As they travel the road towards SXSW and Austin’s new music extravaganza, some Scottish bands are taking the initiative to book some shows before and after the event. This makes sense in a load of ways. They’re in the USA already, the travel costs have been paid and they might even help earn some cash towards the trip. Why not gig somewhere between Scotland and central Texas?

New York City is the obvious and natural choice, so a batch of artists are doing exactly that. 3 names I’d like to draw your attention to are Rachel Sermanni, Kid Canaveral and Withered Hand. All different and all in command of a armoury of great songs.

Kid Canaveral are 2 girls and 2 boys who crank out the kind of classic indie-rock with the right amount of pop, punk and panache that is never out of date or style. Imagine Buzzcocks and Shop Assistants in structure and soul, but with a more ambitious ear for chiming guitars and yearning, heartfelt vocals. They’re known to cover ‘Missionary’ by King Creosote and will also be acting as his backing band at SXSW and elsewhere in the USA. Check out their ‘Shouting at Wildlife’ LP too, it’s a cracker!

Carrbridge singer-songwriter, Rachel Sermanni is only 19 years old and yet has a maturity that belies her tender years. Whimsical yet forceful folk-pop is her stock-in trade, with expert arrangements, wistful melodies and lyrics dwell on elements of nature, fantasy, love and love-lost. Her voice is pure, her guitar is acoustic and her star is very much in the ascendence.

Withered Hand has to be one of the finest lyricists about just now anywhere in the World. Dan Wilson is the kind of lo-fi, scuzz-ball singer-songwriter that the USA loves and rightly so. Having grown up listening to Pavement, Sonic Youth and Silver Jews, his songs have a righteous spirit and a self-effacing sense of humour that also speak to the soul. As catchy as hell, and an album that bears up to repeated listening, ‘Good News’ has been picked up by ‘Absolutely Kosher Records’ in San Francisco, so this looks like his first of many voyages across the pond.*

If you want fresh, new and exciting music that comes from the heart… Look no further than these acts, playing the Big Apple this week!”

* Subject to visa issues…

Also on tour this week: Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian, Fish, Edwyn Collins and Glasvegas.

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Kid Canaveral – You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night


Rachel Sermanni – Song For a Fox


Withered Hand – Religious Songs


Scotland on Tour this week

[scotlandontour_thisweek startdate=”20110307″ enddate=”20110313″]

Photo Credit: JJBullock