June 19, 2013: Adam Stafford’s song Please is free to download – it’s taken from his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse, out on July 15.
Arches are previewing their debut Broken Clocks EP with snippets of the tracks on YouTube ahead of its release on August 11.
BrewDog are opening up their post-AGM live music bash at Aberdeen’s AECC on June 22 to the public, with the £5 entry fee getting you Fatherson, United Fruit, The Little Kicks and Kitty Daisy Lewis.
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival has sold out its 15,800 capacity in record time, more than six weeks before the event on August 2-3.
June 18, 2013: The View have released Seven Year Setlist, a greatest hits compilation which also features new songs Dirty Magazine, Kill Kyle and Standard, which comes with this video.
Glasvegas have unveiled the video (introduced by William Shatner) for new single If via NME.com - it’s taken from their third album Later…When The TV Turns To Static, out on September 2.
June 17, 2013: Four SAY Award nominees are playing free live sets at HMV Glasgow Argyle Street this week – Stanley Odd and The Twilight Sad are on June 19, while RM Hubbert and Admiral Fallow are on June 20, the day of the ceremony. Each gig runs from 12-2pm.
Mogwai will perform their Zidane soundtrack album live at Glasgow’s 220 Broomielaw on July 21.
Applications are open for songwriters to apply for The Gathering, an annual competition run by Burnsong. Entry deadline is June 30.
Alphabetical Order Orchestra have unveiled new song Butterflies.
The New Mendicants – a project formed by Norman Blake and Joe Pernice – release their debut Australia 2013 EP via One Little Indian on July 8. It includes covers of each of their other bands – Teenage Fanclub’s I Don’t Want Control Of You and Pernice Brothers’ Amazing Glow, as well as a version of This Time by INXS. The duo play Glasgow’s Mono on July 15.
June 14, 2013: CHVRCHES will release their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe on September 23. They have also unveiled a video for single Gun.
Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Aidan Moffat, Eugene Kelly, Emma Pollock and Remember Remember will play at Glasgow’s Platform on July 27 to support the campaign to save the Sighthill Stone Circle from demolition. You can read more about the issue on The Skinny.
June 13, 2013: Friends In America are streaming Quietly Quietly from their forthcoming debut record What It Is To Be. Its release coincides with the band’s launch gig at Glasgow’s Broadcast on June 26.
Friends In America have also been added to the Wickerman Festival bill on July 26-27 as part of the GoNorth Festival tour line-up along with Friday acts Three Blind Wolves, Prides, Blood Relatives, Hector Bizerk, Lidh, Pinact, Be Like Pablo, Eugene Twist, The Deadline Shakes, Plastic Animals, The Velveteen Saints and Maask; Saturday additions are Casual Sex, The Yawns, Garden Of Elks, Willie Campbell, Alarm Bells, The OK Social Club, Book Group and Jemma Tweedie.
Shambles Miller has released his new single Deadpool on a mini-comic which contains a download code. It’s all explained in his Vine video.
Rick Redbeard and RM Hubbert are playing a free gig at Mugdock Country Park bandstand on June 16 from 2pm-4pm.
June 12, 2013: Belladrum have announced a host of new additions to its festival line-up on August 2-3 including Alabama 3, Malcolm Middleton, We Are The Ocean, Baby Strange, Withered Hand, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Anderson McGinty Webster Ward and Fisher, Shutter, Vasquez, Davy Cowan, Woodenbox, The Oxides and Be Like Pablo.
Young Aviators have unveiled a video for new single Forward Thinking via Clash, taken from their debut album Self Help.
Nina Nesbitt has a video for the title track of her Way In The World EP, out on July 22.
Capitals also have a video for A Spectre Is Haunting Europe.
The Grand Gestures have revealed new track Regret Is A Dish Best Served Cold featuring RM Hubbbert, taken from the collective’s forthcoming album Second, out on September 8.
June 11, 2013: All five of Aereogramme’s Acoustic Tour CDs have been put on Bandcamp. The collection features 23 mostly acoustic tracks, 10 of which are unreleased.
Highlights of various performances from last weekend’s RockNess, including Fatherson, The Vaccines, The Futureheads and Alabama 3, are on the Festivo YouTube page.
Werd (SOS) has unveiled a video for My State Of Mind, taken from his Untitled Scot album.
June 10, 2013: New releases include Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest; Algernon Doll – Citalo-pop; Poor Things – Hurricane Poor Things EP; The Birthday Suit – Covered Up; KT Tunstall – Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon.
Early-bird tickets are on sale for The Riverside Festival, a new outdoor dance event being held on the banks of Glasgow’s River Clyde on August 24, organised by Electric Frog and Pressure. Acts confirmed for the three stages are Boys Noize, Len Faki, Josh Wink, Slam and Optimo.
June 7, 2013: Bwani Junction have unveiled new song Papa Candy.
The full line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage at T in the Park is The Recovery!, Roman Nose, The LaFontaines, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun, PAWS, Baby Strange, Fat Goth, Discopolis, Departures, Saint Max and the Fanatics, Animal Noise, Astroid Boys, Story Books, Propellers, The Adelines, Emily Burns, Model Aeroplanes, Big Beat Bronson, Steel Trees and The Lake Poets.
Herculean have released their debut EP The Falling Thunder.
June 6, 2013: Discopolis will headline the BBC Introducing Stage at T in the Park on July 13. TITP have also unveiled a promo video featuring a ‘fan’ interviewing Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, who have released their Late March, Death March EP – you can hear the alternate version of its title track on SoundCloud.
June 5, 2013: The Great Hip Hop Hoax, a documentary about two Scots who fooled the music industry into thinking they were American rappers (and the subject of a feature on The Pop Cop in March), will be shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, with screenings at Cineworld on June 26 and June 27 and Odeon Wester Hailes on June 28.
June 4, 2013: BMX Bandits documentary Serious Drugs is finally out on DVD after its original release date was held up by several months of production delays. You can order it via Bandcamp.
goNORTH takes place in Inverness on June 5-6 with daytime seminars and evening showcase gigs, all free to attend. Check out the festival programme (which includes Rachel Sermanni playing the HIE Opening Reception at 6pm on Wednesday), the Independent Label Fair from 12pm-4.30pm on Thursday and the live music schedule which includes a Scottish Bloggers Showcase part-curated by The Pop Cop featuring Plum, The Yawns, Friends In America, and Garden Of Elks.
June 3, 2013: New albums out today include Quickbeam – Quickbeam; Camera Obscura – Desire Lines; Capitals – A National Service; Birdhead – Pleasure Centre.
Galleries will release their debut album No Miracles on July 29, followed by a launch gig at Glasgow’s Bloc on July 30. Click here to get one of the tracks, Great Comets (of 1910), for free.
June 2, 2013: Vigo Thieves are celebrating after winning this year’s MD Cup football tournament, beating The Twilight Sad team 4-0 in the final.
May 31, 2013: The 10 shortlisted albums for The SAY Award are: Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts In Snow; Django Django – Django Django; Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry; Karine Polwart – Traces; Lau – Race The Loser; Meursault – Something For The Weakened; Paul Buchanan – Mid Air; RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found; Stanley Odd – Reject; The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know (public vote). The winner of the £20,000 first prize will be announced on June 20.
Capitals debut album A National Service is streaming via Glasgow Podcart ahead of its release on June 3.
The Enemy, The Beat, Roddy Woomble, The Moulettes are the first acts confirmed for Loopallu in Ullapool on September 20-21.
May 30, 2013: Pre-sale tickets are available for Sigur Ros at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on November 18.
Admiral Fallow will play Edinburgh’s Queens Hall on August 13.
Washington Irving have released a video for You’ve Seen The Last Of Me featuring footage from their most recent UK tour.
May 29, 2013: The third annual MD Cup, a five-a-side football tournament for Scottish music types run by Miniature Dinosaurs, takes place at Stirling’s Forthbank from 2pm on June 1. The 10 teams competing for the trophy (won for the past two years by We Were Promised Jetpacks) are Miniature Dinosaurs, Admiral Fallow, Brown Bear & The Bandits, The Twilight Sad, Fluorescent Hearts, Vigo Thieves, Washington Irving, Pronto Mama, John Wean and DF Concerts.
We’re Only Afraid Of NYC have released their debut album Patterns.
Scarlet Shift launch their debut album Found with a gig at Glasgow’s Arches on June 1. Lead single Clouds features guest vocals from Vukovi’s Janine Shilstone.
Kevin Harper is streaming two bonus tracks from the limited edition version of his debut album Kingdom Of Wires.
May 28, 2013: CHVRCHES are streaming fantastic new single Gun, released on July 15.
Kitty The Lion have changed their name to Blood Relatives and unveiled a video for Dead Hip, taken from their debut album, out in September.
Camera Obscura’s fifth album Desire Lines is streaming in full via NPR ahead of its release on June 3.
Free tickets are available for the City of Stars launch party featuring Bwani Junction, Rise Kagona (The Bhundu Boys), Auntie Flo and writer John Lwanda at Glasgow’s Arches on May 30 by emailing email@example.com to confirm attendance.
May 27, 2013: The SAY Award public vote runs until midnight tonight, offering the chance to pick your favourite album from the longlist of 20. The record with the most votes will secure an automatic place on the shortlist of 10, with the other nine titles being chosen by a judging panel.
New albums out today include Woodenbox – End Game, Sparrow And The Workshop – Murderopolis and The Pastels – Slow Summits.
People, Places, Maps are to split up. They will release their final batch of songs before bowing out with a hometown gig in Dunfermline on July 26.
May 25, 2013: The first wave of acts confirmed to play the Belladrum festival’s GoNorth Seedlings Stage on August 2-3 has been announced – Cleavers, Prides, Roman Nose, Blood Relatives, Red Ronson, Ranald, Dylan Tierney, Crystal Seagulls, Three Blind Wolves, Garden Of Elks, The Oxides, Fat Goth, St Max And The Fanatics, Fake Major, State Of Flux, Bear Arms, Little Fire and Lionel.
Sarah Hayes’ debut EP, Mainspring, is streaming on Bandcamp ahead of its release on May 28. She has Glasgow gigs scheduled for The Old Hairdressers on May 29 and The Wee Chill festival at SWG3 on June 29.
Boards Of Canada have unveiled new song Reach For The Dead, taken from forthcoming album Tomorrow’s Harvest, out on June 10.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Fan photography is as common at gigs as hearing the audience sing back the songs, but for those wanting to come away with a shot worthy of sharing online, doing justice to what you see on stage can be a real challenge, especially if you’re relying on a camera phone to work its magic.
So how do you go about getting the best results in an environment where the subject matter moves, the lighting changes constantly and – if you have a photo pass – a ban on using flash and a three-song limit?
Here, two prominent Scottish music photographers offer their expert advice to gig-goers with cameras of any shape and size.
I photographed my first gig in February 2010 in Inverness. I’d been playing with an old film camera I had inherited. I loved it pretty much straight away and carried on shooting loads of stuff for Detour when I got my first digital camera. I couldn’t even count how many bands I’ve photographed since then. It’s taken over my life (literally) to the point where I quit my job last year to go self-employed and do this full-time. As well as working for bands and labels directly, I freelance for various publications including NME, Clash Magazine, BBC, STV and DF Concerts.
Tips for non-DSLR users (in the crowd)
Pretty much everyone now has a camera of some form in their pocket and you can drastically improve on the photos you take at gigs by keeping a few simple things in mind.
• TURN OFF THE FLASH! This is an almost universal rule in the photo pit, primarily to avoid distracting performers. When you’re not in the pit it’s still important, but for different reasons. The flash on your camera is designed to illuminate people who are, at most, a couple of metres away. It simply isn’t strong enough to reach the stage and compete with the lighting, even from the front row. All you’ll end up with is an obscenely bright foreground with that bald guy in front of you distracting all attention from the band.
• From the crowd, you’re unlikely to get a close-up action shot of the performers. The more you zoom in, the more of an issue motion blur becomes (your shaky hand gets more noticeable the more you use your zoom) when shooting over shoulders, hands in the air – all obstacles to a nice, clear, sharp shot from the crowd. Instead, it’s better to focus on capturing the atmosphere of a show. Watch out for house lights illuminating the audience, catch some silhouettes, wait for the exaggerated moves from the singer (arms in air etc) to make them stand out.
• If using a smartphone, make sure you’re utilising its full capabilities. For example, on an iPhone, you can tap the screen to focus and set your exposure (very roughly). For example, tap a dark part of the screen and it will expose for that, brightening everything, and vice versa.
• Try not to spend the entire show with your camera in the air. Once you get a cool shot, stick it away and enjoy the show. It’s amazing how much of a performance will pass you by when you’re watching through a lens.
• Loads of venues don’t have barriers and have relatively lax rules on camera use. This means you can arrive early, get a nice spot and shoot away from the front without worrying about photo passes. Some wise words I heard when I started doing this are, “It’s much easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission”. If someone asks you to stop, that’s fine, but at least you’ll have a few shots in the bag.
In (and around) the pit
Speaking from experience, the photo pit can be a daunting place, particularly the first few times. There are a few things you can do to make sure nobody bats an eyelid, even if you’re secretly bricking it. Good etiquette is of paramount importance in the pit. A lot of it is common sense but in the heat of the moment it’s easy to forget some simple points.
• Don’t get in people’s way. If you need past, go behind, go underneath their lens or wait. If you walk through a shot, you have pissed someone off.
• Don’t leave a bag in the way. It’s dangerous, end of. Keep it on you or tuck it away.
• Move around. If you inhabit a single spot the entire time, not only will your set of shots be a bit boring, you’re also going to be getting in the way.
• If you’re behind another photographer shooting, let them know you’re there. A quick hand on the shoulder means they’re not going to fall over you when they move.
• This should go without saying, but be nice to people and invariably they will be nice back. Chat to people before/after and make connections. For the most part you only get three songs to photograph, so that’s not the time to ask for tips and advice.
• Some of the ‘old guard’ tend to look down on younger photographers, or people they don’t recognise. Thankfully, these guys are a minority. The vast majority of people I’ve encountered while doing this are great. Don’t let a condescending look put you off. You have a photo pass and are just as entitled to be there as they are.
• Security are your best friends! Or at least they should be. Always chat to security when you arrive. These guys are running the pit and if you piss them off they’ll be much less accommodating. Do what they ask you to do (within reason), be courteous (they’re there to do a job too) and you’ll have a much better time.
• Once you’ve shot a few gigs from the front and want to get in the pit, you’re going to need to start dealing with the PRs. The easiest way initially is to get in touch with the multitude of blogs that offer regular live revues. They should have some contacts with PR agencies etc that will make it much easier to get into your first few shows. Also, with a publication (even online) behind you, it’s much easier to get in touch yourself with bands to request photo passes. There’s no golden rule to this part. Again, be nice, courteous, concise and don’t hound people. They’ll probably not get back to you for ages and there’s a good chance you won’t get a pass confirmed until the day of the gig.
• This may sound a tad negative, but be prepared to be disappointed. Sometimes someone will screw up and your name won’t be on a list, and nobody will answer their phone. This happens. Just bite the bullet and get on with it.
If you can, get your camera into manual mode. You won’t appreciate how much more control you have over your photographs until you try it out. There’s no right or wrong camera for shooting gigs. An SLR will give you the most control, and with changeable lenses, you have loads of room to upgrade. Generally speaking, get the best you can afford. You’re going to want to upgrade sooner or later, so you may as well make it later.
• By and large, things are dark at gigs. You’ll need to venture into the higher regions of your ISO range – this is how sensitive your camera is to light. The higher the number, the more sensitive, but it will also bring added digital ‘noise’ to your photographs.
• Get your aperture as wide as possible, which means using as low an ‘f-stop’ as your camera will allow. This opens up the lens blades to let in more light when you take your shot.
• Once you have these set, use your shutter speed to control your exposure – this is how long the shutter stays open for. The slower you get, the more blur you will have in your photograph. Aim to keep it above 1/100 second. Every gig is different, though, so treat these as guidelines. Explore and experiment and the settings will eventually become intuitive.
• A 50mm f1.8 is an amazing lens for the money and will be a staple of your gig shooting for a long time.
Here are photos I’ve taken in Glasgow which may be useful to illustrate some points.
• (1,2) As much as it’s nice to get a tight shot of a singer, showing the room and the atmosphere is just as, or sometimes even more important, and doesn’t require you to do right down the front.
• (3,4,5) Make the most of smaller venues that don’t photo pits. If you can get some of the crowd in, particularly if they look like they’re having fun, it’s going to add to your photograph.
• (6) iPhone photography. If you concentrate more on the atmosphere of the shot, you’ll get something you’re happy with. This isn’t going to win any awards or be published, but it’s a nice shot of the crowd getting into a good gig. Wait for some light on the audience to lift them out of darkness.
By James Gray (website)
I started photographing gigs by accident after a friend asked me to shoot his band at King Tut’s. Since then I’ve photographed at many venues in Scotland and shot acts such as Green Day, Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Atari Teenage Riot and Bullet For My Valentine. I was a winner of the T Break photography competition and have had work published in the Sunday Herald, The Skinny and STV. Earlier this year, I put on the SoundExposed live music photography exhibition (featured on The Pop Cop), showcasing the work of 18 music photographers.
Gig photography is challenging but also rewarding, not to mention fun. Fun, that is, apart from the fact you have no control over the subject matter or the lighting, security hate you because you are in their space and the crowd hate you because you have a better view than. I love it. No, really, it’s not that bad and the security guys are really very nice.
If, like me, you’re not on the books of a major photo or news agency and aren’t taking gig photos as a means of paying the bills, you’ll probably have a passion for music and a desire to bag some images which capture the excitement and energy of a live performance.
Finding a band to shoot
• Unless you have accreditation you’re unlikely to get anywhere near the pit, the promised land between the security barrier and the stage. At small venues featuring local bands, photographing from the crowd can be just as good, if not better, than being in the pit. You can go almost anywhere and take shots from many different angles.
• Up and down the land there are gigging bands who’d love someone to take live shots for their website. Contact bands via their website and ask if you can shoot them at their next gig. Alternatively, contact the venue or just turn up as a paying customer. Want a pass for a big-name band? Trying asking the support act instead.
• Irrespective of how you approach it, always make sure you have permission from the band before you shoot – bear in mind that 99 times out of 100 a band won’t be able, or willing, to pay for your services. However, if you’re starting out and want to build a portfolio or gain some experience it’s the best way to go.
Getting the shot right
When shooting bands you are likely to encounter some of the most harsh and unpredictable lighting scenarios in photography – low lighting, red lighting, backlighting and every other nightmare lighting scenario you can and can’t imagine. Here are some tips which may help you manage some of the challenges.
• A digital single lens reflex camera with a fast (f2.8) standard zoom lens is best. If you don’t have a fast zoom lens, a fast (f1.8) 50mm fixed lens is a good alternative. Although the fixed lens is limited in terms of variable focal length, it is great in low-light situations and a second-hand one of the Canon or Nikon variety isn’t too expensive.
• Many photographers start of on the highest ISO setting available. Personally, I recommend experimenting with ISO levels to determine the point at which noise becomes unacceptable. Setting the correct ISO level is a balancing act, but a sharp, grainy image is usually preferable to a blurred, smooth one. Remember, excessive noise can always be reduced using software such as Noise Ninja or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. Alternatively, try converting to black and white.
• Shooting RAW images allows greater flexibility in managing the final image and dealing with any exposure issues. Alternatively, shoot RAW plus JPEG to cover all scenarios. If you’re happier with JPEG, no problem, it’s really whatever you feel most comfortable with.
• Shooting in manual mode gives the greatest control over exposure. Set your preferred ISO and dial in the widest aperture (lowest number). Experiment with shutter speeds between 1/30 and 1/200.
• Use spot metering and meter on the subject’s face rather than the stage lighting. It’s better to take a reading from a small area than an average reading from a larger area.
• Look at the action through the viewfinder. If you don’t, you may have missed that once-in-a-lifetime shot by the time you lift the camera up to your eye.
• Set the shutter drive to fire at the highest frames per second and on a three-frame burst. Some photographers recommend continuous auto focus but I prefer single AF.
• Keep an eye out for crowd action like crowdsurfing.
Everyone at a gig is there to have a good time. Be polite and courteous and show respect to your fellow gig-goers and photographers.
• Be especially nice to those nice guys on security. You never know when you might need their help. If they tell you to do something or not do something, I recommend you comply.
• You worked hard to get your gear so look after it. Keep bags closed (it’s amazing the amount of beer that gets thrown towards the stage). Keep straps and bags out of the way of passing traffic, both in the pit and out. That way you can avoid a potential claim for broken limbs.
• Don’t carry your camera around your neck or over your shoulder. Wrap the strap around your wrist instead.
• Make friends with your fellow photographers.
• Always carry spare batteries, memory cards and a torch. Check your gear before you get to the venue and don’t forget to reformat your memory cards. If you’re going to be close to the stage or in the pit, wear earplugs. Most venues will give you some if you ask nicely.
Compact cameras and iPhoneography
Don’t have a DSLR? Fear not, most venues allow the use of personal compact cameras or camera phones. In many cases, compact cameras carry 80% of the features of a DSLR and allow manual control over ISO levels, shutter speed and aperture. If you intend to shoot from the crowd with a compact or camera phone, here are some tips.
• Get to the gig and bag yourself a spot as close to the stage as possible.
• Use both hands to minimise camera shake. Tuck your arms into your side or rest the camera on your girlfriend/boyfriend’s head, shoulder or other suitable body part.
• Memory is cheap, shoot a lot of images.
• A bit on the short side? Turn the camera upside down and hold above your head – this will give you a few valuable inches. Just rotate the image once downloaded.
• Keep the flash turned off. Built-in flash on compacts and camera phones will have just about enough power to light the back of the head in front of you, never mind the stage. Getting closer to the action will improve your chances of getting a good shot – and it will it be brighter.
• Turn on image stabilization if you have it. And ramp up the ISO.
• Wait until the stage lighting is at its brightest.
• If you don’t have manual control, try using the night scene mode with the flash turned off.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the pit, you almost certainly won’t be allowed to use flash. No matter – you won’t need flash to capture the atmosphere and mood of a live performance. If you are going to use flash, make sure this is OK with the band and/or venue before you start.
• If you’re using flash you can probably drop the ISO. Using flash can give some really cool effects with light trails and zoom effects. Try experimenting with long shutter speeds in conjunction with second/rear-sync flash. This fires the flash at the end of the exposure rather than at the start. After pressing the shutter release, try moving the camera around or zooming the lens in or out before the flash fires which will then freeze the action.
• In the pit you will be limited to the first three songs with no flash. But no matter where you are, use flash sparingly. It can be distracting to fellow gig-goers, the band and those nice guys on security. Rather than using flash it’s better to wait until the stage lighting is sufficient to give a decent exposure.
- Don’t forget to enter The Pop Cop’s annual Best Scottish Music Photo competition