May 24, 2013: The line-up for King Tut’s Summer Nights, which runs in the Glasgow venue from July 15 to August 1, has been revealed. The headliners are The Recovery!, Sunshine Social, TeKlo, Alarm Bells, Taffy, Sienna, So Many Animal Calls, Michael Cassidy, The OK Social Club, SOS, Departures, Fake Major, Prides, Waiting For Go and Arches. Other acts worth checking out include Cherri Fosphate, The Clock, The Youth And Young, Campfires In Winter, Kevin Harper, Discopolis and Father Sculptor. There’s also a Pop Cop DJ set on July 25.
Quickbeam song Grace is available for free download – it’s taken from the band’s self-titled debut album, out on June 3.
Giant Fang has unveiled a video for Aqualung.
May 23, 2013: A Music Open Day is being held at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on May 26 with a programme that includes three music industry panels, a soundcheck workshop and live music from Revere, Uniform, Leanne Smith and Marionettes. Free tickets to the evening show will be available to anyone who attends the free seminars during the day.
The Wickerman Festival has added Admiral Fallow, Chic ft Nile Rodgers, Dreadzone, Waylayers and Greg Wilson to its line-up on July 26-27.
Algernon Doll track Anti-them is available for free download – it’s taken from second album Citalo-pop, due for release on June 10.
May 22, 2013: The Basement Coffee House in Ayr has been shortlisted by NME as Scotland’s representative in a public vote to find the best small venue in Britain. The 80-capacity venue opened eight months ago.
Tomorrow’s second instalment of the Dewar House Experimental Batch series sees Edinburgh’s Caves host free live music from Kid Canaveral, The Last Battle and Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap). There will be 550 tickets available on the door on a first come, first served basis.
May 21, 2013: Camera Obscura song Fifth In Line To The Throne is available for free download in exchange for an email address. It’s taken from the band’s fifth album Desire Lines, out on June 3, and pre-ordering it will get you another track, Do It Again.
Book Group have released their debut EP, Homeward Sound.
Sparrow And The Workshop’s third album Murderopolis, out on May 27, is streaming in full via DIY - one of the songs, The Faster You Spin, is also available for free download.
May 20, 2013: Garden Of Elks’ debut EP, Extended Play, is available to buy and stream.
The Clock have a video for their excellent song Everything’s Eventual, which is released on May 28. They have Glasgow gigs lined up at Broadcast on June 1 and Roxy 171 on June 20.
May 18, 2013: The 16-strong T Break line-up for T in the Park on July 12-14 has been unveiled - Arches, Blindfolds, DARC, Fake Major, Hector Bizerk, Honeyblood, Machines In Heaven, Michael Cassidy, Poor Things, Pronto Mama, Seams, Sunshine Social, The Merrylees, The Velveteen Saints, Vasa, Waiting For Go.
Anna Sweeney has announced she is taking a full break from music and has cancelled her scheduled appearance at Wickerman in July as she relocates to Reading for work in June. Another musician swapping Scotland for England is Plum, who is moving to Brighton in July.
May 17, 2013: The stage times have been released for the 35 acts playing Stag & Dagger across seven Glasgow venues on May 18.
Franz Ferdinand’s fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action will be released on August 26 – check out this brief trailer.
Frightened Rabbit recorded a cover of Best Coast’s The Only Place for Australian radio show Triple J. The band release their Late March, Death March EP on June 2.
The Mouse That Ate The Cat song When I Wake Up is available for free in exchange for your email address.
The title track of Adam Stafford’s forthcoming second album Imaginary Walls Collapse is streaming here.
May 16, 2013: The Discopolis remix of Bwani Junction single Civil War is available to download for free from SoundCloud.
Born To Be Wide’s next seminar at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on May 30 is on the topic of goNORTH, with a panel featuring broadcaster Vic Galloway, goNORTH duo Amanda Millen and Alex Smith and Chasing Owls frontman Ben Sunderland explaining how musicians and delegates can get the most out of the annual Inverness convention. Tickets are free.
AC/DC have backed a campaign to erect a bronze statue of their former frontman Bon Scott in his hometown of Kirriemuir in Angus. Community music group DD8 Music hope to raise £50,000 via Kickstarter by June 5.
Kite And The Crane’s debut EP, Found In The End, is out on Bandcamp.
May 15, 2013: Biffy Clyro have a video for their new single Opposite.
The View are playing a one-off show at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on June 12 for the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund.
Adam Stafford is launching his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse with a gig at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on July 5 with support from Siobhan Wilson and Robbie Lesiuk.
May 14, 2013: The Wee Chill will mark its 10th anniversary with a two-stage bill at Glasgow’s SWG3 on June 29 for the West End Festival. The line-up features Malcolm Middleton, James Yorkston with Sparrow & The Workshop (collaborative debut), Aidan Moffat (spoken word), Three Blind Wolves, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Miaoux Miaoux, Fake Major.
Tommy Perman, who recently left FOUND, has unveiled his new solo project ComputerScheisse – check out These Beautiful Minds, the title track of his debut EP, out on July 15 through Phuturelabs.
RockNess have announced more acts for the festival on June 7-9 including Fenech-Soler, Fatherson, Public Service Broadcasting, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Niteworks and Jemma Tweedie.
Too Many Fireworks Records will donate all profits from sales of Variations Of Chopin, an album of contemporary interpretations of the composer’s music, to the fundraising campaign for drummer Robbie Cooper, whose cancer fight was documented on The Pop Cop.
May 13, 2013: New releases out now include Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help, Eagleowl’s debut album This Silent Year, and Cherri Fosphate’s new Burning Youth EP.
May 10, 2013: The live schedule for goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been unveiled – it includes a Scottish Bloggers Showcase hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad featuring a four-band bill of Garden Of Elks, Friends In America, The Yawns and Flutes.
May 9, 2013: The documentary Hunting For Remoteness details The Magnetic North’s visit to Orkney – where frontman Erland Cooper is from – for the making of their debut album. It will be released on June 24 alongside a reissue of that record, Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North. You can watch the trailer here.
Alphabetical Order Orchestra are streaming their first song, The Architect. The band is made up of My Latest Novel members Chris Deveney, Gary Deveney and Ryan King.
A Band Called Quinn have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support performances of their multimedia show Biding Time (remix) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
May 8, 2013: Three Blind Wolves have released their new album, Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine.
May 7, 2013: Adam Stafford’s new single Please is streaming online – it’s taken from his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse, out in July.
May 6, 2013: The T in the Park Roadshow is bringing free live music to Scottish towns this month – it stops at Glasgow today for The View at Kelvingrove Park (1pm) and Buchanan Street (3.30pm); Edinburgh on May 10 for Vigo Thieves at Queen Margaret University’s Student Union (noon), Dundee on May 11 for The LaFontaines at Overgate Centre (noon); Aberdeen on May 12 for Sienna at Aberdeen University (noon); and Ayr on May 18 for The Redettes at Ayr Railway Station (noon).
Fake Major have a video for Fiction, a song on their Have Plenty Of Fun EP. Fellow Comets & Cartwheels artist Finn LeMarinel has a new video for Garden, taken from his debut album Violence.
Capitals have released a sampler of all the tracks on their debut album A National Service, out on June 3.
May 3, 2013: Episode 11 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Cara Mitchell, Brown Bear & The Bandits, Three Blind Wolves and Anna Sweeney.
Steve Mason has accused Samsung of plagiarising the video for The Beta Band’s 2004 single Assessment for their new television advert. Both show historical figures running down a beach and helicopters circling overhead.
May 2, 2013: Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help is streaming on Electric Honey’s SoundCloud ahead of its release on May 13.
May 1, 2013: Travis have a video for Where You Stand, the first single and title track of the band’s seventh album, out on August 19.
Fake Major’s debut EP, Have Plenty Of Fun, is available for download.
My Latest Novel have gone on hiatus, with three of the members forming Alphabetical Order Orchestra - look out for music from them next week.
Kobi Onyame has a video for his new single The Real Part 2.
Trapped In Kansas have unveiled new song Collapse Rebuild.
Rob St John’s new AA single Charcoal Black And The Bonny Grey/Shallow Brown is out now.
April 30, 2013: Boards Of Canada will release Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first new album in eight years, on June 10.
Quickbeam song Immersed is available to download for free from DIY – you can also listen to snippets from every track of the band’s self-titled debut album, out on June 3.
Discopolis have unveiled the video for their new song Falling (Committed To Sparkle Motion), out on May 5.
April 29, 2013: The SAY Award will stream each of the 20 longlisted albums for 24 hours through their app, starting today with Miaoux Miaoux’s Light Of The North. You can read The Pop Cop’s feature here.
Panda Su’s new song MAPS is available to buy now on Amazon, while Bwani Junction’s new single Civil War is on iTunes.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun has a video for new song California ahead of his May tour in Scotland.
The Pastels have a video for Check My Heart, taken from their forthcoming new album Slow Summits, out on May 27.
Frank Turner covered Frightened Rabbit’s The Modern Leper for Jim Gellatly’s In:Demand Uncut session.
April 27, 2013: Episode 10 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features two fantastic unreleased songs by Beerjacket as well as The Holy Ghosts, The Merrylees and Ray McCartney.
Travis, Johnny Marr, Hurts, James Skelly, Jack Savoretti, Willy Mason, Foy Vance, Steve Mason, Milo Greene and DIIV have been added to the T in the Park line-up, which has now been separated into day-by-day splits.
Edinburgh venue The Forest Cafe, which has been banned from hosting live music due to council restrictions, are looking for acts to play their new monthly event, the Forest Big Night Out at Old St Paul’s, which launches on May 23. Email email@example.com for details.
April 26, 2013: The Burns an’ a’ that! Festival will feature live music as part of Weekend in the Park at Ayr’s Belleisle Park on May 25-26. Rose Parade, Little Fire, Pronto Mama and The Bluebells are among the free acts; Justin Currie + Rachel Sermanni play a ticketed gig on May 26.
Other newly-announced concerts on sale include Lana Del Rey + Kassidy at Glasgow’s SECC on May 16 (replacing her two dates at the Academy on May 15/16) Bombay Bicycle Club at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 7, Belle & Sebastian at Inverness’ Ironworks on July 1, We Are Scientists at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on July 29, Kid Canaveral + Ballboy at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on August 10.
Kid Canaveral + The Last Battle + Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap) also play a free show at Edinburgh’s Caves on May 23 with 300 tickets on the door on a first come, first served basis as part of a Dewar’s event.
April 25, 2013: Seasick Steve, The Pigeon Detectives, Julie Fowlis, Meursault, Washington Irving, PAWS and The LaFontaines have been added to the Belladrum Festival line-up on August 2-3.
Washington Irving have released Palomides Volume 1, the first half of their debut album.
The View are streaming Kill Kyle, one of two new songs on their compilation album Seven Year Setlist, out on June 17.
April 24, 2013: The showcase list of artists picked to play goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been announced. For the third consecutive year there will be a bloggers’ showcase stage hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad. More details to follow soon.
Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender will feature 45 acts over three venues on May 31 to June 2 including Fridge Magnets, Bwani Junction, The Ok Social Club, Ross Leighton (Fatherson) and Chris Helme.
Poor Things’ new single Morgan is free to download – it’s taken from their Hurricane Poor Things EP, out on June 10.
Similarly, Cherri Fosphate are giving away Wool from their Burning Youth EP, out on May 11.
April 23, 2013: Glasvegas will play Aberdeen’s Garage on June 27, Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 28 and Glasgow’s ABC on June 29.
Reverieme’s second album With Up So Floating is out now.
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire have announced they will release their self-titled new album through Middle Of Nowhere Records in July.
Herculean have a video for Red Weather, taken from The Falling Thunder EP, out on June 7.
April 22, 2013: Stag & Dagger have added Phosphorescent, Rachel Sermanni, Randolph’s Leap, French Wives, Fake Major, Prides, Chris Devotion & The Expectations and Donald Macdonald & The Islands to the Glasgow festival’s line-up on May 18.
Episode 9 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Brown Bear & The Bandits, Cara Mitchell, The Open Day Rotation and John Wean.
Texas have unveiled a video for The Conversation, the title track from their first album in eight years, out on May 20.
Bronagh & The Boys have released their debut single Green, taken from A Young Heart EP, out on May 19.
April 19, 2013: Kassidy’s Barrie-James O’Neill and his girlfriend Lana Del Rey have recorded a cover of Summer Wine (made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood), backed with a video featuring handheld footage of the pair in Los Angeles.
My Bloody Valentine, Trash Talk, Fidlar and The VirginMarys have been added to the T in the Park line-up.
April 18, 2013: Pre-sale tickets are available for Regina Spektor at Glasgow’s Academy on August 20 and Kings Of Leon at the ciry’s Bellahouston Park on August 15, the latter being part of the Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The Mirror Trap have unveiled a video for Westminster Ghost Story, the first track to be taken from their second album Stay Young, due out this autumn.
April 17, 2013: Midnight Lion have changed their name to Prides and expanded to a trio with the addition of Kitty The Lion’s Callum Wiseman on guitar and vocals. To coincide with the announcement, they have unveiled wonderfully addictive new song Out Of The Blue.
T in the Park have added Local Natives, Lucy Rose, Swim Deep, Theme Park, Lewis Watson and Sons & Lovers to the festival on July 12-14.
April 16, 2013: Doune The Rabbit Hole have announced that this year’s festival will take place at the new location of Cardross Estate at Port of Menteith in Stirlingshire on August 22-25. The line-up features Clinic, Meursault, Rachel Sermanni, Alasdair Roberts, Washington Irving, The Pastels, PAWS, Beerjacket, Rick Redbeard, We Are The Physics, Randolph’s Leap, Siobhan Wilson, Panda Su, Shambles Miller, Jo Mango and TeenCanteen. See here for full day-by-day splits.
April 15, 2013: James and Twin Atlantic will headline the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 2-3. Other acts on the bill include Admiral Fallow, Fatherson, Rick Redbeard, Noisettes, The Horrors and King Charles.
April 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s live music scene has suffered yet another setback with Forest Cafe having its live music licence reviewed, causing the immediate postponement of gigs there, starting with the Solas Showcase scheduled for today.
Newsnight Scotland featured a report on the music industry on April 10, prompted by the Wide Days convention in Edinburgh. Watch the segment on BBC iPlayer, with contributions from Stanley Odd’s Dave Hook, Plum’s Shona Maguire, Chemikal Underground’s Stewart Henderson, Wide Days organiser Olaf Furniss and journalist Nicola Meighan. The interviews were conducted by Galleries drummer Andrew Black.
April 12, 2013: Episode 8 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Niteworks, The Holy Ghosts, Miaoux Miaoux and The Merrylees.
Eagleowl have unveiled Not Over, the first offering from debut album This Silent Year, which will come out through Fence Records on May 13.
Dear Lara, aka David Lan, has released his debut EP Plans as a free download.
April 11, 2013: Capitals’ debut album A National Service will come out on June 3, with those who pre-order it (from just £5) getting an immediate download of any of the record’s 11 tracks, one of which is Reliever.
The View will release singles compilation Seven Year Setlist on June 17 – the album features two new songs, Dirty Magazine and Kill Kyle.
Several Scottish acts have posted tracks from forthcoming new albums – check out Washington Irving – Wandering Wits, United Fruit – Taste I Can’t Give Up and Hector Bizerk – Orchestrated Madness.
April 10, 2013: Promoters Cry Parrot will host their 6th Birthday Party at Glasgow’s Glue Factory on April 26 with a gig featuring Sacred Paws, Hector Bizerk, Tut Vu Vu, Ultimate Thrush, Ela Orleans and Sad City.
Three Blind Wolves are previewing Slow Summer Deer, taken from their Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine album, released on May 6.
Where We Lay Our Heads single Keanu Leaves is out now.
Great Cop are giving away new song Stop Hiding as a free download.
April 9, 2013: Mogwai guitarist John Cummings uploaded a photo of himself at Glasgow’s George Square yesterday where more than 300 people gathered, inspired by his band’s 2011 song George Square Thatcher Death Party.
Hi-Arts, which promotes arts in the Highlands and Islands, has issued notices of redundancies to all 10 of its staff in the wake of funding cuts.
April 8, 2013: Fridge Magnets will play a ‘silent gig’ at a secret outdoor location in Glasgow on May 15 (6pm) – tickets can be won through organisers Deezer. The band will perform inside a mobile perspex box with the 300-capacity audience able to hear them through headphones.
Kassidy have released new mini-album People Like Me.
April 7, 2013: Song Of Return have launched their Singles Club project on Bandcamp through which they’ll be selling unreleased tracks. Month 1 contains Torn Between The Tides (see video) and Enough.
Cairn String Quartet, who were profiled on The Pop Cop in March, have unveiled their orchestral cover of Kid Canaveral’s Low Winter Sun.
Travis have made new song Another Guy available to download for free through their website. It also has a video.
April 6, 2013: The following 16 HMV and Fopp stores in Scotland will remain open following Hilco’s takeover – HMV: Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, East Kilbride, Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh Princes St, Glasgow Argyle St, Glasgow Buchanan St, Glasgow Fort, Inverness, Livingston, Stirling; Fopp: Edinburgh; Glasgow Union St; Glasgow Byres Rd.
Bwani Junction have a video for new single Civil War, out on April 29.
Rachel Sermanni and Emma’s Imagination are among the acts playing the Kintyre Songwriters Festival in Campbeltown on May 24-26.
Quickbeam will launch their debut album with a gig at the disused Govanhill Baths in Glasgow on May 31. They will be supported by Fake Major whose debut Have Plenty Of Fun EP comes out on May 1.
April 5, 2013: Spotify director Mark Williamson will give the keynote speech at next week’s Wide Days event in Edinburgh as part of a session on the business of streaming. The full running order is here.
Episode 7 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Anna Sweeney, Cara Mitchell, Discopolis and Paul McGranaghan.
Dot JR has uploaded new song Waterfalls to SoundCloud.
April 4, 2013: The Tiree Music Festival will take place in An Talla on July 20-21 with a bill that includes Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Washington Irving, The Youth And Young and Brown Bear & The Bandits.
Galleries’ fantastic new single Midnight Rush is out now.
Casual Sex have made a video for their debut single Stroh 80. They play Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy on April 5 and Oran Mor on April 7.
April 3, 2013: Comlongon Rocks have added a third day of live music to its line-up at Comlongon Castle in Dumfries & Galloway on May 17-19. The festival’s line-up features Three Blind Wolves, Emma’s Imagination, The OK Social Club and Saint Max.
Chem 19 are offering three days of free recording time to five Scottish acts through their Creative Scotland Demo Fund. To apply, musicians (under-25s only) should email a link to some demos and a bio to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Chem19 Demo Fund Enquiry before April 26. Chosen acts will also take part in a live showcase.
Siobhan Wilson + Julia And The Doogans + Jo Mango will play Glasgow’s Roxy 171 on June 26 as part of the Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs Peenko night at the West End Festival.
April 2, 2013: Acts confirmed for The Insider Festival in Aviemore on June 21-23 include Rachel Sermanni, Karine Polwart, Hector Bizerk, Urstan, David Thomas Broughton, Miaoux Miaoux, Pete Roe, Jonnie Common, Adam Holmes And The Embers and Sparrow And The Workshop.
Up-and-coming acts can apply to play the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway on July 17-20 through their One Step Further competition which is open to musicians aged 18-25. To enter, artists need to email email@example.com with the subject HebCelt New Talent Submissions and include links to three songs, a biog and high-res photo. Closing date is April 12.
April 1, 2013: Quickbeam’s self-titled debut album will be released through Comets & Cartwheels on June 3 – check out the video for lead track Immersed which will be available as a free download on April 29.
We Were Promised Jetpacks will headline the second night of the three-day Solas Festival in Perthshire on June 22.
Minor Delilah will be giving away copies of their new EP, Only Dust Can Hear You, to anyone who attends their launch gig at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on May 3.
When the 2011 Mercury Prize shortlist was announced on July 19, it incited the usual public outpourings of disillusionment, consternation, mock-horror and Twitter rage.
Yet how many of you whingers had actually sat down and listened to all 12 albums before coming to your damning verdicts? None, that’s how many.
That’s precisely what the judges who pick the (inevitably rubbish) winner would have done – so how can anyone, in all fairness, doubt their (rubbish) judgement without putting themselves in their shoes?
So we decided to do just that. ‘We’ being The Pop Cop’s Subcity Radio team of me, co-presenter Big D, producer Breda and the Voiceover Lady.
In one sitting, we listened to every track of every album – a nine-hour slog only interrupted by a break for pizza and fuelled by a toxicating mixture of Red Bull, Magners, Kronenbourg 1664, Pepsi Max and blackcurrant Ribena.
If that wasn’t arduous enough, I had to scribble down the highlights of a four-way debate as it was happening. Once an album had finished we gave it a mark out of 10, and at the very, very end we tallied up each of their average scores to figure out who our winner was. A flawless scientific approach, I’m sure you’ll agree.
If you want to know how it went in a word, the word is SLOWLY.
Two words? TORTURED SLOWLY.
1,800 words? Oh, alright then…
Adele – 21
1. Rolling In The Deep
Big D: Stonking rhythm section. It’s all downhill from here.
Breda: I hate it. People say she’s so soulful but I don’t believe her.
TPC: I still think this is a great song.
VL: I’m over it. It’s been played to death.
2. Rumour Has It
Big D: This doesn’t speak to me.
Breda: You can’t deny that she can sing, she’s got a great voice.
4. Set Fire To The Rain
Big D: Such a pretentious song title. This is like a Thelma & Louise driving-off-the-cliff song.
7. Take It All
VL: It’s all a bit beige.
TPC: The fact that she’s become a hugely successful female singer without having to prance around in her pants or sign to a major label… does that not make her a good role model?
VL: I guess so. But I bet people who bought this album are thinking, ‘This is actually quite terrible’.
Breda: It’s like an X-Factor audition with too much warbling and the judge says, ‘Gonnae not do that’.
Big D: You can imagine hearing this in a coffee shop. I can picture the scene. The customer walks up to the counter. ‘Can I get an Americano, please… and can you turn that rubbish off?’
TPC: I genuinely thought it would be a better album than it is.
VL: There’s such a thing as great background music but this isn’t it.
11. Someone Like You
VL: I do like this song, I’ll give her that.
12. If It Hadn’t Been For Love
Big D: I don’t think this would get me in The Mood.
Breda: It is a weird album, it’s all over the place.
VL: It sounds really forced, like she’s singing through her nose on purpose.
13. Hiding My Heart
TPC: This song is actually pretty decent. If I was at T in the Park, I’d hold up a sign which read, ‘TUNE’.
Big D, Breda, VL: !!!
TPC: Or not.
Big D: 4
Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
1. Rider To The Sea
Big D: Woah, I’m in the Wild West. This could send me to sleep, in a good way, like one of those CDs with whale noises.
TPC: She sounds like she’s in pain.
VL: Maybe she’s just listened to the Adele album.
2. No More Words
Breda: The funny thing is that she’s emulating PJ Harvey, yet Anna Calvi is the one who’s more likely to win the Mercury Prize.
Breda: I can imagine dancing to this at her gig.
TPC: Song of the day so far.
5. First We Kiss
Big D: This is giving me a migraine.
Breda: The warbling is a bit like Adele.
Big D: This reminds me of Roy Orbison.
8. I’ll Be Your Man
Breda: These could be instrumental tracks.
VL: I like what she’s doing with the music but if her voice was a bit calmer…
9. Morning Light
TPC: If some else was singing the same songs it would be alright.
10. Love Won’t Be Leaving
Big D: This is like walking through a house of mirrors, bleeding, in some arthouse film.
Big D: 1
Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!
3. With Love
Big D: Can’t go wrong with some clapping.
VL: This is a bit rubbish.
4. Neat Little Rows
TPC: I’ve lost interest.
VL: They seem to have abandoned melody on the way.
6. The Night Will Always Win
Breda: The tempo isn’t really changing, it’s not going anywhere.
7. High Ideals
Big D: It’s mellowing me out.
TPC: It’s anthemless
VL: It’s really, really dull.
8. The River
TPC: This is the best track so far.
10. The Birds (Reprise)
Breda: It’s so monotone.
TPC: I can’t imagine ever listening to this album ever again.
11. Dear Friends
Big D: It’s just sapped all my energy.
Breda: It’s not what I expected. I thought it was going to be a pleasant album. It’s really not good. It’s been the hardest thing to listen to.
Big D: 0.5
Everything Everything – Man Alive
1. MY KZ, UR BF
Big D: This is like a credible Alphabeat.
2. Qwerty Finger
TPC: It seems like it’s five bands playing at the same time – it’s not cohesive.
VL: It’s all over the place.
4. Leave The Engine Room
Big D: This must be what people listen to when they’re self-harming.
6. Photoshop Handsome
TPC: They’ve got good song titles.
9. Come Alive Diana
Big D: As much as I don’t like it and I don’t like the singer’s voice, there’s at least a change in tempo.
Breda: It’s a mess. It like they’ve thought, ‘Let’s do everything’.
Big D: 0
Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam
2. Us Against Whatever Ever
Big D: Faithless meets The Streets.
3. Finished I Ain’t
Big D: This is awful, the beats are so repetitive.
6. Survive It
Big D: As far as MC-ing goes, he’s not really good at that either.
TPC: He just rhymed ‘daughter’ with ‘Majorca’… that’s worth a point!
VL: This is a bit like Stanley Odd – rapping then a female vocal.
8. Cash And Carry Me Home
Big D: I might have to give it a point for the song title.
VL: He doesn’t have a good voice.
9. Garden Path
VL: He sounds a bit wasted.
Breda: Even if you don’t necessarily like hip-hop you can get involved in the songs, but not this.
Big D: A rapper with nothing to say – a new concept.
TPC: This has got an indie-rock song structure, I quite like this one.
Big D: 2
Gwilym Simcock – Good Days At Schloss Elmau
TPC: Okay, so this is the token jazz album but don’t worry, it might not be jazz as we understand it.
1. These Are the Good Days
VL: This is jazz as we understand it.
Big D: I’m in a cocktail bar and I’ve just been stood up on a blind date.
Big D: It’s like a cat trying to get out of a box.
Breda: This sounds pretty basic, not that I know anything about jazz or piano-playing.
5. Northern Smiles
Big D: It feels like I’m listening to a child in a piano lesson who keeps getting it wrong.
8. Elmau Tage
Breda: I feel like I’m not in a place to be able to judge jazz music.
VL: Someone shouldn’t have to explain it to you.
Big D: 0
James Blake – James Blake
Big D: This is not music. What the fuck. Remember when CDs would jump – what’s going on? It sounds like [censored].
TPC: I think it would best to stay away from the disabilities, Big D.
VL: There’s potential in his voice but I don’t like anything else.
2. The Wilhelm Scream
Breda: He’s innovative but I don’t think he’ll win.
Big D: If the panel is deaf he’s in with a shout.
3. I Never Learnt To Share
TPC: I don’t think I hate it but I certainly don’t like it.
Breda: I’ve never thought of electronic music as being lovely but this is.
4. Lindesfarne I
Big D: It sounds like he’s having sex with a robot. What’s with the long pauses? It’s like he’s dragging out the future.
7. Give Me My Month
Big D: I don’t think I can cope with jazz AND dubstep.
Big D: 1
Katy B – On A Mission
1. Power On Me
Breda: Topshop music.
3. Why You Always Here
TPC: It’s reminding me of wanky Bath Street style bars.
4. Witches’ Brew
Breda: It’s quite tacky.
VL: I don’t like it even though compared to what we’ve listened to it’s not the worst.
6. Go Away
Breda: This is the best song so far.
VL: I quite like it – maybe I’ve been bludgeoned by what’s gone before.
Big D: It’s still crap, but good crap.
Breda: I’ve got this image of a really horrendous club.
TPC: These could be proper pop songs with a different arrangement.
9. Lights On
TPC: Is this a Hot Chip cover? It sounds like a rip-off of Hold On.
11. Perfect Stranger
Breda: It sounds outdated.
VL: It’s nasty, crappy dance music.
Big D: 1
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
1. First Watch
Big D: This is gorgeous.
Breda: I really like this.
VL: It’s the sound of someone playing a piano while everybody else goes about their business.
TPC: I’m getting a bit choked up.
2. John Taylor’s Month Away
Big D: [applauds]
Breda: These songs are actually about something other than broken hearts.
VL: This is much needed.
Breda: It’s the first album that you actually want to give it your attention.
Big D: I always discover music on my own. I’m normally just in my pants. I’m a little overdressed.
6. Your Own Spell
Big D: This is music, I like this.
Breda: There are no gimmicks.
TPC: Definitely echoes of Sigur Ros in the string arrangements.
VL: I’m so happy. I couldn’t have taken another shit album.
Big D: 6
Metronomy – The English Riviera
2. We Broke Free
Breda: It doesn’t sound like how I thought it was going to. It’s quite nice.
VL: It’s quite retro, maybe bits of 70s rock.
4. The Look
Breda: It’s not mindblowing but it is pleasant. There are elements of Prince.
TPC: It’s quite funky.
VL: I like this, I think.
7. The Bay
Big D: I like that rhythm. This is coming close to the weirdest day I’ve ever had.
10 Some Written
Breda: It’s kinda hipster music.
11 Love Underlined
TPC: There’s a bit of imagination in their ideas.
Big D: 3
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
1. Let England Shake
VL: I quite like this.
TPC: I’m not really feeling it.
2. The Last Living Rose
Breda: I like this tune a lot.
TPC: It’s a good pop song.
6. On Battleship Hill
VL: I think this album will grow on me.
8. In The Dark Places
VL: The album is not instant but there’s enough going on that would make me want to revist it.
9. Bitter Branches
Breda: It’s typical PJ Harvey but it’s still interesting.
11. Written On The Forehead
Big D: None of these songs are doing much for me.
VL: I need to put this album on my iPod.
Big D: 4
Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy
Big D: He’s been shagging a robot as well.
VL: Same old, same old. It’s no different from any American hip-hop.
Big D: It’s an album for 14 to 16-year-olds, which we are not.
9. Miami 2 Ibiza
Big D: This is foam party music.
Breda: It’s horrific.
TPC: That’s more like it. I think the Red Bull is kicking in!
Big D: This is awful.
TPC: I love how he has to namecheck himself at the start of the song otherwise you’d have absolutely no idea who he was.
Big D: 1
FINAL TALLY (based on average score)
1. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine (6.625)
2. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (5.375)
3. Metronomy – The English Riviera 3.875
4. Adele – 21 (3)
5. James Blake – James Blake (2.875)
6. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (2.125)
7. Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy (2)
8. Katy B – On A Mission (1.875)
9. Elbow - Build A Rocket Boys! (1.75)
10. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam (1.375)
11. Everything Everything – Man Alive (1)
12. Gwilym Simcock – Good Days At Schloss Elmau (0)
Big D: It feels like I’ve just served a jail sentence and I’m getting out.
Breda: There has to be better albums that have come out in the past year.
VL: Overall, I’m crushingly disappointed by how bad this shortlist is.
TPC: I can’t thank the three of you enough for agreeing to take part in this. For some reason I actually thought it might have been an enjoyable experience. If you want to reconsider our friendship I wouldn’t blame you.
The (official) Mercury Prize winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 6
King Creosote – Bats In The Attic
Anna Calvi – Desire