Thursday, 25 November 2010

Jer Reid's Winter Cycle

Jer Reid has been doing music things for quite a while. Recently he’s been playing quite a bit with dance – both written and improvised, and been improvising with various music people. He also plays guitar with Issho Taiko Drummers.

Starting on December 5th Jer Reid is setting out to do a 31 day series of improvised duos.

The full list of dates and contributors (so far) is below:

Sunday 5th December – Cloudberry MacLean
Monday 6th – Jack Figgis
Tuesday 7th – Dougal Marwick
Wednesday 8th – RM Hubbert
Thursday 9th – Christine DeVaney
Friday 10th – Michael Marshall
Saturday 11th – Howie Reeve
Sunday 12th – Cheer
Monday 13th – Laurie Pitt
Tuesday 14th – Michael Sherin
Wednesday 15th – Fritz Welch
Thursday 16th – Jenny Soep
Friday 17th – Stevie Jones
Saturday 18th – P6
Sunday 19th – Wounded Knee
Monday 20th – Shane Connolly
Tuesday 21st – Luke Sutherland
Wednesday 22nd – Nerea Bello
Thursday 23rd – Robin Mason
Friday 24th – Rosalind Masson
Saturday 25th – Lisa Fannen
Sunday 26th – Jodi Cave
Monday 27th – Jamie Grier
Tuesday 28th – Iain Campbell
Wednesday 29th – Chris Storey
Thursday 30th – Joseph L. Quimby Jr
Friday 31st – Rafe Fitzpatrick
Saturday 1st January – tbc!
Sunday 2nd – Dave Powell
Monday 3rd – Xana Marwick
Tuesday 4th – Monica de Ioanni

All shows take place in Stereo at mid day, with the exception of December 25th, January 1st and January 2nd which take place at the same time at The Flying Duck.
Entry to each show is only £1, or £4 for a week ticket and £15 for the whole cycle. Tickets are available from Stereo.

You can find more details here, and there's a nice wee flyer you can download here.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Spotlight: Black International

Getting a wee bit better at this interviewing lark. This time around Edinburgh three piece Black International join us for the latest Aye Tunes Inquisition.

Who are Black International?

We’re three white males named Gavin Hargin, Stewart Allan and Craig Peebles who’ve all enjoyed reasonably comfortable upbringings and have, relatively speaking, nothing to complain about.

What do you sound like?

Aggressive, primitive, noisy, melodic, nervy... Like dirty broken glass. All the instruments get equal space, it’s democracy in action!

How did you all get together, and what made you stay together?

Craig and I have known each other for years. We were both at art college at the same time, he’d played in loads of bands while I’d generally sat at home pissing about with synths. In 2006 I decided to start a new group, and coincidentally his previous one had just come to an end. He seemed to like the songs I’d demoed, so we took it from there. We booked a gig at the Wee Red Bar, and off we went.
Gavin joined a year ago, he’d been living in New Zealand and we recruited him pretty much as soon as he stepped off the plane. He’s brought stability to the group, something that wasn’t always there before, and we’ve developed a lot since he came on board.

I think ultimately it’s a simple case of belief in the music that’s kept the band together. Not
hating each other helps too.

Your influences are listed as "Glasgow and Edinburgh 1979-81, Manchester 1979-
82, the Pacific Northwest 1988-91", would you like to narrow it down to anyone in
particular, or leave it at that?

To be honest, we always feel a bit awkward when someone asks what our influences are.
We’ve never discussed it with each other, I just don’t think it’s important. I couldn’t even
tell you what the other guys listen to beyond a few things, never mind what influences their
The stuff you’ve mentioned was just a little tongue in cheek reference to bands that
other people have suggested we have something in common with; Josef K, the Fall, Nirvana,
things like that. We don’t copy other bands, even if we wanted to sound like someone else it
wouldn’t happen. I know it’s handy to have some names out there for potential listeners to get
a taste of where you’re coming from, but I think too much is made of it most of the time.

One thing I noticed when seeing the band live was the high quality of "drummer faces" being pulled by Craig, do you feel this is an important art?

He’s just trying to garner some attention for himself, as he’s a raging egomaniac. Nah, he’s
just pretty excitable. A couple of cartons of Capri Sun before we go onstage and he’s as high
as a kite, bless him.

Craig Peebles demonstrates "drummer face"

Since we are getting alarmingly close to the end of the year let's go all "year in review"
style and ask what, if anything, have been highlights for the band this year?

We’ve played a good few gigs beyond the Edinburgh/Glasgow axis for the first time, each one of which was amazing. We drove up to Inverness for GoNorth, zipped down to Dumfriesshire to play the Solus Tent at Wickerman, made a foray over the border to Newcastle, and last month we played our first show in London, which was wonderful. We’ve made lots of new friends and had some laughs. We love playing new places!

And any moments you'd rather forget about?

None that I can think of beyond the occasional “I wish I wasn’t doing this gig with a brain melting hangover”, but I suspect that’s a common occurrence in any band. Rock ‘n’ roll, eh? Once we can afford a coke habit that’ll be a thing of the past.

STREAM: Black International - Idle Worship

Any other bands around at the moment you'd recommend?

Ooh, lots, but I’ll attempt to be frugal with my praise… If you haven’t seen United Fruit yet I suggest you remedy that at the earliest opportunity. They’re one of our favourite bands at the
moment, and they played a jaw dropping set at Wickerman. We also love a Glasgow band called Rollor, they’re absolutely brilliant and are well worth checking out. Verse Metrics are a new group that are doing some good stuff, I expect them to do very well next year. Looking further afield Casa Bonita down in London are staggeringly brutal live, and jolly nice guys to boot. We’re hoping to do another show with them in the springtime.

Any you'd avoid like the plague?

Yes, a couple of bands we’ve played with who’re doing fairly well at the moment but desperately need a collective kick in the nuts. I’ll whisper their names to you…

What do you have planned for the next few months?

Top of the list is finishing our album, we recorded it earlier in the year and have spent a few months mixing it. Our friend Andrew Bush who’s doing it for us has started getting extremely “in demand” as an engineer and has been jet-setting around all over the place, so we just do a bit whenever we can pin him down. We’ll send him emails saying “Make it sound like a wet Tuesday in Doncaster!” or “The reverb isn’t red enough!” which probably gives him headaches but he’s a great engineer and knows how to handle us. It should all be done and dusted by February or March, so we’ll be gearing up for loads of gigs in the springtime, probably an English and Scottish tour, that kind of thing. It’s all terribly exciting! There’s also a single release ready to go, we’re just sorting out the artwork for it at the moment.

Finally, quirky interview questions, fun and harmless, or generally a bit of a waste of time?

Quirky are the best kind. Perhaps your readers will be disappointed we haven’t discussed our
biscuit of choice? Mine’s a garibaldi.

STREAM: Black International - Dread (Excerpt)

Black International: MySpace - Facebook - Twitter - Bandcamp

Sunday, 21 November 2010

This Week's Gigs: 22nd - 28th November

Before I get on to the gigs for the week, a couple of reminders.
Firstly as I mentioned yesterday I'm looking for Christmas songs to run throughout December, look here for more details.
Secondly, because hardly anyone does it, a wee reminder that if you have a gig coming up that you want included here the best way to let me know about it is to send the details to, which will hopefully save me getting messages saying "oh, you missed my gig" in the hours after posting the gig guide. I didn't miss it, you never told me it was on.

Now, on to this week, which I was planning on spending indoors to save some money. We'll see how well that works out. The gig guide is surprisingly Edinburgh biased this week, so this might be my last chance to save up some Christmas money.



Launch gig for Steve Heron's album "Honest One", with some pretty darn fine supports. If like me you can't get along the album is also available on Bandcamp.
Hannah Peel, Blue Roses, Esperi. The Captain's Rest. (Tickets)
Blue Sky Archives. Bloc, free entry.
There's possibly other bands playing too, but I'll be buggered if I can find any details.

Ethan Ash, Yusuf Azak, Amber Wilson. Cellar 35, Aberdeen.
Ethan & Yusuf set off on a rather rearranged co-headline tour to promote their new releases, Ethan Ash's No Early Nights EP and Yusuf Azak's debut album Turn On the Long Wire.

Ethan Ash, Yusuf Azak, Johnnie Common. The Winchester Club, Glasgow
United Fruit, Pensioner, Verse Metrics. Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh.
Our pals at PinUp's celebrate 7 years of good music and fun with a birthday party. They've even roped in The National to DJ after their sold out gig at The O2 Academy. Could be an awkward moment there, as For Abel were formerly known as Nacional, until they were asked to change by none other than the management of The National...

Ethan Ash, Yusuf Azak, The Japanese War Effort. St. Stephen's Centre, Edinburgh
Sneaky Fest: Cabaret Voltaire, Sneaky Pete's, Electric Circus, Edinburgh.
We've been quite spoiled with these multi venue type things in Glasgow recently, now Edinburgh gets a shot. Over 30 bands playing across three venues all day long, all for £10. Not much to complain about there. The full line up and stage times can be found here and you can buy tickets here.

Lori McTear Single Launch. The Winchester Club.