1. A new Teenage Fanclub album
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.
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.
The BMX Bandits will play a special 30th anniversary show at the CCA on 14th May. See you there.
The fire still burns in Bobby Gillespie and I look forward to seeing what he and his band have been working on.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
See my blog on 16 bands/artists that will be developing through 2016 HERE.
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.
The third annual Barraloadasoul takes place on Saturday 21st May from 2pm-midnight.
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
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.
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.