Music, Pop

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The Notwist, with Jel – Mono, Glasgow, Sun 16 Mar 2014

19 Mar 20144 stars

The long-running German alt.rockers team up with the Californian hip hop electronicist

Given The Notwist’s (comparatively) recent move towards electronica, it’s not too surprising to see Jel join the long-running German alt.rockers on this European tour. The co-founder of alternative electronica/hip hop label Anticon, he’s carved a niche…

Interview: Paolo Nutini on new album, Caustic Love

11 Mar 2014

The singer-songwriter is set to play a slew of festival dates, including T in the Park & V Festival

If you have turned on a radio at any point in the past month or so, you may be aware that Paisley pop prodigy Paolo Nutini is back in the game with new single ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ after an absence of five years - say three, if you take time off…

Vic Godard – Thirty Odd Years

10 Mar 20145 stars

An exquisite package dedicated to the anti-career of the prolific Subway Sect man

'It's a literary and philosophical group,' says the voice of the late Edinburgh-based poet Paul Reekie in a faux-radio interview at the start of this two-CD, 44 track retrospective from Vic Godard. As a singer/songwriter, Godard's band Subway Sect may…

Paul Haig – At Twilight

10 Mar 20144 stars

Ex-Josef K member – and 'face and sound of 1982' – returns with another solo album

When Paul Haig, Malcolm Ross and co called time on Edinburgh's jangular art-rock funkateers Josef K, following the release of both theirs and Alan Horne's Postcard label's sole album release, The Only Fun In Town, in 1981, Haig styled himself as the…

Bdy_Prts - Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow, Wed 5 Mar 2014

7 Mar 20144 stars

Debut single launch gig for the bodysock-loving Glasgow alt-pop duo

’We thought we'd only sold about 30 tickets!’ Jenny Reeve protests mid-set, but the venue is rammed full and there is little doubt that Bdy_Prts is the hottest ticket in town on this particular evening. Neither Reeve nor her partner in crime Jill O…

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Exposure: 80s echoing synth-pop from Glaswegian trio Prides

24 Feb 2014

The trio specialise in big, anthemic choruses a la Tears for Fears, Roxy Music, Genesis & Talk Talk

Already one of the most talked about bands of 2014, Glasgow trio Prides have wasted no time in taking their euphoric synth-pop to the masses. Emerging early last year, their debut single ‘Out Of The Blue’ was playlisted by Radio 1 and they were also…

Dean Wareham - Dean Wareham

21 Feb 20144 stars

The Luna/Galaxie 500 guitarist delivers perfectly crafted, exquisitely delivered songs

No one ever claimed Dean Wareham was a great guitar player, least of all himself. But eavesdropping on his ongoing search for the lost note and perfect chord progression is compelling. With a knack for plaintive melody and lyrical phrasing most other…

Interview: San Franciscan busker The Space Lady

19 Mar 2014

The iconic outsider musician is experiencing a revival since her 70s/80s heyday

Walk through San Francisco's bohemian Castro district in the 70s or 80s and you might come across a street musician dressed in a winged helmet and futuristic robes, singing celestial lullabies over the cosmic tones of a modified Casio keyboard. This was…

Tuff Love/ Miracle Strip/ The Pictish Trail - Henry's Cellar, Edinburgh, Thu 13 Mar 2014

19 Mar 20144 stars

Lost Map's Johnny Lynch presides over a night of infectious pop joy

In a venue not dissimilar to the hull of a sunken ship, Johnny Lynch has every reason to be happy. Not only has he smoothly steered through the first six months of running his new record label, Lost Map and handed over his own solo material to be…

Carla Bozulich - Boy

19 Mar 20143 stars

An adventurous, unique, instinctive and powerful twist on folk, blues and gospel forms

Carla Bozulich has done a lot that’s worthy of your ears over the couple of decades – most prominently, the savage country-punk of The Geraldine Fibbers and the more exploratory Evangelista, plus the Nels Cline Singers, Ethyl Meatplow, Scarnella and…

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Singles and downloads - March 2014

19 Mar 2014

Paolo Nutini, Machinedrum, Golden Teacher and Paws reviewed

Paolo Nutini – 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' (Atlantic) ●● For the first ten seconds, the comeback single from Paisley’s favourite son is highly promising, with a vaguely South Asian convergence of atmospheric windchime sounds and squealing rap intro…

Pop princess Kylie Minogue announces UK tour dates for 2014

19 Mar 2014

Tickets for the tour, which will visit the UK in September/October, go on sale from Fri 21 Mar

Kylie Minogue will be touring the UK this September as part of her ‘Kiss Me Once' European tour. The tour will commence at Liverpool's Echo Arena in Liverpool on Wed 24 Sep and call at Manchester, London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham. Kylie will…

Babe - Volery Flighty

14 Mar 20143 stars

Former Findo Gask man Gerard Black proves he's just as talented as his famous friends

Talented pals – who needs them? Fife-born Gerard Black’s Glasgow/Bordeaux-based brainchild Babe (also featuring Amaury Ranger, Thomas Ogden and Michael Marshall, a bandmate of Gerard’s in defunct Scottish synth-pop group Findo Gask) have been…

François & the Atlas Mountains - Piano Ombre

14 Mar 20144 stars

The final LP in François Marry's 'trilogy' contains yet more bilingual, elegantly tailored synth pop

François Marry, one-time touring member of Camera Obscura, and Fence Records recording artiste, has ceased his perambulations around the UK and returned to his native France to record the final part of what he sees as a trilogy of albums. With Piano…

Chad VanGaalen - Shrink Dust

14 Mar 20143 stars

Self-proclaimed country album from Calgary's astral-rock artisan

Picture this. Two small, prying hands growing out of your shoulders, ripping your eyelids wide apart, provoking untold confusion and pain, and all to a groovy psych-pop beat. Welcome to the surreal province of Chad VanGaalen, where such events unfold on…

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Interview: Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy

13 Mar 2014

A discussion on flat parties, sabbaticals and the latest Franz album

'It’s kind of like a holiday with your pals,' muses Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy, of the Glasgow artisan guitar pop artistes’ rationale for taking a good long break prior to making their latest album, following three records in quick succession up…

Disclosure with Joey Bada$$ - Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Wed 5 Mar 2014

6 Mar 20144 stars

Poor sound quality can’t hamper a night of near-perfect pop-house

Given that the Corn Exchange is used as much for wedding fayres and corporate events as for live music performances, it’s not surprising that it lacks the decent acoustics of purpose-built gig houses. Tonight’s support act, Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$…

Beyonce - Hydro Arena, Glasgow, Thu 20 Feb 2014

21 Feb 20145 stars

The Mrs Carter live show is a mesmerising blend of star power, pyrotechnics and damn good music

There are a hundred and one questions which could be asked of Beyonce as a true artistic breaker of boundaries; namely, judging by this performance, the tension between an obviously passionate feminist voice which saw her render the powerful TED talk…

MØ - No Mythologies to Follow

21 Feb 20144 stars

Intelligent, danceable electropop from Scandinavia

It's been a long wait since Danish electropop singer Karen Marie Ørsted (aka MØ, which translates as 'maiden' or 'virgin'), released her first single, suitably titled 'Maiden' in 2012. It's also the second track on her first full-length album, No…

Metronomy - Love Letters

21 Feb 20143 stars

Joe Mount's electro-pop follow-up to The English Riviera can't help but suffer by comparison

Across three albums, Metronomy evolved from Joseph Mount’s one-man glitch electronica project into an iridescent indie pop band. Debut album Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe) (2006) bristled with wonky beats while The English Riviera (2011) saw…

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Ela Orleans - Tumult In Clouds

21 Feb 20145 stars

A sublime, disorientating LP that navigates chanson-pop grooves, eldritch psych-rock & electro

This sublime, disorientating LP is a rarity in every sense. It is uncommon, in this day and age, to make a double vinyl album, for starters – although it feels futile to measure this abstract opus against such a humdrum framework as time. For said…

The Birthday Suit - A Hollow Hole of Riches

21 Feb 20143 stars

Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones has a blast with his other project, which suffers from too much filler

At the end of last year, Rod Jones responded to an online campaign from angst-riddled Idlewild fans who demanded a boycott on their solo projects until the band started recording again. Jones rightly poo-pooed such notions, and no wonder, given that he…

Wild Beasts - Present Tense

21 Feb 20143 stars

A technically immaculate but ultimately self-satisfied attempt to dissolve into a new genre

'Don't confuse me with someone who gives a fuck,' sneers Wild Beasts' singer Hayden Thorpe on the stirring chorus of 'Wanderlust', albeit in the most tender, polite way imaginable. While it's not directed towards the future critics of his group's…

Withered Hand - New Gods

21 Feb 20142 stars

A breezy jangle pop record that's conspicuously devoid of any real nuance, intrigue or subtlety

It’s a brave thing to make a breezy jangle pop record in the year 2014. Tastes are more sophisticated, audiences are atomised, communal experiences are rarer, music fans are constantly sated yet never more whiney (yes you, you big moanyhole). Yet amid…

Usher Hall manager Karl Chapman discusses the venue's 100th Birthday Concert

21 Feb 2014

Mogwai, Rufus Wainwright and the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra will help mark the occasion

Whether or not the queen’s custom of sending congratulatory messages to those reaching their 100th birthdays extends to concert halls as well as people remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely that Edinburgh’s Usher Hall will be short of birthday greetings…