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The IndieBendent favourite Lonely Tourist returns with a much anticipated second album after receiving the title of The IndieBendent No.1 album of 2011 and as expected fails to disappoint. The album arrived through my letter a few weeks ago and I knew I’d be in for a treat.

An album with an interesting raw edge, which allows Paul’s heavily accented vocal to shine.  The opening track is the title track and latest free single download recently released ‘I Live Where You Are’ opens in an enjoyable up tempo number and following in fine style just like his debut album Sir I’m A Good Man.  The track that follows ‘A Lonely Tourist’ continues in the more upbeat theme from the previous track. With the artists name checked in the song title, I expected this one to be about the fact has ventured south and is out of place and doesn’t quite fit in away from his Scottish routes. Instead it seems a tale is told of the woes of growing up how the chances and opportunities the youth of today are given.  The stand out track of the album for me is ‘Jesus, The Don and The Dee’ the vocal effects on this track showing off Paul’s dulcet tones.  Another of the tracks off a very strong second album is ‘Rattling Around’ another of Lonely Tourist’s up tempos tracks. This song’s lyrics and melody are right up there with the Scott Hutchison’s and Louis Abbott’s of the world. The bouncy chord pattern coupled with the Glaswegians lyrics would make for a great soundtrack to accompany a bouncing Glasgow crowd in the city’s famous Barrowlands.

The album closes with a slower stripped back number in ‘Found Out’ which calms things everything down and allows Paul’s vocal to shine through for the final time before instrumental track ‘Viking Jazz’ finishes off another impressive album from the one time Odeon Beatclub front man.

It’s no big secret that I’m a massive fan of Lonely Tourist and I’m still reeling from the fact I never made a bigger effort to catch him at Rockness.  With Paul based down in Bristol, Glasgow Appearances are few and far between hopefully he’ll be back up the road soon and I’ll finally see the man in action

 

 

Evening again!

We were going to do a podcast reviewing our live performances of the year. I went to edit it and it was terrible and not fit to be put out. So here is the list of our live performances of 2011 in no particular order.

BEN :This Silent Forest EP launch w/ Matt Norris and The Moon and James Mackenzie and The Aquascene at Nice and Sleazies

BEN: Mike Nisbet supporting Witherhand at The Captains Rest

NEIL: We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The ABC

BEN: Twin Atlantic at o2 Academy

BEN: Dykeenies w/ Jamie Keenan, Graeme’s Minxy Tigers, The Fear, Mechanical Smile at Bakers Kilmarnock

BEN and NEIL: Vukovi EP launch w/ Wecamefromwolves and The Skippy Dyes at Nice and Sleazies

BEN: O’Messy Life supporting Withered Hand at The Captains Rest

NEIL: Crow Road w/ The Seventeenth Century, Endor and Kith and Kin at King Tuts

NEIL Skippy Dyes at the Vukovi EP launch at Nice and Sleazies

NEIL The Smiths Indeed at King Tuts

Evening

Another List from The Indiebendent. This time it is the best songs of 2011. I decided that after doing the albums I didn’t do Scottish unsigned and up and coming music justice. This is a list of the ten tracks that weren’t released on albums in 2011.

 

10. Make Sparks – Your Heart Is On Fire

The previous single from Make Sparks, I’ve enjoyed this band since I heard them on a very early Glasgow Podcart  Episode. Check them out here.

http://makesparksband.bandcamp.com/album/your-hearts-on-fire

 

9. O’Messy Life – Escape Velocity

Sunderland band O’Messy Life impressed me at The Captains Rest a few months ago supporting Withered Hand. This is their latest single which you can download here

http://tinylights.bandcamp.com/album/escape-velocity-single

8. Midnight Lion  – All Greatness Stands Firm

An Electro indie duo which is something I have acquired in taste of the year.

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/all-greatness-stands-firm/id435805528

 

7. Discopolis – Lofty Ambitions

Like Midnight lion an Electro indie outfit, nice chilled out music and something you could pop some shapes to on the dancefloor

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lofty-ambitions-single/id451461370#

 

6.Kitty The Lion – Catalytic Converter

One of three tracks off Kitty The Lions new single Slipped Disc #1. I originally heard this track on a podcast and then I think it was on The Hour on STV. Catchy as ever from Anna and band, new album is due out in the summer which I’m thoroughly looking forward to.

http://kittythelionmerch.bigcartel.com/product/slipped-disc-1

5. Frightened Rabbit – Scottish Winds

This Frabbits track was showcased at Rockness in the BBC alba studies. By all accounts penned on a train journey on a iphone notepad. Frightened Rabbit never disappoint me. Hopefully a new release will be out in the 1st quarter of the year! Go here and you can get the single for free!

http://frightenedrabbit.com/

4. We See Lights – I Hope You Like The Smiths

This was a free download from WSL, on the Twee Loves Pop EP a taster of what was to come from the Edinburgh band. Mention of The Smiths was enough to pull me in.

http://weseelights.bandcamp.com/album/twee-love-pop

3.Vukovi – Try Before You Buy (Use Your Sex)

This track has a great video to accompany the main track off their very first release. A band going in the right direction and I hope to see bigger and better things happen in 2012

2. Cancel The Astronauts – Seven Vices

A very catchy indie track from Cancel The Astronauts, A very funny press pack aswell. Alternative/indie music is my favourite type and this fits right into that pigeon hole for me!

http://canceltheastronauts.bandcamp.com/album/seven-vices

1.This Silent Forest – The Fight

Very Frightened Rabbit-esque, incredible live both tracks I have heard recorded this year from TSF have impressed but this one takes the crown as The Indiebendent’s Track of 2011

http://thissilentforest.bandcamp.com/album/the-fight-single

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Night was the 1st of two consecutive gig nights for me.  I headed along to Bakers Night Club in Kilmarnock to catch The Dykeenies headline acoustic slot supported by Jamie Keenan, Mechanical Smile, The Fear and Graeme’s Minxy Tigers.  Normally these gigs are hosted in Dirty Martinis/Jollys by David Hanvey but due to a power outage at Jollys, Bakers kindly stepped in and helped out with a venue for the rescheduled gig.

Opening the gig was The Lafontaines drummer Jamie Keenan from Wishaw. Starting his set in fine style with a parody of Ye Cannae Shove Yer Grannie Off A Bus. The song was A Cannae Get Ma Grannie Aff The Drugs telling of tales of Grannies on poppers, pills, acid and ching! A funny tune and a great way to catch the attention of the early gig goers who were already getting through the drinks menu in the Killie nightclub. Some of good tracks included one telling the story of a hard man from Bridgeton and a love song Jamie sang to his ex-girlfriend. The set ended with Jamie’s own version of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s Moon Rising which my pal Kev tells me is a very good cover as I wasn’t really familiar with the track.  Usually drummers are one for the backgrounds of bands but I hope Jamie comes to the forefront and brings out his solo material in some sort of download/cd release in 2012.

Next up were Kilmarnock’s own two boy two girl rock band Mechanical Smile.  I didn’t really catch any of the song titles apart from one which was Leap Of Faith and the all the tracks played the one I enjoyed the most. For me there was something missing from the set.  Perhaps the image I had in my head about Mechanical Smile just didn’t marry up to an acoustic performance.  Having done a bit of research before I wrote this review it’s clear the big sounds of drums and the rock riffs are what the Kilmarnock outfit are really all about.

Following Mechanical Smile were Saltcoats band The Fear I had seen half a set once before at Taylors in Kilwinning so I was looking forward to catching them for a full set. They opened with Counting on Time and following on with Sixty Days a song about the school holidays. Other tracks included Full Time Working and ending the set with a personal favourite of mine in Tombstone, theres a great video that accompanies this song I would definitely recommend having a look at. As it was an acoustic set usual drummer Lewis Renfrew was absent and was replaced with a cool looking older gent playing the bodrin as well as celloist Lise Noble. A different spin to the usual shout a loud set from lead singer Pat Quinn and The Fear boys.  The Fear are a band who are slowly working their way up the musical ladder and will be playing alongside The Micky 9’s at Kings on Xmas Eve. If you like your music with anger and bit of venom in similar vein to Glasvegas then I wouldn’t look any further than The Fear.  I look forward to catching them again in amongst their own crowd with the proper live setup they are accustomed to. Not taking anything away from the set on Thursday on that showing I’ll definitely be at an up and coming gig in 2012.

The final support act of the evening was Graeme’s Minksy Tigers. A contrasting duo took to the stage and began to perform a mixture of tracks on the acoustic guitar. Graeme’s voice was very unique and incredibly impressive with that. A wide vocal range was on show as he sang  his way through the set. A voice which wouldn’t look out  of place in a Texan rock band, kudos also has to go to the superfan in the crowd who cheered them on with every song. A cover of Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks was a particular stand out performed in a completely different style to the Californian indie pop trio.

It was now time for the headline act Cumbernauld’s The Dykeenies. Playing their indie pop tunes simply with one keyboard and two guitars The Dykeenies were able to really show off their talents to the busy Kilmarnock venue.  Opening with Sounds Of The City and following on with old favourite Pick You Up. They are band who at one time have had everyone talking about them stepping out the spotlight for a couple of years and now returning with the new album Canyon Of Echoes. It’s evident they have matured as a band as they play through Awake and Square Balloons.  It’s always good to see people in the crowd singing along and up until now I had truly underestimated The Dykeenies as a band. In keeping with the acts that had gone before a cover of Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory was performed which I actually really enjoyed. The set ended with their biggest hit Clear Up Your Eyes and it was good to see both the crowd and band had really enjoyed the night.

 A great night once again put on by promoter David Hanvey. Look out for his Battle Of The Bands competition to win a place on the bill at his Jolly’s Winterfest Festival in February. Three nights of music not to be missed in Kilmarnock.

Evening readers!

It’s nearly the end of the year so its time for the very 1st Indiebendent Albums of the year blog post.  I’ve been mulling over this for a couple of days and have finally came to a decision of what albums to pick and what defines an Album. I’ve decided that anything with 6 tracks or more is an album and could be considered for the list.

No. 10 Pensioner – Yearlings

A band that were completely new to me in 2011 and a band for most of the year I completely ignored.  Stumbling across the track Enter Shakira (yes you read it correctly, I did the same double take) I decided to investigate a bit further and really liked what the Dundee outfit had to offer

 No.9 Song of Return – No Limits

Usually not an electro fan but this is one of the few exceptions.  Made up of some members of Union of Knives as well as Admiral Fallow’s Louis Abbott, this is a great album to listen to when you’re driving about on a sunny day

 No. 8 Zoey Van Goey – Propeller Versus Wings

The second album from ZVG, more quirky little pop songs from the three piece. They write some of the oddest yet funniest lyrics around at the moment. Thoroughly recommend getting this and their first album!

 No.7 Aaron Wright –Aaron Wright

Formerly Aaron Wright and the Aprils, Aaron is an acoustic singer songwriter who I heard on another podcast at the beginning of the year.  Happy sounding acoustic pop tunes always cheer me up

 No. 6 Otherpeople – Memory Gag

A great debate was had whether this was an ablum or an EP but with 7 tracks I’m classing it as an album. Stand out track Bored of Acoustic Guitars was enough to make it into the top ten

No.5 Mike Nisbet – Vagrant

I caught Mike live supporting Withered Hand at The Captains Rest and really enjoyed the set. The stand out track was actually from his previous EP Coffee and Cigarettes but only listening to his debut album I was just as impressed

No. 4 The Birthday Suit – The Eleventh Hour

Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones is back with a new side project in the shape of the birthday suit. This time with a female vocalist, Jones has mixed the heavier sounds of Idlewild with some softer folky tunes.

No. 3 We Were Promised Jetpacks – In The Pit of The Stomach

Bands often find that making the second album is almost as hard as the first. WWPJ 1st album was so good it made that challenge even harder. But low and behold WWPJ delivered with this second release a much faster paced album and a lot less darker than the first one.  A full review can be found at the link below

No.2 Twin Atlantic – Free

The poster boys of Scottish Rock released their first full length album and boy was it a great one. One of the few albums this year I can play right through from start to finish made it worthy of the top ten slot.

No. 1 Lonely Tourist – Sir I’m A Good Man

Lonely Tourist is a Scot plying his trade down south at the moment. He writes catchy acoustic tunes. Sir I’m A Good Man is another album I’ll happily listen from beginning to end. Which gives it the top spot on The IndieBendent Top 10 Albums of 2011.

Watch out for the Top 10 Tracks of 2011 and podcasts with the top 10 gigs and the 10 ones to watch in 2012 in the coming weeks.

 

Tonight saw me venture up to Glasgow to catch Twin Atlantic live at the o2 Academy.  O2 Academy is a venue that I’ve only ever been to once before to see The Courteeners many years ago.  The unsigned gigs in the smaller venues of Glasgow have kept me away from the places like the Academy or the warehouse that is the SECC for quite some time. I made my return tonight to see Twin Atlantic a band who have been going from strength to strength. Having played all the major festivals this summer, supported Biffy, The Smashing Pumpkins and Blink 182 over the years and Twin have got everyone talking about them in 2011.

 Having checked out the support act Arcane Roots beforehand they weren’t to my taste so I decided to head to the gig a bit later than I normally would. We arrived at the venue just in time for Dinosaur Pile Up taking to the stage.  We were up in the bar whilst the band played taking full advantage of the in bar speaker system and TVs’ transmitting pictures coming from the stage. The lighting made it hard to even make out the band onstage and the vocal didn’t fill me with great joy so we continued to talk amongst ourselves. Just before 9 we decided to head down to the standing area to get ourselves in place for Twin to come on stage.

 Just after 9 the crowd started to champ what seems to be the Scottish Gig goers national anthem “Here we, Here we, Here we f**king go”. The crowd got louder and a flash to the lightning desk was given and the lights dimmed and Barry McKenna was the first to appear and open the show with a solo introduction of the instrumental track Serious Underground Dance Vibes each member joined in turn and the main man Sam McTrusty appeared and lapped up every moment from the fans before him and quite rightly so. The band opened up with their first full vocal track Make a Beast Of Yourself and the fans rushed for the stage.  As they played through the tracks from their album Free the crowd just seemed to get more and more into the set.  Twin returned to some of their older material with What Is Light, Where Is Laughter.  Apocalyptic Renegade, Edit Me, and We Want Better Man followed from the new album and the crowd sang along with every word.  The next song on their 18 track main setlist was Human After All a track I wasn’t familiar with but it wasn’t going to disappoint.  Lead singer Sam who was completely in his element decided it was time to get in amongst the crowd. McTrusty climbed the front left speaker and saluted the Academy crowd before, in true rock and roll fashion dived into the Glasgow crowd.  Always a bold move for anyone to pull off but thankfully for Sam he returned to the stage unscathed. Lightspeed was the next track of the night before an interlude  of Serious Underground Dance Vibes before the set  calmed down to allow the crowd to catch their breath. 

 The lights went down once again and Sam returned to stage himself with an acoustic guitar and performed The Pixies track Where Is My Mind before seamlessly playing Crash Land without a pause. The rest of the band came back on stage and performed early fan favourite Your Turning into John Wayne  and ending the set with  an extra bonus for the Glasgow faithful in debut track Audience and Audio for all the fans who have been with them since the very beginning.

 The band left the stage and the crowd chanted for “One more tune” and not to disappoint they came out and  performed my favourite track Yes I Was Drunk followed by Time For You To Stand Up. McTrusty took a moment to thank the Glasgow crowd and then savoured the final moments on stage before ending the set with album title track Free. As the track played out confetti shot out from the sides of the stage and the only thing I could fault Twin Atlantic for.  I’m not sure that stage diving and confetti should really be at the same concert.  I forgot about the cameraman who decided it would be cool to stand right in front of us holding a camera in the air taking long burst shots of the stage and block our view of the stage, as the show was being filmed for DVD release probably something to signify where the lads are at on their paths to music greatness.

 I was suitably impressed with the performance always having an air of pessimism when I go see a bigger band worrying they won’t live up to the recordings they have on offer. Twin did not disappoint.  From Craig Neale’s drumming to Barry McKenna’s intricate guitar playing, musically they were every bit as good as the album. Sam Mctrusty ties it all together as the perfect frontman for the Scots band.  2011 has been a big year for the Twin boys and 2012 is going to be one that’s even better for the poster boys of Scottish Rock!

Evening people!

Congratulations to Glasgow Podcart on their 100th podcast which was released today(7/12/11).  I have to say is one of best new music podcasts around.

I write this not to massage any egos, lick arse or congratulating them for the sake of being seen but to thank them for what they have done for me and the Scottish Music Scene. In early 2009 I first came across a young Scottish artist Tommy Reilly who happened to win the Orange Unsigned Act programme on Channel 4. Through the wonders of the internet and Tommy’s music I got to know about Jim Gellatly’s New Music and Vic Galloway’s Scotland Introducing podcasts. I listened to them for a couple of weeks and eventually I did a bit more digging into Scottish unsigned and upcoming music. One of the top searches on iTunes was Glasgow Podcart. I listened to my first podcast one late Thursday night probably around episode 40 and was introduced to some great new bands and artists. The music coupled by Halina, Sean and Ally’s banter always made for an entertaining hour in my ears. I remember one time listening to one of the back catalogue on the daily commute home from work on a late Scotrail train and I could not control my laughter, the tears streamed down my face in carriage full of commuters who stared curiously wanting to know about the hilarity. That’s just how funny the podcast was to me. I knew this was going to a great podcast and a must have download every week. 

A year or so down the line I began to really enjoy the music that was introduced to me on a weekly basis including Kid Canaveral, Julia and The Doogans and We See Lights to name a few.  Podcart’s panel changed over the next few months and the music choices seemed to go in a different direction as to what I enjoyed but nonetheless I still downloaded the podcast each week. That being said I began to give electro tunes much more of chance, Discopolis and Midnight Lion being two fine examples of that.

 In January 2011 I started my own site and podcast The Indiebendent, one of the very few new music sites based in Ayrshire. I really found my love for music by doing this and only 6 podcasts in continue to enjoy my tiny involvement in the Scottish Music Scene and continue to build the site more and more.  In August 2011 I joined local community radio station 105.7 Irvine Beat FM in Ayrshire and presented The Indiebendent Show over a 2 hour slot on the station during their 28 day license.  During this time I found a new hobby in radio presenting and production. The station have began applications for a 5 year full time license and I have been invited onto the Board of Directors as The Head of Multimedia Development.

Your probably thinking that last paragraph is all about me and has nothing to do with Glasgow Podcart but at this opportunity I would like to take this time to thank the team at Glasgow Podcart for properly opening my eyes to new music in Scotland and showing me that it wasn’t just people working for the BBC or Clyde that could do this sort of thing.  Getting involved in new music in Scotland has already opened some great doors and opportunities for me and hopefully many more. If wasn’t for Glasgow Podcart, Jim Gellatly and Vic Galloway. I’d still just interested in football and xbox and do nothing of notable interest in my life.

They’re a great bunch of people who I hold in high regard. They may not like Paolo Nutini or the View but I still love them. Special mention has to go to Sean McCann for  helping myself and Neil out at the beginning of The IndieBendent when mixing disks and sound cards were all new to me.

 

Keep up the good work guys and here’s to another 100 more!

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