The sound of progress
It’s not all million sellers and indie lovegods, y’know. The specially commssioned YourSound Band Stand showcases a raft of some of Scotland’s finest new acts. Stuart McHugh reports
Hand-picked from the regular industry showcases at King Tut’s, 20 of the top bands in Scotland have been selected to play the YourSound Band Stand.
Among the Friday line-up: North Atlantic Oscillation, Le Reno Amps, Frightened Rabbit and Sixpeopleaway (pictured), who are all previewed elsewhere.
Plus on Saturday: We are the Physics make 21st century new wave, sci-fi rock. Signed to El Presidente’s major label offshoot, their robotic live set always catches the eye. Fife three-piece Stopstarts make spiky angular pop and have just signed to Grace Records of Greenock.
Yellow Bentines are anything but predictable, so may surprise us with some gentle tunes or rock out a little, or bring in some hired hands on trombones to augment their pleasingly eclectic songwriting. Early Songs – the alter-ego of one David Scott – make sleepy instrumental acoustica as evidenced on an album for Aussie label Preservation. So, while the exact stage times are unconfirmed you can be sure their Saturday slot will be while the sun is coming over the yardstick.
The Ads make third generation punk rock, all snarling vocals and acerbic guitars. Signed to the King Tut’s record label, they may quite possibly be a band to meet the understandably high expectations placed on them.
Not his given surname (it’s Anthony), Rick Redbeard is moonlighting from his regular place in The Phantom Band, but solo he makes rather more downbeat acoustic-based songs in the vein of classic Americana singer-songwriters. Baillie and The Fault comprise one Mike of that ilk, and his happily flawless bandmates. With an EP due on a revitalised Human Condition (the label which discovered Idlewild all those years ago) they fit the same indie guitar rock bracket – more studied than their famous predecessors but still capable of reaching similar heights. The Low Miffs claim to have destroyed rock’n’roll, then wished they hadn’t. Their Glasgow guitar band’s music is like their press – arty, yes, but fun with it. Hi 5 Alive are another Glaswegian hook-driven guitar act, penning tunes to make them stand out from the crowd.
Sunday is more of the same good stuff. The Twilight Sad are causing great excitement following their signing to London label Fat Cat and no wonder – their dark tunes, thought-provoking lyrics, and thickly accented vocals stand out in today’s indie scene.
Kazoo Funk Orchestra will make a party out of any show – expect umpteen of them onstage in Santa hats, medical garb . . . and despite the fact that they don’t play funk, they’re still eminently danceable. And yes, kazoos have been spotted onstage.
Jack Butler - a guitar-led assault from the Stirling quartet (none of whom are called ‘Jack’, or indeed ‘Butler’) with just that right amount of funk to get your average festival crowd moving.
Invisibles’ website rather cryptically describes them as ‘between Daft Punk and ESG’. This turns out to refer their place on a bill once upon a time, rather than any attempt at a genre, but . . . yes, crafted angular guitar rock with an American accent . . . oh, and synthesisers.
If it was 1978 the The Apple Scruffs would have been called ‘new wave’ – blusey rock played at 100 miles an hour. As it happens it’s 2007 and their brand of guitar-tinged songwriting all sounds rather now.
The Scarlet are Barbara Bland and Grant Watson. Together they make airily acoustic twin-vocal sample-driven pop. El Padre buck the current trends – expressing a liking for Japanese pop they certainly enthrall with rhythmic ticks and swirling synths for a sound which is anything but synthetic.