New Bands and Small Venues

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For a while now I’ve been on a mission to discover new music. That might just be music that is new to me, or it might be actually new up and coming bands that I’ve not heard of, but I’ll happily admit that the recap of my musical year that Spotify provided was a bit of a shocker. We all have our own self-image but, musically at least, I didn’t think I was quite as mainstream as all that… stats never lie though, right?

For the last few years I’ve tended to rely on the same few sources; a mixture of random recommendations from friends and colleagues, the occasional blog post or album review here and there, but I always seem to fall back to the same two places for ‘new music’. namely BBC 6Music and Spotify.

6Music is definitely my touchstone and the place I’ve picked up new favourite artists the most. More recently though the “Discover Weekly” playlist by Spotify has thrown up some gems, but I know that, as it’s driven by my listening habits, it can get a bit samey and it’s not really expanding my musical tastes/vocabulary/library.

Looking at my upcoming gigs for the first half of the year I also realised my desire to find new artists isn’t just about finding new music to listen to, it’s about finding artists to connect with and the new experiences to be had there. With that in mind, and whilst I’m not against massive auditorium style (I have a couple planned already) I have found myself more and more drawn to smaller venues towards the latter part of last year and I can see that trend continuing.

Luckily Glasgow has a myriad of such places, the type of venue where you are never more than 40 feet from the performance (for Glasgwegians I’m classing King Tuts as the top ‘size’ end of this scale), places like The Hug & Pint, Broadcast, Stereo, and the 13th Note.

So how do I find these new artists?

Emails from ticket vendors helps – hat tip to See Tickets here as their ‘if you like X, you’ll like this band’ listings – and of course scouring Facebook has also turned up some gems, and when I say ‘scouring’ Facebook I of course mean I stalk a few people who are always out and about at gigs for bands I’ve never heard of, it’s great fun (and just in case, hi Stevie W, hi Angela B!). Equally, more and more artists and businesses use Facebook Pages to promote gigs, so I’ve started following as many of those as I can.

With all that in place I’ve now got quite a few more bands to listen to, and a rapidly expanding playlist of tracks to sample. Sure, it can be a bit hit or miss, but it’s fun spending time of an evening listening to random tracks and letting myself disappear down musical rabbit holes.

So far I’ll call out Cherry Glazerr, Car Seat Headrest, Gurr, Ghostpoet, Vultures and Zoe Bestel as ‘new discoveries’ that are worth a listen, and I’ve already got tickets to see one of them when they hit Glasgow.

How do YOU find out about new artists? Any tips or tricks to share? Or any new artists I should be checking out? Leave a comment, share the love.

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