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Credits EDITOR Roberta Pia 0131 229 8211 DEPUTY EDITOR Alex Marten 0131 229 8211 CHIEF WRITER Roberta Pia STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Andy McKay (Purrrfect Photography) CONTRIBUTORS Will Baker, Shaun Baxter, Garry Boyle, Dave Gardner, Alex Marten, Guy Perchard, Rod Vaughan. Shop Photographs DN Anderson ADVERTISING Roberta Pia 0131 229 8211 If you would like to advertise in The Dog, please email Front cover ILLUSTRATION Angela Costinel DESIGN & ART DIRECTION The 16K Design Works 0131 661 3737 CONTACT Red Dog Music 1 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HY 0131 229 8211





Sunshine got a hold of my mind, sunshine wanna play all the time...


ummer? Is that you!? Not quite yet but it’s most certainly on its way, so we thought we’d try summoning it - a little like doing a rain dance, I suppose... but instead we’ve released the Summer Issue of The Dog! I think this could do the trick, so fingers crossed. The other added bonus in our favour is that this is issue number THREE! And we all know fine well that THREE is a magic number. So, after weighing all these factors up, I’ve come to the conclusion that summertime should be with us any minute now and this magazine is going to be our most magical yet. Since the last magazine launch at The Caves (where we had some fantastic live performances from Donna Maciocia, Asazi Space Funk Explosion, Digital Jones and Hidden Orchestra as well as DJ sets from Steve Brown and Nem Sarton and live drawing from our favourite gang of artists, The Too Much Fun Club), life at Red Dog Music HQ has been busy, busy and even more busy. We’ve had some ace in-store gigs for our weekly Hair of the Dog Sunday sessions as well as a few workshops here and there - including one from the almighty Roland drumstick hero, Craig Blundell and another from Tanglewood -endorsed folk legends, Plumhall.

Most importantly, however, we’ve been gathering a whole bunch of mindblowing musical information for you and your pals to feast on in this here issue of The Dog. We decided to go a little further afield with this one, in various ways. Geographically, we decided to point the spotlight at Manchester’s music scene to find out what the deal is south of the border at the moment. Numerically, we’ve upped our fanzine’s page count to 56 whole pages! And last but not least, content-wise, we’ve added some brand spanking new features for your general perusal, enjoyment and utmost pleasure. We’re very kind to you. We’ve even done a wee Music Festival Guide for you, just in case you’re having trouble choosing which muddy fields you’ll be rolling around in this year... Ladies, gentlemen, legends, heroes and bi-winners... The Dog is back and ready to rock. Enjoy!

“The Dog is back and ready to rock. ”


The Top Tunes on the Shop Stereo this Issue

Maceo Parker ‘Tighten Up’

The Beatles

‘Free as a Bird

Super Adventure Club ‘Tommy Sheridan’

Elvis Costello

‘Welcome to the Working Week’

The Rolling Stones ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’

Joe Pug ‘Hymn 101’


‘The Only Way Is Up’

The Chemical Brothers Hey Boy, Hey Girl’

Maceo Parker

‘Tighten Up’

Sister Rosetta Tharpe ‘Up Above My Head’

Check ou r blog at ...


Malcolm Middleton

the inner workings of A SCOTTISH GUITAR HERO’S MIND He was one half of Arab Strap. Nowadays, he rocks the solo thing with style, panache, sarcasm and five solo albums to boot.



makes you sound dated. Which is a good thing. It’s like wearing a good jacket or something.

Describe your musical style in threewords. *Really, really, funny.

What is your kit list? *Gretch 2002 Anniversary 6118, Fender Blues

Your best and worst gigs? *Worst: Portuguese Festival with Arab Strap in

Deluxe, Boss RC 50 loop pedal, space echo pedal, blues driver, pitch shifter delay, DD rev- dly. And some guitar leads.

1999. Someone “big” cancelled so we were added to the bill at the last minute, slotted between Ocean Colour Scene and James. Large outdoor summer festival. Big mistake. Plus Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai was roadie-ing for us and detuned all our guitars. I think we were too drunk to notice so just kept playing, putting the weird sounds down to bad monitor mixes and stage sound. Then everyone started boo-ing and shouting “Get off! Waste of cash!”. We were never invited back to Portugal funnily enough. Best: Playing the Classic Grand in Glasgow in 2007 when my Brighter Beat album was released. It was such a good atmosphere that I felt a bit like Rod Stewart.

“I like the idea of catchy choruses full of words you wouldn’t normally sing.”

like James Blunt, but not as upbeat. Worst: The Malcolm Middleton of his generation.

Uncles, David Thomas Broughton Mahavishnu Orchestra.


Who are your favourite bands? The God Machine, Zep, Maiden, Neil Young. of your records are you most proud of? *A Which Brighter Beat and Arab Strap’s “Elephant Shoe” album. Most of the other stuff I’ve done I can find fault with, but not these two. Not that they’re flawless, I just like their flaws more.

d Recommen




do you go *How about writing a new tune? I have to wait for extreme boredom and depression to sink in before I can

Gretsch 2002 Anniversary 6118

Fender BlueS Deluxe


What’s up next for you? I’m currently recording the first Human Don’t Be Angry album. It’s my new project which is guitar noodling over loops of guitar noodling. And some vocals. Pajo meets Knopfler.

Best and worst decription of your band so far? *Best: Chubby, balding, Scottish ginger guy. A bit

Your favourite tunes & albums at the moment? *Cate Le Bon, Broadcast, Dean Martin, Dutch


us a funny story. *TenTellguitarists were backpacking in the High-

“We were never invited back to Portugal funnily enough.” even pick up a guitar these days. So, aye, I write about 7 songs a day. I usually start by finding a melody and moaning along to it, then I’ll try to find words that fit the moaning. Then I send it off to the radio and wait for the phone to ring. And wait. And wait.


What do you want your music to achieve? I guess I want it to relate to people who feel the same way I do. Help them. Help me. A big group hug. Actually I’m not sure these days. The older I get the harder it gets to think about why I’m doing this. I think when I was younger I really wanted apprec-

iation and acclaim. Now I just want to write a decent song that stands out and is unique to me as an individual personality. I like the idea of catchy choruses full of words you wouldn’t normally sing. I guess like “We’re all going to die”. Which bits of music *gear would you recommend to the musical masses? My boss digital delay & reverb pedal. Not sure if you get them any more, and my one is pretty knackered. Anyway. It immediately

lands of Scotland, not far from Inverness. They came to a river, and as there wasn’t a bridge for miles realised that they’d have to cross it. This wasn’t an easy task, as although it was shallow, it was also pretty furious and treacherous white water rafting territory. Anyway, eventually one by one, the made it across. While on the other side the lead guitarist thought it’d be wise to do a head count to make sure no one had been swept away unnoticed. He counted “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...” Eh? He counted again “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...”. Someone is missing!” he cried. So all the other guitarists started counting too, and each one also only counted nine other guitarists. In the midst of this disaster eventually a lone singer happened along and asked what the problem was. The lead guitarist wailed “We’ve lost one of our guitarists in the river! We were 10, but now when we count we are only 9!”. The singer laughed, “You forgot to count yourself, you prick”, and went on his way.

Boss RC50 loopER pedal

Boss RE20 space echo

Boss BD2 blues driver

Boss PS5 pitch shifter

& some guitar leads




A few of the Red Dog Music staff take time out to tell us what they think are the coolest bits of gear in-store at the moment. Let’s meet them and find out what they think rawks...

Art Tube MP Original (Rrp: £57.40 / Red Dog Price: £39.99)

Picked By:



Message to the World: “It’s fun on your own but better with others!”


his time round, I’ve picked the fabulous Art Tube MP – for a plethora of reasons! Not only can this little box attenuate OR boost any signal that’s put through it (making it an ideal solution for connecting your instrument(s) to a sound desk or to any recording equipment), it also has a valve in it. I know what you’re thinking but, unfortunately, this is NOT the kind of valve that will get you more distorted than ten pints. No, this valve’s purpose is to ‘warm up’ any audio that gets passed through it. Valves are still in widespread use in audiophile circles for a bloody good reason – the reason being that they impart a really nice tonal character, so it’s a brilliant feature. You may have noticed that many devices have incompatible

Buy online at


and use code ‘do 5% OFF at the checkout to get e into com or se cha pur your the shop for a demo!

“If you need a preamp with a bit of character, then this is for you.” impedance levels. Guess what? The Tube MP is not one of these many devices; instead, it cleverly matches the correct impedance, depending on the signal going in to the receiving audio equipment. It also has a Phase Reversal Switch, which can come in very handy at gigs if certain notes seem to be louder than others. The cause for this is often phase cancellation, so by pressing said Phase Reversal Switch, the phase is inverted and, more often than not, the problem is cured. And that’s not all! This little box can also power condenser microphones, has XLR input and output connections and even comes in a solid metal casing. To top it all off beautifully, it will also fit snugly into your gig bag. Perfect! If you need a pre-amp with a bit of character, then this is the box for you.

Alternative Recommendations Cheap as Chips: Blue Icicle (£59) Middle of the Road: ART Tube Studio V3 (£69) Creme de la Creme: Focusrite ISA1 (£399) SUMMER 2011 THE DOG 11





KRK Rokit Studio Monitors

Korg SV-1 Stage Piano

(Red Dog Price: From £249 per pair)


Spending thousands of pounds on he United Kingdom’s quality speakers is out of the question pot of creative juice when you’ve had to beg, borrow seems to be bubbling and torrent the tools you’re already over with massively using, and this is where KRK have talented bedroom producers at the stepped in. For the price of a games moment. One key ingredient that console, anyone can add professional can really make a difference to the monitoring to their home studio setsound of your tracks is your ability to listen to them accurately. As I’m sure most of my lovely readership know, HiFi speakers and DJ headphones are designed to make music sound amazing: Bigger bass; sweeter high-end; super-tight midrange. When you’re recording and mixing, you need to know that it’s actually your music that sounds good, not the speakers you’re listening to. up thanks to the new Rokit Powered Obviously, there’s one range. They have a very flat response, main problem for good frequency range (even the little the amateur 5” version goes down to 53Hz) Buy online at recordist: This and a desk-friendly footprint. k .u .co sic RedDogMu g2’ costs money. There’s a lot squeezed into and use code ‘do this awesome little range: Over5% OFF get to ut cko che the at heating protection, silent powering into your purchase or come on, ergonomic acoustic design, o! dem a for the shop lots of input options and tweakable sound. In my humble (ha!) opinion, the KRK RP series is an obvious choice if you’re considering “my first studio monitors” as they have a very well rounded, balanced sound. For my money, the alternatives just don’t measure up - the Tannoy Reveals sound too percussive, the Yamaha HS50’s and Alesis M1’s sound a bit weak and although the Cakewalk/Roland MA15D’s sound great, the bass response tails off a little early. So, in summary: All those things I just wrote. Go forth and make noise my friends, and tell ‘The Man’ that Uncle Guy sent you.

“Go forth and make noise my friends.”


(Rrp: £1,918 / Red Dog Price: from £1,499)

Picked By:



Message to the World: “Stagger onward, rejoicing.”

Alternative Recommendations Cheap as Chips: Cakewalk MA15D (£145 per pair) Middle of the Road: Tannoy Reveal series (from £250 per pair) Creme de la Creme: Genelec 80 series (from £538 per pair)


n terms of good-looking stage pianos, this one’s a little beauty. If you cast your eyes about the shop, the Korg SV-1 will most definitely be one of the first to tickle your fancy. Not only does it come in stylish black, laced with intricate orange detail - it also bears an unusually curvaceous form, making it appear both modern AND retro, in a way that not many stage pianos are. The first thing you’ll notice about Name: the Korg SV-1 is its orange-tinted Roberta lit-up valve, proudly displayed at the Message to the World: front-left of the piano. This is where “Be a legend.” the warmth and full-bodied tone of this stage piano lives – and if it’s a pure lovely wee tone you’re after, I wouldn’t look much further than the SV-1. This piano sounds absolutely stunning, with a range of classic sounds from Rhodes pianos, to strings that will tug on those of even Alternative Recommendations the blackest of hearts, right through to that unmistakable sound of Van Cheap as Chips: Korg SP170 (£399) Halen’s ‘Jump’ power chords. I Middle of the Road: Roland think I heard some Star Trek RD300NX (£1335) noises in there somewhere Creme de la Creme: Buy online at as well, thrown in for Nord Stage 2 series k .u .co sic RedDogMu g2’ good measure. (from £2599) and use code ‘do One of the best 5% OFF get to ut cko che the at things about this piano, into e com or se cha your pur the shop for a demo!

Picked By:

in my humble opinion, is the front panel. No fussing about with menus and clicking buttons - everything is laid out right in front of you in a stylish and simple knob format. It makes the piano EVEN MORE hands on than your average piano (and when it comes to pianos, they’re pretty hands on) as you can see every single function before your very eyes. Sure, it’s a lot to take in on first glance but once your brain has processed what’s in front of you,

“This piano sounds stunning, with a range of classic sounds.” it’s a walk in the park. On top of that, once you’ve found the sound you like, you can favourite eight of them just by holding down a button and storing the setting. Easy peasy if you want different piano sounds during your gig, piano player. So, to sum up: we’ve established that the Korg SV-1 is a bit of a looker, sounds la-la-lovely and performs like an old school beaut. There must be some drawbacks… In all honesty, the only downfall of the Korg SV-1 that I came across is she’s pretty heavy. All we can say about that is: you’ll have guns to die for. And gym memberships are so last week.




Roland Gaia Sh01 Picked By:

(Rrp: £591.32 / Red Dog Price: £509)


ynthesisers! There seem to be so many to choose from... Whether they are workstations, performance synths, grooveboxes, soft synths, analogue synths, animal synths; the list seems to go on forever. How do you know which one is right for you? How easy is it to Name: work? How much is it? These are Dave G just a few questions that someone in the market for a new synth may Message to the World: ask themselves. Well, the time has “If we could all be more come to forget all of those questions like Quincy, M.E., as there is one simple answer to all the world would be a of them: BUY A GAIA! better place.” I realise that this is a rather outlandish statement to make, but the Roland SH01 Gaia is a fantastic synth Alternative Recommendations that is incredibly versatile, easy to use and most importantly of all it Cheap as Chips: Korg MicroKorg (£299) sounds amazing! Whether you need Middle of the Road: Novation a synth for playing live or for Ultranova (£499) designing sounds in the stuCreme de la Creme: dio, the Gaia will fit in Moog Little Buy online at perfectly to your existing Phatty Stage II k .u .co sic RedDogMu g2’ set up. (£949) and use code ‘do The Gaia has 64 preset OFF 5% at the checkout to get sounds built in, but really into e com or se cha your pur its whole purpose is to the shop for a demo!

encourage you to create your own sounds and this is where the fun really starts. At its core, the Gaia has 3 virtual analogue engines which each have their own oscillators, filters, LFOs and envelope generators. The layout of these is very reminiscent of previous Roland SH series synthesisers with all the controls arranged in a very logical way making it really easy to make completely unique sounds. Each analogue engine can be edited independently or globally

“A synth that is incredibly versatile AND easy to use.” allowing the user to make everything from complex atmospheric pad sounds to big fat basses and leads. To enhance the sound further, there is a multi FX section which allows you to combine up to 5 effects simultaneously. Even if you have never used a synth before, all of this is easy! It is very light and portable and exceptionally practical with its built in audio interface, USB stick port for backing up patches and you can even busk with it because it will run on batteries! If you want a go of one, give us a call or head down to the Roland Planet in Red Dog Music today!



Novation Launchpad (RRP: £179.99 / Red Dog Price: £129)


ACT: Ableton Live is one of the best things to have happened to music in the last 10 years. It has enabled studio musicians and producers to be able to bust their bad beats in a way that is simply not possible with traditional sequencing software (or at least wasn’t possible when Live was released – some of

“The concept is simple, but the beauty is in the way it’s all been implemented.” the others have tried to catch up now). It transformed the sequencer into a performance instrument, with users able to trigger loops and sounds completely live (hence the name). However, even if the music itself is being created live, there is something fundamentally un-funky about using a computer mouse and / or keyboard to make music. Step forward the Novation Launchpad. Designed in close partnership with Ableton, the Launchpad allows Live users to trigger samples and loops, tweak effects and generally do everything they need to do on a funky 64x64 coloured grid that looks like a 70s disco dance floor for mice. The mice will be pleased, too, as each button can change colour to indicate the different states of a Live clip – if a button’s green, the clip is playing; if it’s yellow the clip is loaded; and if its red, the clip is currently recording. If a button’s blue, either it’s not a Launchpad 16 THE DOG SUMMER 2011

and you’ve got a dodgy knock-off, or you’ve smoked one too many jazz cigars. The concept is pretty simple, but the beauty is in the way it’s all been implemented. One neat feature is that though (unlike Akai’s APC series) the Launchpad doesn’t have any faders, the whole unit can easily change mode and become e.g. a mixer, turning all the vertical rows of buttons into virtual faders with in-built metering. Nice. The bottom line is that the Novation Launchpad will help you perform loop-based music live with ease and grace, freeing you from the confines of your laptop, and that’s got to be a good thing. It’ll keep the disco mice happy an’ all...

Alternative Recommendations Cheap as Chips: Novation Nocturn (£69.99) Middle of the Road: Akai APC20 (£149) Creme de la Creme: Livid Instruments Block (£279)

Buy online at


and use code ‘do 5% OFF at the checkout to get into your purchase or come o! dem a for p sho the

Picked By:



Message to the World: “Stop doing what you’re doing and do something else, unless what you’re doing is good, in which case carry on.”



Diago Gigman Pedal Board

Fender Mini 57 Twin Amp

Your pedals need never go homeless again! Just pack the Diago Gigman with TEN of your Bosssized favourites and you’re good to go. Organise your pedals in a way that best suits you; use it to hide your pedals away from your friends/ family/significant other/ (insert random pet) /alcohol spillages/alien abductions; and easily move your pedals from one place to

An old school, super cool, tweed-covered Fender guitar amp - just like the good old days... only a little bit smaller. Designed in true 50’s style, Fender present one of their most beautiful-looking vintage amps in a mini and much more affordable version, designed to be your perfect practise amp. It’s an earth-shattering ONE WATT AMP with 2x2 speakers (we know, hardcore!) and you can plug your headphones into it. It’s even got built in distortion, as a cheeky little added extra. It might be small but it’s a total legend of an amp and will make you look like a total pocket-sized guitar hero. RRP: £33.82 / RedDOG PRICE: £32

Akai MPK mini Controller Keyboard An ultra-compact mini-keyboard for performance AND production on the move. It makes life simple when it comes to programming notes because it’s very hands-on AND velocity-sensitive. You’re able to express dynamics, pitch notes, sequence drum patterns all at the touch of a button, literally. What’s more, it even works as a plug-and-play unit that’s compatible with your Mac or PC. It makes music production on the go almost TOO easy.

RedDOG PRICE: £69.99! 18 THE DOG SUMMER 2011

another - all you have to do is take the lid off, plug in and rock out! It even includes a power supply so you can use all your pedals in one go. This is your chance to look and feel like an undercover rock star. Like Mission: Impossible The Musical.

Focusrite VRM Box Headphone Monitoring System Want to mix tunes with ease, style and panache... through a pair of headphones? This genius little box overcomes the major obstacle for headphone mixing, giving you an array of perspectives on your mix, as if you were listening through a pair of bangin’ speakers. The VRM Box lets you choose your mixing environment from a living room, a bedroom studio, or a professional studio and from a choice of TEN pairs of studio reference monitors. Take your pick, blast it through your favourite set of monitoring headphones and hear how your mix translates in different environments. Easy peasy. RedDOG PRICE: £79.99!

RRP: £104.34 / RedDOG PRICE: £79

Kam Star Cluster Micro Compact Laser Lighting Effect You like to party? You like the lasers? You like to party with the lasers? This little orange beast has all the laser action a party monster will ever need... PLUS multi star cluster effects to boot. It cleverly features temperature controlled diodes and it comes with a tripod, a universal mounting bracket, a remote control and Sound-toLight and Auto modes - making life for the laser-fiend much easier. It’s pocket sized, it’s bright as you like and it’s perfect for your gig/party/rave or just for when you’re dancing in the mirror at home. Reach for the adjustable green and red lasers! Safe as f**k.

RRP: £99 / RedDOG PRICE: £89



R • • M A NCH





moment, it’s just taking a while for everybody else to catch up. Manchester has been shaped by some massively influential names. What effect has this had on the scene?

“the bands around at the moment are the best it’s been in a while.” rea B l o o dy



I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Tony Wilson. He paved the way for some good times, but people seem to want dig up his grave at any given opportunity and pillage his pockets of gold. I’ve been here ten years and have felt no need to get hold of a shovel. What makes the scene different to other cities? I don’t think it’s any better or any worse than any other city. I just think there are a lot of great bands around at the moment, so I guess it’s the music itself that makes it so different.   Would you recommend the city to other musicians? Yes. Describe Manchester’s music scene in three words. Hot, cold, fun.


“The North West has a very healthy creative scene.”

Tell us about your own personal experience of the Manchester music scene. I think it’s one of the most vibrant scenes in the UK at the current moment in time and it’s a pleasure and an honour to be at the forefront of it all. I think the whole scene has moved on lots more in the past 18 months than it has done in previous years. There is still a small element who want to take it back to the glory days of Mad-chester but I missed all that so I don’t really care. I think the collections of bands around at the moment are the best it’s been in a while. What’s so good about it? The coffee, the people and the music. It all keeps me going. What are the various music scenes/ circles happening? I’m very supportive of the curve ball pop, landfill indie; hug step and garage jazz scenes. MA N C HES • TE R R In fact I think we are TE the only label championing them at the AN

TE R • • MA




Red Deer Club.


i mCR

Manchester has been shaped by some massively influential names. What effect has this had on the scene? It was before I came so I belong to a very different memory. I feel that when I arrived things were changing and Manchester was finding itself again after the 24 Hour/Oasis hangover. My understanding is a city finding a new version of itself. What makes the scene different to other cities? There’s a truth and honesty, creating little space for politeness, forcing you to push harder to define yourself as an artist. Musicians often cross genres and projects, creating new styles with a Manchester stamp. It’s musically mature and developed but still beating a young heart. Would you recommend the city to other musicians? YES! But get your s**t down and prepare to be pushed. Describe Manchester’s music scene in three words. Bubbling, innovative and sexy.

Shedding light may or may on things that interest tonot be of you...

We were given a heads up that The Red Deer Club was one of the finest record labels known to humankind so we put Mr Duncan Sime on the spot...

Manchester has built quite a name for itself over the years, for better or for worse. By the looks of things, this musical hive of a city has come a long way since the Madchester ‘glory days’ and while they remain proud of their heritage, they appear to be paving a brand new path for themselves that is fresh, exciting and, honestly, bloody good. Roll up! Here, we have a line-up of some of Manchester’s finest – the musician, the promoters, the record label and the online bloggers... What I want to know is, why are people so mad fer Manchester?

Tell us about your own personal experience of the Manchester music scene. Manchester was never part of my plans and what I had stumbled into was a very different animal. It has a very healthy creative scene. I came here for one year but have been here for 8. I’m still learning from the musicians and artists that I meet; still finding new pockets of bubbling, enthusiastic creativity around the city and I still feel like I’ve just got here. What’s so good about it? It’s affordable to live here and have a good life. There’s a different attitude in Manchester from the capital - there’s room for all sorts and folk can afford to take musical risks. It’s very connected and supportive here. What are the various music scenes/circles happening? There are many scenes: jazz, world music, folk, anti-folk (!?), the sessions, the jams, classical, the club scene, hip-hop and gospel and at times, when the projects right - THE scene.




Magical. The kind of radiant soulrevue sophistication that’s been gone so long it suddenly feels brand new. Check out the Odbod collective at



Kirsty Almeida.


that Shedding light on thingsof be t no may may or interest to you...

The Record Label.



The Musician.


ts initial humble incarnation presented itself as a live music night in a popular vegetarian cafe. The night’s founder, Mr. Duncan Sime, built the night and, later, the label on an ethos solely based on a love of music. Embracing the popular culture known at the time as ‘new folk’, he quickly developed the monthly night into a flagship for the current scene in Manchester. Having documented the first few years of this massively celebrated emerging scene through a series of live recordings; a acollection of compilations was released, all constructed on a non-profit basis under the moniker Red Deer Club. This soon blossomed into a fully-fledged record label, flying the flag for Manchester and beyond with artists far transgressing the night’s latter genre ties and returning to Duncan’s initial proviso – loving music. The Red Deer Club specializes in ‘hugstep, landfill indie and curve ball pop’, which to the less literary among us is just ‘bloody great music’. SUMMER 2011 THE DOG 21

The Promoters.

SP T LIGHT Shedding light may or may on things that interest tonot be of you...

Next up, we have some of Manchester’s hottest to trot music promoters who are doing their bit for keeping live music alive – an admirable job, indeed. Let’s be having you... Tell us about your own personal experience of the Manchester music scene. Jay: I was initially involved as a musician and became interested in other aspects – promoting, press and whatnot. This expanded into a day job and promoting became the main cut and thrust of my role before opening the Ruby Lounge. Chris: I got into music through reviewing countless gigs and CDs for a student magazine. Music in Manchester has gone from strength to strength – the Madchester embers have died down and a new generation of promoters, labels and artists who don’t consider Tony Wilson to be a saint are making their mark instead. Dave: I run a Manchester based indie club and gig night called Underachievers Please Try Harder. Aside from the hobby, I have just set up a music booking agency called Loomer Agency. I’m also involved in Postcards from Manchester Festival which, in turn, has a stage at Sounds from the Other City Festival. What’s so good about it? Jay: At its best, Manchester beats its chest and hollers from the rooftops that it’s not “all wind and piss like a tanyard cat.” It’s celebratory of its past and has always felt like a forward thinking city to me (it’s an Industrial

Revolution thing). Chris: I started promoting gigs because my favourite artist at the time was touring but no-one wanted to put him on. I think that’s typical here – people tend to just get stuck in and give something a try. Sometimes it works; other times it doesn’t. Dave: The best bit about Manchester’s music scene is all the sub-cultures; all the DIY promoters putting on exciting bands in interesting places. Sadly, this barely gets reflected elsewhere. What are the various music scenes/circles happening? Jay: People may pontificate about the stacks of unsigned acts aping Oasis but they were always o utnumbered by the majority that wanted to do something original. There are great acts across countless genres, and plenty mashing ideas together to create something truly fresh. Chris: In terms of local bands, it’s guitarheavy at the moment – which isn’t a bad thing, as a good handful are actually pretty talented. Dave: I think the strength of the current scene is that you can’t really wrap bands up together. NME tried to dub something as New Manchester last year but

“The best bit about Manchester’s music scene is all the sub-cultures.”




Jay Taylor

Music Venue Director/Promoter


he son of a bass player and a showgirl, Jay has been… in-house promoter/manager at Night & Day Café and Manchester235 Casino, a radio presenter, studio producer, illustrator, music journalist, shoe model, Mister February in the Beards of Manchester calendar, Gold Blade guitarist and partner in Manchester’s first urban beach project. Currently, Jay carves up his time between the Ruby Lounge, SJM Concerts and In the City Music Festival.

Chris Horkan Promoter


hris has been promoting independent gigs under the name Hey! Manchester for five years now for the

Brown Brogues ( Young British Artists ( Driver Drive Faster ( Patterns ( Spokes ( Jo Rose ( Everything Everything ( Dutch Uncles ( Egyptian Hip-Hop SUMMER 2011 THE DOG 23








it was ridiculous; the bands had hardly anything in common musically. Manchester has been shaped by some massively influential names. What effect has this had on the scene? Jay: They were responsible for some undeniably magnificent work. Some of those records changed my life - and some nights in that club, likewise. But culturally, the future should always take precedence over the past. I don’t want Manchester music to be based around some sort of inherited heritage museum. Chris: Like the Beatles in Liverpool, it’s a history that’s been tough to shake – you still get people trying to relive the city’s ‘glory days’. That’s not necessarily a disastrous thing – everyone’s allowed to reminisce once in a while – but the city’s showing that it can move on. Dave: It’s inspiring as it attracts people like us to move here, be innovative and create your own stamp. But in recent times, it’s been more of a burden there’s a certain old attitude that everything has to be compared to that era, when the most interesting music scenes are never a re-hash. What makes the scene different to other cities? Jay: We are brassy, obstreperous, hard-working and not easily swayed. Geographically we are close to everywhere but far enough away to exist and grow in private. Best of both worlds see? II












nderachievers Please Try Harder began because we wanted to have the kind of fun we could at house-parties but felt that indie/alternative nights and playlists had too many limits. ‘Underachievers’ is like ATP in a fun clubbing format, with fresh sounds, forgotten gems and indie dance floor staples in-between. It’s not as twee as people may lead you to believe (we don’t even like the word).


Chris: Manchester could rival and perhaps top any UK city except London. But unlike London, half of your evening isn’t spent on public transport. There are a plethora of unusual venues, it’s very friendly and there’s surprisingly little politics. Dave: It’s big enough to have lots going on, but small enough to have a communal feel.

“We are brassy, obstreperous, hard-working and not easily swayed.”


Would you recommend the city to other musicians? Jay: Musicians could do a lot worse than gravitating here – this city can take you by surprise. Chris:I’d recommend Manchester to anyone who wants to get their head down and produce some great music. Dave: If you have real talent and work hard, there’s the right people and the right venues here to make things happen. Describe Manchester’s music scene in three words. Jay: Oh, I think I already did. ‘Obstreperous, hard working.’ Chris: Factory it’s not. Dave: Better than most.

( May 68 ( Answering Machine ( Jesca Hoop ( Gabriel Minnikin ( Denis Jones ( Table ( Daniel Land & The Modern Painters ( The Travelling Band ( The Montgolfier Brothers ( D/R/U/G/S 24 THE DOG SUMMER 2011

SP T LIGHT Shedding light may or may on things that interest tonot be of you...

Mcr Scenewipe Vs The Pigeon Post.





Dave Bassinder



likes of Jens Lekman, Okkervil River, Jeffrey Lewis, Band of Horses, Of Montreal, Vetiver, Frightened Rabbit, Herman Dune and Animal Collective. He promotes gigs ‘big and small and everywhere in between’; he strives to offer something different’ and he puts on artists that he loves in the hope that you’ll love them too.



ngs that on thi of ng light not be Sheddi or may to you... may interest

The Bloggers.

The Promoters. (cont.)



Last, but not least, some good old fashioned music fanatics who have their finger on the pulse when it comes to spreading the music of Manchester across t’internet.

Sam & Toby MCR Scenewipe

Tell us about your own personal experience of the Manchester music scene. Sam & Toby: We’re massive music fans and love to submerge ourselves in the local scene. Matthew: There’s always something going on, always someone trying to make something happen, which isn’t always true in every city. So in that sense, we’re blessed. What’s so good about it? Sam & Toby: It isn’t cliquey and there’s no favouritism or snobbery. It’s a place where if your music is good, people will support you. Matthew: How much there is going on - you can go to a good gig every night without fail. There are so many talented bands that it’s impossible to take your eye off the game for a moment without losing track. What are the various music scenes/ circles happening? Sam & Toby: Garage punk is what is coming out at the moment but there is also a really strong folk scene, plus some fantastic indie rock. Matthew: There’s not really much in terms of ‘circles’ or anything - it’s all pretty well linked up. Manchester has been shaped by some massively influential names. What effect has this had on the scene? Sam & Toby: That era has come under a lot of criticism recently, but it was vital

in shaping the cities music. There’s a definite sense of pride but also of wanting to break away and make a new chapter. Matthew: It brings in a lot of very talented people interested in the heritage of the city. It’s a little disconcerting that people want to cling on to this boring ideal but there’s more than enough genuine talent about to not get too worried. What makes the scene different to other cities? Sam & Toby: It’s a positive city that gives hard working artists opportunities, without the ‘scenester’ attitude. It’s a place filled with passion that offers some great experiences. Matthew: Very little by the sounds of things - the city isn’t that important. It’s the people who are doing things that give it its identity. Would you recommend the city to other musicians? Sam & Toby: Hell yes! If you’re prepared to work hard at your game and get involved, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Matthew: Certainly - it’s really good, and people are really switched on to new stuff. Describe Manchester’s music scene in three words. Sam & Toby: Three?! Manchester, Loves, Music! Matthew: Pretty good. Mostly.

“ if your music is good, people will support you.”


n online music video channel and blog, streaming unplugged performances from the most promising talent in Manchester, as well as touring bands from all over the world. Each session is filmed in a unique location enabling people to discover new music whilst getting an intimate glimpse into our beautiful city.

Matthew Britton The Pigeon Post


s well as The Pigeon Post, Matthew also writes for The Line of Best Fit, This is Fake D.I.Y., and Dummy Mag and has had work published in Creative Tourist, Salford Online, CTRL. ALT.SHIFT. He currently writes a monthly column on up and coming bands for Chimp Magazine.

( The Louche FC ( Christopher Eatough ( Blind Atlas ( From the Kites of San Quentin ( Weird Era ( Honeyfeet ( Baked Ala Ska ( to name but a few!

TOP Manchester



The DOs AND DOs of...





A Different Approach There really is no ‘do not’ when it comes to mixing a piece of music. Limitations are in place to be tested and rules are made to be broken so this article is more about how one should approach mixing a song without getting bogged down on one small detail. Mixing a song or a piece of music is an act of balance - balance between the high and low frequencies, between the left and right speakers, between

loud and quiet and between near and far aspects of a track. It is within all these balances that we make our mixes sound really good. Too much top end will make a track sound thin and brittle whilst too little will result in a woolly, muddy sounding mix. The art of mixing is to assess and be aware of these subtle balance issues and address them with volume, pan and EQ adjustments to give each instrument clarity and space yet still support the song.





+2 0

I touched on the issue of monitoring in the last issue of The Dog. Getting not only the best speakers you can afford but also getting them set up in an environment you can accurately assess what you are mixing is one of the safest investments you will make in this game. Knowing your speakers will allow you to make rock solid decisions on the processing you are applying to your mix.





There really is no such thing as fixing something in a mix. At this point in the recording process it really is damage limitation. Get the best sounds you can whilst recording at the source and, more importantly, the best takes you can. Hiding a pitchy vocal with a swamp of reverb will only make that big flat note hang around longer in the reverbs decay. When mixing you want to be in a frame of mind where you are presenting the music in all its glory rather than hiding loose ends. Before you even start mixing something ask yourself ‘is it ready?’ or ‘can I improve this?’ A golden take will translate well no matter how proficient the mix is, whereas a poor performance can’t ever be covered up.





{aka, Polishing a Turd}



If a track is recorded well then most of your mix can be achieved in subtle adjustments of just the volume and pan controls within your mixer. By keeping key elements of the mix bang in the centre of the mix (such as the vocal, kick, snare and bass) we free up the hard left and right of stereo image for guitars, keyboards and whatever else. By using panning effectively, instruments that are likely to sonically occupy the same frequency range as a lead vocal can be moved away spatially to keep it prominent but not clutter the vocal. Proper use of volume automation will drastically reduce the amount of processing you need to apply. Next time you are mixing listen and ask yourself ‘Do I really need to compress this or do I just need to play with my levels?’ With modern computers offering almost infinite EQ and Compression possibilities you may be finding yourself reaching for some heavy dynamic control when all you need to do is make a minor adjustment to a level.

Fixing it in the Mix



When I start a mix the first thing I want is the core of the track sounding great as quickly as possible. Sometimes that is the vocal and an acoustic guitar locking in together, other times it is in a rhythm section. For a rock or pop band I will have a stripped back drum kit (kick, snare and overheads for example), bass and the main harmonic instrument (usually guitars or keys) and build my mix around the vocal. This method will stop you getting bogged down too much on one channel in isolation (for example, a kick or snare drum sound) and work on getting a balance between the all the instrumentation from the very start. My goal as a mix engineer is to get the vibe and groove of a song cooking long before I worry about the details of a specific instruments sound. This method, I have found, allows me to get the whole picture of the mix earlier and also has the benefit of getting all the instrumentation supporting that vocal rather than the classic mistake of running out of space in a mix and the vocal sitting on top of it all.

Volume & Pan






The DOs AND DOs of... MIXING

Meet IN CONCLUSION The main piece of advice in this issue is to remember that you are mixing a song and all you are trying to do is present that song in the most flattering way possible. I hope these ideas I have discussed help you on the way to quicker, better sounding mixes and prevent you getting stuck in one small detail that, at the end of the day, probably won’t matter. Perspective of the song as a whole is what you need to have at all times as, ultimately, that is exactly how a listener will hear it.

GARRY BOYLE Garry Boyle is a top notch Edinburgh music producer who works both as a recording engineer for The Depot, as well as assistant engineer for Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound. He has worked with a bunch of bands including Rossco Galloway & the Chans, The Banana Sessions, Stanley Odd, Kat Healy, Mike Kearney, Easy Tigers and Horndog Brass Band. As well as studio recording, he’s also done a lot of live recording at venues in and around Edinburgh. If you want to check out his work or get in touch about getting some professional studio/live recording done, visit





Diamond Express A charismatic bunch that manage to bring together rock ‘n’ roll grit and bourbon-soaked blues in one of the most hell-bound bands you ever laid your widened eyes on... Questions by Roberta Pia

Describe your musical style in 3 words. Rock and roll! Your best and worst gigs? Short answer: The International Bar (over by the Meadows, in Edinburgh). Long answer: Our best and worst gig occurred one night at the International Bar a few years back. We had a weekly acoustic residency there. Our audience usually consisted of men hardened by age, work and years of daily drinking. On this particular night, we were playing by the large windows opposite the door, when a young couple entered and took a table nearby. They made no attempt to buy a drink but continued their heated discussion in a foreign language. The barman came over and asked them to leave and when the boy resisted the barman took him by the collar and made to lift him from his seat, then (rather over-dramatically) spin him in a 360 degree motion so as to send him out the door to his right. The young man was stronger than first impressions would warrant


and was able to apply enough counter-motion to push the barman off-balance, sending the pair careering headlong out of the door. A scuffle ensued and soon enough, the barman returned just as the girl left. Moments later (we´re still playing all the while), the boy returns and appears at the window to my right. His face is pressed in rage against the glass, his breath and saliva smearing all over the place. He bangs his fist on the window, again and again, saying “Come on you pussies... You´re all pussies! Aaaarrrgh!”. Still we play on. Suddenly there is an almighty sound (as if someone has just smashed his fist through a massive window) and as the boys fist comes crashing through, shards of broken glass come raining down over us and onto the wooden floor of the bar room like tipsy skaters on a lake. Eventually we finished the song and when questioned later by police, we had to confess, what with all the playing we´d been doing, we hadn´t seen a thing. Tell us a funny Black Diamond Express story. See answers 2 & 4.

following night. He spent the first half of the set rocking back and forth violently on the stage monitor, causing it to teeter on the brink of

“I DON’T GIVE A F**K ABOUT THE BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS!” destruction. When I caught him after the show and asked him how he felt (after dancing barefoot to our music for two consecutive nights) he answered “I don´t give a f**k about the Black Diamond Express!” Not really a description but nevertheless this has to be one of the best and worst comments

about our band so far! Thank you Shaun wherever you aren´t.

Best and worst decription of your band so far? We recently played a gig at Joseph Pearce´s in Edinburgh, where a rather drunken middle-aged man came in and started dancing like some sort of demented octopus. He was refused a drink at the bar, but allowed to stay (on account of his dancing, I can only assume). We later found out he´d played with some punk bands back in the day and that his name was Shaun. We thought he´d be great to have on film so we gave him a free ticket for our live recording at The Caves the 34 THE DOG SUMMER 2011

Your favourite tunes & albums at the moment? Louis Armstrong “Louis Armstrong & Friends” Fred Crosby´s solo on Lazy Bones. The Louvin´Brothers “Satan Is Real” - close country harmonies on some heavily religious material and an album cover featuring a 20 foot Satan that was built by Charlie Louvin´s wife! Rev. Charlie Jackson “Trouble In My Way” Charlie Jackson was born in Mississippi in 1932, learned the blues from local players as a kid and then went on, like Blind Willie Johnson before

him, to live his life in the service of the Lord. His Gospel recordings mix delta blues riffs with devotional lyrics and personal stories.

Wanda Jackson “Funnel of Love” - this recording was made in 1961 (while she was dating Elvis). Wanda is now well into her seventies and still rocks harder than two jack-rabbits in spring. She has just released her new album which features some guitar slinging and production from Jack White. John Carpenter´s “The Thing” - one of my all

“Steal, beg, borrow, lift, loan, launder... then innovate.”

What are your favourite bits of musical gear? Mostly our instruments - Cameron´s John Raeburn Violin made in 1885, Steven´s Cherry Red Gibson 335 (dot), Jack´s 1956 Musima Archtop fitted with a handwound Bare Knuckle P-91 pickup, Tom´s Rosewood Suzuki Pureharp in D, and The Duke´s Pearl Focus Series drum kit. We used to have a matching set of Vintage Fender valve amps but they were lost to the Ambergris King over a bad hand of Texas Stud. What tips would you give to anyone wanting to emulate your sound? Don´t try to emulate. Steal, beg, borrow, lift, loan, launder... then innovate. What’s next for The Black Diamond Express? We recently recorded our debut album over two nights at The Caves. Both the shows were filmed with an audience (an amazing cavalcade of radges and gypsies) and will be independently released in the summer as a CD/DVD package.

time favourite films. John Carpenter directs the film and writes the score and on this occasion

finds the perfect balance between sound and vision. The soundtrack features masses of menacing minimalism and sets the tone for the film perfectly. Who are your favourite local bands? The Horndog Brass Band, Miyagi, Super Adventure Club, Earl Grey & The Loose Leaves, The Wheel, Lewis Gibson, Lee Patterson, The Chans, Kearney´s Kat-Tet, The Banana Sessions, Missing Cat, Killer Shark Attack, William Dakota, Jane Street Infirmary, Revenge of Leith Swimming Pool Accident Society, We Were Promised Trams, Jenny & The Bets and Jack´s Rabbit´s Foot Minstrels... to name but a few. 36 THE DOG SUMMER 2011

If you weren´t there you may want to check out Shaun´s dancing for yourselves. We´re also collaborating with Jack Nissan on writing a score for the song Live Free or Die. The new arrangement will be performed live with the Tinderbox Orchestra on Sunday 22nd May at Pilrig Steet Church, Edinburgh. Rehearsals are underway and it promises to be one of the most epic shows we´ve put on so far. If you could give the world a message, what would that message be? Spend your last tenner on a book.

Electrics. T

here are such a variety of well-made guitars these days that it’s sometimes difficult to make sense of the gap between mid-price and top-end instruments. One reason for the difference lies in the use of cheaper electrical components. Less expensive pick-up selector switches will be OK for a while - it’s only after a few months that their inferior quality starts to make itself known. Although comparatively low tech, their innards are only as good as the materials

“It’s a fact that cheap electrics will wear out many times over” they’re made from. It’s a fact that cheap electrics will wear out many times over, compared to the extended life of top notch items. Some cheaper guitars are absolutely great on the constructional front but if I had a hot dinner for every pick-up selector switch I’ve had to replace… well, I’d be very fat. The contacts on these switches are not really good enough long term and we replace them without question if they act up.


“Jack sockets, because of the constant nature of their function, take a right battering” Potentiometers (pots) too are subject to this rule. The quality of their internal tracks can vary from the slight scratchiness often found on budget guitars, all the way up to the silky smooth operation of the special heavy duty items used on pedal-steel swell pedals. It’s true, sometimes all that’s required is a good clean up with special electrical cleaner but nothing quite matches the unpredictability of a dodgy pot or switch during an important gig . Jack sockets, because of the constant nature of their function, take a right battering. Not only can they become loose and disrupt the rest of the internal wiring, but the potential for corrosion on the plating of their contact surfaces is enormous. It’s well worth checking yours and giving it a gentle clean using the side of a suitably sized scraper. If the plating looks suspect, replace it. Never mind the odd crackle associated with a pot, a worn jack socket will eventually cut out - as in no sound, mid-solo! If in doubt, upgrade with heavy duty, USmade items. It makes sense in the long run.

Dr. Fretlove returns next time... SUMMER 2011 THE DOG 39

jam-along companion for guitarists Getting the band together to jam is tough, with work, kids and unfinished DIY (or maybe that’s just us) eating up your spare time. So if you can’t get to the band, let the band come to you via the JS-8 e-Band. Basically, think of it as an MP3 audio player with speakers and Boss effects built-in, so you can practise along with your favourite tracks

using your favourite tones. It’s up and running in just a few seconds, leaving more time for you to nail that tricky solo. It’s compact, it’s easy to use, it works without a computer, it has useful backing tracks, practical guitar tones, and different routings for computer recording… And crucially, it doesn’t ask to borrow a tenner for petrol to get home.

Who manufactures the Boss JS8? A) Boss B) Kate Moss C) Luke Goss

To enter this amazing competition, just go to and answer the AMAZINGLY simple question. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries on Thursday 21st July.







he Boss Micro BR is, as its name would suggest, somewhat diminutive – the idea seems to have been to cram a load of recording technology into a unit the size of a fag packet, without the health risks. As with the BR800, it has Boss effects and a drum machine built in but, being the size it is, doesn’t have XLR mic inputs. However, the aim is not connectivity but portability and, in

Tascam 2488Neo £649

The first home multi-track recorders or “Portastudios” were developed by Tascam in the ‘70s, miraculously fitting what was until then a room’s worth of technology into a (relatively) compact box. These empowered a generation of bedroom musicians to bodge together demos without the cost and inconvenience of going to a recording studio, or indeed having any other band members.


he first thing you notice about the BR800 is how damned modern it looks – all the transport controls (i.e. play and record etc.) are touch sensitive pads rather than actual buttons. This means the interface feels clear and uncluttered but, at the same time, you don’t get that reassuring clunk that you get


from some of the other products here. The unit offers 4 tracks of simultaneous recording and sports four XLR mix inputs and an on-board condenser mic for quick recordings. The BR800, being a Boss product, has a load of Roland’s great COSM effects built in – basically effects from their popular stomp boxes – and also features a drum machine for instant backing tracks. It can also act as an audio interface for recording onto your computer – nifty.



“a one-stop shop for all your recording needs”


Here we guide you through the options at your disposal...

“the interface feels clear and uncluttered”

this respect, it trumps all the other units on test here. Offering 4 playback tracks (and 32 “V-Tracks” – basically meaning you can record extra tracks but not play them back at the same time) and SD card compatibility, it’s a dinky but powerful unit for recording ideas while on the move.

eserving a mention because it has a higher track count than any of the others in this round-up, the Tascam 2488 Neo is something of a beast. Offering 8 mic inputs (4 of which have phantom power for condenser mics) and a total of 24 channels, it is ideal for taking along to a rehearsal and recording the whole band. It also has a full suite of channel effects (such as compression / reverb etc.) and mastering effects (stereo compression etc.). Aiming to be a one-stop shop for all your recording needs, it also has an in-built CD burner so, once you’ve mixed down your track, you can burn a CD for every member in the band (or your mum). Nice!

As is the way with technology, things have moved on a long way since then, and tape based multitrackersare defunct, paving the way for a digital future of infinite track counts and built-in effects / drum machines and more. Although generally everything you can do on a digital multitrack recorder can be done on a laptop with an audio interface, there is something re-assuring about not having to rely on software and being able to produce a whole track with only one box.

Boss BR800 £365



ot off the press, the Zoom R8 is the newest of the bunch here, sharing a release date with this very magazine, no less. The littlest brother of the R24 (we haven’t mentioned the middle sibling the R16 - in this round-up), much of the same applies, though obviously cut down somewhat. However, Zoom have clearly aimed to hit a very competitive price point with this unit and, for the money it certainly performs very well. Only 2 tracks of simultaneous recording are available but phantom power is

provided and there are still a load of DSP effects (150!) so you can get a pretty good finished track out. The R8 also shares the R24’s ability to work as a high quality 24bit / 96kHz audio interface, (albeit with only 2 recording tracks) and retains the sampling capability, meaning you can loop sampled drum beats etc. All in all, a great value option.

Zoom R8 £219

Buy online and use code

‘dog2’ at the checko ut to your purchase get 5% OFF or come into the shop for a Demo!




“Spec-wise, the R24 is up with the best of them”



Zoom R24 £399


oom have clearly realised that, although there is still a market for multitrack recorders, everyone has a computer of some sort somewhere. As such, all their units are built with PC / Mac integration in mind. This means that the R24 not only works as a full featured multitracker, but also as an 8 input audio interface and control surface for recording software such as Cubase, Logic or

Sonar. Not only this, but the in-built effects can also be used within your sequencer. This is a great touch and means that their units can be used either stand alone or in combination with your home or studio set-up. Spec-wise, the R24 is up with the best of them, with the ability to record 8 tracks simultaneously (via combined XLR / jack sockets, 6 of which have phantom power) and play back 24 tracks, enough for most bands. It also has a drum machine and a massive range of effects, including guitar amp Buy online at simulation.

RedDogMusic. and use code

‘dog2’ at the checko ut to your purchase get 5% OFF or come into the shop for a Demo!







SD Card

Instrument and line in


Boss BR800


24 bit WAV



SD Card (1gb supplied)

4 x XLR Combi

Boss multi-effects

Zoom R24


24 bit WAV



SD Card (1gb supplied)

8 x XLR/jack combi w/ phantom power

Integration with your computer

Tascam 2488Neo


24 bit WAV



80gb Internal hard drive

8 (4 XLR w/ phantom power)

Built-in CD burner

Zoom R8


24 bit WAV



SD Card (2gb supplied)

2 x XLR / jack combi w/ phantom power

On-board sampler

P L E A S E N O T E ! P R I C E S A R E L I A B L E T O G O U P A S W E LL A S D O W N . C H E C K ONL I N E A T R E D D O G M U S I C . C O . U K FO R A LL T H E L AT E S T P R I C E S . 44 THE DOG SUMMER 2011


ECONOMY PICKING: PART I. Economy picking is a combination of Sweep picking and Alternate picking produce the These techniques are applied in conjunction with each other in order to works, this how nd understa to order In possible. pattern most economic picking we must study each of these techniques individually.


Alternate picking is the most economical way of playing more than one note on the same string, and involves alternating between down-strokes and up-strokes (a different stroke for each note). Let’s take an A note on the 5th fret of the high E string, and an F note on the 6th fret of the B string. If you were to repeat these two note (A, F, A, F etc), it is possible to alternate pick this pattern in two ways. Firstly, you could use a down-stroke for the A note and an up-stroke for the F note. Secondly, you could do the opposite. Both methods use alternate picking, but one is more economic than the other. The first of these methods demonstrates the old adage, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line”. Here, the pick works within the gap between the two strings (this is known as ‘inside ‘picking); whereas, in the second example, the pick has to pass over each string in order to pick from the ‘outside’ each time. This involves far more work with the right hand. So, from this, we can see that there is a simple rule that ensures maximum economy when picking; ‘Always move the pick directly to each new string’. In other


words, always move from a fat string to a thin string with a down-stroke and vice versa. In order to apply this rule, you need to be able to sweep pick.

“Always move the pick directly to each new string.”

Sweep picking

Sweep Picking is a technique that involves picking more than one note with a single continuous stroke of the pick. This can only be done when changing from string to string. In the future, we will see that sweep picking can also be used with scales, but, for this lesson, we are going to confine our study to arpeggios.

When trying to get to grips with a particular technique, it’s often a good idea to keep things short, so that you’re not distracted from the job in hand: in this case, to master a mechanical movement, not a piece of music. This first exercise looks like it has three strokes for each of the three notes being repeated, one down-stroke and two consecutive up-strokes; however, each consecutive pair of upstrokes should be played as one continuous stroke (sweep). This way, you get to play all three notes of the repeated pattern by only using two strokes. Remember, when you try this, you should only hold one note down at any one time when changing from string to string, in order to prevent the notes from running into each other. There is a common trap into which many players fall when trying to learn this technique for the first time. The problem starts when trying to sweep more than one note with a single continuous pick-stroke. Until the correct degree of control has been developed, the notes in question tend to be rushed. In an effort to keep everything in time, it’s common to end up playing each sweep as separate strokes.It’s vital that you commit to the sweep, because, if you don’t, you won’t be able to practise it and, therefore, refine it as a technique. If you are not sure whether you are using one continuous sweep movement or not, you could try a few different things:

Try cranking up the tempo. With sweep picking, if you encounter a point on the metronome, which is medium paced, and yet feels like a brick wall, it’s usually an indication that you have been splitting all of your sweeps into separate strokes. The ‘brick wall’ is the speed at which you can no longer play the sweep as separate strokes. The secret here is often to speed the metronome up even further still. At the faster speed, you have no option other than to sweep pick.

“At the faster speed, you have no option other than to sweep pick.”

Some players find it easier to think of a sweep as a succession of classical-style rest-stokes, whereby every stroke follows through and comes to rest on the next string. This way, it becomes easier to see how sweeping can also be done very slowly, not just fast.

Check your pick ACTION In the mirror

Rush the sweep in Exercise1 with one unashamed up-strum. This shouldn’t feel any different to what you were doing before. If it does, you weren’t sweeping.



by The Banana Sessions

Dusting off your wellington boots for this year’s festival season? If so, here are a few recommendations from a merry bunch of music festival whores. They’ve been around, like...


A wonderful wee boutique festival held in the back garden of Inshriach House, Aviemore. Run by a lovely bunch of pals, flowing with Thistly Cross cider, brimming with delicious gourmet food and the best hand-picked selection of music you could possibly find. Highlights for me include the welly-wanging competition, the Backwoods stage in the middle of a dramatically lit forest setting and last but not least, the whirlpool down by the campsite that people dive-bomb to wash themselves of their hangovers in the morning. This festival really is all about the love, man. Once you’ve been to Insider, you’ve become part of the Insider family.


Located in a valley in the lovely hills of Dumfries & Galloway, people flock here to party until the break of dawn. Its most signature attribute, for me, is

that no matter where you go, people will be playing tunes – whether you’re at the main stage, the Cabaret tent, the Longhouse, Weirdigans cafe, the campsite, round the Knockengorroch campfire... it appears that most people can or will play something. For those who don’t care to dabble in live music, Mungo’s Hi-Fi is normally there to provide beats until the wee, wee hours. A downright muddy, gritty, ear-pleasing festival that hosts some of the most hardcore festival fiends I’ve come

“everybody at Knockengorroch seems to play an instrument of some sort.” across in all my days. They even had a Jacuzzi last year, thrown in for good measure. Knock truly is a world of


FestivalGuide music in the hills that starts the festival season off each year in fine fettle.


This muddy field in Lancashire takes the best bits of every festival I’ve ever been to and combines it into one perfect happy fun time. The attribute that stands out most is its ATD (Attention To Detail) – they have LITERALLY thought of everything. Quirky little features are scattered here, there and everywhere to keep your interest as you’re wandering between stages. Highlights include the rabbit hole that you climb through to get from the main stage area to the campsite; the hobbits bar that is situated underground, so you have to kneel down low to get yourself a pint and the Techno Forest. Beatherder perfectly combines the art of the ‘bigger’ festival with all the intricacies of the ‘smaller’ ones.

Kelburn Garden Party

If you want to experience the Edinburgh music scene all in one go with some top names paired alongside – this is the festival for you. Held at Kelburn Castle, somewhere between Edinburgh and Glasgow, where the famous Graffiti Project was held, you can experience the crème de la crème of Edinburgh music whilst standing underneath a historic, rural castle with Brazilian-influenced graffiti plastered all over it – a must-see for all you acid-heads out there. There’s even a secret hidden pathway that you can take a quiet walk along if you need a festival time-out. Although mind your feet, I seem to remember falling down a ditch in the middle of a field. I may or may not have been under the influence.

Exit Festival

The most striking thing about this festival is a) the setting and b) how hardcore it is. Exit Festival is held in the grounds of an 18th century fortress by the Danube so you’re partying hard whilst being surrounded by mindblowing old school castle walls soaked 50 THE DOG SUMMER 2011

in the most dramatic of lighting. The aforementioned hardcore: the festival begins at 8pm every night and ends at 8am every morning. It’s a festival that is NOT intended for the fainthearted, NOT intended for the weak-footed and definitely not for anyone who doesn’t like to party until the cows eventually come home. Musically speaking, Exit festival has the most varied selection of music I’ve ever come across. Highlight of the festival, for me, was dancing to Green Velvet at some ungodly hour of the morning on top of a hill just as the sun began to rise. Happy, sunshiney, razzle-dazzle days.

Wickerman Festival

Wickerman is most definitely up there as one of, if not THE favourite Scottish music festival. Those who don’t dig the T in the P vibe these days tend to do the Wickerman thing instead – for a whole bunch of reasons. The

“takes the best bits of every festival I’ve ever been to and combines it into one.” first reason is, despite its growth in popularity over the years, it still manages to keep to its roots of being an independent, family-friendly festival. Secondly, it manages to accommodate both bigname bands and smaller, local Scottish bands, in equal amounts and all under the same tent roofs. Another reason it’s so popular is: there’s a very minimal amount of Tennents lager. The main highlight of this particular festival, however, is the ceremonial burning of its

FestivalGuide namesake, The Wickerman. After two days of music, mud and letting the good times roll, everybody gathers around the Wickerman to watch him burn to the ground while fireworks explode all around. Please note that, unlike the film, no human beings are harmed throughout this ritual.

“all hell, carnage, savagery and debauchery break loose.” The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

I remember a random Spanish man once saying to me, “You have a month -long party in your city once a year, no? Very cool!” And he was right. It’s practically 24/7 for a whole month, it’s very cool and it’s a total P.A.R.T.Y – and what a swell one it is too. Edinburgh was once described to me as being ‘like a comfortable pair of pants’- not particularly exciting but you love it nonetheless. Then, all of a sudden, the Fringe ensues and all hell, carnage, savagery and debauchery break loose. For one month Edinburgh is the place to be. Every nook and cranny is filled with musicians, actors, artists, theatre buffs, magicians, jugglers, trapeze artists... It’s like London condensed into one picturesque little city. Yes, the locals complain, but take it from a born ‘n’ bred local with a positive mental attitude – it definitely IS the place to be. I played 30 gigs in 24 days in 2009 - the phrase ‘too much fun’ comes to mind.

The Meadows Festival

A community run festival that’s held in The Meadows, also known as Edinburgh’s pride and joy of summer hangouts. Things to note about this festival are: it’s completely non-profit and organised by Edinburgh locals, it features a hand-picked selection of Edinburgh’s finest musical acts and what’s more, it’s a pure free for all. Arts, craft and music all in Edinburgh’s favourite patch of greenery. My own personal memory of this festival begins on a bobby dazzler of a sunshiney day back in 2010... Our time came to take the stage and, as if from nowhere, the heavens opened and relentless amounts of rain poured from the skies. Normally, such a downpour would force the masses to scatter and flee for cover. But this is ScotName: land - so it was The Banana Sessions ‘taps aff’ followed by the most rauAbout: cous of mud fights The Banana Sessions with everybody are a mutant folk-pop partying like it five-piece fuelled by was 1999 - just copious amounts of like Prince did, Buckfast. Over the past remember? I few years, they’ve spent think everybody a large chunk of their who was there time noising up more will agree with Scottish music festivals me when I say than you could shake a that it was a day tent-pole at. They’ve that will go down supported Alex Kapranos in Edinburgh’s (Franz Ferdinand) at Meadows Festival Wickerman Festival, history. achieved a cheeky bit of

Who Are...?


If Glastonbury was a person, it would be Elvis. ‘Nuff said.

YouTube fame with their 90s rave classics arrangement, the ‘Prodigy Medley’ and ALWAYS aim to please their crowd in true nut-job style.







AKA Bombskare play Edinburgh at Halloween. An excuse to ditch the suits.

1 SKATALITES (Support)

It was a real honour to share a stage with the band that started this Ska thing. Lochinver was memorable for the landscape & Glasgow for the Crack. When the Skatalites visited Edinburgh last November we were invited to support; Matt our keyboard player bagged a solo during their encore.

6 DR NO’s NIGHT CLUB (A while back...)

Ska night at The Bongo Club New Street. Many a happy night.


The band unwittingly gate crash Hamish Henderson’s wake.

IN THE PARK 2 ISLE OF RUM FESTIVAL 8WeTplayed the T Break stage

A six hour drive from Edinburgh to Mallaig followed by a five hour ferry crossing. Bombskare goes Ray Mears for the weekend or what Colin, our trumpet player, calls ‘commando training’.


Studio 24 February 2009. Filled to capacity, Us, The Amphetameanies, Big Hand & Root System.

4 TOOTS (Support)

One of the great Jamaican singer song writers. Another night to remember at The Arches in Glasgow.

back in 2001. Biffy Clyro were also on the bill.


Our Friends Alex & MarieAnne got married last year and they invited us to play at their reception. Good food, good company, a swimming pool and a lot of driving.


Back in the early days we found ourselves supporting playing a night of ska at Barrowlands with 4 other bands - three of which weren’t ska bands and the crowd were a bit wound up when we took to the stage.

fter lots of rum and a fair amount of muck, the Isle of Eigg finally gave birth to The Marrs Effect in late 2009 and despite many people saying ‘ye canna do that’, the band forged ahead, creating their own folky blend of country-funk. Hailing from Edinburgh via Liverpool, Dundee, Glenelg and Dumfries & Galloway, they play the tunes of their illustrious leader Micky Marr. The Marrs Effect are: Micky Marr, Phil Hopwood, Vini Bonnar, Matthew (Chew) Bartlett & Barney Strachan. The band plan to record their debut long player in summer 2011. Watch this space,

Top 10 Bits Of Kit

1 Martin 00016 Glosstop Rosewood Guitar 2 Fishman Rare Earth Blend pick-up 3 Fender Vintage Hot Rod‘57 Stratocaster, Candy Apple Red 4 Fender Hot Rod Delux III 112 5 Korg SV1 6 Hammond XB2 7 Mapex Saturn Series Drum Kit 8 Paiste Signature/2002 Cymbals 9 Fender ‘60s Jazz Bass, Olympic White 10 Orange BT500H Bass Terror SUMMER 2011 THE DOG 53



The Marrs Effect play live on Sunday the 28th of May.

Hair of the Dog Sundays All events start at 3pm S un 1 ST M AY • • •

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Open Couch Session • • • • • • • •

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Sun 15th MAY

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The Mars Petrol & Cherry Suede Hair of the Dog Sundays going strong!


air of the Dog Sundays is still going strong; however, we will always strive to be better. First up, we have a brand spanking new stage! What with summer arriving, we felt that we needed to shed some light on the Hair of the Dog stage... so we’ve moved it to the downstairs level of the shop, next to some nice big windows so you can enjoy tunes and see daylight at the same

time. Happy days! The other thing is: Hair of the Dog Sundays is going completely unplugged from here on in as we feel this will be much kinder to all those hung-over heads out there! If you’re interested in playing at Hair of the Dog Sundays, please email... for available dates. And remember and tell all your pals! FREE live music, EVERY Sunday at 3pm. Magic!

Tune of

The Week Did you know that we send out a weekly e-newsletter to everybody on our Dog mailing list? And in this newsletter, we feature a Tune of the Week? We’d like you to send in your music to our Red Dog


Music DropBox at www. If it tickles us, we’ll feature it and folk all over the UK could be listening to your music. Sign up to our mailing list at

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Supermarionation • • • • • • •

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The Kyla Coopman Band SUn 28th MAY The Marrs Effect • • • • • • • •

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Chasing Owls • • • • • • • •

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Steven’s Myth • • • • • • • •


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Kat Healy and Al Shields • • • • • • • •


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LewisSunFergusson 17TH JULY • • • • • • • •

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The Dog - Summer 2011  

The third issue of our cheeky wee music magazine featuring interviews with Malcolm Middlton and The Black Diamond Express; we shine the spot...

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