SCOTLAND HAS been producing some of the greatest and most influential indie/alternative bands there has ever been.
Think about it - The Vaselines, Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Josef K, Orange Juice, Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, Frightened Rabbit, Cocteau Twins, Franz Ferdinand, and The Pastels.
Despite living in the shadow of its more omnipotent neighbour England, the Scots have arguably been much more important in creating the sound, style, attitude, and approach we think of as indie. Belle and Sebastian are after all, the definitive indie band.
There are other names that can be added to the distinguished list above such as Mogwai and The Phantom Band, while KT Tunstall should not be forgotten either.
Although she is on a major label and is far more mainstream, her musical origins lie in Falkirk’s rich, independent neo-folk scene that also includes King Creosote and Malcolm Middleton.
Mogwai, The Phantom Band, and KT Tunstall, are all coming to Galway in the New Year. First up is The Phantom Band, who play the Róisín Dubh on Friday January 21.
The band first came to attention last year with their debut album Checkmate Savage, which fused Krautrock rhythms and keyboards, with growling guitars. In the true Scottish rock tradition - think The Proclaimers, The Rezillio’s Fay Fife, and Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson - the band’s lead vocalist Rick Anthony sings in an unapologetcally gruff Scottish accent.
Mogwai, named after the furry hero in Gremlins, play dramatic post-rock which can combine pulverising doom metal guitar riffs with majestic, Debussy style piano, fashioning pieces of music, which no matter if they last for three minutes or 10, sound gargantuan and epic.
Mogwai play a ‘Róisín Dubh presents...’ show at the Radisson Blu Hotel’s Live Lounge on Valentine’s Day (Monday February 14 ).
To get yourself in the mood, check out the band’s sublime new album Special Moves, recorded in concert in Manhattan. It also comes with a DVD film of the concert entitled Burning.
Singer-songwriter KT Tunstall will also play a ‘Róisín Dubh presents...’ show at the Radisson Blu Hotel’s Live Lounge on Saturday February 19. KT released her third album Tiger Suit in September and she will no perform songs from that, as well as hits like ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’ and ‘Suddenly I See’.
Tickets are available from the Róisín Dubh and Zhivago.