Glasgow rockers Codist talk LP2, hot topics and Shark Tale

words fae liam menzies (@blinkclyro)

In a rather apt turn of events, the initial rendezvous point for the interview you’re reading right was closed, meaning a last minute plan to the pub/restaurant was concocted: I don’t know what kind of metaphor I could weave to explain the connection between tasty vegan food and Scottish rock outfit Codist but I assure you there’s something there.

Attempt at a smooth intro aside, it’s hard to think of a band in the local scene who are so deserving of praise and love, or more so than they’re already getting, than Codist: first popping up on the radar with their Loverscruff EP, the boys have been on an upwards trajectory since 2015 which culminated in a debut record the following year which won many people over, including this site, which resulted in them placing high on AOTY lists and gaining some well-deserved attention. Said attention came from a notable place, that being Lorenzo Pacitti of LP Records fame who chose the band to be one of the first acts on their newly established label. Phillip Ivers (vocals + guitars) mentions how it all came about:

A few of us have worked with him and it was Record Store Day 2016 where he asked us to play instore – we stayed in touch since then and when it came to the time that he wanted to have a label to do with the shop, he got in touch since we were his first choice to have on it.

The band haven’t wasted time since signing onto the LP Records label, dropping an EP  titled Porcelain Boy earlier last year that Michael McClure (bass) claims is the ideal segway between their debut record and what they’ve got cooking in the studio at the moment: “I think it flows quite nicely and it makes it a lot of sense since there are a few songs on Porcelain Boy that could fall on either the debut record or whatever we decide to call this new album“.

SPEAKING of a new album, it wasn’t long before details were being teased as well as the charming comedic side of the band came out with the biggest info dump of them all coming from none other than Tom Fraser (guitar + backing vocals) who announced there would be “at least ten songs” with a pause left after for this to sink in. Chris Curry (drums + piano) chimed in after to point out the nice mix of content they’ve got prepared for the record: “there are a few slower based ones and even a country-ish one so it feels we’ve got quite a nice flow and tinkering going on in the studio“.

There were a lot of hiccups, technical ones I must clarify, and a lot of stress (Michael mentions there were points they thought they were going to lose it followed by a laugh) but that they’re happy with how things are going. “When can we expect to see the new album come out,” I asked, and was welcomed by four different answers, the humour of which wasn’t lost on the boys – they ultimately agreed that it’s likely we’ll see a Q3 release for the album so there’s not long to go.

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Despite the fact they have an anticipated album in the works, the band were incredibly laid back and seemingly in their habitat. One highlight of the night included a thorough five-minute discussion about noughties animation, where Tom revealed his apathy for Shark Tale that “didn’t have enough Martin Scorsese” and the band passively agreed on Open Season being terrible. When I decided to ask the band about their favourite albums of the year, the tables were turned as Phil took my phone and proceeded to ask me: sadly, I can’t reveal the top 5 listed but there wasn’t any eye-rolling from the boys in attendance. 

You’d probably be right in assuming that Codist are a bunch of jokers but it would be incredibly naive to write them off as not being self-aware or well informed – when the question of punk bands changing their name is brought up, Chris mentions that the argument that this strips away the punkness is counterproductive, saying that “if being punk means being intentionally ignorant and relying on a name then what’s the point”. The band all agree, especially when the issue of diversity is brought up: Phil mentions the number of female acts he knows yet he notices most lineups in Glasgow are male-dominated, something that he hopes to see change, mentioning that Codist will try to make sure it isn’t just more of the same.

After the professional discussion is done with, you as an interviewer usually find yourself shaking hands and awkwardly stumbling away: against the curve as always, I chatted to the boys for a good hour after all the official business was finished. They’re a welcoming entity, where goofiness and creativity thrive, and it’s what makes them one of Glasgow’s most exciting and lovable bands – even if they downplayed themselves at one point as “just four white guys”.

 

Gig Review: Seaway W/ Woes, Lizzy Farrall & Remind Me Of Home @ Stereo

photos + words by gregor farquharson (@grgratlntc)

Love it or lump it, there’s no denying that pop punk is one of the most fun genres out there. Seaway hadn’t been over to Glasgow in a year so tonight felt like a kinda big deal. Bringing along three top-notch acts in the form of Remind Me Of Home, Lizzy Farrall, and Scotland’s pop-punk heavyweights, Woes, everything was in order for the night to be a rip-roaring success.

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Remind Me Of Home

First on the bill was the local support Remind Me Of Home. Being hit with what is often regarded as the graveyard shift for gigs (15 mins after doors), it was amazing to see the number of people that had turned up early to catch the set. The young band did well enough to make an impression, making them an act that is definitely worth keeping an eye on in the future.

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Lizzy Farrall

Lizzy Farrall was next, a different act to the rest of the bill, but certainly one of interest. Singing sad acoustic songs, the emotion captured on stage from the Manchester singer was something of beauty – truly a change of pace, it helped to keep the night varied but no less amazing.

 

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Woes

 

It’s no secret that Woes have made an impression on pop-punk fans both in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK. Known for their lively shows and raw passion for what they do, the band put on a headline-worthy performance. New song Real World sparked mosh pits in the crowd and the cover of Last Resort went down a treat. Charismatic both on and off the stage, 2018 is going to be a colossal year for an act that truly deserves it. 

 

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Seaway

 

After an exceptional bill, the crowd were 100% ready to see the headliner in Seaway. As soon as first song Best Mistake played, it unleashed what can only be described as utter mayhem throughout Stereo. Crowd surfs and stage dives galore, the set was a beautiful example of how fun the genre is. New songs London and Apartment proved to be just as good live as on record. Even playing older songs such as Your Best Friend and Shy Guys, the set tore the venue apart. Closing the set with the utterly beautiful Slam and Seaway classic Sabrina The Teenage Bitch, tonight’s gig was over.

While there’s no ignoring the bad stuff that is still prevalent in the genre, tonight served as a reminder of what pop-punk can achieve when it focusses on everyone having a good time. Fun as all hell, every act tonight put on an incredible show that was enough to reinforce why people who love pop-punk, well, love it.

Gig Review: Quiche, Barbe Rousse + Kimona @ Old Hairdressers

by liam menzies (@blnkclyr)

Tucked away upstairs like a secret attic party, the tight and cosy Old Hairdressers acted as the habitat for all the freezing cold visitors coming by for tonight’s gig, one that was most likely everyone’s first of the year. With its homey essence and near claustrophobic setting, due to the very small capacity, everything was in place for an immersive and warm night around the stage.

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Starting off the night’s proceedings was the three-piece Kimona and while they may rock the tagline that they’re “best heard than talked about because music is for listening” on their social media, it would be a great disservice not to mention the ambiance they brought last night. 

Consisting of Ella, Jackson, and Vincent, the way each member brings something into the equation and how their voices all magically intertwine with one another is a truly beautiful sight: intro track Dreaming was the embodiment of this, using instrumental minimalism to show off a delightful hook. 

As they progressed, a great deal of cohesion was on display, everyone fitting into their roles and everyone getting a chance to take the spotlight. A choice example of this would be Nuclear Fission, an aptly titled track considering the chemistry on show, which allowed Vincent to show off his vocals and crisp lyrics which came off purely organic, feeling like they had just been written down on a piece of paper after a night of looking outside his window.

This sort of music is the perfect companion for solemn thinking and despite keeping things slow paced for the most part, Kimona left an indent that’ll be hard to buff out.

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side note: apologies to the band for my terrible introduction after the performance, I wasn’t drunk, just incredibly anxious

barbe rousse

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It’s not often you’ll find an act who can summarise their charm in their name alone but when you’ve got such a beautiful sounding title like Barbe Rousse, which translates to ginger beard, you know you’ve found one of them.

Sounding great while having a great time in the process, Barbe Rousse is a project by Alasdair Kelly, who showed he was not taking part in his first rodeo last night with how effortlessly funny and solid he was on stage (or should I say floor), backed up by a talented band who nestled right into it.

It was clear throughout the number of influences bleeding out from every note, at one point going from a funky jam into a pure rock outro that left the audience’s faces looking very different from what they had prior.

Considering how evidently varied this act was (a cocktail of psychedelic soul, jazz, and rock), it’s hard to pin down a highlight track: consider this your impromptu call to seek out their debut record Misc. Muses to capture even a snippet of the sheer fun that was had throughout Barbe Rousse‘s performance last night.

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quiche

img_2895The men of the hour, and here to show off their freshly made debut release, Quiche were in their element as they paraded on for their headline set. Dressed in the funkiest attire imaginable, the Glasgow alt-rock outfit stayed true to the “Let’s Be Friends” title of their new EP by welcoming the audience with a host-with-the-most attitude and a bunch of bodacious tunes. 

A distinct favourite of ours played early on was Costa Calma, a lusciously produced track that manages to traverse the journey from studio to stage with no drop in quality: with the number of phones we saw recording, the lo-fi slacker rock appeal has resonated with more than a few people already.

Quiche even harked back to this sound later on in the set with their debut single which was a nice throwback to see how far they’ve come in such a short space of time.

We also got a few other tasty treats in the form of a single that the band mentioned will be released later this year, keep your eyes peeled for that, some old favourites and of course, more of their incredibly varied EP: Hor-cha sounded suitably pissed off as the fury-fuelled rambling slips and slides between some equally aggressive guitar and drums whilst Friends further allowed the band’s music to resonate to the packed audience.

As the audience left to make the freezing cold journey home, it was hard not to feel full of warmth: you could put that down to the amount of alcohol consumed but we’ll take a shot at all three acts on show tonight leaving the music fans in attendance very relaxed in knowing that the future of homegrown music is looking pretty fucking good.

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Gig Review: Kiki Miller @ The Record Factory, Glasgow

Written by Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)
Photos courtesy of Mairi McAnena (@mairii_)

Backed up by a talented band and submerged in knee-high mist, Kiki Miller‘s last performance of the year began in an almost cinematic setting: having been gigging for the past few years, the cool and calm demeanor of the young up and comer is well earned and added a surprising layer of professionalism to the show.

Technical issues aside (“This is my bad luck week just so everybody knows” she quipped after her first track ended in her guitar going out of tune), the night couldn’t have gone any better than it did. The aforementioned confidence shown by Kiki went a long way in showcasing how serious she takes her craft – at the same times, the intervals between each track allowed her to be herself and have the crowd laughing and smiling, leaving this impression of her being a multifaceted artist which is a justified title.

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Performance wise, it was an absolutely entrancing experience to witness Kiki and co play with there being an undeniable chemistry between all the members who all added to the short but sweet setlist. The main woman herself was happy to go solemn and intimidating on her second track: having said the song spawned from watching too many bad movies, this dark delivery as well as the lyrics about chaos felt like pure villainy and was a pure delight. 

On the other hand, Kiki wasn’t afraid to make things a bit more upbeat. On what she titled “the fuckboy song”, there was some vicious sassiness on show with a “let’s play the game” hook that is impossible not to have etched into your cranium by the time the song had came to a close. When it came to the aptly titled last track Last Night, Kiki seemed to embody her influences the best, speaking about liberation via drinking with her gorgeous soulful voice that, as she starts to ascend the Glasgow scene, will be an encore belter for her fans.

Emotive and encapsulating, Kiki and her crew set the bar incredibly high not only for the acts who were set to follow them last night but for themselves: with songs chop full of empathy, compassion and gorgeous lyrics you’d expect from poetry, it’s impossible not to envision Kiki Miller being a reoccurring name on gig posters all over Glasgow in 2018.

Album Review: Codist – Nuclear Family

New Years Resolution for this site: stop starting every article about new bands by creating context about how music in Scotland is thriving. We all know that by now and while it may have become a cliché, it’s not become any less true: King Tuts have a whole month just dedicated to up and coming bands so they can showcase their love of what they do (but more about that in my Echo Valley gig review later).

What may also come across as cliché at this stage is how much I enjoy Glasgow band Codist’s work. Whilst I may have stumbled across them in atypical fashion (my bus was late and I arrived just in time to see them support), their non apologetic approach to mixing their influences with their own zesty, catchy sound had me hooked from the get go.

And while I may find it difficult to go the rest of this review without making some science related joke, Nuclear Family provides a breath of fresh air into Scottish rock music while also paying ode to the very bands who made the genre what it is: like a musical Star Wars if you will.

An Even Moodier Nirvana By The Looks Of This Picture

Being hailed as a “Scottish Nirvana” by online publications doesn’t help when it comes to the pressure you’ll face when making an album but it’s clear that the band haven’t been titled this just for those moody expressions in the photo above. Take for instance Sudden Valley, the fourth track on this LP that packs all the gritty rifts and distortion you’d expect from the pioneers of Grunge.

This same dreary, almost angst ridden sound pops up before on Puddle, my own personal favourite off this release which manages to bring back memories of Blackened Sky era Biffy with some equally beautiful lyrics about “why you can feel your insides glow”. Whilst we’re talking about lyrics, it should be said that the vocal performances on Nuclear Family are particularly enjoyable with Tom Fraser and Phillip Ivers both lending their voices for the tracks on show.

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It’s not all doom and gloom on this record however. Things get off to a particularly smooth start with Zamboni which, while also containing deformed sounding vocals like Sudden Valley, manages to use it in a more appealing manner. This rings especially true in the chorus that’s so impossible not to have stuck inside your head for the rest of the day, just like the band managed with tracks on their Loverscruff EP last year with some even making reappearances on this record. A track which just screams blue album era Weezer.

One of the most important moments in the world of new music is the much talked about debut album which brings with it a whole array of questions: Will it be as good as their EPs? Will they change their sound at all? Will they all get haircuts and start wearing leather jackets? Whilst the last questions remains to be seen, Codist have most definitely delivered a debut album that delivers on the promise of previous releases whilst also showing glimmers of further potential in bucket-loads. The quintessential debut album.

You can purchase Codist’s Nuclear Family here on bandcamp and follow the band on their social media below:
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Frank Turner @ Barrowlands Review – 13/11/2015

Barrowlands. Undoubtedly the greatest venue in Scotland, arguably the world,it’s hosted so many acts, ranging from The 12208573_917427804959246_3166259365936926584_nSmiths to the Foo Fighters, that just adjacent to the venue is a pathway listing all the bands who have came to Glasgow to play here. It’s a career defining venue with many home grown acts like Biffy Clyro playing some of the most intimate gigs of their lives there last December and their mark can still be felt there, in no small part to the stairs that proudly wear the band’s lyrics.

That alone would make most acts feel nervous about not being able to put on a show comparable to what the venue is used to. It’s not enough to have some good tunes or have a big fanbase. You have to make the stage your own, show why you deserve to be on the same platform that so many legendary artists have been on before you.

Welcome to the stage, Mr Frank Turner, hailing from Hampshire with more than a decade’s worth of musical experience under his belt. He’s managed to be part of a fairly successful band, London post-hardcore band Million Dead, and well after their break up, he’s still going from arena to arena all over the world with a solo career that most folk would do anything to have.

In fact, Turner himself told a story about a flag that’s been passed around every venue he’s been on tour at. It’s no reproduced item either, instead it’s passed on by fans who unite with one another over the music, something that the 33 year old has always voiced out with his first of two gig rules: be nice to one another.

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A very poorly taken picture (by me) when Turner stood on the barrier, less than a foot away.

The second rule? “If you know the words then fucking sing along” Turner shouted before belting out fan favourite track Peggy Sang The Blues which resulted in a crowd sing-along, one of many last night with people both young and old getting lost in the music. This was no doubt the reason that the smile on Turner’s face never faded for the whole night, a man who repeatedly says how he wants a little more love and a little less hate.

That’s exactly the sentiment that could be felt in the Barrowlands last night. Even when the crowd were frantically moving about to Get Better and many were getting smooshed by the thousands in the Ballroom that night, something that can be expected at any gig. However, people were helping one another out who were getting crushed, passing water with no hesitation, behaviour that sounds normal but, in my experience anyway, isn’t seen nearly as often as it should be.

Turner put on the show of a lifetime, showcasing tracks off his new album Positive Songs For Negative People as well as golden oldies. Many acts will tell you that they love Glasgow but Turner managed to get this across without explicitly saying it. The stories he told were entertaining and insightful, the chemistry he had for his backing band The Sleeping Souls and, most importantly, the appreciation he had for every single fan that has supported him over his career. Everyone there left drenched in sweat and aching from the 30 song long setlist but they came out knowing they’ve witnessed an artist who is in a league of his own.

Big Love, Liam x

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Antique Pony – Unalbum review

It seems like I never grow tired of going on about local and upcoming bands. Whether it be my fanboying of Codist a few weeks back after seeing them for the first time at The West Of The Moon or the raving review I gave Sweet White in my first and only (so far) blink or you’ll miss it.

This week, I’ve turned my attention to Glasgow yet again to review avant-rock band Antique Pony. With a name as odd and creative as that, you’d be expecting the sound to match and that’s exactly what they deliver on their fourth full length record Unalbum, recently released for free on the site’s Bandcamp.


As I had stated before in my CHVRCHES album review, location can make all the difference when it comes to how your album sounds and it seems like Antique Pony have takena page straight out of the Synth Pop group’s book. Recorded, written and mixed in various bedrooms across Glasgow, you’d be mistaken for thinking the whole thing wasn’t crafted in a studio with its slick polished and professional production value.

On top of all that, the music these young musicians produce is utterly refreshing, drawing influences from not only other artists like Sun City Girls and John Zorn but also film and literature. With jaggy guitar led sound making the album’s sound even more distinctive, it’s not hard to see why fans have said they make the avant garde catchy.

You can listen to Unalbum here.

Big love, Liam x

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