Autumn music special - your new favourite bands
The Arches and The List got together to ask some of their friends in the music business to recommend their favourite emergent bands. They went to the gigs, they heard the music, and some of them waxed quite poetic. They know their stuff. Listen to them.
Dot to Dot
Dot to Dot sound like the bastard sons of Orange Juice and Lloyd Cole and their aim seems to be to get you dancing. They like their jangle, and they sometimes shamble, but their shows are always worth catching, and with their debut single, ‘Dusty Cover’, due out later in the year, they’re definitely a band to watch. (Gavin Dunbar is a member of Camera Obscura).
Where? Barfly, Glasgow, 16 Oct; Arches, Glasgow, 27 Oct.
Everything from this Brazilian sixsome’s magnificently monikered lead singer Lovefoxxx to their sultry super cool image and infectious electro pop complete with clever cultural references screams stardom. However, it’s CSS’ notorious live performances that will win over the hearts of the music-loving masses as they flock stages, combining a punky delivery of tracks from their superb self-titled debut with hysterical fan interaction, stage-diving, some incredibly nifty moves and even the odd bit of flying underwear. Among a plethora of tight trouser-donning boys touting scratchy art rock and 90s dance samples as if it were something new, this incredibly fun and feisty new act should be relished as one of modern music’s genuine innovators. (Camilla Pia is a contributor to The List).
Where? ABC, Glasgow, 7 Nov
Abominable Iron Sloth
Could there be a band with a name more evocative of their sound than the Abominable Iron Sloth? Maybe Mastodon or Iron Monkey but, like those equally hirsute mammals of metal, the ’Sloth carve riffs as heavy as the stone-age. Combining elements of sludge and hardcore, their self-titled debut is one of the surprise metal albums of the year, wilfully rejecting current trends. It’s the brainchild of former Will Haven guitar tech, Justin Godfrey, who even roped his former employers to be his backing band. But with Will Haven now reformed, Godfrey’s band mates remain a mystery ?" a fact that only adds to the enigma of this rage-filled beast. (Andrew Borthwick is a contributor to The List).
Where? Barfly, Glasgow, 17 Oct
Joe Acheson Quartet
It came from his girlfriend who waited on tables, handed to a guy who sweated in a kitchen, through a mutual friend who (often walked up Victoria Street and) knew a tune when he heard one. One day I needed to find a support act for Jaga Jazzist and the demo landed in my lap. If the Lord moves in mysterious ways, good artists must move quickly to keep up. Joe stands confidently on stage as his silent quartet of headphone clad daleks work their way through tunes that have quirky vocal samples, sweeping chords, plucky strings and beats that exterminate the Trouble dance floor. This boy is killing it just now. Don’t sleep. (Erik d’Viking is part of the Trouble DJs collective).
Where? The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh 22 Sep; The Caves, Edinburgh, 29 Sep.
Because our local hospital has been closed to make way for a monstrosity, my girlfriend decided to give birth at home. In order to create the correct ambience I contacted analogue synth electro pioneers 7VWWVW to come and play at the birth. They leapt at the opportunity and when the day arrived they whipped round in their battered van and set up in the kitchen. After a stunning six and a half hour performance (including two encores) our child glided serenely into the world. Ever-resourceful Scott at KFM records had set up a cassette deck and recorded the performance, which may or may not form the basis for their debut album. Mother, baby and band are all fine. (Ed Pybus runs sl records).
They’re one of those bands you stand watching and before you know it you have a big stupid grin on your face, which to me is definitely one of the clear signs of something good. Indeed, to get the full gist of what they’re about they have to be seen live. Taking in influences like Sebadoh and Rodan, throwing them together with the likes of Minor Threat and Black Flag, Danananaykroyd make a wonderful, wonderful racket. They’ve got a couple of singles coming out in October on English-based indie labels and it shouldn’t be long before people actually pick up on how special they are. (Craig Hargreave runs Rock Action Records).
Where? Nice’n’Sleazy, Glasgow, 12 Oct; Arches, Glasgow, 10 Nov
We are the Physics
Data Panik played with these guys in Glasgow at the Barfly. I hadn’t heard of them at the time, but I won’t forget being stunned at the quality ?" it was an excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time. heir first single ‘Less Than Three’ is out on 18 September on One Records with an album to hopefully follow shortly. They claim to be influenced by Devo, Buddy Holly, The Skids and Polysics, so I’m not sure what you’ll get in your head. Absolutely flawless live, with a sound even tighter than the lead singer’s trousers! (Manda Rin is a member of Data Panik).
Where? Bloc, Glasgow, 12 Oct; King Tut’s Glasgow, 19 Dec
A tremendously talented and assured Texan outfit, Midlake tap into the same wide-eyed modern alternative psychedelic Americana that created the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and Grandaddy, but with a love of melody and retro earthy vigour all their own. Imagine vintage era Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Beach Boys (now there’s vintage) singing songs about 19th century scientists that still manage to be simultaneously heartbreaking and catchy, and you’re halfways there. (Doug Johnstone is a novelist and regular List contributor).
Where? King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sun 5 Nov
The Royal We
This band are the most fun you can get in Glasgow right now. The first time I saw them I had that ‘I wish I was in that band’ feeling. The rhythm people give it strong, dextrous forearms like Popeye but the guitars are really spidery and neurotic like Olive Oil. It’s a really comfortable place to put your ears. They have the weird buzz of people who get up to stuff together: hi-jinx and midnight music. I love it when bands look like they belong to a weird cult. They stand stock-still and face the front of the class, united in what they’re singing and looking like a troupe of vaudeville gypsies. Pop hooks aplenty and harmonies one-part glam-rock, one part The Omen. Right now, I’m 400 miles away from Glasgow and The Royal We make me feel like I’m missing the party. (John is a member of 1990s).
Where? Bongo Club, Edinburgh, 6 Oct; Mono, Glasgow 12 Oct; Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Glasgow, 17 Oct; Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, 19 Oct.
Bring Me the Horizon
‘Wooorrrggggghhhh, chugga chugga’ not the forthcoming apocalypse but the battle cry of rapidly rising metal behemoths in-the-making, Bring Me the Horizon, channelling the spirit of Beelzebub through their guttural hardcore. They may look like wee nippers who’d have trouble getting served fags, let-alone booze, but they unleash an almighty fury of thrash, as if they’ve have tapped into hell’s own stereo. They recently picked up the Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang Awards and these shows are just a sample of their forthcoming debut Count Your Blessings and the first steps to world decimation. (Henry Northmore is clubs editor of The List)
Where? Barfly, Glasgow, Mon 23 Oct; Studio 24, Edinburgh, Tue 24 Oct
When I was working behind the venue bar in Sleazy’s, the lead singer of the headline bands would often come up to me and ask my opinion about the act and I’d feign interest, even though the band are called Fade to Nowhere or something cheap and they sound like a bad Oasis tribute and the crowd is full of Castlemilk aunts and uncles etc. And then, one night, completely out of the blue, No Kilter come on stage and totally blow my mind. The thing that struck me first was the raw musicianship, then I fell in love with how they merge all the ferociousness of their influences with the melodic swoop and swirl of Don Caballero, or even Metronomes. When they play live, veins are almost popping and hearts are clenched. (Craig is part of Union of Knives).
Where? 13th Note, Glasgow, 26 Sep; Bar Bloc, Glasgow, 27 Sep; Capital, Glasgow, 12 Oct
In August we ran a series of small shows in Scotland’s most haunted pub, Nicol Edwards. The highlight for me was the simply beautiful Eagleowl. They are an Edinburgh lo-fi trio with double bass, guitar, violin, ukelele and mandolin. Their atmospheric songs really fitted the setting and these post-folkers are ones to look out for. (Chris McAuley is a promoter and DJ with I Fly Spitfires).
Where? Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh 25 Oct
They’ve have been in and around Glasgow for a while but played their first Edinburgh show in July. I first heard them around a year ago when a beautifully handcrafted demo, complete with pencil sketches of blokes in balaclavas, appeared at our club. From that demo I was expecting a lovely little lo-fi shamble of quirkiness to appear on stage. They were polished, tight and pretty immense. (Solen Collette is music programmer at Cabaret Voltaire).
Where?King Tut’s, Glasgow, 21 Sep
Experiencing Foxface is like rashly jumping in an icy mountain stream, only to find the water way warmer, deeper and clearer than you expected and the fish far friendlier, wittier and better dancers than you could believe. (Robb Mitchell runs The Chateau).
Where? Mono, Glasgow, 24 Sep; Admiral Bar, Glasgow, 3 Oct
One of my favourite bands in Glasgow used to be one of my favourite bands from outside Glasgow. First time I clapped my merry peepers on this lot was Boxing Day 2002; they were playing in a pub up in my Highland hometown and it was the best pub gig I’ve ever been to. They almost got chucked out halfway through cos they let slip they weren’t all old enough to be in there! Since then I’ve seen them a good bunch more and loved how much they keep getting better/louder/hairier. What does it for me is the way you can see their growing up in their music; it’s all in there from the music they’ve been listening to, to the crap they’ve been dealt and the lessons they’ve learned ?" all bundled up into songs you could use to kick your granny or hug a tramp. There’s a hook for music snobs and armchair listeners alike. You should go and see them live, they’ve got a great onstage chemistry, it’s pretty intense. Arctic Monkeys? Carson have been at that ‘school-leavers social commentary no-genre rock’ for years, only way less annoying. (Paul Wilson is a member of Snow Patrol).
Where? Capital, Glasgow, 12 Oct
The Hold Steady
Imagine what it might sound like if Bruce Springsteen had been kidnapped by The Replacements who, while threatening him with a sockful of pennies forced the Boss to recite Streets lyrics reworked to relive a bottle fight in a front garden of a house party in some no hoper town in Minneapolis. All this is sung by man who looks like the dad from Family Guy but sounds like a glam rock Bob Mould. This is the genius of The Hold Steady, almost three albums old in the US but unheard of here, should they manage to drag their bloated carcasses over here to play live they’ll prove to us why they really deserve to be running the country. (Mark Robertson is music editor of The List)
The Hold Steady’s new album Boys and Girls in America is available on import on Vagrant Records. They play Scotland in early 2007.
Glasgow trio Nalle are a stunning example of the vibrant creativity of Britain’s free music underground. Weaving wheezing drones, wisps of feedback and esoteric stringed instruments around Hanna Tuulikki’s arresting voice, Nalle create an otherworldly avant-folk of rare vision and beauty. Track down debut album By Chance Upon Waking and prepare to be bewitched. (Stewart Smith is editor of Beard Magazine).
Cari Anderson’s CA Celestial is a completely isolated kind of northern music. It’s the exact sound of getting lost on an unmarked country path for hours then arriving at a hopeful looking cottage with a reddish light. She’s from Airdrie. How can this be? She was once in International Airport and has a beautiful voice and a winning smile; she plays slightly wonky slo-mo harp and on her debut single, for the esteemed Wee Black Skelf label, coming in November, collaborates with Bill Wells. As one-off as Anne Briggs or Brigitte Fontaine or Nico; all hail Cari! (Stephen Pastel is in The Pastels).