As part of a Record Store Day special on April 20th, we captured Louis, Kevin, and Sarah of Scottish folk-pop heavyweights Admiral Fallow for a session on the day that the band released a limited run of their acclaimed (longlisted for the 2013 SAY Award) second LP ‘Tree Bursts In Snow’ on vinyl for the first time to commemorate RSD 2013.
We chatted with the band about their formation, having to start the applause themselves at grim open mics, plus the evolution of their writing process and their eclectic assortment of instruments used in the past, present and future.
Admiral Fallow’s SAY Award long-listed LP ‘Tree Bursts In Snow’ is available to purchase from Nettwerk Records via their website.
Admiral Fallow – Beetle In The Box (Live on In Session)
Admiral Fallow – Oh, Oscar (Live on In Session)
Admiral Fallow – Guest Of The Government (Live on In Session)
In Session broadcasts live on Freshair.org.uk every Saturday from 6-7pm featuring a plethora of the hottest new music from the Scottish scene, a roundup of recent and upcoming gigs, and, of course, a guest performing live in the studio.
I bought my first vinyl record online – to some extent, a terribly ironic sign of the times, but also a sign of Shetland’s remoteness. It was Elle Milano’s ‘Swearing’s for Art Students’ EP, angsty teenage indie obscurity on limited edition red vinyl. I got number 455 of 500.
My first experience of buying vinyl in a shop was in OneUp in Aberdeen, which sadly closed at the end of January this year. I bought a handful of 7” singles, including some Maxïmo Park and ¡Forward, Russia!, each 99p. I felt very, very cool. If I hadn’t been a 14 year old girl, I might have tried to strike up conversation with the shop owner, and if I hadn’t lived a sea away I would have been back a little more often.
Since moving to Edinburgh, I have had some great finds in record shops across the city, from taking a gamble on saxophonist Illinois Jacques at Record Shak to things I immediately knew I would cherish, such as a lovely gatefold edition of ‘Beggars Banquet’ alongside the Grease soundtrack from VoxBox. My local record shop, however, will always be Clive’s.
I never bought vinyl in Clive’s. By the time I came on the scene it was first cassettes, and then CDs – too early for the record resurgence. I remember getting Marvin and Tamara’s Groove Machine on tape, which I still own. What do you mean you don’t remember them? It was the summer of ’99, baby:
I remember my mum and nan discussing in hushed tones whether it was appropriate for me to spend a record token on Wheatus’ debut album because it had a parental advisory sticker. I never did get any more than the radio edit of Teenage Dirtbag. I remember going in with my first proper boyfriend to pick up a copy of Pulp’s ‘Different Class’ so we could discover it together. Cheesy, but so began a love affair that has spanned years (I am of course referring to myself and Jarvis Cocker et al, not the boyfriend). I also remember going in during my heavy Glasgow indie, Domino Records phase and tentatively asking a cheery shop assistant if they had a copy of Sons and Daughters’ ‘Love the Cup’. They did.
Like OneUp, Clive’s also closed, back in 2011, having served Shetland’s population since the 1970s. Of course I played a part in the closure; we all did, and we all continue to do so. The convenience of online shopping and especially of downloading cannot be understated. As well as this, music services such as Spotify – on which I do have a paid account – mean that you can listen to pretty much anything you’ve ever wanted to, and plenty that you didn’t even know you wanted to, at the touch of a button. I use it as background noise when I’m focusing on other tasks. I download songs from the Top 40 that get stuck in my head so that I can play them to death on my walk to university, and then delete them the next time I reorganise my iPod (limited storage you see! It’s not like a physical shelf where you can just perch case upon case, until one day they all fall down and you think ‘maybe I should get a bigger shelf’).
I would hesitate to say that I treat these downloads as disposable. That seems to be unfair to the artists in question, though to some extent that is always how pop music will be consumed. Possibly more appropriate would be to say that I have no connection to the downloading process. I sit on my bed and I click.
I could count the number of music downloads I can vaguely remember carrying out on one hand. Even fewer online CD purchases. There’s no interaction. There’s no story.
People, righteous vinyl junkies, always point out that in a record shop, you can meet like-minded people. You can take risks based on what they recommend to you, and hopefully you can do the same for them. This is absolutely true, especially if you can get over your fear of looking terribly uncool and uneducated – top tip: throwing yourself in at the deep end and buying the most embarrassing thing you can find will blow that right out of the way.
But it’s also a way to bond with people you already know, discovering music together, sharing your tastes and laughing at each other when you almost accidentally purchase some Scandinavian screamo/thrash/metal ‘cause it had a hilarious picture of a cat on the front. Just goes to show you can never judge a record by its sleeve, or something.
Music sharing services online have tried to incorporate this sharing facility, and to some extent they probably are effective. However, realistically, how many times have you seen via Facebook that a friend was listening to something on Spotify, or seen their top 3 last.fm artists of the week published on Twitter and thought “hmm, I must tune into some of that”? The experience of heading to a record shop with a friend is a very difficult one to replicate, just as reading in 140 characters that someone you know thinks a film was fairly good is never going to have the same effect as a drawn out discussion with them about it over a couple of pints.
Record Store Day is a fantastic thing to support because record stores are fantastic things – livelihoods – worth supporting. Vinyl is pretty trendy right now: by all means, scrum on down to your nearest emporium today and scramble with the other hipsters for that special edition release. You’ll certainly have a story to tell, and I hope the rush you get will keep you going back. Record shops are worth supporting, but what’s more, they need supporting. Following the demise of Clive’s, Shetland is lacking a dedicated music outlet – and probably always will. On the other hand, Edinburgh’s independent record shop scene appears to be rather densely populated; something for the city to be proud of. If we continue to frequent and nurture these shops, they will continue to give back – and what’s not to like about that?
Interested in exploring Edinburgh’s independent music shop scene? Check out our Nanu Maps: Record Shops to find out more.
BBC Radio 6 Music recently ran an open poll in which listeners were invited to vote for the station’s “greatest hit” from a shortlist of 100 tracks released over the past decade – since 6 Music’s conception back in 2002. Coldplay’s “Clocks” topped the official poll, leaving some tweeters a little disgruntled – and prompting some of us here at Nanu to consider what we would have done differently. The full list can be scrutinised here.
A Spotify playlist of our top choices, plus the three tracks mentioned most frequently, is available
What do you think should have topped the list? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Emotionally, “Take Me Out” was the very clear turning point in my life, but on musical merit and innovation I feel that “Seven Nation Army” has to take the crown. Unfortunately for the purposes of this article, I can’t really pinpoint why. The thumping bass? The punchy drums? The scratching vocals? Perhaps it’s the fact that Meg and Jack generally make so much noise for two such small humans? Most likely it’s because it’s the epitome of “angular”, my favourite mid-2000s indie rock journo adjective. It’s still jerky, it’s still loud, and it’s still interesting.
2. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
3. Hey Ya! – OutKast
4. Juicebox – The Strokes
5. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
An impossibly good list of tracks. Trying to choose the best had to come down to recognition: not because they are the best tracks, but because the biggest hits grab you by the balls and neglect to let go until you are bruised and your heart beats to that tune. Or is that relationships? I forget. Anyway – I chose to treat this as if I were at the best indie club night, and there really was only one track that I cannot get enough of, and that was the Arctic Monkeys. Remember in the old days when they gave their album away – record labels didn”t sit up and pay attention until the fans demanded they were big, and now they are probably the most influential British pop outfit since the Beatles. Bold claim, but they are such a talented group of lads it isn”t undeserved. They inhabit the natural rut of brilliant British song-writing so charmingly that you cannot get sick of hearing what they have to say (however much DJs tried by overplaying this song – it still makes me want to dance). What”s more, they have a voice that isn”t usually heard, and tell a story in 3 minutes without a single lyric feeling out of place. Plus, in a club I like a song you can”t realistically kiss to, but which still makes you want to try. The perfect anthem for every rock and roll relationship that started in a dirty basement somewhere.
2. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
3. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
4. No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age
5. Galvanize – The Chemical Brothers
Love You Better – The Maccabees
Despite being initially overwhelmed by the task of whittling down a somewhat selective list of 100 songs to five, the BBC have succeeded in choosing a collection that really resonates with moments from the past decade of my life (old as I am), and picking out the key moments wasn”t at all hard once I”d been swallowed up a little. So, following a dawdle down memory lane, I finally came up with the five songs that each defined a mood for me. I toyed with Metronomy as my top song, it having been slipped onto my iPod by my brother before I went to live abroad and then listened to on repeat for quite some time (before he could get his mucky paws on my music again). However, foremost in my mind as I sit in my shambolic university kitchen is my most recent foray into academia, coloured completely by the discovery of The Maccabees. Now I know they”ve been around for aeons, but bear with me in my middle age as I jump on the bandwagon just as it”s hurtling out of the station. This song strikes a chord in particular, and if you do pardon the sentiment, reminds me always to be the person that smiles the most, laughs the hardest, and loves the best: what a precious lesson to be reminded of as I begin adult life.
2. Heartbreaker – Metronomy
3. Welcome to Jamrock – Damian Marley
4. Tessellate – alt-J
5. No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
If it wasn”t for Show Your Bones I may have never got into music the way I have. In 2006 I heard Maps for the first time and fell in love. I wanted more music like this and as luck would have it I was able to listen to the original Fever to Tell and brand new album Show Your Bones. Before this point in time I was only really interested in music that was released before I was born: David Bowie and The Beatles were on a pretty constant loop on my iPod. I pretty much ignored pop music being released at the time. The combination of the brilliant opening and strong vocals from Karen O make “Maps” very difficult to ignore. Though I didn”t think it at the time, it was by discovering the rest of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ material that then led me to seek out the other music that has shaped my taste since.
2. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
3. Golden Skans – Klaxons
4. Fix Up, Look Sharp – Dizzee Rascal
5. Midnight City – M83
Mykonos – Fleet Foxes
Unlike the actual island – an idyllic destination in the Aegean Sea – “Mykonos” is not a favourite of the gay clubbing scene*. Instead, it”s one of Fleet Foxes” finest tracks – beautiful, delicate and hypnotic. With its gorgeous harmonies and folk rock melodies, it is perfectly representative of the band”s catalogue as a whole.
*Of course, there may be DJs on Mykonos that are massive Fleet Foxes.
2. Hometown Glory – Adele
3. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
4. Sophia – Laura Marling
5. All My Life – Foo Fighters
Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
This was super difficult. Narrowing down lists has always been something I struggle with, at its most conceptual level. This particular list really irked me: how can you reduce 100 of the greatest songs which you grew up with and categorically love to five and eventually choose one? Well I did it with difficulty and short lists (three to be precise: “Short List”, “Shorter List” and “Shortest List”). This brutal, wine-soaked process lead to the list you see and “Such Great Heights” on top. I love this track. I listen to it every time I get a new pair of headphones with all the boopa doopa and whatnot. The track has remained high on my agenda of things I want my ears to hear on a regular basis and so it tops this list which I previously thought to be insurmountable. The rest of the tracks are good, great even, but “Such Great Heights” is incrementally better due to the aforementioned boopa doopas and headphone commitments.
2. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3. Chicago – Sufjan Stevens
4. Midnight City – M83
5. Time to Pretend – MGMT
General public reaction to my excitable “I went to see Franz Ferdinand on Friday night!” squeals has been a mixed bag of jealous delight and the slightly more dismissive “huh – I didn’t know they were still on the go”. So long has it been since their third album, Tonight, released way back in 2009 that unless you happened to catch them at one of their festival appearances this summer, they probably had fallen right off the radar.
Artsy café/bar/venue/record shop Mono was host to the band’s first gig in their home town for four years, with a small audience full of friends, fans and other arty Glasgow types keen to wish Mono a happy birthday. Other artists on the bill wowed in their own ways: getting the night started, Muscles of Joy are a wonderfully quirky all-female band, each of whom played a whole variety of unusual instruments. On the other hand, demonstrating the wide variety of music that Mono supports, RM Hubbert is a fantastic Glaswegian guitarist and emotive songwriter who has worked with the likes of Aidan Moffat and Alex Kapranos. His sense of humour equally did not disappoint.
Muscles of Joy at Mono, Glasgow 16/11/12
As headliners, Franz Ferdinand flew straight into ‘Take Me Out’ with as much exuberance and energy as they displayed during their early performances. All the biggest hits were ticked off – ‘
Matinée’, ‘Do You Want To’, ‘Ulysses’ – along with a couple of other classics, including debut single B-side ‘Shopping for Blood’. A rock steady cover of Dr Feelgood’s ‘Roxette’ went down well with the crowd. Throughout, the band really appeared to be enjoying themselves, making the gig all the more satisfying for the punters.
Franz Ferdinand at Mono, Glasgow 16/11/12
Among these well-known tunes, Franz Ferdinand played a few new songs, which seemed to hint at a step away from the heavier synth that dominated Tonight and back towards their guitar-driven debut album – let’s take a moment to absorb this and then breathe a collective sigh of relief. ‘Stand in the Horizon' was
a particular favourite although ‘I’ll Never Get Your Bullet Out of My Head’ was also a force to be reckoned with.
Back in 2002, Franz Ferdinand formed with the aim of making guitar music that “girls could dance to”. Ten years later, they’re still writing great songs and if their, albeit far too short, set on Friday was anything to go by, the girls are most certainly still dancing.
(… and happy tenth birthday to Mono, the kind of inclusive, independent venue that every city
Hey, you”re listening to In Session live on FreshAir.org.uk with me, Christian Illingworth, and beside me, Lily Higham. Today we”re welcoming…
The usual introduction won”t cut it this time as In Session is leaving its nest in the airwaves and branching out into the densely populated world of blogging. One more vessel launching with fleeting fancies of being virally tumblogged or retrended at the risk of being snuffed out by overcrowding or dwindling enthusiasm. How will In Session fare in the blog jungle? Heck knows but it is without question that we”ll be passing questionable judgement on music and the arts whilst creating unique content with a lot of little help from the Scottish music scene.
See, In Session is a passion project which caters for the presenters” self-indulgence by inviting one of their favourite musicians to sing a few songs and tell a few tales to them in the studio each week. Over the last twelve months, since the show began broadcasting on Fresh Air Radio, In Session has been fortunate enough to meet the likes of The Twilight Sad, Meursault and Frightened Rabbit with gleeful expressions even if the subject matter of their songs encourage otherwise.
It was so much fun for the presenters that, in February, they did their bit to restore order in the universe by releasing the In Session Series 1 Mixtape which compiled session tracks from every musician that performed for the show. It was released for free back then and remains free now via insession.bandcamp.com so do check it out as it”s a great sampler of the Scottish music scene featuring session tracks from Endor, Broken Records, and long-awaited new material by There have taken care of immediately the Nj Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), and casinos Control Commission (CCC), responding towards the petition for participation which was filed through the American Gaming Association (AGA), with regards to the Rational Group’s application for Interim casinos Authorization (ICA). Will Be Fireworks. The mixtape also also boasts, through watery eyes, unique performances from Aerials Up and Loch Awe who sadly decided to call it day in the last six months.
In Session, however, has been going strong since February, scooping a Best Radio Show nomination at the Scottish New Music Awards, and continuing to record sessions on the road and in the studio. It won”t be long now, a fortnight perhaps, before the second mixtape drops and reminds everyone that, “hey, Scottish music is thriving right now, isn”t it?” You can look forward to an alarmingly eclectic compilation this time around as Scottish powerhouses Frightened Rabbit and Meursault will be alongside a plethora of the show”s favourite newcomers such as Kaiho, Zed Penguin, and Michael Cassidy. The release of the second mixtape will coincide with the announcement of In Session”s Winter broadcasting schedule on Fresh Air Radio which, to let you in on a little secret, may be our strongest guest booking run to date. That may look like PR hype 101 but, rest assured, the line-up is tremendously exciting.
And so ends this pseudo-third person introduction. Until the radio show resumes sometime in late October, In Session”s weekly updates on Nanu-Nanu will be discussing the week in gigs, if we go to any; or profiling bands new and old which have caught our attention. Between each post you can follow the show on Twitter @InSessionRadio for more updates plus myself @RadioBlagger and Lily @Lily_Higham for free-formed musings.
Nanu Nanu was created to give a space to the writers, bloggers, podcasters, and general creative types of Edinburgh. The current aim of all our contributors is to create an online cultural magazine that speaks to the student and young professional audience. We are based in Edinburgh and will be influenced by this, but don’t worry we have cinemas, record players and book shops here so there will be content for everyone.
A big part of this site will be to bring you a variety of podcasts. Beginning this week is our series of music documentaries Nanucation, which goes deeper into the music you love.
This week on Nanu Nanu we have a full line up of articles for you. Our ‘Back to School’ feature starts tomorrow and
themselves (go check out their bandcamp page, you will thank us). Coming up later on in the week Ellie and Elyse explore Edinburgh’s vintage fashion shops and map out their findings on an actual map. Oh and I will be writing about comic books and TV shows in the next couple days.