A Letter From... Scotland #11

With Dam Mantle, Paisley Underground, Aberfeldy Festival & more
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Take solace from blistering winds and Panorama investigations into the misdeeds of Jimmy Savile with our round-up of all that you need to know about Scottish music in October and beyond.
You’re welcome.

Acquaint yourself with the three-years-in-the-making debut from Dam Mantle (aka producer Tom Marshallsay). Collecting up the eclectic charms that made the ‘Grey’, ‘Purple Arrow’ and ‘We’ E.P.’s so special, ‘Brothers Fowl’ sees him squeeze all this goodness into his debut long-player. It’s available on vinyl from Rubadub Records.

Processed Beats, the nomadic club-night, has taken permanent residence at the Arches. With a banging line-up featuring JD Twitch, Clouds and Ginger Bread Men, it’s an unapologetic return. Too poor/geographically challenged to make it along? The November 16th show will also stream live on Glasgow’s Sonar FM site.

The capital’s resident festival, Haddowfest, starts on Sunday.  Alongside established acts like The Cribs, Tango in the Attic, Washington Irving, Meursault and (remember them?!) Hadouken, there’s a whole lot of up-and-comings guaranteed to create a dent in the musical landscape.  Go along and find your new favourites.

Rejoice! There’s a new venue in Glasgow. Located right in the Sauchiehall Street thick of it, ‘Broadcast’ opens this month – kicking off with two impeccably-curated gigs from Ross Clark’s Three Blind Wolves and screaming sirens United Fruit.  (And just a quick reminder – Three Blind Wolves are up for MTV’S Brand New Unsigned act. Get supporting! You can vote on the MTV website – just follow the link from Three Blind Wolves Facebook.)

If you get in quick, you’ll make the last of the Paisley Underground shows. Set up by Scottish super-label Chemikal Underground, tonight’s show at Spiegeltent will feature live sets from Human Don’t Be Angry (the Malcolm Middleton project) and Miaoux Miaoux.

Similarly, Edinburgh’s HMV Picture House hosts ‘Music like a Vitamin’ tonight, as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Brought together by The Birthday Suit’s Rod Jones, Withered Hand, Sparrow and the Workshop and Fatherson will all be doing a turn.

Getting dangerously close to an all-day-and-nighter this Saturday at Nice’n’Sleazy with Cry Parrot and Green Door. They’re putting on a full, free and delicious programme of innovative, surprising noise with sets from Ballad of Mable Wong, Casual Sex, Gordon McDougal, North American War, Organs of Love and Konx-om-Pax.  It starts at 4pm and stretches as long as Sleazys can take it. (So 3am, usually.)

Up North? Get thyself to Aberfeldy Festival on the 2nd and 3rd of November. Curated by literary power-house Ian Rankin, Friday welcomes Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells, Phantom Band, Meursault and The Star Wheel Press whilst Fence Records take control on the Saturday – bringing along King Creosote, the Pictish Trail and Found. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Perthshire countryside, there will be talks from Rankin and other notable Scottish authors and exhibitions from local artists, all washed down with Scottish beer and whiskey cocktails on tap.

Steel yourself for the long-awaited release of Hermit (e.p.) from Randolph’s Leap. Out on October 26th, it’s more of the intelligent, loveable indie-pop that charmed Fence into signing them, with a launch at Glad Café on the same day. There’s a sterling line-up the night after too, with a headline slot from singer-songwriter Lenzie Moss (of BMX Bandits) and support from Francis McDonald (Teenage Fanclub) and Chris Deveney (My Latest Novel).

Get behind Edinburgh mini-label Song by Toad with the new home-recorded split 12” offering new stuff from PAWS and Dolfinz. It’s released in conjunction with Matthew Young’s new ‘Bad Fun’ nights in the vaults of St John’s Church, Edinburgh – the first night features Viking Moses and super-group Ghost Wolf Crystal Toads (with members of James Yorkston and the Athletes, Meursault and Rob St. John all chipping in) and the second, on 17th November, hosts Broken Records, Easter and Le Thug.

Stay tuned for a 90s revival at Mono on November 19th.  Legendary San Francisco outfit The Aislers Set are reforming, bringing back some of the most heart-warming, twinkly indie-pop that their generation had to offer. Mixing Phil Spector harmonies with scuzzy guitars in a cotton-wool of reverb, they’re joined by Gary Olson of The Ladybug Transistor. Stevie Jackson, purveyor of charmingly brilliant twee-pop both solo and in Belle & Sebastian supports, whilst Scottish indie legends Camera Obscura and The Pastels will keep you dancing well into the night as they spin records.

Excellent new sounds come from Glasgow noiseniks St. Deluxe. Formerly support for Mudhoney and The Vaselines, they’re releasing their latest “Born into Flame” on the 3rd of December via Dream Machine records. Taking influences as diverse as Buzzcocks, J Mascis and zombie b-movies, they’ve sharpened their sound into a direct statement of intent. Supported with a Nice’n’Sleazy launch on 7th of December, they’re also gigging in Camden’s The Enterprise on December 1st.

Glasgow Film Theatre hosts an audience with living legend, David Byrne on October 26th. As frontman of Talking Heads, he continues to push the musical boundaries, and on Friday is joined by Chemikal Underground’s Alun Woodward in a discussion about his new book ‘How Music Works’. Hosted by The Herald’s Nicola Meighan, this “how to survive as a label and an artist” event, charts the highs and lows of the creation and production of the music business from the perspective of a man who reached the top without ever compromising.

Words by Marianne Gallagher

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