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Family tree: Scotland's indie-pop scene

2 May 2014

Featuring Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Vaselines, The Pastels and Franz Ferdinand

Scottish indie-pop scene-makers Belle and Sebastian continue to keep an active profile 18 years after their inception, with individual members cropping up to perform DJ sets or solo engagements fairly frequently. They’re one of many Scottish acts with…

Interview: Thomas Butler, composer of Elbow Room

9 May 2014

The project, comprising archive clips and field recordings, explores the psychogeography of cities

Your theme seems strangely apt in the wake of the recent Red Road flats controversy, was that deliberate? Actually, no. Red Road was coincidental. My project began over a year ago, during my residency with Red Note Ensemble, and was looking at Glasgow…

Have a wild time at Edinburgh Zoo Nights 2014

6 May 2014

Take in bars, live music, comedy, theatre and street food while hanging with the animals

It is perhaps the last place you’d imagine going for a drink and some evening entertainment, but Edinburgh Zoo is hosting its annual collection of Zoo Nights this summer. Bars, live music, comedy, theatre and street food will be in place across the zoo…

Interview: Conductor Ilan Volkov discusses Tectonics 2014

2 May 2014

The classical/experimental festival features performances from Thurston Moore and Sarah Kenchington

As its name suggests, the Tectonics festival taps into the earth-shuddering changes that have occurred across the entire spectrum of experimental music over the last decade. Running over a long May weekend in Glasgow, this second edition of Tectonics…

Anne Sophie Duprels and Hye-Youn Lee take on Cio-Cio San in Scottish Opera's Madama Butterfly

2 May 2014

The cast also includes Andrew McTaggart and Hanna Hipp, with Marco Guidarini conducting

If you’ve never been to an opera before, this is for you. If you’re a seasoned opera lover, this is also for you. Great story, great music and a revival of a favourite production combine in Scottish Opera’s staging of one of the most popular operas ever…

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Stag & Dagger - various venues, Glasgow, Sun 4 May 2014

13 May 20143 stars

Honeyblood, Ezra Furman and Fat White Family shine at Glasgow one-dayer

You could tell simply from the vast quantity of hire tour vans clogging up Sauchiehall Street on a Bank Holiday weekend Sunday afternoon that something was afoot on Glasgow’s music half-mile. While the biggest Stag & Dagger to date didn’t quite…

Aidan Moffat, Paul Fegan and more collaborate on Where You're Meant To Be film and tour project

13 May 2014

James Graham, Jenny Reeve and Stevie Jones will also contribute to the project, part of Culture 2014

One Monday night a few weeks back, a boat set sail down the River Clyde. Free whisky and bawdy auld songs ensued, courtesy of Aidan Moffat and his band of bards – James Graham (the Twilight Sad), Jenny Reeve (Bdy_Prts) and Stevie Jones (Alasdair…

Prescott - One Did

13 May 20144 stars

Peculiar instrumental trio inspired by the seemingly hapless caricature of a deputy PM

The rehabilitation of John Prescott – from famously awkward orator and seemingly hapless caricature of a deputy PM to gruffly avuncular cultural icon and medium-ranking Twitter royalty – appears to be complete with the release of his first solo album.

Crate Digging: DJ Lord Holyrude

13 May 2014

The gramophone maestro shares his five essential tracks of the 1920s & 30s

Do you get your thrills from feeling like you’re breaking the rules? Do you tend to get upset by music made after 1950? For those who fit this rather snug box, the National Museum of Scotland opens its doors a little later on 16 May as part of its…

Andra Simons, Lake Montgomery and They They Theys lined up for Who's Your Dandy?

13 May 2014

The event coincides with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Who’s Your Dandy? promises to be a riot of LGBTQ music, poetry and short film. By coinciding with the Edinburgh Dyke March and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, Sandra Alland has curated an event designed, she says, to…

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Adam Holmes & the Embers - Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 5 May 2014

13 May 20144 stars

Gravel-voiced folk musician whose Scottish Album of the Year nomination is well-earned

Freshly longlisted for this year’s Scottish Album of the Year award for his measured and thoughtful debut album Heirs and Graces, Adam Holmes doesn’t seem like the sort of character who will do much shouting about his success. ‘D’youse feel like…

Muscletusk - Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sat 3 May 2014

13 May 20144 stars

WIDT, Fua and Fordell Research Unit complete line-up of local experimental / noise acts

It may not have been Live Aid, but by gathering (some of) the clans from Edinburgh’s off-piste but ever-fecund experimental / noise diaspora to play this fundraiser for Edinburgh Central Food Bank, promoters Braw Gigs and the Bongo Club took a…

Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain

9 May 20144 stars

The Bright Eyes man delivers his most focused and mature solo effort to date

With a prolific and somewhat intimidating diverse body of work already behind him, the one-time 'boy wonder' Conor Oberst can now be viewed as something of an elder statesman in the often whimsical world of rock/electro/folk (delete as appropriate) at…

Stories of Home: Vic Galloway on Scotland and music

8 May 2014

The broadcaster on why music is his home, as part of Scottish Book Trust's Stories of Home project

In bricks and mortar, my home has always been Scotland; a country that continually manifests itself in different ways. It morphs and mutates, it shape-shifts and surprises. On one hand it’s my mother’s lentil soup and cosy, comfy living room; my…

Jazz, Juliette Binoche and a calendar change on cards for Edinburgh International Festival 2015

8 May 2014

Incoming director designate Fergus Linehan outlines his plans for change at the EIF

Fifteen months before the start of his first event, Edinburgh International Festival director designate Fergus Linehan has taken the unusual step of revealing some of his thinking behind the 2015 programme – as well as sharing details of a few of its…

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5 Awesome Community Projects

6 May 2014

Featuring the Love Music Community Choir, Dig In, The Children's Wood and Punjabi Junction

The Community Choir: Love Music Community Choir In these digitalised, distancing times, what better way is there to feel part of something human than by singing your heart out alongside like-minded souls? The rise of community choirs is evidence of…

Exposure: Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett

2 May 2014

The Milk! Records boss has recently toured with Billy Bragg, Kurt Vile and Honeyblood

Australian singer/ songwriter Courtney Barnett has the kind of lackadaisical drawl that suggests she's constantly thinking about going back to her bed. However, her career is on the up - preventing her from spending too much time under the duvet. She's…

Elbow - The Hydro, Glasgow, Sun 6 Apr 2014

2 May 20142 stars

The odd moment of intimacy can't save an indistinct and unremarkable performance devoid of subtlety

Surprisingly, perhaps, for those who remember the days when Elbow were (unjustly) a byword for indie mediocrity, plodding along with minimal recognition except when being mocked for their daft name, Guy Garvey is these days quite the showman. If he’s…

Ray LaMontagne - Supernova

2 May 20143 stars

A collaboration with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach results in a new sound for the Nebraska songwriter

By far the most ‘produced’ Ray LaMontagne album to date, Supernova is bound to divide opinion among fans of the singer’s alt-country-tinged back catalogue. While LaMontagne’s lyrical style is generally as introspective and tender as ever, producer Dan…

Counterflows - Various venues, Glasgow, Fri 4–Sun 6 Apr 2014

2 May 20144 stars

A weekend of experimental music, with Joe McPhee, The Space Lady, Heatsick and more

Back for its third consecutive year, Counterflows returned for a weekender of memorable in-the-moment flashes of not-to-be-repeated inspiration. Welcoming its first ‘featured artist’ in veteran US free-jazz saxophonist Joe McPhee, alongside other…

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Umberto – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, Thu 1 May 2014

2 May 20144 stars

Impressively danceable basement set from the horror synth muso

Back in 2012, LA resident Umberto played a live soundtrack set to ridiculous 80s slasher Pieces at the Arches, as part of the Glasgow Film Festival. It’s something of a surprise, then, to have him show up in this dingy, wee, 100-capacity basement in…

Goldfrapp - Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Fri 4 Apr 2014

2 May 20144 stars

The grown up popstar performs a varied set with a constant mixing and balancing of moods

Alison Goldfrapp has some very, very loyal fans. As Britten’s Peter and the Wolf fades out, she trips on stage to excitable screams and cries of ‘we love you Alison’ that emanate somewhat unexpectedly from a crowd that is more than just greying round…

Five of the best albums about food, inspired by the new LP from Kelis

2 May 2014

Featuring J Dilla, Common, MF Doom, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Smiths

Food is something widely discussed in music, and Kelis’ latest album Food is an excellent example of that. So much so, she promoted the album in a unique way at Texas’s SXSW festival – by preparing gourmet meals for fans out of a food truck. In…

Biffy Clyro - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Tue 29 Apr 2014

2 May 20143 stars

An intimate acoustic set by the Ayrshire barbarians comes across as somewhat neutered

It’s surely been a while since Biffy Clyro’s beardwearer-in-chief Simon Neil had to operate his own smoke machine, but then ‘you don't get to headline T in the Park unless you’ve got one,’ as he told us. Here to mark the return of commercial radio…

Holy Mountain - The Art School, Glasgow, Sat 5 Apr 2014

2 May 20144 stars

Glasgow's heavy rockers show they're evolving beyond beefy caveman brutality

‘If you were actually listening to the album, you’d be dead by now,’ claims Holy Mountain frontman Andy McGlone around 45 minutes into the serious aural mugging he and his bandmates are dispensing with a little help from the Art School’s powerful PA and…