Monday, 10 March 2014
In The Same Old Way is a track that I have been trying to get on vinyl for quite a few years but any time I have bid on it I have lost out in the last couple of minutes. Recently I have seen a couple of promo copies going for £82 and £85 but when money's tight it's quid hard to justify that kind of money on a single. So when a few weeks ago I saw a listing on ebay for pressing your own tunes onto a 7" single this Scotty Williams track was the first that came into my head quickly followed by Indian Giver by the Chantelles.
The single duly arrived and I have to say that the quality of the sound is very good to these ears although I can't compare it to the original single, it will do (barely) until I can justify the price of an original.
And since then I have had a further single pressed with Jean 1, the track from the White Label Stolen Voices project on, which should have been a single in any case.
I still get shivers and goosebumps when I hear this song. it is just so damned good.
Scotty Williams - In The Same Old Way (I Still Love You)
Sunday, 9 March 2014
Here is something that dropped into my inbox the other day which I thought was very good and perfect for a mellow Sunday. I know bugger all about Dead Crow Pirates as the email with the soundcloud link attached said very little apart from "best listened to at night with headphones and a cup of tea" It works equally as well with a cup of tea on a Sunday morning. Oh and they are a collective from Birmingham.
The whole ep can be purchased here
Friday, 7 March 2014
As far as I'm aware Jamie xx hasn't released anything for a while, don't think that he has remixed much recently either. Anyway here is a track that he released back in 2011 on Numbers as a single and I banged on about to anyone who would listen, not that many did. I really like the steel drums and the twisted vocal sample. It's probably not the right time of the year for this kind of track but it kind of lifts the gloom for me.
I'm going out for a few pints with the Vinyl Villain tonight. It's been a while so I'm sure that there will be much pish talked.
Have a good weekend people.
Jamie xx - Far Nearer
Thursday, 6 March 2014
The Sam Cook penned Bring It On Home To Me must be in my top hundred songs of all time but not the Cook version but the version by Ted Hawkins. L has been known to give it laldy after a couple of shandies on occasion usually followed by The Wild Rover to the tune of Ghost Riders In The Sky then it usually descends into songs about heather and bonnie braes at which point I tend to either zone out or leave the room.
Last Saturday night I was listening to It's Too Late To Stop Now, the first track on the third side is Van Morrison's rendition of the song which I had sort of forgotten about, I played it four times on the bounce before listening to the rest of the album which is up there with the best live albums ever released. I think that on the recordings that make up this double album Morrison has been captured at the peak of his powers. It is scary to think that it was forty one years ago . If you have never heard this album go out and buy it. If you have any interest in Van Morrison at all you will love it, it's difficult to pick out favourite tracks as the whole thing is wonderful put if I was pushed I would have to include the afore mentioned Sam Cook cover, Saint Dominic's Preview and the sublime Cyprus Avenue.
I think at the moment I prefer the Northern Irishman's take on Bring It On Home To Me but I do have a lot of memories that could be soundtracked with the Ted Hawkins version.
Grumpy Irishman - Bring It On Home To Me (Live)
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
You know it's true what they say about money not being able to buy happiness no matter what a certain credit card company would have you believe.
I had one such moment last week. It has been quite a dispiriting and dismal experience being an Airdrie supporter so far this season , defeat after humiliating defeat in a stadium nearly empty and getting emptier each home game. It has been difficult to be positive. When Willie is nearly ready to leave early you know things are bad. It must have been hellish for Max going to school on a Monday. It is bad enough for him that he doesn't support either of the bigots in Scottish football or Motherwell but with the sustained humpings we were getting it must have been nigh on unbearable.
But over the past six or seven weeks things have been on the up. The team have been playing with more confidence and looking more like a team rather than a bunch of individuals who come together on a Saturday to be humiliated to an ever dwindling audience.
And on Saturday we had one of those days which makes everything worthwhile we soundly thrashed a team that were five places above us in the league. On the way into the game I would have settled for a draw but thought that our unbeaten spell was coming to an end. But from the whistle each member of the team showed a commitment that had been severely lacking over the past year or so. After getting a player sent off Ayr tried every dirty trick in the book to get the better of us but for once they didn't succeed, for once the decisions of the referee went our way and for one of the very few times in the past couple of years we were triumphant.
What made the occasion one to really cherish was the fact that three generations of my family were present as well as Stiff , Willie and their father who have been going for ever. I know that most of you will be thinking so what? But it really was one of those moments that gives you a natural high and the smiles on everyone's faces as we left New Broomfield was priceless. Normal service may well resume in the coming weeks and we could be fighting relegation at the end of the season but on Saturday we all had that euphoric feeling that really is impossible to buy but if you could bottle and sell would make you extremely wealthy.
Hurry On Boys really has nothing to do with this but it is one of those tunes that has that kind of euphoric feel to it and the Skids are a band that I have always associated with the football although they are from Dunfermline.
The Skids - Hurry On Boys
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
I bought the Lucky Jim album Our Troubles End Tonight on a whim. I was wandering around Fopp on Rose Street in Edinburgh one lunchtime in 2004, probably just to get me out of the office at lunch time. It was one of those days that I was in for nothing in particular, back then and if I'm truthful even now I'm very loathed to leave a record shop without purchasing something. It seems to me to be a bit of a waste of time if you don't at least have something to take home after all that effort of browsing the shelves.
Anyway, I'm not quite sure why I bought this album, it was a new release and Fopp used to have a rack of these with complimentary reviews written next to them which very rarely correlated with the music that you ended up listening to. I do remember when I listened to the album back at my desk in the office I was rather taken a back as it was nothing like I expected to be. It was all acoustic guitar and sounded like a throwback to a time when John Martyn was still a bit of a folkie and his pal Nick Drake was still alive. It's an album full of stuff that certainly sign posted it's influnces , "You're Lovely To Me" is a kind of lightweight Dylan type thing which was later picked up and used to sell bread. You could imagine Scott Walker recording Leah and their is an excruciatingly limp hippy dippy track Lesbia. But all told not an unpleasant listen and a cd that I haveplayed more than a couple of times over the years. But certainly not the the sort of thing you would associate with Damien Harris' Skint label which released the album.
The album is certainly worth a listen. I feel sorry for Gordon Grahame as James Blunt has built a successful career and shifted millions of records on a vastly inferior version of this kind of thing.
By far my favourite track is the duet with Heather Banks on The Honeymooners which has echoes of Leonard Cohen and Lee Hazelwood but brings to mind Past, Present and Future by the Shangri-Las to me for some reason.
Lucky Jim - The Honeymooners
Monday, 3 March 2014
Justine "Baby" Washington is probably best know for her 1963 hit "That's How Heartaches Are Made". Today's track "I Don't Know" was released in 1969 however my copy comes from the 10 x 7" rather handsome Cotillion box set that came out for last year's Record Shop Day also included in the set are singles by Moses Smith and Walter Jackson and seven other Cotillion artists.
Baby Washington - I Don't Know
Sunday, 2 March 2014
This blog is not well know for it's high end culture in fact that is most definitely the first time that that phrase has been used around here. But today you are in for a shock as I post a tune (if that's what you call it, according to wiki it's a movement) that is so far out of my comfort zone that it is practically in another galaxy.
The first time I heard this astoundingly beautiful and moving piece of music was on Sunday the 09th January 2005. The reason I know this is not due to my amazing memory but as a result of consulting the BBC website, as that is the day that the eight discs of one time SAS trooper now incredibly rich author of appalling fiction Andy McNabb was on Desert Island Discs. I listened to McNabb with more than a little cynicism as I had read, Bravo Two Zero, The One That Got Away and Michel Asher's book which purports to tell the true story behind the fuck-up but all this is by the by. When The Swan came over the airwaves it stopped me in my tracks and nearly took my breath away (you want cliches worse than that read McNabb's books). When it was finished I made a note of the name and searched the internet for it. Apparently the author's fifth! wife plays it on the cello.
I am not going to bullshit you about me knowing anything about Le cygne if you want to know more go here. I just think as I said above that it is one of the most beautiful and emotional pieces of music I've ever heard.
See Me See Culture!
Yo-Yo Ma - The Swan
Friday, 28 February 2014
I'm in the mood for something a bit bouncy and not to taxing today. The constant pissing rain is beginning to really get on my nerves. I realise that it is a lot worse for people further south however it is becoming rather dispiriting to look out the window every day to rain. On saying that it is dry at the moment but it probably won't last.
So here is one of my favourite New Order songs given the Fire Island treatment by messrs Farley and Heller.
Airdrie have managed to haul themselves off the bottom of the Scottish First Division with some spirited performances of late. So I along with the boys and their granpa, will be joining Stiff, Willie, their dad and six to seven hundred other hopeful supporters at New Broomfield tomorrow to see if the Diamonds can keep up the undefeated run against Ayr Utd. I have probably just put the kiss of death on them.
Have a good weekend people.
New Order - Regret (Fire Island Mix)
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Let's stick with modern retro rockabilly for just now.
Jake Allen is only twenty two but has already played Elvis Presley in the theatre in London's West End and toured extensively under his own name over the past few years. Today's track is the title one from an ep released in 2012 on the Ambassador Records label. There is certainly a feel of the boy from Tupelo Mississippi about the record right down to the the cover art.
There is also a link to yesterday's post in so much as the ep was co-produced by Darrel Higham, the spouse of Imelda May Clabby.
Jake Allen - Long Lost Heart
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Imelda May has a new album out later this year and I have it on good authority from Stiff that the new material is very good. Apparently she was on fire last month when she was playing the Celtic Connections festival in the town.
Here is a rather good basic rockabilly track from her first solo album, No Turning Back.
Imelda May - Bring My Cadillac Back
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
The third single from the second album of the major label "indie act" Noisettes is the only thing that I own by the band the other stuff that I have heard by the band I liked well enough but not enough to actually purchase. It was inevitable that a band with a name like Noisettes would pique my interest. In fact when I first heard anything by them I was rather disappointed as it didn't have the retro 60s girl group vibe that I thought was implied by the moniker.
Never Forget You certainly rectified the situation as it has a very retro feel about it which of course I lapped up more than enough to want to buy, unfortunately it wasn't released as a single (vinyl), well not in the UK anyway and then as now I was loathed to buy a download but I eventually gave in and purchased it.
About 18 months ago I found out that the song had been released as a 7" single on the other side of the pond and then the search was on to get a copy not that difficult as it turned out and at that time the postage costs from the States were a lot more reasonable than they are now, and so the single was bought, subsequently arrived, got played a lot for about a month then filed and forgotten about. That was until the start of this year when I dug it out gave it a spin and it has been on the turntable probably a dozen times a week since then. The other week Max stuck his head round the door when it was playing and said "catchy", so I think that it comes with his seal of approval.
Noisettes - Never Forget You
Monday, 24 February 2014
I'm not sure how I got into posting a bit of soul on a Monday but it has become a bit of habit which is increasingly hard to break to paraphrase a pish 70s soft rock group. I can't think of a better way to start the week than with a little bit of soul.
Today's track comes from an artist who began her professional career at the age of two when she and her six siblings formed a gospel group and she hasn't stopped since, not only as an artist but a talent spotter when still in her teens, producer, label owner and mentor too. She released her first album when she was still only fourteen and her first gold disc with the single "Clean Up Woman" when she was seventeen! She is still going strong and has just released her eighteenth album.
Today's track comes from 1972 and was released on the Alston label distributed by Atlantic at that time.
Betty Wright - If You Love Me Like You Say You Love Me
Sunday, 23 February 2014
I have posted a version of Tallulah before but this is the version from Allo Darlin's second album, Europe. I just love this song it's so simple and Elizabeth Morris' voice is full of regret and hope at the same time, if you get what I mean.
Allo Darlin' - Tallulah