ballboy/Peeps into Fairyland/Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ at planetpop, The Attic, 30th August
Glasgow's long been the centre of the Scottish underground, but could this state of affairs be about to change? Certainly the likes of the Delgados and Belle and Sebastian have moved upin the world, but it's unclear who might replace them. What we can see is that the Edinburgh and Dundee coastline has a fair number of quality acts, 3 of whom were sampled tonight. The cumbersomely-monickered Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ for starters. Previewing a load of brand-new material, which oddly isn't as animal-obsessed as their back-catalogue', they still have a way with an affecting tune and at-times disarming lyrics. The band appear nervous, especially singer Ewan, but his voice improves with every gig, and the band as a whole, who sounded a little rough-and-ready in previous times, have settled on a fine sound. Perhaps a little rememiscent of Suckle thanks to their use of strings and woodwind, this notion can be dispelled after a few numbers, especially when the faster songs arrive, as promised. "Emperor's Green" is just one new tune which stands out .
Peeps into Fairyland might well have been headlining under different circumstances. Indeed, they might have been playing at the Corn Exchange. It's not quite clear why their career has stalled a little, but it's not for lack of ideas. Looking to get back on track with a mix of old and new material now combining to form their debut album (out at the end of September), they put on a stormer of a show, much more lively than the set at T in the Park. Some of the set still has that Palace-y tired country feel, but there's plenty of life in Peeps too, as "Palace Flophouse" shows.

Ballboy are also nearly at the stage of putting together an album, and tonight they give us a load of new, or newish, songs. Abandoning much of the older stuff and concentrating on actualy 'songs' (as opposed to Gordon's more familiar monologues), Ballboy show that they are probably ready for a global assault; "A Night at the Ballet" and "One Sailor Was Waving" are pretty much full-on rock, while 'Public Park' is one song with a big full sound which is driven by swirling keyboards. All in all, we might be on the verge of something big from the east.