Showing posts with label Biffy Clyro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biffy Clyro. Show all posts

Friday 31 December 2021

Scottish Music 2021



The BBC's St Andrews day Program, featured many of Scotland's best loved artists from the 80s – Proclaimers, Texas, Simple Minds, Del Amitri, Deacon Blue, Travis, Wet Wet Wet, with these bands still touring today. 

Scotland certainly punched above its size for bands from the 80s and 90s! 


However many pf the Scots artists of today were not included – what about Chvrches, Lewis Capaldi, KT Tunstall, Mogwai, Biffy Clyro, although Calvin Harris and Emeli Sande were included.


There is a uniqueness to Scottish music, which mixes traditional folk melody and the heart of ballads, with contemporary influences, instruments and beats and rhythms – often in unexpected and unusual combinations.

Del Amitri
KT Tunstall
Blue Rose Code
Julie Fowlis

Also a big mention for all the incredible folk artists who perform, at Celtic Connections music festival in Glasgow each January - with Ceilidh bands, Gaelic singers, orchestral musicians, bluegrass and soul, traditional folk, pipers, Celtic ballads, Irish influences, unusual instruments – which all provides a wonderful melting pot to bring different influences together for the 18 days of the festival.


Another major platform for music in Scotland is the Edinburgh International festival each August, which also brings diverse cultures and innovation together – from classical music to cutting edge rock. Scotland has much to be proud of! Here are some of my images from my years attending some of the many diverse and wonderful gigs here in Scotland


Emeli Sande


Siobhan Wilson
Karine Polwart
Nicola Benedetti

Blue Rose Code

Friday 14 July 2017

First TRNSMT festival

Great times at TRNSMT festival Glasgow this weekend! Great crowds, weather was kind, (apart from rain Sunday which did little to dampen the crowds enthusiasm!) and the setting top class. As well as the main stage, there was the King Tuts, and the Jock Rock stages.

Highlights – the unforgettable Radiohead headline Friday night, Belle & Sebastian, Blossom, The Strypes, The 1975, Rag n’ Bone Man (I’m only Human), Twin Atlantic, Charlotte and more.
The headline band final night were the Awesome Biffy Clyro.

Radiohead pleased with a mix of crowd pleasers to sing to along with and their more experimental music, wonderful escapist, and mind blowing stuff. Their music makes me escape to new horizons.... Karma Police, Fake Plastic Trees, 

Stop for a while – ‘No Surprises’ – set you free, escapes, …..

The Stages were set up to be lit up with the magic of energetic bass and drums and those wonderful melodies the crowds love to sing.  This year was the first for TRNSMT festival, replacing T in the Park which had problems with its site last year.

Has tribalism in music disappeared? With our ease of access to thousands of sounds online – many artists now mix the genres and rarely are about one. A young scots singer songwriter (Rose Code Blue for example) may be bluesy folk or a singer 'rocky soul’. In fact crossing boundaries often gives an artist that edge and something unique to say.

I happened to read of the first major Scottish festival at Loch Lomond back in 1979 – when the bands included the Jam,  Boomtown Rats and Annie Lennox. The strange thing was the audience was mixed into tribes – the mods, rockers, skinheads and punks! Each tribe had their own bands and while the bands played some tribes would stand on the mounds and throw things at the other tribes! How weird! Thank goodness there are no tribes today – that I could see! This gig was for all ages and all walks of life...Some things improve clearly.

Bringing hope to the moment. Music lifts spirits often, and certainly makes more sense than todays stupid politics!!

Monday 1 April 2013

Scottish band Biffy Clyro

Scottish band from Ayrshire, Biffy Clyro, like Frightened Rabbit who are selling out big venues over America, have not needed to travel to London to make it in the big time in music the way it used to be. This Scottish band has done so by building their fanbase through gigs and albums and online networking. 

I heard Biffy on Jools Holland tv show last year and they are the first band in ages I’ve been impressed over. Biffy won NME 2013 Best British Band 2013.

Biffy Clyro play the SECC Glasgow 1st April 2013.
Quotes from Biffy’s Bio -  United by a love of underground, experimental rock and post-hardcore bands such as Braid and Karate, along with the starrier likes of Guns N’Roses and Metallica, they quickly honed their own unique sound, a mind boggling mix of off-kilter tempos, itchy, unpredictable guitars, soulful choruses and feral screams, sewn together into a strange tapestry of sound that sat resolutely apart anything else being made at the time, both in spirit and - thanks to their admirable refusal to uproot from their hometown for the dog eat dog music community of London - geographically too.  Their first three albums – ‘Blackened Sky’, ‘The Vertigo Of Bliss’ and ‘Infinity Land’ – arrived in a barrage of creativity, a record released every year and relentless touring building up a small but devoted army of followers. Team Biffy’s ranks grew exponentially when ‘Puzzle’ came along and stunned listeners with its achingly personal, rich and complex take on rock anthems, and Simon, James and Ben found themselves playing Wembley Stadium with Muse, headlining the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury while being unmistakably a Biffy album, is something brand new again, perfectly crafted, produced and polished without ever once losing the heart, soul and strangeness that means so much to those who have been faithful from the start. And most of all, it means everything to Simon Neil and James and Ben Johnston.
Biffy Clyro are a Scottish rock band that formed in Kilmarnock with Simon Neil  (guitar, lead vocals), James Johnstone (bass, vocals) and Ben Johnston (drums, vocals). Currently signed to, they have released six studio albums, three of which,  Puzzle , Only Revolutions and Opposites reached the top five in UK Album Chart. They also claimed their first number one album in the UK Albums Chart with their sixth studio album, Opposites. Puzzle(2007) made No. 2  UK album; Only Revolutions (2009) No. 3 UK chart and  platinum in 2010 and nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
Ps One band I have never understood – Oasis. They are often hyped by NME and Noel Gallagher now has his flying birds …but really what is their appeal. I find their songs and sound very meaningless.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Storm Thorgerson's album artwork

Storm Thorgerson has designed Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro’s artwork.  I believe this is a very strong image and full of energy - trees may bend but not break....
I'm a big fan of this band since seeing them live on Jools Holland tv show last year.  

Some say album art work is redundant these days with music downloading the norm, but perhaps artwork has simply changed. Instead of being for those lovely vinyl covers – album artwork is now about promotions online via the networking sites and music magazines. Album artwork is also for the serious music fans.  
Thorgerson also designed the most iconic album art work of all Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.
Many of his designs are notable for their surreal elements. He often places objects out of their traditional contexts, especially with vast spaces around them, to give them an awkward appearance while highlighting their beauty. To quote Thorgerson, "I like photography because it is a reality medium, unlike drawing which is unreal. I like to mess with bend reality. Some of my works beg the question of is it real or not?"  

Storm Elvin Thorgerson is an English graphic designer, best known for his work for rock bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Genesis, Europe, Dream Theater, The Cranberries, The Mars Volta, Muse and Biffy Clyro.

Friday 11 January 2013

Scottish Music 2012

Emeli Sande Albert Hall
There is a vibrant and creative vibe in Scottish music right now as it mixes Celtic traditions with innovative and challenging newer styles of musical rhythms and structures and recording techniques. There are healthy ground roots in its major city’s with many city centre small venues for live music.

There are also several major music festivals held in Scotland each year -
T in the Park, Celtic Connections, Rockness, Belladrum, Edinburgh, (plus many folk festivals

Scottish music is in a very good place. I attend Celtic each year where they have three weeks of open mic sessions and competitions and the festival has many interesting collaborations and musicians attending worldwide. I saw Rachel Sermanni there a few years back.  

Emeli Sande. The biggest breakthrough artist in the UK in 2012 was Scottish singer songwriter Emeli Sande. Emeli Sandé is a Scottish recording artist and songwriter. Sandé first became known to the public eye after she featured on rapper Chipmunk’s, “Diamond Rings” which entered the UK top Ten Singles chart. Also a top ten hit with Wiley’s “Never Be Your Woman. Simon Cowell called Sandé "his favourite songwriter at the minute". In 2012 she received the Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award. She has written for a number of artists, including Susan Boyle, Rihanna, Gabriella, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Tinie Tempah, Cheryl Cole. In 2010, she signed a publishing deal with EMI. She later announced that Virgin had given her a record deal. Sandé released her first solo single "Heaven" in August 2011. Sandé has had three number-one singles across the UK and Ireland with "Read All About It" with Professor Green, "Next To Me" and "Beneath Your Beautiful" a collaboration with Labrinth.
Her album Our Version of Events made number one in the UK in February 2012 and became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1m sales. 

In the first month of 2013 there will be new album releases from Scottish rock bands Frightened Rabbit and Biffy Clyro.
Karine Polwart
New Scottish albums 2012 
Karine Polwart (Traces ) Lau (Race the Loser) Admiral Fallow (Tree Bursts in Snow)
Plus album releases from Errors, Twilight Sad, Rachel Sermanni, Kassidy, Unwinding Hours.

Scottish record labels
Chemikal Underground, Greentrax, Electric Honey, Optimo,

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Music 2012

Music 2012 
It’s been a year of weddings, nostalgia, resolutions and it has been an interesting hectic year.  

I continue to love music photography but I am much more selective these days about gigs I cover as I have many other priorities. This year was quiet for bigger artists for me – well in 2011 I saw Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and not much can compare with that! 

I’m so proud of the Scottish folk artists and contemporary ones too. Some have recently passed, sadly Michael Marra and there is a concert for him at Celtic 2013. It’s good to follow the new artists coming up such as Biffy Clyro and Karine Polwart. 

New Artists
Emeli Sande Our Version of Events, Lana Del Rey Born to Die, Jake Bugg Jake Bugg,  (the new Bob Dylan? Time will tell), Grizzly Bear Shields, Lucy Rose, Django Django (from Edinburgh). 
Biffy Clyro on Jools Holland stood out for me. They are from Ayrshire Scotland and I had heard of the band but had never seen them live – and what a good live band they are who have paid their dues and are more than ready for those bigger stadiums. Wow is all I can say. 

Older Artists –
Bob Dylan, Tempest, Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas, Muse, The 2nd Law. 
Folk Artists - Scottish Folk Concerts – Benny Gallagher, Rab Noakes,
Younger folk musicians - Kris Drever, Karine Polwart, Manran, Madison Violet,

Scottish Singer Songwriters
*Emeli Sande.  It’s hard to know what to say. I have followed Emeli’s career for five years and to be there to see her take over the Albert hall stage this November was quite emotional for me, so I can only imagine what this year has meant for her. She sang the most moving moment at the Olympic opening ceremony with a haunting refined and breath taking version of the Welsh song Abide With Me.  Her single Heaven was her first hit song – she also sings of Wonder, Next To Me, My Kind of Love. It certainly has been her path in life to sing for us.

There is Love in this world for everyone, Every precious smile you make, Be sure love is out there looking for you.' Michael Marra
*Respected songwriter Michael Marra died suddenly. He Paints With Words. Sadly quirky and humorous and sometimes poignant artist Michael Marra passed away in November 2912. I have seen him live several times and the last time at Milngavie Folk club in 2011. I wondered he didn’t look so well in the photos. At the sound check he set his keyboards on an ironing board. I will never forget his singing Robert Burn’s 'Green Grown the Rashes O' at his concert at Mugdock theatre in 2007. He returned again in 2008 when I was lucky enough to meet and chat with him and where he signed one of my prints. He said he enjoyed playing in the small theatre with its semi-circle of tiered seats and grand piano. He looked so frail when he first comes on stage but then he lit up the venue with his deep gravelly voice - with his endearing manner and ironic dry wit, Marra sang his medley of songs which are full of unforgettable characters and images of place and time. Mugdock was a perfect venue for him and he held the audience in the palm of his hands. I’m not sure I have ever been so engrossed at a live gig. Songs.Kelly's Visit to Dundee,' 'Muggie Shaw', 'Freda Kohl's Visit to the Tay Bridge Bar', and 'Lonesome Death of Francis Clarke', 'Schenectady Calling'.

Music gigs and Royal Albert Hall. I continue to shoot occasionally at my local folk club. Along side this bigger concerts. It was my delight and pleasure to take photos of Emeli Sande at the Albert hall London at her gig there in November. It’s a venue I never dreamed of going to never mind taking photos at.

Festivals. This year at Celtic the highlight was the Gerry Rafferty Remembered concert organised by Rab Noakes. Rafferty was a truly great Scottish singer songwriter (Stealers Wheel, Bakers Street, Stuck in the Middle With You and much more) who sadly died in 2011. As always the Transatlantic Session proved the value of a great band and excellent musicianship. Edinburgh Book festival, I particularly enjoyed Nile Rodgers talk as he strummed his guitar. Rodgers has written songs for some of the greats – Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and more.

It is fun to follow the older folk tunes and folk artists alongside the newer pop music songs. I begin to wish some of these older folk artists would collaborate more with the younger musicians. A two way street though - experience and wisdoms might be passed on and the energy and enthusiasms of the younger artists could inspire and innovate. Mumford have cleverly mixed dance rhythms with folk tunes to great success

Friday 25 May 2012

*Great Scottish Bands

For such a small country Scotland has had an amazing number of very creative artists and scientists. People in countries like Japan think a lot of our indie music.  Here are some great Scottish bands in no particular order. These bands are still out there touring the world.

Biffy Clyro -

Primal Scream  -

Belle and Sebastian   -

Simple Minds -

Travis -

Deacon Blue -

Del Amitri -

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band -

Runrig -

King Creosote -

Frightened Rabbit -

Franz Ferdinand -

Battlefield band -

Mogwai  -