Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Let's Form A Cell

A few years ago I featured X Film Pus Ultra, Douglas Hart's debut solo single which I had been too late to the party on. About 18 months ago I managed to track down a reasonably priced copy and came across when searching through one of the singles boxes when looking for a Moon Duo 7". So I put it on and it still sounds tremendous. It got me thinking about the follow-up that I was also too tardy on and so I checked Discogs, two copies one ridiculously priced and the other not too dear but in Japan and with the postage still more than I am prepared to pay for a vg+ record.  I decided to check out the Blank Editions website in the vain hope that there would be a re-release or something alas no but what I did find was a tape for sale that combines the 7" and the 12"and duly ordered. There are still some copies available here.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Monday's Long Song

Not more 21st Century psych!

Yip, there is a lot of it about and much of it is of a very high quality, although I'm not sure that a 7 year old track is really that upfront. It doesn't seem that it has been that long since I first heard HeadOn/Pill but it must be as the record states it in black and white 2013. I bought this album on a whim at the time as the name of the band appealed to me, King Gizzard and The Wizard Lizard.  Head On/ Pill is a 16 minute epic trip of a track that seems to be over in about half of that time. It has been released as a stand alone 12" on two occasions, as a picture for RSD 2014 and then again as a coloured 12" last month both of which if you could get a copy will cost you ridiculous money and I'm not sure why as you can pick up the album Float Along - Fill Your Lungs for a quarter of the price on Discogs and you get the bonus of an extra 7 tracks. 

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Head On/Pill

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Ennio Morricone RIP

I posted this way back in the early days of the blog. 

Rest Easy Maestro

If there is anybody who could be said to be a better film scorer (don't know if that is the correct term) than the sadly departed John Barry then it would have to be Ennio Morricone, from his spaghetti westerns through the Mission to Cinema Paradiso they are all classics. My personal favourite has got to be Once Upon A Time In America, bits of which I used to drop into mixes all the time when I thought of myself a bit of a budding Weatherall back when delusional in the early 90s.

There are probably loads of scored by Morricone that I have never heard of. Today's track being a case in point it comes from the 1970 Italian film "Ciita Vioenta", Violent City or otherwise known as The Family which starred Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland and was set in New Orleans. I have no recollection of ever seeing this film but if it was ever on terrestrial telly when I was a teenager there is a good chance that I did as my father is a big Bronson fan!

I discovered this track on the Cherrystones compilation which I bought as David Holmes had something to do with the compiling. Most of the tracks on the cd were new to me but all are really good even the Cher track, a cover of I walk On Gilded Splinters and worth the five and a bit quid it is now going for on Amazon. It was more than double that at the time of release.

Ennio Morricone - Svolta Definitiva

Monday, 6 July 2020

Monday's Long Song

Going back a bit here. On Twitter Richie posed the question "what was your favourite stadium gig?" I have never been to a stadium gig as such, frankly the idea fill me with horror;  far too many people, no personal space and being the length of a football pitch away from the stage is not a prospect I found enticing and that was prior to the current situation. 

When I was a lot younger i did attend a few gigs in Arenas with a pal and his day courtesy of Harvey Goldsmith, who was a friend of my pal's dad. I saw Bowie at Wembley Arena and also Roger Waters Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking at the NEC Birmingham. The Bowie gig was amazing as we were pretty close to the stage up to the right and Bowie was of course absolutely brilliant. But I have vivider memories of Waters gig, possibly because we were so close to the stage, the fourth row and also it was the first time I had been to a gig with any sort of added visuals apart from just lighting, there was a huge three panel screen the length of the stage which projected both Gerald Scarfe's animation as you would expect but also live action sequences directed by Nicolas Roeg for the Pros and Cons half of the show and for the old Pink Floyd tunes there was footage that had accompanied performances of those tracks on Pink Floyd tours. It was all very impressive to a fifteen year old boy who apart from the Bowie gig the previous year had only ever experienced the Glasgow Apollo. 

I still remember the set list as the first half  contained some of my favourite Pink Floyd and opened with a haunting extended version of Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun. The version posted is not from the specific night that I was there but from New York on the second leg of the tour the following year

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Anything More

Over the past couple of nights I have dug out and revisited the two volumes of The Complete Works by Spiritualized which collects alternative versions, b-sides and sessions from the very early days of Jason Pierce's band up to 2003's Amazing Grace and their are gems a plenty not least the instrumental version of some of the songs. The Spaceman was not averse to throwing everything including the kitchen sink and full orchestras into the studio, his idea of stripped down was a 7 piece band. I always think that Pierce is at his best when he is bearing his soul and at his most fragile like on Broken Heart, the Japanese only orchestral version of this has featured here in the past but it was a good few years ago and will probably do so again but the one that stopped me dead in my tracks last night was Anything More from Let It Come Down, jeez it floored me and for the duration all of the shit that's going on disappeared and I was caught up in the tune so much so that when it finished it,  it was repeated not once but twice before I returned to listening to the rest of the second disc from Volume 2.

I intend to make a playlist this weekend of the most beautiful Spiritualized tracks that I can put on when the anxiety levels are up which pretty much means that this will be all that I will be listening to for the foreseeable.

Spiritualized - Anything More (instrumental)

Monday, 29 June 2020

Monday's Long Song

We're back to the source of a lot of the music in my record collection today with another track from The Velvet Underground. "What another one?" I hear you cry, yes but with a slight twist this time in that it does not come from the Complete Matrix Tapes, so if you are trying to compile the entire release from postings on this blog you will have to wait a while longer as today's track comes from one of the four bootlegs of performances by the band that I possess recorded at The Boston Tea Party, a venue that they seemed to enjoy playing with Lou Reed stating that it was their favourite place to play.

Their first gig at the club located at 53 Berkeley Street was in May 1967 and they returned many times for several nights at a time. After the replacement of John Cale with Doug Yule in late 1968 the new line up played the Tea Party from the 12th to the 14th December that year and returned again in January, March, May and July of 1969 and luckily for us several of these shows were recorded, I have bootlegs of the 12/12/68, 10/01/69, 13//3/69 and 11/07/1969 shows. These recordings aren't the best audio quality in the world as they are obviously crowd recordings using the technology of the time but they are all ten times better than some of the dodgy tapes that I used to buy at the Barras in the late 80s early 90s. No matter the fidelity of the original tapes which have been remastered somewhat for these less than legal releases,  the tightness and power off the band burst through, not least on this blistering rendition recorded on the 11th January 1969,  one of the best tracks from the band's debut album from three years before. You can tell that this is a band at the height of their powers as all the members have said during interviews over the years of their live peformances in 1969.

If you listen very carefully you may just hear the sound of Jonathan Richman taking notes in the corner as he was omnipresent at these gigs.

The Velvet Underground - Run Run Run

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

This Girl

I kind of lost track of Chumbawamba for a while after Slap and was kind of dumbstruck when I heard their name being uttered on mainstream radio in 1997 when Tubthumping was all over the airwaves. I did like the track but then I would compare it to things like Unilever and Revolution and the word sell-outs was not far from the front of my mind that was even before I found out that they were now on EMI! When I went back and listened to a couple of the albums that they had released prior to Tubthumping I was left speechless, especially Swinging with Raymond released in 1995, there was always harmonies and poppier bits to the Leeds anarcho-punks but a whole album's worth. My mind was totally blown.

The album consists of two distinct halves, "Love" and Hate". The Love side being more acoustic with all tracks sung by Lou Watts and Hate being faster, noisier but not as furious as previous Chumbas material. Over all the contrast of the sides works well and although you can tell that this is product of the mid 90s it has dated quite well in my opinion.

Chumbawamba - This Girl 

Monday, 22 June 2020

Monday's Long Song

The Dark Outside is a 24 hr radio transmission that is broadcast twice a year from deep within the Galloway Forest, the darkest place in Scotland to whoever can pick up the radio waves. The broadcast consists of music and sound recordings which have never been heard before that sent in which are then collated into 24 hrs of sound that will be broadcast on the designated date, there will be no download, no repeat and all of the tapes will be wiped directly after the transmission is over.

The First Dark Outside of the year was supposed to take place at the end of March transmitting from a barn in Cumbria, however there was a slight hiccup due to some global pandemic or something. Not to be deterred, it was decided to do the Dark Outside Inside over the internet so that more people could here it and it took place over the 4th/5th April for over 27 hours and it was hard to drag myself away from it. There were loads of highlights somee of which have been made available by the artists involved on their Bandcamp sites due to demand. The track below from Adrian Carter is one of those tracks that stopped me in my tracks and had me tweeting to find out what it was.

There have been two further broadcasts since the initial one, not as long but equally as good. If you are on Twitter follow @darkoutside to find out if there will be any further online broadcasts.

I can't seem to get the Bandcamp player to embed for some reason

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Yes, It's That Time

One of Leo's favourite bits when we're out on our bikes is when we go up by Dead Man's Lane, it runs parallel to the cemetery wall, follow the path round the new high school, down Kirklands Road, loop round Albany Drive and back home. I think it's his favourite part as he knows he's nearly home and can get back to his PS4.

Those steps in the picture above are all that remains of the path way from the main building of the old school, the one that I attended. They were on the corner of the path across from the PE department that continued round the corner up by "the huts" and the ash football pitch to the extension built in the 1960s that housed the Modern Languages, Arts and "Techie" departments. They were steps to a tennis court that had fallen into disrepair and had never been used in the whole 6 years that I attended the Grammar (not a Grammar school by the way). I spent a lot of time sitting on those steps or the wall beside it waiting for pals in different classes at break times or lunch, well until 5th year when I started smoking and then I spent my break times with the other smokers down at the bottom of Kirklands Road. The steps would also be the place where I would meet my girlfriend during 5th and 6th year anytime we were meeting up during school hours.

A week or so ago when we were doing the loop back to the house Leo rode up into the parking area for the new school where the gym hall was. He stopped and asked me what the steps were for and suddenly an overwhelming wave of nostalgic melancholy crashed over me as I described the positioning of the three buildings of the Grammar and the huts and the logistics of moving between the separate parts during the day. I sighed, looked at the load of rubble that is all that's left of the Main Building and was lost in contemplation for a couple of minutes. We got back on our bikes after I noticed the funny looks I was getting from the boy,  rode down to the end of the road, hung a right onto Braxfield Road and then after a hundred yards or so took another right with the old Science Building on our left onto Albany Drive past the remains of the Main Building again now on our other side,  took a left crossed Hyndford Road and then we were back at the house. Running through my head all the way back from the stop at the steps were the words and music to my favourite Jonathan Richman song, well it couldn't really be anything else could it. 

Getting old really is a bastard.

Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling (Extended version)

Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling (single version)

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

You Live And Learn

Twitter is not all racist bile and watching Trump's decline into madness. Sometimes it is quite informative. A few months ago I was discussing early 90s progressive house 12" singles with @ropoem (Robert Hodgens aka Bobby Bluebell) when I tweeted a picture of Fallen by Dove, the original one on SOMA before they had to change their name to One Dove. Ropoem tweeted back "I played guitar on that"I thought he was on the wind-up and tweeted back "Seriously?" It turned out it was true and for a short period of time Bobby Bluebell had been part of Dove/One Dove before "they sacked me".  To be honest I wasn't that surprised as Bobby had a residency during the early 90s djing "Bob's Full House" at the Volcano (club featured in Trainspotting) in Glasgow playing that kind of stuff.

Everyday is a school day, as they say and yesterday Bobby tweeted an absolutely beautiful song  entitled Ballad of a Bitter End in memory of his best friend Bobby Paterson, one time member of Love and Money, early producer of Primal Scream and finally member of the Poems along side Mr Hodgens. I had never heard of this band so checked them out on Discogs and they appeared to have released one album and one single. I decided to investigate further, as you do and headed over to Youtube where I found the video below which totally blew me away, what a tune. So I was back on Twitter asking Bobby if this had had a physical release as it did not appear on Discogs as part of the album listed or on the single. Sadly not was the response and was further informed that it was a Bluebells song that was never released by that band either. So I had to purchase  the track from iTunes along with a rather good cover of the Arthur Alexander penned classic You Better Move On. I was also promptly back on Discogs purchasing a copy of the Young America cd.

In a further twist it appears that I already owned something by the band as when I played the two downloaded tracks in iTunes another track by the Poems was listed, a cover of 10:15 Saturday Night from the American Laundromat Just Like Heaven (A Tribute To The Cure) album.

Monday, 15 June 2020

Monday's Long Song

Monday again , eh?

I do like the work of Swiss producer Raphael Ripperton although most of the stuff I have by him is remixes of other people's stuff which he seems to tease out a thread, pull on it and extend to epic proportions. For All The Wrong Reasons is an original production released as a 12" back in 2011. All subdued synths, the odd nagging piano note and a meandering beat and hushed vocals. Not too shabby.

Friday, 12 June 2020

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Jesus, what a fucking week! 

I seem to have been saying that with greater despondency for what seems like forever. It really is quite incredible that any of us have managed to cling on to any shreds of normality when just about everything has been turned upside down,  inside out or just changed irrevocably. 

Music seems to be the only constant at the moment and there is nothing more constant than the series that refuses to go gentle into that good night. This has been posted before but it is such a joyous interpretation of a classic Stevie Wonder song that I think it deserves to be blasted out loud tonight. From way back in 1992 when I would buy anything on Guerilla or Cowboy expecting some throbbing progressive house monster. I was quite surprised when I put RODEO 9 on the turntable, a bit more housey than the usual fare but no less brilliant.

Stay safe and have a good weekend people.

Secret Life - As Always (Gospel mix)

Thursday, 11 June 2020

It #3

One of the best gigs I have ever gone to was also sadly, possibly the most sparsely attended too. When Nick Waterhouse came to Glasgow in August 2014 it was disappointing to see King Tut's less than half full but those who were in attendance had a great hour and a quarter with plenty of room to groove to the retro R&B that Waterhouse and his ultra tight band produce. Unfortunately there has never been a repeat of the night and as far as I am aware he has been over to the UK twice since then but never further north than Manchester and you can't really blame him. It #3, is a cover version of a Ty Segall song and  the flip side of This Is Game which although I already had a copy on Innovate, I purchased one of the limited run on Nick's own label Pres Records at the gig. 

Nick Waterhouse - It #3

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Lengths

The last gig I saw before lockdown was a rather emotional one, I think in no small part to the realisation that I suspect everybody in the Royal Concert Hall that night for King Creosote and his 9 piece band's performance of From Scotland With Love had  that this was going to be everybody's last night out for quite some time, although I'm not sure that anybody present quite understood to the extent of the changes to life  that were about to happen. This feeling of the unknown ahead of us, coupled with the beautiful but very emotional images and music that evening meant that on the drive home to Lanark,  Lynn and I both felt as if we had been through the emotional ringer, in a good way of course but drained and contemplative.

I'm not sure what it is in Kenny Anderson's music and lyrics but even when at his bleakest there is still a glint of hope somewhere deep within the song, whether that be a hopeful chord sequence, a clever lyric, an added snippet of conversation or just that soothing Fifers lilt. I think that I have listened to at least one King Creosote song if not every day then certainly every other day since we have been confined to home apart from when we take our daily exercise or go shopping for essentials.

Today's song has been played quite often, not an Anderson composition,  it was written by Lomond (Ziggy) Campbell long time friend and collaborator of KCs who used to be one part of the collective Found. The Lengths, is also Ziggy's home at the side of a remote Loch in the Highlands it was originally a school that had been closed and was derelict until Campbell renovated it. You can see it and hear about it here. King Creosote's version of the song that the house takes it 's name from was released as a 7" single on Triassic Tusk records in 2017. It was the third in a series of releases in that format that would feature an original and a cover of a song by the next artist in the series and limited to 300 copies

King Creosote - The Lengths