Sound Of Scotland
Your music expert Lisa-marie Ferla previews a massive Glasgow-berlin link-up and the best of the fests
Your columnist Lisa-marie Ferla looks at an exciting festival link between Glasgow and Berlin
AUGUST brings the inaugural European Championships to Glasgow – and with it, an impressive cultural programme.
The new multi-sport event is being hosted jointly by Glasgow and Berlin. The centrepiece of Festival 2018 is a live-linked concert in George Square and Berlin’s European Mile on Breitschiedplatz on August 7, featuring student musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and Berlin’s Universität der Künste, Europe’s largest art school.
Festival 2018 kicks off ahead of the sports, with a big George Square opening party on August 1. The Ayoub Sisters, SAY Award-winners Sacred Paws and Mercury Music Prize-nominated composer and musician C Duncan are just some of the Scottish acts scheduled to perform. The party continues with street food, sporting highlights and a city-wide carnival procession, plus the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (August 2), a rare open air concert from electronic dance music duo Orbital (August 10) and Mogwai’s Barry Burns (August 11). Celtic Connections curate the closing night on August 12 with an evening of the best Scottish and world music.
I’m sure I’m not the only Glaswegian with fond memories of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, when the cultural events probably rivalled the sporting ones to create a memorable summer in the city. Throw in open-air concerts every night at the Kelvingrove Bandstand (July 30-August 11), featuring the likes of Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison and Roddy Frame; and three massive gigs at Bellahouston Park under the Summer Sessions umbrella with Kings of Leon (August 22), Catfish and the Bottlemen (August 25) and Kendrick Lamar (August 29) – and I’d say Glasgow is the place to be this month. Cryptic’s festival of visual and sonic art, Sonica, also returns this month, with three major family-friendly free events taking place across the city – two of which tie in with the European Championships. Robbie Thomson’s Portal (August 2-12) will transform the Clyde Tunnel into a subterranean adventure playground of light and sound, while Australian artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey return with Pivot (August 1-12) – a pair of giant, talking seesaws which promise to help Festival 2018 attendees unleash their inner child. A third audiovisual installation, Visaurihelix, will be housed in the Mackintosh Tower at The Lighthouse until January, 2019. Away from the city buzz, August also offers a slate of festivals across the country. Starting north and working south, you’ll find the award-winning Belladrum Tartan
Heart (Beauly, Inverness-shire, August 2-4) with Paloma Faith, Primal Scream and Amy Macdonald; Party at the Palace (Linlithgow, August 11-12) with James, Texas and Embrace; Groove Loch Ness (August 18) with Marc Kinchen, Hannah Wants and THAT Idris Elba; Electric Fields (Dumfries, August 30-September 1), with Noel Gallagher, Leftfield and Idlewild; and Midstock (Dalkeith, August 31-September 1), with 2 Unlimited and Example.
New music to get excited about this month comes from reunited Dundee punks UNIFORMS, whose Reasons to Breathe 7” single (Make-that-a-take/tns Records) is a sneering maelstrom of contemporary protest. The band are planning UK dates around the release.
Whitburn’s Lovers Turn To Monsters celebrates the fifth anniversary of his lo-fi weepy-folk masterpiece of mortality, nostalgia and pop culture The Skeletor EP by bringing it to vinyl, courtesy of Scottish Fiction/common Records. And glorious Glasgow nine-piece country-soul act The Gracious Losers release their rich, swoonsome debut album on Last Night From Glasgow records – catch their engrossing live show at the CCA (August 31) with support from labelmates Kidd and Cloth.
UNIFORMS have reformed Sam Spiers
Art installation Pivot
Cryptic Portal in the Clyde Tunnel
The Gracious Losers