Song, by Toad

Posts tagged jonnie common

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Howlin’ Fling

Click to go see all my (pretty mediocre) pics from the weekend.

I am not writing a review of this fine festival. It is good. The music is ace. You should go if you can.

It’s in Scotland, just off the West Coast. So it will probably rain. In the words of Billy Connolly. “Of course it rained. It’s Scotland. Where did you think you were, fucking Benidorm?” When the sun comes out, though, and even when it doesn’t, it’s fucking beautiful. Really, seriously fucking beautiful.

I have sunburn on my back. Not bad sunburn, but you know, Scotland, rain etc..

The drive through Glencoe and down the coast to Arisaig makes you feel like you are heading to another world. The Sheerwater is class. Remember to take some beers for the trip. Driving a band full of people who’ve never seen it before was fun too. Watching people see that stuff for the first time is a nice little reminder of how special it really is.

Sam Amidon playing reels out the back of the café as we got there was awesome. So was Sam playing music on stage. So was Sam playing music with Beth Orton. So was Beth Orton playing music on her own. In fact those two were just bloody brilliant in general.

Samuel. Stream. Rocks. KABOOM!

Lisa, Tamsin, Caroline and Susie brought stinky, stinky cheese and gin and tonic, complete with genius tactics to make sure IT WAS ALWAYS COLD! Words cannot express my admiration.

Johnny Lynch playing the hits to his fans after the year (or so) that’s he’s had, while everyone went mental. That was brilliant. Well done old chap.

No matter what anyone tells you, swimming in the sea off Eigg is fucking cold. Really bollock-shrivellingly fucking cold. And no, you do not get used to it.

I still don’t understand how pretty much all the water in the world can fall from the sky on Saturday night and yet still there was none of it left for showers the following day. But Jens Lekman breaking out the tropical pop (and looking like he was having all the fun in the entire world all at once) during a tropical downpour was pretty brilliant. As was Jonnie Common’s eight-legged groove machine. POP!

Double breakfast every day. One bacon-and-egg roll (all runny and hot – mmmm!) and a coffee. Then forty-five minutes later, same again. No hangover in the world can compete with that kind of tactic.

I like how festivals like this have stalwarts, who are at every damn one, and then people like Boxed In who were fantastic, and who I’ve never heard of before and might not have heard of otherwise.

I did dancing. Presumably extremely bad dancing, but it was dancing nevertheless. And the thing: I only had to be ever so gently coerced. The last time I went mental and danced like a pillock was at the front of British Sea Power at the first Away Game. And the time before that was at FOUND in Legends at Homegame. I am starting to spot a theme developing here. I am told there are videos, but I really don’t want to see them. Let’s just leave it as a happy, slightly murky memory shall we. Oh no wait, this is the fucking internet isn’t it. Balls.

There was a moment when Meursault played the first chords of Ellis Be Damned and I was absolutely alone in my whooping. And then it dawned on me that I was the only person in the whole tent who knew how fucking awesome the next four minutes were going to be. That was nice. Especially as people kept turning to me during the song with an ‘oh that’s why you were whooping’ look on their faces.

I think it’s something to do with the lack of superstars, but perhaps mostly the proportion of musicians to punters, but having the two sets of people entirely mixed together instead of being in their own little enclaves makes everything better.

Only two stages running at staggered time means you see everything. No sneaking off into your own little bubble of pre-approved music.

Whisky.

Oh, and fuck, I still have a record label to run don’t I. Don’t you fucking dare judge. YOU try kick-starting your brain after a weekend like that.

Samamidon – Fiddle Mayhem (Toad Session) from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.

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Toadcast #301 – The Bettecast

tag As you should well know by now, this is not the Bett-cast, it is the Bettycast, as our ridiculous car is named after Bette Davis, who spelled it Bett but pronounced it Betty. So there.

Once again this is a bit of a Rust2Rome retrospective, with ruminations on brake fade in the Alps, grown men sporting mohicans, driving far too fast and complaining about things not being entirely predictable when on holiday in a car which cost lest than £500. There may also be a little teeny-tiny bit of ranting about stupid people, but y’know, there usually is on these things isn’t there.

Also, I think some of my Rust2Rome pals might end up listening to this, which is going to be weird, because they’ll get to realise what depressing taste in music I have. Generally when you tell someone you work in music they think ‘oh, that’s interesting’ and you can pretend to be cool for a bit. Then they hear the kind of music you’re into and the illusion is shattered. Ah well, they had to find out sooner or later.

Toadcast #301 – The Bettecast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

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01. The Wedding Present – Drive (00.24)
02. The Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) (06.24)
03. Parts & Labor – Fractured Skies (16.16)
04. My Teenage Stride – The Genie of New Jersey (20.20)
05. R.E.M. – Be Mine (26.43)
06. Jonnie Common – Summer is For Going Places (35.52)
07. David Thomas Broughton – Ain’t Got No Sole (40.47)
08. Steven Malkmus & the Jicks – Baby C’mon (50.23)
09. Eels – Woman Driving, Man Sleeping (54.49)
10. Band of Horses – The Funeral (1.03.25)

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Pale Imitation Festival 2014

Pale Imitation 2014 digiflyer

Well brace yourselves, here we go: the full lineup for the Pale Imitation Festival 2014 has been finalised and can now be announced, tickets can be bought, and giddy excitement can commence. It’s a cheap and cheerful festival of Scottish music, held at Henry’s Cellar Bar over the course of August.

Conceived initially as a way to keep the fun, family-friendly DIY spirit of the awesome Retreat Festival alive, I think for me it’s sort of evolved into something different. I like the Edinburgh Festival, I really do. Or at least I try. There’s lots of awesome stuff happening, but there is also a massive, stifling avalanche of over-priced, imported rubbish which smothers everything in the city and dominates the press and makes it almost impossible to do anything at all in music except sit back for six weeks and wait for it to be over. And being a bloody-minded little shit, I don’t accept that.

Music used to be really well served during the Edinburgh Festival, but now it seems that small local enterprises doggedly trying to support Scottish music are pretty much the only ones giving it any kind of foothold at all. The Queen’s Hall and The Electric Circus have some great stuff on in August, and then there is us: a reasonably-priced, month-long celebration of local music, held in one of Edinburgh’s stalwart underground venues. A fiver per gig, and a season ticket available for only £25, as well as a separate, showcase gig at the Queen’s Hall which will be the last ever Meursault show.

The full lineup is below, and tickets can be bought here, except for the Meursault/Plastic Animals Queen’s Hall show which can be bought directly from the Queen’s Hall. Season tickets are here, and they entitle you to attend all the Henry’s gigs (the QH one is separate) – meaning you could get nine gigs for the price of five, which is pretty amazing. Do try and get there by 8pm though, so we know whether to hold you a place or not at the busy shows.

Sat 2nd Aug - Adam Stafford, Le Thug & Duchess
SAY Award-shortlisted Adam Stafford is currently working on a new album, and his experimental, looped guitar pop songs will be complemented by the hazey washes of Le Thug and newcomers Duchess.

Thu 7th Aug - The Leg, Now Wakes the Sea +1 TBC
Screaming pop mentalists The Leg headline the second night, with support from the phenomenal, if a little wonky, Now Wakes the Sea, plus another band to be confirmed.

Sat 9th Aug - The Yawns, Sharptooth & alansmithee
The Yawns play a lazy brand of sloppy guitar pop, and made one of the sleeper albums of the year a wee while back. They are joined by the slightly more aggressive Sharptooth and Livingstone newcomers alansmithee.

Wed 13th Aug - Meursault & Plastic Animals – Queen’s Hall
The centre-piece of the Pale Imitation Festival this year is the last ever Meursault show, at the Queen’s Hall. That’s right, your last ever chance to see the current band play live, and they will be joined by pals and label-mates Plastic Animals.

Thu 14th Aug - Deathcats, Garden of Elks & Passion Pusher
Surfy, guitar loons Deathcats released their debut album this year, and it is every bit as hugely enjoyable and sloppily noisy as you would have expected. Abrasive shouters Garden of Elks and Edinburgh’s most hapless guitar pop star in the making comprise the rest of the bill.

Sat 16th Aug - Jonnie Common, Jesus H. Foxx & Andrew R. Burns
Jonnie Common is a maverick genius, who makes experimental music sound like the most accessible of pop songs, and he’ll be joined by the recently resuscitated Phoenix H. Foxx, and Chillwave revivalist Andrew R. Burns. Jonnie really needs to start using his middle initial, to fit on this bill properly.

Thu 21th Aug - Rick Redbeard, Siobhan Wilson (Ella the Bird) & Kitchen Cynics
If Rick Redbeard would stop buggering about being famous with the Phantom Band, I think he could be one of Scotland’s most loved singer-songwriters. He’d be one of mine, certainly, and after only recently discovering his stuff, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear myself saying the same of The Kitchen Cynics. Siobhan Wilson has just started to perform under the name Ella the Bird, but her gorgeous voice and songwriting remain very much the same.

Sat 23rd Aug - LAW, Numbers are Futile & Wozniak
LAW has been one of the breakthrough sensations of recent years. Based in Edinburgh, and collaborating with members of Young Fathers, her music is dark but danceable, and actually reminds me of an Edinburgh pop singer of a few years back – anyone remember Helicopter Girl? No? Just me, then. On the bill with LAW are the hypnotic, rhythm popsters Numbers are Futile and messy shoegazers Wozniak.

There will be a big old after-party after this show, with Lost Map DJs and, erm, well hopefully I won’t be allowed anywhere near the decks at all.

Thu 28th Aug - eagleowl, Ian Humberstone & Smackvan
Eagleowl are Edinburgh’s most glacial post-anti-drumcore, kraut-folk band, and will be joined by the gorgeously intimate croon of Ian Humberstone and warm miserablism of Smackvan.

Sat 30th Aug - PAWS, Halfrican & Et tu Brute!!!
Our favourite pop-punk band PAWS proved they had rather more strings to their bow than just awesomely hummable guitar tunes with their fantastic second album, released at the beginning of the year.  They are pals of ours, they almost signed to our label, and they’re the most prolific accumulators of parking tickets on the Toad Van, so they seemed like a perfect choice for the closing party of this year’s Pale Imitation Festival. Joined by short-shorts-wearing Halfrican and the intense battering of Et tu Brute!!!, it’s going to a lively last show. And then I will get some fucking sleep.

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Our Third Split 12″ Vinyl Is Here!

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Yep, that fine, yellow beauty up there is the third in our series of Split 12″s on Song, by Toad Records. You can buy one here, and I recommend you do, because it’s fucking awesome.

Of course, I would say that, wouldn’t I. But it’s not just me, we’ve had radio play for this from Tom Ravenscroft, Gideon Coe, Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson, as well as a ton of support on Amazing Radio as well. It’s been brilliant, particularly given our traditionally patchy results with self-promoting to national radio. Anyhow, the launch nights are fast approaching, so I thought I should give you another wee nudge. Firstly we have Glasgow at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s on the 24th July (tickets here), followed by our first Song, by Toad House Gig in the new place down in Leith on the 25th (tickets here). We’ll be getting the barbie on for this one before the gig (if it’s not raining) so bring something to throw on there if it’s nice.

And also, out of sheer, naive generosity, here is some more streaming fun for you – a cover of James Yorkston’s Chalkhill Blue by Sparrow and the Workshop. Side 2, track 1!

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Split 12″ v3 Launch Gigs

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Our third Split 12″ is nearly here, and this one was recorded up at the Insider Festival last year. The festival takes place up in the Highlands, and Nic Rue took some fantastic photos of the recording process, which you can see here.

We’ve got a couple of launch nights booked – one for Glasgow and one for Edinburgh – to welcome the record into the world in the nicest possible way. The Glasgow night is at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s on Thursday 24th July, and the Edinburgh show is on the 25th, the day after, and will be the first house gig in our new place in Leith.

We’re planning to light the barbecue as well, so you can come down with some burgers if you want, and have something to eat with us before the show. It would be lovely to see you at either of these shows, so please do come down if you can – and you can pick up some lovely, clear yellow vinyl as well.

All the bands will be playing except for Sparrow and the Workshop, for baby-related reasons. So for all that’s a bit of a disappointment as far as these shows are concerned, it’s great news for Jill and Nick, and also saves me the hassle of trying to get four bands on stage in a relatively short space of time.

Tickets for the Glasgow show can be found here and to buy tickets for the Edinburgh house gig use the Paypal link below.

SOLD OUT NOW, SORRY

And partly to whet your appetite, and partly because it is just an absolutely sublime song, here is Dear God by Siobhan Wilson (who will henceforth be performing under the name Ella the Bird), our first single from the Split:

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3rd Song, by Toad Split 12″, with David Thomas Broughton, Jonnie Common, Siobhan Wilson & Sparrow and the Workshop

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This is the first song from our third Split 12” – Dear God by Siobhan Wilson. Pre-order the album on clear yellow vinyl here.

The third in our Split 12” series seemed set to be rather different to the first couple.

I was talking to Gordon from the Insider Festival in the Bailie in Edinburgh and he talked about collaborating on a vinyl release. Recording a Split 12” up at Inshriach House, on whose grounds the festival is held, seemed like the obvious option, but it also raised some questions.

Our house is such a strong part of the identity of these Split 12”s that I wasn’t sure what moving elsewhere would do the visual identity of the record, but more importantly, we are used to recording there. We know how to make the room sound good, and it’s our house, so the bands tend to be relaxed and therefore they usually play well too.

Still, we found four bands on the bill we really wanted to record with, and arranged to record David and Siobhan on the Friday and then Jonnie and Sparrow on the Saturday, so we figured we’d just head up there, adjust to whatever we found and try and make it work.

What we didn’t expect to find, however, was somewhere so similar to our living room in Edinburgh that it was basically like a home from home: a Georgian living room, full of old carpets and furniture, a large fireplace, with three full-height windows on one side and a door in the middle of the opposite wall. It was basically identical to the room we record in back home.

Nevertheless the process wasn’t without its problems. The festival was buzzing around us as we worked, and the bands’ live schedules put a bit more pressure on getting things done within a certain timeframe, and we had more nerves and more false starts than we’ve had before, as well as more songs retroactively rescinded by the artists as they weren’t happy with the takes, so this has meant a rather tougher post-production process than any of the other Split 12”s.

The album we’ve ended up making, however, is one of which I am really proud, as well as a lovely record of the Insider Festival itself. I love small festivals, as opposed to the trampled wastelands of the bigger ones, and this is one I’d been trying to get to for a few years now, so never mind recording, I was happy just to be able to go.

The setting was spectacular, and Nic, Rory, Neil and I slept on the floor of the room in which we were recording, meaning we woke to beautiful Highland scenery and really good coffee every day. Everyone who was based in Inshriach House was so incredibly friendly and so positive about the idea of making a record that we felt at home pretty much immediately, and being up in the Highlands away from normal working chores made it a surprisingly peaceful way to work.

And the unique working environment is probably why this album has worked out so nicely. I think it’s an unusual, but fantastic addition to our Split 12″ collection.

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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.

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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)

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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!

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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.