What's got to be the best value for money music event in Scotland, no question it has to be The Killie Dirty Weekender with over 40 acts playing three different venues on three different nights. The Weekender kicks off on Friday 31st May in three of Kilmarnock's top night spots, Bakers Nite Club, Dirty Martini's and The Granary.
First up is Bakers Nite Club.....and headlining is Esperanza a nine-piece ska collective from Glasgow famed for live shows where their infectious rhythm has the crowd involuntarily jumping in time. In hectic years of gigging around Scotland, they have honed and perfected a high-tempo set, combining superb self-penned songs with a selection of ska classics.
The quality of the band’s live shows has led to them being increasingly in demand, with several festival appearances in recent years and support slots with some of the biggest names in ska, including The Maytals, Bad Manners, The Beat, The Selecter and The Heptones.
There's more ska influence with Sinister Flynn who are a six-piece based in Glasgow and who've won acclaim for their frenzied live shows. Formed in 2001, they play a dynamic mix of rock, funk, ska and punk and have wowed the crowds when headlining gigs in their home city's world-renowned King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Barfly, The Ferry and across the west of Scotland.
The Flynn featured on two BURBS (British Underground Rock Bands) compilation albums, Straight On 'Til Morning with I'm A Believer (If You Believe Me) and Suburban Legends Scotland, Vol.2 with Carnival Man, before adding a full horn section in 2008.
You gotta love the menacing, sleazy, Scottish ska beat of 'Bad Monkey' from the album 'The Revenge of Meathook Murphy. It's Sensational Alex Harvey Band meets the The Specials with a Carlos Santana guitar riff thrown in for good measure.....braw!
The group have gone strength to strength, recording their latest EP at The Old Mill Studios in Strathaven in April 2008. With manic front man Mick O'Hare prowling the stage, pounding bass lines from Doug Heede, former Trashcan Sinatras member Peter Dunlop on drums and Gaz Davies on guitar, all complemented with the horny boys Lewis and latest member of the family, Ryan, Sinister Flynn produce some of Scotland's freshest sounds.
The Begbies have long been one of Ralph's favourites and they've been going from strength to strength since first coming to his attention early last year. The Begbies are an indie inspired punk band. They have grown a reputation for outstanding on stage performances that bring out the crowd's inner-punk! Since the band released its first ever demo "Welcome to Bandit Country", they've seen their army of loyal fans almost double, filling venues up and down the central belt.
Their ska beats and furious riffs have led them to playing on some of Scotland's best small venue's including ABC2, Capitol, Captains Rest, the Box and this year were invited to play Stereofunk in Strathclyde Park. This success has also seen them support some of Scotland's best signed and unsigned bands such as Dead Sea souls, the Vigo Thieves, Tango in the Attic, The banter Thiefs, The Complete Stone Roses and The Law.
There's not a lot I can say about the fourth act It Girl from Glasgow other than they're post Indie punk with heavy doses of Joy Division and The Fall. The 'Factory Acts' influences show up in their excellent track 'Victim To The Clock'. If they intend to take it seriously (which they should) I hope they stick some more info on their Facebook for random music bloggers who might take an interest.
Already gaining an impressive live reputation, during their debut show, guitarist Mark Higgins sliced into his pinky finger to the ligament, yet continued with the set spraying not only his guitar but also most of the front row with his blood. Their debut EP ‘Golden Throats’ was recorded with the talented Bruce Rintoul (Twin Atlantic, The Ting Tings, Simple Minds) and was released at the end of summer last year. The band are also embarked on a full UK to support the EP .
Established in 2011, Ludovico are a Melodic Metalcore quintet from Glasgow. Ludovico fuse a number of independent influences together with their unique brand of metalcore to produce captivating and inspiring music. Through a number of line-up changes, the band are finally where they aimed to be and this year promises to be full of opportunity and development; achieved the only way the band know - hard work and dedication.
Next are Saving Osiris who are a 5 piece metal-core band from the Glasgow area and consist of Gee Duncan - Vocals, Scott McCrone - Guitar, Cameron Kirkcaldy - Guitar, Kyle Somerville - Bass and Daniel Pitt - Drums. Their influences include Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive and Arch Enemy. The featured track 'You Can Run' is from their EP 'Cry Wolf'
Clydeside Casino are a dedicated band of five mates who like to write/play music that spans different genres and are determined to be successful, with their members living in Kilmarnock and Glasgow they spend their time practicing in-between studios in Glasgow and a tiny kitchen in Killie. With all the members influenced by almost everything from pop to metal, acoustic to electronic, and they try to convey this in their own sound.
Bittersweet Blasphemy formed in 2009 by the lead vocalist (Adam Anderson) and after many line up changes the bassist (Luke Johnson) was found. A year later rhythm guitarist (Dylan Wilson) was discovered through the high school the band attended. The past months have seen the new drummer (Thomas "Styx" Lindsay) and the new lead guitarist (Rich Lixx) join the band and with already at least 10 songs in progress the hair metal band from Ayrshire are ready to take on the world.
Appearing at The Granary is Jon Windle, the former frontman with Sheffield based band Little Man Tate. The band enjoyed success that spanned almost half a decade, scoring six top forty hits in the UK and two albums as well as sell-out tours across the world. Along with appearances at Leeds & Reading Festivals, Oxegen, T in The Park and Jersey Live festivals. Following the band’s break-up in 2009 Jon has started a solo career, completing his debut album Step Out The Man which was released on 18th October 2010.
Accompanied by blistering high energy live performances, he has proved to the cynics that he has the ability to move away from the comfort of a group, and stand out to be counted in his own right - captured perfectly in the tone of the title track to last years album.
Edinburgh indie songwriter, Greg Pearson, has had a long standing affair with his local music community. The multi-instrumentalist has played in bands since his formative adolescent years and in this time has graced a number of prestigious venues in support of the likes of Razorlight and The View. As a solo artist, his reflective lyrics deal with the evolution of his own relationships whilst struggling to come to terms with his own identity within the social landscape.