Tuesday 31 March 2009

2 Gigs, One Day

Today myself and the better half are taking in not one gig but two.

At 4pm we will be at the Captain's Rest to see Frightened Rabbit, I have been so looking forward to this, you would think that it was The Fall that was playing. I had the good fortune to see them 3 times last year and they got better each time. I think seeing them in such a small venue may be something special.

Then off to Stravaigin for some excellent food and to meet the unfortunates that didn't get tickets for the "feart bunnies" as my mate calls them but did get tickets for round 2.

Then it's off to the QMU to see Airborne Toxic Event.

What makes it even better is that this is the first time that L has seen either, as being pregnant for a good part of last year she really couldn't be bothered with gigging.

Frightened Rabbit - Heads Roll Off (live) - I implore you to buy this album, even if you have the Midnight Organ Fight, as it is absolutely wonderful.

Airborne Toxic Event - The Winning Side

I also can't recommend the Airborne Toxic Event album enough either.

If you don't buy either of these albums but illegally download them don't come moaning to me when all you have to listen to is U2 or the latest X Factor guff.

Monday 30 March 2009

Anything We Wanted To Be

After spending a great day yesterday with friends celebrating the birthday that I mentioned in Saturday's post I had all these ideas and reminiscences that I was going to share but I don't think that I'll bother, as if you weren't there, you wouldn't really be all that interested anyway.

Driving home, I couldn't get this song out of my head for some reason. It doesn't have any resonance with the company, apart from the fact that we have probably all seen the film that the song comes from but the words just seemed to be apt for a day spent with friends taking stock of where they came from and where they were at that moment.

I realise that I have just blown any air of cool that I had by posting this tune. But be honest, if you took the time to download it, did it not make you smile on a Monday?

Paul Williams - You Give A Little Love

WTF has the picture got to do with the post? I hear you ask. If you substitute a Baltimore diner in the 50s, the shirts and ties and replace it with a pub in Lanarkshire in the late 80's with guys in Fred Perry's and Ma1's you just about have it. I, of course, am the Mickey Rourke figure.

Saturday 28 March 2009

The First Of A Few!

This weekend sees the first in an extensive round of 40th Birthday celebrations that will be happening around these parts this year. The honour of reaching this milestone first goes to the friend I made on that dreaded first day as the new boy at school in 1979.

These are two of the earliest songs I remember us sneaking in and listening to from his older brothers collections when they weren't around and both on 7" single, those were the days.

TRB - Martin

The Only Ones - Another Girl Another Planet

Cheers and all the best S.

Is it wrong to still address your mates by their school boy nicknames when your in your fourth decade?

Friday 27 March 2009

Random Post

A couple of gins and this sounds great, might not tomorrow morning.

Arctic Monkeys vs Destiny's Child - Bum Breath

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

We'll stay with the house music vibe started last week with an epic track by Clivilles & Cole, A Deeper Love.

Robert Clivilles and David Cole in the guise of C&C Music Factory had a number of dance floor favourites both here and in the states and chart success with tracks such as Gonna Make You Sweat and Things That Make You Go Hmmm. They were also prolific re mixers for the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin to name but 3. They were also responsible along with David Morales and Ralphi Rosario, the first and only House supergroup, for one of my favourite early house tunes Do It Properly by 2 Puerto Ricans a Black Man and a Dominican.

Here we are concerned with A Deeper Love, first released in 1991 and became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic the following year. The vocals are courtesy of Deborah Cooper, who at that time was Clivilles & Cole's vocalist of choice. The track would later be covered by Aretha Franklin with production by the duo.

The version posted is the 12 minute plus Underground Club/ Let's Go Chanting mix but don't let that put you off as there is not a second of filler in the track.

Sadly, David Cole died of spinal meningitis in January 1994. Robert Clivilles still produces music using the C&C moniker.

Clivilles & Cole - A Deeper Love (Underground House/Let's Go Chanting mix)

Thursday 26 March 2009

The Only Way Is Up

Following on from yesterday's post where I mentioned that Coldcut had had some chart success in the late 80's. They collaborated with the likes of Lisa Stansfield on "People Hold On and Junior Reid on Stop This Crazy Thing and the living leg end that is Mark E Smith. Probably their best remembered collaboration is the single credited to Yazz and The Plastic Population, The Only Way Is Up which reached number 1 in 1988.

At the time I remember it being commented that this was a cover of an old northern soul tune which puzzled me as I had never heard it before anywhere and neither had any of the soulies I knew. In those pre-internet days it took a few years to track down the original.

The song was originally recorded by Otis Clay and issued as a single in 1980 on Echo records. Clay was born in Wexham, Mississippi in 1942 and is still active, singing gospel and releasing albums on the Echo Label (which he owns). The Only Way is Up may have the sentiment of gospel but not the sound, however it neither sounds like a Northern tune to these ears either, to me it has a disco/modern soul vibe to it. Whatever the classification it is an uplifting stormer of a track but very pricey if you can even find a copy as it is as rare as hobby horse shit these days.

Otis Clay - The Only Way Is Up

Wednesday 25 March 2009

Where's That Nicked From?

One of the greatest innovations in music in the late 20th century must be the development of the digital sampler. The sampler has been around since the early 70s but came to prominence in the late 80s with companies such as AKAI developing the technology to enable samples to be stretched and looped. The use of the sampler was pioneered by hip hop acts in the USA and by studio boffins and DJs over here.

When I first heard tracks such as Pump Up The Volume and Beat Dis, I couldn't believe how this sort of cut and paste method could sound so good.

During 1987 you couldn't move for tracks using or in some cases completely constructed from samples and a lot of time was spent trying to spot the sample or count how many samples there were in tracks. The possibilities seemed endless, however in the majority of the cases the sampling was lazily executed with the same samples being used over and over again, more often than not James Brown.

Two of the true innovators in the use of this technology were Matt Black and Jonathan Moore aka Coldcut. They were responsible for the first commercially released UK cut n paste record, Say Kids What Time Is It? They were also responsible for the best remix this side of Andy Weatherall in Paid In Full (Seven Minutes of Madness) for Eric B and Rakim and the definitive mix cd 70 Minutes of Madness. After flirting with chart success they set up the Ninja Tunes label which has consistently released some of the best left field dance music around and is still going strong.

James Brown - The Payback Mix - Keep On Doing What You're Doing But Make It Funky (Coldcut Mix)

Coldcut may have been responsible for the first commercially released UK cut n paste record, however the first recorded and aired was by a gang from Leeds who made "Sonic-Metal-Disco" - Age of Chance.

I already had the Crush Collision mini lp and 2 different 12" singles of their version of Prince's Kiss when one night I heard this mental version of Kiss on the John Peel show which had so many different samples it was impossible to spot them all. After hearing it on the show I searched for it for months but with no success. I went on to buy all the rest of their stuff up until they split but never even heard that version of Kiss again. 500 promo copies were pressed but it was never released, due to litigation worries.

It would have been late 2007, when trawling the internet one night I found a site which had posted an mp3 of the track. On playing it back, it was as mad as I remembered and just as good.

Age Of Chance - Kiss (Kiss Power mix)

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Everybody Loves a Cover . . . Right?

I've got the monthly team meeting today, which is great, full of corporate speak such as "we don't want to re-invent the wheel", "gold plating", "can we take that off line?" and my personal favourite "helicopter view", although haven't heard that one for a few months".

Anyway in the duller moments my mind will be wandering to topics such as what is my favourite cover version or what song would I love The Fall to murder next in their own inimitable way.

So here are a couple of the stranger cover versions in my collection.

Cloud Cult - Mr Tambourine Man

I am not even going to try and explain who they are because I couldn't do them justice. Check out their website here for the lowdown on the band and their ideals. If you like what you hear you could do worse than buy "Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus" which when you know the back story is both heartbreaking and uplifting.

The second cover, is by Elbow, in one of their lighter moments, it just makes me smile.

Elbow - Independent Woman

Monday 23 March 2009

Jeff Klein

I first came across Jeff Klein a few years ago when he was supporting the Twilight Singers.

When he came on stage I thought, great just what I want to hear another alt. country troubadour. From the first chords I was pleasantly surprised, yes it was just one guy with an acoustic but the sounds that came out of the guitar via a load of effects pedals was quite amazing giving a much fuller sound than you would expect. The short support slot (30 mins or so) was filled with variety but with a dark, brooding undertow and themes not dissimilar to those which Greg Dulli writes about, sex, loss, jealousy etc. The final track "Put You To Sleep" was especially compelling with Klein using the effects board to, well great effect. He later popped up on stage with Dulli as a member of the Twilight Singers playing keyboards and guitar.

Klein originally from New York but now residing in Austin Texas has released three excellent albums. Firstly You'll Never Get To Heaven If You Break My Heart in 2000. After which he signed to One Little Indian to release Everybody Loves a winner in 2003. The third, and best album in my opinion is the Greg Dulli produced Hustler from 2006.

When not touring on his own or as part of My Jerusalem, he can be found as an integral part of both of Dulli's projects the afore mentioned Twilight Singers and The Gutter twins.

Jeff Klein - Everything Is Alright

Jeff Klein - California

Jeff Klein - 19th Hole (no, its not about golf)

Sunday 22 March 2009

Soothe Me, Baby

Feeling rather delicate today. We had friends over for dinner last night and it turned into a late one. My brother in law and sister in law forgot to take their kids home who are tear arsing around with M as I type.

Sam and Dave - Soothe Me

Saturday 21 March 2009

Easter Parade

For those of you who read the comments on The Ghost Of Electricity I apologize for repeating myself.

When I was 17 I went on my last caravaning holiday with my folks to Polperro in Cornwall. Getting there was an ordeal two days in the back of the car arguing and trading blows with my younger brother wasn't the best start to a holiday.

Once there, I loved it. Polperro was a great place and full of teenage girls. That year I had a secret weapon with me to aid in the attempt to meet members of the opposite sex, a three month old golden retriever pup and it worked like a dream. The best ploy was to go down into the village from the caravan site buy an ice cream, find a bench then feed the pup the cone, no need for awkward conversation starters then.

I'm not sure if this is how I met the girl from Ashington but it did work a couple of times. The girl was a year younger than me and slightly gothic in dress sense, I've always been wary of goths but she was alright, no "woes me" and she even smiled. As with any meeting of teenagers the talk got around to what are you into (musically) and it turned out she was into northern soul just like myself and that was that we were inseparable for the second week of my holiday.

When we were packing up to come home L came over and gave me a compilation tape, full of northern soul and some indie stuff. We said our goodbyes and how we would stay in touch etc etc. On the way home I played the tape, all of the usual suspects were there, The Night, Picture Me Gone, etc but at the end of side 2 there was this acoustic track which vocally, to me then sounded like Pete Wylie but of course I couldn't discover what it was as there was no track listing with the tape. I played this song over and over again so much that the tape got stretched, it was on a cheap Panda cassette and eventually snapped not long after and before I found out what the song was.

Over the years the vague recollection of the song has popped into my head from time to time but by this time I couldn't remember the words only the phrase "easter parade".

Last October I was checking out Davy H's excellent blog as you do and he had posted a track by the Faith Brothers, which I duly down loaded, listened to and decided that this Billy Franks fellow warranted further investigation so I downloaded the tracks from his website and lo and behold the track called The Easter Parade was the very track which had been annoying me for the last 20 odd years on and off.

Last week, I eventually found a copy of the double pack single of the Faith Brothers - The Country of The Blind, the second single of which contains The Easter Parade.

The song is another anti war song, there have been a couple of those here this week. It deals with the aftermath of the Falklands campaign and the fact that Thatcher did not want any wounded servicemen taking part in the parades which followed the troops return.

I have posted both the single version and the album one (courtesy of Mr H) as they are a bit different.

Faith Brothers - Easter Parade (Eventide version)
Faith Brothers - Easter Parade (single version)

Friday 20 March 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

This Friday, let's go back to a time when things were a lot simpler, well in the case of electronic dance music anyway. In 1987, there was House and that was it, no dubstep, hardcore, and the thousand and one sub genres there seems to be these days.

This track is one of the finest examples of early house. it was a collaboration between Ce Ce Rogers and Marshall Jefferson who was posted here a couple of Friday's ago. It has one of the most soulful vocals and a piano line that would later be sampled to great effect by British hardcore act Liquid. This record shows the natural progression from soul to disco and then on to House.

Back in the day as soon as the track was dropped the floor would fill with grinning faces only some of whom would have been "on one". As I said simpler times.

If your feeling flush you can grab a copy here

Ce Ce Rogers - Someday

and the song that borrowed from it

Liquid - Sweet Harmony

Thursday 19 March 2009

That Maudlin Feeling

Yesterday I had reason to visit the town where I spent my childhood up 'til the age of ten.

On entering the town instead of driving straight to where I was going I found myself turning left and going up the hill into the scheme where we lived. Apart from the large private houses where the old railway line and bridge used to be (where incidentally ,I coughed and spluttered my way through my first cigarette, a More menthol purloined from my mother's bag) and the double glazing the place looked just the same.

As I continued round and then down the other side of the hill past my old house # 94 I stopped the car.

In front of our little cul-de-sac there had been a bing where my brother, our friends and I had re-enacting Star Wars, played soldiers and dug for gold. I still bear the scar from that last activity, when I was struck above the eye with an iron bar when over zealously trying to dig with what ever was lying about. Anyway back to point of this, the bing and waste ground are no more the area has been turned into another load of what we would have called then "posh hooses".

Anyway, as I was sitting there with the sun shining brightly reminiscing and getting all glassy eyed I had the overwhelming urge to play this song.

Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling

If you find this post too mawkish blame Davy H as I was just going to let this pass as another of those getting close to 40 moments until I read this post.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

No Woolly Jumper Required.

The St Patrick's Day thing got me thinking about the Pogues and my favourite cover of theirs, And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

I had heard of Eric Bogle in my mid teens due to No Man's Land, the finest anti war song ever written. Being in CND you tended to rub shoulders with the woolly jumper brigade who always seemed to have a guitar or two stashed away which could be produced at the drop of a hat or placard to educate us young ones in the words and music of Leon Rosselson, Dick Gaughan, Eric Bogle amongst others. So when Rum, Sodomy and The Lash was first heard some of our mob were already acquainted with the final track on the album. Also at this time with Billy Bragg becoming popular folk was no longer something to be embarrassed about.

Eric Bogle was born in Peebles in the Scottish Borders and emigrated to Australia as a "ten pound tourist" in 1969. His songs have been covered by the likes of The Men They Couldn't Hang, June Tarbour and Billy Bragg.

I was fortunate enough to see Bogle in 2003 on one of his rare returns to these shores. He had the audience laughing one minute and crying the next, the night was an emotional roller coaster.

If anybody can listen to Leaving Nancy, the first song he wrote when he arrived in Australia and which recalls the last time he saw his mother and not be moved then they are not really human. It would bring a tear to a glass eye as the saying goes.

Eric Bogle - Leaving Nancy

And this needs no introduction.

Eric Bogle - And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.

He is in the UK at the moment doing a pretty extensive tour, check here if interested

Tuesday 17 March 2009


My love of Stiff Little Fingers goes back to 1979, when I bought the single Alternative Ulster from a stall at Wishaw market. I bought it as much for the cover, showing a boy shouting as he hung over a wall with a British soldier crouching below him, as I did for the music. I was aware of the track as my cousin Kevin ( I shit you not) played it all the time. By the time I bought it, the single would have been about a year old and was the second record I ever bought.

The following year we moved to the town where I still reside and started a new school. On the first day of term the boy in front asked me what music I liked. When I told him that I liked Motorhead he laughed but when I also said I was into SLF he smiled and we have been friends ever since not withstanding the odd fall out concerning a member of the fairer sex.

Over the years there have been many debates between the two of us over the merits of certain SLF releases, Listen and Silver Lining being prime examples. The main disagreement, however came when the band re-formed and did the "No Sleep 'til Belfast" tour. S wanted to, and indeed did go and see them but I refused saying that there was no way that I was going to see a "cabaret band".

For years on and off S would suggest going to see them at the Barrowlands on their annual St. Patricks night gig but I would always have a reason not to go until last year when I relented and said ok. It was to be their seventeenth year on the bounce.

I really didn't know what to expect but I had built up this picture in my mind of a band living on past glories and just going through the motions.

The sense of foreboding increased on entering the Barrowlands Ballroom and being confronted by the site of hundreds of forty plus year old punks in bondage trousers etc.

Pete Docherty once sang "there are fewer more distressing sights than that of an Englishman in a baseball cap", well there is Pete, a middle age Scots man with a mohican, a face covered in spiders web tattoos and a swastika t-shirt.

The support act were a Clash tribute band, the less said about the better.

By the time SLF came on I was ready to go home, the support had been shit and the air of malevolence in the hall was palpable. But from the opening chords of Tin Soldiers and simultaneous volley of pints fired from the back of the hall I was hooked and have to admit that it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to in my life. I'm not sure if I was caught up in the nostalgia of the whole thing but hearing singles Suspect Device and Nobody's Heroes live for the first time after all those years was quite special and there was more than one hair standing up on the back of my neck moment.

Did I have a good time? Yes.

Would I go back again? I have thought long and hard about this, no.

Would I recommend it to anyone else? Definitely.

So, happy St Patrick's night to all. SLF will be at the Barrowlands for the 18th year in a row.

The following tracks were recorded in 2006 at the Barras and can be purchased here.

SLF - Doesn't Make It Alright

SLF - Suspect Device

SLF - Silver Lining

Monday 16 March 2009

Song For A Secret

Since the acrimonious split which started in 1998 (but had been on the cards since1984) when William Reid walked off during a sold out show at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles and which was made official at the end of 1999, the output of the Reid Brothers has been patchy to say the least.

Both have pursued mediocre solo careers and produced (separately) the Sister Vanilla album Little Pop Rock, Sister Vanilla being another member of the Reid clan, their younger sister Linda.

Jim Reid released his first solo single Song For A Secret backed with Can't Stop The Rock credited to Sister Vanilla and produced by William, in 2005 on the Transistor label .

The sound of the single is nothing radically different from what could be found on later day Jesus and The Mary Chain albums, it would fit nicely on Stoned And Dethroned.

I quite like the track and it is not a bad way to start off a Monday morning.

Jim Reid - Song For A Secret

Why, oh why did they have to invite that stupid bint of an actress to murder one of my all time favourite songs? It was bad enough that they decided to re-form.

Sunday 15 March 2009

Girl Groups, Love Songs and Lists

The Americans didn't have the monopoly on the "girl groups" in the early to mid sixties we had some memorable also rans. My favourite of these is Dany Chandelle & The Ladybirds melodromatic cover of an obscure song by an American artist Bernice Swanson. The sound is huge all booming drums and backing vocals, a wall of sound if you like.

Dany Chandelle & The Ladybirds - Lying Awake

While we're on the subject of walls of sound, why the fuck (The Best Part) Of Breakin' Up wasn't in the Love section of the Guardian's 1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear is beyond me, the "c'mon baby" at 2 mins 26 is possibly the sexiest sung words in pop.

The Ronettes - (The Best Part) Of Breakin' Up

I know that these things are subjective and I shouldn't get worked up about it, but Kylie's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" one of the greatest love songs? For fuck's sake! Still at least no U2 yet (I know it's coming).

I promise to haud ma wheesht and not comment on the further installments.

Update - should have followed my own advice above, as said Ronettes song is in today's Heartbreak section in the Observer, that'll teach me.

Saturday 14 March 2009

K Cera Cera.

Some typically bonkers but brilliant stuff from the KLF.

In July 1993 adverts started appearing in the UK press announcing that the K Foundation would be making available on no format their interpretation of Que Sera Sera/ Happy Christmas War Is Over.

On the 10th July an advert was placed in the NME for The K. Foundation presents the The Red Army Choir performing K. Cera Cera (War Is Over If You Want It). A statement followed saying that the record would only be released if a state of world peace was achieved, however it would be available for broadcast at certain major events. It was to be heard at that year's Phoenix Festival much to the bemusement of festival goers.

The track was eventually released as a limited edition in November of 1993. It was not the easiest release to get a hold of as it was released in Israel, in recognition of the peace accord signed by the PLO and Israel, and to obtain one of the 3000 copies first you would have to fill in a mail order form in one of two Israeli papers, one Israeli and the other Palestinian.

You have got to hand it to Rockman Rock and King Boy D, they definitely knew how to market product.

The K. Foundation Presents The Red Army Choir - K. Cera Cera (War Is Over If You Want It)

Friday 13 March 2009

And Yet More New Music.

Got this, this morning, more electro pop but with a dubstep make over absolutely gorgeous.

La Roux - In For The Kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Mix)

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

We are back in northern soul territory this week.

First up we have Millie Jackson with a track which was actually a hit in the US in 1972 it is also # 100 in the Northern Soul Top 500, blowing another myth that all northern soul classics are rare.

Millie Jackson - My Man Is A Sweet Man.

Secondly we have Sissie Houston, yip Whitney's mom with an absolute belter of a track.

Sissie Houston - Bring Him Back

and finally Melba Moore, with a track from 1967 which lay unreleased until it was discovered on a master and became an anthem in the '80s. I remember hearing it a lot at dances and runs during 87/88.

Melba Moore - The Magic Touch

Thursday 12 March 2009

New Music - Chew Lips

Saw this mob last night along with the Joy Formidable, who were brilliant but couldn't be arsed waiting around for Howling Bells (the headline).

Shit name and the singer got on my nerves but a good sound none the less, kind of lo-fi electro pop, the wife thinks they sound like the Ting Tings, I'm not sure if they are that contrived.

Chew Lips - Solo

What Are We Gonna Do?

I don't know if it has anything to do with the looming significant milestone of a birthday but I have been listening to a lot of stuff from my spotty youth and comparing it to what I'm listening to these days and trying to find the similarities and influences. What got me from there to here if you like. A process that even up until a couple of months ago I would have been reluctant to do as I tend to see these kind of reflections kind of wanky and don't want to turn into a look back bore.

Nothing wrong with listening to tunes from a bygone era but comparing them to today's music is totally irrelevant as you don't get the same intensity from the rush of hormones that you did when you were a teenager.

Anyway, I was listening to this album at the weekend and the rush of mixed up emotions, the hair standing up on the back of my neck when the drums start, the melancholy and joy of the song are all still present and just as vivid as when I bought the single from Menzies in Airdrie and took it home to play it for the first time. I swear I could even smell the weird plasticky smell that the shop had.

For the record, in my opinion there isn't a recent band that holds up in comparison to Blondie at their best and this is a fine example of them at their best.

God I'm begining to sound like an old git.

Blondie - Union City Blue

and before they stop allowing us to look at such things, here's the video.

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Mo' Pop

Mo Pop was the second single from Dot Allison's debut solo album, Afterglow. It is my favourite track on a very mellow album which ditches for the main part the dub and dance beats of her previous band One Dove in favour of a more 60s influenced sound.

She has produced a further 2 solo albums. We Are Science which is a much darker affair and very influenced by the electroclash sound which was prevalent at the time. Her last album i can't tell you very much about as I lost interest after downloading the Beneath The Ivy ep and finding it to be quite disappointing.

Of the 3 albums I think that the debut is still the best and well worth the 4 to 5 quid it is being offered for on Amazon used and new.

Dot Allison - Mo' Pop

Tuesday 10 March 2009

Keren Ann

Knew hee-haw about Keren Ann before buying the eponymous album.

It turns out to have been her 5th album. It has shades of The Velvet Underground running through it, especially on Lay Your Head Down. It also reminds me of Mazzy Star in parts. Her vocal delivery is very soft and at times nearly spoken but it has an incredibly sexy feel to it.

It is one of those albums to put on when the wind is howling and the rain is lashing down outside ( about 3oo or so days of the year round these parts) but you are happily ensconced on the sofa with a good bottle of red wine and by the time you get to the fourth track I guarantee that you will be filled with a warm glow which the wine will only be partly responsible for.

Keren Ann - It's All A Lie

Keren Ann - Lay Your Head Down

Monday 9 March 2009

Kate Nash

I make no apologies and no justification for the posting today, I just like Kate Nash. Ever since the first single, Caroline's A Victim, which I purchased due to it being on Moshi Moshi and I had bought and liked all of their singles to that point.

The A side was okay, worth the price of the single but when I played the flip side, I came to the conclusion that this was the best thing that had been released on the label by a mile.

Being an old git the song shouldn't have struck such a chord but the tale of a hapless wide-o inarticulately trying to explain to his girl how much she meant to him made me smile. To me it was akin to eavesdropping on a conversation, you know the one which you hear a snippet of while you are searching your Ipod for something to play then spend the next 5 minutes or so pretending to be listening to music when all the while you are engrossed with the conversation you are secretly concentrating on. Check Spelling
The song also reminded me of Billy Bragg's version of Walk Away Renee for some reason.

Kate Nash - Birds

We Get On also reminds me a bit of a Bragg song, The Saturday Boy, full of unrequited love but if a guy were to act like the female protagonist in the song he would more than likely be locked up. The version posted is from a BBC session.

Both of these tracks are examples of how some of the songs on the album were over produced to death

Kate Nash - We Get On (BBC Session)

Nash has been much maligned and the criticism of over production of the album is justified. But the often cited sniping about her not singing in her proper accent does not hold any credence with me, as one of my heroes, Roddy Frame not only sings in a mid Atlantic accent but talks the same way too, not exactly pure East Kilbride and let's not start with John Martyn.

On the strength of the single I bought tickets for Nash's gig at Oran Mor in 2007, however by the time the gig came along Foundations had been released and went to # 1. I decided to give my ticket to my niece as I reckoned that I would have looked a bit weird in a crowd of mainly teenage girls. A decision that my wife validated as she accompanied S with the other ticket.

Sunday 8 March 2009

The Merits Of Technology?

I was going to post something nice and mellow today as I intended to be nursing a hangover this morning. I was out with a couple of mates last night and we ended up in the pub where we spent more time than was healthy for us in our youth. It has had a revamp recently and looks a bit too trendy for the likes of us.

My mate pointed out that it had one of those Internet jukeboxes, where you can access any track that you can find on the net. I am not totally comfortable with this concept. Being able to listen to whatever you want whenever takes the fun out of hearing the unexpected. I know that I am being quite contrary here as I love that I carry around 15 000 tracks on my ipod which I can play whenever.

I am coming to the conclusion that music is being slightly devalued by it's ubiquity. This has been reinforced recently by the use of one of my favourite northern soul tunes "Come On Train" by Don Thomas by a credit card company not only that but some idiot has fucked about with it trying to update it. Why? I don't grudge Don Thomas getting a royalty cheque I'm probably just being a wee bit precious about it.

I'm not going to post Come on Train as Simon at The Songs That People Sing did just that last week and was asked to take it down as it was being re released. Instead here is another track originally touched by the hand of God which has lost it's shine from hearing it down the phone every time I have to contact my ISP. The version posted is the alternate Terry Farley mix.

BTW You know that you are getting old when you decide to leave the pub when the young team arrive as you realize that you are no longer going to be able to hear each other talk. Hence the failure in achieving the goal of a hangover this morning.

Primal Scream - Come Together (Terry Farley mix)

Also tenuously linked to the above mitherings

Red Guitars - Good Technology

ps - Congratulations to The Supper and S on the birth of their daughter this morning

Saturday 7 March 2009

Touched By The Hand Of God III

Andy Weatherall was at his peak, in my opinion in the early 90's, producing the best parts of Screamadelica, Sabres of Paradise label/band and some truly inspired remixes, in fact too many to list here.

When I heard back in 1991 that he was going to produce Dove I nearly creamed myself with excitement. They had been responsible for my favourite track of that year, Fallen, which was no mean feat in a year that spawned so many classic dance tunes.

However the first release from the pairing left me a little deflated. They re-released Fallen after changing their name to One Dove due to legal hassles with another band of the same name. I was somewhat bemused by the release as I didn't think that the reworking added anything to the original. Looking back on it now, it would have been irresponsible for Weatherall to have radically altered what was damn near a perfect record.

The next release Transient Truth is a wonderfully dubby chilled out tune in it's original format and turned into what at the time was referred to as Progressive House in it's Old Toys mix and Old Toys dub.

The mix we are concerned with comes from the almost legendary Sabres Of Paradise Mixes promo, which until I found Discogs thought was a figment of my imagination. I have to thank the wonderful STX from audio.out who posted all 4 of the mixes last year and made me happier than a pig in shite but he also refocused my mind on the quest to get my hands on a reasonably priced copy, there is one on Discogs for sale but at 49 euros out of my price range.

If anybody has a copy and is willing to let it go for a reasonable price, please get in contact.

One Dove - Transient Truth (Sabres of Paradise Death Of A Disco Dancer)

Now, Weatherall remixing The Fall, that is the sort of things dreams are made of.

Friday 6 March 2009

Forget Romance, Let's Dance

Anyone for a bit of "Fun-loving danceable Indie-pop bubblegum rock!"?

We Should Be Dead - Forget Romance, Let's Dance

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

As I mentioned before during the late 80's I had a few scooters and was part of a scooter club. At that time there were 5 or six clubs within a twenty mile radius of where we lived with numbers ranging from 7 to 8 (our club) to some with more than 20 members.

Every so often clubs would organise dances if they could find a venue willing to host one of these nights. Not as easy as you would think , as these functions fuelled by testosterone and beer frequently ended up in violence between rival clubs, NF skins or more often than not locals looking for a rammy to end the night and scooterists being what they were, only too happy to oblige.

I was in Aberdeen at the time when a friend called and asked if I fancied coming down for the weekend as our club was organising a dance, oh and could I bring some records as I would be djing.

I had been to a few scooterist nights and knew enough of their tastes to know that I had the soul, punk and 80's indie records covered but would have to borrow some psychobilly to keep the nutters happy.

The night was going well I had dropped the relevant northern stompers, punk classics and a couple of Meteors and Cramps tunes. I decided it was time to delve into the box of the latest things I had been buying, which I had been played at the Pelican Club in Aberdeen and educate the scooterists. Bad move. Within a minute of the song that I am posting today starting I had cleared the dance floor and was being pinned against the wall by a particularly upset Globetrotter (an infamous scooter club from Glasgow who prided themselves on their thuggish reputation) who told me in no uncertain terms what would happen to me if I didn't get "that gay pish" off.

Needless to say no more House music was played that night or at any other scooter nights I attended until about 18 months later when the Madchester hype began and the nights were full of baggy anthems and selected House tracks.

Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)

Monday 2 March 2009

A Break In Transmission

There will be no opinionated rubbish spouted from me for the next few days as I'm off across the water with work for one of my frequent visits to Belfast.

Normal service will resume on Friday.

Until then the finest export from Belfast with a live version recorded at the Glasgow Barrowlands (more of which in the next couple of weeks) of the second single I ever bought. Predictable but what the hell it is an amazing track

Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster

and even more obvious

Orbital - Belfast

Fife's Finest?

Everywhere I turn they're there, bloody U2 all over the radio, TV, music papers, every effin' place. You would think that it was the second coming or sumat not just the latest piece of pomp rock by a second rate bandwagon jumping bunch of chancers.

Not being their biggest fan I am getting somewhat distraught with the coverage. They hadn't released an album in 3 years, yet every bloody edition of Q since forever has had some sort of article about them. I think that the staff at Q should bow to the inevitable and start lobbying the Vatican for the beatification of Paul David Hewson which seems to be the underlying reason for the magazine's existence.

Anyway, here is a track by the Irish band . . . not a chance in hell.

Instead here are a couple of tracks from the best punk band to emerge from Scotland who Bonzo and an American cartoon punk band made a hash of covering.

The Skids were formed in 1977 by Stuart Adamson, William Simpson, Thomas Kellichan and Richard Jobson they were responsible for some brilliant singles, 3 great albums and one not so good.

Charles was the first single by the band and was released in 1978.

The Skids - Charles

Woman In Winter was the second single from the 1980 album The Absolute Game and is my favourite Skids track.

I bought my first Skids single, Charade, from Trax (i think that was how it was spelt) a record shop in Airdrie on the strength of the cover alone which depicted 2 military types playing cards and smoking with a gun in the middle of the table. I always loved the cover art to their records.

The Skids - A Woman In Winter

Sunday 1 March 2009

Lazy Sundays, What Happened to Them?

Sundays used to be so simple BC (before children), we would lie in bed late if we wished. Eventually we would get up and I would get the papers, make breakfast and spend the next couple of hours perusing the sundays. Then at an acceptable hour it would be down the pub to meet the mates have a few pints and if very lucky on to my mum's for a Sunday roast.

Now it consists of getting up the back of six! Making breakfast for number one son who has an unnatural need for very little sleep and making a bottle for number 2 son after which there is no point getting back in bed as the eldest has now taken up squatters rights on my side of the bed, so I tidy the kitchen make some green tea and wait for the garage to open in order to get the sundays which will be mostly unread by the following weekend. The rest of the day goes by in a blur. Then before I know it it is bath time for M and the weekend is just about over only The Westminster Hour on radio 4 while making the pieces (packed lunch) for the following day and polishing shoes left to do. . . Still, wouldn't have it any other way.

Abba - The Day Before You Came

The Streets - Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way