Tag Archives: scotland

Avalanche to close 6th January 2013

Record shop Avalanche has announced it will close its Grassmarket store on the 6th of January 2013.

Beloved by musos the world over but suffering the same economic erosion many small businesses have seen in the last couple of years Avalanche have said the shop will be forced to take the needle off the record, fade the house lights and close its front doors.

There are just a few weeks lefts before Avalanche will be compelled to shut up shop.

Avalanche said in a statement: “I hope that by then there will be a plan but at worst I will simply close the shop and concentrate on expanding our online presence and pursuing other opportunities.”

Social Media has already begun to rally support for the shop with posts on Facebook with a post by a member of the Second Hand Marching Band:

“Dear Musical Community. What are we going to do about Avalanche Records? As one of the finest record shops in Scotland, we can’t sit down and let it disappear. I know this is coming late, possibly even too late to make a real difference, but I know Kevin would welcome any ideas. Anyone up for a wee multi-band Christmas fundraiser to cover the ‘catch-up’ (rent, rates, tax, record company bills etc) costs?”

Avalanche is where many of us bought our first albums, it’s where we go to get recommendations from people who love and know music, and perhaps most importantly it’s where we go to hear great Scottish music.

“As many will have heard me say more than once selling an album to fans is the easy bit. Selling it to those who don’t know the album or artist is far harder and often time consuming…” READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE

oh dear

As a royal spanner, I managed to destroy my laptop. Hence articles have been few and far between. I will try to make more of an effort though! There are still internet cafes out there…

Apologies though, if you have been looking here and going ‘tch! nae news!!! now my lunchbreak/midnight snack break is ruined without my dose of Hellagoodness!’

Have been thinking of beginning a wee flickr page also so you can all have a swatch at my photos but this will probably have to wait until the old computing problems are resolved.

I recommend some Elbow today for your listening pleasure.

The Great Radio Days

Today I’m looking at the Great British Hosptial Radio Station.

Hospital radio has been around for almost 90 years, the first station opened in York County Hospital in 1925 allowing patients to listen to church services and sports reports. From there the bedside audio companion blossomed slowly developing from just a few across the country to an explosion of popularity in the 1950’s. The focus during the 2nd half of the century moved from service talk to music shows achieving its highest numbers during the 1980’s. From the merging of medical centres over the last 30 years, numbers have gone down as stations have also merged.

Back in the day, shows were mainly for national and community news, covering the things patients would miss while in hospital. As records, gramophones and eventually tapes and cds became more popular, the shows changed with the trends. From the 60’s and the invention of the cassette, presenters were able to record their shows to played at a later date, meaning content could be provided across a wider time period than just when the volunteers where available, in the style of many modern radio stations where regular shows are pre-recorded to allow for editing or to meet the needs of interviews, performances or to maximise the use of the station in limited time frames.

april-009

The presenters, producers and station managers are largely all volunteers, often the stations are charity associated and independantly run from the individual hospital to suit the needs of the locality. Most are part of Hospital Broadcasting Association. The people donate their time and effort to running stations and often it can become a big part of their lives, spanning many years of service.

Being part of a hospital radio can beneficial to your career as well as being alot of fun. Presenters and volunteers come in all varieties and ages, some dedicate just an hour a week and some are there as much as they can be. Being a hospital radio DJ is a great way to gain experience and hone your skills to prepare you in applications to professional radio stations. Lots of career DJ’s and radio producers have worked for a long time on hospital radio. Quite apart from the practical skills gained, the dedication to doing something you love for free, shows stations you are a committed presenters or producer. Even if your not interested in becoming a paid DJ, its still a great way to build confidence, make friends and do something different with your spare time.

april-0031

Many universities have their own radio stations which is also a great route to a pursuing a radio profession, but if you’re not a student, everyone is welcome to hospital radio. To find out about your local station, give them a call! or an email or just check out their website. Here are is a list of the Scottish hospital radio stations currently in operation.

Ayr Hospital Radio – South Ayrshire

Borders Hospital Radio  – Melrose

Bridge FM – Dundee and Monifieth

Grampian Hospital Radio – Aberdeen

HBSA Hospital Radio – North Ayrshire

Hospital Radio Station – Glasgow

Hospital Radio – Perth

Hospital Radio – Inverness

Mayfield Radio Station – Edinburgh

Radio Eastward – Peterhead

Radio Grapevine – West Lothian

Radio Heartbeat – Airdrie

Radio Law – Wishaw

Radio Rainbow – Aberdeen

Radio Ranol – Stornaway

Radio Remedy – Wick

Radio Royal – Falkirk and Stirling

Radio West Fife – Dumfirmline

Red Dot Radio – Edinburgh

Royal 1 Radio – Glasgow

Southern Sound Hospital Radio – Glasgow

Victoria Infirmary Radio – Glasgow

Victoria Radio Network – Kircaldy

Wave Radio Sound Station – Elgin

My experience of Hospital Radio has been extremely positive but its important to keep in mind that the depend on their volunteers to keep the place going so they will be looking for you to be available regularly and be committed. Also some stations are particularly popular so if they are full up at the time you write to them, don’t lose heart and keep in contact, when there is a space you’ll be first on their radar.

A few things

Alright folk fans? A few things as I have been remiss and not written in a while. I am busy with outside projects, ‘thats no excuse!’ I hear you cry and yes you’re right it isn’t but that’s life – lazy. I mean, tough.

Fringes. Not often do I spend well, anytime on celeb style in Hellagood, but today I’d like to talk to you all about fringes or bangs are they are known outside of the UK. Ask for a fringe in the US and you may well be directed to Nashville, which would really be awesome, so do it.

I have a fringe and I plan to grow it out – why? Because of pop stars, they’ve made it boring. They all have fringes and we all know to be cool, you do was everyone else isn’t. There’s a pandemic of long hair female poplets with straight (or a gentle earlybird special wave – nothing too ghetto fabulous) hair and blunt fringes, its become de riguer for appearing on Shock-T-4-NME-Waves-Arena-Mark-Ronson’s-50-Fringes type programming. Some of the culprits of this incredibly dull barnet follow:

Kate

Kate

Emmy

Emmy

Lily

Lily

KT

KT

Kate Nash, Emmy the Great, Lily Allen, Florence and the Machine, Katie Ting, KT Tunstall, Lady Gaga, Adele, Laura Marling….I’m not saying the ladies can’t hold their own on stage but I am saying their hair similarity sometimes makes me confuse them with each other when they appear in the background on Jools Holland… and they often swap colours too…

Old school proprietress of the fringed tresses came in the form of Chrissie Hyde – who perfected it then and there.

Adele

Adele

Katie

Katie

Laura

Laura

Florence

Florence

Gaga

Gaga

Ladies, Ladies, which is which, well I’ve named them to help.

A new haircut please. Lets revisit the Flock of Seagulls. Oh wait – scratch that. Its twenty five years later and it still sucks. La Roux, its pure waste.  La Roux

Festivals – highlights – ha! the hair puns continue… and stop here. T-break deadlines are drawing in. Send your submissions in NOW! for a chance to play the legendary unsigned T-break tent following in the footsteps of almost every great Scottish band from the last few years.  You can still apply for jobs with festivals, also here, and hereworking the bars, picking up the rubbish, drivers, ripping tickets and wrist banding people, security etc. Check individual sites for jobs too – often the work is shift work across and the weekends, allowing you some time to see bands while earning a crust or  enough for a £6 take away burger though you may not have a choice over what hours you work, its hard work but good fun if you’re in the right frame of mind. You can also represent a chosen charity at various festivals, like Oxfam – see individual charities and organisations for details, these positions are usually unpaid as they are voluntary.

If you haven’t managed to buy tickets for your favourite festival and can’t/don’t want to pay £1137 on ebay, there is a place to help – Scarlet Mist, an ethical ticket trade site for people to pass on tickets to real music fans if they are unable to attend an event. Face value prices.

festival wristbands

festival wristbands

The other thing I’d always advise, is to check out your local festivals, most cities and towns will do some kind of summer/spring/autumn festival or special days, band competitions – it’ll be in the newspaper or your council website. Scotland has a wealth of festivals so if you’ve missed on your T in the Park, Hyrdo Connect (back next year) or Rockness there is always the smaller fests – Retrofest, Meadows, Glasgow Music Festival, Belladrum, Wickerman, Isle of Skye, Mull of Kintyre Festival, Sound Festival, in fact, just numerous folk and traditional Scottish music festivals and events from the heart of the cities to the outer islands.

In other news – Bollocks to Poverty‘s music shop is open. You can now buy tunes and fight for human rights with ActionAid. Go get your ear-jollies on while evolving your karma.

ABC to O2

A quick update, more articles to come later today…

AMG, the Academy Music Group, have taken over the ABC on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. The move from previous organisers Regular Music to the owners of the O2 Academy (formally the Carling Academy, Glasgow) will result in a few changes to the bar menu, with more of the affiliated beverages available, but primarily in an expansion of the number gigs held each year. This summer should see a dramatic increase in the number of concerts happening at the ABC. The usual pattern has been for term time busyness with a quieter summer schedule. The ABC is known for its popular student appealing club nights on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays spread over its five bars, three dance spaces and two good sized stages. AMG plan to bring more live music to the venue. So far these are the only changes being made with the current staff remaining in place and no name or design changes planned at yet.
Music giants and UK events leaders AMG currently have over 20 venues ranging from a 400 to 4500 capacity around the country.

Say Goodbye Brundlefly

The Glasgow Barfly has closed. Scotland’s central Barfly situated on the bank of the Clyde had been home to many gigs over the years and was a favourite amongst the rock crowd. Barfly opened their first venue in 2000 in Camden town then went on to have homes in Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool, London, York and Aberdeen. A division of the MAMA group things had been going well for the Barfly in the first few years, with a successful reputation as an alternative venue and attachment to the popular Lovebox Festival and Fly magazine.

However the economic downturn affects everything and with music being the 3rd largest industry in the UK no-one is immune (except for AC/DC). Since June 2008 Barfly have closed their Brighton, Cambridge and now Glasgow venues. There is talk of re-opening Cambridge in the future and Glasgow have only said ‘closed until further notice’ on their doors but any actual plans remain to be seen.

The Glasgow Barfly is a curious wee venue, its dark, its a bit dank and the sound quality wasn’t always great but it was a beloved corner of Glasgow’s music scene as so many local bands have played there. Staff were given extremely short notice about the closure which has perhaps soured community feeling towards the Barfly chain. Gigs have been moved to the Sauchiehall street club giant The ABC, large theatrical and commercially viable O2 Academy and the underrated and cosy Ivory Blacks –  including the YRock top of the class 2009 gig which will be held at the ABC on Sunday 22nd from 2pm until 9pm.

However do not despair music fans, for Glasgow is not short on venues!!! There is a lot of competition in the city for music crowds and many venues have up-ed the ante in recent years by making their place a wee bit special and paying due attention to sound equipment and pr. This kind of competition could well have been a factor in the Barfly closure. Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s for example have an excellent PA which makes gig-going a real audio treat while venues like Tchai Ovna have cultivated a folksy alternative charm.  An issue I have with the Glasgow music scene is diversity, the city festivals do offer the chance to sample a wider variety of music but the enthusiasm is short lived. The Deargreen place is a very rock and dance focused place and while theres a lot of really great bands and arists out there I wish we’d be a bit more supportive of new things, but maybe 2009 and will see a wealth of fresh talent – they just won’t be playing the Barfly.