Category: elba annual 2011

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

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,, 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 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

Elba Annual 2011 – Laurence & The Slab Boys

It just occurred to me that there’s a couple of similarities with today’s post and the first instalment of this years annual;

– both of the interviewees names feature prominently in the band name

– both have albums due out in 2012

both of the afore mentioned albums are excellent

If you aren’t familiar with Laurence & The Slab Boys, Laurence was the guitarist in The Cinematics. The Slab Boys, well, they’re a bit more of a mystery. As I mentioned before, they hopefully will have an album out next year, we’ll make sure you know about it if they do.

I’ll now leave you in Laurence’s capable hands…

– Album of The Year

I know it’s trendy to say the King Creosote/Jon Hopkins record, but that was not the album of the year, no matter how many bloggers write it. The PJ Harvey one was good, but my favourite was probably the Bon Iver record.

– Song of the Year

Spirit Burner by Boyfriend.

– Best gig you played

I haven’t played all that many, to be honest, as I’ve been recording a lot. However, we did play with the Pains of

Being Pure at Heart, which was cool.

– Best gig you saw

I saw Teenage Fanclub at Lido in Berlin. I had forgotten just how many immaculate pop songs that band have written. One of my friends was describing them to his girlfriend before the gig and he said they were the “Scottish Nirvana” but I’d say they were more like the Scottish Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Beach Boys, Byrds, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jnr and Big Star rolled into one. The Twilight Sad also deserve an honourable mention for their live prowess. They are a great band and it always annoys me that they get less kudos than other bands from Scotland or on their label.

– Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2011?

There are a lot of clever and pleasing makers of music out there, but for the most part I don’t believe a word anyone says or sings.

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

We’ll put our first record out, tour a bit, play some festivals and then probably record another album, or an EP at least. I’ve already written a few songs for a new record- I want it to be uplifting and brilliant, because I’m sick and tired of the darkness.

Laurence and the Slab Boys on Facebook

Elba Annual 2011 – Chris Devotion (Chris Devotion & The Expectations)

December already, cripes. This year has totally flown by don’t you think? This means that it’s time to sum up, in the fashion of a teen magazine, a

selection of best of’s from this year and dust off the Elba Annual for another year. It’s like the Smash Hits annual of blogging (hopefully that’s selling ourselves very, very short.)

Our first entry in our 2011 edition comes from the person who has the privilege of being our first Annual contributor in 2009. This, as you will see from the title is Chris Devotion who next year will release his first album along with his band, The Expectations. Amalgamation and Capital will be released on Armellodie Records, on January 30th. It’s the ideal album, 16 songs spanning 36 minutes, each a sparkling rock n roll nugget. You can hear album opener, ‘An Honest Refusal’ after the questions…

– Album of The Year
Fucked Up – David Comes To Life. A brilliant record, it sounds like stadium hardcore (imagine Husker Du playing Be Here Now) and all the better for it

(Honourable mentions: Tom Waits- Bad As Me, Wild Flag – Wild Flag, Off! -First Four EP’s)

– Song of the Year

Shaw by Reigning Sound, (I could have picked almost anything from the free (FREE!) mini album they released, a fun collection of wee gems from one of the best bands around)

Best gig you played
The launch for our last single was a good un, we were showered with praise, love and good vibes (though cash would have been better), as was supporting Pete Yorn. It is always nice to win over a crowd who don’t know who you are.

– Best gig you saw

Possibly Kyuss at the ABC, I went in reasonably sceptical but it was full of heavy awesomeness.

(Honourable mentions, Wilco, Primal Scream, Best Coast and Gillian Welch)

– Any musical thoughts to share on the year 2011?

Hmmmm……well, every year has its ups and downs musically but as ever, there is always good stuff happening. The biggest problem for me, just as a fan of music, is people who will not shut the fuck up at concerts. I swear it seems to be getting worse, I would gladly bring back hanging for those cunts (though, for the record, in all other cases I am against capital punishment)

– What does 2012 have in store for you?

Ready for the hard sell? Good.  Our debut album ‘Amalgamation and Capital’ is out 30th Jan, just in time to banish those post-xmas blues.  What’s that you ask?  Are we playing live in support of said debut?  Yes we are, thanks for asking, we are playing a bunch of places throughout February and March.

A Modest Refusal by Chris Devotion & The Expectations by Armellodie

Amalgamation and Capital, the debut album by Chris Devotion & The Expectations is released on January 30th 2012 on Armellodie Records. However, the album before December 9th and the good lads at Armellodie will make sure you get your record before Christmas, a whole month before it’s release, plus you get an instant download of ‘Blister’.

It’s also worth noting that you can see the band I proclaimed as one of my favourite live acts as they launch their album at the Captains Rest on Feb 3rd 2012 with support from Kill Surrrf and The Dirt.