Music, Rock

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Barrowland, Glasgow, Thu 31 Oct 2013

6 Nov 20135 stars

Cave and co deliver a combination of gothic majesty and piano-led balladry on All Hallow's Eve

All Hallow's Eve feels like the perfect night to see Nick Cave – the self-styled dark prince of punk – when the veil between this world and the next is purportedly at its thinnest. These days, the Sussex-dwelling Cave is more a reluctant national…

Honeyblood – Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Wed 30 Oct 2013

5 Nov 20134 stars

Confident, American-style garage pop with a Scottish accent

Taking inspiration from the grungy Seattle slacker-pop of the 1990s, there’s something intrinsically American about Honeyblood’s sound. At tonight’s gig – the final date on a short tour to launch their new single, ‘Bud’ – frontwoman Stina’s vocals range…

Tunng and Pinkunoizu - Broadcast, Glasgow, Sun 13 Oct 2013

31 Oct 20134 stars

A magical, heartwarmingly gleeful set of black tales and vivid melodies

The smattering of Danish voices on the street outside imply that Pinkunoizu aren’t a wholly unknown variable tonight but for the majority, the appropriate reception slots in somewhere between pleasant surprise and revelation. Tempering free-floating…

Arcade Fire to play November UK tour dates as The Reflektors

29 Oct 2013

The Canadian indie rockers will come to London, Glasgow and Blackpool

Arcade Fire have announced a string of UK dates the week their latest album is released. Ahead of Reflektor, their first album to follow 2010's Grammy-award winning The Suburbs, the band have adopted a slightly different persona. Playing gigs as…

LISTEN: Mogwai unveil new single 'Remurdered', from forthcoming album Rave Tapes

28 Oct 2013

Rave Tapes will be released January 2014, and promoted on winter UK tour

Glasgow post-rock five-piece Mogwai are back with a brand new album to bring in 2014, as well as added tour dates for their UK fans. Rave Tapes, set for release on Mon 20 Jan 2014, will be Mogwai’s eighth studio album, and the first since 2011’s…

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Muscle Shoals

22 Oct 20134 stars

A music doc about an Alabama town rich in musical history, from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys

Most music documentaries tend to focus on artists rather than environment, which is what makes Muscle Shoals an interesting prospect. You may not have heard of this small Alabama town that nestles on the banks of the Tennessee River, but the sounds it…

Fleetwood Mac - The Hydro, Glasgow, Thu 3 Oct 2013

15 Oct 20135 stars

Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and co prove that 'the Mac is back' with effortless arena show

Fleetwood Mac version 2K13 look genuinely fresh; revitalised so much in their relative absence that casually jumping into ‘The Chain’ two songs in looks effortless. And they’re just warming up. Though ‘Everywhere’ is among notable absentees in tonight’s…

Best Coast - Fade Away

11 Oct 20134 stars

Snappy 7-song collection of effortless crunching hooks and moreish choruses

Best Coast’s breezy, sun-kissed indie-rock created such a kerfuffle when it emerged into the world three years ago it’s hard to forget it was just that – almost throwaway songs about love, weed and cats presented with an endearing nonchalance and lo-fi…

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds set for UK tour 2013

11 Oct 2013

Gigs in Glasgow, Brighton, London, Manchester and Edinburgh

The Barrowlands and the Usher Hall – how many other artists could play both venues on consecutive nights and look equally at home in each? Dark Lords of both the grubby and the grand, Nick Cave and his cohort of mean-looking backing musicians the Bad…

Monoganon - Family

11 Oct 20134 stars

Second album of introspective and complex psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras

‘What’s going on in here?’ asks Monoganon frontman John B McKenna in the opening line of his second album, F A M I L Y, as well he might. This introspective, complex collection of psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras dedicated to love, and loss and…

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Interview: Manchester pop-rock quartet PINS

11 Oct 2013

The all-female foursome talk aesthetics, new music and voodoo dolls

The Ray Ban and leather-clad quadruple that make up PINS (Faith Holgate, Lois McDonald, Anna Donigan and Sophie Galpin) hail from Manchester and recently signed to the Cocteau Twins' Bella Union Records. Following this month’s release of their…

Jazzateers - Jazzateers

11 Oct 20134 stars

Re-release of 1983 debut from Glasgow band with rock’n’roll swagger and sass aplenty

When the decidedly non-jazz Jazzateers reformed to play a double bill with Vic Godard reviving his 1980s swing-based set at Glasgow International (yes) Jazz Festival in June this year, it shed some light on one of the great missing links of the original…

Bardo Pond - Peace on Venus

11 Oct 20133 stars

Ninth album from veteran stoner space rockers sounds gloriously messed up

Where a lot of bands coyly beat about the bush as to how much drugs may or may not have influenced their music, since forming in 1991 veteran stoner space rockers Bardo Pond have pretty much written hallucinogenic substances into their raison d’être…

Exposure: Miracle Strip make ambitious electronic lo-fi indie-pop

11 Oct 2013

Singer Fergus Christie Jack on Girl Gangs, influences and bass solos

Eurythmics, Boy George, Simple Minds – they all sang of miracles. Combine the three, chuck in Postcard Records and Jens Lekman, remove your clothes, et voila: Miracle Strip. Formed in an Edinburgh kitchen by singer / instrumentalist Fergus Christie Jack…

Point Close All Quotes: A Quietus Anthology (Ed. Charles Ubaghs)

11 Oct 20135 stars

Essential anthology of passionate opinion and off-the-beaten-track music journalism

The Quietus recently turned five, and anyone with an interest in continuing to treat music as a subject worthy of healthy, (mostly) grown-up discussion knows why that’s a good thing. With a printed music press kept alive by ever-narrower commercial…

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William Onyeabor - World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?

11 Oct 20134 stars

Luaka Bop 25th anniversary reissue of Nigerian wigged-out electro funk

Who indeed? After self-releasing eight albums between 1978 and 1985 Nigerian musician William Onyeabor became a Born Again Christian, refusing to speak about his funky past ever again. Thanks to David Byrne's Luaka Bop, Onyeabor's eccentric funk and…

Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King

26 Sep 20134 stars

A7X's latest hits hard and heavy and dares to be epic

California’s Avenged Sevenfold are on the edge of greatness. They are the feral dogs biting at the genre’s underbelly uniting the metal clans with their powerful yet accessible thrash assault. They haven’t crossed over into mainstream consciousness in…

Skaters - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Fri 30 Aug 2013

25 Sep 20132 stars

Uninspired shtick comes over as secondhand Strokes, Vaccines, Ramones, Blondie ...

Don’t be confusing these New Yorkers with James Ferraro and Spencer Clark’s experimental noise project namesake. Nor actual skaters, seeing as they don’t own a board between them. Frontman Michael Ian Cummings picked the moniker because it conjured for…

Eleanor Friedberger - Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sat 31 Aug 2013

25 Sep 20134 stars

The sometime Fiery Furnace exercises an array of styles and delicately drawn emotional resonances

The point in the midst of ‘Roosevelt Island’s squelching funk, where the line ‘it always kicks in’, er, kicks in, is where resistance becomes futile, for anyone of a mind to offer it. Sometime Fiery Furnace Eleanor Friedberger isn’t even here with her…

Blood Relatives - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sat 7 Sep 2013

25 Sep 20134 stars

The folk-poppers formerly known as Kitty and the Lion are on top form

On their first proper tour since rebranding themselves (they used to be Kitty the Lion, don’t you know), Glasgow’s folk-pop favourites Blood Relatives are using this hometown stop as a launch for new single ‘Deerheart’.

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Miaoux Miaoux, Abandoman and Howard Marks among highlights at The Pleasance Sessions

23 Sep 2013

The gig series also plays host to Conquering Animal Sound, Three Blind Wolves and Chris Ramsey

Probably best known as a mobbed venue for August Fringe shows, The Pleasance is often overlooked during the other 11 months of the year. Now, the Edinburgh University Student Union plans to raise its status as one of the best entertainment venues in the…

Shellac announce UK tour for November 2013

20 Sep 2013

Steve Albini, Todd Trainer and Bob Weston will finish off a nationwide tour with a slot at ATP

Self-proclaimed ‘minimalist-rock trio' Shellac are set for a double header of Scottish dates as part of their UK tour. The post-hardcore titans, who have been producing their distinctively harsh, stripped back and fast paced signature sound for over…

Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull

19 Sep 20134 stars

The Followills recapture their Southern friend rock roots with sixth album

When Kings of Leon announced that Mechanical Bull was to be the title of their comeback album, there may have sneaking suspicions that they had indeed combusted, and were residing in a world of fantasy, delusion and robotic bovines. So cruel was the…

Arctic Monkeys - AM

19 Sep 20134 stars

The likely lads become wise men in this grown-up LP from the Sheffield quartet

'Are there some aces up your sleeve?', croons Alex Turner as viscous guitars and a loping drum beat curls around the opening track of the Arctic Monkeys latest offering, AM. As first impressions go, ‘Do You Wanna Know?’, suggests that the band, after…

Haim - Days Are Gone

18 Sep 20133 stars

Long-awaited debut of well-crafted R&B-tinged West-coast pop stands up to comparison with influence

It feels like Haim have been around a while: following a build-up of hype late last year, they topped the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 poll. But that notoriously non-prescient accolade (The Bravery, anyone?) marked a new chapter in an already long musical…