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18th September 2022

Culann release a new single, ‘Rovers’.

It’s the first new music in three years from the Irvine quintet following the release of their 2019 album ‘The Great Ecumene’.

The track, which will be on sale for download and on streaming services next week, clocks in at well over six minutes, and comes with a suitably epic video.

Shot and edited by Stuart Alexander, and with drone footage by Etive Productions, it stars Rab Affleck and Brian Blakeley, both of whom featured in David Mackenzie’s 2018 Outlaw King.

Mixed & mastered by Greg Irish, the track was recorded at Watercolour in Ardgour near Fort William, a studio favoured by acts as diverse as Damaged Goodz and Findlay Napier, and run by songwriter Nick Turner and his wife, musician/broadcaster Mary Ann Kennedy.

More at www.facebook.com/culannband.

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28th July 2022

Willie Campbell releases a single, ‘The Film Begins’, on Friday 29th July – the day after he plays a solo set on Belladrum Tartan Heart’s Off Axis stage.

And we’re honoured to have the exclusive premiere of his DIY, hand-shot film for the track.

Campbell is accompanied on the track by Jenny Keldie on backing vocals, Jane MacMillan on fiddle, Lloyd Reid on pedal steel and James Clifford on bass.

The Astrid co-founder described the track as being “about the grieving process, the longing to have a conversation with someone that’s passed away and my memories of Hebridean funerals. How vivid and alive the memories of people can be once they’ve gone.

“It’s about the day-to-day moments with the people that we love that we inevitably take for granted,” he continues, “cups of coffee and tea and conversations about nothing in particular and the little details in a room that can send your mind spinning into remembering.

“We crave those things once we can’t have them.”

Astrid recently reformed following Campbell’s return from Nashville, releasing ‘Fall Stand Dance’, produced by Edwyn Collins and released on the former Orange Juice frontman’s AED label.

Previously alongside Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody Campbell was a founding member of indie collective The Reindeer Section which also included various members of Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian and many others.

More recently Willie has been releasing records as The Open Day Rotation and has three critically-acclaimed albums: 2008 debut ‘Down by the Head’, followed by ‘Toxic Good Toxic Bad’, and in 2018 ‘New Clouds in Motion’, the latter produced by Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian).

More at www.williecampbell.co.uk

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30th June 2022

Constant Follower have become the first band to record a live session on top of The Wallace Monument.

Overlooking their hometown of Stirling, the live session on top of the National Monument features tracks from their debut album ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’, released last year on the Shimmy Disc / Joyful Noise label.

The band most recently performed at South By Southwest Festival in Texas, including a set described as an “atmospheric tapestry” by the Austin Chronicle.

Film of the latest live session, this time on home turf (so to speak) was directed by Martin J. Pickering, shot thanks to support from PRS Foundation, and features the tracks ‘I Can’t Wake You’, ‘Weave of the World’ and ‘The Merry Dancers On TV’

Constant Follower frontman McAll said: “I don’t remember my childhood, but my mum took lots of photographs. I look so happy in the pictures of us at the Wallace Monument. I see how magical it is for my own children – the building, the mythology, the huge sword – and can only think it must have been the same for me.

“I see it every day when I open my curtains and wondered what it would be like to play up in the crown overlooking the city, and why no one had done it already. So it was a great surprise and an honour when Stirling Council made it happen. To be able to play while stretching our eyes over this beautiful landscape… sometimes it was hard to sing for the lump in my throat.”

Filmmaker Martin J. Pickering said: “Filming my oldest best friend’s live set at the top of The Wallace Monument was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. On a good day, Stirling has the most beautiful light too.

“It’s shimmery, golden and silver and just amazing for photography and film. It was a physical and brutal shoot because it was freezing and extremely windy but that all lent itself to an amazing end result on camera. I cried when I watched my edit back.”

As well as a handful of July dates, the band are currently gearing up for a string of ‘Scotland on Tour’ dates, starting on 20th October in Tighnabruaich and ending on 30th October at Lochinver:

Live Dates:
20/07/2022 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
21/07/2022 – Broadcast, Glasgow
22/07/2022 – Secret Location, Stirling
20/10/2022 – The Hollies, Tighnabruaich
21/10/2022 – An Tobar, Mull
25/10/2022 – River Garden, Ayr
26/10/2022 – The Glad Cafe, Glasgow
27/10/2022 – Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling
28/10/2022 – The Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
29/10/2022 – Inverness Cathedral, Inverness
30/10/2022 – Village Hall, Lochinver
17/03/2023 – Town Hall, Jedburgh
18/03/2023 – Regal Connect Theatre, Bathgate

More at linktr.ee/ConstantFollower.

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12th June 2022

The Little Kicks return with their first recordings, live dates, and video in more than three years.

The Aberdeen quartet’s follow-up to album ‘Shake Off Your Troubles’ is the new single ‘Ruminations’, recorded at Chem19 by Paul Savage, and available now, via Bandcamp and the usual online sources.

Also on the cards are three live shows:
– Saturday 18th June at The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
– Friday 24th June at The Hug & Pint, Glasgow
– Saturday 25th June at The Tunnels, Aberdeen

The video for ‘Ruminations’, directed by James Galbraith of SNAP Studio, was filmed in Aberdeen’s iconic art-deco Bon Accord Baths.

The single features Cairn String Quartet as well as brass from Craig McMahon and Alex Sharples, with Diarmaid O’Gallagher working with the band on arrangements.

More at thelittlekicks.co.uk

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14th February 2022

One in a series of videos for tracks from Constant Follower‘s debut album for Shimmy Discs, ‘Spirits in the Roof Tree’ comes with a video shot by Michael Prince.

He is just one of a collective of artists and filmmakers from the Stirling area whose work, alongside that of the band, is celebrated in an exhibition, Constant Follower & Friends, which runs at the town’s Tolbooth until February 26th.

Shortly afterwards, the band will hopefully be Texas-bound, for the annual South by Southwest festival. However, their attendance is uncertain due to the inevitable financial constraints, so the band have launched a crowdfunder campaign to raise the necessary cash to take them to what could be a vital stage in their career. Fans can purchase a variety of merchandise, as well as book them in for an exclusive private live show, with all monies raised going towards their SXSW journey.

The album, ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’, was mixed and mastered by Shimmy Discs mainman Kramer and is available now, while there are two live imminent live shows: on February 24th at the Tolbooth, followed by a co-headline gig with Mt Doubt at Glasgows Stereo on March 2nd.

More at linktr.ee/ConstantFollower

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15th January 2022

Black Hill Transmissions release a new track, ‘It’s Up To You’, from their new EP ‘1985 (In My Mind)‘.

It’s the band’s third EP in six months, and comprises three cover versions of 1980s indie faves – as well as the lead track’s Shop Assistants song, there are also takes on The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Just Out of Reach’, and New Order’s ‘Thieves Like Us’.

BHT’s Mark Scanlan said of the choice of tracks: “1985 was a standout year for me; I first heard The Jesus & Mary Chain and my mind was blown. I started buying records and what was an interest in music became an obsession.

“I bought these three songs in 1985, just before my 16th birthday. 36 years later I thought of them again and decided to record my own versions, from memory. These are homemade, lo-fi, recorded quickly; a tribute to the 1985 in my mind.”

Released in cahoots with The Creeping Bent Organisation, all money raised goes to Help Musicians Scotland and Refugee Action charities.

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24th December 2021

How to Swim release a festive single, ‘Melt’.

The track, available on Bandcamp with the b-side ‘Christmas Bleeds Into Christmas’, was recorded -mostly – they say – in a single take in mid-December, in Shawlands.

The ensemble, currently numbering six members, say that they were inspired by the Beatles ‘Get Back’ documentary to record a new track from scratch in a single evening, with video cameras in attendance. A spoken word section from author Alan Bissett was later added to the recording.

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11th December 2021
Charlie Clark

Duncan Marquiss releases a new single, ‘Drivenhalle’, which acts as a trailer for the former Phantom Band member’s debut solo album ‘Wires Turned Sideways In Time’, which is due for release on March 4th 2022, on the Basin Rock label.

“I enjoy trying to stretch the guitar as an instrument,” says Marquiss. “That reflects my playing style, always trying to make the guitar sound different, or create non-guitar like sounds.”

“I like it when music builds itself up in an organic fashion,” he adds. “When it just seems to emerge and almost writes itself.”

The album itself, which is available to pre-order now, is purely instrumental, and was recorded in Aberdeenshire in Marquiss’ parents’ garage. “Apart from the wind and the swallows nesting in the eaves there’s not many distractions around,” he says.

Marquiss created the video himself, perhaps unsurprisingly. “I used to use music in my art practice a lot,” he says. “Creating soundtracks for videos. I’d spend time analysing films to see how the music affected the image emotionally.”

He can also be seen making his solo live debut next year, on a tour supporting Steve Gunn:

3 February 2022 London, Earth
4 February 2022 Bristol, Strange Brew
5 February 2022 Manchester, YES – Pink Room
6 February 2022 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
7 February 2022 Glasgow, Slay

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5th November 2021
Charlie Clark

Produced by Jason Shaw (Cambodian Space Project) and mastered by Mark Gardener from Ride, the new single from Astrid frontman Charlie Clark, ‘Blink of an Eye’, was recorded in Uig on the Isle of Lewis, alongside other sessions for Charlie Clark’s upcoming album: ‘Late Night Drinking’.

“I was getting overwhelmed with melancholy about relationships and mistakes I’d made and things I should and have not done etc,” Clark says, having recently returned home after many years living in LA.

“I was reflecting on more microcosmic internal issues…. I refer to my mind as radio K-F**k fairly often. Sometimes the best thing to do when you feel overwhelmed is nothing at all.”

The video was directed by Clark himself as he explains: “I wanted the video to be like a hallucination where you can feel the vibrations and rhythms of the most simple things.

“Where everything is still but incredibly vibrant. Like meditation… or good mushrooms”.

‘Blink of an Eye’ is out now – more at www.facebook.com/charlieclarkmusic.

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26th August 2021
ritterskamp

‘Cherish the Words’ is the first new material from Glasgow-based act Ritterskamp since their third album ‘So Far‘, from 2016.

The duo – Paul Herbert and JJ Mills – are, as well as being part of Idlewild’s touring setup, are former members of Peeps Into Fairyland, who themselves recently put their entire back catalogue online.

The new track was recorded by Mills in 2020 before being mixed and mastered by Robert McCracken, and is part of a six-track EP which will appear once live dates can be arranged to coincide with its release.

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Mew music playlist November 2021