Tuesday 30 January 2018

Cardinal by Pinegrove

Last week my friend Joe picked me up for our weekly game of 7-a-sides. The conversation to and from Glasgow Green included our usual subjects; kids, wife, work, football and music. Oh, and Joe's new windscreen wipers!

On the subject of music we discussed upcoming gigs and Joe mentioned that he had bought tickets for a band called Pinegrove who were playing St Luke's in Glasgow on Friday 9th March. He said I should check them out.

Then on Sunday afternoon Joe texted to say that he already had a spare ticket. I checked Pinegrove out on Spotify and was blown away.

Cardinal, their last album, was released in 2016. It is a raw, flowing, soulful album with guitars to the fore. Evan Stephens Hall sounds like he is pouring his heart out, stretching his vocals to breaking point, telling his stories and sounding believable, compelling and utterly thrilling.

Old Friends sets the tone and the pace. It's a blistering 3 minutes 27 seconds that immediately had me reaching for my phone to Joe to confirm I wanted his spare ticket.

I knew it when I saw it, so I did just what I wanted
So I go through with this, I knew happiness when I saw it

I saw your boyfriend at the port authority
It's a sort of f**ked up place
Well so I averted my stride on a quick one
He's coming back from going over to your place, huh?

The quality and urgency across the 8-tracks (13 on the expanded Spotify edition) is as high and pure. I haven't found myself as excited about discovering a band from outwith Scotland in quite some time.

In a little over 30-minutes Pinegrove display all the soul, emotion, attitude, melodies, noise and just the right amount of swearing that tend to make me fall for a band.

Here is a session for Cadmium, the second song on the album that allows Hall to just wax lyrically over a groove that changes beat and allows the band to jam at ease.

Then Again is under 2-minutes of raw storytelling Indie Americana with a delicious dash of punk pop. The guitars explode into life and the there is just so much energy bursting out from the band.

Hall just pours and bares himself and his heart into his songs. Aphasia is a longer song and there is a great line about Hall writing a song to remind himself. At times his voice stretches to breaking point, at others his band mates harmonise, at others he is soft and tender.

So satisfied I said a lot of things tonight
So long Aphasia and the ways it kept me hiding
It's not so much exactly all the words I used
It's more that I was somehow down to let them loose

Waveform is gloriously slow before breaking quickly into a flow and groove. Size of the Moon again sees Hall wearing his heart on his sleeve, singing over a simple electric guitar riff about a lost love before his band come in to back him up.

Do you wanna dance?
Fine, but do you remember when
In your living room, when we made some room
and moved ourselves around in it?
It's how my heart resumed
I got caught, you got those Caravaggio moves
We had some good ideas, but we never left that f**king room

The album opened with Old Friends and it closes with New Friends. The lyrics are clever, pure, soulful and so easy to relate to.

I resolve to make new friends
I liked my old ones
But I f**ked up so I'll start again

What's the worse that could happen
The end of summer and I'm still in love with her
I said
Forget it

 The bonus edition on Spotify contains some brilliant demos/sessions.

Sadly, just a couple of days after falling for this band and looking forward to seeing them in the brilliant St Lukes, they have postponed all scheduled tour dates while the singer works through some issues that sound complicated to say the least.

I do hope he works through them and they come to Glasgow in the future.

Friday 26 January 2018

Carla J Easton at Celtic Connections

I really shouldn't be surprised any more. But my wee sister has a habit of pulling things out the bag that do surprise her biggest fans and her family. Her determination and artistic development is always a pleasure to experience.

This was her debut show as a solo artist under her own name, after albums with her band TeenCanteen and under the guise of Ette. Both released albums in 2016.

2017 saw Carla accepted on to a prestigious songwriting residency at the Banff Arts Centre in Canada. She had 2-weeks with her own studio overlooking snowy mountains to focus on writing and recording. It proved to be a life changing couple of weeks, new friendships were made, new confidence was discovered and the songs flowed. Part of the confidence came from people like Howard Billerman (Arcade Fire) and nashville award winning songwriters telling Carla how talented she was and how much they loved her songs.

Filled with enthusiasm, Carla booked to return to Canada in September to work with Howard to produce an album. So she scrimped and saved, then received confirmation that she had a Creative Scotland grant just before she left, so she could record an album with her new friends.

It's an incredible album that she is sitting on, and the songs keep coming! She is in a rich vein of form and it is so pleasing to see. I look forward to it coming out when the time is right.

Carla's friends from Canada were invited over for some shows at Celtic Connections, Neu! Reeky, in Manchester, a 6Music session and in London. Amazingly they all made it over!

They arrived on Sunday, she of them ended up playing Janice Forsyth's show on Monday, then there was lots of rehearsals and catching up. So much so that by yesterday afternoon Carla could barely speak!

I met her in the Hug and Pint and she was drinking warm whiskey but she couldn't talk! The claivar I bought her must have helped!

Taking to the stage with Kev (drums), Laura (synths and b vox), Jessie (bass and b vox), Brett (guitar) from Canada and with friends Amanda (guitar and sometime TeenCanteen) and Paul (synth and Ette) it was quite a feat that they could all fit on stage! They all played and combined exceptionally well - especially considering they had never all met until Tuesday!

Carla caused laughter by admitting (and you could hear it) that she had almost lost her voice but then produced an astonishing performance. Quite where she found it from I will never know, I'm not sure she will either! Sheer determination, will-power and adrenaline got her through along with lots of support on stage and in the audience.

The sound in the Hug and Pint was top class. The band were brilliant, looking great, sounding even better. The new songs build on everything that Carla has produced and highlighted through her work to date - melodies flow, stories are told, there are hooks galore and even the odd knock our uppercut, and choruses to sing on first listen.

Milk and Honey opened proceedings with Carla playing theremin and looking like she was having the time of her life. As were her incredible band. Smiles were on stage and off. Meet Me In Paris was glorious and then there was a few songs from her recent past. Bird In The Sky is my favourite Ette song but it was speeded up and psychedelicised (is that a word?!) last night. Attack Of The Glam Soul Cheerleaders was ace - total Spector meets Motown in London in 1967, before a run through of TeenCanteen's Honey prompted Carla to invite another friend on stage with Sita P from TeenCanteen helping on the beautiful layered harmonies.

New single Lights In The Dark is stunning and it gets better with every listen, it has been stuck in my head all day. Strangely all of Carla's new stuff made much more sense after seeing it live with her friends and her band.

Wanting What I Can't Have was a highlight. Coming across like a Screamadelica era Primal Scream with great beats, synths and a soaring chorus that goes on an on mantra style at the end.

Lullaby was beautiful. Slowly easing into itself before building into a stunning Harrison-esque instrumental with fantastic guitar leading back to vocals.

I can read your face even if with my eyes shut tight
In depths of darkest night
I feel you out and see the light

Carla had to get the band to introduce themselves as she couldn't talk - yet somehow she could sing and her vocals on Lullaby were exceptional.

The night concluded with Carla introducing the song Impossible Stuff, asking the audience to just go with them at the end. The band took the audience on a real trip, the start is Disney-esque, so playful and melodic and then the chorus just soars and soars. There is then a delicious spine tingling breakdown before everything builds and goes gloriously crazy - brilliant fun was had on stage.

Check this version that Carla recorded with the Scottish Opera just 2-days after returning from Canada last September!

Find out more at www.carlajennifereaston.com or Facebook or @carlajeaston 

Thursday 25 January 2018

Never Ending Mixtape - Part 19

Welcome to the latest additions to my Never Ending Mixtape (one of my Spotify playlists). The playlist is now over 450 songs, so please dig in and discover an old favourite or maybe something you haven't heard before.

Bowie kicks off the latest additions to the playlist. Memory Of A Free Festival gets better as it goes on and the closing mantra is brilliant. Changes remains a real favourite, while Kooks is just so playful and delightful. I've almost finished reading Dylan Jones' superb book on Bowie, well worth checking out, the stories are unbelievable!

Elsewhere we have some soul courtesy of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, the funky Clean Up Woman and the glorious Last Night Changed It All that I discovered via a Bob Stanley/St Etienne compilation - just listen to that vocal!

Modern day Blondie are represented with the storming Long Time, age does not matter a jot in music and the fire in Debbie Harry and co still burns brightly on this evidence, sitting easily alongside the classic Hanging On The Telephone. William Onyeabor has a couple of cool tracks I discovered via my friend Craig, there is old school Underworld and Moby, while young guitar band The Orielles feature ahead of the debut album coming out on Heavenly in February.

Hot Chip have 3 songs from their stunning The Warning LP, we have a lysergic lullaby style remix of The Charlatans who also feature with Happen To Die and The Kinks, The Who, The Animals and the Small Faces close with a blitz of glorious mod guitar pop. Oh and no apologies for 3 tunes from Teenage Fanclub from their Man Made album that I listened to for the first time in ages recently.

We close with the psych garage brilliance of The Misunderstood - a band I became interested in in my late teens/early 20's after reading that they once nipped out of a radio session to have a smoke and left their guitars feeding back and then came back in and just resumed the song! Then the epic Slip Inside This House by the 13th Floor Elevators takes us on a trip, Primal Scream would later cover this on their Screamadelica album.

You'll need to scroll down to the bottom of the playlist to play these tunes, or dig in anywhere, put it on shuffle - enjoy. Click this LINK or head to Spotify and search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape.

Memory Of A Free Festival - David Bowie
Changes - David Bowie
Kooks - David Bowie
Show Me The Way - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
Happen To Die - The Charlatans
Slow Fade - Teenage Fanclub
Cells  - Teenage Fanclub
Born Under A Good Sign  - Teenage Fanclub
Clean Up Woman - Betty Wright
Last Night Changed It All - Esther Williams
Long Time - Blondie
Hanging On The Telephone - Blondie
Atomic Bomb - William Onyeabor
8-Ball - Underworld
Porcelain - Moby
Let Your Dogtooth Grow - The Orielles
Lets Fall In Love - William Onyeabor
Out Of Time - Blur
So Oh (Brian Jonestown Massacre remix) - The Charlatans
Boy From School - Hot Chip
Colours - Hot Chip
No Fit State - Hot Chip
One More Time - The Lemonheads
Stop Your Sobbing - The Kinks
Lola (Coca Cola version) - The Kinks
Strangers - The Kinks
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - The Animals
I Can See For Miles - The Who
The Kids Are Alright - The Who
Sha La La La Lee - Small Faces
My Minds Eye - Small Faces
Never Had A Girl - The Misunderstood
I Cried My Eyes Out - The Misunderstood
Slip Inside This House - The 13th Floor Elevators

Sunday 21 January 2018

Moon Safari

The other day I was alerted to the fact that Moon Safari by Air is 20-years old. What an album it is! Flowing, imaginative, funny, soulful and reflective, full of joyous and melancholic synths, intertwining riffs and melodies, beautiful vocals and a real sense of freedom. It really is majestic.

Earlier on today I played the album, lounging around as the snow fell outside and I was reminded of all of the above and more. I've actually listened to it 3-times today!

I caught the band playing the Old Fruitmarket as they toured the album. Sean Lennon supported and I actually stood beside him in the lead up to Air coming on stage. The DJ dropped The Word by The Beatles and he went back side stage. The 22-year old me was desperately caught in two minds regarding whether to talk to him or not. I wish I had!

La Femme D'Argent is a stunning opener. There is a groove to the bass, flowing synths, dreamy backing vocals and beautiful melodies. It is so easy to get lost in this song. I always used to put it on mix tapes and mix CD's.

Sexy Boy was the 'hit'. The video of Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit-Dunkel walking about New York City and buying a monkey with a Sexy Boy t-shirt on and subsequently going off to fantasise about things was genius and helped take Air and Moon Safari overground. There guitar/synth riff and Sexy Boy hook are captivating from the off, the sultry French vocals are the sugar on top. The instrumental solo section is sublime.

The reflective side of Air comes across on All I Need, beautiful psychedelic folky riffs combine over simple percussion and more dreamy vocals take the listener on a trip.

All I need's a little time
To get behind the sun and cast this weight

Air's sense of pop that they displayed on Sexy Boy is taken a step further with Kelly Watch The Stars, a song that takes the listener on a different kind of trip via repetition rather than they flowing riffs and melodies that are evident throughout the album. That said, there is still plenty of space in the song for Air to flow and the instrumental section really does lift the song to another level.

As for Talisman, I can't recall an instrumental as emotive, it really does speak volumes. Rising and falling and generally just evidencing sheer brilliance. Remember features repetitive lyrics, but again it is music that captivates.

You Make it Easy is the most 'wordy' song on Moon Safari and it is a tale of love asking questions of how the lovers found each other and marvelling at how life now is.

You make it easy to watch the world with love
You make it easy to let the past be done

The layers of riffs and melodies are pure and sublime on Ce Matin-La with gentle horns introduced alongside strings. Another melancholic soulful masterpiece. Who needs words?

Moon Safari really does take the listener on a trip. As a complete body of work it is stunning, yet individually each track is capable of doing that as well. New Star In The Sky is moody and broody (great album for the bedroom!).

The trip ends with Le voyage de Penelope and again it is so easy to immerse yourself and get lost in the gorgeous music and vibes that the dup create.

Moon Safari is a truly captivating album that sounds like it was conceived with an incredible amount of love, care and attention. I found myself listening to 3-times today. Enjoy, whether you are listening to it for the first time ever or the first time in a while.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Not Fade Away

Cover version of the month #32

The Stones cover Buddy Holly

The Rolling Stones launched in June 1963, releasing a cover version of Chuck Berry's Come On, they would follow that with a Lennon and McCartney number I Wanna Be Your Man that the duo bashed out in 20-minutes to help The Stones and their manager Andrew Loog Oldham.  In search of original material there are stories that Loog Odham eventually resorted to locking Jagger and Richards in a room until they came up with something!

Their third release, in February 1964, was a scorching cover of Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away. They transformed the song, stamping their identify of rock n roll blues all over it. Brian Jones playing the mouth organ sounded a million times more exciting than when Lennon played his less than 2 years previously on The Beatles Love Me Do.

The original by Buddy Holly and The Crickets was written in 1957 and released as a b-side to the single Oh Boy and on the album The Chirping Crickets in 1958. The Stones keep the structure of the song but they turn it into raw and electric rock n roll. The difference is quite staggering, the drummer for the Crickets pounds the beat on a cardboard box! Through each recording you see the move from skiffle to rock n roll. No-one would ever look back.

The urgency in Jagger's voice is striking from the off. When Jagger sings it you believe him, you believe he's a lover and you kind of fall for him; hook, line and sinker.

I wanna tell you how it's gonna be, you're gonna give your love to me,
I wanna love you night and day, well love is love and not fade away

The handclaps, beats, Brian Jones on harmonica, the acoustic rhythm and the explosion of Richards on electric guitar sound incredibly exciting - even in 2018. The Stones transform the original and in under 2-minutes display the energy that captivated audiences across the globe.

Check the magnificent interview and performance from 1964 below and then the studio recording, followed by the original by Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

Previous covers of the month

Saturday 6 January 2018

David Bowie Never Had To

One of the most pleasing things I have noticed in the Scottish music scene over the last few weeks has been a little bit of recognition for Pii 2, the second album by Stephen Solo, an artist I am incredibly fond of.

Readers of Is This Music? (another blog with a nod to Teenage Fanclub) voted Pii 2 second best album of 2017, The Herald highlighted Internet Song in their top 100 (17) songs of 2017, while Jock Rock also found Pii 2 to be second best album of the year.

Nothing crazy, but I know that it means a lot to Solo, an artist who recorded his debut album simply because he had found out how to use his iPhone and didn't need to limit himself to acoustic demos.

Solo hasn't even played two handfuls of shows in that time, so word of mouth is the way that his music gets known.

I've blogged about Solo a few times over the last couple of years;

Introduction and interview
The Pii 2 album launch at La Chunky
Pii 2 album review

Stephen is unique, using easily accessible and relatively cheap modern technology (his iPhone) to capture the songs, melodies and ideas that pour out of him on a regular basis.

The songs range from the gorgeous fragile Crying Because, to cinematic Soundtrack to Unfilmed, to Albarn-esque moments of beauty mixed with craziness, plenty of Beatles-y moments of homemade psychedelic wonder like Think Strange and LocoCoco and nods to Bowie, the harmonies of The Beach Boys, electronica via Kraftwerk to Hot Chip and even Scots comedian Limmy.

His 2 albums to date contain genuinely jaw dropping moments of sheer raw talent and imagination. No Pill For What I've Got and Secrets You Keep are spine tingling. And it is worth remembering that Solo no only wrote and played everything on these 2 albums, he recorded, mixed and produced it all as well - sometimes in his car, sometimes under the stairs and sometimes in the bathroom - even in the bath! Internet Song is so funny, captivating and catchy that is has recently prompted one fan to make a video for it.

There is one song on Pii2 that I listened to about half a dozen times in a row on first listen to the album. The talent, humour, cheek, imagination, stark reality and heartfelt plea to the artist who inspired it, the twist at the end, the little riffs.... David Bowie Never Had To is a quite incredible song, in fact it is more of a work of art.

As Glasgow celebrates the life of Bowie this weekend ahead of his birthday and anniversary of his passing, I thought I'd highlight this song that the great artist inspired. Stephen is a real Bowie fan and introduced me to Bowie's 80's classics Modern Love and Lets Dance.

Back to the song, that you can stream below. Pulsing electro synth and beats back Stephen Solo as he lists things that David Bowie Never Had To do;

Change kitty litter at 5am
Take out the bona after a gig still wearing his gig clothes
Switch to store brand breakfast serial for financial reasons

Carry a washing machine up 4 flights of stairs
Downgrade his home entertainment package because he is on a zero hours contract
Consider using his house keys as a makeshift weapon at a dodgy bus stop
Provide evidence of job searching for a job he doesn't want

Solo breaks off between verses for a glorious melodic and melancholic snapshot of his mind;

Don't want my own universe
But I'd be happy in my own little world

There is a lovely twist at the end as Solo finds himself having a conversation with Bowie from beyond his grave. I'll leave you to check that out yourself. Please do so and please check Solo's albums. He plays the Hug and Pint supporting The Gracious Losers at their single launch and I'm led to believe some friends will be joining him on stage to help recreate his incredible songs.

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Scottish music scene in 2018

The Scottish music scene doesn't stop. We end each year with gigs, parties and club nights and then begin each year by going out to watch live music or dance. Scotland is a nation of people that love to socialise to music; be that in a tiny basement bar, at a legendary venue, at one of the worlds busiest venues, in fields, in yards, in art centres, in streets or in the grounds of a castle.

This blog takes a snapshot look at some of the things I'll be looking out for in 2018. As always, there will be lots more that comes up as the year progresses.

Emerging and developing artists
I always like to see Scottish talent developing. Gerry Cinnamon smashed 2017 out of the park and he promises to take things even further in 2018 with news of a tour coming soon and the main stage at TRNSMT already confirmed. I wouldn't bet against some more music being released either.

My sister has a single coming out in January followed by dates in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and London. Now recording under her name Carla J Easton after recent albums with her band TeenCanteen and a solo project under the guise of Ette; 2018 should see the release of a new album that she recorded in September of 2017 over in Canada, produced by Howard Bilerman who recorded and drummed on the debut LP by Arcade Fire. She is on a roll and her songwriting has really developed over the last couple of years. There might be a wee surprise in February as well.

L-Shape will be releasing their debut album later in the year and have already released some wonderful digital singles. I have extremely high hopes for this band. I fully expect them to be playing summer festivals as there is no-one else like them. They are visually and sonically superb. I previously described Blue Flowers (below) as Portishead meets Mazzy Star - sheer beauty.

The melodic reverby guitar offerings from West Princes is catching many an ear and I look forward to seeing them live in 2018 after missing one of their December shows. Check their single Wet Bark Is A Slug below. Reports from friends who have seen them recently say that they have progressed massively. 

I've mentioned Saint PHNX and KVASIR in previous blogs. I'm a fan of both and 2018 could see them both releasing albums. Saint PHNX go for the jugular with soaring anthems, while KVASIR has a great ear for melodic and euphoric electronica. Check out one of his tunes below.

BooHooHoo are another young band that I enjoy and I also expect new material from them. They are lovely talented people who get people dancing with their catchy electro pop tunes. They have a load up their sleeves and I hope they get them out to the world at large.

Siobhan Wilson released a gorgeous album in 2017 and is already planning her next; Emme Woods should be releasing new material in the first quarter of the year and look for Catholic Action to quickly follow up their debut album. I'm also keeping an eye on teenage guitar band Static Union who have been working hard and developing well.

'Buzz' bands/artists include the pop punk offerings from Rascalton who are causing a stir with their energetic live shows and singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi who is selling out shows across the UK and Europe.

Elsewhere I definitely intend to catch Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 live again after missing them in December. This is a band who can make you forget about everything for an hour or so in a blast of colour, humour, catchy hooks and fun. If you haven't had the good fortune to experience their live show then I can't recommend it highly enough.

Look out for more on emerging Scottish artists in the labels section of this blog and it is always worth checking Vic Galloway' list of artists to watch. I'm currently doing that as I write.

Established artists

Belle and Sebastian released the first in a trilogy of EP's in December, so look out for more from them in January and February with all kinds of touring going on including what is set to be a triumphant show at the SWG Galvanizers Yard in May.

Franz Ferdinand now have young Miaoux Miaoux in the band! They have already been playing around the world and arrive at the Academy on Saturday 17th February. Check the title track from their forthcoming debut album below. It's out on 9th February. Alex Kapranos has always had an ear for electro and when the beats kick in this really takes off, promising a great deal for the album.


Last Night From Glasgow - hotly tipped youngster Zoe Bestel will be bringing her debut album out on LNFG on Record Store Day. There is quite a buzz about this young girl and tons of support. 2018 is shaping up very nicely for her. Elsewhere expect an album from L-Space (mentioned above), The Gracious Losers, BiS, Radiophonic Tuckshop and the usual great nights and parties through the year. There will probably be a few surprises as well. LNFG celebrates its second birthday in style - taking over Stereo AND the Old Hairdressers on 31st March. Details HERE

Olive Grove Records have two new signings that we should expect releases from. I am very keen to see Pocket Knife live and hear more from them. Olive Grove have also signed youngster Jared Celosse, a 21-year old from England who is studying in Glasgow. Some demos found their way to Lloyd at the label and he snapped him up immediately and has been talking extremely highly of him.

Matthew Young's Song By Toad are on a bit of a roll; recent releases by Siobhan Wilson and Modern Studies have been warmly received in Scotland but they've also broken through across the UK. The label is now well established and recognised, with artists regularly getting coverage in high profile blogs and 6Music airplay. I've just discovered Zed Penguin (video below) whilst writing this blog and look forward to watching them live in 2018. Their album is out at the end of February. 2018 promises a number of releases including an album by the prolific and talented Adam Stafford.

Fuzzkill Records release limited cassette runs and have already seen Catholic Action and Spinning Coin progress from their ranks. I wouldn't bet against them discovering some other gems and they have created a real scene in the city.

Scotland is buzzing with DIY labels ranging from the boutique like Gerry Loves Records through to the more established. Chemikal Underground have gone pretty quiet, Rock Action led by Mogwai are always up to something and had an excellent 2017 with releases including Mogwai's Every Country's Sun and Out Lines Conflats album.

Festivals and Shows

Celtic Connections gets underway in mid January and lasts through until early February. There is an incredible amount of music and activity taking place across the city. Check the website for listings. The Hug and Pint has an excellent bill of shows whilst the 80-piece Grit orchestra performing Bothy Culture and Beyond at the Hydro with special live stunts by Danny MacAskill promises to be pretty special. Elsewhere the Roaming Roots Revue is dedicated to Tom Petty.

Electric Fields has confirmed 31st August and 1st September as the dates for 2018. This festival is set in beautiful grounds and has a real boutique feel to it. It is improving year on year and I look forward to hearing the first batch of acts to be announced.

Nile Rodgers is bringing his party style sets to Kelvingrove Park! After 2 sold out shows at the Bandstand, he is coming back for a weekend and he is in charge of the line-up! The FoldxFiesta promises to get people dancing their hearts out. Nile is responsible for one of my all time favourite shows at the Wickerman Festival. We may well plan our summer holiday around this!

SWG3 has already announced outdoor shows in the Galvanisers Yard by LCD Soundsystem and Belle and Sebastian, following on from successful shows by The XX last year. Look out for more super cool outdoor shows being announced in the new year. SWG3 is going from strength to strength.

TRNSMT looks like it is here to stay after a successful first year. T in the Park has pretty much rebranded and moved to the city. Liam Gallagher, The Killers and Stereophonics have been announced as the 3 headliners. There have been a lot of online debates in relation to the line-up, but T was never been about being cool, looks like TRNSMT won't be either - it's about giving people what they want..... and selling enough tickets to put on the biggest festival in Scotland. All reports from last year were extremely positive.

The Kelvingrove Bandstand shows are eagerly anticipated in my household and indeed my family. This magical venue has hosted some of my favourite shows in recent years and I sincerely look forward to going back in the summer of 2018. I'm holding out for The Charlatans being invited!

Belladrum - The Tartan Heart Festival is on to a winning formula and it sells out every year.

In Glasgow we have multi-venue festivals from PCL with The Stag and Dagger, confirmed for bank Holiday Sunday on 6th May, and the Tenement Trail from the team at Tenement TV.

SAY Award
The SAY Award goes from strength to strength. Will it be back in Paisley this year? It's not the easiest to get to! But this is such an important event for Scottish music, recognising the talent and diversity that the country continues to provide. I'll be hoping for an LNFG release making the shortlist. Elsewhere I think Siobhan Wilson should make the shortlist.