Friday 29 January 2016

Everything Flows Podcast 3

Everything Flows Podcast #3

Pure guitar pop, a trippy psychedelic remix, soaring and searing punk rock, classic soul, disney-esque wonder, new teenage guitar music from Ayrshire and brilliant modern pop.

Tracklisting below, click HERE to listen.

Velocity Girl - Primal Scream
Soon (Andrew Weatherall mix) - My Bloody Valentine
Sugar Kane - Sonic Youth
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
It Is You - Natalie Prass
Bring You Home - November Lights
1995 - Molly Nilsson

Previous Everything Flows Podcasts

Podcast #1 featuring Teenage Fanclub, David Bowie, Dr Cosmos Tape Lab, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, JR Green, The Undertones

Podcast #2 featuring The Troggs, Happy Meals, Rose McDowall, The Frank Popp Ensemble, Fun Boy Three, Jo Mango and The Pictish Trail, Miaoux Miaoux, Yo La Tengo

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Forty Songs

To celebrate turning 40 I have selected 40 of my favourite songs pretty much off the top of my head.

I could easily do another 40 featuring the likes of Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, The Doors, Bowie, Velvet Underground, The Lemonheads, Orange Juice..... Deelite's Groove Is In The Heart and Van Halen's Jump....but for now.....

I hope you enjoy them. You can get them all in a handy playlist HERE or select them individually below if you want to check out a specific song.

Going Back To My Roots - Ritchie Havens
I always play it whenever I DJ, it always gets a positive reaction.

Temptation - New Order
Does it get any better? This is the original raw version - sublime.

Come Together - Primal Scream
I love the Weatherall mix, I especially love the Farley mix but this version from the Screamadelica tour is the best. Euphoric!

You Set The Scene - Love
I was lucky enough to see Arthur Lee live half a dozen times. The first time I saw him at King Tut's you could have heard a pin drop when he played this.

Don't Let Me Down - The Beatles
Lennon is so in love that he shouts 4 words rather than whisper 3.

Getting Away With It - Electronic
Sumner, Tennant and Marr combine to create something glorious. I love the line 'I've been walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose'

One To Another - The Charlatans
One of my all-time faves from one of my favourite bands. Raw, soulful and powerful.

Everything Flows - Teenage Fanclub
Difficult to choose just one from Teenage Fanclub but as the blog is named after it! This still gets me pogo-ing when they play it live, the guitars are glorious.

She Bangs The Drums - Stone Roses
Pop perfection, just sublime.

Don't Leave Me This Way - Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes
Another one I tend to always play when I DJ - builds and builds and is just sensational from start to finish.

Silent Sigh - Badly Drawn Boy
This guy could pluck a beautiful melody from a rubber band. Beautiful.

Since I Left You - The Avalanches
Incredible feel-good pop from the album of the same name.

La Femme D'Argent - Air
Blissful opening track from their classic Moon Safari album. This was a huge post-club album back in the days when I went clubbing.

Looking for You - Garnett Mimms
One of my favourite soul songs since discovering it on a compilation back in 2001. Yearning heartfelt vocals.

It's A Motherf**ker - Eels
Heartbreakingly beautiful, E says it all about the loss of his Mum in just over 2-minutes.

Waitin' For A Superman - Flaming Lips
Love this band, their whole fun psychedelic punk attitude is so refreshing and when they hit these kind of heights it leaves me with a huge smile on my face.

Thinkin' Of You - Sister Sledge
Nile Rogers at his very best. Sublime, uplifting, such a groove.

Together In Electric Dreams - Human League
What a tune! The ambition, craft and performance in this song is mind blowing. I caught the Human League live back in 2009 and this lifted me to somewhere out of this world.

Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield
Do I need to say anything here? Music doesn't get much better than this.

And I Was A Boy From School - Hot Chip
Stumbled across Hot Chip in a tent in Benicassim back in 2005 and fell in love with them. Bought this on 7-inch and played it when I dj's at Edinburgh School of Art for my sister and loads of people came up to ask who it was - always a good sign.

All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
Possibly my favourite band since the turn of the century. This is just amazing. Another song I tend to play when I DJ.

Sit Down - James
This song means a lot to me, reminds me of one of my best friends and also of United lifting the Treble in Camp Nou back in 1999 when I was fortunate enough to get a ticket.

Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
I think I could listen to Hope Sandoval all night. What a voice. And I used to fancy her like mad!

Sometimes Always - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Hope Sandoval with the Mary Chain - brilliant guitar pop duet that flows from the off.

Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
One of the first times I went to a gig on my own was when I bagged a last minute ticket for The Verve at the Barrowlands just after this was released. Mind blowing.

Stop The Clocks - Miaoux Miaoux
Julian Corrie is a very talented guy and this remains my favourite song of his. Takes it to another level when he and his band play it live. Gorgeous at the start before taking you off on an uplifting trip.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross (Marvin and Tammi version isn't on YouTube)
Sublime, stunning vocals and arrangement.

All Our Dreams Are Coming True - Gene Page
I asked Lynn to walk down the aisle with her Dad to this superb instrumental when we got married. She was under strict instructions to stay at the door and let everyone look at her until the beat came in!

Stoned Love - The Supremes
Bad Weather and Love Child are pipped by this, largely because it reminds me of the Stone Roses, but also because it is a belter.

You Got The Love - Candi Staton
This has featured in many a crazy night out over the years - well not so much these days. A real hands in the air, hug your mates anthem.

I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
Pure raw pop at its very best. Listen to Michael's voice!

Once In A Lifetime - Talking Heads
Experimental pop at its very best. Clever, playful, interesting and a song that I still find something new in - always grabs me whenever it is played.

Golden Path - The Chemical Brothers
Man, I wish Wayne Coyne and The Chemical Brothers had recorded more songs together. This is psychedelic electro brilliance that always leaves me wanting more. Genius!

If Everybody Looked The Same - Groove Armada
I was working behind the bar at O'Henry's in Glasgow (now the Yes bar) when a fellow member of the bar team put this on. I immediately had to find out who it was and then I must have played it 6 times in a row. Groove Armada have an exceptional back catalogue but this remains my favourite although a special mention must go to the gorgeous At The River which closed many a club night back in the day.

You - Spanky Wilson
Outrageous, uplifting and euphoric soul. I love buying compilation albums and when I heard this on Living In The Streets I feel for it immediately. I was lucky enough to catch Spanky Wilson live at The Arches.

California Soul - Marlena Shaw
Aw this playlist isn't in any real order, otherwise this would be up near the top. Just pure brilliance on vinyl - the song, performance and vocals are class. I have seen Marlena Shaw live a few times, the first time was when the Renfrew Ferry was over the other side of the Clyde and after she played this there was an ovation and cheering for what felt like 10-minutes - it probably was.

Nowhere To Run - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
Raw Detroit soul from Motown. I once danced on stage with Martha at Oran Mor!

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher - Frankie Wilson
Ooooft - when a DJ played this at Barraloadasoul back in May last year everyone ran to the dance floor to dance, sing and punch the air in delight. Special.

Slide Away - Oasis
Between 1994-1996 Oasis meant the world to me. They backed up my love and faith with an incredible run of songs and shows culminating in Knebworth. Slide Away remains my favourite Oasis song; Noel's words, Liam's voice....brilliant.

Dry The Rain - Beta Band
My sister and I went to the last ever Beta Band show at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh. The crowd just kept on singing the refrain to this song for long after the band had finished playing it. Original and brilliant.

For the time being I can't think of a better song to finish this mix.

If there's something inside that you wanna say
Say it out loud, it'll be OK
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I need love
I need love

And then the one more tune....well there would be two, two that used to close a few post club nights back in the day.

Rez - Underworld
Just incredible - powerful and soothing.

Belfast - Orbital
Beautiful, soundtracked the end to quite a few nights back in the noughties. Sublime, pure, uplifting...gorgeous.

Sunday 24 January 2016

November Lights at King Tuts

Last night I had the pleasure of dj-ing at the legendary King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, before and in between 4 bands playing as part of the venues New Year Revolution series of shows.

The four bands in question were Freelance Liars, Lemonhaze, November Lights and Enemies of the State. All made it an enjoyable night.

Freelance Liars were on sharp, a few minutes ahead of their allocated 8.45pm stage time, determined to make the most of their time on the Tut's stage. Their first two songs were my favourites in their set, duelling electric guitars sounding superb.

Lemonhaze were up next and their frontman Gerry Doran delivered an energetic and entertaining performance. Despite claiming to be 'pissed' his vocals were bang on throughout, ranging in style and tone and capable of soaring. His energy transferred to the crowd who responded to his calls to join in and the band may well have won a few new fans.

I featured November Lights on my blog back in November (funnily enough) following the release of their debut single Bring You Home and I was really looking forward to seeing them live for the first time. The young five-piece brought/drew the largest crowd of the night.

Young frontman James Hopkins was celebrating his 19th birthday and the crowd rendition of Happy Birthday seemed to give him an extra spring in his step. Hopkins had the confidence to switch between mics to allow him to play acoustic guitar and keyboards at various points in the set, also bringing on a guest female vocalist for a tender duet. The band are planning an EP for around May - keep an eye on them.

November Lights

Enemies of the State bounded on to the stage dressed in black and launched into the opening intro before their singer joined them. I was quite intrigued as he looked different to the rest of the band.

After their first song he promptly announced that this was their last ever show.....but, they were continuing with a new band name Oceans (surely there must have been a band called that before? great name), had written loads of new songs and they wanted to be the biggest band in the world and Glasgow wasn't big enough for them.  One step at a time though - they didn't pull the biggest audience at Tut's last night.

Being honest, they aren't to my taste, but credit where its due, they were going for it and the singer spent a considerable amount of time away from the stage to get the crowd going, encouraging their loyal fans who had been chanting E O T S at the start to get a new chant for their new band.

King Tut's New Year Revolution delivered 16-shows and 96 acts - showcasing some of the up and coming bands that Scotland has to offer. Well done to Chris Beltran who curated and booked the shows and he let me know that he already has loads of ideas for their Summer Nights shows.

Any aspiring bands/artists should send Chris some notes/a bio and soundcloud links to

Thursday 21 January 2016

Everything Flows Podcast 2

Thank you very much to those of you who listened to the first Everything Flows podcast and for your positive feedback.

I really enjoyed recording it and would like to record a few podcasts a month if time allows, so here we are on number 2 which you can listen to HERE.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch via email if you would like me to email this to you.

Good Vibrations - The Troggs
Altered Images - Happy Meals
Don't Fear The Reaper - Rose McDowall
Breakaway - The Frank Popp Ensemble
Our Lips Are Sealed - Fun Boy Three
Believe Me, I Know - The Pictish Trail and Jo Mango
Snow - Miaoux Miaoux
I Heard You Looking - Yo La Tengo

Saturday 16 January 2016

Everything Flows Podcast January 2016

Everything Flows Podcast #1

January 2016

This is the very first Everything Flows podcast; a little bit of chat, some memories and great music from my record collection.

New and rising Scottish artists Dr Cosmos Tape Lab and JR Green feature alongside legends and faves. Click HERE to listen. 

Everything Flows - Teenage Fanclub
Sound and Vision - David Bowie
The Mirrors Reflection - Dr Cosmos Tape Lab
Love and Mercy (live at the Roxy) - Brian Wilson
The River Song - Dennis Wilson
Nigerian Princess - JR Green
Teenage Kicks - The Undertones

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Sound and Vision


Sound and Vision - Beck

Beck does Bowie, boy does Beck do Bowie. Beck does Bowie with a 157 piece orchestra. Beck conducts them throughout, spinning on stage with his acoustic guitar, a finger wag here, a gesture with his arms there.

Listen with your headphones on when you get to the video below.

The start is incredible as Beck wanders around conducting the orchestra and generating noises that switch from your left ear to your right (microphones were suspended above). This goes on for an intoxicating 3-minutes before Beck and practically everyone burst into life with the classic Sound and Vision riff.

Beck's Dad conducts the orchestra which contained 2 choirs, xylophones, Chinese percussion, vintage electronic equipment, marching band drummers, samba players, heavy metal guitarists and loads, loads more.

There is brilliant bit where everything stops leaving Beck strumming his acoustic guitar backed only by handclaps and the choir. It then builds up to a collage of noise before Beck returns the song to something that wouldn't sound out of place on his Morning Phase album. Beck then takes things on a funky cinematic trip for the duration of the song during which he really stamps his mark on the song, it absolutely soars, it is brilliant to watch and to listen.

Waiting, for the gift of sound and vision

It is 9-minutes of magic, made possible by the Lincoln Car Company who told Beck he could do something with no limitations or restrictions. 

Beck shows that like Bowie, he has the gift of sound and vision. Astounding.

Previous covers of the month

Monday 11 January 2016

My 10 favourite Bowie songs

1947 - 2016, R.I.P

Like many, I have spent today listening to songs from the truly exceptional back catalogue of David Bowie following his sad passing after a battle against cancer.

Bowie was unique; he was a pop star to some, he seemed like an alien to many others when he was beamed into their TV's on Top of the Pops to perform Starman, he was a chameleon, he was inspirational and he was an incredible artist.

Heartfelt tributes have been pouring in all day for this wonderful creative, eclectic and eccentric singer, songwriter and performer. Bowie inspired many (Morrissey, Marc Almond, Brett Anderson and probably most of the 80's new wave romantics) but he quite simply could not be imitated.

Bowie always ahead of the game, he didn't just stick to a formula, he challenged himself and others and he was a leader; bold and imaginative, bursting with energy and creativity.

I thought I would take 20-minutes out to write a short blog about my 10 favourite Bowie songs.

1. Sound and Vision
I don't know what it is about this song that grabbed me on first listen and has never let me go. I've played it loads of times when I have DJ'd in the past; the opening beats into a glorious guitar riff and instrumental that flows beautifully eventually leading to synths and eventually a deep sigh and finally   the lyrics. Brilliant. Bowie is definitely someone who wondered about sound and vision.

2. Let's Dance
I used to manage the Glasgow band Sonny Marvello and their singer Stephen is a Bowie nut. The band covered this, I think for a night at Pinup Nights in the Flying Duck, and it led me to checking out a lot of Bowie's 80's material. A couple of years ago I was at the Wickerman Festival when Nile Rodgers played this song, that he co-produced, and again it led me to listen to it over and over again for weeks afterwards. It is so clever; from the Beatles-y Twist and Shout opening to the funky bass and synth, the incredible vocals that encourage the listener/muse to put on your red shoes and dance the blues and then the glorious....

If you say run, I'll run with you
If you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall into my arms
Tremble like a flower

3. Modern Love
Another 80's Bowie song that Sonny Marvello covered. It is a real pop gem that the band learned for a set before singer Stephen's wedding and they played it at a party the night before. I always think of an incredible 2-days with some great friends, culminating in a beautiful wedding when I hear this song.

4. Heroes
Yeah it doesn't really get much better. Totally spine tingling.

5. Under Pressure
OK it's not all Bowie, but this may well have been the first Bowie song I head when I was a kid. That and his Dancing In The Streets duet with Mick Jagger! I still think it is a beautiful song and the performance is sensational with Bowie bringing out the best in Freddie Mercury and the song inspiring Bowie to reach fantastic heights.

This is our last dance

6. Starman
Loads of musicians from a certain era cite this as the moment they decided to form a band. Bowie beaming into their homes looking out of this world; was he a boy, a girl or an alien? Who cared, he was different and he was cool. The moment he puts his arm around Mick Ronson is brilliant - he knows he is f**king good. He packs everything into 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

7. Queen Bitch 
Another song I have played quite a lot when DJ-ing. That opening acoustic riff suddenly develops into something monstrous, quite punk rock and Bowie is in full flight sounding like he is loving it.

8. Changes
One of the first Bowie songs I really fell for in my late teens. The delivery of ch-ch-ch-changes and the line time may change me, but I can't trace time seemed to be written for me. Yet again, Bowie pens a song that flows superbly.

9. Ziggy Stardust
Bowie had many looks, guises and disguises throughout his career, Ziggy Stardust was arguably his best. The vision, ambition and delivery of the look, the songs and the album were pure pop art. Nothing like this had been done before. No-one could do it afterwards.

the kid was just crass
he was the nazz
with God given ass
he took it all too far
but boy could he play guitar

10. Five Years
From the legendary Ziggy Stardust album, it was yet another cover version that caused me to fall for this song and go back and dig out my second hand vinyl copy. This time it was an acoustic performance by singer Kevin Harper at a charity show I put on at Maggie's Centre in Glasgow. Knowing the diagnosis' some people in the room were dealing with, the song took on a new meaning to me and I got quite emotional.

Thursday 7 January 2016

16 things - Scottish Music in 2016

Here are 16 things that I am looking forward to relating to Scottish music in 2016. Starting with albums/shows/activity from some of my favourite bands.

1. A new Teenage Fanclub album
It was number 1 in my 15 things for 2015 blog and it didn't happen, but it will definitely happen in 2016...won't it? I'm pretty sure it will and Norman Blake has tweeted that the album is ready and Gerry Love has said it should be ready for the summer in a recent interview on Finlay MacDonald's Alternative Folk Show (13th December). A Fanclub album in time for summer would be perfect.

I was lucky enough to hear Norman's songs from the album when I gave him a lift home from Edinburgh back in May - classic Fanclub. I look forward to the album and some long awaited live shows. 

2. Belle and Sebastian celebrate 20-years together
Belle and Sebastian have announced (and SOLD OUT) 2 very special shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London next June to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band. The first night will see the band play their celebrated debut Tigermilk and the second will be about all things If You're Feeling Sinister.

Surely the band are going to do something special in Glasgow or Scotland? Keep an eye on their Social Media pages if you are a fan of the band.

3. BMX Bandits 30th anniversary
BMX Bandits formed in the summer of 1985 and released their debut single in the summer of 1986, so they are stretching their 30th anniversary celebrations over 2-years. They eased in gently in 2015 with a handful of headline shows, an appearance at Wickerman and a great support slot with The Charlatans. The band are in fine form - expect much more in 2016 - potentially activity relating to their back catalogue but also possibly some new material.

The BMX Bandits will play a special 30th anniversary show at the CCA on 14th May. See you there.

It was 30-years ago today....

4. Primal Scream - album and shows
Speaking of Pledge Music, Primal Scream have decided to go down that route for Chaosmosis - their new album due for release in March. They follow that up with 4 'intimate' shows including the Aberdeen Ballroom and the ABC in Glasgow.

The fire still burns in Bobby Gillespie and I look forward to seeing what he and his band have been working on.

5. The Pastels archive project
I recently re-read the magnificent My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize book on Creation Records and it caused me to delve into the labels extensive back catalogue. Despite being a fan of The Pastels for over 20-years, I hadn't really dug into their very early releases, I guess because 20-years ago you couldn't really get a hold of them, now you can get a hold of pretty much anything on YouTube.

Somethings's Going On by The Pastels was one of the very first releases on Creation Records, away back in the day, closely followed by Million Tears which I totally fell in love with on first listen and kicked myself for not discovering it before!

Million Tears is guitar pop perfection, flowing superbly from the very start with a great upbeat instrumental intro before bursting into a short verse and then chorus.

Oh if I can't have you I don't want nobody else
And if I can't have you I won't take nobody else

I'd tear myself apart
And cry a million tears
Break down the walls of pain
And fall into the heartache scene

Stephen has confirmed that The Pastels will be working on an 'archive project' throughout 2016 and will be collecting tapes from various sources over the weeks and months to come. Expect some shows later in the year, it would be amazing to hear Million Tears and some of the really early stuff live.

6. The SAY Award
The SAY Award goes from strength to strength. I thought the move to the ABC in 2015 was a great choice (as much as I love the Barras). The longlist highlighted how eclectic and strong the Scottish music scene, the shortlist emphasised it with many surprised by the likes of the Twilight Sad and Mogwai not making the cut. 

The SAY Award introduced many (myself included) to the talent of Kathryn Joseph and Happy Meals. I look forward to seeing what the long and short lists bring up next year.

Happy Meals

7. T in the Park and the Stone Roses
I've got tickets to see the Roses in Manchester and I may well venture up to Strathallan Castle to catch the Roses on Scottish soil. The Roses stir incredible passion from within their Scottish fans and they will be bang on form following their 4 shows in Manchester.

2016 is set to be a crucial year for T in the Park after a deluge of complaints from last summer relating to the new site - the size, set-up, facilities, stewarding and access all came in for heavy criticism.

CEO Geoff Ellis issued a very honest and transparent apology and statement regarding the problems that many fans faced last year. Ellis confirmed there has been a full assessment and a strategy is in place to ensure that things will be up to scratch in 2016.

T in the Park is very important to Scotland, we need a strong flagship festival and the thirst for live music within the country demands it. I look forward to seeing what acts are announced over the months to come.

Strathallan Castle

8. Brew At The Bog
I have yet to venture up to Brew At The Bog. I have also yet to hear a bad word about it.

A large percentage of the line-up for 2016 has already been announced.....and it may well mean that I make the journey north! Add in a stunning setting at Bogbain Farm in Inverness, craft beer gin, cider, whisky, rum and prosecco bars and a ticket price of £59 and it looks like a winner.

Kloe and White have been signed to major labels and could be in line for a breakthrough in 2016, C Duncan was nominated for the Mercury Prize, Best Girl Athlete released one of my albums of 2015, Roman Nose are incredible live, Adam Holmes can produce moments of beauty and Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 are going from strength to strength.

9. Wickerman
I always have an absolute ball at the Wickerman Festival, the location, atmosphere and eclectic line-up always ensure a good weekend. No acts have been confirmed for the 2016 festival as yet and sources indicate that Synergy Concerts will not be booking for this years festival. So there will be changes, I look forward to hearing the first acts being announced in the near future.

I'd really like to take our 2 kids to Wickerman 2016. It will make for a completely different weekend but Wickerman has that kind of family friendly vibe. If not 2016, then they will definitely be ready in 2017.

10. Bands and artists developing
See my blog on 16 bands/artists that will be developing through 2016 HERE.

Neon Waltz - one to watch in 2016

11. Celtic Connections
A quiet January? We don't do quiet in Glasgow, there is always something going on, always some excuse to get out for a drink, a catch-up and some music, art or entertainment.

Celtic Connections is set to deliver another incredible few weeks in Glasgow with Scottish alternative acts including;

 Rachel Sermanni supporting John Grant, Admiral Fallow, Bwani Junction performing Paul Simon's Graceland album, Errors, TeenCanteen, the return of De Rosa, Siobhan Wilson, Duglas T Stewart and the Glad Cafe community choir performing the songs of Ivor Cutler, Kathryn Joseph, Linden and JJ Gilmour, James Yorkston, The Pictish Trail and Withered Hand (the last 3 all on one bill), Emma Pollok, JR Green and Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire hold their annual Roaming Roots Revue with Krist Kristofferson and Mathew E White among the guests.

As well as the John Grant show mentioned above, They Might Be Giants family matinee show and an evening for Bert Jansch catch the eye.

Skint? Well get yourself along to the BBC or some of the free workshops on offer. Also check out the amazing late night festival club to test your endurance or the new Late Night Sessions at the Drygate Brewery compered by Finlay Napier.

12. King Tut's New Year Revolution
Now in the hands of young Chris Beltran, KTNYR showcases some of the many up and coming acts from around Scotland in one of my favourite places in the world.

I am especially looking forward to the night on Saturday 23rd January as I'll be DJ-ing between the bands Enemies of the State, November Lights, Lemonhaze and the Freelance Liars. The Van T's are special late night guests in the bar after the fun upstairs is over.

November Lights feature in my blog on 16 artists to watch develop in 2016.

13. Scottish labels
Tiny labels like Hits The Fan Records (Kathryn Joseph and JR Green) and Night School Records (Happy Meals) (Molly Nilsson) are releasing some incredible music. I've also been really impressed with the cassette label Fuzzkill Records who have been prolific with their output over the last year or so featuring bands like my faves Catholic Action.

Stephen Pastel's Geographic Music are already planning a single release for Spinning Coin who previously released with Fuzzkill Records, Olive Grove Records will be releasing the debut album by Ette (my sisters solo project) and Lost Map will be releasing the hotly anticipated album by Tuff Love.

Phew - that is not to mention Bloc Music, Song by Toad Records, and Chemikal Underground and Mogwai's Rock Action Records!

As I said in my previous blog, the Scottish music scene is in good health and a rich vein of form and a lot of that goes down to the taste and energy of those running the labels mentioned above.

Happy Meals vinyl

14. Barraloadasoul
One of the best nights I had in 2015 was getting dressed up and heading into the Barrowland Ballroom to dance on a talcum powdered floor to some incredible music with family and friends. It was like a scene out of a film with people dressed to impress and busting some serious moves on the dancefloor. The moment one of the DJ's dropped Jackie Wilson (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher was like being in my dream disco, hand in the air, smiles on faces, good times.

The third annual Barraloadasoul takes place on Saturday 21st May from 2pm-midnight.

Barraloadasoul 2015

15. Digging deep
Kind of linked to the Scottish labels section in number 13, but what about the bands/artists that don't have labels? What about the bands/artists that are really and truly only doing it for the pure love of music? How do you find them? If you dig deep you might strike gold.

There is an element of luck from just scanning the internet and stumbling across something. Fortunately I know 2 people who have been in bands in the past and will be in bands in the future, but who also create incredible music in the comfort of their own homes.

Listen to Brittle by Broken By Rock, it is like a fragile New Order

I am brittle, in many, many ways
A broken heart, I cannot stay
A sign this song, for you I pray
My broken heart

Check it on SOUNDCLOUD

Then there is Stephen Solo who has recorded an album on his iPhone. The results are amazing. Check out Crying Because - a raw gem, absolutely beautiful. Stephen also made a brilliant homemade video on his iPhone as well.

Wanting to feel the wind
Crying because it blows everything away
Everything away

Wanting to feel love
Crying because love, love is sad most of the time
Most of the time

16. Record Store Day
I totally get the arguments that Record Store Day is a bit corporate these days and I understand the frustration from artists and fans about the people who buy a rarity and stick it up on ebay immediately. However it is still fun and a celebration of record shops across the world. Taking a trip to Monorail in Glasgow is a semi-regular occurrence for me, but going with my friend Dave, drinking beer and catching some bands while we are there is not something that happens very often unfortunately. So for that reason alone I am looking forward to Record Store Day.

Saturday 16th April is the date for your diary.

Monday 4 January 2016

16 Scottish bands for 2016

There are absolutely loads of Scottish bands and artists set to have exciting years in 2016 - some will be releasing music via major labels, others on small indie/DIY labels and then plenty will be self releasing.

The most important thing is that Scottish music is in an incredibly rich vein of form at present. There are loads of bands set to progress with many doing so on precisely their own terms which is very pleasing to me as a music fan - no label or management interference.

Here are 16 relatively new/up and coming artists to look out for in 2016.

A second blog on 16 things I am looking forward to in Scottish music will follow later this week.

1. Kathryn Joseph - will she follow up her SAY Award winning album with a new release in 2016? I would expect at least an EP from the very talented songstress. Check this sublime live recording of her song The Bird from a BBC Radio Scotland session

2. Happy Meals - won hearts with their Apero mini-album. They are winning more with their live shows. I don't think we will need to wait too long for their next release. Unique and gorgeous.  I hope to have a guest blog on Happy Meals in the near future.

3. Neon Waltz - set to tour with The Coral in the Spring, I think 2016 could be another year of development or see an Autumn album release for this hotly tipped band from Wick. The band have been living in their own world up in Wick, forming their own sound unaffected by any scene or scenesters, it is a sound that people want to hear more of. Singer Jordan Shearer look like a young Bobby Gillespie and has the charm and style to win and melt hearts.

4. White - currently getting loads of support from the BBC and set to tour the UK in Feb/March including a huge hometown show at the QMU on 20th February, White's high energy guitar pop could lead to a big year. Their next single could be the one that will see them break through.

5. Kloe - I have to admit to being sceptical about Kloe; however I really enjoyed her set at Wickerman and look forward to seeing how she develops in 2016. I expect a couple of singles and maybe an EP along with a good support tour and festivals would be a productive 2016 for her to aid her development. But you never know, an album might sneak out if a single kicks in.

6. Fatherson - The main question re Fatherson for me is whether or not they are going to transfer to the rest of the UK and beyond? Signed to Easy Life Records (a Sony offshoot) will give them every opportunity. The same questions were asked about Biffy Clyro and we all know how they got on -given time and the opportunity to develop. Their latest single Always explodes into life with the guitars sounding billiant. It will be interesting to hear their first album on a major label.

Check this incredible performance from T in the Park.

7. Model Aeroplanes - 4 young, good looking and talented boys from Dundee , this band have every chance of breaking through in the next couple of years. Signed to Island Records, I think 2016 might be too early for an album, but I look forward to hearing a couple of singles or an EP. Expect loads of shows and festivals to get their name out there. Check their self released single Electricity for an example of what they can do.

8. Catholic Action - I've blogged about them recently and I've really fallen for them. Prolific and set for a big 2016. They've released a load of material via local label Fuzzkill Records (on cassette) and I wouldn't be at all surprised for a larger label to come in and take them on.

9. Crash Club - A band who have been building and building towards something quite special. 2015 was a riot for them, their live show has been honed and toned to perfection leading to loads of praise and a growing fanbase. An album isn't their priority but they pretty much have one in the bag. Expect a single/EP in the first half of the year and then we'll see what happens.

10. TeenCanteen - my sisters band finished recording their debut album in December and are waiting to master it. A single will come out in March/April along with some live dates with indie legends Shonen Knife. The band also play the ABC as part of Hazy Recollections as part of Celtic Connections on Sunday 17th January.

The band have had the Cairn String Quartet in the studio for a coupe of songs. Check this gorgeous version of Honey from their recent Mono show as a taster for what might be on the album.

11. Gerry Cinnamon - I am really enjoying the rise of Gerry Cinnamon. I first came across Gerry when he fronted The Cinnamons and always enjoyed watching them live. Gerry has been playing and running open mics for a couple of years and then he went viral in 2014 with his song Hope Over Fear which led to him playing protests and rally's. The exposure led people to Gerry's catalogue of songs and his shows started getting bigger. Gerry's personality helps, he is funny, positive, up for it, kind, quick-witted, intelligent and he also speaks his mind and the truth.

Check the response to Good Feeling at a recent show at the Biscuit Factory in Leith HERE

12. November Lights - I blogged about this band back in November and also interviewed them. Check that HERE. I look forward to catching them live at King Tut's on 23rd January (when I will also be dj-ing between bands) to see if they have more songs up to the standard of their debut release Bring You Home. If they do then I think they could go all the way.

13. Atom Tree - Glasgow band move to London shock! It is kind of against the norm for a Glasgow/Scottish band or artist to move to London these days. Atom Tree have upped sticks and moved to the big smoke having signed a publishing deal that has allowed them to become a full-time band. They've been working on material for the last 6-months so they could explode in 2016. Check out this for a beautiful electronic gem.

I first blogged about them back in the summer of 2014 when their song Desired Effect was picked up for a Burberry advert. I've caught them live a few times and they have some incredible songs.

14. The Bellybuttons - I caught The Bellybuttons supporting Ultimate Painting at Mono in November and I look forward to catching their energetic guitar pop again in the near future. Another band to have released via Fuzzkill Records, they have a great laid back Pavment-esque sound, also taking in lovely warm Teenage Fanclub style guitars at others.

15. JR Green - came to my attention via Joe McAlinden on Twitter and when he took Edwyn Collins to check them out in Inverness I thought I had better do the same. The duo (brothers Jacob and Rory Green) have signed to Hits The Fan Records who released the gorgeous Kathryn Joseph album, their debut Bring The Witch Doctor EP is a delight and contains the following lyrics on their song Nigerian Princess.

I'm sorry for my output but I'm surrounded by wankers
I'm only 17 so I don't have all the answers (YET)

16. Man of Moon - had a blinding 2015 and are set to crack on further in 2016. Their debut release The Road was an exceptionally assured release from a couple of teenagers; gripping, menacing and full of energy - controlled and then explosive. I've yet to see this band live but all reports have been full of praise and I look forward to catching them soon.