Bobby drank too much and fell in the Clyde
October 16, 2014 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Your next favorite band is probably from Glasgow. Sure, we know Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian (previously and very previously), Frightened Rabbit (previously), The Twilight Sad, Glasvegas, and Chvrches (previously). Step inside for some of Glasgow’s current talent explosion.

Which isn’t to say Edinburgh is without its charms:


Stay on top of the scene with The Pop Cop, The Skinny, Is This Music?, Scottish Fiction, and Edinburgh Man’s podcast. More Scottish music blogs recommended here at Ten Tracks.



Incidentally, The Pop Cop recently featured a follow-up article to Chvrches’ frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s excellent essay on misogyny in music (previously).


For the completist at heart, check out The Skinny’s Scottish bands A-Z
posted by banjo_and_the_pork (49 comments total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
 
I will listen to these.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2014


Everyone is always from Glasgow - Alisdair Gray, Orange Juice, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, everyone. It's awful.

Some time in the next two years I plan to visit Scotland so that I can see for myself whether, like, Edinburgh and so on even exist.
posted by Frowner at 8:02 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


CAMERA OBSCURA
posted by Quilford at 8:13 AM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


Lets not exaggerate. The Trash Can Sinatras were from Kirkcaldy I believe. Maybe they moved there from Irvine, not sure

I'm on a b road heading for the sea...

Obscurity Knocks
posted by C.A.S. at 8:13 AM on October 16, 2014


Ganger was my fave
posted by aspersioncast at 8:14 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


But, if we must insist that its all Glasgow, then lets nuke it with Teenage Fanclub and Edwyn Collins ripping up and starting again, post-stroke

Rip It Up @ Mono
posted by C.A.S. at 8:16 AM on October 16, 2014


> "Some time in the next two years I plan to visit Scotland so that I can see for myself whether, like, Edinburgh and so on even exist."

Hey! Edinburgh has, um, we have Frances McKee! Singer and songwriter for The Vaselines!

... A band which, er, formed in Glasgow.
posted by kyrademon at 8:17 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Classic Weegie Pop

I Need Direction
posted by C.A.S. at 8:21 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Glasgow list is missing Twin Atlantic. And for Edinburgh, make sure you don't miss We Were Promised Jetpacks.

(This post is the best thing. I adore this sound/scene.)
posted by jbickers at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there' s music from Edingburgh. But the guy then names his band "Aberfeldy".

Well done, Sir

Love Is An Arrow
posted by C.A.S. at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


You could at least make a claim for Django Django being an Edinburgh band on the basis that its founding members met at the Edinburgh College of Art.

If you ignore the fact that the band was actually formed in Dalston.
posted by Sonny Jim at 8:26 AM on October 16, 2014


Scotland is the new Canada!
posted by echocollate at 8:48 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Edinburgh also gives us freaky panda botherers The Leg. Their drummer is the boxer in the Withered Hand video (and the WH drummer too)
posted by gnuhavenpier at 8:51 AM on October 16, 2014


I'm seeing We Were Promised Jetpacks in Atlanta in November. Anyone know if they put on a good live show?
posted by echocollate at 8:56 AM on October 16, 2014


Glenn Hansard should have a word with Frightened Rabbit.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:57 AM on October 16, 2014


Ballboy are from Edinburgh.

Writers of my favourite Scottish song. I Hate Scotland
posted by hfnuala at 9:18 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


As someone who loves Glasgow - having spent a fair amount of time there for work, you do have to give Edinburgh props for one group that tonnes of TV ads and trailers would've been lost without...

Boards of Canada
posted by treblekicker at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I now feel guilty for thoughtlessly taking the limelight away from Glasgow

#notalledinburgers
posted by hfnuala at 9:25 AM on October 16, 2014


As an old guy who likes old music, I'll just mention the genius of Postcard Records.

As an old guy who likes new music, I'll second (or third) the PAWS recommendation.
posted by saintjoe at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do The Delgados count as a Glasgow band?
posted by armacy at 9:39 AM on October 16, 2014


Sons and Daughters are from Glasgow, but it looks like they've recently disbanded.
posted by cerbous at 9:46 AM on October 16, 2014


My favorite recent Glasgow band is Golden Teacher. They're working from Liquid Liquid's playbook but with some neat twists that make them much more than a throwback band. All three of their EPs are fantastic.
posted by vathek at 10:00 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Me and CapnSue's band played with Paws in Baltimore. Besides being a great band, they are awesome dudes.
posted by josher71 at 10:17 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I almost put the Delgados on the list, but these links took forever for me to format and I kind of just needed to stop. I have been listening to Scottish indie rock obsessively for the past few months, and am at the point with There Will Be Fireworks where I'm worried I'm going to get sick of them because I can't stop listening to them. Then I get sad thinking I might ever be sick of listening to them. Loving the other recommendations, keep 'em coming!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 10:23 AM on October 16, 2014


Glasgow is my favorite city in the world. Nowhere else I'd rather live, bar none. Very happy to note that Mono is still around -- a vegan bar/restaurant/music venue/record store is a magical thing to behold.

And this post is definitely wonderful... but it needs a touch more Arab Strap.
posted by divined by radio at 10:25 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do you know what would make your life even better? (Especially if you like dramatic folk/rock music like The Pentangle, Steeleye Span, and The Incredible String Band?) Listening to the Glasgow group Trembling Bells!
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:53 AM on October 16, 2014


And then there is Bis - members of which now run the excellent Sparklehorse Pub. Luminaries of Glasgow's music scene can often be spotted there - and they run a indie baby disco afternoon once a month.
posted by kariebookish at 11:51 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh my goodness.

members of which now run the excellent Sparklehorse Pub. Luminaries of Glasgow's music scene can often be spotted there - and they run a indie baby disco afternoon once a month.

I've had a slight uptick in my financial situation recently and I'd thought about trying seriously to save up for a trip to Scotland in two or three years....but I think I'm going to figure out a way to start saving right now, so that I can try to go sooner than that and maybe spend more time in Glasgow. Surely I could just stay in some kind of hostel and wander idly around the city for a week and go to shows and stuff.
posted by Frowner at 12:05 PM on October 16, 2014


Oh, I also wanted to include Aereogramme and Blue Sky Archives, but figured I'd limit myself to bands that still exist.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 12:47 PM on October 16, 2014


kariebookish: members of which now run the excellent Sparklehorse Pub

Which has the best pub quiz in Glasgow (Monday nights), thus superseding the Doublet Tuesday night shebang. Not to mention amazing food. I don't live in Glasgow anymore but when I'm down and about for the quiz, I'm always a member of the Partick Swayzes (for those playing from overseas, this is not a typo).

Frowner: Surely I could just stay in some kind of hostel and wander idly around the city for a week and go to shows and stuff.

Come to Glasgow! There's enough decent MeFites in the city that I'm sure you could get a floor/couch to crash on. If not, you can stay here which is in an amazing location - it's part of the same Victorian development atop a hill in which Godwin Baxter lives in Alasdair Gray's Poor Things. Plus, then we could have a meetup.

More on topic, though: no mention so far of THE best band to come out of Glasgow in the last decade or so, the sadly now-defunct Uncle John and Whitelock. There's a half hour's worth of gig, which was released on DVD in 2005, here, or you can listen to The Train here. It's basically the Clyde Delta blues.
posted by Len at 12:48 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Addendum: basically, all the praise being heaped upon The Amazing Snakeheads over the past year or so, mostly deserved, is because they've taken Whitelock and Big Ned and run with the ideas ...
posted by Len at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pfft. F'rabbit are from Selkirk, Twilight Sad from Kilsyth.

Did we do a post on the whole East Neuk scene? Fence Collective (RIP) all the way back to The Beta Band.

I do like Withered Hand. Even though I've never met Dan, he wrote a song as a beautiful eulogy to my childhood best friend, Paul Carter: Big Ten Four (Paul's Song). It's a weeper alright.
posted by scruss at 3:08 PM on October 16, 2014


from Glasgow, Life Without Buildings(1999-02)
posted by freeform at 3:30 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine was in the The Hector Collectors. Good old the 1990s
posted by dng at 3:40 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually I think that's probably from after the 1990s. But still, it is definitely the most 90s thing of all
posted by dng at 3:46 PM on October 16, 2014


Ah... Rezillos... The Blue Nile... old? me?
posted by Devonian at 3:49 PM on October 16, 2014


Can someone make a youtube playlist of this post?
posted by rebent at 3:58 PM on October 16, 2014


And this post is definitely wonderful... but it needs a touch more Arab Strap.

It's post-Arab Strap (and I think they were from Falkirk anyway), but Aidan Moffat's Glasgow Jubilee is an astonishing sight (well, sound) to behold.

(Pretty much every song from the whole album that's from is amazing. There's sadness and beauty and the weirdly unsettling. And even a sequel to The First Big Weekend Of The Summer. It's probably my favourite album of the last few years.)
posted by dng at 4:00 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I almost called out the lack of Arab Strap but figured maybe this was Scottish Bands: Not Guy Mumbling through a Pint into a Microphone edition and backed off.
posted by echocollate at 4:04 PM on October 16, 2014


The first There Will Be Fireworks song is awesome (on one listen so far) and really reminded me of both early Radiohead and really early Augie March. Not a bad combo at all. I'm getting into them.
posted by deadwax at 4:17 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can someone make a youtube playlist of this post?

I just put everything into a Youtube playlist, including suggestions from the comments!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:37 PM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


I'm seeing We Were Promised Jetpacks in Atlanta in November. Anyone know if they put on a good live show?

I saw them earlier this year and they destroyed. Great show, super bummed I'm missing their upcoming US tour. Haven't spent much time with the new album though.
posted by dogwalker at 10:40 PM on October 16, 2014


I live in Glasgow and hate much current Glasgow music.

A lot of these bands mentioned above (e.g. Frightened Rabbit, Admiral Fallow, Fake Major, Twin Atlantic, French Wives and Mersault, and no doubt plenty of others) share a particular sound that is just disgusting to me: traditional, acoustic instruments, passionate, earnest, sentimental, big choruses, a kind of earthy bombast. I hate it. It makes my toes curl. The worst possible sound.

To me these bands are as bad as if not worse than, say, Mumford & Sons, and wherever I've lived this has been obvious to everyone I've known. Not in Glasgow! When I first moved here, if this stuff got mentioned I would speak of it with casual disdain and get blank looks in return. It took me a long time to realise that here people who actually like music, listen to a lot of music and think hard about it, who make it and write about it, often also like these bands. People who treat hating Mumford & Sons as only natural will assume you like Frightened Rabbit, as if they are producing fundamentally different kinds of music! This is baffling to me, a real puzzle, and though I say I hate all this stuff, I am fascinated by it too. When I hear it - which is often - I give it greater attention, hoping to hear something in it that would explain the mystery, but I never, ever do.
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:22 AM on October 17, 2014


Hamish Imlach. My fav.
posted by sidra at 5:42 AM on October 17, 2014


> a particular sound that is just disgusting to me: traditional, acoustic instruments ...

I'm not sure I follow you, or if you've actually heard them: a Frightened Rabbit show is a wall of juddering, distorted electric guitar.
posted by scruss at 6:28 AM on October 17, 2014


I'm not sure I follow you, or if you've actually heard them: a Frightened Rabbit show is a wall of juddering, distorted electric guitar.

Not every item in the list applies to all of the bands, and I guess I shouldn't have put "acoustic" in there, because indeed this stuff tends to feature the kind of electric guitar tone that begins this horror, turning up the distortion during the inevitable drab Hollyoaks chorus. Obviously, at this point the acoustic guitar player (if there is one) will also emote in the standard manner.

The video at that link also exhibits in its opening shot a perfect example of one of the greetin'-faced, heart-on-beard, witless indie flumps who play in these terrible bands and can be found in wads and clumps in every nook and cranny of the bloody West End.
posted by cincinnatus c at 7:07 AM on October 17, 2014


Cincinnatus, I mean, to each their own and all, but I'm not really hearing that much of a comparison. I don't even like banjos and cutesy fiddling in general, but these bands make my earholes happy. They sound more in the vein of strings + rock guitars like The National to me, more so than Mumford (though I suppose enjoying The National is as much of a sin to some people). I do enjoy passion and earnestness and sentimentality in music; I'm not quite sure what the point of music is if it isn't to elicit some kind of feeling in the listener. If you know of some current Glasgow bands doing interesting things with guitars and distortion pedals, though, I'd be happy for more recommendations.

greetin'-faced, heart-on-beard, witless indie flumps who play in these terrible bands and can be found in wads and clumps in every nook and cranny of the bloody West End

Aw, come on, now you're just making me want to visit Glasgow even more!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:48 AM on October 17, 2014


The connection to M&S is not the instruments, but the porridgy bombast, cheesy choruses, festival-friendly anthems, empty & affected authenticity etc. To my ears - and the ears of others I know - the effect is very similar. I only mentioned them because it is strange to me that people would easily resist this one's corniness but not the other's.

Yes, music makes you feel things, but passion, earnestness and sentimentality are just three of thousands of ways of achieving this. Other than these Scottish guys, I honestly can't think of many artists in history who could be so easily described using only these words. Bonnie Tyler maybe? Some lower-rung 90s grunge comes close, but probably scores low on the sentimentality.

You should definitely visit Glasgow! I'm only kidding around, really, and there genuinely are thousands and thousands of sad beardy men just looking for a hug!
posted by cincinnatus c at 8:44 AM on October 17, 2014


Because I'm lazy, I made a (partial) Spotify playlist of the songs mentioned in the post.
posted by dst at 6:11 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


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