01 August 2012

The Times They Are A Changin' In Peenko Land

In a couple of months time this blog will be hitting the grand old age of 4 years old. Now that may not mean a lot to you guys, but it means a lot to me. Ever since I started this site it has pretty much taken over my life, for the better I might add. On reflection, I am really proud of what I have managed to achieve in such a short period. Prior to 'Peenko', I would never have dreamed of doing half of the stuff that I have done, such as putting on gigs, releasing records and the like. Okay, so in the grand scale of things, that might not mean a lot to most people, but it has meant a shit load to me. There is one downside to it all, which is something that folk often ask me about, namely 'how do I manage to fit it all in?'. The simple answer to that is that I sacrifice nearly all of my spare time either doing blog or label stuff, plus I have also recently started managing Randolph's Leap, which leaves me with not a lot of time for anything else. If you add into that equation my daughter, my wife and a full time job, it does all add up. So much so that I have to admit that I am pretty knackered at the moment. I love writing this site, family and work aside, it's been the main focus of my life for coming on four years now. But what with two albums coming out on Olive Grove in the next few months, I realise that I don't have the time to do everything. Not unless of course someone wants to pay me to write this blog so that I don't have to work full time. You never know there might be a Sugar Mummy out there just waiting to help support a rambling music blogger. Don't tell the wife mind...
Basically for the next few months I have decided to take a bit of a break from posting every day. In short for the next wee while Friday Freebies and Fresh Meat Monday posts are going on a wee hiatus. The reason for this being that the freebies post takes up so much time to organise and research, that I'd quite like a wee break. If you're looking for someone to keep you posted on free Scottish music, then get following my partner in crime Aye Tunes Twitter account. As for the Fresh Meat posts, in the past two years I have posted a whopping 132 Fresh Meat interviews, so I would quite like to take some time out to go out and discover some new music without the pressure of having to come up with something new and exciting every week.
Recently a number of my contemporaries have decided to call it a day, most notably Favourite Son and then today, the man who partly inspired me to start this site, The Pop Cop, has announced that he is going to be going on hiatus for a bit. Although that being said he's handing over the reins of his site to a mysterious young lady in a kind of Doctor Who-Esque metamorphosis. Seeing as I am going to be quite busy with other things for the next few months, I did think about taking a break from the site all together. That lasted all of two seconds, as I realised that I would miss this too much. So instead I thought about bringing in some new faces to write for me. The trouble with that is that I wanted to bring in folk who shared similar music tastes to myself and could write well (or at least better than me that is - not hard I know). Easier said than done I should add, but alas find them I did. So in a bit of a coup for the site I have managed to rope in two new folk to write reviews for the site. You heard me right, reviews. Hey, I might not think that I am the greatest reviewer in the world. but these guys are pretty damn fine. So here's the plan, I am going to continue to post up sessions, We've Got It Covered posts and the odd news post and Boab is going to continue to review EPs and singles in his Help Ma Boab, It's The 62 Word Review posts. Plus from tomorrow onwards I also have two new reviewers joining the Peenko crew, Mike and Steve.
Both are figures that you might already have heard of, Mike, previously wrote the blog, Songs Heard On Fast Trains, which I had always thought was an amazing read. So when he recently announced that he was calling it a day I decided not to hang about, so I tapped him up and thankfully he was up for it. He's already drafted up his first post, which should be going up at some point tomorrow.
In addition to adding Mike to the team, I have also just drafted in a fellow by the name of Steve, a man who has previously written for the likes of Muso's Guide, Glasgow Podcart and John Robb's Louder Than War site. With a pedigree like that I am not to sure how I have managed to get him on board, I am sure he'll soon realise what a mistake he's made, but for now I am chuffed to bits to have and Mike on board.
Welcome to the team gents.

As for me, I guess that this would be a sensible time to update you all with what I have planned for the next few months. In September coming, the label I co-run, Olive Grove Records, will release our first album of 2012, from the Glasgow six piece, State Broadcasters. It's called 'Ghosts We Must Carry', and it's a gorgeous wee album that I can't wait for the rest of the world to hear. Having had the album since December of last year, I am genuinely really excited that it will finally be out there for others to hear. In case you missed the memo, we released a free single from it back in June.

If you like this, then you're going to love the album. Also ahead of the albums release, we're going to be releasing a second free download single, 'Kittiwake' on 27th August. We also have a video for Trespassers currently in production, which will feature a giant moth man. If it's half as good as I am told it's going to be, then it should be pretty damn special. As for the album it's out on 17th September, and we're currently finalising plans for a launch venue for the album. Hopefully I should be able to share more info on this for you soon, I'll be sure to post something up once it's finalised.

As well as the State Broadcasters album, we're also going to be releasing the album from the massively talented Jo Mango in November. As with the State Broadcasters, I still have to pinch myself that her album is going to be coming out on Olive Grove. The album was originally going to be called The Moth And The Moon, which could have gotten a bit confusing what with us having The Moth & The Mirror on the label. Instead Jo has opted to go with 'Murmuration' as the album title. If you want a wee taster of what the album is like, then have a listen below.

On top of all of the Olive Grove stuff, as I said before I have now started managing Randolph's Leap. Why am I taking on even more work you might wonder, well the answer to that one is pretty simple, I love the band. Having worked with them so closely for almost two years now it felt like a natural step to take on more of a managerial role. This year alone the band have released two albums, played at festivals including Away Game and T in the Park, plus there was the recent headline slot at Tut's. Yes, I am showing off, but fuck it, after all of the hard work that's gone on behind the scenes I feel comfortable with shouting about these achievements. The best thing about it all is that there is still loads of great stuff still to come, there is an EP coming out on Fence Records in October (I think), they're playing the London Palladium with the Pictish Trail in September, there's an album coming out in Japan some time soon, also there's the little matter of them recording their debut album proper. So yeah, all of that might take some of my time up.

Last, but not least (I know, I know, I don't half ramble on), there is the small matter of the blog celebrating it's 4th birthday in October. For those of you who have frequented this site for a few years (poor you), you might recall that I have tried to do something special for each birthday, in year one I gave away badges, year two we had the I Build Collapsible Mountains EP and last year I had my ill fated podcast, which may one day return - mainly because I reckon rambling on a podcast would be easier than having to type up of all my inane thoughts. Anyway, for this years birthday I have something pretty special lined up, or at least I think it's special, you might disagree. Either way it could turn out to be the best/worst thing that I have ever done. For now all that I'll say is that it involves some of my favourite artists recording songs especially for me, which will be released on a special format. I don't want to spoil the surprise, so trust me this is going to be pretty damn cool.

Right I think I best stop there, if you got this far thanks for sticking with me. I am really looking forward to the next few months, I have a cracking team on board and some amazing music to share with you all. The times they are a changin', for the better I reckon.


  1. You do plenty. Keep up the good work, whenever you can!

  2. I always am in awe of your site and all of your hard work putting it together. It NEVER goes unnoticed.

    Looking forward to anything that you have in store.

    PS. Randolph's Leap is so freakin' good.

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  4. Pffft. Part-timer.

  5. dunno if it's a good thing but reading you started Ralph's Life off...and it is amazing how it takes over stuff so quickly...big up on Randolph's Leap...love Ralph x

  6. Keeo up the awesome work dude. Thanks again for all the support you've given us.

    Awwwra best!

  7. If your plan is to allow yourself some more free time babe, it doesn't really sound as if it's going to work...

    Read some of Mike's stuff for the first time last night - incredible! Exciting times indeed.

    Loadsa love x

  8. thanks everyone, I am genuinely touched.

    Tricia and Mike - I am chuffed you agree, I am pretty much obsessed with them these days!

    Mikey - please keep me posted on all things IRL related, I am really looking forward to the second album

    Lis - I know I am just swapping one lot of work for another, but it should be cool (or so I keep telling myself)

    Boab- GTF