Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Frightened Rabbit interview

This weekend ukgigsandfestivals got a chance to sit down with Frightened Rabbit to chat to them about festivals, their upcoming tour and how they unwind.


UKG&F: You recently played to a packed out Tut's tent at TITP and are this December set to play 2 gigs at Glasgow's Barrowlands, how does it feel to be playing to such large audiences and does it make for a different show?

Scott: Quite different, especially things like TITP, that was, first of all you knew there was going to be a few people to see us, but not quite that many. So it was a bit of a surprise still, to us. We're eternal pessimists, always expecting the worst. Yeah, it does change things. I mean, especially from the point of view of being the frontman I guess, you have to kinda change your style a little bit. Y'know, to reach right to the back, you can't just be this introverted singer/songwriter type character so I think you really have to adapt to your surroundings and things. It's kind of a challenge. It's nice.

UKG&F: The Winter of Mixed Drinks is still quite a new album, that is still fresh in everyones ears, but at the shows this winter will there be any new, possible 4th album, songs?

Scott: Nah. we haven't played everything off TWOMD yet so we'll try and do that. We're gonna go back, back to the first album. We're gonna dip into that a couple of times, just to kind of. Y'know how you look back and you've got 3 records. We're just gonna try and pick our favourite songs from the past 3 albums, and make a set out of it really. It's still a fresh album but we want to just play the best set we can. We haven't properly toured it (TWOMD) yet, we only did like, 2 weeks, It was the week the album came out, we didn't really know the songs. I hate seeing a band just a few days after a record comes out, 'cos no one knows the songs, you don't know the album yet. So we still felt like we had to weigh quite heavily or at least in favour, half and half of Organ Fight and new album. I think now it's been given time to grow on people we want to play a lot more of that stuff. And we've got used to the songs as well. They're not the same at the end of the tour as they are at the start of the tour. And we've now had a lot of time to get used to them so we'll hopefully be a bit more confident with that as well. There'll still be a few shit ones in there that we haven't played before, so don't worry. Most of them will be shit *laughs*

UKG&F: Is this the last festival of the summer for you and, other than TITP, which have been particular highlights, and why?

Scott: We only just yesterday got added to one in Spain, We're going to Barcelona in 2 weeks time.

Andy: (dryly) It's going to be horrible.

S: What's our favourite festival been? Probably in terms of the gig TITP for me

Grant: In terms of the festival, probably Lattitude.

S: We actually got to stay there and camp. Saw some bands, saw some brilliant bands no less. It was really good! The amount of bands we potentially could have seen, or that people would have expect us to have seen, because we've played so many festivals, y'know the number people think we've seen and the number we've actually seen.

G: It's quite a big difference so Latitude was good 'cos we saw some bands that we actually we wanted to see.

S: We camped out, it felt like being a punter again. It was nice. It's a really nice festival as well. It takes a long while to get there... it's like B roads for 2 hours!

UKG&F: You've been involved with the Music Like a Vitamin gig as part of the Scottish mental health arts and film festival for the past couple of years. This year Scott has taken part in the Fruit Tree Foundation album, collaborating with other Scottish artists. How did you get involved and why is it important for you to be a part of this?

Scott: Well we got involved last year. We played MLAV. The last 3 years they've just put on a concert. One concert each year and to just sort of kick off the film and arts festival, and so we played that. We got the show through Rod from Idlewild and then I kinda just kept in touch with him, and he mentioned that night that he had an Idea. He didn't know how the hell it was going to come together, or whether it was going to work but he asked me if I would be involved and I totally jumped at the chance, especially when he followed it up and said who else was getting involved with it. It was a total no brainer for me. Because I really admire all the people on the record as well. So, yeah, well chuffed to be involve with it! It's been really a new experience for me as well, working with other people, so it's been good.

UKG&F: Will the album only be available at the 2 Music Like a Vitamin shows, or will it be made available for those who are unable to attend the shows?

Scott: Yeah, initially it'll be just the shows but then they're probably going to release it more widely but I think it's just a case of, they really want it to be the first place people can get it for a little while, so that they come down to the shows and stuff, hear the record live.

Grant: It's more special y'know?

S: Yeah, it's a lot more special. It will obviously get released. It'd be silly not to as it's a really great record.

UKG&F: Is there any part of the world you've not yet had the opportunity to tour in that you have lined up, or would like to tour.

All: Japan!

Grant: It's not lined up but again if we went we wouldn't necessarily get to see a lot of it, but I'd definitely like to go.

Scott: After we've toured Japan we're quitting, it's the only reason we're carrying on.

G: So we'll probably never get to go then?

Scott: So now I've said that we're just going to have to look at it from a plane window.

UKG&F: Lastly, after spending weeks or months away on tour playing to thousands of people how do you relax and wind down?

Scott: Work my way through boxsets of American television. Shows that we've missed out on... I do like tv.

Grant: I've just moved house so I'm filling up my days with getting to know Dundee.

Scott: That's not relaxing, that's pretty edgy!

Grant: Yeah, I suppose.

Scott: There's a guy with toilet paper hanging out of his mouth!

Grant: That's not threatening, he's quite fun.

Scott: & Grant: He's a good guy.

Andy: I like to go home and hang out with my Mum. Go down the bakery.

Scott: Mum! Get your skateboard... we're going to the bakers!

Andy: I like to do that

Scott: Skateboarding with Mum *laughs*

Billy: I enjoy Bowling.

Grant: Boules though... lawn boules?

Billy: A wee bit of 10 pin as well.

Scott: Mix it up a bit. Go at the lawn boules with a 10 pin... really fuck things up.

Gordon: I have a healthy pattern of sitting on the couch and playing the Xbox.

Scott: Completed Red Dead Redemption?

Gordon: I have, and Harry Potter. Project Gotham... I'm really disappointed in myself.

Scott: *putting on posh voice* We also like to write songs and jam.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Headstock Festival

Headstock is a new music festival set in Newstead, 10 miles north of Nottingham. The festival was conceived with the help of a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, in partnership with the BBC program Village SOS.

Newstead Village was founded in 1874 with the opening of Newstead Colliery. Like many communities that were built on mining the village fell on hard times in the 80s when in 1987 the mine was closed.

The village was granted £433,140 to transform the former pit into a country park and to put on a music festival, organised by community members who for the past 10 years put on Tree Fest, a small, free, local festival.

Headstock is an easily accessable festival. A short 20 minute train journey from Nottingham finds me in Newstead, the platform end is practically at the entrance to the park, from where a 10 min walk takes me to the Headstock festival entrance.

For me my headstock experience almost ended before it started. After a summer of festivals my tent had had as much as it could take and my tent pole snapped. My attempts to fix with gaffer tape failed miserably. Luckily festival staff on the campsite came to my rescue spending time making a temporary splint for the break so at least I'd be able to get my tent up. No sooner had this been fixed than the same point at the other end of the pole snapped in the same manner, which the staff gladly fixed for me. If it hadn't have been for this fantastic bunch I'd have been on the next train home.

The fixing of the tent was accompanied by the sound of the Newstead Brass band who opened over on the main stage, which could be seen from the campsite. I found myself dancing along to their interpretations of modern well known songs. A shock to myself as brass bands usually want to make me cover my ears in horror!

I took a stroll around the festival site in the baking hot afternoon sun to see what this new festival had to offer and found some amazing food stalls. Pure Indulgence were selling cupcakes that looked almost too good to eat and Homemade had various paellas bubbling away, and possibly the worlds best chocolate brownies. Also on site were the local WI selling cakes like your Mum bakes and lucky dips. I also picked up some lovely jewelery from a stall for the local dogs home.

The cocktail bar was doing a roaring trade in the sunshine, and at only £4 for a cooling pint glass full it's no surprise. The Long Island Iced Tea I found particularly delicious.

Of course a festival isn't just about what food and drink is on offer but the music. And Headstock does not disappoint. With 2 dance tents, a BBC Introducing tent, crammed with the best in local talent (and some from a little further afield) the Musika world tent and a Main stage. The Musika tent I found to be exceptionally good. Everytime I popped in I came across bands that I wanted to dance along to and stay and watch.

The main stage played host to local talent as well as internationally know artists. A particular highlight being Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, who were playing their second to last festival of the summer. They played a well balanced set of new songs, variations of older songs and even a rarely played track (Square 9) from debut album Sing The Greys. The mainstage closed with Northern Irish band Ash. If I had my way Ash would be the headline band for every festival. Their music so suited to blasting out to a field full of people on a summer's night. Stars twinkling above. At an hour and a half their set was worth the ticket price alone.

And when the mainstage finished at half 11 the partying continued over in the other tents until the early hours. I found myself enjoying the sounds of Edward II, who last year reformed after a 10 year absence. This is a band that seamlessly manage to fuse reggae and folk music, and above all made it sound good!

The plan is for Headstock to become a yearly event, eventually growing to a 3 day festival. I personally can't wait to go back next year and am looking forward to watching it grow year on year.

Tickets for Headstock festival were priced at £20 early bird and £30 standard. Under 12's went for free and under 18s £12.50.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Kendal Calling

The first thing you should know about Kendal Calling is it isn't in Kendal. No, really. It isn't! It is however rather near to the lovely Lake District town of Penrith. Set in Lowther Deer park, this year saw capacity increase from 6,000 to 10,000. It was nice to see that the atmosphere from last year was still there. That, despite it's growth, it felt the same.

Uk gigs and festivals will be bringing the photos to you in parts (there's just so much to show you!) To whet your appetite here are some photos from the Calling Out tent, the biggest of the tented stages. Highlights were Leeds band Pulled Apart By Horses and Glasgow rockers Dananananaykroyd, who won the crowd over with free Red Bull, free Walkers crisps and free hugs!

Pop back in a few days for extensive main stage coverage as well as the fancy dress highlights and more words on why Kendal Calling is fast becoming our favourite English festival.


Wickerman started off a bright, sunny event. With some seriously sunburnt punters! By the 3rd day however it had returned to being very Scottish with a constant drizzle and fog decending on the field... to the point where you knew the Wickerman was there... somewhere... it was just hard to see without squinting.

Bands old and new entertained the thousands of happy festival goers (alcohol cancels out the effect of yucky weather... fact!) Tony Christie in particular going down a treat on the main stage, with multiple generation of families dancing and singing along.

The scooter tent played host to mostly heavier bands, highlights being The Buzzcocks, Undertones and The Sex Pistol Experience.

The festival does a fantastic job of catering to most musical tastes and welcomes the little ones, making it a perfect festival choice for everyone from teenagers to families and the more mature music lover.

This coupled with the stunning location in Kircudbright makes it one of the best mid size festivals around!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Biffy Clyro - Blackpool Empress Ballroom

Biffy Clyro play to a sold out Blackpool Empress Ballroom. They were joined on this tour by Mike Vennart of Oceansize on additional guitars, giving an extra layer to the music, helping to represent the additional sounds on latest album Only Revolutions.

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Pulled Apart by Horses - Hinterland

Leeds hardcore band Pulled Apart By Horses play an explosive set at the Admiral bar for Glasgow's Hinterland festival.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Twin Atlantic - Secret show - Bloc, Glasgow

Twin Atlantic put on a gig at Bloc in Glasgow for Competition winners, friends and family, on the week of the release of new single Lightspeed.

Doll And The Kicks - Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

Dolls and the Kicks perform at Ediburgh's Cabaret Voltaire, with support from Oliver Stays and Boycotts.

Twisted Wheel - Electric Circus, Edinburgh

Saddleworth band Twisted Wheel play an energetic set at a sold out Electric Circus.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Fightstar - Studio 24, Edinburgh - Photo blog

Fightstar play to a sell out crowd at Edinburgh's Studio 24. Main support came from The Xcerts.

Fightstar -

The Xcerts -

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