The Glasgow music scene is as vibrant as ever, with variety, style, passion, expression and fun playing a huge part in creating a 'scene' that is ever evolving and always expanding.
To re-start the Music In Glasgow blogspot, this blog will look at some of the bands, venues and nights that make Glasgow's music scene so interesting and inspiring.
Pinup Nights & Heavylight/Darkbright
Run by two music fans that love to throw a part and get people dancing, Pinup Nights has gone from strength to stregth since its inception in 2007. The club night seems to have found the perfect venue at The Flying Duck in Renfield Streets, allowing their imagination to run riot with circus themed nights and guest dj's ranging from Alex James (Blur) to Naboo from The Mighty Boosh. Their taste in music has seen the cream of the crop of young Scottish bands playing their nights including Sonny Marvello, Mitchell Museum and Pooch.
Not content with running Pinup Nights, the two friends also run the Heavylight/Darkbright club nights that take place in various venues across the city. Their foresight and taste allowed them to book Mercury Music Prize nominees The Invisible in advance of their nomination.
Captains Rest (and its Edinburgh brother - Sneaky Petes) have quickly established themselves on the Scottish Music Scene thanks to some innovative booking and the excellent taste of promoters PCL Presents. The venue, on Great Western Road, has almost become the equivalent of legendary Camden scenester pub The Good Mixer, with bands choosing to hang out, DJ, put on gigs and club nights and generally have a good time. Established bands that have played Captains Rest include The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart andThe Phenonemal Handclap Band, while local bands like Sparrow & The Workshop and Zoey Van Goey have made it a home from home.
When The Box opened just along the road from the Glasgow Institution that is Nice'n'Sleazys, quite a few cynics didn't expect it to last long. That it has, is largely down to the get-up-and-go attitude and enthusiasm of owner Stephen McComb. With the simple philosophy of providing free live music 7-nights a week, The Box naturally appeals to students and claims to have over 3,500 people passing through their doors every week. As well as providing a platform for bands to introduce themselves to the Glasgow live scene - no need to sell tickets - the venue has established itself as a favourite for aftershow parties for the likes of Kate Nash, The Cribs and The Rumble Strips. James Allan from Glasvegas used to DJ regularly while the band were breaking and stil returns for the odd pint.
Your Sound at King Tuts
Your Sound is a platform for unsigned bands to get their music heard by their peers and industry bods on the first Sunday of every month at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut. Bands submit demos and biogs and an artist of the month is selected by the Your Sound panel, with winners receiving excellent prizes that have included recording time or instruments. Previous winners have noticed increases in hits and plays on their MySpace pages and been selected for high profile support slots thanks to DF Concerts. Previous winners have included Seventeenth Century, Woodenbox and a Fistful of Fivers and Ming Ming & The Ching Chings.
Seventeenth Century dare to soar where others can only dream of. Check out their video for the song ‘Traffic’ to see what all the fuss is about. The band are slowly but surely building up a reputation for their live performances and they are also collating a superb collection of songs with influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to Beruit, Seventeenth Century have the taste to back up their quality.
I've been meaning to catch this band live for a while now and I'm slightly ashamed I haven't. I have been visiting their myspace regularly. 'Disconnected I Know' is all Blondie meets Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Effortless guitar pop. Other songs are slightly heavier but the riffs and the glorious voice of Jennifer Paley mean that every song shines.
Futuristic Retro Champions
This is a band that always create a buzz when they play live thanks to infectious upbeat electo pop, full of hooks, choruses, harmonies and melodies. FRC’s are a band that are out and out fans of pop music and their influences take in everything from The Shrangri-La’s to Girls Aloud with pretty much everything in between. Check out ‘You Make My Heart’ with its New Order-esque bass-line and the absolutely gorgeous ‘Isn’t It Lovely?’ with it’s beautiful closing section complete with trumpet.
Nevada Base produce beautifully crafted electro pop, think Erland Oye and you are on the right track. 'If I'm Late' and 'Love On My Mind' are crying out to be played at clubs and will no doubt be featuring on a late night compilation at some point.
If anyone has seen Vendor Defender live, I would imagine that they will return to see them again and take along a friend. With funk influenced basslines and a drummer who is a cross between Keith Moon and Reni, their rhythm is gonna get you. With a growing reputation on the live circuit, check them out now before they progress beyond pubs and clubs.
Any Colour Black
Any Colour Black’s passion and obvious love of music and playing live elevates them above the vast majority of the hundreds of bands playing in Glasgow. The chemistry between Andy and Louise who share guitar, vocals and programming duties is evident on stage and thankfully this translates into the recording of songs like 'Touch Me' and 'As You Are As You Were'.
Sonny Marvello dress resplendently in vintage clothing with the singer wearing a tradmark red bowler hat. Their songs are all about love and hope, ranging from the out and out disco pop of 'Easy Boys & Easy Girls', the epic 'We're All Cruel' and the soaring guitar pop of 'Tiny Little Sparks'. A band with style, taste and passion. They recorded their debut single at Cava Studios and it should be out in late November.
Electro-popsters Pooch are a regular on the Glasgow gig and club circuit. Their tunes and beats mean that they are always welcome at venues across Glasgow and beyond. With striking looks and lots of hooks, Pooch will get people dancing and talking about them the morning after.
Their poppiest moments recall Flaming Lips, while their more experimental side takes in Animal Collective and all kinds of influences. Early single ‘Warning Bells’ was a Radcliffe & Maconie single of the week. A hard working band that live for music, Mitchell Museum have financed the recording of their debut album and are hoping to release it in 2010. I’d be surprised if you ever see the singer without a smile on his face.
Boycotts have blitzed 2008 by playing live regularly up and down the country, becoming one of the tightest live bands in Scotland. Having signed a publishing deal with Sony it would appear that the only way is up for this young four-piece, fronted by the energetic Stina Twee. Their post-punk angular guitar sound could take them out of Glasgow and beyond.
The Second Hand Marching Band
There are bands that like to think big and then there are bands that just go out and do what they want to do and have fun. The Second Hand Marching Band are a 20-piece band from Glasgow that create a wonderful noise with layers of vocals and harmonies. Seeing them live is an experience you won't forget with all of the band singing their hearts out. Check out the glorious 'Don't' on their myspace with the mantra 'There is something you should know, don't go outside in the rain and the snow.'
Hailing from Carlton in the East End of Glasgow, this four-piece take their life experiences and prove that Glasgow is alive to the sound of music. They are a cross between The La's and The Libertines. Simplistic yet melodic and with choruses that will get you singing along and punching the air. With a healthy appetite for playing live and a good fanbase, they are one to keep an eye on. Songs like 'Glasgow' and the pleading 'One More Chance' will have you humming along on first listen.