Netsounds Unsigned Takeover: The Little Mill Of Happiness and Garden Of Elks Review!

I wasn’t going to do a review of this but I was able to see the whole damned gig for once so I will. Alas, no pics of Little Mill as I hadn’t decided to write this when they were on. And I still only have a blackberry, so the pics of Elks aren’t fantastic either.


A Happy Little Mill

Things kicked off with Inverness’ own The Little Mill Of Happiness. A second EP is in the works so I was looking forward to hearing some new (at least to me) material. It’s been a while since I’ve managed to see them live. Never a band to disappoint, there was new stuff a plenty. I didn’t take any notes so I’ll just sum up. Basically what you expect from Little Mill, risky lyrics growled with feeling that pull no punches and don’t care what you think backed by immensely well played instruments. Solid guitar and bass hooks, pumping drums. One track that definitely wasn’t new, Drying Out Wishbones, did have a new treatment. Bit faster, bit thrashier, still immense.

Disclaimer for all of the above. New = new to me. Also “what you expect” doesn’t mean samey, it means “this is their sound and its really fucking good”. Catch Little Mill the next chance you get.

Speaking of really fucking good, Garden of Elks. Headliners for the first takeover of the year and a fine pick they were too. Well done Netsounds. If I closed my eyes I could easily have imagined that I was in a dirty basement in the mid nineties, somewhere in northern England, surrounded by sweaty punks jumping around like nutters. That’s the Elk sound. High energy, no respite noise. The boys have lots of hair so the best way to see the intensity is to watch lady drummer Kirstin at the start of a song. Calm ready to start face, quick change to “immaplaysomefuckingmusic” face and we’re off. Thrashy guitar and bass, thumping drums. Harmonised, as much as punk harmonises, girl/boy vocals. Fun. I for one am very glad that the lo-fi punk aesthetic is alive and well (they had TAPES!) being kept alive by the likes of these guys, Cleavers, and PAWS. The kind of music that if you aren’t paying attention spins you round, grabs your lapels and yells in your face until your having fun.

So in short, good gig eh? Most of the above is probably rambley bollocks but I wrote it on the bus and I’m a shit writer at the best of times. Music is for listening to so head over to both bands pages and treat your ears. And they’re on the radio shows play list obviously.

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Music News 15/09/2012

Hey kids, here’s what’s been happening with local acts since…Monday. This isn’t becoming a weekly post or anything, there would have been one on Tuesday but there wasn’t enough to justify a post. Been a busy boy lately but hopefully things will…ah bollocks, Loopallu. Well hopefully things will calm down EVENTUALLY as I’m really really skint. On with the news.

If you are looking for something to do and you are a fan of music of the dance persuasion then you should probably head along to the Ironworks for Rudimental. Wouldn’t mention that normally, but Inverness Gigs had a wee interview with Count Clockwork who are supporting. Interview is here. There’s also a wee promo video that was produced by the Music Works project ahead of the gig, it’s a bit mental and very well done. You may have to be pretty quick as this news post took AGES and it’s going up later than I thought.

Another gig that’s coming up soon is Fatherson, looking at my ticket right now. The guys have been up the road quite a lot this year, possibly because they were part of goNorth, and in this case I think it was by request cause we like them up here quite a lot. Well I do anyway. Mentioning goNorth probably gave you an idea of what this paragraph is actually about. That’s right another them/Netsounds Unsigned Rockhopper session from Bella. You know the artist already and this one is called Lights. You’ll be off to buy an Ironworks ticket now then aye?

Hoots/Mad Hatters have a number of support slots open over the next couple of months. Head on over to their page and drop Steve an email at the address supplied if you fit any of the bills. Not sure how many will still be available but give it a shot anyway. Email, don’t comment, to apply.

It’s outside my catchment area really but lots of acts from around here have played down there so I’ll include it, plus I wouldn’t mind going myself and if I do it’ll be reported here. Long intro sentence to just say Wickerman. Might be a bit on the large side festival wise for me actually, unless I can get a pass of some kind, but I’ve heard the vibe is a lot like Bella. Certainly looks like good craic going by this wee vid.

Rachel Sermanni was in that wee vid and her album appeared through my door this morning. Review coming soon. If you haven’t bought a copy yet and are a bit skint like I am the kind people at Thank Folk For That have 5 copies to give away. Details are here and you have until noon on Monday to enter. She also did a session with Dutch site Zubb. Breaking from the Waltz sessions this one is of The Fog, teeny bit wibbly in the first half, pretty blinding in the second. Speaking of Waltz it has been selected as Jim Gellatly’s Big One (track of the week) this week. Well deserved too.

James Mackenzie will be hitting the studio soon to record a full length album along with a bunch of other musicians. Really looking forward to hearing that. And as soon as he’s done he’ll be heading out on tour. No rest for the wicked. Keep an eye on The List for when he’ll be playing in Inverness and get yourself along to a gig as he’s rather good so he is.

Local band snapper Houdi has gotten in to the moving pictures business. Here’s Easy Tigers playing I’m not sure, sorry guys. Not familiar enough with their stuff to give you a song title and I don’t think it’s on the Songs From The Sun Room album. Anyway, video here. He was also there early and caught some Todd Cook on film, well digital video. Todd’s great as you can see and a lovely bloke to boot. Hes Australian, you can tell because he has his didgeridoo out. Unfortunately I’m not sure the name of the song as Todd didn’t have any albums available because the tax man wanted a crazy amount of money to let them out of customs. He also also filmed the end of The Merrylees set, here they are covering Riders in the Sky. Very cool, and check the lick of their guitars! Love em.

The Cleavers, along with Fraser from The Murderburgers/Fuck! (It’s pronounced shit!) have recorded a mini covers EP with S.L.U.G by the Ramones and Coffee Mug by the Descendents. It’s right here, it’s called Coffee Slug and pay whatever you want for it. The money goes to Prostate Scotland so chuck them a few quid. Great stuff.

Another interview from Inverness Gigs, this time with Matt Sillars the host of the Coffee Shop Open Mic Sessions in the Greenhouse. I LOVE their open mic nights, dragged myself along on Thursday despite tiredness and the weather. Some of the best music I’ve heard this year has been in there and it really is an appreciative audience so grab your instrument of choice and come along sometime. I may also be doing reviews, but don’t let that put you off. The format is explained in there and we’d all be very happy to hear you. If you turn up early you can also get a singing lesson from Emma Mitchell, who REALLY knows here stuff.

The Ballachulish Hellhounds have a mini album out. It’s called Red Eye’s Motorcycle Blues and you can hear/get it here. I shall be doing a wee review of it too once I’ve managed to clone myself so I have time.

The Slim Panatellas have uploaded a new track, We Are The Slim Panatellas which shows that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Haven’t managed to catch them yet and won’t for a while as their fairwell gig is in The Greenhouse while I’m at Loopallu. Farewell? Yes, they’re off galavanting abroad. Very much in theme with the kind of act they are, they’re jumping in the travelling camper van studio, making their way through France, Switzerland and Italy on an epic journey to Womax in Greece. Details here in Mags Chrystall’s piece for the Highland News.

Estrella have a new blog post out. Besides their recent award win and some other stuff it has two live gig videos from the Furyon gig in Aberdeen. Click here for some proper 80’s hair metal. The video was shot by Kevin Meldrum, thanks for that man.

Almost finally, Great White Elephant have released an acoustic demo on their Soundcloud from a jamming session the other week. It’s called Burning Blue and it’s very chilled and nice and that.

And finally, congrats to Lady MFR herself Marion Scott and Des Irvine on their engagement. No this isn’t becoming a gossip rag of some kind, but she’s lovely and I’ve heard he is too so thought I’d give them a shout out.

WHEW, this is frikkin huge. Couldn’t be quiet while I was busy eh? LOTS of stuff to come, like the Facebook page to keep up to date. I haven’t had my dinner yet and I’m missing Doctor Who so I’m off. Thanks for reading!

Music News 20/08/2012

Hey Kids, here’s what’s been going on over the last day or two.

Ailsa Jean Lyall Mathews is looking for gigs. She’s new at this, very talented and could use the help. SO if you are looking for a piano/guitar/singer combo, think they would fit, want to try music out in your place or just have some advice go give her a hand. Scenes only thrive if you keep new blood coming in and help each other out after all. I’d recommend the Inverness Music and Musicians Inverness groups as places to meet fellow music bods, and getting along to open mic nights and the like myself. Not a musician though so I don’t know about getting gigs. OH and friend/like Hootananny Inverness as they post if they’re looking for people to play.

Everyone has started announcing they’re Halloween events. Bogbain Farm have some ska action, The Greenhouse has some metal coming at ya (both on the Saturday) and Hoots/Mad Hatters are having a rocky one on the actual night. BUT I’m not going to tell you in detail what’s going on because I plan to do a big old Halloween piece once the details are all out there. So hopefully Mark won’t be teasing us too much for too long! In the mean time there’s an Inverness gigs bit up for the Hoots one which is for charidy mate.

Donald Macdonald (and the Islands) are in Mull doing a spot of recording. What for I’m not sure. And whether Mull’s most famous son Roddy Woomble is even slightly involved I don’t know either, I’m sure he’s not the only musician there though. Whatever they are working on I’m looking forward to it though. A second Summerhouse session track has been uploaded, Cry, and if whatever it is is half as good as these tracks have been I’ll love the hell out of it.

Inverness gigs have a piece up for the Battle of the Bands here . I’ll have my own in the usual style a bit closer to the time. In the mean time the poster for the first one looks like this:

They also have a review of the 6th showcase by newbie Douglas Barr. He does a good job and judging by the review I’m guessing he’s a musician, possibly a bassist. Could be wrong though. Welcome to the world of band bothering Douglas! I’M NOT THE NEW GUY ANYMORE! (I’ve actually been at this for 6 months now, the site is just new and I took a break). MY review of that there gig is right here.

If anyone knows Laura Dillion let her know that she’s won the Scooty and the Skyhooks competition and the band are having trouble contacting her so she should give them a shout ASAP!

The next Cleavers….well EP knowing them, prolific buggers that they are, will have some PIANO on it! Don’t break it boys. Cleavers with piano, that’ll be interesting! There’s a new t-shirt in the works as well for their European tour. Bit gutted I never got a Zooey one, but chuffed with my Marvel Heroes one. They do good shirts these guys.

If you are willing to travel as far as London, or happen to be going there around the 26th of September OR are there already (there’s hits all over the joint for this page!) you can win tickets to see Rachel Semanni courtesy of For Folks Sake just by emailing them the name of your favourite album. Which could be embarrassing. Me? New Kids on The Block, The Right Stuff obviously.

Abagail Grey are proving to be a band that never stops as they’re hard at work on a winter release even though they’re next EP, Dark Wood, isn’t out yet! You can pre-order Dark Wood here like I did. And there’ll be a review pre-release cause I was cheeky and asked for mine early 😉

And that’ll do ya, more than I expected actually! Remember to like the Facebook page if you haven’t already and invite all of your music loving friends. And other stuff, but lets face it the page is MAINLY music. Thanks for reading 🙂