This month’s Perth Festival of the Arts is set to give upcoming talent a fling – with one of Scotland’s breakthrough bands of recent years also in the spotlight.
The Fair City extravaganza returns on Wednesday for its first in-person outing for three years, but it’s not until the event’s final three days on the last weekend of the month that its rock element kicks in.
A good decade for Twin Atlantic
First up, emo exponents Twin Atlantic will be playing at Perth Concert Hall on Friday May 27.
Led by frontman Sam McTrusty, the Glasgow noiseniks have been operating with a slimmed-down line-up following the departure of drummer Craig Kneale last autumn, but are expected to be at full strength for their PFA appearance.
The band released their sixth album Transparency in January and kicked off a series of gigs to both promote the UK top 30 opus and to celebrate more than a decade since the release of their sophomore album Free – which spawned such career highlights as Edit Me and Make A Beast Of Myself – at Inverness Ironworks on Wednesday night.
McTrusty, bassist Ross McNae and co played the first of two back-to-back sold-out dates at Glasgow Barrowland last night and they’ll arrive in Perth on the back of a clutch of English shows.
Following on from Twin Atlantic, it’ll be all eyes on the Concert Hall’s plaza for a series of gigs in a festival marquee on May 28 and 29.
The Saturday bill is headed up by Glasgow funk-soulsters Tom McGuire And The Brassholes and crooner Luke La Volpe.
Luke is the latest music hopeful to emerge from West Lothian – home to The Snuts and Lewis Capaldi, both of whom have performed at Perth Festival in recent years.
Plenty more to rock the festival
Also on the line-up are ultra-young Weegie alt-rock four-piece Spyres, whose early offerings have racked up over a million streams on Spotify, and fast-rising Edinburgh songsmith Joshua Grant.
Festival-goers can enjoy one of Perth’s most exciting discoveries of recent times on the Sunday in the shape of underground popsters Parliamo, along with Crieff-raised piano troubadour Angus Munro – returning to PFA with his band after performing a well-received solo set at last year’s online festival.
Other performers taking part include Moray-born multi-instrumental folkster Amy Papiransky, London-based Scots chanteuse Alex Amor and Dunfermline talent Shorthouse, aka Rob McLaughlin.
China Crisis at Beat Generator
More imminently, there’s a visit to Beat Generator from synth-pop legends China Crisis tonight.
The Liverpool outfit formed way back in 1979 and scored a minor hit in 1981 with their first single African And White.
However, it was the atmospheric offering Christian, from their debut album Difficult Shapes And Passive Rhythms, that really brought the band to public attention in early 1983.
With founding members Gary Daly (vocals/keys) and Eddie Lundon (guitar) at their core, China Crisis scored further mid-decade hits with Wishful Thinking, Black Man Ray and King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up).
The two latter-named singles featured on their classic third LP Flaunt The Imperfection, which benefitted from production work by Steely Dan legend Walter Becker.
Courier Country talent on show
The duo released their first studio album in 21 years in 2015, Autumn In The Neighbourhood, and they’ve continued to tour regularly in recent years, pandemic aside.
BGs follows up with a cracking line-up of Courier Country talent tomorrow, headed up by electro-pop five-piece Echo Machine on home turf.
They’re being joined at the North Lindsay Street venue by Perth post-punk misfits Post Ironic State and Dundee dark disco duo School Of Paris, formerly known as Lull.
Church provides a rival option tomorrow with a set from Dundee mod-meets-indie crossover The 121s.
Made up of Nick Shane, Peter Nowell and Gavin Steel, the hotly-tipped outfit are in the midst of a short tour in support of their new album Wired To The Moon, which came out last month.
The retro rockers were at Mucky’s in Perth last night and play Aberdeen’s Drummonds tonight, with a visit to Room 2 in Glasgow on Sunday to follow tomorrow’s home town show.