The QMU Freshers’ Fest, which seeks to showcase smaller Scottish acts as an introduction to the local scene to students who are into their live music, was on Sunday. We caught up with three bands: Dancing on Tables, Noah Noah and North Atlas, and asked them some questions about the local scene, students and the QMU.
Interviews have been combined and edited down for concision.
First off, where are you guys from, and how long have you been together?
Dancing on Tables: ‘Dunfermline, together for just over two years now’
Noah Noah: ‘We’re from Edinburgh, and we just formed in March of this year’
North Atlas: ‘Around Glasgow and the west coast, and formed at this start of this year’
What are your impressions of the QMU so far?
DoT: ‘It’s our first time here as performers, but we’ve been as patrons for gigs in the past, favourite being Jetpacks and Fatherson’s joint headline a few years back. It’s an awesome venue’
NN: Fraser- ‘This is the 4th time I’ve played here, and I’m always happy to play here’
Matt- ‘This is my first time in the venue, and from a fresh perspective, I see this as a really high calibre venue’
NA: ‘This is a really cool place, super friendly. It’s how musicians start up, either by meeting or playing in venues like this. Some other places you walk in and no-one knows what’s going on, but here everything was really organised and precise, right from the start.’
For students who are new to Glasgow, what are the main venues you’d recommend for them to check out, and why? Where would you go to see music before you were involved in the scene?
DoT: ‘King Tut’s, Nice N Sleazy and Box are all great, both to socialise with people who are involved in the scene and see bands. They lend this great atmosphere of everyone working for the mutual benefit of each other’s projects, which is part of the Glaswegian music culture in general. We used to go to King Tut’s and the ABC a lot, those venues are great at getting you involved.
NN: ‘The ABC, Sleazys, King Tut’s, Box and the places on Trongate are all pretty cool – there’s this thing we do every Tuesday where we come to Glasgow with no plans, start at King Tut’s and work our way to Box with a different series of places in between each time, depending on what takes our interest. Being impulsive and just turning up somewhere is probably the best way to ‘do’ the live music circuit in Glasgow, you’ll often find that you drop in and fall in love with a band, just on a whim.’
NA: ‘Nice N Sleazy, Broadcast and Audio are all consistently good, and Cathouse is great if you’re into your heavier music, with metal and punk bands playing there often enough. It’s an illuminating example of what the music scene is like here: it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, and it’s good at it.’
What are some venues that you think freshers may be interested in that don’t have a focus on indie rock, as there’s a lot of that around?
DoT: ‘Broadcast has an open mic night which is really diverse and eclectic, definitely worth checking out.’
NN: ‘Bloc generally tries quite hard (and succeeds) in mixing it up – we once saw a jazz band play there who were followed by a metal band, and the crowd stayed for both. With free entry too, people who are into a lot of different genres should have no complaints. SWG3 has a focus on electronic music and tends to put on high quality stuff regularly. If you want something really weird, check out Swing, which has cabaret, live acts and jugglers’
NA: ‘We’re all into diverse genres, and can still find common ground on the strip of Sauchiehall Street that covers Nice N Sleazy, Broadcast and Box.’
Are there any local bands you’d especially recommend?
NN: ‘Start Static and 100 Fables’
NA: ‘Vukovi are amazing. Blackstone Cherry and Machine Head aren’t local but they play often enough, and they bring a whole lot of energy to their shows whenever they’re here.’
Finally, what’s one crucial piece of advice you’d give to a fresher looking to get involved in the scene?
DoT: ‘Students are the target audience and a massive part of the local scene already, and with Glasgow being such a major music hub, just start a band and start playing.’
NN: ‘See things impulsively. Speak to everyone.’
NA: ‘Get really good and get out there.’
There you have it. Stellar advice on how to approach the Glasgwegian live music scene from some stellar local bands. Thanks to Dancing on Tables, Noah Noah and North Atlas for taking the time to talk to us on Sunday.
Feature image of qmunicate with North Atlas
Below images: Dancing on Tables and Noah Noah