The Gig: The Little Kicks

The Little Kicks were back on stage in Aberdeen this weekend after a long pandemic-enforced break. The band were on a high with a new single release, with more new music on the way. Their first release since 2017, it's a track we can't get enough of right now. Vansleep and Dee supported the headliners along with a late-night DJ set.

We sent our friend Kimbo along to The Tunnels on Carnegie's Brae to cover the event and report back.



I have never been one to turn down an opportunity to be exposed to new music. So this Saturday I headed out with my gig buddy Cathers to see what was going off at The Tunnels.

Three local acts were on the card on a night which ended a week of gigging fun for me. They brought some unique sounds and fun and funky beats to a beautiful night. By the end of the sets, eager fans had packed out The Tunnels and a brilliant night had by all.

Dee

Dee

Kicking off the night was Scott Dee, better known as just Dee. He bounced up onto that stage sporting the best of his tracksuit tops and drinking from a full carton of fresh orange on the stage. When I saw him munching on sweeties and throwing Freddos to the crowd, I knew I was going to like him. He brought the fun with him and had us all disco dancing before we knew where we were. 

He boogied, kick dropped and bounced his way on and off that stage, treating us to songs of romance and breakups. One of those tracks, Amanda, had every member of the crowd singing along. I could barely concentrate on his sound for smiling. I was transfixed by his superior dance moves. Dee oozed stage presence and confidence and by the time he got to his track Restless Knights, we were all fully involved and wondering what he was going to do next. He spread positivity, was full of energy, and it was a joy to watch. It was also nice to see how thankful he was to the lads at The Little Kicks for giving him the opportunity to support.

Vansleep

Vansleep

Vansleep took to the stage and this quartet know how to make an entrance. From the first note, I just knew this would be a spectacular set from the Aberdeen indie/ alternative rock band. 

Their lead singer Kyle was suited and booted and ready to rock with a powerful deep vocal that went beautifully with driving guitar melodies. There was a clear connection between them from the off, with some incredible jamming going on everywhere you looked on stage.

Over the pandemic, I came across a band called Hardwicke Circus. I found myself thinking there were similarities to Kyle when hearing more of their tracks. I particularly enjoyed Stargazer. Cathers and I were both completely lost in the music as the band built up their tunes. Vansleep performed some seriously heavy guitar riffs, and we were both very impressed. I would definitely want to see these guys again. 

The Little Kicks

The Little Kicks

The Little Kicks were the headline. I'm ashamed to say despite being an Aberdeen band, this was my first time to see them. It definitely won't be the last.

I had listened to a few tracks, but seeing them live Ic could feel the energy, experience and how tight they were as a band.

Soaring vocals from Steven and some of the most beautiful harmonies I've heard in a while and I gig a lot! The Little Kicks delivered their track, Goodbye Enemies, unbelievably powerfully and I have to say their drummer is an exceptional talent. 

The whole set all felt funky and full of good vibes. They packed in a fantastic set with one track stripped back so we could hear even more of the beauty of Steven on his own with the guitar. A beautiful moment before they ended the night with The Tunnels in a total bounce.

The most recent track Ruminations went down a storm. They filmed the accompanying video at the Bon Accord Baths. It's available now. Check it out and look out for new material from them in October 2022. I'm looking forward to it already.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=775DCeNH1Uk

The Little Kicks back with Ruminations

The Little Kicks are back with a great new single, Ruminations. This is the first piece of music the band has released since 2017. Written during the pandemic, it was a response to the worrying times we lived through.

It’s an excellent track…one of my favourite from the band. It’s bass heavy, harmonious and has a powerful, urgent beat that always feels like it’s trying to push past it’s slumberous pace. I’ve had it on heavy rotation since we got a sneak preview earlier in the week.


https://youtu.be/775DCeNH1Uk

Lead singer Steven Milne told us, “Despite its laid-back nature and stately pace, I wrote this song in the middle of a frantic period of life where things felt a little crazy. While excitedly preparing for the arrival of our son I decided to also lock myself away to get as much writing done in the months before his impending arrival.”

Many Aberdeen folk will be particularly captivated by the accompanying video. With footage shot at the city's Bon Accord Baths, the video shows the ‘Uptown Baths' current grungy state, along with glimpses of its impressive Art Deco past.

Opened in 1940 and closed back in 2008, the Bon Accord Baths has a special place in the heart of Aberdeen. It’s currently managed by Bon Accord Heritage who are working to open them up again as a community owned project. This is the latest in a series of projects making use of the magnificent space.

Aberdeen based company Snap were behind the production of the video. The director was James Galbraith, with stunning photography by Will Farquhar.

The Little Kicks will soon be playing live in Aberdeen again. A much anticipated gig at The Tunnels on 25 June will re-introduce the four piece to their home crowd.

Their regular tour schedule has brought them a great deal of success throughout the UK and Europe. They were also shortlisted in the Best Musical Group category of the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards in 2017.

Aberdeen Events

Check out The Little Kicks Live on Aberdeen Events

Find more events and activities in the Aberdeen Events Calendar



Back to Light the Blue

Light the Blue youth festival will return to the city this June to celebrate the best and brightest local young talent. Venues will host a dynamic and energetic programme of dance, music, film, and spoken word performances. These will take place from Thursday 16 - Saturday 18 June.

Young people across the region and beyond will have the opportunity to get involved, spark conversation, collaborate and celebrate their talent while experiencing an inspirational event program. Light The Blue is a bold and exciting addition to the North-East’s cultural programme. This is an event created by and for young people.



Susan Whyte of Aberdeen Performing Arts, Susan Whyte, said: “Light the Blue is a snapshot of young talent across Aberdeen and beyond, right now.

“The aim of the festival is to spark imaginations and start conversations. To bring young creative minds together and create unforgettable experiences. So we’re really excited and proud to be showcasing these talented, creative artists and performers.

Light the Blue | Thursday

Music Hall’s Big Sky Studio will be the venue for the opening performance of the Light Blue Festival on Thursday, 16 June. In honour of the city and its achievements, Aberdeen Performing Arts' Young Company and Grampian Hospitals Art Trust will perform 'All About People'. The Foresterhill campus community is the focus of this short film with a mixture of sound, imagery, and live performances from the Young Company. Also, A live beatbox set by Jason Singh will set the tone for the festival weekend.

Light the Blue Festival 2022 | Jason Singh

After that, the first event of the Fuse multi-bill series will be held at the Lemon Tree. The program for the show will include performances from the Aberdeen Performing Arts Senior and Intermediate Youth Theatres, City Moves and Ten Feet Tall Theatre Company. Their performances will showcase the talents of young people through theatre, dance, and film.

Finally the day will close with a DJ set by Jason Singh featuring soul, funk, spiritual house, reggae, bhangra, drum and bass, disco, garage, Afrobeat, and more.

Light the Blue | Friday

The Friday, 17 June event schedule will include free workshops on Hip Hop and a scratch night for emerging artists.

Featuring works in progress by young creatives, this exhibition has been curated by young people from open call submissions and mentored by professional artists. Furthermore this is an opportunity for emerging creatives to test out new material in front of a supportive audience.

Light the Blue Festival 2022 | Zoe Graham

Continuing the Light The Blue festivities, the SC&T Youth Concert is taking place at the Lemon Tree on Friday night. Young folk musicians from around North East Scotland will perform together with some of the country's best musicians to showcase group and solo performances.

Light the Blue | Saturday

An array of free workshops will be offered on Saturday, including workshops on making audio performances and devising performance materials. In addition, Ten Feet Tall Theatre and Aberdeen Jazz Festival will provide insights behind the scenes. While Belmont Filmhouse will host a film screening.

On Saturday, the city's latest up-and-coming musicians will perform at the Bon Accord Roof Garden for a free concert. Learn how to collect and share happiness with The Happiness Collectors, an interactive journey of silliness and sound. Fuse events continue at the Lemon Tree with performances from Aberdeen Performing Arts Junior and Intermediate Youth Theatre, City Moves Dance, Castlegate Youth Theatre, and Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre.

Light the Blue Festival 2022 | Evan Duthie

Light the Blue will present a show with a theme of 'Light the Way'. It will include outdoor pop-ups and cabaret performances hosted by drag star Jordy Delight. Performers will include spoken word, drag, theatre, and music artists. Amongst them will be activist/performance artists Ink Asher Hemp & Mal Fraser, and local singer-songwriter AiiTee. Light the Blue 2022 will conclude with DJ Evan Duthie's under 18s Club Night at the Lemon Tree.

Most events across the programme are completely free, with donation options for selected events. Light The Blue Festival Producer Jordan Blackwood said: “Whether you are taking part in Light the Blue or coming along as a member of the audience, it is a fantastic way to support youth arts in the region. The festival has a fresh and exciting feel, developing new talent in a professional way while allowing young people that hint of rebellion that they deserve.

Events Calendar

Check out Light the Blue Festival on Aberdeen Events

Find more events and activities in the Aberdeen Events Calendar


The Gig: Connor Clark and the Matador Kings

Connor Clark and the Matador Kings headline a fantastic night of Aberdeen talent at Drummonds. Kimbo was there.

Drummonds 20th May 2022 

I had first heard Connor Clark and the Matador Kings when they supported The Rahs in October 2021. I could tell then that this was a band that was right up my street. So knowing they had a headline of their own back at Drummonds, I was quick to purchase a ticket 🎟 

To kick the evening off, they had support in the form of one half of Aberdeen band She's Taken. Sadly they were a few members short due to illness. But stepping up for the band James Emslie and James Croft took to the stage. What they lacked in band members, they made up for in humour,  joking we could call them "He's Available" then confessing that one of them with guitar in hand was actually the drummer!



She's Taken

They still pulled off a set smiling at one another the whole way through it and finding their groove as they went. James Emslie struck me as having a powerful vocal and they harmonised well while sipping their Red Stripe but giving me a blues rocky vibe . The tracks they played were an eclectic mix. I would be interested to hear them as a full band. Even with two of them on the stage there was some serious jamming going on. They seemed to enjoy their time on stage with lots of laughs and banter with us all. They definitely deserve more listeners on their Spotify and I would look out for them again.

Marc Culley

Next up was another local North East lad Marc Culley. I've listened to Marc over the years but hadn't heard him live in a while. I'm so used to hearing his tracks blaring through the speakers at Pittodrie so it was a treat to hear this set as so stripped back. Just him, his guitar and his ability to sing so well through the pain that he mentioned to me his wisdom teeth were causing him!

Marc Culley

Hearing his own track Outta My Mind straight away draws you into Marc's smooth vocals and immediately you hear the Gallagher/Ashcroft influences. He was confident on stage and did a blinding version of Bittersweet Symphony after having also thrown in Stereophonics' Maybe Tomorrow which showed off a rasp to his voice that you need to pull that tune off. I particularly enjoyed how he worked James' Tomorrow into the end of another of his own tracks See Feel Love. This is another act I would love to hear with a full band behind him. 

Connor Clark and the Matador Kings

Then the volume went up to 100 when Connor Clark and the Matador Kings took to the stage encouraging us to "Come on down that's mare like it" and created a wave of fans ready for a bounce down the front of Drummonds and opened up with their powerful 2021 hit Can you Feel it… yes yes we can. 

It didn't take long to realise this set was going to be all levels of rock n roll and all the lads were buzzing to be on stage. I didn't realise until Connor said later that Fergus Clifton, Lead Guitarist was having his first gig experience on stage with them, you wouldn't have known, they were blasting through the tracks accompanied by Craig on bass smashing it while Euan, drummer threw out some phenomenal beats from the back of the stage.

Connor Clark and the Matador Kings

Highlights for me from the Aberdeen rockers included, Once a Pretty Liar, no idea how Connor can play the guitar so well and concentrate on that while all those lyrics flowed out of him so quickly through that track but he did it with ease and had the whole crowd involved.

Their indie inspired catchy tunes and the beat to the intro of Echoes and Patience sounded absolute fire and after a belting cover of I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, their most recent single Bitterness is Empty which I've had on repeat for weeks was another level live, they had it down to a fine art and they do it all again at Broadcast Glasgow on the 27th May, if you want a large slice of rock n roll to add to your weekend, go see them! 

Kimbo 💜🎧


Rise Up! celebrates black and POC creatives 

Rise Up! is a brand new event coming to Aberdeen this month. The weekend will highlight and amplify the voices of black and POC creatives from Aberdeen and throughout Scotland.

We Are Here Scotland has partnered with Aberdeen Performing Arts to curate the event. Performances, talks, workshops, and community spaces are all part of the festival, which runs from 13-14 May.

Here are some of the many exciting acts set to perform over the weekend's packed line-up.



Ica Headlam

We Are Here Scotland Director Ica Headlam told us: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts on Rise Up! We feel that it is a very important and unique opportunity to spotlight a variety of Black and PoC artists and performers from the North East of Scotland and further afield. With a variety of performances, free panels, and workshops, we hope these events bring new and diverse engagement for Aberdeen’s creative community.”

Friday 13

In Our Own Words is an evening of performance by artists of colour, exploring and celebrating themes of identity, culture and a sense of place in Scotland.

Poetry at Noon is a spoken word artist and poet who believes that art is an extremely powerful tool for personal and social transformation. In her performance poetry, she analyzes and discusses experiences of trauma, political upheaval, migration, and motherhood that she experienced while growing up in Sudan.

Aiysha is a singer-songwriter from Aberdeen. Many will remember her powerful performance at the Black Lives Matter Aberdeen protest in 2020. She also featured in a BBC documentary highlighting Aberdeen's RnB and Hip Hop scene. Aiysha is set to release her debut release as an artist later this year.

DIJA

Saturday 14

Known as a songwriter and sound smith, Kapil Seshasayee is both a polymath and a true original. Combining the influences of Scott Walker, Blood Orange, Arca, and Richard Dawson into a singular sound.

Rapper Chef has made waves not only because of his music career but also due to his contribution to the community. An ingrained part of his character is his desire to amplify the voices of those around him. He joins Danny Cliff on a lineup which also includes Glasgow based rapper Clarissa Woods and DJ and visual artist DIJA.

One Mississippi takes place at the Lemon Tree at 7 pm. Described as a hard-hitting play that explores how the impact of childhood experiences shapes men’s adult lives, One Mississippi blends humour and storytelling with powerful elements of physical theatre to create an uncompromising insight into what takes us to breaking point.

Danielle Jam

Focusing on Black and POC voices

The weekend will also feature a number of discussions focusing on the issue that black and POC creatives face in our white-dominated creative industries. A series of free talks and workshops taking place at the Music Hall Big Sky Studio on Saturday 14 May cover topics including representation within Scottish creative industries, climate narratives, knowing your worth, and culture and identity as an artistic influence among others.

Ica Headlam and Briana Pegado from We Are Here Scotland will host a talk about how Black and POC need to take the initiative to support their communities by building support structures and community organisations. While Tomiwa Folorunso will host a talk about how there needs to be a change in a predominantly white-dominated industry.

Rachel Thibbotumunuwe, learning manager at Aberdeen Archives, Art Gallery and Museums will discuss how North East Scotland can support Black and POC creatives and artists. There will also be a panel exploring the importance of representation in the industry, hosted by podcast producer Halina Rifai

And much more besides

This is just a small taste of what is on offer at Rise Up! See the Aberdeen Performing Art website for details on all the speakers and performers. Tickets are also available from APA.

Events Calendar

Check out RISE UP on Aberdeen Events

Find more events and activities in the Aberdeen Events Calendar

Aberdeen Performing Arts head Ben Torrie said: “Providing a stage for emerging talent and creating space for all voices to be heard is so important for a thriving artistic environment. Rise Up! is a hugely significant addition to Aberdeen’s cultural calendar this year. The sheer breadth of talent from the artists taking part is incredible. This festival is a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the diverse range of creatives here in the North East and beyond.

https://twitter.com/weareherescot/status/1513477179820105736?s=20&t=ifmUlcMVHx72D_jzr-Y8Zw

Aberdeen musicians represent at SAMA

Organisers of the the 12th annual Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) have announced that four Aberdeen and NE musicians are on the shortlist for victory. Winners will be decided by a public vote which ends on 10 November. Following that, on 27 November, nominees will find out if they have won an award at a ceremony in Glasgow. The SAMAs celebrate the rich creativity and innovation of musicians across Scotland.

Aberdeen has a strong and varied representation at this year's awards. We think this points to a thriving music scene in the city. This is especially important because of the months of pandemic lockdowns.



SAMA - Best Electronic - Kavari

Best Electronic - Kavari

Kavari is a musician from the left field. Her work takes the listener on a journey from abrasive electronica to etherial soundscapes. As an artist keen to experiment with new sounds and to tell new stories, Kavari is escapism encapsulated. She's a new find to us here at POST, thanks to her SAMA nomination. We should have been looking harder to find this super talented artist right here on our doorstep.

The nomination means a lot to Kavari. When we reached out she told us this was "Mainly due to me being an independent female artist." While she's not signed, or under obligation to anyone, she paid tribute to her friend. "Eve assists me with emails and legal matters but it's very informal so everything you see of mine; my music, visual art, merchandise, creative direction. It's all me. I've grown up being told that my work was always 'too extreme' or that it 'doesn't have a place', so it's very validating having years of hard work being seen and acknowledged, especially on this scale."

Show your support for Kavari

SAMA - Best Newcomer - Chef

Best Newcomer - Chef

Rapper Chef has been making waves beyond Aberdeen over the past couple of years. His smooth flow and tight bars gaining him fans throughout Scotland and further afield. This year he has already been the subject of BBC Scotland's TUNE along with go-to producer Louis Seivwright.

He's enjoying the recocognition, telling us, "It’s great to be recognised and get the chance to win such a great award." But in terms of the future, Chef said that he's "Just looking to stay focused and keep working hard to get more and more opportunities and hopefully bring more light to what we do."

Give Chef your SAMA vote

SAMA - Best Newcomer - Aiitee

Best Newcomer - Aiitee

Aiitee takes her influences from soul and R&B, and filters them through afrobeat to create a fantastically listenable sound. She has sung since she was a child in church, but only started releasing music in 2020, making an immediate impact on the Scottish music scene.

The Scots Nigerian received recognition earlier in the year, earning a Scottish Album of the Year nomination for her 2020 album, Love Don't Fall. She regularly works with fellow Best Newcomer nominee, Chef.

Help Aiitee win Best Newcomer

SAMA - Best Metal - Hellripper

Best Metal - Hellripper

Hellripper is a speed metal outfit who have earned a growing following in the underground metal scene over recent years. After signing with the legendary 'Peaceville Records' for the release of their second album 'The Affair of the Poisons', the one-man band achieved their first appearance on the US Billboard Charts.

Speaking about the nomination, James McBain, the man behind Hellripper, told us, "It’s great to be nominated for an award at the SAMAs, and it’s always nice for your work to be recognised, especially alongside a selection of amazing artists! I really appreciate everyone’s support over the past year and the SAMAs for doing their bit in showcasing Scotland’s music scene over the past decade or so. It goes to show you that there’s a lot of cool stuff coming out of Scotland right now!"

Vote for Hellripper to win

Nominations in full

Best Acoustic 
Christy
Constant Follower
Lizabett Russo
Lizzie Reid

Best Electronic
AISHA
Barry Can’t Swim
KAVARI
Macka

Best Hip Hop
Bemz
Chef
Clarissa Woods
K4cie

Best Live Act
Andrew Wasylyk
Bemz
Rachel Aggs
Tom Spirals

Best Metal 
Dvne
Frontierer
Godeater
Hellripper

Best Newcomer
AiiTee
Bee Asha
Chef
Danny Cliff

Best Rock/Alternative 
Dictator
MEMES
Spyres
Swim School


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


An athletic Ayanna Witter-Johnson on her knees like she was at the start of a race. She has her cello strapped to her back.

True North rises up

True North returns to the Granite City this weekend. The festival, presented by Aberdeen Performing Arts, promises a mix of fantastic live music and acoustic performances. As well as their headline shows, you can expect vibrant fringe events across the city. This year, True North is celebrating freedom of expression, diversity and community with their theme - Rise Up. This is especially poignant at a time when city venues are only just beginning to open up to audiences for the first time since the Covid19 emergency began.

Stick around because we're going to take a closer look at the headline events, as well as some of the exciting free fringe shows. We're sure you'll find something that makes you want to get out there and experience True North for yourself.



Peaness | Lemon Tree | Thursday

Playing on Thursday 23 September and kicking off True North 2021 will be Peaness, who will be bringing their catchy, fuzzy, harmony-driven indie-pop songs about love, friendship, frustrations, Brexit and food waste to the Lemon Tree. Formed in 2014 in Chester university digs, the trio have secured nationwide and international shows with bands such as The Beths, Kero Kero Bonito, The Cribs, We Are Scientists, The Big Moon and Dream Wife. They will be joined at the Lemon Tree by Swim School and Lavender Lane.

Ayanna Witter-Johnson | Lemon Tree | Friday

Headlining on Friday night at the Lemon Tree with a Night of New Voices is the soulful, eclectic Ayanna Witter-Johnson.  A singer, songwriter, cellist, composer, producer and arranger with phenomenal musical prowess, mesmerising vocals, uncompromising lyrics and mastery of the cello. Ayanna unapologetically imprints her unique musical signature into her music. Heir of the Cursed, Katie Mackie and DJ Rebecca Vasmant complete the line-up.

John Grant | Music Hall | Saturday

Former Czars frontman John Grant is the headline act on Saturday evening. Described as ‘the misfit’s misfit’, this singer-songwriter is too weird to be mainstream, too mainstream to be weird; too sad to be happy, too sharp not to crack a mordant joke about it. Grant's superpower is to compare his impressionistic childhood experiences against their amplified adult consequences. SUpport act for the night is acclaimed Scottish folk singer, Rachel Sermanni.

Ransom FA | Lemon Tree | Saturday

Aberdonian grime rapper Ransom FA will head up late night at the Lemon Tree on Saturday. The fast-rising artist, was a contestant on the UK TV show, The Rap Game, where he battled other budding rappers for a record deal. As well as sharing the stage with some of the words best grime artists he has also turned his hand to presenting documentary series for BBC3. He'll be joined by Sean Focus and DJ HomeAlone.

Corrine Bailey Ray | Music Hall | Sunday

Closing out True North 2021 is Sunday's headline act, Corrine Bailey Ray. She is performing a specially curated concert called "A Celebration of Stevie Wonder". The evening will see the Grammy and MOBO award winning singer joined by special guests to perform many hits from the back catalogue of the legend that is Stevie Wonder. It promises to be an extraordinary evening of music. Previous True North curated concerts have celebrated the likes of Neil Young, David Bowie and Kate Bush amongst others. They are a firm favourite with Aberdeen audiences.

Jo Gilbert | Lemon Tree | Sunday

A spoken word event specially commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts and headed up by award winning poet and three-time slam champion Jo Gilbert will explore the festival’s theme of Rise Up. Four local spoken word artists will produce new work based around this theme and showcase their work at the Lemon Tree on Sunday. The event promises to challenge and inspire in equal measure.

Fringe events

True North are holding a number of free acoustic events across the Granite City. We picked out some young Aberdeen acts you should definitely be keeping an eye out for over the weekend. Get yourself into the city centre and find your new favourite Aberdeen singer.

Rachel Jack | Spin | Friday

This Aberdeen based singer-songwriter has been turning heads in the Scottish music scene for the past 18 months. Her debut 2020 EP, The Calgary Tapes was followed up in March this year with Magazine Girls. You can check out our Temp Check interview with Rachel Jack here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhIclAdoiI4

Aiysha Russell | Spin | Saturday

This young Aberdeen singer first hit the limelight at The Voice Kids in 2019, proving to be a big hit with judges. Following that, she last year performed Sam Cooke's classic It's Been a Long Time Coming live at an Aberdeen Black Lives Matter march which was a real moment for those in attendance.

Calum Bowie | Waterstones | Saturday

With a background in busking, Aberdeenshire singer Calum Bowie has become something of a TikTok sensation, growing a fan base that's pushing him on to success. He's capitalised on that hard work with a string of single releases and surely an album on the way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da3zu_gqGVw

Olivia Thom | Union Café | Sunday

Glasgow based Aberdeen quine Olivia Thom's 2020 debut EP is lead off by her truly magnificent song Fine Wine. Her alt-folk sound mirrors her musical heroes Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell. We’re very much looking forward to future releases.

Razz Mattreezy | Siberia | Sunday

Born and raised in Aberdeen Matt Reid, AKA Razz Mattreezy, spent lockdown writing and recording. His debut single only came out in March 2021, but he's already building a follow along the way. His smooth soulful vocals over smooth keyboards make for a cool chilled sound.

What the organisers say

Ben Torrie is Director of Programming and Creative Projects for Aberdeen Performing Arts. He told us, “We are thrilled to announce the lineup for True North 2021, which feels like a huge step in the return of live performance at our venues. It feels really good to be able to bring the festival to a live audience once again. It means a lot to us to be able to put this on for people in Aberdeen, and to shine a spotlight on so many talented performers and musicians is a privilege that has never been so important.

“The theme of this year’s festival is Rise Up. It’s a positive message about rising up to bring people together, marking the re-opening of our venues, and celebrating the power of music to help us stand up for the things we believe in. We could not be prouder of this festival at this time.”

What you need to know

Where: Music Hall, Lemon Tree and venues across Aberdeen
When: 23-26 September 2021
Cost: Various prices including free
More Info and tickets: Event Website
Social media: Twitter | Facebook

True North is back and rising up to mark the return of live music and standing up for what you believe in. They'll celebrate freedom of expression, diversity, community and equality with an inspirational and vibrant line up of musicians over one unforgettable weekend.


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day.

The goal is to use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton abut the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of WayWORD, Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as British Art Show 9. Visit postabdn.com to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


Chef and Louis pushing Aberdeen's music scene

Aberdeen's growing hip-hop and R&B scene has caught the eye of BBC documentary makers. The New Aberdeen: R&B and Hip-Hop at the Heart of the Granite City takes a look at musician Chef, producer Louis Seivwright and the musical artists that surround them as the scene in the city in the city grows and gets national attention.

We reached out to Chef to find out a little bit more about him and his working relationship with business and creative partner Louis Seivwright. We wanted to know how it started, the artists they work with, what it was like to shoot the documentary and his plans for the future.



How it started

Let's start with a little bit about your background. Tell us about how you met. How did that develop into a working relationship?

Louis and I first met working a door to door sales job. We were both there for a very short period of time but during that time we were told of each other (since we both were interested in music) but never really spoke too much. It was only some time after that he reached out to me.

Louis and I are brothers. We don’t always agree but we always trust one another to know what the other is doing.
Chef

I was and am extremely busy so I wasn’t able to meet with him but we ran into each other when I was coming off a train back from a trip I made to Glasgow. He pushed me to go studio right there and then and the rest is history. We made our first song and never stopped.

How is your working relationship? Is it all smooth sailing or does it sometimes get salty between Chef and Louis?

Louis and I are brothers. We don’t always agree but we always trust one another to know what the other is doing. More often than not, we are thinking the exact same thing and we usually learn from each other when it comes to any differing ideas. It’s never been salty but we are both so passionate about what we do so its all a part of collaboration.

Photo supplied by Chef

Growing relationships

You have a number of artists that work around you. Did you go out to find them or was it more organic than that?

I definitely go out and look for them and I have done from the start. I’ve always believed that a community and thriving culture is what drives music and art. In order to have that you have to search for those looking to be a part of that and help and nurture them in whatever way they require. I spend time every day searching the Scottish music scene. I listenin to everyone’s new releases, analysing and entrenching myself in what’s going on.

However even though I search for them, I don’t force connections, those are all organic. I’ll have an eye on someone for any amount of time. If I’m meant to meet them then I’ll make sure I get the chance to speak to them. From there we see if anything we’re involved in can align, collaboration is not just about being on the same song. It can be so many more things.

Aberdeen's music scene has traditionally been dominated by guitar bands. In the past few years that's changing. Why do you think that came about?

I’ve been working with countless artists in all shapes and forms. As I said, it’s not always making a song with someone but my connections with the music scene spans to every level of industry and I plan to keep fostering healthy relationships with everyone I can.

This documentary is an ambitious next step, with the aim of bringing your music scene to a wider audience. How did it come about?

The BBC actually approached us, but the documentary was a goal that we set for ourselves a year prior and it seems that the work we put in allowed our wishes to come to fruition.

https://youtu.be/vmNrHpY1h6Y
Chef and Louis appearing in BBC Documentary The New Aberdeen

Shooting the documentary

What challenges did you face in getting the documentary produced?

The documentary went along without any issues thankfully. The BBC Tune team were absolutely amazing and allowed us to have input. It did not seem forced and we felt like we could be ourselves.

Tell us a little about the day of shooting.

Louis and I were shooting from 9am. We were present throughout everyone else’s shoots so our day wrapped up around 8pm. Quite long but it was a great experience. We started at Spin Record Store on Littlejohn Street. They gifted me a vinyl of my favourite Fela Kuti album “Zombie”. We then travelled round Aberdeen and ended at 210 Bistro. Tru Nature, Aiitee, Josh Maclean and Aiysha Russel were all great and it felt like we all had a good time.

Hard work and the future

It looks like you've both been putting in long hours to get this off the ground. Have you any advice for those following in your footsteps?

We certainly have been putting in long hours. The advice I’d give to anyone else is to take the stairs and not to skip any steps. And secondly, I believe people should always ask for help. Never be too proud to rely on others because knowing different perspectives will help give you a better understanding of what you’re doing. Even if you don’t want to take the advice, it’s always good to know what someone would think.

What upcoming releases should we be keeping an eye out for?

Louis has a game changing album that is coming up. Louis and I are both taking part in a few more things for TV. Aside from that I can’t give too much away, but there a big plans in the works. We're now fostering some international connections and the goal is to develop what we’ve started and take it to highest heights. You’ll have to keep up to date on our socials to see more.

What you need to know

Where to follow Chef: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Where to listen: Spotify, Apple Music
Latest release: The World is Mine EP 

If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy our interview with Aberdeen producer Vagrant Real Estate.

https://open.spotify.com/album/4b7ledOhkZcTWWitE1y6ao?si=9OX5D8wjTqCWpv6B2hbPLg&dl_branch=1

Vagrant Real Estate explores Holy Places

Aberdeen producer Vagrant Real Estate has teamed up with Edinburgh-based singer Misty Galactic for a new track. Released on 23 July, Holy Places is a dark late-night pop single which explores the intense feelings of lust and obsession.

https://youtu.be/ldgM_vXVxC4

Both musicians have enjoyed tremendous praise in the infancy of their careers. Misty Galactic’s previous releases received a wide range of support, including from the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. She ended 2020 on a high with her inclusion on The Herald’s Top 100 tunes of the year. Recently Misty Galactic also landed the coveted Artist of the Week feature in The Scotsman.

Vagrant Real Estate has also received notable coverage. Specifically from the likes of Ministry of Sound, DJ Mag and i-D Magazine. In addition he was also named as one of Vic Galloway’s Top 25 Artists To Watch in 2021

The new track marks the first time that Vagrant Real Estate has worked worked with a singer. As a producer he normally works with rappers. His signature production style combining warm melodies with soap bass and drums is still very much present, though. Holy Places highlights Misty Galactic’s sonic ambition. Her voice commands presence over walls of guitar and synths. The result is a cavernous and carnal anthem to obsession, evoking artists such as BANKS, The Weeknd and Lana Del Rey. 



What the artists say about Holy Places

We asked Vagrant Real Estate how he and Misty got together for the track. Speaking to POST, he told us, "I originally came across Misty's music through blogs as she was picking up press for her first few singles, and really liked her sound and aesthetic. I always want to try and push myself and work on different sounds and styles, so I reached out and she was happy to collaborate.

“Misty Galactic is a great talent, and I couldn’t be happier with how the track came out. From the initial demo I sent through, her songwriting and vocal performance took the whole sound to the next level."

Misty Galactic told us, "It was awesome to get to work with Vagrant Real Estate on this release. The lyrics are all about being so obsessed with someone and having such intense feelings, it all starts to feel like a religious experience. I'd been playing around with them for quite a while, and when he sent me the initial idea for a track, everything just seemed to fit together perfectly. I'm super proud of what we've created."

Vagrant Real Estate | Photo by Chris Sansbury

The effect of COVID on recording music

We wondered whether remote the move to recording has been liberating for artists. Some say it's levelling the playing field, while others tell us it's more difficult for new acts. Vagrant Real Estate thinks it is a bit of both. "I think it's definitely benefited those who have been able to adapt and work effectively with it. I've seen a number of people grow their brand massively. Artists tapping into that new captive audience who were stuck at home, looking for things to watch on social media.

If the quality is there and you have the right push/marketing behind it, people will start to notice.
Vagrant Real Estate

"There's definitely an argument that it's difficult for new acts due to the sheer amount of new music now. You can self-produce and release tracks from your bedroom, but equally the tools are all available and mostly free to network and get your sound out there via social media, websites and the like. If the quality is there and you have the right push/marketing behind it, people will start to notice."

Aberdeen's music scene

Aberdeen's music scene is dominated by rock bands, but other genres are starting to push their way through. We asked about the city's music scene and he sees it. He said, "I think locally and for Scotland in general, there's an abundance of bands. That's what we're typically known for. When I started out producing, pretty much the only other person working in hip-hop in the city was Ransom FA.

"I definitely think now though that hip-hop is coming through. There's a lot of talent in the next generation of artists. I think that ties in with the global shift towards hip-hop as the most popular genre. The main thing Aberdeen needs to compete with the central belt is just infrastructure. In terms of venues, studios and practise spaces we're definitely lacking. Especially when compared to what's available to the artists in Glasgow and Edinburgh."

Vagrant Real Estate | Photo by Chris Sansbury

The future

Wondering what's on the horizon for the Aberdeen producer, he told us, "I've been working on some really exciting collaborations with MCs in London. I've been building those relationships and expanding my sound to incorporate more live instrumentation. Gatson and I are writing the follow-up album to our Holding On EP from Spring this year. I'm also finishing up my next instrumental project - just keeping as busy as possible.

"Once we get a bit closer to normality I'm also keen to put on some events in the city with DJs and performers, providing a platform to showcase the talent we have here."

Our view

Holy Places is a great example of the wealth of talent coming out of Scotland’s next generation of stars. Highlighting both artist’s level of musicianship and versatility, Misty Galactic and Vagrant Real Estate have bright futures ahead of them.

We are extremely keen to support Aberdeen singers, songwriters, bands and producers. Check out The Lounge, a playlists with shines a spotlight on our finest musicians. We update it every Monday so check in regularly.

Holy Places is released on 23 July. You can find Holy Places on your favourite streaming site. You can also keep up to date with the latest on the Aberdeen DJ and producer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Records stacked in crates

Aberdeen prepares for Record Store Day

Sales of records have gone through the roof in recent years as music fans appreciate the analogue sound and the tactile feel of vinyl. It's no secret that vinyl is much more collectible, and the covers just look so much better at full size. Record Store Day is a twice annual event to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record stores. The day brings together stores from around the world with fans and artists.

Many artists release records specifically for Record Store Day. These are only distributed to shops participating in the event. Three Aberdeen shops are taking place in the event on Saturday 12th June. Chameleon Records, Red Robin Records and Maidinvinyl.

Chameleon Records in Aberdeen
Photo by Chris Sansbury

Chameleon Records

We spoke to Terry Charleton who’ll be helping owner Michael Moloney at Chameleon Records at it's new home. He told us, “Chameleon will be hosting its 7th RSD and this year they have relocated to inside Holburn HiFi. It’s the ideal partnership for music lovers. Previous RSD has seen fans queuing from the wee small hours but with Covid restrictions this is replaced by a virtual queue where people book a time slot to visit the shop via the website."

“One of the appeals of the day is chatting to al the customer about their purchases as they always super knowledgeable and even what you think is the most obscure release will have someone keen to grab it.”

“There will be some fantastic releases this year. Elton John's is putting out his never previously released Regimental Sgt.Zippo. There's two live albums from The Police and brilliant 12” picture discs from U2 and The Cure and a live album from Fontaines DC. In addition a more mainstream artist release sees Ariana Grande releasing a live album on vinyl for the first time. This is very limited and will be in high demand.”

Red Robin Records in Aberdeen
Photo by Chris Sansbury

Red Robin Records

Red Robin Records on Correction Wynd is also taking part in Record Store Day on Saturday. They’ll be open from 8am and will be on a first come first served basis with only one person allowed in the store at a time.

Owner Nick Duthie told us, “We are excited firstly that RSD is able to run this year. Vinyl lovers will continue to have the opportunity to buy some fantastic new records as well as supporting all the small businesses in Aberdeen partaking in RSD.”

“In regard to albums there are so many great ones on the list. However, there are a few I'm especially excited for. Prince’s The Truth has its first release on vinyl. Also Belle and Sebastian’s The Boy with the Arab Strap on coloured vinyl for the first time. Lounge at the Edge of Town have a self-titled release. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are releasing a greatest hits on coloured vinyl called Back The Way We Came: Vol 1 (2011-2021). There is a coloured three disc version of The Matrix Soundtrack. Finally, Primal Scream have a 15 year anniversary extended version of their classic, Riot City Blues.”

Aberdeen's Record Stores

Aberdeen has number of fantastic independent record stores that stock great vinyl all year round. Therefor you have a load of choice depending on your particular taste. These include:

Aberdeen Vinyl Records 101 Union St, Aberdeen AB11 6BD
Maidinvinyl Records 7 Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1NE
Spin Records 10 Littlejohn St, Aberdeen AB10 1FG
Forecast Records 13A Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JR
Chameleon Records 441 Holburn St, Aberdeen AB10 7GU
Red Robin Records Vinyl Cafe 13 Correction Wynd, Aberdeen AB10 1HP

Finally, thanks so much to the teams at Red Robin Records and Chameleon. They've given us a real taste of Record Store Day. It's sure to be a huge day for all the record stores in Aberdeen. If you're taking part this Saturday, make sure to plan ahead and remember to wear a mask.

POST have set up a playlist to support Aberdeen musicians. A place where you can find new music by Aberdeen and NE Scotland’s very talented singers, songwriters, bands and producers. Read the story about why we made it happen.