Song, by Toad

Posts tagged north american war


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 8th April 2013

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Yep, the post-Gnomegame hangover has just about subsided, I have caught up with most of the screamingly urgent emails in my inbox, and I am now sitting here wondering when Mrs. Toad will return so I can accept the glorious privilege of making her her dinner. Super.

Anyhow, my slow recovery means that unless you’re very, very quick on your feet you are likely to miss Beth Orton and Dan Michaelson playing at the Liquid Rooms tonight, but playing they are and I am a fan of the new Dan Michaelson stuff, so it’s worth going if you’re kicking your heels.

We also have another BAD FUN gig this week, with North American War, Furrow and Deathcats at Henry’s Cellar Bar on Sunday. This will be a pretty guitary one, with Deathcats being more garagey, Furrow more shoegazey and North American War more choppy and punchy. There’s a descriptive wee sentence for you, how can you not want to come along after that little gem.

Apart from these two, the one event looming largest over the Edinburgh gig calendar this week would be Wide Days – the two-day industry conference thingy with seminars and keynote speeches and so on, culminating in a special presentation by the Spotify founders, which could be, erm, interesting.  There are also showcase gigs in the evenings – full lineups here – and of everyone playing the two lineups I would most recommend would be the pretty much diametrically opposed Siobhan Wilson and Garden of Elks.


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 1st April 2013

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If I had bothered to write this before noon I suppose I could have announced some sort of secret gig by The National at Henry’s Cellar Bar or something like that, but apparently three in the afternoon is a bit late for April Fools, even half-hearted ones.

Aside from The National not playing, and indeed pretty much everyone not playing ever since every significant promoter in Scotland gave up on Edinburgh three years ago, there are, as always, a few lower key things going on this week which should be of interest to any right-thinking music lover.

Of course, we have the return of BAD FUN on Saturday at Henry’s Cellar Bar, where the shimmery dream pop of Magic Eye and eccentric guitar pop of Fur Hood will be complemented by what I think is the first Edinburgh appearance of Glasgow electronic pop newcomers Peter. All Toad tickets, including cheaper advance tickets to the Sparrow and the Workshop launch nights can found here.

In terms of non-Toad gigs there are a few more things going on this week as well.  On Thursday we have guitar pop, with the Machine Room, Blank Canvas and Fridgemaster at the Wee Red Bar, and on Friday a slightly more acoustic singer-songwritery vibe when Panda Su plays at the Electric Circus.

Oh, and while we’re at it we have another BAD FUN coming up the following week as well.

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Upcoming BAD FUN Excitement

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Well well, we had an awesome time at the Jonnie Common gig last night, and I am now on my way to SXSW for tequila and fun, and our bloody house is doubtless being turned into an apocalyptic mess of a recording studio by half the bloody bands on the label in our absence. Fuckers.

Anyhow, I’ve been unusually organised with booking Toad gigs this year, and we already have a full schedule of awesome stuff between now and the Festival, at which point I will go into hiding until September.  For now, however, we have a solid four months of excellent gigs ahead of us, including a couple of rather interesting album launches – for Sparrow and the Workshop at the Caves and Mono in May, as well as a launch night for the Split 12″ and Beer vs. Records on Record Store Day in April.

Advance tickets for everything can be purchased from here, and for the Sparrow ones in particular it would make sense, because they are £6 in advance and £8 on the door.

Saturday 6th April
Magic Eye, Fur Hood & Peter
Edinburgh’s finest dreamy pop band are on a joint tour with Fur Hood, one of Glasgow’s more eccentric and elusive guitar groups, and the Edinburgh leg will take place at BAD FUN in April.

Sunday 14th April
North American War, Furrow & Deathcats
Toad favourites North American War will be on tour with their pals, the slightly more shoegazey Shropshire band Furrow.  They are joined on the bill by Deathcats, a raucous Glasgow guitar pop band rather bravely making their first appearance in Edinburgh the day before their dissertations are due to be handed in.

Saturday 20th April – at Summerhall
Beer vs. Records Launch, with Magic Eye, Le Thug, Plastic Animals and Zed Penguin
This sees the launch of our slightly tongue-in-cheek project Beer vs. Records. Eight songs by the bands performing will be released on a gorgeous 12” vinyl, and eight more as a download on a 4-pack of Barney’s Beer. Both will be limited runs of 250, with a contest to see who sells out first. What do people really want, beer or records?

As the 20th is Record Store Day 2013, we will be letting people in for £2 cheaper if they have a receipt from a Scottish record shop for that day, and for half price if they have purchased our split 12” while they were there!

Wednesday 8th May – at Mono, Glasgow
Sparrow and the Workshop album launch, with Strike the Colours
Glasgow launch for Murderopolis.

Thursday 9th May – at The Caves
Sparrow and the Workshop album launch, with Magic Arm
Sparrow and the Workshop prepare to release their third album Muderopolis on Edinburgh’s Song, by Toad Records with a gig at The Caves, supported by electronic pop wizard Magic Eye, who are up from Manchester and just so happen to be launching their own album as well.  After the gig there will be drinking until late, with DJs drawn from amongst the bands on Song, by Toad Records.

Saturday 8th June
The Leg & Monoganon
This will be an eccentric evening, with Glasgow/Swedish newcomers Flo & Spicey joining the excellent Monoganon in Edinburgh, at a gig headlined by Song, by Toad Records’ The Leg, whose second album for the Edinburgh label, Oozing a Crepuscular Light, is due out this Autumn.

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Five for Friday: 8th February 2013

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Seeing as Mildred has been preventing me posting this any earlier by doing pretty much exactly what she is doing in that picture – i.e. sitting in my lap and DEMANDING attention – I figured I might as well start off with a cute cat picture.  This is the internet after all.

Anyhow, welcome to the Friday Fives, where I fire in links to five things which have caught my eye this week, and you either slag me off for being shallow, infantile and easily impressed or chip in with your own interesting stuff in the comments section.

1. BAD FUN at Henry’s tomorrow: 7pm, £5.

It’s a really exceptional lineup at Henry’s tomorrow.  The Black Tambourines were so good when they played here just before Christmas 2011 that we tried to sign them.  Their music is basically a very surfy, lo-fi guitar pop but it’s played with such reckless abandon that you can’t help but get carried away with it.  Their Toad Session is great too – that’s the main video above, and the whole thing can be found here.

North American War are another one of my favourite ‘Scottish bands no-one seems to have heard of’. It’s a shame really, because they are more accomplished and fiercer live than most bands we’ve seen at the Toad gigs.  These two will be joined by the excellent Honeyblood, who I’ve been trying to put on for ages, and who have exciting plans in the pipeline apparently, I’ve just not yet managed to weasel out of them what they are!

The gig is at 7pm, and you’ll pay a fiver on the door, which includes free entry to the club night afterwards, because Henry’s are that nice!

2. Scary Airports

Kai Tak airport, Kowloon: A plane approaching the airport

I am a bad flyer at the best of times, and this Guardian gallery of the world’s scariest airports is quite literally the stuff of my nightmares.  There are at least two or three of those airports I have had horrendous dreams about, without knowing that they genuinely existed somewhere in the world, including the one above, where there basically is no fucking airport!

3. Song of the Day: Shock Shock by Sparrow and the Workshop

Well it kinda had to be this one, didn’t it! As you’ve probably gathered by now, we are releasing a couple of singles by our good friends Sparrow and the Workshop in the run up to their third album, which will be out later this year.  I’ve wanted to work with these guys from the day they recorded one of the first ever Toad Sessions back in 2008, and after constant, undignified pleading and hanging around outside their flat all hours of the day and night, it seems they have come to their senses at last!

4. Awesome Coloured Vinyl


Purists hate coloured vinyl because apparently it doesn’t sound as good.  Personally, I don’t have a particularly cultured ear, and so I fucking love it.  It looks amazing! Come on, you joyless fuds and gaze upon the multicoloured swirls and sparkles!  The gallery linked above is from Official FM Vinyl, who make short runs of 50-100 records, which is something we might well look into doing next year if we can, so the fanatics can have vinyl while the rest of the world wants CDs.  And, as a bonus link, here is a bit of a rant against the vinyl revival, just as a couterbalance.

5. Hartley and Poole score for Hartlepool

Seriously, this is the ‘lighthearted chuckle at the end of the news’ section, but honestly it did happen.  Last week Peter Hartley and James Poole scored for Hartlepool as they beat Notts County 2-1.


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)


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 4th February 2013

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Well of course all anyone in Scotland could possibly be talking about this week would be this Saturday’s BAD FUN at Henry’s Cellar Bar (with an actual cocktail menu these days, would you fucking believe it) where we will host the fabulous Black Tambourines, the amazing North American War and the awesome Honeyblood.

We recorded a Toad Session with the Black Tambourines last time they were here, and it is bloody excellent.  If you fancy some videos, an interview and some free tunes, go here. And hopefully see you on Saturday.

Other than our own amazing lineup (cough cough) there will be another fine gig on Saturday night, with Edinburgh School for the Deaf and Battery Face joining last month’s BAD FUN headliners Plastic Animals at the Voodoo Rooms for a Strange Fish Records-themed Limbo.

And finally, in something which is not a gig but nevertheless entirely music-related, Sofi’s Bar down in Leith will be screening the LCD Soundsystem film Shut Up and Play the Hits on Thursday night.  Entry is £3, which will go towards Mtondia Orphan school in Kenya.  Plus, of course, they’re a bar so, y’know, they have beer and stuff.

And that, I think, is it.  Did I miss anything excellent?

[EDIT: Christ, I am a bellend.  I managed to survey the Electric Circus’s listings and miss that the Robin Guthrie Trio (that lad fae the Cocteau Twins) is playing on Thursday, along with Mark Gardener from Ride.  Apologies, I am a muppet.]


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 21st January 2013

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So, apart from complaining about the snow is there much going on this week? The answer, I think, is not all that much so I thought I might take the opportunity to plug our next BAD FUN gig at Henry’s.

There are, however, a couple of things going on in which you might be interested, so let’s get that dealt with first, shall we. Neu Reekie are hosting a rather interesting-looking Burns Night thing at Summerhall, but it’s sold out so umm… well, tough tits really, if you don’t have tickets yet.

Something you can actually attend though is the Sick Kids Foundation benefit gig at the Wee Red Bar on Saturday 26th. Playing will be Book Group (who you might know as the Bad Books), along with solo shows from the Last Battle and Meursault, so it should be a good ‘un.

There are also a couple of gigs on the horizon to keep an eye out for, as tickets may become an issue closer to the time; namely Richard Hawley at the Picturehouse in February and Meursault at the Liquid Rooms in April.

And finally, that BAD FUN gig I was promising to flog – well after the success of Saturday’s gig I am now doubly looking forward to this one. On Saturday 9th February The Black Tambourines will be returning to Edinburgh for the first time since we recorded their Toad Session a little over a year ago, and will be playing with North American War and Honeyblood, two absolutely awesome Glasgow bands. Hope to see you there.


Friday is Back on Fresh Air

I used to go on a lot more about my love for Tom Waits on this site.  In fact, I used to listen to Tom Waits a lot more than I have recently, if I’m being honest.  I’ve been so busy over the last couple of months that I’ve hardly had the time to sit down in the evening and put a record on, so I suppose I used to pretty much everything a lot more.

Anyhow, self-pitying rubbish aside, I will be back on Fresh Air Radio tonight 6-8pm, hopefully accompanied by Miss El Parks once more, although she will have to dash off to work a little early, leaving you with just me mumbling into the microphone and playing music you hate.  Sounds enticing, doesn’t it…

On air 6-8pm UK time – listen live here

However, in the meantime, seeing as this is Friday and seeing as we are presumably all a bunch of workshy skivers, why not fill in the answers to the five silly questions below and spend the rest of the afternoon talking shite on the internet with me before radio time.

I haven’t done radio in a while actually, and you know I am rather looking forward to it.

1. What band do you love the most and listen to the least.
2. What haven’t you done for ages that you rather miss.
3. Which defunct band do you miss the most?
4. Where will you be supping your first pints of Friday afternoon?
5. Song request for this or next week’s show, depending on timing/availability.

Tracklisting for the radio show will appear live below:

Gerry Loves Records
1. The Japanese War Effort – Our Land Could Be Your Life
2. Adam Stafford – Vanishing Tanks

Kingfisher Bluez
3. White Poppy – Mirage Man
4. Korean Gut – If You Want

Fence Records
5. The Pictish Trail – I Don’t Know Where to Begin
6. The Shivers – Irrational Love
7. eagleowl – Into the Fold

8. North American War – Geraniums on a Spit

Song, by Toad
9. Zed Penguin – Heathens
10. Dolfinz – Kitsch Craft

Fatcat Records
11. PAWS – Bloodline
12. Odonis Odonis – Hollandaze
13. Psychedelic Horseshit – Laced

14. The Hundredth Anniversary – Caroline

15. Daily Life – Alabaster
Life Dunk International
16. Water World – I Might Not No
Comfortable on a Tightrope
17. Apostille – The Journal
18. Toucans – Ice Cold
19  Golden Grrrls – Beige Beauty


Toadcast #229 – The Republicast

 It’s Jubi-fucking-lee weekend, so whilst we are all engaging in various levels of plotting against the Royal Family, we’re probably also resentfully grateful for a couple of days off.  Although given we’ve had this fucking pantomime and that grotesque carnival of obsequiousness and vulgarity of a Royal Wedding, surely we wouldn’t have to be pillaging old people’s pensions if we’d just made the fuckers pay for it all themselves, and kept the people’s money in the people’s coffers.

Mind you, given that their hands are permanently in the fucking public purse anyway, the idea of ‘their money’ and ‘our money’ is a little blurred.  Burn the fucking lot of them I say.  Burn them alive and do it in public.

Why?  Because having done away with inherited rule, we now have another stratum of unelected persons running countries, in the form of the pornographically super-rich.  Burning the Royal Family alive might just serve as a warning to the bankers that we like the people who run the country to actually be fucking accountable, thank you very much.

Direct download: Toadcast #229 – The Republicast

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01. Chumbawamba – Farewell to the Crown (00.)
02. Playlounge – Conor, Oh Burst! (07.41)
03. Joanna Gruesome – Tugboat (Galaxie 500 cover) (Toad Session) (09.25)
04. Piano Magic – The Slightest of Threads (16.43)
05. The Thlyds – I Fucked the Queen (22.12)
06. Silver Jews – Secret Knowledge of Back Roads (25.05)
07. Easter – Begin Again (30.54)
08. Onions – Louise Louise (36.52)
09. North American War – Geraniums on a Spit (42.16)
10. The Grand Gestures – There’s No Place Like Home (47.22)
11. Sonny & the Sunsets – I See the Void (53.09)
12. Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen (58.10)


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 2nd April 2012

Sometimes I take the wrong message from advertising.

You know those adverts where they hysterically proclaim that there are many more bacteria on your chopping board than there are on your toilet seat?  Well I assume the message they are intending to put across is something like this:

“Aaaagh, ohmyfuckinggod, what have I done, I’ve poisoned my child, I’m a SUCH A BAD MOTHER I MUST BUY MORE OF YOUR CHEMICAL SHITE!”

I, on the other hand, take the message to be this, pretty much:

“Ah well, no need to worry about the toilet seat then.”

But then I don’t think I’m entirely in their target audience, although I could be wrong.

Anyhow, for all there isn’t really all that much going on this week, it does rather annoyingly all seem to be taking place on the same two days at the end of the week.  And once again, I happen to have accidentally ended up putting on a gig at Henry’s at the same time as Pendulum Man puts on a Song, by Toad Records band at the Banshee Labyrinth.  Balls.

Friday 6th April: Edinburgh School For the Deaf, Chris Devotion and the Expectations & Blank Canvas play Limbo at the Voodoo Rooms.

I haven’t seen Edinburgh School For the Deaf since noise-merchant Kieran Naughton moved down South and the band had to rejig their lineup slightly, so this looks really good.  The whole lineup is strong actually, because CD/EX were fantastic at the Ides of Toad earlier in the year, with an awesome set of boisterous rock ‘n’ roll.  And Blank Canvas I have yet to see at all, despite their generating a good bit of buzz around these parts recently.

Edinburgh School For the Deaf – Love is Terminal

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Friday 6th April: Indie Funday Friday with Cancel the Astronauts, The Cosmonauts, Fishing for Seagulls & Astronaut Head and at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

All the proceeds from this night of pure bouncy indie-pop fun go to Capability Scotland, so as well as fun, you can also reassure yourself that you are making a positive contribution to the world, rather than just going out and getting pished like you normally might on a Friday night.

Cancel the Astronauts – I am the President of Your Fanclub (and Last Night I Followed You Home)

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Saturday 7th April: North American War, Plastic Animals & Palms at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

I’ve been trying to get these two bands through to Edinburgh for a while, and it is finally happening this weekend.  Palms still only have a single song on their Soundcloud page, so I honestly don’t know all that much about them, but North American War’s five song Me and My G.I. Joes EP is really good, and Plastic Animals have been recording recently, so they should be ready to release EP4 into the world relatively soon.  All in all this should be an excellent evening of guitar music which is pretty constantly on the verge of falling to pieces.

Palms – Wolf

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Saturday 7th April: The Japanese War Effort, Ten & Convex Mancave at the Banshee Labyrinth.

For those of you not so very much interested in guitars, across the city on Saturday there will be something altogether more layered and experimental, with Song, by Toad’s favourite buckie-fuelled smart-arse The Japanese War Effort on a bill with Ten and Convex Mancave.  Tickets can be bought here, and come with a free download of a couple of tracks from the bands on the bill.

The Japanese War Effort – Summer Sun Skateboard

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