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Favourites Of 2016

  • Published in UNX

It's been another great year, and it got off to an amazing start with The Senior Service's cracking debut single, 'Depth Charge' (my favourite single of 2016), followed by their debut live performance at the Half Moon, Putney. It certainly exceeded my (already high) expectations. And, for those who don't know, the Senior Service have ex-members of The Prisoners, JTQ, The Solarflares, The Prime Movers to name but a few. The whole event was organised by Steve Worrall of Retroman Blog who definitely deserves a mention for all the hard work he puts in to organising these regular events, with such quality acts. Where would we be without you? I doff my cap to you sir. Their LP The Girl In The Glass Case is beyond sublime.

June saw the return of the Franklin Fest in Edinburgh (review here) which once again was a blast. Well done to the organisers again for supplying us with acts from further afield, such as the mighty Courettes, Thee Jezebels, The Embrooks, The Sine Waves and Oh! Gunquit. Also making their debut were garage lovelies The Nettles and The Gastronauts, featuring frenzied frontman Spencer Envoy of MFC Chicken. 'Scotch Egg' anyone? A fantastic weekend and I'm already looking forward to finding out who will feature in the 2017 line-up.

The best Halloween party in town was hosted and headlined by Geek Maggot Bingo, featuring The Fnords & The Reverse Cowgirls. Showing us that local talent is just as good as the more well-known names mentioned above, and of course they were all part of the Franklin Fest too.  

Lord Rochester played the early December Franklin R&R Club, and they really knocked me out. Maybe something to do with playing at the more attractive end of the venue? Their success lies in their simplicity. A minimal drum kit, sing-a-long swing-a-long tunes, with added bite. We also gratefully received an extra helping from The Gastronauts, with their second appearance at The Franklin this year. On form and as eggs-elent as before.  

This year also saw the release of The No-Things first LP, which is everything you would pretty much expect from seasoned musicians like frontman Laurent Mombel and drummer Calvin Burt. A review of that to follow soon…   

The only downside to this year is that I haven't really travelled far afield due to other commitments, so missed out of a few festivals like The Medway Legends Weekender and The Green Fuzz Weekender (both in Spain). Hopefully next year will be different, but I can't really complain, as my home town (Edinburgh) has such a great scene, and I for one, am very grateful for that.


Buckfest 2016, McChuill's, Glasgow

  • Published in Live


With autumn upon us it was once again time for The Bucky Rage to stage Buckfest. Seven bands for free & with barely any slack time between them is good business by any standard.

Kicking things off, with ‘Ride Into The Sun’, were The Reverse Cowgirls and their inimitable country punk. No guitar strap issues, as previously witness in Edinburgh in the summer, so maybe less drink had been had this early in the day but they were on fine form, rattling through their 30+ minutes with the barest of breathers.

The Fnords took over the baton next and punched out their trademark gritty & enjoyably harrowing set of Mono Men-esque howlers including ‘Taxi Dancer’ & ‘She’s So Sinister’ and ending with a rough and ready version of Mancini’s ‘Peter Gunn’.

Covers aplenty were the order of the day now as The Kosher Pickles served up their authentic take on the ‘60s garage classics, starting with ‘We’re Pretty Quick’ and racing through to a final medley of ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me/Psychotic Reaction’. Original number ‘Get Your Ties On’ amply shows they’ve got the skills that pay the bills when it comes to writing as well as performing.

With guitar and drum duos becoming ten a penny over the past decade or so there’s always the concern that you’ll have seen it all before when one is spied taking to the stage but today’s pair, The Animal Mothers, were possessed of enough energy & originality to safely lift themselves above the mass of similar also rans. Whilst vocally they were unable to do ‘Runaway’ the justice it deserves their own tracks such as ‘Garbage Can’ contain a great amount of punch and they fire them out at a frenetic pace. A twosome to keep an eye on.

Due to having other fish to fry back East The Blunders were the final act of today’s show it was possible to witness. A politicised blend of Killing Joke & Leatherface they rattled proficiently through their set but didn’t really manage to engage me unfortunately. Still, you can’t complain when you’ve paid nowt for the privilege.

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