New on our radar: Stillhound

At last night’s Scottish Alternative Music Awards at The Garage in Glasgow, in between sterling sets by The Van Ts, Shogun and Baby Strange, the real highlight of the night were Stillhound.

The Edinburgh based ambient pop trio – made up of Fergus Cook, Laurie Corlett-Donald and Dave Lloyd – produced a set of lush synth pop hooks and organic electronica that had those in attendance in raptures, as they showcased songs off debut album Bury Everything (released via Lost Oscillation Records on 23rd September).

Featuring Cat Myres of Honeyblood fame on writing credits, Bury Everything offers up an irresistible slice of genre-defying soundscapes, fusing entrancing guitar progressions, fragile, dreamy vocals and samples.


With a sound that recalls NZCA Lines and M83, alongside hints of 2 Door Cinema Club at their best,  the promise of the release of two singles off the album in October will no doubt see their stock rise even further.



Bury Everything Tracklisting:

  1. Spring Conscious
  2. Time Enough For Love
  3. Lofty Ambitions
  4. Think This Way
  5. Mountain Rescue
  6. Shy
  7. Summer Nightmares
  8. Seethe Unseen
  9. When Ghosts Get Angry
  10. Bury Everything




Gone, but not forgotten. 4 of the best bands to come out of Glasgow

Nostalgia is an often criticized beast that pulls at the heart strings of music lovers, with bands that had long since broken up ready to forget their differences in the name of a new album, tour and deeper pockets.

And with scientific studies showing a direct link between music and brain stimulation – including how we recall memories – we never tire of taking a glimpse back over the past few years to reminisce about the music that struck a special chord, by bands that have since disappeared.

Here’s a list of 4 Glasgow bands that are gone, but definetly not forgotten:
The Apple Scruffs
Formed in 2005, the punk-rock four piece from Glasgow garnered a wide, loyal following in Glasgow thanks to their raw, energetic rock ‘n’ roll and memorably frenetic live performances that, more than any other Glasgow band to date, have fully characterised the passion of youth. Influenced by the likes of The Smiths, The Clash and The Libertines, the band played wisely to their strengths in the form of frontman Jonny Skinner’s majestic song writing.

Paper Planes/Astral Planes

Regarded in their heyday as ‘Glasgow’s best kept secret’, Paper Planes were a band that really were destined for bigger things. Opening for The Pigeon Detectives at The Carling Academy in only their fourth show, the band revolved around New Jersey native Jennifer Paley’s stunning vocals (and looks) and guitarist Christopher Haddow’s reverb-heavy licks. With a surf-pop, trashy rock ‘n’ roll sound it was a band that were cooler than every Julian Casablancas leather jacket sown together.

Sonic Hearts Foundation

Widescreen cinematic shoe-gazers Sonic Hearts Foundation only called it a day last year but the void is still present. After building up a formidable reputation in Glasgow thanks to support slots with the likes of The Duke Spirit and The Telescopes, the band achieved near mythical status in 2011 thanks to a legendary rooftop show outside the Barrowlands after a Pete Doherty gig. With an intoxicating sound that mixed alternative post-rock, electronic and even Krautrock influences, the band’s live gigs were as much visual, projection fuelled feasts as they were showcases of their own maverick, captivating originality.


Another band that, live, were equal to the more established bands from which they themselves drew influences, such as The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, Heartbeat’s shoe-gaze, anthemic wall of sound had your ears ringing for days after their shows. Backed by singer Steve Allen’s primal, emotional lyrics and Matt Hardie’s pulsating drumming, they are another Glasgow band solely missed from the venues around the city they called home, as their fantastic ‘We Make Jesus Cry (Death By Misadventure)’ illustrates – a song that, on a personal level, finds itself in my top 20 favourites of any band, ever.





‘Breakfast’ time with Catholic Action.

Glasgow based four-piece Catholic Action are no strangers to the art of eclectic creation, with March’s L.U.V. single release seeing their stock rise exponentially thanks to their signature brand of stylish indie art rock.

Having supported the likes of FFS, Swim Deep, and more recently, Teenage Fanclub, the band are kicking off an 8 date UK tour (see below) in London tomorrow night in support of their new AA release ‘Rita Ora’/Breakfast – out on 7″ and digital format on September 23 via Luv Luv Luv Records.

And in Chris McCrory (also of Casual Sex), we may have a new pretender to Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand’s throne as the most talented frontman that Scotland has produced in recent years.


Tour dates:

Thu September 22 2016 – LONDON Old Blue Last
Fri September 23 2016 – LEEDS Belgrave Music Hall
Sat September 24 2016 – MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Sun September 25 2016 – GLASGOW King Tuts
Wed September 28 2016 – ABERDEEN Tunnels
Thu September 29 2016 – INVERNESS Mad Hatters
Fri September 30 2016 – DUNDEE Buskers
Sat October 01 2016 – EDINBURGH Mash House


Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) returns for 2016

THE Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs), in association with Rebel Rebel Barbers, are set to return this October with a massive main awards line-up.


Celebrating their 7th birthday, the awards will again be hosted by Jim Gellatly. It has also been revealed that Paisley grime MC Shogun will perform live at the main awards night at the Garage Glasgow on Wednesday 12th October.


The awards re-launched over the summer by staging a show at Highlands creative industries festival XpoNorth in June and hosting a networking event at Glasgow hotel citizenM earlier this month.


SAMAs Founder/Creative Director Richy Muirhead and his team have since been hard at work assembling an events schedule, with a successful Paisley showcase in the bag and one to follow in Perth (9th September).


The SAMAs have also been working on a new streamlined nomination process for the main awards which will see specialist judges working on each award. The judges will be made up of members of the Scottish music industry from areas such as; live sector, music publishing, journalism. Set to take place on Wednesday 12th October at the Garage, Glasgow. As always, you can expect a few SAMAs surprises in the line-up!


Of the latest SAMAs developments Muirhead said:


“We’re absolutely delighted to be back after a summer of music research and attending all the festivals. This year, the SAMAs are going to be slicker than ever with our new nomination process and increased judges. Turning seven is a massive achievement and we’re thrilled to be hosting the main awards in October!”


The awards to be handed out this year at the main awards in Glasgow are:


Best Acoustic in association with citizenM

Best Electronic in association with Assai UK

Best Hip-Hop in association with 1000fans

Best Live Act in assocation with XPO North

Best Metal in association with Cathouse Glasgow

Best Newcomer in association with The Academy of Music & Sound

Best Rock/Alternative in association with Eventbrite


Tickets available are available from £20/£10/£6.50 through Eventbrite.




For more info visit




Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs)

Todo el mundo es ‘Bueno’

La canción “La gloria de los que fracasan” está incluida en el album “Perros, santos y refranes”. Es una canción pop con pequeños arreglos orquestales que incluye cerca de 90 pistas de audio. La letra habla de la relación que establece una persona con la música, algo doloroso y hermoso como puede ser una relación de amor con una persona. Siempre hay una parte épica en el fracaso que convierte ciertas derrotas en pequeñas historias gloriosas.





Podeis escuchar mas en







Beefy tunes and dirty washing.

One of Scotland’s top DJs is returning home to play a gig for 30 people – in a laundrette.

Jackmaster, aka Jack Revill, from Glasgow, has firmly established himself among the top DJs on the planet, constantly touring the world to play in front of packed audiences in clubs and at major festivals.

The man from Hillhead’s  hard work ethic and versatility saw him pick up the accolade of Best Breakthrough DJ in 2010 before going on to be crowned Best DJ by DJ magazine in 2014. He is also nominated for Best House DJ at the DJ awards, which takes place in Ibiza in October.



And no stranger place could play host to his talents behind the decks than in Glasgow’s Majestic Laundrette in the city’s Finnieston area. A mainstay of the area for more than 30 years, the laundrette has transformed itself into Scotland’s hipster HQ.

Having hosted everything from fashion shoots, celebrity interviews, acoustic concerts, Emeli Sande  music videos and even 40th birthday parties, the laundrette has taken advantage of its perfect location sandwiched amongst trendy eateries, bars and restaurants.



And with its walls emblazoned with the flyers and posters on the latest events and concerts across the city, the laundrette doubles up as a place to both clean your smalls and find out what’s happening in the city and when.

Chris Edwards, who works in the laundrette, said “Where we are situated is absolutely spot on. There are a lot of coffee places, its ideal where we are. There are a lot of laundrettes in the city centre that are tucked away that you wouldn’t even know are there.”

“It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. That people will be saying that they were at a gig in a laundrette the other night and it was amazing.

“But a lot of people seem to pop their heads in here for a look, just to read the flyers, to see what’s on in Glasgow. We don’t mind it. Then when they are in they ask us how much it will cost to get their suits dry-cleaned and things like that. Its two birds with one stone.”

Finnieston recently came top in a poll to find Britain’s hippest place to live, with the area’s transformation from former warehouses and dock lands into a trendy hotspot beating off competition from areas such as London’s Shoreditch.


The event, as part of Red Bull’s Music Academy’s UK tour, takes place on the 15th October, with the drinks company labelling the event “quite literally the freshest party of the weekend.”


The search for the real identity of Banksy is a story one that never fails capture the imagination of the media and the millions of fans across the globe of the subversive Bristol street artist, ever since he came to the public’s attention back in 1997 with his The Mild Mild West mural.
And with the news that filtered out in March of a scientific study by Queen Margaret University confirming previous studies that pointed out to him as being plain old public school boy Robin Gunningham, the final nail in the coffin was struck in what had left the world scratching their heads.
But what if Banksy isn’t the one person everyone thinks he is. What if – akin to the Shakespeare consiparcy theories, Banksy is a group of people who have stencilling different locations both at home and abroad. Such a rich body of work done over a decade, across the globe, may allow for the suggestion.
A rumour exists from 2010 that his work that went up around North America was his work but were not necessarily painted by him, but rather by a street team that happened to be following the Massive Attack tour.
And on analysis of his North American work, this makes perfect sense.
Around the time when six Banksy murals were reported to the press in San Francisco on the 1st of May 2010, including the famous ‘This Will Look Nice When It’s Framed’ image, Massive Attack performed a two night stint in the city on the 25th and 27th April, a few days previously.
Also in Toronto a similar pattern arises. Massive Attack played the city’s Sound Academy on May 7th and May 9th in 2010, the latter being the day that three new Banksy murals appeared in the city.
On the 12th of May, a new Banksy mural also appeared in Boston’s Chinatown area, depicting a ‘cancelled’ ‘Follow your dreams’ stencil. Massive Attack performed at the city’s legendary House Of Blues venue one day later, on the 13th May.
We can also jump backwards and forwards to both 2006, 2008 and 2013, when Banksy held residencies at art galleries in L.A. and New York and when new works of his appeared in the country. Again, a link with Massive Attack is evident.
In 2006, Massive Attack embarked on a US tour which saw them play in California in Berkeley on the 22nd of September and the famous Hollywood Bowl venue on the 24th in Los Angeles, the week after Banksy held his ‘Barely Legal’ exhibition in the city, over the weekend of the 15th-17th of September.
Fast forward two years to 2008, and Banksy returned to the US to produced 14 stencils throughout New Orleans to mark the upcoming third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Del Naja wrote the soundtrack alongside fellow Massive Attack member Neil Davidge to the New Orleans-themed documentary ‘Trouble the Water’. It received its New Orleans premiere on the 17th August that year – the same time period, almost to the day, that the stencils appeared.
And in 2013, when the artist’s month long residency in New York kicked off on the 1st October, the dates coincided with Massive Attack’s four night residency in the city between the 28th September and the 4th October at the city’s Park Avenue Armoury.
What about the wider field of play? The locations across the globe where Banksy has left his mark, apart from in Bristol, London and North America include Italy and Australia, and even, if we are to be believed, Africa.
As order dictates, I started at the beginning. And with that, somewhere close to home. Glasgow.
the arches
One of Bansky’s earliest public displays of his work was at the now defunct Arches nightclub and event space, under the city’s Central Station. The event saw the artist- then relatively unknown, share a billing with fellow, and more established, artist Jamie Reid of Sex Pistols fame.
Running from around the 1st to 18th March 2001, the Peace is Tough exhibition was poorly attended, but saw Banksy showcase some of his early work, like ‘Monkey Queen’. So why in Glasgow?
If Massive Attack are anything to go by, they also found the venue’s rugged charm to be the perfect launch pad. To celebrate the launch of their second album, ‘Protection’ (which came out on September 26 1994), the band played a concert at the venue on 8th December that year.
Looking abroad, one of Banksy’s first appearances outwith the UK was in Naples, Italy. His famous ‘Madonna Con La Pistola’, painted on the side of a church in the centre of the city, appeared some time around August 2004.
Banksy himself refers to the piece in a photo of the stencil in his book ‘Cut It Out’, released on the 14th of December 2004 – which allows me to make the jump back some months. Searches indicate that photos where first taken around this time of the work, which is still present in its location, covered by a Perspex protective cover.
A work appeared by Banksy in the city in 2010, only for it to be painted over quickly after, with which little information is available. So we know Banksy had ties to Naples, as its the only place he ‘tagged’ in Italy. And that he has visited on more than occasion.
Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja (‘3D’) is a massive Napoli fan and gave an interview to Naples’s Radio Marte  in 2010, revealing his passion for the team – a passion handed down to him from his Italian father. In the interview he reveals he attended a Napoli match in Naples against AS Citadella during their time in Serie C1, a match that took place on the 26th September 2004.
So although Massive Attack didn’t play a show there, at least Del Naja was there around the time the mural appeared. The band have had a relationship with the city stretching back to a decade before then in 1994, when Channel 4 filmed a documentary on their visit to the city to visit Del Naja’s father’s place of birth and record with the Naples band Almamegretta.
Let’s move on to Australia, jumping back and forward as we do. He first went down under in April 2003, after being invited to attend to participate in the Semi-Permanent design event in Alexandria, Sydney, creating one of his biggest ever art works while he was there – a collage piece stretching 2.5m high by 9m long.
While in the country he also visited Melbourne, being shown around by a guy called Puzle from a t-shirt label called Burn Crew, whom he met in Sydney, where he sprayed some of his famous rat stencils and a ‘Little Diver’ image around the city, including the famous ACDC lane.
When Banksy’s work appeared in Melbourne, this also represents the last time Massive Attack played in the city, at the Vodafone Arena on March 11th that year, before playing at the Sydney Entertainment Centre of the 14th March, Brisbane on the 16th March and Canberra on the 18th, as part of their Australian tour.
In early August of 2005, Banksy visited Palestine, painting a total of 9 pieces on the Palestinian Wall, including the famous ‘West Bank Guard’ showing a young girl searching a soldier for contraband. He returned a decade later, in February 2015, he further stirred the collective conscience by ‘bombing’ his way across slabs left over from Israel’s 2014 offensive in Gaza.
As for a possible Massive Attack appearance around the time Banksy visited Palestine in early 2005, there is none. Del Naja and Massive Attack have been working since 2005 with the HOPING foundation- Hope and Optimism for Palestinians in the Next Generation –  and have continuously lent their support to Palestine issues. After having played 2 gigs in Israel previously, he joined the movement for a cultural boycott of the country in 2010.
The band also played a run of three benefit concerts in Birmingham and London in 2007 for the foundation, while also made the headlines in July of 2014, with their headline show at Longitude Festival in Dublin including graphics which highlighted their solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. Later that month the band staged a concert in Lebanon in collaboration with the HOPING project to support Palestinian refugees after visiting the Bourj el Barajneh refugee camp.
Perhaps of all the locations tagged by Banksy, Mali has to be the most random of places to have felt his artistic presence. Concretely, his work was uncovered in the suburbs of Bamako in Mali around January/February of 2007, with images first appearing online around four months later.
Bamako is a name that resonates due its links to Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project. Del Naja became involved with the project after visiting The Congo with Albarn in late 2007, and has strong links to the Mali music scene – being cited alongside Johnny Marr in Malian musicians’ Madou and Mariam’s section of the ‘Voices United For Mali’ song of peace, which was released in January 2013 – a song which was recorded in Studio Bogolan in Bamako.
Alburn himself part produced the album ‘Welcome to Mali’ by Madou & Mariam, which itself was part recorded in Bamako in early 2008, around the time when the murals appeared in the city.
Skip to 2008, and Banksy made his Asian debut after his work was included in the ‘Love Art 08’ exhibition at the end of April at the city’s Art Centre. This was around the same time that the art group United Visual Arts were invited to showcase their award winning multimedia artwork ‘Volume’ at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, from the 11-20th April.
Interestingly, the piece was a collaboration between design collective United Visual Artists, Del Naja and his long-term co-writer Neil Davidge (as part of their music production company, one point six).
Throughout his career, Banksy has spoken of his friendship with the band’s Robert Del Naja – himself a graffiti artist. Del Naja and Banksy are said to have exhibited together at shows in the past, with Banksy citing Del Naja as a big influence on his work.
And Del Naja himself appeared in Banksy’s ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’, speaking about his relationship with the artist from his early days in Bristol.
The artist also provides the foreword to the tome ‘3D & the Art of Massive Attack’, released in August 2015, which reads… “When I was about 10 years old, a kid called 3D was painting the streets hard. 3D quit painting and formed the band Massive Attack, which may have been a good thing for him, but was a big loss for the city.”
Del Naja was a graffiti artist long before becoming the ‘creative director’ of sorts of Massive Attack, and is held in high regard as one of the pioneers of the stencil graffiti movement, helping to bring hip-hop and graffiti culture to Bristol in the 1980s. And his work has been featured on all of Massive Attack’s record sleeved to date.
It’s also worth noting that Massive Attack cancelled a headline performance at Banksy’s ‘Dismaland’ event in September, citing ‘technical difficulties’. Banksy himself asked attendees to the event to wear masks, with the idea for ‘The Masked Ball’ being that he could attend without his identity being revealed by the paparazzi in attendance.
Perhaps the assertion then that Banksy is just one person is wide of the mark, instead being a group who have, over the years, followed Massive Attack around and painted walls at their leisure.
And perhaps, at the head of such a group we have Del Naja. A multi disciplined artist in front of one the seminal groups in recent British music history, doubling up as the planet’s most revered street artist. Now that would be cool.

The Coral – a look back at their most recent album

With The Coral announcing a December date in Glasgow, we revisit their most recent record, ‘Distance Inbetween’.

You could probably count on one hand the number of bands who have, after a lengthy break, returned to with an album that allows for a wholesale reaffirmation of their genius-like qualities in the first place. Think maybe of Pixies, The Verve and Blur. The Coral’s self-imposed half decade hiatus left us wondering if they would return at all, never mind return to the form of 2002’s self-titled debut or 2004’s Magic & Medicine.

With the wait finally over, The Coral, in 8th studio album ‘Distance Inbetween’, have rewarded us with a surprisingly dark, visceral and at times hypnotic album that, blending elements of krautrock and psychedelic-pop influences, is evocative and thoroughly appealing.

It seems the band have been happy to cast off their commercial pop gem sensibilities, trading them in for a richer, more rhythmic and minimal sound that nevertheless doesn’t lose sight of the bands’ aptitude for luscious pyschedlic rock, as evidenced by the raucous ‘Chasing The Tale of A Dream’ and kaleidoscopic, backwards-guitar heavy ‘Miss Fortune’.

The presence of former Zutons guitarist Paul Molloy, whether wilfully or not, has helped to ignite a Coral sound that feels as honest, authentic and corporeal as they could perhaps have hoped for, dipped in early Neil Young, Love, and even Pink Floyd influences.

With James Skelly’s signature vocals appearing and disappearing like a distant wind, the band – celebrating 20 years together – place heavy drums, restrained guitars and occasional keyboard surges at the forefront of this rhythmic-centred approach, with the 12 tight-knit songs offering a well-sewn atmospheric and trippy tapestry.

Opener ‘Connector’ is an absorbing, rhythmic voyage that lurks into dark, gothic territory, as Skelly exclaims, “I’m the connector, you’re the receiver/You’re the rejecter, I’m the believer.”

With ‘White Bird’ sonic soundscapes intertwine with their trademark vocal harmonies in an ode to 60’s style psychedelia, before ‘Distance Inbetween’ changes direction with its piano-centred broody love lament.

‘Million Eyes’ sees Molloy’s gravelly guitar lick and Skelly’s warped vocal verge into glam rock, as highlight ‘Holy Revelation’  gives off a distinctly Route 66 car anthem charm, a sound replicated in the equally impressive, Queens of the Stone Age-esque ‘Fear Machine’, as Skelly scowls “But I won’t be your prisoner/Deep inside the fear machine.”

Rarely have made such a marked, yet purposefully positive, deviation in their sound, embodied within what is essentially a concept album of skilfully juxtaposed melodic indie-pop and vintage psychedelic airs. One which still has a capacity to mesmerise that few bands other than The Coral can do.


Hay más teorías en circulación sobre la verdadera identidad de Banksy que he comido cenas calientes, pero esa historia no falla en reavivar los rumores o captar la imaginación de los millones de fans de la subversiva artista callejera de Bristol.

Las noticias que se filtran en Marzo de un estudio científico en Queen Margaret University en Londres utilizando mapas de calor y perfiles geográficos quizás poniendo un clavo final en el ataúd de la idea de que él es realmente un antigua alumna de un escuela pública de Bristol, Robin Gunningham.

A mí me dejó un sabor amargo, como las técnicas utilizadas en los círculos de Criminología están adaptado a la búsqueda de Banksy – aunque ofrece bastante evidencia concreta. Si yo fuera un jurado sobre el caso, me gustaría estar ver evidencia sacada de una búsqueda rollo algo viejo olfatear, la pluma detrás de la oreja, un come-donuts trabajo de detective.

Por lo tanto, impulsados por la -en mi opinión-  agujera grande presente en el estudio – lo de centrarse sólo en los sitios de trabajo de Banksy en Bristol y Londres en el Reino Unido –  me llevó a verlo todo a través de un amplio campo de juego, con ubicaciones en todo el mundo donde Banksy ha dejado su marca, y he vuelto con algunos resultados interesantes.

Como dicta la orden, empecé por el principio. Y con eso, en algún lugar cerca de casa. Glasgow. Uno de las primeras ocasiones que Bansky mostro públicamente su trabajo fue en la ya desaparecida discoteca y espacio para eventos ‘The Arches’, bajo la Estación Central de la ciudad. El evento vio el artista- entonces relativamente desconocido, compartir un evento con compañeros más establecidas, como el artista Jamie Reid de Sex Pistols fama.

the arches

Ejecutando desde alrededor del 1 al 18 de marzo de 2001, el ‘Peace is Tough’ exposición fue mal atendido, pero vio Banksy escaparate algunos de sus primeros trabajos, como ‘Monkey Queen’.

Entonces, ¿por qué aquí, en Glasgow? Esto, antes de su ‘Existencilism’ exposición en Los Ángeles y la siguiente ‘Turf War’ en Londres? Quizás él había visitado el lugar antes, en otra capacidad, y le gustó lo que vio. Suficiente para volver, como lo hizo en 2001, y pintar las paredes con su trabajo, algunos de los cuales aún existe hoy en día.

Ahora, donde se puede encontrar uno de los primeros pedazos de Banksy adornado una pared fuera del Reino Unido? Uno de los primeros que encontré, fue en Nápoles, Italia. Su famoso ‘Madonna Con la pistola”, pintado en el lateral de una iglesia en el centro de la ciudad, apareció en algún momento alrededor de agosto de 2004. Las fechas exactas de esto no puedo ser específico.


El mismo Banksy se refiere a la obra en su libro “Cut It Out”, publicado el 14 de diciembre de 2004 – que me permite hacer el salto algunos meses atrás. Búsquedas indican que las primeras fotos tomadas de la obra pertenecen a este tiempo de trabajo, que aún esta visible en su ubicación, cubierto por una tapa protectora de plexiglás.

Un trabajo apareció por Banksy en la ciudad en 2010, pero fue destruido rápidamente después, con lo que se dispone de poca información. Así que sabemos que Banksy tiene vínculos a Nápoles, a mi conocimiento, es el único lugar que él “etique” en Italia. Y que él ha visitado en más de ocasión. Más sobre esto más adelante.

Pasemos a Australia, saltar hacia atrás y hacia adelante como lo hacemos nosotros. Su primer visita fue en Abril de 2003, después de haber sido invitado a participar en el evento de diseño ‘Semi-Permanent’ en Alexandría, Sydney, creando uno de sus obras de arte más grande mientras estaba allí – un pedazo de collage que mido 2.5m de alto por 9m de largo.

Mientras de paso en el país también visitó Melbourne, y di un paso por la cuidad con un chico llamado Puzle, uno que curraba con una marca de camisetas llamada Burn Crew, a quien le conoció en Sydney, donde roció algunas de sus famosas galerías de rata y una ‘Little Diver’ imagen en varios puntos de la ciudad, incluyendo el famoso ACDC Lane.

A principios de agosto de 2005, Banksy visitó Palestina, pintando un total de 9 piezas en el muro de Palestina, incluyendo el famoso “West Bank Guard’ mostrando una joven parando un soldado por el contrabando. Regresó una década más tarde, en febrero de 2015, asimismo, agitan la conciencia colectiva por “atentado” a su manera a través de losas remanente del ofensiva en 2014 de Israel en Gaza.


Pero en términos de productividad, fuera del Reino Unido, es en los Estados Unidos y Canadá donde la labor de Banksy se ha concentrado a lo largo de los años. Después de su primer show en Los Ángeles en 2001, regresó a la ciudad en septiembre de 2006 con su show ‘Barely Legal’.

Avance rápido dos años hasta el 2008, y Banksy regresó a los Estados Unidos, donde dejo 14 galerías en Nueva Orleáns para conmemorar el próximo tercer aniversario del huracán Katrina.

De nuevo en los EE.UU., seis nuevas piezas de Banksy, incluyendo el famoso “This Will Look Nice When It’s Framed”, se informó a la prensa en San Francisco alrededor del 1 de mayo de 2010, una semana o así antes de tres nuevos murales Banksy apareció en Toronto.

Y alrededor del 12 de mayo, un nuevo mural de Banksy apareció también en la zona de Chinatown de Boston, representando un ‘Cancelled’…Follow Your Dreams” galería. Desde aquí, la última aparición de Banksy en el otro lado del Atlántico se produjo durante su famoso mes de residencia en Nueva York, que comenzó el 1 de octubre de 2013 con la aparición de su ‘The Street Is In Play” plantilla.


Así que aquí tenemos Banksy, en el transcurso de una década y media, viajar a ciudades de todo el mundo tanto para exhibir su trabajo y spray-stencil paredes sobre carriles dondequiera que vaya. Eso en sí mismo no es nada que todos nosotros no sabemos. Pero, ¿por qué ir tan lejos de Bristol y Londres para hacerlo. Sólo por el arte, a difundir su mensaje? O si existe una razón mucho más simple que le llevó a estas ciudades en estos momentos en el tiempo.

Formaba él parte o conectados con un grupo musical? Un grupo que han pasado veinte años o así lanzando discos y recorriendo el mundo para realizar shows y extender el alcance de su música. Tiene sentido.

Y ninguna otra banda tiene un vínculo estrecho con la artista como los amantes de trip-hop de Bristol, Massive Attack. A lo largo de su carrera, Banksy ha hablado de su amistad con la banda de Robert Del Naja – él mismo es también un grafitero. Del Naja y Banksy dicen que han exhibido juntos unos shows en el pasado, con Banksy citando Del Naja como una gran influencia en su obra y forma de pintar.


El artista proporciona el prólogo a la tomé “3D & The Art of Massive Attack”, publicado en Agosto de 2015, que dice… “Cuando yo tenía unos 10 años de edad, un chico llamado 3D estaba pintando las calles sin parar. 3D salir de pintura y formo la banda Massive Attack, que puede haber sido una buena cosa para él, pero fue una gran pérdida para la ciudad (Bristol).”

Del Naja fue un grafitero mucho antes de convertirse en el “director creativo” digamos de Massive Attack, y se mantiene en alta estima como uno de los pioneros del movimiento grafiti esténcil, ayudando a traer la cultura hip-hop y grafiti a Bristol en la década de 1980. Y su trabajo ha sido publicado en todas las portadas de los discos de Massive Attack hasta la fecha.

De hecho, se levantaron las cejas el año pasado después de que Massive Attack canceló un concierto en el parque de atracciones de Banksy ‘Dismaland’ en Septiembre, aduciendo “dificultades técnicas”. El mismo Banksy preguntó a los asistentes al evento a llevar máscaras, con la idea de que  ‘El baile de máscaras’ funcionara como manera de que  él podía asistir sin relevar su identidad a los paparazzi en la asistencia.


Así que vamos a ver si la apariencia del trabajo de Banksy tiene algo que ver con giras y conciertos de Massive Attack por el mundo, utilizando las ciudades que he mencionado anteriormente.

En primer lugar fue la exposición en Glasgow en 2001. ¿Por qué Banksy elija ‘The Arches’ como un lugar adecuado para una primera exhibición de su obra? Así, si Massive Attack son algo para ir por, también encontraron el lugar del accidentado encanto para ser el perfecto trampolín. Para celebrar el lanzamiento de su segundo álbum, ‘Protección’ (que salió el 26 de septiembre de 1994), la banda tocó un concierto en ‘The Arches’ el 8 de diciembre de 1994. Sí señor.

Luego tuvimos Nápoles en 2004. Del Naja es un gran hincha de Napoli y concedió una entrevista con la Radio de Nápoles de Marte en 2010, revelando su pasión por el equipo – una pasión dictada a él de su padre italiano. En la entrevista se revela que asistió a un partido de Napoli contra Ciudadela durante su estancia en la Serie C1, un partido que tuvo lugar el 26 de septiembre de 2004.

Así, aunque Massive Attack nunca dio un concierto allí en aquel momento, al menos Del Naja estaba allí en ese tiempo, cuando el mural apareció. La banda ha tenido una relación con la ciudad que se remonta a una década antes, en 1994, cuando el canal Británico ‘Channel 4’ filmó un documental sobre su visita a la ciudad del padre de 3D y su grabación en el estudio con la banda de Nápoles, Almamegretta.

Pasando a Australia de 2003, cuando la labor de Banksy apareció en Melbourne, representa también la última vez que la banda tocó en la ciudad, en el Vodafone Arena el 11 de marzo de ese año, antes de tocar en el Sydney Entertainment Centre en el 14 de marzo, el 16 de marzo en el de Brisbane y Canberra en el día 18, como parte de su gira australiana.

En cuanto a una posible apariencia de Massive Attack alrededor de la época en la que Banksy visitó Palestina a principios de 2005, no hay ninguno. Lo que si encontré fue que Robert Del Naja de Massive Attack ha estado trabajando desde 2005 con la fundación ‘Hope, Hope and Optimism’ para ‘Palestinos en la Próxima Generación’ – y continuamente ha prestado su apoyo a Palestina. Después de haber tocado 2 veces en Israel anteriormente, se unió al movimiento por un boicot cultural del país en 2010.

La banda también desempeñó una carrera de tres conciertos benéficos en Birmingham y Londres en 2007 por la fundación, mientras que también ha llegado a los titulares en julio de 2014, con una actuación en el Festival en Dublín incluyendo gráficos que manifiesto su solidaridad con los palestinos en Gaza. Más tarde ese mismo mes la banda organizó un concierto en el Líbano, en colaboración con el proyecto ‘Hope’ para apoyar a los refugiados Palestinos después de visitar el campamento de refugiados de Bourj el Barajneh.

Desde entonces me fije en el calendario de conciertos del grupo en los EE.UU. y Canadá. En 2006, Massive Attack se embarcó en una gira estadounidense que los vieron tocar en California en Berkeley el 22 de septiembre y el famoso Hollywood Bowl en el 24 en Los Ángeles, la semana después de que Banksy celebró su “Barely Legal” exposición en la ciudad durante el fin de semana del 15º-17º de septiembre. Interesante.

Damos un salto hasta 2008, Del Naja hizo la banda sonora, junto con su amigo de Massive Attack Neil Davidge, de los New Orleans documental “Trouble The Water”. Recibió su estreno en Nueva Orleáns el 17 de agosto de ese año, el mismo periodo de tiempo, casi día por día, que Banksy dejo 14 galerías por toda la ciudad para conmemorar el próximo tercer aniversario del huracán Katrina.

Mientras, en torno al momento de cuando seis nuevos Banksy murales fueron descubiertos por a la prensa en San Francisco el 1 de mayo de 2010, Massive Attack realizo una tanda de dos noches en la ciudad los días 25 y 27 de abril, unos días antes.

También en Toronto surge un patrón similar. Massive Attack toco en el Sound Academy en el 7 de mayo y el 9 de mayo de 2010, siendo éste el día en que tres nuevos murales Banksy apareció en la ciudad.

Alrededor del 12 de mayo, cuando un mural de Banksy apareció también en Boston, donde Massive Attack en la ciudad, habiendo realizado en la ciudad del legendario House of Blues lugar el 13 de mayo.

Y por último, cuando el artista hizo su mes de residencia en Nueva York, que se inició el 1 de octubre de 2013, las fechas coincidieron con una residencia Massive Attack de cuatro noches en la ciudad entre el 28 de septiembre y el 4 de octubre en la cuidad, en la Armoury de Park Avenue.

La realización de este mapa mundial de los murales de Banksy lanza una interesante relación entre él y el colectivo trip hop de Bristol, confirmando las sugerencias que tiene estrechas conexiones con la banda y, de hecho, con ‘3D’, también conocido como Robert Del Naja.

Voy a ir tan lejos como para decir tan cerca de hecho, que hay indicios que apuntan que son la misma persona, en una campaña de duplicidad que ha sabido conservar el misterio de su verdadera identidad, desde que llegó a la atención del público en 1997 con su ‘Mild Mild West’ mural en Bristol.


Hable con Euan Dickinson, colaborador con la banda, acerca de las sugerencias, quien dijo “Se que Massive Attack son bastante lentos a sacar discos pero nunca podría suceder si él (Robert) fue Banksy, a menos que se está tirando la lana en mi opinión.”

E incluso si este rumor resulta algo más que eso, es claro a partir de las fechas que hay algo más que un vínculo casual entre el artista y la banda. O tal vez hay unos cuantas personas involucrados.

Parecido a los teóricos de la conspiración de Shakespeare, quizá él no es sólo un chico como todo el mundo piensa que es. Quizás él es Del Naja, Gunningham y otros, sólo un montón de artistas de grafiti viajando con Massive Attack dando caña. Esto sí que molara.

Mogwai, ‘Atomic’ review

Forgery-proof is one of the best adjectives I’ve heard used to describe Mogwai, Glasgow’s incontestable post-rock pioneers. Having created and shaped a signature sound that is so much their own, a Frankenstein’s monster of celestial, cinematic beauty, imitators run rather than shy away.

With ‘Atomic’, regarded as their ninth album ‘proper’, the band conjure up 48 mins of aural stimulus that has the supreme quality of sonically contextualising its subject matter, the nuclear age.

The ten songs here mirror a journey from feat to the grandiose, the angry to the melancholic, as the band bear the fruits of a pursuit towards an unexpected, yet thoroughly welcome, electronic and synth sound, set against the visual narrative of Marc Cousin’s bold documentary; images of MRI scans and X-rays juxtaposed with Hiroshima, Chernobyl and the horrors of nuclear devastation.

It’s high praise indeed that the band, who, being fully aware of their own proximity to Faslane submarine base and long-time CND supporters, are able to, through the power of their music, craft a sense of scrutiny and contemplation of the nuclear age that oscillates between reverence towards the immense change to our lives against the power of destruction it has brought on us.

As regards to soundtrack duties, we know before a ball is kicked that we are in safe hands, with ‘Atomic’ coming off the back of the majestic artistry that was 2006’s Zidane: a 21ST Century Portrait and the enduring, haunting score for French zombie noir show Les Revenants in 2013.

Stuart Braithwaite’s scything guitar talus –so much part of the Mogwai sound – takes a back seat as buzzing synths and electronic touches, backed by brooding percussion, populate the 10 tracks that make up ‘Atomic’, from the glittering, hopeful opener ‘Ether’ (with French horn added to the mix), through to the solemn, pondering piano infused ‘Fat Man’.

SCRAM sees Berlin based Barry Burns’s vintage synth tones come alive to dystopian, kaleidoscopic effect, while the thick, powerful waves of the stunning ‘Bitterness Centrifuge’ embody a soaring, siren-like feel.

The equally impressive follow up ‘U-235’ (the chemical term for uranium) sees the band verge into broody electro-Kraut dream pop, sharply contrasted with the death march drone of Pripyat.

The ominous quality and feel continues with ‘Weak Force’ and ‘Little Boy’, seeing the band emanate a bleak, muted and moody sound reminiscent of a John Carpenter theme before ‘Are You A Dancer?’ and ‘Tzar’ return us to territory not to distant from Mogwai’s post-rock roots – the former’s hauntingly beautiful violin rendering it a highlight on the album.

Atomic further reinforces the capacity Mogwai have to create sonic soundscapes that permits for a measured introspection the likes of which only Mogwai can do. A band who, just shy of 21 years together, maintain a level of experimentation and exploration of new sounds that underscore their superlative musicianship, one which reiterates something we have known for years, that Mogwai are masters of their art.