up at the Insider Festival last June with David Thomas Broughton, Sparrow and the Workshop, Siobhan Wilson and Jonnie Common. The Split 12″s are great (see v1 and v2 here), and I am immensely proud of them, but they are never going to crack the Top 40, because they are basically just compilations. They are short runs of extremely beautiful vinyl, but they are made more for our own and our more devoted fans’ enjoyment as the opportunity to explore new things, rather than being aimed at shifting thousands of units.

We’ve also got a record which we made by deciding to have a go at reproducing the collaborative and experimental spirit of the Cold Seeds album. We invited Jill from Sparrow and the Workshop, Neil and Pete from Meursault, and Rory from Broken Records as well as Reuben Taylor and Rob St. John to come round to our house and record a mixture of one another’s songs, and the results are absolutely stunning. It has ended up being a long way from Cold Seeds, so we’re calling it Farewell, Bastard Mountain, but I am seriously excited to get it out there and see what people make of it.

Again, because of not having a specific band to hang the record from, I am not sure how much traction we’ll get, but fuck it. I don’t want to compromise too much with the PR for this one. I don’t really want to start hunting for catchy singles for radio play or worry about what reviewers will think of the first twenty seconds of what they hear. It’s brilliant as it is, and people can either embrace it or fuck off.

I can’t tell you too much about what’s actually on the record, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but there will be a version of this tune, and a rather gorgeous one at that:

Before any of that, we have our first release of 2014: the new single by NAKED, who played an absolute blinder at our New Year’s House Gig recently. It will be another wonderfully designed package, and another couple of wonderfully catchy tunes, and I am really looking forward to it.

And finally, a couple of more enigmatic things to mention.  Firstly, we will be working with David Thomas Broughton later on in the year. I don’t want to say too much because we are still working on the actual release, so can’t really announce too much just yet, but both things we’re discussing are absolutely fantastic, and David is a musician I’ve hugely admired ever since seeing him for the first time at the End of the Road Festival back in ummm… 2008 I think it was.

So a lot of these projects are more suited, I think, to shorter runs of nice records and a marketing campaign which is more specific than it is broad.  I think it will give us more of a feeling of being a niche label doing interesting things, rather than doing larger scale releases by established bands and ticking all the boxes that that kind of thing requires. This is a good thing, because I like that balance of populism and obscurity, and I think we have to get a bit better at telling which of our releases are which and approaching them accordingly.

Oh yes, and secondly, Meursault’s fourth album is now finished too. No idea what’s happening with it just yet, but it is finished.

And with that, GIN O’CLOCK!


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 7th October 2013

triflin Well first and foremost this week, the awesome Brown Brogues are returning to Edinburgh. This will be something like the third time they’ve played here, and I am highly looking forward to it.

They were the subject of proper A&R over-excitement when they first emerged, and yet in typically bloody-minded fashion decided to just fucking well self-release thanks very much. I asked them about it once, and they basically just said that they weren’t into all that sort of shit. They’ve just released their second album, too, which you can stream on Clash here. And then COME TO HENRY’S ON SATURDAY!*

This week is also the start of the Pleasance Sessions, which I told you about last week.  The Song, by Toad involvement doesn’t kick in until next week, but we’ve got Jonnie Common and Miaoux Miaoux with the Cairn String Quartet on Thursday, the Gerry Loves Records John Knox Sex Club/Over the Wall split 7″ single launch on Friday, and Rick Redbeard, Siobhan Wilson, Honeyblood and Law on Saturday. Tickets are all available here, and they’re cheaper in advance too, so I recommend getting stuck in now while you can.

Of course next week it’s our turn, when Rob St. John, Adam Stafford and Ian Humberstone play in the main theatre upstairs, so this won’t be the last you hear of the Pleasance Sessions, believe me. Prepare to be spammed to absolute fuck – sorry, that’s just the way it goes on the internet these days.

And last but not least, in amongst all this vainglorious self-promotion and grandiose festivals we have a low-key album launch for one of Edinburgh’s most secretly successful bands of recent years. Yes, their members may have scattered to the wind a little bit, to the extent that I am not certain whether you’d call them ‘Edinburgh’, strictly, anymore, but Spook School are signed to the excellent Fortuna Pop and are launching their debut album at Henry’s on Friday. They play brash, loud indie-pop and they’re very good. So there.

*End of super-subtle subliminal marketing message.


The Pale Imitation Festival

Pale Imitation Digiflyer

So, we can finally announce the full lineup for the inaugural Pale Imitation Festival.

A run of gigs taking place at Henry’s Cellar bar over the course of August 2013, Pale Imitation is intended to focus almost entirely on local bands, from the high profile to the brand new. Furthermore, we selected nine headliners and then asked them to suggest the rest of the lineup and to provide the music for the night, to give a much stronger sense of the personality of the bands involved – it seemed to fit with the idea of putting the shows on in a small venue with no real backstage area.

As well as trying to keep ticket prices for all the shows down to a fiver (with one exception), we’re also going to be selling season tickets, where £25 gets you into absolutely everything. You’ll have to get there for half eight to be guaranteed entry of course, so we can let the rest of the punters in, but it seemed like a nice thing to do.

And finally, in addition to all the awesome gigs, we’ve got an opening party on the first night with Pale Imitation DJs until 1am, which is free, and then on the 24th August we are partnering with Papi Falso to give a pound off their night and a pound off ours to anyone who attends both. So don’t say we aren’t good to you.

All advance tickets, including the season ticket, can be found here, and the Facebook event pages are here.

And of course, we’re committing to paying an awful lot in terms of fees for bands and so on so, erm, any sharing and general encouragement you might wish to offer on the old social networks would of course be greatly appreciated. Back Garden Promotions came from a beery chat in our back garden between myself, Bart from eagleowl, Neil from Meursault and Rob St. John.

Thursday 1st August: William Henry Miller, Jonnie Common & The Bad Books (plus opening party until 1am) (tickets)

William Henry Miller: hermaphrodite politician from the Nineteenth Century, who also does a fine line in alt-rock pop tunes. Jonnie Common: quirky pop maestro.  The Bad Books: they sound a lot like college rockers The Book Group from Edinburgh. An awful lot like them.

Tonight will also include the opening party for the Pale Imitation Festival, with DJs until 1am.

Saturday 3rd: FOUND, Adam Stafford & Mike MacFarlane (tickets)

FOUND: bouncy electronic pop weirdos. Adam Stafford: the slow-motion preacher. Mike MacFarlane: bitter, moaning singer-songwriter.

Thursday 8th: Plastic Animals, Deathcats & Mad Nurse (tickets)

Plastic Animals: sludgey, grungey shoegaze.  Deathcats: devilishly handsome, radgey Glasgow surf.  Mad Nurse: growly shoegaze from Edinburgh.

Saturday 10th: Sparrow and the Workshop, The Rosy Crucifixion & Siobhan Wilson (tickets)

Sparrow and the Workshop: is snarling country-tinged punk a genre? It is now. The Rosy Crucifixion: a bit of garage, a bit of psyche, and a bit of awesome. Siobhan Wilson: honey-voiced singer-songwriter.

Saturday 17th: RM Hubbert, Wounded Knee & Lidh (tickets)

RM Hubbert: twinkle-fingered Flamenco heartbreaker who has recently achieved global superstar status after winning the 2013 SAY Award.  Wounded Knee: have a rummage in his bawbag. Lidh: Fife lass with an acoustic guitar and a fine voice.

Thursday 22nd: The Leg, Zed Penguin & Numbers are Futile (tickets)

The Leg: screaming mentalists, with equal parts deranged lunacy and pop inspiration. Zed Penguin: swaggering, lo-fi indie-rock.  Numbers Are Futile: thrummy electronic soundscapes, with hidden pop gems.

Saturday 24th: Malcolm Middleton, Ian Humberstone & Now Wakes the Sea (plus Papi Falso until late) (tickets)

Malcolm Middleton: a solo set from the patron saint of depressive introspection.  Ian Humberstone: lush, gentle folk-pop.  Now Wakes the Sea: glorious, halting miserablism.

This one is a smidge more expensive than the other shows, but it is still covered by the season tickets. Also, we have a reciprocal deal with the awesome Papi Falso, whose eclectic nightclub spectacular directly follows this gig: if you go to both, then you will get a pound off each show.

Thursday 29th: Rob St. John, Hanna Tuulikki & David Orphan DJ set (tickets)

Rob St. John: gloomy purveyor of dark geographical folk. Hanna Tuulikki: wild-voiced siren of the Glasgow experimental folk scene. David Orphan: inspired architect of Finders Keepers Records.

Saturday 31st: eagleowl, Rachel Lancaster & Nap Sholty (tickets)

eagleowl: post-slo-fi, post-anti-drumcore, and a bit krauty. Rachel Lancaster: fine, shoegazey guitar work. Nap Sholty: helmed by the artist formerly known as Tom Western, this could be just about anything.


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 29th April 2013

stockbridge Well, I don’t know how many of you were there, but didn’t the Meursault Liquid Room show go well on Friday! The place was rammed, gin was consumed in some quantities and even the hangover the next day wasn’t all that bad. The sun was out, and it’s that glorious time in Edinburgh when the weather is starting to improve, the sun is out and the tourists haven’t really turned up yet in any great numbers.  Nothing against tourists, of course, just their absence does make the place rather pleasingly peaceful.

There are some interesting things happening in town this week, too, which is good. Nothing marquee, you understand, just a handful of nice wee gigs which hopefully will pique your interest and keep you away from The Great British Bake-off or whatever shite is wasting people’s time on telly at the moment.

First up, Malcolm Middleton will be at the Electric Circus tonight, alongside Seamus Fogarty. Malcolm was one of my highlights of the recent Gnomegame festival up in Anstruther, actually. I can’t think of many other people who could hold a packed, drunken hall to such rapt attention with little more than downbeat acoustic songs and a hang-dog sense of humour, but that’s exactly what he did.

The big one for me this week, however, has to be the Love Music Hate Racism show at the Voodoo Rooms on Thursday. The excellent Spook School will be playing, along with Young Fathers and a special baldy guest, but for me the big attraction will be the first chance to see Law Holt play live and see if she’s as good as her only publicly available song so far (embedded below) would imply. I hope so, because it’s pretty awesome finding new and excellent people to rave about!

There’s another biggie this week as well, in terms of sheer organisational scale, with the Electric Circus’ Big Day In on Sunday 5th May.  On the bill will be (I am not linking them all, sorry, far too fucking lazy): Dutch Uncles, Discopolis, The Machine Room, Jonnie Common, Dems, Made of Glass, Machines In Heaven, River of Slime & Lomond Campbell (FOUND), as well as This Is Music, Errors, Vic Galloway and Ally McCrae DJ sets.

And finally (and just a little elusively) if the Love Music Hate Racism gig on Thursday isn’t your cup of tea you might want to try this instead. I know nothing about the band really, apart from the fact that they are called Mayonnaise, and when I last put on a gig at Henry’s the sound engineer was playing stuff from their debut album (he is in the band) and it sounded really good – mostly krauty, epic instrumental post-rock. As I said, I don’t know much about it, but from what I did hear it sounded pretty promising.


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 6th March 2013

edinburgh-3 As you can probably tell from the shambles the blog has been this week, Mrs. Toad is away again. I always seem to have an inordinately hard time keeping my shit together when she’s not around, because her regular 9-5 schedule keeps me vaguely on the rails.

When she’s away, however, it all goes to shit. I don’t need to get up in the morning, why not watch one more episode of Breaking Bad or whatever. Then before you know it, it’s half seven in the morning, and my sleep cycle is more fucked than if I were jet-lagged.

Self-discipline has never been a quality I have much possessed, I have to confess. It’s only a sense of simmering competitive rage which keeps the label ticking over, not some fuzzy Protestant work ethic.

Anyhow, it’s late in the week, but not too late to have some giggenfuns so here are a couple of decent-looking things which are happening this week in Edinburgh.

Firstly, of course, our next BAD FUN is this Friday 8th March at Henry’s Cellar Bar.  Enigmatic electronic pop magician Jonnie Common returns to Edinburgh after an extended exile in the very far North, supported by beep-ninja River of Slime, and the Edinburgh debut of awesome Newcastle dream pop band Shift-Static. Fiver in, doors at half-seven.

Rather more urgently, tonight the Travelling Band bring their lush country pop to the Electric Circus, and then on Saturday Conquering Animal Sound launch their latest album of experimental electronic pop at the Voodoo Rooms, supported by Pumajaw and Plum. The new record, called On Floating Bodies, is out on Chemikal Underground in late March.

If your tastes are even more underground than that, then there are a couple of other gigs on the weekend which might also interest you.  One Friday we have what looks like a new, regular promoter (and god knows Edinburgh needs more of those) called The Sound Project putting on a four-band bill at the Wee Red Bar with The Creeping Ivies, Saint Max and the Fanatics, Universal Thee and Linse – broadly this is mostly ‘indie’ music, but veers from indie pop to swampy psych, acoustic pop and back, so there’s a really good variety.

And finally, on Saturday at Henry’s Cellar Bar we have three rather more gentle bands, in the form of Thank You So Nice, Arran Arctic and The Occasional Flickers. This is more in vein of acoustic pop – from fey to folky – but is actually a really good, if rather under the radar, lineup.


Toadcast #261 – The Suncast

post tag Man Edinburgh’s being a little tease at the moment. It’s cold, but the sun is out, and from the safe confines of my office it’s all too easy to look out the window and think that Spring really is in the air.

Of course, once you go outside such myths are dispelled, but there’s nevertheless something immensely cheering about bright sunshine, even if it’s cold.  In fact, probably especially if it’s cold.

This week’s podcast is relatively poppy, actually.  Some awkward stuff in there I suppose, but for the most part it’s possibly a little more palatable than usual. No drum-bashers and amp-torturers anyway.

Anyhow, what the fuck ever, we’re off to SXSW next week for Margaritas in the sun and Bloody Marys at Rio Rita’s and the ludicrous carnival of commercialism which is SXSW.  It’s fun to go to, but honestly I wouldn’t want to have to go there with ambitions to work because, honestly, you’d just get utterly swamped.

That’s all for later though. For now, sunshine! Aaaahhh..

Toadcast #261 – The Suncast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

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01. Jonnie Common – Figurehead (FOUND’s The Wetter the Better Remix) (00.44)
02. Bill Baird – Spring Break of the Soul (08.07)
03. Ardentjohn – In the Morning (20.24)
04. Peter – Sleep With Me Baby (25.07)
05. Robin Grey – Mariam’s Cake (29.27)
06. Britt Sommar – Tell Me (39.20)
07. bagelproject – Fickle Heart (46.24)
08. belgianfog – Wait For Help (48.45)
09. Female Band – One Day the Sea Will Swallow Me (57.01)
10. Suuns – Edie’s Dream (1.03.12)


Next BAD FUN: Jonnie Common, River of Slime & Shift-Static

ToadGig2013 3 Digiflyer

Our next BAD FUN takes place on Friday 8th March at Henry’s Cellar Bar and features well-established Toad favourite Jonnie Common, with support from FOUND’s beep-master general River of Slime and BAD FUN debutants, the Newcastle (somewhat tangentially) by way of Edinburgh Shift-Static.  Tickets can be found here, and of course it would be splendid to see you there, should you be so inclined.

Last Saturday’s gig was amazing fun, although The Black Tambourines managed not to smash the place to pieces this time, so I suppose it was relatively subdued by their standards.

Despite Jonnie’s recent exile in the very far North of the country, he has actually been surprisingly productive over the last few months.  The video above showcases both one of the songs from and also the making of JWC008, an EP which can only be purchased in badge form here, and he’s also just released a new single called Figurehead on the brilliant Red Deer Club Records.

Both bits of work are typical of Jonnie, as wistful as they are playful, as well as being eminently hummable. Between this, the infectious energy of River of Slime, and the intrigue of seeing a relative newcomer for the first time I think we have a fine night planned here, so hopefully I’ll see you there.


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)

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