The sound of music
If there’s one thing that Glasgow’s good at it, it’s making music. David Pollock finds out more about a new festival that finally celebrates the breadth of amazing venues and exciting new artists in the city with the enthusiasm they deserve
Glasgow is widely acknowledged as one of the best places in the UK to hear live music, due in no small part to its consistent production of high-quality new bands. In Britain, only London and Manchester can challenge Glasgow’s heritage, so it’s about time that Scotland’s biggest city had a multi-day, multi-venue music event to rival London’s Camden Crawl and Manchester’s In the City. The organisers of Hinterland, which debuts this year, are hoping that they’ve come up with just that very festival.
‘I studied in Glasgow’, says Hinterland’s founder Mike Oman, whose background is in music buying for trendy clothing chain Urban Outfitters and as a DJ in major club venues around the world, ‘and you can feel when you’re in the city just how passionate people are about the musical talent in their own area. Also, the misconception in the music industry is that everything happens in London, so I thought it would be a nice idea to bring lots of young Scottish acts together under one banner and show just how strong the nation’s musical talent is’.
Much like the Camden Crawl, Hinterland will be a one-ticket, all-access affair. Although passes to individual shows can’t be purchased, a ticket (either a one-day or a two-day one) will let you roam between over a dozen venues within the city centre. This includes larger halls like the ABC, the Arches and the Art School union; smaller, but still well-established, places like King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, the Barfly and Stereo, and snug music bars such as The Admiral and Box.
Working under the advice of a range of local and national partners and advisers - including local music DJ Jim Gellatly, Glasgow promoter Tam Coyle, Scottish electronic collective LuckyMe and a bunch of London labels and promoters like Domino Records, 1965 Records, This Is Not London, Moshi Moshi and 50 Bones - Oman expects around 120 bands to play over Hinterland’s two days, with a combined capacity of around 5000 gig-goers each evening. ‘The aim’, says Oman, ‘is that roughly half of those bands will be Scottish and the rest will come from around the UK and overseas’. Thirty names have been announced so far, including Leeds indie troupe Pulled Apart By Horses, London avant-popper Micachu and the Shapes, and a bunch of fine Scottish artists.
‘Each venue will open at 6pm’, says Oman, ‘and then there’ll be at least four bands per venue until regular gig-finish time, (around 11pm), with DJs carrying on in most places afterwards. And I know that not all of Glasgow’s major venues are included, but we really wanted to keep everything within a tight, mile-and-a-half radius as much as possible, to make it easy for people to move onto the next venue if they want.
‘The aim’, he continues, ‘is to carry it on year after year, and build such a name for the festival that bigger bands from around the world will come to play here. But we still want to focus very much on Scottish talent, who know they’ll have a big national platform if they appear at Hinterland’.
Hinterland, various venues, Glasgow, Thu 30 Apr–Fri 1 May, www.hinterlandfestival.com, £42 (both days), £23.50 (one day).