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 16/12/2012

Hey kids, here’s the bits and bobs from the last day or so.

First up, Be Like Pablo have gotten themselves some t-shirts. They cost a tenner, come in various colours and you can get them here. I’ll hopefully be able to get my hands on a Heather Royal one soon.

The guys at Netsounds Unsigned have released the first of what might be a few lists. This one is for best albums of 2012 and they haven’t limited themselves so some bigs boys on there. Fully agree with a couple but won’t be doing that myself. I’ll just be doing a ones to watch show for the locals on Monday and not locals on Tuesday, Hogmanay and New Years Day. Dreading doing that as it is!

Speaking of lists the boys over at PAWS, well Phillip anyway, has picked his five favourite gigs of theirs for A Music Blog, Yea? That’s it’s name, I’m not being snarky or anything.

And finally, a new one for the blo….WAIT I’ve posted a video of her before. BUT she’s now played her first solo gig, and there are not one but 4 videos from it. Here’s Meeshelle, lead singer of the Leonard Jones Potential, accompanied by Ant who I think is also from the LJP with Take The Time, Slow, The Rendevous and Beggin which is a cover of a Frankie Valli track. All videos from that first gig in Mad Hatters, so back ground chatter happened…

That’s your lot. Don’t forget to tune in to http://www.abcradio.co.uk tomorrow night between 6 and 8pm for heaps of great unsigned and independent music, and give the Facebook page one of them likes

Music News 26/11/2012 (200th post on the site!)

Hey kids, here’s all the news from the last day pertaining to the Highland area music wise

First up, the Cleavers new EP Life Is Shit is available for download now. If you want a hold in your hands vinyl copy you’ll have to wait until Saturday.

Both Inverness Gigs and Netsounds Unsigned have posted about GoNorth. IGigs here and NUNs (that doesn’t work) here. Not much really, just when it is. But both sites also have another offering of the day. From Inverness Gigs it’s an interview with Abagail Grey ahead of the EP launch on Saturday at Velocity Cafe. And from Netsounds Unsigned it’s the latest episode of the podcast featuring lots of great music, including a track from that Cleavers EP there.

Possibly the first video evidence that Ashley and the Cosmonauts exist can be found here. Sorry, I don’t know anything about music so don’t know the name of the tune. It’s a cover. Mobile video and she has a powerful voice so usual slight distortion issue there. Nice work though Kenny.

And finally, a new mix of a Topher Elliott tune called The Old Wood. Just a demo but gives you a good idea of what you’ll be missing if you don’t catch him soon.

You, and therefore I, am now all caught up. Yay for that! See you…probably a couple of days as I get home late on Tuesday after the show. 7-9pm, http://www.abcradio.co.uk, nice.

Music News 24/11/2012

Hey kids, here’s all the news for the last couple of days. I say all, I mean all I have.

First up, here’s a Netsounds Unsigned Rockhopper session from Bella, they must have done a billion of them! Here’s Rae Morris with Don’t Go. Looking a bit confused and nervous at the start there. What’s strange about being in a caravan with a couple of men who are filming you? I kid. Sounds lovely (and nervous looking is the default for lady singers before they fire up in my experience).

Be Like Pablo have T-shirts coming soon. That’s it, short and sweet. May as well keep typing here so it looks like more of a paragraph. Cleavers had a very limited number of sweatshirts made, only 2 left, so if you’re a medium and want a Pizza sweatshirt then go here. Relatively expensive to make but if there’s demand they’ll get some more. It’s chilly, need cozy things. They also passed the 666 fans mark the other day and the 666th fan was Toby Michaels of Toby Michaels Rolling Damned. Fitting.

Houdi will be taking a break from the whole blogging and band photo thing, well he might still be taking band photos but for the craic probably. Before shutting down he’s put up one more of the WTF entries with Ross “Roadway” McEwan which you can read here. Busy year ahead for a very hard working rocker that.

Lead singer of Scooty and the Skyhooks and solo vocalist in her own right Sarah Mackay has a new dance tune out. It’s called I Can Make You Happy and was done with…Clubland Good Times I think? Scroll down past the very large picture of her pretty face to hear it.

Back to rock gods, bit less pretty as well (no offense fellas). Estrella have had a few run ins with the law lately, documented here. The last one was down to looking a bit shady while failing to find a parking space, but they got an escort to one. They aren’t bad lads really.

Couple of videos from local music guru Rob Ellen. First up his band The Slim Panatellas with guest Lee-Anne Cornwall in home away from home The Greenhouse, tracks called In The Jailhouse Now. Great stuff. And he recorded a wee house session with Scott and Farquhar MacDonald ahead of their album coming out. You can see that here. And bloody brilliant it is too.

Cactus & Cardigan continue their quest to make it impossible for me to play them on the radio. They have a new demo up on the band page part of their page called The Money Shot. It’s about porn. Soooo won’t be playing that then.

Couple of things for Roads to Damascus. First off, they now have a drummer and bassist again. Welcome Colin Sanders smacking the drums and James “Jazz” Henderson slappin da bass. Violent stuff music. And here’s a video for ya, Life For Sale. Good stuff.

And finally, if you are a heavy metal music making person from the Highlands you should probably head over to Highland Heavy Promotions. The name is pretty self explanatory.

That’s you, and me, all caught up. See you in a day or so 🙂 Give the Facebook page a like if you haven’t already, and if you feel very generous give my movember efforts a couple of quid. Thanks in advance

Music Catch Up 18/11/2012

The catch up continues! With all “new” people as the ones I’m caught up with didn’t really have much.

In addition to the regular podcast, won’t bother linking those but easy enough to find, the guys at Netsounds Unsigned have done a few more of their introducing posts. So here’s one on Verse Metrics, one on Three Blind Wolves and one on This Silent Forest.

The fine young fellows at Nut Productions have been rather quiet but I do have 3 videos of theirs to point you at (I’m going back to October 9th remember, hence why that’s relatively quiet). So first up here’s a local not local artists called Nick Murray doing an original called Once Upon a Time. He’s from Glasgow but is based in Tain, making him local not local opposed to the not local locals which are people who have moved away from here. Confused? Doesn’t really matter anyway. The other two videos are with not even slightly locals. Here’s Bastille doing an acoustic version of their track Bad Blood and then having a wee interview. Good get for the boys as they are taking off.

Oh lord, I’ve finally reached her. Rachel Sermanni time then. Here’s hoping she’s had a quiet month and a half. Nope, 21 links for you. I’ll try and organise them in some fashion. Won’t be chronological as I had a PC crash while collating the info.

So, video sessions or live from concerts. First up this French one of Ever Since The Chocolate, fully expect repeat tunes btw. And from the same Frenhc people, The Fog. Here’s one you’ve probably only heard if you saw her at a festival or possibly live. The Burger Van Song, inspired by working at a burger van at festivals. Be nice to the service people folks. From the same gig, here’s Marshmallow Unicorn. And here’s Sea Oh Sea (aka The Pirate Song). Puzzle Inn in Sowerby Bridge looks like a nice wee place! And this is from Ziggo Live, a TV show in Amsterdam. Interview and 3 session tracks, I assume it’s like their Jools Holland. Finally, here’s an artfully shot video of Bones filmed in what looks like an art gallery and sounds like a cafe, I think in Milan.

Radio sessions, I think there’s a couple. This one here is three tracks recorded for Folk Radio UK. And there’s this one for daytrotter which you have to subscribe to, 14 day trial. Dunno if it’s worth signing up for the paid service or not. She’s on form on this one though. Here is an interview with CUTV/Xpress Radio where the presenter really should have used that pop filter and maybe have dropped the gain a bit (everyone is a critic…). And here is the session that goes along with it. I think it might be a student production so I shouldn’t be so critical really.

Miscellaneous blog type things. Here’s a wee video Rachel did when she was leaving Hamburg, which she didn’t want to do. Cover of I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. Awww. And this one filmed by someone or other features manic laughter and a big assed wave. I guess the bloke in that is Jonny Ray who is credited in this here video of wee bits and bobs from the tour. Says part 1 but I haven’t spotted other parts.

Little vignettes by Quintana films for individual tracks/the album. First up, Rachel getting covered in paint in the Bones one. There’s this one for Sleep, slightly disturbing with a clever edit. A hazy Autumnal memory for Waltz. And this lovely wee Scrabble board one for Marshmallow Unicorn.

And a couple of things that are purely music. First off a Discopolis remix of The Fog. Not my bag, but if it’s yours then it’s free. And here is what I believe is a new track called Lonely Taxi, 2AM from a compilation album called Whatever Gets You Through The Night. Which has some AMAZING artists on it and is also a film (weirdly the very end of Rachel’s track gave me an urge to watch an indie movie without knowing this).

And finally, a wee interview that’s for reading.

AAAAAAAAAAAAND I’m done. Finally caught up with what I knew would be a biggie. Yes, I did watch (or at least listen to) every single damned thing that I linked there. I have now gone slightly mental. Toodle pip!