Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Break Into Music Competition

Break Into Music is a competition all about turning the “What If” into “Why Not” backed by Peter Dixon and Steve Foster who are currently producing for a number of X Factor artists, the competition is open to all budding musicians.

Teaming up with online recruitment specialists and student website the competition gives you the chance to break into the music business and win the opportunity to be managed and developed into a music sensation.

Anyone who is interested can upload their auditions online which are then voted for by the public and also guest judges from within the music industry.

Steve Foster and Peter Dixon of X Factor fame judge each act alongside Radio 1’s Drivetime DJ Scott Mills, picking an act each week who will go on to compete against each other to win the ultimate prize of a full artist development deal.

The deal includes: recording a track with hit producers, discovering and developing your unique genre/style, management and promotion, an official artist website, high quality music video along with the priceless prize of using the team’s industry contacts to ensure a record deal.

If you think you have what it takes or you want to check out the talent then head over to

ALBUM REVIEW: Kele, The Boxer

Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke adopted a more dance-oriented sound on his debut solo album, The Boxer. He explained recently in an NME interview “I've been into clubbing for years. I've said from the beginning I'm into dance, it gets me excited and I think this record is going to go some way to prove that to people."

With his recent guest turns on tracks by The Chemical Brothers and DJ Tiesto, It may be safe to assume that this is the album Okereke’s always wanted to make; the electronic influence is evident on The Boxer from the outset.

The opening track, Walk Tall, is a military cadence-style vocal given a hardcore throbbing synth and hand-clap drums to hide behind. On the Lam, nudges the boundaries a little more with garage beats, pulsating synths and dirty bass accompanying the high pitched vocals of Okereke.

Lead single, Tenderoni, is a slamming, melodic electronica track driven by aggressive beats and brooding body-rocking synths. Everything You Wanted marks a notable change of sound; the bleeps are a little more restrained resulting in one of the least intense electronica tracks on the album.

The Boxer is not wall-to-wall mechanical beats oscillating sequencers and Auto-Tune voices. The New Rules with its tight strings is a surprisingly dainty duet with songstress Jodie Scantlebury, which provides a delicate audio intermission between the heavy synths of the rest of the album.

All things considered, this is a persuasive solo debut, confident and innovative, a record that is ultimately an emotional mass of synth hooks that’ll go down in the world of electronic dance with ease.


1. Walk Tall
2. On The Lam
3. Tenderoni
4. The Other Side
5. Everything You Wanted
6. New Rules
7. Unholy Thoughts
8. Rise
9. All The Things I Could Never Say
10. Yesterday's Gone

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Roundhouse launch 30/30 unsigned band search

The Roundhouse has joined forces with EMI Music for the second year for 30/30 in 2010, a groundbreaking youth music project designed to cultivate and develop new and emerging talent.

Every day this September, 30/30 will offer 30 unsigned artists - between the ages of 16-25 - one free day of recording time in the Roundhouse’s EMI Live Music Studio, along with top guest producers to professionally record and mix their track for free.

On 13 October, the 30 lucky acts chosen by the Roundhouse team will have the opportunity to put their questions to a panel of experts from all areas of the industry - from artist management and marketing, through to publishing and A&R. 30/30 is non-genre specific and aims to attract an eclectic variety of artists.

Last year’s project was a huge success, attracting submissions from hundreds of aspiring artists, which culminated in the 30/30 Compilation Album 2009, a collection of 30 tracks featuring artists such as Ghosts You Echo, Hella Better Dancer and Ken Kobayashi, all of which have since signed recording deals.

Artists interested in 30/30 should visit to download an application form. The deadline is 16 July.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Cash Free Festivals Set To Become Reality in the UK

Music festivals that do not accept cash are set to come to the UK from next summer, reports the BBC.

Festival goers will no longer have to carry money on them, instead they will have to pay electronically for everything from food and drink to t-shirts and fairground rides.

Payments will likely be made via a wristband, which also acts as both a ticket for entry and an electronic money storage unit. Festival goers will have to pre-load the devices with money.

In the UK there have been small scale trials of the technology in the past two years.

Barclaycard, sponsors of the Wireless Festival in London, is showcasing the technology at this year's event and are said to be very hopeful that it would be entirely cash-free next year.

Festival Republic, organisers of some of the UK's largest events including Reading and Leeds festivals, trialled a cash-free event at Hove festival in Norway last year.

Managing Director, Melvin Benn said, "It was very straight forward, there was no opposition at all" he added "The reality is that we are all looking at cashless activity in the UK. It will definitely happen. It's just a matter of time."

The concept uses radio frequency identification (RFID) systems - which involve a microchip being embedded into the wristband or ticket. Festival organisers hope this will also help them avoid counterfeit tickets.

They say other benefits would include:

• Avoiding having millions of pounds of cash on festival sites, which is seen as a security risk and is expensive to transport and guard

• Improving security for festival goers - who would no longer have to carry cash around and who could freeze their account if the payment device was lost

• Cutting theft and fraud by staff working at festivals

• Making service quicker at bars, and allowing management to monitor stock levels in real-time

• Controlling entry to different parts of the festival such as backstage or VIP areas

Under the plans, money left on the card at the end of an event could be transferred back to the ticket holder's bank account.

Other options may involve allowing it to be used after the festival, for example towards buying a CD, or using at another event run by the same promoter.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

BBC Introducing Stage Line Up Announced for T in the Park

The line-up has been revealed for the BBC Introducing stage at this year’s T in the Park festival.

Having made its debut last year, the stage returns to the festival on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July, showcasing 22 up and coming artists from around the UK including four from Scotland, at the Balado, Kinross-shire

Jason Carter, Editor, BBC Introducing, says: "We are delighted to be hosting a BBC Introducing stage for a second year at T in the Park. Not only does it provide new musicians with the fantastic opportunity to play at one of the UK's major festivals, it also offers them wider exposure across multiple BBC platforms."

The BBC Introducing Stage line-up for T in the Park is:

Saturday 10 July:
Lou Hickey
Gold Sounds
Cattle and Cane
Admiral Fallow
Lily McKenzie
Hip Parade
Real Dolls
Young Fathers

Sunday 11 July:
North Atlantic Oscillation
Jake Flowers
The Arcadian Kicks
Liam Bailey
Silver Columns
Blitz Kidz
Arp Attack

For further information on the artists, please go to:

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

BPI targets Google for linking to illegal downloads

Britain's biggest recording industry association, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), has sent a cease-and-desist order to internet search giant Google asking them to remove links of illegal downloads that can be accessed through its search engine.

The letter focused on nine "one-click hosting" websites that contain copyrighted music. While Google does not operate any of the infringing websites, search queries lead users to illegal downloads at sites such as SendSpace and UserShare.

The BPI's complaint cites as many as 38 links "that are available via Google's search engine, and [requests these] links be removed as soon a possible as they directly link to sound recordings owned by [BPI] members".

The BPI noted 18 examples of such infringements, including tracks by Dizzee Rascal, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Eminem. That is then followed by a list of search queries, URLs and websites where the material is hosted.

BPI said Google is usually willingly to remove links to copyrighted content. Speaking on the topic, a spokesperson for BPI said, "In most cases, Google takes down the links in question, following its own internal procedures."

Although this is true of services like Blogger, where Google has deleted several music blogs, it’s unclear whether it has the same policies with its search index.

Friday, 18 June 2010

PRS launch Public Vote for New Music Award 2010

PRS for Music Foundation has launched its first-ever public vote for the New Music Award 2010 – which looks for the UK’s most groundbreaking new musical idea.

Members of the public will be able to choose their favourite from the five shortlisted entries, which will be screened for free at arts venues across the UK this summer.

The shortlisted ideas cover the widest possible range of musical genres from electronic and site specific to acoustic and African-inspired beats.

New Music Award 2010 shortlist:

 aroundNorth – a “stellar orchestra” based on the rotation of the stars around the Celestial North Pole

 Automata Musica – combines the skills of composer and craftsman to make “automatic instruments” which audience members can play

 The Battle of the Wordsmiths – recreates African musical instruments through beatboxing which introduces western audiences to the ancient traditions of Yoruba culture

 The Organ of Corti –recycles existing sounds to create new ways of listening

 SATSYMPH – a “satellite symphony” delivered through an iPhone app

The people’s choice will count as one vote on the judging panel for the award. This year’s judges are artist Martin Creed, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Bishi, composer and pianist Michael Finnissy, pianist and conductor Joanna MacGregor, and music journalist Paul Morley. Charlotte Higgins, the Chief Arts Writer for The Guardian, will chair the panel.

The winner of the New Music Award 2010 will be awarded a £50,000 prize at a glittering ceremony in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London, on 16 September and their winning new musical work will premiere in 2011.

Voting ends midnight Sunday 5th September 2010.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Edinburgh Liquid Rooms, Grand Re-Launch Party

Fire-stricken Edinburgh music venue is set to re-open bigger and better than before.

The Liquid Rooms which was housed in a listed 19th-century former church was badly damaged following a major blaze on 19th December 2008.

Fire broke out in a restaurant kitchen on the top floor of the building, causing extensive damage to the premises and neighbouring businesses. Thousands of gallons of water had to be pumped from the basement of the Liquid Rooms.

However, the damage created a blank canvas to start afresh. Millions has been spent on the refurbishment, including top-quality sound equipment and lighting and owner, John McWilliams is set to unveil an expanded Liquid Room.

The Edinburgh venue opens its doors once again on Saturday 17th of July at 9pm till 3am for its Grand Re-Launch Party, with none other than Sasha doing the honours.

DJ, producer, and remixer, Sasha is recognized as one of the worlds' most innovative icons of the electronic genre. Plus more still to be announced.

Tickets for the Re-Launch Party are £20 and are available from the following outlets:

Ticket Scotland
Rippin Records
St James Shopping Centre (Customer Services)

Ticket Scotland

Manifesto Clothing

Manifesto Clothing

Friday, 11 June 2010

BBC Introducing Stage Line Up Announced for Glastonbury

The line-up has been revealed for the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2010.

The line-up includes headline performances from Sub Focus, Chew Lips, and Kid Adrift, plus appearances from the likes of Roll Deep, Pulled Apart by Horses, and The John E Vistic Experience, as well as two as yet unannounced guest slots.

The BBC Introducing Stage showcases 31 acts from the UK's best unsigned and emerging talent. It is the fourth time that BBC Introducing has been at the Festival, with the stage finding a new home in the Dance Village this year.

The BBC Introducing Stage line-up is as follows:

Friday 25th June
Kid Adrift
Ms. Darks
Da Mighty (Elementz)
The Federals
Out Like A Lion
P Money
Napoleon In Rags
Jesca Hoop
Yr Ods

Saturday 26th June
Sub Focus Live
Roll Deep plus Guests
Pulled Apart by Horses
May 68
Celt Islam
New Islands
Lanterns on the Lake
Lady Leshurr
Special Guests:
Dog Is Dead, Fellow Stranger, Two in a Boat and Louis Eliot & The Embers

Sunday 27th June
Chew Lips
Dark Horses
Man Without Country
Seven Summits
Dry The River
Special Guests:
Broadcast 2000, Patch William, End of Level Baddie, The John E Vistic Experience, The Theory of Six Degrees

The 2010 event marks the 40th anniversary of the Music and Arts Festival at Worthy Farm, Somerset, where Michael Eavis first opened his gates in September 1970.

Glastonbury Festival runs for five full days from Wednesday 23rd until Sunday 27th June 2010 across 1,000 acres of beautiful countryside.

New Scottish Festival mFEST, Organised by Under 18’s

A new Scottish arts festival entirely planned and run by under-18s has been launched in Stirling.

mFEST is the fruit of the mPower project, which has given more than 100 young Scots experience in working in the arts both onstage and off, in technical and administrative roles.

Headlining acts at mFEST, which runs from July 30 to August 2 in venues in and around Stirling, include 19-year-old Fife comic Daniel Sloss, and London hip-hop star Tinchy Stryder.

The event kicks off with a jamboree at Macrobert Centre before a bumper bill of indie at Albert Halls including Hadouken! New Young Pony Club, Darwin Deez and Scotland’s Unicorn Kid.

Also set to perform at the same venue is chart-topping star Tinchy Stryder supported by Daisy Dares You and Pearl and The Puppets.

Fraser Morrison – who at 17 is one of the older festival organisers – said he and other teenagers were hoping to gain experience of working in the entertainment industry and create "something totally new".

"Some festivals run by adults for young people think they know what we want. We actually know what we want," he said.

mFEST is backed by Scottish Arts Council Inspire Fund, and has ambitious target sales of around 1,000 tickets a day. There are hopes that if successful it could become an annual event.

Morrison added: "Next time, we'll obviously know what does and doesn't work."

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Scottish band Rockburn feature on US hit TV show

Bellshill band Rockburn are not only making waves in the music world but also on the small screen after one of their songs featured on top US TV show Burn Notice.

Now in its fourth season, Burn Notice has been a huge hit in the US having been nominated for a host of awards including an Emmy.

The shows title refers to burn notices issued by intelligence agencies to discredit or announce the dismissal of spies who are considered to have become unreliable, ultimately making them disappear without money, history or even an identity.

Guitarist Gary Dudgeon said: "It all came about with our manager Alex Hamilton having a contact within FOX TV in the US.

"We sent him two of our songs over to see if he could do anything with them and he got back almost immediately saying he loved the track 'Red Dress' and would love to use it in 'Burn Notice.'”

The Scottish rockers are delighted at having one of their tracks played in such a prestigious show, and hope the experience will provide a platform from which to launch themselves stateside.

The four piece band, who formed in 2006, have played in venues the length and breadth of the UK and have built up a sizeable fan base.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Last Tickets for T In The Park 2010, On Sale Tomorrow

Re-released tickets for T in the Park 2010 will go on sale this Friday, offering festival-goers a last chance to get their hands on tickets to Scotland’s biggest music festival.

In February this year, T in the Park 2010 tickets sold out in less than 90 minutes.

However, due to credit card cancellations and failed attempts at multiple booking of tickets, organisers are able to re-release a limited batch of tickets for this year’s event at 9am tomorrow (Friday 4th June).

Just 35 days to go till this year’s bash gets under way and 85,000 music fans make their way to Balado, Kinross-shire from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July.

For more information, go to

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Teenage Fanclub, Shadows

After a five year hiatus, the Glaswegian group Teenage Fanclub are back with their second album to be released on their own label. Their latest offering, Shadows, is another collection of meticulously crafted, melodic, gentle, bittersweet guitar pop.

This time around they seem to have adopted a more sombre approach although their trademark melodic style remains intact. The album is full of dreamy charm and mellow doubt: the sound of a group that’s aged remarkably well.

The subject matter throughout the whole album has matured, reflecting the real age of the band members, with topics like marriage and quiet nights.

Tracks like the cheery, Baby Lee, and Back of My Mind are an effortless combination of floating guitar hooks, completely natural harmonies and beautiful strings.

Shock and Awe, is a standout, full of soaring guitar break and The Fall, a meditation on ageing gracefully, as guitars swell into bloom. The beautiful piano work on Dark Clouds is the type of melancholic melody many bands search for their whole career.

Although Teenage Fanclub still play with the old familiar melodies and arrangements, the subtle experimentation they add to the mix shows that they’re not afraid to dip their toes in unfamiliar waters but they are also still growing as musicians.


1. Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything
2. Baby Lee
3. Fall, The
4. Into the City
5. Dark Clouds
6. Past, The
7. Shock and Awe
8. When I Still Have Thee
9. Live With the Seasons
10. Sweet Days Waiting
11. Back of My Mind, The
12. Today Never Ends