All day mini-music festival will launch No Mean City in Glasgow

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IF you thought you’d heard of ‘For the Sake of the Song’ before, you probably have; it’s not only the name of the legendary debut album by singer, songwriter and cult figure Townes Van Zandt, but also the inspiration an all-day mini-music festival in Glasgow, that will celebrate the start of September’s No Mean City Festival.

On Saturday, August 31, from 2pm, two of Glasgow’s favourite music venues – O2 ABC Glasgow and Broadcast – will be picking up the baton from last year’s inaugural event at the Captain’s Rest to host ‘For the Sake of the Song’ – headlined by Duglas T Stewart, leader of Glaswegian 80s indie pop band BMX Bandits

Well known for his distinctive and wry combination of whimsy, bittersweet romance and highly melodic songwriting, Stewart has produced recordings for artists including Alex Chilton, Eugene Kelly and Norman Blake, alongside co-organising critically-acclaimed tribute shows to Brian Wilson, Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg.

Duglas will be tipping his hat to the iconic Brill Building, America’s classic song-writing factory, housing music industry offices and studios, where some of the most popular American hits were written, including the likes of Buddy Holly, The Drifters, Phil Spector and The Shangri-La’s.

Duglas will be joined by his friends from the Scottish music scene and some very special guests to celebrate the classics created in the iconic ‘hits factory’.

Also providing their own Roots-influenced sound, Glaswegian melting pot of talent Warren McIntyre & The Starry Skies are back for their second year of ‘No Mean City’ celebrations.

Supporting Justin Townes Earl at last year’s festival, they are back with their raw mix of garage, psychedelia, punk and guitar pop from debut album ‘Ask The Animals’ (2012) – released on their own label Mecca Holdings Co. Tracks shift between hooks, rifts and chiming guitar, and tender vocals with garage undertones.

Also resonating sounds of the psychedelic are Haight Ashbury, bringing their own blend of West Coast-influenced rock and pop. With a huge European following and countless festival performances in France and Italy under the belts of the Glaswegian trio, this will be somewhat a homecoming show. Dripping grooves of heady days from a psychedelic past, the bands third release ‘…perhaps’ (2013) has been likened to the nostalgic sound of Tame Impala and Wooden Shjips.

Formerly Peggy Sue & The Pirates, the recently-renamed Peggy Sue of Brighton will serve up their perfected blend of indie folk/ blues and rockabilly during ‘For the Sake of the Song’.

Supporting Jack White, touring with label-mates First Aid Kit and playing the iconic Primavera festival are just a few ways they’ve been keeping busy. They are also set to release their hotly-tipped third album.

Showcasing some of Scotland’s finest Americana and Roots talent, ‘For the Sake of The Song’ will also feature performances from Blindfolds, who sold out King Tut’s, and performed at the Stag and Dagger festival and the T-Break Stage at this year’s T In The Park.

Also appearing are The Black Diamond Express, an Edinburgh blues/rock band – winners of the Danny Kyle Award at 2012’s Celtic Connections festival and Scottish BAFTA nominees.

A spokesperson said: “Indulging in a showcase of all genre variations Roots and Americana music has to offer, spanning Highland Bluegrass and country from The Ballahullish Hellhounds, to stripped-back acoustic folk and country from The Dirt, ‘For the Sake of the Song 2013’ is a truly rich celebration for all lovers of Roots and Americana music in Glasgow.”

‘For the Sake of the Song’ line-up to date includes:

Duglas T Stewart (of BMX Bandits) & friends present; A musical celebration of the Brill Building, America’s classic song writing factory

Warren McIntyre & the Starry Skies

Haight Ashbury

Peggy Sue


The Big Nowhere

The Black Diamond Express

The Levee Strollers

Fake Major

The Merrylees

Boston Tea Party

The Shiverin’ Sheiks

Jim Dead

The Dirt

The Ballahulish Hell Hounds

Jamie Flett

The festival takes place at the O2 ABC Glasgow and Broadcast on Saturday, August 31. Tickets cost £10 (stbf) from 0844 477 2000 or O2 ABC Box Office.

Over-14s only – under-16s must be accompanied by an adult over 18.

(Line-up correct at time of going to press but subject to change)