13th Note Cafe, Glasgow, Sun 23 Nov

This was among their first ever gigs so Titus Gein could be forgiven for their awkward stage manner and nervous pauses. What went between was commendable. a bad tempered.

unguarded limbs to masticate on. Churning up a virulent sea of unpredictable riffs and runs that jut out like elbows at an Old Firm match. theirs is a mighty but not inaccessible beast. Moments of aural disorientation are counterbalanced by big, sashaying guitar hooks that recall the Birthday Party before careering back into more impatient, antagonistic ground.



THE BOY CARTOGRAPHER oooo Barfly, Glasgow, Mon 24 Nov

In a beautifully ramshackle way, the Boy Cartographer kicked off a stunning display of the country’s best new talent with their romantic alt-country music before the Open’s mixture of epic 80$ indie- inspired thrash whipped the admittedly small but up for it Barfly crowd into a frenzy.

A brilliant start but nothing compared to what London five- piece the Duke Spirit were about to unleash. They tout highly charged


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The start of something wonderful from the Duke Spirit

sexualised guitar music in the vein of early PJ Harvey that sounds pretty magnificent on recently released mini-LP Roll, Spirit, Roll but springs to life live due, for the most part, to mesmerising lead singer, Liela Moss. She twists and writhes her way through a short but spectacular set filled with lazy hazy guitars, jerky rhythms and creeping melodies before stumbling off to rapturous applause. The Duke Spirit were made to be rock stars, and the few lucky enough to witness them tonight leave satisfied in the knowledge that this is just the beginning of something extremely special. (Camilla Pia)

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mostly instrumental mash of moog burps and grinding. early-Metallica inspired fretwork.

Now effectively fronted by that man your mother always warned you about. Desalvo are. by comparison. old lags at this game and collectively prowl the Note basement looking for

Laeto. despite performing in cricket whites and logo-ed tees can‘t quite match the complex turns of their predecessors. Despite some devastating virtuoso twists from their snake-skinned shoed guitarist they remained sheepishly tongue in cheek. (Mark Robertson)

FOLK THE FENCE COLLECTIVE 0000 The Art Bar, Dundee, Sun 16 Nov

The Fence Collective is a rag-tag bunch of young Fifers with a folky bent who just happen to be making the most exciting new music in Scotland at the moment. Based around the tiny independent Fence label. there are dozens of artists and bands creating a real sense of mUSlCal community. and this brilliant little venue (basically a llVlng room with a well stocked bar) showcases the best of ‘em perfectly.

The Pictish Trail opens proceedings in surtably self-deprecating and relaxed style wrth some beautifully simple acoustic poignancy. quickly followed by the superb finger-licking guitar picking bluegrass of Pip Dylan. From then on musicians come and go at an alarming rate. helping out each others' bands. instrument swapping. and gently providing some of the finest new folk and blues written in years in a welcoming. beer-soaked environment. With so much going on it's hard to pick highlights. but a flu-ridden James Yorkston is triumphant with a set of beautiful melancholy. and King Creosote's sweeping. accordion-led sea shanty pop is possibly the best turn of the night. Oh yeah. and there was a sitar somewhere. and some Brazilian show tunes and lots of shouting and box-hitting and egg-shaking. Or was that just a Guinness- induced hallucination? (DOug Johnstone)

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