Wednesday, 4 May 2016

There's Epic And There's EPIC

Sister Ray in it's original recorded form took up most of side two of White Light/White Heat, the Velvet Underground's second album and clocked in at 17.27. When played live it was sometimes shortened to just over ten minutes but most of time it was extended beyond twenty minutes and on a couple of  occasions caught on tape way beyond thirty minutes. The version posted today comes from Complete Matrix Tapes and is of excellent quality and is definitely essential.

I'm in Luton today and tomorrow so nothing more until Saturday but this should keep you going.


Velvet Underground - Sister Ray (Live San Francisco November1969)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Too Obvious?

I know, a bit obvious after yesterday's post but I was listening to Quadrophenia at the weekend and I really do love the bass and drumming in this track. The look on Jimmy's face when we see him at the start of the film sums up exactly how I used to feel all those years ago when I was riding my scooter and between you and me how I secretly still feel when I go out on it. Although for the record I was never a mod.

The Who - The Real Me

Monday, 2 May 2016

Bank Holidays When I Was A Teenager

This was first posted back in May 2010 but thought that it was worth putting up again as I have been thinking a lot over the past couple of weeks of scootering back in the mid to late 80s.

Way back in the mists of time when I was a teenager,  Bank Holiday weekends meant endurance tests.

As part of a scooter club you were expected to go on scooter runs. There were a series of National events organised throughout the year, with the Easter Weekend, usually seeing the first and then periodically until the last at the end of October and all bar one would be south of the border meaning that the Scots always had a considerable distance to go.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the delights of riding Lambrettas or Vespas, so I think I should explain a little.

These feats of Italian engineering  usually have an engine capacity  between 125 and 250 cc and a top speed in the region of between 55 and 80 miles per hour. They are designed for zipping in and out of traffic in Italian cities not for riding twos up with a load of camping gear, supplies of Buckie and a change of clothing (if you were like me and had some semblance of personal hygiene) from say, west central Scotland to the South Coast of England.

As a result of the design of the scooters and the punishment of travelling such long distances an AA or RAC membership or preferably both was as essential to a scooterist as 2 stroke oil and it was not unknown for scooterists to attend runs courtesy of the RAC and then get home with the assistance of the nation's forth emergency service and vice versa. When traveling to runs it was common to see groups of scooterists performing what is the mechanics version of open heart surgery on the hard shoulder to their beloved machines. There was one member of our club who did away with luxuries such as a tent or a change in clothing in order to carry with him all the components of a spare engine.

When you did eventually get to the camp site, which was usually the shittiest bit of waste ground in or near the town, the real problems began.

"Who's got the tent?" was the first cry and if the person who was supposed to bring it remembered and it hadn't fell off the back of the scooter during the trip you were off to a good start.

"Where are the poles?"

"What do you mean you haven't got them?"

This scenario I hasten to add was not as rare an event as you would think and resulted in  some novel methods of tent erection being employed.

Once the tents were up, it was time to find somewhere to drink. This  usually entailed trying to get a couple of thousand scooterists into the two or three pubs in the town which hadn't barred us before we even had a chance to do something wrong.

When all else failed you ended up spending a couple of days drinking warm cans of lager and eating crap from the dubious burger van on the camp site, using what could only in the loosest term be called washing facilities and not sleeping due to the real chance of being run over by some drunken scooter boy who has decided that it is a good idea to ride up and down the camp site in the middle of the night after drinking Buckfast and lager all day while also toking on more weed than your average Rastafarian would consume in a week.

Then after a couple of days without sleep and after drinking too much it was time to get back on your machine if it had not been bundled into the back of a van during the night by some shady guys, (you know who you are) and ride the two to three hundred miles home praying to god that you don't hole a piston or have a seizure on the road home.

As you can probably guess scooter runs weren't my favourite weekends away. Being a lightweight who enjoys the finer things in life such as a flushing toilet, running water and a bed, going on these expeditions wasn't high on my list of priorities and I attended 2 to 3 a year if really unlucky. I did have friends such as Stiff, Gordon and Mick who would try not to miss any, always had a ball and came back with some brilliant tales of hedonism and pure stupidity that if I were to re-tell would not be believed but all did in fact happen. They even made the trip down to Margate, a particularly gruelling journey only to find that the scooter run was actually the following week!

So in celebration of Bank Holidays of the past, here is a particular favourite northern soul track of our scootering fraternity, the LSC (Lanarkshire Scooter Club).

R Dean Taylor - There's A Ghost In My House

Friday, 29 April 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I'm not a big fan of snow at the best of times. it's cold. soaks you through and my car is particularly shit but three inches on the 28th April! Some bam is taking the piss.

Anyway, to the music Deep Dish are not a duo that I am overly familiar with, I have a few 12" singles and that's about it. Stranded is the pick of the bunch for me, I love the laid back almost Lazy vibe to it. Not one really for strutting your stuff to although I suppose you could but more a track for sitting and listening to in the comfort of your favourite chair while the snow falls outside in fucking April!

It's the last game of the season today and if we beat Ayr away and other results go in our favour we could be in the play-offs, I'm not overly hopeful. I won't be going I will be mostly thawing out and moaning that I have had to put the heating back on at the end of April.

Have a good weekend people.

Deep Dish - Stranded In The Club Mix

Thursday, 28 April 2016


If there is one thing Spacemen 3 did well it was to string out a tune and in Geneva back in May 1989 they decided to take an already lengthy tune, Suicide and extend it to almost three times it's length. About 18 minutes in the band taped down the keys and left the guitars feed backing propped up against speaker cabinets left the stage and went back to the dressing room for a smoke and a drink, It is said that no one clicked that they were missing due to the strobe lights and smoke machine. They returned "refreshed" and carried on longer than MES was on stage the last time I saw the Fall.

Is this essential? Not sure, but it is worth while listening to at least once, although I have played it quite a few times. The quality is excellent for a soundboard bootleg,  considering that they have crammed all 29:12 onto one side of vinyl.


Spacemen 3 - Suicide

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

This Will Be In Your Head All Day

Most people will be aware of the Third Degree's cover of Mercy from 2009 where they basically put the northern into Duffy's soul tune. Well, three years later they took a tune a very popular dance tune and "northernised"(TM) it and it works a treat especially the Smoove remix on the flip side. Would it sound as good with Kylie on vocal duties, I have wondered about this on a few occasions and I'm not sure if it would,


The Third Degree - Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Smoove Remix)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Maximum R n B

This came out on a very limited run of 300 7" singles a week or so ago and I was lucky enough to bag one, not sure if it was intended to be a RSD release and somebody messed up but it came out prior to 16th April. As it was only available on this format and in such limited supply I feel it is my duty to spread the word of the brilliance of this record. Nick Waterhouse, once again proves if it ain't broke then there is no need to fuck about with it. A new album is coming quite soon. Something to look forward to me thinks.

Nick Waterhouse - Old Place pt1

Nick Waterhouse - Old Place pt 2

Monday, 25 April 2016

By Request

For Pete, who asked for this. I have included both mixes

West India Company -  O Je Suis Seul (Orient Express mix)

West India Company - O Je Suis Seul (Baghwan Boogie mix)

Envy (In Tour Eyes)

As is quite normal for this slot I know very little about The Orlons. What I do know is that they were a quartet who were active from 1960 to 1967 when they recorded mainly for Cameo Parkway. Envy was the flip side of No Love But Your Love released in 1965. I am not sure why this is the only single I own as both tracks are excellent slabs of soul. I think that I may have to dig deeper.

The Orlons - Envy (In Your Eyes)

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Forty Seven

Christ, it only feels like a year or two ago I was worrying about being twenty five. I really am not comfortable with this ageing lark.

Have a good weekend people and happy birthday to Mr Gedge.

Fine Young Cannibals - I'm Not The Man I Used To Be

and as a birthday bonus

Age Of Chance - Kisspower

Friday, 22 April 2016

It's Friday, I'm Not In The Mood To Dance

Although over the past few years I haven't kept up with Prince's music that much I was really  saddened last night and like everybody else completely shocked when I heard the news travelling home. It is fact to say that there was nobody else quite like him and the music he produced in the 80s,  especially was utterly unique. Tragically I think that he was probably far from being a spent force and was capable of changing the direction of music again. Here are my favourite versions of one of his songs.

King Creosote - Nothing Compares To You

Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares To You

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Fuck! Not Another One

This is getting beyond a joke.

Alphabet Street

Rockabilly on a Thursday, Surely Not?

This song came into my head yesterday and I checked if I had posted it before and I had spookily on a Thursday when I was also in Luton as I will be today. Due to these factors it is worth posting again along with the totally non related picture which still makes me smile. Since the last time I posted this I managed to track down a vinyl copy of this magnificent piece of Rockabilly.

As I said previously Joyce ain't the kind of lady you would take a burst pay packet home to.

Joyce Green - Black Cadillac

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Blues Fix

Following on from yesterday's track that Lux and Ivy may have taught us to one that I was definitely unaware of until they covered it on the Blues Fix ep first released in 1992 but eventually on 10" vinyl a couple of years ago. Jelly Roll Rock was first recorded by Walter Brown in 1958 and is a great piece of Rockabilly. The Cramps are quite restrained in their cover but there is still no doubting who it is.


The Cramps - Jelly Roll Rock

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time

This track came into my head when I was rooting through wine boxes full of tapes at the weekend. I have found a new sort of toleration of the tape recently after having to purchase the latest Thousand Foot Whale Claw album that for some perverse reason has only been made available on this format. My idea was to find the fabled garage rock/ psych tape that I have mentioned before, rip it and post it in it's entirety but alas it could not be located. So I did the next best thing I dug out some of the tracks that I remembered from it  and more and had a perfectly good hour or two grooving to late 60s music instead of listening Radio Scotland's ridiculous over the top coverage of a football match between one Glasgow team in green & white and the other in "royal" blue. I know who is living in the past and it ain't me babe.

I know SA posted this a while back but I think that it is worth a regular airing.

The Third Bardo - I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time

Monday, 18 April 2016

2-4-6-8- Twenty Two

Soul Time is one of those tunes that narrowly failed to make it into my Northern Top Fifty although as this was a minor hit in the US in 1967, entering the R&B Top Forty and getting to #67 in the Billboard chart, I'm not sure it would be considered "Northern" by the aficionados. It gets in the original Northern Soul Top 500, just,  at number 469 and is kind of damned with faint praise by Kev Roberts. It was included in one of the early compilation albums I bought back in 1986/87 and I have loved the energy of the song and also the brass. Ellis is probably best kn own for The Clapping Song a top ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1965

Shirley Ellis - Soul Time