Category: Elba Annual

Elba Annual 2013 – Gerry Loves Records

downloadThe third installment in this year’s Elba Annual comes courtesy of Andy from Gerry Loves Records. Gerry Loves seem to have the knack of taking money from muso’s by continually releasing good music and nice looking products, and have in the last year have put out EP’s and singles from Adam Stafford, Over the Wall, John Knox Sex Club and our personal favourite, Book Group.

This is also now the second annual post in a row whereby the interviewee has chosen an absolute doozler of a track of the year that I hadn’t heard before. We also got a fairly extensive ‘Albums of the year’ list.

Enjoy y’all.

Album of the year

There’s no way I could pick one. Here’s my top 10 in no particular order:

Indians – Somewhere Else
Hookworms – Pearl Mystic
Swearin’ – Surfing Strange
Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt
Jon Hopkins – Immunity
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
Golden Grrrls – Golden Grrrls
Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
Low – The Invisible Way
The Pastels – Slow Summits

I also loved records by people I know, so I left them out of the above:

Adam Stafford – Invisible Walls Collapse
Rick Redbeard – No Selfish Heart
Conquering Animal Sound
eagleowl – this silent year
RM Hubbert – Breaks and Bone
The Yawns – The Yawns
Burnt Ones – You’ll Never Walk Alone

Song of the year

Courtney Barnett – “Avant Gardener”

I’m obsessed.

Best gig you put on

Best gig we put on was John Knox Sex Club + Over the Wall + Book Group at Stereo in October. By far the biggest show we’ve ever done and the reaction was incredible. All the bands were on top form too.

Phillip PAWS trying to remember the words to Taylor Swift at his solo show in Edinburgh was also a highlight for me.

Best gig you saw

My memory is terrible and unlike records I don’t have gigs lying around to remind me. So I’ll go with Indians in a church in Austin, TX in March at SXSW. I’d been in love with their (his) record since it came out. We ended up seeing them twice that day. The first time was in the car park of a shop in north Austin in the sweltering afternoon heat, and they were great then too. But that evening in the Presbyterian Church was amazing. The building and hushed atmosphere really worked with the music. Big and echoey and solemn but not downbeat. They only played for about half an hour too, which just made me want more.

Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2013?

It’s been a really good year, I think. Lots of good, odd electronic stuff came out this year. Lots of big bands came out with new albums that for some reason I wasn’t that interested in: Kanye, The National, Nick Cave, Arcade Fire and more.

I wish people would try and remember what they were like at 20, and what that would have been twisted to look like if they were in the public eye.

There seems to have been less good mainstream pop this year (Roar and some Dev Hynes stuff being the exceptions).

What does 2014 have in store for you?

We’ve got a few releases in the pipeline, including an album, but who knows. If our previous experience is anything to go by though, some of that won’t happen and some new things will come along. We’ve also got some shows planned further afield. Nothing we can confirm yet though!

Fill a loved ones stocking over at the Gerry Loves online store!

Elba Annual 2013 – Chris T-T

Our second Elba annual post of 2013 comes from one of my favourite songwriters and live performers, Brighton-based Chris T-T. Having released new album, ‘The Bear‘ with his band The Hoodrats, in October, Chris is currently embarking on a solo tour. He’ll be stopping off at Pivo in Edinburgh tomorrow night (11th Dec) and then Glasgow on Thursday (12th) where he’ll play The Roxy (TICKETS). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you try and catch one of these shows. Always engaging, often amusing, at times emotional, these are my favourite type of shows.

One of the good things about these annual posts are that you often discover something that you’ve never heard before, so I’m very grateful to Chris for sharing his track of the year. It’s a beauty.

Album of The Year

Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse

I listened to it over and over and over. I love the addition of big budget production (and crucially, studio time) to Scott’s extraordinary songs and a band becoming used to being a band. There were strong challenges through the year and if you’d asked me in summer, 2-3 other things might’ve been ahead at that point but as the autumn got colder, the Rabbit just kept going. In the end nothing toppled them off my favourite album plinth. The show I saw at Brighton Concorde, which isn’t a great venue for a subtle, layered band, was in my top 10 gigs of the year as well.

Song of the Year

She’s a close friend and I sang a bit of backing vocals on this – but still my favourite song of 2013 was Gill Sandell’s 6 minute quiet apocalypse masterpiece ‘Distance‘ from her 2nd solo album ‘Light The Boats’. I’ve not heard anyone take this quiet end of folk music and make it so dark and expansive without losing intimacy. Like that huge John Murry song but looking hopelessly outwards instead of self-indulgently inwards – I can’t think of anyone else in the folk world who could’ve done it. ‘Distance’ feels like a whole Hayao Miyazaki film in one song. Rifa and me were driving around west Cornwall in a rainstorm when we first listened properly, loud in the car, it was devastating.

Best gig you played

I’d started off 2013 not gigging – was my longest gap off tour for 10 years in the end. So most of my 2013 gigs are recent and it’s hard to pick. Twice this year I got the chance to play with an orchestra, which I’ve never done before, so probably my favourite gig wasn’t a T-T show but being part of the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra (pianist), accompanying Jim Bob at Bush Hall, in November. The orchestral enhanced version of ‘Tall Woman’ in a pub called The Boogaloo in north-west London was also transcendent. In late summer I had a wonderful evening at Uncivilisation Festival, which was entirely unplugged, in front of a roaring fire in a cabin in the woods, in pouring rain. But again, it wasn’t so much my set (although that was really fun) as the other acts, because I curated the evening and it went down a storm. A few of the support shows with Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo were magic, especially towards the end of that tour, and I just had a beautiful intimate show in Ipswich at The SoapBox House that I really enjoyed.

Best gig you saw

Easy. John Parish Band doing their film soundtrack show (mostly instrumental pieces, only two songs with words), except the gig I saw didn’t have the film clips projected, so in theory it wouldn’t have been as good. Yet in fact, it just meant there was nothing to distract attention from the live band doing their thing. In my opinion Parish is one of the greatest living composers, just happens to work with rock instrumentation: breathtakingly imaginative, incredibly atmospheric yet the (mostly Italian) band rocked like bastards and there were some stretched out groove moments that put shame to LCD Soundsystem or krautrock legends.

Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2013?

I’m struggling with self-belief issues worse than ever at the moment, ironic given how proud I am of The Bear. I thought we made a proper great-with-a-capital-G record and loads of people seemed to love it and it’s getting tons of radio, yet instead of focusing on these positives and opportunities, I obsess over bullshit little setbacks. I want to be ‘better known’ without being mainstream famous, but at the same time I feel guilty for that desire. Stinks, right? There’s nothing more boring than a performing artist on the cusp of bitterness! Need to appreciate it more over the next few months.

What does 2014 have in store for you?

Second single in January, just shot an intense video for it, plus lots of gigs this side of summer (especially outside the UK) and hopefully recording some new music quickly, to keep the spirit of the band going. Then festivals and then I’ll take stock in autumn, figure out what’s next.

Elba Annual 2013 – Jo Mango

This December, this very day, we bring you the return of the Elba Annual! For this first annual post of 2013, we were very lucky to get some insight from Jo Mango. Jo’s career is something of wonder consisting of a great collection of material alongside regular collaboration work, including a recurring presence in the band of modern folk heroine Vashti Bunyan. Her beautiful EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is released today on Olive Grove Records and we featured the title track on our most recent mixtape. I recommend this EP most highly. It has a storytelling quality that immerses you completely in the song; the vocals, lyrics, scoring and production all contribute to this. It’s a succinct little listen that is as close to perfection as you can get. Jo’s account of 2013, much like her songwriting, is very compelling. There’s also a little bit of news regarding what’s to come in 2014. Did I say little? I meant huge. A huge bit of news!

jo_edit2

Album of the Year

White Lighter – Typhoon.

I’m probably doing that classic thing here that big groups of people voting on best albums of the year always do, which is picking the most recent! But I think I’m mostly picking this album because of the experience that went along with it. Sometimes, as the years go by, you begin to feel like the magic and the energy of really being a crazy fight-to-the-death spend-your-last-pound suffer-the-post-gig-blues-for-a-month fan of music can wane a wee bit. Or it seems like it was a long time since you last heard an album that spun you round with how much you’d never heard anything like it before. So when you have a special moment with an album, it becomes a bit more precious. I really love the songwriting of Typhoon. I listened over and over again to their previous EPs etc. (the lyric writing in a song like “Sickness Unto Death is just amazing). So I was really waiting for their new album to come out. When it did, I made myself wait, like a little kid, until the CD from their Bandcamp arrived through the post from America. The day that it did, I took a really long bus journey with my headphones on and listened to it through twice on my headphones, in my own little world. It was like drinking a long cold drink just to sit and listen. I’ll admit I hadn’t done that in a long time. And the sun was a low winter sun that made wonderful patterns on the windows as a tiny moth walked back and forth across it while I listened. I nodded my head as they sang: “I will try to hold it, I will try to keep the moment, like a photograph of the sunset, like a little kid with a bug net, like a dying man, I swear.”

Song of the Year

Frightened Rabbit – Nitrous Gas

I really hate picking favourite songs. Eeek. I think it’s just impossible. There are too many of them! And they all serve a different purpose for a different time in your life, don’t they? However, if I have to choose, then I thought I should probably choose a song that compelled me to put it on repeat, that I could listen to tens of times in a row and still enjoy. Well… I use the word ‘enjoy’ loosely! Because this is such a sad sad song. But there’s something just so compelling about ‘Nitrous Gas’ by Frightened Rabbit. Those low voices, and the vocal harmonies are beautiful. The chord choices are perfect. It’s transfixing.

Best Gig You Played

Oh, the best gig has to be one of the shows we did in Japan. The engagement of the crowds with the music on that tour was extraordinary – it was such active listening that it felt like the music was being pulled from us. All the shows were brilliant, especially the night we played for Pastel Records in Osaka and one at the gorgeous Hi Fi Cafe in Kyoto (where Paul Buchanan was playing on the stereo when we first visited). But I think the stand-out show was out in the countryside in Ukiha – a really small town surrounded by fruit tree orchards and rice fields. Water/Wood Records and the band AutumnLeaf along with their family and friends put on the show, which was held in an old Japanese Medicine Museum. Apart from the giant bugs that fell from the wooden ceiling onto the stage while we performed (it was so quiet that you could REALLY hear a bug drop… ugh!), it was a perfect night. After the show we all sat down to a massive plate of sushi and fried lotus root, and communicated somehow in broken English/Japanese and laughed through the early hours. We slept on the floor in a hundred year old Japanese house with wood carved screen panels, Shinto shrines in the corner, and no bath (because we use the hot springs from the mountains). Altogether beautiful really!

Best Gig You Saw

I really did NOT go to enough gigs this year. But stand out shows have to be the set that Japanese band “Alps” (maarupus) did at our Kyoto show. Their music is so unbelievably delicate and quiet, and they have no idea how talented they are! I tried to record them on video on my iPhone, but you can’t hear them, because they were too quiet even for the microphone to pick up! The other one that sticks out in my mind was a two-piece version of Prehistoric Friends, with Casio keyboard and Viola. What a genius combination that is. And the show (at the Old Hairdressers) was for a homelessness charity too.

Any Musical Thoughts to share on the Year 2013

2013 was a year I tried to collaborate more, to let go and say yes to things, to give things a go. So I think the results of that when they come out in 2014 will be my vocals or contributions cropping up in lots of different places. I’m looking forward to that.

What does 2014 Have In Store for You

Ok… I’m going to say it out loud, put it out there, and therefore it has to be true. A NEW ALBUM!!! I really need to pull my socks up and get faster at writing albums. 6 years between albums is not acceptable! (Maybe playing in Vashti Bunyan’s band, something rubbed off on me, I don’t know). So we’ve got three songs at least ready to be recorded. And the ideas are coming. I’m thinking this album is going to be more of a pick-me-up. I need to write songs to cheer me (after listening to Nitrous Gas on repeat, obviously!!), so that’s what I’m aiming for. I also hear that Vashti is in the studio at the moment, so I’m hoping that she might have me back to play some shows with her if she takes that back out on the road in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy the EP (and potentially a remix album/EP too).

Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December with Call To Mind and Behold, the Old Bear. Tickets are available here.

Elba Annual 2011 – Mike Nisbet

This years final Elba Annual instalment comes in the form of Mike Nisbet. Mike released his album ‘Vagrant’ earlier this year and it was one of the few albums I heard this year which genuinely blew me away. I was sent a couple of his tracks in advance of the release and immediately I was smitten. We had Mike in to visit us at Elba soon after and recorded a podcast with him.

We were absolutely over the moon a few weeks ago when Mike’s album placed at number 3 in the annual Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Album of The Year poll.

We’ve added Mike’s Elba Session tracks at the end of the post for download. We hope you enjoy, we certainly have!

– Album of The Year

This is a close call but it has to be Gillian Welch – ‘The Harrow & The Harvest’

– Song of the Year

A song I still have firmly ingrained in my brain is ”Abbey Gallop”, by Washington Irving. It brings back a lot of great memories of being on tour with them. and the mighty Over The Wall, playing strange gigs.

– Best gig you played

Captains Rest, supporting Nathaniel Rateliff. Just one of those shows were it felt like everyone ‘got it’ we were on the same wavelength. (Also someone tweeted me after the show saying they loved it and they were sure someone behind them was getting fingered during my set, so it sticks in ones mind) -You don’t have to print that… Oh, but we will!

– Best gig you saw

Bon Iver, Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

– Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2011?

I’ve realized just how amazing and overflowing with great

music Glasgow really is. I only had to move away twice to see it. Some amazing albums from 2011

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

Tour, Write, Record, repeat. Maybe another record if things can be organised

Tracks from Elba Session, Recorded May 2011

(right click, save as)

Not Long.mp3
Sunday.mp3

Elba Annual 2011 – Thirty Pounds of Bone

Our penultimate annual post of 2011 comes from Johny Lamb aka Thirty Pounds of Bone. TPOB was lucky enough to be bestowed with the honour of releasing my favourite album of 2010 and whilst he’s not formally released anything this year, you should check out his Toad Session on the ever essential Song, By Toad website. Not only a great discussion but the tracks are great, in particular, The Maritime Line.

TPOB also feature on the ‘just-released’ Armellodie Records Sampler which is free and has some bloody good tracks on it.

So, let’s cut to the chase. Here is Johny’s annual contribution.

– Album of The Year

I thought initially that this would be very hard. But it isn’t. ‘Beautiful Ground’ by Something Beginning with L. There is not one blemish or flaw on that record. It remains on repeat in my car, indefinitely. That being said, I should definitely mention ‘Now Wash your Hands’ by the Great Park. It’s definitely his best so far, and the song ‘Red Barn, Black Barn, Tree’ is my current favourite song on earth.

– Song of the Year

Despite what I just said, I’m going for something else: Fee Reega’s cover of Daniel Johnston’s ‘Harley Man’ is the best song I’ve heard this year. Something about her voice and character makes me almost loose my mind when she plays it. I saw her play it in Berlin a few weeks ago. I couldn’t cope.

– Best gig you played

There’s two here. Firstly a show in London with Darren Hayman. His fans were unbelievable kind as an

audience. He was great too, as was Ralegh Long who played before me. I lost my shoes, but I woke up glad. I also played St Leonard’s church in Shoreditch with Robyn Hitchcock just the other day, and I can’t think of a time when I have enjoyed singing as much. I might only play churches from now on…. Besides, Robyn’s set was incredible. Jen from SBL said he was a ‘mountain of psychedelia’, a perfect description I would say. I also very much enjoyed Cafe Galeo in Stuttgart…. That’s three isn’t it? Sorry.

– Best gig you saw

Oh, too many good things to pick. A list perhaps? The Black Tambourines in Tremough, Chinese Sky Candy in Falmouth, Some Cartographers anywhere at all, Carter USM in Brixton, The Diamond family Archive at Gwithian

Beach, I Am Horse in Bristol, Rae Spoon and Lianne Hall also at Tremough.

– Any music-based thoughts to share on the year 2011?

The next person I hear describing someone as having an ‘amazing voice’ because there is nothing else to say in their defence of their output, and because they heard it on the telly, will find the last thing they see in this world is my shadow and the flash of a meat cleaver. Is that what you mean?

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

A new album, gigs, fun collaborations, lots of time alone at Lands End and something potentially amazing that I can’t talk about yet.

Elba Annual 2011 – Peenko and The BAMS Top 10

Each year, Peenko organises a poll of Scottish Bloggers and writers to find out their Top Album of the year. Last years prize was taken by The National and the inaugural prize in 2009 went to The Phantom Band. This year the prize returns to Scotland (unsurprisingly due to the nature of the Scottish theme running through many of the blogs involved!) in the form of the critically acclaimed Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat collaboration, ‘Everything’s Getting Older’. Here’s the full top 10.

10-8 (joint). The Moth & The Mirror – Honestly, This World /PJ Harvey – Let England Shake / FOUND – factorycraft

7-6 (joint). Conquering Animal Sound – Kammerspiel / The Son(s) – The Son(s)

5. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine

4-3 (joint). Mike Nisbet – Vagrant / Bon Iver – Bon Iver

2. Adam Stafford – Build A Harbour Immediately

1. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – Everything’s Getting Older

We here at Elba were as always delighted to take part and even more pleased that both albums in third place were in our top 3’s. Bon Iver in Chris’ and Mike Nisbet in both myself and Kim’s.

We caught up with Peenko in the midst of the vote counting madness!

– Album of The Year

Adam Stafford – Build A Harbour Immediately. This was by far and away my standout album of 2011. I was sent a sneaky promo copy way back at the start of the year and it’s pretty much been on repeat ever since. It initially starts out as a pop record, before descending into complete fucking madness, but somehow it all makes perfect sense.

– Song of the Year

That’s a tricky one, Eleanor Friedeberger’s (her what used to be in the Fiery Furnaces) ‘My Mistakes, Adam Stafford ‘A Temple of the Holy Ghost’ and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat’s ‘Copper Top’ would all be up there. But I guess that Sparrow & The Workshop’s ‘Snakes in the Grass’ would be my top choice fo 2011.

– Best gig you saw

Frightened Rabbit at Sleazy’s was pretty awesome, but then again I have seen them plenty of times in the past few years. So instead I will go with The Shivers, Randolph’s Leap and Where We Lay Our Heads at Mono. Yes, I did put this gig on and yes, I am completely biased. But it really was an amazing night of music, normally I don’t think Mono is all that great for gigs, but folk were up and dancing and everyone I spoke to seemed to have a great night. Not bad for a rainy Monday night.

– Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2011?

To be honest with you it’s all a bit of a blur, in the past 12 months I’ve been involved in the release of 3 great albums, put on several shows, been to numerous festivals, shared a stage with Scott Frabbit and danced on tables (whilst Jim ‘Ayetunes’ was DJ-ing), plus a shed load of other stuff that I can barely recall it all.

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

More Olive Grove releases, possibly more gigs and plenty more blogging…

Here’s the full list of all sites who voted;

The Pop Cop, Jim Gellatly, The Steinberg Principle, Blueback Hotrod, Scots Whay Hae, Dauphin, The Daily Dose, Blues Bunny, Rave Child, Glasgow PodcArt, 17 Seconds, Net Sounds, The Tidal Wave of Indifference, edRock.net, Dear Scotland, Vic Galloway, Manic Pop Thrills, Edinburgh Man, Kowalskiy, Last Years Girl, Aye Tunes, Song, By Toad, Elba Sessions, Listen Before You Buy, Detour Scotland, Jock Rock, Found in Sound, Phuturelabs, The Daily Growl, Favourite Son, The ‘Spill, Scottish Fiction, Nicola Meighan, Jenny Soep, Rokbun, Curious

Joe, Radar Scotsman Music Blog and of course Peenko.

Elba Annual 2011 – The Hazey Janes

I was particularly excited this year at the return of The Hazey Janes after a bit of a ‘sabbatical’. They released their new album ‘The Winter That Was’ a couple of months back and now just in time for Christmas have released a free download to put some sunshine in your December. You can download The Darkness Ends for free over at Soundcloud or if live is more your thing, they will play King Tuts in Glasgow next Wednesday (28th December).

Andrew and Matthew were good enough to answer a few questions for us about the year that was…

– Album of The Year

Andrew: Not much of the music I bought this year was released in 2011, however, I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve heard of St. Vincent’s ‘Strange Mercy’. Annie Clark’s guitar sound is a continuing puzzle and delight. Cymbals Eat Guitar’s ‘Lenses Alien’ sounds cool too.

Matthew: It’s been a good year for pop records, there were return-to-form albums from old favourites like DJ Shadow and Wilco, and unexpected gems from the Arctic Monkeys and King Creosote. I’ll go with Yuck’s self-titled debut though. Best reissue was the Numero Group compilation ‘Salsa Boricua De Chicago’.

– Song of the Year

A: I’ve no idea, to be honest. I do really like Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat’s ‘The Copper Top’ though. Scottish and dour… at its

very best.

M: Hmmm, it’s hard to argue with ‘Video Games’ being the defining song of the year, I think ‘A Real Hero’ by College was more relevant to us though. So simple yet so brilliant.

– Best gig you played

A: Perhaps slightly predictable, but I’d have to say ‘The Winter That Was’ album launch at Dukes Corner, Dundee in October this year: it was rammed and moist.

M: Yep, pretty obvious, but it was our only hometown gig. What can I say, we got away with it!

– Best gig you saw

A: The one and only time I’ve seen the Scottish Symphony Orchestra was completely amazing. However, I was sat next to a pair of posh twats who kept giving me disapproving scowls, so I’ll say The Posies at King Tuts instead.

M: I really enjoyed seeing a Pensioner and United Fruit double bill in Dundee earlier this year, there was also a fantastic avant garde/noise gig at Drouthys a few weeks ago but unfortunately I couldn’t tell you who the artists were!

– Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2011?

A: C#m turned out to be the new Emajor… who would have thunk it!?

M: I tried to abandon all musical thoughts again this year but it never happens. I think 2011 was pretty strong musically, both in what I’ve heard and what we’ve been doing. We’re looking forward to 2012.

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

A: We have

a collaboration project down our trouser leg for early next year that we’re extremely excited about, but it’s a something of a secret at the moment!

Elba’s Tracks of 2011 – Jay-Z & Kanye West – Ni***s In Paris

The next offering in our ‘Tracks of The Year’ series comes courtesy of our furthest flung member Chris who is currently slumming it up in Toronto.

With this track there’s more than just a decent song, it’s packed with memories of trips through Boston, NYC and of course Paris. There’s reminiscence of friends, leaving parties and a new

adventure.

We debate about what makes a track or indeed album of the year. Does it have to be the most technical and proficient piece of work? Something groundbreaking perhaps? Not for me, and nor it seems with Chris, there’s maybe a part of it that has to be well done and different but most of all, and I think this

is my favourite things about music, it’s about the memories that it creates and emotions it stirs in you. Oh, and to leave you with a couple of Chris’ own words, “it’s a bloody good tune”

Elba Annual 2011 – Maple Leaves

I feel like I’ve been a bit of a social butterfly over the last month or so, well, compared to the rest of the year. The first year of fatherhood has understandably curbed my gig going but I seem to have managed to be out to a heap of good things in the last few weeks.

This trend continues into this weekend with Glasgow’s Popfest at Heavenly. I’m particularly looking to Sunday night’s gig, not only because of the BMX Bandits and Lenzie Moss but also because it’s a while since I’ve seen Maple Leaves play.

We caught up with Anna ahead of this Sunday’s gig to look back on 2011.

– Album of the Year

‘Diamond Mine’ by King Creosote and Jon

Hopkins has to be a Maple Leaves favourite! The first time I heard it was in my tent at Wickerman, when I was woken up to streaming sun and ‘John Taylor’s Month Away’ being blasted from the main stage at 8 in the morning for reasons I still can’t completely fathom. I’d had three hours sleep and far too much whiskey, but it was such a fantastic song I didn’t mind the wake up call. I went straight home and bought the album, and it’s not been off the cd player since.

– Song of the Year

The aforementioned KC song is pretty darn special, however Ross our bass player suggested The Go! Team – Buy Nothing Day which I also love. Great dancy pop song.

– Best gig played

It’s six and two threes between Wickerman Festival and
GoNorth Festival in Inverness really, as we had a blast at both gigs, though they were entirely different. The crowd at Wickerman were so polite and really got into it, and GoNorth was a great band bonding experience, not at least for the ridiculous feat of jamming a full sized piano into the miniscule Market Bar. Good times.

– Best gig seen

I have to say The Mountain Goats at King Tuts earlier
this year. John Darniel might actually be

the funniest front man ever. He had the audience eating out of his hands, and the songs really speak for themselves. Our drummer Graeme says The National were incredible, but I’ll say Mountain Goats for now, as I had to miss that gig for work and I’m still sore about it!

– Thoughts on 2011

2011 has seemed to be a great year for your folky
artists – some great albums from Fleet Foxes, Fionn Regan, Bon Iver, KC and the like. Otherwise, 2010 was much stronger indie pop wise – all the good bands were probably touring last year’s releases.

– 2012 plans

We’ve just recorded an EP to be released at the start of 2012 which we’re really excited about. It’s got trumpet on it and everything! Besides that, what with a brand new guitarist and a bunch of new songs, we’re looking forward to gigging lots, playing further afield and releasing our own brand of Maple Leaves 85% cocoa dark chocolate…possibly.

Well, i can definitely be counted in if the Maple Leaves Confectionery brand takes off!

Maple Leaves website