Review: Indie Rock Showcase @ Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

by Rik Wolters - 02 March 2013

A cold night in Edinburgh (most of them are) and a chance to see out February with some live music featuring some friends old and new.

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Review: Miss the Occupier - Keeping Company With Wolves

by Rik Wolters - 01 March 2013

I first became aware of Glasgow-based trio Miss the Occupier some time last year when I saw them at one of Ste McCabe's Pussy Whipped nights.  I was really impressed with what I saw, so much so that I have made the effort to see the band on a few occasions since, and as this mini-album confirms, they keep getting better!

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Review: Tingle in the Netherlands - Why Can't You Write Something Nice for a Change?

by Rik Wolters - 25 February 2013

Songs about a dead prosititute and her handbag, a housewife screwing the milkman and love in outer space, it could only be the debut album from Manchester's Tingle in the Netherlands.

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Review: Richard Hawley @ HMV Picture House, Edinburgh

by Rik Wolters - 19 February 2013

With trademark leather jacket and thick 50s-style spectacles, Richard Hawley announces to the audience in his gruff Yorkshire tones that the last time they played Scotland they were in fact in Glasgow.

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Review: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

by Rik Wolters - 19 February 2013

Nick Cave and co return with one of the most reflective and captivating albums of their almost 30-year existence..

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The Top 20 Albums of 2012

by Rik Wolters - 31 December 2012

The Top 20 Albums of 2012 picked by our very own Rik Wolters.

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My Top Five Albums of 2012

by Sacre Noir - 31 December 2012

Sacre Noir reveal their favourite five albums of 2012.

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My Top Five Albums of 2012

by John Griffiths - 30 December 2012

John Griffiths, of the Gigantic Leaves, reveals his favourite five albums of 2012.

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Review: The Creeping Ivies - Stay Wild

by Rik Wolters - 11 December 2012

Rock & Roll meets punk as the Creeping Ivies deliver a storming debut.

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Review: Snide Rhythms - Snide Rhythms

by Rik Wolters - 12 November 2012

Post-punk meets electro on exciting debut from Edinburgh's Snide Rhythms.

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Review: Ste McCabe - Bad Kitty

by Rik Wolters - 14 October 2012

Ste McCabe is back (did he ever go away!?) with his cracking new third album, Bad Kitty.

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Bright Phoebus - Folk's Lost Classic

by Rik Wolters - 22 September 2012

This Month marks 40 years since Lal and Mike Waterson released the seminal folk classic 'Bright Phoebus', which later became known as the Sgt. Pepper of folk music.  But the album wasn't always considered the classic it is seen as today.
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Review: The Russian Apartments - Songs of Ambivalence & Experience

by Rik Wolters - 17 September 2012

The Russian Apartments, aka Michael Caulfield, hails from Keene, New Hampshire in the United States. The first EP, 'The Poster of Post-Positive Thinking' was released at the end of 2009. Since then he has gone on to release EPs at sporadic intervals.
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Review: Golden Fable - Star Map

by Rik Wolters - 16 September 2012

Golden Fable are Tim McIver and Rebecca Palin, who were previously part of The Sound Project favourites, Tim and Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band.
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Review: Tied to the Mast - Let's Levitate

by Rik Wolters - 15 September 2012

Tied to the Mast are an exciting new alternative rock band from Horsham, in England, who have been on the go for a couple of years now. Let's Levitate is their debut studio album.
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Review: Lonely Tourist - I Live Where You Arec

by Rik Wolters - 20 June 2012

Lonely Tourist is former Odeon Beatclub singer and guitarist Paul Tierney, who has been trading under his current moniker since the band's demise late in 2009. Since then he has relocated to Bristol and has just released his second album, 'I Live Where You Are'.
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Review: Koshari - Light in Dark Places

by Rik Wolters - 13 June 2012

Koshari are a four-piece alternative rock band from Washington DC who have just released their third album 'Light in Dark Places'.
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Review: Warren McIntyre & The Starry Skies - Ask the Animals

by Rik Wolters - 11 June 2012

"Ask the Animals' is the debut album from Warren McIntyre & the Starry Skies.
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Review: Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar

by Rik Wolters - 10 June 2012

It's been 27 years since Dexy's Midnight Runners last album, 'Don't Stand Me Down', hit the shelves. In that time the enigmatic frontman Kevin Rowland has spent years in social isolation, endured an addiction to cocaine and launched a less than successful solo career. The latter saw him briefly flirt with transvestism on the highly under-rated 'My Beauty' album.
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Review: The Creeping Ivies - Ghost Train EP

by Rik Wolters - 01 June 2012

The Creeping Ivies are a two-piece garage punk band who hail from Dundee, in Scotland. According to the band's website, 'Becca Bomb sings and grinds the guitar' and 'Duncan Destruction beats the hell out of the pans'. All this is very evident in the band's new EP 'Ghost Train' - follow-up to last year's debut 'Rock N Roll Party EP'.
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Spread New Music - Tell All Your Friends

by Matthew Slater - 25th May 2012

How do you hear about new music?  Mass media such as TV, radio and newspapers are all narrow fields and all three will only promote music that there is a return on.  If something is niche or for a very particular market, there will be a good chance they might not ever get promoted using any of these three.  You can hear adverts for music on any of them, but unless the music grabs you it’s even less attention grabbing than a bright poster in the street.
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Break In The Chain - How The Labels Lost Their Way

by Matthew Slater - 15th May 2012

Everybody has heard the same tired excuses radiating from the major labels for a while now. Piracy is bad, it’s killing music, no-one buys music anymore. The difference is, that this wasn’t just the proliferation of Napster, torrents and other sharing on the net. It happened decades with decisions that they allowed to happen.
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Review: Roy Moller & Sporting Hero - The Singing's Getting Better

by Rik Wolters - 30 April 2012

Edinburgh-born singer songwriter Roy Moller returns with a heartfelt third album, this time a collaboration with Northern Irishman Sporting Hero.
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Introducing... Seafield Foxes

by Rik Wolters - 23 April 2012

The Seafield Foxes are a female garage punk band from Edinburgh. Their roots can be traced back to 2008, when singer Lizzie and guitarist Susie first started jamming together at Susie's house. Their early sound was more akin to folk than their now trademark garagy punk sound.
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Introducing... House Party Massacre

by Rik Wolters - 22 April 2012

House Party Massacre are an alternative/punk five-piece from London, who have been creating a bit of a stir since forming back in 2009.
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Introducing... Dot Dash

by Rik Wolters - 22 April 2012

Dot Dash are a post-punk pop four-piece from Washington DC whose sound lies somewhere between The Clash and The Jam with hints of Pavement and new wave.
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Record Store Day 2012 - Highlights

by Rik Wolters - 20 April 2012

Since its launch back in 2008, Record Store Day has become a permanent fixture in the lives of those who frequent their local independent record shop.
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Review: Evans the Death - Evans the Death

by Rik Wolters - 20 April 2012

Evans the Death are a five-piece from London who have burst on to the indie-pop scene over the past couple of years. It didn't take long before they signed to indie label Fortuna POP!
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Obituary: Levon Helm 1940 - 2012

by Rik Wolters - 19 April 2012

Mark Lavon Helm was born in Marvell, Arkansas, and grew up in the tiny hamlet of Turkey Scratch, west of Helena. The son of cotton farmers, Helm was brought up in a family that encouraged singing in the home.
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The Science Behind Nostalgia

by Matthew Slater - 15th April 2012

So I was reading an article the other day that was discussing the very nature of growing old - how we develop new tastes and generally start to slow our lives down, and one thing stuck out as being a looming obstacle I’ll have to face in future.  Lower amounts of dopamine being released into my brain.  Scary huh – but would does it all mean?  Read on.
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Review: The Cathode Ray - The Cathode Ray

by Rik Wolters - 28 March 2012

Six years in the making, The Cathode Ray's eponymously-titled debut album has been well worth the wait.
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Natural Musician vs Taught Musicians

by Matthew Slater - 26th March 2012

How many times has it been said?  That natural talent, raw and full of feeling, that artist devoid of a musical education whose music defies expectation – they must have a great amount of inner music bursting to get out.  It’s almost as if we make the claim that a musical education, and a background in theory, is to the most part a detriment to a musician.  We’re of the belief that music is like some sort of Jedi mind trick - that there are those of us who are musical, and those of those us who aren’t.  That can’t be right.
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Review: The Wedding Present - Valentina

by Rik Wolters - 19 March 2012

I have to admit to being rather underwhelmed at the Wedding Present's last long-player, 'El Rey', when it came out back in 2008.  The album seemed more of a stagnation by the band rather than a further development of their sound.
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Widening Genres – Consider Your Clique

by Matthew Slater - 5th March 2012

I’m not too long out of university that I don’t still consider myself to fit into a clique, or a social group or whatever.  I fit in with what we’d call moshers – we’d generally be into rock music and its subgenres and wear jeans, skate brands and feel put upon.  It was us against the neds (who called themselves gadges) who generally listened to happy hardcore, Oasis and wore Fred Perry and Timbies.  For you it may be you’re a punk, goth, emo, metal head, hippie or what not – but what I’m talking about is more than the mods versus the rockers.
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Lose Yourself in the Music

by Matthew Slater - 23rd February 2012

Once upon a time, in a land far away – gentlemen would ask young ladies if they’d like to dance. She would blush, secretly enamoured that she had been asked, and the two would dance and waltz and foxtrot the night away to a soothing string quartet. Fast forward to today, and she’s more likely to get dry humped in a club to a David Guetta remix. Times sure have changed for the worse – or so it seems.
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Musical Accents

by Matthew Slater - 15th February 2012

A friend of mine recently remarked to me that he liked this recent trend in the music world.  The idea of singing in your accent, he said, gave the artist a greater sense of identity and made them easier to relate to – especially if you can hear that they're local, or come from a similar background to you.  My argument was that there is a standard way of singing, a proper way to enunciate your words and that they've generally been stuck to so far for intelligibility and accessibility for the wider audience.  It hasn't done any artists of old any harm after all.  Could there be something in singing in your accent?
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Dancing Around Architecture – Music Reviews Examined

by Matthew Slater - 8th February 2012

I've been writing music reviews for a while.  Pulling apart tracks and albums, pointing out strengths and weaknesses and awarding it a mark out of ten.  It's absurd.  How can we tell apart something as creative as music, or any of the arts for that matter?  Whether it's film, art, fashion, design or music itself, it's all subjective.  It's the opinion of the reviewer, it's getting inside the mind of the critic.  For that reason, it's all rubbish.
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Alternative Sounds – The Spoken Word Record

by Matthew Slater - 1st February 2012

I'd like you to take a little time out of your day to consider something a little different. It's not some new up and coming artist, or a shiny, complex musical gadget – it's an old way of presenting your work that's fallen out of fashion. The spoken word record. I believe that this format, medium, storytelling device – whatever we call it – has the potential to usher in a new wave of artists, a new wave of music.
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Influence vs Imitation

by Matthew Slater - 25th January 2012

What's the difference between influencing someone and imitating someone? An influence is when you can see a link, a strand if you will, between two artists. Imitation is when it's a clear rip-off of another act with no added value whatsoever.
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Review: Introducing... Beat Ratio

by Rik Wolters - 24 January 2012

Beat Ratio hails from London and makes lo-fi electronic pop music.
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Is Censorship A Necessary Evil?

by Matthew Slater - 18th January 2012

I’m willing to bet that you’ve all procrastinated and said a naughty word. Sometimes it’s the most appropriate way to describe something and nothing else feels ‘right’. If that one naughty word was bleeped out of your song how would you feel? It got on TV and radio so it’s not all bad, but is artistic integrity worth selling out for?
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The Power of the Pen: Lal Waterson's Reply to Joe Haines

by Rik Wolters - 24 November 2011

Lal Waterson was so incensed by the Daily Mirror's decision to print an article attacking Freddie Mercury's HIV status that she wrote a song that was to be a direct response to the piece.
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Introducing...Howard James Kenny

by Rik Wolters - 01 November 2011

Earlier this year Worcestershire's Howard James Kenny released his debut album 'Shelter Songs'.
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Featured Band - There Will Be Fireworks

by Rik Wolters - 15 October 2011

Glasgow's There Will Be Fireworks were formed in 2007. They're currently a four piece, although other members seem to drop in and out of the band on a regular basis.
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Obituary: Bert Jansch 1943 - 2011

by Rik Wolters - 05 October 2011

Herbert Jansch was born in Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow on 3 November 1943. His family were of German descent, relocating from Hamburg during the Victorian era.
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Review: Half Man Half Biscuit - 90 Bisodol (Crimond)

by Rik Wolters - 25 September 2011

This is their twelfth album of 27 year career, which included a four year hiatus, and they're sounding as good as ever.
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