Broken Records album release

So, on 1st June of this year, Broken Records will release their debut album on 4AD.  Titled ‘ Until The Earth Begins To Part it will be preceeded by a single of the same title on 11th May and I must admit that I am really looking forward to the album being released.  I was introduced to this band by Bart when he put them on at one of his Gentle Invasion nights  – I think it was one of their first gigs and Graeme and I immediately asked them to do a Trampoline show at Capitol in Glasgowa month or so later.  I remember the night well and still have the CDr of early songs that they gave me that night. 

If I’m perfectly honest, I’ve taken a massive step back from the band and what they’ve been doing since the giant wave of Broken Records mania has taken over our city and Scotland.  I’m quite prone to falling out of love with a band when they become over popular.  It’s one of my failings in life I guess and it’s silly, but having been there at the start and supported these guys with gigs, whilst I was so delighted to see them go from strength to strength, I always find it odd how quickly things change and how I hate the whole hype machine.  People shouting – this band are fucking amazing.  Well, I think they’re great but I’m not going to get carried away on the wave of euphoria that seems to have followed them around for over a year now.  Like I say, that has nothing to do with how I feel about the band, perhaps more to do with how I feel about how others feel about the band.  And like I say, it’s silly, but it’s just how I am.

I feel pretty lucky to have done 3 shows with them and Shady Bard back in 2007 when they were but a twinkling in the eyes of the music press.  I will never forget the gig in Dundee at the West Port Bar where we all played to a handful of people.  Broken Records, Shady Bard and Graeme from the Kays all on stage at one time playing a Broken Records tune has got to go down as one of the best moments at Trampoline.  It’s a shame only 1 or 2 people witnessed it!

Anyways, back to their album.  I cannot wait.  I think it will be a cracker and am delighted to see ‘Wolves’ on the tracklisting as it has been a favourite of mine since the first time I heard them play it live.  As always, as the band gets bigger and bigger it is more and more unlikely that we’ll see them back at Trampoline any time soon.  But if I’m honest, that can only be a good thing as it shows how well they are doing.  I hope that this album does wonderful things for them and takes them to the next level.  They are lovely guys and deserve all the success that they get.  And I may be an admirer of their music from afar and not shout about them from the roof tops of Edinburgh at every opportunity, but I believe in what they do as much, if not more, than most people.  June 1st is firmly pencilled in my diary.


Fence Gig at Old St Pauls, 7th March 2009

So this was a great day for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it’s the first gig I’ve been to other than a trampoline show in 2009.  It was such a nice feeling to get out and see some live music for the first time in ages.  And it was nice to see friends who I’ve not seen for a while cause of a little fella called Roddy.  That said, I never managed to stay to the end as I wanted to get back to see the wee man, I also didn’t want to get drunk and after a few beers and a glass of very nasty red wine I was starting to feel a little tipsy.  So I think I missed a few bands, but I managed to stick around long enough to see Meursault, or Neil perform which was a great way to end the day.  Finishing his set with Small Strecth of Land, to be honest, though I was keen to see FOUND, that was almost a perfect time to end the day.  And what a great day of music it was.  Highlights of the day were undoubtedly the sets by Ziggy Campbell, Pictish Trail, Animal Magic Tricks and Meursault.  Probably my favourite being Animal Magic Tricks.  This was my first experience of the band and I was blown away by the stunning simplicity of the songs.  Beautiful stuff, complimented brilliantly by the gorgeous cello playing.  I will be checking them out properly today as I was absolutely loving what I heard yesterday.  Now I’ve never been to Homegame before, I always feel like I want to but never get around to getting tickets, but if its anything like the atmosphere of yesterday’s gig then it must be a fucking wonderful experience.  It was so nice to just relax and listen to great music.  I must admit, I drifted off wishing that the architectural detail within the space was slightly better – lowered ceilings are never a good thing! – but apart from that I had a great day catching up with old friends and enjoying the brilliant tunesmiths on offer.

Today I spent the past 3 hours in a studio somewhere near Dalkeith recording some piano parts for my friend Andy Tucker – formerly of the Dead Beat Club.  I love that about the musicians in this city, they are all so willing to offer a friend a hand whenever its needed.  The line up of musicians who have helped Andy make his record a reality is fantastic and I have no doubt that it’s going to be a lovely piece of music when it’s done.  And it better be because though I had the pleasure of playing a grand piano for 3 hours I was located in a room with no heating and I’m still trying to warm up!  By the last takes I could barely feel my fingers!  But it was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to hear the finished product.

I’d Forgotten How Much I Love Elliott Smith

So I got home from work last night and as always, whilst making dinner decided to fire on some music.  I usually take ages to decide what to listen to but for some reason last night I just grabbed the first thing that came to hand, which happened to be ‘New Moon’ by Elliott Smith.  This is not a proper studio album which was released after his death and focuses on unreleased tracks taken from the period 1994-1997.  So basically you’re talking about tunes written around the time of Either/Or.  I think, and have always thought, that if you like Elliott Smith you fall into 1 of 2 camps.  Camp 1 are the people who adore Either/Or and Camp 2 the people who adore XO.  Now it’s totally possible to love both, I do, but I think XO is the pinnacle of his career.  It’s also the first steps he took into a louder, fuller sound which produced the excellent Figure 8 and the potentially brilliant, though never completed by himself, From The Basement On The Hill.  I for one love XO, I love it’s textures and layers, I love it’s changes of pace, and more than ever I love his voice.  It’s an album that I could listen to over and over again.  Whilst Either/Or is undoubtedly a brilliant piece of work, the changes of pace and direction on XO are stunning and his development as a musician from that point on really fascinated me.  I never knew what to expect next and I love when an artist can create that excitement before a piece of work is released.  No album is the same, sometimes things are bigger, sometimes fragile and tiny.  Yet, in amongst the fuller sounds of Figure 8 and Basement,  Smith’s vocals sound more fragile than ever.

I always regret that I never saw him live.  Graeme reminds me regularly that he saw him on more than one occasion.  He’s very lucky.  I always wonder what would have come next.  But I know deep down it would have been special.  So yeah, I hadn’t planned to listen to Elliott Smith last night, but I’m glad I did.

Am I lonely cause I miss you.

I haven’t posted anything on this page for a while now.  I realise that.  Sometimes things just take over my life and the last thing I feel like doing is writing.  Also, despite wanting to review pieces of music, I, unlike most bloggers I know, do not receive new music from people to review.  I think even through Trampoline I have only ever received one cd sampler to listen to from a fantastic Leeds act called Held By Hands.  On the back of that I did try and get them to come and play a Trampoline show.  I think they would have, but it was all just bad timing.

Anyways, I don’t have much to say really.  The past 3 weeks are a bit of a sleepless blur to perfectly honest.  And if I wasn’t in a really happy place things would undeniably be upsetting me.  However, I’ve spent a lot of time just hanging about, listening to music, reading and being happy doing nothing.  I’m also better off financially for the lack of going to gigs, trips to the pub etc.  Which is a nice feeling.  And if I’m honest, I’m not really missing any of it. 

Anyways,  I realise that I had said preivously that I would try to put forward bands I am loving frmo myspace in the past weeks.  I was going to do this on a weekly basis.  I twice wrote big posts on this.  5 bands were selected.  But on both occasions the computer crashed before I could post the selection!!  Well, I won’t go in to details about the bands I selected because it would depress me if this computer crashed, but the bands that I previously wrote about and that you should all check out are:

1. The Stormy Seas –

2. The Amber Sleep – I think it’s

3. Trespassers William –

4. Dakota Suite – 

5. My Latest Novel –

Some of these bands you’ll know, some you might not, but there are reasons why these bands have been chosen – I just can’t be bothered going into them all again!!

Anyways, enjoy.  And let me know your thoughts if you read this page.