Tag Archive: Scotland


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FOUR piece indie outfit Altinak released current EP, Long Way Home, in August last year, amongst an array of shows and festival performances. The Linlithgow band have already caught the attention of Jim Gellatly with the fantastic song, Winter, being played on Amazing Radio.

However, the first song on the EP, Australia, is also a standout; traced with beautiful guitar melodies and solos, bringing a subtle lift to the song. The harmonies and backing vocals are very prominent throughout, as are the lyrics that stick in your head long after the song has finished. Next Time is an upbeat affair, with a catchy chorus that is surely a favourite with fans when playing live.

Fall has an incredible build up and the maturity and intelligence behind the lyrics make Altinak one to watch in 2017. Very reminiscent of Wolf Alice in both lyrics and music, Hard to Love is well positioned on the EP, with the drum intro and pace showcasing yet another side to the band. Definitely one of the highlights. Winter is a fine ending to Long Way Home. The guitar very much leading the piece with some fantastic solos, and partnered with the drums and bass in the bridge, take it to a great finale.

What’s most noticeable is the outstanding talent from all musicians in the band. They have a clear idea of the sound and direction they’re taking, which leads to a very well produced, polished EP.

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Laura Scott: Tutor at Reeltime Music

REELTIME Music is a charity based in Newarthill, Motherwell, which helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds learn new skills in music and the media.

Reeltime began in 1997, and provides workshops for many different groups within the local community and beyond. Although based in the local community centre which hosts their recording studio, they also travel further afield, providing opportunities for young people who may not otherwise receive them.

Laura Scott, who works at Reeltime, spoke about how she got involved with the charity, and the impact it has on young people.

 

 

 

Barry McKenna of Twin Atlantic selling copies of The Big Issue

Barry McKenna of Twin Atlantic selling copies of The Big Issue

During the first week of February, The Big Issue and INSP are holding The Big Sell’s #VendorWeek. A few famous faces were on the streets of Glasgow today selling copies of The Big Issue to raise funds and awareness.

Walking down Sauchiehall Street, to get a pair of slippers from Primark (don’t judge) I noticed a lot of cameras, and a lot of people. Not really that much of a revelation, a lot of people in the city centre. But there was actually a reason behind a lot of people being in a street where a lot of people usually are: Twin Atlantic and Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches were selling Big Issues. So, while purchasing a copy, I managed to speak to Barry McKenna of Twin about the cause:

“The Big Issue and INSP asked us to come and get involved and they’ve got a bunch of guest sellers to try and raise the awareness of the fact that there’s people out there every day trying to get a little bit more stability in their lives and get back on their feet so it’s nice to come down and raise awareness. We’ve always been interested in helping people out. We always say being in a band’s quite a selfish thing to do, quite a selfish lifestyle. It’s nice to be able to give something back as well; especially in our home town of Glasgow.”

Sam McTrusty chatting to fans

Sam McTrusty chatting to fans

So what’s next for the band?

“Next coming months we’ve got a bunch of touring. We’re going to Australia for the first time and then we’re coming back here in May to play some shows. We’re playing at the Hydro in Glasgow so we’re looking forward to going new places and then coming back home and playing some more shows.”

You can check out their new single Oceans, right here.

Interview: The Kooshtie

Playing at the Garage earlier this month

 

We spoke to Falkirk band The Kooshtie ahead of their headline gig at the Garage earlier this month.

 

You’ve just released new single Freak Me, what was the inspiration behind this song?

Jack: Well, Oliver wrote the song.

Jenny: You wrote the song, we came and played it.

Oliver: It’s kind of a tribute to Nirvana, the lyrics are anyway, the music isn’t. I found a cool chord, and that was it. We had original lyrics, and it was lovey dovey, and I didn’t like it, so we changed it. I was reading Kurt Cobain’s journal; it was inspired by Nirvana, but it wasn’t. I don’t sit down and intentionally write a song, it just sort of happens.

Jack: It’ll start with a guitar lick, or a vocal melody or something, and it just kind of builds. The inspiration and the foundation could be anything and it builds from there.

Oliver: Jack writes songs as well.

Jack: None of them have been used.

Oliver: But he does write them.

Jack: There will be some songs by me soon hopefully.

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Jack

 

You’ve also recently had a line-up change?

Oliver: We’re about to have another one; we’re losing Kieran as well. This is Kieran’s last gig actually. But the line-up change with jack was quite plain and simple. Jack was actually the first guitarist.

Jack: That must’ve been last year, then I left.

Oliver: And then he phoned me and said “I wanna come back”.

Jack: Nah, I got a phone call, maybe April…

Oliver: No, no, get this down straight.

Jenny: It was February.

Oliver: It was January, and Go-Get’er just came out, and you phoned me and you said “I wish I could’ve been in it”.

Jenny: Oh yeah, ’cause he phoned you when we were there.

Oliver: and I said “that’s cool man”, and then George left, and I went, “Jack do you want to come back?”

Jack: Yeah, and then a week later we played a gig at Record Factory, so yeah, within a week of joining the band. Kieran was the same.

Oliver: Yeah, we’ve kind of been all go.

Jack: It makes for a good environment, you don’t get that chance to sit back and analyse it, it’s just constant. It makes it a more professional atmosphere I would say; the fact that everything’s just been going.

Oliver: It’s been a bumpy road so far, to say the least. We’ll have a really good gig and then the next one will be average. I think we over-do it sometimes, but it’s been good since Jack joined. The dynamics of the band is going to change, we’re going to write a whole new set list. Kieran’s leaving ’cause he doesn’t like Jack. He came up to me and said “I don’t like that guy”.

Kieran: It’s just his hair.

 

Describe your sound in 3 words

Jack: It’s very f*cking good.

Oliver: Clichéd. I was going to say something negative like “Really f*cking sh*t”, but you bet me. Modern rock…

Kieran: Punk.

Oliver: This is why Kieran’s leaving the band.

Jenny: Red raw.

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Kieran

 

   

    You guys are from Falkirk…

Oliver: Yeah, but Jenny’s from Clackmannanshire.

Jenny: Yeah, Alloa.

Jack: We’re based in Falkirk.

 

 

 

What’s the music scene like there?

Oliver: Sh*t. Non existent.

Jack: It used to be quite good.

Oliver: Five years ago it was quite good. Don’t quote that.

Jack: There’s really good bands in Falkirk, but there’s no venue.

Oliver: Yeah, there’s no venues to play live music anymore, there’s like one or two, but even then,

Jack: People don’t want to go out and listen to music anymore, listen to rock ‘n’ roll anymore. It’s a shame sometimes when folk would rather pay £6 to go to a nightclub than see a band.

 

Where do you see yourselves a year from now?

Oliver: A year from now we’re going to play T-Break, that’s the dream.

Jack: Yeah, that’s the goal

Oliver: Once we’ve got a secure line-up, that’s our first goal.

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Jenny

If you could perform at one place, anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Jack: Madison Square Gardens

Oliver: Wembley

Jack: As long as there’s a lot of people there, anywhere.

Oliver: What was the place Rolling Stones played?

Jack: Hyde Park?

O: Nah, mind when they held that gig in the middle of the desert?

Jack: There’s tonnes.

Oliver: A rooftop.

Jack: Abbey Road; all these random places that it’d be cool to play.

Oliver: The moon. The first band to play on the moon, and if we’re not too old, we’ll play Mars.

Kieran: When we’re in the area.

Oliver: We’ll just swing by

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Oliver

 

What influences the band?

Oliver: Well, women.
We’ve been compared to so many bands it’s hard to narrow it down on influences

Jack: It’s like a kind of mix of influences.

Oliver: We all listen to different types of music.

Jack: It’s such a wide variety of stuff we listen to, but I think it’s just the want to play music.

Oliver: Yeah, I like playing my guitar; there’s no greater feeling than having your songs sung back to you. We’re only a young band, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

 

The Kooshtie will be playing at Glasgow’s Pivo Pivo on Saturday 4 July. Check out new single, Freak Me, right here.

 

 

 

 

 

Band Advice – Playing a Gig

Biffy Clyro at the SECC, 2009Here’s the next installment of the Band Advice section; playing a gig. On the day of the gig it’s best to arrive early – the organiser will probably ask you to do this anyway. This is to load-in, which means to bring in all your gear and set up the backline. If you arrive at the time asked, it’s more likely that you will get a chance to soundcheck too.

Before you head to the venue, make sure you have all the equipment you need. For example, if you’re a guitarist, you’ll need a lead, a spare lead if that one breaks, a tuner, plectrums, and ofcourse, your guitar. It’s a good idea to bring spare strings as well – be prepared for any eventuality!

Most venues will have enough backline, but if you’re a drummer, bring your cymbals, snare, and a bass pedal if needed. These are the breakables; other drummers playing wouldn’t be too happy about you using their cymbals or snare because, as you’ve probably guessed, they’re easily damaged.

Be nice to the sound engineer. If you’re acting like an idiot, or are under the impression that you’re an awesome rockstar who can shout orders at them and everyone else, be warned. The sound guy is completely in charge of the levels and how you sound on stage, so if you give them rubbish, they can make you sound rubbish.

A good thing about playing live is the contacts your able to make, whether it be with other bands, or with the promoters. For example, at one of the gig’s my band played, we made friends with a fantastic guy from a band called The Puzzlers, and he is now mixing some of our songs.

Before you go on stage, tune your guitar, and then tune it again. During one of the gigs I’ve played, I didn’t tune up correctly, and it sounded pretty bad. If you have to tune whilst on stage, try to use a plug-in tuner, and whatever you do, don’t tune with your amp on. It’s really unprofessional if the audience can hear you trying to tune up to a high E.

So, next is the actual performance. If you make a mistake, just carry on. Chances are no one has noticed, and mistakes happen. You will have a few bad gigs, it’s inevitable, but the majority of the gigs you play will go well, and the best thing is that you learn from the mistakes you do make. Personally, I’ve made a countless amount of mistakes, but I kept going. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself on stage, and have a great time!

Sonic ReducersEarlier on this week I interviewed Daniel Cairney and Chris Roarty from awesome local punk band Sonic Reducers, talking about the future of anarchy, words like “hypersonic”, and the promise of a new EP.

How long have you guys been together?
Daniel:
This current line-up has been together since June 2011, but the band started as Delgado in September 2010.

Your first album’s out, N.F.I.A. (No Future In Anarchy) why did you decide on this as your album’s title?
Daniel: The album was originally going to be titled Punkeye (an in joke between the band and some friends) but it was later realized that the title was a bit too silly and would probably lose it’s humour the more people asked about it! So, the song No Future In Anarchy existed already, and I always just liked the title because it expresses discontent with a lot of the people who think it’s still 1977 and don’t really translate their punk spirit into the modern world, as the Sex Pistols’ idea of Anarchy was cool at the time, but it’s not really done anything since then, and we’re all about moving forward!

If you could describe your band in 3 words, what would they be?
Daniel: Loud, Fast, Fun.
Chris: Maniacal, Hypersonic and Humorous.

You have a song called Punk Rock Band – what would be your advice to any people wanting to start their own punk rock band?
Daniel: My main piece of advice in starting a punk rock band is just to be yourself. When you think about it, all the punk bands, whose music has stood the test of time, have done so because they all had unique sounding music, which has been imitated a lot, but never really matched.
Chris: Personally, I think musicianship is the most important. Whenever Daniel comes in with a song, say Young Blood, it’s usually just a basic structure that could still pass off as a song, though just before we recorded the album we added more parts like a reggae section and a breakdown. We did the same with Going Back. One of our newer songs, Unscathed, which can be heard on our Soundcloud, has been greatly sharpened recently with a few changes. I’m excited for releasing that song particularly. Things like that wouldn’t happen if we didn’t get a say. I also think that being musically versatile can help, for instance, fusing styles together. It also makes things sound cooler!

What are your plans for this year?
Daniel: This year, we plan to do a lot of new stuff! With a new EP and hopefully a concept album, so it should be interesting! Most of the songs for the EP are ready, but the concept album is still early doors, so we can’t really guarantee it will be done this year but here’s hoping!
Chris: Basically what Daniel said, but I’m probably going to work on getting my drums sounding tighter for the remainder of the year, and throw some things I’ve not really done in there too for a challenge.

Check out Sonic Reducers’ current EP, N.F.I.A, right here on Bandcamp! http://www.sonicreducersuk.bandcamp.com

Coming Soon to a Venue Near You

Short entry about some gigs that are coming up in the next few weeks or so, incase you’re stuck for something to do at the weekend.

Sonic Reducers live

Sonic Reducers live

First up, on Saturday 9th February, we have Danny.P at The Box. This is Danny and his band’s first full line-up gig in Glasgow, and it’s free, which means more money to spend on alcoholic substances if you are that way inclined. The gig starts at 8pm, and is for all people who are 18 and over. He’s a fantastic artist so it’s well worth checking him out.

Not sure if this counts as self-promotion, but the next gig I’m going to add in here is the one that involves my own band. Okay, so that is horrendous self-promotion, but I’ve got to start somewhere. Perpetual Motion will be playing at the O2 ABC on Saturday 16th February, along with support from The Puzzlers, David Murdoch, and End Transmission (my band!). All the other bands are awesome, so if you’re up for some decent music and watching me try to pretend I know how to play guitar, then come along!
Tickets are £8, but £10 on the door, so it would be best to get them beforehand. You can purchase tickets here:
http://www.o2abcglasgow.co.uk/event/49691/perpetual-motion-tickets

Finally, if you like punk rock, you’ll love Sonic Reducers. The band are playing at the Classic Grand on the 22nd February, and are fantastic live, so if you’re free I’d recommend that you get yourself along to it! Tickets are £6, and it’s sure to be a brilliant night.

That’s just about everything you should stick in your calendars so far. Look out for more blog posts very soon.