Scotland Gig Highlights – March 2013

From the return of shoegaze innovators to the healing sounds of one man and his guitar, March has something up its sleeve for everybody

Feature by Illya Kuryakin | 01 Mar 2013

The snow has passed, hopefully for good, and as this column is written a low winter sun is shining over Glasgow, promising a mild spring and an early summer (we're optimists). As March rolls round, we have some incredible gig highlights to share with you, starting with the return of experimental avant-rockers Foals. Still riding the wave of praise and attention lavished on them for third studio album Holy Fire, the five-piece hit the Barrowlands on 5 March.

Worthy of mention, even though tickets are officially gold dust, is the glorious return of original shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine. Comeback album m b v (which we recently tackled here) has seen a renewed wave of interest in Kevin Shields' sonic assualt force – they play the Barrowlands on 9 March. 

If you're a fan of avant-garde electronica and heart-stopping female vocalists, you won't want to miss Limbo at Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms on 9 March – they've got a devatstating triple-bill featuring Conquering Animal Sound, Herb Recordings mainstays Pumajaw and electronica maven Plum.

Our January cover star and frontman of The Phantom Band, Rick Anthony brings his Rick Redbeard alias to Electric Circus in Edinburgh on 12 March, and then Glasgow's CCA on 17 March. Expect rousing sea shanties, dark folk, and intimate, confessional renderings of the highlights from his debut album No Selfish Heart. An absolute must see.

The TriAngle label has an absolutely astounding roster, featuring the likes of Holy Other, The Haxan Cloak and Evian Christ. Recent signing WIFE comes to Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh on 16 March, with support from Red Death and Magic Eye. WIFE is the alter-ego of James Kelly, the brains behind experimental black metallers Altar of Plagues – as WIFE, he makes spectral, radical experimental electronica, laced with found sounds, home-made instruments and cold, industrial soundscapes.

Virtuosic electronica producer Ulrich Schnauss has been releasing his ambient techno since 1995, taking in influences ranging from shoegaze to breakbeat. He brings his sublime live show to Glasgow's Nice ’n’ Sleazy on 16 March, and then Edinburgh's Electric Circus on 17 March.

Notorious Glasgow-based noise-punks Divorce head up a bill at Sleazy's on 17 March alongside the live debut of Rungs, featuring Johnny Docherty, Iain Quimby and Johnny Scott of the much-loved Take A Worm For A Walk Week, and Halfrican, who trade in the kind of scuzzy, lo-fi noise-punk that is sure to absolutely destroy the Sleazy's speaker stacks. 

Legendary guitarist with The Smiths, the ubiquitous Johnny Marr brings his solo show to the ABC in Glasgow on 19 March. Quite apart from The Smiths, Marr has a huge back catalogue to draw on, from his work with Bernard Sumner as Electronic, to his collaborations with Modest Mouse, The Cribs and The The, as well as his album with backing band The Healers from 2003. Expect a mix of all of the above.  

When it comes to experimental takes on indie and folk, there are few Scottish bands more capable than FOUND. Formed within the visual arts scene, the band have achieved a lot since their foundation in 2001, creating sound installations, taking part in the BBC's Electric Proms, and releasing albums via Fence Records and Chemikal Underground. They play Edinburgh's The Caves on 21 March.

Umberto recorded his album Night Has A Thousand Screams for the 2012 Glasgow Film Festival, and it was subsequently snapped up by Mogwai's Rock Action label. Heavily influenced by 70s giallo horror movie soundtracks and classic synth scores by Vangelis and John Carpenter, Umberto creates creepy, majestic, enthralling sonic worlds. Catch him live at Kinning Park Complex, Glasgow, on 30 March.


One of our featured artists this month, young Essex-based producer Lapalux came to worldwide attention via the seminal LA beat-scene label Brainfeeder, masterminded by Flying Lotus. Under their guidance he has released two EPs – Some Other Time and When You're Gone – developing his sound from the fertile bed of field recordings, abstract noise and esoteric sample-craft which has long been his obsession, into an utterly unique take on modern electronica which nods to house, bass music, hip-hop and R 'n' B, folk and soul.

Now experimenting with treated, timestretched vocals, in the manner of Holy Other and Burial, but working with singers such as Jenna Andrews, Kerry Leatham and Astrid Williamson on original compositions, rather than using samples. Touring to support his debut full-length album Nostalchic, he visits Glasgow's Broadcast on 28 March for a live performance which promises psychedelic food for the brain.