Time is right to see new crop of bands

IT'S a new year – and one Glasgow venue is hoping that locals have made it their resolution to see more new bands.

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Kitty The Lion are on the bill for the series of shows
Kitty The Lion are on the bill for the series of shows

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut kick-starts its third annual series of New Year Revolution gigs on Thursday, offering a host of acts to banish the post Christmas blues.

More than 50 Scottish bands will grace the hallowed venue's stage throughout the next fortnight, with the main aim being to give young local talent a chance.

Much like Tut's yearly Summer Nights series in July, it brings together bands from across different genres, with three or four bands playing there every evening at affordable prices.

"It's about giving young bands a platform," says Craig Johnston, the King Tut's gig booker.

"It's up to them what they then do with that platform, but we can certainly help them on their way.

"It's to showcase as many good acts in Scotland as we can. It's not an indie festival, it's not a rock festival, it's about having the best acts in Scotland whatever genre they are in."

This year's bash sees everything from the noisy self-described "crunch-pop" of Glasgow band Honeyblood (on January 10) to folk songstress Kitty The Lion (who headlines on Monday).

Top of Craig's own list are two of the more experienced acts playing this year, in the shape of Glasgow's very own masters of psychedelic West Coast pop, Haight-Ashbury, and fast-rising rockers Fatherson, who will be playing a show with a special twist.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing Haight-Ashbury on January 14," says Craig.

"They are such a strange band as they are doing really well in Europe, playing big gigs in France and yet here no-one really knows who they are. It's a bit like We Were Promised Jetpacks [the Edinburgh rock band] who are doing massive shows all over America, yet still aren't that well known here.

"Fatherson are a great band. They played the Garage a couple of months ago, so it's nice of them to agree to come back and play Tut's on January 16. The idea from the start was for a Fatherson stripped back show, doing something acoustic. And then they added a string section. And then they added a brass section too.

"So although it was supposed to be stripped back there's going to be more of them onstage than ever before."

Their Tut's appearance will see Fatherson carry on the form that saw them enjoy a cracking 2012, including landing radio airplay and headlining the Garage.

For Craig it's fantastic to see a band that were Tut's regulars start to break through into the mainstream.

"It's great to see bands grow," he says.

"I've only been in the job four years now, and Fatherson are one of the first ones to really break through – to see 700 kids singing along to their songs is something I still can't believe."

It's not just about the headliners though, with Craig keen to push that every band helps to promote the festival as a whole, as well as backing the other bands that are playing alongside them. This spirit could lead to unexpected collaborations as well.

THERE'S often a great spirit between the bands on each night," adds Craig.

"Chris Devotion and the Expectations have been chatting to their support acts on Twitter about various things they could do together, and that's great.

"There's a real camaraderie there. It's not just about pushing their own gig but getting the festival as a whole out there and promoting the other bands and acts too, not just your own gig."

With New Year's Revolution taking up part of January, and Summer Nights running throughout July, it can be a tricky task to get the balance of the gigs right, and not simply repeat what's gone before. Yet Craig feels there's enough new music talent to make it worthwhile.

"It's quite hard now, as it's the third year of New Year's Revolution and the fourth year of Summer Nights and you always need fresh line-ups," he says.

"You want to push these events forward and we are really happy with who we've got. It would be easy for me to put on the same bands every year, but it needs something different each time."

l New Year's Revolution runs until January 17 at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Full listings are at www.kingtuts.co.uk, tickets for each gig are £6.

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