Category Archives: upcoming gigs

The Phantom Band – Tender Castle

The Phantom Band, after four years away, have announced their second album in under a year, due to be released on the 26th of January. Tender Castle, the first track released from Fear Trending, feels, somewhat expectantly, like a companion to Strange Friend with the band’s folk influences intertwined into a rockier arrangement, with Rick Anthony’s vocals leading the pack, rounded off by a slower, momentous coda.

See the band at The Lexington on Febuary 4th, their last shows here have been nothing short of excellent.



Supermoon, aka Neil Pennycook of Meursault fame, has been quietly posting lo-fi recordings of new tracks and they are extremely good. These recordings are part of a series entitles A Month Of Black Fridays, presumably due to a new song each Friday that began on Black Friday, as a lament to the last Friday of new year, now fully engulfed by America’s celebration of retailers moving from the red to the black.

The songs are characteristically Pennycook’s, envelopingly miserable yet warm and deeply personal. The recordings are, for now, a hark back to Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues, due to their stripped back and intimate bedroom nature. However, these are the building blocks from which the debut album will be formed, an album which we are told will be a marked departure from Meursault.

Supermoon plays The Total Refreshment Centre on Thursday 11th December, which will be an intimate opportunity to see these new pieces in an early live form. Get your tickets here.

December in London

A quick run down of Scottish things happening in London over December.

2nd December – Ella The Bird at Bush Hall

After playing two nights at Bush Hall last month in support of Tim Wheeler, Siobhan Wilson returns with her drawn out and gut wrenchingly stunning solo compositions. Her follow up to 2013’s Glorified Demons has been recorded with Gordon Skene (who left Frightened Rabbit last year) due for release next year and her inclusion of Dear God on the Song, By Toad Split v3 was one of this years finest moments.

3rd December – Jonnie Common, Plastic Animals & Numbers Are Futile at The Total Refreshment Centre

The annual Song, By Toad Christmas gig is upon us early on in the month. Jonnie Common is down to promote the label’s newest release, along two bands who are presumably in line to release with the label next year. Jonnie’s record, Trapped In Amber, is a treat, electronic pop with a unique sense of melody and littered with bizarrely chopped up samples and spoken work. Plastic Animals, who appeared on the Song, By Toad Split v2, as well as FoxBox’s cassette store day will be representing the shoegaze side of the label, whilst Numbers Are Futile deliver percussive lead motoric lo-fi indie. This should be a good one.

4th December – Pictish Trail at The Purcell Room, Southbank Centre

Johnny ‘Pictish Trail’ Lynch joins Sweet Baboo (who co-produced Secret Soundz #2) as part of label tour with Moshi Moshi, not Lost Map, who re-released Secret Soundz 1 and 2 this year. The two endearing and charismatic off-kilter pop song smiths are bound to put on a great show bouncing off each other in this lovely seated venue.

10th December – Young Fathers at XOYO

This is long sold out after their somewhat surprising Mercury sweep.The group’s shows this year have been electric, and they are an incredibly energetic and engaging watch. Chances are high they’ll bring along Law for a few songs, and fingers crossed for a few solo tracks before.

11th December – Supermoon at Total Refreshment Centre

Neil Pennycook (aka Meursault)’s first London outing since his rebranding over summer. Who knows what this will entail, most likely a solo performance in line with headliner singer-songwriter Alessi’s Ark, which will likely feature old material and hopefully something new. 2015 will doubtless be an interesting year for Neil, so be sure to get here before the new year comes.

13th December – Broken Records at Tooting Tram and Social

Broken Records feel alive after a few quiet years and a break from label 4AD. They may never have reached the dizzying heights of ex-label mates, The National, despite a similar appeal, but the self release of Weights & Pulleys has seen the band breathe a new breath of life, with the old material paling in comparison.

16th December – Ella The Bird at The Lexington

Another show from Siobhan Wilson at the more intimate Lexington. Bound to be great, as above.

20th December – Poppy Ackroyd at Cafe Oto

After a slightly underwhelming support slot for Hidden Orchestra Poppy Ackroyd brings her beautiful new album, Feathers, to Cafe Oto. The choice of venue, along with a more acoustic performance will ensure this is a huge step up from a more introductory performance last month, which will be enveloping and stunning. Expect tinkering on and in the piano as well as gentle violin melodies and loops. Support comes from the excellent label mates Carlos Cipa and Piano Interrupted.

22nd December – James Yorkston at Winterville

James Yorkston brings his annual Christmas show to a new venue. Whilst usually at the perfectly festive Union Chapel, with its hot chocolates, mince pies and cakes, this year the show is staged at a Spiegeltent in East London’s answer to Winter Wonderland. After sensational album launches at The Queen’s Head and Dingwalls this will surely be a treat, and James always brings along a good cast of collaborators to celebrate.


Who knows why, but October is shaping up to be a ridiculously good month for Scottish music. Phantom Band joyously opened the month at Oslo, Hackney last night nonchalantly blasting their folk infused rock to a crowd that got about as enthusiastic as they come in London, there were about ten people losing their shit, whilst everyone else was stood immaculately still.

Max Richter, who used to reside and studied in Edinburgh, plays his debut album (likely written and recorded in Edinburgh) alongside his reworking of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at the Royal Albert Hall. He is joined by Daniel Hope and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra for what will be a thoroughly moving and extremely morose evening. Monday we have The Twilight Sad playing their 5th gig in London for the year in what seems to be a small-ish tester for new material ahead of the album. As if that’s not enough to get excited about, support comes from Errors. Sorry its sold out. Tuesday Casual Sex bring their post punk to Sebright Arms, its a single launch, and the single is brilliant. Wednesday and Thursday Vashti Bunyan is playing her beautiful music at the equally beautiful St Pancras Old Church, two shows that are guaranteed to be special. October 12th bang yer heed to Holy Mountain at the Lexington, 14th nod yer heed to Withered Hand at Scala, 17th October rub your chin to Hidden Orchestra and Poppy Ackroyd. The list doesn’t stop. 23rd grease yourself up for Amazing Snakeheads, Electric Ballroom, Conquering Animal Sound play Sebright Arms also on the 23rd and finally sing yer heart out with a load of teenagers at Chvrches on the 30th at Brixton Academy.

That’s 13 bands over the course of a month. Not bad eh?

What about releases then? We’ve got Vashti Bunyan’s album on the 6th. The tracks FatCat have previewed are delicious, and this is very unlikely to be anything less than a treat. Similar level of quality will be delivered from RM Hubbert, even if it is an album of scrap material. Ampersand Extras is out on the 13th, and Hubby can do no wrong. Lost Map’s new signing, Insect Heroes release their debut, Apocalypto, also on the 13th, more on this to come. The Twilight Sad’s album is out 27th, the wait is going to be well worth it. Jonnie Common’s second LP is out on Song, By Toad on Halloween, bringing the month to a close. The album is, as always with Jonnie, a hugely enjoyable listen and comes with 2 versions of each track at minimal extra expense – can’t complain with that. Meanwhile Casual Sex also release 7″ A Perfect Storm imminently and excitingly The John Knox Sex Club have a new album coming out, their first full length on vinyl I believe. That’s 6 albums and a single. Also be sure to get Lost Map’s new Rachael Dadd/Rozi Plain split.

So there goes all your money, and that’s only the stuff from Scotland, which is scraping the surface of October’s releases. It’s a good, hefty scape though.

Poppy Ackroyd – Escapement Visualised, Feathers and Cafe Oto

On the 26th Denovali are set to release an audio-visual collaboration between Poppy Ackroyd and Lumen. The audio is taken from Poppy’s exquisitely beautiful debut, Escapement, to which label mate, Lumen, has set visuals. Escapement is an album of piano and violin, all recorded with one microphone. Poppy prepares the instruments and hits them to create the percussion, much like Hauschka or Nils Frahm (who mastered the album). The compositions filmic and stirring, much like Hidden Orchestra, with whom Poppy also plays, and the beauty of the results are hard to describe.

Escapement Visualised is out on the 26th of September, and although it is not cheap, it is seamlessly put together, drawing from the packaging of Sonic Pieces.

In other news, Feathers, the follow up to Escapement, is due for release on the 14th of October. This is in mastering stages at the moment and there is little more information. Given Escapement’s strengths it’s hard to see this one being a disappointment.

Poppy will be playing with like-minded label mates Piano Interrupted and Carlos Cipa on the 20th December at Cafe Oto. A gig not to be missed.

Upcoming Gigs

Honeyblood – Sebright Arms – 23rd September
James Yorkston – Dingwalls – 25th September
King Creosote – Milton Court Concert Hall – 27th September
The Phantom Band – Oslo – 1st October
The Twilight Sad – Boston Music Room – 6th October
Vashti Bunyan – St Pancras Old Church – 8-9th October
Holy Mountian – The Lexington – 13th October
Withered Hand – Scala – 14th October
Hidden Orchestra & Poppy Ackroyd – Union Chapel – 17th October
Conquering Animal Sound – Sebright Arms – 23rd October
CHVRCHES – 02 Academy Brixton – 30 October
Lau – The Barbican – 22nd November
RM Hubbert – The Lexington – 30th November
Pictish Trail – Purcell Room, Southbank Centre – 4th December
Poppy Ackroyd – Cafe Oto – 20th December
King Creosote – Union Chapel – 3rd February

Upcoming shows

Upcoming concerts

7th June – Eclair Fifi at Field Day

9th June – Law at Sertant’s jazz quarters

17th June – Edwyn Collins at Queen Elizabeth Hall

17th June – Amazing Snakeheads at Southbank Centre

20th June – Paws at Camden Crawl

21st June – Steve Mason at Camden Crawl

28th June – Remember Remember at The Lexington

25th July – The Twilight Sad at The Lexington

2nd August – Young Fathers at Visions Festival

26th August – James Yorkston

4th September – Broken Records at The Lexington

13th September – Young Fathers at On Blackheath Festival

14th September – Steve Mason & Dave MacLean (DJ set) at On Blackheath Festival

25th September – James Yorkston at Dingwalls

27th September – King Creosote at Milton Court Concert Hall

17th October – Hidden Orchestra at Union Chapel