It’s the time for everyone’s end of year lists, and as SWH! will be posting our own in the coming days and weeks it would be a touch hypocritical to complain, but I do feel for writers, film makers, musicians, etc, who put out something new in November/December as they are often overlooked in the rush to compile and commemorate what’s gone before. Well, not on our watch.
What follows are the best tracks to reach our ears over the last month, including some rocking rockabilly, mind-expanding psychedelia, indie-agitpop, a natural beauty, a multi- genre triumph, and a song which became an anthem for many in 2018. It’s a fine selection which also acts as a neat summary of what was an inventive and eclectic year. More of that very soon, but in the meantime…
We have been fans of The Strange Blue Dreams at SWH! for a long time, (and also of their alter egos The Shiverin’ Sheiks). Their latest single is ‘Man’s Game’, and it is that rarest of beasts – a good song about football, one packed full of metaphor and meaning, comparing the ups and downs of the beautiful game to the trials and tribulations of life. And if that sounds a bit ‘Thought For The Day’, have no fear – The Strange Blue Dreams deliver a slice of off-kilter rockabilly and skiffle, full of twangy guitar and a snare as tight as a drum, sounding for all the world like the house band in a Coen Brothers’ movie. Catch them for yourself at Glasgow’s Oran Mor tomorrow night (5/12/18). In the meantime, this is ‘Man’s Game’:
The west coast of Scotland has always had a close and often adoring relationship with Americana culture, particularly the imagery and music of classic rock ‘n’ roll and country and western. From Roy Rodgers and Trigger staying at Glasgow’s Central Hotel and the legend of Elvis landing at Prestwick Airport, through legendary nights at The Grand Ole Opry, Rock Garden and Blackfriars, and with generations dressed in clothes from Flip, the fascination with these two strands of US culture endure, with arguably no one capturing the love affair better than John Byrne with his classic TV shows Tutti Frutti and Your Cheatin’ Heart.
The current Scottish music scene, and Glasgow’s in particular, suggests this rockabilly romance shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, and Holy Smokes Records are central to the best of what is going on. Recent releases have included excellent albums and EPs from The Strange Blue Dreams, Les Johnson & Me, Awkward Family Portraits and Harry And The Hendersons, each one worthy of your attention. Continue reading
My, but there’s some classy music being made out there. The world may be falling down around our ears, but it’s got a hell of a soundtrack to accompany it. Who would have thought the end of days could sound this good?
The majority of those who feature in this roundup have appeared before, but we make no excuses for that as they all have excellent new music to share, and we have impeccable taste. Too much? Listen below and say we’re not right…
This Saturday (22nd April) is Record Store Day when you’ll be offered all sorts of collectibles and rarities to prise your hard-earned from your back pocket. It’s going to be an overwhelming choice, so let SWH! help by cutting the glorious wheat from the acres of chaff. This is the day Teen Canteen release their latest EP Sirens on Last Night From Glasgow, and having heard it I can guarantee you it will rank among your favourite records of the year, or your money back*. Continue reading
We have long been fans of The Strange Blue Dreams at SWH!, so new music from them is always greeted with whoops, cheers and hollers. Previously on these pages we have said, “Taking ’50s influences and rockabilly stylings and adding a dash of country, (and even some southern gothic), to proceedings, they are one of the tightest and most captivating bands around. Exuding effortless cool, and knowingly noir – if you get the chance to see them live you really must.”
Well now you can see if they are as good as our word as Holy Smokes presents the launch of The Strange Blue Dreams’ new EP Towards The Warm Place at MacSorleys in Glasgow, Saturday 8th April. If you need further convincing, here is an exclusive play of one of the tracks, ‘In My Nature’:
March was the month Scots Whay Hae! started a Facebook page dedicated to music alone. This is so we have a handy place to post any music we like, but also so there was a place for the best music that hasn’t quite made the final cut for these monthly roundups, of which there is plenty.
As if to prove the point, March was packed full of great new music, from old friends and new. As you’ll know from January and February, 2015 has got off to a blistering pace in terms of great new music, and it shows no sign of slowing. That is proven as much by those who have been left out of this selection as much as those who are featured, and if you regularly check out Scots Whay Hae’s Music Page you will get an even clearer picture as to what’s on offer (as well as being able to wallow in some comforting nostalgia). Here endeth the self promotion.
We start with the welcome return of Glasgow’s Errors, and if, ‘Slow Rotor’, the single from their new album Lease Of Life (above) is any indication they are at the top of their game. It’s further example of their mastery of melodic electronica. If you like Metronomy or Summer Camp, then you’re in luck as Errors are better than both, incorporating a greater pop sensibility, and melodies which Paddy McAloon, Bernard Summner and Neil Tennant would kill for. It’s also got the best video of the month by a country mile. But don’t take my word for it: