Thursday 29 August 2019

Edwyn Collins at the QMU Glasgow

I can't remember the last time I attended a gig at the QMU in the leafy West End of Glasgow. But last night I was reminded what an excellent venue it is as Edwyn Collins returned home to deliver a spell binding and life affirming show to fans who lapped up every minute.

Collins was backed by an oustanding 5-piece band; two guitars (Little Barrie and Andy H), bass (Carwyn Ellis), drums (Jake Hutton) and keys/saxaphone (Sean Read). Little Barrie on lead guitar was an absolute joy to watch and Collins urged him on several times through the course of the show, he seemed to be enjoying the guitarist just as much as the audience.

There was a sense of occasion to the show, the atmosphere was warm, the audience appreciative and respectful. Edwyn seemed to recognise this and his humour was on display throughout - poking fun at himself and at his rhythm guitarist who needed help from a guitar tech on several occasions.

Oh what a catalogue this maestro has at his disposal. And Collins delved deep into his songbook to play songs from start to present, new songs, classics and a few surprises as well.

Edwyn's song In Your Eyes with The Drums from his Losing Sleep album is a particular favourite of mine. I love the guitars, the flow of the song and the euphoric chorus. So it was a real delight when Edwyn's son William came out to sing the part of Jonathan Pierce. It was a lovely moment to witness, Edwyn introducing his son and asking him how he was to a shrug of the shoulders 'alright' and their voices combining towards the end was thrilling.

What Presence? was an early highlight, A Girl Like You is timeless guitar pop with a nod to northern soul and Little Barrie shone on guitar, Don't Shilly Shally fizzed with energy, It's All About You from latest album Badbea was northern punk soul, Home Again was tender and beautiful yet delivered with real vocal power, while the double blast of Blue Boy and Falling and Laughing was a delight with Collins standing to deliver them and also to take the ovation from the crowd.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Golden Canter - the continued rise of Gerry Cinnamon

Congratulations to Gerry Cinnamon, his self-released album Erratic Cinematic had gone gold, a brilliant and very well deserved achievement.

A lot has happened in Gerry's world over the last 12-months and it has been amazing, exciting and enthralling to witness live and to follow his trailblazing adventure. I thought that it might be time to write a follow up to my blog The Rise and Rise of Gerry Cinnamon that I published last summer

Gerry's continued rise isn't being documented by the traditional music or mainstream media, but it is being beautifully documented by the people that matter most - his fans.

Whether is it posts/tweets or pictures of love, Cinnamon lyric tattoo's, murals on walls or the many uploads to YouTube that display the passion, euphoria and utter enjoyment that Cinnamon's live shows bring. Someone should bring them all together in a documentary. This kind of rise to this kind of level in this kind of way hasn't happened before. It is incredible to witness.

Uploaded fan films on YouTube can reach tens of thousands, even over 100,000 views - such is the demand to experience Cinnamon-mania. Just search for Gerry Cinnamon on YouTube and delve in to the joy, mayhem and euphoria this guy is beautifully creating for people.

But if you want to start with some professional BBC footage then let's come bang up to date with the summer of 2019 and Cinnamon's sensational TRNSMT festival performance, hot on the heels of his incredible Glastonbury performance (check it on the iPlayer) where he packed out the John Peel tent. Both are sensational to watch, Gerry just keeps taking things to another level - and so do the fans!

Cinnamon-mania took over TRNSMT - again. Just look at the crowd in the video above! And listen to them!

In glorious sunshine artist and audience became one. The audience could feel it, they sang the guitar riff to Sometimes, jumped, danced and sang every word. And Gerry could feel it; the bit at the end of What Have You Done where Gerry just decided to play his harmonica solo and stamp out a beat again was thrilling to watch. And Gerry's rallying cry to young musicians ahead of Kampfire Vampire was heartfelt and pure soul. Surely he'll be back to headline in 2020?!

You can catch the full set HERE in case the iPlayer link above doesn't work by the time you read this.

Since my last blog on Gerry there have been; bigger shows, bringing in the new year by playing Edinburgh,  more festivals - and higher slots, European shows and festivals, a newly announced winter 2019 arena tour that is sold out with the Aberdeen show set to break the record for the biggest ever indoor crowd in Scotland and there is an ever growing fan base that now includes Mani from Stone Roses and Liam Gallagher.

For the fans - there have been smiles, laughs, sing-songs, flares, dancing, new friendships forged and nights that fans will remember for the rest of their lives as they enjoy falling for the songs, personality and soul of Gerry.

Cinnamon has rallied against ticket touts, promoted fellow singers from Glasgow including young Dylan John Thomas who played a sell-out show at King Tut's at the end of June (look out for a future blog on him), become a silver selling artist after a repressing of his debut went into the shops in March, his album has shot back up the charts (and gone GOLD), and Gerry has influenced young kids to pick up acoustic guitars, play, sing and write.... and go their own way.

Picture by Amelia Ward
Gerry at the Barrowland Ballroom

The last year has been mad. There may have been sell-out shows galore but Gerry has remained true to his beliefs and he hasn't sold out. He is still doing this on his own with his small trusted team, there is no record label and Gerry doesn't do media, he doesn't play the game. Word of mouth is the fuel for this (bon)fire.

The hardest part of playing the game
Is no' even playing the game
It's caring enough to care about the things that you're doing

New music has been teased including Dark Days (played at the end of 2018) , The Bonny (played at TRNSMT to a great response) and Canter , released as a summer single, hitting number 3 in the iTunes chart.

Canter is classic Cinnamon; advice, honesty, a dash of cheekiness and beautifully pieced together into sections, starting with plenty of breathing space before Gerry's rhythm guitar playing drives it along. I love when he brilliantly hollers it's a wee crying shame, here comes the rain and the section that flows beautifully;

They tell you it's not easy, they tell you it's not hard
They tell you it's impossible to mend a broken heart

There will be an album at some point and in one of the very few interviews Gerry has done he answered Radio X's Gordon Smart's question of when will the album be out? with as soon as it's ready. The beauty of working without a label!

With a tour scheduled for November there is every chance it will be out before then.

For fellow fans of Gerry, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. The bonny is burning brighter than ever.

Saturday 24 August 2019

Never Ending Mixtape part 39

Summer is pretty much over, it feels like Autumn is in the air and it kind of has been for a while. But what a summer of music in Glasgow; Bandstand shows with Burt Bacharach, The Human League and Teenage Fanclub and the return of Camera Obscura with a wonderful show at St Luke's.

So it is no surprise that Bachrach and Camera Obscura each have 4 songs added to the playlist. You'll also find some real soulful disco gems, punk pop perfection from Dinosuar Jr, the incredible 8 Ball by Underworld, pure pop by Moloko, psychedelic groove by Death In Vegas, outrageous soul by Spanky Wilson, the sheer brilliance of Layla - what about that outro?! and loads more including a couple of tunes by new L.A. band The Regrettes who bring their teen punk pop to Glasgow in November.

A full list of additions can be found below. There are now well over 1,000 songs on Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape, you'll need to scroll down to the bottom to find the latest tunes. Dig in and enjoy.

Walk On By - Burt Bacharach
This Guy's In Love With You - Burt Bacharach
Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head - Burt Bacharach
What The World Needs Now Is Love - Burt Bacharach
Can't Fake The Feeling - Geraldine Hunt
Feel The Need In Me - The Detroit Emeralds
I Specialize In Love (12-inch) - Sharon Brown
This Guy's In Love With You - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Losing Your Mind - The Lemonheads
Slip and Do It - Betty Wright
Down Here On The Ground - Lou Rawls
Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross
Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr
8 Ball - Underworld
Sing It Back - Moloko
Dirge - Death In Vegas
Layla - Derek and the Dominoes
You - Spanky Wilson
Norman 3 - Teenage Fanclub
Since You've Been Gone - The Allergies
I Got You Babe - Etta James
Ce soir je m'en vais - Slove
Feelings Gone - Callum Easter
Tender - Blur
Sweet Thing - Van Morrison
California Friends - The Regrettes
I Dare You - The Regrettes
Collar of Fur - Fionn Regan
Promised Land - Joe Smooth
The Sweetest Thing - Camera Obscura
My Maudlin Career - Camera Obscura
If Looks Could Kill - Camera Obscura
Razzle Dazzle Rose - Camera Obscura

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Here Comes The Sun

Cover version of the month #47

Nina Simone and Richie Havens covers The Beatles

Incredible picture by Elliott Landy of Richie Havens at Woodstock

George Harrison's Here Comes The Sun is just perfect. Sublime, heartfelt, simple, melodic and pure pop.

One day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton's house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful and I walked round the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars and wrote Here Comes The Sun.

George Harrison, from I Me Mine

The riff is infectious, everything about the song is warm and welcoming. The ice is melting, smiles are returning to faces and everything is alright. Starr's drums are brilliant, really capturing an upbeat feel that fits in with everything else going on.

It is simple, pure and pop. Perfect and Harrison arguably steals Abbey Road with its inclusion alongside the stunning Something.

It is such a gorgeous song that you'll not be surprised to hear that it has been covered by multiple artists but I'll focus on two of them.

Nina Simone's version begins like a nursery rhyme. there is a tender gentleness applied to the melody and vocal. It picks up, adds power, effortless power, you get the impression she could do so much more, but her respect and command in her version is just stunning to hear.

Richie Havens, like everything he does, makes it super cool. Even cooler by the fact that he performed it at Woodstock. Can you imagine being at Woodstock in the sunshine and hearing this? Havens plays with it, driving the rhythm guitar and his rich, soulful voice just sounds like heaven.

Both Simone appreciate the perfection of the original but add their own little magic to the song. I love them both, but in this case, the original is my favourite.

Previous covers of the month

Saturday 17 August 2019

Teenage Fanclub at Leith Theatre

Teenage Fanclub lit up the beautiful Leith Theatre last night with a stunning set. The band seemed super relaxed, even though Steven Black was standing in on bass for Dave who was expecting the imminent arrival of a baby. It was time to Start Again ... again.

Teenage Fanclub have barely let up with live shows since the 2016 release of Here. I make last night the 13th time I have caught them live in 3-years; Islington Academy in London, the ABC and Barrowland double header, a BBC Quay Sessions show, a couple of CCA warm up shows, a trip to Hebden Bridge, the Barrowland triple header for the Creation Years, the Bandstand show and then last night in the superb Leith Theatre, a really stunning venue. It is the busiest I can remember the band being and I look forward to seeing what they do next.

The sound and mix was absolutely spot on last night, the outro on Everything Is Falling Apart was sublime, the guitars on Metal Baby made me play a little air guitar (!), Euros improvising on keys and Steve Black playing with total confidence on bass, gelling brilliantly with Francis on drums.

Put My Faith In You is classic TFC, surely it will be the next single. Guitars chimed and Norman, Euros and Francis harmonised beautifully. Catholic Education fizzed, the guitars on Alcoholiday sounded heavenly and the band blitzed gloriously through I'm In Love.

Raymond was in fine form, Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From felt like a warm blanket being wrapped around the crowd and Verisimilitude received a great response and the closing section of My Uptight Life was absolutely beautiful with the crowd gently singing with Raymond;

all my life,
 I felt so uptight, 
now I'm all alright

Norman Blake has a smile that can light up any room and as he launched into The Concept by telling the crowd that he'd be on the last train to Bellshill with a carryout everyone in the venue was smiling with him. The closing instrumental with 3-part harmonies gets me every time.

Broken is so tender, melancholic and beautiful, it is always such a pleasure to hear this gem played live and as Blake and the band slowed down and faded out the crowd continued to sing. Not quite as beautifully as the Barrowland crowd last year (obviously) but enough to bring tears to the eyes of many.

There was a romp through a cover of Neil Young's Don't Cry, No Tears before a cracking rendition of traditional set closer Everything Flows with the guitars sounding superb.

It is always interesting to visit a new venue and I hope to return to Leith Theatre again in the future.

You get older every year
But you don't change
Or I don't notice you changing

Monday 12 August 2019

The SAY Award longlist to shortlist

The Scottish Album Of The Year Award has been such a welcome addition to the Scottish music scene, celebrating, valuing and highlighting the incredible talent and love our nation has for music.

Over 300 eligible nominations were received for the 2019 SAY Award and 100 judges each had 5 votes to produce the longlist of 20 albums listed below. Read on for full info about the cut to the shortlist.

Prior to the longlist being announced I tweeted 5 albums that I would have voted for if I was a judge. 4 of them have made the longlist! Sadly L Space's Kipple Arcadia didn't.

So I'm personally rooting for the following;

Carla J Easton - Impossible Stuff;  This is a huge step forwards from my sister’s work with TeenCanteen and Ette (as much as I love both those albums), a real coming of age as a songwriter and performer. Packed with hooks, melodies, honest, clever and playful lyrics. This is the album Carla has always wanted to make. Don't just take my word -The Skinny review

Andrew Wasylyk - The Paralian; I had Andrew's last album down as a potential winner in 2018 and it didn't even make the longlist! His show at the Mackintosh Church in Glasgow last summer supporting The Pastels was sublime. A real talent with an incredible ear for music. Don't just take my word - The Skinny review

Free Love - Luxury Hits; progressing all the time on their own path, playing life affirming live shows, it was through the SAY Award that I first discovered Free Love when they were known as Happy Meals. Brilliant experimental pop. Don't just take my word - The Skinny review

Edwyn Collins - Badbea; full of energy, ideas and soul. I love Edwyn Collins, he is a national treasure, an incredible songwriter and performer. I look forward to his show at the QMU later this month. Don't just take my word on it - The Guardian review

Unlike the more celebrated Mercury Music Prize, there is no listing fee or cost to participate and the general public can 'Have their SAY' and cast a vote to influence which albums will proceed to the shortlist.

The SAY Award public vote is open from midnight on Monday 12th August until midnight on 14th August. The longlisted album with the most votes will automatically gain a place on the shortlist, as well as a guaranteed minimum prize of £1,000, It also means that this album will be in with a chance to be hailed as Scottish Album Of The Year 2019 with the winning artist receiving a £20,000 prize.

To vote - head to from Monday 12th August. Anyone who votes is automatically entered into a ballot to win a pair of tickets to the exclusive invite-only SAY Award ceremony, which this year takes place at the Assembly Rooms in the heart of Edinburgh on Friday 6th September.

The winner of the public vote will join nine other shortlisted titles chosen by the SAY Award judging panel who will be selecting from;

The SAY Award Longlist for 2019 is:

1. Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert – Here Lies The Body
2. Aidan O’Rourke – 365: Vol. 1
3. Andrew Wasylyk – The Paralian
4. Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife
5. Brìghde Chaimbeul – The Reeling
6. C Duncan – Health
7. Carla J. Easton – Impossible Stuff
8. CHVRCHES – Love Is Dead
9. Edwyn Collins – Badbea
10. Fatherson – Sum Of All Your Parts
11. Fergus McCreadie Trio – Turas
12. Free Love – Luxury Hits
13. Graham Costello’s Strata– Obelisk
14. Karine Polwart with Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson– Laws of Motion
15. Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is
16. Kinnaris Quintet – Free One
17. Mastersystem – Dance Music
18. Niteworks – Air Fàir an Là
19. Sean Shibe – softLOUD
20. The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time 
The 72-hour public vote opens on 12 August, closing on 14 August before the Shortlist is announced on 15 August as part of a special BBC Radio Scotlandshow from 21:00.

Developed by the Scottish Music Industry Association, 2019’s campaign is delivered in partnership with Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, YouTube Music, Harviestoun Brewery, Ticketmaster New Music, PPL, Sweetdram, The Queen’s Hall and charity partner Help Musicians Scotland.
Previous winners of The SAY Award include Young Fathers Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

Follow The SAY Award’s 2019 journey on Twitter @SAYawardInstagram@sayaward and Facebook @SAYaward

Thursday 8 August 2019

Live Forever

On 8th August 1994, 25-years ago today, Oasis released the majestic Live Forever. This remains one of my favourite Oasis songs, it flows, it soars, it brings a tear to my eyes, it makes me wanna hug my loved ones and punch the sky.

The NME was impressed; "Basically, what thus far looked like obnoxious Manc arrogance suddenly looks like sheer effortlessness."

Oasis took flight with Live Forever. There was no talk of BMW's, yellow sumbarine's, Mr. Ben or Mr. Soft like there had been on the first two singles. The song flowed naturally rather than being built around riffs, Noel's romanticism comes out, his daydreams that had previously been more prominent on b-sides were now front and centre, Live Forever was the sound of a guy wanting to fly now believing that he could. The sound of someone finding a soulmate.

Maybe you're the same as me
We see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever

Noel was quick to point out that it wasn't effortless, talking of how he sat for days working out the guitar solo. However the rest of the song does sound like it just poured out of him.

Noel on the set of the promo shoot

Live Forever dovetails frustration and reality with dreams and shooting for the stars, Gallagher just wants to fly, but balances that with being soaked to the bone in the morning rain. He recognises that he might not achieve everything he wants, but with typical northern attitude now is not the time to cry, it's the time to find out why.

And oh how his brother Liam sings it for him. It's one of his best vocal performances, like the song was written for him. All of a sudden Oasis were being viewed in a different light. Early reviews talked of Happy Mondays and The Pistols, with Live Forever it was The Beatles that were being mentioned, the song was (and is) that good.

Since the release of Shaker Maker I'd caught the band play in a tent at T in the Park and it blew my mind. I was witnessing something incredibly special. The band were totally on it, someone threw a ball onstage and the Gallagher brothers played keepie uppie and volleyed the ball into the crowd, asking for it back and doing the same.

Things were about to go stratospheric ... supersonic. I was in for the rollercoaster ride, as an 18-year old in 1994 Oasis were the perfect band for me, I believed I could live forever.

Read on for the lyrics, original video, 1993 demo and Glastonbury, Top of the Pops and Royal Albert Hall performances. The latter was broadcast live on the Evening Session and I love the change to maybe you're the same as me, you take two sugars in your tea :-)

The original promo

The demo recorded in 1993

MTV 1994

Glastonbury 1994

Top of the Pops

Creation Undrugged, Royal Albert Hall, 1994

Maybe I don't really wanna know
How your garden grows 
Cause I just wanna fly
Lately, did you ever feel the pain
In the morning rain
As it soaks you to the bone

Maybe I just wanna fly
Wanna live, I don't wanna die
Maybe I just wanna breathe
Maybe I just don't believe
Maybe you're the same as me
We see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Camera Obscura at Saint Luke’s

Camera Obscura were heart achingly, heart breakingly beautiful in Glasgow last night. Traceyanne Campbell’s voice was yearnful, soulful and full of melancholic wonder and it was a real treat to see the band performing again.

I can only imagine how difficult the last 4-years have been for Camera Obscura following the tragic death of Carey Lander in 2015 following a battle against osteosarcoma. The love for the band was clearly evident last night, Traceyanne commented how she could feel it. People had travelled from across the globe, Sweden, America and Japan to be there on the second night of the bands comeback. Many had also been there the night before.

All of the proceeds from the night plus a bucket collection went to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow and I hope everyone donated the suggested £10 to help a wonderful cause. Traceyanne's speech at one point in the night highlighted how much the hospice meant to the band, family and friends of Carey.

The evening began early with my sister Carla J Easton supporting with a stripped back set as a 3-piece and songs from her album Impossible Stuff were well received along with new song Coming Up Daisies, the sound was superb and although I am biased, my sister's voice was amazing. It was great to see the room almost full and to hear such a positive response to her songs.

Last night was all about Camera Obscura though and they played beautifully. At times it seemed so simple, the beat, the groove and Campbell’s melodies. Heart strings were tugged.

Motown beats with warm guitars, keys/strings, chiming guitars and trumpet with Campbell’s clever, funny and beautiful voice and lyrics sounded heavenly in the truly stunning Saint Luke’s, just round from the famous Barrowland Ballroom.

From the upbeat French Navy that was sung with care by the crowd to the spine tinglingly stunning Razzle Dazzle Rose finale. This was a 90-minute set sprinkled with songs from throughout the bands career that delighted, moved and inspired the crowd.

Next up for Camera Obscura is a trip on Belle and Sebastian's Boaty Weekender. I hope more shows are announced on their return.

Monday 5 August 2019

The Human League at Kelvingrove Bandstand

The Kelvingrove Bandstand in the leafy West End of Glasgow is a truly stunning setting a gig. I have witnessed some incredible shows since it reopened in 2014 and on Saturday night The Human League may have played the most euphoric to date.

A few hours prior to showtime Glasgow witnessed an exceptional rainstorm that thankfully cleared the skies and the Bandstand was dry, even slightly sunny and absolutely rammed by half eight. The DJ, Glasgow’s Tam Coyle, played some synth classics to get the crowd in the mood. By the time The Human League walked on to a sparse stage with only white keyboards and mic stands the venue was ready to party. 

And party the Bandstand did. Phil Oakey was on fire as a frontman, bounding from one side of the stage to the other and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley looked and sounded fantastic. 

How can I sum up such a euphoric show?!

Well I'll try by saying that the highest compliment I can pay The Human League is that their electronic pop music sounds timeless. Some of it even sounds futuristic, maybe even from another planet. 

Yet many of the songs from the setlist were from the early to mid-80's. Such was the bands (dare I say it) pioneering use of synthesisers, many songs sounded like they wouldn't be out of place if they were released tomorrow via DFA Records on a white label.

The beats, riffs, grooves, melodies and hooks were sublime. This was, pardon the pun, daring pop music of the highest quality.

A drummer, two keyboard/synth players and a behind the curtains programmer backed the trio of singers superbly and everyone was on it from the start.

Bandstand crowds can sometimes take a while to warm up and venture to the standing area in front of the stage, but a well-oiled Saturday night crowd were there from the off and the whole place was standing, dancing and singing.

Mirror Man was an early highlight for me, swiftly followed by Heart Like A Wheel, a song I hadn't heard before yet I quickly fell for it. Pure pop.

Some songs had a darker edge to them, All I Ever Wanted, for example.  Oakey was magnificent, bounding to the edge of the stage centre, left and right to acknowledge his adoring fans. Or, in the case of penultimate song Being Boiled, he stood menacingly by the drums, regardless of what he did his presence and personality could not be ignored. 

The pop hits were sensational' Love Action, Tell Me When, Fascination and of course Don't You Want Me that started with all of the singers off stage for one of a few costume changes. They could have stayed off as the crowd sang this glorious pop hit through to the second verse before the singers came on and started everything again. It was utterly euphoric, an incredible moment to see the Bandstand going crazy.

The night ended with more pop perfection, the sublime Together In Electric Dreams. And together we were as we punched the air and sang the chorus back at the band. Oakey, Catherall and Sulley all acknowledged the Glasgow crowd - we would be nothing without you were Oakey's words as he departed the stage.

What a show! Energy, electronica, excitement and euphoria! This was only the second time I had seen The Human League live after catching them many years ago at the Wickerman Festival. I won't leave it as long next time!

Thursday 1 August 2019

Introducing Emi James

Over the last 18-month or so I have really enjoyed listening to, and following the progress of the band L-space. I admire their creativity, work-rate and having met them a couple of times - I like them as people too! Always a bonus!

Gordon Johnstone is the guitarist and co-leader of the band along with singer Lily Higham. The duo are adventurous with their sound, art and ambition and seem to constantly be creating.

So much so that Gordon has his own side project under the guise of Emi James and he has just released the Social Capital EP.

The EP contains 4 beautiful pieces of music Gordon has composed that are playful, inventive, lush and dreamy. Check it out below - turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.

I thought I would catch up with him and he lets slip about another cool project he has on the go with Lily. Expect to hear more about that in the future!

Thanks to Gordon for his time, he is a fantastic talent to check out and I look forward to hearing much more from him in the future.

Music seems to be pouring out of L Space. How did your Emi James stuff evolve? What else is on the go?
We like to be prolific! Emi James started because I started writing some neoclassical music, sort of like the end of Float Through Wires on Kipple Arcadia, that didn't really suit the direction the band was going in. I was quite chuffed with it and didn't want it to go to waste, so I thought I'd put it out myself.

The Social Capital EP came out in July and I'm planning another release quite soon; a symphony tentatively called Unmitigated Disaster Strikes Suburbia.

Lily and I are also starting a new electropop project called Post Coal Prom Queen. We have quite a bit of music written and we're planning a trip to film some music videos soon. Basically, we write a ton of music and LNFG (who L-Space are signed to) can't release it all, and the other members of L-Space don't always want to release as much as we do, so we're finding new outlets.

We have some mad ideas for PCPQ - I'm really excited for it to be out there! L-space are working on our next album, due in April 2020, and we're collaborating with a Japanese label for some really cool plans as well, which will hopefully come to fruition soon.

'Lily is absolutely gifted with melodies, 
I've learned so much from her'
Gordon Johnstone

Where do you get the time?!
In terms of time, I don't dwell over music. I think music and songs should capture a particular moment and feeling. I'm not one of those people who'll agonise over a handful of songs for years on end. Usually I'll write something in an evening, revisit it the next day, then declare it finished. That helps to keep things moving. The Emi James songs were all written in one sitting.

What inspires you to write?
For the most part, it's sounds. When I find a new sound I like I'll usually start writing straight away with that in mind. Sometimes it doesn't make the final cut, sometimes it's the central focus of the song; I'm never sure how it's going to end up until I realise there's nothing I want to change.

I've also started writing with specific concepts in mind: going for particular feelings or places. That's much harder! I also love knowing that I'm leaving a small artifact on the Earth that will outlive me; that inspires a lot of what I do.

Do you ever get writers block?
Constantly. I can sit at my piano for days on end it's like I have never seen the damn thing before, like it has been dropped there from another dimension and I have no idea how to work it, and then one day it just clicks like a TV suddenly going from static to broadcast.

During the static periods I tend to be quite prolific. Writers block is a horrible feeling - there's always that notion that I've written my last song and I've run out of ideas. Maybe it's the stress and anxiety from that panic that spurs my brain into behaving itself again.

What music are you enjoying at present?
I'm really loving a lot of Japanese electronic music like, Wednesday Campanella and Macaroom. The intonation of the vocals, besides not being in English, is fascinating and makes the music sound so different to Western bands.

I'm also really put off by shite lyrics, so not understanding what's going on is a bonus! I'm also enjoying rediscovering M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us is a phenomenal album. Philip Glass's Glassworks has been on a lot too, as have Aurora - who is incredible and 65daysofstatic. I also listen to a lot of hip hop:MF DOOM and Run The Jewels are constant fixtures in my house. E1-P's production has always been a huge inspiration to me. The recent Super Inuit EP is also glorious.

What are your future plans under the guise of Emi James?
That's tough to know. I have a symphony planned out that I'll probably release in a few months. Beyond that, I really have no idea. It'll probably be  sporadic as things ramp up with L-space and PCPQ, but having an outlet for my neoclassical tendencies is wonderful. You can expect some sonic aspects of Emi James creeping into both other bands as well. I also have a very loose plan to try and perform some of the tracks live, but that will involve a lot of people.

And lastly, what are your future plans with L-space?
We are nearing the completion of our next album - coming out in April 2020 on vinyl via Last Night From Glasgow. It's a far more immediate in-your-face album than Kipple Arcadia, but it's still undeniably us. I'm incredibly proud of it.

We're also working with a Japanese label on a joint release with one of their artists which we're hugely excited about. We'll be playing shows all over the place as much as we can, especially outwith the central belt and planning the launch shows for April. It's all coming together, slowly but surely. And not even that slowly.