White, your new favourite colour.

2015 has been some year for White. Big ups from Elton John, headline sets at Tenement Trail, and making the floor bounce at Amsterdam’s legendary Paradiso venue spring to mind for the band seen as the best export Glasgow has had to offer the music world since a certain Franz Ferdinand.

To put the cherry on top their proverbial pie, the group walked away with ‘Best Breakthrough Act’ at the recent Tartan Clef Scottish Music Awards in Glasgow. Not bad for a band that have only been on our radar for the best part of a year.

As the band swanned up the attention on the red carpet, frontman Leo Condie admitted that the award represented a nice milestone for the band.

“We are all really excited that we are winning something that makes us feel that we are getting somewhere. It’s always hard to tell because we have our heads down immersed in the music, so it’s really nice that people have taken notice of us.”

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“We’ve always kind of written songs that we want to be immediate, songs were you are able to get them without having heard them and listened to them over and over again.  We want them just to hit you straight in the chest. When you go out and play and you get the right response from that it’s fucking great.”

As for highlights so far, the band were hard pushed to see beyond the Amsterdam gig, as guitarist Hamish indicated.

“The Amsterdam gig was fucking amazing, it was like a rave. It’s probably one of my favourite gigs we have done. We were the last act on at 2am and the room was stoud out and everyone was jumping around. Our friend was in the audience and said the floor was moving when we were playing.”

Although closer to home, headlining Tenement Trail still lingers fresh in the memory.

“That was amazing, we owe Tenement TV a lot. We are a totally new band and there were a lot of bands that have been going for a long time on the bill so for us to be given the chance to headline a Glasgow festival like that was awesome. It put us right in people’s faces. The festival will just get bigger and bigger.”

Hailing from previous groups such as the Low Miffs, Kassidy and Garden of Elks, bass player Lewis is quick to extol the connection between the five-piece.

“The reason why we have all came together in the band is that we all love music, we all love playing together and we are all friends. Me, Hamish and Chris have been writing together for ages so it was great when Leo and Kristin came in and added this other dimension to the band.”

Whereas guitarist Chris was keen to tip his hat off to Glasgow.

“It’s cool to have an eclectic mix like we do in the band. It totally resembles what the Glasgow scene is like just now. There’s a lot of people making music because they want to without holding any unnecessary grudges against other bands.

And with respect to their home city, Leo feels more than happy to see the band mentioned in the same breath as Franz Ferdinand, with WHITE’s upcoming headline show at the QMU a personal triumph for him.

“I remember growing up in Glasgow and it was so exciting how well it was going for them and  it made the eyes of the music world turn on Glasgow for a while, although we were all a bit to young to be in bands to profit out of it. I remember standing outside the QMU when I was at uni listening to them sound check and stuff, so for us to be playing there is great.”

A slot on the bill for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party will see them play out the year in some style, as the band look to a 10 date UK tour spread over February and March, with Hamish keen for the band to spread their wings further afield again.

“I’m kind of hoping we become one of these bands that does well in Europe and we can go over and play there all the time.”

To which Leo finished with a smile…

“We will be headlining Hampden next year.”

And, although he was being tongue in cheek, you can’t fault the swagger and confidence the band gives off, as the cry for ‘a new colour in the musical palate becomes as loud as the band’s wardrobe.

WHITE.

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A gem to be found with FOUND.

Cloning, released on November the 6TH, represents a welcome return to action from Edinburgh band/art collective FOUND, which, as the name suggests, offers an engaging post-modern vision that sounds like it has torn a page or two from inside a Philip K Dick novel.

After 2011’s celebrated factorycraft, the BAFTA winning group’s new release sees three become two, with Ziggy Campbell and Kevin Sim continuing proceedings after Tommy Perman’s departure for pastures new, and this long awaited return sees the duo stick to a winning formula of opaque, experimental, synth pop, dowsed in sparkling analogue synth chords.

Opener A Souvenir for Every Hope You Had gallops along like a more sugar coated version of Mogwai’s Mexican Grand Prix, while diverse tracks such as The First Catastrophe and Halfway Cured give a polished, dream-like dystopian sound that ventures occasionally into 80’s horror film territory.

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Standout track Wheel of Apocalypse brings Campbell’s vocal talents to the fore, as the Vangelis-esque synths juxtapose with romantic notions of impending catastrophe: “Futures come and futures go, there’s a future I can’t get to / Now it’s gone, I have to choose, a future where I can’t forget you.”

At eight minutes long, The Second Catastrophe continues the cataclysmic feel with pounding drums accompanying fragile, soaring vocals against an eclectic synth backdrop as Credits offers a strong, brooding finish to a distinctive, yet dynamic piece of work.

Holyesque get spiritual.

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and it’s bucketing it down. The four local lads who together make up Holyesque shuffle in soaked one after the other, some still sobering up post Finnieston flat-party, to sit down to chat about their upcoming double A side single and  Glasgow headline show at St Lukes and subsequent release of long awaited debut album At Hope’s Ravine in February.

Since the band’s inception in late 2010, a steady flow of single releases, celebrated gigs, European support slots and SXSW jaunts have gradually heightened the buzz around a group whose sound, driven by singer Pat Hynes’s raspy, primal scream and industrial guitar, fails to conform to any comparative music out there, and all the better for it.

Celebrated recent shows at Tenement Trail, the SAMA’s and Camden’s Barfly – with a certain Annie Mac in attendance, alongside multiple Radio 1 plays of upcoming single Silences, seamlessly draws a line towards an arrival at the big time, and the band, whose design background seeps into their image – keyboardist Keir Reid and drummer Ralph McClure both study at Glasgow School of Art while not making music – are keen to take full advantage, as Pat himself intimates.

“We are planning on keeping the momentum going. It’s picking up I feel like we are progressing and we going in the right direction.  We are in the best position we have ever been just now and we hope the anticipation will pay off and people are going to be into the album.”

The chemistry amongst the foursome – Pat, Ralph, Keir and guitarist Shug – is contagious. It’s like old pals that just happened to pick up their instruments and decide to make music, and Keir believes that this sense of camaraderie is what drives the band forward.

“When we started the band there was never any blueprint or any kind of set idea or discussions. Everyone has their own inspirations and influences. We were all from different angles and places.

Pretty much all decisions are made as a group. Anything creatively, whichever direction the band is going in, whatever we are doing, we all decide together.”

Although for many fans, the album seems to have been a long time coming from a band that first got our tongues wagging with 2012’s Rose, Keir mentions that the wait for the album wasn’t as a result of a lack of material, far from it.

“With an album generally it’s not about the amount of songs you have, there are so many other factors to take into account. It needs to be right. It annoys us when people think oh ‘we have finally got an album worth of material’. We held it off because we wanted to make sure it was right and done properly.”

With regards to At Hope’s Ravine, the band removed themselves from the goldfish bowl that is Glasgow, splitting their time between Copenhagen and Brighton, a decision, that Keir thinks, paid off dividends, especially with regards to ramping up the creativeness emanating from the band.

“We spent a week and half in Denmark where we got all the basics down and then went for two weeks to just outside Brighton to experiment and work with the songs more.

It was kind of this great atmosphere and we were like ‘fuck it will we try it’. We ended up singing in stables and using wee kids toy pianos, just anything. It was our first real experience of experimentation in the recording process. Trying to tap into something new.”

 

Keir is also keen to detail working with Grammy award winning producer John Schumann, a bona-fide fan of the band, and how it seemed the perfect fit for where they wanted to go as a group.

“We became quite friendly with him when we did the Ravonettes support slot (in 2012), he was into the band and we knew he was a ‘somebody’. I think we rubbed off on him.

He gets it, he understands what we are doing and he is enthusiastic about it. John brought out the best in us and sent us in the right direction.”

And although a few years have passed since their 18 date jaunt around Europe with the Danish indie-rock duo, Ralph doesn’t discount heading back out to the continent on a support slot ticket; although this time they might treat it a little differently.

“Something like that would be perfect for us. The last time we were on a tour we were young and impressionable but we learned a lot (from the Ravonettes). We were stealing their rider and wanting to go out and party every night while they were real pros. We were arseholes. It was an insight.”

The band also seem to have found themselves a niche market in the form of Austin, Texas, with a visit in 2016 not out of the question, off the back of trips out there the past three years in succession. Something Pat is eager to share.

“We seem to have a yearly residency now out there. We have a lot of friends now and we just have a really good time. It’s been getting better every year for us. Especially since we started playing in dive bars and cupboards. I think a lot of people suffer from that but for us it really did help us and turned out to be quite beneficial.”

Casting nostalgia to one side for a moment, Pat gets back down to speaking about their number one concern, the music, and the connection that exists between the foursome.

“The majority of time the best songs are done on the spot there and then. It’s the best feeling in the world for us when we are all playing things and it just comes together and you know there’s something there. It’s like there’s a silent understanding between us.”

Further to this, however, is the design element, which flirts alongside their music to deliver a whole package, something that the band themselves are keen on expressing, as Pat and Keir indicate.

“You need to offer more than just a song. People need to grab onto something. Whatever we are doing we want to make a visual element that worked with the music. I think it goes hand in hand. You spend so much time writing and recording a song and making it sound good, just to give it to a label to put their own thing behind it. For us it’s part of the process. One benefits the other.

I think music is pretty two dimensional. So for us it’s important to pull in these other aspects to it, to open it up for people to take more from it, not just the music.  It’s just another edge to the sword.”

Doing so, it seems, helps the band really develop their own sense of how they see themselves as a band, helping to avoid what Keir regards as “lazy” comparisons with other bands.

“We don’t like being pigeonholed. We have been against that from the get-go. There comes a time when it can become detrimental to a band.”

While Pat agrees.

“Pidgeon-holing. Fuck that. We’ve always wanted to leave things open to interpretation with regards to our music. We’ve always encouraged people to question what we are doing. Why this lyric is that in the song, why those visuals are in that video, for example.”

Meanwhile, seeing out the year by playing at new Glasgow venue St Lukes ,a venue they themselves chose for the upcoming single launch , will, Keir hopes, give them the kind of blank canvas they are looking for to really cement their ambition, purpose and intention to those in attendance.

“I’m interested in the idea of communities and religions and that place has been used as a kind of gathering place over the years. I quite like the idea of us re-contextualizing it in our own way, with our music and with our own visuals. We really can’t wait for it.”

In between all the preparations for the album, the St Lukes gig and the single launch, Pat points out that they haven’t let that get in the way of already looking towards album number two.

“We are already working on it (Album 2). There’s no breaks for us. What else would we do? We are in the studio writing new songs all the time.”

With a drive and determination that may put other like-minded bands to shame, the group don’t seem like they are the kind who would take stock. Indeed, the band seem pretty humble with respect to how much they feel they need to achieve before they have ‘made it’, judging by Keir’s admission.

“We know we will have made it when we come back in here to the pub with fur coats on with enough money to get a pint.”

Jokes aside, it’s refreshing to hear from a band, who, undoubtedly are one of the best acts to come out of Scotland in the past decade, who have their feet firmly on the ground and are just focusing on doing what they do best, making vibrant, intense and unique music.

Here’s to the Holy.

Tijuana Bibles preach their indie-rock sermon to the converted.

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From the streets of Coatbridge to the dusty, tumble weed strewn backwaters of Louisiana, Tijuana Bibles seem to have swapped the town’s famous Time Capsule for darker, True Detective-esque climes, such is their gritty, swaggering sound.

Their newest release, Ghost/Dance/Movement EP, is a remarkably polished effort that wouldn’t sound out of place squeezed amongst the bastard son of an Arctic Monkeys or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club whisky-fuelled consummation.

Opener Apogee grinds its boots into the dirt and hurtles along at an incessant pace, banked by heavy guitars and Tony Costello’s soaring vocals (“Bite down on the pill when she pulls the trigger/Sweet as a kiss to cure my killer”) echoing the punches thrown by Queens of the Stone Age at their most heavyweight.

Ghost Dance showcases the band at its most potent, snarling, and memorable, keeping with the pace from the previous track. Costello continues to impress both lyrically and vocally, as if preaching to a petrol-hungry mass of converts (“I feed from the fire of the sun/Love is the only weapon”).

Follow up Six to Midnight eschews heavy riffs and Shamen references, with gun-slinging, fist fights and red wine all thrown in for good measure, reflecting as it does the band’s drive and ambition in spades.

Closer Sun Chaser offers a perfect end to proceedings, a layered, Eastern sounding gallop which hints at desert horizons and immortality, backed up by some impressive cloud-high choruses to satisfy any pair of ears.

A stunning piece of work from a band who fully merit their status as one of Scotland’s hottest acts and who will, hopefully, continue to deliver, just as they did at their sell out show at Glasgow’s Oran Mor, which nearly shook the old church to its foundations.

The band had the 500 in attendance in the palms of their hands as they rattled through songs off the new EP with a panache and arrogance that puts them on a par with early Oasis. Frontman Tony Costello seemed born for the starring role as he confidently led the crowd into a sweat-filled frenzy, backed by thundering drums and snarly guitars.

A European jaunt followed that saw the Bibles play in venues across Poland, Germany and Estonia, winning over an army of new fans in the process.

Happily back in their native town, upcoming shows supporting The Enemy at mythical venue The Garage, alongsdie solo shows in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Kilmarnock, should see the band head into 2016 on the verge of greatness.

The Wellgreen set for Spanish adventure.

Glasgow’s The Wellgreen are ready to take things up a gear as they set sail for the Spanish Main in two weeks time.

After lighting the touch paper with debut release, Wellgreens, in 2010, the band followed that up with Grin and Bear It, both of which were self-produced under The Barne Society label.

Considerable local acclaim was quick to come their way from fans and fellow musicians alike, none more so that from Stevie Jackson of Belle and Sebastian.

The band, centred around multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Marco Rea and Stuart Kidd, actually ended up making music together after Stuart asked Marco to work with him on a song for a Christmas compliation album.

Developing a 60’s psychodelic piano-based sound that feels like a cross between The Left Banke, The Kinks and The Beach Boys, with a nod to The Beatles Revolver period to boot, the band’s commitment to old school recordings allow them to cement that classic, other-worldy feel, backed up by retro casio tones.

A gig at last year’s Indie Pop festival brought them to the attention of Valencian record label Pretty Oliva, and after captivating their Spanish onlookers, the result has led to a collaboration that seems like a match made in heaven, in the form of the ‘Summer Rain‘ LP.

The 12 track LP features remastered songs selected from their self titled debut, alongside tracks off second album, ‘Grin and Bear It‘, alongside 3 new songs thrown in. With that flying off the press over in sunny Spain, the label has seen fit to take the band on tour across the length and breadth of the country, which will see them play four concerts in the cities of Madrid, Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia.

The dates in Spain will see the band go on their first tour as a bona-fide 4 piece, with Daniel McGeever y Jim McGoldrick helping to reinforce and layer their sound.

The band’s manager, Balir McLaughlin, is excited about what’s in store for The Wellgreen;

“There’s a wee circle of decenlty placed music heads over there that absolutely adore the band. So hopefully we can make the most of our time out here. These guys have been amazing during this whole release & tour.”

Here’s hoping the boys do Glasgow proud and return home having earned a new legion of Spanish speaking fans.

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Crash Club on a collision course with the big time.

Ask the movers and shakers of Glasgow to sum up how buoyant the local music scene is at the moment and, for many, two words will give you the answer you’re looking for: Crash Club.

The band, who formed in 2010, seem to be subconsciously providing the soundtrack to the city, with their strobe-heavy, swagger-inducing, energetic live shows continuing to win over audiences and help cement their status as one of the best bands in the country.

Collaborations with the likes of Tony Costello from Tijuana Bibles and Ian Mackinnon from Medicine Men show that they well and truly have their finger on the pulse musically, helping to hone and add another dimension to their sound – one that offers shades of Primal Scream’s XTRMNTR mixed with a heavy dose of The Chemical Brothers – as well as their live performances.

It’s a case of so far so good then for bassist Neal McHarg, “We’ve already done a lot of things we’d have put down on a musically bucket list kinda thing, like releasing a 12” record, and playing with bands that got us into dance music, being involved in festival season and to play T in the Park.”

This week saw a step up to the mantle in more ways than one for the electro-rock outfit, after they picked up the ‘Best Electronic’ act accolade at the recent Scottish Alternative Music Awards, where they also performed at alongside the likes of Holy Esque and Hector Bizerk.

This came hot on the heels of a support slot with The View in Edinburgh, alongside a barnstorming midnight show at the day-long Tenement Trail festival in Glasgow, which, I’m told, left even an attending Mhairi Black MP with her tongue wagging.

Surprising, it seems, is bassist Neal’s level-headedness amidst all the commotion.

“We just get on with it, to be honest,” he explains, “the hype could die down as quickly as it started. I’ve been around long enough to see it with bands I really believed were going to break through so I think for us we’ve got to keep writing better tracks and come up with new ways to make the live shows better.”

Meanwhile, the band are currently knuckled down in Glasgow’s Rocket Science studios, working on their new EP, which, by Neal’s own admission, is sounding “massive”.

“It is heading towards a New York sound, one where you really feel the beats and it’s hard not to groove,” he reveals. “It resembles the sound you probably would think of when you listen to DFA Record’s acts like LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost and The Rapture, although a bit darker in tones.”

When probed about possible future collaborations, he isn’t giving anything away.

“We are lucky to have some of the best acts in Scotland involved with us,” he boasts, “but I’ll keep that hush hush until it’s all finished.”

And with an upcoming King Tut’s headline slot on November 6th, alongside the promise of more late night shows in the near future, the hype surrounding Crash Club sees no signs of being written off.

The Twilight Sad and a bright future ahead.

The Twilight Sad are 4 dates into a slot supporting Editors on their European tour, and basking in the fresh critical acclaim coming their way in light of the release of ‘Oran Mor Session’ – a compilation of stripped back renditions of songs that mostly made up last year’s Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave.

James Graham emits a relative calm amongst the storm, as the frontman and I sat down for a chat within the not so glamorous surroundings of Glasgow’s Laureston Bar, to talk about New York posters, Glasgow crowds, and social networking.

As the pints arrived, James gave us the lowdown on the Editors tour and winning over new fans.

“It’s going really good so far, we are going to try and win new fans and make an impression on people as opposed to playing to people who know who we are.

There’s a confidence in showing these people what it means to you but at the same time there is the scary element of, thinking ‘this crowd could hate us’.

As we have been playing people have been cheering louder, so I guess it feels like we are winning them over with every song.”

The impending gig that night, however, up the road at Glasgow’s 02 Academy, may have required a different mind-set.

“I think because our other Glasgow gig is sold out, which is mental, some people are coming to see us here just to see us. Glasgow is different in that at the gigs you see the same faces you’ve seen since day 1 and the support is always amazing… I’m basically a big back of f@£$ing nerves.”

Not that he was showing any signs of it. The excitement was evident. The recent filtration of the mammoth 25 date support slot for The Cure in America – with a three night stint at both the Hollywood Bowl and Madison Square Garden – still had the band swimming in awe and anticipation, an opportunity James described as ‘mad’, coming off the back of frontman Robert Smith’s cover of ‘Girl in the Corner’.

“I must have listened to his version around 500-1000 times, and I remember when we heard it for the first time in a van in San Francisco. We just sat there in silence and said ‘What the f£$k just happened there’. I had to stop listening to it because I was getting obsessed by it.

As for the tour, I saw a poster in NY someone tweeted us that had our name on it…I don’t think doing Madison Square Garden will sink in until we stand on the stage and start sound-checking.”

The offer to play alongside a band they consider as being one of their favourites says a lot, to James, about the kind of band The Twilight Sad they see themselves are…

“We seem to be more of a band’s band where people in other bands like us. As far as the other sh@£e is concerned we are not on their radar completely and I’m quite happy for it to stay that way.

It shows me that we are doing things in the right way as bands should do and not just be there on hype.”

To him the success hasn’t allowed them to deviate from the ideas and philosophy from which they began writing and recording songs…

“I hope we can become a band that can go and play places and has a room full of people who want to see our music. At the same time, we won’t change even if people’s perception of us change. I don’t care about anything else apart from writing music and playing gigs.

It’s the reason why we started the band in the first place, to make music that we thought kind of mattered, and that’s why we do it.”

Through the European jaunt with Editors, alongside a handful of concerts on the continent, the Barrowlands end of year gig looms as large and bright as the venue’s famous exterior…

“It feels like we have joined a club we have always wanted to be a part of, like a badge of honour or seal of approval from where we live. The gig feels like it will be the end of a chapter for us, so we can give the record (2014’s Nobody Wants To Be Here…) the send-off it deserves. We’ve got to make sure that it is the best gig we have ever played”.

With that in mind, James feels that the city itself has had, and continues to have, a definite influence on the band.

“We say we are from Glasgow and we are proud of that. That’s where our favourite music came from. Plus the fact that all those folk we listened to have taken us under their wing. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as some of our favourite bands is just as big an honour as anything.

We have always been a band that shies away from any kind of scene or group, but I’m very happy to be part of the ‘Glasgow Gang’ along with them. I’d be quite happy to be the tea boy for that group.”

Another interesting point to note, is The Twilight Sad’s use of social networks to further spread the word and maintain that very ‘real’ contact with fans and doubters alike, a role that James taken on personally.

“The first thing I do before I go to bed or when I get up is see what people have been writing or tweeting about us and I do try my best to respond to it. If someone shows an appreciation for us I like to respond and say thank you.

On the same note, if someone is being a fanny I will tell them they are a fanny, you have to take it both ways”, he says.

As for any further musical developments to look forward to come 2016, fans will be happy to know that they seem intent to keep the Sad momentum going.

“Andy and I started writing some stuff over the summer. There’s a few concrete tunes in there, in as much as I can see the (new) album opener and another two at least. All going to plan we will have the album recorded before we go away with The Cure.”

With so much on their plate for 2016, and with the enthusiasm for making records and playing live shows as strong as ever, it sure seems like it is gearing up to be the year of the Sad.

Especially if their blistering performance at the 02 Academy was to go by, it seemed that they were in full ‘Barrowlands’ mode a full two months early.

Meeting Mogwai; 20 years and still going strong.

As Scotland’s seminal post-rock flag bearers, Mogwai have been making noise and splitting ears for as long as we can remember. With a new ‘Best Of’ compilation making its way into record shops at the end of the month, Central Belters, I sat down with guitarist Stuart Braithwaite to discuss everything from film scores, Lou Reed, nostalgia and of course, Glasgow.

20 candles recently blown, and yet for Mogwai, Glasgow’s post-rock pioneers, they show no lack of enthusiasm for making music that has so far churned out a heady amount of albums to add substance to any good record collection.

After their triumphant, face-melting anniversary shows at the Barrowlands and London’s Roundhouse in June, the band were keen to cement passing the double-decade mark with more than just a run of gigs, especially for those unlucky enough not to have been there to see them.

I think we really wanted to do something to kind of mark the occasion.  Not just the concerts.  They were great fun.  Something more permanent.  It seemed quite an obvious thing to do,” explains Stuart.

With new Best Of compilation Central Belters, the band have been careful to provide fair representation to all strands of what has been a remarkable career, with the 35 tracks spanning all 8 studio albums as well as the Les Revenants and Zidane soundtracks, whilst attempting to cater to all possible sections of the Mogwai ‘Young Team’.

“I think a lot of people got into us in the last five or 10 years.  Maybe some people liked us at the start and fell away, or stopped going to record shops.  So this is an opportunity to show what we’ve done over the last 20 years.”

With such an expansive back catalogue to choose from, Stuart had his say on what would be included where.  “The rarities were harder, as there is so much there and they were less obvious picks,” he explains.  “With the rest, I kind of ran with it.  It was more that the rest of the band would say ‘no’, rather than being five different ideas.”

Seems many moons ago that the Mogwai as we know came to be, after that first jam in Stuart’s family home in Glasgow, and the city, if not directly, has certainly had some part to play in the longevity of their music, as he himself notes, “Maybe it’s a subconscious thing that has probably happened without us thinking about it.  Glasgow was a scene that helped us and we’d like to think that we’ve helped it as well.  It’s definitely a community thing that you have here.”


Stuart also took time to give us some news on his side project with super-group Minor Victories, revealing that, with the album nearly complete, he has been working with James Graham from local heroes The Twilight Sad on a song for what will essentially be a “pop record”.

The band will go back to the drawing board shortly after the release of Central Belters with the completion of Mark Cousin’s Atomic documentary soundtrack, alongside the promise of more live shows next year.  “We are going back into the studio this month…to turn the Atomic music into a record, do some shows and make that live along with the film,” he says.  “Then next year we’ll be making a new album.”

And as for continuing to experiment with other ideas, it seems the motivation is also most definitely there.  “I think we would like to do a proper film.  To be involved right from the start,” he explains.  “We’ve came close to a few things happening but nothing came of it.”  With that in mind, a passing suggestion was made of throwing their hat into the ring for the upcoming Trainspotting 2.

“That would be great.  I know Irvine (Welsh), he is a brilliant guy.  I don’t know if I know him well enough to phone him up like you would phone your pal,” he jokes, “but you never know, it might be one of those, ‘If you don’t ask you don’t get’ things.”

As for the future, he doesn’t see himself, or the band, hanging up their instruments at any point soon, not while the desire is still there to experiment with new sounds, play more gigs and travel to more places.  “I’d love to be still making music when I’m 75,” he says, “I think if you’re lucky to do what you like doing anyway then there’s no reason to stop.”


Any regrets then as the release date draws nearer?  One or two, none more so than the missed opportunity of a collaboration with a certain Lou Reed.  “We actually once got asked to play with him.  That is a real, real regret, we didn’t do it because we were making a record (2008’s Hawk is Howling).  He wanted to do a noise jam with us.”

And while history, as it happened, robbed us of what would have surely been an astonishing musical get-together, we can, without doubt, thank our musical stars that Mogwai have led our ears and our minds into realms the likes of which we had never entered previously.

Here’s to another 20.

Tenement TV continues to blaze a trail.

Saturday seems a long time ago but my ears are still ringing from a quite incredible day and night’s worth of music thanks to the guys at Tenement TV.

Their annual shindig, Tenement Trail, took over 6 different city centre venues while hosting more than 40 bands from all over the UK. With a line up that boasted the likes of Neon Waltz, Be Charlotte and Laura St Jude, alongside ‘the new Franz Ferdinand’ in White, the movers and shakers of Glasgow were certainly spoiled for choice.

Early sets by the bluesy, Deep South influenced ‘The Bar Dogs’ and the rapid fire Jake Bugg-esque Declan Walsh set the early tone, with both gigs pulling in a healthy, vocal crowd.

London’s The Amazons, making their Glasgow debut in Sleazy’s, didn’t disappoint, as their jangly, intense sound and tales of junk food and misplaced affection brought with it comparisons with The Vaccines.

As the day rolled on the Art School became witness to some, if not all, of the best concerts of the day. The likes of Pronto Mama pulled in a huge crowd with their calypso themed trumpet driven melodies, whilst Holy Esque showed everyone just how far they have come in recent months with a set that eschewed ambition, drive and creativity.

Headliners White, taking to the stage at 9pm, more than lived up to the hype their recent gigs at Wickerman and Glastonbury have established within UK music circles. Leo Conde embodies the spirit of a young Bryan Ferry as their self-styled ‘pink noise’ turned the Art School into something akin to an 80’s high school reunion.

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Headliners White at the Art School

However, it was electronic outfit Crash Club who stole the show, Their midnight slot had Flat 0/1 bursting at the seams as they brought the festival to a thundering close. Flying beer, strobe lights and heavy riffs were aplenty as the band ripped through a blistering set high on emotion and confidence. It’s a matter of time before they themselves will be the name on everyone’s lips.

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Crash Club bringing the house down at Flat 0/1

A fantastic event which, like no other, highlights the health of the current UK music scene, placing the fan at its heart and providing the setting for some memorable gigs to leave even the most avid gig-goer waiting for next year.