This has come as quite a surprise I have to say. Today has been a very lovely day for the Kays and myself. 2 blogs have named us in their ones to watch in 2010 and now there’s a review of my solo show on Friday up on the Scotsman’s Under the Radar Blog, which you can read here. Big thank you to Lisa-Marie Ferla for such kind words. It means a lot to me. I never expected such a lovely review I have to admit. The show went fairly well for sure. I did totally balls up one of my solo tracks but hey, these things happen. And everything that could go wrong technically did go wrong. That said, it was lovely to just sit and play the songs the way they are played in my living room. It was also nice to not have to worry about soundchecks, people being on time etc. It was just me against the world. I’m not sure I’d want to do it every single time, I’d miss the Kays too much. However, I definitely want to play loads more solo shows in 2010. Thanks again to Lisa-Marie, and indeed to all those who came along. Was much appreciated the reception I received from lots of people I didn’t know.
Big thanks to both Jim Connick over at Ayetunes and to the guys over at Glasgow Podcart who have both decided that The Kays are ones to watch out for in 2010. I really am not used to this. Nobody’s ever paid attention to us. It’s a weird feeling. A nice feeling. A warm fuzzy feeling. Like all our hard work is finally paying off. Yes, Halina is our manager, so many will say it was obvious that she’d choose us. But I chose Conquering Animal Sound and the Last Battle for my list, both of whom I am hoping to work with on mini50 in 2010. So it’s completely acceptable that she’s chosen us. Maybe it wasn’t her. Maybe it was one of the others. Or all of them. I don’t know. But I’m chuffed to bits that we’ve made another 2 lists. Now just to make sure we don’t let anyone down or disappoint!! Anyways, thanks guys. You are great.
So it seems like I’m well behind with this one. We’re already 11 days into the New Year. I really should be more organised. Anyways, here we go. In no particular order, the 10 acts I believe you should be keeping an eye on in 2010.
1.Conquering Animal Sound: It’s no secret what a massive fan of these guys I am. Jamie and Anneke are a supremely talented pair and they will be working with mini50 on their debut album. A split 7” single with Debutant released on … can be expected beforehand, but it’s the album I’m eagerly anticipating such has been the brilliance of their live performances at Trampoline. I might be biased slightly, but it wouldn’t be a top 10 without them given how much I love their music.
2. The Last Battle: Another bunch I’m keen to work with. We’ve not had any discussions yet but I am eager to get something on the go with them. Given that they only formed late last year, their star has risen so quickly with word spreading like wild fire about them. Again, their performances at Trampoline were mightily impressive and I do expect their stock to grow and grow in 2010.
3. The Japanese War Effort: Jamie is one half of Conquering Animal Sound but before he started that project he created a solo project called The Japanese War Effort. The two acts are not a million miles apart in terms of style, however, there is often less sampling and more guitar songs with TJWE. Don’t get me wrong though, there is sampling a plenty, looping a plenty and much to enjoy. His set supporting Meursault at the Bowery last year was nothing short of brilliant and whilst CAS may draw more attention in 2010 I firmly believe that TJWE could make waves too. If Jamie has the time to make a record that is.
4. Small Town Boredom: Hailing from Paisley many people may not be familiar with the brilliance that is Small Town Boredom (pictured above), but they really should be. If you like your music bleak yet beautiful this is the very band for you. Debut album Autumn Might Have Hope was a wonderful journey through the mind of a struggling alcoholic. The new album, to be released in 2010, takes us beyond this to recovery, regret and redemption. Believe me, I have had this record for a long time now and it will be one of the best records released in Scotland in 2010 without any question. ‘Void Lighting’ is one of the best tunes I’ve heard in a long time. Leaves me with goosebumps every time. Make sure you get yourself a copy when the record is finally released.
5. Lyons: Until I asked these guys to play Trampoline in December, I didn’t know much about them if I’m honest. They turned up in December though and just blew me away with their raw aggression. 2 pieces always get compared to the White Stripes and Black Keys. These guys deserve more than that. Nothing like either of those bands in any way they have clearly created a sound which is much their own. I don’t know what their plans are for 2010 other than the first few months will be quiet whilst their drummer is in South America. Do keep your eyes out for them from April onwards though. I think they will make waves.
6. Mammoeth: Debut album ‘Nascent’ will be released on mini50 sometime this year. Probably summertime. Russell Kostulin creates some of the best pop tunes I’ve heard in a long time. There’s some Super Furries in there, some Sufjan Stevens, a touch of Belle and Sebastian, a large smattering of Girls Aloud….joking. The record is really, really great and will be the perfect album for everyone to sit in their gardens whilst having a barbecue in the Scottish Summer Sun……alternatively, take it away with you when you head on your summer holidays! Under rated, under the radar, please do sit up and take note of Mammoeth.
7. The Scottish Enlightenment: St Thomas, the new album from The Scottish Enlightenment will be released in 2010. Anyone who has downloaded the free tracks off their website I’m sure will agree that the potential for this record to be a winner is huge. Like others on my list, their performance at Trampoline’s December all day event was brilliant and they have really captured my imagination. I for one cannot wait for their record to be available and highly recommend these guys. This year might just be the year of The Scottish Enlightenment.
8. Inspector Tapehead: I’ve loved these guys from the first time I heard them. I was put on to them by Jonnie Common who is now a member of the band though at the time I believe he was just helping out. Anyways, expect big things from them. I believe their record is being released through Song by Toad Records, which immediately is good news for them. But it’s better news for Matthew if you ask me because Inspector Tapehead are bloody brilliant.
9. Jonnie Common: I think I’m allowed to say Jonnie is one to watch in 2010. His pedigree and reputation is maybe greater than others on my list having been the main man behind the wonderful and critically acclaimed Down The Tiny Steps. His solo stuff is equally as good in my opinion as anything Down The Tiny Steps did and he even has a little more folkyness to the new stuff, pulling out the acoustic guitar frequently. I believe his record is nearly done and it should definitely be one of the highlights of 2010.
10. Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers: Many of you will be saying that Woodenbox should not be tips for 2010 but for 2009. And in a sense you’d be correct.. However, they only released a couple of singles last year and this year will see the release of their debut album as a band. I’m privaliged having played with them last year to have heard a fair amount of the record and I can guarantee it’s going to be a good one. Recent single ‘Draw the Line’ got glowing reviews in the music press and deservedly so. I’m sure 2010 is going to be the year those boys make it to the next level. I certainly hope so as they helped me rekindle my love of music and passion for the Kays. Great bunch of guys. Great album. Great things expected.