Saturday, 29 September 2012

Re-fit, Re-rub, Re-fix?

Whatever it is,  I love it. This is brand new and I don't feel bad about posting it as it on a limited run of 300 and I think that the legality of the record is in question anyway.

Man of the moment Lorca remixes the Faith Evans and NuYorican Soul track and turns it into a guaranteed floor filler

The picture?

It seems Leo has become addicted to "your big iPo"!

Lorca - Love Like This

Friday, 28 September 2012

Frank Wilson RIP

I had had a shitty week before I discovered that Frank Wilson had died.

I cannot agree with Mr H that he was unjustly less known as a producer and writer than the singer on the most expensive not just Northern Soul record but 7 inch ever. Outside of northern circles if people had heard of him at all it would have been  as one of the best producers in soul music. In fact I'm sure that I read somewhere that he was actively discouraged by Gordy to pursue a singing career as the Motown boss valued his talents as a producer so much.

Anyway, we have lost another soul legend. I used to worry that the fact that over the past few years  Do I Love You had been diminished by being on nearly every cheap northern soul compilation and being used by a fast food company but when you see the grins appear on the faces of a dancefloor as soon as the opening bars come over the PA, you realise that you would have to hear it on a loop for a very long time for a song as joyous as it is to sound in the slightest bit mundane. Not a bad thing to be remembered for and a hell of a lot more than most of us will be. But then you have all of those wonderful production and writing credits for Motown into the bargain.

Tonight I will raise a glass to Mr Wilson then just possibly put on my reproduction copy of Do I Love You (Indeed I Do),  succumb to that glorious sound,  have a wee shimy around the dinning room and shed a tear for someone who should have been a legend.

Frank Wilson - Do I Love You

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Let's head across town from the West End where last week's label was based, to the city centre and Bath Street to be precise.

23rd Precinct was a well established record shop long before Billie Kiltie took it over. What his time owning the shop did bring was two well respected dance labels in the form of Limbo and 23rd Precinct Records and also possibly the worst record store staff in the world, Jack Black wouldn't have got a look in if he had tried to get a job there . If you weren't part of the crowd you were treated with disdain and contempt. Total bunch of wankers as far as I was concerned.

But the labels were a different matter, they produced some top quality tunes, I would go as far as to say quality tunes, if that word was not synonomous with the Soma label. Stuff like I Trance You by Gypsy, Schtoom by Havanna and a plethora of other tracks kept me entertained and dancing through the early to mid nineties. The claim that the labels founded Progressive House is probably a step too far but the music on the label was certainly amongst the first in that genre. If you can get your hands on the House Of Limbo compilations you will find it well worth the effort.

Here is a track from Graham Drinnan and Mathew Brown recording as Sublime from 1994. TGV is quite typical of the sound emanating from Glasgow at the time, huge Sub Club shaking sounds.

Have a good weekend people.

Sublime - TGV (Paris - Marseille)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


I really like the music that Conor Oberest makes, either under his own moniker or as Bright Eyes. Cassadaga is an album that I sort of overlooked at the time, even though I bought it. This was mainly due to me getting back into dance music on the back of the Burial albums and listening to a lot of dubstep.

I managed to catch Bright Eyes at Latitude last year. I had seen them in Glasgow on a couple of occassions andd they had been great live and at the festival they didn't disappoint either. When I got home I listened to Cassadaga again and have probably played it every other month since then. The album takes it's name from a town in Florida which is a community of alleged mediums and was founded by George Colby, whose Indian spirit guide, Seneca instructed him to go to the sunshine state.

Although, not quite as good as  I'm Wide Awake,  It's Morning the album is probably Oberst's most straight forward. Although dealing with the subject of life the universe and everything it never really disappears up it's own arse due to the tunes being so good and the lyrics though "deep" at times never get really wanky.

The picture was taken in a hotel in Cassadaga, make of it what you wish.

Bright Eyes - Make A Plan To Love Me

Monday, 24 September 2012

Comin' Home Baby

I'm sure that the Mel Torme  version of this track has been used recently on an advert for something or other.  This version of the song is head and shoulders above that. I love Dee Dee Sharp's voice, she does a glorious version of Phil Spector's first record, To Know Him Is To Love Him which is well worth seeking out.

Dee Dee Sharp - Comin' Home Baby

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Conqueror Dub

A little bit of dub is the order of the day.

It is rather pleasant up here today bright sunshine but I fear that it is rather chilly out there, I haven't been out yet.

Went out on the scooter for a few hours yesterday for the first time in weeks but today I have some external diy to do which needs to be completed before the weather gets completely shitty.

King Tubby - Conqueror Dub

Friday, 21 September 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Back to a release on what for me is the most consistent and upfront dance label over the past twenty years. The fact that the label is run from Glasgow has no bearing on my opinion but it does fill me with some pride that some of the best but certainly not commercially most successful Techno records have been produced and distributed from the west of Scotland.

It may be a surprise to some that Daft Punk's first single was released on Soma Quality Recordings as the duo hail from France. According to sources while attending a Rave at EuroDisney in 1993 Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo met Stuart McMillan, one half of Slam and co-owner of Soma and handed him a demo tape which would subsequently be released as Soma-14 entitled The New Wave.

Since then Daft Punk moved onto bigger and brighter things. Their second single Da Funk brought them to the attention of  a larger audience and a successful career has followed with then recently scoring the music for the remake of Tron released on Walt Disney Records.

I still think that this is the best thing they have done.

Have a good weekend people.

Daft Punk - Alive

Thursday, 20 September 2012

La Comedie

I was never that fussed with Blur. Even less so after the reformation.

To tell the truth,  apart from Pulp the whole Britpop thing passed me by with the pounding of 4/4 beats and bass ringing in my ears. I found the whole thing a bit parochial.

I did however love this song.

Blur et Francoise Hardy - La Comedie

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Good They Die Young

I've had this song running around my head for a while now.

Abraham, Martin and John is an ode to four of the leaders of social change in the USA and who also all happened to be assassinated for their efforts. It was written by Dick Holler in the wake of Martin Luther King and  Bobby Kennedy's shootings in 1968. There is huge sadness in Dion's delivery, a singer better known for the likes of The Wanderer and Runaround Sue.

The song has been covered by a variety of singers from Marvin Gaye to Andy Williams. Wilson Pickett recorded a version of the song, changing the title to Cole, Cooke and Redding in tribute to Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and with lyrics relevant to the three great singers but for me it just doesn't do either the song or his subjects justice and is not a patch on William Bell's Tribute To A King.

Dion - Abraham, Martin and John

Monday, 17 September 2012

Wade In Water

There has always been a place for instrumentals on the northern soul scene and Wade In Water is probably the first major one on the scene and it's between this or the instrumental version of Ann Perry's That's The Way He Is that is my favourite.

Ramsey Lewis is a jazz composer and piano player who hit the big time in the US with three million selling number one singles in 1966, of which this track is one. It is just such an effortlessly cool track which is impossible not to tap your foot, nod your head or get up and shuffle to. Go on listen and stay motionless.  If you can, you have no soul.

Ramsey Lewis - Wade in Water

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Possibly The Best Metal Collaboration Ever?

No possibly about it in my book. Motorhead and Girlschool cover Johnny Kidd and The Pirates from the 1981 St Valentine's Day Massacre ep.

Fucking magic!

Motorhead/Girlschool - Please Don't Touch

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Return Of Sturdy Girl

Well. it is Friday after all.

I need a drink, it's been a long week.Manchester Monday/Tuesday and Nottingham Thursday/Friday and I think I may have been done for speeding, bugger!

This came on the iPod on the way up the road today and although posted before I think it deserves another airing.

Me? I'll have a pint of gin, please.

Hefner - The Hymn For The Alcohol

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

In honour of their absolutely amazing performance on Wednesday night today we feature The xx.

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting on Wednesday but the gig way surpassed those expectations. Firstly, the Usher Hall is a great venue, a bit too posh for the likes of me but the view from the Grand Circle even off to the right hand side as we were was great looking down on the stage. I could get used to this sitting down in comfy seats at a gig, not being as young as I once was. The acoustics in the hall are also as good as I have ever heard, the sound being very loud but not distorted or muffled or anything. My only fear was that in such grand surroundings that the atmosphere would suffer. As soon as The xx took the stage it became apparent that my fears were unfounded.

First up were  2:54 who have been featured a couple of times on the blog, who for touring purposes I suppose are now a four piece and not just the two Thurlow sisters. I'm not sure if I could listen to there mix of shoegaze, goth with a hint of Garbage thrown in all night but the half hour set that they did was rather good and persuaded me to go and see them at the end of next month at Glasgow School of Art.

The xx took to the stage with Angels, the beautiful opener on the Coexist album,  from behind a semi-transparent curtain which then fell away at the start of Heart Skipped A Beat. It was obvious from then on that the gig was not going to be the hushed affair I thought it would be, as Jamie xx had ramped up the bpms on most of the tracks from the first album that were performed and there were plenty of the steel drums which seem to becoming his signature in evidence. The hour and a quarter performance went by in a flash and my highlights if I had to pick them would have to be VCR which was quite moving and also when the trio returned to the stage for the encores, Intro from the first album just seemed perfect as an opener and I think has now cleansed me of my association of that song with David Dimbleby's mug and the General Election of 2010.

The gig was also a bit of a happening, as the light show was quite spectacular what with the strobes, the dry ice, glitter and huge clear plastic X at the back of the stage.

This post was not meant to be a review of the gig but it appears to have turned into one. Unfortunately that was the last night of this UK tour but I would seriously consider going to see them live next time, if you get the chance as for me this was easily gig of the year.

Have a good weekend people.

The xx - Crystalised (Slyde remix)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

"What Happened To Razorlight?"

The other week on Twitter Simon posed the question,  What happened to Razorlight?  Not in a,  where are they now context but in a how did they become so shit so quickly after the release of the first album way.  It is a good question and I think that the answer is that Johnny Borrell started believing his own hype and sacrificed good songs for ones that he knew would resonate with the most people and as a consequence would make him the huge star that he already was in his own mind. This is probably bollocks but is my theory and I'm sticking to it.

I first came across Razorlight one night in 2002 when they were supporting the Raveonettes at King Tut's in October 2003 around the time of their first single, Rip It Up. I thought they were brilliant, the singer a bit full of himself but the band were full of energy with a great set of songs.

I started banging on about them to anybody who would listen and saw them on three subsequent occasions the final time eventually persuading a couple of mates to tag along to the Arches.

From the off it looked as if the band were just going through the motions and the sound was muddy, a common complaint with gigs at the Arches. And then the gig was over after just under 40 minutes. We walked to the car with me trying to convince the other two that they were a lot better than that when I had seen them before but I could see that they were sceptical. I'm not sure how good Razorlight were live after that as the next time they played Glasgow was after the release of the awful second album and I didn't have the inclination to find out if they were any better than the night at the Arches.

I think that I have played the second album about 5 times, the first time in anticipation and the further four trying to find any redeeming tracks other than the lead single In The Morning which itself was at best quite good, but to no avail. Since then I have had no interest in the band and couldn't tell you if they have had any subsequent releases or even if they are still going, though I suspect not.

Anyway, here is a favourite track from the first one and now that I look at it one of the few album tracks that wasn't released as a single or on a b-side, a bit of a rip-off really.

Razorlight - Which Way Is Out

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Rated X

Here is a lovely melancholic tune which fits really well with the mid week blues.

From the rather underrated Spiritualized album from 2003, Amazing Grace. The band performed a rather good version of this earlier this year when I saw them in Glasgow, the version posted is from the Other Voices festival in Dingle at the tail end of last year.

Me, I don't have the mid week blues as I'm off to see The xx tonight, in the rather posh Usher Hall in Edinburgh, a venue I have never been to before. Makes a change from Queen's Hall. It would have been nice if my copy of the album had come before the gig but we can't have everything.

Spiritualized - Rated X (Live Other Voices 04-12-11)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

You Really Got A Hold On Me

When I first read about the collaboration between M Ward and Zooey Deschanel I was rather sceptical thinking that this was just another actress full of her own importance hanging about with some musos ala Scarlet Johansson.  I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the results of the first album, the film star could actually sing very well.

Here is there lovely version of one of my favourite Smokey Robinson songs from that album.

She & Him - You Really Got A Hold On Me

Monday, 10 September 2012

I Can't Get A Hold Of Myself

This was one of my favourite tracks from the first Goldmine compilation I ever bought, Out On The Floor Tonight. What a compilation that is it starts with & Days Is Too Long and ends with the track that gives the collection it's name and the quality never dips on the twenty three other tracks.

Clifford Curry had been a member of a few R&B and Soul groups during the 1950s and 60s before he released this solo effort in 1970.

Clifford Curry - Can't Get A Hold Of Myself

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Life Can Chew You Up And Spit You Out

Simon first played this a couple of months ago and it had quite an affect on me at the time. Yesterday after a conversation with a colleague who said that the Proclaimers were playing at some event he was going to  I played it again and had the same reaction as I had the first, second and all the other times I've played the song, it had me in bits.

It's strange but since the boys have been around I find myself getting emotional about things that beforehand I would have listened to, read or watched without the slightest flicker of emotion. I am so glad that someone can put into words these feelings although I do find myself wishing I had that kind of talent.

Friday, 7 September 2012

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I've posted the original version of today's track a couple of time's and it is a hell of a lot more obscure than Coldcut and Yazz's cover version which from July 1988 could be heard everywhere. Their version spent 5 weeks at number one in the UK and was the second biggest selling single of last year. Copies of the record can be picked up for 13p + p&P on Discogs, you won't get much change out of £500 quid for an original  copy of the Otis Clay 7", if you are lucky enough to find one for sale.

Listening to the track now it is pretty difficult to imagine how different this was at the time. I've heard it so many times it sounds quite dated and well,  cheesy. However there is still something there which makes listening to it a pleasurable experience even if the horn sample, pilferd from Beat The Steet by Sharon Redd, is possible the most annoying thing I've heard this week*. I think that it has something to do with the optimism of the lyrics and the upbeat music, you would have to be a real misanthrope not to feel better after hearing it.

However, I cannot get the vision of Brian Potter climbing the hill on his mobility shopper from the opening credits of Phoenix Nights out of my head when I hear it, another reason to smile on this dank September's morn.

Have a good weekend people.

Yazz & The Plastic Population - The Only Way Is Up

* Update -  That was until I read this post about sunshine and heat. Okay I didn't hear the post I read it but it is feckin annoying when it's all of 12 degrees up here.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

No One Will Ever Love You

I've never posted a Magnetic Fields track before which is strange as I really like some of Stephin Merritt's output. The band are probably best known for their second single, 100,000 Fireflies but have released ten albums.

No One Will Ever Love You comes from the album 69 Love Songs which does exactly what it says on the cover to varying degrees of success and through a myriad of musical genres. Merritt has stated that No One, was an attempt to distill all of the heartache of Fleetwood Mac's Tusk album into one pop song. I'm not sure if he attained his goal as my only memories of that album are that my mother used to play it all the time when I was growing up and I thought that it was bloody awful then and have never felt the need to hear it since. He did however succeed in producing a lovely three minute love song.

The Magnetic Fields - No One Will Ever Love You

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


I had nearly forgotten about Chew Lips when the other week I saw somewhere that they had a new single. I first came across them one very wet and windy night in March 2009 when they were third on the bill at the Classic Grand  in Glasgow. I was there to see The Joy Formidable but was pleasantly surprised by Chew Lips although the singer did get on my nerves. At that point they were a three piece but from what I can see they are now a duo.

Their debut album, Unicorn was released in 2010 and it is rather good without being groundbreaking or anything. It has that sort of harking back to the 80s sound that was all the rage that year with the likes of La Roux and Little Boots. Here is the band's third single and first from the album.

Still a bloody awful name.

Chew Lips - Karen

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ha Fucking Ha

If you haven't bought this album yet, you really should, it is absolutely beautiful.

The reason why I haven't mentioned this album before is I hadn't heard it until the end of last week due to some thieving bastards at the Royal Mail. I had ordered one of the special boxset editions from Song By Toad and had been eagerly awaiting the arrival but as the time progressed I emailed Mathew who then sent on another set which also didn't arrive! The third one eventually arrived only because it was sent recorded delivery which was duly left inside the storm doors without a signature being obtained.

Anyway it was worth the wait not only does the album look gorgeous I'm a sucker for coloured vinyl but it sounds damn near perfect, lovely clear production and some of the best tunes I have heard this year. I was a bit worried that due to the fact that the album was recorded in a proper studio I would not warm to it like the previous offerings as part of the appeal of Meursault for me was the lo-fi diy feel to the music. I need not have worried the production just makes the music fuller but it is still unmistakeably Meursault.

So get your arse over here and order the album, you know it makes sense.

You Can Hide Your Love Forever

Here is a great piece of Indie Pop from 2001. It's quite scary to think that Comet Gain released there first album, Casino Classics seventeen years ago! Tempus Fugit as absolutely nobody I know says.

Comet Gain - You Can Hide Your Love Forever

Monday, 3 September 2012

You Don't Know

From one great songwriter from a bygone age to another also sadly no longer with us.

Ellie Greenwich in partnership with her husband Jeff Barry must have been in competition with Bacharach and David during the 60s I suppose. It would be hard to say who were the better partnership, if it weren't for the fact that Greenwich and Barry along with Phil Spector were responsible for the best pop song ever and by default are therefor the greatest pop songwriters ever. There is no need to start the debate again, I think that Mr H and myself conclusively dealt with that one at the end of last year here.

Anyway, Greenwich was responsible for so many absolute belters but even though she could more than hold a tune she didn't go into the studio very often but in 1965 she did  with Shadow  Morton and produced an absolutely gorgeous song, You Don't Know, the production of which is nothing less than perfection, those drums, strings and breath taking vocals that give me goosebumps every time I hear the song.

It is backed by Baby which over the years has found favour amongst the northern soul fraternity, the song is good but nothing in comparison to the a side. The single was released on Morton's Red Bird label and inexplicably bombed! Why?

A word of warning, the only other thing that I know of that she released was the album Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung in 1973. On this album she sings twelve of the best songs she had penned including I hear Music, Be My Baby and  And Then He Kissed Me and I hate to say it, it is woeful, the 70s arrangements and production murder the songs and it is best to be avoided.

Ellie Greewich - You Don't Know

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Hal David R.I.P.

One of the finest lyricists in pop.

I could have picked any number of songs that I love that he was responsible for but here's one that surprised me at the time. Did I Imagine You was written by David and Dot Alison and  appeared on her wonderful first solo album

 Dot Alison - Did I Imagine You

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Just Sittin' There Rippin' The Pish

I don't know what it was like then you were sixteen or seventeen but in deepest darkest Lanarkshire organising your fun of a weekend wasn't the easiest thing to do. There wasn't that much to do in Lanark during the mid eighties if you were at that certain age when playing  football just didn't do it any longer,  you had a baby face and couldn't get into Blondes or Foxes,  the two pubs where under-agers stood a chance of getting served or didn't have a steady girlfriend. Once a month there was the YM disco but most of the time that ended early due to fighting or the calling of  an ambulance for some poor unfortunate, who had drunk too much and needed his/her stomach pumped, and besides the sounds pumped out by "Purple Rain Disco" were pure pish anyway.

So the only other thing to do was drink. Well there were loads of other things to do,  we could have chosen athletics, badminton or any number of other character building pursuits that involved effort and exercise. We however, chose drink.

When partaking of alcohol while not legally allowed to you had  two options open to you.

Firstly if you were in with the heidbangers and local young team you went down the park with a bottle of wine. Invariably this led to having to partake in the athletics mentioned above, particularly the steeplechase while being pursued by Sergeant Slater or other members of Lanark's Finest.

The other option was of course the civilised one where you drank in the comfort of someone else's home. Some were lucky enough to know someone with liberal parents who allowed the drinking of a cargo on their premises. For the rest of us it came down to whose parents were either out for the night, even better for the weekend or the holy grail, they were away on a fortnights holiday!

So from first period on a Friday the question could be heard "Do you know who's got an empty this weekend?" and as soon as you found out who it was then the charm offensive began to get yourself invited to the poor unfortunate's abode. It was not unknown for kids who had a very small circle of friends before the revelation that their parents were in Malaga to become the most popular guy or girl in 5th Year.

Such evenings started off well,  all civilised, folk having a good time, drinking,  listening to music, trying to cop off with members of the opposite sex. But as the night progressed there was always a casualty or two and some projectile produced.  A romance would bloom, another couple ended and things generally degenerated  until the night was ruined when some shady characters turned up, probably from down the park and either wrecked the place or stole the drink or even worse the parents came back early.

Up until recently nobody had captured the trials and tribulations of trying to have a good weekend while under-age in Lanarkshire in song. This situation was rectified earlier this year when the Just Joans released their "concept album" about the last year of school and the first year of Uni away from home,  wonderfully entitled Buckfast Bottles In The Rain. Granted the band are relating their experiences in Motherwell in the mid nineties but things don't change much in the shire and this is the same scenario I found myself in at the same time during the previous decade in Lanark but replace Wonderwall with The Rattler or Dignity

The Just Joans - Coia's Empty