Monday 27 April 2009

Luton . . . Shit!

I had a great week last week. I only cooked twice. Ate like it was going out of fashion and definitely drank too much.

A word of warning, unless you are feeling particularly flush do not order Bloody Marys as a night cap when staying in Malmaison. I nearly wept when I had to square up for our drinks tab yesterday morning it certainly focused the mind away from the hangover.

I came back down to earth with a bang today when I remembered I will be in Luton tomorrow for a couple of days at a training meeting, wonderful.

Big Sound Authority - Bad Town

Tom Waits - Town With No Cheer

2 faced Ade Edmondson or clueless Linda Evans, what a choice!

Saturday 25 April 2009

Isobel Campbell & Eugene Kelly

I'm being whisked away to Edinburgh for dinner and an overnight in Malmaison today, which will be nice.

Here are a couple of my favourite tracks from Isobel Campbell's collaboration with Mark Lanegan Ballad of The Broken Seas. On these versions, however the Lanegan part is sung by Eugene Kelly, formerly of The Vaselines, Eugenius and others. The first couple of times I saw Campbell perform the album Kelly performed and did a sterling job filling in for Lanegan. They did a particularly good version of Son of A Gun.

Isobel Campbell - Honey Child What Can I Do? (Napster session)

Isobel Campbell - Ramblin' Man

Missed Hell's Kitchen last night but am not happy that Ms Dynamite has been sacked. There is far too much sympathy for aging soap actresses going on for my liking. Think that my allegiance will have to switch too Daneille now, best out of a bad bunch.

Friday 24 April 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Today's track is probably my favourite dance tune of all time, it just keeps building and building and even now, 15 years on it still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

I remember purchasing it from Fopp on Byres Rd as it was on the Junior Boys Own label and everything on that label was good, although very, very few, well none were ever as good as this.

Underworld - Rez

BTW - yesterday was quite an eventful day, not only was it my birthday but I also got my first take down notice for copyright infringement from Apparently Mr Bowie has not made enough money down the years and my posting of a crackly rip of Absolute Beginners is a threat to his empire. No David, that was Tin Machine.

Also I'm happier than a pig in shite, as Mrs Smug was sacked by The Great White in Hell's Kitchen. Is it just me or is Ade Edmondson a 2 faced git?

Thursday 23 April 2009

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Absolute Beginners

I've been thinking about Absolute Beginners quite a bit this week, really wanting to pick the book off the shelf and read it again but something is telling my that revisiting a book I loved so much in my teenage years may not be a good idea. What if it is not as good as I remembered? Or even worse the grumpy old git in me may now think that it is a load of rubbish.

Anyway, here is the only post Let's Dance, Bowie song that I remember liking with added crackles. The film adaptation it came from wasn't that good, it did, however have a young Patsy Kensit and a gorgeous Vespa GS in it.

David Bowie - Absolute Beginners (full album version)

As a bonus here is the St Etienne cover version

St Etienne - Absolute Beginners

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Another 40th Post

It's the 4oth birthday of one of my best friends today. She was also the first girl to give me a knock back, teaching me the important lesson in life that women are fickle.

Happy Birthday T

Bad Manners - Lorraine

Sunday 19 April 2009


I've finally succumbed to pish TV.

For years I used to denigrate people who came into work or the pub and talked about Big Brother, X Factor and the rest of those shitty, easy to make mindless programmes. The only thing worse than a talent show type programme was the "celebrity" spin off versions. How could people get worked up about these programmes ? I used to ask myself.

That was until I started watching Hell's Kitchen.

Last week I was outraged about the Met (or as Conflict used to describe them "The Ungovernable Force") with their lies and further lies to conceal their crowd control tactics and yet another death of an innocent man. Although as someone who has frequented more than a handful of demos, I do not understand why people are surprised in the way that the police deal with the people who pay their fucking wages.

This week I find my blood boiling and my rancour directed towards possible the smuggest couple I have ever seen in my whole life, Grant Bovey and Anthea Turner. They make Neil and Christine Hamilton look like reasonable, modest people.

I am really disappointed in myself. There are so many things that I could be angry about at the moment, but I am am raging over a woman who sees herself as some sort of domestic goddess and used to to on kids TV and some twat of whom I know nothing apart from the fact that he is married to afore mentioned ex kids TV presenter. L tells me is he is a successful business man. I would probably use the C word to describe him, however L reads this shit and would skelp me for using that word.

I think that I may have reached a new low in my life, letting such trivial, unimportant people get to me.

Scanners - Lowlife

Never Get Out of the Boat

In the days when I thought that I was a DJ, I used to spend ages attempting to mix this track in with dialogue from Apocalypse Now and Ennio Morricone film scores to varying degrees of success as the mix tapes that my mates have will verify.

On it's own, it is a great mellow tune for a Sunday.

The Aloof - Never Get Out Of The Boat

Saturday 18 April 2009


Following on from yesterday's post. I will give Sasha some credit for bringing a wonderful song to the attention of a wider audience albeit in the form of a remix. The song was Careful by Horse and I think initially he used to mix the original in with some trance shit and eventually remixed the track into, you guessed it some trance shit.

I first heard of Horse when a friend off mine asked "Do you want to go to the Tube?" to which there could only be one answer, followed by how? It turned out that there was some family connection to this band Horse and H had been offered 4 places on the bus to go down and support the band on the Tube and knowing of my love for the show, as it was the first place I had seen and heard Billy Bragg I was offered a place.

My lasting memories of the day were:-
  • That I didn't really like the people on the bus down, all pretentious Glasgow Uni students who wouldn't buy us under agers a carry out.
  • Horse weren't really my bag
  • It was probably the worst Tube line up in history, Vow Wow (Japanese Heavy Metal band), Chiefs Of Relief ( Paul Cook and some boy from Adam and the Ants/Bow Wow Wow's band), Horse of course and Janet Jackson.
  • The Tube studio was a lot smaller than it looked
  • Jools Holland was a cock
After the recording we ended up in a pub that I seem to recall was called Cleopatras with a band who were busking outside the studio and for the life of me can't remember the name of. The producers or someone gave them some money as they were featured before the opening credits when Holland and Yates were doing their speil outside and we helped them drink it. Then onto the coach with the po-faced students who couldn't believe how drunk we were.

Anyway, I was never a big fan of Horse, either the group or when she later went solo. I do, however love this track.

Horse - Careful

And while searching YouTube just on the off chance I found this

Friday 17 April 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I was never a big fan of "The Man Like Sasha". He could generate a buzz in clubs for weeks before he was due to play there but I could never fathom out why. Mix Mag even went to the extent of questioning whether he was the son of God, a bit stupid, when we all knew that Weatherall didn't even have any kids. His mixing was impeccable but it was the stuff that he was mixing, it was the blandest of the bland, to me there was nothing strange or out of the ordinary nothing that stopped you in your tracks. I seemed to be in the minority, however, as everybody else seemed to love him.

Why then did I buy a record with a huge "Sasha Mixes" on the front cover? The only reason I can think of is that it was on the UCR record label and the previous couple of releases I had bought on that label I liked a lot. Mombassa's Cry Freedom and Metropolis by, eh, Metropolis (FSOL).

The record is credited to B.M.EX and is a double 12" pack consisting of various mixes of 2 tracks Appolonia and Feel The Drop. Appolonia in all it's various guises as a workmanlike progressive verging on trance track, nothing special. Feel The Drop on the other hand is a great dance track in the same vein as the early Cowboy stuff.

I later found out that B.M.EX was an acronym for The Barry Manilow Experience and was in reality Sasha's first foray as an artist.

I still hold him and John Digweed responsible for the popularity of bloody trance

Warning - This track contains saxaphone.

B.M.EX - Feel The Drop (Saxed Up)

Also, as I mentioned it above.

Mombassa _ Cry Freedom (Malawi mix)

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Where We Were Meant To Be?

During the mid to late 80's it seemed that they were putting something in the water in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. Loads of great bands were coming out of the city and the surrounding area. Along with alternative bands like the Pastels, The BMX Bandits, The Vaselines etc were a load of more mainstream acts were getting airtime not only in Scotland but also in the rest of the UK and beyond. Bands such as Texas, del Amitri, Deacon Blue and countless others seemed to be all over the charts.

One band for some reason who didn't seem to get the recognition they deserved was The Kevin McDermott Orchestra. To this day, I still don't understand why completely as their songs are as good, if not better than any of the rest of the bands that came to prominence from this neck of the woods. My theory is that it was timing, they were just too late, by the time that their first album was released the public had moved on and were more interested in electronic music and indie dance. Which was to the masses misfortune as I think that many people missed out on an excellent band.

Kevin McDermott started in a band called the Suede Crocodiles. When this band decided to call it a day, McDermott embarked upon a solo career. He released a mini album entitled Suffocation Blues which due to an error at the pressing plant, saw him playing a track that was omitted from some copies to people live in their front rooms. A stunt that gained publicity as one of the people who bought a copy of the defective disc lived in Florida.

He formed the Kevin McDermott Orchestra in 1986 who were signed to Island and released their debut album Mother Nature's Kitchen in 1989 where both tracks posted come from. During the recording of their subsequent album they were dropped by Island but undeterred they completed the album in Glasgow and released it on the independent label 13 Records. The album was a critical and commercial success. The band released 4 more albums.

2008 saw McDermott play sold out gigs in his native Glasgow and the release of another solo album Wise To The Fade. He has been kind of quiet since then but a muso friend of mine's met him recently at a gig and said that he was working on new material. He is playing a couple of gigs down the Clyde coast in Greenock and Irvine on the 17th & 19th of this month respectively. If you are in the area I would thoroughly recommend going along as he is excellent live.

You can buy KMO cds here. I recommend starting with Mother Nature's Kitchen after which you will want to buy the rest anyway. Check Out his Myspace page here

Kevin McDermott Orchestra - Where We Were Meant To Be

Kevin McDermott Orchestra - Mother Nature's Kitchen

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Back To The Coal Face

Here is a couple of downtempo tunes to ease you back after a long weekend, for those of you who are back to work today. I on the other hand am off 'til next Monday, don't know if that is a blessing or a curse as I'm not sure how many more times I can watch Madagascar and it's follow up before my head explodes.

Both tracks are from 1990 and would have been flogged to death back in the day after a hard weekend enjoying myself.

The Beloved - The Sun Rising

Innocence - Natural Thing (Sunset)

Monday 13 April 2009

King of the Bleeps

I'm breaking my own rules for the weekend with this post as today's tune isn't from the 80s but from early 1990. I first heard this track in either January or February 1990.

By 1990 the acid house party was well and truly over what with the adverse publicity, the hounding of promoters and the fact that every single seemed to come with an acid house remix, stick a couple of wobbly 303 sounds on your record and you were sorted.

Dance music, however was going from strength to strength. It seemed to be fragmenting into dozens of sub genres,a new one created every week or so, this record responsible for one of those. Then there was indie dance, dance music that the NME and thousands of students could identify with as it still had guitars. Every white rock band seemed to name drop influential dance producers and state in interviews that there had always been a dance element to their music or some such shit.

I first heard Testone in the early hours one Sunday morning. When it was dropped, I remember that it stopped me in my tracks, one of those "what the fuck is that!" moments, as I hadn't heard anything quite like before. If my memory serves me right (which is debatable, as a lot of the details around this period are hazy) I wasn't the only one, I think that half of the club were motionless with a mixture of bafflement and awe on their faces, Bleep Techno had been born.

All of Sunday and for much of the next week I couldn't get the track out of my head and would go on and on about this amazing tune that I had heard to anyone that would listen, I really am quite a boring git. When I eventually got hold of the track and played it to a couple of friends all they could say is "is that it?". As I've said before some people just didn't get it.

Testone was released on the Sheffield based label Warp, in my view the most influential and innovative of all the UK techno labels. It was a collaboration between Richard H Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire and DJ Parrot and took their name from the title of a 70s Curtis Mayfield album.

Sweet Exorcist - Testone

Sunday 12 April 2009

Random Post

JC over at the Vinyl Villian has a post today on the best band in the world ever, no arguments, and M, my 5 year old has just asked me for the song that he refers to as "Vauxhall", so here it is in a not altogether serious dance mix.

The Fall - Touch Sensitive (Dance mix)

Tabloid Hysteria and The Second Summer of Love.

1988 saw house music go overground and a new term was coined for the sounds which were evolving, Acid House. There are various often conflicting versions of how this term came in to common usage, some to do with the use of LSD other say the term was used to describe the sounds produced by the TB303 which was being pioneered by Chicago producers. Where ever the term came from, Acid House caught on in the UK and spread across the country like wildfire.

Inevitable the meedja jumped on the bandwagon,  first embracing the music wholeheartedly, featuring the sounds, fashions and running ads for smiley t- shirts. However as the year progressed the tone in the tabloids, especially turned. Whereas some of the style bibles and and music papers were renaming 1988 as the "Second Summer of Love", the red tops began focusing on the use of illicit drugs, largely Ecstacy and LSD hyping up the alleged use to epidemic proportions and led the campaign for this music to be banned from the radio, TV and some rather stupid retailers who wouldn't stock a copy of We Call It Acieed by D Mob but would happily stock cigarettes and sell them to minors.

At this time I was having a ball. After deciding that I wasn't cut out for penury and starvation, I jacked in Uni and got a "real" job. I had money to spend on such fripperies as records again, dungarees and wallabies. I attended a few illegal parties in warehouses, went down to Manchester a couple of times to the Nude nights at the Hacienda and generally had a good time.

During the tail end of 87 a few home grown house tracks started to appear by the likes of M/A/R/R/S and Krush. The following year more and more UK house tracks started to appear by S'Express, Bomb The Bass, T-Coy and countless others although some of these tracks sound dated now at the time they were new and exciting and making people up and down the country dance like dervishes whether on one or not.

M/A/R/R/S - Pump Up The Volume (Ultimix)

T-Coy - Carino

Brandon Cooke Feart Roxanne Shante - Sharp As A Knife

Psychic TV feat Jack The Tab - Tune In

Saturday 11 April 2009

Guitars, We Don't Need No Stinkin' Guitars

I have decreed that it is 80's weekend, well in my little world anyway.

By the 80's I don't mean the usual take on it, the nonsense that was New Romantic, Duran Duran and all that pish. Nor do I mean the alternative 80's of The Smiths, C86, The Jesus and Mary Chain and the like, all of which I love. No I mean the dance music of the late 80's, House music. Those of you who either never got it or just plain couldn't stand the lack of guitars, I apologize and maybe you should come back next week, as the next few days ain't for you. I know that it wasn't everybody's cup of tea and it took some innovative remixers and the funky drummer drum beat for a lot of the people I knew to stick their toe in the murky waters of "dance music" and only then if it were preceded with the word indie.

For the next few days this site will resound with the sounds of 303s, samples, scratches and drum machines.

In 1987, I was getting kind of bored with the music I was listening to, it had been 2 years since Psychocandy and I felt that indie music was in a kind of a rut. I know that there will be people out there horrified by that statement and will be able to cite dozens of great innovative singles that came out that year but it just wasn't doing it for me. Apart from at Scooter Club dances where you would hear soul music, going for a dance was nigh on impossible. With the exception of New Order I can't think of anything contemporary that could get me onto the dance floor.

Then I went to Aberdeen and found what I was looking for. As I have mentioned before I embraced whole heartedly the electronic revolution that was going on in music, the use of samples etc. I had heard and liked the early House and Hip-Hop tunes that had been kicking about the previous year or so but it took the move up north and frequenting the early days of the Pelican Club to get me totally immersed in the music, much to the dismay of my friends at home when I tried, unsuccessfully, mostly, to get them just to listen to never mind get in to it. I really could not understand the hostility to what I saw as a natural progression from soul and disco.

1987 saw House hit these shores in a big way and irrevocably change the way in which music was made. No need for guitars and drums, all you needed was a Korg or a Roland and you could make your own music. For the next few years kids didn't want or need guitars all they needed were a set of decks or a keyboard.

Here are a couple of my favourites from the year, that if 1977 were year zero, then this would be 1917.

First up is It's Alright by Sterling Void, a completely uplifting, classic house tune which came out on the DJ International label and was co-produced by Marshall Jefferson. The Pet Shop Boys had a number 2 hit with a not too shabby cover of this a couple of years later.

Sterling Void & Paris Brightledge - It's Alright

Joe Smooth's Promised Land is another uplifting House tune with the message that everything is going to be alright, there must have been something in the water around this time which put everybody into such an optimistic mood, not only did the music have these positive lyrics but every where you looked people were grinning and hugging each other. Paul Weller loved this song so much that he attempted to cover it, Council House, if you will.

Joe Smooth feat Anthony Thomas- Promised Land

Friday 10 April 2009

Whatever You Do Just Make Sure What Your Doing Makes You Happy!

I'm in holiday mode, off today and the whole of next week.

I've got that feeling that I used to get when in my 20's with the prospect of a whole week off and nothing planned.

However instead of finding multiple variations on the theme of "getting loaded and having a good time" I will be spending my week in the park (dry or not), the pictures and playing with Star Wars figures with a 5 year old which always entails all of my men being killed and not one of M's even sustaining a flesh wound, magic.

Here is one of the tracks I always associate with the madness of my early to mid 20's.

Flowered Up - Weekender

And the rather excellent video

Thursday 9 April 2009


Mather by the Dave Pike Set came on the ipod the other day and caught me totally unaware, i had forgotten just how funky the track was. I first heard it on a Talkin' Jazz Brazilica ! Sampler. It stopped me in my tracks then as well as I was expecting to hear some cool latin tunes but instead a sitar driven track that conjured up visions of Indian subcontinent rather than the barios and beaches of South America.

Dave Pike Set - Mather

I rembered that I had an reworking of the song which had been a collaboration between Brendan Lynch and Paul Weller. I went raking through the shelves and found not one but two 12" singles one from 1994 and the other from 1997 both credited to Indian Vibes. The musicians involved were Paul Weller, Gerard Farrell, Marco Nelson, Crispin Taylor and Brendan Lynch I have no idea who the other musicians apart from Weller are Lynch are.

There are a myriad of remixes by the likes of the Ballistic Brothers, X-Press 2 and the Scream Team. The version posted is the Lynch Mob Beats mix.

Indian Vibes - Mather

Wednesday 8 April 2009

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today !

It was thirty years ago today that the general election campaign that ushered in possibly the most devise decade of the 20 century in Britain started in earnest.

In just over 3 weeks Margaret Hilda Roberts would walk through the door of number 10 Downing Street for the first time and would take up residency there for 11 years.

I blame her for most of the world's ills, I may be right but am probably wrong, however one thing is for sure, if there had been no Thatcher there would have been no need for us to have invented Tony Blair.

The Groove Armada - Hands of Time

Billy Bragg - Days Like These

Monday 6 April 2009

Touched By The Hand Of God IV

As Ctel pointed out over at Acid Ted, it is Andrew Weatherall's birthday. All of the best people were born in April.

Here is an early remix of his from 1990.

Here's to you Mr Weatherall, cheers.

Sly and Lovechild - The World According to Sly & Lovechild (Soul of Europe mix)

Paul Haig Day

When JC first mooted the idea of Paul Haig day, I liked the idea but thought that the possibility of me making a worthwhile contribution was nil, as I have to confess that the majority of his music passed me by.

Over the last week I have been wondering why this was and still haven't come up with a plausible explanation. Sure, when Joseph K were kicking about I was still at primary school but I'm sure that the band's records would have been in S's brothers collections, something I forgot to verify with one of said brothers when I met him at the weekend. Orange Juice and Aztec Camera were label mates at Postcard, both of whom I love so I am at a loss as to why I didn't get into them.

The first memory I have of hearing Joseph K would be around 1985, 2 guys, Mill and G that I kicked about with, both of whom had older brothers who sported quiffs and were the epitome of "indie" at that time, would mention and play tracks by the band but it just didn't grab me in the same way as, say, the Mary Chain or Friends Again. I liked what I heard I just didn't seek out the records, partly in retrospect I think due to the rarity of the vinyl.

I don't know about where you come from but being a 15/16 year old in Lanarkshire in the 80's our weekends revolved round somebody's parents being away, them deciding to have a party and our exploits in trying to secure a carry-oot in order to attend the bash.

After a few of such events we realised that the people who had these nights, mostly had a terrible taste in music and we would end up listening to crap from the likes of Duran Duran. I have vivid memories of Peter Gabriel's So and Talking Heads Little Creatures being ubiquitous at these nights. So we decided to take our own records not only whenever we were invited to these parties but also when we weren't but were aware that somebody had an empty.

On one of these occasions Mill decided to raid his brother's collection and take along his prize Joseph K singles. Which girl he hoped to impress with these singles is anyone's guess, as let's face it the main reason to take your own records to parties was to show how "cool" you were in order to impress a member of the opposite sex with your taste enough that you got a winch and to walk a girl home.

Anyway on this occasion Mill's attempts were fruitless and he decided to go home with his records via the park. Being rather the worse for wear probably due to Buckfast and his tendency to narcolepsy he decided to have a kip on a bench. After a snooze he headed home.

The following afternoon when totally compos mentis he realised that he had left the Josef K singles in the park. He went back, however the singles were nowhere to be seen. I am not sure now if he fessed up to his brother or not but I think he did and got a kicking for it.

Anyway, that is my rather convoluted and not totally relevant contribution to Paul Haig Day and this is one of the singles that went missing that night.

Josef K - Chance Meeting

If you like what you hear you can buy the Josef K compilation Entimology here. Go on give some support to one of the good guys.

Sunday 5 April 2009

Random Post

Was listening to Joe Strummer this morning and this song just feels right today.

Weather up here is sunny and just about to cook honey roasted duck for Sunday lunch.

Joe Strummer - Sleepwalk

Saturday 4 April 2009

Beat Mining With The Vinyl Hoover

I was listening to this programme on Radio 4 on Monday when I picked up M from school but due to having other things on my mind at the time I wasn't really listening.

I listened again last night and think that anybody interested in vinyl at all should listen to it. It is narrated by Toby Amies and is about crate diggers, vinyl junkies and beats and breaks. It has some good contributions from the likes of Coldcut, giving a sample by sample run through of their groundbreaking remix of Eric B & Rakim's Paid In Full. Keb Darge talking about his exploits when looking for rare soul and Mark The 45 King's prescription for making the perfect hip-hop record amongst others.

This type of programme is why I love the BBC and Radio 4 in particular, informative without being dull and not at all that you would expect from the station that brings you Gardeners Question Time. It is a programme that is totally incongruous to the Radio 4 demographic. I can't imagine that the average Archers listener is a vinyl junkie, although I'm getting quite into the Archers these days, a sure sign of the aging process.

"A song about life, death, love, hate, wealth, poverty, racism just a few things that've been running through my head"

It got me thinking of all the cut n paste tracks that I have and what is my favourite. As I've mentioned before when hip-hop and dance started using samples I started buying these records like a zealot. When I bought my first record on Mo' Wax, I knew that I had found something really special, it was the 14th release on the label and I loved it so much I went on to buy each release up to # 70.

Unfortunately in a moment of madness I sold most of these off at a record fair in March 2003 to finance my first ipod, a move that I have bitterly regretted ever since as I only got 220 quid for 50 0dd releases including Headz and both Headz 2 vinyl box sets. I really wanted an ipod but why the hell didn't I just put it on the plastic?

I did, however keep MW014 and another 10 which I couldn't bear to part with.

DJ Shadow and the Groove Robbers - In/Flux

Friday 3 April 2009

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance (mebbe?)

How does a little early 70's Jazz Funk grab you?

Know hardly anything about this apart from the original piece of music was by Richard Strauss and known to millions from its use to great effect in 2001. This version seemingly won a Grammy in 1973.

I have absolutely no fucking idea how you would dance to it, apart from badly but it is as funky as fuck.

I think that the sleep deprivation of the past week and the sunshine yesterday have affected me.

I know of one person who will despise this as the 2 words Jazz and Funk are possibly his 2 least favourite words in the English language and when used together is enough to induce a state of apoplexy, reason enough to post I think.

Enjoy or possibly not.

Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Break In Transmission . . . Again

There will be a lull in proceedings from these parts for a few days, as real life has gotten in the way.

But until then

Chuck Jackson - Any Day Now