ST.MARTiiNs – ‘do ur words’

‘do ur words’ is the new self-released track from the incredible pop sensations ST.MARTiiNs, who have evolved a sound that is unique and stands out amongst the crowd.

The Dundonian duo have started off 2018 with their best foot forward, creating an upbeat song with downbeat lyrics, which perfectly encapsulates how difficult it can be to navigate hidden meanings behind other people’s words.

The lead singer has stunning vocals which have mystic, charming qualities that add to the already unique and incomparable sound the duo have.

‘do ur words’ is very cleverly crafted dark pop with intriguing lyrical and rhythmical hooks that keep your attention focused.

The track could easily be an instant hit as its catchy and relatable; it’s fun and energetic with hints of dark tones throughout, a contrast that adds to the mystique of the song and the duo themselves.

ST.MARTiiNs are continuing to show themselves to be real contenders in the music scene with their style and refreshingly unique sound.

Words: Shannon Cullen

NIEVES – Exist and Expire

NIEVES is a four piece from Glasgow who released their debut self-titled EP in late 2014 (featuring the great ‘Straight Line’) and now, after racking up another EP and a sell-out show at King Tut’s, they are back with their debut album.

For a record that billed itself as indie-folk, tracks like ‘(You Will) Change’ and ‘A Beginning, A Middle’ have all the subtlety of a rocket propelled grenade.

The former sounds rather like a Celtic Coldplay with a reverb-soaked vocal, weighty piano chords and a huge climax, while the latter is sleek electro flecked rock with portentous lyrics straight from U2’s nineties reinvention.

For better or worse, the songs on Exist and Expire have been buffed and burnished until they are sleek and gigantic, carried along by driving piano.

When this works – the processed drums and piano of the imperious title track – the band sound unstoppable, when it doesn’t – or the songcraft takes a turn for the generic  –Exist and Expireis less successful.

The most apt comparison might be Fatherson, another band who started out channelling folkish intimacy but delivered an album which, while strong on its own merits, sacrificed subtlety on the altar of delivering a record that blew their songs up to the size of a super tanker.

With a mix of personal insights and narrative pieces, there is a nice variety to the songwriting and the group are clearly tight musicians, but a little intimacy wouldn’t go amiss.

Sadly there is no room for ‘Straight Line’ or their other great single ‘Broken Oars’ here, but for fans of Frightened Rabbit, Coldplay or The National, NIEVES certainly have something to offer.

Words: Max Sefton

Ded Rabbit – ‘Moonlight Horror’

Edinburgh based brothers Ded Rabbitis an indie pop punk band who seem to fuse the best of rock n roll with their own energetic vibes and a definite hint of the 1960s.

Following the success of ‘Pressure Pusher’ the guys follow up with ‘Moonlight Horror’, with its quirky chorus it’s slower and more relaxed than their usual 100mph and almost leads you to believe it’s a serious tale, but that was never going to be the case was it.

With their usual catchy hooks, rock solid guitar and messing with the vocals these guys are a whole bunch of fun no more so than when they’re playing live and the dynamic you get from four siblings in the same room.

Words: Derek McCutcheon

FRANKY’S EVIL PARTY – ‘Dolph Lundgren’

FRANKY’S EVIL PARTY rose from the embers of Dumfriesshire’s Brat and The Bonemen and to say their music is alternative seems understated.

Following the release of their first single ‘Disco Inferno’, which put a strong marker down for their new direction, their new release ‘Dolph Lundgren’ cements their reputation for unorthodox individuality.

Strong pounding rhythms, wailing guitars and driving vocals take us in to the world inhabited by FRANKY’S EVIL PARTY.

Infectious riffs, uncomfortable lyrics and haunting melodies create a hunger for more, although I don’t think I could handle one of their parties, even if it’s ‘The Hottest Party in Town’.

The raw energy and emotion of their live performance, particularly in Josh’s vocals, translate well in to this latest instalment.

Keep an eye out for their journey, which you can expect to be unconventional to say the least.

DOLPH LUNDGREN by Franky’s Evil Party

Words: Derek McCutcheon

Nasari – ‘Afterglow/Robyn’s Room’ [Spinnup]

Baptising their band after a Turkish charm used to protect against evil, Edinburgh indie four-piece Nasaricome blistering out the traps of their college-crafted sound with double A-side ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Robyn’s Room’.

Screeching into sound on Scalextric wheels, hi-tempo cymbals, and a rotor-bladed rhythm section, the light vocals of Joshua Cakir on ‘Afterglow’ are ably supported by the bluster of his bandmates.

Regrettably the melody wrestles to fluctuate enough to carry attention, but offers enough embryonic potential to develop and merit the listener’s endurance.

‘Robyn’s Room’ is initially a more sedate prospect sliding into Interpol-quivering guitars, which hover over engaging, echo-chambered vocals.

During their mini-tour in March 2018, watching Nasari live promises to charge enough volts to warrant an investigation from Scottish Power, leaving a welcome afterglow in the audience’s bones.

Words: Stephen Watt

Various Artists – Scottish Indie Sampler Vol.3 [GoldMold]

GoldMold’s Indie Samplersseek and draw some of the nation’s best DIY talents together and give them an audience.

Pooling from a collection of different independent labels each time, the results are unfailingly eclectic and inventive.

The third entry is no exception.

This time drawing on talents provided by LP Records, winning sperm party, Lost Map, Olive Grove Records and OVA MATA, Scottish Indie Sampler Vol.3as a whole is wildly experimental, adventurous and ambitious.

Not everything works but not everything should, and the best cuts off GoldMold’s latest showcase are genuinely mesmerising.

Featuring talent from a wide spectrum of genres ordered by label rather than curated by sound, but there is a definite electronic zone somewhere in the middle, with tracks 8 to 11 following the same futuristic thread.

It begins with the hazy, white noise infested weirdness of Tulip Tulen’s ‘Superman’ before moving into the otherworldly, arcade game sounds of Tenhead’s ‘Teeca’.

The pick of the bunch, though, is undoubtedly Firestations’ ‘Build a Building’, which offers a slower, lyrical musing on the state of things backed by an eerie handclap chorus.

Sitting separate on the tracklist, Banana Oil’s ‘Zephyr Song’ and George Bruce’s ‘Blue Night’ are cut from the same jazz cloth: the former offering a sultry mix of horns, smoky bass and rapid snare drums, while the latter opts for a quieter, more stripped back piano bar riff dripping with melancholy and moonlight.

The undeniable outlier even on such a varied record is Kabobo’s ‘Dis is Sheet’, which begins like an answer to the question “What if your parents were right when they said all your music was just shouting?” and eventually descends into a heavy metal interpretation of The Simpson’s “annoyed grunt” instruction.

Over on the indie/alt-rock side of things Sulka merge a rough guitar-drum combo with sweet, far-off vocals for ‘No One’, while In Posterface offer the excellent, Pixies-influenced ‘It’s Terminal’.

Pocket Knife’s impossibly charming, sun-dappled ‘Fish Song’ plays offbeat lyrics in sugary sweet, lullabyish tones to create a musical equivalent to the visual style of a Wes Anderson movie.

The trio provided by LP Records provide a powerful close with The Great Albatross’ rustic ’20 Years of Slumber’ and American Clay’s ‘Second Son’, the latter offering an excellent display of the Scottish voice’s signature ability to dive between high-pitched highland yelps and guttural low growls.

Rounded out by Codist’s ‘Shaky Cam’, it begins with talk-through vocals over a lilting guitar and sounds like sinking half-defeated into bed at the end of a hard day. As the drums begin to rumble in and the guitars start to shred and shriek, the song snarls triumphantly out of its malaise.

It difficult to sum up a record composed of such disparate parts.

It contains the good, the bad and the ugly of Scotland’s independent scene and a number of tracks which could be aptly described as at least two out of the three.

The takeaway is a handful of new bands to follow and an increased respect for the quality of the country’s DIY musicians.

As far as GoldMold goes, that’s got to be mission accomplished.

Scottish Indie Sampler Vol. 3 by Gold Mold Records

Words: Ross McIndoe

Jonny Shitbag & The Smokes – You Could Not Have Given the Slightest Fucks [Hidden Bay]

You Could Not Have Given the Slightest Of Fucksis released by French cassette only label Hidden Bay Records and the band would have you believe Jonny Shitbag disappeared after the demo’s were recorded leaving it to The Smokes (Curls, Traff and TJ) to pull it together from the limited demos and scribbled lyrics and chords, which mysteriously arrived through Curls letterbox with an Asian postmark.

With leanings towards 90s alt pop and a 60s American pop feel the gritty lyrics describing rebellion and an element of hopelessness bring it bang up to date.

With a mix of bright pop music, garage rock and psychobilly the short sharp songs stimulate your interest.

No nonsense lyrics using the best (or worst) of street language describe all the issues of a modern Scottish upbringing.

With 25 minutes in total, it’s a strong production loaded with content, bright catchy hooks, strong choruses and intriguing subject matter make it extremely listenable.

Is it a tribute to Jonny Shitbag, will Jonny return and will the band get back in the studio? The unanswered questions are growing.

Words: Derek McCutcheon

Heavy Rapids – ‘Crying Shame’

Heavy Rapids is a guitar band with attitude, the four-piece release their new single ‘Crying Shame’, which is strong garage rock with a punk influence.

Having only formed in 2017 you would be forgiven for believing they have been on the circuit for some time.

A solid backline of driving bass, crashing drums, strong rhythms with in your face rock ‘n’ roll vocals put them right up there with the resurgence of punk influenced garage rock bands.

Lyrically it takes you back to original punk values having a go at today’s reality TV driven youth who don’t see the importance of individuality.

Angry and anthemic the strong chorus will surely make this a live favourite with cries of ‘This Generation Has Gone Insane’.

Words: Derek McCutcheon

Last Night From Glasgow 2nd Birthday Party with BiS, L-Space, Sun Rose, Stephen Solo at Stereo, 31/3/18

A sign of success of the not for profit record label Last Night from Glasgow is the packed-out attendance (and feel good vibe) at this second birthday party.

Kicking things off and compering through the night, as he is prone to do, is Stephen Solo, performing ‘solo’ as he does on this occasion he is armed with an electric guitar as opposed to a ukulele or iPhone as on previous occasions.

Interspersed with jokes and anecdotes Solo is the ultimate entertainer who as well as producing excellent music gives us a real and fun look at daily life through his songs.

Be it our reliance on the World Wide Web for everything in ‘Internet Song’ or a look at the ‘normal’ things we have to do that the Icon that was David Bowie would never have to do in ‘David Bowie Never Had To’.

Humorous, thought provoking, down to earth and producing great music with only a guitar and iPad this is what we (as label members) have come to expect.

A stripped back Sun Rose, in fact only two members Albert Kawmi and Gus Wemyss take to the stage next (the rest of the band are Manchester based).

With the support of some samples, Wemyss on synth and Kawmi on guitar they are able to recreate the full band sound impeccably.

Sun Rose has a strong funky, clubby feel to their music and we are treated to the first two singles ‘Smirk’ and ‘Minima’ as well as tunes from the debut album, The Essential Luxury.

One of the album songs, ‘Aishti’ is sung in Arabic and Kawmi asks “any Arabic speakers – I really hope not” anyway however it translates like the rest of the set it certainly sounds good.

L-Spaceis a dreamy pop band who embrace technology, which is no surprise given they seem to be from the future.

Floating, dreamy vocals with strong pop melodies and science fiction soaked lyrics L-Space are one of the more recent LNFG recruits.

They take to the stage with some props including a neon pink flamingo and Lily’s electronic headwear and they treat us to their latest single ‘Suneaters’ some recognisable tunes from recent gigs as well as a new song ‘Back Up Baby’ about cloned babies.

Expect these to form the basis of their debut album on LNFG due to be launched in September this year.

Closing the show are the excellent BIS, veterans in this company, it was a surprise albeit a pleasant one when intimation of their signing to LNFG came through.

BIS are a bubblegum power pop band who operate in excess of 100mph.

Following the gentle, dreamy pop of L-Space this is like building a crescendo of tsunami proportions to take us to the end of the night.

Introduced by Stephen Solo with a typical amusing anecdote about how the band were named (think taxis and love children!).

Where L-Space took us in to the future BIS take us back to the 90s as are treated to all the classics from their back catalogue.

Energy levels were through the roof with Manda Rin showing no signs of post-natal lethargy.

With all these recognisable hits and the fact that the music gets in to your soul the dancers in the crowd are out in force.

A couple of new songs are introduced with typical BIS gusto and probably as expected ‘Kandy Pop’ was held for the finale; what an end to an intoxicating night.

All that is left to do was pick up our members’ goodies including the next LNFG release the Zoë Bestel, Transciencealbum.

Oh what fun and more to come as a £50 member of Last Night from Glasgow.

Words/Photos: Derek McCutcheon

A Gift from the Reaper

The world of And Yet It Moves had fell quiet for some time, and no one despite a small group of people knew exactly what was happening, however Dale Barclay the frontman of the group contacted me wanting to shed light and share exactly the ordeal that has happened.

Cutting to the chase, at the tender age of 32 Barclay was diagnosed with grade four glioblastoma brain cancer and as a result has relocated home to Glasgow from the band’s Berlin base to focus on fighting that, but from what is a quite terrifying reality has born a man more awake than ever before.

When I met up with Barclay and band mate and now wife Laura St. Jude, they came across like they had done in the past, the most welcoming enthusiastic people you could ever meet in your life; now two artists caught up in a whirlwind of a medical catastrophe are making the only choice; to face to head on, keep creating, keep fighting and enjoy everything that comes your way.

When putting together this piece I wasn’t quite sure how to approach this piece, however the best way felt to go Barclay’s raw dialogue, a stream of inspiring consciousness, about fear, life, beauty and what really matters:

Being diagnosed with cancer is potentially the scariest thing that can happen in someone’s life, can you explain what your initial reaction to finding out was? 

Exhilaration, doom, sadness for my family and Laura (St. Jude), seeing them upset was worse than being told. The fog only really clears after surgery for me. My surgeon, Mr Alakandy, telling me my adversary was turbo charged is the moment I’m recalling. Post surgery. A moment seared into me. Grade four Glioblastoma brain cancer. Unmethylated. Wild type mutation. It’s pure instinct. Run or fight. It was a morning of crystal clear clarity, every detail is there, the power of facing uncomfortable truths, it has to be faced. A lesson for some in never jumping the gun. My reaction now is rage, I’m fuckin raging and must remain so. I’m in the fight of my life. I have much to do. The stage, they say, is set. Cancer can fuck off. All barrels are loaded. Fight, fight, fight every day is the way. Music and words are the bullets. Clarity is the light.

Can you go into detail about the scenario that led to going to hospital and finding out?

I had two seizures, one in Frankfurt before a Laura St Jude gig, the second was the night before an And Yet It Moves show in Portsmouth. Laura and I had been living in Germany but after the second one returned to Glasgow. The docs were testing me for epilepsy, there’s no history of that in my family, so, there was one doctor in the RAH that flagged it and got me a scan, and by that point I was drugged up enough to forget her name. I shall be forever grateful to her. If she hadn’t taken the initiative then, the tumour may have keep growing until it was too late to rumble with it. My lady of the RAH I thank with every ounce of my being. I remember much more after surgery, waking up with a tube sticking out the side of my head, the nurses that took care of me, I remember everything, being told it was grade four, the docs faces, the tears from the people I love and who love me, my tears. I felt no fear. I feel no fear. I feel awakened. If you’ve watched the Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson then that’s it. The sky has never looked so beautiful. I feel more alive now than ever before. Cancer has brought liquid gold clarity to me, like a gift from the reaper, I am grateful. A clear mind now is paramount. I must fight and will. No mercy will be shown and none asked for. It’s war, let there be no doubt.

Without going into too much technical details can you tell us aboit the form of cancer you have?

I have grade four Glioblastoma brain cancer. All cancer is aggressive. Some more than others. Mine is primary, which means it’s contained in my brain and has not spread or migrated from anywhere else in my body. I am extremely fortunate that that is the case. Fight or flight time and it’s all on black. Run and die or fight and live. No heads in the sand here. Ever. Never. My surgeon, Mr Alakandy, his team, Wuillie and Big Chris, cut 90% of the cancer out, the remaining 10% must be burned. I’m on Chemo, Radiotherapy and a clinical trial. I attend the Beatson in Glasgow. My treatment is on going for the next six months at the very least. I would also urge anyone reading this that has cancer or if someone they love has it to Google cannabis oil and cancer.

You recently got positive news, what was that and how did that effect you?

I recently got my first MRI scan since leaving hospital and starting treatment. No growth. A smiling oncologist is worth more than heaven could hold. No doubt. A fine day. First one so it’s a gravel pit to now bounce to the future off of. And it warmed my blood to see Laura and my family and friends smiling. Good vibes all over. It’s always onwards never a backwards step. Onto the next one.

How has having cancer affected yourself and those around you, both in terms of living habits and life view?

There’s before and after no doubt. A silver edge crossed and there’s no way back even if I wanted to. And I wouldn’t if I could. Cancer can’t be ignored. Or it can but you die if you do. I refuse to die, I have too much to do and see, too much music to make, I fight with drugs and music and love and friendship, all remnants of bullshit have been flamethrowered from my being. Sugar is gone, cancer loves sugar, the solution they inject you with when you get an MRI scan has glucose in it, when it gets to the tumour it creates a creates a feeding frenzy and the fucker lights up like Christmas. If anyone reading this reckons it’s a good idea to feed your enemy I would urge them to take a permanent swim in the Clyde. Certainly trying to cut back on the smokes and the cocktails is recommended. It can be done. Put your arms around anything or anyone you love and don’t let go. Now.

You’ve kept on writing and performing since having the operation, has cancer affected your approach to this in any noticeable ways?

My love for my loves has increased more than I ever thought possible. I’m greedy for beauty and it’s everywhere. I would not go back given the choice. Music, writing, reading, friendship. I have not stopped writing since leaving hospital, I thank Steven Thomas especially for the encouragement and inspiration to not stop. I haven’t. Thank you Steven, my brother. The truth is in the book. I want more of everything I love. I want to be in good company more than ever. All doubt is gone. I have no need for it any more. It’s fuelled me up to now but cancer has cremated it. I’m grateful. My purpose is music. It’s in me. Where it goes I go. Laura and me are here for music. Music is the answer and the source of all my power. Life. Source. All of the above.

What does this all mean for And Yet It Moves?

And Yet It Moves live and create in Berlin. Laura and I have to be in Glasgow for 2018, my treatment is on going for this year, so until I’m not shackled to the hospital we can’t tour. We were just setting up album two. To be continued…

You have formed the Cain’s Collective, can you tell us more about that (who it is collectively, what they do, how you met and what is planned release/event wise for the future)?

CC is Laura St Jude, Dale Barclay, Steven Thomas (poet), Kelsey Black (painter), Paul Barclay (photographer). Paul and I met at T in the park, when the Snakeheads played there. Many miles together since. Laura and I and Steven and Kelsey got talking at a And Yet It Moves gig and haven’t stopped since. Steven’s first book will be published by Cain’s Collective. Steven will have a 7” vinyl out soon. Me and Laura are will have a split 7” out in June. Kelsey’s artwork will be landing. Steven is main support for Dale Barclay and Laura St Jude shows in June (21st, Edinburgh-Sneaky Petes, 22nd Glasgow-The Art School). Steven’s book and the vinyl will be on sale at the Cain’s Collective stall at the gigs.

Has Cain’s Collective been something you’ve thought of putting together before this happened, or is it more a case of seizing the scenario that life has thrown your way?

Cain’s Collective is most definitely seize the moment, we unexpectedly find ourselves back in Glasgow fighting brain cancer, so what can be done now we are here? That was the question. I’ve never been more sure of anything before. Magic is real and fairies exist, there will be blood.

The battle commenced. It must be fought to the death. Poetry, music, imagery from a deep dark place speaking many uncomfortable truths!  We create through the inspiration of each other as part of Cain’s Collective! Cain’s Collective is a group beyond society a family of creatives, brothers and sisters bound by blood and bone. If you lift the dirt and the gravel, you will find us there. Creation on many different platforms, from blood, from love. Darkness guides our hands and heads, our pens and paint brushes, it seeps from cracks and minds alike. In this ceaseless war of life, we are here to put forward our woes and worries, our love and hate. The truth is on every line and can be read between. In the field Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him, what have you done? Listen! Your brothers blood cries out to us from the soil. It’s head in hands, the sweat dripping down your cheek, a clear vision. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable, we confront with dilated pupils, we confront. It’s a dark night, it’s a throat cut, it’s a warm embrace here at Cain’s Collective. Welcome to ‘Cain’s Collective’, publishing, bookmaking and record company for the rebel hearted among the humans. In the great tradition of independent labels and publishers we provide cover for outsider artists that the mainstream media can neither fathom nor handle. Words, images and music from beyond the standard model. We only release work we truly love with focus on quality and clarity. Cain’s Collective; for those creative souls cursed to wander through a life of artistic exile, shunned by the ignorant and ignored by the masses. We aim to liberate those minds from the shackles of modern society through art, poetry and music. Bound together by a need to create, we are a band of brothers and sisters working collaboratively as a non-profit organisation to produce widely accessible, inclusive to all anti-authoritarian art. We believe in artistic liberty and freedom of speech for all. We denounce any use of censorship, our work is honest and must be acknowledged. Condemn those who create for profit. Art for art’s sake always. No exceptions.

Steven Thomas of Cain’s Collective

During all of this you and Laura got married, was this something that was in the pipeline for a while, it doesn’t seem to have changed anything between the pair of you, but it would be good to get your feelings on what made you take that step.

Yes, we had been engaged to be married for two years, living together for six, it was past the time to do it and there is no more waiting. When Sailor married Lula, it was no cold December, for true love and the sacred heart, a Saturday morning to remember. A moment of pure beauty in a sea of darkness. A blood red wedding. Boots size nine. A Benny Hamish special. Sailor and Lula forever and always.

Cain’s Collective established February twenty eighteen for good reasons. Based in Glasgow, Scotland. Limited run signed and numbered books, paintings, prints and vinyl releases coming soon. Dale and Laura play 6/5 Stag and Dagger, 12/5 Pie and Brew, Glasgow (acoustic)