Album Review – Sons & Daughters


Sons & Daughters -‘Mirror Mirror’ (Domino)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

I first saw Sons & Daughters book in 2003, when they were first on a bill at York Fibbers, which also featured Dogs Die In Hot Cars and was headlined by Franz Ferdinand, who had just released their debut single ‘Darts Of Pleasure.’ It was an awesome night, and I continued to recount it with glee to anyone who’d listen over the next year, asthe profile of all three acts rose considerably. Sons & Daighters were good that night, but impressed me progressively more and more over the coming few years. I saw them as a support acts numerous times (Franz again, Fiery furnaces, Fire Engines, Idlewild, and Morrissey), eventually seeing them headline in 2008, with a then unsigned Broken Records as support. They became more and more bewitching on stage, with the interplay between Adele Bethel and Scott Paterson on stage becoming positively like sorcery.

The first record to come out was the Love The Cup mini-album, with its fiery feel, and hardly a foot out of place in twenty-five monutes. They followed this up with The Repulsion Box full-length (they claimed that they’d released two debuts), and when The Delgados split in 2005, Sons & Daughters became my favourite Scottish act. This Gift had some good moments, but it wasn’t as bewitching as their earlier material. Mirror Mirror has been talked up as return to the sound of those earlier releases and being darker. It has been produced by JD twitch, one of the team behind Glasgow’s famous Optimo club.

Within a few moments of opener ‘Silver Spell’ making its presence felt, what we have heard is true: they have got darker again. Throughout the album, the glam meets American Gothic that characterised their early work is once more to the fore, and it seems that the decision to work with JD Twitch was a good one, adding more texture to the sound. There’s still surprises to be had -‘Axed Actor’ seems to hint at Bananarama’s hit ‘Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye).’ Unquestionably the album is the most atmospheric of their career.

It amazes me, and frankly, frustrates m in all seriousness, that sons & daughters have not had the commercial breakthorugh that I believe they deserve and have earned. This is a damning slight on the part of the record buying public.

Do not make the same mistake…

Mirror Mirror is out now on Domino.

Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell by DominoRecordCo

Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell (A JD Twitch Optimo Remix) by DominoRecordCo

Covers in honour of Glastonbury


OK folks…

this is not all Glasto-related, but unless you’ve been under a rock for the last six months, you will know that Beyonce is headlining Sunday night at Glastonbury this year.

There are people who think a pop act has no place at Glastonbury -they’re wrong. And three years ago, Mr. Beyonce, Jay-Z proved that he could blow the minds of the people at Glastonbury. I haven’t been in over a decade, but I enjoyed acts as diverse as Asian Dub Foundation, David Bowie, The Pet Shop Boys, Spearhead, Pulp, The Cure and Radiohead, to name but seven.

And if I was going this weekend, I’d be looking forward to Beyonce as much as Morrissey.

I hadn’t heard of Heike Has the Giggles until this morning, when their cover of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ appeared in my inbox:

Heike Has The Giggles – Crazy In Love (BeyoncĂ© cover) by Foolica Records

Download it here

Biffy Clyro -‘Umbrella (Rihanna cover).’ mp3

Manic Street Preachers -‘Umbrella (Rihanna cover).’ mp3

(Seriously, Glastonbury should get Rihanna one year)

The Streets -‘Your Song (Elton John cover).’ mp3

Carter USM -‘Rent (Pet Shop Boys cover).’ mp3

Sons & Daughters -‘Killer (Adamski/Seal cover).’ mp3

James -‘China Girl (David Bowie/Iggy Pop Cover).’ mp3

Kaiser Chiefs-‘Golden Skans (Klaxons cover).’ mp3

Katzenjammers -‘Cars (Gary Numan cover).’ mp3

Death Cab For Cutie -‘World Shut Your Mouth (Julian Cope cover).’ mp3

Susanna -‘Lay All Your Love On Me (Abba cover).’ mp3

The return of Sons & Daughters


What a difference three years makes.

The last time I saw Sons & Daughters, in 2008 at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall, they had just released This Gift. Support acts that night were the Black Kids (then riding high on a wave of hype that ultimately didn’t deliver) and a then-unsigned Broken Records. How things change…

Anyway, Sons & Daughters are set to release their third album (if you only count Love The Cup as a mini-album) Mirror Mirror on June 13. The tracklisting is as follows:

Silver Spell
The Model
Breaking Fun
Don’t Look Now
Ink Free
Rose Red
Axed Actor
Bee Song
The Beach

Album opener track ‘Silver Spell’ has been available as a free download for a little while now (I know -but when it started circulating I was pretty wrapped up with a new baby), and now there is an Optimo remix doing the rounds as well – both free to download!


Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell by DominoRecordCo

Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell (A JD Twitch Optimo Remix) by DominoRecordCo

33 1/3 – a new series startng on 17 Seconds

OK…the idea is outrageously simple, and nicked off JC over at the Vinyl Villain.

As JC approached 45, he did the countdown to his birthday doing 45 7″s (or 45s as the Americans call them). As I approach my 33rd birthday on November 15 (sarcy comments not needed) I am going to do 33 LPs that have shaped me. It would have helped if one of the cats hadn’t jumped on the USB turntable last night, but these things happen.

This will start tomorrow -so why not a bit of a mini-album (seeing as it’s technically 33 1/3 rpm!)

Sons and Daughters -‘Love The Cup (Domino, 2004)

During the weekend just gone, I was privileged to be at Gargleblast Studios in Hamilton. 17 Seconds’ act Escape Act were over recording material for their second album which will hopefully be released by us in 2010. The studio is owned by Andy Miller, who produced Mogwai’s Young Team amongst others (and it was the original Chem 19). When he told me that the first Sons & Daughters record, Love The Cup was recorded there I commented : ‘I love that record. It’s perfection. It’s the best thing they’ve ever done.’

Mr. Miller chuckled. ‘Yeah, I think they’re kinda fed up of people saying that!’

But I stand by that comment. Over the course of just seven songs, Sons & Daughters unleash a stream of brilliance over the course of twenty five minutes. It’s an infectious, fiery mix of country and indie and just as incendiary live on stage as on record. I first saw Sons & Daughters live on a bill in York in 2003; headlined by Franz Ferdinand and also featuring Dogs Die In Hot Cars. I’ve seen them several times since, quite often on bills with other acts. It’s appropriate that one of the songs was entitled ‘Johnny Cash’ – the godfather of country casts his spell over the album. The interplay between vocalists Adele Bethel and Scott Paterson is mesmerising – you can feel almost voyeuristic just listening. And this album is addictive; like a vampire lover (though less harmful), once bitten, forever smitten.

And they have their own part to play in much of my own life over the last five years. The day this album was released in August 2004, they played an instore at Fopp, Edinburgh. I was DJing, for the first time in eight years. Scott in particular was very pleasant (especially after I leaned him my guitar strap!), and remembered me when I met him backstage a few months later at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh (the band were supporting the Fire Engines, and opening act were Aberfeldy). The DJing led to me starting to do my own occasional night in Edinburgh, originally called Fuck Art, Let’s Dance – and finally – 17 Seconds. Which led to the blog, and the record label…

Sons and Daughters -‘Johnny Cash.’ mp3

Great Scottish-set films

Finally saw Hallam Foe yesterday, an excellent film set in Edinburgh.

It’s quite fun, sitting down watching films and recognising your (adopted) home town in places recognising many of the sights. And as usual, a story that is very different from your own life. Dark in places, but very funny in others. Very much worth checking out. And if you didn’t want to see it, just because the last time you saw Jamie Bell he was in Billy Elliott, then shame on you!

An excellent soundtrack, not all scottish indie, but three fantastic tracks that I think everyone should hear:

Orange Juice – ‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow.’ mp3

Sons & Daughters -‘Broken Bones.’ mp3

Other great scottish set films would include: Restless Natives, Sweet Sixteen, Local Hero, Gregory’s Girl, Shallow Grave, Trainspotting…oh and I’ve never seen Brigadoon or Greyfriar’s Bobby.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend…

Gig review: Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records

Gig review: Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records

Edinburgh Queens’ Hall, February 16, 2008

My first gig of the year. Headlined by my favourite scottish act of the last few years, supported by one of my favourite bands to emerge on the web and opened by one of the best local bands. So good in theory as to be only possible to be let down in practice?

Well, fortunately for me, it was a fantastic night out with three great bands that I cannot wait to see again. Broken Records -soon to do a session for Radio 1’s Huw Stephens -opened. this was the third time I had seen them, and was yet again blown away. I am mystified as to how they are not signed, as I spent most of January saying on here. They simply go from strength to strength and songs like ‘if the news makes you sad, don;t watch it’ just grab you more evry time you hear them. Sooner or later, they will headline this place.

Florida’s Black Kids are due to release their first physical single ‘I’m Not going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ in April, (it made my Festive Fifty of 2007) and having been supporting Sons & Daughters are now off on tour supporting Kate Nash. How do they measure up to the hype? Pretty damn well, actually. I had heard much of their stuff on mp3s, but live they move to a whole new level. It’s clear they’ve been listening to prime period prince and then run with the ideas they’ve had. They look cool as anything whihc helps too. Songs like ‘Listen To Your Body Tonight’ and ‘IUnderestimated My Charm Again’ are just even better live. Believe the hype, because they get even the traditionally staid edinburgh audience moving, and make me wonder how Sons & Daughters can top it.

This was the eighth time I had seen Sons and Daughters. Whilst my top performance of theirs had to be when they opened for Morrissey in Aberdeen in 2006, they still have it, and have just grown so much in confidence and stature since I saw them as third on the bill four and a half years ago. New album This Gift has seen them work with Bernard Butler and without compromising their sound or distinctiveness has helped take them to newer ground. As recent single ‘Darling’ illustrates, there is a ‘glam’ hint coming through previously only hinted at. Yet the crowd still call for old songs like Johnny Cash as well, but it’s clear that the band are moving and progressing onward. Three bands I would pay a tenner for to see on their own, never mind altogether!

Sons and Daughters – ‘Johnny Cash.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters -‘Dance Me In.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters’ MySpace is here

Black Kids’ MySpace is here

Broken Records’ Myspace is here

Some Covers For Friday Part VI

Well, it feels like ages since I’ve done a ‘proper’ covers only post. Let’s get going…

Sons & Daughters -‘Killer (Adamski/Seal cover).’ mp3

Pet Shop Boys -‘Always On My Mind (Elvis Presley cover).’ mp3

Yo La Tengo -‘Dreams (Fleetwood mac cover).’ mp3

Tralala -‘Never Understand (Jesus and Mary Chain cover).’ mp3

Slowdive -Some Velvet Morning (Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra cover).’ mp3

The Shins -‘We Will Become Silhouettes (Postal Service cover).’ mp3

BTW, two bits of info that may be of interest to you:

1) This afternoon I did a ‘phone interview with James Allan of Glasvegas fame (see below) and will write that up a.s.a.p.

2) This afternoon I received an email from Colin at And Before The First Kiss, asking if I would like to be involved with another mp3 blog he is assembling called Fun and Heartbreak. Well, obviously, yes! I haven;t yet posted over there, but I will.

Watch this space…

Getting excited for 2008 Part 2

Amongst new stuff due for 2008 are the new albums from Sons & Daughters and British Sea Power

Sons and Daughters have a new album on the way called This Gift, which is promising to be very good indeed, if these two tracks are anything to go by. I keep reading different dates for the release of This Gift, but no doubt will have a review of this on here as soon as we can…

Sons and Daughters -‘Gilt Complex.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters -‘Darling.’ mp3

Meanwhile, British Sea Power may have delivered one of the other first classics of the new year in THIS single, taken from their third album Do You Like Rock Music?. With the football World Cup on the way, expect to hear this a LOT. Just as long as BSP don’t end up going the way of the Lightning Seeds…

British Sea Power -‘Waving Flags.’ mp3

Hope you have a good New Year’s Eve, if that’s your thing…

Scots indie!

When I first started this blog, about fifteen months ago, one of my main aims was making scottish indie as high profile as possible.

Arguably since then, I have diversified a little -folk, death metal, grime and even a little classical have made their way onto these pages.

However, my bandwith is about to be exceeded –again! and so I thought I would do a post the old-fashioned way, and about music I am passionate about, with or without regard to fashion.

Some of these you may know, others you won’t. Some are well-known, others less so, some bands are gone, some new, some just beginning. But enjoy…

Arab Strap -‘Love Detective.’ mp3

Belle And Sebastian -‘Funny Little Frog.’ mp3

Isobel Campbell -‘Amorino.’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Darts Of Pleasure.’ mp3

Delgados -‘American Trilogy.’ mp3

Mogwai -‘Dial:Revenge.’ mp3 (featuring Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals, it’s a celtic thing, you understand!)

Sons and Daughters -‘Johnny Cash.’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub -‘What You Do To me.’ mp3

Twilight Sad -‘That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy.’ mp3

1990s -‘You’re Supposed To Be My Friend.’ mp3


have a good weekend!

Six of One and a Dozen Of The Other

Well, the Jock’N’Roll albums poll may not have posted any results…yet – but I figured that you can never have too many reminders.

So here are six great Scottish bands, with two mp3s apiece. Enjoy!

Aereogramme – ‘Zionist Timing.’ mp3

Aereogramme -‘Wood.’ mp3

Arab Strap – ‘Cherubs.’ mp3

Arab Strap – ‘The Love Detective.’ mp3

Ballboy -‘Sex Is Boring (John Peel Session 21/3/00).’ mp3

Ballboy – ‘Sex Is Boring (John Peel Session 21/3/00).’ mp3

Delgados -‘American Trilogy.’ mp3

Delgados -‘Sink Or Swim.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters – ‘Johnny Cash.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters – ‘Dance me In.’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub – ‘What You Do To me.’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub – ‘It’s All In My Mind.’ mp3

As always, if you like what you hear, go and support the bands by checking out their MySpace sites and becoming their friends, buying the music from iTunes or Amazon or your local independent shop, seeing them in concert, and of course, voting for scottish acts at Jock’n’Roll

Hope you had a good Easter, Ed