The Bubblegum Winter night in Glasgow will probably have to be called a failure, since The Hidden Cameras weren't able to play, and instead just sat upstairs in Stereo. It wasn't a huge disappointment to me though, since I haven't kept in touch with the Cameras for two albums or so. And it was certainly a very well-organised night, with more than enough food and goodies to go round. It was great to meet the man behind it as well, Gary who runs Bubblegum Records since early 2009. He has already put out six records and he makes music himself as well, as Starshy! The latest Bubblegum release is a massive compilation called Pick 'n' Mix which features, amongst others, Leaving Mornington Crescent and A Smile and a Ribbon. LMC was the band I'd come to see at Bubblegum Winter more than any other, but I also really enjoyed Lean Tales. A Glasgow band who appeared last year if my memory serves me right, and since then they've put out an ep on Bubblegum. The band who ended up headlining the night was Pale Man Made, who are from Newcastle I'd learned the previous night when I was in Newcastle. They played well too, their biggest advantage being having two female Rickenbacker-owners in the band. Brogues likened them to The Delgados, but they sounded perhaps a bit too much UK 90s for my taste that particular night. Jennifer of Colour Me Pop played some fine records from stage as well, and we were about four people dancing after the last band.
The definite highlight in the Bubblegum shop (which makes up for what it lacks in design with pure love) is the brand new debut from Tesco Chainstore Mascara. They are a drum machine-backed power pop duo from the tiny Stone, outside Stoke-On-Trent. We first discovered them on Myspace many moons ago, around the same time as their pal Laz turned up with his Bubblegum Lemonade/Strawberry Whiplash juggernaut. The album, called Good Foundations, includes all the hits from back then: "Writer's Block", "Just the Weight You Are", and "The Sun's Shinin' For You" which reaches the same standard as a Teenage Fanclub number. Dave and Katie share vocal duties, and there are some brilliant backing vocals on this record. They've created a full sound and avoid the common trap of the live-guitar-over-backing-track effect. Hopefully they can be coerced to play live soon, which I don't think they have done so far!