Thursday, 1 October 2009

Kid Canaveral EP Launch

Sort of forgot to mention this before now, but after a little prod I'm remembering now.
I deliberatly didn't touch on this one until now, saving it as part of my mini "stuff that's happening over in Edinburgh" fest instead. (I don't think I'm going to get away with that...)

Anyway, Kid Canaveral are a two boy, two girl indie pop combo, with a nice little collection of 7" singles to their name so far. This weekend they play a launch gig for their new EP, Left & Right at The Bowery in Edinburgh. If you click on the wee picture up the top there it should open up at a readable size so you can get the info.

Support comes from Cancel The Astronauts and Popup, two other favourites round these parts - do a search and read what I've written about them before if you don't believe me - so it should be a splendid night of sheer indie joy. One I can't go to...

Get yourself along if you can and tell everyone Jim sent you. All but a few people will stare at you blankly, but that's alright, that's how my whole life feels.

I'll be reviewing Left & Right soon, but in the meantime whet your appetite with an interview Kid Canaveral did with Peenko and see what Glasgow PodcART had to say about the EP.

Album Review: The Gothenburg Address

It seems every time I sat down to do this review something or other has cropped up to stop me finishing it. As a result it's been written in stages, so apologies in advance if that makes it a terrible read. Point out any huge flaws and I'll fix them.

The Gothenburg Address are a four piece from Edinburgh, comprising of Chris Bathgate (guitar), Rob Doig (bass) Luke Joyce (guitar) and David Jeans (drums). If any of those names are name to you, give yourself a point, in the past some of the members have played in other bands, including The Complete Stone Roses, Arab Strap and The Zephyrs. The band themselves first came to my attention back in May around the time of their release of A Lesser Coming Home as a single, mostly thanks to Ed over at 17 Seconds.

If you were paying attention a moment ago you'll have noticed that I didn't mention a vocalist. That's because there isn't one. That in itself maked The Gothenburg Address a bit of a hard sell for me right away. I enjoy an instrumental band, but sometimes it feels like you can't move for them. If a band has a charasmatic singer as a front man, if the songs aren't up to scratch and the band isn't on form, they can hide behind that front man. With an instrumental band there's no hiding place, and believe me, during some of those "can't move for them" bands that I've seen and heard, I've really wanted to hide. However, happily, any fears I initially had were blown out the water upon hearing that first single and from then on I've been keeping an eye and ear on The Gothenburg Address.

Which brings us along to this, their debut album. I'll almost never go out my way to ask a band to send me something - it's a confidence thing, I'm always convinced they'll say no - but when their Facebook page said they were inviting promo requests I couldn't hold myself back, and the album dropped through my door last week and has been getting played regularly since.

The album kick off with the grand sounding Leaving The Last Behind, which is lent further gravitas, as if it needed any, by Alan Barr, who pops up to lend cello. From there on, frankly, the album doesn't put a foot wrong. There's no need for a hiding place when your band sounds this tight and your songs are this well crafted.
There's no sense of the songs being samey, another trap some instrumental bands can fall into, everything sounds different but distinctive.

You can invite comparisons to the likes of Mogwai, even Aereogramme in places, but although those bands are handy reference points, The Gothenburg Address don't really sound anything like them, they sound like The Gothenburg Address, which is just another reason why I'm so in love with this album.

Quite honestly, there's not a single bad thing I can say about this album. It's already pushed its way through the queue of other albums I've loved this year to announce itself as a likely candidate for one of the year's finest. With that in mind it is hard to pick highlights, but just shading it are the tracks that bookend the album, opener Leaving The Last Behind and finale I Am Made Of Hearts + Fire, along with Its Not A Fjord But A Lake just ever so slightly shade it as my favourite tracks.

The album doesn't just live up to the early promise of May's single release, it exceeds it. On the arbitrary, meaningless star scoring system, it gets a solid Five Stars out of five*.

You can find The Gothenburg Address at the following places - Website - MySpace - Twitter

The band have put together a trailer for the album, you can watch that below.

Also, for a bit more of a taster of the band, you can jump over to their website and download their Shimmer In The City EP, made up of a live recording of the band performing at Nice n Sleazys in Glasgow, for the bargain price of nothing.

*I was asked about the scoring system the other day, so I'll go ahead an explain. I don't put an awful lot of faith in stars/numbers to sum up an album and think it can lead to laziness in just looking to see how an album rated. I'm all about catering to everyone though, so I'll include an out of five stars system on a review to keep those that like them happy, I'll just point out that in the grand scheme of things they don't really matter.

Malcolm Middleton's Long Dark Night(s)

Malcolm Middleton is doing a tour in December, look at the poster for dates.

Personally I'd have ranked him as my number one arch-miserablist.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

17 Seconds Special

If you wanted to be mean to me (and why would you want to do that? I'm quite nice really) you could point out that Aye Tunes always has a bit of a Glasgowcentric, West Coast bias. It's true, but it's not really my fault. I live hear, so I know more about what is going on at this side of Scotland than I do in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or wherever. Anyway, just for you hypothetical mean people, let's swing the spotlight outside of Glasgow.

17 Seconds Records is, as the name might suggest, a record company. Run by Ed, who is also the brains behind the long running 17 Seconds blog, they are based over in Edinburgh. Already there's a fine roster of artists signed up to the 17 Seconds Records roster, a couple of whom I'll be talking about a bit today.

Aberfeldy were one of the first acts signed to 17 Seconds, and now one fifth of them, Chris Bradley, is signed up solo too. Chris already has one solo album to his name, Voices, which 17 Seconds will be re releasing next year. Before that though comes a single 'Bored Little Rosie'/'The Man I Love' out on October 5th and a second album, tentatively titled Go On, My Son to follow in November.

Here's a little taster from the new album.
Chris Bradley - Golden Girl
Chris Bradley MySpace

Another early signing to the label is Tony T, better known as X Lion Tamer. Described by himself as "Sounds like the ending credits of low budget 80s teen movies – played on your mate’s Amiga", X Lion Tamer is a world away from the other music on 17 Seconds Records, and from most artists generally featured by Aye Tunes for that matter. There's two download singles available by X Lion Tamer, both of which have now been combined and made available on CD as Neon Hearts EP.
The following song Life Support Machine is available on the Neon Hearts CD and as the second track on the download single.

X Lion Tamer - Life Support Machine
X Lion Tamer MySpace

You can keep up with 17 Seconds, the blog and the label at these places - Blog - MySpace - Website

17 Second Records are available to download at the usual places, including iTunes and eMusic

Upcoming live dates include:
2 Oct 2009 X-Lion Tamer at Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
8 Oct 2009 Chris Bradley supporting Dr. Robert at Water Rats, King’s Cross, London
9 Oct 2009 X-Lion Tamer at Devil Disco at The Bongo Club, Edinburgh
17 Oct 2009 Escape Act at Eamonn Dorans, Dublin
23 Oct 2009 Aberfeldy at Cupar Corn Exchange, Cupar
30 Oct 2009 17 Seconds night at the 13th Note,with the Dirty Cuts, Chris Bradley and X-Lion Tamer, Glasgow
27 Nov 2009 The Dirty Cuts @ Pin Up Club at The Flying Duck, Glasgow