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Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"SxSW Interview"

Hailing from Scotland, and pursuing melodious, riff friendly pop-rock, popup is coming to town for our beloved SXSW music festival. Their latest single, “Chinese Burn” has been blazing feverishly on our playlists lately but we would like to stop short in trying to sell them as the next big thing from across the pond, especially since NME (Issue dated 27.1.07) recently stated that Babyshambles would like popup to tour with them. And having Pete Doherty as a fan has gotta mean something these days. So we decided to find out what tickles their fancy, and Damian Gilhooly was kind enough to oblige. Also, last we checked, they are looking for more shows in town during the week of SXSW so holler ya’ll.
Share a story about a visit to Austin or a previous trip to SXSW.
In 2005, I lived in Austin for a few months. I have family out there who helped me get some work and a place to stay. The city is amazing. I used to spend my days cycling about in the sweltering heat visiting quirky little places like Antone’s record store, Barton Springs, and the Hideout coffee shop / theatre on Congress. I worked nights as a doorman at Fado Irish Bar on 4th, which was ridiculous because I had to ask for ID from people 15 years older than me and nobody could understand a word I was saying anyway. I lived in a house in east Austin with a band called the Black Angels who are now doing amazingly. I just got their debut album Passover and it’s brilliant. A fantastic town: great music, art, culture and people. SxSW is going to be an experience, no matter what.
Is SXSW still fun if most of the people watching you play are industry?
Good question. It depends how drunk they are, and how much you really care. For me, SxSW is an experience. The industry is a bit too fickle to allow yourself to be bothered by it. I just love writing songs with my friends, recording them, putting them out, then playing shows to different people. That’s what I’m excited about. Hopefully all the Scottish bands will support each other as well, so we can just make the showcases seem like wee gigs at the 13th Note in Glasgow.
What music are you looking forward to in 2007? At SXSW specifically?
Chemikal Underground Records are soon to release an album where leading Scottish musicians have put music to poems by famous Scottish poets. I’m really looking forward to that. I’ll just wait and see what I come across though. At SxSW I’m looking forward to seeing how a lot of the Scottish bands get on. There’s a whole bunch of us going out so it should be a scream. I’m probably most looking forward to Malcolm Middleton, Emma Pollock, and My Latest Novel, all of whom are amazing. I’d like to see what Badly Drawn Boy is up to as well. I hope to be moved by music I’ve never heard anything like before though. That would be a real benefit to traveling so far.
How do your parents describe your music to people?
I’m not entirely sure. They usually just make their friends go buy our singles. The words ‘messy’ and ‘Scottish’ probably come up, but I’m not sure I could even describe it myself. Hopefully when we hear our finished album back we’ll have a better idea of what we sound like. It’s been odd so far because none of our songs sound much like each other and we’ve been recording in different places, so different engineers can do different things with our sound. My mum and dad seem proud though, which is enough for me.
What do you never want to see inside a tortilla?
Mushrooms or eggs. I can’t stand either. I’d probably rather find a finger.
BBQ or Tacos? Margaritas or beer? Parties or distro deal?
If these are the only problems we have in Texas, I’m sure we’ll be fine. We’re heading over for a few weeks so hopefully we can keep everyone happy.
Is rock and roll dead?
No. Yes. Ehm, I’m not sure I understand the question. People still play rock’n’roll, but I suppose the real question is whether anybody’s any good at it these days? That’s certainly not up to me.
popup: [official site] [myspace]
Popup will play various gigs in town during SXSW week, including their official show at the Whiskey Bar on March 14th.
- The Austinist, Texas

"Chinese Burn / Stagecoach"

Popup are from Glasgow, that Scottish town that isn’t so wee. Far more hyper than Franz Ferdinand or Sons and Daughters, Popup have more in common with Arctic Monkeys, particularly on the hi-hat heavy dance rock driving the tight “Chinese Burn”. Think of a hyper Franz or a slightly slower version of The Futureheads and the song becomes clearer. The “radio mix” version is very tight and polished, and terribly good to boot. And there is not much difference between that and “Chinese Burn” the “original mix”. It definitely gets one legs moving to the point where hitting the replay button is the only option available. “Stagecoach” is much tamer, a waltz-y mid-tempo number that causes involuntary swaying in one’s chair. Hard to make a judgment on just two songs, but this is a damn good start. - Popmatters U.S.A

"Chinese Burn / Stagecoach"

Damian Gilhooly's flippant Glaswegian voice stumbles along a riff that urgently wants to go somewhere that’s constantly out of reach; a pace driven by the rest of the band who whoop whoop randomly in the background. Michael Cross, Adrienne and Nicholas Giudici all rush along with abandon to the climax that abruptly winds down making you want to play the tune again, but this time to concentrate on what the hell the song's about because you were too busy tapping your foot and bopping your head like a machine.

B side Stagecoah is tame in comparison, slower and jolly in an early-Delgados or Badly Drawn Boy way, a song about a girl missing a bus. Unlike the A side this is more suited to being your soundtrack to a lazy Sunday afternoon. With a lovely Adrienne vocal behind Damian's, it’s like cool water over the previous shock of a Chinese burn. Guess they're versatile...like a popup book. Sorry, couldn’t help it.
- Music News UK

"Savvy Snapshots of Contemporary Life"

Popup aren't too ashamed to wear their musical influences on their sleeve. neither are they too proud to make light-hearted, energetic pop songs, as their name implies. the promising Glasgow four-piece have won over fans - including fellow scottish-accented singer Malcolm Middleton - with their bright yet savvy snapshots of contemporary life. set against a backing of frenetic drumming and thrashing coxon-styled acoustic guitar, debut single 'lucy, what are you trying to say?' is a summer tune that recalls the ground in between major label period Orange Juice and the Proclaimers. - Rough Trade Records

"Barnstorming Blistering Boogie"

Popup 'Chinese Burn' (Art Goes Pop). Not due to do brisk business in all the coolest record racks for a few weeks yet but b+++er me if 'Chinese Burn', the second twin pronged outing from Glasgow quartet Popup, isn't everything their debut promised and more besides. Simply stunning and rampant this cutie is the follow up to their 'Lucy, what you trying to say' and frankly wipes the floor with it while turning the screw and upping the ante on the lesser crucial talent less twerps that seem to adorn with, we hasten to add, too much frequency the columns of music rags who ought to know better. 'Chinese Burn' is your back to basics late 70's inspired barnstorming blistering boogie with razor sharp classic three chord punk rumble pretensions - an agit core fest of spiked acutely honed dirty riffs, sweaty, in your face up close and personal that principally trades blows with the Scars while craftily hoodwinking briefly the riff from the Ruts 'Babylon's Burning' - oh yeah and it's as cool as f*ck and tormenting contagious with it. Flip side features the toned down 'Stagecoach' - courting with the waltz like dynamic superbly invested by the Stranglers on 'Golden Brown', boy / girl vocals regale the daily daydream world of the songs central figure - a certain Sarah and her misfortune at the hands of public transport (blimey luv you wanna try the services near our gaff - to leafy, to wet, to cold, to icy, to hot, to humid - we're still of the belief that the timetables are someone's idea of a hideously cruel joke or else some poor misguided soul with an overtly optimistic streak). All in all one of those curious nuzzling moments in pop where you feel slightly underdressed listening to unless holding hands and swaying breeze like a la the final scenes from the 'Wicker Man' with a throng of friends to a backdrop of a huge bustling fire - not that for one moment we are advocating the burning of the local live stock and the village's least popular personality - a small campfire heating an assortment of sausages and beans will be just dandy fine. Must be a curse being this cool. Joint deputy single of the missive. www.myspace.com/artgoespop or www.myspace.com/popuptheband - Losing Today

"Top 100 Scots: Popup"

79: Popup
Emotive indie charmers

Here’s another Glasgow quartet who took their time with their debut, but A Time and a Place was worth the wait, being a heartfelt collection invested with acerbic wit, bitter frustrations and trembling romanticism. Pure, confrontational lyricism from people who understand the essence of good pop music.
- The List

"Dunstaffnage: Popup"

It's taken years to fund their debut, but Popup are springing up all over the place now, writes Chitra Ramaswamy

SO MANY bands are pronouncing themselves independent these days that when the real DIY deal comes along, they're hard to pick out from the fray. Like Popup, for example. This scruffy Glaswegian quartet – three boys with guitars, one girl with drums – make some of the best melodic post-punk around in Scotland and have been plugging away for years. In that time they've been awarded Single of the Year by XFM (2006) and deemed Scotland's Biggest Unsigned Band by the NME (2007). Only now, though, are they bringing out their debut album, a decision that has seen them move back in with their parents and pretty much fund it by themselves.

I'm expecting them to be cooler-than-cool poster kids for independent music, especially since their album is being co-released by Glasgow's SWG3 Studio Warehouse, an art and performance space that has become the successor to the Chateau, a venue made famous by Franz Ferdinand's early gigs. Actually, Popup seem broke and a bit fed up. "We get good feedback from the music industry but no hard cash," says the band's frontman Damian Gilhooly, who is every bit as deadpan in person as his vocals are on their brilliant debut, A Time And A Place. "We're hardly rolling about with loads of cash," points out bassist Nick Giudici, although he does note that the Scottish Arts Council helped to fund the album. "We basically beg, steal and borrow to do everything we do."

Gilhooly is refreshingly open about what he wants for his band. "If you were to ask us whether we want to trade with Glasvegas then the answer would have to be yes," he says, talking about that band's speedy success. "We could glorify independence, and we might as well because there's not much else to go by. We like the idea of not having anyone interfere in our music but there are drawbacks."

We meet at a rehearsal studio in Glasgow's Southside, where all four of them grew up. They're here to record their second album, and are moving much faster than they did with their first, which was recorded during the course of a long year before gigs, after work and late at night. As a result it's an idiosyncratic and surprising listen, at times pure rock'n'roll, at other times boy-girl harmonies that recall The Delgados or angular, stripped-back punk. They've been described as Arab Strap on happy pills, and the owner of SWG3 says "they are brilliant – sharp, irreverent and deeply Glaswegian".

This is largely thanks to Gilhooly's dark lyrics and his thickly accented delivery, putting Popup in the same league as Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad. With song titles such as 'Stagecoach' and 'The First Weekend Of The Smoking Ban,' Gilhooly's grim tales are of bad chat-up lines at bus stops ("We shared a cigarette/Turns out he had Tourettes") and betrayal between conjoined twins. He happily finds ways to make "Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire" rhyme with "indie boys with their pretty hair". Gilhooly says the essence of the band is the music he grew up with: Prince, Deacon Blue, Nirvana and The Fall, though "we're not influenced any more by Aidan Moffat than we are by Bob Dylan".

So how did they meet? "Adie and I were married for a brief period when we were 17," Gilhooly says of the drummer, who is Nick's younger sister. "We didn't see eye to eye though, and then she married (guitarist Michael] Cross. But he had an affair with Nick. We don't really get on now and that's why it works." I sense my leg is being pulled, and Adrienne rolls her eyes and explains that they've all been friends since primary school, which is presumably why they find each other so annoying. "I met Damo in English and thought he was a pure sarky arsehole," says Nick, and Gilhooly beams when he adds: "I still do."

• 'Love Triangle/Pull The Fuse' will be released on Art Goes Pop, August 25, with the album to follow on September 1
- The Scotsman

"A Time & A Place - Preview"

THIS is the debut album from the much-talked about Glaswegian four piece.

It deals with subjects as diverse as Siamese twins, buses and the smoking ban, while the album goes from ramshackle folk to spitfire indie anthems.

The tunes throw you from pillar to post one moment, with blistering rage followed by quiet introspection. And like Glasvegas, Popup's singer Damian Gilhooly sings in his natural Scots accent. And like Glasvegas, drummer Adrienne Giudici is female.

The album opens with the line "Siamese twins, racking up sins, with their back turned to the wall" from new single Love Triangle. You don't get that kind of lyric with Coldplay.

Then there's A Year In A Comprehensive - Scotland's answer to Pulp's Common People, the magnificent Cramps-like fury of Chinese Burn and Lucy, What You Trying To Say - Orange Juice meets Alex Harvey. Immense.

The band play Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow tomorrow, The Voodoo Rooms, in Edinburgh on August 21 and the Feugh Fest, Banchory on August 30.

The new AA singles Love Triangle/Pull The Fuse is out on August 25. The album A Time And A Place is out on September 1.
- Daily Record

"A Time & A Place - Review - 4/5"

If it has felt like a long time coming for Popup’s debut long player to land in our arms then maybe it’s because we’ve been aware of them being damn good from very early on. Furious early demos, bursting with barely contained energy, recorded the spittle-strafed epithets shot from Damian Gilhooly’s lips, setting the bar high early on, and as a slow trickle of songs suggested, considerable promise. For A Time and a Place they’ve come good on that promise.

The musical reference points are plentiful but it points to a certain romance and freewheeling – Arab Strap in their fondness for a wandering narrative, The Delagados’ skill with a delicate image and Sons and Daughters’ nous for a rollicking driving beat. At the same time, however, their sound is all their own.

At points wistful, warming and biting, Popup sound like indie music from back when indie meant music made by intense young men and women whose fondness for a trebly guitar sound was second only to their taste for a confessional lyric; music made for its own sake regardless of the potential for global stardom. This band are the real deal, trading in blunt confessionals instead of vast terrace chants.

All we ever want from our pop music is a connection, someone who understands the pain or pleasure in our predicament, our hopes, our dreams, and perhaps most importantly, our failures. We want someone who can convey our hurt in a way that makes us not sound like a clown. Look no further.

- The List

"T in the Park - Bands to Watch"

Three guys and one girl who specialize in jerky, kinetic acoustic pop, Popup are Scotland's biggest unsigned band, and if you only see one new Scottish act, make it them. Following on from a triumphant series of American dates sponsored by Radio 1, they seem poised to make it. Imagine Arab Strap on fluoxetine and you're getting close. - NME

"A Time & A Place - Review - 4/5"

Popup have now been around for several years, but this is their debut LP. And instead of rushing it at the first whiff of interest, it's paid off that they've developed it over time. Debut single 'Lucy, What You Trying To Say?' was released over two years ago, and appears again here. The album has been made with help from the Scottish Arts Council (now that's what I pay taxes for, not for bombing the shit out of countries where the infrastructure's already collapsing).

Whilst some idiots (without listening properly) might dismiss them as 'another jangly guitar band from Scotland' more fool them, frankly, because there's excellent tunes on here, and some fantastic lyrics, that can hold their own with the likes of Pete Doherty, Alex Turner and fellow-countryman Aidan Moffat. I think my favourite might well be "we shared a cigarette/turned out he had tourettes" from the aforementioned Lucy…

Over the course of thirteen tracks, right from opener 'Love Triangle' to closer Lucy, there's witty, biting lyrics and excellent tunes. 'Love Triangle', by the way, is about siamese twins cheating in love. This is a warm, exciting debut that makes you want to hear it again and again. Whilst much of the plaudits at the moment for debut albums for Scottish bands are for Glasvegas, let's make sure that we all pay heed to Popup.
- Is This Music?

"A Time & A Place - Review - 9/10"

For some (possibly even many) the novelty of hearing songs sung in a broad Scottish accent may be wearing thin. The MOR bounce and at times, the sickly-sweet banality of indie-pop foisted on the airwaves by the likes of The View and The Fratellis runs the risk of inducing revulsion.

However, here's the thing: unlike some of their indigenous contemporaries, POPUP have more in their locker than others have in the whole changing room.

The moment vocalist Damian Gillhooly almost spits out the opening words of the album in his native drawl ("Siamese twins, racking up sins with their back turned to the wall...") you just know that you are not about to waste three quarters of an hour listening to bland 'nothing' music. No siree, Bob! Rather, look upon the next forty- five minutes as an investment of your time - an investment that will pay dividend in terms of variation, enjoyment and appreciation of West of Scotland vernacular.

Like all songs, each of the thirteen tracks tell a story - but Damian's delivery and diction really draws the listener in and offers no alternative but to pay attention and virtually become involved in the tale. Glasgow's own original artrocker / storyteller, Alex Harvey (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band) is probably the last who could pull this off so successfully. (Now, if that doesn't compel you to check out this album, then your soul is most definitely in chains!)

Throughout, the music is as varied as the lyrics are as incisive and inventive. Current single, 'Love Triangle,' opens the album. Building slowly yet dramatically towards a rousing climax, it tells the tale of jealousy between Siamese twins and contains the most descriptive line, "But worst of all, you're my only shoulder to cry on." Genius!

There follows an injection of pace on the very Sons and Daughters sounding 'Poison Apple.' 'Stagecoach,' is however a complete contrast. With a simple instrumental backing reminiscent of the soundtrack to Trumpton (or maybe it is Camberwick Green - I always get the two of them confused) and featuring he dulcet harmonies of drummer Adrienne it paints a picture of a rather disorganised girl called Sarah who keeps missing the bus. It is for the listener to decide if this is a simple tale of humdrum nine-to-five daily routine or is a euphemism for a life of regrets.

'A Year In A Comprehensive' is a bouncy little number preceding the more downbeat and very early Travis - around the 'All I Want To Do Is Rock,' era - sounding 'The Saviour Of Judas McDade.' 'Dreams Like These,' rises and falls in tempo and strength of sound and even manages to incorporate a brief whistled rendition of 'Frere Jacques,' to finish.

'Chinese Burn,' takes on an almost 'punk,' feel and seamlessly features the guitar line from The Ruts' classic, 'Babylon's Burning.' 'What's The Matter Now,' maintains the pace, with Damian's rather frantic almost-spoken vocals playing over a chirpy, busker-type indie soundtrack. 'The First Weekend Of The Smoking Ban,' is a brilliant title for a song! It has a real bluesy feel that you feel would be best heard in a smoke filled jazz cafe of yesteryear. 'Pure,' pares back on the pace even further, and for once we are in very atmospheric Malcolm Middleton country. Only for two and a half minutes, though, as 'In Her Day,' races through the colourful life-story of a woman called Louise. Penultimate track 'Pull the Fuse' is featured as the 'b-side' of 'Love Triangle,' and is the track that first reminded me of the wonderful Alex Harvey. A dark, chugging song it contains the brilliant line, 'You could have been a lantern if you'd just lighten up......but you won't.'

Closing number is, 'Lucy, What You Trying To Say?' Lyrics such as, " Last thing I need is shit off a prick in a pub," and "We shared a cigarette. Turned out he had terretts,' are used not only for comedic effect, but also to perfectly illustrate a late Friday night in any UK city centre.

'A Time & a Place,' is a slab of everyday life set to music. It is difficult to envisage the same impact if it were to have been delivered in anything other than a thick Scottish accent, and rather than cause revulsion, this album is more likely to encourage a compulsion - to press the 'replay' button time and time again.

- Artrocker

"A Time & A Place Review - 4/5"

If ever a debut album was expected to be rather good then it would quite possibly be this one. It's a prediction made easy when you consider this band have the luxury of pitching songs like 'Chinese Burn', 'A Year In A Comprehensive', 'Lucy, What You Trying To Say' and 'Love Triangle' into the ring. With such a commanding back catalogue at their disposal they already had the foundations of a great record in place. And now, at the first big ask, Popup have continued to sire their particular pedigree of song perfectly throughout this debut like you expected them to.

Lyrically they are formidable social commentators. Musically they veer from jagged shards of frantic agitation to the less pacey thrum of casual daydream meandering. Excluding the songs already mentioned there are further gems to admire - notably 'The First Weekend Of The Smoking Ban' and 'The Saviour Of Judas McDade' as examples of what Popup can do. I have no doubt someone will quite possibly declare this their 'favourite album ever' Others, many others, shall play it daily for long times to come. Popup have played a blinder here and earned themselves a comfortable win without ever looking to be troubled.
- Subba Cultcha

"Sound of Young Scotland"

The sound of young Scotland—whatever it is these days; ranging from the excellent wobbly pop of Frightened Rabbit to the kinda-OK arena rock of Glasvegas—gets another voice with Popup, whose debut arrives May 5 via Conor Oberst’s Team Love imprint. Download A Time & A Place track “What’s The Matter Now?” here or stream below. This particular song has the jitters—Popup doesn’t always sound like it’s playing at 78 rpm—but it’s the best showcase for frontman Damian Gilhooly’s heavyweight Scottish burr.

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/popuptheband/blog#ixzz14FRt0MWr
- Magnet Magazine


*Three critically acclaimed singles released on Art/goes/pop (UK):
"Lucy, What you Trying To Say?" (2006)
"Chinese Burn" (2007)
"Love Triangle" (2008)
*1 Critically acclaimed album on Art/goes/pop (UK) / Team Love Records (North America):
"A Time & A Place" (2008 - UK, 2009 - USA)



About Popup.

The current bio story:

Popup are from Glasgow. They are Adi, Damian, Michael and Nicholas. Some might say that they’ve worked up a storm - others might say that Scottish weather is too turbulent to notice.

They rehearse in a drafty old tobacco factory near the River Clyde where they sit close together to keep warm. This is how they write their songs - by sitting close together until an idea sneaks in through a crack in the wall. There are many cracks - things break - guitar strings, drumsticks, amplifiers, hearts and tempers, and so Adi, Damian, Michael and Nicholas have nowhere to hide - no option but to be honest. They can only be themselves or be Popup. And so Popup simply sound like popup - like Adi, Damian, Michael and Nicholas from Glasgow, and without a word of a lie.

They have played a few hundred shows in the UK, Europe and the USA. Some highlights include sets at T in the Park, Latitude, The Wickerman Festival, The Borderline (London), The Paradiso (Amsterdam), The Knitting Factory (New York) and at SxSW 07 & SxSW 08. They have released three singles and one album on Art/goes/pop records in the UK, and one album on Team Love Records in North America.

In 2009 Popup signed to Team Love Records (USA), and 2011 sees them get back on the road, beginning with shows at the SxSW festival in Texas, to support the forthcoming album release, due in the Summer of 2011.

Notable / Radio / TV:

Live Radio Sessions recorded on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Ulster, XFM.
Live TV Session on BBC 2 Scotland The Music Show
Live TV session on STV In Music
Playlisted on MTV2 120 Minutes

"Lucy, What You Trying To Say?" - XFM Scotland Single of the Year Award 2006, Jim Gellatly

"Love Triangle" - Singles of the Year Award 2008, The List

"Chinese Burn" - Formula 1 Grand Prix / Pepe Jeans advert sync - 2008.

"Lucy, What You Trying To Say?" - BBC 3 sync - Life of Daniel- 2010.

Forthcoming events:

2nd album release on Team Love Records, due Summer 2011 in North America/UK. Full supporting tour – details TBC.