Live Music Highlights - March, 2009

Y'all is Fantasy Island are well placed to make 2009 their bitch, and they ain't slouchin'

Feature by Ted Maul | 27 Feb 2009

Remember when The Darkness first emerged, and everyone went apeshit — you know, before the mother of all backlashes blew them off the face of the earth? It was good wasn't it? Go on, admit it, they had some tunes. Well now Justin Hawkins is back with a new band, Hot Leg, and he's on a rock ‘n' roll mission to prove that The Darkness only failed because they weren't quite camp or ridiculous enough. That's the Hot Leg vibe, and if he can pull it off, well, frankly he's a genius. Watch the insanity unfold at Cab Vol on 5 March.

Having released one of the best Scottish albums of 2008 (one of three they put out that year!) Y'all is Fantasy Island are well placed to make 2009 their bitch, and they ain't slouchin'. They play Cassette Glasgow (with My Kappa Roots) on 6 March followed by an appearance at De Rosa's album launch at Captain's Rest Glasgow on 20 March. With the capacity to alternate between sparse, mournful ballads and ragged, balls-to-the-wall rockers, we've been digging their style with a JCB for years.

Describing a band's sound as 'country rock' won't exactly do them any favours, but the Broken Family Band have been lumbered with this descriptor for most of their career. However, dig a little deeper and you'll find songs that contain a melting pot of discernable influences, songs that say more in their subtle shifts than a hundred overblown guitar riffs ever could. Flanked by Adele Bethel of Sons & Daughters, they play the JD Set at Glasgow's ABC2 on 6 March.

Led by a truly great frontman in the form of James Steel, The Brute Chorus are one of those freakish bands that come along every few years and somehow manage to make dirty, bluesy rock music sound exciting all over again. Superb, memorable lyrics and genuine likeability to boot mean this band is almost certainly going places. There's a debut album dropping soon, so keep an eye out. They'll be joining the Broken Family Band for the aforementioned JD Set on 6 March and playing Aberdeen Tunnels in their own right on 7 March. Don't miss it if you're local.

Mitchell Museum are a young, hyperactive four-piece who make lush, super-dense pop music. Comparisons to Animal Collective abound, and you can see why: their sound is complex, colourful and sometimes overwhelming. Melody is at the heart of it all, however, as we witnessed when they went hell for leather at Limbo a few weeks back. They’re at Cassette Glasgow 13 March and support Joe Gideon and the Shark on 21 March at King Tut's.

Anyone looking for their hit of bouncy, upbeat indie rock in March should definitely check out Little Comets when they play Cabaret Voltaire Edinburgh on 15 March and Glasgow King Tut's on 16 March. They've got the hooks and beats to get you dancing, and refreshingly, their lyrics are rather good too. A promising proposition.

An early tip for April is Brooklyn's A Place to Bury Strangers — this year's guitar-destroying poster-boys for tinnitus. Their brand of ultra-abrasive noise rock is dividing the critics, but we love 'em. Sure, they wear their influences on their sleeve, but take it from us, none of your favourite bands ever played this loud before. Stereo Glasgow on 1st April.

Heads up. We all know that live drums kick the ass off programmed beats, but Dan Black and his band of synth-happy laptop-ticklers may cause you to reassess your opinion on this crucial matter. With his smooth pop moves, energetic presence and eminently danceable choons, those who make it down to Sub Club in Glasgow for his Hinterland Festival appearance on 1 May (making some mends for cancelling his Cab Vol show this month) shouldn't be surprised to witness some especially vigorous head-nodding going down. This boy is being groomed for fame and fortune, so best catch him before he's charging megabucks for his arena tours.