Song, by Toad

Posts tagged mike macfarlane

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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.

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Free Toadery at LeithLate Tonight

LeithLate13 logo Leith is the place I moved when I first came to Edinburgh in 2005, so it’s always been my favourite part of the city. I love where we are now of course, but it’s a bit posh, and I prefer a place to be a bit scruffier and rough round the edges. Leith is a brilliant combination of the two, in my opinion, and I still kinda wish we lived down there, even though I don’t really want to leave our current house. Well, not after what we’ve just had to spend repairing the roof, that’s for fucking sure.

That’s a brief explanation of the reason I pretty much stamped my foot and insisted that the LeithLate people allowed me to put on a wee Song, by Toad event at the Festival this year. I have no shame, you know this. Anyhow, the important thing is that they said yes, and that we are now presenting a three-hour showcase of the finest Song, by Toad-approved music in Edinburgh at Boda Bar this evening. It would be nice to see you there, should you get the chance.

Free Song, by Toad Showcase – Boda, Leith, 6-9pm tonight

6:00 – 6:20 Mike MacFarlane
6:40 – 7:00 Lee Patterson
7:20 – 7:40 The Last Battle
8:00 – 8:20 Kid Canaveral
8:40 – 9:00 Meursault
9:15 – 9:35 Wounded Knee

And check out this awesome flyer of everything else which is happening at LeithLate tonight (click to enlarge):

LL13_flyerback_web

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Live in Edinburgh This Week – 23rd January 2012

 Is it just me or is the gig calendar around these parts taking ages to shudder back into life after Christmas?  I know there have been good shows here and there, but most weeks I find myself looking at a list of one, rather than the more plentiful goodness we can usually count upon in Edinburgh.

Ah well, Mrs. Toad’s two new cats are capering about the house like loons, so I suppose they’ll keep me entertained in the absence of significant musicfun.

What’s fucking happening in Edinburgh anyway? Neither the Liquid Room nor Cabaret Voltaire seem to be doing any significant booking anymore, are we just not considered to be worth visiting for a band who can attract a crowd above about two hundred people?  I mean, the smaller venues do a good job of bringing really under the radar bands here, but is no-one interested in booking anyone that people have actually heard of?

I love the Ides of Toad gigs, but we’re operating in venues with a capacity of a hundred or so – who the fuck is bringing the bands to the city who can pull a few hundred people to a venue?  No-one, it seems, although please do correct me if I’m wrong. Even DF and PCL seem to have decided there ain’t much point in bringing bands that they’ll happily put on in Glasgow through to Edinburgh.

Presumably we just don’t go, so as far as the bigger promoters are concerned there’s just no financial point in putting on bands here, and so to a degree we get what we deserve.  It’s a shame though.  Even when I first turned up here I’d regularly go to 200-500 attendance shows at the Liquid Room or Cab Vol.

Thursday 26th Jan: United Fruit, PAWS & Vasquez at the Electric Circus.

This is going to be good and loud isn’t it. PAWS are just back from recording their debut album down in shiny, shiny London so I reckon they’ll be in a fair mood to blow off some steam.  United Fruit are a band I tried to get through to Edinburgh in August actually, until it turned out they couldn’t make it, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing them too, as well as a local band Vasquez, about whom I know shamefully little.

PAWS – Bloodline (Toad Session)

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Friday 27th Jan: Live Lounge, with Mike MacFarlane, HP Neilson, Jay Bharaj & Mike Kearney at the Electric Circus.

In the absence of more than a single relatively big ticket show in town this week, why not swing by the Circus on Friday for a bit of an Antihoot reunion, in the form of the humour of Jay Bharaj, the rather biting self-mockery of Mike MacFarlane and the smooth MCing and popsmithery of HP Neilson.

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Friday is Going to Tell Fresh Air About its Mum

 Yep, it’s time to lie back on the shrink’s couch and ‘tell me about your childhood’.  Well.  Sort of.  Actually, my mum just happens to be in town, so I reckon that on Fresh Air Radio this week I might just play all sorts of mum songs, just for shits and giggles.

This came about because of the following comment by my brother on the thread about music formats this week:

“I need to at some point clarify Mum’s music taste for your readers because the poor woman just constantly gets dismissed as a ‘pop fan’.  

The poor woman has a massive collection of jazz, blues; a truly encyclopaedic Opera and symphonic collection and yet, one Lighthouse Family album and the poor woman’s whole musical taste just goes whooosh out the window while Dad is sanctified while you merrily ignore his David Grey albums.  Albums with an emphasis on the plural!”

Now, as you might well know by now, I am a philistine, so mum’s classical music and whatnot means absolutely bollocks-all to me.  However, I think it needs to be pointed out that I most certainly do not ‘dismiss’ my mum as a pop fan.  I fucking love the pop stuff she used to play around the house when we were growing up, and if anything it was my mum’s stuff which first properly got me into music in the first place.

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

So for all I do indeed call her a pop fan, which she most certainly is, I do not at all mean that to be a dismissal.  As you will find out on Fresh Air today, when I will be playing all sorts of shite from my mum’s record collection.  And of course, seeing as I left home in 1993, it will be enormously 80s-tastic!

And now, while we’re at it, for the Friday Fives. Honestly, I doubt I can do much better with these questions than I’ll do with the music I’m going to play this afternoon, but Mrs. Toad and I were talking about doing a Saxcast this weekend, so I thought I might ask for some help.

1. Which instrument would you like to see get the saxophone Total Taboo treatment?
2. Best super cheesy 80s sax tune.
3. Acceptable use of sax.
4. Awesome Great Big Eighties Pop Song!
5. Most eighties of all eighties movies.

Song, by Toad’s Friday Fives radio tracklisting for today:
1. David Bowie – China Girl
2. Meat Loaf – Dead Ringer for Love
3. Bow Wow Wow – Aphrodisiac
4. Sparrow & the Workshop – Devil Song (Live)
5. Erasure – Sometimes
6. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark
7. Withered Hand – Cornflake (Fresh Air Session)
8. Mike MacFarlane – Waltz (Fresh Air Session)
9. Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
10. Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
11. The Magnets – Ever Fallen in Love (Buzzcocks cover)
12. ABC – Poison Arrow
13. Meursault – Lament for a Teenage Millionaire (Fresh Air Session)

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Live in Edinburgh This Week – 21st November 2011

Well one thing’s for sure, live in Edinburgh this week will very much not be me.  I have a rather nasty flu/tonsillitis throat infection thingy (I’m not a doctor so I am not sure which, but you know the kind of thing I mean) and it means that swallowing is extraordinarily painful, even if it is gin.

I am not sure that soaking the paracetamol in alcohol particularly aids in its efficacy either, but as I said, I am not a doctor.

We, of course, have our next Ides of Toad gig on Sunday, when the awesome Withered Hand, Samantha Crain and Mike MacFarlane will be at Henry’s.  I should also point out that I am selling tickets to the Song, by Toad Christmas Party for a mere £8 at the moment, but that price will disappear sometime this afternoon, so if you want the cheap tickets better get ‘em now, otherwise it will cost you the (still extremely good value for money) sum of £10. Go here to get yourself sorted out for the finest carnival of Christmas piss-artistry to be had in Edinburgh.

However, until then, here is some stuff to keep you entertained in Edinburgh this week:

[Edit: fuck fuck fuck, I forgot that Alex Cornish has a full band plus strings show at Cabaret Voltaire on Thursday 24th.]

Monday 21st November 2011: Rozi Plain, Jamie Harrison & This is the Kit at the Electric Circus.

I am not sure if I am even going to end up getting this posted in time for you to scoot down to the Electric Circus and catch this, but if a Fence Records/Red Deer Club one-two isn’t enough enticement then umm… well, you deserve the X-Factor or whatever it is you end up doing instead.

Rozi Plain – The Lang Toun (James Yorkston Cover)

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Thursday 24th November 2011: Django Django, The Marvels & Snide Rhythms at Sneaky Pete’s.

Django Django were absolutely all over the radio about a year and a half ago, and they’ve been quietly recording their debut album ever since.  Judging from the songs we’ve heard so far, it should be very good indeed.  They are a little like Jonnie Common in the sense that the music they make may be rather experimental in terms of its constituent components, but the end result is pure pop (although I’d be tempted to say that the similarity ends there). This stuff even gets me wanting to dance.  Yes, you read that right, even me.

Django Django – Waveforms

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Saturday 26th November 2011: Lach’s Fort comes to Le Monde.

It’s a very, very odd place to do it, but when you’re looking to put on an event which is a little different to what a place is used to, then picking a surprising venue could just end up working in its favour.  Lach is bringing his New York night to Edinburgh, with film, esoteric DJing and live performances from Seafieldroad, Lee Patterson, Emily Scott, head BMX Bandit Duglas T. Stewart, comedian Chloe Phillip and more.

Sunday 27th November 2011: Withered Hand, Samantha Crain & Mike MacFarlane play the Ides of Toad at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

I am really looking forward to this.  Apart from the excellence, the humour and the pathos of Withered Hand, I am really looking to Sam Crain’s first Edinburgh gig.  I first me her at Pickathon in Portland in something like 2008, and we’ve pretty much had this gig in mind ever since.  He voice is amazing, and her songs are absolutely gorgeous.  Mike MacFarlane is a relative newcomer, but having seen him for the first time at the Antihoot this Summer I am really interested to see more.

Withered Hand – Providence

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Samantha Crain – We Are the Same

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Mike MacFarlane – Waltz

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Sunday 27th November 2011: Loch Lomond, The Last of Barrett’s Privateers & Pronto Mama at Sneaky Pete’s.

Loch Lomond’s new album is out now on Chemikal Underground, and having played here a couple of times, they are back with something approaching a full band (although like many bands I know and love, establishing what, exactly, their standard, full lineup is isn’t entirely straightforward). They’ll be joined by impressive Edinburgh folkies The Last of Barrett’s Privateers and Pronto Mama, about whom I have to confess to knowing more or less nothing, sorry.

Loch Lomond – Elephants & Little Girls (Toad Session)

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Toadcast #200 – The Cusscast

 So, the 200th podcast.  I remember a couple of years ago when the 100th ticked past, it happened to be a Toad Session, and as those are pre-recorded with little idea when they’ll fit into the sequence of Toadcasts I never really marked the milestone in any sort of a way.

This time around I was very much conscious of it, but still couldn’t really think of a way to make it interesting and, on Thursday night, with no real plan, I just sat down to have a go at editing a compilation consisting of at least one swear word from each podcast.  It took fucking hours, and in fact had to be finished over a combination of Saturday and Sunday evening, which is the reason the podcast is so late this week.

For some reason though, it seems kind of fitting, because in amongst the swearing there are some bits and pieces which remind me of events now quite a surprisingly long way in the past.  We have the first Toad Session, the first time Mrs. Toad joined me on a podcast, various long-forgotten birthdays, the passing of the legendary Floyd and all sorts of other things.  The kind of things, in short, which make this whole load of bollocks a lot more personal than just a music blog and a record label.

Direct download: Toadcast #200 – The Cusscast

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01. Song, by Toad Swearing Omnibus #1 (00.20)
02. The Shaky Hands – Whales Sing (11.27)
03. Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster (18.11)
04. Song, by Toad Swearing Omnibus #2 (20.54)
05. The 63 Crayons – Spoils for Survivors (25.09)
06. Broken Records – Out On the Water (Toad Session) (35.18)
07. Meursault – The Dirt & the Roots (42.47)
08. Song, by Toad Swearing Omnibus #3 (46.20)
09. Dusty Springfield – What Good is I Love You? (51.53)
10. Thelonius Monster & Tom Waits – Adios Lounge (60.12)
11. Mike MacFarlane – Done For (70.01)
12. Song, by Toad Swearing Omnibus #4 (72.43)

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Some Ides of Toad Updates

I keep fretting about over-pimping my commercial enterprises on this blog, but I really should just stop worrying.  Putting on live shows is not much more than an extension of me insisting on telling you what sort of music to listen to, so really there’s not much difference between haranguing you about your buying habits and haranguing you about what you do in your free time really, is there.

So, after a fantastic gig with The Last Battle, Dad Rocks! and Shoes and Socks Off, and a brilliant day in Anstruther with Hott Toadzzz! it’s probably time to give you a wee nudge about our last five gigs of 2011.  Yes, you heard that right, five more still to come before that Post Alcoholic Stress Disorder sleep prescription taken by all Scots on the 1st and 2nd of January every year.

For those of you who want tickets in advance, which would be nice, you can get them at Avalanche Records on the Grassmarket or online from Brown Paper Tickets.

Saturday 19th November 2011: Gummy Stumps, Weird Era & Battery Face at the Wee Red Bar.

This will be a noisy one, and it also just happens to be my birthday so I warn you, I will be getting fucking shitfaced.  Weird Era are travelling up from Manchester, and will be joined by Gummy Stumps, who I thought were amazing at Retreat! this year, and Battery Face, who I was introduced to by Alastair from the excellent Deathpodal.

Weird Era – Summer Heights

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Sunday 27th November 2011: Withered Hand (solo), Samantha Crain & Mike MacFarlane at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Samantha Crain was originally introduced to me by Campfires and Battlefields, and I interviewed her at Pickathon back in 2008, back when I was embarrassingly new to interviewing. Since then she’s continued to release amazing stuff, and is finally able to make it to Edinburgh for a gig.  She’ll be joined by local favourite Withered Hand, and the fella who caught my, umm, ear the most at this year’s Antihoot – Mike MacFarlane.

Samantha Crain – We Are the Same

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Mike MacFarlane – Waltz

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Saturday 10th December 2011: Song, by Toad Records Christmas Party at the St. Stephens Centre.

I don’t have to tell you that this will just be a big, warm and fuzzy celebration of another year of sweary fun and generally releasing commercially inviable and eye-wateringly amazing records. Take that, music! Oh, and it will be both BYOB and child friendly, although I suspect the latter part will become progressively less true as the night goes on and I get more and more plastered.

Sunday 18th December 2011: The Black Tambourines, Joanna Gruesome & Dolfinz at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

This will be loud and messy and awesome. Three young bands who make a racket and write bloody great pop songs. It’s on a Sunday, I know, but let’s face absolutely no-one is going to be doing any serious work that week are they?

The Black Tambourines – A Lot of Friends

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Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush

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Dolfinz – Coral Reefer

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Saturday 31st December 2011: Song, by Toad New Year’s House Gig at umm… our house.

We don’t have tickets available for this yet, and the lineup is unconfirmed, but well, I just thought I’d let you know that it would be happening. We’ll get two sets of live music, wander into Inverleith Park with some champagne to watch the fireworks, and then get drunk and play loud music until the last person gives in.

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