Hinterland - Friday

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Mag 26 2009, 22:09

Hinterland Festival – Friday 1st May 2009.

Day two of Scotland's first major “urban festival” promised another chance for fans to see bands who they might have missed the previous day and boasted another full day of brilliant up and coming bands from across the world.

For this writer, Friday started with a brief encounter with Remember Remember – the brainchild of formed Multiplies member Graham Ronald. However, as I arrived to the Arches after the start of his performance and again, via the wrong entrance, I was out of breath and forced to the back of the room as the first beautiful strands of Up In A Blue Light were beginning. Saxophone, Flugel horn, violin and guitar interweaving and creating wonderful textures and sounds. With his self titled debut album released on Mogwai's Rock Action label, Remember Remember is truly one to watch. However, on this occasion, given the crowdedness of the venue, I decided to hotfoot it to another venue.

I arrived at the Admiral Bar just in time to see 85 Bears packing their equipment away, having just played the second of their two sets and cursed myself for not arriving earlier. The band to follow, would change my mood for the better however. The Xcerts, formed in Aberdeen, now based in Exeter would be responsible for putting a smile on my face with their fantastic brand of power-pop. Playing a set taken mostly from their debut album In the Cold Wind We Smile and throwing in a new song, the band never seemed to be going through the motions. Closing their set with the final song from their album and traditional last song, I See Things Differently”, seeing singer/guitarist Murray MaCleod standing in the audience, battering a snare drum was a sight to behold. A band who truly always look like they're having the time of their lives and a definite highlight of the festival for this scribe.

From the Admiral Bar, back once again to the Classic Grand, to see everyone's favourite historians – I LIKE TRAINS, playing some new songs alongside material taken from all of their releases so far – curiously, mostly taken from their Progress, ReformEP. The one complaint that I would make is that their sound really does miss that of now departed Ashley Dean, whose cornet playing added to the sound and whose visuals provided a focal point for the group. However, an incredible version of Spencer Percevalcannot be argued with.

With comparisons to Arcade Fire and Beirut, Edinburgh's Broken Records often have a lot to live up to – thankfully, at least for this writer, they always have done. Opening their set with the simply sublime “Nearly Home”, the band clearly state their intentions. Proceeding through a well practised set, the band have come into their own – recent single Until The Earth Begins To Part is delivered beautifully and is a sign of things to come from the album, of the same title, which is due out later on this year. Despite some vocal issues, the band complete their set and close with a wonderful rendition of previous singleSlow Parade, which never fails to raise the hairs on the back of my neck. Catch them in small venues while you still can – when the album is released, the sky's the limit for these guys.

And so, after the walk from the Classic Grand to The Art School, taking in the sights and sounds of Glasgow city centre of a Friday night and to close my festival experience, what could be more appropriate than Texan post-rock band This Will Destroy You. Opening with A Three Legged Workhorse the first track from their self titled debut album, the band hold the audience enraptured for the duration of their forty minute set, taking material both from the aformentioned album and from their debut EP, “Young Mountain”, the band, who will inevitably draw comparisons to fellow Texans, Explosions in the Sky, play their hearts out. It's clear by the end of their limiting set that they had plans to play for longer, band discussion resulting in a song being cut from their set and them going straight to their closing song - “There Are Some Remedies Worse Than the Disease ending in a cacophony of feedback and white noise, the way every gig should, in this writer's opinion, be ended.

After trying and failing to get in to see hotly tipped Glasgow band We Were Promised Jetpacks, it was clearly time to go home, to reflect on two days of brilliant music. Hinterland Festival – clearly a success and hopefully to be repeated in the years to come.

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