Song, by Toad

Posts tagged new fabian society


New Fabian Society

nfs Throughout August I shall mainly be blogging about bands we’ll be putting on at the Pale Imitation Festival.

The festival itself is pretty much a live extension of the blog, I suppose, with me basically just booking a bunch of bands I myself most want to see, and that’s basically what I do here with writing, really. Although with the Pale Imitation stuff I do make a specific effort to keep it local.

Anyhow, on Thursday we have our second gig of the festival, with The Leg, Now Wakes the Sea and New Fabian Society. Tickets can be bought here, and *cough* you should come.

The New Fabian Society released a handful of EPs up to about the middle of last year, but have been a little quiet since. In that scenario the best bet is usually that they’re working on their debut album, but you never know, they could just be being lazy. In any case, I’m really looking forward to seeing how they’ve progressed in the interim.

For a two-piece they make an absolutely furious fucking racket, these guys. The first time we put them on in Edinburgh they sounded not unlike a denser, more industrial version of Interpol actually. You know, the Interpol which Interpol could have become after Turn on the Bright Lights but didn’t.

This stuff is so much less stylised, though, and so much more intense, it has that proper ‘clean out your brain and singe your eyebrows’ quality to it, particularly live. They’ll be opening the show on Thursday and I think it will get people’s heads in the game nice and early – no talking at the bar, motherfuckers, unless you think you can talk over this!


New Fabian Society and Vladimir to join Brown Brogues on Saturday at Henry’s


I was going to title this thread “Electric Company Records come to Edinburgh” but I have half an inkling that search engines prefer headlines to body text so I succumbed to the scourge of 21st Century journalism and chose searchability over verbal flow, and for that I apologise. Sincerely.

But for all the headline may be clunky, it is at least factually accurate. You know by now that the awesome Brown Brogues are playing in Edinburgh on Saturday, at Henry’s Cellar Bar. Well I can now announce (I should say EXCLUSIVELY ANNOUNCE shouldn’t I, the internet likes exclusive stuff) that they will be joined on the bill by long-time Toad favourites the New Fabian Society, and Vladimir, from Dundee.

Both are signed to Electric Company Records in Glasgow, although signed might be a slight overstatement given how we do things at the DIY end of the record industry foodchain. Electric Company are relatively new, but they’re already working with an awful lot of noisy, shoegazey bands, often with just a hint of psychedelia, and are probably my favourite new label to emerge in recent years. There’s a shitload of stuff on their Bandcamp page to explore if you would like a poke around before Saturday’s gig, and that can be found here.


Toadcast #262 – The Queuecast

posttag The Queuecast is the best I could come up with in an attempt to amalgamate the anticipation of heading off to SXSW on the weekend, with the inevitable queueing to get into stuff once there.

Actually, that’s not quite true. There’s so much going on at places like SXSW that really, if the thing you want to see has an annoying queue (and for me they are never anything other than annoying) outside it, then you can always walk five minutes down the road, walk straight in untroubled, and see something else equally brilliant instead.

Mrs. Toad is out there already, presumably having cocktails with young Ian who works at the label with me. In fact those two total fuckers are probably three or four margaritas down already, as you read this. Bastards. Anyhow, I get out on Saturday afternoon, and the gin will be flowing within moments, I promise you.

The upside of this SXSW fun, which will no doubt irritate the shit out of people back home, is that Toad Hall once again becomes a recording studio while we are away.  Both Rob St. John and Meursault will be making inroads into their next releases over the next fortnight, so hopefully the thought of that will calm your jealous rage at all the fun we are having in Texas.

Toadcast #262 – The Queuecast by Song, By Toad on Mixcloud

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01. Mike Higbee – Secret Life (00.28)
02. Shift-Static – Estrella (10.03)
03. Vandaveer – Pretty Polly (15.51)
04. Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards – Sheets (19.32)
05. Brown Brogues – Anyone But You (25.07)
06. Kurt Vile – Wakin’ on a Pretty Day (32.02)
07. Breathe Out – Dead Friends (45.30)
08. Playlounge – Elephant (48.50)
09. Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – Pentecostal (53.46)
10. New Fabian Society – Homily (1.00.22)


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 25th June 2012

 Well the craziness may not be gone entirely, what with Jesus H. Foxx and Meursault album launches fast approaching, but the charging about has at least subsided for a little.  I am sitting peacefully at my desk with a cat asleep at one end and anticipating a relatively peaceful fortnight of actually being able to sit here and do my job properly for a bit.

It really has come to something when a bit of peaceful desk-time is craved.  My former colleagues in (ex)Proper Job would be utterly ashamed of me. “The terrorists hate our freedom?  I hate our freedom – is that all we’ve done with it?”

Anyhow, despite the relative peace of this week, there are still plenty of things to keep you entertained.  Many of which I have rather foolishly found myself in the position of being responsible for.

[EDIT: I managed to miss that Kid Canaveral and Randolph’s Leap are playing at the Wee Red Bar this Saturday as well. Whoops.]

Thursday 28th June: LeithLate, at various venues in and around Leith.

This is a tour de bloody force of grass-roots event organisation, incorporating music, film, art, spoken word and all sorts, taking place in over a dozen venues.  The full list is here, and I must say I am hugely impressed with the sheer scale of this, as well as the incredibly high quality and variety of events.

Friday 29th June: Jesus H. Foxx album launch, with Battery Face & Nick Nixon at Henderson’s at St. John’s.

You know that bloody great big church at the West end of Princes Street?  The one on the corner with Lothian Road?  Yes, that’s the one.  Henderson’s is in the vaults underneath and I believe the best way to get there is to go down the stairs behind the church from Lothian Road. Anyhow, now we all know where we’re going, this Friday marks the long-awaited launch night for the splendid debut album from Jesus H. Foxx. It’s a wonderful album of multi-layered guitar pop, crafted with care and of course available to purchase for a highly reasonable price.  Tickets for the gig are pretty limited and can be bought here, unless you want to chance it on the night.

Saturday 30th June: Milk Maid, New Fabian Society & OP play the Ides of Toad at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Milk Maid return to Edinburgh, with their second album pretty much finished. I am very much looking forward to seeing them again. They are joined on the bill by hypnotic, shoegazey newcomers The New Fabian Society, and OP who are a mysterious concoction of members of North American War and The John Knox Sex Club. And if you would like an advance listen to the new Milk Maid album, as well as a track-by-track run-down, you can find it here.

Milk Maid – Stir So Slow (Toad Session) from Song, by Toad on Vimeo.


Toadcast #231 – The Applecast

 Despite this being called the Applecast (imaginative, don’t you think?) and being recorded in New York, it has preciously little to do with anything American.  We just happen to be here at the moment.

As soon as I record and publish this I will be heading out to watch England’s inevitable hard-luck story as we go out of the Euros to Italy in the quarter finals, as seems to be traditional with England. And then I get on a ferry to the Governor’s Ball, which is a music festival on Randall’s Island, which looks like it will be rather fun.

Mrs. Toad might actually be able to get a three-month secondment out here, which might be fun.  We’d have to find some way of making sure the cats were fed in our absence, and that the house was looked after in general, but given I can basically work from a laptop pretty much anywhere, it seems like it would be a really rather fun thing to do, don’t you reckon? The Song, by Toad Records New York office!

Direct download: Toadcast #231 – The Applecast

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01. Milk Maid – Stir So Slow (Toad Session) (00.16)
02. New Fabian Society – Necropolis (06.02)
03. Jesus H. Foxx – Permanent Defeat (13.56)
04. Yola Fatoush – Celine (20.25)
05. Min Diesel – A Bitter Pop Song (23.29)
06. Rick Redbeard – Now We’re Dancing (31.49)
07. I Am Oak – Palpable (40.15)
08. Meursault – Lament For a Teenage Millionaire (43.25)
09. Eels on Heels – Kaleidoscope (51.09)
10. Barna Howard – Timber, Nails and Tears (56.46)


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 18th June 2012

 Once again I find myself listing a pile of gigs I can’t possibly attend myself.

And, frustratingly, there is a shitload of interesting stuff on this week.  Specifically, the Gerry Loves split 7″ launch on Thursday and the Tinderbox Orchestra stuff at the Queen’s Hall on the weekend look bloody amazing.

I’ll still be charging about like a fanny though, and unable to get to any of this.  Annoyingly. Ah well, you’ll have a good week at least!

There is also a slightly confusing one, in that on the Sneaky Pete’s website it simply has the words Forest Fire on the listings for Wednesday 20th, no explanation, no links, nothing.  So it might mean that this band are playing, and it might not, I don’t know. [Edit: Apparently it’s this lot, from Aberdeen.]

Tuesday 19th June: Rozi Plain, This is the Kit, Candythief & Plum at the Voodoo Rooms.

This gig runs the gamut from folk to electronic pop, to guitar pop and will take place in the very fine, if rather pricey atmosphere of Edinburgh’s swankiest gig venue.

Rozi Plain – The Lang Toun

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Thursday 21st June: Adam Stafford, Rick Redbeard & Wounded Knee at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Three talented mavericks, one lineup, and another fine split 7″ release from Gerry Loves Records.  You can never really tell what Wounded Knee is going to produce – abstract loop collages or simple traditional music.  Adam will presumably be playing his layered pop songs with little more help than a guitar and a loop pedal, and Rick Redbeard’s stuff is simple acoustic pop.  This of all gigs this week I am particularly pissed off about missing.  But there you go, you can’t have it all.

Friday 22nd June: The Last Battle single launch with William Henry Miller, Star Wheel Press & Where We Lay Our Heads at Pilrig St. Paul’s Church.

The Last Battle’s sound has been evolving rather elusively over the last year or so.  They went from relatively hard-strumming folk pop, to a denser sound which bordered on the epic, to the new single, which is much more delicate and wistful than I was expecting.  I look forward to hearing the new album.

Saturday 23rd June: Tinderbox Orchestra, Broken Records, North Atlantic Oscillation and G-Code at the Queen’s Hall.

The press release says this: “The bands will each be performing their own music and collaborating with Tinderbox’s 50 piece orchestra & new 30 piece choir!! Plus live visuals and other arts from Hidden Door.” And I doubt I can add much more. It looks intriguing, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you much of what to expect, and once again I find myself gnashing my teeth at my inability to attend.

Saturday 23rd June: The Bad Books, Loch Awe, The Spook School & the New Fabian Society at the Wee Red Bar.

The third Tidal Wave of Indifference gig will be looking to emulate the sold-out success of the previous two, and the lineup this time around is a fine collection of new Scottish independent bands.  New Fabian Society are playing our Milk Maid gig on the 30th as well, so if you can’t get to see them this time, then you’ll get another chance soon enough.


The Definitive List of Upcoming Ides of Toad

As this evening brings us yet another excellent Ides of Toad lineup at Henry’s (it’s starting pretty much now – run, you might make it!) I thought I should probably write out another one of those lists of upcoming stuff, just so it lodges in the back of your mind now, and then you can all flood down in your droves on the night, filling the bands with joy and making me an unspeakably rich man in the process.

Well, it’d be nice if at least a few of you came anyway.  This is where I feel I should insert one of those internet Safety Winks, just so you know I’m joking —> 😉

Anyhow, we now have pretty much a gig every other week booked between now and the blundering behemoth of the Edinburgh Festival, which I fully intend to boycott in its entirety this year.  Honestly, whilst a couple of our gigs last year went pretty well, I’m not sure I can be fucked with the stress this time around.  Still, last year’s posters were pretty cool.

All tickets can be purchased either online here, or from Avalanche Records on the Grassmarket.

Tuesday 22nd May
Henry’s Cellar Bar
Bronto Skylift, Lady North & Rollor

This will be pretty full-on, I think, with Rollor returning to Edinburgh to take on the combined frantic mentalism of Lady North and the Highlands’ most fearsome band, Bronto Skylift.

Friday 15th June
Venue TBC
PAWS, Dolfinz, Waiters & Sex Hands

For the launch of the split 12″ we are releasing with the above four bands, we are organising a mini tour of the UK (London, Manchester & Aberdeen as well) and getting all four bands to play.  It will be raucous and guitary and fucking ace.  And you can buy gorgeous clear turquoise vinyl at the gigs too.

Saturday 30th June
Henry’s Cellar Bar
Milk Maid, New Fabian Society & OP

Milk Maid return to Edinburgh, with their second album pretty much finished.  I am very much looking forward to seeing them again. They are joined on the bill by hypnotic, shoegazey newcomers The New Fabian Society, and OP who are a mysterious concoction of members of North American War and The John Knox Sex Club.

Saturday 7th July
The Queen’s Hall (tickets for this are from their website)
Meursault Something For the Weakened album launch, with Rob St. John & Jill O’Sullivan and Jenny Reeve

Meursault’s third album Something for the Weakened is now finished and ready to be prodded out into the world. Having worked with a stable six-piece for the last two years this is much more of a band record than previous albums. Support will come from label-mate and musical collaborator Rob St. John and long-time pal Jill O’Sullivan from Sparrow and the Workshop, who will be performing with Jenny Reeve.

Wednesday 18th July
Henry’s Cellar Bar
Dolfinz & Fantasy Rainbow

Dolfinz are on the verge of becoming the Ides of Toad’s house band, and they’re back in July, bringing another two of the UK’s finest garage bands with them.  It will be loud and messy and awesome, as per usual.

Friday 27th July
Henry’s Cellar Bar
Jo Schornikow (The Shivers) & Scott Rudd

Jo Schornikow from The Shivers, who just released More on Fife’s Fence Records, will be touring her solo material, along with the beautiful acoustic songwriting of New York’s Scott Rudd.





Toadcast #216 – The Riledcast

I honestly thought I was done with politics.  Watching us commit genocide in Iraq despite the protests across the entire country, and then watching the Lib Dems spinelessly capitulate to the rapacious, craven Tory lizards once they got their little sniff of power just sickened me.

Right, I thought, I am done with this shit, it is just a gigantic waste of everyone’s time.

However, the Tories haven’t just been shit, they’ve been a repellent disgrace, governing with a sort of vindictive, cackling glee generally reserved for people in plastic armour in the Star Wars movies.  Between that and the SNP deciding that forcing all minor cultural events to require a financially prohibitive and bureaucratically obstructive license, I find my simmering rage for politics to be reinvigorated.  There’s no fucking point voting whatsoever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get stuck the fuck into these cunts.

Direct download: Toadcast #216 – The Riledcast

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01. Aidan John Moffat – Dear Donald (00.25)
02. Speck & the Specktones – Fruitcakes (01.37)
03. Galaxie 500 – Tugboat (09.57)
04. Big Deal – Chair (14.02)
05. Youthfall – Goodbye Horses (Q Lazzarus Cover) (25.09)
06. Barna Howard – Horizons Fade (32.00)
07. New Fabian Society – Lost in Berlin (49.21)
08. Fry & Laurie – Police Privatisation (55.32)
09. Hookworms – Medicine Cabinet (58.33)
10. Barton Carroll – Those Days Are Gone, and My Heart is Breaking (71.20)
11. Beat Happening – Indian Summer (79.36)
12. Lana Del Duck (82.37)


The New Fabian Society – Exhibition of Love

 I don’t tend to write reviews of EPs all that much, but this post doubles as an introduction to a really good new Scottish band, so I figured why the fuck not.

I think I’ve heard the name mentioned before, but apart from that I knew not a thing about the New Fabian Society until they got in touch asking if I would like to hear their new EP.  They’ve made it available to listen to on Bandcamp, but I have to confess I am not entirely sure how to buy it just yet.  Which is a shame, because it is very much worth it.

The music is chimey, echoey and dark – so epic in fact that the band kindly included two rather shorter radio edits of a couple of songs on the Bandcamp page, in the probably sensible assumption that for all six and seven minute songs might be great to listen to, they aren’t likely to find themselves being spun on drivetime by DJs accustomed to straightforward three minute pop songs.

These tracks, if they remind of a recent band, probably call to mind Leeds’ brilliant Hookworms, if I was to pull any name out of the hat in particular, although the fantastic opening song Lost in Berlin has more than a little of Interpol to it as well. You get the message though: slow but forceful guitar songs, full of foreboding, which build and build to a grand crescendo and leave the listener somewhat exhausted, but satisfied nevertheless. The surprisingly brief and far more frenetic closer Devious Minds is an exception though, its extra pace seemingly causing it to blow itself out a little sooner, but a sort of aggressive, barely suppressed grandiosity is still one of the defining characteristics of this music.

It’s the kind of stuff which I secretly suspect might be absolutely blinding live, although I’ve never seen them perform, so that’s no more than speculation.  But if they can pull off that kind of thunderous, ear-crushing euphoria this kind of music can create when played live then it really should be something to behold.

There’s not much you can tell, generally, about a band with only three songs to their name, beyond the tantalising sense of promise, but these don’t sound like rookie recordings, they sound like a band who are pretty well-formed considering this is their first release.

Although really, I know those three minute radio edits are really sensible, but if people like this music they should like it for all of its epic, self-indulgent seven minutes.  Balls to radio edits!