The Daily Dose presents…Carnivores, The Darien Venture, Cuddly Shark, No Island @ Stereo, March 5

February 15, 2012

We’ve decided to put on another gig. This time round, proceeds will be going towards the charity Action For Children. We might be a tiny bit biased, but…it’s going to be great. The line-up sees Carnivores, The Darien Venture, Cuddly Shark and No Island take to Stereo, Glasgow on March 5. Tickets can be bought here or on the door on the night. Why not check out the Facebook event page whilst you’re at it?

We want to give you a taste of the people behind the music, so say hello to Carnivores


If you like _ and _ then you will like Carnivores. Fill in the blanks.

(Kenny Leckie, guitar/vocals): If you like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Weezer then you will like Carnivores.

You’re playing the Daily Dose presents…gig at Stereo, Glasgow on March 5. Why should people come down and check out your live show?

We know our music can be quite serious, so live we always try to have as much fun as possible. We hate bands that look po-faced or bored onstage. Grant, our bassist always calls it a release. We go out to hammer ourselves around the stage and get all our anger out. Christ, that makes us sound like Slipknot or Korn! It’s actually a good laugh, and we try and get the crowd involved. Basically treating 100 capacity clubs like Wembley stadium.

There’s another Carnivores, from Atlanta in the US. Who got the name first?

Here’s the thing, we both formed so soon after each other that I emailed their label saying ‘Look, when you guys are in the UK you be Carnivores (US) and we’ll be Carnivores (UK) if we ever play in the States’ – sort of nice and polite. Never got the decency of a reply. Apparently they played Stereo last year and about 15 kids turned up to see us and gave them a power of abuse. So fuck ’em.

What’s the best time of the day to listen to Carnivores?

All the time! It’s definitely ‘getting stuff done’ music, not ‘chilling out with a babe and a drink’ music. We get a lot of tweets saying that we’re great gym music. I’ve always liked to write music that represents us as people and we’re all totally hyper and have no attention span and can’t sit still. So it’s probably best to listen to us if you need to do something very quickly!

What does the rest of 2012 have in store for the band?

We’re finishing our album which I think we have a title for, but I’m not telling you yet! We hope to get a shit tonne more touring this year. Plus, us and a few friends are filming a documentary about how to be a DIY band. So lots, hopefully.

On average how long does it until a Carnivores gets stuck in your head?

Ask the fans! I dunno, I usually write everything at home on an acoustic and if it’s good, it’s usually in my head till I get to teach it to the boys. It’s a blessing and a curse really cause sometimes I write really late at night and all I think about is the riff. I’m a total pest when I’ve ideas to get down! Our songs are weird though, the ones we think are the weirdest end up being the fans favourites.

What’s your most favourite thing and least favourite thing about the Scottish music scene?

I really like the fact that it’s a scene that isn’t based on one type of music. Like Seattle was all grungy rock, Manchester was all indie – Scotland is so varied. Just look at the bills we end up on, it’s great. You learn so much more from other types of music. Like we played a fest in Paisley that was us, Lafontaines, Fatherson, Lightguides, All The Queens Bovine and otherpeople. All different music, but all with the same attitude of just getting out and playing shows without an ego.

My two least favourite things are a) the bitchiness towards bands who get marginally bigger. Like when T-Break got announced last year and everyone who didn’t get picked had theories about who was shagging who to get in the door. I don’t think anyone slagged us though, because they know we work hard and are totally DIY, no management/labels/press etc. And cause we’re all mental.

And b) There’s been a few cases in Scotlandof late of bands who get signed to major record companies after like three shows. They get loads of money pumped into them, pushed all over the press, sent out on tour, make records with big name producers but are fucking themselves up with drugs. These people don’t realise they’re in a position that 9/10 bands would kill for and will never get. I think anyone who reads this will know the two or three bands I mean. It’s disgusting to see that in times when the music industry is struggling, these idiots are wasting the opportunity they have to totally live the dream but instead they become sick prima donna rock star parodies. I mean, we’ve all seen Trainspotting – why would you mess about with smack?

And finally who is the most carnivorous in the band?

Grant is a bit of a salad freak, he likes a bit of everything. Goody was Mr Chicken Nuggets 1997 until his girlfriend started getting him into veg. So that leaves me…I’ll eat anything dead. My best friend is a veggie though, that balances it up I suppose. All our merch is suitable for vegans, I must add. I tried to get vegan trainers once, they were pish.

The Rachel Sermanni interview, part 2

December 9, 2011

Photo: Tommy N Lance

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

17 pieces of wood.

But you have to say it…

How much wood would a wood chuck…how do I say it? A wood chuck would chuck 17 chucks of wood. A wood chuck would chuck 17 exact chucks of wood. Like a wee block. I can imagine it. Like a block…chip off the old block. A chuck!

Why 17?

It’s just one of those axiomatic answers. It’s the truth, right there. Axiomatic…mmm, great word.

If you had to liken yourself to a biscuit, what would it be and why?

I have a rice cake in my head, but I don’t even know why, it’s a rubbish one. I’ll go with one of those long wafer biscuits that you get beside coffees, because I like coffee, and it can be dipped in. I’d like to be that biscuit.

I suppose it doesn’t really say why you think you’re like that biscuit – you like to be dipped in things?

I like to be dipped into really hot…drink…substance. That’s a difficult one. What would you be? Have you prepared your answers for these questions?! I’m just thinking about biscuits that I like now.

A chocolate bourbon maybe?

I’ll go with a Lion Bar…because I’m really brave…

That’s not a biscuit.

…because I’ve got loads of courage inside. You eat a Lion Bar, you’re filled with courage.

 Tell me, why is the sky blue?

I actually know the answer to this, because we asked this question last time we were recording. It’s because of the convex or concave angle of the atmosphere, and the light hitting it. I also wanted to know why the sea was salty.

How do you eat your crème egg?

I don’t like crème eggs. But if liked crème eggs, I’d put it all in my mouth…and I wouldn’t chew, I’d just swallow it. Yep, that’s what I’d do. What do you do? Do you cut off the wee top part and suck out the insides?

I usually eat it in one…but I chew, because I’m a normal person.

Ahh. I’d probably choke and die if I did what I just said there. I nearly choked on chewing gum the other day, but that’s another story. What’s the next question?

What are you getting for Christmas?

Ooh…I actually don’t know. I’m going to India for Christmas so I won’t see my family, but I suspect there will be some toiletries in there, y’know, the usual smelly things.

When did you learn Santa wasn’t real?

It took a while. I was in a large state of denial for a long time. I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe he exists…in our hearts.

What is the point in the tooth fairy?

The minute you speak about the tooth fairy, I have a image from my childhood where one of my friends had this really old spooky house that before them belonged to a poacher. They found loads of glasses of poison and stuff like that all around the place, because it was in the middle of the country. They had this hole in the stairs and they claimed that the tooth fairy lived in there. But the point of the tooth fairy…would be that she believes that if she gets enough teeth, she will be able to create the mammoth again and build him. So basically she’s taking every tooth from every little child, and basically they’re donating towards a fairy who has devoted her life to bringing back the mammoth.

What’s been your favourite Halloween costume?

I dressed up as the Corpse Bride once. Another time I was a Martian. Best one would probably be an octopus, my mum made all these arms and stuck them on my head.

Why can’t dogs look up?

Is that true? I suppose I’ve never really seen a dog look at the sky. A dog can’t look up because…they have an inversed fear of heights, so when they look at the sky, it’s too much for them to take. Inverse vertigo.

If you could be a cat or a dog for a day, what one would it be?

Probably a cat. They have more freedom. Actually the book I’m reading just now, at one part the girl takes a potion which means she can go into other people’s minds, and by accident she goes into the mind of a cat, and it’s really fun. Our cat’s getting old now. She used to be really independent, but now she’s up for a cuddle, it’s great. She’ll happily stay in your arms like a baby. It’s been a long time we’ve been waiting for that cuddly cat to come out…

Rachel Sermanni’s debut EP ‘Black Currents’ is out on 30 January and can be pre-ordered via her website.

Check out part 1 of this interview here.

The Rachel Sermanni interview, part 1

December 8, 2011

After coming off a successful European tour, Rachel Sermanni is on the brink of becoming one of Scottish music’s top exports. She is releasing her debut EP in January, so we reckoned the time was nigh to find out a little more about the person behind the voice…

I meet Rachel Sermanni at a hip city centre hotel in Glasgow, an alternate universe where chairs aren’t allowed to just be chairs – they are mutant hammocks and bum-denting, oversized Smarties. She had been headlining an NME sponsored gig in the west end of the city the day before, so I assume the 20-year-old Scot has now ‘made it’ – staying in a plush hotel and everything – but that was just her manager; she slept on a friend’s floor, she says. It’s half nine in the morning and she’s raking through a tub of porridge (something which I soon find out is so much more than just a wholesome breakfast treat; it is life-saving, intervention stuff) like an intrepid explorer. For some reason we begin by speaking not of the value of hearty oats but of independent ‘green grass and daisies’ festivals, before I try my luck with a somewhat loaded question. ‘Do you not think when you get more famous, it’ll be all about the big commercial festivals?’ I ask, but she doesn’t even flinch, and rattles into a reply about having fun at festivals. Is fame part of the plan? It’s not the priority, she tells me, after prompting, but after numerous impressive support slots, a European tour and an impending EP release, it might just have to become part of the plan. “I am living the dream,” she says, stretching the vowels in an odd, American hippy voice, after confirming she is now technically a ‘full-time’ musician. “It’s a really nice dream. We were just on tour in Europe supporting Fink, and that was my first ever experience of the job, the touring thing. It was really hard and difficult in lots of different ways. But at the same time I couldn’t really have asked for anything better. It was really a sort of training period – performances have gotten stronger I think, and I think I’ve got better at the guitar. Performance-wise, I just have to learn to try and hold people and not get all sort of worried or on your tip-toes if they’re not listening – you’ve just got to put your heels in and make them listen.”

It’s not exactly hard, however, to make people listen when you’ve got a back catalogue like Sermanni does, full of magnetic, hook-ridden acoustic-leaning cuts. I ask her if she thinks she, not the music, is good at connecting with people. “Sometimes, if I’m in the mood,” she says, after a fraught few seconds of whirring thought. “I really like human interaction on lots of different levels, and I enjoy performing. Human connection was a really interesting thing when I was on tour in Europe. I really like all the people that we were touring with, but I was still getting to know them and we were in a different place every time – sometimes it sort of struck you down. There was an element of loneliness, but you were always surrounded by people. You were no more than half a metre away from somebody most of the time, so it was great to get your own space, but at the same time I think maybe that accents how lonely it can be. Sometimes I’d be sitting before a gig really trying to come out of myself so that I can speak to people on stage and really connect with them. It’s an almost…upsetting process, because I didn’t know what I was I doing on stage, and everything I said wasn’t striking with me or with them. It’s really hard to explain. Everyone gets that – some days you’re sitting with your friends and for whatever reason or you’re not quite connecting with them as you might normally do, a bit out of sorts. And it’s just that, it’s just one of those natural things.”

It’s quite surprising to hear Sermanni speak of struggling to come out of a shell, because when ever I’ve seen her live, it’s a jamboree of laughs and silly, surreal stage talk. The latter seems like part of the charm, but is it something she has had to start reigning in? “Sometimes, yeah. Although these days, I’ve sort of been learning to allow it to be, because in lots of other ways, I’m almost too sensible. I don’t drink very much alcohol and things like that. Those things just don’t really interest me. If you’re in the mood then that’s good, but I think sometimes I almost felt like that I should. These days I just let myself be whatever it is that I am.” She tells me she has only puffed a cigarette once – ‘I only did it because it was really long and cool looking, but it was a lot harder than I thought to inhale…silly things, aren’t they?’ I ask Sermanni if she indeed does have any vices. “Not any more,” she says with a face glazed in proudness, like she has just completed a 1000-piece jigsaw. “I used to be addicted to cereal. But now I just eat porridge. I keep away from cereal, it’s really dangerous for me. Honestly, if we had Cheerios in the house, I’d have to have about seven or eight bowls. And I’d still want more…but the box would be empty. There was a time when my brother and sister were younger and the only cereal we really got was Cornflakes, so when we got other cereals from other people’s houses we were like, ‘Oh that’s cool!’ Then mum started buying them for ourselves, and it was then like a race to eat as much as you possibly could. I think that’s that it came from. It really was a terrible time, and I had to wean myself off it.”

Photo: Tommy N Lance

There is an undeniably endearing nature to Rachel, and this cereal-gluttony answer pretty much sums it up, a stream of oddball whimsy. Is it ‘random’, or ‘quirky’? I don’t think so. She is just naturally a little bit…weird. And bloody inquisitive too. I lose count of the number of times she says ‘Have you heard…?’ before launching headfirst into a random fact about psychology or science, whilst she often parrots to me the same question that I asked her – by the end of the morning she’s found out my Christmas day routine, my knowledge of French vocabulary and that my childhood bedroom has now, unfortunately, been turned into an office. There’s an effortless beauty about her too, but I’m not sure she even knows it.

Being a frontlady, she is undoubtedly going to get a lot of attention. But does she like being in the centre of it all? “Nah, I don’t think so. I think on stage is different because you are essentially there to have the attention on you, and this job is full of that, being the centre of attention. Yesterday at Brel and there were posters with my face on it everywhere you looked and it was like, I could really act either all shy about it – and I did at first feel like that – but then at the same time that’s almost making too much of a fuss about it in the first place. Making less fuss about it is better. That side of it is an interesting one, because if I am going to be the centre of attention, I will strive to be as honest as I can, or real as I can. Sometimes I put on a really high, sweet voice when I’m on stage, and I can hear it in my head, and I almost force myself to speak lower when I’m on stage, because you’ve got to…dunno, you’ve sort of got to wear the trousers a little bit otherwise people will just think you’re sweet and that’s all you are, and your songs don’t really get heard.”

Rachel is from the Highlands, although I’m not entirely sure you can tell from her peculiar accent, a quizzical tombola of ups, downs, lilts and wilts – but the ‘Ls’ and ‘Ts’ certainly roll like the hills around her home village, Carrbridge. Her base is now back at her childhood home after a soujourn in Glasgow, but she’s constantly on the move. So what role have the elder Sermannis played in Rachel’s rise? “My parents gave me loads of support,” she says. “When I said I wasn’t going to uni for a year, and will play music instead in Glasgow, my mum was sort of, ‘You should think about uni’, but right now they understand and they are really supportive. I probably ate a lot of their money for the first months of being down in Glasgow, but now I don’t have to do that, which I’m really happy with. It’s not like I’m making any money, but I’m on enough, and I’m not living anywhere to pay rent, so I can survive,” she tells me, contently. “I guess I’m just a bit of a roaming minstrel.”

Knowing Rachel’s penchant for silly talk (see our first interview with her back in October 2010) we later asked some sligtly more frivolous questions. You can check them out here.

Rachel Sermanni’s debut EP ‘Black Currents’ is out on 30 January and can be pre-ordered via her website.


July 28, 2011

It’s fair to say MakethisRelate‘s summer has been a pretty good one so far. The Glasgow based alt-rockers were one of this year’s finalists in the Red Bull Bedroom Jam competition – meaning that they got to play a number of UK festivals including T in the Park, Download, Sonisphere and Underage.

We were attending Sonisphere anyway so managed to catch a quick chat with the band at the Knebworth festival in early July about how everything came together – and look out in the coming weeks too for a diary from the chaps themselves about their glorious festival experiences.

How’s the Red Bull Bedroom Jam venture been so far?

Kevin Walls (guitar/vocals): It’s like it happens, but you don’t take it in until weeks later when you kind of reflect on it. Right now, it’s totally overwhelming. It’s so surreal, but it’s great.

How did the whole process start?

We uploaded a video to the Red Bull Bedroom Jam website and from there people could vote for and comment on the video. It created a buzz and you could move up a buzz chart thing. We did a live show from the bedroom as well. We all piled into our drummer’s bedroom. It actually wasn’t the most cramped venue we’ve played!

How would you describe your sound?

I guess it is guitar based rhythmical rock music with honest lyrics and a predominantly Scottish vocal. We have been compared to Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic and every other band that sings with a Scottish accent, but I think we’re different than them. We’re quite influenced by pop punk music, as well as hardcore punk and classic rock.

On a scale of one to a hundred, how excited are you for T in the Park?

I’d break the scale. But I hate people that break the scale, so I’d say 100. I think it’s a place that only exists on TV and isn’t real…it’s like being starstruck as a place. A lot of people going this year have been following our music and we’ve got family going too.

The Daily Dose presents: Aerials Up, Letters and Detour DJ set in Aviemore, 16 July

July 3, 2011

We’re positively delighted to say that The Daily Dose will be presenting a night of stupendous live music later this month at Aviemore’s The Old Bridge Inn, with a line up featuring Aerials Up, Letters and a DJ set from Scotland’s favourite musical rascals, Detour. It takes place on 16 July and will be free entry.

Aerials Up will be playing soon after hitting this year’s T in the Park festival on 8 July , which will be yet another addition to their extensive list of impressive gigs to date (they’ve supported Snow Patrol at Bellahouston Park, for example…)

Edinburgh based Letters recently played the Rockness festival and are releasing their new single ‘Flash! Lights’ on 4 July. For all those chomping at the bit to hear it right this very moment, you can take a listen to the track here.

Detour will round off the night with a DJ set sure to go down with joyous, cantankerous aplomb. The Daily Dose picks the live music, Detour picks the beats.

The Old Bridge Inn is one of Scotland’s most hospitable venues/pubs/restaurants, and has played host to a plethora of great live talent recently, including Ben Howard, Bronto Skylift, Dry The River, French Wives and many, many more.

For those wishing to travel to upwards/downwards/sidewards to the gig, Aviemore is situated just off the A9 motorway with regular buses and trains stopping off in the town.

For times etc visit the gig’s obligatory Facebook event page.

Rockness preview

June 6, 2011

Rockness is but mere days away, so here’s what some of this year’s acts have to say about playing the festival…


As one of the more home-grown(ish) acts on this year’s Rockness bill, do you feel the pressure to do the country proud?

Jill O’Sullivan (vocals/guitar/violin): Uh oh, I hope so! I always have a disadvantage because the minute I say, ‘hi everyone’ people take me for a loud, annoying Yankee (even though I was born in Belfast) BUT Gregor (the Scot in our three-piece) sometimes gets shy and doesn’t speak on stage. But yeah, we live in Glasgow and it’s our home so if we could help make the country proud then that would be awesome.

What will you give the festival that other bands won’t?

Some amazing jokes that start out, ‘an Irishman, Scotsman and Welshman walk into a bar…’

Will you be on the look-out for Nessie?

Always, I used to be scared of Nessie as a kid because even in the States we knew of this creature and made up our own versions for Lake Michigan, but if I see any suspicious looking humps on the loch then I’ll grab a tablecloth and try and have a picnic on its back.

You’ve got a new album out. Why should people take the time to check it out?

They should check it out because we put our blood, sweat and tears into ‘Spitting Daggers’ and we are immensely happy with how it turned out. Hopefully people will give it a listen and be able to feel the emotions that went into making it.

If you had a Sparrow and the Workshop workshop, what would be in the workshop? And how many times can you say workshop in one workshopped sentence?

Van Gogh, Billy Crystal and Curious George (that’s who people say we look like, but since this is a hypothetical question, let’s pretend we got those three into the workshop). Curious George would be throwing bananas at Van Gogh and Billy Crystal would be cracking jokes about it to his imaginary crowd of clay people. And you can say workshop as many times as you want if you say it into a loop pedal. Just stop when people start throwing bananas at the stage.

What’s planned for the band for the rest of 2011?

We’ve got a UK tour beginning May 23rd to coincide with the release of our album and, apart from Rockness, we’re also playing Secret Garden Party, London Calling, and Willowman festival. We’re also hoping to tour Europe in September/October.

And finally, sparrows or blackbirds?

Black Sparrows!!!


You’re playing Rockness on 11 June. Why should people take the time to check you out at the festival?

Coley (bass): Because we’re gonna smash it. We love playing up there, it’s our first Scottish festival and it’s gonna be special. We’re on Saturday afternoon on the 2nd stage, don’t miss it.

Will you be off looking for Nessie at any point over the weekend?

I’m into all that stuff, ghosts and beasts and that, and I reckon Nessie will be a big fan of the band. We’ve just finished recording our second album and the accommodation for the studio hasn’t been finished yet so the record label hired a cottage for us. Its definitely haunted, Lee was seeing a grey lady in the night.

What would be the one thing you would advise festival goers NOT to do at a festival?

Don’t take loads of drugs to sell, and then scoff them all yourself.

Is Scotland a place you know and love well?

Even since the first time we played there we felt a good connection with the Scottish people. They are without doubt the closest to Scousers I’ve come across on our travels. We have recently just toured the UK with The View and then sold out our own show at King Tut’s. I have to say the Scottish crowds were by far the most mental and up for it on the tour.

How would you describe your band’s sound in three words?

Epic cinematic rock.

Wikipedia says you once got into a spot of bother with armed police after they confused your band name for a group of gangsters. Please tell us more.

Gangs of Scousers talking about guns (even though it was Sound of Guns) worries alot of people… basically we were doing a gig in Wakefield and we went the pub after sound check to watch an England match. A few of our fans were in there and we chatted about the band and stuff, the barmaid heard Scousers talking about guns (ie Sound of Guns) and rang the police. By the time we got back to our bus the police had surrounded us with guns and told us to come out with our hands up. As soon as they seen us they pissed themselves laughing knowing it was a false alarm. They still asked for a guest list though, PC Plod +1.

And finally, you’re from Liverpool, so it’d be funny if you didn’t like the Beatles. Do you like the Beatles?

One of the lads prefers the Stones, but the rest of us like of the Beatles. ‘Abbey Road’ is my personal favourite, thinking about it now I’m not sure why but when I get back from a night out I always seem to throw it on and listen to McCartney’s medley.


On a scale of one to twelve, how excited are you to be playing Rockness?

In the absence of anything witty, thought-provoking, or informative to say – 12.

Why should people take the time to come check you out at the festival?

Maybe to get out of the rain?

What one item should a festival goer never go without?

These have been my favourite things to have at festivals: good coffee, good whiskey, tinned sardines, an all in one waterproof bright orange road-diggers uniform for when it rains, walking stick – for when it’s extra muddy (sounds daft but you really can get places a lot quicker)

Is Scotland a place that holds many memories for you?

This will be my third or fourth solo tour of Scotland. I much prefer it to touring in England – warmer welcomes, better food, more ferry trips!

How would you describe your sound in three words?

Improving very slowly.

Listen to Song of Return’s ‘Transform’

May 23, 2011

Glasgow based Song of Return are on course for big things in 2011. Born from the charred remains of Union of Knives, the industrial electonic rockers release their debut album on Monday 6 June and are celebrating with an album release gig at the Arches in Glasgow two days before.

So what better time to snap up an ‘exclusive’ listen to one of the tracks from their new album, ‘Transform’? Listen below and rub your mucky palms in delight…

Rolo Tomassi

May 10, 2011

/Stereo, Glasgow/12.05.11

You’re playing Glasgow on Thursday. Are you looking forward to it?

James Spence (synth/vocals): Absolutely! Glasgow is one of our favourite places to play in the UK. We always have a great time when we come up and are hoping that this time will be no different.

Has Scotland been good to you in the past?

For sure. We’ve played maybe four or five different cities but we usually come up to Glasgow. I love the city. It’s great for buying records, we always go round to Monorail. The nightlife is Glasgow is pretty fun too.

Despite your off-the-wall sound, you seem to be pretty accepted by the more mainstream rock/alt circles, playing at Reading/Leeds last year for example. Is this a true assumption, and if so, why do you think it is?

We’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to play a lot of shows that a band like ours maybe wouldn’t get to do usually. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why. I think we’re maybe looked on more favourably by some people as we have a female vocalist. I’d like to also think it’s because we’re a good live band.

Do you worry that for 76% of the time your audience can’t really dance to your music? Or are spasmodic mosh-pits the way to go?

I think if we did worry, we’d play a totally different style of music.

You’re two studio albums into Rolo Tomassi’s career. What’s next for the band?

Plenty more touring and writing our third record in-between.

Vote for us

May 2, 2011

We’re pleased to say that The Daily Dose is up for the ‘Best Website/Online Publication‘ gong at this year’s Scottish New Music Awards.

The category is filled with some amazing web presences and to pick a winner out of the lot would, quite frankly, be a bit silly.

But if you feel the need to vote, by all means pick The Daily Dose. We will seend you a pouch of magic beans in the post if you do (lie).

Direct link:

Thank you!

Exclusive listen to new Kochka tracks

March 8, 2011

Over the past year we’ve showcased a whole load of up-and-coming Scottish bands, and one of our favourites were Glasgow’s Kochka. Their name means ‘cat’ in Czech (they also have a song called ‘Black Cat’) and they play a self-proclaimed mix of ‘Electro-Cabaret-Bolshevik-Folk-Trotskyite-Soul-Klezmer-Rock-HappyBluesPop-Post Surf-Circus Dance-Tribal Screaming’. Whatever they say.

So, when the band offered us an exclusive listen to five newly recorded songs, due to be to part of an album released this year (sometime ‘on a whim’, they say), we couldn’t say no.

To the five tracks then, and we thought we would honour their feline heritage by giving each song a rating out of five, cat-style…

The Duke (Classy Drinks Don’t Stack)

This track opens with vocals and drums only, before launching head-first into a guitar riff reminiscent somewhat of a deadly swarm of bees. The bass-heavy verses lurch with speed like a tip-toeing giant after too many Red Bulls, punctuated by omnipresent bouncing drums, never lagging or taking a breather. There’s a Franz Ferdinand-esque break before diverting into a snaking run up the fretboard, cymbals a’smashing and guitar a’crashing.

Weird Cat says: “Not only simply devine, this is simple fe-line.”


‘Backpack’ has been a live favourite amongst Kochka fans for a little while, and it’s little wonder why. It’s all about the waltz, swaying effortlessly with assured songwriting, and with bellowing backing vocals, this seems like a flagship Kochka track. Crisp, clever and catchy.

Weird Cat says: “I could dance the night away to this until my paws go purr-ple.”


This track is only 52 seconds long and pirouettes on a gruff guitar riff which creeps up and down a scale a bit like a man who ascended a ladder before having to come down again after the silly oaf realised he left the paint tin at the bottom. Repeatedly. ‘Mine’s got no head, it’s got no head, it’s got no head’ sings vocalist Markk Donnelly in what is the only lyrics of the song. What? Us neither. The potential here deserves for this song to be a little more padded out, however.

Weird Cat says: “Short but ‘tweet’, just like my lunch.”

Fucic’s Carousel

The intro to this song is probably the most hip-grinding thing The Daily Dose has heard all year, so we’re thankful that the rudimentary-but-oh-so-sweet bass line gleefully continues into the verse and beyond. It’s all doused in vocal effects and plinky guitar which manages to not sound superfluous, but entirely at home. Eastern European sounding gang vocals lead into a twisted version of the classic circus theme (namechecked in the song’s title), and with odd laughing in the background, it’s not best advised for a bedtime listen. Nevertheless, ‘Fucic’s Carousel’ is an extremely strong tune aided by layers of great effects and add-ons.

Weird Cat says: “A near purr-fect piece of gypsy-rock.”


We’re not sure if Kochka actually know someone called ‘Marlena’, but the name, backed up by wavering, lamenting vocals, provokes images of a young women called Marlena running about an Italian olive garden. Or something. Which ain’t too bad, we suppose. With tom-heavy drums the base for some tasty chord progressions, the first half of this song is killer stuff, before thrashing out a bit in the middle with instrumental gusto. The vocals perhaps could benefit from deviating occasionally from the high-register they often find themselves in, but ‘Marlena’ is just another reminder that there isn’t quite anyone else in Scotland who sound like Kochka – and that most certainly is a darn good thing. From what we’ve heard of their new material, an already great band are about to become even greater.

Weird Cat says: “‘Marlena’? More like ‘Meow-lena’.”

Kochka play the Admiral Bar in Glasgow on 13 March as part of a Marie Curie Cancer Care charity gig. Get yer pennies out for a good cause.