Music, Folk

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Alasdair Roberts & Robin Robertson - Hirta Songs

5 Dec 20134 stars

Rich work exploring St Kilda and summoning the old, weird Scotland via Gaelic melodies

On Hirta Songs, folk singer Alasdair Roberts and poet Robin Robertson set sail for the remote Hebridean archipelago of St Kilda. After at least two millennia of human settlement, St Kilda was evacuated in 1930, leaving this rugged Atlantic outcrop to…

Glenn Jones - Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Sat 16 Nov 2013

5 Dec 20134 stars

A magical evening of reflective acoustic guitar from artist with deeply personal vision

Two weeks previously, the Glad Cafe was witness to Bill Orcutt’s cracked take on the American Primitive guitar tradition, all four-string scrabbles and hobo moans. Glenn Jones may move the expanded folk forms of John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Jack Rose…

Tom Brosseau - Grass Punks

5 Dec 20134 stars

Ruggedly durable alt.folk blessed with moments of everyday poetry

Recorded in a house near Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard – or rather ‘put to tape’, as Tom Brosseau phrases it, anachronisms being something of a forte – this is the first solo album in five years and seventh album to date from the North Dakotan…

Lau - The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 28 Nov 2013

3 Dec 20134 stars

The experimental folk trio - Kris Drever, Aiden O’Rourke and Martin Green - beam with originality

Experimental folk trio Lau has hit upon a winning formula: a combination of unflinching, unapologetic traditional musical influences with innovative and dynamic musicianship. Having garnered commercial success around progressive album Race the Loser the…

Frightened Rabbit - O2 Academy, Glasgow, Sat 16 Nov 2013

20 Nov 20134 stars

A triumphant return to Scottish soil for the Selkirk-born indie-folk quintet

Ah, a live gig on Scottish soil from local folk-rockers, Frabbits, where to begin? The sold-out venue, scattered with their zealous, die-hard fans? Their set-list merging old and ready faithfuls with their more recent, similarly well received material?

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Scott McWatt - A Ceíst Amá (A Question of Time)

18 Nov 20132 stars

The singer-songwriter makes a valiant attempt to expand his horizons, with mostly mediocre results

Glasgow folk-pop musician Scott McWatt follows up his debut album Jekyll and Hyde with a valiant attempt to expand his songwriting horizons, pulling together a collection of songs which touch on politics, war, ageing, abortion and sectarianism with the…

Dan Haywood - Dapple

31 Oct 20134 stars

The follow-up to 2010's New Hawks is less musically complex but as lyrically ambitious as ever

In 2010 adopted Lancastrian and keen ornithologist, Dan Haywood, released his first album – a sprawling three LP gesamtkunstwerk titled New Hawks, centered on his time daundering around the Scottish Highlands. As impressive as the 32-track opus was, the…

The Young Tradition - Oberlin 1968

31 Oct 20134 stars

The oral folk trio tackle the genre's major themes with a youthful exuberance in this live recording

Fledg'ling Records have long provided a valuable public service with their ongoing reissue program of compulsory and obscure folk albums. Restored from reel-to-reel tape recordings made by an audience member on the Ohio university campus, Oberlin 1968…

Richard Dawson - Glad Cafe, Glasgow, Sat 21 Sep 2013

8 Oct 20134 stars

Tyneside hero light years away from your average earnest troubadour

The British folk tradition continues to be a rich source of inspiration for artists raised in the experimental underground. There's little direct reference to the tradition in Howie Reeve's opening set, but there's a case for arguing that his…

Miaoux Miaoux, Abandoman and Howard Marks among highlights at The Pleasance Sessions

23 Sep 2013

The gig series also plays host to Conquering Animal Sound, Three Blind Wolves and Chris Ramsey

Probably best known as a mobbed venue for August Fringe shows, The Pleasance is often overlooked during the other 11 months of the year. Now, the Edinburgh University Student Union plans to raise its status as one of the best entertainment venues in the…

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Interview: Rachel Sermanni discusses Doune the Rabbit Hole 2013

23 Aug 2013

The Scottish singer is set to appear at the boutique fest alongside Rick Redbeard and Miaoux Miaoux

The 2013 line-up for Doune the Rabbit Hole in the Stirling countryside features pizza from a wood-burning oven, Perthshire wine, stalls, camping and music from Rick Redbeard, Miaoux Miaoux, Trembling Bells, Lady North and Highland singer Rachel…

Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo - On the Desolate Hillside

23 Aug 20133 stars

Adam Stafford-affiliated posse combine country-folk and dour Scottish deadpannery with mixed results

Being an album’s title track is no easy task. Your spotlit status infers that you should really be one of the strongest tracks on the record; it’s also in your unwritten job description to encapsulate the tone and message of the album as a whole. ‘On…

Johnny Lynch says goodbye Fence Records, hello Lost Map

20 Aug 2013

The man also known as The Pictish Trail says a fond farewell to Fence and launches a new label

‘I joined Fife’s Fence Records full time back in the summer of 2003. I’d released my first home recordings on the label under The Pictish Trail name the previous year, and suddenly found myself cutting out photocopied album artwork, spray-painting CD…

Eels, Lou Hickey and Kris Kristofferson announced for No Mean City 2013

7 Aug 2013

The Glasgow Americana festival will also feature performances from Kat Men, Dawes and Caitlin Rose

The 2013 No Mean City line-up has been announced, with rockabilly band Kat Men and Glaswegian singer-songwriter Lou Hickey opening the series on Sun 1 Sep. Now in its third year, twenty artists will play across five venues with the concerts…

Hiva Oa, Tinderbox Orchestra and Numbers Are Futile join forces for Decagram

29 Jul 2013

The collaborative concert is designed to highlight the talents of ten leading underground artists

Every ten days since April, a new artist has been unveiled as part of the line-up of Decagram, a collaborative concert designed to highlight the talents of ten leading underground artists from the Edinburgh music scene. One by one – with stealth and…

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West End Festival All Dayer – Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sun 23 Jun 2013

17 Jul 20134 stars

The Twilight Sad, Meursault, Conquering Animal Sound and co play the all day lcoal music showcase

With 14 acts over three stages in one of the country's most beautiful venues, the second annual All Dayer event at the West End Festival provided an ideal way to soak up some of the best of Scottish music. Kicking off festivities were Campfires in…

New online project to push forward the accessibility of Scottish historic songs

20 Jun 2013

Aileen Carr and Alison McMorland among those contributing to the Grieg-Duncan Folk Song Collection

A new project is taking place that will see the promotion of traditional Scots ballads and songs. A host of Scottish singers including Aileen Carr, Jo Miller, Alison McMorland, Geordie McIntyre and The Spiers Family are being filmed performing songs…

5 Reasons to Go See . . .I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

6 Jun 2013

1 Talking about music isn’t like dancing about architecture. A curse on whoever was meant to have said that thing about writing about music. Steve Martin? Elvis Costello? This is a talk, it’s about music and it promises to be really quite…

Burning Beaches, The Recks, Khushi and Velvet Stream to play ListLive in London

23 May 2013

The event is the first in a series of London gigs hosted by The List and promoters All Night Long

The List's first London-based live music event is only a week away, and we're pretty darn excited. With ListLive, we aim to embrace any genre of music as long as it's good, and for our debut outing in the UK capital, we've assembled four bands spanning…

eagleowl - The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 10 May 2013

22 May 20134 stars

It only took ten years, but eagleowl’s first album finally hatches

Despite being Edinburgh and UK gig-playing regulars for almost a decade now, this was the night they launched their debut LP This Silent Year, an evening that saw the Fence-signed sextet eagleowl beam in all their slowcore majesty. Well thought-out…

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Alasdair Roberts & Friends - Stereo, Glasgow, Fri 3 May 2013

15 May 20134 stars

Less a conventional folk gig than a subversive ceilidh organised by some cracked millenarian cult

Alasdair Roberts is hopping around the stage, picking out a jaunty Scottish dance tune on guitar. Huddled around him are fiddler Rafe Fitzpatrick and electric guitarist Ben Reynolds, while double-bassist Stevie Jones flanks them all, rocking and swaying…

Quercus - Quercus

15 May 20133 stars

June Tabor and Huw Warren collaboration blending jazz and folk tradition

(ECM) The great English folk singer June Tabor has been working with Welsh pianist Huw Warren for several years, most notably on her 2011 album Ashore. Now, under the Quercus umbrella, the pair is joined by saxophonist Iain Ballamy, best known for…

Meursault's Neil Pennycook talks touring, recording and Plastic Animals

25 Apr 2013

The power-folk group are working on a new album following last year's Something for the Weakened

Fronted by the booming and distinct voice of Neil Pennycook, power-folk act Meursault have been offering their delicate, tender musings for over five years now. They put out their debut album, 2008’s Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues, the first…

Thirty Pounds of Bone - I Cannot Sing You Here, But for Songs of Where

19 Apr 20133 stars

Album exploring location and identity via travelling odes and upbeat celtic folk knees-ups

(Armellodie) As you might suspect of an itinerant folk hoarder who takes his grisly nom de plume from the average weight of a dead man’s bones, Johnny Lamb appreciates the gravity of his songs. His third album, I Cannot Sing You Here... frames his…

William Tyler - Impossible Truth

19 Apr 20134 stars

A shimmering, uplifting psych-folk album influenced by 70s singer-songwriters

(Merge) With gilded stints as backing guitarist to Bonnie Prince Billy, Silver Jews, Candi Staton and Lambchop under his low-slung belt, you might be inclined to wonder if prodigious fingerpicker William Tyler had the motivation, energy or indeed time…