Saturday 25 November 2023

Linda Smith & Nancy Andrews in Scotland (and England)!

Linda Smith's "Till Another Time: 1988-1996" (Captured Tracks) lp was one of Not Unloved's favourite records of 2021. At that point, it didn't seem likely that Linda would be travelling from her Baltimore home to play in the UK anytime soon but roll on a couple of years and Linda is, indeed, playing some UK dates. It is Not Unloved's good fortune to be based in Glasgow and, happily, she is scheduled to appear at The Glad Cafe on Thursday, December  7th. She will be joined by old friend and former Pinky bandmate, Nancy Andrews. The pair will surely be playing the bulk of their tremendous recent "A Passing Cloud" collaboration which saw a vinyl release on Simon Joyner's astutely curated Grapefruit:

"A Passing Cloud" comes highly recommended to anyone with a penchant for atmospheric, slightly eccentric homespun guitar pop and ranks highly on Not Unloved's list of favourite lps of 2023. In addition to playing The Glad Cafe, the duo is stopping-off in the East Neuk of Fife (aka The Promised Land!) at Futtle Organic Brewery on Tuesday, December 5th. Futtle is a really interesting space which combines a small record shop with the brewery. Earlier this year it played host to Andrew Wasylyk, Loris S Sarid and more at the Spots On My Apples (named for a Joni Mitchell lyric, I hear) festival.

Anyone within striking distance is advised to make the effort to see Linda and Nancy on either date as this could be your only chance to see them in the Scotland, well...ever!

Some highlights from Linda's career:

Sundazed-affiliated label Dot Matrix just released a compilation of Linda's early group The Woods:

Harriet was/is once more a smashing imprint!

Let's not forget that Linda released an early 7" on the mighty Slumberland Records
N.B. How is this 7" still available? I urge you to buy it now!

This 2021 lp of instrumentals is a total joy!

Folks south of the border can catch Linda and Nancy along with the admirably cranky Russell Walker (of The Pheromoans, The Lloyd Pack etc.!) and poly-rhythmic pounders Rattle at Upset The Rhythm's 20th Birthday Party at the wonderful Cafe Oto in Dalston on Sunday, December 9th. Full details here. Maybe Not Unloved should make a rare foray south for such an auspicious occasion!

In summary:

Tuesday, 5th December @ Futtle (St. Monan's, Fife) - tickets here
Thursday, 7th December @ The Glad Cafe (Glasgow) - tickets here
Sunday, 9th December @ Cafe Oto (Dalston, London) - tickets here

The Declining Winter & friends / mix

The Declining Winter sound-checking

"To lighten the mood, here are a couple of songs about death". Some quality gallows humour from Richard Adams of The Declining Winter last night. Their set was, indeed, sombre but also beautiful and powerful. It was certainly worth the three and a half year wait following a Covid-19 postponement! Enhanced by violin, keyboards and clarinet, they played tracks from 2023's gorgeous "Really Early, Really Late" (Home Assembly Music/Rusted Rail). For their part, epic45 brought the emotional swells and dynamic range to send the post-rock and shoegaze fans as well as the more pop-minded (Not Unloved has a foot in each of these camps...hahaha) listeners home happy. Stirling's GNAC played first and was as charming, gentle and classy as ever. A smashing evening, therefore, and one where the audience played its part by respecting the fragility of a lot of the music and keeping the Friday night chit-chat to a minimum. Of course, there was a mood-setting Not Unloved mix for the occasion. For a short while it will be available to listen to here. The songs played were:

1.  Naomi Yang - East Boston Is Not An Airport
2.  B12 - Kaxia-80
3.  The Hardy Tree - A Garden Square In The Snow
4.  Tara Clerkin Trio - Marble Walls
5.  Bobby Lee - Gnostic Loners
6.  ESP Summer - Sticky Sun
7.  The Left Outsides - Leaving The Frozen Butterflies Behind
8.  Connie Lovatt - Lines
9.  The Notwist feat. Angel Bat Dawid - Into The Iceage
10. King Khan - The Nature of Things
11. Robin Saville - A Fail All Girl (Loscil Flagra Flagri Mix)
12. Bill Wells & Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Tipsy Cat
13. Berntholer - My Suitor
14. Richard Youngs - The Future Is So Different Today
15. Future Conditional feat. Bobby Wratten & Beth Arzy - Demolitions
16. Black Marble - Emma's House
17. Horse Lords - Rundling
18. Yo La Tengo - Shades of Blue
19. Cat Power - Stay
20. Lee Hazlewood - The House Song 

Sunday 12 November 2023

The Declining Winter / Epic45 / GNAC @ The Old Hairdresser's, 24th November 2023

Back in the spring of 2020, The Declining Winter was scheduled to play at Glasgow's The Old Hairdresser's. Stuart Braithwaite of the mighty Mogwai had agreed to play, too. Unfortunately, it was one of the first shows to be cancelled due to the C***-19 pandemic. Roll forward to November, 2023 and The Declining Winter is finally hitting the road (full tour dates, below!) and, happily, they're stopping-off in Glasgow on Friday, 24th. The bill has been put together with great care with like-minded souls GNAC and Epic45 also due to play:


Hood was unquestionably one of the great British groups of the 1990s/early 2000s which released essential records on seminal labels such as Slumberland and DominoThe Declining Winter is the most recent creative outlet for that group's Richard Adams so it's no surprise that their catalogue is a formidable one. 2023's "Really Early, Really Late" (Home Assembly/Rusted Rail), in particular, is a stunning piece of work from start to end and stands up there with the best records Not Unloved has heard in 2023 or, ever, really. In "How To Be Disiullusioned", Adams has crafted one of the most moving, beautiful pieces of music in years that somehow, despite being 10 minutes long, manages to leave you wanting more. If they play it on the 24th, Not Unloved will most likely expire then and there!


Over the last couple of decades, Epic45 has amassed a sizable catalogue of gentle, elegant music, sometimes with hushed vocals and sometimes instrumental, informed by minimalism, ambient music and the quieter ends of indiepop and postrock. If most recent album, "Spring" (Wayside & Woodland Recordings), is any guide, their set will be a balm for the soul in these turbulent times:

GNAC (pronounced like the second half of the word 'cognac', I hear) is the pseudonym of Mark Tranmer formerly of The Montgolfier Brothers (the best band Alan McGee signed after Creation Records, according to the venerable Not Unloved) and Sarah Records group St. Christopher. GNAC's lambent instrumental music and sumptuous visuals are always a treat to experience up close. 

Tickets are available >> here *

* as of 12/11/2023, however, there are only 9 tickets remaining so if you fancy it, you better get on it!