Tagged: strike the colours

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.

Do a little bit for Japan

I’m sure we’ve all seen the awful pictures and devastation that the earthquake and subsequent tsunami has caused over the last few weeks in Japan. We just wanted to highlight a couple of the many worthwhile fundraising efforts that are being made to help send a bit more aid to the region.

The good people over at Audio Antihero have released a compilation with a staggering 34 (THIRTY FOUR) tracks featuring the likes of Meursault, Nosferatu D2, Darren Hayman and Le Reno Amps. The donation for this album is as follows, straight from the horses mouth;

“It’s priced at £3.99

to those of you who can’t afford much and the ‘pay what you want’ option invites those of you with a little extra to dig a little deeper. Thank you”

The proceeds will be split between the following, Japan Society, Shelterbox, Red Cross, Save The Children and The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. You can buy the album, titled ‘Bob Hope Would…’ here

Meanwhile, on the live front here in Glasgow, there will be a fundraising gig for the Red Cross taking place at Stereo next Wednesday 30th March. The line up includes a Sparrow and The Workshop/Strike The Colours mash up with a Jill O’Sullivan and Jenny Reeve collaborative effort, Haight Ashbury and Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit. Tickets are a fiver in and are likely to shift fast. You can buy in advance here.

The Boy Who Trapped The Sun

In the lead up to this year’s Hinterland Festival, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the artists that we’re looking forward to seeing. We’ll keep our ‘Top 5’s’ under wraps for the moment but to kick us off please welcome The Boy Who Trapped The Sun aka Colin McLeod.

Colin was originally from the Isle of Lewis, but is now based in London. He has come via Aberdeen where he was discovered hanging off the roof, playing Deep Purple covers, and as he puts it ‘generally acting like an arse’. A long way from the Deep Purple covers, his latest EP ‘Home’ is a highly accomplished piece of songwriting which has rootsy blues undertones and is a great listen.

For those of us not in the know, please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Colin and I play under the name of the boy who trapped the sun

Where did the name ‘The Boy Who Trapped The Sun’ come from?

The name is a secret. If I told you I’d have to kill you.

Do you take any musical influence from growing up in the Western Isles or are your influences more broad?

Musically I take influence from everywhere, almost anything I listen to seems to influence me, I’m a bit of a musical sponge. I guess the traditional gaelic music and singing from home had more of an influence on my singing style than I thought because I can hear alot of it in the stuff I’ve recorded, but I guess that’s only natural. My dad has it on the radio night and day, you can’t escape it.

There is obviously a huge music scene in London, but do you like coming back up and playing gigs in Scotland? Where is your favourite venue in Scotland?

Scotland is def my home, I’ve always felt more connected to Glasgow than London. I suppose it’s because when I was younger at home, Glasgow was the music capital of the world to me, and London felt like a different planet!! Just because it was so far away. So the draw was always to Glasgow and that scene. I love London, it’s such a great city for music it really feels like you’re at the centre of the world but I never felt a part of the scene there, just a spectator! I think my fav venue though is a toss up between King Tuts and The Taphouse Bar in St.Agnes, Cornwall.

We’re excited about seeing you play the Hinterland Festival, are there any other bands on the Hinterland bill that you are hoping to catch?

I love Jeffrey Lewis, I’m quite excited he’s playing cos I missed him at All Tomorrows Parties last year and I love British Sea Power, they’re always entertaining. I’m really looking forward to seeing Kitty the Lion as well, that’s a band full of talented people if ever there was one!

We always try to ask anyone who does a podcast or interview for Elba Sessions if there are any bands we should be checking out? Any recommendations?

DotJR, The Moth And The Mirror, Brother Louis Collective, Strike the Colours, Amber Wilson, Cant Swim. I should stop now.

Finally, what can we expect from you in the coming months?

I’ve got an album coming out in the summer hopefully, and I’ve got a couple of shows coming up supporting the John Butler Trio that im really excited about. I’m really looking forward to festival time, I’m going to be busy, which is nice.

The Boy Who Trapped The Sun plays the Hinterland Festival in Glasgow on April 3rd (). His latest EP ‘Home’ is out now and can be purchased here. For the most up to date news check out the links below.

http://www.myspace.com/theboywhotrappedthesun

http://www.facebook.com/theboywhotrappedthesun

http://twitter.com/trappedthesun

Striking

I apologise profusely for the insanely fan-ish warble that will follow. The plain fact is though: I (please affix appropriate enthusiastic formatting to the following word, expletive prefix also acceptable) love Strike The Colours. In fact, talking about Strike The Colours is a very favourite past time of mine.

This phenomenon began when a Miss Jenny Reeve started producing music with first band Eva. It continued on through the period where a reshuffle brought a group adorning the moniker Reeve. I still cherish the sleeveless CD-R demo, which is either nameless or entitled September Sessions, attained by pleading with a flatmate of that epoch* who was interning with Reeve’s management. On said taster there features an early version of Bare Legs In A Storm. This would later be resurrected on Strike The Colours’ delightful 2007 debut mini-album, The Face That Sunk A Thousand Ships. Unfortunately, a song that has yet to be revisited is 366. 366 is a track that features a guitar riff, vocal howl and what I can only describe as a spy-movie-theme rhythm element which, when combined, makes me drool.

Reeve Demo

If you require reason beyond the fact that Strike The Colours write the most enchanting music and weave tales that none but the pure voice of Jenny Reeve could deliver to join me in my ode then that is not hard to provide. This band present the most impressive list of affiliated bands, persons and releases hailing from Scotland including;  Arab Strap, Idlewild, Terra Diablo, The Reindeer Section and Alasdair Roberts. The list does go on but I feel that should be enough to convince you to listen to, love and head along to one of STC’s live shows this weekend. They round up their UK tour supporting Zoey Van Goey with the following dates:

2nd October – Stereo Glasgow
3rd October – Snafu Aberdeen
4th October – Hootananny’s Inverness

GOGOGO!

Seven Roads, Strike The Colours’ second album, was released on Monday 28th September. The album will be available direct from the band at their shows and through their official online shoppy-shop.

*circa 2003