On seeing TFB in NYC

Seeing The Front Bottoms in all of their glory is wondrous. Whenever I tell people the band I’m going to see have that name, they laugh as if to say “Are you fucking serious? That’s the band you like and are going to willingly see with a name like that?”

I’ve been championing this band for years, when they were just babies, supporting the Menzingers in a small underground DIY venue in Glasgow.

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I bought a t-shirt from the drummer Mat and we high fived. I didn’t get a chance to meet the singer Brian but their percussionist of the time, Drew, while standing near the back near merch, his dreadlocks hit my face as he was dancing later that night. I didn’t really care because at that time he was a member of The Front Bottoms and they blew me away when they played their set. I mean, I’m not okay with people’s hair hitting my face, but you know what I mean. 

Fast forward to seeing how they would sell out 2,000 capacity rooms in my home town of Glasgow, do I then later find myself seeing them playing two shows at the Brooklyn Steel, a joint headliner with Manchester Orchestra as part of a longer American tour. I am in NYC for just under a week to see friends, experience the city at this festive time of year and consequently escape the shit show that is Brexit.

rbsh

On first night a Friday, I see the carouselling line-up band that are The Front Bottoms headline after an incredible slice of what Manchester Orchestra would be serving up the following day.

Given their tight touring schedule, they “freestyled” it –  and I’m quoting frontman Brian Sella here – as they took some requests from the audience. The backbone and heartbeat of the band – drummer Mat – keeps him right and they play a really fun set. You’d think that given that they didn’t have much time to prepare it would be sloppy, but that’s not the case with The Front Bottoms. Complete with onstage working bar, an upgrade from the Friends-esque couch they had when I saw them play the sold-out Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom the year before.

Given that they had released two EPs and have been touring relentlessly for what feels like forever – when I speak to the lovely merchandise manager Connor, he tells me they don’t have any plans to return to the UK any time soon.

I don’t mind this, because I think even though they did play well: that they deserve a well needed break. Two EP releases in the Grandma series, following their last full length Going Grey, I think it’s time they regroup so (hopefully) they can release some more material. No pressure though, you guys. Just be good. 

Night two is a Saturday and following the gorgeous Americana smooth-like-honey voice of Shannen Moser who had been support for the tour, on came the band that I am always met with stifled laughter at for being so passionate about as the main support. This night is tighter, but the venue is packed to the rafters with New Yorkers, there on the weekend to have a good time.

I actually witness someone crowd surfing with a Santa hat on and a couple of people walking into the venue in with literally lit up Christmas attire and it shocks me into remembering that it is in fact the festive season. ‘Murica.

The second night, they play some old fan favourites given their short set and with the cool stage set up: I have to give it up to the front of house manager who when the song Tie Dye Dragon comes on (on both nights) the stage is illuminated with all of the colours of the rainbow.

For some reason, that song always gets to me and I was never sure why. I think seeing it in a live setting helped secure that appreciation for that song. The opening riff and lyrics are about being on drugs, and one drug comes to my mind when the chorus kicks in and the rest of the band chime in with the oh yeahs: serotonin.

I am guided by the colourful light of this band. I see the future in mysterious ways, just as the song says.

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Maybe the lines about everything being confusing after two recent deaths in my family and the solidification of the words ‘when something’s dead, that’s it, I gotta let it be,’ is what does it.

There is a quiet, aloof confidence with The Front Bottoms. They are amazing live and make for a great party time but if you strip past the entertaining aspect of the on-stage bar, the Cheers drumhead, and the infamous name – this is a band who have that something extra special. I saw it from the start. This is what got them signed to Fueled By Ramen – the same label that Paramore and Panic! At The Disco started on and they’ve gone on to take over the world.

Will I forever be laughed at when I go home to Scotland and tell my friends that I travel to see a band whose name alludes to vaginas? Probably.

But do I care?

Nope.

Because they are transcendent. The lyrics are smart and thought out, everything is calculated and executed perfectly even without much practice. They are a party band with a lot of heart.

Long live The Front Bottoms.

Rock n Roll,
Peace sign, no middle finger,
The Bucky Girl.

Take Off Your Colours at the Barrowlands

 

When I hear about 10-year anniversary shows; I immediately assume it’s a booking made knowing fine well it will sell well because, as we all know – people love to relive their youth no matter what age they are.

Given that I was a baby emo when YMA6 hit the scene, there was something that always made me wary of them. Maybe it was the lead singer’s left eyebrow that no one had shown him how to wax off yet. I thought they were a bad copy of the all the American pop punk bands I grew up to love.

And to an extent — they were. My early teen years I was full of angst, and found comfort in songs by blink-182, and basically, any band signed to Topshelf, Hopeless or Epitaph records. In my ignorance and discomfort; I thought — fuck these guys. They’re just copies of the bands I love, but English.

And for a young Scottish person, that made me even less inclined to engage with this band, I did know a lot of my friends who liked them when they got really into them, but didn’t really get the appeal. But don’t you think for a second that I would listen to the singles and have a belter in privacy to songs like Finders Keepers.

On stage, they actually said that they started a small label called Slam Dunk records and that led them to sign to EMI records. This, in turn, skyrocketed to where they are now.

This is what leads them to play the the hallowed hall of the Barrowlands Ballroom for two nights in a row.

Given that this was an anniversary show — I was like “oh, another one.”

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I made it to the venue after a training session at work and had a massive panic attack.

Outside, the security staff and two girls who came all the way from Falkirk to my rescue in the venue area felt like my guardian angels that night.

When the show began….. FUCK ME.

Given that it was a decade since the release of an album that meant so much to so many — of course it was sold out — but I was able to see how from the front to the back of room was filled with people who were not only reliving their youth; but doing with their friends who grew up on the same music. It’s probably how they met. How they bonded. How their souls became intertwined — and still are ten years down the line.

The lighting set-up was incredible. There were four, massive LED screens that changed with every song they played. The drum kit cover was the same as the TOYC cover.

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The caterpillar eyebrow boy I knew from my Kerrang! buying days is well and truly transformed into a great frontman.

With a combination of the lighting set up, the love, the joy, the camaraderie felt from the front to the back under the stars of the Barrowlands’ roof — I thought I felt: I’m, also, too young to die.

Not when there’s this much elation surrounding me.

This is what music is all about.

So hats off to Josh, Max, Chris, Dan, Mat.

They made it.

We all did.

On why Behind The Noise is still great

Though this blog is mostly inactive these days, (I’ve recently become Editor-in-chief of the Strathclyde Telegraph, I’m nearing the end of my third year of university and have been dealing with a plethora of personal circumstances that I won’t go into for everyone’s benefit) I was reached out to by some of the team at Behind The Noise. If you don’t know who they are, THEN BUCKLE UP.

There’s a good chance that you might not be aware of them if you’re out of secondary school or you’re not actively involved in the running of it BUT I think it’s an amazing organisation that’s afforded me with so many incredible opportunities so it would be daft not to talk about it.

I was able to run a live show at Stereo which I talked about in my blog post, the Chronicles of the Scottish Heroes which I still count as one of my proudest accomplishments to date.

If not for rest of the team, as well as the partnership of fellow trainees Michael, Kieran and Ibby – it would not be as transformative an experience for me not only as a human person, but also as someone who wanted to (and still wants to!) make a career in the creative industries.

Look, posters for our gig! Awww, memories.

Behind The Noise has it’s roots in education, as it starts in schools as a music and business education program. I was told about it off hand when my drama teacher at the time – shout out to Mr Nolan, if it wasn’t for him taking interest and seeking out opportunities for me, then none of this would have happened. That’s what you call a good teacher – was asking me what I was thinking about doing after school. I told him that, idk, maybe like, working with bands and stuff? It just so happened that THAT week, the Behind The Noise workshops would be rolling into our school. They would run as an after school activity, and seeing as I was a big nerd and that sounded like an awesome opportunity, I went along. And after that, my friends, the rest was history.  Kind of. The workshops cultivated into an end of the year live show at The Classic Grand in Glasgow, called The Gig at the Grand. The pictures you see peppered through this post are from the years past, and every time they’re on, they are the cultivation of hard work, stress, tears, and the coming together of people who believe in the younger generation and what they can do creatively. They help them with skills and tools to build up their confidence and think “hey, maybe I CAN work with bands and stuff!”

This is so, so important. Far too often, people think that working in the music industry is just a pipe dream – but when you’re in school, there are little options are available to you if the most you feel like you can do is get into a 14+ show, while missing out on other gigs that your favourite bands are playing because you’re not old enough to drink yet. If you don’t start a band yourself, or have friends in bands — then it feels like there’s no possible way it can ever happen. Behind the Noise changes that, and creates experiences for these kids who might feel like that was never going to be an option. That’s what happened for me, anyway.

Hi Sean!

ANYWAAAAAAAY, enough sappiness. Sean at Behind The Noise has brought on a new team of trainees, and they are putting on a gig of their own. The Noise Floor is a show that will take place at Stereo THIS SUNDAY between the time of 1pm and 4.30pm. While an afternoon show might seem like a total effort, I can promise you that it will be worth heading along to if you get the chance.

While I can’t speak for all of the acts playing, I must recommend two of the ladies that are performing. Cara Rose is fucking incredible. Her soulful voice is reminiscent of Amy Winehouse pre-Blake, and is just as hardhitting and devastatingly beautiful as the Camden native’s. I’m a little bit obsessed. I love her and she’s great and I want to bottle her voice. The dude, while his voice is nice, JUST WAIT FOR CARA’S, THO. Goosebumps guaranteed. Also, I love George Ezra so this video is a win all round.

Okay – now here’s another one that will blow your mind. You know how the song Youth by Daughter is the ultimate indie, all-of-the-feels anthem? WELL SHE’S ONLY BLOODY GONE AND COVERED IT. Maaaaaaaaan. So, so good.

Another amazing lady playing on the Noise Floor is the incomparable Lizzie Reid. Her tone is more mellow, but still harsh when it needs to be. There’s something very enticing about her song ‘I Cannot Speak,’ featured below. There’s a long intro (skip to ~2 minutes for the start of the song) and it opens with almost slam poetry-esque, confessional quality. It’s very raw and interesting and between the various projects that she’s been working on, past of the band Weatherston and currently of the band PESTS, it’s clear that she’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

And you can literally lay your eyes on her, in person, at the Noise Floor! And you get to see Cara Rose! And the other awesome acts!!!!! For ONLY A FIVER!!!! Bargain. Also, you can have a wee veggie/vegan brunch upstairs at the Cafe in Stereo, and their food is lovely. Win win win win win. (Is #winning still a thing or is that a meme that died out in 2012? I’m old.)

Get tickets here and go along if you can, and tell them yer gran at Ambivalent Peaks sent ye. 

—-

P.S. writing this blog post was fun, I might start doing more. Are you intae that? Let me know! I’m on twitter as @soakedinstatic, and my online portfolio is here if you wanna read more of the words I write. 

Interview: The Vegan Leather

Disclaimer – this interview was originally written for and published by Scotcampus in January 2016.



The Vegan Leather are a four piece from Paisley that make infectious, experimental pop. They have branded their genre as ‘art pop,’ and while that phrase may make you think of Lady Gaga, there are only moderate similarities between the two. Their penchant for colourful, coordinated outfits onstage, attention to detail, unflinching talent and banging tunes have enabled them to amass a confidence that commands attention. The Vegan Leather are a band that look to go far next year and they’ll be taking their all of their energy, synthesizers and lipstick with them


Could you introduce yourselves and tell me what you do in the band?


Marie: I’m Marie, I play guitar, synths, percussion, sing; basically just whatever they want me to do.
Matt: I’m Matt and I play bass.
Duncan: I’m Duncan, I press buttons and hit things.
Gianluca: I’m Gian, and I’m the overlord. No, I’m Gianluca and I play guitar, keyboards and sing.

So give me a bit of background about your band – how did you all meet?

Gian: Me and Duncan met a long time ago at the Loud and Proud rock school in Paisley, back in 2008. From then, we kinda formed a stupid, garage rock band. Then from that came something slightly more serious, I dare say, as a two piece drum and bass band. We played dubstep and a lot of dancey drums and keyboard. So that was cool. We still consider it band, but it’s on super hiatus. In 2013 I started making music by myself with the sole production and writing the songs. Then I played two gigs under ‘Vegan Leather,’ and it was just me playing keyboards and drum triggers. After that, me and Duncan were on a night out in Propaganda and I went up to him and asked him he wanted to start another band. We knew Matthew anyway, so we started playing with him. At that point, it was a very different band. It was very spacey, kind of warp-y, kind of proggy. We had one heavy pop song. We played as a three piece for about 11 months, and Marie had sung on our song Days Go By, which we put out in the June of 2014. After that we thought ‘Marie’s great, let’s get her in the real band,’ so we started playing as a four piece from November 2014 onwards, and that’s how we all came together. As a three piece though, that’s when we started writing more poppier songs with…
Matt: Something you can shout along to.
Gian: Yeah and now we are still kind of this pop outfit but we want to keep the progressive aspects there.

Then why did you make the shift to pop in your sound?

Matt: A lot of people did the spacey vibe [at the time] but we wanted to go for something poppy, that no one’s ever heard before. Something that we can comfortably say is that there isn’t anyone playing songs like us. We’re very unique in that way.
Gian: I’d say crowd reaction as well. There was a transitional period where we were playing half progressive, spacey songs and half were pop songs, and people would love the pop songs. So we thought, ‘let’s just write more pop songs,’ but let’s keep our integrity a wee bit but still keep it interesting.



Where did the name ‘The Vegan Leather’ come from?


Gian: It’s a pair of trousers that I have from Topman that I got a few years ago. They’re fake leather, and just thought it was really cool. I’m a vegetarian myself but ‘vegetarian leather’ didn’t roll off the tongue as well. So I used that and it stuck.

You cite some of your influences as being Radiohead, Warpaint and bands similar. Are there any influences that you have as individuals that you bring to the band?

Matt: I’d say we have our own influences and we have our own vibe to the instrument we play. I’ve – it’s cliche to say – but I listen to a lot of Chili Peppers and a lot of Muse, and their bass players are incredible. I studied jazz and jazz standards for a year to two years so I love improvising, and Gian has a lot of cool chords that I can improvise around.
Gian: I love chords!
Matt: He loves chords. I bring that rocky, improvised jazzy bass.
Marie: I’ve been doing solo stuff before I joined the The Vegan Leather, with Duncan actually. It was more indie/folk. I think our sounds are so different, but I think with my voice – it brings the playful, girl/boy, Belle and Sebastian, dancey kind of vibe.
Duncan: I think I’ve gone through the same transition that Gian has, because I’ve known him for so long and we’ve always been in bands together. From playing heavier stuff, to playing poppier jazzier stuff, to where we are now to this whole poppy funky kind of vibe. My biggest influence right now is Bernard Purdie just to name one.

How was the recording process for the material that you have just now?

Gian: Essentially, we went in with a few songs already written from when it was a solo project, so there were only a few ideas floating about. Quite DIY, aren’t we?
Matt: Gian would come up with fully fledged idea and we’d bring our edge to it. Now we’ve been a bit more collaborative.
Gian: More in the recent times, I’ve been the sausage meat and the band have been the filter. I’m the baccy, they’re the skins. The rest of the band structure the songs better than I do. The material we had, if we go back to the [This House] EP, the recording process of that was that we had the songs together from sessions. It was a long period of recording because it was sparse and done in bits. It was mostly recorded in my house because Matthew and I are both engineers, so it was easy to do high quality stuff by ourselves and not have to pay anyone for it. I think we all really enjoyed having such creative control over it because we’ve all got really big ideas.
Matt: Us having that knowledge – well, Gian more than me – of engineering and using programs to make music, we have a great control over. We don’t have to record stuff and send it away to another guy in a studio to record us. We have control of the timbre, the sounds and everything that goes into the song. Which is really, really important.
Gian: Though, sometimes, you come across a really beautiful person who can totally channel what you’re after and do it better than you. That’s what we found with Lewis – Gardiner, from Prides – when he mixed the single (This House). It’s the same song, with the same stems and recording and all that, but he just mixed it again.
Matt: He made magic on it and it’s fucking brilliant.
Gian: It’s brilliant. Big up to big L Gardiner.



At a show you played in Broadcast, there was a point during your song This House where everyone got down on the floor then jumped up. Where did that come from?

Gian: I’ve been to two Slipknot concerts.
Marie: That wasn’t even us.
Matt: I think a couple of our friends started going down, and I just thought, yeah, we’re gonna harness this. So I just started motioning for people to get down. Then it exploded.
Marie: It was mental.

So that’s never happened before?

Matt: Nope, never happened!

Do you think you’ll start to include that in your set now?

Marie: It was kind of a spontaneous thing.
Gian: I just depends if it’s appropriate or not. Obviously we always go wild and have a rockin’ time but it’s just when the crowd are that into going mental.
Marie: That was a late night gig as well.
Gian: So everyone was out of their face, so that was great. It was quite special.



I’ve noticed that you guys are specific with your style, at that show you were all wearing pink, and your graphics on your EP and single both keep with the pink theme. So, why all the pink? 


Gian: Kate Miller did a lot of the graphic design for the band, she designed all the artwork for the EP. When we were getting everything together for it back last March, we asked her if she had any ideas for this? She heard the songs and she just went “pink,” and that’s all she said. And pink’s cool. The 1975 are like big fans of us, so they started doing it. We picked it because it sticks out. It’s beautiful.

Gian, you’ve also been known to wear lipstick onstage. Any particular reason behind that?

Matt: We’re massive KISS fans.
Gian: Make up in the show has a theatrical element. It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s not really a deep thing.

So you’re not making a statement?

Gian: Well… maybe I am.
Duncan: He is, he just doesn’t know about it.
Gian: Make up’s just make up. It’s flairy, it’s not tramp make up. I am not a tramp. I’m not a wee tart, right? It’s just a bit of theatrical, a bit of flair.
Matt: It gives a bit of edge to the live performance. I think people could be like, ‘Why is he doing that? Oh, but the music’s good.’



If you were to try and sell your band to someone that’s never heard you before to come to a show, what would you say to them? 

Duncan: The drums are good. That’s not an easy one because no one really knows what to call us. We call ourselves ‘art pop’ but…

Matt: Basically, there’s no one in Glasgow like us. There’s no other band that’s doing what we’re doing. So, come and experience it.
Marie: You can definitely hear loads of individual influences, and there’s so many instruments on stage. It’s always good fun. I always say that I have so much fun when I’m playing, like it’s not serious.
Gian: That’s what people have said, seeing this band is just straight up fun. That’s what we’re trying to be. Maybe not so much that we’re marketing ourselves to be like LMFAO, like a party band, but like Arcade Fire type of fun, where there’s lots of people trying to jump about and stage dive. It’s big poppy. Cool pop, though. No one’s ever kissed anyone at our show though, that’s a guarantee. We’re all VL’s.

Now your EP and single are out, what’s next for the band in terms of recording and gigs?

Gian: We’re just writing constantly at the minute. We’ve got another single in the works, so we should have it out in 2016 at least. Probably not another EP, but most likely remixes. That’s something we’re really into – doing remixes for other bands. We’re currently working on ones for Miaoux Miaoux and Strawberry Wine. We mixed the Static Union a few months ago. I think the more constant thing that will be coming from us will be remixes I imagine. As far as original material goes, maybe another two singles.


The Vegan Leather are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and probably more social networking sites because they will inevitably take over the world. 

Care about: Kevin Devine

Photo credit: ShervinFoto.com

You see features – including on here – about bands you should watch that are on the rise. They’re shiny and new and potentially something special. This is all fine and good in trying to raise the profile of new bands who might need the exposure, but sometimes when there are certain artists I want to talk about that have been around for a while. Sure, they might have a new single/EP/album which brings them to attention, but I feel like it undermines their work so far to say that they’re someone you should only *now* look out for.

I think I’m going to change the format instead of Ones To Watch to a fall under a category called Care About. Old or new, I want to write about artists that inspire me no matter where they’re at in their careers, and I want to write about why I think you should care about them.

First up for this treatment is Kevin Devine.

If you like The Front Bottoms or the little known band Brand New, then you should at least be aware of Kevin. I’ve found it to be the case, although not always, that people that I speak to that are fans of these bands have heard of Kevin, but don’t listen to him as extensively as they do with the other aforementioned bands.

I always want to shake them and tell them to “DO IT!” very much in a Shia LeBeouf fervour. But why? I’ll reduce it down to a list format and then expand.

1. He’s a superb lyricist.
This one speaks for itself, go and absorb his words. He has a degree in journalism – so he knows the logistics of story telling and the importance of that. I think it adds a different element to his song writing. He’s also heavily inspired by bands like Nirvana and Elliot Smith – so I can imagine he wrestles a lot with the idea of morality. If lyrics and writing weren’t for doing so, then what else? He can take these troubled influences and through their work draw inspiration and create something tangible, meaningful and beautiful.

2. He has a brilliant voice.
Another one that speaks for itself. Go listen to him. Now.

3. He isn’t afraid to comment on current political issues either on social media or in song.
He’s written a number of songs commenting on the state of the world and it’s politics. Music is a good tool for conveying ideas and exploring important issues, and whether people agree or not that musicians should have strong political stances, he does it masterfully, anyway. It’s intelligent and critical without being brutal. It’s honest. If something is important to him – especially in political sense – I think it’s vital that he expresses that through song. It lets people who feel this way connect to what he’s saying and thinking. Maybe you’re in a place where a lot of people around you don’t agree with how you see the world. Put on a Kevin Devine song, and he’s right there with you.
4. He has his own brand of coffee with corresponding mugs.

If you want to pick this up with his coffee blend, you can do so at his merch site.  I can’t vouch for the coffee but the mug is my new staple mug and I will cherish it for the rest of my days.

5. He’s been a working musician for over a decade.
Through the rise and fall of MySpace and all, he’s been around even when the industry has been changing significantly. I have a lot of respect for that. While he’s not had a lot of mainstream success, he has a tight knit of cult fans who I think all feel as strongly as I do about his music. He’s never stopped. He’s always touring, always writing, always working on a new project. I suppose the success doesn’t matter, but the very act of doing and being consistent and consistently good is what makes him so special.
6. He collaborates with a variety of amazing artists.
Recently he’s undertaken a split vinyl collaboration with different artists which comes in six parts. He also plays in a side project with singer of Manchester Orchestra, Andy Hull, and the band are called Bad Books.
The two of them make beautiful music together and the way their voices blend is kind of magical.
Clearly, I am a big fan of this band – my blog is named after one of their songs, too.
7. He plays in beautiful venues.
Sadly I couldn’t get down to Kingston Church in London when he played last year but it looked beautiful. Maybe he could play St. Luke’s next time he’s up in Glasgow for a solo show.
Coincidentally, he has a live version of this entire concert coming out on vinyl that will be available at Big Scary Monsters on the 19th of Februrary. Preorder link is here.
8. He is incredibly humble.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet Kevin a couple of times when he’s played in Glasgow and I can attest that he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He has a lot of heart – and that’s evident when he plays live. He puts a lot of himself into it. He strains himself and his voice because that’s what’s required of the songs that he writes. He never stops, he’s beyond committed and he isn’t an asshole about it.

9. He covers songs he loves, and adds his own unique twist to them.
There’s something really lovely about someone who can make someone else’s song completely their own. He nails it every time.

 

10. Seriously, he’s just fucking brilliant.

So. so. brilliant.

If this has swayed you after reading and you’re in the UK – you’re in luck! Kevin will be supporting The Front Bottoms on an upcoming February tour, although a lot of the shows are selling out so be quick.

If the show in your city in your town is sold out, I’d try twitter. I’ve seen him retweet those who are looking for tickets too. See, he cares, you guys. 
 
And that’s why you should care about him too.

Month round up ft mini reviews of CHVRCHES, Frank Turner, The Fratellis and Rachel Sermanni

Hey pals!

I try to keep this blog updated as best as I can. The reason that I started Ambivalent Peaks was so that if I was ever inspired to write, I would have a platform to do so. Inspiration doesn’t strike as often as I would like and I don’t enjoy the feeling of rushing anything because usually, if I rush things, I fuck them up. I feel I work better when I can come to a nice round-up after a wee while, collect my thoughts and reflect on what’s been going on. Maybe not the best format for a music blog, but hey ho. I do have a Facebook page now that you can like if you want. 

So what’s been going on?

I’ve been pretty obsessed with the new CHVRCHES.

 

So much so that I’ve went through a phase of listening to their first album, The Bones Of What You Believe againI have concluded finally that that album is most probably one of my most favourite albums in recent times as it’s one I can actually listen to all the way through and enjoy. Now that might not sound like a massive feat, but the way that people in the modern day – and myself especially – consume music is very sporadic. I’ll find a song by an artist that I like and tend to fixate more on that song and how good it is and not be too fussed about trying to listen to the album that it belongs to. Usually, when I do, I find myself skipping songs or not having as much patience as I feel people 20 years ago might have had. Us damn kids and our short attentions spans. Bloody Vine.

Singer of the band Lauren Mayberry also publicly called out dickheads on the internet because they were being a prime of example of why sometimes I hate the entire universe. Being targetted for putting out music that you create I can only imagine is a scary thing to do, but to be attacked by people on the internet for it and ripped apart because of your gender has got to be terrifying. Holy shit, let the girl be in a music video. The whole thing sucks but I respect her so much for calling them out and not ignoring what was going on.

I also got to see Frank Turner in King Tut’s when he played there as part of a very last minute (the announcement was anyway, I’m unsure of the amount of planning behind it) acoustic set in support of his new album. It was really intimate and special and lovely.

From my instagram.

There’s something quite magical about seeing someone who’s capable of playing a lot larger venues playing a stripped back, no frills set. There’s also something magical when smaller artists play the same kind of sets but have bucket loads of potential and you can sense that they’re going to grow and get even better than what you can see in front of you — but you know for now that you got lucky being able to see them early on.

That was a wee bit deep and hipster-y, wasn’t it? Woops.

Moving on… earlier this month I was also very lucky to sit in the audience for the BBC Quay Sessions, a new show for radio hosted by Edith Bowman. The show(if you haven’t guessed) is based at the BBC Scotland at the Quay, where bands come in every two weeks to perform live for sessions.

Although rather than it being an acoustic session ala Tenement TV (see above, one of my favourite bands Manchester Orchestra playing a set for them) or smaller scaled like a NPR Tiny Desk Concert, it’s set up to be as lively as a gig. It might be a little bit difficult for some to zone out and pretend you’re not sitting in the figurative front room of a corporation building, but it works. Set against the backdrop of the River Clyde and and Armadillo in full view, it’s kind of astounding. A gig with a view.

I’ve been twice. The first one I attended, I wasn’t familiar with the artists playing but it was a nice experience nonetheless. The tickets are free if you apply for them in advance. The second time I went, there were some familiar faces. First up were The Fratellis. You know who The Fratellis are. I’d never seen them before, but since they’ve planted themselves firm in the Glasgow music scene as being one of the most well known bands from the city, I was looking forward to seeing if they matched up to their reputation.

I was pleasantly surprised. After almost ten years of storming the charts with Chelsea Dagger, they proved to be energetic and eager to show off their new material. Stylistically, it was very different to what some punters may know and love but their live performance was stellar. Frontman (Did you know he’s not actually called Jon Fratelli? It’s John Lawler. Who woulda thunk it. Anyway, for generalising purposes, we’ll stick to what we all know, shall we?) Jon Fratelli was sweating by the third song in. They have great stage presence and there was some people dancing out of their seats along to them. There was a really sweet moment when a mother and daughter were dancing together in the aisle, to which they were mentioned by the band on stage. I live for interactions like those. See below.

The next familiar face was Rachel Sermanni. Now, I’m not even going to get into how much I was besotted by her. Her performance was a world away from the Fratellis’. Not in a bad way. She was mind blowing. In a way that made you sit and reconsider your entire life. Watching her perform and listening to her lyrics made me want to jump on a plane and head to a remote cottage somewhere in Canada and drink wine and write until further notice. The performance was so captivating and the vibe was totally different. The audience were quieter because they were paying attention. While the Fratellis made you want to get out of your seat and have a dance – which is exhilarating itself – this was exhilarating in a different way. Rather than wanting to get involved with it, I think it is something more to sit back, watch and absorb what’s going on. I walked away a different woman after that performance, let me tell you.

I think that’s everything for now. I’m going to try and get some more updates up on here before I start back at uni next month. Where does the time go?!