Monday, 30 January 2012


Over at Davy's place last Friday we were all waxing lyrical, especially Swiss Adam and extolling the virtues of vinyl.

Now I love vinyl as much as the next man, that's probably not true, I probably love vinyl a lot more than the next man unless the next man is the kind of person who reads this rubbish then it will probably be a close run thing. But I do have a problem with the stuff or I should say L has a problem with the stuff and that is that it takes up so much space!

When we moved into the house we are in now we had to compromise. I wanted a record room, a haven where I could go shut myself off from the world, gaze lovingly at my collection and play my records.

L wanted a dining room!

Of course L won but conceded to giving me the far end of the room and the internal cupboard. So I then had to decide what records were to be stored in the 'dining room' and what would have to be squirrelled away in other places. Now here is what I don't understand about L's thinking and I suspect a lot of other people who don't have an affinity with records, it is alright to have five IKEA BENNO towers along the wall housing those little indestructible silver discs, that didn't offend her eye but the sight of  the spines of rows of vinyl is a different matter. ?

Anyway, I decided that the Dance 12" singles would be stacked in my office along with the 'various' Dance lps, the indie and mainstream 12" singles would be stored  with most of the 7" singles in the cupboard on the half landing and that only the albums and one box of singles would be on view in the 'dining room'.

Over the years the vinyl downstairs has increased and has virtually taken over the far end of the room, what with the introduction of flight case for the prized albums and 12" singles, a further box for 7" and also records stacked in rows along the bottom of the cd racks! Recently there have been mumblings and not so subtle hints that it is getting out of hand and a reclamation attempt on the whole room was imminent.

So,  yesterday spurned on by Mr H's posting I decided that I would need to do something. At the other side of the room is a cupboard that houses junk like, the wedding China, and the paraphernalia for table setting and the like. The cupboard also has a bit which would be perfect for storing vinyl but up until yesterday was full of boxes of the good crystal glasses and other non essential things. I then started thinking about how to pitch this to L because I had a feeling that I was on a hiding to nothing. However when I explained the idea to her, she said " as long as you find somewhere to put the other stuff, fine". I was rather surprised and decided to get to it forthwith before she changed her mind.

Most of the afternoon yesterday was spent, sorting out, filing and stacking vinyl with an air of contentment that I rarely achieve these days. By the time the boys and L were demanding dinner the room was transformed back to a dining room, no longer a mini maze constructed of piles of 12" vinyl. An afternoon well spent I'm sure you will agree. There is still a small stack of records, which I have not filed leaning against the cabinet that houses most of the albums but it will not offend L's eye for a while until it grows again

When I was sorting the vinyl out I found a northern soul single that I thought I had lost. It had somehow been filed in amongst the albums. It is a belter of a tune and it being missing had been bothering me on and off for sometime.

The Salvadores - Stick By Me Baby

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Soothing Sounds For A Sunday

Here is a sublime bit of mellow trip-hop courtesy of the Pastels, there's a phrase you don't see too often, to help you along this Sunday aternoon. I say the Pastels, it is them but with a little input from French DJ and remixer, Kid Loco and very good it is too.

The Pastels- The Viaduct (Kid Loco Instrumental)

The Pastels - The Viaduct (Kid Loco Vocal)

Friday, 27 January 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Back to 1999 this week with a bit of funky Big Beat from the Groove Armada with added Gram'ma Funk and Fatboy Slim.

Have a good weekend people

Groove Armada featuring Gram'ma Funk - I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim Remix)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The KKK Took My Baby Away

Although we do have quite a few nutters in Lanarkshire,  I'm not sure that too many people will have found themselves in the same predicament as Joey Ramone. It appears that some fannies with a penchant for wearing white bed linen have abducted his girlfriend!

Stiff's older brother's son knew the names of the Ramones before those of the Teletubbies. Makes you kind of proud of the parenting skills doesn't it?

The Ramones - The KKK Took My Baby Away

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

I Taught You How To Dance

This is so gorgeous, all of the hairs on the back of my neck are sticking up.

Darren Hayman - I Taught You How To Dance (Official Video) from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.

Ma Baby (He's Boring)

The Southern States of the USA don't have a monopoly when it comes to singing about disappointment  in relationships.

Here is a sad, sad tale from deepest Lanarkshire of a guy who is more interested in his boxsets than his girlfriend.

The Just Joans - Ma Baby (He's Boring)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

He Called Me Baby

He Called Me Baby was originally entitled She Called Me Baby, a country song written by Harlan Howard. Until about ten years ago I had only ever heard the Patsy Cline version.

I was travelling home from Edinburgh, late one night during a hectic data base lock and had turned the radio to Radio 2 for some reason,  just in time to hear Bob Harris play the Candi Staton version which bowled me over and which I still believe is the definitive version. However this, slower more laid back version recorded by Ella Washington, later Pastor Ella Washington Cobb,  for the Nashville label Sound Stage 7 label is nearly as good and a great piece of Southern Soul which retains a Country feel to it.

Ella Washington - He Called Me Baby 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Don't You Worry Baby

Here's a track which, when I was a teenager I would never have described as Northern Soul. Since then I like to think that I have grown up, (possibly) become less blinkered  and realised that all that nonsense about the tracks having to be 60s stompers was exactly that, nonsense and that there is room for the likes of  Don't Worry Baby The Best Is Yet To Come in that broad church that is described as Northern Soul, a scene that  can include the likes The Theme From Joe 90 or Nosmo King and other records vastly inferior to this recording by Bessie Banks.

Bessie Banks has featured here before with one of my all time twenty one favourite tracks, Go Now. Don't You Worry Baby is a completely different beast. Released in 1976, it is a baw hair away from disco and is probably more at home in the modern room than on Northern dance floors. It was however a mainstay in Colin Curtis' sets on a Saturday night in the Highland Room and if it was good enough for Mr Curtis then it is good enough for me. I just wish that Bessie Banks had been rather more prolific during her recording career as she has an absolutely amazing voice.

Bessie Banks - Don't You Worry Baby The Best Is Yet To Come

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Baby Says

When I first saw the Kills at King Tuts all those years ago I thought that they were brilliant. But since Keep On Your Mean Side the next two albums the duo released disappointed me. There is really nothing wrong with them, they are on the whole good albums but there was something missing, nothing I could pinpoint.

Last year's Blood Pressures on the other hand was probably one of my favourite releases of the year I haven't listened to it as many times as Cults debut but I haven't listened to anything as much as that.

The Kills - Baby Says

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Just Because . . .

this is quite, quite wonderful.

Sam & Dave - When Something Is Wrong With My Baby

Nothing wrong with mine,  she's just stumbled in the door after being out all day in the Town!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Man Is A Mean Thing

Here is a cracking slab of RnB courtesy of Barbara Perry. Another track that was unreleased back when it was recorded in 1967. It was finally released by Kent in 2008 on the New Breed R&B With Added Popcorn cd and a subsequent 7" single with I've Got A Feeling by Gladys Bruce on the flip.

Barbara Perry - A Man Is A Mean Thing

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

37°2 le Matin

I bet I wasn't the only person who had this poster on his wall and was ever so slightly obsessed with Beatrice Dalle back in 1986/87.

I once made my good friend Trudi sit through Betty Blue, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Three Colours Red all in the one afternoon/evening. Can't quite remember what she did to deserve that but we remain friends to this day, amazingly.

Gabriel Yared - 37°2 le Matin

Just Lovely

I haven't listened to Rilo Kiley much recently, I'm not sure why, I think that the totally underwhelming last album and my complete ambivalence to the two solo efforts by Jenny Lewis may have something to do with it. Yesterday, however this song came on the ipod on the journey up to Dundee and it made me revisit More Adventuros and The Execution Of All Things on the road back down. I think that a time away from some things does make you appreciate them more.

Rilo Kiley - Does He Love You (Live At Fingerprints)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Gloomy Monday?

I think that today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year not for me, that accolade is always the day when the anti-christ gets another one of his manufactured non entities to number one on the Sunday before Christmas.

Anyway,  last week to start the week we had a jazz tinged housey bit of soul, this week I feel that I am straying into The Ghost of Electricity's territory with a tune that would not be out of place at his on a Friday night, which I have always thought of as Jazz but after consulting the internet a moment ago I was informed that it is actually gospel, whatever it is I have loved it since the late 80s when I found it on a cheap compilation cd called 'round midnight.

Billy Taylor Trio - I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Keeping Warm

Went to see We Were Promised Jetpacks with Stiff just before Christmas for what is becoming to be a
annual fixture for December along with The Wedding Present.

As usual they were very good getting better with every gig. The only problem with the evening was all the twats who seemed to be on a Private School Christmas night out and their incessant chatter which luckily was drowned out by the band most of the time.

Here,  is what was one of the highlights a great tune with an even better more powerful build up live. The lyrics , however I feel let it down, as they are a bit crap.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Keeping Warm

Friday, 13 January 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Technology, don't you just love it until it fucks up.

My work laptop decided it no longer wanted to connect to the Internet yesterday and due to my reliance on web based systems I'm as much good as a man short. So today I will be tidying up my office and feeling guilty about doing next to nothing, as my laptop gets couriered to Luton to either be rebuilt or scrapped.

But back to the music. Hardcore Uproar is on of those tracks that you heard everywhere in 1990, a Rave anthem before the term had even been used to label certain dance tracks.

The track was written and pressed on white label with the sole aim of being played at the Hacienda. it duly got flogged to death in the club and was picked up by Pete Tong owned FFRR and given a full release.

The bassline and melody are built around a sample from John Carpenter's The End Theme from Assault on Precinct 13. The tune also begins with the famous "More powerful than you can possibly imagine" Alec Guinness sample from Star Wars.

Have a good weekend people.

Together - Hardcore Uproar

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Happy Birthday

Number two son is three today.

Here is a tune he likes to jump about to. I blame his mother.

M.I.A - Paper Planes

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Days Like This

I'm probably going to get a visit from the download plods for this. But what the hell, I really want to post this, as the lyrics convey the very antithesis of how my last few days have gone extremely well.

"When everyone is upfront and they're not playing tricks"  - If only.

Very grumpy Northern Irish Gentleman - Days Like This

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

So Long

Davy the Ghost has an interesting wee series on the go over at his,  where he is finding reasons to be cheerful during this quite glum month. Me being the miserable bastard that I am, am not really that enthused by London buses or random strangers smiling at me. I have to have something a bit more tangible to cheer me up or something to really look forward to. Failings on my part, I know.

One thing that I have been looking forward to ever since October is the prospect of the new Spiritualized album. Jason Pierce being, well Jason Piece decided that the whole set would consist of the new unheard album and very good it was too.

On the 4th December Spiritualized played a set consisting of much of the new album at the other voices festival in Dingle, County Kerry which the Guardian streamed live on their website. The tracks sounded as good on this occasion as they had two months previous in the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh. Here is what was one of my highlights from both performances and something I am looking forward to hearing on vinyl and live again in March at the ABC in Glasgow.

Spiritualized - So Long (Live at The Other Voices Festival 04-12-11)

Monday, 9 January 2012

This Is What You Are

How about a little bit of jazzy tinged, Housey, Italian blue eyed soul to start off a new week. If you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough, it is no longer january and the sky definitely isn't slate grey but a rather bright blue and lovely and warm.

Now,  doesn't that feel better?

Mario Biondi - This Is What You Are.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

How Was This Ever Thought To Be Rubbish?

In 1975 Phil Spector decided that he was the person who could revive the flagging career of Dion DiMucci. At the time Dion was thrilled to be working with one of his heroes but by the time it was completed he all but disowned the album saying " it was basically Phil's album". The decision not even to release the album in the US and it's negligible impact in the UK can't have boosted Dion's confidence on the release either.

However listened to now, it is an absolutely astounding album where Spector's production shines but does not overwhelm DiMucci's vocals and the whole thing could sit proudly beside the best works of Scott Walker and Brian Wilson.

The song Born To Be With You is actually a cover having been a top ten hit both sides of the Atlantic in 1956. The Spector/DiMucci version although heavily produced, who would expect anything else of Spector, is an incredibly beautiful track which is interspersed with just the right amount of sax courtesy of Nino Tempo. I'm sure that Bobby Gillespie had been listening to this when he wrote Sometimes I Get So Lonely, well in my head anyway.

Dion - Born To Be With You

Friday, 6 January 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Back to 1987 today, well it was actually released in 1986 but it came to my attention the following year, for what has to be one of, if not the best sounds to come out of that period of early House Music.

Move Your body for me is synonymous with Saturday nights spent in the Sloe Club in the RGIT Union in Aberdeen getting off my face and trying to dance to this new wonderful music. It was the tune that was hammered each and every weekend for god knows how long.

Jefferson would go on to produce some of the best records coming out of Chicago for the likes of Ce Ce Rogers, Ten City etc. But for me nothing can beat this track with it's simple piano loop and repetitive vocals from Curtis McLean. There is something about it that just makes you want to get up and make a twat of yourself on the dance floor.

"Lost in house music is where I want to be" - indeed.

Have a good weekend people

Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Carla Thomas

I just can't get away from the soul at the moment.

I've been looking at all of these "Ones To Watch for 2012" lists and absolutely nothing is floating my boat.


Here is number 405 of the Top 500 Northern Soul tracks. I'll Never Stop Loving You by Carla Thomas was a track that was never released when recorded but was discovered on tape by the crate diggers at Kent and released in 1991.

Carla Thomas - I'll Never Stop Loving You

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Dreich Is The Only Word For It.

It looks as though we are being battered by "Son of Hurricane Bawbag" at the moment. The wind is howling and the rain is pishing down.

It is at times like these that I search through the shelves 'til I get to M,  reach for some John Martyn, put it on the turntable and listen, really listen then it doesn't seem so cold and miserable, well it is but I just don't care any more.

John Martyn - Ways To Cry

John Martyn - Over The Hill (Peel Session)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Good Thing Going

When I was first getting into Northern Soul all those years ago, it wasn't easy getting a hold of the tracks as nobody I knew had any collections to speak of. The only way to get a hold of these tunes was to buy home made compilation tapes from ads in the back of Scootering  or to buy the few compilation albums and repress singles on labels like Casino Classics and Inferno.

One of the best of these compilations was Out On The Floor Tonight on Neil Rushton's Inferno label. This album included classics such as as Tainted Love, Love Factory and of course Out On The Floor Tonight.

It also contained a couple of curios, A Good Thing Going being one of them. The track is an instrumental but that isn't all that unusual on the scene. But it was recorded by an Irish composer and his Orchestra who made traditional Irish and Folk music as far removed from the black soul music of the scene. When you first listen to the track it does seem a rather odd choice for the dancers at the Wigan Casino but when heard dropped in the middle of a set and you see the dancers moving to it, it fits perfectly albeit with shudders and derision from the purists.

This is another example along with the likes of The Human Beinz and Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels  which illustrate the diverse musical styles that seeped into the scene.

See what you think.

Phil Coulter and His Orchestra - A Good Thing Going

Monday, 2 January 2012

Only The Lonely

It's Max's first football match today,  local derby between Airdrie and Albion Rovers, the two best teams in Lanarkshire, if you don't count either Motherwell or Hamilton, when I come to think of it they probably aren't the best two teamss in Airdrie and Coatbridge.. The last time we played the mighty Rovers we were thrashed seven (7) two. I'm quite confident we will do much better today.

Still, learning how to cope with disappointment early will be a lesson well learned if Max decides to follow the Diamonds.

Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely