Friday, 23 August 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance


 




























Last Sunday on our way through to the Edinburgh Fringe today's track popped up on the iPod which startled me, as it is not a huge favourite and can't remember ripping it, I have a suspicion it may have been for this very feature and then I forgot all about it. It also brought to mind a conversation with Swiss Adam on Twitter and continued in the comments section of the Bagging Area which began due to Andrew Weatherall, not an uncommon occurrence you may be thinking and you are probably right. It was about a mixtape (in the true sense of the word) of a set that Weatherall had done in the backroom of Cream round about 93/94 time and the samples that our favourite DJ used to pepper into his sets and in particular the one that went "to the beat of the drum bang, to the beat of the drum, bang bang".  I am not sure if Patrick Prins is a Weatherall aficionado or had heard others drop this sample into their sets but in 1995 he built a very dancefloor friendly tune around the sample which was first released in Italy on the UMM label.

The Ethics  - To The Beat Of The Drum (La Luna)

Last week I berated the less than illustrious start of the season Airdrie had made and on Saturday it looked like it wasn't going to get much better, conceding a goal in the first minute and looking positively lacklustre all through the first half. I am not sure what Ian Murray said or did to the team at half time but a very different team emerged for the second half  with an equaliser two minutes in by Kurtis Roberts followed by numerous attempts at goal, three of which in the space of seconds all hitting the woodwork. It looked like it was going to be another hard luck story to regale Lynn with when I got home. However with ten minutes to go Dale Carrick put the home team ahead but could we see it out was what was on everybody's mind and a nail biting final 10 minutes seemed to crawl by and then in the 92 minute Calum Gallagher put the game to bed with what can only be described as a wonder goal, a beautifully placed overhead kick. If I see a better goal this season I will be very lucky.

So tomorrow it's away to East Fife, so let's hope Airdrie can keep up the winning ways. What's that feeling, pure foolish optimism the curse of all "diddy team" supporters. Brian may yet be right.

Have a good weekend people





















Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Sound of My Summer



A few months ago I took a punt on an album on just what I had read about it quite a strange event these days but there were no tracks posted anywhere but there was a buzz coming from sources I trust, Monorail and Piccadilly Records amongst others so went for it. The album duly arrived, a white cover with only the words Cowgirl In Sweden on the front and on the reverse the track names and the label nothing else. I put the album on and knew right from the off that I had made the right decision and this record would spend quite a bit of time on the turntable. The album has the sound of late 60s Southern California, filled with pop psych nuggets at least one of which is a cover, The West Coast Experimental Pop Band's "Here's Where You Belong". which although harking back to the heady days of peace and love still sounds fresh and has been one of my albums of the summer.

As there was absolutely no information on the record and I was quite curious as to who this band were and so headed to the internet where there really wasn't very much but pretty much all of the pieces I could find agreed on who they thought were responsible; more of which to come.

Cowgirl In Sweden - This Earth 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Not Just A One Album Thing, Then



My favourite bratty California teenagers. The Regrettes  are back with a new album, How Do You Love and also a European Tour and the bampots have managed to sell-out King Tut's before I got a chance to get a ticket. Still it will stop me feeling as deeply self conscious as I did when I saw them a couple of years ago in Nice and Sleazy's with all the teenagers giving me a double take and the "what the fuck is that old guy doing here?"look.

The new album is not radically different from their debut, all loud guitars, shouty lyrics and lots of attitude. Ok, at times it is a bit repetitive, the intros to 4 of the songs are very very similar, but that never stopped The Ramones. The Regrettes aren't quite in the same league as those legends but then again songwriter, guitarist and singer Lydia Night is still only 18 so you never know. Not the most original sound in the world but there is always a time and a place for fun, thrashy  rock n roll.


Monday, 19 August 2019

Monday's Long Song




Right,  this is the last of the ancient tracks in this series, for a while anyway, I promise. From next week it will at least be something from this century but first here is a great piece of improvisation from one of the nearly were bands of the psychedelic era. Moby Grape were formed in 1966 by the ex drummer and the manager of Jefferson Airplane and also included in the line up were Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson of The Frantics, Bob Mosley and Peter Lewis. The original line-up was short lived and by 1969 and after two albums after Skip Spence was incarcerated after increasingly erratic behaviour after being turned on to LSD, The story of the band is one of bad timing, poor decision making and shit luck. One example was that they played by all accounts a great set at Monterey which although recorded on tape and film was cut from D.A. Pennebaker's Monterey Pop film  as Katz wanted 1million dollars for the rights to their performance, also they were moved from opening for Otis Redding on the Saturday night to sunset on the Friday night when hardly anybody was there, The footage was shown eventually in 2007 as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Pop Festival.

Dark Magic is quite an incredible bit of psychedelic guitar rock but is even more impressive when you consider that it a live improvisation around  the very briefest of sketches of a song by a group of musicians who had been working together for less than 6 months when this was put on tape at the Avalon Ballroom on New Years Eve 1966.

Moby Grape - Dark Magic


Saturday, 17 August 2019

Peter Fonda



Another of the main figures of late 60s counter culture gone. I've loved Easy Rider from an early age and for a scooter lover I always wanted to own one of the choppers in that film but not Captain America's but Billy The Kid's which always looked cooler to me anyway.

Rest easy Peter for me you had more of an influence on films and filmmaking than either your father or sister. And lest we forget his part in possibly the best indie/dance record of all time, Loaded.

YouTube won't let me embed the Easy Rider clip I wanted and it appears that the only version of the Ballad of Easy Rider I have ripped is the Kathryn Williams one which in it's way is better than the Byrds one.

Kathryn Williams - The Ballad of Easy Rider

Friday, 16 August 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Nobody will have been waiting for this to rear it's ugly head again but I can't think of anything else to fill a Friday with so there you go. Here's a bit of early Dutch Techno from way back in the early days raving. Techno Trance was the flip side of Yaaaaaaaaaah, a very basic one dimensional bit of techno  but we are talking about 1990. Techno Trance isn't really a track with much depth either but when it's 02:00 am and you're eccied out your nut who needs depth, what you need is a pulverising beat and repetitive shouting of "c'mon, wooh". Not the subtlest but somewhat effective.

It has been a pretty ignominious start to the season for the Diamonds, a two nil home defeat and pitiful performance  against Forfar on the first day of the season and a narrow one nil away win at Montrose last week. Let's hope some sort of gelling has happened and we get a better performance at the Excelsior tomorrow against Clyde but I will not hold my breath. Still we do have a home tie against Irish side Bohemians in the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup next month to look forward to. Onwards and upwards as they say.

Have a good weekend people.

D-Shake - Techno Trance (Paradise Is Now)

Thursday, 15 August 2019

My Sweet Lord



Got this a few weeks ago and it is absolutely joyous. In it's original form John Gary Williams cover of the George Harrison classic is a laid back wah wah driven tune, with a spoken word bit in the middle. The Soul Flip guys give it a northern back beat keep the spoken word bit and turn it into something that if it doesn't make the most ardent Dawkins acolyte move, I'll eat my recently purchased rather fine new Airdrieonians beanie.

John Gary Williams - My Sweet Lord (Soul Flip edit)

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Greg Dulli Covers



When Greg Dulli returned to Louisville after the extensive and gruelling touring on the back of the Congregation album, he found that things had changed in his absence. His live in girlfriend confessed to him that while he was away she had "hooked up" with someone else and although Dulli had been doing the dirty on her more than a few times when on tour he could not accept that somebody could do the same to him. He upped and moved home to Cincinnati to lick his wounds and do some soul searching to a soundtrack of Blood On The Tracks, Here My Dear and Astral Weeks. The record however that got the most turntable time turned out to be the flip side of an R&B top three hit Turn Back The Hands Of Time from 1970, The pleading, grovelling, "please take me back" plea for forgiveness "I Keep Coming Back" struck a chord with Dulli.

A lot of Dulli's feelings from this time of reflection shaped the subject matter and lyrics of the Whigs next album, Gentleman and so covering the track that he had played over and over during the downtime in Cincinnati was probably an obvious choice and what a cover it is, the emotion that Dulli puts into his rendition of this track would have you thinking that these must be his own words penned from deep within, it wasn't until after the third or fourth time of listening and on getting round to perusing the sleeve notes that I realised that this was a cover not being acquainted with the original at that point. On a couple of occasions during the song the singer nearly goes totally out of tune but manages to pull it back from the brink just as you think "oh no" which makes this one of my absolute favourite covers and a track would that would have ended a few compilation tapes if it had been around back in the day when I tried to woo members of the opposite sex with the aid of what I believed to be my excellent taste in music,

The Afghan Whigs - I Keep Coming Back

Monday, 12 August 2019

Monday's Long Song



One of the best things about trying to find long songs for a Monday has been that I have had to revisit a lot of the music that I was introduced to in my early teens before I became a bit of a music snob and turned my back on all of the proggy/ hippy stuff that Lex, Jim and others introduced me to. A lot of this stuff easily met the criteria for this feature and I think this is why I love tracks that go on for some time as I was used to listening to lengthy tracks from quite an early age. Don't get me wrong some of the stuff I have gone back to and listened to have been real rubbish, quite a few falling into the "meandering pish" category but others have had me chastising myself for not listening to them for so long.

I have only ever owned one Vanilla Fudge album, the first one and never felt the need to own anything else, the album consists of 7 cover versions, 6 of which last a lot longer than the original versions and on the whole work pretty well. The pick of the bunch and which in single form broke into the top twenty on both sides of the Atlantic was their version of the Supremes You Keep Me Hanging On, before I got really into soul when I was about 15/16 this version of the Holland-Dozier-Holland song was the one I was more familiar with, I had probably heard the original first on the radio but this slowed down, strung out version with the weird organ intro was the one I knew best. It's probably been ten to fifteen years since I had heard it up until a few weeks ago but it has been played half a dozen times since then.

Vanilla Fudge like so many of the bands form that era have re-formed and released an album in 2015. The band were an influence on the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the like which you may thank them for or not and have been seen as one of the bands that links psychedelia to Heavy Metal.

Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On 

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Greg Dull Covers



I think that today's cover is an interesting one and to be honest that I didn't realise was a cover if I'm honest, although the title was familiar.  Deep Hit Of Morning Sun was the opening on Primal Scream's 2002 album Evil Heat, not an album that I have listened to that often. In it's original form it is a trippy. psychy track with pretty rubbish lyrics. Dulli's version in his Gutter Twins guise with Mark Lanegan gives it the more straightforward rock treatment which I think works better but it is not outstanding or essential by any means. It was released as part of the Adorata digital only ep which consists of 7 covers and one original. The pick of the bunch is the Lanegan sung version of Duchess, penned by Scott Walker.

The Gutter Twins - Deep Hit Of Morning Sun
The Gutter Twins - Duchess  

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Sunny



This song was in my head yesterday all day. If you excuse the pun it always brightens up my day. For a song that if the story is true was a result of such a tragic event, it is quite remarkable how upbeat it is. It is said that Bobby Hebb wrote the song after his brother was stabbed to death, the day after the assassination of JFK  as a way of remembering better times.

Sunny has been covered numerous times by the great and the truly appalling. My favourite version was the Marvin Gaye one unearthed from the Motown vaults by Richard Searling at the turn of the millennium which I have posted a couple of times. So today you're getting Marva Whitney and James Brown's rather fine jazzy stab at it. I had never heard this before I bought the It's My Thing remastered double album which is well worth seeking out.

Marva Whitney/James Brown - Sunny

Monday, 22 July 2019

Monday's Long Song



Up here summer feels as if it has been and gone as I type this it is poring with rain and incredibly windy for July, it is the second week of the Glasgow Fair so we don't really expect glorious sunshine but still.

Last week when I was contemplating filing the newly acquired Complete Matrix Tapes vinyl boxset, a thing of beauty both visually and aurally by the way, the shiny silver box housing I See You, the third album by the XX caught my eye and I thought to myself "haven't heard much from them recently and I can't actually remember that album at all, must play it again" and then duly forgot it again until last Thursday night when I contemplated doing a moon themed It's Friday . . .  Let's Dance but couldn't decide between Acen's Trip To The Moon or the Orb's Supernova At The End of The Universe so in the end didn't bother my arse but did think about the great video for Gosh and decided to listen to some Jamie xx tunes and remixes.

So today's track comes out of that listening session, In 2015 Young Turk's released a white label 12" of two excellent John Talabot remixes of Loud Places one of the best tracks from Jamie xx's solo album, In Colour. The Higher Dub, the b-side was the one that I flogged to death for months but this mix, the Without Me dub is actually pretty special too.

Jamie xx - Loud Places (John Talabot's Without Me dub)

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Neil Armstrong



With all the buzz around the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, this song has been running around my head.

In some of my least lucid moments I have been known to be a bit sceptical about whether we walked on the moon or not but after educating myself and also looking at some of the conspiracy theory guff I am quite annoyed at myself.

God, I miss Allo Darlin'.

Allo Darlin' - Neil Armstrong

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Greg Dulli Covers



This track was another that Dulli gave away from his website about 4 or 5 years ago. A Crime was originally recorded by Sharon Van Etten and appeared on Brooklyn based singer/songwriter's 2010 album Epic. Dulli slows the pace down slightly turns the folky acoustic ballad into a smouldering tune full of regret and longing.

Greg Dulli - A Crime

Monday, 15 July 2019

Monday's Long Song



Bloody hell that was a quick two weeks, some clichés unfortunately happen to be true, especially the one about holidays being the fastest two weeks of the year.

As well as supervising the younger son's exploits on his bodyboard (no need for the elder who decided to spend two weeks in the caravan re-watching the Wire, a step up from last year's viewing, old episodes of Coronation Street on YouTube), I managed to read a few books and can thoroughly recommend David Ross's Welcome To The Heady Heights. One of the other two was "In Search of The Lost Chord - 1967 and the Hippie Idea, as the title suggests the book was all about the year that was the high water mark for the 60s counterculture movement. As you would expect there was quite a bit of emphasis on the music of the time, including of course the Grateful Dead. 

I have to be honest I am not a Dead Head and never really got into them the same way as I did with other bands from the late 60s. I did own a couple of albums when I was a young teenager. The first thing I bought was Shakedown Street, if I'm honest, I bought for the cover which was by Gilbert Shelton responsible for the Freak Brothers and Fat Freddy's Cat. It was pish, to my 14 year old brain this had nothing to do with psychedelia or what I expected. I also bought a copy of the first album which failed to bowl me over either and I ended my investigations there, deciding that LSd was obviously needed to get this guff. 

Fast forward twenty five years and I'm sitting at a table in a hotel in Bothwell after the end of a couple of friends wedding and another of the guests is waxing lyrical about "the Dead" and of course I had to stick my neb in, "hippy pish at is noodling, self indulgent worst" was my constructive input. But Jim gave a vigorous, impassioned  defence of Garcia, Weir, Pigpen etc" So much so that a couple of weeks later I followed up on his recommendation to buy Live/Dead as this is about the best representation of what the Grateful Dead were all about in the early days and listen to it especially Dark Star. And you know what, I rather liked it. The lyrics are embarrassing nonsense but the music is pretty good and I have listened to Dark Star in particular pretty often since, the tune would be a hell of a lot better in my opinion if it was an instrumental. 

I have never felt the need to investigate further but I have gone back and listened to Shakedown Street and it's not half bad too.

The Grateful Dead - Dark Star 

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

I'm Beginning To Feel It



If I'm honest, the summer holiday or if your name is Brian vacation, this year has not had me as excited as usual mainly due to the fact that we're not off to Gurcan but driving south to Bude. I do like Cornwall and have really enjoyed Bude the three or 4 times we have been there previously but Bergerac it ain't. However amid the madness that is work at present and when I've had 5 minutes to think about it I have had the odd flutter of excitement and that summer feeling so there really is only one song to post.

Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling

as a bonus here's Duglas' take on it

BMX Bandits - That Summer Feeling 

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Greg Dulli Covers



I think that Dulli's best covers are when he takes a stone cold soul classic and Dullifies it adding that nearly out of tune hoarse voice while Rick McCollum adds some licks and they generally beef up the sound. Here's a prime example you really shouldn't cover Curtis and the Whigs can't better the opening track from Mayfield's seminal debut from 1970 but they do put in a rather fine performance on this live cd.

The Afghan Whigs - (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Gonna Go

As an extra treat from the same live recording Going To Town that starts off with a little bit of Stevie Wonder which doesn't quite hit the mark but interesting none the less.

The Afghan Whigs - Superstition/Going To Town

Monday, 24 June 2019

Monday's Long Song



Those few of you who still visit here don't know how lucky you are today as it was my intention to inflict all 26:30 minutes of a live version of Supper's Ready by Genesis on you. But I decided that to keep any shred of credibility not to mention visitors to this site it would probably be best to keep one of the best examples of prog self indulgence to myself. Turning fifty has had some strange effects on me not least me digging about in the most embarrassing corners of my record collection and listening to things that have not seen the light of day in over thirty years. Ok, there is some pish lurking in there but I can proudly hold my head up and say that at least there is no Queen or U2.

Instead I have decided that you may be a bit more receptive to a bit of Mugstar. The Liverpool band are well known for their lengthy spacerock/kraut inspired journeys, all pounding bass, phasing guitars and metronimic beats and Serra (Distant Sun I) certainly falls into this category. Posted is side one of a limited 12" pressed on green vinyl and remixed by Robert Hampson, one time member of 80s Space Rockers, Loop. The other side Serra (Distant Sun II) is a continuation of the remix of the track from 2010 album Lime and played in it's entirety it's not a bad way to spend 37 + minutes of your time.

Mugstar - Serra (Distant Sun I) 

Friday, 21 June 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



I had a little bit of a Weatherall fest the other night, two hours of Lord Sabre dubbed up and extended remixes, I got through 4 12" singles in just under two hours.  The tunes had my head nodding and me longing for a time when nearly ever week I heard a new record that either pushed boundaries or inventing a whole new sub genre of dance music, I am only exaggerating slightly here. I decided that I am going to have a Weatherall weekend and will start with the releases that I have on the Sabres of Paradise label.

PT003, Pleasure by SYT has always been a favourite of mine from the label, I remember at the time Mixmag Update describing it as Ancient Arabic themed house or something similar and rated it really highly. It is very deep and dubby and an underrated bit of vinyl in my book.

In other news, only a couple of weeks until the first of the pre-season friendlies which I will unfortunately miss being in Cornwall at the time. As usual there will be nearly a whole new team of players to familiarise ourselves with come the start of the season, so by about Christmas I may be able to identify the whole team.

Have a good weekend people

SYT - Pleasure 

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Let It Ride



I was very late to the party when it comes to today's band, only finding out of their existence last year when I heard Waves from the split single that they brought out with Gloria. I loved the late 60s psych vibe of the song, at that time to be honest I had become quite obsessed with sound of this type, But did I really need to go investigating another band's back catalogue, probably not but I did so anyway. I listened to a few things on YouTube realised that Waves was not a one off and headed for Discogs. I soon discovered that although not a vast back catalogue, it was not going to be cheap. The vinyl was out of the question especially for the first two releases with the cheapest copy of Harmonium at £85.

I decided to start with the first album, Harmonium released in 2009. The album is jam packed with analogue synths, breathy male/female vocals, flutes and some of the best drumming I've heard in a long time. Ok, it harks back to the late 60s and at times sails a bit too close to Stereolab territory but it has a very positive vibe and bright sound which is very welcome at the moment.

Still not sure how I missed this at the time.

The Soundcarriers - Let It Ride

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Dulli Covers



When the Afghan Whigs made their cover of Frank Ocean's Lovercrimes available for download through the band's website  it was almost contemporaneous with the original being less than a year since it appeared on the self released Nostalgia Ultra album. I have to confess that I was not that au fait with the works of R&B singer/songwriter from New Orleans at the time and heard Dulli and Co's version first and I have to admit that I do prefer it to The Ocean original which is a great track but just doesn't have fullness of sound that the Whigs version does and I do especially like the strings. The recently reformed band had been playing it live at the reunion gigs and must have been the first thing that they recorded after getting back together and in celebration of this they made the track available for download from the band's website. Well worth the price of admission, me being me would love to have it in some physical form or other.

Afghan Whigs - Lovecrimes

Monday, 17 June 2019

Monday's Long Song



This is one to just sit back and let flow over you. Sense In Scotland was one of three tracks by Le Thug to be featured on Song By Toad's second split 12" ep of sessions recorded in Mathew's flat in Edinburgh. The 12" was released on RSD 2013 as an experiment to find out which was more popular beer or records which I wrote about here. Would you call this track shoegaze,(a term I never really had much time for), ambient, experimental or something else? I'm not sure I just think that it is rather fine like most thing recorded by Le Thug.

I am not sure if the band is still a going concern, I do hope so , as events conspired against me ever getting to see them live and I still hold out hope that one day Swam, a track I consider one of the finest of the past decade, will get a proper physical release one day and not just live on my hard drive.

Le Thug - Sense In Scotland 

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Such Misery



Such Misery was originally recorded by the precisions but this version by Mr Soul Satisfaction himself, Timmy Willis is far superior in my opinion, My it lay languishing unreleased until the millennium is beyond my ken. It was released on a fine Joy Boy compilation The Northern Soul Years 2 - Heartbroken Memories and then as a single sided 7". I think that this could become a theme tune for the UK if Doris Johnson, or any of those other fucking hypocritical, lying, cheating, backstabbing Tory fuckers becomes PM. Great tune all the same.

Timmy Willis - Such Misery 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Who The Hell Are Sault?



I can find out absolutely sod all about the is mysterious mob. The whole album can be found on iTunes but I must admit I baulk at the idea of forking out nearly 14 quid on nothing I can actually put my hands on but sadly there doesn't look like there is a physical release. You can listen the whole thing here and it's all good but Let Me Go is absolutely brilliant and deserves to be on lovely 7" black vinyl,


Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Dulli Covers



As I said at the start of this series of post Greg Dulli has a knack with the covers he chooses, he seems to,  if not make the track his own, he does seem to add a little something to each song, granted that something usually has a sleazy dark undertone t it but nonetheless well worth at least a listen.

Unfortunately there have been a couple that for me were a bad call, where he really shouldn't have bothered. I first heard the Afghan Whigs cover of Regret on a bootleg of a Boston show from 1994 where Dulli, who's voice is always on the verge of going out of tune totally loses it and the whole ting is just a car crash, so when I got my hands on the studio version I wasn't expecting much. The voice is okay and there is nothing inherently bad about the song, I just don't think it suits him and I really am not sure that Regret would work at this tempo no matter who was covering it.

Anyway see what you think.

Afghan Whigs - Regret 

Monday, 10 June 2019

Monday's Long Song



I have discussed the older hippies that I hung around with from 1st year at High school before and the music that they introduced me to, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Gong and a lot of others,  this along with the stuff that I was hearing from Stiff and his brothers meant that I had quite a mental taste in music as a teenager. Something that every now and then led to the earnest young indie types in their oversized Oxfam purchased car coats trying to rip the pish out me about, which never really bothered me as I had no need to carry a copy of the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde under my arm and kid on that I was such a sensitive soul in order to win the heart of a fair maiden.   I was thinking about this at the weekend after a comment from Michael on SA's excellent posts last Thursday and Friday when he said that 88/89 was a time when the barriers came down and people were no longer scared to shout about their influences and I thought "yip, I remember that period". It really fucked me off, all these clowns that before wouldn't go near anything that wasn't in the indie chart or written about out with the confines of the NME and would baulk at Sounds were now aficionados of all things late 60s counter culture and even more galling experts on the sound of young America, it was all a bit, "there's always been a dance/soul/hippy element to the records I like. The overcoats were gone and flares and Lennon specs were considered high fashion

Anyway, when I was thinking about all this, I reminisced about some of the happiest times of my early teenage years spent in the Village Hall in New Lanark. Three of the guys I hung about with, Jim, Chris and Alec had a band the name of which escapes me at the moment,  and as two of them were residents of the now UNESCO World Heritage Site they got to use the hall for band practice. I spent a lot of time taping these "jam sessions" as they called them and up until about ten years ago I still had one tape which I gave the guitarist Alec a loan of to listen, as it contained what was an extremely self indulgent over ten minute interpretation by him of Jimi Hendrix, doing The Star Spangled Banner, Jim and Chris got bored and fucked off out for a smoke if I remember correctly. I never did get that tape back and foolishly hadn't made a copy.

The band of course did almost exclusively cover versions of your staple hard rock and blues songs, such as Sunshine of Your Love, Communication Breakdown, The Pusher, Framed,  more than a couple of Hendrix songs and a very good interpretation of Big Brother and The Holding Company's Summertime. Alec was an extremely talented, self taught musician  and that is not just the misremembering through rose tinted glasses and the mists of time, as when I unearthed that tape,  through the hiss and the echo I was amazed that what I was hearing was the guitar playing of a 16/17 year old boy, the drumming was good and, sorry Jim, the bass rudimentary at best but Alec's guitar playing was the real deal.

One song that I always looked forward to at these sessions was their version of War Pigs where I would sometimes try to make the sound of the siren in the introduction. A few weeks ago I had stuck on Paranoid, the album that this is from when wanting something a little bit different and really enjoyed it which probably brought the memory of those band practices back into my head. I played the album again yesterday. For me, the band that basically invented heavy metal never bettered this classic.  At one time, I had every Black Sabbath album up to Live At Last with the exception of Technical Ecstasy which was right pish.

There were times at these "sessions" when other local musicians would turn up, a couple of members of local mental biker band the Hemorrhoids, a keyboard player who would later play with John Martyn, Doobie Anderson another drummer who may have replaced Chris in the band for a while and another local guitarist Sinky who was nearly as good as Alec but thought he was better which would lead to a lot one upmanship which was very funny and highly entertaining.

I had decided on War Pigs for today's post a couple of weeks ago when strangely a track from this album popped up on my Twitter timeline on Saturday posted by a guy who was a founder member of the Hamilton Ghosts Scooter Club, which could lead to further reminiscing of my later teenage years if you are really unlucky.

Black Sabbath - War Pigs

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Dulli Covers



I know people who get very annoyed about anybody having the audacity to cover Big Star. Not one for them today, then. I do think that Mr Dulli treats the song with respect but does add a little something here, Nightime originally appeared on Big Star's third album,'Third/Sister Lovers' an album that was once described as "amongst the most harrowing experiences in pop music" this was obviously pre the Spice Girls and although I wouldn't put it that strongly, it is not an album you would play prior to going out for a fun night on the town.

Afghan Whigs - Nightime

Monday, 3 June 2019

Monday's Long Song,



This was the track that first brought Mogwai to my attention way back in early 1997.

One Friday afternoon  I'm sure it was,  I was busy doing the housework, at this time L lived and worked in Edinburgh during the week and came home at the weekends,. Not sure why I was off  but I was and  I was  either cleaning the kitchen or dusting, not hoovering or I would not have heard it,  when this tune came on the radio,  Radio 1 (I still listened to the station at the time) that stopped me in my tracks,  It started with the aural equivalent of something shimmering that kind of lulled me into a relaxed feeling of immense well being continued in this vein for about four minutes  then bang, fuzz over the top of the melody , however the noise did not grate and just felt like a natural progression building to a climax and just it the absolute perfect moment the noise dissipated, the shimmering returned and eventually petered out. Sheer bliss. There wasn't anything that sounded like this around at that time, well not that I had heard anyway. I waited for Jo Wylie to inform me of who it was but nothing, straight into some unremarkable indie pish which really annoyed me. No BBC Website to go on to check the playlist back then, so unless I caught this again somewhere else, there was a distinct possibility that this absolutely stunning piece of music would be lost to me.

An hour or so later Lynn came in and after the usual chit chat about the drive, the night before etc, she said "did you hear that track by somebody called Mogwai on Radio1 earlier?" So now I knew who it was by, a trip into Glasgow the following day was decided upon. In Fopp, I found out the name of the single but there were no copies there. After fruitless searches in a couple of more record shops, my last hope was upstairs at John Smith's bookstore and lo and behold there tucked in the singles was one copy of New Paths to Helicon which was duly purchased and flogged to death for weeks later and now resides in the red Swan singles box that would be lifted in case of emergencies.

I've posted the version from the Government Commissions compilation of Peel sessions as it lasts a further minute and a bit.

Mogwai - New Paths To Helicon Pt 1 (BBC Session)

Friday, 31 May 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



This can on the iPod the other day and fair cheered me up. I had forgotten just how good a track it was. M People may have turned into a completely insipid pop group. There were quite a few mixes by "the man like . . ." but this has got to be my favourite. Some smiley positive vibes are what's needed after a few weeks that has seen this country and the wider world go even further to shit.

Talking about near hopeless cases, Airdrie finished the league in a respectable 5th place. Since the end of the season their has been many a coming and going from the Excelsior, some of the signings look promising and one of those leaving the club, Chris O'Neal had me a little peeved off as he is one of the most consistent players in the team and someone who gave 100% always. Leo too has been a bit upset as his hopes for the return of his favourite Airdrie player were dashed when Andy Ryan decided to extend his contract with Dunfermline. All in all I'm looking forward to the season ahead but don't hold out much hope of us progression out of the league stages of the Bet Fred Cup where unfortunately fate has kept the only two relevant Lanarkshire teams apart, so we will have to wait until the Scottish cup to have a go at the Motherwell.

M People - How Can I Love You More (Sasha's Master mix)

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Number One Fool



There hasn't been much in the way of 60s soul round here recently and therefore not much in the way of ill informed history regarding that type of music. So here is a brilliant piece of up tempo soul from a band that I know nothing at all about. Number One Fool is the flip side to Funky Chicken,  the only release by The Fabulous Emotions that I know of which doesn't go for much to be honest. This song is basically the a-side with added vocals which for me at least make it the superior track.

The Fabulous Emotions - Number One Fool 

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Dulli Covers






Two for the price of one today and not just any two but two classics penned by Holland/Dozier/Holland and originally recorded by the Supremes. The Afghan Whigs do to these soul classics what the Afghan Whigs do, make it ever so slightly seedy, with an extra dose of sleaze and topped off with just the right amount of fuzz and feedback. This live rendition was originally recorded in Denver for KTCL in 1994 and was then released on the 10" and CD versions of the What Jail Is Really Like.

The Afghan Whigs - My World Is Empty Without You/I Can Hear A Symphony

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

And I'll Be Elvis Presely To Your Marilyn Monroe


For me Gordon McIntyre has written some of the best songs about relationships, lust and longing this side of David Gedge. Public Park along with Past Lovers always leave me with a watery eye and a lump in my throat. Public Park was originally on the first Ballboy ep,, Silver Suits For Astronauts released in the final year of the last century. It is also on Club Anthems the compilation that brought together the band's first three eps. If you don't have a copy of this, get yourself sorted out Pronto. 

Ballboy - Public Park 

Monday, 27 May 2019

Monday's Long Song



We haven't had any John Martyn around here for a while, which is a bit piss poor form. Here is possibly one of Martyn's stupidest songs, his words not mine, from arguably his best album, One World. The song came about as a result of Martyn having breakfast with Chris Blackwell and Lee Scratch Perry in Jamaica with Perry commenting on the pigs and horses on Blackwell's tea set, strange but true but probably no stranger than any other utterances from the legendary reggae producer. This live version comes from the Ain't No Saint compilation that came out in 2008.

John Martyn - Big Muff

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Greg Dulli Covers



Today's instalment in this series is a bit different from those that have gone before in as much that Mr Dulli's dulcet tones only feature in the background . Ornament was a one off collaboration between The Afghan Whigs and the Scrawl vocalist, Marcy Mays although Mays would later appear on the Afghan Whigs excellent Gentleman album a couple of years later. The result of this collaboration was a 7" single containing a version of the Afghan Whigs song Tonight and a cover of the Goffin and King standard Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow which has been covered loads of times but probably the interpretation by the Shirelles. The Dulli/Mays collaboration is a much heavier, grungier affair with all the sweetness of the original extracted.

Ornament - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Monday, 20 May 2019

Monday's Long Song



I posted the flip side of this when the 12" was eventually released back in February 2016. I say eventually as it was recorded 17 years previously in the Arches in Glasgow by a local trio that included one of my blogger compatriots, Gareth from the much missed How Does That One Go Again? Apart from JC, Gareth was the first fellow blogger I met as we djed together at the Blog Rocking Beats nights we arranged in the summer of 2010 at the Flying Duck in Glasgow. 

Here we have the remix by Les Crocodiles from the other side of the 12" singles where they stretch the track out over a further 2 and a bit minutes making it a bit dubbier and even more laid back, Great stuff.

Imperfect Product - Solina (Les Crocodiles remix)

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Greg Dulli Covers



As I think we have established over these posts, Greg Dulli, quite likes to take other peoples songs and put his own slant on them, so much so that when The Afghan Whigs broke up, Dulli's next musical incarnation, the Twilight Singers decided to put out a whole album of cover versions She Loves You where the band went from a traditional ballad, Black Is The Colour of My True Love's Hair, through Blues and Jazz standards to the contemporary at the time, Martina Topley-Bird's Too Tough To Die. I was going to say that his choices were impeccable, however he did include a Fleetwood Mac track, a band I have less than no affection for but Dulli did what I thought up until then was impossible and that was to prompt me to re-appraise this band full of pomp, the worst excesses of the 70s and 80s and those horrible Stevie Nicks vocals and I came to the conclusion that the band are still pish but Dulli can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

The Twilight Singers - What Makes You Think You're The One 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Everlasting Love



You will probably recognise this song, if not this, the original recording as it became a UK number 1 by The Love Affair in January 1968 not long after the original was released.

The Robert Knight version was re-released as a double A-side in 2017 on the Outta Sight label backed with the better known Love On A Mountain Top.

Robert Knight - Everlasting Love

Monday, 13 May 2019

Monday's Long Song



Sorry for the lack of content on this site over the past week but we have had a bit of a trying time since last Saturday, on that evening Max was rushed to hospital in an ambulance after falling from a considerable height into the river from the path along the banks of the Clyde on the way up to the Falls of Clyde.

We spent a very anxious and frightening night in the A&E at Wishaw General with the boy under constant observation until he could get a CT scan and then the horrible wait for the results.

"The good news is", said the consultant after reviewing the scan and contrary to the evidence of looking at Max, "that miraculously, there is no damage to the head or broken bones, however his spleen is in three pieces and will probably need to be removed but over all he is a very lucky boy". I looked at L and I could see from her face the same mixture of emotions going through her head, relief but also the fear of surgery and Max's future without a spleen. The consultant then left to go and speak to the surgical team and get things organised but came back a couple of minutes later asking if we knew exactly when the accident happened as she thought that there may be a chance of an alternative to surgery but it meant that a drug had to be administered within a certain period of time after the fall. So we thought back and it turned out that the fall would have occurred within the time frame. 

In the early hours Max was moved to the ACCU unit where he remained until Tuesday when he was moved to another ward. To cut a long story short he is now home bruised battered and extremely sore but a very lucky boy none the less as it could very easily have been a completely different outcome if it hadn't been for his pal's lack of fear in jumping in the river and pulling him out, the police for going by as another two friends were carrying him home, the ambulance crew and not least the staff in AE at Wishaw General. During the night I was talking to one of the nurses asking if A&E was always as hectic as it was that Saturday and she replied "yip, xxx and I this do this extra shift most Saturday nights, we work during the week at the Beatson" Glasgow's cancer hospital. 

On Sunday night as Leo and I were coming home from the hospital leaving Lynn to sleep on the chair next to Max, this track from 2011 came on the iPod and although it did not absolve me of all my cares and worries it did calm me down for the nine and a half minutes it was on for.

Free School - Lemon (original)

This is not the time for politics but anybody who is thinking of voting for the Brexit Party should think twice as the fascist in charge of that party is on record stating that he was in favour of an insurance based health service such as the USA. Under such a system my son's treatmet would have been a lower priority than our ability to pay for it. 

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Port Authority Bus Blues



Paul Simerman, a senior musician in the US Navy had a novel idea for recruiting young men to the Navy at the beginning of the 70s, form a band, record and put out music as Port Authority highlighting that their were other careers in the Navy other than Able Seaman or Deck Hand. The project must have been deemed at least a partial success as the band existed for 14 years and released 5 albums.

Port Authority Bus Blues was the final track on the band's debut album released in 1975, a funky, jazzy workout that would not have been out of place as the Theme to some hard nosed detective show or the main theme of a Blaxploitation film from the period. It was finally released earlier this year as a 7" single which I had on pre-order for quite a while.

Port Authority - Port Authority Bus Blues 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

You've Got A Friend



This live cover of the Carole King classic never fails to put me in a good mood. It comes from one of my favourite live albums, Donny Hathaway Live. The album was released in 1972 from recordings of two gigs from the previous year, one side from the Troubadour in Hollywood and the other from The Bitter End in Greenwich Village. The album should be a fixture in anyone's collection who has even a passing interest in soul music and includes incredible versions off The Ghetto and Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything) as well as the track posted to be honest there isn't a duff track amongst the 8 on the record. The other great thing about this album as it seems to have captured the atmosphere of the shows and you can virtually hear the smiling that must have been on the faces of all present not least when the crowd sing along during You've Got A Friend.

Donny Hathaway - You've Got A Friend

Monday, 29 April 2019

Monday's Long Song



The album that today's song comes from is an early contender for album of the year and not one which I was eagerly anticipating if I'm honest. However the collaboration between Karen O and Danger Mouse is an absolute gem and moves from Motownesque songs through lush orchestral numbers and tracks that would not have been out of place on an album hailing from Bristol in the 1990s. Lux Prima, the title track was originally released in the US in December of last year on a limited single sided 12" single.


Friday, 26 April 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



I told you this would return, like Theresa May this series does not know when it's outstayed it's welcome. Yesterday SA posted a great new Four Tet track at the Bagging area and I thought that I would feature another recent release by Mr Hebden this time under his KH moniker.  Only Human was released as a single sided 12" a couple of weeks ago once the Nelly Furtado sample from her 2006 release "Afraid" had been cleared. This track had been causing much interest after Kieran Hebden had dropped it into a couple of dj sets. I sweated for nearly a week as my copy which had been ordered for what seemed like ages but eventually arrived last week.

In other news, what can I say about Airdrieonians season, not a great deal, the team hasn't covered itself in glory this season, the last two home games have been possibly the worst performances that I have ever seen. The season, as usual started with much anticipation and more than a little confidence that we would make the play-offs at the right end of the division as we come into the last home game of the season with one further away game next week, the Diamonds are sitting 6th on goal difference  above Dumbarton and Stranraer, seven points above the bottom two which means that even if they lose the last two games they are safe which is a distinct possibility as they haven't won any of the last four matches. There is always next season, onwards and upwards

Have a good weekend people.



Thursday, 25 April 2019

Greg Dulli Covers




In 1992 The Afghan Whigs released an ep on Sub Pop on  multiple formats. The 7" single containing two tracks, the 12" single 4 and an extra hidden track on the cd. What was interesting about the ep was that all of the tracks were covers, with the exception of a secret uncredited original track hidden after a few seconds of silence on track 4 of the cd which was actually a remix of the track Milez Is Ded from the recent album, Congregation. The covers were all versions of soul favourites of the band, Come See About Me a hit single for the Supremes in 1964, True Love Travels On a Gravel Road which had ee recorded by Percy Sledge and Elvis on the From Memphis album amongst others, Beware an early 70s album track and,  my favourite Band of Gold, a number 1 hit single for Freda Payne in the UK. I love the primitive drumming and the feedback and the completely desolate tone of Dulli's vocals on this track, which was the a side of the 7" single with Come See About Me on the flip.

Afghan Whigs - Band of Gold