Music Guide 2010
Niki Boyle and Camilla Pia reveal Scotland’s amazing music scene and the gigs worth getting in line for Music
Glasgow has an undeniably rich musical heritage: aside from being home to chart-toppers like Franz Ferdinand, Travis and The Fratellis, it’s also famously the city where Oasis were discovered, playing the tiny stage at King Tut’s in the early 90s. Indeed, no discussion of Glasgow’s music scene would be complete without playing homage to King Tut’s – an establishment the NME once described as ‘quite possibly the finest small venue in the world.’ Over the years it’s given birth to its very own record label, King Tut’s Records, which has on its roster the cream of Scottish indie rock, including Sucioperro, Twin Atlantic, The Xcerts and The Dykeenies - who had the honour of being the first band signed to the label upon its formation in 2008.
Speaking of record labels, we’d be much remiss not to mention Chemikal Underground, formed by The Delgados back in 1994 and home to the likes of Mogwai, Arab Strab and Aereogramme over the years. Also of note is the world-famous Soma, founded in 1991 by legendary dance duo Slam (who have their own tent at T In The Park every year), and known for being the first label to take note of Daft Punk, releasing several tracks from their debut album Homeworkback in 1997.
In terms of other venues, you can barely spit without hitting one:Stereo, Captain’s Rest and Nice N Sleazy are the best of the lower-capacity hot-spots; the O2 ABC and mighty Barrowlands will house mid-level tourers; with the upper echelons of music acts appearing at (in ascending order) the 02 Academy, SECC, Braehead Arena,and Hampden Stadium. The music scene in Edinburgh is notoriously smaller than that of its west coast counterpart, but still thriving if you know where to look. Cabaret Voltaire, the Voodoo Rooms and the newly resurrected Liquid Rooms are the finest club-cum-venues in the city, with Electric Circus steadily gaining popularity. Slightly smaller venues such as Henry’s Cellar Bar, Bannerman’s and Roxy Art House are dotted about, with very special mentions going to Sneaky Pete’s and the Wee Red Bar at the Art School: Mumford & Sons, Frightened Rabbit and Glasvegas have all appeared at one or the other within the last few years. Escalating in size, the Queen’s Hall, HMV Picture House and Corn Exchange fulfil the mid-level touring band requirements, and while Edinburgh doesn’t really have an arena as such, truly massive bands will stop in occasionally at Murrayfield (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, U2) and Meadowbank (Pixies,Foo Fighters).
In terms of Edinburgh talent, it’d be worth keeping an eye on rising artists such as Withered Hand, Meursault, Jesus H Foxx, FOUND, Stanley Odd, eagleowl, Enfant Bastard and the rising Song, By Toad record label, who’ve had a fruitful collaboration with certain Fence alumni.