The East End Social is a new music and community engagement programme based in the east end of Glasgow. Principally run by Chemikal Underground with support from the 2014 Commonwealth cultural programme, the social has already lined up an impressive list of events with many more to be announced.
Despite having arguably Glasgow’s best venue, the Barrowlands, on it’s doorstep, the east end seems to be crying out for a more organised and varied music scene and the East End social appears to be the perfect hub for this. Taking in several venues around the east end including Rutherglen Town Hall, Platform (Easterhouse), the afore mentioned Barrowland ballroom and what appears to be the social’s ‘home base’, The Bowler’s Bar in Bridgeton, the East End social already has a wide and varied programme of events. Whether you’re after some Sunday afternoon jazz, a bit of Ghanaian kologo or a day chilling in front of a Reggae soundsystem, the East End social seem to have it covered. There will also be a set of intimate gigs hosted by BBC radio’s Vic Galloway as well as current Scottish album of the year winner RM Hubbert, who will be playing, along with friends, at Rutherglen Town Hall.
With loads more to be announced, you might want to keep your eyes pointed eastwards.
As a fortnightly mixtape, we’ve found ourselves getting rather giddy days before we actually publish this post, and it’s because we’re so eager to share it. Isn’t that the point of a mixtape after all? Over the past few weeks we’ve been once again immersing ourselves in the latest sounds to come our way as we prepare for the weekend of gigging which is actually, already underway. Miaoux Miaoux last night, Pixies tonight and Shellac tomorrow, but for now, here’s our latest mix.
Book Group – Victory Lap
Phil: Gerry Loves Records have been quite a launchpad for artists over the last few years and I’d expect their latest release, a double A side from Edinburgh based Book Group, to lead on to bigger things for the band. The release comprises of two catchy as you like indie pop tunes which truth being told, I struggled to choose between for this mixtape. I’ve plumped with opener, and live favourite, Victory Lap, a rousing slacker-ish rock track which has had me humming the chorus in my head since I set my ears on it. The AA side is released on Nov 25th and they play a couple of launch shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh next week, details here.
Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper 
Phil: I mentioned the gigs which we are headed to this weekend. Last weekend however, there were a plethora of ‘epic rawk n roll’ shows going on in Glasgow, very few of which had tickled our fancy. However, I couldn’t help but have pangs of jealousy as I saw the tweets come in about the Frightened Rabbit gig at the Academy. I would have dearly loved to have been there and seen them open with Holy, before moving on to this one, The Modern Leper, from 2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.
The Nightingales – The Book of Right On [DOWNLOAD]
Kim: Last week something marvellous happened. The Nightingales, who I like to think of as the band who just keep coming back for more, made a song available for free download. The track they decided to gift to all was a cover of Joanna Newsom’s The Book of Right-On. What has been delivered is, I think, a really interesting study into how songs are perceived. I’m a huge fan of Newsom and I’ve had many conversations over whether her music is accessible and with how difficult people find her song-structure. In this rendition, there is so little melodic deviation from the original track and yet it feels like a song that’s too straightforward for The Nightingales. The lower register of the harp is used as a rooting bass line for this playful incarnation and the verses are so charming with the little percussive flares. Grab this one here and give the two a play, side by side.
Woven Tents – Kids In The Park 
Phil: Woven Tents are a band I know very little about but they provide one of the many excellent tracks which make up Dirty Beard Monthly’s first compilation. ‘Kids In The Park’ is a fuzzy psychadelic trip through jazz and rock and is the ideal buffer for the tracks which follow on the compilation, which you can download, for free! This track is taken from the recently released ‘Leave Your Monsters At Home‘ EP.
Water of Life – Liquid City/The Shellycoat 
Phil: Water of Life is a collaboration between musician Rob St.John and artist Tommy Perman (ex-FOUND) and is probably one of the most fascinating projects I’ve seen. The tracks were inspired and made by exploring the natural and unnatural water flows throughout Edinburgh. I can’t quite do the project justice here, but really, go, look, enjoy, wonder and immerse yourself in the website they’ve put together. There’s field recordings, some fantastic photography and words about their expeditions and I’ve already lost a fair few evenings getting lost in it all. Oh, and there’s a sound map. I.am.in.heaven.
‘Water of Life’ is released on December 9th as a Ltd Ed 7″ folio, including a 7″, essays and prints as well as a digital download of the tracks.
Miaoux Miaoux – Stop The Clocks 
Kim: This month the ListLive event in Stereo, which Elba are this very day recovering from, provided their platform to Chemikal Underground dance darling Miaoux Miaoux. Julian Corrie’s dreamy indie-electro music arrived last year on debut album Light of the North, which very deservedly made its way onto the Scottish Album of the Year longlist. Stop The Clocks is a song that pulls back from his playful electro-pop into something more emotional. As set closer it really cemented itself as a pivotal number. It opens on ringing fingerpicked electric guitar and a muted beat. Julian’s voice is soft and pure here but his little percussive breaths break in and let you know that this song is not what you thought it was going to be. When the synth appears it causes a great swell of breath to the lungs. This track is not overcomplicated in scoring. It does what it needs to. When the instrumental breaks it is time to dance, all the way to the crescendo and then through it, into the light.
Jo Mango – When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree 
Kim: Female artists telling grand stories are a great weakness of mine. Jo Mango’s upcoming EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is a delicate weave of tales; threading myth, the mystical and the grim(m). After an early morning listen, I marked it as this year’s whimsical winter music. There will be nothing better than navigating icy paths to these sparkling tracks. The scoring on this title track is sparse to begin with and her voice is so fragile that you are left feeling vulnerable. The chorus is a pain-stricken mourning of the loss of a home and hideaway. By the time the sound fleshes out, you may very well be reduced to tears. When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is being released by the lovely people over at Olive Grove Records on the 2nd December and Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December. She will also be appearing on the delectable Olive Grove label showcase in the Oran Mor on the 26th January as part of Celtic Connections.
Casual Sex – Soft School
Kim: Up and coming Casual Sex are back on home soil after a long and hard spell on the road supporting Franz Ferdinand. The Bastard Beat EP launch is tonight in Nice N Sleazy with support from noise monsters Halfrican and dirty synth duo Ubre Blanca. I’m a little bit obsessed with the Ubre track Taxed. It would be the perfect score to Snake Plissken’s Escape From Glasgow. I don’t think Kurt Russell would make it out alive. Picking a track of the headliner for this mix was a fucking good job to do. Casual Sex have amassed a tight little package of heavy surf-rock. There’s no wistfulness here, just jaggy 80s rock fitting for the titular act. Soft School was the b-side on the Stroh 80 single released earlier this year. Did I miss any innuendo?
Shellac – Canada
Kim: This weekend, Phil and myself have both opted for all out nostalgia with our gig choices. Where Phil will be listening to the sounds of Black Francis and his merry men (literally as, alas, there will be no Kim Deal – a deal breaker, personally), I will be off to SWG3 to be ear bashed by Shellac [of North America]. Shellac seem to illicit mad cackles from me. Their minimalist rock is unrelenting and it instills a craziness in my mood. Canada fits into what has become the place on the song list for my indulgent track. This is the track that will make no sense anywhere else on the mix so it gets jammed on at the end BECAUSE I LOVE IT and it just MUST be on the mix! I can think of only one other artist who might surpass the closing artists on these last three mixtapes for all out gushing. I wonder if I will find some tenuous reason to work them into a future mixtape. Watch this space.
…are just some of the novelty ways which bands have decided to release their new records over the last couple of months. I’m not sure if anyone has told their label bosses that
there’s a dodgy economic climate but fair play to them for injecting some fun into the whole event of releasing a record.
First up we have the now famed 7″ Chocolate Vinyl release from FOUND. There were only 50 copies of this up for grabs so I suspect not many of our readers own one but with the medium of youtube, you can watch Edinburgh band Eagleowl listen to and then eat the record here. I suspect the remaining 49 have gone the same way and been melted down for hot chocolate or something.
Keeping the theme with the edibles is the rather swish looking clear vinyl package from Japanese War Effort. The EP, Surrender to Summer which is out on Edinburgh’s Song, By Toad Records comes equipped with a bag of those lovely sweets that you see on the front cover. You can pick up a copy of the record here, it’s limited to 250 i think.
Rounding up this post on novelty releases is Glasgow’s Mitchell Museum who recently released their new single on a 16-note keyboard. The download code for said single is hidden inside the keyboard so you can either systematically dismantle the keyboard to preserve it or if you feel like smashing the living daylights out of it, get yourself a mallet from the shed, both methods are recommended on the Mitchell Museum website. There’s still a couple of them left here for a fiver.
There can be many factors which delay Elba from confirming a podcast with someone to actually recording the pod. It’s generally to do with when the studio is available and has a free slot for some podcasting but sometimes it can be all about location. In January, we were lucky enough that AJ Roach was in Glasgow rather than Brooklyn, last February we had a relatively short couple of hours to record King James as they passed through Glasgow and we collared Conor Mason on his two day soiree to Glasgow for some shows at the tail end of 2009.
Location can’t be blamed however for this podcast. When booking RM Hubbert for an Elba Presents gig last May I enquired whether or not he fancied popping into the studio for a chat and to play a couple of tunes. Yes was the near instantaneous response,
“where are you based?” he enquired
“The Hidden Lane, it’s just off Argyle Street. Do you know it?”
“I have an office there” came the reply
Well, this should be easy I thought…
Leap forward 9 months and we have finally got it recorded, and it couldn’t have been better timing. Following on from last years highly acclaimed album First & Last, he is just about to embark on a lengthy jaunt across Europe supporting Mogwai, his album is being re-released on Chemikal Underground and he is currently recording the follow up to First & Last with a veritable feast of collaborators which is being produced by Alex Kapranos.
You can listen to the resulting podcast below and download using the wee arrow.
You can cialis 100mg see all of the Mogwai support dates on his website here but if Luxembourg is a bit of a trek for a wet evening you can catch him play the Arches along with the brilliant Finn LeMarinel on February 26th at The Arches in Glasgow.