Saturday, 13 November 2010

Spotlight: Male Pattern Band

Here at Aye Tunes we are a bit crap at getting hold of bands and asking them some questions, which is something we need to work on. With that in mind, I approached Male Pattern Band to see if they'd be willing guinea pigs for an introducing type feature, since I'd caught them supporting French Wives a few weeks ago and really enjoyed them. Happily they were and Singer/Guitarist Chris McCrory answered my incoherent questions for me.

Who are Male Pattern Band?
Male Pattern Band are essentially the result of a bleak, nowhere suburban upbringing and the strong desire to escape to something better, something brighter. Maybe we're trying to change our lives for the better, maybe we're just passing time. I don't really know. But if you want to skip all that wanky crap, we are just three friends who enjoy playing music together; who happen to dislike their current surroundings and write songs about psychotropic-addled girls, boys and the usual late-teen frustrations.

What do you sound like?

"Junkyard Pop" - That's what we sound like, to me anyway. It's something you have to figure out; come and see us live or something then decide. People say we sound like The Modern Lovers, people say we sound like Pavement or, "Like Flies on Sherbet" era Alex Chilton, even Sonic Youth. I say, we sound like "Junkyard Pop".

You've got a couple of sold out CDr's under your belt now, and most recently a tape, can we expect any other releases sometime soon?

We are going to release our first LP in the new year, we recorded it in May at Green Door studio with Emily MacLaren and Stu Evans. Most of it was done in one take very late at night and it is probably the definition of "Junkyard Pop". As a band we've evolved since then, as we only played our first gig in February. However, the record is a moment in time we really enjoyed, and we'd like to share that moment with you.
Other than the album, we are doing a very limited re-issue of the split-cassette on CD in February for folks who don't have a cassette player. And other than that, we just recorded another EP with a good friend containing a mix of new and older tracks. We are kind of experimenting with complete Lo-Fi 4-track cassette Portastudio recordings, Analogue 8 & 16 track Tape recordings and full on Pro Tools HD recordings and just trying to find what works best. We are all very interested in the world of recording and sound production. I have a bit of a studio set up here so we just spend hours screwing around making some cool noises and having fun with it really. There was also talk of a free covers EP later in the year, who knows.

Why a tape anyway, and how did teaming up with Black Jash for it come about?

There isn't really a solid reason for releasing on a cassette tape, it's just kind of cool to us. The first music I ever owned as a child was on cassette tape. Also a lot of the noise and otherwise left-field bands we like on Winning Sperm Party are doing it and we thought it was a pretty cool idea. I think it helps put the value back into owning music - rather than just a faceless mp3, it's something you can hold and look at and if you hate it, I suppose you can make it into a necklace.
As for teaming up with Black Jash, we were introduced to them through Emily and Stu at Green Door and we just really took to them. They play good music and put on a brilliant live show, I wish I could work a crowd and, "banter" like Bob does. We invited them up here for gigs together, got talking and the ball started rolling.

You've been pretty busy gigging, has there been anything that has stood out as particularly good so far?

For me, supporting Thee Oh Sees earlier in the year was a particular highlight as they are a band I've been really into for the past couple of years. In The Red records are a big influence on me in particular. I mean, I literally had to run down Sauchiehall St and on to the stage at Sleazy's out of breath and flustered - but I was playing with Thee Oh Sees, how cool is that?!?! Playing with Astral Planes at Brel in the summer was good too, they were a band I seen supporting the late Jay Reatard (another great In The Red... artist) at King Tuts when Male Pattern Band we're just a proverbial 'twinkle in my eye' and I was rather taken by their set. However, supporting French Wives at Stereo in October was I think the highlight gig for the band as a whole. French Wives to us are probably on the tip of a very large and successful musical iceberg, they are a fantastic band. Plus, we've all wanted to play Stereo for years , so many good bands play there. We were shitting ourselves before we went on, but it was brilliant to play that gig.

Was there anything that hasn't gone so well?

The only gig that didn't go so we'll for us was supporting Sky Larkin at Captains Rest a few months ago. Both my guitars broke in soundcheck, serves me right I suppose for not using cases or whatever - I never had any at the time. However, luckily Katie from Sky Larkin let me borrow one of her guitars for the show. That wasn't the end of our sorrows unfortunately - We err, over-indulged on the bountiful supply of free booze Captains Rest offers it's bands and went on stage rather pissed. My voice then proceeded to almost completely burn itself out halfway through the set. Bit of a disaster from our point of view, but folk seemed to enjoy it and Rokbun gave it a positive review so I'm not sure if it's just us being perfectionists or not. You win some, you lose some, y'know?

Finally, what are your upcoming plans, and what can we look forward to from the band over the next few months?

We'll we now have a website - - that we made. There are lots of hidden secret pages, I bet you can find them. (Jim: I've not found any, I'm rubbish) We'll be using that instead of Myspace now, we still have a very basic page with contact and gig info though if you are a Myspace die hard. But all the updates will be going on the website and our Facebook page.
As for real world plans, just keep doing what we're doing but at a higher gear. Ultimately writing songs, playing gigs and having fun. However, you should definitely look out for more EPs, exclusive releases, one-off and/or otherwise bizarre gigs and maybe even LP number 2 in the near future.

There's a couple of chances to catch Male Pattern Band coming up soon, the Tut's gig should be particularly good.
Male Pattern Band: Upcoming Gigs
- 11th December @ Flying Duck for the Rancho Picante Christmas Party
- 19th December @ King Tuts supporting St Deluxe (Buy Tickets)
- 12th February @ Gambetta w/ Paws

Photos by Claire Thomson

Male Pattern Band: Website - Facebook

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Define Pop Festival 3

Ah time, you've gotten away from me again. The third Define Pop Festival takes place this Saturday across Stereo, the Admiral Bar and Pivo Pivo, and I'd intended to do a better preview of it that this, but haven't, obviously.

Last year's festival was more fun than a bag of, um, fun things (read a very hungover review here if you want) with plenty excellent bands and a ton of good folk. Although we can only guess at the quality of the folk on Saturday the line up looks just as excellent.
Here's the line up and stage times, subject to change:

4.30 The Ghosties
7.50 Epic26
8.40 Suspire
9.45 Cities & Skylines

Pivo Pivo
6.45 Little Fire
9.15 The Mademoiselle
10.55 Kochka

Over The Wall Get "Treacherous"

Over The Wall release their debut album, Treacherous, on November 22nd. To celebrate there are a pair of launch gigs. The first is tomorrow night in Edinburgh, the second on November 20th in Glasgow. Here's a little video of Ben and Gav to tell you more details:

The Edinburgh gig is also Limbo's third birthday and Over The Wall will be supported by How To Swim and The Oates Field, and that takes place at The Voodoo Rooms (Buy Tickets)
For the Glasgow gig on the 20th, in the Captain's Rest, Over The Wall will be joined by kasule, with the evening hosted by Bozilla. (Buy Tickets)

The album is released by Motive Sounds on November 22nd and will be available to buy direct from there or from all the usual shops.

I'll try and review the album soon, but in the meantime you can hear one of the tracks below.
Stream: Over The Wall - Two Nightmares

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Stereo's Special Deal

Pretty much just a plug this post, so skip it if you don't like it.

January can be a bit of a rubbish time for gigs, everyone is a bit skint after Christmas and New Year, so anyone putting a gig on runs the risk of it being quieter than usual, so many don't bother.

With that in mind Stereo in Glasgow are offering a special deal for the month of January. Instead of the usual prices hiring the venue will only cost £80. That, to me, is a bit of a bargain.

To book the place, or for more info, email Si. If you feel like telling him i sent you, please do.

You never know, might even take up that offer myself...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

This Week's Gigs: 8th - 14th November

Before I get on with what is on this week a quick thank to everyone that came down to The Classic Grand on Friday for our gig and a huge thanks to I build Collapsible Mountains, Come on Gang! and The Seventeenth Century for playing. They were all, of course, excellent.
Now, on to this week.

Wavves, Otherpeople, PAWS. The Arches (Tickets)
Not that keen on Wavves to be honest, but we like Otherpeople and PAWS loads. While I'm at it, you can grab a free download of Wooplash by Otherpeople over at Artrocker just now.

The second Miller Filtered Music gig sees Ash play a stripped back set, joined by local supports Aerials Up and Alan R. Davison.
Focus Left. The Arches
Focus Left is a new platform for short filmmakers who are interested in incorporating live elements into the screening of their work, whether it be live music, soundscape, performance or improvised narration. The line up for the night includes:
Forest of Black's short film from this year's Homegame Music Festival
Live audiovisual electronica performance of No Man's Land by Fiona Soe Paing
Retchy (aka Graeme Hawkins) performing The Lyre Of Orpheus
Fear Wasabi perform live over their music video for the Pixies' Debaser
Charmaine Gilbert and CP Lucas Kao screen A Lifetime, featuring live narration from actress Wendy Barrett
Me and the Machine's Clara GarcĂ­a Fraile premieres her latest short
Electro-acoustic duo Blacktzar perform alongside a screening of their latest video How Does It Feel, animated by Barry Thomson
Another chance to see Sigma Film's I Love Luci (recently screened at the Fence Records' Hallowe'en party)

Muso: Mickey 9's, Codeen. The Buff Club.
Launch gig for Sonny Marvello's new EP, Pull Me Up.

One of our favourite bands, You Already Know, play their first proper gig in ages. I am fully prepared to have my face melted, my ears pounded and to love every minute of it. Get yourself along.
This is a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis, so your money will be put to good use if you go.
Edinburgh launch gig for The Scottish Enlightenments debut album. The album is pretty much brilliant and this gig should be too. The Glasgow launch is the following week, so Edinburgh people have a chance to pick up the album first and rub our West of Scotland faces in it.
Pablo Eskimo. The Vale

The Power Cut Choir, Freight Logistics. Gambetta.
Radar Present: Mitchell Museum, Bronto Skylift, Capitals. Electric Circus, Edinburgh. (Tickets)
Define Pop Festival 3. Stereo, The Admiral, Pivo Pivo. (Tickets)
Should be a proper preview of this up during the week, but until then here's the short version. Three venues, Seven quid, loads of bands. Announced so far are *deep breath* Tango In The Attic, Trapped In Kansas, Little Yellow Ukuleles, Cities and Skylines, I Build Collapsible Mountains, Suspire, Epic 26, The Machine Room, The Ghosties, Aspen Tide, So Many Animal Calls, Campfires In Winter, Kochka, The Hundred Metre Club, From Paris To Prison, Indigo Central, Little Fire and Juan Pablo, with more to come.

No Dancing: Withered Hand (Solo), Bronto Skylift, Ambulances, Galoshins. Stereo. (Tickets)