TVB have always thought if we needed to soundtrack the scattering of Scottish arts shenanigans we get up to, only the patented “dubh woop” of Wounded Knee (AKA Drew Wright) could do it justice. His prolific recording nature will see a showcase of last years Cassette bound album, ‘House Music’, on Friday in Leith’s intimate Isobar.
The Knee has always been out on his own blustery branch of the vocal-loop genre, bringing more twee than tartan than you may expect to proceedings. His inventive solo shows have this year taken him from performing at the Glasgow Film Festival awards ceremony and to touring the Archive Trails music-literacy research project from Tobermory down to London town.
Fridays gig serves to re-launch cassette bound album “House Music”. Although you could pick splinters of techno and electro minimalism across its’ 21 tracks, the location of the recordings (i.e his hoose!) might have more to do with what you’ll be hearing.
The simplest reference point for Mr Wright’s musical tangent has been Ivor Cutler or Herman Henderson’s ambient ramblings, but we never heard the late-great bairds attempt cover versions of the Scotsport theme tune or even get a chance to bellow “BNP? BNP?! FUCK OFF!!!”, as Wright does on ‘Anti-Facist Reel’.
Advance entrance on Friday earns you a download of a live set from The Captain’s Rest Gerry Loves Records night earlier in the year. For a fiver more one of the tweed swatched cassette’s of the album itself.
Support for the intimate evening is of similar musical tone. Tranquil folksmith The Wee Rouge has been plucking his way around the capital for a few years, with a more upbeat and acoustic squeeze on the trad-revival. We’re trying really hard not to summarise with a Batman & Robin reference, but that’s simply how complimentary the Rouge is to the Knee’s gruffness.
Sandwiched between will be The Kittens, part members of 7VWWVW, part ex-Divine Comedy. From what the wee snippets we’ve heard (mourneful, early Super Furries with a Scottish wedge instead of the fuzzy electro) you might want to be timing your fag breaks between acts sharply!
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8.30 – The Wee Rogue
9.15 – The Kittens
10ish – Wounded Knee
Saturday night in Cabaret Voltaire will see the post-grunge rumblings of a Yuck, a band that appear to have as much of a following across the pond as in the UK, in as small a venue as you’re likely to catch them from this point on.
Born from the songwriting combination of ex-Cajun Dance Party frontman, Daniel Blumberg, and bassist, Max Bloom, picking up guitars and feverishly writing material for an album within months of the demise of the once indie-pop hopefuls.
It was an exceptionally quick turnaround, from signing with label Fat Possum in September 2010 to the release of their self-titled debut in Febuary of this year. They carried over little more than the main thread of the Cajun Dance Party sound: melodically bashful vocals under overhanging riffs, in an altogether more exportable fuzzbox sound.
Whilst the duo’s Americanised record collections may have shaped their early writing, the swift addition of the gutteral basswork in Mariko Doi picking up the New Jersey flavoured drumming from Jonny Rogoff in an Israeli dessert, this made the realisation all the easier.
A thinly veiled lo-fi approach was always going to hit the media hype ground running. Add to that a nonchalant, accidental coolness and the fourpiece were quickly swept up for US sessions with NPR, Billboard Magazine and a quintessential showcase on Pitchfork.
Even with playing back-to-back Scottish dates, we’re suprised to see the guys still performing (and hopefully selling out) venues of this size. With their continuially prolific recording output, a double CD version of what is likely to be one of this years top albums has just been released in Australia, you won’t be likely to catch them without being surrounded by 500+ sweaty punters again.
Thursday night will see the truly unique stylings of Mr Scruff return to The Potterrow for his quintessential banquet of alt-club classics with droplets of his own quirky work across a hectic evening.
The Manchester mix-wizard isn’t just known for his inventive LPs – over the last decade his live sets have evolved into mammoth four hour sessions covering the musical spectrum from funk to folk, in a blend that saves any swathes of dancefloor departures.
If this seems like too much bang for your buck, Mr Scruff’s Teashop will be on hand to supply his brew based wares; without the P&P to sweat over, the only drama is how many mugs you can cart back to your flat after.
A return to Potterow after his 2009 performance is testament to his trust in the venue, from a man that has played across some of the most vibrant and varied club on the planet.
His attention to technical detail with both the record being spun and the audio/visual scope the audience get to enjoy it in is second to none.
The Scruff doesn’t come to town as often as he might like – but it’s always a visit to remember. With such a random pick’n’mix of tunes on offer, going for a fag or a trip to the bar could mean missing two tunes that could truly make or break your evening. Be careful out there.