Music, Folk

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Anderson McGinty Webster Ward and Fisher - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sat 12 Jan 2013

23 Jan 20133 stars

Gig showcases Dundee acoustic fivesome’s musicianship

Uniting five pillars of the Dundee music scene, rootsy acoustic collective Anderson McGinty Webster Ward and Fisher is a smart and fruitful exercise in individual songwriters and players combining strengths. With so many talents jostling for primacy as…

Willy Mason – Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sun 10 Mar 2013

12 Mar 20134 stars

The rootsy singer-songwriter's show succeeds best when pared right back

'You wanna hear some songs?' burrs Willy Mason into the sold-out, low-lit basement of Oran Mor. Songs are what he promises, and songs – pared-back, intimate, glorious – are exactly what he provides. Mason works at a slow and steady pace: at the age…

Randolph’s Leap - The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 16 Feb

20 Feb 20134 stars

Catchy and lighthearted set from the Leap, supported by Jo Mango and Snowgoose

‘Are you all prepared for the worst voice of the evening?’ comes the playful opening gambit from Randolph’s Leap singer Adam Ross, his seven bandmates settling into position behind him. It’s a point prudently made in light of the intimate evening’s…

John C Reilly & Friends - St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow, Tue 12 Feb 2013

15 Feb 20134 stars

Actor takes country band on the road as part of Wreck-It Ralph publicity tour

’We got the Death Star to work for us,’ laughs John C Reilly, actor, singer, raconteur and star of Disney offering Wreck-It Ralph, explaining the novel approach to around-the-world publicity junkets he managed to talk the megacorpration into. Instead…

Monoganon - Mono, Glasgow, Thu 10 Jan

25 Jan 20134 stars

Charmingly ramshackle psych-folk performance from John B McKenna and co

Wandering onstage to the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme, then spending ages tuning up, deliberately awkwardly, Monoganon are a glorious curveball. Gigs by the Glasgow-formed quartet are relatively rare, as singer/songwriter John B McKenna lives in Malmö…

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Hollywood actor John C Reilly to play intimate music show in Glasgow

24 Jan 2013

The star of Wreck-It Ralph is also a roots musician

Hollywood star John C Reilly will be visiting the Glasgow's St Andrews in The Square on Tue 12 Feb to play an intimate gig, alongside fellow musicians Becky Stark and Tom Brosseau. Reilly, who is signed to Jack White's Third Man Records label, plays…

Fatherson & Friends - King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 16 Jan

23 Jan 20134 stars

Acoustic show from Celtic indie band fleshed out with brass and strings

Calling in a string quartet and horns section is normally the preserve of bands entering the ‘mature’ middle-phase of their career, but young Kilmarnock quintet Fatherson already feel grown-up enough to dial orchestra, albeit as a one-off for this King…

The best events at Dublin’s TradFest 2013

22 Jan 2013

Highlights at the annual music festival, featuring Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill and the Sands Family

TradFest kicks off again today for the 8th year. It’s Dublin’s biggest festival of traditional music and culture -- designed to expand your mind far beyond any Riverdance clichés and shine a spotlight upon Ireland’s rich musical traditions. Bringing…

Alasdair Roberts & Friends - A Wonder Working Stone

17 Jan 20134 stars

Diverse source material reworked into complex and idiosyncratic originals

(Drag City) Those who (wrongly) have Alasdair Roberts down as a dour purveyor of funereal dirges might be surprised to hear the Trossachs troubadour launching into Scottish country-dance romp, ‘The Bluebell Polka’, complete with parping horns and a…

Top five world music events at Celtic Connections 2012

18 Dec 2012

Konono No. 1, Tamikrest and Bulgarian State Radio and Television Choir among highlights

This year’s festival offers riches from Africa, Eastern Europe and South America. Let The List’s jazz and world music reviewer Stewart Smith be your guide. Salif Keita. A rare Scottish outing for the great singer, Mali’s Salif Keita. From the colourful…

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Exposure: Daughter

18 Dec 2012

The ambient alt.folk trio are tipped for great things in 2013

One daughter and two sons, this London trio will be all over the January tips-for-the-year lists with their unnervingly, transfixing model of emotionally derelict ambient alt-folk. Having spent the last few months bedding in with a handful of singles…

Mumford & Sons - SECC, Glasgow, Wed 5 Dec 2012

18 Dec 20124 stars

The nu-folk kingpins prove they can hold their own on a big stage

Early this December T in the Park announced The Killers, Rihanna, Azealia Banks and these guys for next year’s festival, heaping a great deal of expectation on the 20th anniversary shindig. When indie-folk outfit Mumford & Sons were confirmed as…

Admiral Fallow - Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 8 Dec 2012

12 Dec 20124 stars

Stirring, upbeat folk-rock set from the Glasgow sextet

Midway through Admiral Fallow's headline set at the Barrowlands, frontman Louis Abbot promises something: ‘We’re going to play you a song we never, ever play’. The song - 'Burn' - is a bewitching and exquisitely delivered number from second album Tree…

Dan Mangan – Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sun 25 Nov 2012

12 Dec 20124 stars

Raw, vulnerable alt.indie folk with spaced-out banter

‘I don’t think this is the most jet-lagged I’ve ever been onstage – I think this is the most jet-lagged I’ve ever been.’ There’s a hint of ragged, rough-round-the-edges-ness to Canadian indie-folkie Dan Mangan’s gig tonight, due no doubt to his…

Hot 100 2012: 69-60

11 Dec 2012

Rachel Sermanni, Limmy and Peter Capaldi among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2012

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2012, you'll find them here.

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Hot 100 2012: 79-70

11 Dec 2012

Dominic Hill, Ewan Morrison and LuckyMe among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2012

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2012, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2012: 89-80

11 Dec 2012

Daniel Sloss, Canongate and Julie Fowlis among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2012

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2012, you'll find them here.

The Unthanks - Diversions Vol. 3: Songs from the Shipyards

23 Nov 20124 stars

The Unthanks have shrunk. Less than half the size of previous incarnations (since 2009 they’ve hovered at around ten members at any one time), the band behind Diversions Vol 3 is leaner, meaner. There are only five of them. The third release in what…

Interview: Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Mangan

16 Nov 2012

The musician returns to Glasgow off the back of recent album Oh Fortune and new EP Radicals

It's quite rare for a band to release standalone single - how did 'Radicals' come about? It was a neat opportunity - we had a couple of extra songs left over from when we made Oh Fortune, particularly one with a very long title, ‘We Want to be…

Documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul discusses the remarkable story fo Sixto Rodriguez

15 Nov 2012

The musician, the subject of Malik's Searching for Sugar Man, plays the Usher Hall this month

Like Robinson Crusoe in reverse, Sixto Rodriguez spent many decades oblivious to the fact that the world wished urgently to get in touch. In the early 70s, the young Latino songwriter (above) released a brace of albums. They sounded a bit like Bob…

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Eat, sleep and breathe: Phil Hague of Admiral Fallow

15 Nov 2012

The drummer with the passionate Glasgow folk-rockers shares his touring habits

What time is breakfast? I’m pretty good at getting up for breakfast; my appetite is fierce and I’d happily wolf down a full roast dinner at 7am. Tea or coffee? I love both tea and coffee very much. I think most people would agree that tea is a more…

Gav Prentice - The Invisible Hand

15 Nov 20124 stars

Familiar and well-observed folk-pop songs from the Over the Wall vocalist

This solo debut from Over The Wall vocalist Gav Prentice may be lacking in the fanfares that define his euphoric electro-brass duo, but this album’s small-town Scottish tales of getting old and family and work are characteristically familiar and…

Exclusive free download: Rachel Sermanni – The Fog (Discopolis remix)

7 Nov 2012

Track from singer songwriter's debut album remixed by indie-electro synthsters Discopolis

Indie-electro synthsters Discopolis have given us an exclusive free download of their new Rachel Sermanni remix. 'The Fog' is a track taken from Sermanni’s latest album Under Mountains, which we called ‘full of life, and landscape, and promise’. Taking…

New folk music: James Yorkston, Hanna Tuulikki and Alex Neilson on their musical influences

31 Oct 2012

Some recommendations from three strong voices in contemporary folk music

Scotland’s contemporary folk music is vital, dynamic and genre-defying. It re-animates mythic realms via acid-washed folk-rock (Trembling Bells); applies Gaelic customs to avant-garde art forms (Hanna Tuulikki, Muscles of Joy); celebrates punk and DIY…

Michael Marra 1952 - 2012 : A gentleman genius - Scotland's national bard

25 Oct 2012

A personal recollection of the Scottish songwriter by musician Eilidh Mackenzie

A few times in our lives we may be lucky enough for our path to cross with that of someone truly exceptional. The crossing can change your outlook, confidence, politics or career path. I feel totally blessed to have crossed paths with the great…