Gig Feature and Review – The Breadcrumb Trail

15 02 2012

THE BREADCRUMB TRAIL – A NIGHT OF POST-ROCK GREATNESS

Now. This gig was almost 3 weeks ago but due to me being horribly busy with other features, uni work and all things Vasa I have only just got round to doing this feature. But it’s still not going to detract from the fact that this night was an amazing success not only for the bands but for the man who set it all up. The amazing Kenny Bates. The guy deserves a round of applause and several drinks. What a hero.

The Breadcrumb Trail was started by Kenny to showcase and highlight some of the post-rock, instrumental, experimental and progressive bands that appear to be springing up not only in Glasgow but in the outlying areas of Scotland. Even just hearing the main idea I thought it was brilliant. The bands that are playing these nights may not be the most commercially viable for some listeners but they are so very talented and I feel that they deserve a night that is as passionate and well run as this. Safe to say the night was, by and large, a complete success. All the bands, including ourselves, got an amazing reception from a pretty substantial audience and had a good time all round. For that I must thank Kenny for making Vasa’s first gig so brilliant and memorable. But that’s enough blubbering. Onto the gig review.

GIG REVIEW

OHM

The first band to hit the stage were Glasgow quartet Ohm. I had been listening to Ohm in the few days after the line-up for the gig was announced and after hearing the track that had been put up onto their Facebook page (facebook.com/OhmMusic) was really looking forward to them playing. I was actually taken aback by their overall tone and feel. The song I had been previously listening to “Sunrise Over The Pacific” had been a rather upbeat, melodic number but numerous times during Ohm’s set they would venture into the more ethereal and dark side of the post-rock genre. I actually was really impressed by this. I think it gave the band a fuller and more rounded sound. Their track “The Sadist” actually put me in mind of Tool quite a lot with it’s broody sort of feel. Overall, I was largely impressed with Ohm’s performance and I look forward to seeing, or if it comes up, playing with them again.

  

Apologies for the poor picture quality here but it was rather dark in the venue and I didn’t nail down a very successful vantage point. My mistake.

WITHOUT AEROPLANES

Now. This band Without Aeroplanes have become one of my recent faourite bands and I can’t speak highly enough of them. They were extremely nice and supportie to us on the night, helping settle any pre-gig nerves we were suffering from. Also. They put on an absolute beast of a set. It was glorious. And they had the courtesy to kick it off with my favourite song of theirs. Beacons. Now, since the introduction of their third guitarist, Chris Monan, they have subsequently re-imagined the track but that didn’t stop me from really enjoying every second of it. It had a much more beefy and filled out sound to it. The loud extended passages were a joy. Basically, I think the change is one for the better because I loved it. Stand out of the night for me was the track “Are You Free?” which was luckily captured on video so I will be putting that up momentarily. All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about Without Aeroplanes. They are a group of stand up guys writing some great music.

So, before I get into the interview I did with Kenny Bates, i’d just like to reiterate what has been said. I have a huge amount of respect for Kenny for having the guts to start up a night for bands who may not get this type of exposure from other gig nights and I am truly amazed at how fluidly it all ran. Kudos to Kenny. He really knows what he’s doing and you can really tell he’s passionate about it. I strongly recommend that you go to the second Breadcrumb Trail. It will be featuring Suplex the Kid, Little Bay and the amazing Thula Borah. Get there. Or you will regret it.

 INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – KENNY BATES

First of all. What was the inspiration behind starting up The Breadcrumb Trail? Do you have a passion for instrumental/post-rock/progressive music yourself or did the idea simply come to you out of the blue?

 The idea for the night just came from a love for bands and artists with the guts, consideration and talent to do something new and progressive with their music. It’s what I find exciting in more established and international music and what I find exciting in grassroots and emerging Scottish music. Songs with fresh ideas and arrangements which baffle me as to how they were written and put together.

I wanted to guarantee at least 1 night a month where you get nothing but that kind of innovative songwriting in a context it could be appreciated and I knew there were enough bands of that ilk out there to make it happen.

What are the plans for the coming Breadcrumb Trails? Is there a limit to how many you are wanting to do or are these nights going to be running indefinately?

The first 5 months of shows are all booked up and good to go. The aim is that more bands will emerge from the woodwork as the nights grow and we can keep the ball rolling indefinitely! I’ve got every confidence in you, ya bunch of noodling weirdos, come say hello.


I know that we are slightly removed from the actual gig date but what was your overall feelings on how the launch night went? Were you happy with the turnout and how the bands played? Did it have a positive outcome for yourself and the venue?

The launch night was incredible. I was hoping for something explosive with a great atmosphere to set the tone of good things to come from the outset to encourage people to come along to every show, and that definitely happened. There had been a steadily gathering interest in the bands on the bill and that culminated in a great crowd for the bands to showcase what they’re working with, and to present the Breadcrumb Trail nights as where to go for a positive atmosphere towards forward-thinking music. Nights like these where the music is great, the crowd is big, the bands get paid well and the bar is busy are what it’s all about. Had a total hoot man.

Did you get much outside promotion for the first event or did you have to do the promotion yourself?

I had help in plugging the event from the Whole Heart Collective – a bunch of kindred spirits well worth finding on Facebook. They also helped suggest bands for future events. They’ve got a lot in the pipeline regarding regular shows and compilations, nice bunch too. And Calum from Post-Blog as F**k was a great help too, another one worth looking up for compilations, tip-offs and funny yet insightful journalism. Besides that I just redecorated the city in posters designed by Mr Ross Love and talked enthusiastically about it to anyone who stood near me long enough. The bands also all came in to pick up posters, was cool.

How are things looking for the upcoming Breacrumb Trails? I am aware that the second one is all booked up and ready to go but what about the following nights?

Yep, all details are up at www.facebook.com/BreadcrumbTrailPivo from now til May.

 I know that most of the bands that are playing these nights are from the Glasgow area but are you planning on bringing in bands from further afield soon?

Definitely. We’ve got an awesome band called the Paradigm Complex from Edinburgh in for April alongside Bellow Below and What The Blood Revealed. The hope is that the profile of the nights grows and brings out new acts from both Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland, as well as touring acts. With a loyal following and some great local acts I’m hoping we’ll be able to bring in acts from elsewhere whilst keeping the nights busy and fresh for to play at and watch.


Finally, are you planning on launching any other events in the near future or are all your efforts fully focused on The Breadcrumb Trail for the time being?

I don’t have any plans for any new monthly events for the time being, two I’m focussing on are the Breadcrumb Trail and Sneak – a monthly gig running for a year now that aims to break new bands and showcase those with a bit of buzz around them. Sneak nights are all audio recorded, filmed and photographed, with the materials cut together into live videos.

www.facebook.com/sneakpivo

www.youtube.com/sneakpivo.

Besides that, I work as the full time music booker at Pivo Pivo so I’ve got bands and acts all over the gaff, some really exciting stuff coming up. Great fun.

Right. So that’s my first feature on gigs done and dusted. Before I go i’ve got to dish out some major thanks to Kenny Bates for putting us on the bill for the first night, being an all round nice guy and helping me get this interview done. I’ve got to wish him luck for the future of his Breadcrumb Trails. I think he’s on to something huge here.


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