If you visit this blog regularly you’ll probably know that we take it in turns here to pick five tracks a week as our tracks of the day. This requires us to trawl around looking for great new music that isn’t getting the airplay it deserves on the radio. Way back in July/August time now I realised (as I’m sometimes a bit slow on the uptake) that about twenty percent of the tracks I was finding were all coming out of Glasgow. I don’t live in Glasgow, I live in Liverpool, so I was a bit oblivious to what was going on up there, but every week, without fail, I’d go off in search of new music and I’d come back with another couple of Glasgow tracks. That couldn’t be a coincidence.
I’ve since done a little bit of digging, I’ve spoken to one of the bands I found and featured here, and I’ve discovered there’s one hell of an amazing scene happening up there right now. I don’t really know why it isn’t being talked about in the same terms as Seattle in the early nineties, Manchester in the mid-nineties, or my hometown back in the sixties, but it should be. It really really should be. So far I’ve discovered about ten to fifteen bands currently gigging and releasing new music in the city, and I reckon I’ve probably only skimmed the surface. I thought I’d do a round up of where I’m currently at considering it’s the end of the year, and pull together the stuff I’ve featured so far into one place.
I featured a track by Shredd back in October. And I’d already heard ‘Cobra’ at this point – I went back and forth on which one to pick. But finally I can select it here, which makes me very happy indeed.
If you haven’t come across it yet, check out http://www.tenementtv.com. It’s an online vlog-type magazine dedicated to up and coming bands. It’s open to anyone actually, but being based in Glasgow they specialise in promoting bands from the immediate area. And they run the Tenement Trail multi venue festival every year up there.
One of the bands Tenement TV have championed is Rascalton who I featured back in November. I asked them why Glasgow was producing so much great stuff at the moment and they were kind enough to come back to me with a few thoughts, telling me that the crowds are awesome: “you rarely play to a dead room and people aren’t afraid to dance like they are in other cities”. They pointed to a few club nights that happen up there, Control Social Club and Club Sabbath which give a venue and a platform for up and coming talent. But the main thing, they said, was the camaraderie, “every band are pals with each other and there’s no jealousy”.
Have a look at the lineup for 2017’s Tenement Trail festival, and all the bands sharing the same stage as evidence of how true this is:
This is Rascalton’s session for Tenement TV which I think won the poll for best session and earned them the opportunity to open the festival.
Rascalton are currently playing some dates with Baby Strange, who are the band that pretty much started my love affair with the Glasgow scene. I featured their track ‘Motormind’ as one of my very first track of the day selections back in July. This is another recent release from them, ‘Play Me’, which is another joyous, energetic Ramonesesque jump-a-long song:
Another band that featured on Tenement TV are The Lapelles whose album I reviewed back in June. I didn’t realise until I started doing some research about the band that their lead singer, Gary Watson, had sadly died a few months before this release. But here they were, very much in their pomp:
You’ll have noticed by now that the beauty of the Glasgow scene is that no two bands sound the same. There’s an underlying trend which is high energy, alternative music, but it spans the spectrum from melodic indie tracks to alt-rock and punk. There’s something for everyone really.
Personally, I’m a fan of all these genres. And I get excited when I can hear echoes of the late ’80’s and early ’90’s alternative scenes that I grew up with. Which leads me onto the next two bands…
The Van T’s
‘Fresh Meat’ was the track I picked by these guys back in September, but honestly I could have picked anything by them. They remind me of Curve. If you don’t know who Curve were, then think of Garbage, although a little rawer, a little less over-produced. They’re also a great example of the diversity of the scene – it’s not completely male dominated…
I picked the track ‘Separate Ways’ as a track of the day in October. This band remind me so much of early SubPop. They’re card carrying members of the Nirvana fanclub, I found a cover of ‘Aneurysm’ they did on YouTube, but actually bring to mind The Pixies more for me, albeit The Pixies with a more melodic edge, a more accessible vocal. ‘Seams’ is quite a sunny, upbeat track for them, but just as great nonetheless.
I haven’t yet featured all the bands I’ve discovered from Glasgow on the blog, so I don’t want to spoil what’s coming in the new year. Suffice to say I have some tracks lined up by Tijuana Bibles, SWAY and White for the new year. So watch out for them. I’ve dedicated Thursday to be my designated ‘Glasgow Day’. So every three weeks, keep your eyes and ears open. And I haven’t found them all yet, of that I’m certain. There will be more to come I’m sure.
Maybe this time next year I’ll be writing a catch up. Who knows? In the meantime, I’ll leave you with Heavy Rapids and The Dunts. And the final word from Rascalton: “I feel like Glasgow hasn’t been given enough justice in terms of music but now we’re all coming for you.” I couldn’t agree more with that.
‘Money is Power’ is the track I picked back in November. And the song I originally wanted to select for my track of the day, but couldn’t find it in a shareable format at the time, was ‘Hugger Mugger’:
Featured just two weeks ago with the track ‘Hampden Cabs‘. And here’s ‘Coalition of Chaos’: