Best of 2009: Glasgow PodcART

Standard


Taking a wee break from the albums I’ve loved this year to talk about something else that’s been a massive influence on both me and the blog. This time you can actually accuse me of writing nice stuff about my pals, but they deserve it.

In case you haven’t heard of them, Glasgow PodcART are a team of Glasgow based music fanatics, who put together a weekly podcast laying music from both signed and unsigned artists and lots, lots more. So far, so simple. What makes the weekly podcasts must listens for me isn’t just the music, but the people involved.
I was a bit of a late comer to the PodcART, only starting to listen at around episode 20 after seeing the name in Hinterland brochures. Within my first few weeks of listening I was introduced to the concept of Pooching the band, had Trapped in Kansas become forever known to me as Pumped in Venice, listened in on a conversation about porno boots for transvestites and heard something which – no matter how hard I try – I’ll never be able to forget involving a glass Irn Bru bottle. Oh, and I heard an absolute ton of cracking music.
To say that listening to Glasgow PodcART has introduced me to new bands would be a massive understatement. Not every song or band is a winner with me, I’d be a bit worried if they were – but the good to bad ratio is heavily weighted in favour of the good. Without them I’d probably not have caught on to half the bands that have featured on Aye Tunes over the past six months, at least not nearly as quickly. I treat it as a good sign that I’ve upped my game when more of the bands featured now are ones I’m familiar with, but pretty much every week there’s still something new to me, and for that I can’t thank them PodcART team enough.
Aside from the music there’s another thing I love about the PodcART, and that’s the banter between whatever team members are taking part in any given week. I’ve had to stop listening when I’m on public transport, as there’s almost always at least one moment every week where I’ll uncontrollably laugh out loud. Often while thinking “that’s just wrong” at the same time.
Listening to the team in conversation their enthusiasm for music and what they are doing is obvious, and infectious.

Since I generally attend gigs on my own, none of my pals are really into the same things as me and I don’t want to be responsible for them having a lousy night out seeing bands that only I want to see, the Podcart team have been handy there too, since they often provide someone for me to talk to when I’m out and about on my own. They really are a lovely bunch of people.

More recently they’ve been responsible for some of my favourite gigs of the year, from the New Artists Showcase gig in November to their monthly live session gigs in The 13th Note. I know I’m not the only one who counts last week’s Christmas party as a highlight of my year either.
All in all, if you have ears I highly recommend listening to the PodcART. Thanks Ally, Halina, Louise, Nicola and Sean for excellent entertainment, long may it continue.

Comments

  1. peenko says:

    well said that man

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is no doubt the music is great but Halina’s ever-present “This is amazing! Sex weeeeeee! Woooooo!” comments about, well, anything really are tiresome. When everything is amazing, nothing really is.

  3. sean says:

    Jim,
    thank you for your kind words. We are still amazed anyone bothers to listen so it is always nice when someone says good things about what we are doing. There is so much great music about, if ourselves and people like you can help make more people aware then it’s totally worth doing. I can honestly say that being involved with everyone on the scene is what makes me most happy. Great bunch of people, great music, its good to be alive just now!! Have a great xmas fella!

  4. Halina says:

    i wish people had the balls to put there names to things they say. oh and one more thing……sex wee, wooohoo and that was amazing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, that’s what I will do. I will tell you who I am to be demonised. I will admit that you rave about my band quite a bit. The other fellas and I actually do like Podcart, Sean for instance is a burgeoning Glasgow legend, but we all agree that Halina’s constant attempts to prove she loves music more than anyone else on Earth very boring. She also seems to have a real problem dealing with criticism.

  6. Al Conway says:

    The comment above (by anonymous) is exactly the kind of attitude that the PodcART folk are trying their hardest to annihilate.

    It’s so easy to sit back and be critical of music; much more of difficult task to find a positive and infectious aspect… and then create something that has even more worth than the music itself.

    I agree it’s of no use to be relentlessly positive about absolutely every band and every song.
    It’s not as if the PodcART folks don’t have a ‘shitfilter’. It’s just they’ve made a wise decision not to ridicule anyone in public.

    ‘Mon the PodcART and ‘mon the Ayetunes.

    Music in Scotland is better off for your combined existence.

    Keep it festive.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Al, you have misunderstood my point entirely. I have no desire to listen to a podcast ripping acts apart, unsigned or otherwise. While it is clear Halina has trouble accepting criticism, on the whole, I quite like her. I would quite like to know when she quite likes a band. Or when she thinks a band is OK. Or if she really likes a band. Or if she thinks a band are rough but very possibly one to watch in the future. Instead, every gig or album or download is “incredible”. It is tedious and it surprises a few folk we talk to that other people don’t feel the same way.

    That you say Podcart is of even more worth than the music itself, this is another statement that gets “right down to it”. A podcast promoting music should never be of more worth than the music it is there to promote or it is, surely, promoting shit music – which it is not and therefore it isn’t.

  8. Al Conway says:

    My comment about the value of the podcast comes very much from the perspective of a music fan rather than someone who plays in a band.

    As a member of a band myself, we thrive on criticism and are always looking for someone with an opinion in order to be at our best. I don’t think PodcART are there to provide that service?

    PodcART for me, are providing a service to make unsigned bands more accessible to those who don’t necessarily play in bands (although it’s great to have the opinion of the musician in Ally and Sean).

    Is there then a gap in the market for a podcast/tool created by musicians that aims to give constructive criticism to those that need it..

    Or is this pretty much covered by things like ‘Your Sound’?

  9. "Bart" says:

    I’m a different anonymous person and not in a band :-D but I am a wee bit nervous about being recognised so I’m going all “aka”

    I used to listen to podcart from the beginning and I think that the music has improved a lot since then but I can’t listen to it because the chat is just awful. Also I can’t remember the last time a big deal was made of an artist on the podcast. I think the name Podcart is a misnomer.

  10. sean says:

    Hi Bart,
    I will interject here on the ‘art’ front. We initially had an artist involoved with PodcART but Pamela left. We then had a resident artist Jerry Dowd but he was also too busy with other projects and since then we have not done nearly enough for the art side of the site. I can let you know that for the past couple of months we have been drawing up plans to fully integrate an artcast into what we do as well. We are actively looking for the right pewrson to come in and run with this and we hope that this will be up and running within weeks rather than months. If you know any artists who could help with this then please, ask them to contact me at sean@glasgowpodcart.com

    many thanks

  11. Portis Wasp says:

    Oooo what a bitchy comment section… LOVE IT. gloasgowpodcART provide a weekly podcast, reviews of fun stuff and showcase talent that might not have already met your eyes or ears. The service they provide is FREE – so whilst you are FREE to listen to their gobble gobble gobble, you are also FREE to ignore them if you feel they aren’t a credible source of info. To post nasty comments anonymously just isn’t the right way to go about things. Neither would it be appropriate for me to call you a c**t… so i blocked out two letters. Merry Christmas!!!!

    ps. it spells – cunt

  12. MB says:

    You can’t please everyone, if you aren’t a fan then simply don’t listen to it. The guys do a good job of getting bands some exposure, try being a bit more constructive in your criticism.

    I agree that sometimes people get over excited about bands, say they are amazing when they are not etc but this is all down to opinions and personal taste.

    If I was to make any constructive criticism for them to take on board I would say that.

    - Get more guests on the show to keep things fresh.

    - Don’t push a certain band too much, people can make their own mind up.

    - Maybe cut the chat down, or speed thigs up on the chat front, allowing more time for more music.

    - Halina, don’t take anything above personally, these people don’t know you. Yer an enthusiastic girl, keep at it.

    PodcART can’t please everyone, again, if you don’t like it, don’t listen, and don’t come on a blog being high and mighty. If you wouldn’t say it to their faces, don’t say it at all.

    Mr B

  13. "Bart" says:

    And that is precisely why I didn’t want to leave my name. I don’t think any of the criticisms above are unjust:
    Point 1. Halina’s constant fawning.
    Point 2. The belief Podcart are of more worth than the music they present (though this was not put forward by Podcart – I think they would be embarrassed by that)
    Point 3. The lack of Art content (which Sean has now addressed).

    None of this is enough to suggest the anonymous poster, or I, is a cunt. I believe someone above mentioned Halina not being able to take criticism well. Can I suggest that Portis Wasp’s post is a massive over-reaction. (I also think he would be very embarrassed if he knew who I was as he has been very complimentary about me on his own blog and has even interviewed me). I would also point out that Portis Wasp’s post is the first to descend into all out name-calling. Makes me wonder just who exactly is the cunt.

  14. Anonymous says:

    All this from a comment I posted suggesting that Halina’s raving can be tiresome. Wow. I wonder what would have happened if I had posted something really contentious? I don’t think it was such a controversial subject. Certainly many people I talk to cite this as Podcart’s main flaw.

  15. sean says:

    I agree with Barty boy here.

    People are totally allowed not to like us as individuals or as a group. This is a free country and I would hate for anyone to feel they could not air their views in anyway they see fit! Surely that is what the internet is all about? I don’t think anything has been overly malicious so everyone enjoy having a wee rant and have a brilliant xmas.

    oh and I will repeat, if there are any individuals who are part of the art scene in Glasgow then pass my email address on to them.

    sean@glasgowpodcart.com

    merry xmas folks! here is to a brilliant 2010 as well.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I really like glasgow podcart and I appreciate what they do. I like reading aye tunes too. I hate name calling regardless of whichever “side” anyones on. They do a good job, Halina has her own character which is more than I can say for people who are actually paid in the scottish music industry to “introduce new bands” all they seem to do is name drop and kiss arse. I wont name names or reveal my own name. I think picking fault in the way someone presents something is just pointless when they do such a good job.

    And enough name calling and pointless criticisms. Podcarts success is enough to make some people turn nasty. Or green.

  17. Bobby the Brawler says:

    Does no-one see the irony in a Glasgow Podcast that mostly promotes Scottish unsigned music celebrating their one year anniversary with a Northern Irish and an English band?

  18. Portis Wasp says:

    The comment was posted towards Bart! :-)

  19. Anonymous says:

    Portis, if it was directed at me that is a shame. As I stated above, I have talked to many people who have cited (to use “Bart”‘s term) Halina’s “fawning” as the aspect that most irritates them about Podcart (that and getting bands’ names wrong. Rather than being blind to this Halina now knows it. Whether she chooses to act on it is another matter and entirely up to her. I do not understand why such inocuous criticism provoked such a heated response from you?

  20. Portis Wasp says:

    Och my response wasnt meant to sound heated… so I retract my cuss word. Everyone IS entitled to their own opinions – where would we be if we weren’t!!!! :-)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Retraction accepted.

    I notice several twitter posts relating to this discussion. Yes I’ve chosen to stay anonymous but I see this is being used as an excuse to avoid considering the criticisms made. Given the response you would be forgiven for thinking Podcart was entirely beyond reproach if it hadn’t been for Sean’s post above. I’d invite Ambulances, ayetunes and Gaseousbrain to answer the criticisms made?
    1. Halina does “fawn” far too much. A quick look through Halina or podcart’s twitter will answer that point. All that was suggested is that some may find this tiresome.
    2. Has Podcart been lacking in Art content of late?
    Sean has admitted as much and explained why and how they have exciting plans to answer this.
    3. They get bands’ names wrong frequently.
    The Darien “Ad”venture is just one example.

    None of these things are untrue nor are particularly harsh and if Sean can take a pragmatic view of it then I don’t see why Halina, or anyone else for that matter should not be able to do so. Think of it as customer feedback?

  22. AlConway says:

    First of all, I’m curious of the motives of ‘Anonymous’, I’m hoping that it’s just in the interest of sparking conversation and not something more sinister.

    In the interest of friendly debate I’m going to add my opinion. Bear in mind the opinions/arseholes analogy (pun intended).

    1. Is it such a crime that someone can be too enthusiastic/positive? If so, then I’d suggest the issue is down to a personality clash and a difference of opinion.
    In any case, isn’t Halina’s opinion just another one which you can take or leave?
    Any further discussion leads down the road of a personal attack on either of you, down which I’ll venture no further.
    I think most would agree that whether or not Halina has a tendency to be over-positive, is irrelevant to the quality of the overall product. Even if she is does ‘fawn’ over some bands, the others provide a more than balanced view in the vast, vast majority of occasions.
    I wouldn’t change anything. I’d rather over-positive than over-negative.

    2. Sean has fully explained above. I’ll definitely give the art features a browse once they’re up and running.

    3. Occasionally they get a band’s name wrong… true, although I find it endearing. I’m much more likely to like a band if they are affectionately called something else by mistake. I wouldn’t have been so keen to listen to ‘Pumped in Venice’ or ‘Tokyo Knife Party’ without it.
    If a band is happy enough to take the error with a sense of humour, that also helps. I’m less likely to like a band who are so pedantic, they are enraged by a slip of the tongue.
    It makes the PodcART more human and in my opinion more honest.

  23. sean podcart says:

    So….. I have made a ham and a casserole for dinner tomorrow and i thought I would come back on and see what the chat has been.
    I can honestly say I think it’s great that people care enough about what we do that they would take the time to make comments. I would also say that if anyone ever has anything they want to say about the show, including ideas about what they would like to hear on the show, then you can always contact me directly.
    I realise we make mistakes sometimes, we have all had to apologise to the various musicians in and around glasgow who’s names, band names and song names we have mispronounced. I am sure everyone knows we all work full time so sometimes things aren’t as well researched as they should be. The whole point of PodcART and Jim’s blog for that matter, is to shine a light on the music and art available from lesser known artists. We genuinely love getting the chance to do what we do and I can speak for Hifi as well when I say that the past 9 months doing PodcART has been the best 9 months of our lives. The last 5 years in particular playing in bands and on my own was pretty miserable and doing PodcART has made me realise that there are much more talented people than me who deserve more of a chance to be heard. We all have our own reasons for being in PodcART but we all have the same goal, we want the best way possible to highlight the incredible talent on offer at the grassroots level. Criticism is an essential part of life and it’s great to hear comments of any kind, places like Jim’s blog give an excellent format for criticism so I thank you for all the comments. As I said earlier, I don’t think anyone has said anything outlandish or overtly nasty. It warms the cockles that people care. To the anonymous folk above, if you know me I would hope that you could talk to me face to face or email me directly about anything you want to discuss, particularly as you are both in bands who I hope we have featured on the podcast. My door is always open.

    merry xmas everyone and thanks again Jim. You really are a fucking legend and you do so much for the scene, keep on doing it man.

  24. Anonymous says:

    In response to Al.
    It is not a crime to be over-enthusiastic however what it does do is introduce an element of doubt over the veracity of your opinions. For instance if band A gets a glowing report then band B and band C and band D and band E and band F and band G and band H and band I and band J and band K and band L and band M and band N and band O, band A might start to wonder if their glowing report was fair or just another of a long line of fawning reviews.

    Getting names deliberately or accidentally wrong during a show is fair enough as the mikes are on and mistakes happen but getting a name wrong on a poster for a gig that you are promoting for the band in question is a little bit embarrassing. I’m only saying.

    I may have misinterpreted the “opinions/arseholes (pun intended)” comment (and if I have I apologise) but if you were implying I was an arsehole then again I think that is a shame. I think I’ve been fair and even throughout this debate and yet have been called a cunt and (perceivably) an arsehole because I happen to think Podcart isn’t the greatest recorded material out there at the moment. I’m not sure this reflects entirely well.

    Sean, I honestly think you are an absolute godsend to the scene in Glasgow and contrary to all that this has sparked I actually enjoy Podcart for the most part. I do think there could be less chat but that is just a preference. What has been confirmed to me in the process of this is that for some at least (and certainly not you) Podcart is beyond criticism. Fall into line or get fucked.

  25. Al Conway says:

    Sorry Anonymous,

    The pun was in the ‘anal’ part of ‘analogy’. I’m sorry it was misinterpreted.

    It’s Christmas Eve and I’m away to the pub.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to y’all.

    I hope 2010 is the most prosperous year for Scottish Music in memory and I hope to see everyone in this discussion part of it.

    Cheers,

    Al

  26. Anonymous says:

    The apology is all mine. I misinterpreted :-)

  27. Jim says:

    Christ, you go to the pub on Christmas Eve and everyone goes mental!
    Quickly trying to round things up:
    Calling folk cunt doesn’t really help anyone much. Having recently been end the end a bit of email verbals I know things can be a bit hurtful when they aren’t thought through, so let’s just pretend that bit didn’t happen.

    Now, on to the questions:
    1. Halina’s constant fauning – This is one of those things I put down to taste again. There’s bands that Halina, and others in the Podcart crew like that I’ve got no time for at all. There’s other bands that I like a lot that I know through talking to others (not just the podcarters) that I’m apparently on my own with. If someone does like a band, go for it, talk them up. Just don’t be all nice to someone you think is shit.
    2. The art thing I know nothing about really. Sean prety much addressed that already.
    3. Names and stuff wrong. I made a few catty comments myself about the appearance of The Darien Adventure on posters for the Podcart Christmas gig, but hey, mistakes do happen. I’m pretty sure that even though I run a spellcheck you can find a pile of mistakes all through this blog.

    Re: the amount of chat. I don’t think things would be quite the same without the chatter. I know from talking to folk that some people listen more for the banter tan they do the music. Swings and roundabouts?

    I’ve probably missed loads of complaints etc, feel free to send over an email if you want to ask me about something you think I’ve skimmed over.

    So, anyone fancy a friendly drink some time next week (or later) to discuss what we like or hate? I’ve got nothing but free time, give me a shout.

  28. sean podcart says:

    Hi Anon,
    I think its incredible that people feel protective toward Hifi and PodcART but, and I am sure Hifi ill agree with me here, we can look after ourslves.
    1. PodcART has a public profile.
    2. PodcART exists to serve the wider artistic community.

    As you are both a member of public and also a member of the wider artistic community you are of course entitled to your opinion, as anyone who cares to comment is. As the subjects of your comment we are entitled to listen or ignore what you say. As i mentioned earlier, I think it’s great that people take the time to make comments and I welcome what people have to say. I am happy this debate has been sparked, it’s healthy, and I am always open to any comments or suggestions. You know where you can reach me.

    have a brilliant xmas

    sean@glasgowpodcart.com

  29. Anonymous says:

    Its christmas day and rather than reveal my identity (thus revealing I am a sad bastard online on this joyous occasion), I have decided to stay unknown.

    I have read through all of the comments and I feel there are solid opinions on both sides. I think Sean has really summed up how I feel about Glasgow Podcart just in the maturity and open-ness of each and every one of his responses.

    I like a good debate, they’re healthy and if we all liked the same flavour of ice cream, life would be boring. Ben and Jerrys would also be out of buisness.

    I skimmed through and something caught my eye. I would say that there is a definite “elite” within the Glasgow unsigned scene. Which I find ironic because outside of Scotland, no one knows who we are (before you go onto the big time of course). Before Glasgow Podcart, it was hard for brand new bands to get taken seriously. Fair enough you should work to establish yourself but if you have good music – you shouldn’t be shunned because you aren’t “cool” enough yet or because no one is talking about you or has heard of you yet.

    The podcart team bring a down to earth and above all else, approachable vibe to what they do. They work bloody hard and it’s not entirely professional – personally it gives me the feeling of a cool club someone has started at school.

    Any band unknown or known can send them a track and if it is good it gets played. The presenting style is full of personality.

    Back to the thing that caught my eye. I once heard a great guy (who is acclaimed for introducing new music in scotland) address a room full of budding musicians that “if he hasn’t heard a buzz about your band then it wont get played”. People falling over their own feet to send people demos in the hope that at the very least it wont land in the bin unopened.

    Glasgow podcart listen to everything and everyone. If you’re good you get played. No questions asked.

    No pretence. Just new, good and deserving music.

    How refreshing.

  30. halina says:

    So it is 24 hours on it is Christmas Day and I would like to just say something.

    1. I feel I should apologise to Anonymous as I didn’t take his criticism fairly and acted on a defensive impulse. Therefore, yes I apologise and will take your comments fully on board. I know an over positive and subsequent fawning can be a bit sickly and may not entirely represent 100% real life but as stated throughout this we are all individuals with differing personalities. I can be as negative as anyone else and I have a dislike for things that I am quite vocal about. We always decided to try and stay positive about everything through podcart but going forward I am going to seriously think about some of the comments on here.

    2. I want to thank Jim for his support and a great blog it means a lot to us and we fully appreciate all the help you have given us this year

    3. I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that 2010 is an exciting year

    Like Seanhas stated if there is anything that anyone wants to express or discuss or in fact make suggestions then we can be contacted

    I am halina@glasgowpodcart.com and if anyone wants to have a chat without the pressure of a public blog then by all means I am happy to do so.

    Thanks :)

  31. Jim says:

    Happy Christmas folks!

  32. Lou says:

    In response to the “but yer playing a Norn irish band” comment, I’d like to point out that I chose the ASIWYFA track and I’m Norn Irish!

    I didn’t think there was anything wrong about choosing to play these guys because they are dearly loved by all at PodcART and we have all seen them play in Scotland. ASIWYFA tour their skinny lil asses off and have spent enough time on our turf to warrant a play on our humble podcast. This is of course my humble opinion, but thank you for yours xx

  33. sean podcart says:

    hahahha

    it is true that Glasgow PodcART not only loves ASIWYFA but that founder member and designer Will McNeilly, designer and artist Paddy Duke and all round design and taste heroine Louise ‘weeze’ Cochrane are all Norn Oirish so I don’t think it was a massive shock that a band from accross the water was roped into playing.
    Plus the fact this may very well be one of the last opportunities people have to see ASIWYFA playing in such a small venue.
    It will be a fecking brilliant gig, I can’t fecking wait!!

  34. Heidi says:

    This is probably going to be seen as cheeky, but if you are looking for a website (that for 2 more days is fully Glasgow based until Neil moves to Poland on Saturday) that already does monthly photo exhibitions (and featured over 50 photographers’ work last year) you should check out http://www.wesinkships.co.uk. We also just started a podcast on Radio Magnetic that has only 10-15mins chat which is followed by 45mins music. We have a guest DJ every month and aim to have interviews in each podcast. We will feature labels, galleries, bands, publishers, anything art and music related really.

  35. Anonymous says:

    bawbags