Monthly Archives: August 2010

Goodbye Grammatics

Last week saw the hugely talented Grammatics play their last ever gig, a devastating event not just because a truly talented band has stopped making music. The real kick in the teeth is that Grammatics’ self-titled debut album was only released last year. That’s one year from dream realised to dream destroyed. And the reason? Largely financial. At their final Scottish gig in Glasgow last week, their merchandise stall offered only t-shirts bearing the slogan ‘Grammatics are fucking bankrupt’.

Money troubles are, of course, nothing new, but it seems that an increasing number of bands are having to stop making music because it is no longer financially viable. Look at Reuben, who held down day jobs throughout their touring days before taking a lengthy hiatus;  look at Idlewild, who have cited similar reasons for their imminent break. After their last album, Elbow have become big hitters, but before that, they were shuffled from record company to record company as they failed to meet sales targets (see also Delays). A deal with a major label is no longer security, a deal with a smaller label even less so.

So what are the options when a band finds themselves without money? Stick it out and hope there’s another label to pick you up? Work even harder for even less reward and risk ending up resenting your own music for getting you into this mess? Or walk away as gracefully as possible? Given the available  choices, Grammatics’ decision to pack it in is understandable, but it’s no less heartbreaking. You can pledge towards their final EP release here, and then all that remains is to say goodbye to an exciting, endlessly inventive band who simply can’t do it anymore.

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Self promotion #3 – revenge of the Fringe reviews

Last crop of festival reviews:

Roadkill

Arj Barker: Let Me Do The Talking

Jam Theatre Collective: The Man Who Was Thursday

National Theatre of Scotland: Beautiful Burnout

Seann Walsh: I’d Happily Punch Myself In The Face

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Self promotion #2 – Fringe reviews

During the Fringe, I’m doing some reviews for the excellent BigOnGlasgow.com, and here they are:

Charlie Talbot: Someone Better Known

Jack Whitehall: Learning Difficulties

Martin Creed Ballet Work No.1020

Sarah Millican: Chatterbox

Alex Zane: Just One More Thing

Stripped

Jean Abreu Dance: Inside

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Edge Festival: All Quiet On The Western Front

August means only one thing in Scotland: everything moves east, making for tumbleweed time in Glasgow. As for good old Edinburgh, it’s time for the Edge Festival, formerly T On The Fringe. This year’s line up is, sadly, a bit uninspired, with posters boasting the likes of Mika, Amy McDonald, Tinchy Strider and Jason bloody Derulo as if they are things to be celebrated.

But there are a few shows worth braving the crowds for. There’s the lovely Field Music (Sneaky Pete’s on 23rd August), Craig B of Aereogramme’s new venture The Unwinding Hours (Electric Circus, tonight!)., and for one of the best live musical experiences you can have – seriously – the excellent Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip are playing at the newly reopened Liquid Rooms on the 24th.

For those not venturing to the capital, decent gigs will resume in your town in October. Hang tight.

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