Monday, 16 July 2012

KTSN12: Beerjacket

Beerjacket will be joined by friends to perform his latest album in its entirety
(Photo by Lisa-Marie Ferla)

The horribly clich├ęd term "singer/songwriter" is thrown around all too frequently these days, with every man, woman and child picking up a guitar in hope of becoming the next Bob Dylan, Regina Spektor or, God forbid, Ed Sheeran. Truth be told, there are very few who have the combined musical ability and lyrical dexterity to truly capture the attention, never mind the hearts, of an audience. Then there's Beerjacket.

With seven releases in the past eight years, one man alt-folk troubadour Peter Kelly is no newcomer to the Scottish circuit. Despite an impressive back catalogue of home-recorded material which has saw him share the stage with (and consequently win over) the likes of Feist, The Guillemots, The National and Ron Sexmith, it was his decision to take a step away from his long time lo-fi, DIY approach and finally take a step in to the studio with producer Stuart MacLeod on latest album The White Feather Trail that helped the music of Beerjacket reach a wider audience, resulting in widespread critical acclaim - and it's this latest offering that will be the focus of tomorrow night's headline King Tut's show, his second of this year.

The usually lonesome figure of Peter Kelly will this time be joined by the lovely Julia Doogan on vocals and the aforementioned Stuart MacLeod on various instruments ranging from the mandolin to baritone guitar, to perform The White Feather Trail in its entirety for the first time ever before treating his audience to a selection of favourites both old and new.

When I am asked what Scottish bands or artists I would recommend (and I am asked this question on a near daily basis) Beerjacket, without hesitation, is always my first response. Never have I came across a more impassioned, hard working and truly inspiring musician and human being and after the success of his recent venture in to the world of professional recording, I can confidently say this is only the beginning for one of Scotland, dare I say it Britain's, finest talents.

Support on the night comes from the stunning Glasgow based, atmospheric six-piece Quickbeam and husky, Oban lad Mike Nisbet whilst Scotland's favourite music blogger The Pop Cop will be selecting tracks for your aural delectation in the downstairs bar from 7pm.

Friday, 13 July 2012

KTSN12: Hector Bizerk + Madhat McGore

Louie and Audrey of Hector Bizerk headline the second night of KTSN12

There once was a time when the Scottish accent was frowned upon if it wasn't being performed by two spectacle wearing twin brothers, but with the rise of Biffy Clyro, and more recently Twin Atlantic, the thick Scottish brogue has well and truly found its voice - and guitar driven music isn't the only genre to benefit from the acceptance of foreign ears. You might not realise it but Scottish hip-hop is alive and kicking and tonight's bill firmly cements that fact.

Headlining the second night of King Tut's Summer Nights are Glaswegian two-piece Hector Bizerk. With just a mic and a drum kit, such a minimal set up not only displays the true genius of Louie's lyrics but allows the band to challenge themselves musically, something which they've proved more than capable of achieving. Fresh from their slot on the BBC Introducing Stage at T in the Park last Saturday (which I previewed here and which you can watch here), this dynamic duo are sure to impress even the most cynical of Scottish music fans when they take to the legendary King Tut's stage tonight.

Supporting is an Edinburgh MC who has been tearing up stages the length and breadth of the country with his sharp lyrics and heavy beats. Madhat McGore is no stranger to the Scottish hip-hop scene, having been writing and producing for the past 12 years, and his knack for rhymes and quick beats has helped put Scottish rap on the map. With the backing of MTV, Radio 1 and even the Daily Record, Madhat's unique blend of dubstep, grime and hip-hop reaffirms his status as one of Scotland's leading MCs.

Rounding off this fine exhibition of Scottish hip-hop is one of Glasgow's best kept secrets in the form of
Gasp as well as haunting female vocals with exquisite beats from a personal favourite of mine, Becci Wallace & BilL Breaks. If that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, the girls behind the notoriously awesome MILK Glasgow nights, Aileen and Hannah, will be playing a whole host of tunes from 7pm in the downstairs bar to keep you entertained.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

KTSN12: Pronto Mama

Pronto Mama kick off the first night of King Tut's Summer Nights 2012

Since releasing their debut, home recorded EP back in May last year, Pronto Mama have been turning heads with their self proclaimed brand of polyrhythmic indie-rock and it's easy to see why. Almost a year on from their previous sold out King Tut's show, the boys will be using tonight to celebrate the launch of their latest EP, Lickety Split. Clever lyrics are regularly delivered in stunning harmony like a proud Scottish barbershop quartet to the backing of glorious horn sections in a manner so grand that you simply can't ignore it. These guys aren't just all about the elegant harmonies and instrumentation however, they also know how to write a good old fashioned guitar tune or two. Having already been live session guests on Radio 1's BBC Introducing and with support from the likes of Ally McCrae, Jim Gellatly, Vic Galloway and even comedian Robert Florence who directed their recent music video, it's been a year to remember for Pronto Mama and tonight will no doubt be a night to remember for both band and audience alike.

Support tonight comes in the form of trumpet laden pop from Stirling's Brazil Exists, Aberdonian indie disco kings The Little Kicks and anthemic four-piece Lost City Soul from Dundee. Doors open at 8pm and there are tickets available on the door, but get down early to catch the Detour boys, Ally & Weaver, who'll be spinning some tracks in the bar from 7pm.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

King Tut's Summer Nights 2012

After the success of the previous two years, King Tut's Summer Nights returns bigger and better than ever with another two weeks of some of the best new musical talent Scotland has to offer.

With over 60 up and coming bands and artists appearing at Scotland's most loved music venue over fifteen nights, there's enough diversity to cater for every taste. If that wasn't enough to make you spend a little of your hard earned cash, there will be DJ sets from bloggers and various people involved with supporting Scottish music before the doors to each gig open. So whilst you are enjoying one of Tut's special Summer Nights' offers such as Tacos or an Enchilada plus a bottle of beer or a margarita for £4.50 or a bargain £8 for two, you can also enjoy an array of handpicked tracks from the likes of the Pop Cop, Favourite Son, the MILK girls, Glasgow PodcART and the Detour boys to gear you up for the night ahead. I'll even be spinning some tunes before Midnight Lion so feel free to hurl abuse at me whilst I force some Destiny's Child down your lugs. Each night will also feature a secret midnight guest after the headline act has finished performing so stick around; you never know who you might come across. 

Tickets for each night are available in person from King Tut's Wah Wah Hut but I'd rather you clicked the "Tickets" link below after each listed night where you will find cheap tickets, directly from the artists themselves. DJ Sets will begin at 7pm in the bar and all gigs are over 18s unless otherwise stated. To listen to a selection of the selected artists via a King Tut's Summer Night's playlist on Spotify, click here.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

TITP: Best of the BBC Introducing Stage 2012

So begins the return of the part-time blogger, and what better way to return than by listing some of this weekends best alternatives to Cher Lloyd. T Break, like every year, is the place to be however there are a few spectacular gems to be found on T in the Park's newly resident BBC Introducing Stage.



If you like your music delivered with a swift, metaphorical punch to the face then look no further than Glasgow four-piece, United Fruit. Be prepared for a perfectly executed cacophony of vicious guitars, fierce vocals and ferocious drumming that will blow your mud soaked wellies off your sodden feet.


Glasgow based, Kilmarnock three-piece Fatherson bring their unashamedly Scottish brand of powerpop back to Balado. Following an impressive performance on the T Break stage last year in front of a packed audience, expect an impassioned set filled with rousing vocals and mass sing-alongs.

Last year, Madhat McGore represented the Edinburgh hip-hop scene. This year it's Glasgow's turn in the form of one of the city's freshest duos, Hector Bizerk. Armed with just a mic, a drum kit and plenty of sharp lyrics in a thick Scottish brogue coming at you faster than a 62 down Union St, the setup is simple but the beats are slick. It's this back to basics take on hip-hop that creates such raw energy that can only be truly appreciated in a live setting. Drums. Rap. Yes.


Having played BBC Introducing Stage back in 2010 before going on to sell out venues such as Glasgow's ABC, I think it's safe to say there were a few surprises when Admiral Fallow were announced as one of the twenty chosen "Introducing" bands, not least because of the marvellous reception their second album, Tree Bursts in Snow, received from critics and fans alike on release earlier this year. Nevertheless, whether they deserve to play a bigger stage or not is irrelevant. What is relevant however is the stunning performances Louis Abbot and co deliver time and time again. One of the highlights of the weekend, guaranteed.


Multi-instrumentalist and producer Julian Corrie, aka Miaoux Miaoux, has been creating, producing and performing colourful, synth-infused, dance-pop for a number of years. Already a much loved talent among Scottish music aficionados, Miaoux Miaoux has taken 2012 by storm with the release of his latest album, Light of the North, on Chemikal Underground Records. Now with the backing of a full band, this is truly a performance you don't want to miss. Even if it is just to witness some mesmerising dancing by his (rightly) adoring fans.

I confess, I broke the first rule of my blog. Well, probably the only rule. "Thou shall not feature non-Scottish musicians on thy blog"... or something like that. But I am more than happy to ignore that for a moment to honour one of many fine talents that Northern Ireland continue to breed. Catchier than a STD from a wee dirty in the toilets of the Savoy, let Belfast's own More Than Conquerors win you over with their charm, passion and bucket loads of talent. Normal service will resume shortly.