December 5, 2013: Fatherson, The LaFontaines, Cairn String Quartet, Garden Of Elks, The Holy Ghosts and have been announced as The Big Apple Award competition finalists. All five acts play free sets at Glasgow’s G2 on December 11, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs for the winners.
New gig… Silibil N’ Brains (stars of The Great Hip Hop Hoax film) play Dundee’s Buskers on December 27 and Glasgow’s Pivo Pivo on December 28.
December 4, 2013: Mick Cooke has left Belle & Sebastian. The band made the announcement in their latest mailshot, stating: “We wish him all the best with any future projects and hope to work alongside him again in the future.” The multi-instrumentalist, who had been a full-time member of Belle & Sebastian since 1998, will now focus on his work as a composer and arranger.
New gig… Song, by Toad Records’ 5th Birthday Party at Edinburgh’s Henry’s Cellar Bar on December 21 featuring PAWsault, Tom Collins Shatner and assorted label friends and guests.
December 3, 2013: Budding musicians aged between 14-19 can register for Hit The Road, a project that offers workshops, seminars and information sessions about performing live, before they are given the opportunity to tour across Scotland. The next set of tours will launch in January, with each one taking three acts on the road.
New video via YouTube… Red Sands – Too Short A Season, taken from debut album Red Sands, out on December 9.
New video via YouTube… Mickey 9s – Ammunition.
New EP release via Bandcamp… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree.
December 2, 2013: New video via YouTube… Mogwai – The Lord Is Out Of Control, taken from their forthcoming album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New album release via iTunes… Cold Crows Dead – I Fear A New World, featuring The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
November 29, 2013: Brew at the Bog have announced the first 25 acts for its festival in Inverness on May 3. The line-up includes Kid Canaveral, Stanley Odd, Friends In America, Fake Major, Randolph’s Leap, Call To Mind, Beerjacket, Campfires In Winter, Shambles Miller, The Little Kicks, This Silent Forest, Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Atom Tree.
The Holy Ghosts have set up a Kickstarter page for pre-orders of their debut album Ride Them Down, due out in April.
November 28, 2013: New video via YouTube… Over The Wall – Radiator.
New video via YouTube… Book Group – Victory Lap, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single.
New album release via Bandcamp… Scott McWatt – A Ceíst Amá.
November 27, 2013: New song streams via SoundCloud… King Creosote – Dial C For Cradle; Meddling Gut Wrenches; Impossible To Resist.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes.
Findlay Napier has set up a PledgeMusic page to fund the recording of VIP: Very Interesting Persons, an album of songs co-written with Boo Hewerdine.
November 26, 2013: Free album download via Bandcamp… Olive Grove Records Sampler featuring Call To Mind, The State Broadcasters, Randolph’s Leap, The Moth & The Mirror, The Son(s), Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Pensioner.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Mini50 Records Winter Sampler 2013.
New song release via iTunes… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine. Dan Willson will play solo gigs at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on November 27 and Aberdeen’s Tunnels on November 28 as well as Glasgow’s Platform on January 24 for Celtic Connections.
New video via YouTube… Kid Canaveral – A Compromise, taken from A Compromise EP.
November 25, 2013: New album release… There Will Be Fireworks – The Dark, Dark Bright on CD and download.
Detour will hold their fourth Wee Jaunt in Glasgow on December 7, and the allocation of free places has already been snapped up. Email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the reserve list.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Sparrow And The Workshop – One Brush.
Blindfolds have split up after three years together – they bow out with the release of new video Lucid.
November 22, 2013: New video via YouTube… Young Aviators – We’ve Got Names For Folk Like You.
New video via YouTube… The Pastels – Kicking Leaves.
New video via YouTube… Conscious Route feat Werd & Jordan Butler – Friends Til The End.
New gig… The Xcerts at Aberdeen’s Downstairs on December 21.
New gig… Glasgow’s Dirty Weekender across five venues on February 28-March 1 featuring Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), Mark Gardener (Ride), Bombskare, etc.
November 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine.
New video via YouTube… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree, taken from When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree EP, out on December 2.
CHVRCHES’ gig for TYCI’s Christmas Party on December 21 has been moved to Glasgow’s SWG3 due to a delay in the reopening of The Vic venue at The Art School.
New gig… The Jezabels at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on February 26, plus ticket bundles with new album The Brink.
November 20, 2013: Arctic Monkeys have been announced as the one of headliners at next year’s T in the Park on July 11-13. Tickets go on sale on November 22.
New gig… The Christmas Songwriters’ Club at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on December 22 featuring Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Kid Canaveral, Broken Records, Miaoux Miaoux, Siobhan Wilson, TeenCanteen with Eugene Kelly, Karine Polwart & Findlay Napier, We See Lights and Very Well.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – Fake Hallelujah.
November 19, 2013: New video via YouTube… Franz Ferdinand – Bullet.
Free EP download via Bandcamp… King Post Kitsch – The Silver Screen.
New video via YouTube… The Amazing Snakeheads – Flatlining.
November 18, 2013: CHVRCHES have been confirmed as the live band for TYCI’s Christmas Party at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New album trailer via YouTube… Withered Hand – New Gods, due out in February.
New Beerjacket album Darling Darkness will be released on January 27.
New tour… The Winter Tradition at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on February 6, Stirling’s Tolbooth on February 7, Aberdeen’s Cafe Drummond on February 8, Inverness’ Mad Hatters on February 9, Galashiels’ Heriot-Watt Student Union on February 10, Dundee’s Duke’s Corner on February 11 and Perth’s Twa Tams on February 15.
November 17, 2013: Glasgow venue King Tut’s has unveiled it line-up for the fourth annual King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution on January 3-16, with the likes of Campfires In Winter, Cherri Fosphate, Book Group, Garden Of Elks, Saint Max And The Fanatics and Quinny featuring on all-local bills.
Labels, musicians and fans are being invited to register albums released by Scottish artists in 2013 for consideration for next year’s SAY Award.
November 15, 2013: French Wives will play their last ever gig at Glasgow’s Mono on December 19 after announcing they are splitting up.
New video via YouTube… There Will Be Fireworks – Youngblood.
New album release via iTunes… Ministry Of Stories – Share More Air, an album of children’s lyrics set to original music including Rachel Sermanni’s Love Story.
New song stream via Bandcamp… Water Of Life – Sources And Springs / Abercrombie, 1949, an art-science collaboration between Tommy Perman and Rob St. John exploring flows of water through Edinburgh.
November 14, 2013: New gig… The Wee Chill Festive Weekender at Glasgow’s SWG3 on December 22, featuring Admiral Fallow, Washington Irving, The Little Kicks, Call To Mind and Atom Tree.
The Big Apple Award has launched its annual competition, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs. The deadline for applications is December 2, before the winner is picked from a shortlist of five Scottish performers at Glasgow’s Garage on December 11. The last two victors were Stanley Odd and Song Of Return.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – Traveling Blues (demo)
November 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will incorporate an afternoon of free live music on January 1. Starting at the National Museum of Scotland at noon, the guest-curated SCOT:LANDS event will feature performances across nine Old Town venues by the likes of King Creosote, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Lau and FOUND as well as a production of Whatever Gets You Through The Night.
New video via YouTube… Washington Irving – Palomides , director James Houston claims it’s the world’s first autostereogram music video.
New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover).
New video via Vevo… KT Tunstall – Made Of Glass.
November 12, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Medals – Disguises, new project of Sucioperro’s JP Reid.
New event… Vic Galloway – Songs In The Key Of Fife book reading + Withered Hand + Kid Canaveral at Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls on November 29.
New album stream via SoundCloud… Kobi Onyame – Glory, available to buy on iTunes.
November 11, 2013: Next year’s MTV Europe Music Awards will be held at Glasgow’s Hydro on November 9.
Arches singer Michael Rice has left the band, with guitarist Barry Morrell taking over vocal duties.
New EP release via SoundCloud…. Casual Sex – The Bastard Beat, streaming on SoundCloud.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – What Will Be Will Be (demo).
November 8, 2013: BBC ALBA programme Buskers has returned for a second series, with the first two episodes available to watch on iPlayer. Episode 2′s spotlight on Glasgow features Donald Macdonald, Alan Tennie, Anna Shields and Holly Wilson.
November 7, 2013: New gigs… Fireside Acoustic Sessions (organised by Comets & Cartwheels) at Glasgow’s Drake Bar featuring free stripped-back sets from Friends In America + Prehistoric Friends on November 7, Finn LeMarinel on November 14, Randolph’s Leap on November 21 and Honeyblood + LightGuides on November 28.
New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + The Youth And Young at Strathaven’s Old Mill Studios on December 7.
November 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Roar (Katy Perry cover for Vic Galloway session).
New song stream via YouTube… Fridge Magnets – Chase The Sun.
Rachel Sermanni has set up a PledgeMusic page for pre-orders of her Everything Changes EP.
Free song download via SoundCloud… This Silent Forest – Root To The Seed, taken from debut album Indivision.
New song stream via Gold Flake Paint… Book Group – The Lowdown of A LOUD Sound, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single, out on November 25.
New video via YouTube… The Button Men – Man With A Plan.
November 5, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud (today only)… There Will Be Fireworks – Elder And Oak.
New video via YouTube… CHVRCHES – Lies.
The Birthday Suit have a PledgeMusic campaign featuring various incentives and packages to go with pre-orders of their third album A Hollow Hole Of Riches, out in April.
BrewDog Records has been set up by the Scottish craft beer company with its first official release being The Shiverin’ Sheiks single Guided Missiles, taken from the band’s debut album A Curious Case Of…, out on November 20.
November 4, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Washington Irving – Palomides: Volume II.
New album release via iTunes… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Over The Wall – Radiator, taken from This Is How We Did It EP, out on December 9.
November 1, 2013: New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + Kevin Harper at Glasgow’s SWG3 on November 22.
Arctic Monkeys have rescheduled tonight’s show at Glasgow’s Hydro to November 21 as singer Alex Turner has laryngitis. All original tickets remain valid.
New video via YouTube… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared. He plays with Beerjacket + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
October 31, 2013: New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Mary (first solo offering of ex-Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill).
New video via YouTube… Frightened Rabbit – Holy.
A fan-led campaign to boycott all of Idlewild’s side-projects in the hope of spurring them to make new music has been attacked by band member Rod Jones. The guitarist, who also fronts The Birthday Suit, wrote: “If anything this just has the opposite effect in that it made me really consider whether I wanted to make music anymore. My other band The Birthday Suit and its touring and releasing records has absolutely no bearing or influence on whether and when an Idlewild tour or album might happen.”
October 30, 2013: New gigs… The Reflektors (Arcade Fire) at Glasgow’s Barrowland on November 15 and November 16 – general sale from November 1; presale passwords are available to those who pre-ordered the band’s new album from their official website.
New album release via iTunes… Cairn String Quartet – One (streaming on SoundCloud) featuring orchestral covers of Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Ocean Colour Scene etc.
October 29, 2013: Free song download via official website… Mogwai – Remurdered (streaming on SoundCloud), taken from eighth album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Pinact – Brew.
New video via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows.
Free song download via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Madison – Mending, taken from Mending EP, out now.
Gig venue change…. Katie Sutherland plays Glasgow’s Faktory instead of Mackintosh Church on November 2.
October 28, 2013: New album release via Comets & Cartwheels… Blood Relatives – Deerheart.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Call To Mind – A Family Sketch.
New album release via Lost Map… Monoganon – F A M I L Y, streaming in full on Gold Flake Paint.
October 25, 2013: Born To Be Wide will host a seminar on record shops at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 7. Panelists include Rose Norton (Coda), Sandy McLean (Love Music) and Darren Yeates (VoxBox).
New gig… Blood Relatives album launch at Glasgow’s Bar & Fly on October 26.
New gig… Scottish Fiction presents Beerjacket & Friends + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The LaFontaines – All She Knows (Prides remix).
The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s have been added to the Concert in the Gardens bill at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay alongside Pet Shop Boys. Other stages feature CHVRCHES, Django Django and King Creosote.
October 24, 2013: New gig… TYCI Christmas Party featuring secret live act plus DJ sets from CHVRCHES + Pretty Ugly + Adele Bethel at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Honeyblood – Kissing On You.
New gig… Starz In Their Eyes featuring RM Hubbert + Eagleowl + The Pictish Trail + Kid Canaveral + Two Wings (each covering a female artist of their choice) at Edinburgh’s Pilrig St Paul’s Church on November 23.
October 23, 2013: New video via YouTube… Siobhan Wilson – All Dressed Up.
New video via YouTube… TeenCanteen – Honey.
New video via YouTube… Young Fathers – Low, taken from forthcoming album Dead, out on February 3.
New video via YouTube… Biffy Clyro – Sounds Like Balloons.
New EP release via Bandcamp… End Of Neil – Less.
October 22, 2013: Local Natives’ Nik Ewing had his Fender Coronado bass guitar stolen during their gig at The Arches in Glasgow last night – contact police if you spot it.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared, out on November 28.
October 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… TeenCanteen – Honey, out on October 28. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on October 25, Glasgow’s Rio Cafe on October 26 (free) and Aberfeldy Festival on November 3.
New album release via Bandcamp… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead.
New video via YouTube… Kobi Onyame – Goodbye World, Hello, taken from new album Glory, out on November 4.
Free download via official website… Plum – Death Comes With A Bow, taken from Betsy Thunder EP, out now.
October 18, 2013: Dumfries Music Conference has announced its upcoming four-day programme of free events in the town.
October 30: Screening of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits at Robert Burns Centre.
October 31: Music Industry Experts seminar featuring The Pop Cop and others at The Stove (ticketed).
November 1: Songwriting Workshops featuring Findlay Napier + Finding Albert’s Robert Shields at The Stove.
November 1: Live showcase featuring Hector Bizerk + Honeyblood + Barstow Bats at The Stove (ticketed).
November 2: Record Fair featuring Rebecca Vasmant (Ministry Of Sound) + Jason Reid (Sub Club) at The Stove.
October 17, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Washington Irving – Babble. Their track Palomides is also available for free download. Both are taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
New video via Clash… The Birthday Suit – A Bigger World, out on November 4.
New video via YouTube… Atom Tree – Die For Your Love, taken from Tide Of Thorns EP, out on October 18.
Free gig… Rachel Sermanni at Glasgow’s Love Music on October 21 (5pm).
October 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Colin Macleod – Devil Pavement (Live from the Green Bus), taken from The Anchor EP, out on October 21. On the same day he will play instore sets at Edinburgh’s Coda Music (1pm) and Glasgow’s Love Music (5.30pm).
57ᵒ North have published their Guide To DIY Gig Promotion – a useful resource for anyone venturing into this side of the music business.
Michael Cassidy will play at the opening night party for Glasgow’s The Bar & Fly on October 19.
Free gig… French Wives + Randolph’s Leap + Laki Mera + The Graveyard Band + Donald Macdonald And The Islands + The Mademoiselle for 1st Birthday Bash at Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 25 (RSVP required).
October 15, 2013: New video via YouTube… Travis – Mother.
New video via YouTube…. Casual Sex – Nothing On Earth, taken from The Bastard Beat EP, out on October 28.
October 14, 2013: Anna Sweeney, who spoke out on The Pop Cop about her mental health issues after quitting her solo career, has started a new project with Maeve McCrorie called The Scarlings. They play their first gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on October 31.
October 12, 2013: New documentary via BBC iPlayer… The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
New song stream via Clash… Washington Irving – Palomides, taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
Free download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Glow (demo).
Free album download via Bandcamp… Louie & Bigg Taj – Paranoise.
October 11, 2013: New gig… Withered Hand at Edinburgh’s Whale Arts Centre on October 19 (free tickets) with free return coach travel from Waterloo Place as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
New tour… Travis at Edinburgh’s Picture House on November 17, Inverness’ Ironworks on November 18, Aberdeen’s Music Hall on November 19 and Glasgow’s Barrowland on December 20.
October 10, 2013: The venue splits and stage times for Haddowfest in Edinburgh on October 11-12 have been released.
New video via YouTube… Honeyblood – Bud. The band play Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 29 and Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 30.
New video via YouTube… Camera Obscura – Troublemaker. The band’s Break It To You Gently double 7″ single is out now.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Soul Surrender, taken from debut album Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead, out on October 21.
October 9, 2013: New video via YouTube… Katie Sutherland – Canvas. She plays Glasgow’s Mackintosh Church on November 2.
New gig… Rachel Sermanni + Bwani Junction + Vigo Thieves at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on November 23 (for War Child). Rachel’s The Boatshed Sessions EP is out on October 21.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on October 11 at 9pm.
LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits will be shown for free at Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre on October 30 as part of Dumfries Music Conference which runs from October 30 to November 2.
October 8, 2013: CHVRCHES, Django Django, King Creosote, The Rezillos, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid have been announced to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party alongside headliners Pet Shop Boys.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
October 7, 2013: New song stream via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows, out on October 27; B-side My Yo-Yo available now on iTunes.
New album release via iTunes… The Fratellis – We Need Medicine.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Grand Gestures – Second.
New album release via Fortuna POP!… The Spook School – Dress Up.
October 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… De Rosa – Spectres. The band play their first gig in four years as part of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles IV at Edinburgh’s Portobello Town Hall on December 14.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Androgynous (The Replacements cover).
New album stream via SoundCloud… L.Pierre – Neverland Transmission, A Disney Mix (tracklist on Dazed and Confused).
October 4, 2013: 57º North will run a free music journalism training course at Aberdeen’s Seventeen every Wednesday for four weeks from October 23. Email email@example.com to apply for one of six spaces.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Katie Sutherland – Canvas, out on November 18.
New gigs via Ticketmaster… The Twilight Sad performing debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 20 and December 21.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Little Kicks – Put Your Love In Front Of Me.
New video via BBC iPlayer… Rapal – Series 7, Episode 8, featuring Vukovi, Donald Macdonald And The Islands, The Velveteen Saints, The River 68′s and Conquering Animal Sound.
October 3, 2013: The Glasgow venue formerly known as The Barfly, which shut in February 2009, will reopen as The Bar & Fly at the same location on Clyde Street on October 18.
New video via YouTube… The Deep Red Sky – Kids (MGMT cover), out on October 7.
New song via YouTube… Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves (demo).
October 2, 2013: Free album download via UK Rock Radio… Free Sample Issue #03 featuring songs by The Xcerts, Sparrow And The Workshop, Admiral Fallow, A Band Called Quinn, Mull Historical Society and Unkle Bob.
Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook will be a guest speaker at Born To Be Wide’s seminar on promoting gigs, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 3.
New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – You Know Me Now.
What The Blood Revealed have announced they are splitting up.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands – Belong.
October 1, 2013: Free song download via iTunes… CHVRCHES – Tether. Singer Lauren Mayberry has written a Guardian article about the online misogyny she has been suffering, it’s well worth a read.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Julia & The Doogans – Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue cover).
New song stream via SoundCloud… Cold Crows Dead – Ghost That Burned Your House Down, taken from debut album I Fear A New World, out on December 2. The band is a collaboration between The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod and Brighton songwriter Paul Steel. They play Aberdeen’s Tunnels on December 10 and Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 11.
With just 500 days until Scotland’s independence referendum takes place on September 18, 2014, The Pop Cop asked 40 musicians from the Scottish music scene the same question that will be on the ballot – “Should Scotland be an independent country?” – giving each of them the choice of ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Undecided’ and inviting them to explain their answer.
From the 40 surveyed, the results were: 13 Yes, 7 No, 20 Undecided.
Jamie Sutherland – Broken Records (09/04/13)
A bit of a head and heart thing here. The heart says ‘Yes’, absolutely, as to have the chance to have a completely independent national dialogue with no outside influence is in many ways the dream. However, the head says that I have never seen a set of figures or old-fashioned business plan that has convinced me we have what it takes to truly be a success as an independent country, and indeed I can’t see the brain drain of Scottish ingenuity stopping if we were to become independent. We would still lose our best people to London and other big financial/cultural centres of the world, yet now receive no benefit for it. Also, the tone of the independence campaign, and specifically the SNP, has left me cold in the purity of its ideals. To paraphrase that renowned philosopher Slaven Bilic (Croatian football coach) when referencing his own country’s problems with its neighbours, you should define being Scottish by what you are for, not what you are against. To simply want to throw two fingers up to those down south seems like the ultimate form of shooting ourselves in the foot.
It’s a rare thing for nations to be joined in a Union of peace and relative prosperity to be neighbours for such a long time and if we ever lose that, it’s likely to be gone for good. I have yet to be convinced that independence will automatically be a good thing for Scotland. I often think it’s more helpful to think in terms of what we have in common with our neighbours in England than what we have apart. I will admit, however, that the current truly pitiful state of the coalition UK government and the lack of serious leftist political opposition in Westminster has recently led me to reconsider my stance on independence on those grounds alone. Therefore I am currently undecided.
Kenny Anderson – King Creosote (10/04/13)
For lack of a compelling argument.
It makes sense to me. It’s wise to take this opportunity and place this country in our own hands. Scotland elected one Tory MP in the last general election yet still there is a Tory government in power. We need a fairer future. Surely we want to build the type of country we want our children and further generations to live in?
Craig B – The Unwinding Hours (11/04/13)
It seems quite clear that we need an alternative to what is on offer right now. My faith in the potential for public engagement was completely trampled by Tony Blair and the Labour government’s decision to enter into a completely unjustified war in spite of widespread protest. I will never forget the lies and flimsy reasoning used to connect this country with the invasion of another. The Conservatives have just continued in their predictably distasteful pursuit of personal gain, looking after the financial sector over and above the concerns of the greater public, with so little concern for the vulnerable or how most families live on a day-to-day basis. I see independence for Scotland as a possible alternative but I’m basing that on the failure of other parties. I don’t want to swap one government for another that disregards the needs of the people in an attempt to cosy up to the requirements of powerful businesses or financial institutions. I want a clear commitment from Scottish independent candidates that there will be a different approach. If an independent Scotland is to become a reality then it must be with open, transparent intentions and clearly defined economic strategies. I’m happy to remain undecided so that those wanting power have to convince me this is the right way forward for everyone and not only the elite few.
At the moment, Scotland is run by a government that the majority of us did not vote for. Until we have independence we will never live in a fair, democratic society. Every country should have the right to make its own decisions based on its own values. It has been made apparent time and again that our priorities, our needs and our values are not always the same as people living in the rest of the UK. Yes, we are a small country but we have always been a country of pioneers who have led the way in science, engineering and so many other fields, not least music and the arts. We are an intelligent country full of character and determination with wealthy natural resources and are more than capable of shaping our own future. The future that we want, not the future someone else decides we deserve.
Sanjeev Kohli – The Grand Gestures (15/04/13)
Reasons? Politically and fiscally, there are too many undecided variables – will Scotland get ALL the Caramel Wafer revenue? Will it be backdated? Culturally, I like to flip between Scottish and British; when I hear Belle & Sebastian or Chic Murray or Ivor Cutler I’m proud to be a Scot; when I hear Portishead or Jarvis Cocker or the work of Chris Morris I’m proud to be a Brit; and whenever I see Piers Morgan’s face I’m proud to be a Lithuanian. I do feel, though, that Scotland projects enough of a sense of Scottishness without independence.
I take exception to decisions regarding Scotland being decided by a parliament in Westminster and I have concerns about issues such as taxation and revenue generation being centrally controlled and handed out to the Scottish government, but I am not sure whether complete independence is the answer or whether further devolved powers within the UK would be sufficient. The stability and success of other small European countries such as Norway and Sweden are encouraging and I find the equality of wages in Scandinavia to be very appealing in terms of quality of life for all of society. However, I also have concerns with regards to Scotland’s GDP. I am not clear on how the oil revenue would be distributed were Scotland to vote for independence and it is not apparent to me what our major exports would be. I feel I need to see more hard facts regarding what would happen with the country economically in order to make an informed decision. I am completely in favour of scrapping Trident and removing nuclear arms from Scotland, so that would certainly be another reason I would consider a ‘Yes’ vote.
Barrie-James O’Neill – Kassidy (15/04/13)
I’m not really convinced anyone would notice much of a difference if it did happen. I’m sure it would be beneficial to the ghosts behind the scenes. I see voting as like an illusion – an imaginary change, people feeling like they are involved in things going on in their country when really it’s always out of our hands. It’s a lot like writing a letter to Santa Claus. Better to have an imaginary friend.
If people are looking for a stronger feeling of national identity then independence is probably for them. I just wouldn’t want to see us bite off more than we can chew. There’s always going to be a risk in this kind of situation but I really don’t know enough about the ins and outs to give an educated answer. But I do know that for bands touring the UK, getting caught up at customs going into England from Scotland would become a total nightmare!
Kerr Okan – The LaFontaines (17/04/13)
From what reliable information I can gather we would thrive as an independent country but it comes down to representation and the lack of voice we currently have in the UK. It’s demonstrated year after year how little say Scotland has in electing our Prime Minister. How can we expect to progress and better ourselves as a nation or have our views represented at an international level when we’re under the thumb of a party practically no one up here wanted or agrees with?
I haven’t decided yet, because I don’t need to – not for another year. When it comes to voting I want to feel confident I’ve made an informed decision, that I’ve read as much as I can (and I don’t mean other people’s Facebook updates), that I’ve tried to understand what both decisions would mean not just for Scotland but for the other countries of the UK because it’s important to consider the impact on them too. I’m uncomfortable with ‘us and them’. I’ve never felt British, I’ve only ever felt Scottish – but that’s not a good enough reason for me to vote ‘Yes’. I love Scotland, I love its beauty, its history, its culture, its community, I feel connected to it – but that’s also not a good enough reason for me to vote ‘Yes’. I’ve never given my vote to either of the parties that have governed the UK in my lifetime (I’m not even sure I know many people who have), I’ve never felt represented by them, I’ve never felt that their ideology was aligned with my beliefs, I’ve often been ashamed of them and the decisions they’ve made in my name – but that’s also not a good enough reason to make me vote ‘Yes’. Ultimately I want my decision to be based on what seems right for the future of Scotland and the UK, not based on the past. Ask me again in a year and I hope I can give you a more definitive answer.
James Yorkston (21/04/13)
I believe Scotland is a distinct country and should be governed by the people who inhabit Scotland and have the best interests of Scotland at heart.
I’m pro-independence but I’m also aware of the many benefits of being part of the United Kingdom. Maybe as things become clearer in the run-up to the referendum I might be able to form a real opinion but at the moment my mind isn’t made up and I’m still not sure how I’ll vote.
John Cummings – Mogwai (22/04/13)
Countries should be independent. Scotland is a country.
I’ve never really been one for politics. The whole thing reminds me of being back in the school playground trying to negotiate my way through endless shifting seas of loyalty, betrayal and the occasional fist fight when blood ran high. Everything about it seems utterly confused and diluted by ulterior motive, manipulation and underhand tactics. The Scottish independence debate has, however, grabbed my attention. The devolved Scottish parliament has achieved a lot of great things, and I like the fact it can represent a country that has a subtly different way of looking at things when compared to its Union neighbours. We are becoming more at ease with taking control over national issues and this control is now jealously guarded as we witness increased division between approaches in England & Wales and Scotland with regards to health care, education and elements of social reform. To be continually dictated to by a party we did not choose will be harder to bear as the years progress. I am, as I suspect many are, nervous of voting ‘Yes’ just because it’s a nice idea to rule your own roost and it is of course human nature to want to divide and then subdivide geographical areas of power into smaller and smaller areas to give more localised control. We still have no real understanding of the fiscal and economic impact and given the recent currency row I can only imagine what other complications will be thrown up by both sides between now and the referendum. No-one, therefore, can tell us exactly what we will be walking into but on balance it seems increasingly worth taking the chance on.
Rachel Sermanni (23/04/13)
The reason I think ‘Yes’ is curiosity. I’m curious to see what happens. I know enough of history to know that this would be a very pivotal event. I’m not very confident in our Scottish government. They would really need to work for things to work. But I’d be intrigued to see how strong the communities become with a stronger sense of self-reliance and identity. I’d like to see if becoming a smaller ‘company’ brings more focus and understanding, and makes the government’s grounding more human, personal and innovative. Curiosity. That’s it for me.
I’m not sure if the question ought to be whether Scotland should be an independent country. I think an independent Scotland could be – and needs to be. Better than this supposedly ‘together’ UK that seems hell-bent on driving us apart from each other. But it’s up to the people who live here to make it that way. There’s no certainty, only a once-in-my-lifetime opportunity. Visceral alienation from Westminster – and from neoliberal policies that engender cruelty, indignity and inequality (the abandonment of the NHS, welfare reform propaganda) – is the heart of it for me. I observe a profound and permanent erosion of communitarian values amongst the political and economic elite at UK level. And I sense something different here: an opportunity, with extended powers to a parliamentary infrastructure that already manages a whack of our affairs, to reassert those values as the underpinning for a whole country. Of course, the taxes we need to support a caring, compassionate, creative and sustainable society depend upon a thriving economy. But it’s not all about whether each individual or family will be better or worse off. The American songwriter Si Kahn sums it up for me:
It’s not just what you’re born with
It’s what you choose to bear
It’s not how big your share is
But how much you can share
And it’s not the fights you dreamed of
But those you really fought
It’s not what you’ve been given
It’s what you do with what you’ve got
Justin Currie (24/04/13)
I don’t like the Scots. I don’t like them at all. They’re close-lipped, tight-fisted, pass-remarkable and bad at football. They’re cold-hearted and hot-tempered, they’re mottle-fleshed and pig-headed. They’re drunkards, cowards and traitors. They’re lily-livered, if you like. They’re bad losers, ill-mannered, foul-breathed and mean-spirited. They’re past caring, they’re beyond reprieve, they’re the snot on England’s sleeve. They’ve ruined everything, left us wanting. They’ve taken all that’s good and made it tawdry, they’ve spoilt the country, closed their ears to the plight of many, they’re blinded by the smell of money. They’re pigs-in-shit, you’ll never hear the end of it. Fucking Flower Of Scotland, stupid tartan tea-cup morons. They’re everywhere, the little shits, trying to stir it up, get their little bit of something rotten. Do you want a country of your own with a queen and an army and a god maybe to treasure and inspire when it’s time to go to war? Are you ready to be told by some fool who talks like you but has the morals of a goat? Well, I’m not and I don’t and I won’t, I won’t, I won’t.
The reason I’m undecided on independence is pretty simple: I’m very indecisive. However, no-one has yet made a genuinely convincing argument for or against independence. The ‘No’ campaign is hopelessly negative. The essence of their campaign is that Scotland can’t survive independence. That we rely on being part of the UK, and that we ‘get more than we put in’. I haven’t seen it articulated quite as bluntly as that but it’s definitely implied, and I hate that. Not only do I think it’s not true but it plays to the cynical side in all of us. In saying that, I feel the ‘Yes’ campaign is a little too positive. I’d be more convinced by arguments which addressed some of the current problems our country faces and suggested why independence would make them easier to tackle. There is a reason I’m leaning towards a ‘Yes’, though. The one argument I do find appealing is that Scotland should be governed by its own people, and that this could mean more policies created from a Scottish outlook. As a nation, we’ve shown ourselves to be far more socially democratic than the rest of the UK so, as a bit of lefty liberal sort, I’d hope we could create a more liberal and socially aware society than we ever could as part of the UK.
Stuart Murdoch – Belle & Sebastian (26/04/13)
Mmm, I don’t know. I used to know. I was for the Union. Back in the day when it felt like Scotland proudly kept the UK leaning left, I was for the Union. What would happen if we left and took our 40+ Labour seats with us? Our poor brothers and sisters in England would be left with a Conservative government for all time. That was my simple assessment. But as Scots, are we in fact as groovy and righteous as perhaps we think we are? And are we all that socialist? Could it partly be an easy anti-London/UK/establishment thing we have going on? Our bluff is about to be called. It’s ‘piss or get off the pot’ time. And please don’t let it be said that we wouldn’t somehow ‘make it’ as an independent democracy. We would. It’s really not that hard. We did it before and we’d do it again. And would we be better off? Frankly, I don’t care. I hate that question. You might be down or up a few quid at the end of the year, but is that worth getting passionate about? I feel like I’m ready to fall in with whatever the country wants to do… BUT… when a body of people votes overwhelmingly against the people who make the laws and spend the taxes, something’s got to give. We’ve got a vote, and we should keep debating. And it should go beyond flags and currencies, teams and armies. What sort of country do we want? Are we happy that the gap between poor and rich keeps getting bigger? Are we happy with the UK’s brand of unbridled capitalism? Could we come up with something better? We’re certainly no better than the English, or the Welsh or the Irish. We just might be a bit different.
I’m originally from Stoke-on-Trent but both my parents are Scottish and I’ve lived here for nearly 10 years. I don’t see a particular Scottish/English distinction with the people I know. I regard myself as British more than English. I don’t see how separating is going to solve anything. Scotland is a beautifully patriotic country but a lot of people take that a little too far. I know people who have said they’ll vote ‘Yes’ because “England were bastards to us a long time ago”, but it’s not really a good reason. They are going on a gut reaction about how they feel about England rather than how they feel about, say, economics. The problem is that most people don’t know enough about the issue. I’ve certainly not had the benefits explained to me. A lot of people see independence as some kind of solution to something, but they’re not really sure what.
Kobi Onyame (27/04/13)
I was born in Ghana, raised in London and have lived in Glasgow since 2004. My experiences are of a unified Scotland. I believe there will be advantages of an independent Scotland just as much as there are advantages of a unified one. At present I can only relate to those of a unified Scotland. It’s been great so far.
I am a Scot. I live in Scotland. I have no idea what independence will really mean for Scotland. So, for that reason alone, if the people who want to run Scotland can’t even get a clear message out to me, how can they govern the country? This does not mean my mind is made up! The biggest problem from what I can see is currency. Three choices: Apply to the EU / Carry on using Sterling / Print our own. The only sensible, truly independent option is to print our own. But any country printing its own currency without establishment approval is in trouble from the start. Big trouble. The people of Scotland need a global outlook and to understand how this world we live in works. True independence could mean the start of the fight of our lives. Look to Iceland. What started with them telling the UK to shove their debt, jailing the bankers and beginning a beautiful new journey has quickly turned into many problems. Then there is the oil question. This is such a can of worms it’s hard to get into, but to imagine if we gained control of all Scotland’s natural resources we would suddenly be living in a Utopia is incredibly short-sighted. Ultimately, though, nationalism of any kind leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I am a citizen of the world. I live by my rules and no government I have yet lived under represents me and my views. Would an independent Scotland manage this? I’m not sure but my mind is open.
Bill Wells (29/04/13)
As a general philosophy, it’s simply more efficient to work together rather than to be separate, so I’ve never been very keen on the idea of independence. That said, there are occasions when another party acts in such a way that you feel you’d be better off without them.
I haven’t made up by mind yet. We have been asked to contribute our music and stuff to the campaign, but I don’t really have enough information yet. I’m totally interested in it and the initial reaction is, ‘Yeah, of course!’ but that wouldn’t really be based on facts. So I’m trying to gather them because it’s important not just to focus on a sense of national pride where this is coming from. Can we actually make it work? Economically, it’s potentially viable. There are a lot of great strings to Scotland’s bow where that’s concerned.
Emma Gillespie – Emma’s Imagination (30/04/13)
I would like to see Scotland become independent. Culturally we are very different from England and we are yet to fully explore that. I don’t claim to know all the ins and outs, but it would create a greater sense of community and we would have control and responsibility over our own future. It would be good news for Scottish music and film as we would have more control over our own broadcasting and be able to provide better platforms for bands, artists, producers and directors to create a more thriving scene up here. Hopefully we’d get better phone signals and internet speed too! We would keep the NHS and welfare state which is unfortunately becoming privatised in England and it would have a positive effect on our education systems. It’s time we went out respectfully on our own and were neighbours to England rather than “under the wing”. This bodes for a better relationship between the two countries in the future.
There is too much misinformation being peddled by the various parties and by individuals who have a self interest. I am unsure who to believe. I am trying to give each side of the debate a fair and balanced hearing but can’t help feeling an overwhelming sense of alienation. The main questions we need to ask are quite simple. Who will benefit from independence? Will an independent Scotland create more jobs for the long-term unemployed? I don’t believe so. Will our country have better living conditions for 250,000 Scottish children who live in poverty? I’m not convinced. The idea of getting into bed with independence sounds appealing but the harsh reality is that we may wake up without our beer goggles in the morning. The main flaws in our ugly economy would be largely unaffected. The obesity epidemic won’t disappear overnight and chronic alcoholism and addiction will still need to be subsidised. Will our fearless MSPs get a wage rise? You can bet yer ex-cooncil hoos on it!
Julian Corrie – Miaoux Miaoux (01/05/13)
I’ve always considered myself from the UK, having moved around a lot, and Scotland doesn’t feel like a completely different country to me. Although there’s a perceived stigma around being English, I haven’t really seen it, and it’s only manifested itself through my own occasional paranoia. That said, there is a difference here, a feeling, something that’s hard to put into words. I’ve found a greater sense of community here in Scotland, less of the poisonous ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours’ attitude that persists in the English home counties. Nearly everyone I’ve met in the music industry have gone out of their way to help and support me, and I try to do the same. The current Westminster government is physically and ideologically a long way from Scotland. I’m a fan of small government, there are fewer places to hide. It was encouraging to see countries like Iceland take their politicians and bankers to task directly over the financial crisis, and it would be great to see an independent Scotland do the same, and more. What’s disappointing to me is that the SNP are not pushing the practicalities of independence, they’re pushing it as an ideology, which is canny as it will win votes, but when the dust settles where do we go? Where are the plans and grand ideas for the country? What happens with the police force, the broadcasters, the currency, Europe, the border, passports, immigration, right to work? I’m sure a lot of this has to be settled after the fact, but the discussion is being motivated by the opposition. There isn’t much talk about an independent Scotland post-vote – it seems like it’s just an idea – an attractive one, yes, but an idea just the same. For me, it needs some more weight behind it – I need to be won over with head as well as heart.
I’m voting ‘Yes’ because Scotland is in need of change, and it seems like a good one to make.
Ross Clark – Three Blind Wolves (02/05/13)
I find myself on the left-hand side of the political spectrum but for the eight years I’ve been able to vote, I have never felt that one politician truly represents me in either Scotland or the UK. Therefore, I find myself disconnected with the issue of independence and, as ignorant as this sounds, the amount of propaganda on both sides really puts me off making a decision. I am in full support of Scotland being governed by a fully devolved Scottish parliament but I don’t have enough inspiration or facts to make my choice. I love Scotland and my Scottish identity but, at this moment, I would say I am more unconvinced than undecided. There’s a fence and I’m going to sit on it until nearer the time.
I feel I’m in a diminishing group of people who don’t want or see a need for independence. Maybe it’s just my geography, living in a bit of an SNP stronghold. It actually seems a bit of a scary proposition, an economy based on an oil field that was supposed to be close to running dry 10 years ago. There’s too much contradiction and misinformation to take anyone seriously about the whole thing and I’m not sure I’d trust Alex Salmond to make my breakfast let alone run an independent country.
Dan Muir – Bwani Junction (02/05/13)
As a band, we try to be as independent as possible and can very much relate to self-determination. We are also very patriotic and would like to think that our core Scottishness is reflected in our music – obviously with more than a nod to certain international influences. However, when it comes to going it alone as a nation, the band is split down the middle for the following reason: if we discount blind nationalism (with ‘heart ruling the head’) for a moment, as young guys growing up in Scotland, with our futures hopefully still ahead of us, there is still a serious lack of easily understood information about the financial pros and cons of full independence. In short, we need more reassurance about the prospect of a stable future. Of course, if Scotland were to adopt the previous Irish model of zero taxation for working artists, then no debate… FREEDOM!
I am as British as they come: Welsh descent, brought up in England and living in Scotland for the past 17 years. While Scotland has a strong national and cultural identity – as do England, Wales and Northern Ireland – I feel this flourishes well as a part of the United Kingdom. We are part of a greater whole which makes us what and who we are today. Economic and historical arguments, while important to many, are less of the point to me on reflection. I feel British and I don’t want to put up imaginary barriers between us all. We should be working together with others, not moving away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as opposed to Tory power over anyone as much as the next man, but I think we are all in this together. Maybe a tad sentimental but I’m an old softie.
Michael Cassidy (03/05/13)
For me, the independence question is one of national identity. My nationality is Scottish and if we were to vote for independence then I wouldn’t necessarily feel any more Scottish as a result. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that was attracted to a romanticised view of an independent Scotland. This feeling is heightened when I hear a lone piper playing Highland Cathedral or watch a film or documentary celebrating Scotland’s history. In an economic sense, I’ve heard so many pros and cons that not only does it confuse me, but I feel no one actually knows how Scotland will fare under independence until it happened. I spend a lot of time playing down in England and have many friends and family there. The notion of independence also raises the issue of separation and its various implications. This does not sit easily with me. I would prefer to see Scotland press for further devolution. If this was achieved I feel it would be the perfect outcome for Scotland, but I still would not feel any more Scottish as a result.
An evening in with my fiercely nationalist grandparents and I’m one deep-fried Mars Bar short of being fully converted. The bus ride back into town is coloured with sickly romantic images free to reign over a mind that’s all but moulded. I approach the pub, armed to the teeth with what appear to be rock-hard facts and figures. Pints hit the table. Keen to kickstart proceedings, I weigh in. After a few minutes, I’m thinking to myself, “Hey! This is going great! I’ve got everyone’s complete and undivided attention. I might just have cracked it!” – I’m now a half lager shandy away from proposing that we end our night up Arthur’s Seat, bleary-eyed and overly affectionate. I ready myself for a premature victory sip. My lips barely touch the glass when Rab stands up – who I know doesn’t wear a Scotland strip as much I like to think he does, but for all intents and purposes, let’s say he was wearing one tonight. I’m sure I’ve cinched it, Rab will tie this one up neatly and I can start on the next round of uninformed bitching. Think I’ll tackle Trident… I eventually tune back into the debate and to my horror I find Rab dismantling – with clear success – the very foundations of my argument. Dreams of a midnight hike are swiftly flattened and the following week turns into a total haze. I wander the streets a lost soul. ‘Who am I?’ ‘Where am I going?’ are amongst the questions that rattle round my brain as I prepare myself for another evening with granddad.
Joe Black – Washington Irving (03/05/13)
I have a lot of concerns about the independence campaign. At some levels it has been anti-English which is disgraceful. I also think the man-made and historically shifty Scottish border is not that culturally significant. I’ve spent a lot of time in the north of England and the amount I have in common with cities such as Sheffield, York, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester et al is pretty staggering. Culturally then, I’d draw a line somewhere above Birmingham. As much as I love London and a lot of the southern towns, I don’t feel like I have a lot to do with them. Thatcher’s death and the coalition have united the north even more. I have never felt more disenfranchised than when I listened to the garish tributes paid to her and her wicked ideology in Westminster. So far the SNP have promoted a society based on the socialist principle that, first and foremost, a government’s duty is to the most needy and vulnerable. That to me is one of the only legitimate reasons for which we should allow ourselves to be governed. If I thought we could form a country where this principle is enshrined and the systemic poverty in Scotland is tackled once and for all, I would definitely be voting ‘Yes’. The signs have been encouraging and if the vote was tomorrow I would vote for independence. But I’d prefer it if all the amazing northern English towns were in with us too and Glasgow was the capital. And Chris, our drummer, was elected King.
I’m all for independence. I’m not sure things could get any worse and talk that the NHS might not exist in the next few years is worrying. For me, the Conservatives stand for “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. We wouldn’t want to see Scotland missing out on the bigger picture, but at the same time I think Scotland has missed out on a lot of things as a country. Scotland could stand for something in the way that Norway has done. There is an opportunity for something innovative and visionary. In a small country like Scotland, modern-day issues could be sweetly represented in terms of trying to tackle violence, crime and unemployment.
Craig Parker – Make Sparks (05/05/13)
When it comes time to place my vote to decide whether Scotland should be independent I hope I have a better idea of what’s for the best. At the moment it’s a bit like watching two separate Michael Moore films, each one ramming their argument down our throats. I’ll keep asking questions and try to make up my mind but I’m holding out hope that people will stop frothing at the mouth over the subject long enough to help me decide.
I would love to see Scotland flourish, prosper and blossom in her independence. It’s important for us as Scots to acknowledge our roots and remember where we came from, but even more important to shake off the old belief systems that no longer serve us and embrace all possibilities and newness in order to realise the fullness of our potential. Each of us can make a difference. It’s time for Scotland as a nation to heal and let go of grudges or hard done-by feelings about the past. It’s time for us to take great care and respect and nourish each other. The glory days of Victorian colonialism, Britannia and the Empire are long gone. As Scots we are steeped in a unique, abundant history and culture all of our own. Moving forward, it’s imperative for each of us to remember who we really are. We are a nation of industry, of world-renowned builders, inventors, craftsmen, engineers, writers, poets, philosophers and artists. If we do this right we’ll go from strength to strength and thrive as a nation because we always have had, and always will have, so much to share with the rest of the world. And if independence happens we’ll need to choose our official national anthem because right now we only have unofficial ones. Unless anything more dazzling presents itself I think it should be Auld Lang Syne.