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The Influences

Tonight in the Southside’s The Glad Cafe a Dutch project is engaging with local musicians as a part of an event titled The Influences.

Onder Invloed Glasgow

The line up of seven artists features Alasdair Roberts, Duglas T. Stewart of BMX Bandits and Three Blind Wolves. Each set will include covers of songs that these artists consider their most important influences. This sort of insight always fascinates me and with the weighty bill on offer, should be something special.

This is part of a wider project ‘Onder Invloed, which I will allow to speak for itself:

Onder Invloed (‘under the influence’) is a project by Dutch music journalist Matthijs van der Ven and has been running since 2008. He examines the influences of his own favourite musicians, so visitors of his website will discover both these musicians and those who are being covered. During the last five years, Van der Ven filmed over a hundred musicians from all over the world covering their influences in sessions, wrote a book on 17 Dutch musicians and organized about 50 live events in The Netherlands. This will be the first international Onder Invloed event in its existence.

If you head on over to the website you may very well get lost in the mass of session material available to watch. We thoroughly enjoy Le Reno Amps’ 2009 instalment with A Neil Diamond cover, a Beck song and their very own raucous highwayman tale Outlaws.

Door are at 7.30pm for an 8pm start and tickets for the gig are priced at £5 and can be bought on the door.

Record Store Day 2011 (extra…) – With Stuff And Johny Lamb

Rounding up our record store day series of posts is a rather rambling letter which has bore many incarnations since it was conceived last Sunday. It just kept getting put off and changing into different forms. Anyways, it works nicely as a sort of final post for the proceedings.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last week, mostly from getting these RSD posts together. It’s struck me how passionate owners of these stores are and how difficult it must be with the age of internet to run small businesses like this. Good on them and when the economy is crumbling around us, it’s good to see music staying strong. I think I read somewhere this week that there are around 30 more independent music stores in the UK than there were last year.

Another thought I’ve had is whilst the idea of releasing special edition records on one day of the year sounds initially like a great idea, I can see some flaws I guess. I mean does it really get people going back to the store on the other 364 days of the year and as @edinburgh_man rightly pointed out on Twitter, queuing to get to the counter to pick your records of a scrappy sheet of paper isn’t the way you want to buy records. Surely it’s all about fingering through the racks to find the gems you want to add to your collection? Chances are a lot of these limited editions are going to be up on ebay by the time the clock strikes 10:30 tomorrow or is that incredibly cynical of me?

There’s been a series of excellent posts over on the Song, By Toad blog this week which are worth a read if you have the time. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 are through those links, as you’d expect.

This lets me segway nicely into the next and final section of this post. The toad is getting a good mention on this blog and quite rightly too. The latest Toad Session to be released features none other than today’s interviewee, Johny Lamb aka Thirty Pounds of Bone. Now, I said I’d been thinking a lot this week and nothing made me feel more academic or intelligent this week than considering the points made in the last 20 minutes of the interview with Johny on the Toad Session. I’m not going to discuss here the points made about how ‘folk’ is seen these days but it was a really engaging listen and I’d really recommend giving it a listen or a watch. Oh, and the tunes were pretty awesome on it as well. Anyway, my commute to work is rather a short one and what with having a busy week and all, it took me the space of three days to listen to the session and was really pleased to hear that he touched on some of the following stores in the answers below and also mentioned the subjects of our post last weekend, The Drift Record Shop. I asked Johny the following questions last weekend, here’s what he had to say…

– So, tell us, what are your favourite record shops and why?

My current favourite record shop is a little second hand place in Falmouth, I haven’t actually looked what it’s called, but i go there a lot. It sells dvds and cds, but there’s a back room full of second hand vinyl loaded with beautiful gems. Old dubliners records, or young tradition albums, lots of interesting things by steve reich or john cage as well as your dylan or abba lps, salvation army recordings, lute music, and a fine line in 80’s stuff like crime and the city solution, or foetus. Perfect. The guy who runs it is terrifying.

I should also give a special mention to Magpie records in Worcester. When i first got properly into music, we lived there, when i was about 11 or so, and i used to go there a lot. A proper old school indie shop near the train station. That’s where i first found out about dinosaur jr and husker du, and all those west midland grebo bands like neds atomic dustbin. I think i bought my first sonic youth, slowdive, silverfish and ride records there. I heard it had closed down, which is really sad.

Oh also, kanes in Stroud. Kane is a proper music man, he still makes an effort to stock vinyl, and he does the best in-stores. i like him a lot.

– Do you remember the first record store you visited and what you bought?

The first place i ever bought a record was somewhere in aberdeen, i don’t remember the shop, but the record was ‘So Macho’ by Sinitta. it took me a long time to work out why my dad thought that was so funny…. People will know how old I am now won’t they?

– What’s your preferred format for a musical recording?

I am still wearily and predictably committed to vinyl. I never really got on with cds so well. i have got an mp3 player,

which i recently started taking around after an age of it gathering dust, but i like the ritual and physicality of listening to records. Mostly though i miss cassettes. I think that not having to turn a record or a tape over changes the landscape of the album, and I fear change….

Festive Retrospective

The 2011 Glasgow Film Festival came to a close at the beginning of last week. Once again the programme on offer was so packed that it was impossible

to fit in absolutely everything you may have wished to view. My sacrifices this year included the entire Superheroes in Glasgow strand; a catastrophic omission as I’m an admirer of the comic-book form. Also Howl and the Jonny Greenwood scored, Murakami adaptation Norwegian Wood clashed with other events I was attending. The good news on the latter two is that they both open on the 11th March at the GFT, so all is not lost. As for my festival intentions, I wanted to focus on the Music and Film programme.

65daysofstatic’s live scoring of Silent Running was an eardrum thumping opening to my festival experience. The mood was set as the 65s fans settled with a playlist of contemporary film-music favourites including Clint Mansell, Trent Reznor, Jonny Greenwood and Yann Tiersen, to name quite an impressive few. This was a gentle and nurturing experience in comparison to the noise that followed. The delicate string scoring of the original opening credits with a backdrop of plant and pond visuals was replaced with ominous pounding and thrashing. Previously, 70’s sci-fi picture Silent Running was a slow paced presentation of a man unravelling whilst doing what he must to protect and preserve the last of Earth’s natural life. The inclusion of this new scoring brought a psychological harbinger. The fate of Freeman and his crewmen was laid bare from the off. The film chosen was a wise one as the long shots of space and regular montage provided ample time for 65daysofstatic to storm in with their insistent sounds. There was little in way of flow for the first section of the film. A little more care was taken in the latter half to not have such a juxtaposition between the audio dialogue track and their input, though the later parts of the film don’t feature much speech making such transition important. This was executed masterfully and I think contained to release in the climactic finale. It was a gloriously loud ending, the clash of noise ensuring the impact of all that had happened on screen over the 89 minutes was felt.

The other two events I attended were a combination of engrossing and peculiar. Upside Down: The Creation Records Story, was a bit of a Scottish music scene love-in when you glanced around the audience. The tales of Alan McGee’s early 80s indie insanity whilst commuting between Glasgow, London and Manchester proved to be tickling for the knowledgeable audience. The documentary is a large part The Alan McGee show, whose tales could impress anyone over a round at a local. I feel that this is an important point as whilst the tales of indulgence are entertaining there is a definite arrogance to the lack of consideration over consequences of action. Rock and roll is meant to be just this though, right? Almost all of the Creation crowd are featured giving their perspective on the rise and inevitable fall of the label, none surprised, though some affected more than others, by the collapse of it’s ringleader and their creative outlet. The first half of the film will please musos everywhere whereas the Oasis years will prove more appealing to others. Noel Gallagher’s commentary, regardless of any established opinion on his musical talents, do not disappoint.

The last event I attended was the Mondo Morricone gig at the Arches. I am a little stumped over what to say about this show. There were extraordinary moments beginning with Death Rides A Horse continuing on through huge tracks Man With A Harmonica/Once Upon A Time In The West and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It was all a little ramshackle, which was quite perfect for the selected renditions as all are fairly loose in their original recordings. This was emphasised more in the lounge style moments of Morricone repertoire selected; Hurry to Me being the most famous of these where there was discord on stage but it remained charming. Duglas T. Stewart was as eccentric as ever in his hosting with a Kermit badge on lapel, apple consumed during opening My Name Is Nobody, and – at one point in the set – brandished a kazoo proudly. I was confused when I left but light in step.

Elba Sessions Presents…(Three)

A bit of a December extravaganza in the world of Elba next week, first this, and then our usual night at The Liquid Ship. This month we’re there on the first Friday rather than the Thursday so that makes it Friday 4th December. We feel like we’ve assembled a stellar line up for the gig and are feeling quite pleased with ourselves!

Elba Sessions @ The Liquid Ship 1First on the bill is John Price. He hasn’t played for a while so we’ve promised we’ll be gentle with him, that’s not to say if he mucks up that we won’t heckle him! Also on the bill is Caragh Nugent who we are all looking forward to seeing, she has played a free candy session recently and we’ve heard very nice things! Next up with the promise of a collection of miserable country songs we have Chris Devotion from rock n rollers The Elvis Suicide. Another set we’re looking forward to having seen him play with the band recently, we can’t quite contemplate how this may pan out! Last up is Derry’s finest, Conor Mason. Having released his debut album in August, Conor is someone we’ve been hoping to get for a long time, so much so we’re getting him to play a couple of gigs and do a podcast while we’re over.

If the line-up doesn’t sound good enough then it’s also free to get in which for four quality acts on a Friday night in December can’t be sniffed at! Hopefully you will join us to celebrate the end of a busy week!



Elba Sessions Presents…(One) – Le Reno Amps, Only Living Boys, Calum MacDonald & Paul McLinden @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow

Info / Review


Elba Sessions Presents…(Two) – Andrea Marini, John Hinshelwood & Sandra Gellatly, Julia and the Doogans @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow

Info / Review


The Wolf’s Last Stand – Le Reno Amps, The Moth & The Mirror, Rags & Feathers and Conor Mason at the Grand Ole Opry, Glasgow

Info / Review


Elba Sessions Presents…(Three) – Conor Mason, Chris Devotion (The Elvis Suicide), Caragh Nugent and John Price @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Four) – King James, Maple Leaves, Craig Davidson and Cuddly Shark (Acoustic) @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Five) – Beneath Us, The Waves, The Scottish Enlightenment and John Rush @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Six) – Bad Bad Men, David Bova and marky:boyofdestiny @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow

Info / Pictures


Elba Sessions Presents…(Seven) – Blue Sky Archives (Acoustic), My Cousin I Bid You Farewell (Acoustic) and Shambles Miller @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Eight) – RM Hubbert, Yusuf Azak and Campfires in Winter @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Nine) – Lovers Turn To Monsters, Stephen Cotter and Jennifer Andrew @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Ten) – Finn Lemarinel, Lynne Louden & Shauna Joy @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Oor Birthday!!) – Cuddly Shark, Julia and the Doogans, Yusuf Azak, Jonathan Sebastian Knight and Paul McLinden @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



Elba Sessions Presents…(Last gig of 2010!) – i build collapsible mountains, iglue, Now Wakes The Sea @ The Liquid Ship, Glasgow



July 2009Dean Owens

August 2009Pearl and the Puppets

September 2009Le Reno Amps

October 2009 (1)Salon Society

October 2009 (2)Andrea Marini

November 2009Martin John Henry

January 2010Conor Mason

February 2010King James

June 2010Blue Sky Archives

July 2010The Recovery Club

September 2010Stephen Cotter

December 2010Dean Owens

January 2011AJ Roach

February 2011RM Hubbert

April 2011Anny Celsi

May 2011Mike Nisbet

Contact Us

If you want more info on what we do here at Elba or if you want to get involved, holler at us on the following addresses


Through the murky and incessant weather that would befall Scotland in the latter months of 2009 a spark would remain lit. A triumvirate of platforms were born over time that would allow creators to voice the heart of their noise, give a platform to artists indiscriminate of genre but unfaltering on quality, and whisper words about great sounds.

Elba Sessions, a monthly podcast recorded live in Elba Studios, began in July 2009. The sessions’ aim was to give artists a chance to perform live in the studios and provide insight into the creative mind and process. Following the first session featuring Dean Owens, there has since been a impressive collection of Scottish talent featured on the podcast including Song, By Toad Records’ Sparrow & The Workshop and 2013 SAY award winner RM Hubbert.

It was in October 2009 that a residency began in The Liquid Ship (now The Roxy 171) in the West End of Glasgow. The tiny stage in the softly lit nook proved perfect for a mixture of appearances by solo artists and stripped down bands. In December of that year Elba co-promoted a larger venture at the Grand Ole Opry featuring Le Reno Amps, The Moth and The Mirror, Rags and Feathers and Conor Mason. Elba’s premier, dance inducing, DJ appearance was at the first evening of the six month Barmellodie showcase in Bloc, January 2011.

Throughout, the blog has been the heart of the collective and has remained a constant source of progress, documenting the course of Elba Sessions and championing music dear to the heart of all involved. From local upstarts to international stalwarts, the blog covers varied subjects and is the home of both information and critique.

To put things simply: Elba write, listen, record and promote.