Tagged: aidan moffat

Where You’re Meant To Be

I’ve become quite fond of Scotland lately. I mean, I’ve lived here all my life but growing up in Aberdeen, things just felt a bit more insular. Age of course has a part to play, you can’t just go roaming about the lochs of the West coast as a 13 year old, that is unless you want to get the emergency services in a fluster.

I’ve lived in cities or large-ish towns all my life and I’m now settled in Glasgow. I’m a little bit older now (with responsibilities) and I’ve got the ability to explore a bit more. Whether it be a family holiday in the East Neuk of Fife, a stormy, but gorgeous traverse of West coast peninsulas or a weekend catching up with friends in Edinburgh, this country has got the ability to make my heart grow warmer with each and every adventure, and often my first thought is my soundtrack to those visits.

Music is a constant in my life. I’m humming something when I wake up and I usually have something stuck in my head by the time I go to sleep at night. Often, I’ll associate songs with places that I’ve been or I find that when I hear something I’ll think to myself, that music really sounds like a particular place. Is that odd? Do other people do that? Tell me that when you hear The Pastels that it doesn’t make you yearn for Glasgow’s fading autumn sunlight? Just me?

And of course, this brief ode to, well, me travelling about Scotland with music in my ears is going somewhere. A film, doing a very similar thing but y’know properly and probably not in a Fiesta with suspension problems listening to songs on an old iPod or CD player, has been announced as part of the Glasgow 2014 cultural programme.

Photo by Neale Smith
Photo by Neale Smith

‘Where You’re Meant to Be’ sees filmmaker Paul Fegan, you might know him from ‘The Copper Top‘ video or pigeon fancying short ‘Pouters’, team up with Scottish cult-pop raconteur Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap) to explore Scotland’s musical and storytelling traditions. They’ll be going on a road trip with an accompanying troupe which includes, James Graham (The Twilight Sad), Jenny Reeve (Bdy_Prts) and Stevie Jones (Alasdair Roberts, Arab Strap, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat et al.) for a set of concerts in places from Aberdeen to Oban and Loch Ness to Glasgow’s famous Barrowlands.

The gigs will have their roots in tradition with songs sung, tales told and merriment had (complimentary whisky drams will help that) and they take place at a series of iconic Scottish venues and locations.

19 April Port of Ness (Lewis) Ness Social Club 9pm
23 April (TONIGHT!) Faslane Peace Camp 7pm
25 April Aberdeen Blue Lamp 8pm
26 April Cullerlie Farm Park 7.30pm
27 April Edinburgh Caves 7.30pm
9 May Drumnadrochit Village Hall 7.30pm
10 May Lerags Kilbride Church Yard, Oban 7.30pm
17 May Glasgow Barrowland 7pm

You can check on ticket availability on the Where Your Meant To Be page.

The film is due to be released in late summer and promises a “life-affirming, intimate and irreverent tribute to Scotland, its stories, its songs and its people – and it offers a modern, vital take on an oral tradition that has endured for centuries, and which continues to influence our national identity”

I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

Celtic Connections 2014

Each year I look forward to Celtic Connections. Each year I tell friends that the line-up is great. Each year I say I’m going to this that and the next thing. Each year I fail to get my act together sufficiently. Each year I only scratch the surface. Each year I vow that next year, I’ll make more of an effort. So this year, I’m going to put together a handy list of some of the things I’m hoping to go to. The festival starts this Thursday, the 16th of January and if the selections below pique your interest enough there is a feast of gigs over on the festival website.

Fri 17th January – Mull Historical Society @ The Arches
Colin MacIntyre’s Mull Historical Society are a long time favourite and have several songs that I’m personally very fond of. This gig will see the performance of his 2001 debut album ‘Loss’, in full.

Tues 21st January – RM Hubbert w/ Aidan Moffat @ The Mitchell Library
Were we a lads mag, there’s a high chance that Hubby would have been our man of the year in 2013, alas we’re not, therefore he’ll just have to settle for being a good dude. Having followed up his SAY Award winning album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ with the equally excellent ‘Breaks & Bone’, this will be Hubby’s biggest Glasgow headline show to date. Aided and abetted by the mischevious storytelling of Aidan Moffat, this is a Tuesday night at the library you won’t want to miss.

Sat 25th January – The New Mendicants @ The Arches
Ahead of the release of their debut album, adopted Ontarians Joe Pernice (The Pernice Brothers) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) take to the Celtic Connections stage with new material and one would hope some tracks from their back catalogues. As a big Teenage Fanclub fan, only wild horses will keep me away from this one.

Sun 26th January – Olive Grove Showcase @ Oran Mor
An evening curated by local bloggers turned label bosses, the line up here not only includes a very rare performance by The Moth & The Mirror, but also performances by Elba favourites Randolph’s Leap, Jo Mango, and The State Broadcasters.

Mon 27th January – Bobby Womack @ Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
I first came across Bobby Womack on an old blaxploitation compilation which included his song ‘Across 110th Street’. In the last few years he’s become more of a household name after a guest slot on the Gorillaz ‘Plastic Beach’ record which has invigorated Womack, now in his 7th Decade in music.

Sat 1st February – Bill Callahan @ O2 ABC
Hands down the sweatiest gig I’ve ever been too was Bill Callahan at Stereo a few years back. Seems an odd statement, of course, there was no wild mosh pit but combine a midsummer date with a room full of jumpers and beards, and you’ll get why the temperature was so high. Heat aside, Callahan was an excellent performer that evening and IS an excellent songwriter, from Smog to his solo records, so it’s unsurprising that so many people I know snapped tickets up for his straight away.

Concert to Save the Sighthill Stone Circle

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As far as good local causes and good local line up’s go, you’d have to travel far or wait a long time to top next Saturday’s Concert to Save the Sighthill Stone Circle. Featuring a line up including RM Hubbert, Aidan Moffat, Stuart Braithwaite, Eugene Kelly and special guests The Twilight Sad, to name but a few, the gig will take place over two performance rooms at multi-arts venue Platform in Glasgow’s Easterhouse on Saturday 27th July.

The Sighthill stones, built in 1979, were the first astronomically aligned stones in the UK for over 3500 years. They currently sit on a site earmarked for redevelopment and the campaigners are hoping to ‘raise awareness of the circle as an asset for the existing and future community in Sighthill, and to secure its future as an integral part of the proposed regeneration of the area‘.

Tickets for the gig are priced £6 and are available from Mono or Tickets Scotland. A bus will also run, leaving Mono at 4:30pm (Doors 5pm) returning after the last performance around 11pm.

You can sign the petition here and read more about the circle here.

*Voting Open* for The Scottish Album Of The Year

This year sees the inaugural award of The Scottish Album of The Year. With just days until the longlist is whittled down to a shortlist, the general public are being given a chance to have their say with a nomination for one album to go on the judges final list.

The list can be viewed on the SAY Award website or on the iphone/android app. And public voting is open TODAY ONLY, so get involved!!

A month or so back, we put

together a little mixtape including some of the nominated artists which you can stream over here.

I Made You A Mixtape…Six

So far in this mixtape series, I have kind of steered clear of having any sort of theme on the mixtapes. This week however, is somewhat of an exception. The Scottish Album of the Year award was

launched this week and it immediately got me thinking of which Scottish album from 2011 would I want to win the award. I know people sometimes are quite quick to judge awards ceremonies and awards, particularly in Scotland, but this seems to be organised rather well and the prizes on offer are absolutely terrific. We have a huge amount of enthusiasm for the national music scene in Scotland and it’s great to see an award promising inclusion and most importantly, a celebration of Scottish music.

This weeks mixtape contains some tracks from a few of the albums which I really enjoyed in 2011. I say ‘enjoyed’ because I’m fully aware that some may not technically be the best albums but at the end of the day when I want something to listen to, I want it to be an enjoyable experience, and these albums gave me just that.

Also, I’m not 100% on criteria but there’s certainly a Scottish related element to all of the tracks included here. I’ve also tacked 3 or 4 songs on the end which do not fall into the category of Scottish Albums of 2011, but this is a mixtape, and I wanted them here!

Rob St.John – Your Phantom Limb from the album ‘Weald’

Kicking off controversially with one that I’m not sure is eligible, however, this album was released on an Edinburgh label (Song, By Toad) and Rob is a big part of the Edinburgh music scene, despite his roots being firmy south of the border. This album really knocked me for six. A really beautiful album and this track in particular was the first track I heard when released as a split 7″. It’s an album I rate very highly and this week in particular, when the snow fell, really set the scene perfectly.

Mike Nisbet – Not Long from the album ‘Vagrant’

Honestly, I should stop now. I’m pretty sure the percentage of posts we’ve written mentioning Mike Nisbet in the last year is topping the 70% mark. The truth is, a year ago when we got a sneak peak of the album, we were immediately smitten. It was one of the best and most heartfelt albums I’d heard in a long time and I was so pleased that late on in the year, people really started picking up on it. It’s not easy to self-release an album and this album really deserves some recognition. Beautiful is the only word…

Jonny – Waiting Around For You from the album ‘Jonny’

Another possibly contentious one. An album written by a Scotsman and a Welshman but really, it’s no ordinary Scotsman, it’s none other than Norman Blake from my favourite Scottish band of all time, Teenage Fanclub. This is a really good fun and upbeat album, well worth a listen if you’re looking for a smile.

The Hazey Janes – Paper Hearts from the album ‘The Winter That Was’

I just mentioned Teenage Fanclub and I put The Hazey Janes in a similar bracket in that if it’s sunny, and I’m looking for something to put a smile on my face, I’ll reach for The Hazey Janes, and they won’t disappoint. I was delighted to hear last year that they were releasing a record on Armellodie records and when released, it was a welcome return to form for a band who were out of the game for something of an enforced sabattical.

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top from the album ‘Everything’s Getting Older’
This it seemed was a ubiquitous choice amongst Scottish media last year. A beautiful an emotive album of which this, was my stand-out track from the album. The video is also excellent and worth a watch

FOUND – Machine Age Dancing from the album ‘Factorycraft’

This album was released on Chemikal Underground early last year and is an excellently experimental album. They also released a single on Chocolate vinyl, which is always a win.

Le Reno Amps- Cottonmouth Rock from the album ‘Appetite’

Another band that we absolutely adore. Live, they are fairly unbeatable when they are on top of their game and whilst on a ‘break’ at the moment, we have everything crossed that come August, they might make a re-appearance.

This album was described by many as being full of different styles, which it is, but that doesn’t make it less endearing. This track is LRA at their glam inspired, duelling guitar best. As it’s been noticed, they can be a bit like marmite, and yes, we love them.

Strike The Colours – Safety In Numbers

I’ve come to the end of my selection from 2011’s albums and this track is from a band who I believe are due to release new material this year, Strike The Colours. ‘Safety In Numbers’ is from the brilliant ‘The Face That Sunk A Thousand Ships’ EP.

Cancel The Astronauts – The Hardest Thing

CTA are an Edinburgh band who seem to specialise in a ‘really poppy hook’ although, you might not get that from this track. I raved about their ‘Funny For A Girl’ EP a few years ago and they sent me their new single a few years and despite this track being completely different to the first two tracks on the EP, I really love this one! The single is called Intervention and can be found over here.

RM Hubbert – Gus Am Bris An Latha (with John Ferguson)

RM Hubbert’s new album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ may be in quite a few album of the year polls come the end of 2012 and this track is one of my favourites from said album.

Loch Awe – How It Began

This song was one of my favourites from 2010 and I commented at the time how impressed I was with the EP which was recored in a matter of days. Loch Awe have come a long way since this song and EP, but it’s something I always revisit every now and again.

I like my music indoors

Recently, I have been considering the disparate activities of my flat-mate’s compared to my own. Were I to call upon my favourite bard of the central belt Aidan Moffat to set the scene; his life is the hedonistic romp of The First Big Weekend and he, no doubt, sees my own as the cyclical and serene Cages. My own interpretation of the latter is phrased a little kinder than the current misnomer I’ve been gifted: ‘old lady.’

Such teasing can be entirely attributed to the fact that I consume alcohol in much more reasonable measures than I did whilst at university. Therefore, I reject the implication that I am anything other than the excitable and immature creature that I have always been. That being said, I do have a new appreciation for certain comforts. For instance, the city based festival is something that I’ve always appreciated but now find myself increasingly excited about.

I guess the beauty of the city festival includes accessibility, advanced knowledge of the venue, a good meal being at hand and a warm bed not too far away.  You will not find yourself lacking in lubrication if we compare habits of a ‘major’ outdoor festival should my introduction be instilling this concern. My Triptych days eventually became a sleepless and overworked haze but originally

as an attendee those three to five days the festival spanned were a dreamy, inebriated rapture. The talent, the sounds, the many, many drinks. The festival and the sum of its parts will of course dictate this sort of behaviour. For instance, the Glasgow Film Festival won’t lead to any liver damage, (un)suprisingly(?) Celtic Connections might.

My attention has been drawn once again this year to the Stag and Dagger festival.  It boasts over 50 bands and DJs, seven venues and one ticket. The first acts that have been announced have the Elba ‘we’ salivating; with White Denim, Phantom Band, Django Django, Willy Mason and Bear in Heaven all due on May 19th.

The ticket is a very reasonable £17.50 or was £12.00 if you snatched an early bird price. The previous years’ line up promise another impressive selection of acts. I guess the greatest dilemma you will be faced with is what head line act you choose.  Ultimately you may have to sacrifice some mid evening

bands to guarantee a spot for whichever finisher you have your eye on though it is a small complaint that exists at all festivals; indoor or out.  Perhaps there isn’t so much different about the two, as Aidan says:

A new life is just a new routine,
a new function for the old machine

Elba’s Tracks of 2011 – Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top

We love making lists here at Elba, so as well as our annual posts in December this year, we’ll intersperse the blog with some tracks that we each think are worthy to go in the history books as an ‘Elba Track of The Year’. They might be singles or they might be a hidden album track, but every one, in our book at least, is deemed worthy as we remember 2011…

I’ve found that the best way to explain why this track is here, is as follows…

A great track from a brilliant album

with an excellent video to boot.

Call me a man of few words…

Track:

The Copper Top
Album: Everything’s Getting Older

I *heart* Slow Club

‘i *heart*…is a semi regular musing about the little things which may be obsessing us around about now. Sometimes within a few days we’ll move on, sometimes we stay cialis cheap smitten for quite a while…’

I took a little long in getting into Slow Club. Not in the sense that the music had to grow on me, it didn’t, seconds into ‘Trophy Room’ and i was completely taken, more in the sense that I heard the name and saw they were supporting bands a lot but never really got round to actually listening to them. One near miss was when they supported Tilly & The Wall at King Tuts. Arriving slightly late, I bumped into some friends in the bar and by the time i had made it up the stairs, the band had finished. A work colleague still asks me to this day ‘are you going upstairs to see

Slow Club’.

The Sheffield boy/girl duo play sweeter than sweet folky pop which rarely fails to put a smile on my face. Although the lyrics in some songs are tinged with sadness, there’s a buzz and energy which almost blows the bad things away. Their debut album, ‘Yeah So’, was released in 2008 and is about to be followed up by their second album ‘Paradise’.

Pitchfork are currently streaming their forthcoming single ‘Where I’m Waking’ over here.

I’ve yet to see Slow Club live but as luck would have it, they’ll be back at King Tuts in Glasgow on the 18th of September.

The new album is out on September the 12th and pre-orders can be made here. There’s a bonus disc version which has a unique take on the track ‘Two Cousins’ re-done by Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton.

You can hear it below, courtesy of The Quietus
Aidan Moffat & Malcolm Middleton – Two Cousins 1999 by theQuietus

Time for a wee catch up I think…

Well, March is here already and it seems a bit like the year has flown by. It was maybe just me but I felt that the year started fairly quietly and that there was a distinct lack of good albums coming out but that seems to have perked up recently with releases from PJ Harvey, Smith Westerns and Ringo Deathstarr, the latter is an album that i am hugely enjoying at the moment. We are also looking forward here at Elba to upcoming releases from Aidan Moffat, Josh T. Pearson, FOUND and Le Reno Amps, once again, the latter is an absolute belter, which can be pre-ordered here. It’s shaping up to be a decent year!

The Glasgow Film Festival has finished for another year. Kim enjoyed a wall of noise at 65 Days of Static, Chris met legendary Spinal Tap bassist and voice of Mr Burns from The Simpsons, Harry Shearer whilst I now count Duglas T Stewart of the BMX Bandits in the highest regard after he nonchalantly tucked in to an apple onstage, midway through the opening song of the Mondo Morricone gig. There will be a bit more about those shenanigans on these pages in the coming days and weeks. We are already looking forward to 2012!

Next year is a long way away though so in the more immediate future here’s a few things you might want to check out. This weekend Trapped Mice launch their new EP which was recorded

in our big cousin Elba Studio’s recording space in January this year. Having heard some of the results, it’s a lovely wee EP and worth checking out. Anyhoo, the launch is in Edinburgh tomorrow (5th March) at the Wee Red Bar and support comes from Elba faves Loch Awe. Oh, and the EP is called Waving and Pointing!

Also, looking quite good this weekend in Glasgow is Croc v Croc at The Art School. There’s a huge list of people playing including Remember Remember, Ultimate Thrush, Divorce, Pro Life, North American War, BONG MONSTER, Holy Mountain, The Cosmic Dead, The John Knox Sex Club, Gropetown and Tangles. Check out their Facebook info page for a little more info!

Next weekend sees the return of Brain Burner to The Liquid Ship a mere two weeks after their last show. In short if you like things noisy and a little bit out there, Brain Burner do exactly what they say on the tin. The line up on Sunday 13th at The Liquid Ship includes Helhesten & Fritz Welch, Blue Sabbath, Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo and Hivver.

On the subject of DIY gigs, we came across this tumblr called Tartanalia Underground this week which is pretty cool. It’s a nice wee collection of DIY posters, some really cool ones in there so far and I noticed theres an upload button so get adding!

Anyway, enough rambling for now! Have a great weekend, see y’all soon!

Goings on/Grumblings 03.03.2010

It is hump day again. We take it upon ourselves to be as moody as we wish until the end of the working day when we officially reach the latter part of the week. Then and only then shall we be in a place where we might communicate without a slight snarl. It is in this spirit that Phil and I address some of the goings on in music land this week. Please enjoy and feel free to join in.

6 Music
Phil: I have mixed feelings on this, well not mixed really, it seems sad for them to get rid of it. Not a George Lamb fan and although I don’t generally listen to the radio, it would probably be the first place I would turn the dial to. They certainly seem to be a high profile supporter of less well-known music.
Kim: I am also quite adamant that George Lamb is the devil. That aside, there is a whole host of programming and content here, not to mention the support for emerging and left-field talent that it would really be sad to lose.

Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks
P: I’ll give it a go soon I’m sure but I’ve never got round to their first album. Controversial?
K: Well yes and I’m taking your delay on this one quite personally. Frightened Rabbit are the working band that got far thanks to some clever US TV drama syncs. I really got attached to The Midnight Organ Fight. I’m really liking the sound of the new album. Swim Until You Can’t See Land is sorta like a folkier version of Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open the Door.
P: I’ll take your word on this. Come back to me in a couple of weeks.

Musicbox
P: http://elbasessions.co.uk/2010/02/musicbox-march-2010/ – Antimatter and our big brother Elba Studios showcase a unique night of music and photography at Universal this Thursday (4th March).
K: Any multi-art based event always intrigues me. I’m sad I’m not free to head along to this on Thursday.
P: Favourite multi arts event? Ballads of The Book at The Tramway in (07??) was pretty good! I miss Triptych. 🙁
K: It was 2007. I missed quite a bit of this due to all the effort and exhaustion of putting the festival together. It was a perfect pulling together of all of the elements from the album. Plus Jenny Soep was there doing some art in action. Me likey.

King James – Elba Podcast
P: King James podcast continues to sound beautiful. Listen/Download ‘here’.
K: Simple Folk Radio are also (and quite rightly) keen on this.
P: Indeed, Johny in retrospect finds the interview slightly Spinal Tap. Personally a walking tour of Devon and Cornwall sounds spectacular!

Macca at Hampden
P: I really feel like I should go and see him? I mean he’s a little questionable, if you believe what you read but he was a Beatle and it’s only a 20 minute walk. I’d imagine it won’t be cheap though. In fact, this could turn into a summer of geriatric shows, I’m planning Crosby, Stills and Nash too but tempted to pay the extra £40 on tickets for that one to see them when I’m in Paris rather than at the cow shed (sorry, SECC).
K: Ugh the price tag alone would put me off both of these. The problem is, once great performers still draw huge crowds and a lot of the time it just isn’t worth it. I’m definitely one who is against this revival spirit floating around right now. I get that the ‘I SAW THEM IN THE FLESH’ brag/closure is something that people strive for. However, the ‘I saw the wrinklier, 30 years after their heyday, not really all that talented anymore version’ is the less impressive reality.
P: Yeah, that’s the other half of my brain speaking. Although only with Macca. Crosby, Stills and Nash are fantastic. Stephen Stills probably never was always there anyway!

Other interesting gigs
P: Burnt Island (who I am quite digging at the moment) host their single launch on Sunday at Mono along with The Second Hand Marching Band, Benni Hemm Hemm and everyones favourite miserable storyteller Aidan Moffat.
K: Burnt Island are the sort of band that make me breath a little slower and steadier. Their music is that teetering on the edge of heartbreaking. Sorrowful and beautiful. This is a nice little line up for Mono. My heart as ever belongs to Arab Strap and all the bearded glory of Mr Moffat.