Wednesday, 26 April 2017
We haven't had any Slow Club here for a while. Last Year's One Day All Of This Won't Matter Anymore didn't really do it for me. That's not to say that it is not a good album, it's just not in the same league as the previous one, Complete Surrender which as I have said before on several occasions bowled me over as at the time as it wasn't what I had been expecting at all. I am trying to say that Slow Club should have produced a carbon copy of Complete Surrender, even if they could have that would have been boring. I think I may need to sit down and listen to One Day . . . without comparing it to the 2014 abum, although I'm not sure that will be possible. Give Me Some Peace is one of the few tracks that hit me straight away and is still for me the high point of the album.
Slow Club - Give Me Some Peace
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
I think that this the only Garage Rock record that has been featured here that comes from New York, more specifically the borough of Queens. The Big Apple wasn't renowned for thrashy guitar music at this time, well until the Velvet Underground came on the scene.
White Ship was the final single by the terribly named "The Denims" and came out on the Mercury label. There is quite a psychedelic feel about the lyrics which is quite unusual for a record out of NYC at this time, 1966, when else.
The Denims - White Ship
Monday, 24 April 2017
I've always found a contradiction in the feel of today's track and the sentiment of the lyrics. To me the music and tone of I'm Com'un Home In The Mornin' had a kind of sinister atmosphere, however the lyrics are about a guy who has been away for a considerable time and whose love has been desperately awaiting his return and how he will be returning in the morning. I have seen this song described as psychedelic soul and it certainly not a typical northern soul track especially the strange horns on the outro but a great tune none the less.
The single was released on Suemi Records from El Paso, Texas in 1972 and an original copy would cost you at least a grand.
Lou Pride - I'm Com'un Home In The Mornin'
Friday, 21 April 2017
Last week Airdrie suffered a set back to their hopes of a play-off place with a 2-1 defeat away to Stanraer and tomorrow take on Alloa Athletic who gave Brechin a mauling last week and who are in an unassailable second spot. the Diamonds on the other hand are in 4th place on goal difference bit with only 6 points separating 3rd and 8th tight is not the word for it. Airdriedefinitely need to get a result tomorrow.
Have a good weekend people
Farley Jackmaster Funk - Farley Knows Best (PPF Jack For Daze Dub)
Thursday, 20 April 2017
I was going to have a rant about the upcoming RSD16 but what's the point. You will already have your opinion on it and my sweary diatribe isn't going to change your mind. When the list of releases came out with all the fanfare I had a look and nothing really grabbed my attention apart from the re-pressing of Spacemen 3's Recurring an album that I either sold or lost some time ago and have lived with on cd only for the last ten years at least without too much trouble. I would be lying if I was to say that I would not want to own it again on vinyl but do I want it enough to get up at 06:00 hrs and queue outside Monorail for two hours or so for, I don't think so. The one release that I might consider doing that for would be the Burial remix of Inner City Life but that isn't on Monorail's list. So I will go into Glasgow sometime next week and see what's left.
The releases that I am really looking forward to in the next month or so are new releases by the Black Angels, The Cosmic Dead, Slow Dive, The Afghan Whigs and a Nick Waterhouse 7". All of which will be purchased from a bona fide record shop when released without having to get up in the middle of the night and stand in line for. Maybe I'm just getting old but I think that Record Shop Day has run it's course and it's time the majors let some of the small indie labels near the pressing plants to press up some new music as opposed to Bowie or Prince on coloured vinyl or picture disc.
Fuck! I have just checked Piccadilly Records list and The Only Way is Up by Otis Clay is on there. Now for that I would start queueing now but also Monorail aren't stocking it,
Here's a track from last year's celebration which I picked up a week or two later for cost. The best thing Primal Scream had done for a long time prior to the recent remix by Anton Newcombe. I have to admit though when I read the the Scream were covering S'Express, I thought to myself "fuck right off that will be the biggest load of shit since the last thing they did" I was happily proven wrong, I think that it's Jason Pierce's guitar that makes all the difference.
Oh and one last thing, I love 6 Music and everything but they don't half flog everything to death. Last month it was the 6 Music festival, christ I was lucky enough to see some of it and it was doing my head in how much they went on about it, so for those who didn't it must have really been a pisser and now all they can go on about is this bloody Saturday. They need to get some perspective I think.
Just as well there is nothing for the BBC to over expose happening in June isn't it!
Primal Scream - Mantra For A State Of Mind
Wednesday, 19 April 2017
I'm not too sure if I'm in the mood for another General Election at the moment but when somebody tells me that Westminster needs to "unite behind the Government" my hackles rise. Are we no longer allowed to have debate and differences in ideals or opinions anymore in our bright new and improved "brexit" future? Seven weeks of this shit, it's enough to drive you to drink. And I won't mention the irony of people in my town up in arms that a democratic election should be held on the day that they annually celebrate Feudalism and patronage. You couldn't make it up.
Today's post was supposed to be another rant about Record Shop Day but that can wait,
Scanners - Lowlife
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Last Saturday I posted a track from Liverpudlian. Louisa Roach's band She Drew The Gun. After hearing Poem the first time I headed straight to Soundcloud to see if this track was a one off or if there were other gems to find and there were which sent me straight to the band's website to order the album, which was released at the beginning of last month according to the website, however at other places it says that it was released last April. Irrespective of when it was released I think that a lot more people need to hear about this record than I think do at present, not that featuring it hear will further that cause all that much. It has hardly been off my turntable since it arrived. It is a very strong debut album from the band. At times the album is a bit folkly, at others pretty soulful but mostly a psychy, indie pop sound but then you might expect that from a band mentored and produced by James Skelly (former frontman of the Coral) and signed to Skeleton Records. After a week and a bit of listening I can honestly say that there are no duff tracks and for me it will take something extra special to knock this off of the pedestal of find of 2017 for me.
Do yourself a favour and head over here and order it for yourself, you won't regret it I can assure you.
Monday, 17 April 2017
Here is a jaunty, up beat little number to take your mind off of that bloated feeling that all of you who overdid the chocolate yesterday may have this morning.
I don't really know anything about Bernie Williams or indeed Ever Again apart from the fact that it is a very rare record for one released on a major label, Bell Records out of NYC in 1969. The only copy to be sold on Discogs went for £1994.05! My copy needless to say is a snidey single sided re-press. The track was leased to the major label from Del Val Records in Philadelphia where the song was originally released with Gene Woodbury on vocal but justy like the later release posted here it bombed.
Bernie Williams - Ever Again
Friday, 14 April 2017
Slam are celebrating 25 years of making music at the moment which has me a little puzzled as the first record they released was in 1991 and I remember this distinctly not because it was a great record, it is but that it preceded the second release on SOMA Quality Recordings, Fallen by Dove which I know came out in October 1991 and which I purchased immediately from Dub II in Glasgow and I know that I n bought the label's first release fro that shop previously.
Anyway, 25/26 years of producing nothing ever less than excellent music should be celebrated and celebrated in style. I know that there is a SOMA boxset out which I am tempted by although it is rather pricey but it has the likes of Jeff Mills, Daft Punk and Funk D'Void on it so well worth the money. They also have nights in SWG3, the Subby and the Riverside Festival in Glasgow to look forward to in the next month and a bit which I think I will give a miss, the idea appeals to me but I think my serious clubbing days are over, sadly.
As I said previously Slam and Soma were significant by their absence on Stuart Murdoch's documentary about the music scene in Glasgow for 6Music and I could be wrong but I don't think they were mentioned let alone featured in the whole 6Music Festival in Glasgow last month, Which is a glaring error as they have been a huge influence on the worldwide dance scene over the past 25 years and possibly without them we would never have heard the likes of Get Lucky or Around The World, if SOMA hadn't released the duo's first two 12" singles.
So today The Kitchen Table salutes, Stuart, Orde and Dave, Glen & Jim for bringing us so much "Quality" music over the past 26 years and also some great nights, from Strathclyde park, The Subby, The Arches and other places. It's only fitting to feature that first 12" single.
In other news, with four games to go Airdrie are sitting third in the league only one point ahead of Brechin City in fourth. The run-in is quite a tough one, tomorrow they go down to Stranraer who they have beaten twice this season and lost to once. The Diamonds really need to win all four games to reach the play-offs, since Christmas they haven't one two games on the bounce so it looks like being an almost impossible feat but we will see.
Have a good weekend people.
Slam - Eterna
Thursday, 13 April 2017
It's true nothing is sacred. I see that Feeding Of The Five Thousand has not only been released on vinyl but white vinyl and remastered into the bargain. I would like it be upset about this but it was inevitable. I wonder how many hipsters out there are going to spend twenty quid or so for what I have never been too sure was a 12" with lots of tracks or a short album. I can't think that their will be much of a market for angry, nearly musical, sweary anarchist punk records that make you feel quite inadequate as you can never live up to the ideals espoused, though I could be wrong.
I've got a mint copy of Penis Envy, if anybody wants to make me a decent offer. I will part with it as it is totally un-listenable.
The people who ran the Roxy club in London were interviewed on the radio last week, it might even have been the Lamacq show and they were talking about how they were inclusive and just wanted somewhere where the punks could congregate. Yeah right, they were that inclusive that they banned Crass.
Crass - Banned From The Roxy
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
I caught some of one of Steve Lamacq's shows last week on 6Music, not sure what night it was but I think it could have been Wednesday or Thursday. I don't listen to him that often but I really can't be fucked with PM or the ^ O'clock News on Radio 4 at the moment it's all about the UK staring into the abyss, getting ready to jump off, or bloody Trump and more depressing still Syria and when you look to the 18:30 comedy for some light relief all you get is pish that is not at all funny with the exception of the Unbelievable Truth and the Now Show which I like so I know it wasn't Monday or Friday but I digress.
The stick insect in the DMs and the washed out indie T shirt was going on about the first track on the first side of debut albums which I think started due to him playing Janie Jones as last week was 40 years since The Clash was released and he was saying what a powerful opening salvo the track was. This got me thinking and probably every middle aged man tuned in also as to what the best opening track on a debut album was. As I have been going through something of a Jesus and Mary Chain obsession recently as some of the more acute of you may have realised, of course I initially thought of Just Like Honey and then I started to think of other memorable ones such as Foxey Lady on Are You Experienced, Sunday Morning from the first Velvets album and Fallen from Morning Dove White amongst others. However, for me anyway the ultimate song one , side one of a debut album has got to be Suspect Device from Stiff Little Fingers 1979 debut album Inflammable Material. Has there every been a more raw, visceral statement of intent. Even now when I put it on I still fear that there is an outside chance that my turntable might spontaneously combust, the energy in that track has not diminished one iota in thirty eight years.
This has probably been done before on more than one occasion in blog land but I feel a beginnings of a new series here that I could flog to death. We'll see.
Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device
Tuesday, 11 April 2017
There is a big difference between today's Garage track and most others featured in this spot, no and it's not the year, as 1-2-5 although recorded in 1965 was as you've probably guessed released the following year on the Quality label. No what makes this group quite unique probably not in the Garage Rock world but in the little bit of it I know of is that the band are actually from north of the border, Canada, Montreal to be specific. The song on the insistence of the record company was cleaned up as they believed that some of the lyrics were a bit choice and on release the record charted in the Canadian charts which brought it to the attention of record execs in the USA where the record was picked up and issued on the Amy label in it's original form, this is also the version that can be found on volume 1 of the Pebbles compilations. The band went on to record a further 7 singles, including a French version of Purple Haze (Vapeur Mauve) before they broke up in 1971.
The Haunted - 1-2-5
The Haunted - 1-2-5 (original version)
Monday, 10 April 2017
The Group featuring Cecil Washington - I Don't Like To Lose
Saturday, 8 April 2017
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
The recent rekindling of my somewhat dormant love for the Jesus and Mary Chain shows no sign of abating anytime soon. Last week ventured into various record boxes and cupboards and retrieved all of my 7", with the exception of the 4 that are in the red "grab in case of emergencies box" which resides in the dining room, and also the 10" and 12" singles. After giving them all a good clean I decided that my idea to go through them in order a and b side was a bit too, well, sad is the word that sprung to mind and so I decided to mix them up and randomly play them, It was no surprise to me that my favourite ones are the ones from 1984 to 1988 and of course 1985 being the strongest year but surprising 1992 was a very strong year for single releases from the Reid's too, although I bought these singles I think my main musical focus was elsewhere at this time.
I have also spent quite a bit of the last week or so listening to Damage and Joy. I still can't quite believe that when I heard of the release of this album I was in two minds whether to buy it or not. At the time I was worried that it would be a dud and would forever taint my view of one of my favourite bands for good. When I did put the first piece of vinyl on the turntable it was with quite a bit of trepidation, I had forced myself not to listen to any of the streams of the album and had only heard the couple of tracks that were getting flogged by 6Music. To say I was not disappointed is an understatement, it was one of the best things I have heard this year, granted it was still March at the time but it was very good so I played it again and then again and after these initial listens a couple of things became clear, some of the lyrics are nonsense with Jim Reid's tongue firmly lodged in his cheek (I've got a pistol in my pocket, it's gonna shoot it's load) but that doesn't really matter if I want deep lyrics I will go elsewhere and I would have cut two or three tracks out but on the whole it was a very good album, a hell of a lot better than Munki, their last album from 1998.
After repeated plays the enjoyment of the album didn't decrease however a strange anxiety started to creep up on me. I started to worry if the album was as good as I thought iit was, or did I just think that it was that good due to very low expectations or worse still was I succumbing to the "dad rock" phenomenon and getting excited due to some nostalgia trip. If it were to be one of those I just hoped it was the first, being the lesser of the two evils in my head. after another week of listening I think that my fears are groundless and it is in fact a very good album by two guys who let's face it at this stage in their lives are not going to come up with a revolutionary new sound or indeed need to, they did their bit by taking pop music by the neck in 1985 and throttling it within an inch of it's life and then giving it a new darker side and bringing back some much needed attitude.
Here are a couple of live tracks recorded in Detroit way back when and included on the Sidewalking 12". One last thought when we are talking about the Mary Chain live. I have seen comments that people think that they are just "going through the motions" live. Now, the last time before a couple of Friday's ago was in 1988 so can't really comment on how they were live in the 90s and beyond. But for me Jim Reid was more engaged than on any of the three previous occasions that I saw them, the first time they really looked like the Barrowlands was the last place that they wanted to be and that us the audience were worse than some dogshit that they had tread in. The only thing I will say is that they didn't seem to be as loud but then again my ears and possible my memory ain't what they used to be.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Taste of Cindy (Live In Detroit)
The Jesus and Mary Chain - April Skies (Live In Detroit)
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
I'm not even going to bother with telling you what year this bit of Garage rock comes from. This is a great bit of fuzzed out, staccato guitars a pounding beat and some prominent vocals. There are a couple of shifts in tempo in this track and some serious guitar shredding.
The band hailed from Phoenix, Arizona and after this single was released on the Oncrest label the band for some reason changed there name to The Holy Grail. relocated to San Fransisco and obscurity and as far as I can tell never released another single. They may have changed their name so as not to be confused with the british female pop duo from around at the same time.
The Caravelles - Lovin' Just Your Style
Monday, 3 April 2017
When ripping this version of probably my favourite Bee Gees song I checked my iTunes first to see if I had already uploaded the song and was surprised to find that I had a further ten versions of the song by people as diverse as Sunday's Child to Primal Scream, yes the Scream version is every bit as dreadful as you are probably thinking, Bobby G's vocal being particularly woeful. So I suspect that there is a lot of love out their for this track.
The Mirettes have featured here before with the single that followed today's 1968 offering. The vocal group were the Ikettes until they changed their name after they left Ike and Tina Turner to strike out on their own but were not allowed to keep the name.
The Mirettes - To Love Somebody
Friday, 31 March 2017
When I thought about posting this track, I thought "I can't, that only came out last year" but I was mistaken it will be three years ago on August that this lovely droney, minimalist piece of quality techno was released. Time is whizzing by. Listening to this last night again, Fearless was clearly signposting where he was taking Death In Vegas on their album from last year, Transmission which really is a record you should own, you get kind of lost in it.
Another away game for the Diamonds this week against Peterhead. It's getting really tight in the Scottish First Division with only eight points separating the third placed team Brechin City and Albion Rovers in 7th which is going to make for an interesting run-in and quite possible going to the last game to secure the third and fourth play-off places. Making it all the more appealing for those of you considering joining me at the Queen's Park match before spending the night drinking and talking rubbish about music.
Have a good weekend people.
Richard Fearless - Gamma Ray
Thursday, 30 March 2017
Today we return to the Reid/Gillespie/McGee related posts. As I said on Tuesday I was listening to the 12" mix of Sidewalking on Saturday night, in fact it has returned to the turntable probably a dozen times since. I have loved this song ever since it came out. It was quite a curve ball at the time what with the sampled beats not the sort of thing we were expecting after Happy When It Rains, Gary Mulholland in his book Fear of Music, states that "the swaggering Sidewalking beat baggy by a couple of years" however I'm not too sure how much weight I put on Mulholland's views as he also says in the same entry that Psychocandy has not aged well . He also said that Screamadelica was "the most over rated album of the post-Rave era" which is also pish we know that that could be any number of albums attributed to the Britpap bollocks. But these are discussions for another day .Not too sure now where I was going, quoting the opinion of such a clearly misguided music journalist in the first instance as it doesn't really further my position.
The beats for Sidewalking were lifted from Roxanne's Revenge by Roxanne Shante, 14 year old Lolita Shante Gooden) which were originally stolen by Marley Marl from the instrumental version of a b-side of a single by U.T.F.O, Roxanne Roxanne as revenge for UTFO failing to appear at a show he was promoting with dj Mister Magic ( I hope you are keeping up). The original version is impressive as the 14 year old made the lyrics up on the spot and was recorded in one take.On release it became a hit which started what has gone down in Rap history as the Roxanne Wars. As a response to Shante's foul mouthed rap a record was recorded as The Real Roxanne which also charted. Other crews quickly saw what was going on with three "Roxanne" records in the charts and decided to jump on the bandwagon and release records either with Roxanne in the title or by Roxanne someone or other. By the end of 1985, the year after the original UTFO release it was estimated that there were at least 30 of these records produced even one titled The Final Word - No More Roxanne by The East Coast Crew.
Roxanne Shante - Roxanne's Revenge
and the original version
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Not sure if any of you have had any dealings with Pledge Music but I have to admit that my last few dealings with them have been less than satisfactory and when I come to think of it only two of the eight pledges that I have been involved in have been plain sailing, the one for the last Slow Club lp and also the Wedding Present bundle for Going Going. At the moment I have three where the vinyl hasn't showed up and all are past fulfillment date.
Firstly, there is the Stiff Little Fingers Barrowlands 25th St Patricks Day vinyl which is currently 8 months overdue, problems with getting pressing plant space and then some bright spark decided that all of the covers needed to be shipped all over the world to get the band members to sign them and you guessed it they were damaged on one or more legs of the journey! Resulting in new covers needing to be produced and then waiting for the British Tour for the band to all be in the same place, which was the start of the month but no update on when the records will be shipped.
Next up is the Orb who, to be fair have previous when it comes to fucking up with the live Brixton Academy cd/dvds to be released in 2014 which got shipped in installments throughout 2015 the final dvds arriving September 2015. We have had every excuse under the sun for the late arrival of this pledge, from problems with mastering, "everything takes longer than you think" and again availibility of pressing plants for the vinyl, the previous problem with vinyl lead times must have slipped their minds. Five months and counting on this one.
And finally the Raveonettes which won't actually be overdue un til the end of the month but when I saw that it is now advertised for sale on Amazon and will be available on the same date as for those who pledged in the first place I am beginning to wonder what exactly was the point of being involved with this mob in the first place as you need to pay upfront when you pledge which means that for some of these things I will have handed over the readies a year before getting the records which has pissed me off.
Here's a track for the first Raveonettes full album which I didn't have to pledge and wait for but bought from a record shop the way you are supposed to.
The Raveonettes - Let's Rave On
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
All roads seem to lead back to Glasgow at the moment, well one wee bunch of reprobates who left the town and nearby "Polo Mint City" many years ago. What with my Scream fest last week and now mostly listening to the Jesus and Mary Chain after Friday's gig at the Barrowlands. I was goiung to review it but it wouldn't be in the same league as SA's of the following evening's gig in Manchester. I will do a bit of name dropping as during the encores I moved from front and center to the left hand side where the bar is, so as to make a quick get away down the fire escape and found myself standing next to Shaun W Keaveny, Stuart Maconie and Liz Kershaw, there were probably others that I didn't recognise.
So today's tenuous link is through the man that released the glorious noise that is Upside Down. Alan McGee liked the Creation so much he named his label after the band and his band was named after the 60's mod/psyche group's second single. How Does It Feel To Feel, released in 1967 is my favourite by them. I got the urge to play this after listening to Sidewalking by The Jesus and Mary Chain on Saturday. I love the lazy quite sloppy feel to it.
The Creation - How Does It Feel To Feel
Monday, 27 March 2017
Back in the early 2000s' I dreaded hearing today's absolutely classic Detroit tune on an advert for shampoo, after all brilliant northern tunes had been used to sell chicken, credit cards and fucking awful wine, so why not hair care products? Recently we have had one of the best used to persuade us to buy fucking eggs for christ's sake! There is a story on one of the soul notice boards about how this was offered to Proctor and Gamble for use in their ads at the time of the release but it was rejected as it sounded too black but Patti Young was in fact a blue eyed soul singer of Italian extract, However I'm not sure of the validity of the story apart from Patti not being African American which I think is true.
Patti Young's classy, typical Detroit sounding tune was released on the Ernstrat label in 1965 and surprise surprise flopped and as a result is pretty rare. First aired at the Torch, it was big on the northern scene in the 1980s but has kind of fell out of favour these days if what I read is true, can't understand why as it is a belter.
Patti Young - Head & Shoulders
Friday, 24 March 2017
Last weekend when not blasting out the Velvet Underground I spent the rest of the time listening to Primal Scream, thanks to SA's posting of a different version of Higher Than The Sun. So I dug out all of the 12" singles. I have everything from Crystal Crescent up to Kill All Hippies apart from Rocks which I never bought at the time as the song irritated the fuck out of me and have never felt the need to purchase since. I decided to traewl through the myriad of b-sides, and remix versions. I played the Scream's version of Darklands three times in a row, just like when I first heard it I am still not sure if I like it or not ( I wonder if the Reid brothers will play Darklands tonight). I am also in two minds about the Chemical Brothers remix of Burning Wheel, it's just a typical Chemical Brothers remix from that time and sounds a bit dated to me. The track that really stood out for me last weekend was the disco mix of If They Move Kill 'Em with it's low slung groove, totally skewed horn stabs, the best fucked up wah wah guitar this side of Hendrix topped off with the Wild Bunch sample, there is so much going on in the track. One of Brendan Lynch's best productions for me.
Airdrie won 1-0 last week in an hard fought, very enjoyable game and if they had scored all the chances they had we would have won by at least four goals. The league table is extremely tight with three teams, including the Diamonds in joint third place. If they are to make the play-offs they can't afford to lose many of the remaining 7 matches. I am not to hopeful that they will come away with anything from Saturday's away match with Livingston who are running away with the league.
Have a good weekend people.
By the way, did I mention that I'm off to see the Mary Chain tonight.
Primal Scream - If They Move Kill 'Em (12" Disco Mix)
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
So there I was sat at my desk on Monday afternoon procrastinating and thinking of making my upteenth up of tea of the day when my own phone pings, not the work one, so at least I'm interested enough to look and I see that it's a text from JC, "Wanting to firm up the plans for Friday" I think, as we are supposed to be meeting up for beers, that have been way too long in the planning, so I pick up the phone and well to say that the text made my Monday would be a slight understatement, made my week, definitely and most probably my month unless something else amazing happens in the next 10 days. The text is actually cancelling our pints on Friday night which is not the good part, the good bit is that JC has been offered a ticket for the Friday night at The Barrowlands for the 6Music Festival and he was wondering if I wanted first refusal on it! He's that kind of guy is JC, he's offered the chance to see Sleaford Mods/Warpaint/Ride and the Mary Chain at the best music venue on the planet and he thinks that somebody else would appreciate it more. It took me about 10 seconds to reply to the text confirming that I would indeed like the ticket. I had tried on the Friday that they were released to get some but with no luck and had resigned myself to listening to the gig on the radio, or what coverage there was.
Now I know some of you will be saying what about your no going to see reformed bands rule Drew? Well I will hold up my hands and confess to being a hypocrite this time, mostly due to Swiss Adam's positive review of the Psychocandy tour and also the couple of mates who saw the Reids at the Barras then who also said that they were a hell of a lot better than they expected and it wasn't just a nostalgia fest. So you can slag me all you want I'm not caring and I also get to see Warpaint who I have been told are very good live. I was never that into Ride but interested to find out how they sound these days too. Unfortunately I won't be there early enough to see Sleaford Mods which is a bit of a pisser but unavoidable.
I am nearly as excited about this gig as something else that is happening the first weekend in May that will be mentioned shortly here and at other affiliated sites I suspect.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Kill Surf City
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
If I told you that today's track was another excellent stomping piece of American Garage rock, could you hazard a guess at what year it was release?
1966 you say.
Well technically you would be wrong as this song was unfathomably never released but was recorded in that year.
The Fanatics or Neal Ford and The Fanatics as they were known back in the 1960s were from Texas and contemporaries of 13th Floor Elevators and The Moving Sidewalks. The group were formed in 1964 by Ford, already a veteran of the local music scene. The band released their first single, I Will Not Be There in 196. The single was quit aptly titled as the band shortly afterwards went on a hiatus when Ford wasn't there due to being called up by the Naval Reserves. On his return the group started up again, recorded a second single and started work on their only album which would be released in 1967 after a further couple of singles the second of which Gonna Be My Girl received some attention nationally and they released a further single I Will If You Want To which they hoped would be tgheir breakthrough but sadly received little airtime. The band continued on the local live circuit until calling it a day in 1969. Good Men was one of the original demos for the album but for some reason didn't make the grade and languished unreleased until Caped Crusader Records put it out on 7" in 2007.
The Fanatics - Good Men
Monday, 20 March 2017
I Really Love You by Jimmy Burns is a pretty rare piece of Chi town soul, released on the Erica label in 1965. It was released on Grapevine in 1979 and then again on Inferno last year when I eventually got a copy on vinyl as I didn't have the necessary six grand for an original on Erica and it was a bit far down my wants list to pay £40 + for the 1979 release. That's not to say it's not a very good record, it is and one which is guaranteed to get you grooving.
On the flip side of the Inferno release is a girl group track utalising the backing track from I really Love You more which I really can't listen to as I keep expecting the backing vocals from the Jimmy Burns track come in and it really infuriates me when they don't.
Jimmy Burns - I Really Love You
The Brand New Faces - Brand New Faces
Friday, 17 March 2017
There is only one thing worse than a middle-aged man with no where to go on a Friday night and that is to be a middle-aged man with somewhere to go on a Friday night, I for one really can't be arsed. But tonight I have to go to the 21st birthday party of my favourite nephew. Some of you may recall his 18, yeah the one where none of the girl friends were invited as "all they do is cause bother". I think tonight's event will be slightly different. But one thing's for sure that in being amongst the bright and not so bright young things the age old adage about youth being wasted on the young will probably be muttered by at least one of us over the hill used to be's and the rest of us will look on jealously wishing it was us doing it all over again, One plus point is that Lewis, as attested by his attending the Orb with me and going to the Sub Club often, likes a bit of techno, so the tunes should be good at least unntil the over 40s have had enough drinkand start moaning that they want something to dance to and the old favourites, ie the worst of the 80 and 90s will get an airing and it will turn into a bit of a nostalgia fest.
Still, I have the football to look forward to at the weekend. I say look forward to, what I mean is dread as we were gubbed three nil on Tuesday night in Brechin. So it is not looking good for tomorrow's home game against Stenhousemuir who humped us five nil in December and then 4-2 in January. The joys!
Have a good weekend people.
Nina Kraviz - Desire
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
I have no doubt that Stephen McRobbie, Alison Mitchell and all the others who have graced either the recording studio or stage as a Pastel will have listened and been influenced by the band featured yesterday. Nothing To Be Done is the first track from the band's second album, Sittin' Pretty released twenty eight years ago, Jesus!
There was a good programme on 6Music the other week where Stuart Murdoch lead a discussion with various other Glasgow indie heroes including Stephen Pastel on the music scene in the City from the 1980s onwards. My only gripe with the programme was that in amongst all of the influential record labels and club nights discussed, Slam and Soma did not even get a mention which I found a bit strange as both DJs and labels had and still have a huge influence on dance culture in the UK and beyond but I suppose they don't really fit the indie image.
The Pastels - Nothing To Be Done
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
It was fifty years ago on Sunday past that the most influential album in rock music (in my opinion) was released. An album which as we all know bombed at the time, the world wasn't yet ready for the Velvet Underground and Nico, apart from a few thousand switched on people.
I often wonder what my record collection would have sounded like without the Velvets and have come to the conclusion that most of the music that I have bought and loved over the years from the Jesus and Mary Chain, through Spacemen 3/Spiritualized to current favourites Rancho Relaxo just wouldn't have existed, the influence of Reed, Cale Morrison and Tucker is so great. which leads me to reason that my listening habits would either be a lot blander or I would have become a tunnel visioned soulie with no time for anything else. Either way it would be much different to what it is today.
The Velvet Underground and Nico may not be my favourite these days but it still holds a special place in my heart. It has a bit of everything in there, darkness and light, brutal feedback and noise (European Son), the incredible tenderness of Sunday Morning, the cooler than cool swagger of I'm Waiting For The Man and much more besides. Although the album had been re-released in 1983 in the UK it was still quite difficult to get a hold of a copy in 1985 when it first came to my attention due to it being constantly mentioned in relation to The Jesus and Mary Chain who for me at that moment were the most exciting band around. I first got a copy of it on tape from the older brother of a friend who was into Orange Juice/Postcard and all that stuff. I procured my first copy of the LP in a swap deal for what I can't remember with a pal who like me had read all the hype and bought it when on holiday in the States listened to it and hated it. His loss my gain, doubly so as he also bought White Light.White Heat which he liked even less.
Run Run Run is one of the highlights of the album for me, christ they are all highlights, European Son, slightly less so. You can imagine my delight when watching The Whistle Test's Rock Around The Clock on BBC2 in 1986 when Echo and The Bunnymen and Billy Bragg covered it.
The Velvet Underground - Run Run Run
Monday, 13 March 2017
It is inevitable that some of the soul singers that I have come to love over the years have been passing in recent years as a lot of them had been recording from the late 50s/early 60s but Joni Sledge certainly was taken before her time being only 60 when her death was announced on Friday. She formed Sister Sledge in 1971. They are probably best remembered for their work with Chic in the late 70s recording some of the best disco/soul records ever. One of their earlier singles from 1974, Love Don't You Go Through No Changes On Me saw action in the northern scene and has been featured on the blog before. The Sisters also had the dubious honour of a cover by the Fall of Lost In Music, one of the gruppe's best covers actually. I have decided to post my favourite Sister Sledge track, Thinking of You,
Rest easy Joni
Sister Sledge - Thinking of You
Friday, 10 March 2017
I've been listening to the new album by Timothy J Fairplay, Where Is The Champion a lot since it's release a few weeks ago. It has a very old school quite retro feel about it, even down to the 80s video game inspired artwork and made me want to listen to John Foxx afterwards. I get a very dystopian vibe from it but that is probably just down to my very gloomy outlook at the moment. I went back to listen to other stuff I have by Fairplay and a lot of it has a retro feel but still of it's time if that doesn't sound too stupid, whether it be the Junior Fairplay stuff or the single released on Hoga Nord records last year. Today's track comes from the excellent second volume of the Andrew Weatherall vs the Boardroom compilation which scarily was released some eight years ago now! On this track Fairplay looks to the golden age of Acid House for inspiration and comes up with something which sounded fresh in 2009 and to these ears anyway, has not dated from then til now. althoughI will have to let my 21 year old nephew have a listen and get the opinion of a regular modern day club goer as I am listening through the earsd of a middle aged man who has only seen the inside of a club recently to see bands not indulge in the whole hedonistic club adventure thing.
Turning to football, a topic beloved of middle aged men, Airdrie's enlisting of the help of a legend from this galaxy and another from one far far away has not helped the team on the park one iota as last week they were resoundly humped 2 - 1 in probably the worst performance I have witnessed this season at the very least., So now we have enlisted the support of Forest Gump, see here and to paraphrase him:- watching Airdrieonians is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get, however unlike chocolate, attending an Airdrie match these days is rarely sweet or pleasurable. Let's hope they can get something from the local derby tomorrow away to Albion Rovers,
Have a good weekend people.
Tim Fairplay - U Know U Jack
Thursday, 9 March 2017
No this isn't a post about whichever politician you might want to choose but about The Black Angels, the psych rock band from Austin Texas. Snake In The Grass for me is the highlight of the band's second and for me best album to date, Directions To See A Ghost, released in 2008. It is an epic effects driven track with a pummeling back beat and the ever present drone in the background. You would be right in thinking that this mob were influenced by the Velvet Underground so much so that not only does their logo feature Nico but their new album Death Song completes the title of a Velvets tune.
The Black Angels - Snake In The Grass
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
It is debatable that a lot of modern popular music today would sound the way it does if it hadn't been for Clyde Stubblefield who sadly passed away on the 18th of last month. As the drummer in James Brown's backing band he was responsible for laying down the rhythm on The Funky Drummer which it is said was then re-discovered by Hank Shocklee when looking for beats for Public Enemy's first album. and has since been sampled or copied by absolutely anybody trying to make their record that little bit funkier. A search in Who Sampled comes up with 1368 songs where the drum break is sampled. So it could be argued that along with the "Amen" break by G C Coleman, the funky drummer beat changed popular music from the 1980s to the present day more than any other sound or technological breakthrough.
In 1988 Coldcut, who had already used the funky drummer sample on their groundbreaking Say Kids What Time Is It were asked by Polydor to create a "payback mix" highlighting some of the many James Brown samples that were being added to what felt like every second Hip Hop or House record at the time, the use by indie bands to highlight the dance element that was always a part of their music (aye right!) would follow later. The duo even got to meet James Brown at the Dorchester where when asked to comment on the sample robbery of his music rather graciously said "these guys have got to make a living". A few years later I don't think he was as forgiving.
Clyde Stubblefield we salute you.
James Brown - The Payback Mix (Keep On Doing What You're Doing But Make It Funky)
And here's Fatboy Slim's mix where the funky drummer beat is even more obvious.
James Brown - Payback (The Final Mixdown)
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
I am beginning to question if all of the garage records that are said to have been released in 1966 were actually released in that year as it would appear that most of the good ones that I have are from that year. Or is it a case that when these records were re-discovered the year was just guessed at due to similarities with records released that actually have years on the label?
I have no reason to question the validity of today's release as it has been confirmed by the keyboard player Ron Gordon that I Tell No Lies was released in January 1966 on local Memphis label Arbel and came to the attention of someone at Verve who signed the band but for some unknown reason did not release this powerful full on, organ and Rickenbacker driven song. The record that they did release on Verve Mad Mad Mad, is not a bad song but not nearly as good or distinctive as I Tell No Lies. The band dissolved the following year when two of the members fell foul of the draft and ended up in Vietnam.
The Escapades - I Tell No Lies
Monday, 6 March 2017
Modern Soul is a rarity around these parts there have been less than 10 singles featured over the lifetime of the blog, Although I'm not too sure if calling something that is forty years old should really be termed as "modern" but there you go. An original copy of Man of Mine will set you back north of £60 and therefore it's no surprise that my copy of this absolutely lovely mellow mid tempo dancer is a repress from on the Italian Record Kicks label,
Betty Wright - Man of Mine
Friday, 3 March 2017
I think we will stick with the drum and bass again this week although tat the time it would probably have been classed as Jungle and another hugely influential track from a couple of years before the Alex Reece track from last Friday. Origin Unknown were Andy C and Ant Miles. The " . . . long dark tunnel" sample was lifted from a BBC documentary on out of body experiences and the "31 seconds" comes from the countdown to the launch of Apollo 11. Valley of The Shadows was actually the b side of the 12" single. The a-side The Touch although not a bad record is a bit too fast and furious and this is maybe why Valley got the dj attention being a bit, though not much, mellower.
Airdrie's attempts to inveigle the cream of the star explorers to the cause of the Sensory Room for children at the Excelsior reached the pinnacle last week when none other than James Tiberius Kirk agreed to join Luke Skywalker in signing a shirt. You still have three days to bid here if you are feeling flush.. Maybe he can help the team to boldly go where they have rarely gone this past wee while and achieve a home win and a much needed three points against Stranraer at home tomorrow.
Have a good weekend people.
Origin Unknown - Valley of the Shadows
Thursday, 2 March 2017
When Fisherman's Blues was released in 1988 I was more than a little disappointed with the album. "What's with all this bouzouki shit" was my initial thoughts. Gone was the epic sound of the previous album replaced by this irish/Scottish folky feel not without it's epic moments when you look a little closer as four of the tracks on the original vinyl clock in at over 7 minutes. It took me quite a bit of time to warm to the album but in the end I did succumb to it's charms but not enough to invest in the 7 disc retrospective release of the album in 2013. These days Strange Boat, We Will Not Be Lovers, the title track and Scott and his ensemble's version of the Van Morrison penned Sweet Thing.
My favourite track is "And A Bang On The Ear" in which Mike Scott takes a verse each to recount past girlfriends, lovers and that first unrequited love.. His bittersweet recollections are given such an uplifting mood by the music that I am incapable of listening to it without smiling and to tell you the truth remembering past dalliances of my own. It was a while until I found out that the title meant a peck on the cheek or similar affection.
A few yours ago their was a particularly good edition of Master Tapes on Radio 4 in the UK where Mike Scott discussed the making of Fisherman's Blues with John Wilson and a studio audience who also fired questions at the musician. I am still waiting for Wilson to get Roddy Frame on the programme to discuss the making of High Land Hard Rain, now that would be an episode worth the license fee alone.
The Waterboys - And A Bang On The Ear
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
We're back on US soil this week for the garage rock this week and depending on what you read it could have been released in that golden year of 1966 but I have also seen it put down as a 1968 release, so your guess is as good as mine. The only other thing I know about the bands as they hailed from Los Angeles. It is a belter of a track and the flip, Joanne is not half bad either just not quite as good as this.
The Grim Reapers - Two Souls
Monday, 27 February 2017
Jean Wells - Can't You Feel It
Saturday, 25 February 2017
As mentioned before CC over at Charity Chic Music had a recent series of excellent post pitching Bob Dylan's originals against other people's interpretations.If you haven't you really should go and check out the results. The other week I remembered a rather fine version of one of my favourite Dylan songs by John Martyn. Don't Think Twice was included on Martyn's first album London Conversation, one which I don't return to very often as it's a bit too woolly jumper folkie for me although his acoustic guitar picking is rather excellent. Don't Think Twice It's Alright is the best track on the album by a mile for me.
John Martyn - Don't Think Twice It's Alright
Friday, 24 February 2017
Here is a bit of drum and bass from 1995. Alex Reese first came to attention with his releases on Metalheadz and and Moving Shadow but this is my favourite from when he moved labels to Island Records. Feel The Sunshine came out at the tail end of 1995 and was one of the tracks that brought D&B to a wider audience. I love the way the horn stabs sort of filter in all the way through, it may be a repetitive beat but it certainly isn't a boring one. I just never could fathom how you danced to this type of stuff so for me it was definitely listening music.
Airdrie got scudded four nil by Livingstone last week, granted they were playing against a superior team who set out their stall early on and did not deviate from it. This will sound like sour grapes but it makes it no less true, it was the most inept performance from a referee I have seen since Andrew Dallas last paraded his wares at the Excelsior. Anyway we are away to Alloa this week who are two points ahead of us in second spot and I fear that we could fall a few places in the table if we get beaten on Saturday and results elsewhere go against us. If your listening Luke we could do with some of that Force at the moment. Incidentally the club raised £1000 from the auction of the Skywalker signed shirt.
Have a good weekend people.
Alex Reece - Feel The Sunshine
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Apparently in these times of fake news and Donald J Trumpf, demand has outstripped supply of Orwell's classic, 1984 which gives me a reason to feature this track from Johnny Cooke's criminally overlooked band, Dog. The track is taken from the band's second album Tall Stories From Under The Table released in 2007 and ignored by almost everyone.
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel and until after they have rebelled they will never become conscious"
Dogs - Winston Smith
Wednesday, 22 February 2017
I don't think a week goes by when I don't listen to at least half a dozen Velvet Underground tracks. Over the last while they have mostly come from the third album, the Matrix Tapes box set or some of the better quality bootlegs but sometimes I will revisit the banana album which used to be my favourite and at other times I just want to hear something a bit more brutal so I will stick on White Light White Heat, in particular Sister Ray or I Heard Her Call My Name. I never really reach for Loaded, the final lp, their only album released on Atlantic. A lot of people cite this as their favourite Velvets album but I have never really warmed to it. There are a few great tracks on there but if I want to listen to Sweet Jane, I tend to head for the Lone Justice version or maybe the Cowboy Junkies one or if in a melancholic mood I will seek out Cat Power's version of I Found a Reason. The versions of Rock and Roll and New Age that do it for me are the live versions from the aforementioned Matrix recordings.
The upshot of this is that I am not overly familiar with the album, so much so that when "Oh! Sweet Nuthin' " the final track from Loaded came on the mp3 player last week it took me about thirty seconds or so to recognise the song but then found my self engrossed in it so much so that I played it threee times on the bounce, not because it is a very good song, which it is but because of just how different it is to the Velvet Underground that I love. None of the noise, the coolness or downright detached coldness of some of the earlier stuff is apparent here. There is a southern, country rock feel to the track to these ears but the most striking thing is the drumming. Yes I know that Moe Tucker wasn't around for this album as she was having a child, but it is quite startling how obviously different it is and I'm pretty sure the track would sound markedly different had she been around. Which begs the question would the previous albums have sounded the same without Moe? Of course they wouldn't have and I think that they would have been all the worse for it. I think that we all owe Moe Tucker a great debt of gratitude as I think that she is sometimes overlooked when considering the Velvet Underground.
Velvet Underground - Oh! Sweet Nuthin'
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Not the song by Toots and The Maytals covered by the likes of the Specials and Amy Winehouse but a garage/soul hybrid from 1965 by Baby Huey and The Babysitters. Monkey Man was the second single by the group and was released on the St Lawrence label. Huey or James Ramey is probably best known for his output on Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label, especially Hard Times (which has featured here in the past) before his premature death at the age of 26 in 1970 from heart failure.
Baby Huey & The Babysitters - Monkey Man
Monday, 20 February 2017
This is a classy piece of mid tempo soul beautifully sung by the ever dependable Kim Weston. Why this woman was not a huge star I will never understand. Well we know why Diana Ross was favoured over Weston by Gordy but she should still have been better known. This song comes from the second volume of A Cellar Full Of Motown which surpasses the first for quality never released finds from the vaults but I think that all four volumes are well worth investing in.
Kim Weston - After The Rain
Friday, 17 February 2017
Sometimes to lift the spirits it is necessary to play something loud, brash and not cerebral in the the least. I always tend to reach for the first Fatboy Slim album, Better Living Through Chemistry in these circumstances and the very slim and almost skeletal these days Norman Cook never fails to lift the spirits and have me waving my arms about like a right dafty. I don't think there is a bad track on the album, my favourite is The Sound of Milwaukee but that has been featured here before so here is a breakbeat and siren laden tune for you.
Airdrie are still sitting 2nd in the league much to all of our surprise, not sure if we are channelling The Force or what but we will need to dig deep and maybe get the aid of Yoda as well as Luke to get anything from tomorrow's game against Livingston, the league leaders by some distance but stranger things have happened, like getting Mark Hamill to sign probably the best looking football top in the world. You can bid for the top here if you're flush or just read the information below to get the full story.
Celebrity fans, pfff. we have a Jedi!
Have a good weekend people.
Fatboy Slim - 10th and Crenshaw
Thursday, 16 February 2017
No, not really, well maybe from all accounts in the dark days near the end from what I've read but not the glory years.
What do you get when you get four indie bands in the mid noughties to cover a soul song each of their choice? Apart from a record that if any purists were to stumble across it, would probably induce apoplexy, a mixed bag really. The four bands in question were Kicker, The Butterflies of Love , Airport Girl and Comet Gain.
As you will probably guess I bought the record on the strength of the last band and their take on the Dena Barnes recorded If You Ever Walk Out of My Life is okay even though it sounds like it was recorded in someone's toilet and they decided to re-write most of the lyrics.
The Butterflies of Love's rendition of Two Lovers, the Smokey Robinson written and Mary Wells performed ballad is pretty good but again not a patch on the original.
The biggest disappointment is from a band that I really rate however Airport Girl turn the Benny Spelman/O'Jays classic into a virtually unlistenable dirge. I'm not sure wther this is supposed to be a tongue in cheek version or if they were deadly serious whichever it is, it is good at all.
By far the best track on the ep by far is Kicker's go at covering Since You Left, originally released by the Inciters in 1965. It is not radically different but has that sort of mid 80s Red Wedge/ Big Sound Authority feel about it and makes the ep worth seeking out.
Compare and contrast
Kicker - Since You Left
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
This rather groovy track is evidence that the Americans weren't the only ones that could produce classic garage/psych tunes during the mid 60s. The Eyes were a British outfit around from 1964 to early 67. When The Night Falls was the band's first single released in 1965 on the Mercury label and although it was released on a major label the record failed to grab the attention of the record buying public and so is a pretty rare piece of vinyl these days. The band went on to release a further four singles none of which fared any better. The band had a song called My Degeneration and when I first heard When The Night Falls I thought that the sound owed more than a little to Pete Townsend.
The Eyes - When The Night Falls