Archive for Music

Live Review : The Killers, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow (19/08/2014)

The Killers made their Bellahouston Park debut last night as part of Glasgow’s Summer Sessions 2014.

Donning a pink sparkly jacket, frontman, Brandon Flowers and Co kicked things off with synth-pop soaked, “Somebody Told Me”. The Las Vegas band hit the ground running and took fans on a trip down memory lane with past hits, “Bling (Confession Of A King)”, “Spaceman”, “For Reasons Unknown”, “Human”, “Read My Mind” and Flowers introduced early single, “Smile Like You Mean It” by asking the crowd, “Can you believe our baby is 10 years old?” referring to debut album, “Hot Fuss” which was released in June 2004, “It’s your baby, too”.

This stint at Glasgow’s Summer Sessions was part of a victory lap across the world; their “Battle Born” toured started in late 2012 and stretched into 2013 including a debut stadium show at Wembley last June. The band played V Festival last weekend and a warm up gig in Liverpool last week to an intimate crowd at The 02 Academy.

Flowers congratulated Glasgow on their Commonwealth success last month before ripping into a rousing version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” which has become a permanent fixture on The Killers setlist and the first of two covers for the evening; the second saw the band take on Simple Mind’s signature song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” with the crowd in full voice.

Fresh from celebrating 10 years as a band, The Killers proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with; they sounded as sharp as Flowers was dressed and the live versions of “Runaways” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” blew the album versions out of the water. Flowers himself looked happy and confident as he strutted the stage a la Mick Jagger and chatted and joked with fans in-between songs; a walking contradiction of the epitome of rock star onstage and a mild-mannered married Mormon of three offstage, he has always been interesting to watch and his graduation from unsure, awkward frontman to full-frontal frontrunner has been a riveting ride.

If anything let The Killers down in Glasgow last night, it was their “fans”; a group of girls near the front mooned over Facebook rather than frontman, a tipsy guy a few rows back admitted the only song he knew was “Mr Brightside” (the daggers he attracted confirmed he was swimming in  a pool of hardcore Victims and drowning was imminent) and two middle-aged women slurred seduction at nearby security thinking that the rules of the 1960s still apply and spending the gig posing for selfies with security and telling them jokes will get you backstage . . . the last I saw them they were arguing over which direction was the right one on Nithsdale Road. Flowers had to turn peacemaker when a fight broke out near the stage during the band’s encore, “Why is always the big guy picking on the smaller guy?” The flamboyant frontman was clearly disgruntled when he demanded, “Get him out of here!” and the super-slow security pushed him from hacked off to pissed off when they struggled to dissolve the situation.

“Shot At The Night” and “When You Were Young” saw The Killers bow out on a high and signature song, “Mr Brightside” was the euphoric conclusion everyone was waiting for; the torrid tale of paranoia and jealousy has become an anthem since its release in 2003 and it sounded as fresh a decade on and made it clear why the band have gone from playing in transvestite bars in Las Vegas to headlining Wembley Stadium in just 10 short years.

The Killers were on top form as they played Bellahouston Park their greatest hits, it’s just a shame they didn’t get to play them to their greatest fans.



Gutter Talk : Meet Beautiful Mechanica

“It all started at The Hotel Chelsea in New York. Little did I know, in checking out, I was checking in forever . . .”

Who are Beautiful Mechanica?

Graham Sampson (vocals/guitar/keys/programming), Grace Hinks (piano/vocals) and Van Naarden (guitars).

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it?

Dark but very romantic. If you like the music of bands like Japan, Suede, Placebo, Cocteau Twins, then we might just be your new favourite band.

Who/what do you draw influence from in both sound and style?

The band’s launch theme is a love letter to the Hotel Chelsea in New York, Andy Warhol, his coterie of “superstars” and New York in the mid to late 1960s and early 70s. The hotel is the focal point and our songs are like a different room at the hotel shaped by the style and life of the people who pass through it; the beat poets, composers, actors and actress’, solacious night creatures . . . The hotel is both horror house and temple of arts. Our songs are split between light and dark, very much as the hotel itself was; anything can happen in hotels, everything happened at The Chelsea!

Describe a Beautiful Mechanica live set in three words?

To. Be. Revealed. We’re in rehearsals for shows to come.

What is in the pipeline for the band over the next 6 months?

Taking the band live and hopefully making each live show an event.

For more information on Beautiful Mechanica, please visit



Gutter Talk : The Cut Throat Razors

As The Wickerman Festival 2014 kicks off in Dumfries & Galloway today, we speak exclusively to The Cut Throat Razors; the band fought off stiff competition from Parker and Old Bohemia and won The Sunday Herald Unsigned Bands competition last month in Glasgow and will play the festival this weekend.

Vocalist, Scott Crawford gives us the skinny on what to expect from their Wickerman set, who he is excited to see play live this weekend and how to survive Scottish sunstroke (yes, it IS possible!) . . .

You won! How did you feel when you were announced as The Sunday Herald winner?

Yeah. Fantastic feeling. It was a great night; we played well; good bands; and the crowd were brilliant. Basically, when it was announced we hit the ceiling and haven’t come down since.

Do you have any special plans for your Wickerman set? What can we expect?

I have. Whether the rest of the band allow me to implement them is doubtful, however. My latest gallus idea was met with a mixture of bemusement and real concern. Regardless of the detail and gloss, everyone can expect 30 minutes of thumping original tunes that will be going around your head for the rest of the week.

What do you hope your Wickerman slot will achieve for The Cut Throat Razors?

It’s a big deal for us and we’re hoping it takes us to the next level. Already I think we’ve upped our performance, we’re flying at the moment, so it would nice if it was reflected in bigger gigs and more festivals. We also have loads more new songs so we would like to get back into the studio and record another album. I sold my beloved collection of original ska and reggae records to pay for the first one, “Dr. Gelati & The Lemon Garden” and not sure I’ve got enough good ones left to fund the next. So, if there are any philanthropists out there who have the same attitude to money as I have to bum notes (i.e. give them away freely and frequently) then get in touch!

Are you hoping to catch anyone else play live this weekend? Any favourites on the bill?

I love Motown and Northern Soul so I really want to see Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and my mate plays in the wonderful band, Berry Tweed And The Chasers. Lee Thompson’s Ska Orchestra are brilliant and he was the guy (sax player, lyric writer and overall lunatic in Madness) that inspired me to get into writing and performing songs in the first place. There are so many bands playing that the most exciting thing is the anticipation of coming across something new and mindblowing. It’s going to be fantastic!

What are your top tips for surviving a festival for our first-timers out there?!

1. Take plenty of drugs. Remember you are miles away from any health care. What happens if you take a really bad migraine? Or really bad toothache? It happened to me once – an abscess. Agony. Lip swelled up so much it looked as if I was smuggling a melon in my mouth. 2. Take plenty of drink. The wilds of Dumfries & Galloway in the summer heat can be pretty unforgiving so make sure you get those liquids in you. 3. Take precautions. Sunstroke and sunburn are rare in Scotland but nasty all the same. Don’t risk it. I would suggest a high factor suncream or if you find them expensive a good white emulsion. Use a good water based paint because if you go for solvent based one you’ll shimmer.Conversely, it could pish down. Water in the brain, hypothermia and Trench Foot are in endemic to parts of Scotland. So parkas, snorkels and wellies are both practical and fashionable. Although expensive, chest waders are worth considering as they can double up as incontinence pants. Do you really want to leave the mosh pit after the third song of your favourite band just to relieve yourself? 4. Lastly . . . gaunae no’ play loud music at unsociable times anywhere near me. I get crabbit on lack of sleep. Strictly adhere to the 10.30pm curfew and you should be alright.

What is after Wickerman for The Cut Throat Razors? Where can we catch you live next?

We’re headlining Oxjam Presents . . . fundraising event at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy’s on the 8th August. Then, we’re supporting the Junkman’s Choir at King Tuts on the 5th September. Finally, in terms of confirmed gigs, we are supporting the mighty Stone Foundation at Classic Grand on the 26th September. They’re really making it big on the soul scene and beyond. It’s their only Scottish show of their hugely successful UK and European Tour so it promises to be a cracker! All in all, three great gigs so get your tickets quick!

The Cut Throat Razors play Wickerman Main Stage tomorrow.








New U2 Album For 2014?

Are U2 about to drop an album on us?

Bono and Co have been holed up in the studio recording the follow-up to 2009′s “No Line On The Horizon” for the best part of the last 2 years. The last word on the forthcoming album suggested that it would be 2015 before it was released; frontman, Bono has struggled with anxiety and writer’s block which has held up completion of the album considerably.

U2 released, “Ordinary Love” in November 2013; the track was included on the soundtrack to the Nelson Mandela biopic, “Mandela :Long Walk To Freedom” and was the band’s first single in 4 years. The track was released just days before Nelson Mandela sadly passed away and earned the band a Golden Globe for “Best Original Song” back in January“Invisible” followed; the track was released in February 2014 with proceeds going to the (RED) campaign, an organisation co-founded by Bono to combat AIDS. The song is said to be the first taste of their forthcoming studio effort.

Media reports today suggest that U2 are planning their comeback for this year; we’ll have their 13th studio album by November and it has been strongly hinted that the band will showcase new material at The iTunes Festival in London in September.

No official statement or confirmation has been made by the band, but fans are hopeful that Christmas will come early with the first U2 album in 5 years.




Bye, Bye Balado, Hello Strathallan

This time last week, thousands of campers left Balado and headed home for the last time. After 17 years in Kinross, T In The Park is moving to its new home of Strathallan next summer. Bye, Bye Balado, it’s been a blast . . .

Carra Douglas @_Caz 

so happy to see my bed, three hours sleep in 4 days, you win #TITP2014 but I wouldn’t change a single thing 

KirstyGavin @GavinKirsty

Bye bye balado it’s been a pleasure met some lovely people over the years @Tinthepark #TITP2014 #byebyebalado

Lee Beattie @leebeattie

#byebyebalado you total babe. Had fun hanging out with you for the last 14 years #TITP2014

Connor @connorlawrie97

T In The Park was amazing, best weekend ever!! Already buzzing for next year. @Tinthepark #hellostrathallan

Robert Lamont @boab_ell

@Tinthepark home after a great weekend . . . first year at T and it won’t be my last #byebyebalado #hellostrathallan

Gillian McCormack @Gilco80

So gutted we are leaving Balado, but what a beautiful new site for @Tinthepark #byebyebalado #hellostrathallan

AimeegotFresh @aimeegotfresh

Wow wish I was back @Tinthepark again . . . Post festival blues #byebyebalado

Sean @SeanMenzel

T, you’ve been an absolute dream. #titp #byebyebalado

Sheryl Findlay @SheFindSaidSo

@Tinthepark you have outdone yourself. What an incredible weekend, #TITP2014 #byebyebalado thanks for the memories

ka @KA210480

#byebyebalado #TITP2014 it’s been awesome having you along the road for the past 17 years. Will miss you.

Tickets for T In The Park 2015 are available now.

The Balado-Bus Blues : T In The Park 2014

The date is Sunday July 14th 2013, the time just after 9am and the location is Buchanan Bus Station. Even at this hour the appropriately named ‘Happy Bus’ passengers are well-oiled and filled with a great sense of occasion; multiple slurred bellows of “T in the PAAAAAARRRKK!” ring throughout both decks. No passenger is more intoxicated however, than my seat mate Davey whom I have never met before today. His chosen tipple is not the more conventional beer or even wine, Davey, rather bizarrely, has opted for a bottle of Apple Sourz for the journey. After politely declining the offer of a ‘tan’ we converse as best possible on general topics.

Noticing I am not as well equipped as Davey in the booze department, the couple sat behind offer a condoling can of Strongbow clearly recognising who drawn the short straw with their travel buddy, “Here pal, I think you might need this”.

I load up a photo on my phone a friend had uploaded the day before; his band were playing the festival and he had happened across the mighty Snoop Dogg backstage the day before and does exactly what one is supposed to do when meeting Snoop. I tilt the screen towards my friend to show the snap and explain the relatively simple back story. Davey, however, looks puzzled, “Snoop Dogg? Mate, never heard of him.”

On the face of it, Davey is what is wrong with T In The Park. No music fan of any stretch of the imagination wouldn’t recognise or even have at least heard of Snoop Dogg. The festival has gone to the dog(g)s with these ruffians crashing the party, out for a jolly. Not here for the same reasons, they tarnish the reputation of the festival to such an extent that it actually puts some off even going at all.

This is without any doubt, absolute nonsense.

At twenty years old, it has become a part of Scottish culture, most remember (or possibly don’t) their first TITP, it has become a rite of passage for teenagers. Perhaps the longevity is the very issue and the snobbery is a result of it being taken for granted and the holes are now poked as a result of this. Regardless, the success of the festival lies in the contributions and appreciation of music country-wide which was reflected clearly in 2014′s acts.

Although the line-up was not the strongest, many rose to the challenge of the somewhat homecoming festival. Calvin Harris, Biffy Clyro and Paolo Nutini drew predictably some of the biggest crowds as headliners, among others were Franz Ferdinand, Fatherson, The Twilight Sad, Twin Atlantic and Chvrches, who appeared to be striving to play every stage at least once at some point over the weekend!  And, that’s before we even talk about the quality showcased on the T-Break or BBC Introducing stages. It is no coincidence or fluke that all of which are on the touring/festival circuit this year promoting a record or otherwise. This isn’t The Proclaimers being trotted out as some subliminal pro-independence propaganda, these acts deserve to be there and have earned their slots. 

Nationally, the representation was equal offstage as it was on, there were unsurprisingly enough “Here we fucking go’s” to last until year. As well as the phenomenon of riff chanting which was at large and is not something ever practiced quite so well anywhere else, showcased never more so than during Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out” or Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me Baby?”

Onwards and Westwards to Strathallan next year. I’ll be down the front with Davey.

The City That Breeds BEATBOTS Eat On This Quarterlife Party Shine Collective