Archive for November, 2011
Friday, November 25th, 2011
Everyone has their own survival story about December 2010 in Scotland and the most brutal winter week in living memory.
Mine involves standing in the middle of the busiest motorway in the country, trying to push cars and vans up a slip road buried somewhere beneath thick layers of snow and ice. Fun times.
The inaugural Glasgow Popfest had the misfortune of taking place during this savage cold snap. With Scotland being pummelled into submission, the Monumental Freeze wreaked havoc with the schedule and forced the absence of not just ticket-holders, but several bands too.
It’s no wonder the organisers, local label Bubblegum Records, described it as an “endurance test”.
Last year, fans were left shivering in host venues Stereo and SWG3 in particular, so it’s understandable punters have been promised “lots and lots of heating” when Glasgow Popfest returns from December 8-11 in the infinitely more cosy surroundings of city-centre café/bar Heavenly.
Billed as a not-for-profit event (anything they do make goes to the Drake Music Scotland charity), the second annual celebration of indie pop features bands from as far afield as USA, Spain, Germany, Norway and Sweden, an exclusive collection of contemporary artwork by Manda Rin of Bis fame, and a couple of screenings at the GFT – the premiere of BMX Bandits documentary Serious Drugs and highlights from now-defunct BBC Scotland music show The Beat Room.
Thursday, December 8 (free)
22:15 The Understudies
Friday, December 9
19:15 The Spook School
20:00 Bubblegum Lemonade
20:45 The Starlets
21:30 The Hardy Boys
22:15 Manda Rin and The Rinettes
23:00 The Amphetameanies
Saturday, December 10
17:15 Standard Fare
18:00 The Hobbes Fanclub
18:45 Nico’s Bike
19:30 Cola Jet Set
20:15 Westfield Mining Disaster
21:00 Edinburgh School For The Deaf
22:30 Tender Trap
Sunday, December 11
14:30 Serious Drugs (GFT)
15:40 The Beat Room (GFT)
19:00 Baffin Island
20:00 Lenzie Moss
20:45 The Electric Pop Group
21:30 Maple Leaves
22:15 BMX Bandits
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
It’s time to launch The Pop Cop’s Best Scottish Music Photo of 2011 competition, which will see legendary photographer Harry Benson again judge the submissions.
The award is now in its fourth year and exists for no other reason than to highlight the wealth of talented live music photographers, both amateur and professional, operating in Scotland.
Steve Parks bagged first prize for his 2010 shot of a Sham 69 gig at Cafe Drummond in Aberdeen, pictured above. Here’s how Steve described his past year: “The competition win certainly opened doors for me. I was relatively new to concert photography, and struggling to get photopasses with my limited portfolio. The images I brought back from Belladrum changed all that and I now shoot for Retna Ltd in New York who set me up with some juicy assignments.”
The prize for coming out on top in this year’s competition is worth a total of £575 – here’s all the info you need to enter:
- A pair of weekend camping tickets and photopass for the Belladrum Festival near Inverness on August 3-4, 2012.
- A pair of weekend camping tickets and photopass for the Loopallu Festival in Ullapool on September 21-22, 2012.
- A pair of weekend camping tickets and photopass for the Insider Festival near Aviemore on June 15-18, 2012.
- A pair of Golden Tickets and photopass (subject to approval from individual bands) for King Tut’s Summer Nights which allow entry into all Summer Nights gigs at King Tut’s in Glasgow in July 2012.
- The winning photograph displayed on The Pop Cop website’s sidebar for 12 months.
- You can submit up to TWO photographs.
- Each photo must have been taken in a live music environment in Scotland in 2011.
- Prizes are non-transferrable.
- The closing date for entries is January 6, 2012.
HOW TO ENTER
- Email your photo(s) as a jpeg attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title Photo Competition.
- Include the location and date that you took each photograph as well as the name of the artist.
- Include your full name, address and website/Flickr page if applicable.
Good luck! The results will be published on this site in January 2012.
Many thanks to the competition sponsors:
Sunday, November 20th, 2011
Arches playing Stereo. It’s all very confusing. What’s even more perplexing, though, is the fact that the venue is rammed to capacity. This is the Glasgow band’s first ever gig, although there’s nothing in their performance that could possibly give it away.
All five members are slick and highly competent musicians, aided no doubt by the fact that, individually, they can count Jocasta Sleeps, Yashin and Young States as past projects.
As much as a degree of professionalism is to be admired, it can also be a little excessive. Does a band at this stage of their career really need two roadies/techs passing them instruments throughout their set?
Arches do have some cracking songs, just not enough of them. Parts of the set dip worryingly close to AOR territory and at times there’s an unmistakable U2/Snow Patrol vibe, which, together with the band’s predilection for vests and denim, makes it hard to figure out what kind of rock band they’re aspiring to be.
The one thing past experience has taught them well, though, is in the art of a big finish. That comes in the shape of the mighty Like Fireworks, which singer Michael Rice plays the first half of on his own, before the rest of the band return from the shadows to bring the set to a bombastic and spirited conclusion.
More like that, please, and less of the overly earnest power-rock and Arches really could be on to something.
Arches – Hail Me (acoustic)