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The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival launches its 2015 programme

20 Apr 2015

Highlights include George Benson, Hidden Orchestra and Scottish debuts of major international talent

The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival launches its 2015 programme today, with a broad range of international and Scottish jazz, blues, soul and gospel talent. The full programme won't be established until Thu 30 Apr, but in the meantime there's more than…

Live review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, O2 ABC, Glasgow, Sun 19 Apr

20 Apr 20154 stars

The small orchestra perform a suite of recent pieces but nothing from Godspeed's golden age

Before 9/11, before our Great Recession, and long before Barack Obama co-opted ‘hope’ as a campaign slogan, Godspeed You! Black Emperor were projecting that scrawled word onto a film screen at their live shows, while playing music that just as often…

Sufjan Stevens announces UK and Ireland tour dates

20 Apr 2015

On the back of acclaimed new album Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan embarks on first UK tour in four years

We already knew Sufjan Stevens was gracing Edinburgh with his presence for the International Festival in August, but the singer-songwriter has just announced dates for across the UK and Europe through August and September. Coming on the back of his…

Glastonbury lineup announcement: who is the Sunday headliner?

15 Apr 2015

We dream about who will play alongside Kanye West, Patti Smith, Foo Fighters and Pharrell Williams

If you haven’t already started airing out last year’s wellies and bulk-buying discount hand sanitiser in preparation for Glastonbury 2015, now would be a good time to start, as a whole load of new acts have been added to the ever-growing line-up. It…

Interview: John Luther Adams, ‘We’ve forgotten how we fit into the world’

15 Apr 2015

The environmental composer gets ready to debut new work at the East Neuk Festival this summer

‘For me, music is not what I do – music is how I understand the world. At a personal level, I think I’m trying to compose home.’ US composer John Luther Adams isn’t talking about some self-absorbed, new-age-y longing for security through sound. This…

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Glasgow Film Theatre expands its GFF Sound & Vision strand

15 Apr 2015

Events include a Record Store Day screening of Empire Records and mini-fest Live at Glasgow

The Glasgow Film Theatre is expanding its Sound & Vision programme of live events throughout April and May. There are screenings of rarely-seen movies with live music, a preview of the new Elliott Smith documentary Heaven Adores You, and an entire…

T in the Park 'supremely confident', expects positive outcome

15 Apr 2015

As T in the Park awaits its fate, the festival remains highly upbeat despite opposition

T in the Park remain confident the festival will go ahead, despite rumours it will not continue if it cannot take place at Strathallan Castle this July. If Perth and Kinross Council side with those opposed to the new site due to environmental issues…

Listen to FFS’s new single Johnny Delusional

14 Apr 2015

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks release the first track from their debut album as FFS

The recently-formed supergroup, comprising art rockers Franz Ferdinand and American fraternal duo Sparks, have released the first single of their forthcoming debut album. The 12-Track, self-titled album will be released on Monday 8 June on Domino. It…

Watch Trembling Bells’ ‘Hallelujah’ music video

13 Apr 2015

Premiering a hallucinatory trip down Glasgow's High Street with Trembling Bells

Scottish folk-rock band Trembling Bells have a new and wonderfully hallucinogenic music video tour of Glasgow to accompany its 7” release of ‘Hallelujah’ as part of Record Store Day. Alex Neilson’s song-based group featuring Lavinia Blackwall’s…

Live Review: Nicki Minaj, The Hydro, Glasgow, Sun 12 Apr

13 Apr 20154 stars

Anaconda singer Minaj goes radge on her PinkPrint tour

So Minaj goes radge in Glasgow for the second time in less than six months – Her Pinkness was last at The Hydro back in November to host the MTV Europe awards, where she also picked up her own prize for best hip hop artist. There are plenty of purists…

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Lineup for Groove Loch Ness

10 Apr 2015

Acts playing at the UK’s newest dance festival include Groove Armada and 2manydjs

Rock Ness had a good run, but this year Nessie will be treated to the sounds of electro, house and techno as the UK’s newest dance festival, Groove Loch Ness, sets up on the shores of the Loch. Groove Loch Ness is a back to basics dance festival with…

Festival review: Skye Live brings a mix of music to a dramatic location

9 Apr 20154 stars

The small but well curated Easter event fills the gap left by the Isle of Skye Music Festival

It’s a little unfair on all the other festivals in the UK to hold one on Skye. As locations go, it’s pretty dramatic, and if there was an award for best-looking festival site, then Skye Live would surely walk it. The festival takes place in a red…

Peter Broderick – Colours of the Night

9 Apr 20153 stars

An album full of lovely cabin folk from the multi-instrumentalist

Accepting obscure invitations from Europeans has tended to pay off well for Peter Broderick, not least that time when he was 20 and Danish band Efterklang invited him to move to Copenhagen and join their band. Just like that. Since then he’s ticked…

Blur – The Magic Whip

8 Apr 20154 stars

An intriguing return from Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree produces a couple of classics

Brushing aside the Brit-centric formulism of their career heyday, what was truly great about Blur was also what sounded like the least considered. We’re talking about the self-titled 1997 record and selected subsequent moments from 13 and Think…

Private View: Hidden Door Festival 2015

8 Apr 2015

Grassroots art festival moves from Market Street’s vaults to the Old Street Lighting Depot

Hidden Door is an annual festival of the grassroots arts scene in Edinburgh. This year it will take place in the Old Street Lighting Depot on King’s Stables Road near the Grassmarket. Organiser David Martin tells us more Hidden Door exists to try…

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New music: Jazz round-up – April

7 Apr 2015

New releases from Matthew Shipp, Alexander Hawkins Trio and Death Shanties

Free jazz pianist Matthew Shipp has been dropping Ellington tunes into his repertoire for some time now, but To Duke is his first full-length engagement with the great man's music. Recorded with Shipp's long-term trio of Michael Bisio on bass and Whit…

New music: World Music round-up – April

7 Apr 2015

New releases from Bassekou Kouyate, Melechesh and Insanlar

Malian ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate and his band Ngoni Ba return for a fourth album. Ba Power is more polished than its 2013 predecessor Jama Ko, with the fire of Kouyate's amplified ngoni tempered by the crystal-clear acoustic sounds around it.

Fish announces Farewell to Childhood tour

7 Apr 2015

Scottish singer-songwriter to play Marillion's 1985 album Misplaced Childhood in full for last time

The former Marillion frontman, Fish, has announced that he will play the band's Misplaced Childhood in full for the very last time on his UK tour in December. The prog rockers' third album was their most successful topping the charts in 1985 and…

Luminate: Live Music Now Scotland celebrates 30 Years

7 Apr 20154 stars

Compilation album features music by Eddie McGuire, William Sweeney, Alasdair Nicolson and Wildings

Live Music Now might not be an organisation whose name is on everyone’s lips – more’s the pity. Likewise, it’s all too easy to ignore those in society who have little contact with live music – which is what LMN sets out to set right, taking emerging…

Stuart David – In The All-Night Café

7 Apr 20154 stars

Belle & Sebastian co-founder takes a trip down memory lane

‘Stuart, this is Stuart.’ Those were the words, remembers the first Stuart (David), of the moment he was introduced to the other Stuart (Murdoch) in the kitchen of a friend’s flat in Glasgow – and a new chapter in the city’s musical history was…

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Interview: Karen Constance, 'I requested no vocals, the set will be improvised'

2 Apr 2015

The sound artist plays Glasgow new music Tectonics with Adam Boham

This year’s Tectonics lineup includes Karen Constance, sound artist, member of Blood Stereo and the Polly Shang Kuan Band, and co-curator of another UK experimental music festival, Brighton’s Colour out of Space. An accomplished visual artist too, it’s…

Preview: Tectonics 2015

2 Apr 2015

Glasgow's new music festival features Peter Brötzmann, Éliane Radigue and Karen Constance

With every incarnation, Tectonics seems to both solidify its character and status yet become more elusive and indefinable. The two previous years have seen the City Halls and Fruitmarket filled with slapstick absurdity, building-shaking sonic weaponry…

Red Note Ensemble's song cycle inspired by motherhood

2 Apr 2015

The Watching Over You score explores a range of emotions, from conception to post-natal depression

Mother’s Day in the UK will be long over when Red Note Ensemble premiere their new commission in celebration of motherhood. But the equivalent in the US and Canada, both countries with which mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill has close associations, will have…

Charli XCX, QMU, Glasgow, Fri 27 March 2015

1 Apr 20155 stars

Prime pop collaborator turns dominating, punky band leader on solo 'Sucker' Tour

When I was in America last year, ‘Boom Clap’ by Charli XCX would be played, at the very least, once a day on the radio, if not five or six times across state lines. Hands down it was the most played song all over the country, alongside ‘Fancy’, her…

Got kids, will festival: how to rock out as a family this summer

1 Apr 2015

Doune the Rabbit Hole and Kelburn Garden Party welcome families alongside party animals

‘People are becoming more aware that a festival doesn’t have to be somewhere that isn’t child friendly,’ says Jamie Murray, director of Doune the Rabbit Hole festival, which happens on the Cardross Estate near Stirling every August. ‘They now know that…