What now? 

We are having a wee break between now and January. No we are not going away anywhere and we intend to bring you more new music.

It is time to re-charge the batteries and to focus on other things for a couple of months. (like writing new songs)

We will see you all in 2016, refreshed and raring to go.

News update 

We have just come away from 2 brilliant gigs in Fife. The first in Monty's Bar, Dunfermline. The second organised with our freinds from Break the Embargo and with Concrete Kingdom. Both bands you really need to check out.

The new album has been taking shape very slowly, far too slowly than I would have liked. It has taken a back seat of late, due to all the campaigning we have been involved in. The good news is that I am finalising the mastering this week and will be releasing it next week :-)

How long has it been? 

Although we have been very quiet on the blog front, we have not been stagnating. It is just that the politics have taken over a wee bit oiver the past few months.

But we have 2 gigs coming up the first is for a Cancer Charity and the second is for a new local project, "Positive Revolution" in Leven.

At the gig in Leven the Positive Revolution team organise a speaker to cover an aspect of local politics or interest. At this one as well as playing, Kirb y is giving a talk on Underground Coal Gasification. A process that is planned to take place under our very feet.

Here is part of Kirby's reasoning:

So they are going to close Longannet early. I wonder why? They say it’s because it lost out on a new contract to a gas powered plant in the Peterhead.

What brilliant timing this all is for the proponents of Fracking and UCG.

The timing of this when Fracking and UCG are under continual attack, from local communities. When INEOUS are on a charm offensive. It all stinks of Methane and the burning of underground coal to me.

We are continually being told that we are “running out of energy” and that we are in danger of “the lights going out”. So why are they allowing a plant with a generating capacity of 2,400 megawatts, which is the highest of any power station in Scotland, to close?

What is the governments take on this, major loss of energy supply and the very well paid jobs, both within the plant and through its subcontract and supply chain?

“Fergus Ewing welcomed the award of the contract to SSE's Peterhead power station, but said he was disappointed at the premature closure of Longannet.”

What are the other reasons given? Well John Swinney said this morning, “It’s because of the punitive transmission costs of connecting to the grid”. If that is the case then surely a plant in Peterhead will have the same “punitive costs”, or even greater costs as it is even further from London and the South East. So I find it hard to understand that logic.

It apparently costs Longannet £40 million to connect to the grid. Whereas plants in the South East are subsidised and paid to generate electricity. Not very fair I hear you scream. But Scottish Power have a station in Brighton, one in Kent and one in Hertfordshire, all of which must surely be subsidised.

So what is this closure really about? It has nothing to do with the generation of electricity, but is all about the generation of profit as usual. Heaven forfend that a privateering energy company, that is continually generating millions in profit, should feel obliged to maintain a plant for another 4 years, by dipping into its own profits.

Of course I personally, would nationalise the lot of them, but then I am of the “loony left”, that believes in public ownership.

John Swinney when asked on Radio Scotland this morning has dismissed re-nationalising the plant, because it is not now and has never been part of their plan.
The biggest worry is that Fergus Ewing, prior to this announcement, has already detailed plans to build another Gas Powered plant in central Scotland.

Again I state, what brilliant timing this all is for the proponents of Fracking and UCG.

I can already see the Fracking and UCG wells being drilled now as we sit back and are fed the usual lies from all quarters.

The politicians of all the main parties, apart from the Greens I suppose, are in reality pro UGE. Yes some will say we need to investigate all the implications and make sure all the safe guards and regulations are in place before we commit.

At least the Tories are up front about it and say they support and want UGE. The rest of them just spout bullshit. Labour and the Libdems in my view are pro UGE. And some people really need to remove the tartan glasses when viewing the SNP’s take, as they are as Pro UGE as the rest of them, going by the responses I have had from MSP’s.

At no time have I had a single response from any SNP, Labour, Libdem MSP or MP, that clearly stated that they were totally opposed to UGE. (And I have contacted them all) It’s all about moratoriums and ensuring proper safe guards and regulations are in place before proceeding. Proceeding being the operative word here.

Well I can see it coming. They are all lining themselves up to ensure that UGE goes ahead, no matter what.

Profit before people has always been the mantra and there is no change here, no matter what particular party or nation you are aligned with. Wake up people, I can see it coming, can you?

We're still here 

It has been very quite on The Other Side front. Not because we have not been doing much, but because we needed to re-charge the old batteries and take stock of where we are and where we go from here.

Work continues on album number 4, a lot slower than planned, but still going strong. Hopefully it will be released by February next year. With a few surprises mixed in.

On the live front, we made a conscious decision not to do much gigging as we wanted to concentrate on the recording. We have been rehearsing and strangely visiting a lot of our older songs. Apart from doing a couple of gigs next year to promote the new album, I actually think we will rehearse a completely new set of songs.

Contemplating doing a very much stripped back blues album next time, who knows, it may actually work.

The politics and campaigning has grown even greater over the last few months and has diverted our attention somewhat, so we need to work on a better balance next year.

About time too 

We have not disappeared, we have just been in hiding. Due to recording for the new album and various political and anti austerity protests and work, oh, and a piss up last week, we have been a wee bit quiet on the information front.

The new album is moving on and after our gig a couple of weeks ago, we have a surprise gig this Sunday in Glenrothes. There after it is continuing with the recording for the new album. We have 3 songs 90% complete, just need final mastering. We have the drums complete for all the others apart from the latest epic. This one we are recording in sections due to the length of the thing. The drums are recorded for the mid section. We will complete the drums for the end section next week.

Work will begin on the artwork over the next month and updating the site with the song info etc.

Hopefully we will have this album complete by October/November. Although there are a couple of trips to London to fit in and a few more protests and meetings to attend.

First gig of the year 

So we have finally agreed a date for our first gig of the year. It is 28th June at Coady's Cobra Club in Dunfermline for our good friend James Ward. We are working hard rehearsing all the new songs, as we will only be doing brand new songs in our set, with one cover song that we love. The recording has been on hold for a wee bit to concentrate on the live set, but we have one other tune that just might end up as an instrumental, with loads of layered guitars.

Other Stuff 

Last weekend I was down in London for The People's Assembly recall meeting. I was a delegate for both the Fife and the Scottish People's Assembly. It was so good to  see so many other working class activists, who are trying to make a difference. I was at an independence debate on Wednesday night in Clydebank, it was very sublime and a strange mix of views. Of course I couldn't help but stick my oar in and stir it up a bit. Tomorrow 3 of us are off to Glasgow for an anti fascist demo, so a wee day out for The Other Side.

Anyhoo, enough of the politics, on to the music. We had a great rehearsal last week and worked out the live arrangements for the new songs. We are trying to organise a gig for mid June, so we can try out the new songs on an audience.

Recording wise, we have 3 songs almost complete apart for mastering and intend to start recording a couple of others this Sunday. The epic is still going through some working out issues, but now that we have the live version, it is just a matter of working out and adding all the embellishments  the recorded version. I still think we might write one more song, but that will have to wait a wee bit. Dead line for the new album end of the year latest, but hopefully by Autumn.

Gigging soon 

We have just completed the arrangements for 7 brand new songs. We will working on these for our new live set and will continue to record for the new album. We hope to out gigging again within the next 2 months.