Top 10 Glasweigian Tunes for Summer

4 Apr

Well, considering I have finished first year of uni (woo!), that means summer is approaching where all the young ones can go out and party and have a good time. This also means I’ll have to update my playlist for the summer and I will share with you what will be on there.

Whether it old or new, upbeat or mellow, here’s my Scottish tunes for the summer:

 

1. Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

 

Not exactly the most recent song, but if you are Scottish there is no avoiding it. In parties and clubs (especially my local one), this song will almost always make an appearance on a night out, causing a united sing-a-long and comradery from the crowd. Absolute mental.

 

2. Pencil Full of Lead – Paolo Nutini

 

Again, not exactly the most recent, but it does provide a similar reaction to the first in the way of audience unity even if most don’t actually know the words to the verses (even if they pretend to…).

 

3. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand

 

What can I say? There’s clearly a theme in upbeat party tunes here.

WARNING: Outrageous chanting, jumping and dancing will ensue.

 

4. The Shape of Things to Come – The OK Social Club

 

Obviously I have previously mentioned this song but it is the perfect soundtrack to a crazy summer party setting.

 

5. Stay Out – Nina Nesbitt

 

Similar to the previous, in this tune Nina describes a typical Scottish night out, so it only makes sense to make this the soundtrack to yours.

 

6. Gawn ‘ae Uni – Pronto Mama

 

I like to include this one as a wee bit of irony for at being at uni over the summer. But, nonetheless, this is a good wee upbeat tune for the summer.

 

7. Black Chandelier – Biffy Clyro

 

Right, it’s not exactly a upbeat, dancy tune but it is still a great new single from Biffy Clyro that still requires all the standard Scottish chanting. It’s a good wee headbanging tune for that point in the night.

 

8. Fight Talk – Brown Bear and the Bandits

 

Oh, how I love this. It’s got a good, cheerful intro and (despite the lyrics) this is a running theme throughout this track. Don’t know about you but I can’t help but have a dance to it.

 

9. The Woodpile – Frightened Rabbit

 

Right, I am not the biggest Frabbit fan but I actually really like this. It’s definitely not a song you want playing at the peak of a party but more for a chilled out day in the sun.

 

And how could I not mention…

 

10. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers

 

Not exactly a Proclaimers fan but this is another unavoidable, ground-shaking, crowd-chanting, mad-as-anything tune that is sure to get people screaming at the top of their lungs and cringing at the memories the next day.

 

Well there you go! I hope you enjoyed!

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Pronto Mama

4 Apr

During the course of writing this blog I have realised that Facebook and Twitter are excellent places to discover new bands that have pages or that maybe your friends recommend, and this band is one I have seen talked on Facebook and Twitter quite a wee bit.

Pronto Mama describe themselves as a “six piece progressive indie math pop alternative stadium rock punk band” from Glasgow and, again, walk the fine line in getting the Scottish singing accent right (for me, anyway) and succeeding. I like to think of them as the Glasweigian counterpart to the the soft-sounding and upbeat The Kooks and definitely cater to the indie music fans of today’s generation with their song ‘Gawn ‘ae Uni’, containing soft harmonies and even a little trumpet solo (and funnily enough I wrote this post in uni).

Pronto Mama’s EP ‘Lickety Split’ was released on 2nd July 2012, through their own label, “Tasty Records Are Tasty”, featuring a great selection of songs; my favourites being the mellow ‘One Trick Pony’ and the beautiful ‘Still Swimming’.

Their newest single ‘Rubber’, released in February 2013, from Pronto Mama’s forthcoming EP, is available for free download now and it’s pretty cracking.

It is for free. What’s the harm in downloading it, eh?

The LaFontaines

3 Apr

It’s a wonder I hadn’t done this post already as it just so happens that a SAMA winning band live right in my local town!

The LaFontaines are an unusual combination of Hip-Hop, Rock and Pop, all rolled into one which creates their unique sound. Coming from Motherwell, The LaFontaines have performed the full length of the country,  playing in various venues and their unique genre mash-up has gained critical acclaim from press and radio throughout the UK.

After winning a SAMA for ‘Best Live Act’, the band have (funninly enough) went onto play at T in the Park, where, according to their Facebook, they attracted such a large crowd that the tent had to be closed and people denied entry; a first ever for any unsigned band to play the T Break stage.

I will admit, I hadn’t listened to a lot of The LaFontaines before but as of recently, I am really liking them, especially ‘Paper Chase’, which talks of the monotomy of a boring 9 to 5 job. I especially enjoy the clever ‘Invictus’ reference in the chorus:

We are the masters of our fate

And we need a change, we need our own space.

We are the captains of our souls

And we’ve got it all under control.

 I can definitely say they are like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

We Were Promised Jetpacks

3 Apr

Right, so this may seem slightly confusing after my rant about Twin Atlantic and how everyone that knows me will know that I always go on about outrageous Scottish accents in songs but I will go on to explain myself. Not well, but I will…

We Were Promised Jetpacks is a band that I’d never really heard very much about, other than the occassional whispering from the more indie crowd of people I follow on Twitter, until a couple of years ago when they were featured in one of my favourite TV shows ever, One Tree Hill.

I have to mention, for those who do not watch the show, that One Tree Hill has probably the best soundtracks to a show I’ve ever heard (especially the Road Mix, available for download from Amazon) and I highly recommend that, even as a person who doesn’t watch the show, everyone should give them a listen as the feature a range of new and old artists and different genres to peak anyones interest.

Anyway. Let’s not get me carried away. Again…

We Were Promised Jetpacks (fantastic name by the way) are a four-piece indie rock band from Edinburgh, formed in 2003, having had their first gig at their schools battle of the bands competition and going onto perform at King Tuts to opening for Jimmy Eat World in the North American leg of their tour. These lads have certainly came far since their humble beginnings. Like, really, really far…

As I said I’d explain, I normally rant about the Scottish accents in music but WWPJ pull off a more mellow, soulful tone (more akin to the Biffy side of the spectrum (without Simon Neil’s gorgeous rasp, of course)) rather than a more nasal, hard sound executed by some Scottish artists.

Their song ‘It’s Thunder and It’s Lightning’, featured on One Tree Hill, exhibits a spectrum of sounds and instruments, ranging from light twinkling percussion and soft sounding verses to blaring guitar and vocals on the build-up to the chorus and, another favourite of mine, ‘Quiet Little Voices’ is a catchy, more subtle track that I reckon speak for itself…

Another I highly recommend. Give them a listen!

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards 2013 – Little Fire and The OK Social Club

2 Apr

In direct relation to my last post, as I got somewhat overjoyed by Brown Bear and the Bandits I decided to see who they had passed the torch to at this years Scottish Alternative Music Awards.

I would also like to mention that if you click the Brown Bear and the Bandits link it will not take you to King Tuts page where you can buy tickets to their gig on April 26th because, of course, I am not heavily encouraging everyone to listen to this wonderful band again. Nope. Definitely not what I just did there…

Nor am I saying that its a bargain at six quid a ticket even if it is. Mhmmm…but this is obviously all besides the point…

Moving onward…

Little Fire

As I said, I did my research and saw that this year’s Best Acoustic award was given to Ayr-based artist Little Fire and, may I say, it was well deserved.

The unique, husky and sultry vocals of Jamie McGeechan, coupled with his charming acoustic guitar, is definitely something to brighten up your day.

Having shared a stage with Damien Rice, my heart literally aches to hear the pair do a rendition of Cannonball. Now that would be something else…

 

 

The OK Social Club

In case you hadn’t noticed already (although the One Direction post may have thrown you off…) I am a fan of the more indie/pop/folk-type genre and this band most definitely peaked my interest.

The winners of this year’s Best Live Act The OK Social Club are definitely deserving of the title.

If you like the Arctic Monkeys or The Vaccines then these guys are definitely the band for you, with the indie twang accompanied by lyrics of youthful escapades.

Genuinely, I was one minute into ‘The Shape of Things To Come’, from the debut album ‘Nothing in Common’, before I fell in love with these guys, as they portrayed a relatable night out for most Scottish teens which will not only having you nodding you’re head in reminder of when you experience similar events but tapping your feet as well.

This is another act I highly recommend but you can see for yourself the talent of these Edinburgh Lads.

Brown Bear and the Bandits

2 Apr

Well, it’s a bit of a happy accident that this fits in with my T related posts as it wasn’t until after I had researched Brown Bear and the Bandits that I realised that they had actually played on the T Break stage in 2012.

I have to start by saying that as cliche as it sounds, I fell in love with Brown Bear and the Bandits as soon as I heard them. I have a habit of just passively listening to music but when I hear a song I love I write it down immediately with the intentions of adding it to my iPod. Fair to say the ‘Truth or Dare’ EP is on there.

With no intentions of making any sort of shameless plug or advertisement (*wink**wink*), the first time I heard the band from Largs was during one of my afternoons off uni while listening to our very own Radio Caley, and the minute I heard it I knew that this was the band for me.

Having received the Award for Best Acoustic Act at The 2012 Scottish Alternative Music Award, releasing their debut E.P “Truth or Dare” in March 2012 and having played T in the Park, Belladrum and Wickerman as well as several radio and television appearances over the summer of 2012, its a wonder I hadn’t heard of them before now. Combining folk guitar with pop hooks, meaningful lyrics and an indie sound, this band had everything it needed to catch my attention and hopefully everyone elses.

I highly, highly, highly (cannot emphasize this enough..) recommend everyone give them a listen on soundcloud. Their catchy indie-pop tune ‘Soul Searching’ is by far my favourite and it’s also worth a mention that the video for the ‘Olive Tree’ single (available on iTunes) is quite touching.

P.S. Coincidently they are also playing at King Tuts on my birthday. Eek!

 

Newcomer Nina Nesbitt

21 Mar

It seems my dreams of seeing Biffy Clyro at T in the Park have been shot down in flames as it seems they have signed on exclusively to perform at Reading and Leeds festival. Despite this minor setback in my hopes for the festival, I will be happy to see newcomer Nina Nesbitt take to the stage for her second year, since receiving her recording deal last year before the festival.

I felt I really had to write a post about Nina due to every second advert I see on YouTube being an advertisement for her single ‘Stay Out’. Normally I’ll skip throught the ads but, due to the abundancy and frequency of this one particular ad, I decided to avoid the skip button and give the song a listen. That was a very wise decision on my part.

Another reason I had to write a post and listen to Nina was due to a good few of my male (and female) friends being a tiny bit obsessed with her and now I can, understandably see why.

The stunning Scottish singer-songwriter from Edinburgh is not underrated in the slightest. With her distinctly Scottish-sounding accent, accompanying by her witty lyrics and great guitar-playing, Nina creates unique, entertaining songs and provides a different sound to any other Scottish female singer, which is definitely a great new addition to the music scene!

Having just been on her third headline tour (but her first big UK tour) last year, I look forward to great things during her next one (which I hope to attend!). Nina Nesbitt is an act I will definitely be keeping my eye out for during my first venture to T in the Park.

Nina Nesbitt’s Stay Out EP is out April 8th!

Take Me Home One Direction!

11 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, February 27th to be exact, I became the envy of many fangirls as I was able to see One Direction at the SECC. And no, I wasn’t there the night Harry got hit in the *ahem* with the shoe.

Right, I will be honest here, I may have been a little distracted throughout One Direction’s performance.

What can I say? I am a teenage girl with eyes so if you put 5 teen heartthrobs in front of me I will swoon. That is a guarantee.

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Despite said swooning, I can undoubtably say that One Direction are quite amazing at what they do. Whether that be enchanting young girls with their harmonies and quite incredible falsettos (I mean seriously, who knew Liam could sing that high?!) or distracting an arena of people with their playful smiles and charm…

I think I’m getting carried away again…

Anyways. It is worth mentioning that long before the concert started, before the support acts and 1D hit the stage, any time One Direction’s name is shown on screen, their song is played or their name is even uttered, the fans go absolutely mental. I cannot begin to described the pandemonium that ensued or the ringing in my ears afterward.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that for five young lads, under scrutiny and insults from certain areas of the general public, is that they are quite underrated as singers, as proved by the impressive harmonies during Heart Attack.

During the entire set of songs from the most recent album, Take Me Home, there was no backing singers, no tapes, no miles of backing dancers or elaborate synchronised dance routines. Just five guys having a good time performing and joking around on stage (which was caught on camera in a moment where Liam tried to rile Louis, resulting Liam becoming aquainted with his bandmate’s middle finger. Tut tut!).

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Songs such as Rock Me and C’mon C’mon explored the band’s take on rock, with its big riffs from the electric guitars but there were two distinct moments that stood out…

As the band performed Change My Mind, they got more up close and personal with the audience by taking to a platform and gliding above the audience, before stepping onto the small stage near the back of the arena to perform Teenage Kicks.

But despite the proximity between the band and the audience during those two songs, there was one song in which it was very clear that no fan had ever felt closer to the band and also reminded everyone that it is the ‘little things’ that make us love One Direction.

See what I did there?

 

As you can all guess Little Things, written by the heartbreakingly talented Ed Sheeran, brought the crowd into a united sing-a-long which was so moving that the members seemed to be quite emotional by the end of it and lead them to thank all their fans for their on-going support. Bless.

Not everyone will enjoy them or understand the devotion of the millions of screaming girls (and boys) who idolise them but it cannot be denied that they are dedicated and good at what they do.

P.S. It is worth mentioning that the support act, 5 Seconds of Summer, was amazing and worth a listen. And Camryn?…eh…not quite my cup of tea.

One Direction SECC

Perpetual Motion at O2 ABC2!

3 Mar

As advertised in the link in my first post, I visited the O2 ABC, on Saturday 23rd February, to see a gig by local Scottish artists.

Overall, I was not disappointed. This line up (composed of David Murdoch and Victoria, The Puzzlers, Perpetual Motion and End Transmission) contained a mix of uniquely different sounds, each keeping to their own particular niche.

Folk Fella

David Murdoch is a Glasgow-based singer-songwriter who was accompanied by Victoria. At first, I didn’t think very much of their vocals, individually, but when the harmonies kicked in you could feel the folky-indie vibe; presenting a sort of She & Him comparison (due to a mixture of their sound and Victoria’s quirky look). In the whole set their was not a cover to be seen, making each song sound unique and heartfelt. In parts, David’s excessive enthusiasm did get the best of him to the point where the audience couldn’t hear his vocal over the strum of the guitar, but once this was railed back in, the couple continued to entertain the crowd with their best tune of the night, ‘Walking Back to Glasgow’. It seems Victoria was only an addition for the night but I say it was a good move for David.

I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night

Next up was The Puzzlers, who, from the moment they stepped on stage, practically oozed rock ‘ n’ roll. Stepping up to the mic, they belted out a range of original songs backed up by a brilliantly talented band, who all seem like they’ve been playing for years despite only having their first gig in 2011. Appealing to an older crowd, their 60’s/70’s punk-rock influences were very clear amongst their sound, as I could detect clear inspiration from bands such as The Stranglers, Sex Pistols and one song (entitled ‘Gypsy Violin’ (yes, it is as strange as it sounds)) which seemed to comprise clear influence from Status Quo (in reference to some of the drum beats) and The Who, and was vocally delivered just as Johnny Rotten would’ve, reminding us of the golden age of rock.

Following The Puzzlers and performing next to last in the line up (despite being the headliners…) were Perpetual Motion.

Is That You, Paul McCartney?

Right, the first thing I noticed as Perpetual Motion walked on stage was that I became very confused. Not that it’s a necessity or anything but generally a band has a distinct collective look and, ok, this band didn’t have one but every single member seemed to be dressed to fit a different genre. I know I shouldn’t stereotype but I just couldn’t really suss the influence of the band when (left to right) the influence of their attire said pop-punk, glam-pop, pop-rock, indie-rock. At least their was some pop-rock continuity there so at least that’s something.

Regardless of me going on and on about costume, Perpetual Motion were pretty good. Mostly, i enjoyed it overall as the band played well (with some interesting beats from the drummer and great work from the guitarist) and the vocals were not too shabby. As soon as the lead singer sang and I realised which one the backing vocalist was (the one who had an uncanny resemblance to a young Paul McCartney), it was plain to see that there was a distinct Beatles, late 60’s/early 70’s pop-rock influence, through their vocal tone and harmonies, which Perpetual Motion had modernised and made their own. The only mark I had against the band was the slightly OTT dancing from the lead singer but, other than that, as a young, newly-established act the group are on the right track.

You Go Girls!

Finally (a personal favourite of mine) was End Transmission to close the show. End Transmission is an all-girl rock band formed in the North Lanarkshire area, who are pretty new to the scene but handled the O2 ABC2 very well. As soon as they opened with a cover of ‘Bette Davis’ Eyes’, I couldn’t help but be in awe at the talent of the lead singer, not to mentioned the talent of the backing singer. Despite sticking to a very rock/The Runaways instrumental sound and vibe, Stephanie’s sweet voice shone through, reminiscent of Taylor Swift, and Laura’s reminiscent of Hayley Williams of Paramore, combining to give a kind-of Avril Lavigne-esque sound. I throughly enjoyed every cover and their original song, ‘Suffocated’, but it was their closing cover of Katy Perry’s ‘ET’ that stole the show for me. Would definitely like to see them again.

Overall, each act definitely held their own but I reckon I’ve been overcome with a sense of girl-power. Well played End Transmission, well played.

End Transmission

Photography by John Lees

Twin, T and Topping the Charts

17 Feb


Hello again!

As previously mentioned, I am relatively new to the blogging scene and I don’t really know where to begin so for this post I thought I’d start off with a topic that seems to run through my mind quite often:

Twin Atlantic vs. Biffy Clyro

Considering the success of these bands in the past few years (within the same niche/genre) it seems pretty obvious that comparisons are going to come about. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to develop a liking for Twin Atlantic. At all.

I apologise sincerely for any Twin fans reading this and keep in mind this is one girl’s opinion but as much as I find myself really enjoying the intro of ‘Free’, as soon as Sam McTrusty sings I do my best to tune out.

Of course, to a certain extent, both bands incorporate their natural scottish twang into their vocals but, to me, McTrusty cannot compare to the talent that is Simon Neil.

In terms of vocals, both try their best to use their accents to sound unique but while Neil’s voice seems to seemlessly blend the Scottish dialect and tone in order to create a soulful, soothing vocal, McTrusty’s over-accentuating of his vowels in order to emphasize his Scottish accent does nothing for me other than give me (for lack of a better term) the ‘heebie-jeebies’. Sorry.

For some reason I’ve always had a dislike for Twin ever since I heard the chorus to ‘Free’:

 “I set my body on fire so I could be free”

For some reason these words didnt quite resonate with me (or make sense to me).

As I reckon I’ve made clear, writing lyrics is another area where I feel Biffy beat Twin Atlantic. But to be fair at least they write their own lyrics. Take from that what you will…

T Time

In other news, as one of the many visiting this years highly anticipated #T20, I have been keeping a close eye on any announcements just for it to appear on my Facebook feed that there will be more acts announced on Friday 18th February. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

To say I am excited would be an understatement.

Considering this is such a milestone for T in the Park, I am highly anticipating (and expecting) the venue to be filled with the best acts of recent years. Whether my dream become a reality, I shall have to wait and see.

Lets just say if Biffy are headlining Reading and Leeds, its only fair that they do their best to squeeze themselves into the line up for the biggest festival in their home country. I don’t reckon that’s too much to ask, eh?

Top of the Rocks?

If there was not already enough incentive for Biffy Clyro to headline T then maybe the chance to grace all their Scottish fans with material from their first UK number one album, Opposites, might just do it.

Upon its release, the band’s sixth studio album knocked the Les Miserables soundtrack off the top spot after its two-week stint but has fell down to number 8.

Regardless, it’s still within the top 10 and I very much look forward to seeing it at T20. Make it happen, Biff.

T in the Park 2012