Tagged: stag and dagger

2014 – A round-up of sorts and our favourite albums

FullSizeRenderElba have been quiet as the proverbial mouse this year but we’ve been making plenty of noise elsewhere. Travelling to all corners of this wonderful country we call home having been invited on a musical journey as well as going coast to coast on the other side of the Atlantic, we’ve pretty much exhausted ourselves to the point of when we did actually have a minute to ourselves, we had no energy to share our thoughts. Gladly though, 2014 has again been an excellent year for music, both locally and within our wider universe.

As well as a raft of albums that we’ll hold dear to our heart for many a year to come, we’ve experienced some gigs and musical moments which will live long in the memory. Too many to mention all of, and some maybe a bit too personal to share.

We started the year off in wonder at Mogwai’s ‘Rave Tapes’ album and were lucky enough to squeeze into the CCA for an intimate performance by the band, that was broadcast live for Vic Galloway’s Celtic Connections special. We ended the year in equally mindblowing style listening again and again to the ‘tour de force’ which is The Twilight Sad’s ‘Nobody Wants To Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave’ which was followed up by a breathtaking and emotional show at the ABC.

Along the way, we had a ball at some of Glasgow’s best ‘day-fests’. Stag & Dagger saw great performances by Honeyblood, Courtney Barnett, Jungle and Los Campesinos!, whilst in the fading summer there was nowhere we’d have rather been than at the East End Social’s Last Big Weekend. Mogwai (again), Honeyblood (again), The Wedding Present, Swervedriver and The Twilight Sad (again) closing out an excellent programme of events.

Some of our favourite local labels once again released a catalogue of gems. In the East, Song, By Toad released great albums by Bastard Mountain and Jonnie Common, whilst in the West, albums by Dan Lyth, Chris Devotion & The Expectations and The Hazey Janes made it another top quality year in the Armellodie stable.

2014 started with lots of ambition and positivity and whilst it ended in near burn-out, we had a great rollercoaster ride in between with things that we wont forget.

2015 is just around the corner and once again we have plans, we want to shout a little bit more about music, so how about we talk a little bit more next year?

Elba’s Albums of 2014

10. Sound of Yell – Brocken Spectre
9. Bastard Mountain – Farewell, Bastard Mountain
8. Remember Remember – Forgetting the Present
7. Withered Hand – New Gods
6. Dan Lyth & The Euphrates – Benthic Lines
5. The Phantom Band – Strange Friend
4. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
3. Mogwai – Rave Tapes
2. Honeyblood – Honeyblood

1. The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave

resize_1413626067

Stag & Dagger Festival 2014

STAG_2014_ART_2nd-507x714

Stag & Dagger is back in Glasgow this May, a few weeks earlier than usual and this time on a Sunday rather than a Saturday, taking advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend. An excellent bit of planning. We’ve mentioned before how fond we are of multi-site city-fests and I’ve looked forward to Stag & Dagger each year it has taken place. Over the years we have seen memorable sets from Django Django, Willy Mason, The Phantom Band, Linden, Hot Panda and Bill Ryder Jones.

This year, split between the ABC, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Broadcast, the CCA and the newly-reopened Art School, acts already announced include Los Campesinos!, Albert Hammond Jr, Courtney Barnett, The Hold Steady, Arc Iris, Laurel Halo and Lanterns On The Lake. More acts will be announced soon but limited earlybird tickets will be available from today.

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

Back

Greetings! We here at Elba wish to offer our sincerest apologies for being quite so hushed last week. As already mentioned in our brief appearances there was some recovery required. We’re back now! Aren’t you glad?

What a lovely week for us to re-appear again as well. Record Store Day falls this Saturday (17th April) and we’ll be talking about that more extensively later in the week. We just wanted to mention it now and encourage you to get yourselves along to Mono, Avalanche and Mixed Up who will be heading up the Glasgow festivities with live bands, silliness (face painting!!!), the token limited edition releases and lots more.


Its also a good week for Swedish music. Former Bon Iver touring companion The Tallest Man on Earth releases The Wild Hunt today. This is Kristian Mattson’s second full length release under his alter ego. He’s a songwriter who echoes Dylan but not in that awful way that you are thinking. That comparison alone would usually put me off were I to read it but it really is an apt summary of his music. However, if your tastes lay more on the grander side, EF return with another great release. They have that magical quality inherent to a lot of Scandinavian music that completely alludes. They make your heart raw with the delicateness of their songs and then make it swell with grand, energetic arrangements.

We’ll have our usual peek at gigs midweek but just wanted to highlight a couple of things happening early this week. Julia & the Doogans, Aspen Tide and Dougie Greig play Pivo Pivo tonight as part of the Exposure Scotland run.

Also over at Oran Mor this very eve a concert for Chilean Earthquake Disaster Fund is taking place with a full and varied line up: Pauline Goldsmith(compere), Ballboy, Ken McCluskey, The Low Miffs, Kid Canaveral, The Boppin Heads, Bruce Morton (comedy), Susan Calman (comedy), “The Wee Man” (comedy), Carlos Arredondo & Galo Ceron, Tam Dean Burn (political theatre), Amy Duncan, Cora Bissett, Rustic City Fathers, Skye Lonegran, Drew Taylor (poetry), Brokeback Jockstrap, Ali Macrae, Mike Gonzalez (guest speaker).

Laura Marling will be appearing at The Old Fruitmarket on Tuesday night. I’m a sucker for pretty folk and she’s just lovely live accompanied by her full band.

Finally, in other live news, Stag and Dagger announced more of their now very busy bill for the May event last week (we’re playing catch up, sorry). Go have a gander here.