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Festival Coverage : Freakender, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow

  • Published in Live


We like an urban festival here at Musos’ Guide so when a new one turns up practically on the doorstep it’s only fair to head West and see what’s going down. Freakender (the branchild of Fuzzkill records, Eyes Wide Open & El Rancho records)took over Glasgow’s The Old Hairdressers for two nights and a day & played host to 20+ international acts for barely noticeable ticket prices.

The overall organisation was spot-on and sound-wise you could only quibble about a couple of acts suffering less than clear vocals over the course of the event. Friday’s programming was possibly a bit unfortunate in that the melodic but also punchy at times Home Slice and the spiky afrobeat of Rapid Tan fired folk up but were followed by the slower paced The Pooches, Wedding and Spinning Coin thereby giving a bit of anti-climax (although that shouldn’t be read as comment on the latter acts’ actual performances, all of which were roundly and rightly applauded).

Saturday afternoon brought a 3pm start and the introduction of bands on the building’s ground floor. Mercifully the possible crowd congestion from folk moving en masse between the two performance spaces never seemed to materialise so it was possible to easily enjoy the propulsive Electric Gardens, Domiciles (think pre-disco Tame Impala), the jazz leanings of Lylo & the jazz fusion of Velvet Morning, Virgin Kids debuting a couple of new tracks, The Bellybuttons packing out the upstairs hall with Thee MVPs being similarly popular immediately after downstairs.

Fruit Tones brought a good dose of levity to the start of the latter part of the day whilst Feels were an absorbing example of music as scream therapy. Last on downstairs were the ever excellent Breakfast Muff, displaying it seemed a newer & more mature version of themselves. The Cosmic Dead crowned the whole thing off with a return home after 8 weeks of touring and theirs was the full-on, organised chaos and all round towering madness that you would expect from a band that remain one of the most exciting in the world today.

Confession time – due to tiredness and lack of ideas on how to fill the time (we know there’s plenty to do, just nowt appealed) until the Sunday night performances we bugged out early so apologies to the acts not covered here. We certainly though hope the event was a success as all involved can be deservedly proud of the results of their efforts & a return in 2017 is only just.


In Profile : GoldMold Records


For this month's In Profile we've had a chat with Gary Taylor, the man behind one of Glasgow's newer indie labels, GoldMold Records.

MG: Initially then what prompted the creation of GoldMold? Glasgow seems to have a lot of young record labels currently (although it could be we're just being exposed to more of late) but I presume you felt there was still a gap in the market to fill. 

GT: I started GoldMold in 2013, having become more interested in certain labels, their histories and importance over the previous couple of years. In Glasgow, Struggletown and Good Grief were pretty influential but also labels like Blue Note, Dischord or Factory - the way in which the label is just as notable as their artists certainly interested me. I started it while doing an HND course in Music Business at Stow College (the course in which you 'help run' Electric Honey as part of it). Before I applied to the course, I was aware that there was a project element which would afford me the chance to set up a label while getting some assistance and guidance from the lecturers. It was that which sold me on applying in the first place, there weren't any entrepreneurial aspirations or anything, I just thought 'I want to do that' and saw that the course would help me to do it. 

MG: I note from your website that times were tough back in 2014, as they likely are at various times for smaller labels. It's 2016 now and you obviously still have product coming out, otherwise we'd not have heard of you via December '91's 'Woman In a Man's Body', so how did you manage to weather the storm?

GT: I released the Lovely Ladies 'Gnome' EP in 2013, and the Lovely Ladies/KingsArms Split 7" in 2014, with each release conveniently tying into my college work. We only had one release each year at that point because I wasn't quite confident enough that I knew what I was doing. Rather than it being a tough time for the label I'd say it was more a case of me finding my feet. 

In 2015 I knew I wanted to get more bands involved and have more releases coming out, so I used the 'Spring Sampler 2015' as a way to get some more bands involved (The Pooches, Polarnecks, December 91, Over And Out, etc.)

MG: I usually forget to ask this but where did the label name come from?

GT: The name came from Cameron Orr, who's a guitarist in Lovely Ladies, releases music as Egopatterns (and some other secret pseudonyms) and has done the majority of our artwork. I've known Camy since school, and he's been in various bands for years, so when I knew I was starting the label I talked about it with him. I don't really want to tell you what it means, but it came from Camy. He's responsible for the entire aesthetic.  

MG: Cassettes seem to make up the bulk of your releases so far (most of which also seem to be free to download) but is there a wish to move more towards vinyl or do the lower overheads of tapes mean you'll stick with those for a while yet?

GT: Ideally, I'd like to release on CD, Tape and Vinyl. Obviously though, tapes are the cheapest so that's what we're focusing on just now. I put out the Lovely Ladies/KingsArms 7" early on because I collect vinyl and wanted to fulfil a dream of having my own release in my collection. I'd love to do more vinyl, but it's just too expensive to justify for me at the moment. 

MG: Yeah the 7" is a great format but, having idly looked at the cost of having them pressed up, it's clearly potentially quite a gamble at times. What then does 2016 hold in the way of coming releases?

GT: We're about to put out the new Over And Out EP, December '91 album, Earths EP, Polarnecks demos and EP. Hopefully with some more to come after that too.

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