Scottish Alternative Music Awards Showcase with Vukovi, Campfires in Winter, The Rising Souls at CitizenM, 14/08/15

With the sixth Scottish Alternative Music Awards fast approaching, this is the third showcase before the main night on October 8.

Having been to every SAMA’s gig this year, like many others I’m eagerly awaiting the main show; with the 2015 awards being later on in the year, we have been incited with live music these past few months.

The Rising Souls
As it turns out I’m the first to arrive at the citizenM hotel, soon enough the room starts to fill up just in time for The Rising Souls.

These guys are from Edinburgh, but as soon as their set starts you could be forgiven for thinking they are from the deep American south.

They have blues, country, roots and soul influences through their set and singer Archibald’s vocals are absolutely transcendent and complimented greatly with the bass and percussion.

Their second song, ‘Drunken Rab’, is a raw and powerful tale of a drunken man who has lost his keys, while set standout ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ has everyone is stomping their feet along to the beat, as the powerful vocals belting out the same lyrics over and over again, each time with more conviction.

They throw in a cover of ‘Pressure and Time’ by Rival Sons before ending their set; The Rising Souls’ sound is sublime, a definite likeness to the greats of the 60’s; one of the best live acts I’ve seen in a while.

Campfires in winter 2

Next up is Campfires In Winter; in 2013 this four piece from Croy really broke through on the Scottish scene and have only went from strength to strength.

They have a strong fanbase so it’s no surprise that the room gets busier, and all of a sudden there is a buzz about the place.

Debut single and popular track ‘White Lights’ is slightly different to their other material, being more upbeat.

Frontman Boab Canavan sings with a distinctive Scottish accent, it thrives over the rest of the band despite their high energy and loud sound; there is a definite inimitability with these guys and the crowd love it.

Campfires in Winter are generally post-rock and alternative in sound, but with the keys and occasional brass they have experimented and created a unique and confident sound.

I only wish they played ‘Picture of Health’, but hats off for a great set of new and old material.


Alas, it is time for Vukovi; the crowd has moved forward and ready for a considerably harder set.

Unlike the simple “follow us on twitter” or “this is a new song”, singer Janine Shilstone talks to the audience, engaging with them before they start the set.

The set is short and they use this time to play new songs, like ‘Boy George’, an energetic and angry track that is the highlight of the set, and the never before played ‘Colour Me In’, which will be on the new album.

The set is a stripped down version of their usual high energy and seriously loud performances, but the musicianship is still top-notch.
Vukovi’s stage presence is probably more suited to a gig were they, along with the audience can bounce and dance around, but this band have grown and will continue to grow and thus making a great impression for the SAMA’s.

More Photos

Words: Olivia Campbell
Photos: Stewart Fullerton

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