What’s On, What’s Out, What’s Happening – Live Music Is Back, Hidden Door, Post Coal Prom Queen, Black Country New Road & Independent Venue Week

In a week that saw two of pop’s most exciting stars, Sigrid & Griff team up to release what will probably be one of the most played tracks in 2022, N-Dubz announce a reunion and news of a massive Emo Festival taking place in Las Vegas in October, we take a look at live music returning with some exciting events announced. One of our favourite bands are looking for actors and there is an exciting album just around the corner.

Hidden Door Announces Venue For 2022

Always one of the highlights of the Scottish Music calendar. Not only do we get excited about the artists and installations at Hidden Door but there is always excitement around where they will hold the event. In previous years they have taken over Leith Theatre, A disused warehouse at King Stables Road & the Arches on Market Street. Last years event with the backdrop of Granton’s Gas Works was their most ambitious to date, until now.

Hidden Door is delighted to announce it will be bringing the former Royal High School on Calton Hill to life for a ten-day festival of live music, visual art, dance, theatre and spoken word. The property, which has mostly lain empty since the school closed in the late 1960s, will be used to celebrate Scotland’s exciting new and emerging creative talent before work begins to transform it into Scotland’s new National Centre for Music.

The festival will completely transform the entire complex from 9 – 18 June 2022. Inside the vast building, forgotten rooms will be transformed into performance spaces and given over to artists to fill with installations. The audience will be encouraged to explore the myriad of passageways, corridors, nooks and crannies that make up this remarkable building. One of the most impressive rooms, the central debate chamber, will host specially commissioned in-the-round performances and spectacular events that respond to the unique space. Outside, a stage will be built for large music performances and a bar will take over the front terrace, giving festival goers a unique view on the city.

David Martin, Creative Director of Hidden Door, said: “This is such an incredible site for Hidden Door! It is such a privilege to be able to bring one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings back to life.

“It feels really exciting, in what is still a very challenging period for the arts, to invite Scotland’s newest, most daring artists, dancers, theatre-makers, poets and musicians to take over such a prestigious building that has been dark for so long and flood it with creative energy. It feels important to bring Scotland’s young creatives right into the centre of the city this time to celebrate what they do. 

“We know that the public will enjoy exploring this unique building too. The place is full of surprises, and it lends itself to Hidden Door’s ethos of creating an environment that the public can explore and discover new things.

“We have been inside quite a few times now, with maps and plans, and we still get lost! I can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to wander around and get lost too.”

Hidden Door are working in partnership with the organisations involved with the development of the site into the new National Centre for Music. In October, permission was granted for the restoration of the building into a centre for music education and performance.

Live Music is Back as of 24th January

After a month of live music once again being banned indoors, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that all restrictions on social distancing and numbers are to be lifted on Monday 24th January. This means the Scenes In The City Gig I spoke about in the blog last week will go ahead on Monday and it’ll be my first gig of 2022 and I can’t wait. There are a few tickets left, GET THEM HERE

One of the gigs in the early part of the year I am looking forward to most in Self Esteem at QMU in Glasgow on 1st March. I was lucky enough to work with Self Esteem at her show in Edinburgh in November and I was blown away by the show. If you’ve been living under a rock her second album ‘Priorise Pleasure’ was Album Of The Year in many publications, blogs, records shops, including The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Gigwise and, of course, Alive & Amplified. There are only a few tickets left for this so be quick – TICKETS

Post Coal Prom Queen Are Looking For Actors

Post Coal Prom Queen never stop. Since forming (as L-Space) I feel they have continued to drop music every couple of months and it’s definitely not quantity over quality. Last year’s collaboration album ‘Music For Capitalists’ was one of my favourites of the year and they play an incredible show at the aforementioned Hidden Door Festival at Granton Gas Works and 2022 see them continue with exciting projects. For this one they require an actor

From their Facebook Page
“We’re very excited to be working with an established arts festival to stage a unique, one-off live performance in Edinburgh in June 2022. The performance will primarily music with a handful of dramatic monologues throughout – this is where the actor comes in! The monologues will be approximately 10 minutes in total with some additional filmed material planned (depending on time). This is paid work, of course, and we are happy to share more information via email as quite a few aspects of the project cannot be made public yet.We are very flexible with the kind of person we’re looking for, but ideally they’ll be 40+ and able to commit to a handful of rehearsals in Glasgow or Edinburgh in May/June. We ask that anyone interested drops us an email with a showreel or some kind of video of themselves performing. If you’re interested please get in touch, or tag someone who might be!”

Here is their set from Hidden Door 2021

Black Country, New Road New Single & New Album

Black Country, New Road have just shared a new single titled “Snow Globes”, the fourth track to be taken from their highly anticipated second album, “Ants From Up There”, which will be released on 4th February on Ninja Tune.

Having resonated heavily with fans since it’s live debut in 2020, “Snow Globes” marks one the album’s most powerful moments. The track sees the band shift between delicacy and enormity, finding them at their most potent and arresting. Frontman Isaac Wood’s vocals carefully swing between quiet restraint and stirring zest, whilst accompanied by some of the band’s most orchestral instrumentation to date, alongside drums that develop from gentle timpani-esque ruminations into a passionate cacophony before giving way to the track’s tender and pensive refrain.

Speaking on the single, drummer Charlie Wayne says: “Snow Globes was one of the songs which had existed before we wrote the majority of the songs on AFUT. Though it’s a pretty good representation of the musical world we wanted to explore on the album at large. Rather than writing a song with a number of distinct sections we wanted to see what we could do with one continuous riff. It was a real exploration in trying to create something maximalist whilst limiting ourselves with minimal musical choices.

Because the melodic instruments are all playing the riff in unison, Snow Globes left the drums with an interesting opportunity. The drums don’t sit separately from the rest of the band on Snow Globes, but we wanted to use them in a way that we hadn’t in the past. The initial idea was to feel like the drums were recorded for a completely separate track. They were meant to be totally arrhythmic and just sort of bubble below the surface – like at the end of White Ferrari. As the song progressed the drums still occupy a slightly different sound world, but because the rest of the band is playing in such a syncopated style, the drums were given a space to disregard rhythm and be completely expressive.”

Independent Venue Week – Franz Ferdinand at PJ Malloys in Dunfermline

Independent venues have had a terrible time over the last 2 years of the pandemic so if ever there was time to get out and support the venues in your town or city it is now. The Music Venue Trust continue to work tirelessly to keep grassroots venues up and own the UK open and thriving and I would like to thank them personally for this. As ever BBC 6 Music and specifically Steve Lamacq will be broadcasting from a different venue every day from 31 Jan – 4th Feb and he will be kicking it all off in Scotland.

On Monday 31 January, Steve shines a spotlight on PJ Molloys in Dunfermline. He’ll speak to Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand, who will perform an acoustic track live from the venue before they take to the PJ Molloys stage for a show that evening. Steve also welcomes frontman of The Skids, Richard Jobson, to the show, to give listeners an audio tour of Dunfermline. Plus, he’ll revisit tracks from some of the very best Independent Venue Week gigs that have been broadcast on 6 Music in previous years

Steve said “Independent Venue Week has always played a vital role in helping grassroots venues at a financially perilous time of year. But this time round, it’s even more important to help support the live music circuit after it’s been hit so hard by Covid.”