events

Sacred Paws, Ela Orleans and Current Affairs at Mono, Glasgow, 27 January 2017

Summer comes to Glasgow on a chilly January night. Mono's packed and there's a buzz in the air. Current Affairs (formerly Seconds) have a touch of the goff about them, in look and sound (think Banshees, The Cure, Joy Division, The Smiths, Magazine) but the determined grind of their rhythm section gets the blood going and they've melodies in spades. It's a compelling start to a flawless evening of live music.

Current Affairs

Current Affairs

Current Affairs

Current Affairs

Instead of taking us down the infernal paths she has followed of late, Ela Orleans opts to take a detour through especially hypnotic deep cuts from her back catalogue, bringing to mind a more ethereal Suicide and hints of later Coil at points. It's no mystery why Orleans has become a key figure in the Glasgow scene in recent years, the journeys she takes you on are never anything less than transportive, even when the set is deliberately more low-key than usual.

Ela Orleans

Ela Orleans

Ela Orleans

They crowd are really raring to go now and they aren't disappointed. Two versions of Sacred Paws play tonight, alternately -the core guitar, drums and dual vocals of Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers, and a special five-piece version with additional guitar, bass and keyboards (provided by Lewis Cook of Happy Meals). Both are brilliant. You can hear their previous band Golden Grrrls in the sound, with a heavy dash of The Raincoats (who they played a few gigs with last year) and West African highlife. It's a heady mix, and just what we all need right now. What happens in Mono tonight is a coming together of people, and their respective genders, sexualities, colours, ages and countries of origin are inconsequential. They're together, in this amazingly uplifting music. This gig is the anti-Trump, the anti-May, the anti-Brexit. There's no anger in it, grins abound. It's how things should be all the time. And it proves it's possible. And it's pretty easy, at that. A night worth remembering, in more ways than one.

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws

Sacred Paws' debut album Strike a Match is out now on Rock Action.

Photos by Erika Sella. Text by Andrew R. Hill.

New Casual Sex video: 'Nothing on Earth'

The video for the brilliant Casual Sex's Nothing on Earth has just been unveiled. The track finds them channeling late-70s New York Mutant Disco to the backdrop of a nocturnal Glasgow. The song is taken from their forthcoming The Bastard Beat EP , to be released on We Can Still Picnic and launched on 22 November at Nice'N'Sleazy. Check. It. Out.

casual sex launch 22 nov.jpg

Independent Label Market: Glasgow, 12 October 2013

This was announced a while ago but we thought we'd chip into remind/alert you of/to the fact that the first Glasgow Independent Label Market  (presented by the Vinyl Factory) is this Saturday from 10 till 6 at the Barras Art & Design Centre, supported by AIM, SMIA, The List and Kiltr. There's going to be DJ sets from local heroes such as Edwyn Collins, Belle & Sebastian and JD Twitch, as well as gourmet food and of course a lot of exclusive records and merchandise. It's really very exciting - see you there. Penury, here we come...

See the poster below for full details.

glasgow independent label market poster.jpg

The First Worldwide Cassette Store Day: 7 September 2013

cassette-store-day.jpg

Last year Glasgow’s own Volcanic Tongue, specialists in the most underground music going, run by The Wire contributor David Keenan and experimental musician Heather Leigh Murray. This year, it’s gone global, albeit without consultation with the original proponents. Original or not, as Blasted readers will no doubt agree, anything that gets people into real record shops and buying music that you can – kinda, sorta – actually touch is definitely a good thing.

So, the first worldwide Cassette Store Day is happening tomorrow in shops across the UK, Europe, the USA and even at one phonographic emporium in Argentina. There are releases by such Blasted favourites as The Proper Ornaments, Molly Nilsson, Efterklang, and many others. A particular highlight is bound to be The Pastels’ Summer Rain retrospective of “Some of [their] favourite music [they’ve] made for Domino, starting around 1995 with Mobile Safari and ending with songs from the Slow Summits sessions”, the title track can be heard below.

Gothic - The Dark Heart of Film

The BFI have recently unveiled their next big project, a voyage into the dark heart of British film that will encompass over 150 titles and 1000 screenings, a number of special events, DVD releases and an educational programme. Revolving around four main themes (Monstrous, The Dark Arts, Haunted Love is a Devil), GOTHIC will explore how much-filmed characters like Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Frankenstein made an impact on audiences in the UK and abroad, introducing them to taboo subjects along the way. 

Courtesy of Janus films/BFI

Courtesy of Janus films/BFI

We are particularly excited about Philip Glass' take on Jean Cocteau's 1946 film La Belle et La Bête, which will take place on 10th and 11th August (part of the Edinburgh International Festival). The Filmhouse should also reveal a series of screenings and events; for further details keep checking these pages. The BFI are also stepping into the art world: working in conjunction with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, they will launch the Witchcraft and Wicked Bodies exhibition (opening on Saturday 27th July) - it features works by Albrecht Dürer, Francisco de Goya and William Blake, as well as pieces by 20th century artists like Kiki Smith. 

The GOTHIC season runs from August 2013 to January 2014. To keep up with BFI updates sign up to their newsletter.

Ben Wheatley's 'A Field in England'

Ben Wheatley is back with A Field in England: having loved his twisted and very funny previous offering (Sightseers), this was a film the staff at Blasted were very much looking forward to.

And what a release it was – in a unique and brave move, the film was simultaneously in cinemas, on television, as well as being available on DVD and VoD. A pretty successful strategy,  according the numbers recently released on the Screen Daily website.

Image courtesy of the BFI. 

Image courtesy of the BFI. 

A Field in England is, in the words of Wheatley, an attempt at making a 'wilfully strange […] midnight movie'. As I watching the film in Edinburgh's Cameo cinema last Friday, I was reminded of the Panic Movement films (Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo in particular): it is a psychedelic period drama that is not afraid of playing with form and perceptions.

On a very basic level, it is the story of four men who finds themselves abducted by an alchemist during the English Civil War. The film starts slowly, the script feels a little opaque, and not much is explained – it is easy to see why a viewer could quickly get frustrated. Indeed, A Field in England is not a work that will ever have mass appeal, but if one is willing to stick with it, it has some pretty wonderful rewards. It is shot in a glorious, at times almost ravishing, black and white that glorifies texture and lines (something that we maybe wouldn't expect from a psychedelic film); with its mix of traditional folk music and menacing synth/ambient sounds, it is also very interesting on an aural level. Like many of the 1960s/70s 'midnight movies' Wheatley mentions, this film is formally rather daring – we have a character singing traditional ballad Baloo My Boy straight to camera, and the narrative is disrupted by little tableaux where the characters are very still, and create an effect that is almost painterly. This is without mentioning the 10-minute 'bad trip' sequence near the end; although at times it verges on visual cliché, it is something powerful, and not necessarily all that easy to watch. Ultimately though, A Field in England doesn't take itself too seriously; as in Sightseers, moments of humour (and of, quite literally, toilet humour) abound. It should also be noted that he protagonists are all played by actors who are known to the majority of the public for comedy, with Reece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley pulling particularly striking performances. It has to be said that character development is not the film's greatest strength, although the multi-layered aspect of the script could definitely benefit from multiple viewings.

Ben Wheatley has put together something rather unique a possible quite divisive; for all its indulgence, A Field in England is a film that defies genre definition (as far as period dramas go, its closest relative is perhaps Brownlow/Mollo's monochrome docudrama Winstanley) and makes a virtue out of  representing  sheer madness and chaos.

A Field in England is available on DVD on VoD.

EIFF 2013

The longest running film festival in the world, The Edinburgh International Film Festival, finally kicks off this week.

EIFF-2012-programme-lineup-600x403.jpg

Artistic director Chris Fujiwara delivers his second year, with a program that promises rich pickings. With 125 new features showing, the festivals boasts some big names; Sofia Coppola returns with The Bling Ring, a portrayal of celebrity-obsessed youth culture (based on the real-life story of a group of teenagers robbing Hollywood homes), Noah Baumbach builds on the wonderful The Squid and The Whale with Frances Ha, a bitter sweet comedy about a young New Yorker who is forced to review her lofty career ambitions.

There is also plenty of room for home-grown films: Edinburgh-based film-maker and critic Mark Cousins is back with A Story of Children and Film, a playful cine-essay on the relationship between childhood and the seventh art; Transgressive North's artistic director Jamie Chambers makes his debut with Blackbird, a captivating tale of belonging and loss set in a small village in the South West of Scotland.

As always, there are also intriguing retrospectives. This year the EIFF celebrates the work of neglected French director Jean Grémillont; audiences will also get the chance to re-discover the diverse ouvre of Brooklyn-born Richard Fleischer (Tora! Tora! Tora!, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea).

 

The 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 19th to 30th June.  Tickets are on sale now. The festival brochure is available here.

 

POST 'Cavalcade' mini-album launch at Nice'N'Sleazy, 26 April 2013

Earlier this year Glasgow/Manchester's POST had our Andrew R. Hill in raptures with the digital release of their debut mini-album Cavalcade, which is now receiving a much deserved physical release on (the ever-excellent) We Can Still Picnic. The live launch for this gem of a record is this Friday at Glasgow's Nice'N'Sleazy - doors are 1930, and it's a fiver on the door or £3 in advance from Monorail Music or Tickets Scotland. Support comes from gauzy popsters The Yawns and the enigmatic Spread Eagle. So (if you're in the area...or even if you aren't) make sure you grab the chance to catch one of the country's most exciting new bands in action, and be sure to pick up an album while you're at it.

POST album launch poster online.jpg