2017 is rumbling on at quite a pace – October already! Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the rate at which this year is flying by is the enduring strength of the Scottish music scene, with Edinburgh and Glasgow in particular welcoming a whole host of big names through their doors over the coming month. In addition to the O2 Academy and ABC luring such luminaries as Tori Amos, Aimee Mann and Weezer to our bonnie shores, the smaller venues have also bagged their fair share of stardom. Here are some of the ones to watch in more intimate spaces in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth this October.
Having first crept onto The Wee Review’s radar back in 2014 as guest vocals on SBTRKT’s Wonder Where We Land, Denai Moore’s career has come on in leaps and bounds. She spent her formative years in both Jamaica and the UK, and her musical stylings are equally hard to pin down; influences range from Beyoncé and Kanye West to Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens. With second album We Used to Bloom released earlier this summer, Moore brings her unpigeonholeable rhythms to Glasgow this October.
Glasgow favourite Jonnie Common strays over to the eastern side of the tracks, bringing his unique brand of upbeat pop-rap-rock to the Ballroom at Voodoo Rooms. With a penchant for the quirky and the playful, Common already has commendations from BBC Radio 6 DJs Lauren Laverne and Marc Riley, as well as a dedicated fanbase who will surely be eager to hear new LP Restless in the flesh.
Although perhaps still best known as the frontman for Scottish rock legends Idlewild, Woomble has built himself an equally impressive solo career, with fourth album The Deluder coming out at the beginning of September this year. Now that the Fringe is over, Woomble is doing his bit to keep the festival spirit alive with a delightful one-off performance at Pleasance Courtyard to introduce the capital to his latest offering.
Folk and electronica together? He surely wouldn’t, would he? He bloody well would, you know. Ben McGarvey, aka Minute Taker, has had his music compared to such diverse artists as Morrissey, Múm, Sufjan Stevens and Kate Bush – quite the mix. His inimitable style brings folk music into the 21st century with hypnotically meandering melodies, busy little piano pieces and a soulful, stirring set of pipes. Witness his affecting music in the flesh with a show subtitled “To Love Somebody Melancholy”.
Edinburgh’s premier pint-sized sweatbox Sneaky Pete’s has outdone itself this October – in addition to locking down artists like Ducktails, Peaness and Erol Alkan, the venue will also welcome New York pop-punk pair Diet Cig to its tiny environs. Boasting a raw energy that will only be bolstered by the release of their debut album earlier this year, Diet Cig are sure to have the Sneaky’s faithful bouncing along to their infectious anthems.
Two of Scotland’s most exciting up-and-comers take to one of Perth’s premier gigging venues to showcase their latest material. Openers Draws Creature Mask have a bio that’s as mystifying as their name: “We practice most Tuesdays. On Wednesdays we wear pink”, and promise to unleash their latest grungy alt-rock anthems. Meanwhile, headliners Dante have spent the last couple of years squirrelling away efforts for their debut album Wake, having roped in Frightened Rabbit guitarist Andy Monghan to polish up their “folk-flecked gems” (The Herald). The results are on show at the album tour launch.
In 2012, Erin Bennett lost her wife and drummer to a battle with breast cancer. The same year, she scooped the gong for Songwriter of the Year at the Scottish New Music Awards and five years on, she’s back with a brand spanking new band, their debut album in the pipeline and an uncompromisingly raw edge which lends her music a visceral, emotive dimension. Playing at the cosy Ivory Blacks, her upcoming tour promises to be full of trademark power and punch.