THE WEEK AHEAD
It's the first weekend of May, summer's kinda here, the new issue of The Skinny's out, and as we write this the sun is actually bloody shining on our actual bloody desk. And so, with a spring in our step, this week finds us in mini music festival mode – indoors at Electric Circus' first all-dayer, Big Day In, and outdoors at the sophomore outing for Brew at the Bog. Elsewhere, Alex Zhang Hungtai plays under his Dirty Beaches moniker, Sparrow and the Workshop launch their third LP, the Magic Nostalgic night makes its first visit to Glasgow, and the Illicit Ink lot don their PJs and bribe up with chocolate teddy bears...
PICKS O' THE WEEK
Sun 5 May, 2pm-1am, £15 here
Those Electric Circus folks turn mini festival for the day, staging their very first in-house all-dayer, Big Day In, playing home to a hefty selection of local and touring acts – including a headline set from Manc indie-popsters Dutch Uncles, alongside digital Edinburgh trio Discopolis (pictured), and Glasgow electronic pop producer Jonnie Common, interspersed with DJ sets from the likes of Errors and Vic Galloway, before the This Is Music crew lead you towards that [totally gonna happen] 1am booze haze. Take heed of the 6pm dinner break, it could be your saviour. Full line-up here.
Sat 4 May, All-day, £30 (camping) here
While Big Day In plays it safe indoors, Brew at the Bog pitches up once more on an old farm in't Inverness for what will be its sophomore festival outing – this year soundtracked by the varied tones of Miaoux Miaoux (pictured), Three Blind Wolves, Olympic Swimmers, United Fruit, Fatherson, Homework, Randolph's Leap, and an eclectic truck-load more (full line-up here). It's basically the first chance of the year to camp out without fear of frostbite, and, well, BrewDog are involved – so there be beer, loadsae lovely beer.
Montreal-based solo performer, soundsmith, and trans-Pacific nomad Alex Zhang Hungtai takes to Glasgow's Nice 'n' Sleazy under his Dirty Beaches moniker, building his wares on intense drum loops and yearning melodies, oft meandering into psych-rock territory with squalls of tortured guitar – indeed it doesn't get much more ominous than Paris 3am, an off-the-cuff instrumental track penned during his last European tour (listen here). Support comes Glasgow's own The Yawns, and Google-friendly lo-fi wanderers Supreme Dicks.
Sat 4 May, 11am, Free
Returning for another pop at Edinburgh's Cab Vol after last month's successful (read: mobbed) first visit, Glasgow's favourited cheapie vintage emporium, The £10 Thrift Store, again makes its way along the M8 with over 4,000 handpicked vintage items – taking in a summer-friendly mix of denim cut-offs, silk shirts, a festival-friendly parka or two, and oodles more – all priced at a tenner. Get down early for first dibs and Bloody Mary's. See also The Vintage Kilo Sale Weekender and Gin In Teacups for more in the way of rummaging.
The Future Shorts crew return with another handpicked showcase of short films from around the world, this time including Polish director Grzegorz Zariczny's tale of a novice league football referee struggling to be taken seriously, in The Whistle, and documentary filmmaker Frida Kempff's Micky Bader (pictured) – a steady-paced year's view of 100-year old Micky and her daily swim. There'll also be a mini catwalk showcase from the ECA Fashion students, plus free-flowing popcorn and a donation beer bar sealing the deal in time-honoured snacks'n'booze fashion.
Wed 8 & Thu 9 May, 7pm, £6 (Glasgow) here
& £6 (Edinburgh) here
Electric and brooding country-tinged odes are the order of the day, as Weegie-based trio Sparrow and the Workshop launch their third album, Murderopolis, in full-on party stylee – playing a duo of consecutive dates across the central belt. Finding 'em in particularly ferocious fettle, the Chem19-produced new LP rides along resplendent on Chicagoan Jill O'Sullivan's drawling vocals, with first single Shock Shock one of the sweetest tracks of our year this far: listen here. Go welcome it into the world proper.
Sun 5 May, noon-5pm, £6 donation
Open but one spring day a year, landscape architect Charles Jencks' Garden of Cosmic Speculation is just about as entrancing as the name would suggest – a vast 30-acre green space inspired by the universe, science, and complex mathematical formulae, filled with swirling grass mounds, intricate metallic sculptures, patterned grass, jumping bridges suspended over shining pools of water, and a water cascade of steps recounting the story of the universe. Your weekend probably won't get much more magical than that.
Sat 4 May, 11pm, £5 on the door
This weekend sees 'burgh regulars Magic Nostalgic bring their clubber's delight Glasgow way for its first outing, armed as ever with a selection of the most eclectic tunes they can lay their paws on – chosen at random by a game show-style giant spinning wheel. Basically, this bad boy shows no prejudice – moving from Rod Stewart to Biggie Smalls, via 90s rave and all the power ballads you can cry your little eyes through. Read our chat with one half of the Magic Nostalgic duo, Daniel Abercrombie, here.
Sun 5 May, 8pm, Free
Prose and storytelling specialists Illicit Ink take to their usual home of The Bongo to host a special evening of sleep-themed spoken word, where a selection of up-and-coming Edinburgh performers – including Tracey S. Rosenberg (pictured), R. A. Martens, and George Anderson – don their jim-jams and deliver a series of sleep-inspired tales in the night's usual sinister vein. And there'll be cuddly animals, pillows, and free chocolate teddy bears for all... Yeah, that sinister.
Sat 4 May, 11pm, £15 here
We end as all good week's really should – with a big ol' birthday bash. And this week it's a more momentous occasion than most, as Harri & Domenic's weekly Subbie mainstay, Subculture, turns the grand old age of 19. To celebrate they'll be joined by Puerto Rican-born house music maestro DJ Sneak (pictured), a bear-like legend of a man with a penchant for filtered disco and tough beats. And there'll be a late license, plus the obligatory birthday cake (aka crawl home on our knees we shall).
T in the Park tickets: We've got one pair of golden tickets and return travel to this year's T in the Park – where you can catch the likes of Frightened Rabbit, CHVRCHES (pictured), Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kraftwerk, and a good tonne more. Closes 31 May. Enter here.
Knockengorroch tickets: This May Knockengorroch bring the hippy-styled, Celtic fun to Galloway once more – with the likes of Asian Dub Foundation, Rebel MC, and Disraeli and the Small Gods in tow. And we've got a pair of tickets to give away! Closes 19 May. Enter here.
RockNess tickets: One lucky reader can win exclusive VIP tickets to this year's RockNess, where the likes of Camera Obscura, Jackmaster, and Jessie Ware bring the musical delights, alongside a cast of comics including Dylan Moran. Closes 17 May. Enter here.
Beacons Festival tickets: Beacons Festival returns to to the Yorkshire Dales for a second time this August, bringing with 'em a healthy line-up of the likes of Django Django, Fucked Up, and Bonobo. Closes 19 May, Enter here.
Stop Making Sense: We've got a pair of tickets up for grabs for Croatia's inimitable electronic festival in the sun, with a stellar line-up that includes Âme & Dixon, Lindstrøm, Will Saul, Midland (pictured), Mano Le Tough, and more. Closes 3 May. Enter here.
Fireball Party Pack: Spicy cinnamon whisky your thing? Good. Our chums at Fireball are giving away a party pack complete with branded shot glasses, t-shirts, bar blades, and bottle of the good stuff, and more. Closes 28 May. Enter here.
Public Service Broadcasting tickets: Experimental duo Public Service Broadcasting take to the UK as part of their current tour, and we've got a pair of tickets to their Edinburgh date to give away. Send your name to email@example.com to be in with a chance of winning. Closes 3 May.
Skinny On Tour: Guess which city this Skinny reader is perusing their trusty copy of the Scottish April issue and you could win yourself a copy of Amy Leach's latest book, Things That Are, care of our chums at Canongate Books. Closes 31 May.