Thursday, December 29, 2005


After weeeeeeeeeeks off from podcasting I'm finally back. Refreshed and invogorated after a week in Arisaig (see Flickr for some of the pics), I'm ready to take on the podcasting world again.

Gloves are off this time. No more Mr Nice Guy.

Ok, maybe I'm joking about that part.

As you'll see, the site is back here on Podshow's server. Some of you may know I have issues with how Podshow is handling its talent, the '3 shows a week' for no money etc. But after long and open discussions with the Music Gang, my podcast brethren, I'm going to stick it out with them. At least for another few months.
We are after all approaching a bright, new, shiny year so here's hoping things start falling into place.

In the meantime, The Scottish Podcast Clan is alive and kicking and I urge all of you to check it out and listen to the other Scottish podcasts listed on the site. More will be added in due course, including Amplificast, the podcast from Amplifico.

A technorati search showed up what looks to be a rival Scottish podcast site, but note; we were doing it first ;-)

Here's a write-up on the release of The Scottish Podcast Clan.

Other news - the tartanblog is up and I'll be posting most of my podcast experiences, thoughts, opinions and news over there, including developments with tartan media productions, which was officially 'launched' earlier in the month. So please subscribe to the RSS feed.

I recorded the first SaltireCast, a project I'm working on for Glasgow Caledonian University. My plan is to have 'channels' that you can subscribe to via the tartanpodcast site, and the SaltireCast will be the first, all being well.

Look out for a podcast of the workshop/presentation I delivered a couple of weeks ago here in Glasgow; it'll be made available via tartanblog.

Shows coming up in the next few months;

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

tp70 - tartanpodcast#70

Sorry, no show notes as I'm on holiday and managed to get connected to the net via the phone line for the cottage's pay phone hehe.

Email the guest host, Alastair Bishop for details.


Friday, December 16, 2005

tp71 - tartanpodcast #71 - hosted by Donna from Amplifico


Track 1: All Original Rock by Stop Starts

Email singer Matt:

Track 2: I Am A Logical Man by How To Swim

Track 3: Same Old by Ordinaryson

Track 4: Everything Is Everyone's Fault by Multiplies

Huge thanks to Donna for hosting the show today. Her band, Amplifico, has its own podcast - you can get information about it from their site.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

No Sleepy Sunday Show


Despite what I say on tartanpodcast #69 there will be no Sleepy Sunday Show this week (18th Dec) nor 25th Dec. As I've mentioned (at least I think I've mentioned) I'm on holiday.


Donna and Alastair will be looking after you till the end of the year.

Keep your eye on the tartanblog as I'll be adding to that.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Spotted in Tesco, in Perth

This was put on the blog tonight;

Hi Mark,

Seeing this reminded me of how I first heard of the tartanpodcast.

I was in Tesco (supermarket for those outside the UK) up in Perth in July and saw a young boy with the t-shirt on. Wonder if any of the products have been spotted elsewhere and this has got you new listeners?

Well, you'll never guess who that young boy was?


Kirsteen, who you saw in Perth that evening in Perth - because it was an evening, right? A Thursday evening? - was Cameron.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Amplifico - the podcast

Stepping up to the podcast plate, here's Amplifico's podcast to go along with their blog, website and fantastic music.

Get details here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

tp69 - tartanpodcast #69


3 songs from independant Scottish artists, minimal chat. Moves at a brisk pace. Don't hang about, play it/download it/subscribe to it/vote for it now.

Support Scottish independant artists - buy their music.

Member of the Scottish Podcast Clan

Tartan Store

Support This Site

I keep forgetting about this, but there's tartanpodcast schwag to be had here...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

BBC Soundbiters Quiz

For those interested in hearing Ewan Spence and I on BBC Radio Scotland's Soundbiters quiz, the air date is Friday 23rd December 11.30am GMT.

I'll post a link nearer the time.

I will be on holiday when it's aired!

tpsss27 - sleepy sunday show #27


Email the band
  • Uncle Fritz - Ballad of the Lighthouse Keeper
His label

Interview with Uncle Fritz
Email her

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Rather than putting a lot of extra stuff up here on the main tartanpodcast page I've decided to set up a tartanblog and you can find it here

Please subscribe to it in your newsreader as it will be updated fairly regularly.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

tpsls14 - Spotlight on Amplifico


Band of the hour, Amplifico, are in the tartanpodcast's spotlight this time.

Following hot on the heels of their segment on The World I'm pleased to bring you their spotlight show.

The band recorded their part over a month ago, so it's clear that when they say 'just the other day Clark Boyd' contacted them, this was in fact a few weeks past.

    Songs featured;
  • 10p Mix
  • All Your Sins
  • Come Down
  • Real Low
  • Flutter
  • Like a Magnet
  • Homemade Hurricanes
  • Spitting Out Benchmarks
  • 10p Mix
You can buy Amplico's music at their site, just click here

Support independant Scottish bands, buy their music.

The tartanpodcast is a member of the Scottish Podcast Clan

Support the tartanpodcast by getting it back into the top 50 at Podcast Alley!

Amplifico's spotlight show

I'm almost finished editing Amplifico's spotlight show - this is only my 3rd attempt...I'm not a perfectionist or anything, but you want to do your best for the bands.

Anyway, it will be up later today, so remember to check your aggregator

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Playing the drums and the mouthorgan. At the same time.

I saw something reasonably remarkable tonight while sitting in a pub in Bath Street in Glasgow. No, it wasn't young people trying too hard to resemble Goldfrapp album covers , or the trying-too-hard-to-look-fashionably-scruffy-haircuts on young men in bum crack showing low slung jeans. It wasn't even the Saudi Arabian horse racing that was on the 3 large plasma tvs hung on 3 different walls in the pub. Nor was it the strange fellow with the just-out-of-bed hair (you know, all pushed up to one side and flattened from the back), bad teeth, pale denim jacket with dark hoodie under it, although all of these things were reasonably remarkable to someone like me who doesn't leave the house much after 7pm at night.

The reasonably remarkable thing that I witnessed tonight was someone playing the drums and the mouthorgan. At the same time.

The perpetrator of this feat was none other than Andrew from the Edinburgh-based band Dropkick. The band, having managed to secure the visa, had made the trip west (on a school night - Alastair's words) to play The Butterfly and the Pig, a pub on the odd side of Bath Street. I'd walked passed the basement pub everyday for a year when I worked for Barclays Stockbrokers at the Charing Cross end of Bath Street (300 Bath Street, Tay House - the building that goes over the motorway for those taking notes), but I'd never noticed it before.

Typically decked out for a Glasgow pub/venue/restaraunt; all battered sofas, raw wooden floors, black t-shirted bar staff and the aforementioned people trying too hard, the bands would be performing on a small 'stage' against a wall papered with sheet music. Directly behind the stage, i.e. right behind where the band would be performing, was a large plasma TV showing Champions League football. I was imagining people heckling the musicians, yelling at them to 'get oot ay the wey ay o the footie, an tha.'

That didn't happen, although there would perhaps have been call for it during the first band's set. I don't have their name to hand, although it would be fairly easy to retrieve. But I won't as I like to reserve the tartanpodcast for bands of quality. Yes. I am a snob. They were overly loud and their songs all sounded repetitively similar. They also managed to clear out, oh, most of the people in the pub.

This was borne out when a member of the bar staff whom I presume to have a managerial type position (this assumption is made based on her being at least 22) came over to one of the guys with the trying-too-hard-too-look-scruffy hairdos and proclaimed 'there's only 32 people left, this lot better not be as loud as the last lot'.

Those who had departed the pub had freed up seats near the stage and by the time Dropkick had "sound checked" - asking random drinkers to twiddle the nobs on the board till things sounded reasonable; no fault of Dropkick's, the sound guy had failed to show up - there was a cozy crowd in front of them.

They didn't disappoint, kicking off their set with Chastity Pyjamas, drummer Andrew on lead vocals and Alastair on guitar and harmonies. The applause was genuine and generous. There followed Gary Larsson Cartoon and Crisps and Irn Bru, among others.

Finishing up with Turn Off Your Radio (Turn Me On Instead), at one point the bassist (sorry, didn't get the rest of the band members' names - Alastair?) caught my eye and we had a shared grin at the lyrical content of the song, much of it probably lost due to the sound guy having a night-in.

Two highlights of the night; immediately after they finished their set, a guy rushed up to Andrew and asked if they had a CD for sale. He was, of course, American. Alastair and I had chatted briefly and we had agreed that their sound was particularly popular with Americans. (Inexplicable sidenote - Alastair offered me a Dropkick t-shirt, which I refused, for some reason. Perhaps the soda water and lime had gone to my head.)

The other highlight? Not, as Grant may assume, being asked to guard the Dropkick box - which I was and did and have photographic proof of - but rather seeing a drummer drum while playing a mouthorgan.


Dropkick's music is available to purchase and download from

Soundbiters - the BBC Quiz

As per my post last week, Ewan Spence has written up the events of that day at BBC Radio Scotland, with a little help from me.

Find his blog post here.

tp68 - tartanpodcast #68 - funk from Fife?

Creative Commons
Appalling good music, all written and produced in Scotland by Scottish bands.

It really isn't fair to the rest of the world...

Amplifico on NPR

Back in May I was honoured to have been asked by BBC technology reporter Clark Boyd to appear on The World. There's no doubt in my mind the level of exposure that my brief moment on his show brought the tartanpodcast; I'm still feeling it!

Clark heard Amplifico on the tartanpodcast, loved their music, contacted them, and last night Amplifico were the Global Hit on The World.

I sent the band an email to warn them to be ready for mega hits on the website and an inbox stuff with emails from North American IPs. I don't think they fully expected the response they'd get in just a few short hours.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Finniston on a charity CD Rom calendar

I thought there was some sort of mistake when I got an email saying that the Finniston track 'Listen to Your Mother' was appearing on a calendar.

Of course, it's a CD Rom audio calendar.

Silly me.

It's for a good cause and the people behind it have asked me to give it a special mention.

Check it out/buy it here.

tartanpodcast public appearance

Heh heh how pretentious does that sound?

Anyway, I'm heading out tomorrow night to see Dropkick live.

Wed 7th December 2005: Butterfly And Pig, Bath Street, Glasgow. With The People's Alibi and The Calderas. 8pm. Free entry.

I'll be there about 8.45pm or so, if you're in the Glasgow area head along and join me to hear one of Edinburgh's finest.

More details;

The Butterfly And The Pig

153 Bath Street
G2 4SQ

Train:Charing Cross (Glasgow) (7 mins)
Glasgow Central (7 mins)
Glasgow Queen Street (8 mins)

Amplifico's Donna, the Isle of Skye and KT Tunstall

Congratulations to Amplifico and Donna on this great news!

Singing in a Scottish Accent

Sleepy Sunday Show #26 highlighted 3 groups who when singing do so - not in a faux American drawl - but rather in their own natural acccent.

As listeners to the tartanpodcast perhaps this is something you appreciated. Perhaps it's something that holds an appeal to you. Maybe you've even bought a CD of one of these bands because they sing in their own, Scottish accent.

Dropkick are one of those bands in question. And recently their CD 'Music to Watch Sheep By' was slated in a review in Marverick country music magazine.

Here's where you can see a scan of the article - zoom in!

Ok. Now what? Well, if you've enjoyed Dropkick's music, or that of any other Scottish performer who doesn't adopt an American accent when singing, why not write to the editor of the magazine and express yourself? You never know, they may print your letter...

Email him here;

Monday, December 05, 2005

100 podcasts?

I was counting up the tartanpodcast podcasts that are in iTunes and I counted up 100 episodes. Does anyone else get this? Have I crossed into triple figures (since March 20th 2005) without realising?

Do I get a badge or a certificate?

Well, well, I have been a busy bee, haven't I?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My Space?

What on earth is all this My Space stuff? Ok, like a promo I realise everyone needs a My Space page these days. I've been signed up since..well..ages ago, and when people like Dan Klass start going on about their My Space page then you realise it's time to get yours sorted out.

But herein lies the problem; they look and act ugly. Granted, it's late Sunday night here in Scotland, so the whole of everything to the west of me is up and about and logged on and surfing My Space, thereby slowing the servers to a slow chug, but still. That doesn't mean it has to look so ugly. And the stuff people do to theirs! Hideous.

I admit it, I'm nearly 34. I don't think I'm in the demographic My Space is looking for.

Anyway, if you want to add me as a 'friend' [good grief] you can find me here -

tpsss26 - sleepy sunday show #26


Creative Commons
What do all these bands have in common?

    They're all Scottish. And they all sing in a Scottish accent.

  • Whole Lot of Nonsense Podcast
  • Scottish Podcast Clan

  • It's a new month, so votes at Podcast Alley are appreciated!

    how is this working out for you?

    As you can see I've moved to a blogger site. I admit, it's not as slick as word press, but there you go.

    Please let me know if you have any problems using the new site, especially problems when trying to comment on the posts.

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    tp67 - tartanpodcast #67

    In the car again today and I bring you 12 songs from Scottish bands! Well, all are Scottish apart from one, but even they're signed to a Scottish label.

    Please post feedback here on the website.

    Support Scottish bands! Buy their music!
    Play today's show

    So, what's been happening? #2

    I last posted a detailed review of what's been happening here in 'tartanpodcastland' back in September. It's time for an update.

    The answer to 'so, what's been happening?' is a simple 'a lot'. Clearly, flying to southern California for 3 days is a big deal to most people outside the US, so it's safe to say that the Portable Media Expo & Podcast Conference has been both a highlight and a watershed for me. Fantasing back in May about attending to actually being there seems like a lifetime, and sitting here 3 weeks after the event (and having weird Expo flashbacks) it seems like a further lifetime. Needless to say it was tiring and a bit stressful - both for me, but mostly for Gail and the children - but a landmark for me as a podcaster.

    My intention back in May was to attend the Expo and market the tartanpodcast. Well, the reality, as it panned out, was a little different. I attended the Expo, but did little marketing. There are a number of reasons for this. One of the biggest ones is jetlag. I really wasn't myself until, well, the last day. So I wasn't on my game, and there's this whole thing about being away from all that's familiar (i.e. home) that tends to sap one's confidence. Just between us I'd hoped that my attendance would create more a 'stir' than it in fact did. I mean, I'd flown all the way over from Scotland! (Ewan Spence was there too, although he'd bundled it in with a business trip.) The upshot was that Ewan was mistaken for me, according to him, dozens of times. I was identified as me, probably twice.

    If I'd had my confident head on I'd have got myself, and the tartanpodcast, noticed more. And that takes me to one of the other reasons I did very little marketing; it's just not me. I've turned down a TV interview and national press coverage in the past. I really don't like being in the limelight. The upshot is I don't like having to push myself forward.

    A few highlights from the Expo;

  • meeting all the people I'd hoped to meet, bar one or two

  • hanging out at the pool with the music gang recording a show

  • Saturday night in the bar at the hotel - lots of fun and laughter and plans being made

  • Lance Anderson and his partner Marisols' unbelievable kindness to someone who was, in essence, a stranger to them; me. They took me on a great whistle-stop tour of LA, which included me seeing the actual location of a piece of art we have hangong on our livingroom wall
  • Visiting Dan Klass at his home and seeing exactly where he records the Bitterest Pill (this was a question he'd been asked as the live show he'd done on the Friday night at the Marriot - "what are you looking at when you record?" - a weird fascination many of us have of where our favourite podcasters podcast from)
  • Special thanks go to Marilyn Madsen for her generousity for part sponsoring my trip, CC and Laura Chapman for a great breakfast in the Pulp Fiction diner (thanks from Gail and Cameron for the maple syrup, too), John from the M Show for the In and Out burger and shake (the best shake I've ever had), Canis Lupis for being such a stalwart and true podcast brother and for saying I own a country and Chance for greeting me warmly in the lobby of the Marriot.

    If you're looking for a more indepth coverage of the Expo, simply search this site for 'expo'.

    When I returned home a few things developed quite rapidly. Firstly I got an email from a listener to say that the tartanpodcast was on the front page of iTunes. Well, they were sort of right. iTunes front page contained a section dedicated to music podcasts, and if you clicked through to page 3 of the list then you'd see the great little tartanpodcast iTunes logo, created by Andrew Pallister. So, yeah, sort of on the front page...No surge in subscribers resulted...

    Within in 20 minutes or so of returning home from the Expo I got a call from a neighbour who works for Caledonian University in Glasgow to say that they'd been listening to the tartanpodcast in work and that they wanted to meet me.

    Long story short, I met twice with some people at the University and they've appointed me as an associate of the Spoken Word department. Through time it's hoped I can consult with them on producing podcasts in the University. I've also had some encouraging correspondance with the Vice Principal of the University who was enthusiastic about some podcasting ideas I this space. Perhaps the pipe dream of starting Tartan Media Productions may become a reality. We'll wait and see...

    This brings me on to the subject of 'monetisation'; a term people seem to loathe. Perhaps because it's not really a proper word. Anyway, within a week or so of the Expo 5 of the 7 music podcast signed to Podshow received sponsorship/ads. We knew this was going to happen because we'd been told that the whole of Podshow was receiving sponsorship. Well, it didn't quite pan out that way. Neither the tartanpodcast, In Over Your Head nor Extra Super Action Show received sponsorship. Explanation as to why we were overlooked, ignored, passed over, whatever wasn't forthcoming, at least for me, until a couple of days ago. It seems the sponsors were advertising American specific products. I could point out that 60% of you guys are in North America, but what's the point, right?

    Anyway, this opens up another topic; will I run American ads? I've listened to the music podcasts that have been given this sponsorship and to be honest, the ads are terrible. What if I'm offered sponsorship that means running ads that jar or sit out of kilter with the whole vibe of the tartanpodcast? Obviously it'd be great if I could turn my nose up at them. So, we'll see what happens.

    I've been told on good authority that UK companies are brokering deals. Perhaps I'll be offered UK sponsorship? Again, we'll see what happens.

    Looking to the future I'd really like to keep the tartanpodcast advertisment free. The tartanpodcast is advertisment free at the moment and there are two way that will allow me to keep it that way;
    me being able to earn some sort of living via podcasting outwith the tartanpodcast (see above), or via listener voluntary subscriptions (see the right-hand side of this page). Again, we'll see what happens.

    When I was in California I got an email from a producer at BBC Radio Scotland asking if I'd like to take part in a radio quiz. Of course I was happy too - more details will follow, also see previous post.. Then a week after arriving home I was contacted by another BBC producer wanting some input on podcasting. Now, as a podcaster I've no interest in being a radio DJ, never have done. But by the same token when an establishment such as the BBC knows your name, so to speak, and contacts you to be on a quiz show or wants your input on podcasting and where the medium is going, etc, it's sorta nice and validating. Perhaps that comment has revealed me as being a shallow charlatan...but, hey, I grew up with BBC radio. Anyway, I put my 'brass neck' on and asked one of said producers why it's me they contact about podcasting. Her reply was that I'm the person whose name comes up.

    On the subject of BBC Radio, Tom Morton of the Tom Morton show on BBC Radio Scotland, himself a champion of new Scottish music, gave me a great quote that you can find on the top right-hand side of this page. It came about because he'd misunderstood my request for a quote for a press release some of us are putting together; he thought the press release was about the tartanpodcast, when in reality it's about something completely different. Details will follow...

    Finally, a busy month is coming up; on the 15th I'm running a podcast workshop (free of charge) - more details as they come - and on the 17th we're off on holiday for a week. Normal service will continue as best as I can.

    Thanks for staying subscribed, for voting at Podcast Alley (new month..), for your feedback and emails, for supporting the Scottish indie music scene and for your loyality. It means a lot.