New Scottish music and gigs you need to listen to in February 2017
Forget Valentine's day, spend some quality time with Kid Canaveral, Meursault and Campfires in Winter
In the absence of any music festivals of the type which might involve sitting in a cold field in February, this month sees instead a few smaller events which come with the benefit of their own central heating. The first we'd like to flag is the decidedly 'tell us they didn't really call it that' The Good, the Glad and the Glugly at the Glad Café in Glasgow, raising money for the café's social enterprise charity the Glad Foundation, which provides affordable music tuition in the area. Expect to see Trembling Bells and Marcus Doo on Tue 7 Feb, Kathryn Joseph and Finn LeMarinel on Wed 8 Feb, and Whyte, Mairi Morrison and Alasdair Roberts on Thu 8 Feb.
In further quirkily entertaining micro-festivals of the Lost Map variety, the Eigg-based label hand over to their Edinburgh-based engine room Kid Canaveral for Lumber Party II, their second annual Valentine's party at Stereo, Glasgow, Sat 11 Feb, in the company of The Drink, Rides of Christ and special guests. KC have also chosen to mark the occasion with 'Callous Parting Gift' (●●●●, Lost Map), the second single from last summer's Faulty Inner Dialogue album, and it's a lovely thing, a piece of effervescently catchy 1980s lo-fi indie pop with the band's guitarist Kate Lazda on vocals.
Elsewhere in Glasgow, Celtic Connections draws to a halt for this year with one final weekend of music, featuring local turns from artists including Meursault (Hug & Pint, Fri 3 Feb), Mull Historical Society (St Luke's, Fri 3 Feb), Pronto Mama and The Vegan Leather (Oran Mor, Fri 3 Feb), Anna Meredith (CCA, Sat 4 Feb) and Randolph's Leap (Broadcast, Sun 5 Feb). For one of those bands, February is particularly busy; Meursault will also be launching their sparse and personal first album in four years, I Will Kill Again at the Edinburgh-based Song, By Toad label's inaugural Granfalloon festival at Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sat 25 Feb. The event itself features a debut for James Yorkston and Aidan O'Rourke's new project, and appearances by Faith Eliott, Adam Stafford, Lush Purr, Now Wakes the Sea and others.
February's other record releases include Campfires in Winter's Ischaemia (●●●●, Olive Grove), a warm and comfortably epic record which fits rhythms reminiscent of Neu! and Simple Minds to a rootsy, Idlewild-flavoured indie-rock veneer. It's one for fans of The Twilight Sad and Editors, and it's no pale imitator of either. The launch party is at the Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, Fri 24 Feb, with American Clay and Book Group.
The album Tell Me the Place by Urban Farmhand (●●●●, Piggery) is a definite oddity, but a very pleasing one; a series of fragmented, electronic explorations with a real soulful heart and an aesthetic which explores the senses of urban detachment and rustic freedom implied by the name of Ben Seal's recording alias. Elsewhere, single tracks released include chewy rockers from Ded Rabbit with 'Figurine' and The Imagineers' 'Utopian Dreams' (both ●●●), while Strange Culture's Sublimed EP (●●●●) is a gorgeous, insistent electronic mantra and 'We Used to Go Raving' (●●●) by Stephen McLaren – formerly of Collar Up – is a lovely, tumbling piece of pining, piano-led millennial nostalgia.
In further Scottish live news, highlights we're excited about include a sublime Glaswegian double bill of bubbling highlife and afrobeat aficionados Sacred Paws, whose new album Strike a Match has just emerged on Rock Action Records, with the newly Domino-signed Spinning Coin in support at Summerhall, Edinburgh, Fri 10 Feb; a special edition of Neu! Reekie! previewing their Where Are We Now? festival as part of Hull's UK City of Culture programme in June, with music from Edinburgh rap crew 131 Northside, also at Summerhall, Edinburgh, Fri 24 Feb; the Scottish debut of producer Nightwave's live set at La Cheetah, Glasgow, Sat 18 Feb; and the farewell show from Three Blind Wolves at St Luke's, Glasgow, Sat 25 Feb. Edinburgh's upgraded La Belle Angele also officially relaunches on Thu 9 Feb, with an increased gig presence expected – we recommend trying it out in the company of Dominic Waxing Lyrical, Aberfeldy and Mr McFall's Chamber on Sat 25 Feb.