Archive for April, 2010

Live review: The Futureheads, Admiral Fallow @ Oran Mor, Glasgow

Friday, April 30th, 2010

So gone are the free Mill gigs and in its places comes the awkwardly-named Miller Filtered Music with its mission to “filter out the unnecessary noise around the live experience to focus on the true sound of great bands”.

In normalspeak, the promoters are going to make sure punters get change from a tenner to see established acts that would normally charge a bit more than that. A ticket for last night’s teaser event headlined by The Futureheads, for example, cost £7.85 (including fees), so it was no surprise Oran Mor was sold out.

However, there was a much greater bargain to be had this week: £6.99 gets you a copy of ADMIRAL FALLOW’S stunning debut album Boots Met My Face, and as last night’s support slot proved, the Glasgow band are an exceptionally talented proposition.

At times you can hear bits of Elbow (Dead Against Smoking) and even Deacon Blue (These Barren Years), but frontman Louis Abbott clearly comes from the Frightened Rabbit school of songwriting, recounting tales of a troubled adolescence that are both brutal and honest. He even has the same world-weary demeanour as Scott Hutchison, playing guitar with shut eyes and raised shoulders.

The crack of emotion in acoustic ballad Four Bulbs (like Poke from The Midnight Organ Fight, but better) is an undoubted high point of their set, before the tempo-shifting Old Balloons makes for an upbeat finale.

THE FUTUREHEADS boast to the crowd that they’ve been together for 10 years, so credit to them for sticking around when many of their peers in the post-Franz Ferdinand landscape they entered have long since found other jobs.

But just how significant are The Futureheads in 2010? Perhaps more than a lot of people might have imagined. The jubilant reception that welcomes new songs such as Struck Dumb and Heartbeat Song suggests they’ve remembered what it was that made their first album so appealing (the second and third ones were mostly dire).

To be frank, their raw, post-punk guitar sound is probably a bit immature for four grown-up men in their late 20s, with their goofy harmonies and almost comical preemptive lyrics of “faster, faster!” and “stop!”. However, the fact there’s not a hint of apathy or ‘going through the motions’ ensures The Futureheads remain loveable rather than irrelevant.

The Futureheads – Struck Dumb
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July 23, Wickerman Festival, Dumfriesshire (tickets)

Admiral Fallow – Four Bulbs
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Go get ‘em, Tigerfest

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

What actually constitutes a music festival these days? At first glance TIGERFEST seems to tick the usual boxes, being an annual event (this is its seventh year) that plays host to a variety of acts for the summer crowds. However, the shows that come under its banner are not only individually ticketed, but spread out over 17 days, six indoor venues and three cities that are a mere 130 miles apart.

Perhaps it would be helpful if we look at Tigerfest less as a festival and more of a statement about the acts contained within. It is very much an exercise of collective strength, with several independent promoters, record labels and online media all coming together to ensure their assembled roll call of talented musicians is in fact a national celebration.

The most popular draws this year will most likely be King Creosote and Malcolm Middleton, while Music Alliance Pact graduates There Will Be Fireworks (April 2009), Boycotts (May 2009) and The Unwinding Hours (November 2009) are also making welcome appearances. It’s good to know at least one Tiger can enhance its reputation by playing the field.

EDINBURGH
May 5: Blueflint, Andi Neate, Andy Tucker & The Scattered Family, Electric Circus
May 6:
Phoebe Kreutz, Casey, Emily Scott, The Stantons, Wee Red Bar (tickets)
May 9: X-Lion Tamer, The Wildhouse, Roxy Art House (tickets)
May 11: TV21, Boycotts, Midas Fall, Cabaret Voltaire (tickets)
May 12: Jesus H. Foxx, There Will Be Fireworks, Electric Circus
May 13:
Chris Bradley, The Dirty Cuts, The Last Battle, Roxy Art House (tickets)
May 14: Martin Stephenson, Fourteenhours, Blind Assassins, Wee Red Bar (tickets)

DUNFERMLINE
May 20: Ambulances, Vertis, Crayons, Carnegie Hall (tickets)
May 21: King Creosote, Withered Hand, Rozi Plain, Carnegie Hall (tickets)
May 22: Malcolm Middleton, Spare Snare, Carnegie Hall (tickets)

ABERDEEN
May 21: The Unwinding Hours, Katerwaul, Tunnels (tickets)

The Unwinding Hours – Tightrope

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Ambulances – Cease To Exist (Steve Mason mix)

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The Last Battle – Oh Best Beloved

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Wish you were here?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

The scene above shouldn’t look unfamiliar if you’ve been to a music festival at least once in your life. The photo was taken at Russian festival Nashestvie, which attracts 100,000 visitors every year, and proves that you don’t have to be stuck in a Scottish summer to know that mud + music = merriment.

With the cost of going to a large-scale domestic festival now equivalent to a five-day package holiday in the Canaries, foreign festivals have become a realistic alternative for punters, and not just for financial reasons.

For starters, there’s often very little to differentiate between the line-ups. Do a bit of digging and you’ll discover that most of your favourite bands who are bound for T in the Park or RockNess are also playing up to a dozen other festivals this summer. It takes an extraordinary amount of persuading (money) for an organiser to get a major act to give an exclusive performance at just one location.

If you do opt to go down the overseas festival route (and haven’t been put off by the possibility of being marooned in Leipzig by volcanic ash) but are concerned about missing out on “the banter” then you’ll be relieved to know that plenty of peely-wally Scottish musicians will also be clutching their passports this summer. Most of them are hitting continental Europe but a few are going long-haul, so whether it’s Slovakia or Seoul, some home comforts could await. And best of all, there’ll be no Tennent’s on draught.

Here is The Pop Cop’s exclusive guide to who’s going where…

SOS 4.8 – Murcia, Spain
Franz Ferdinand (April 30)

Walk The Line Festival – Den Haag, Netherlands
Meursault (May 14), Zoey Van Goey (May 14)

Primavera Sound – Barcelona, Spain
Bis (May 27), Roddy Frame (May 29)

Rock In Rio – Lisbon, Portugal
Snow Patrol (May 27), Amy Macdonald (May 29)

Pinkpop – Limburg, Netherlands
Paolo Nutini (May 28), Biffy Clyro (May 29)

Selector Festival – Krakow, Poland
Calvin Harris (June 4)

Rock In Rio – Madrid, Spain
Amy Macdonald (June 6)

Caribana Festival – Nyon, Switzerland
Kassidy (June 9)

Hurricane Festival – Rotenburg, Germany
Biffy Clyro (June 18)

Isle of Man Bay Festival – Douglas, Isle of Man
Calvin Harris (June 19)

Southside Festival – Tuttlingen, Germany
Biffy Clyro (June 20)

Fusion Festival – Neustrelitz, Germany
Meursault (June 24-27)

OpenAir St Gallen – St Gallen, Switzerland
Frightened Rabbit (June 24), Biffy Clyro (June 25)

Rockin’ Park – Nijmegen, Netherlands
Amy Macdonald (June 27)

Hove Festival – Arendal, Norway
Biffy Clyro (June 30)

Rheinkultur – Bonn, Germany
We Were Promised Jetpacks (July 3)

Pohoda – Trencin, Slovakia
Sparrow And The Workshop (July 8)

Optimus Alive! – Lisbon, Portugal
Biffy Clyro (July 8), Calvin Harris (July 8)

Oxygen – County Kildare, Ireland
Calvin Harris (July 9), Kassidy (July 9), Paolo Nutini (July 11)

Ruisrock – Turku, Finland
Belle & Sebastian (July 11)

Pistoia Blues Festival – Pistoia, Italy
North Atlantic Oscillation (July 14)

Slottsfjell – Tonsberg, Norway
Belle & Sebastian (July 15), Twin Atlantic (July 15)

Benicassim – Valencia, Spain
Calvin Harris (July 15-17)

Dour Festival – Hainaut, Belgium
Calvin Harris (July 18)

Gurtenfestival – Bern, Switzerland
Amy Macdonald (July 18)

Ilosaarirock – Joensuu, Finland
Biffy Clyro (July 18)

Paleo Festival – Nyon, Switzerland
Paolo Nutini (July 24)

Jisan Valley Rock Festival – Seoul, South Korea
Belle & Sebastian (July 30)

Fuji Rock Festival – Niigata, Japan
Codeine Velvet Club (July 30–August 1), Mylo (July 30–August 1), Belle & Sebastian (August 1)

Splendour In The Grass – Queensland, Australia
Frightened Rabbit (August 1)

Lollapalooza – Chicago, United States
Frightened Rabbit (August 6-8)

Summer Sonic – Tokyo, Japan
Biffy Clyro (August 7), Calvin Harris (August 8)

Summer Sonic – Osaka, Japan
Calvin Harris (August 7), Biffy Clyro (August 8)

Sziget Festival – Budapest, Hungary
Calvin Harris (August 11-16)

FM4 Frequency – St Polten, Austria
Kassidy (August 19-21)

Highfield Festival – Leipzig, Germany
Biffy Clyro (August 20-22)

Electric Elephant – Petrcane, Croatia
The Phantom Band (August 27)

Rock en Seine – Paris, France
Paolo Nutini (August 28)

Electric Picnic – County Laois, Ireland
Steve Mason (September 3-5)

Jersey Live Festival – Jersey, The Channel Islands
Calvin Harris (September 4)

Key:
A = Amy Macdonald
B = Bis
C = Biffy Clyro
F = Franz Ferdinand
G = Frightened Rabbit
H = Calvin Harris
I = Snow Patrol
J = We Were Promised Jetpacks
K = Kassidy
L = Belle & Sebastian
M = Meursault
N = Paolo Nutini
O = North Atlantic Oscillation
P = The Phantom Band
R = Roddy Frame
S = Steve Mason
T = Twin Atlantic
V = Codeine Velvet Club
W = Sparrow And The Workshop
Y = Mylo
Z = Zoey Van Goey

SCOTTISH ACTS IN EUROPE


SCOTTISH ACTS IN REST OF THE WORLD


Frightened Rabbit – The Loneliness And The Scream

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We Were Promised Jetpacks – A Far Cry

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Steve Mason – All Come Down

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Meursault – Another

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North Atlantic Oscillation – Cell Count

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