Fotzepolitic – ‘Blue Sky Tribe’

Fotzepolitic was a Cocteau Twins track on their 1990 Heaven Or Las Vegas album, the Cocteau’s having a habit of not using proper language however in the case of Fotzepolitic it directly translates as “cunt politics”.

Glasgow/Aberdeen based band Fotzepolitic certainly have strong political views as evidenced by their single ‘Blue Sky Tribe’, a commentary unfortunately all too real about the United States role in world politics and the blind faith in the righteousness of the American war machine walking hand in hand with Wall Street.

Fotezepolitic are a post punk electro outfit and this track is very reminiscent of early 80’s electro punk via Depeche Mode/Human League with a leaning towards German electro industrial.

Swirling harmonies float behind the lyrics, which are the main focus – telling us of the cunning scheming politics and belief in the dominance over others.

B-side, ‘Red Orchestra’ tells of a world on a downward spiral where “we have failed ourselves again” and the “men” have sold our nation.

It is a more anthemic song where the vocals sit more with the ambient atmospheric electronic organ style; bleak lyrics maybe telling us how it is.

Fotzepolitic have a deep-layered complex sound with an emphasis on the electronic, which is dark and bleak and with strong views on the science of government (or maybe just America).

Words: Derek McCutcheon

FREAKENDER presents L.A. WITCH at Sleazy’s, 28/3/18

After several years of constant touring, the long-awaited self-titled debut from Californian’s L.A. WITCH finally arrived last year to a wave of critical acclaim.

They take to the stage this evening in Nice N Sleazy – perhaps the most appropriately-named venue in the world for their brand of psychedelic-inspired garage rock.

By the time the Witch arrive, Sleazy’s is packed to the rafters.

As the band begin with an opening low-key instrumental, much of the crowd don’t even realise they have begun their set, however the deafening bass of an early airing of single ‘Kill My Baby Tonight’ drowns our any lingering murmurs.

It wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility to find L.A. WITCH’s jams on a Tarantino soundtrack, or playing on a jukebox in Twin Peaks.

Their influences are worn on their sleeve and sound as much like early 60s Motown girl groups as they do with the current wave of modern psych groups.

Rattling through a 45-minute set with little respite, it is only on the gorgeous slow-build of ‘Baby In Blue Jeans’ that the pace briefly relents.

Even though each member is a key component to the gritty sound, the real star is frontwoman Sade Sanchez.

With a jet black mop covering her face, like a long-lost Ramone relative, her beguiling vocals – hidden under layers of distortion – and excellent guitar work, are what really captivates the audience.

It is Sanchez who leads the way on a closing ‘Feel Alright’ with anthemic riffs weaved between trippy interludes.

The venue this evening is significantly busier than their show in Mono last year, testament to the quality and impact that the release of their record has already had, but the band are a far tighter unit as well.

Their relentless touring schedule is paying dividends and even the newer material aired tonight is exceptional, promising much more to look forward to from the group.

More Photos

Words: Graham McCusker
Photos: Caitlin Macintyre

Phoenix at Barrowlands, 26/3/18

For once in the past few weeks, the weather is actually kind on everyone who decided to brave this Monday night, the clocks might have gone forward over the week end and stole an hour of our precious time but the Glaswegian crowd would never let a school night drag them down.

As the ballroom gets filled up with punters, slowly but surely, ‘Controversy’ by Prince blares out through the gem of a venue, the drumbeat mimicking a virtual beating heart catching everyone’s attention.

Suddenly the lights go off and the drumbeat morphs into the introduction of ‘J-Boy’ the first track from Phoenix’s latest album Ti Amo, released earlier last year, while the stage is transformed into a rainbow made of fluorescent lights.

The audience is already won over and when the heavy drums of ‘Lasso’ resonate, the packed front rows are jumping frenetically in unison, refracting the intense energy smashed on the drum set by Thomas Hedlund.

This frantic energy does not stop there, when ‘Entertainment’ kicks in the venue is already effervescing even though we are only three songs in, the only interlude in this melodic madness arrives before ‘Lisztomania’, when lead singer Thomas Mars approaches the crowd explaining that tonight he is going to need their help as his voice is “fucked” (his words not mine), this invitation is just what the crowd required to set the place on fire.

What transcribes from the band is what is felt through the crowd, everyone is lifted by the music, whether it is from some slow burner electro indie anthems like ‘Girlfriend’ or from guitar-driven fast paced tracks like ‘Armistice’ or ‘Rally’.

A certain intimacy builds between the band and the crowd and the atmospheric rendition of ‘Love Like A Sunset pt1’ proves just that.

The slow melody that builds to its crescendo is as close as it gets to an out-of-body-ish sonic experience.

The audience is conquered and when the lead singer expresses his love for “the best venue around” nothing else matters.

The night gets more and more intimate when the band comes back for a few more encores with only Mars and Christian Mazzalai at first, courting the crowd with a cover of ‘The Concept’ by local boys Teenage Fanclub before inviting everyone to celebrate Deck D’Arcy’s birthday on stage.

As a last hurrah, the band invites everyone to unleash what they have left on ‘Fior Di Latte’, for a final communion with the crowd and whomever present, even the sound engineer and light technician singalong.

The audience leaves the Barrowlands again with stars in their eyes; tonight Phoenix prove that the audience is the essential part of a great show and used their songs to transport the crowd away from the daily routine for a great couple of hours.

More Photos

Words: Jeremy Veyret
Photos: Brendan Behan

How We Got Giraffes – Taste, or Don’t

The brilliantly named How We Got Giraffes return with their second EP Taste, Or Don’t.

The four-piece who hail from such exotic parts of the world as France, Italy and Sauchiehall Street provide a raucous brand of indie punk, which has a distinctive European feel to it.

The EP begins with the single ‘Honeypot’, thumping guitar is soon joined by keyboards and quick drumming, which help to drive the track forward.

The vocals fit well with the track and are backed up by well-constructed harmonies; at under three minutes, the track is a nice taster of what is to come.

‘Look or Don’t’ continues in the same vein with a fast opening, although it feels like more of a build up than the previous track, which is a touch more frantic from the start.

If you listen closely, you can also hear what sounds like a hint of bagpipes in the background, showing the diversity of the bands roots.

In a change of tone, ‘The Comeback’ begins with sleepy, atmospheric guitars and a looping chorus, before building slowly into another fast number.

The song carries on the repetition of lyrics, but the music changes to add hidden depth and layers which works well.

This EP ends with ‘Taste’, a return to the fast paced, euro-punk that the band has become accustomed.

Overall, this is an enjoyable listen with every track managing to have a different feel to it while in keeping with the style set out by the band at the beginning of the EP, giving each song its own merit.

Words: Steven Aitken

Gordon James and the Power – Gordon James and the Power

Speyside three-piece Gordon James and the Power release their self titled debut as they aim to carry their impressive live presence onto record.

The band manages to skillfully combine an array of diverse influences with a quintessentially Scottish sound.

As the noise of crashing waves and racing guitars lead into opening track ‘Pick Yourself Up’, the listener is transported to a remote coastal pub in the Highlands with whisky and good times flowing.

The track begins with rises and falls like the sound of the waves and the band’s American influences are apparent in the vocal style, which creates a nice juxtaposition to the traditional Scottish sound.

This theme is carried on in second track ‘Come With Me’, although this is more of a ballad with inspiring lyrics and soulful vocals.

This song in particular is a chance for James to really showcase his vocal talent as he takes centre stage.

‘Help!’ has a slight change of tone, as there is more of a build up and progression, rather driving guitars throughout; this gives the track the sense of urgency suggested by the title.

This is the standout track on the EP and allows the band to let the listener hear a different side and showcase their obvious musical talents.

The biggest compliment I can pay this band is that at times it is easy to forget they are a three piece, as each track has a lot going on suggesting more than three.

With a full album and a tour planned for this year, it seems nothing can stop the power.

Words: Steven Aitken

Indigo Sixteen – ‘Bring On The Rain’

West Lothian’s Indigo Sixteen bring around a slice of what can only be described as a harkening back to the legacy of older indie, such as the Lightning Seeds, but with the modern production promise of the likes of Future Islands.

A fun indie pop track that seems to gain most of its vocal melody from the backing vocals where the lead takes a more monotonal approach, the lead in places sounds spoken.

In its presentation there are hints of Iggy and the Stooges, but without the punk backbone.

Instead it relies upon a shinier disco vibe with the bassline driving the verses, which work well musically to support the proceeding crowd-chant chorus line and it’s lead into the archetypal guitar solo.

As fun as this track is, it does lack something in terms of danger.

In a sound style that’s aching to be something rawer, it seems to hold on to the edges of the swimming pool for fear of getting fully submerged; good effort that leaves you more intrigued as to what comes next.

Words: Krist McKenna

Carly Connor – ‘Who’s Gonna Love You?’

2017 had both high and low points, need I dare detail but one single by the returning artist Carly Connor has caught our attention here at Rave Child.

And before we lose ourselves in 2018 and completely forget about 2017 we wanted to quickly talk about ‘Who’s Gonna Love You?’, which was released in the latter parts of November last year.

If you follow Connor on social media then your news feed will have been stacked with videos, articles and posts from the singer/songwriter herself displaying how much attention this reinvented Motown single has reeled in.

The song itself is in the reminisce of the more soulful days where you had the likes of Otis Redding, Janis Joplin and even Duffy flexing their vocal muscles and reminding us, the listener that there is more to a song or performance than just technicality but heartfelt emotion as well.

Carly Connor joins these rankings of influential voices with her beautifully raw projection of love with her debut single ‘Who’s Gonna Love You?’.

Words: Craig Carrington-Porter

Sperry – ‘I Don’t Want to be Everybody’

‘I Don’t Want to be Everybody’ is the debut single from the new alternative/indie rock band Sperry.

The song consists of strong catchy guitar riffs, which form one of the main driving mechanisms behind the song.

The opening chord structure is intriguing and takes the song down a different path than what the listener originally would anticipate, making the song stand out from other similar songs on the market.

Whilst recording elements of the song could be improved, this track is a high-energy fun track to listen to and dance along with, while lead vocalist Daryl Speirs has an amazing voice with raw rock qualities.

Sperry have put themselves on the Glasgow map with this new release and given some time this band could become something very special.

Words: Shannon Cullen

Dama Scout – ‘Toothache’ [Hand In Hive]

London-based, but Glasgow-formed Dama Scout have shared a new single ‘Toothache’, which is also the first track of their self-titled EP, released in November.

The backstory of the song is quite simplistic, as the band claims to have writen it in one of North London‘s toilets.

However, don‘t let the underwhelming birthplace of ‘Toothache‘ influence your views on the track, as it‘s a really catchy tune, which masterfully contrasts light indie pop with heavy, grunge like guitar instrumentals.

The upbeat bassline and sweet Eva Liu‘s vocals work really well together and prove that Dama Scout is a band that has a lot to offer.

Words: Goda Bujaviciute

Last Wild Lion – ‘This Is Everything/Seasons’

Last Wild Lion mix and match 80s soundscapes of jangly and haunting guitars into a modern day contemporary pop song, if you’re thinking The Cure filtrating into a strong marinade of Paramore, you’re not far off – in fact lead vocalist Sarah Monteath bends her seeping melodies throughout the chorus of ‘Seasons’ in a flawlessly reminiscent fiery ember most akin to Robert Smith.

Opening number ‘This Is Everything’ highlights another side to the Edinburgh quintet, a shimmering quake of drums and guitar lead into a vocal led assault at the chorus, this is when Last Wild Lion are at their best – bold and insightful – filled to the brim with meaty musicianship and wonderful hazy under currents of dreamy pop music.

Words: Chris Kelman