2017 has been another stellar year for the grassroots level of the Glasgow music landscape, with the DIY scene bursting at the seams with fresh, edgy and exciting talent. The likes of which keep the very idea of a ‘quiet night in’ firmly off the agenda, be it on a Monday night or at a weekend in the many venues across the city; places like Sleazy’s, Mono, Broadcast and The Old Hairdressers.
And after we hurt our fingers to churn out a list of 41 bands that were giving Glasgow its good name back in May this year, we thought as a one-off that we’d whittle down the numbers and focus on the bands we’ve seen that have really impressed us over the past few months.
Bands offering a wide range of musical influences, from biting post-punk, deconstructed jazz, ‘bucky surf’, moody electronica, cowbell friendly disco-slick, blaxploitation style funk, calypso-flavoured afro-caribbean indie to straight up slacker-pop tones.
Here’s our pick of the 10 best bands to check out in 2018 at a venue near you in Glasgow.
The stand out band from this year’s Freakender Weekender at The Old Hairdressers in September, Banana Oil (The BO’s) are three piece Laurie Pitt (Golden Teacher, Modern Institute, Thoth) on drums, Niall Morris (Sham Gate, Lylo, Martha Ffion) on bass guitar and Joe Howe (Joe Howe, Ben Butler & Mousepad, Gay Against You) on tenor saxophone. Formed in January this year, they released their debut self titled cassette va DIY label Winning Sperm Party.
The Pale Kids
A band that expertly marry moments of pure serenity with the gritty, biting post-punk guitar-driven howls, we were completely blown away by The Pale Kids after seeing them support Shame at Broadcast back in April. Further shows supporting Eureka California at Sleazy’s and spanish indie heavyweights Belako at The Flying Duck reaffirmed our initial impressions, and with studio time booked in for early 2018, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for one of Glasgow’s hottest prospects.
Still House Plants
Algiers (who were stadium tour support for Depeche Mode in the summer) called them “one of the best things we’ve seen in a few years”, after they shared a bill at the Fred Paton Day Care centre last month, and no wonder. Three piece collective Still House Plants – formed of artists David Kennedy, Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach and Finlay Clark – create a minimalistic, dislocated rhythm sound that, in tandem with Hickie-Kallenbach’s stunningly beautiful vocal delivery, is capable of numbing the hardest of souls.
For the local boys, a support slot with the mighty Franz Ferdinand at their special show at The Rum Shack in October was a night to saviour for the band, who came to our attention thanks to stunning debut single ‘Wet Bark is A Slug’, released back in January. Having been working in the studio with producer Christ McCrory (of Catholic Action), here’s hoping we see and hear more material in 2018.
Pleasure Pool’s modus operandi is to make you dance at their shows, and dance you do. Like a nutter. A band who, refreshingly (and annoyingly), shy away from social media, you just need to keep your ear to the ground as to which party, venue or warehouse space they play at next. Although with four gigs in the last few weeks, and a New Year slot at Freakender’s Hogmanay night at Mono (alongside The Yummy Fur, I-Solar and Hairband), there a major support slot away from catching the city’s – and wider afield – attention.
The Sav Manse might feel the pressure to record an album quick before drummer Taylor Stewart (also of Rapid Tan) goes down a different, comedic career path with his solid gold Cool Jinzo insta patter, but you wouldn’t notice it. Featuring Taylor alongside Catholic Action’s Jamie Dubber and Andrew MacPherson and frontman Craig Angus, their slacker-guitar pop feels warmer than The Belle’s well managed open fire. 2017 saw them play a bunch of stellar shows across the country at places such as the Isle of Eigg and at Electric Fields in Dumfrieshire, and we can only expect more from them in 2018.
From supporting The KVB and The Moonlandingz to featuring alongside Glasgow talent such as Sue Zuki, Helena Celle and LAPS on May’s Huntleys and Palmers Clydebuilt 3.0 Compilation, WomenSaid have had a strong 2017 to build on. Inspired by the charity, Women’s Aid (with a slice of their gig earnings going to them), go see them at Broadcast on January 21 (supporting Sextile) and see why we love their moody electronica so much.
Having started life as a three-piece back in 2014, the addition of saxophonist Ian McCall and Niall Morris (of Banana Oil) on keys, 2017 represented a year of highs and more highs for the ever eclectic Lylo, who continuously delivered a plethora of outstanding shows prior to and following the release of single It’s Good To Know Your Man back in March. With new mini-album Post-Era coming our way late January via DIY label El Rancho, we can only expect their stock to rise further.
A Glasgow DIY scene supergroup featuring members of the likes of Breakfast Muff, Rocky Lorelei, The Yawns and Lush Purr, the recently formed 5-piece played a blinder at last week’s Xmas fundraiser for Project Elea at The Poetry Club. Nominated for this year’s SAMA Best Newcomer Award, they have not done too bad since playing their first show back in March at Freakender’s Spring Fling at The Old Hairdressers. We can’t wait to see them bring us some cuts of pop perfection on New Year’s Eve in Mono.
Forming through a mutual love of Mac DeMarco, 60’s rock and garage music in early 2017, WhyNo? have appeared on the scene this year to bathe many a Glasgow and ‘Weslo’ venue in their soon to be patented ‘Bucky Surf’ signature sound. Described by fans as ‘ if The Ramones were from California’, the four-piece have a solid 2018 to look forward to, with a support slot for Pinact at Stereo in April one of many to get excited about.
Main image – Still House Plants. Photo credit – Cafe Otto