Apr 132018

Review and photos by Craig Chisholm.

Three of the UK’s most highly tipped bands brought their unique talents to the Granite City as Manchester’s Cabbage, She Drew the Gun from Wirral, and Glasgow’s own Rascalton performed rapturous and well received sets to an appreciative crowd at The Tunnels.
Opening tonight’s triple bill were Rascalton.

The young Glaswegian’s performed a short, punky set that drew heavily from classic punk bands such as The Clash or the Sex Pistols but a post-Libertines indie aesthetic also shone through.

The band are no strangers to Aberdeen having played The Tunnels before – previously playing there as support to Baby Strange – as well as playing a headlining set at Café Drummond just before Christmas.

Frontman Jack Wyles is engrossing – his chiselled features hidden behind an unkempt mop of hair, whilst the way he attacks his guitar makes him look not unlike Wilko Johnson in his prime.

He has angelic features but a devil’s stare that makes his barked vocals and the bands shouty choruses compelling to listen to and hard to forget.

The band are back North in June to support Idles at The Tunnels.

It is highly recommended that if you’re going to that then make sure you’re there early to see them.

She Drew the Gun are a different proposition. No less intense, but in a quieter, subtler way.

Singer and guitarist Louis Roach performs a mix of poetry and psych-pop that has brought her and her band Radio airplay – championed by no less than Steve Lamaq on Radio 6 – and accolades such as winner of the Emerging Talent Competition that saw play the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury on 2016.

Roach is front and centre on stage, glad in a blue, sparkly hoodie with the hood drawn up which gives her an aura of mystery that suits the music perfectly.

She is a compelling, virtuoso guitar player – picked solos break through the dreamy, fuzzy riffs that anchor the music whilst she half whispers, half sings the lyrics. The music is dark and swampy reminiscent of classic PJ Harvey.

There’s only one slip in an otherwise flawless set as Roach forgets the lyrics to ‘Poem’ half way through. But she recovers well, acknowledges the mistake and wins the audience on side at that moment.

Headliners Cabbage are on a roll just now.

New album ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ has been released to critical acclaim and has made it to number 21 in the BBC Album Charts as well as no.1 on the Official Cassette Charts.

Live in concert, they are fantastic – energetic and exuberant, never staying still as they blast through their own unique post-punk sound.

Frontmen Joe Martin and Lee Broadbent control proceedings from the front of the stage with different styles – Martin is icily cool and more detached whilst Broadbent is more manic and deranged looking.

Their song titles are compelling and confounding in equal measurers – ‘Arms of Pleonexia’, ‘Molotov Alcopop’, ‘Postmodernist Caligula’ and ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’. Those alone will have you reaching for the dictionary.
Beneath the sometimes-perplexing titles, there’s political discourse and juvenile humour in equal measure in their lyrics – ‘Dinner Lady’ might sing about having a ‘w**k in the quiche’ but is also a comment on the class divide, in this case in a private school.

Closer ‘Necroflat In the Palace’ has the chorus that will be ringing in their ears as they head home – ‘I was born in the NHS, I wanna die in the NHS’. There’s no encore as the sweat drenched band collapse off stage after their exhilarating set, a gesture of punk defiance against pop crowd pleasing acts.

Three bands then and all, to quote the title of Cabbage’s collection of EPs, ‘Young, Dumb and Full of…’. Maybe not so dumb though and if they are full of anything it’s life, exuberance and lots of promise.

Jul 162015

MorelandArbuckleFunky Blues Promotions Aberdeen is proud to present Moreland & Arbuckle at The Tunnels, Aberdeen on 25th July 2015

Guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle have spent over a decade exploring the edges of American roots music, in the process merging blues, folk and rock and building a reputation as an influential roots duo.

Moreland had grown up absorbing mostly rock influences including Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath whilst Arbuckle had taken his inspiration from icons such as Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Their journey began after meeting at an open-mic night in Kansas in 2001, and they made their debut as a duo on Telarc International with the release of Flood in 2010.

In July 2013 they released 7 Cities, a most ambitious work, telling the story of Spanish explorer Coronado and his fabled search for the seven cities of gold in the Kansas plains. The sounds of 7 Cities ranges from the vintage rock of ‘Kow Tow’ to the twang of ‘The Devil in Me’ and takes in a surprise version of Tears for Fears’ ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’, all rooted in the spirit of the Delta Blues.

“Filled to overflowing with guitar and percussion soaked rock, country twang and low slung blues, 7 Cities is proof that Moreland & Arbuckle have yet again hit the listener right between the eyes.” (World Music Central)

Tickets are available from the venue or from Aberdeen Box Office 01224 641122.


www.FunkyBlues.co.uk  or www.facebook.com/FunkyBluesAberdeen

May 052015

With thanks to Graham Robertson, Blues Rock Aberdeen.

Vata Live - credit Andy Hibbs2

Virgil and the Accelerators.

With their incendiary and seemingly-telepathic live delivery, Virgil and the Accelerators will be playing at The Tunnels, Aberdeen on Friday 15 May, great news for live music lovers and aspiring local musicians.

At four years old, Virgil McMahon was playing his father’s mandolin and, by his early teens, he was absorbing the sounds of Hendrix, Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Joining his father’s band The Accelerators, it became apparent that Virgil’s destiny was sealed and the band was reborn as Virgil & The Accelerators.

In 2008, McMahon’s 14 year old brother Gabriel stepped up, quickly developing into a powerhouse drummer and the seeds were sown for the growth of a formidable band. The addition of Jack Alexander Timmis on bass, saw the final chapter written and the dynamics, raw energy and emotionally-charged power of this creative young act exploded on to the UK music scene.

Touring relentlessly across Europe in their own right and supporting Michael Schenker, Uriah Heep, Tracer and Wilko Johnson has built the band a loyal, growing fan base and with a 20-day tour of the UK about to start, fans are in for a real treat.

Now with two critically-acclaimed albums, The Radium and Army Of Three behind them, the band’s chemistry onstage is perfectly summed up by Pete Feenstra of Get Ready to Rock:

One minute guitarist Virgil dredges up a few Billy Gibbons licks, the next he’s going back to Keith Richard for source classic rock riffs, before he memorably loses himself in the moment and drags the audience to another place. He’s not on his own of course, as his brother Gabriel evokes the ghost of Keith Moon with furious excursions round his kit to launch the band on to another level. 

“And standing stage right is the indomitable Jack Alexander Timmis, the veritable anchor of the band, who makes sure the wild musical excesses are kept in check with some essential root notes, while his back-up vocals bring extra depth to the hooks.”

Check them out here:


The band will be performing at The Tunnels, Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen on Friday 15 May. Doors open at 1930. Advance tickets cost £10.00 and can be bought by calling 01224 641122 or online at http://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/events/virgil-and-the-accelerators



Nov 252013

Facepalm. Photo Credit Laura Lewis Photography Interesting Music Promotions present Withered Hand, Charles Latham and Dear Lara at The Tunnels this Thursday.

Over the past few years Withered Hand – aka DIY folk-rock troubadour Dan Willson – has released an outstanding debut album, Good News, become a much-loved member of King Creosote’s Fence Collective, seen his songs picked up on MTV and cult series ‘Skins’, and gained an unlikely legion of fans including Jarvis Cocker and Rolling Stone Magazine USA (who decreed him “Artist to Watch”).

He also struck up a friendship with indie statesman Darren Hayman (of Hefner), which led to a recording session in Hayman’s London studio late 2011.

Some of the fruits of their labour were released in the UK by Fence Records on the raucous Heart Heart EP and the remainder unveiled on the more reflective Inbetweens EP, available outside the UK on European label Kimi Records from the end of 2012.

More recent Withered Hand shows have included collaborations with Pam Berry of seminal 90’s US noisepop band Black Tambourine and a rotating cast of musical friends embellishing Dan’s exuberant and original songwriting alongside fragile and uplifting solo performances.

A long-awaited second full album is scheduled to be released in UK and USA in early 2014 and was recorded this summer featuring guest appearances from Pam Berry, King Creosote, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines and members of Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit.

Dan is delighted to be returning to the road in October / November 2013 for a number of intimate shows playing new songs alongside material from the back catalogue.

“As life-affirming as music gets” – The Herald
“He records like Billy Childish and mixes like the Blue Nile” – Darren Hayman (Hefner)
“The UK’s best lyricist” – King Creosote
“Killer melodies … wobbly folk grooves … tunes full of warm, woozy sing-song charm” – Artist to Watch – Rolling Stone
“Beautifully constructed lyrical frameworks … on this banjo-tinged brand of Caledonian gospel” – MOJO


Charles Latham wields an acid tongue and a poison pen, crafting social criticism, tragicomic narratives, and brutal self-analysis into three and a half minute ramshackle folk-pop songs.

Charles LathamHis songs are often exercises in duality: he finds humor in horror and horror in humor, the profane in beauty and beauty in the profane.

In a live performance, his audience often laughs and smiles, but he rarely does.

His lo-fi home recordings compliment the harsh honesty of his lyrics; his guitar buzzes and rings, and his snarling voice leaps, cracks and cries.

His music is as equally influenced by folk and country as it is by punk, British Invasion-era rock, and Brill Building-style pop.

Originally from Virginia, Charles Latham began playing music professionally while living in Brighton, England as a student. The UK’s folk-punk or “antifolk” scene adopted him as one of their own. In the tradition of the wandering troubadour, Charles Latham moves frequently, and in the last ten years has lived in six different cities both in the U.S. and abroad.

He has performed throughout the United States and United Kingdom, including major music festivals such as the Hopscotch Music Festival. Latham, currently residing in Tennessee, continues to write, record, and perform.

“Latham’s music is passionate with biting wit.” – NPR
“One of the sharpest songwriters to emerge of late on the antifolk sphere…Charles Latham could be your new hero.” – The Independent Weekly
“3.5 stars out of 5” – Pitchfork


Fresh from recording his beautifully intimate debut e.p in a secluded log cabin, Dear Lara a.k.a David Lan makes music best described as understated, reverb-laden, lo-fi folk songs with dreamy lyrics about heartache and travel in Glasgow and beyond.


Withered Hand + Charles Latham + Dear Lara

Thursday 28 November 2013
The Tunnels (Room 1),
Carnegies Brae,
AB10 1BF.
Phone (01224) 211121
Doors 8.00pm
Advance Tickets £7.50+bf / £9 on door
Available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/246785



Nov 012013

This is only the second time I’ve ever watched a DJ gig, and the first time I’ve critiqued one. This time at least DJ Format turned up punctually unlike my recollection of a late DJ Yoda many moons ago. Andrew Watson reviews this late-night Tunnels show from 27 October.

DJ-Format-on-the-decksWarming up was a local DJ, Mike emblazoned on the back of his shirt. There were, as predominates in hip-hop, James Brown samples galore, and even some Gil Scott Heron. The seguing of songs was almost seamless, and the eclectic mix of tribal/world music tested and pleased the ear.

At first I was rather confused, as there were two guys behind Mike, the stage partially belonging to two randoms and a performer.

It wasn’t until about an hour into the set that it became apparent that DJ Format was waiting in the wings for the support slot to end.

He urged those sitting beyond the stairs leading down to the dance floor to come forward.

Personally, I was rewarded for my compliance with a spin of a somewhat modulated version of Eazy-er Said Than Dunn by Eazy-E.  More often, though, it was a case of turning to my friend to ask whose song the Southampton DJ was playing.

Though not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes his ear for nearly-inaccessible, ear-to-the-underground samples alienated me. On the other hand, lack of familiarity with the material played wasn’t a pre-requisite to enjoying the show.

Things picked up, however, when he blasted a piano-driven instrumental of Sam and Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin’. The pricking of interest amongst those on the dance floor was palpable.

DJ Format, real name Matt Ford, was a canny man demonstrated by his chopping and changing of samples to run with whatever music he was playing alongside. For example, I recognised a guitar lick belonging to another song that I had in mind. He eventually played that song after permuting it for other purposes.

My only criticism would be that when he did eventually play Wrath of Kane by Big Daddy Kane he cut it too soon, leaving out the best verse, but one of the strengths of music is its occasional unpredictability, going in direction other than anticipated.

Arguably, one of the strongest draws were his connections to Los Angeles collective Jurassic 5. He was their bus driver, before later finding acclaim and opening for DJ Shadow.

Work done with the former was showcased, shifting emphasis and giving him ample room to display his renowned scratching technique.

Performance-wise, the only blip of the night was a skipping record. He launched it into the crowd and my friend got him to autograph it at the end of the show.

This was an exhausting gig, given the 2300 Sunday start time, and it was a tad pricey at £10. There was some break-dancing to entertain those in the crowd keener to keep their feet together and just watch.

Sep 102013

The Local and Chemikal Underground Records are pleased to announce an extensive RM Hubbert UK tour to celebrate both his winning the Scottish Album of the Year Award with Thirteen Lost & Found, and the imminent release of his follow up album. The tour includes a date at The Tunnels on Saturday 28 September.

Thirteen Lost And FoundHubby has released two albums to date, First & Last (Chemikal Underground), nine solo instrumental guitar pieces heavily influenced by flamenco rhythms and techniques. First & Last was written to help Hubby deal with the death of his parents and return of chronic depression. It’s not as depressing as that sounds.

Thirteen Lost & Found (Chemikal Underground) allowed Hubby to reconnect with old friends with whom he’d lost touch for ten years.

It features collaborations with talented Scottish musicians including Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap), Emma Pollock (The Delgados) Alasdair Roberts, Luke Sutherland (Long Fin Killie, Mogwai) and Hanna Tuulikki (Nalle, Two Wings).

Hubby’s long-time collaborator and friend, Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) produced.

More details are awaited on his third Chemikal Underground album due for release on 27 September, comprising five instrumental guitar pieces and five songs exploring the idea of letting go, moving on and acceptance.

A prolific live artist, Hubby has toured extensively over the last three years, headlining and supporting, among others, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Twilight Sad, Franz Ferdinand and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat, King Creosote.

On 7 March 2004, Craig B played a solo show for IMP at Drakes.

It’s still talked about today so it’s exciting news that he will be Hubby’s support.

In February 2010, from the ashes of Aereogramme, The Unwinding Hours emerged, with the release of their debut album, almost exactly three years to the day of the release of  Aereogramme’s My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go.

It was, unsurprisingly, brilliant. Reinvigorated and afforded the time necessary to create an album with which they were happy, Craig B and Iain Cook delivered a collection of songs as emotional, dynamic and intelligent as anything Aereogramme produced at their very best. Their second album Afterlives was released in August 2012.

28 September
The Tunnels
Doors 1930

Advance Tickets £8 plus booking fee. £10 on door


Jun 172013

By John Skelton.

Julian Koster of seminal 90’s indie outfit Neutral Milk Hotel, recently reformed and announced as the first headline act for the 2014 Primavera Festival, graces Aberdeen in the guise of The Music Tapes, performing at The Tunnels on Tuesday June 25, doors 19:30.

Joined on brass by label mate and member of The Olivia Tremor Control Robbie Cucchiaro, you just know this has to be a unique sound.

Julian merges tales of circus tents and talking televisions with the eerie wail of his singing saw, heard punctuating many of the tracks on magnum opus In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, and the more traditional banjo. Featured in the band are various self-made instruments, including a giant metronome and a mechanical organ tower.

With Julian’s roots in power pop outfit Chocolate USA and of course his time in Neutral Milk Hotel, The Music Tapes have a strong sense of melody. This is reflected on the deep cut ‘Takeshi and Elijah’ from the latest album. Listen to it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpFJce5jJ7M

The live show is a spectacle and a wonder; audience participation is encouraged and Julian’s captivating short stories are equally vital elements of the sound and style of The Music Tapes’ performances as the songs themselves.

This is a rare chance to see a truly unique talent.

David Harris of Spectrum Culture  says:

“But the night of singing songs, gigantic metronomes and magic had to end, and Koster left us with the best trick of all. For a few hours, he made us believe that we could return to those warm summer nights, the grass soft under our feet, a time where the evenings spread out forever and only the light of fireflies guided us towards our uncertain futures.”


The supports are also a treat.

First up we have Daemons AKA David Officer. His successful Kickstarter campaign to launch an EP/record label attracted considerable attention, including a request to play in front of the King of Norway!

David manipulates field recordings to create immersive ambient soundscapes, such as this http://daemons.bandcamp.com/

Autumn Hang are the synthy techno-pop reincarnation of John Peel favourites Bomb Circle. Their unique blend of lo-fi midi blips and early Aphex Twin has also recently garnered them enthusiastic praise from monthly esoterica bible Wire. https://soundcloud.com/autumn-hang

Last, but absolutely not least, we have the dark folk stylings of Washington Irving, on the rise after a successful tour supporting national heroes Frightened Rabbit earlier in the year http://washingtonirving.bandcamp.com/

Advance tickets can be had for the wallet-friendly price of £7.50 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/221472 or £9 from the door on the night.

You might want to get in quick, as it’s certain to be a busy one!

Aug 302012

Interesting Music present an exciting night of music at The Tunnels on Carnegie Brae on Friday 31st of August featuring THE UNWINDING HOURS, OLYMPIC SWIMMERS, and FOXHUNTING.

THE UNWINDING HOURS release their new album ‘Afterlives’ on 20 August on Chemikal Underground Records. Influences such as the Flaming Lips, Max Richter, The Cocteau Twins and Laurie Anderson filtrate the album throughout.

After releasing their debut album, touring and support slots with Idlewild, The Twilight Sad and Biffy Clyro, the duo took their time writing and recording any new material.

Craig B went back to university to study Theology and Sociology while Iain Cook, concentrated on production and recording in his studio.

Craig would bring new demos once a week for them both to work on, and their sophomore effort slowly took shape.

Spurred on by a new found excitement for study, Craig claims this hugely influenced the writing process.

I felt I was finally able to learn and absorb as much as I could but also use it to be able to articulate what I had been trying to express for years. Working with Iain at our own pace allowed us to experiment, try out new ideas and make sure we didn’t repeat ourselves”.

“We tried to tie ourselves to different time signatures, made some songs specifically guitar orientated, made others more synth based but also stripped it all back when necessary. We basically just had a ball throwing ideas around. You can hear a kitchen sink being battered by a piece of metal near the end of the first song, so yes we had a lot of fun.”

The album artwork was taken from an etching by an American artist called Jack Baumgartner. It depicts the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel.

Craig explains,

“We thought Jack’s depiction was perfect for the front cover. I love the fact that the biblical story is so enigmatic and open to so much interpretation. These stories, as all things capable of stirring the imagination, continue to have an afterlife.”

With a strongly held belief that an album should be consistently engaging from start to finish, The Unwinding Hours have produced just that and have plans to continue making music for as long as it remains possible. They just might take their time doing so.


OLYMPIC SWIMMERS are a Glasgow band who recently released their first album ‘No Flags Will Fly’ on 4 June.

“I would describe our music as shoe-glancing indie that goes down the quiet/loud path, but with lots of wandering around along the way” says vocalist Susie. “We’re all agreed in our admiration of Low, Pavement, The Wedding Present, The National and Bonnie Prince Billy.” (The Skinny)

“Their familiar yet endearing sounds pay homage to myriad Scottish forebears, notably the Cocteau Twins, whose yearning distortion, disembodied vocals and celestial guitars are echoed on In This House; and perhaps indirectly, the picturesque folk-rock of early-90s Pearlfishers (Bricks of our Building) and the unsung guitar-pop of Wild River Apples (Apples and Pears).” (Nicola Meighan, The Herald)


FOXHUNTING is the solo project of one Joe Sutherland, a teenage singer-songwriter from Aberdeen, Scotland. Dealing mainly with acoustic guitar and vocals, he provides a visceral edge not often found in the folk-pop scene. Live shows combine energetic, foot-tapping music with soulful, emotional lyricisms.

He has supported the likes of Withered Hand, Woodpigeon, tUnE-yArDs, Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun, Juffage and Esperi since his first proper show in 2011.

Debut studio album ‘Come On Sweetheart, Take My Hand’ in October 2011 saw Foxhunting experiment with electronic music, providing a contrast to the organic and homemade noise captured on earlier EPs.

After a year’s stay in Australia, Foxhunting is due to return to his home town in August.


Friday, 31 August 2012, Doors 7.30pm 

The Tunnels (Room 1),
Carnegies Brae,
AB10 1BF.
Phone (01224) 211121

Advance Tickets £8 + bf / £10 on door
Available from One-Up Records, Belmont Street, Aberdeen. Phone (01224) 642662 or online http://www.wegottickets.com/event/174932


Mar 082012

Fridge Magnets are beginning to get the notice and acclaim they deserve. Music companies are getting interested, and the act has just won a major music award. Magnet Steve Winton tells Aberdeen Voice about that experience.

The awards are the Scottish Alternative Music Awards created by Richie Muirhead in 2010, and the only awards of their type in Scotland. The chosen venue for the annual ceremony this year was The Garage in Glasgow.
Nominees are selected by a panel chosen from throughout Scotland and ranging from gig promoters to Radio DJs.

We were nominated for Best Electronic Act with four other established Scottish acts. It then went to public vote on the SAMA website. Over 18,000 votes were cast for the whole competition, double the number of the previous year.

We were delighted when our name was read out as winners, and to be honest we were shocked. The other acts, notably Rustie and Discopolis had an amazing year in 2011 and we really didn’t think we would win.

We were also fortunate to be asked to perform at the awards. There was a 700 capacity sell out and we played in front of heavy-hitting Scottish music industry people such as Radio 1’s Ally MacRae, Vic Galloway and In:Demand presenter Jim Gellatly. All of them commented on how impressed they were with our performance and all three subsequently played our track on their radio shows the following Sunday and Monday.

It was a great opportunity for us to play in front of a crowd that hadn’t seen us, in some cases hadn’t even heard of us before, and we seemed to win them over. The Facebook and Twitter pages were going crazy the following day, commenting on how well we did. We then went on to play the official after-party at a smaller venue in Glasgow and sold it out as well. It was probably the best experience we have had thus far as a band.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who voted and we’re delighted with the win. Our next gig in Aberdeen is at The Tunnels on March 24.
To whet appetites before then, here are two Fridge Magnets videos

Death of Rock N Roll
Feeling Grows  

Feb 232012

By Suzanne Kelly.

Electro wizards Fridge Magnets have been nominated in the Best Electronic Act category at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards.

Fridge Magnets have already shared big stages with Calvin Harris, Alex Metric, Japanese Popstars and Burns and have played at T in the Park and Rockness.

With this nomination, they appear to be going from strength to strength. Their early demos have already been featured on Radio 1 and the Glaswegian/Aberdonian outfit are attracting attention from some big London labels.

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards ceremony takes place at the Garage, Glasgow on 1 March and you can cast your vote at http://officialsama.co.uk/vote/ by clicking Fridge Magnets in the Best Electronic Act category.

See them live:

1st – SAMA Awards and after-party, Glasgow
16th – Doghouse, Dundee
24th – Tunnels, Aberdeen
30th – 20 Rocks, Falkirk

13th – Chambre69, Glasgow with Hot Chip DJ Set
18th – Death Disco, London
21st – The Nest, LondonMay
5th – Hootenanys, Inverness

1st – Devils Disco, Edinburgh

View videos: 

Death of Rock N Roll video http://bit.ly/dornrvid
Feeling Grows video http://bit.ly/feeling_grows

For further information:

Barry Saint
Studio 11
10 Acklam Road
0208 968 8236