Posts Tagged ‘Edinburgh’

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Sitting as comfortably amongst names like Smashing Pumpkins and Ride as they do Foals or Wolf Alice; Edinburgh indie newcomers Swim School explore the true impact of the negativity of others with the distorted, angst-fuelled anthem, “Outside”.

Hot on the heels of previous track “Let Me Inside Your Head” which saw swim school grace the cover of Spotify’s Scotify playlist, as well as placements on their Hot New Bands, Melomania and All New Rock playlists, and the announcement of a live performance for the digital edition of The Great Escape 2021; Outside’ is a glimpse into a whole new, reinvigorated side of  Swim School.

Recently joined by new drummer Billy McMahonSwim School absorb influence from a wide range of genres; from 90’s grunge to modern indie and dream-pop. On ‘Outside’, vocalist & guitarist Alice Johnson enters the same space occupied by the likes of Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice) and Juliette Jackson (The Big Moon) – tackling delicate subjects with a vibrant yet evocative presence.

Outside is based on the negative impact the toxic people have on your mental health and the moment you realise how toxic they are.” explains Alice.

“It’s not until you step back from the situation, that you realise their use of manipulation such as gas lighting and dishonestly was actually destroying your mental health. It made you question everything you did and slowly ate away at your confidence leading to you being unhappy.

It’s about the challenge of finding the strength to cut toxic people out of your life and putting yourself, your happiness and your mental state first. It’s also about realising that toxic people will never change and that is not your responsibility to change them.”

swim school are: Alice Johnson – vocals & guitar, Billy McMahon – drums, Lewis Bunting – guitar, Matt Mitchell – bass

With sold out hometown headline shows and triumphant performances at TRNMT, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Belladrum Festival and The Xcerts’ 11 date UK tour already behind them – as well as being tipped by the likes of The Great Escape, BBC Scotland’s Vic Galloway and Jim Gellatly and Tenement TV, 2021 is set to be a major year for swim school. Swim School’s luminous indie-pop touches on imperfect romance, trauma, and vulnerability, and trying to navigate it all. By putting deeply affecting lyrics over gigantic riffs, their live shows are bound to inspire much-needed moments of catharsis.


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Mt. Doubt is the project of Edinburgh-based musician Leo Bargery. With regular airplay on BBC Scotland, as well as 6Music, Amazing Radio, XFM, KEXP, and more.
We have played with; Idlewild, White Lies, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Admiral Fallow, Errors & more

This Must Mean Something Awful’ is the latest release from Edinburgh-based songwriter once more under the guise of Mt. Doubt. This latest, short collection of songs was written and recorded in the Edinburgh flat shared by Bargery and Mt. Doubt collaborator, J. Callaghan, who both produced and performed on TMMSA. Despite the EP’s bedroom aesthetic, the DIY airiness and lo-fi sound lend themselves to the raw and exposed nature of Bargery’s song-writing here, cementing this latest offering as their most assured to date.

Lyrically the EP treads a familiarly bleak path, whether Bargery is running away to the Adriatic coast with fantasies of becoming Henry Miller or ruminating on relationships over bowls of miso soup the songs are deeply personal and expressive.

Originally Released October 20th, 2018

Returning with their first new music of 2019, ‘Unravelling’ sees Mt. Doubt working with producer Rod Jones (Idlewild, The Birthday Suit) at Post Electric Studios, giving the band a fresh lease of life. The single builds through out with chiming keys and melodic guitars swooning behind rich, warm vocals.

Lyrically the track continues to display frontman Leo Bargery’s penchant for societal observations. The song rails against the negative impacts of our phones, social media and the culture of incessant self-documentation whilst yearning for a reconnection with the natural world; sequoia trees, buzzards and all.

Released March 29th, 2019
Lyrics – Leo Bargery
Music – Mt. Doubt

Music + lyrics by Mt. Doubt

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‘This Must Mean Something Awful’ is the latest release from Edinburgh-based songwriter Leo Bargery; once more under the guise of Mt. Doubt. This latest, short collection of songs was written and recorded in the Edinburgh flat shared by Bargery and Mt. Doubt collaborator, J. Callaghan, who both produced and performed on TMMSA.

Despite the EP’s bedroom aesthetic, the DIY airiness and lo-fi sound lend themselves to the raw and exposed nature of Bargery’s songwriting here, cementing this latest offering as their most assured to date.

Lyrically the EP treads a familiarly bleak path, whether Bargery is running away to the Adriatic coast with fantasies of becoming Henry Miller or ruminating on relationships over bowls of miso soup the songs are deeply personal and expressive. Starting life at the beginning of 2015, Mt. Doubt is the project of Edinburgh-based musician Leo Bargery. Releases have gained praise from The Herald, The National, and many blog. Tipped as one of Vic Galloway’s ’25 Scottish Artists to Watch

Released October 20th, 2018

Music + lyrics by Mt. Doubt 

Blue Rose Code is Edinburgh-born songwriter Ross Wilson. At the edge of contemporary alt-folk, Wilson’s music evokes a meeting of Van Morrison and a young John Martyn, both shipwrecked with a bunch of Motown records.

A new EP double A-side single ‘Red Kites/I Will Lay You Down’, featuring three new songs and a stunning live performance of rarely played live, fan-favourite, ‘Where The Westlin’ Winds Do Carry Me’ from the TWOL launch 2017.

Formed in 1976 in Edinburgh, Scotland, John Peel favourites The Rezillos were viewed as a punk act simply because they emerged at a specific time in the history of rock. But there was so much more to The Rezillos and their music. Branding themselves a “new wave beat group”, The Rezillos’ music lacked the nihilism and social commentary of many of their counterparts, replacing this with an irreverent glam rock image and a love of science fiction, B-movie, comic book and campy girl group iconography that set them apart from their musical peers.

Initially performing mainly ‘50s and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll covers at their live shows, Rezillos guitarist and future Human League band member – Jo Callis – began penning their own original songs, and soon after came the release of their highly acclaimed debut LP, Can’t Stand The Rezillos, contained here.

This classic album is now available in this collectable 2CD digipack release, together with their famous live recording from the Glasgow Apollo on 23rd December 1978 – released at the time under the name of “Mission Accomplished… But The Beat Goes On”.

Not only does Flying Saucer Attack contain these two great recordings, but the package also includes all the B-sides and rarities from the band’s first stint as The Rezillos between 1977 and 1979.

Includes the hits ‘(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures’, ‘I Can’t Stand My Baby’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘Destination Venus’, ‘Top of the Pops’, plus many rarities not included on the band’s initial two albums, such as live versions of ‘Flying Saucer Attack’, ‘Twist and Shout’, and alternative versions of ‘(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures’ and ‘Getting Me Down’.

Everything contained has been freshly re-mastered especially for this release.

Following on from our 10th Birthday at the end of 2016, and before the release of our upcoming fourth album ‘What We Might Know’ in March 2018, we’ve been looking back and taking stock, and it turns out we’ve come a helluva long way in the last 11+ years!

We’ve found there are quite a few interesting bits and pieces sitting in the archives that either haven’t previously had a proper release (eg, Beer Drunk Soul), are an alternative earlier version of an established favourite, a chaotic live track (embryonic live version of A Darkness Rises Up), or just a curio that gives a bit of insight as to how a particular track came about (‘Mandolin Song, Basel’). So as it’s the end of the year, and before we get on with the serious business of the new record in the Spring, we thought you might like to join us for a bit of nostalgia from our last decade. And there’s always a tale to be told…


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Neil Pennycook returned as Meursault this year, with the three-year break for the project allowing Pennycook to recalibrate; the result is an album of majestic, sorrowful beauty and touches of light. From the scratchy yet delightful Pissing On Bonfires / Kissing With Tongues to the slicker, more fully formed Something For The Weakened, Scottish band Meursault have always displayed a charm and panache that set them apart from their peers full of gorgeous melodies and gentle, lilting harmonies. . Raw emotion and personal tumult have been fertile ground for Neil Pennycook & co. but it’s not all sad strumming and “woe is me” laments; their songs bite and swoon and soar, sometimes softly, sometimes majestically. And while they’ve been getting steadily more uptempo and polished in their writing, Pennycook’s voice can still stab like a dagger of ice to the heart.


Edinburgh quartet the Spook School take their name from another group of four, a late 19th Century sect of the Glasgow School of Art who were given the nickname after ghostly figures in their art work. It is an appropriate title for a theatrical indie pop band that embraces life’s misinterpretations and messiness, and their message has never been more apparent than on their sophomore record Try to Be Hopeful . 

Try to Be Hopeful finds the group writing much more explicitly about queerness and identity. As singer and guitarist Nye Todd explained, “A lot of the lyrics I wrote on our first record were about coming to terms with being trans, whereas on this one the songs are more about a feeling of ‘Yeah, this is an identity! This is GOOD!”

“This is GOOD” is the overwhelming attitude of the record, given the sense that all of the depicted experiences—whether body dysmorphia, gigantic crushes, or the realization that identity is bigger than a hexadecimal—contain the possibility to be validating or enriching. This is not to say that the tracks on Try to Be Hopeful are naively optimistic; instead, as the title insinuates, they attempt positivity with a grain of salt. However, there is still plenty of room for fear to sneak in, as expressed in the album’s eponymous track: “I’ve been waiting outside for what seems like years/ When I finally get inside I’ll give in to the fear/ Of finally having what I want, I’ll finally know/ If this really really will fix me/ If my problems will all sail away.”

“Burn Masculinity” defends the title’s proclamation with the rationale that those of a certain gender should recognize their inherent, systematic privilege because “what good has it ever done?” Meanwhile, the penultimate track “Binary” claims that humans are not computers and thusly should not be “limited to binary desires.” The journey from “Burn Masculinity” to “Binary” offers a literal marker of growth. While recording, Nye began taking testosterone treatment, and the change in his voice is evident over the course of 11 tracks.

Much of Try to Be Hopeful is spent digging into the complexities of self and society with a lens that is simultaneously critical, sensitive, and goofy. Perhaps this final descriptor is most crucial: the Spook School’s eagerness to grow is comforting and inclusive. Lyrically, the band appears more serious on Try to Be Hopeful, but their noise-pop jams remain as joyful as ever. Take “I Want to Kiss You”, a track celebrating, clearly, desire with an unrestrained joy. “I want to run my fingers through your hair/ And you would say you’ve never done this before/ With someone like me,” the four sing in unison. It’s great fun, but the “with someone like me” phrase is a constant reminder that there is great risk in vulnerability. Reminds me of the awesome Buzzcocks. Their music is upbeat and fun


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Based in West Lothian, Scotland, The Phantoms formed in May 2012, quickly winning an army of fans with their huge sound and infectious on-stage energy.

It didn’t take long for Scotland’s most influential DJs to pick up on the buzz around The Phantoms with debut EP ‘This Is How It Should Be’ earning widespread airplay. A UK tour and support slots for Catfish and the Bottlemen and We Were Promised Jetpacks proceeded. The release of the anthemic ‘Revolution’ a single that was played by radio stations across the UK, earning praise for its sweeping guitars and driving beat.

Influenced by Kasabian, Royal Blood, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Arctic Monkeys, their next single ‘Wasting Time’ was a perfect example of the sound that has earned The Phantoms the reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting prospects.


The Phantoms started 2016 in epic fashion by selling out King Tut’s in Glasgow as part of the New Year’s Revolution. A new single followed in March with a launch gig at Broadcast in Glasgow, yet another sell out show. The single ‘Lost’ is the bands most commercially successful single to date and is still heavily featured on Spotify, Apple Music and across UK and US radio stations.Following the release of Lost, the band supported Holy Esque at the art school in May, and in June 2016 The Phantoms got their first major festival under the belt by playing the Isle of Wight Festival. More recent events include a support slot in Edinburgh for Alabama 3, a top billing at the Dundee “Music for the Homeless” gig and another headline advance sellout at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.


Colin Simpson (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar)
Euan Crowe (Lead Guitar), Zach Tarimo Goodhur (Bass Guitar) and
Blair Cullen (Drums)

Hidden Door Festival

Opening on Friday 27th May, Hidden Door will once again transform a disused lighting depot on Edinburgh’s King’s Stables Road into a festival site featuring live music, events, theatre and art exhibitions until June 4th.

The Hidden Door festival will launch at 6pm on Friday 27th May, with doors opening at noon every other day. Admission is free until 6pm when tickets are available for the shows priced at £15 on weekends and £10 on weekdays.

Admission includes access to the full site, however some events will take place in rooms with limited capacity. If there’s a particular artist you don’t want to miss, make sure you arrive early to secure your spot!

Friday 27th May
NZCA Lines
Meilyr Jones
Bossy Love
Sacred Paws
// Tickets //

Saturday 28th May
Rival Consoles
Three Trapped Tigers
The Wave Pictures
// Tickets //

Sunday 29th May
Lanterns on the Lake
Mickey 9’s
More TBA
// Tickets //

Monday 30th May
Tinderbox Orchestra
Room to Play feat. Yann Seznec
// Tickets //

Wednesday 1st June
Jonnie Common
More TBA
// Tickets //

Thursday 2nd June
Rosie Lowe
More TBA
// Tickets //

Friday 3rd June
Jane Weaver
Law Holt
Neon Waltz
Callum Easter
Delta Mainline
// Tickets //

Saturday 4th June
Luke Abbott
This Is the Kit
Rozi Plain