Archives for September 2010

Vic's Gigs: Grinderman in Glasgow

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Nick Dempsey Nick Dempsey | 15:25 UK time, Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The faded grandeur of the Barrowlands Ballroom was a fitting backdrop for the Glasgow debut of Nick Cave's testosterone-fuelled swamp rock extravaganza. Radio Scotland's own Vic Galloway was on hand to describe it all in words, while I took some snaps.

Incidentally, we took a look around the BBC website and found this: Jarvis Cocker chats to Nick Cave from Sunday Service on 6 Music a couple of weeks ago - enjoy!

Is Nick Cave having a midlife crisis? This burning question would hopefully be answered by the debut Grinderman Barrowlands gig in Glasgow. At the age of 53, he now fronts two bands that can more than hold their own in the pantheon of post-punk music that has exploded worldwide since 1977. The Bad Seeds are still a going concern, and last album 'Dig Lazarus Dig' showed them to be reignited and ready for business once again. However, when Cave decided to form a 'new' band in 2006, it was more than a side project. Grinderman is pure, unadulterated filth of the highest (and lowest) order. But is it right for a 53-year-old man to behave like this?

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Joanna Newsom live at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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Paul McFadyen Paul McFadyen | 08:46 UK time, Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Joanna Newsom. Photograph by Scott Smyth.

Joanna Newsom's previous appearance in Glasgow saw her backed by the 32-piece Northern Sinfonia orchestra at the City Halls. Tonight's show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall was a slightly more stripped-back affair but certainly no less impressive.

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Top Tip: Offshore - Aneurysm EP

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Paul McFadyen Paul McFadyen | 10:53 UK time, Friday, 17 September 2010


Continuing in Scotland's grand tradition for top quality electronic music, Aberdonian Offshore presents his debut EP on Big Dada. Since his first release on Disboot in 2009, he's been hard at work on his album and a taster arrives on the 18th October in the shape of the "Aneurysm EP".

There's a strange sea shanty-esque element spread across the EP's four tracks, and while there's definitely a hint at the 8-bit trend so popular with Scottish producers, the EP has more of a solid feel and thankfully refrains from wandering into over the top glitchy territory and retains focus throughout.

While I struggle with attempting to pigeon hole Offshore's music, watch this video for EP track "Round and Round" and feel free to suggest new genre names below.

Talking Music

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Johnny Laville Johnny Laville | 09:57 UK time, Thursday, 16 September 2010

Tuesday night saw the first part of an exciting new four-part documentary series featuring the BBC SSO hitting the screens on BBC Two Scotland. The series, called Talking Music, looks at the work of the BBC SSO and gives an exclusive gander at what goes on behind the scenes at one of Britain's leading orchestras.

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Top Tip: The Fall on BBC Four

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Nick Dempsey Nick Dempsey | 15:00 UK time, Monday, 13 September 2010

Last Friday I was amazed to see The Fall appearing at number three in the 'most played artists' section of the BBC's Music site. Top spots are often hogged by such darlings of the Radio 1 and 2 playlists as Pixie Lott and Tinchy Stryder, so what was curmudgeonly old Mark E Smith doing there?

The answer was simple: BBC Four played out 2005 rockumentary The Wonderful And Frightening World Of Mark E Smith. So on Saturday night I fired up my iPlayer gizmo (on my telly now thanks to the wonderful and frightening advance of technology known as convergence), and settled down to an hour of amusing archive footage, rare interviews with MES himself, and talking heads from a selection of ex-Fall members (goodness knows there are plenty of them), plus opinions from general Fall appreciators. Many would no doubt raise some interesting comments from the sharp tongue of Mr Smith himself.

Worth checking, even if you know nowt about the Fall. And if you don't, you should!

Top Tip: Rustie - Sunburst EP

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Paul McFadyen Paul McFadyen | 16:24 UK time, Friday, 10 September 2010

Rustie - Sunburst EP - artwork

With a love of video game soundtracks and obscure electronica, Glasgow producer Rustie spent the latter half of the noughties showcasing his unique dj and live performances around the darker confines of the city's clubs and basements.

Last year, after several successful releases for local labels such as Stuff and Wireblock, Rustie joined fellow Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke on the books of Warp Records. The Sunburst EP is the first fruit of their labour and serves as a taster for his forthcoming debut album.

While comparisons to the aforementioned Hud Mo and other Glasgow contemporaries is likely, this snack sized collection (all five tracks together run at a total of 14 minutes) shows an artist happy to flirt with his influences while also dragging a collection of other styles into the mix with ease. There's also a live feel that runs throughout each track, especially in the drums and most notably in third track "Beast Night". Final track "Hyperthrust" is, for me, the standout track, with it's huge OTT synth line and skippy drums contrasting nicely with the tracks occasional more serene, calmer moments.

Warp have kindly put together a mini-mix of material of the EP to give you an idea of what to expect on it's release on October 4th.

Rustie - Sunburst EP Minimix (out 4/5 October on Warp Records) by Warp Records

Tales from London

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Johnny Laville Johnny Laville | 12:04 UK time, Friday, 3 September 2010

I'm Johnny Laville from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) and I'm going to be posting to the Scotland's Music blog on behalf of players from the BBC SSO. Our first post is from Principal Second Violinist Greg Lawson. Read on...

BBC SSO violinist Greg Lawson

The orchestra has descended upon London and will be gathering at the magnificent Royal Albert Hall in the morning for the next Prom. I arrived at the station and getting off the train my memory took me as it always does, to the first time I ever came to London.

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Top Tip: Hidden Orchestra - Night Walks

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Paul McFadyen Paul McFadyen | 11:29 UK time, Friday, 3 September 2010

Hidden Orchestra - Night Walks - artwork

Having built a solid reputation with a collection of brilliant performances supporting the likes of Bonobo, Gilles Peterson and The Bays, the Edinburgh-based Joe Acheson Quartet came to the attention of the highly esteemed label Tru Thoughts. The quartet signed with the label and, after a quick costume change, became the Hidden Orchestra. Hidden inside this particular orchestra are Joe Acheson, Poppy Ackroyd and the drumming duo of Tim Lane and Jamie Graham and their debut album "Night Walks" is set to land on the 20th of September.

Taking influences from artists as far and wide as Stravinksy and Squarepusher, the band perform what can only be described as a beautiful noise, switching from ethereal atmospherics and melodies to high tempo'd drum lead overload. Each track starts simply and quickly becomes piled high in layer after layer of instrumentation, with several tracks featuring six drum kits in use throughout and over 100 channels of audio.

The band popped into The Jazz House on Radio Scotland a while back and performed the brilliant "Blues In The Night" - a re-recorded version of which appears on the album as "Footsteps" (available to download for free from the band's Bandcamp page). We were there to film the session and this should give you more of an idea of what makes the Hidden Orchestra tick:

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