Wednesday 27 February 2013

The Captain

Anyone fancy a bit of Australian Country and Western?

I first heard Kasey Chambers via Jon In The Morning on KEXP  which was my saviour when I was office bound during the early noughties.

The Captain was the title track to Chambers first album. Since then she has released a further seven albums but I haven't got anything further than the second album Barricades and Brickwalls.

Kasey Chambers - The Captain.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

My Sweet Potato

Not really got that much to say about Booker T and The MGs other than they were fucking magic and this is one of my favourite tracks by the band.

Booker T and The MGs - My Sweet Potato

Here is some footage of a couple of pretty good northern soul dancers getting down to this track.

Monday 25 February 2013

Classy Blue Eyed Soul

This has got to be one of the classiest pieces of blue eyed soul I have ever heard.

Timi Yuro was one of the first blue eyed soul singers and unlike a lot of the obscure artists who are idolised by the northern soul fraternity, this Italian American torch singer had a number 4 billboard hit in the states in 1961 with the wonderful, 'Hurt' and the following year Phil Spector produced the singe 'What's A Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You?)', She continued to record throughout the decade with varying degrees of success with 'It Will Never Be Over For Me' ironically being her final release.

In the early 80s Yuro moved to the Netherlands where she resurrected her career before moving back to the States in the middle of the decade where she lived until she succumbed to the throat cancer in 2004 that had first being diagnosed nearly 20 years earlier.

Timi Yuro - It Will Never Be Over For Me

Sunday 24 February 2013

What's In Yir Box?

Last night I came up with this brilliant idea for a series of posts, you may not think so but let's face it the only other series on this blog were on the Fall and the series that refuses to give up the ghost on a Friday, so anything new should be greeted with a little enthusiasm, no?.

 It is self indulgent and owes more than a little to a couple of other bloggers,  JC with his forty five, forty fives series from a few years ago and also from a posting by Davy H a while ago when he went on about his record box, you know the box that you would grab in case of emergencies. Well, a few of the sadder amongst us got to speculating what special records Mr H's box would contain which was quickly nipped in the bud when the contents were listed. But at the time I thought worthy of another look.

I have a few boxes, a 12" one and five 7" ones that hold varying amounts of singles of which there are two which would have to be picked up in an emergency, one houses the best soul singles and the other hold the best of everything else. If push came to shove and I could only pick up one it would be the red one with the best of everything.

So,  last night while breaking in the new listening chair, sipping some rather lovely Angostura 1919 rum and flicking through the contents of my singles box I came up with the idea of a series of posts detailing what was in the box, however there are about 150 singles in there, so I have decided that I will pick one from each letter, starting from A, as yes the box is in alphabetic order, sad I know.

When looking in the box I was quite surprised as the contents haven't changed much since I first got it and filled it. At that time I tried to only include my favourite single from bands but on inspection I failed drastically to implement that rule and with one band found it incredibly difficult not to include most of their singles and, no it wasn't The Fall. The lack of dance music is well apparent but that is because all of my favourite dance tracks are the 12" versions which are in the 12"/album box.

So without further ado here are the singles from artists or bands beginning with the letter A:-

AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
Ace Spectrum - Don't Send Nobody Else
Afghan Whigs - Uptown Avondale
Afghan Whigs/Ass Ponys- Mr Superlove/You My Love
Age Of Chance - Higher Than Heaven
Airport Girl - The Foolishness That We Create Through Love Is The Closest We Come To Greatness
the Airborne Toxic Event - ep
Allo Darlin' - The Polaroid Song
Alabama Shakes - Be Mine
Dot Allison - Mo Pop
Ruby Andrews - Just Loving You
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Aztec Camera - Oblivious (dbl pack)
Aztec Camera - Spanish Horses
Aztec Camera and Mick Jones - Good Morning Britain

AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long

Saturday 23 February 2013

By Your Side

This post was going to be about going from smooth 70s soul to super smooth, smoother than Trevor Nelson's napper 80s coffee table soul in the form of Sade but I have kind of fucked up as the track that I've picked isn't really that smooth. It is however brilliant,  sort of your best red wine for the ears  in as much as it results in the same warm glow as when you neck a bottle of Chateau Cissac.


Sade - By Your Side

photie for Dirk

Friday 22 February 2013

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Today's track comes from an extremely prolific American producer who also inadvertently invented a new genre of dance music, Speed Garage with his remix of Sugar Is Sweeter by CJ Bolland. However he had been producing and releasing records since 1992.

It was a couple of years later that Witch Doktor was released on Stricktly Rhythm records and people started to take notice.

I just love the bit when the klaxon breaks in for the first time. The first time I heard that in a club I nearly shat myself.

Have a good weekend people.

Armand Van Helden - Witch Docktor

Thursday 21 February 2013

When Eli Met The Pepperpots

What do you get if combine the talents of one of the US's top retro R&B/Soul artists and Spain's premier Northern Soul Girl group?

An absolutely splendid piece of stomping, feel good soul.

Eli Paperboy Reed Meets The Pepperpots - Don't Mess Up This Good Thing

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Never Too Late To Learn How To Live

It appears that northern soul singles are not the only pieces of vinyl that you are expected to pay a small fortune for these days. When I was looking at Discogs to find out when the ep that today's track comes from was released I was stunned that the only copy of the Holloway Sweethearts ep for sale had a price of eighty quid on it. It's a very good ep and The Kids At The Club is an excellent piece of indie pop but I'm not sure that it's worth that kind of money.

by the way, it was released in 1994, so when Blur and Oasis were doing what they did, there was some decent indie music being released.

Comet Gain - The Kids At The Club

Monday 18 February 2013

Some Smooth Seventies Soul

I have never been that big a fan of Seventies soul. I always found it too polished, too smooth and on the whole pretty insipid. But there were certain tracks that I loved  and still do, some of the Philly output but not all of it by any means and also some of the stuff that Ian Levine pushed at the Mecca but on the whole I would have to say that I'm a Sixties soul kind of guy.

Why I love Hang On In There Baby is a mystery to me, it has all of the those things that turn me off 70s soul, the slick production, that earnest, " I'm pure sexy, me" vocals and the fact that it was a top five hit in 1974 but there is something about the song that I love. Can't think of any reason not to post it so . . .

Not a bad way to kick off the week.

Johnny Bristol - Hang On In There Baby

Sunday 17 February 2013

New Listening Chair

I have a new listening chair.  After much deliberation I picked one. Last night I decided to test it out and it did quite well. I have decided it's not a slouching kind of listening chair unlike the other one. It did pass the test and at the moment I would describe it as adequate, I did at one point nod off while listening to the Blue Room by The Orb but I think that had more to do with the couple of large Havana Clubs that the comfort rating of the chair.

It is early days but one thing that is apparent is that it is not red.

Here is one of the finest singles that The Fall ever released from 1992.

The Fall - Free Range

Saturday 16 February 2013

Jersey Girl

I had been meaning to post this tune for ages after hearing it on something on the tv a while ago but it went out of my head, however Mr H over at The Ghost of Electricity posted another Tom Waits track to accompany Friday's shennanigans at our virtual local which spurned me on to post it this morning.

Jersey Girl is just one of many favourite Waits tracks of mine. It was first included on the 1980 released Hearattack and Vine. it has been appropriated by Bruce Springsteen and is a live favourite of his but his version although good doesn't come close to the original.

Tom Waits - Jersey Girl

Friday 15 February 2013

RIP George 'Shadow' Morton

03 September 1940 - 14 February 2013

Ellie Greenwich - Baby

As I mentioned a couple of days ago I spent a few hours on Saturday searching through the dance 12" singles which are all stored in my office on shelves that are very soon (next pay day) going to be housed in an Expedit unit, as a result of Swiss Adam's weekend posts. I found a few things that I had forgotten about, some others that I don't remember buying and others I asked myself "why the fuck did you buy that?"

Today's track comes from a Nottingham label, T:me that I started to buy during the second half of 1992. These distinctive orange labelled pieces of vinyl in black sleeves whose title seemed to reflect the month of release,  for example 0692,  contained music from artists that I had never heard of but there was always at least one track that was good enough for me to buy the next instalment. I heard Moodswings, Spiritual High for the first time on one of these compilations.

The music was very much of it's time, not in that it is dated but it is progressive house,  my genre of choice at the time.

Today's track first appeared on 0193 and was credited to IPG, however later the track and a myriad of mixes all built upon the original 22 second baseline was released under the title of the D*****land ep by Unknown Artist. The mixes range in style from progressive house to ambient but my favourite is still the original one which is called the IPG mix on the ep.

Have a listen and see what you think. I think that it still sounds good, twenty years later.

Have a good weekend people.

Unknown Artist - D*****land (IPG mix)

Wednesday 13 February 2013

The Sound of Machines Our Parents Used

I spent a few hours on Saturday morning digging through my dance 12" singles looking for stuff that I had mibbie forgotten about that could be used in the Friday feature that refuses to give up the ghost. I found a few belters that I had forgotten about which will turn up on a Friday for the next few weeks. I also found some that don't quite make you want to dance but have been filed in there out of convenience.

The  Gescom ep, The Sound Of Machines Our Parents Used falls into this catagory, it's probably not the easiest listen either but I think it is damn fine, beats me how I forgot about it.

The track posted has been described thus in Discogs -  'Puzl' sounds like 'Metal on Metal', all hissing machinery and otherworldy percussion', pretty accurate but don't let it put you off.

Gescom - Puzl

Tuesday 12 February 2013


It isn't very hip and trendy to like The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, don't think that it ever was mind you. I got into them through the hippies that I have mentioned before, well not them really but one of the guys who went about with them, whose name was Alec coincidentally, he was really into them.

When I was twelve/ thirteen I thought Alec was the best guitarist in the world, well Lanarkshire anyway. It was through listening to him, Jim and Chris jamming and rehearsing in New Lanark hall that I was first introduced to classic rock tunes by the likes of Cream, Hendrix, Black Sabbath and the rest.

I have a tape somewhere of one of these rehearsals, terrible quality but it has a wonderful version of Star Spangled Banner which goes on for ages and I can still remember how loud the feedback was that day.

Anyway, during one of these performances Alec started playing this 12 bar blues and began to sort of talk, sing over the top, when he came to the line "is your name Alexander?" I was rather impressed by his spontaneous song writing, it wasn't until the end of the day that I found out that he had not after all thought up these words on the spot but that it was actually a Leiber and Stoller composition. Years later I found out that the song was originally a Doo-wop song record recorded in 1954 by The Robbins and had been covered by Ritchie Valens, Canned Heat and Los Lobos amongst others. Harvey had recorded a version back in 1964 as Alex Harvey and His Soul Band, allegedly recorded live in Hamburg but was in fact recorded in the studio.

So after the session ended I asked Alec if he had any Alex Harvey stuff and he lent me the first two albums and the Live 1975 album which I duly took home immersed myself in and taped.

These days, if you asked people about Alex Harvey and they didn't just shrug and say who? they would probably mention the band's version of Delilah, sadly, as opposed to The Faith Healer, Next and of course Framed.

I was sure that I had the Live 1975 album which has an eleven minute version of Framed but I can't find it so you will have to do with the Live At The BBC version.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Framed (Liver At The BBC)

and it's amazing what you can find on the internet. Here is the version from the non live, Live In Hamburg album.

Monday 11 February 2013

Such Misery

How is it possible to make a song about heartbreak sound so out and out joyous and uplifting?

The Precisions - Such Misery

Sunday 10 February 2013

It's been a bloody awful weekend so far. Yesterday Airdrie got royally humped in what is probably the most inept performance that I have ever seen from them and that is saying something. Then last night my lovely red listening chair bit the dust and according to the online IKEA catalogue is irreplaceable. This has caused me some distress. I can't even take a picture to show the damage as when I tried to the camera informed me that it has a focus error which I think means that it is basically fucked as well!

Above is a picture of the chair in happier times.

Here is a track from a band that I have spent many an hour listening to on that chair.

The Velvet Underground - What Goes On (Live 1969)

Friday 8 February 2013

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Back to the heady days of 1988 for today's track.

Royal House was just one of a myriad of aliases of producer Todd Terry, probably intended to keep the lawyers off of his back as Terry was renowned for his use of uncleared samples.  Can You Party is a prime example of this as it samples Marshall Jefferson's Move Your Body, First Choice's Let No Man Put Asunder, Planet Rock by African Bambaataa and Bring The Noise by Public Enemy, there are probably others in there as well. It doesn't detract from the fact that this was a brilliant track in it's day which always filled the dancefloor and to me it doesn't sound too bad today bit that may just be due to nostalgia.

Have a good weekend people.

Royal House - Can You Party

Thursday 7 February 2013

Too Good To Wait 'til Monday

I was going to leave this and post it on Monday but after it came into my possession  this morning I decided that it needed to be posted straight away!

Don't Let It End has been high up on my wants list ever since I first heard Don't Nobody Mess With My Baby and decided to explore Debbie Taylor's other releases.

A few weeks ago I got very excited when a copy of the single was listed on ebay and duly put my bid in, only to be piped in the last 10 seconds by a bloody sniper. I decided to look around the web and see if there were any other copies for sale at a reasonable price. Luckily enough I found one at MusicStack at a price that wouldn't burst the bank and duly ordered.

I have to admit that I have been worriedly waiting for this to arrive as a couple of singles have gone missing in the post recently. But I needn't as it was waiting for me at the local sorting office this morning.

The track is a belter much in the same vein as Don't Nobody Mess . .  but at a more furious tempo. It was the 150th release on the GWP label out of NYC.

Play loud and enjoy.

Debbie Taylor - Don't Let It End

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Another Noise

We haven't had anything from the finest duo to hail from Denmark for a while. Here is a track from the ridiculously limited Rarities/b-sides album which for some reason only appeared on the cd version of the release (thank god for snidey download sites). The track doesn't feature on any other release that I have and I therefore assume that it is an out-take, a rather good one at that.

The Raveonettes - Another Noise

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Do We Go Or Not?

It's that time of the year when the thoughts of two middle aged men turn to whether or not to go along to the Barrowlands Ballroom on the 17th March. I'm not sure why there is such a dilemma, we have yet to see a bad performance by the band but there is something that always has me in two minds as to whether to go or not.

I think that the main reason is that it is pure nostalgia from the moment that you walk into the cavernous ballroom, it's as if the 80s. 90s and the last decade and a bit never happened. It is really quite sad to see middle aged men sporting mohicans and wearing bondage trousers. Don't get me wrong as soon as the band take to the stage the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and for the next 90 minutes I get continual goosebumps and shivers down my spine at regular intervals. But when it's over and I'm walking back to the car I feel, not unsatisfied, how could I be,  I have just listened to and watched possibly the finest punk band play the best of their back catalogue sounding nearly as good as they did all those years ago but there is always something nagging at me.

It is probably just the realisation that irrespective of how much we would like to we cannot turn the clock back and no matter how good the band are, I will never be able to recreate that feeling I had that Saturday afternoon when I was eleven and I played At The Edge for the first time after buying it from Woolies about twenty minutes beforehand.

SLF - At The Edge

Monday 4 February 2013

Have Mercy Someone

How about a bit of  R&B to kick off the week. Have Mercy Someone was the flipside of You Don't Love Me released on the Kent label in 1971.

I love this tune!

Z.Z. Hill - Have Mercy Someone

Sunday 3 February 2013

Football, Music and Honeymoons

My Honeymoon very nearly didn't happen.

When L told me where we were going my first question was "How?"

"We will be flying of course".

"No we will fucking not!" I replied.

This was back in the days when I would not even entertain the possibility of flying. There was more chance of getting BA Baracus on a plane without slipping him a mickey finn than there was of me getting into one of those steel tubes.

"Well this will be one of shortest marriages in history" was L's witty retort.

L and my parents had decided to to keep the destination of where we were going to themselves until the day before the wedding. I was going to Barcelona whether I wanted to or not, apparently. In those days there were no flights from Glasgow to the capital of Catalonia and the day after our wedding I found myself on a train to Birmingham, shaking like a battery hen I suspect due to thinking about what was to come more than the effect of the festivities which had ended earlier that morning, as the following day we would fly to Spain.

After forcefully pushing me up the corridor,  onto the plane and getting me seated L sat down more relaxed than anybody has the right to when they are putting their life in the hands of two jet engines, this demeanour irked me somewhat as at the same time I was having problems breathing.

Once the plane took off, the flight wasn't too bad as I ended up getting some special treatment from the cabin crew. When the steward ambled up and asked me if I would like some breakfast I replied that due to the fact that I was having difficulty breathing I would have to decline his kind offer but I could do with a Brandy. He came back with 3 miniatures and then asked if I smoked and at that time I did.

I spent the rest of the flight up the back of the plane behind the curtain smoking and getting ever so slightly inebriated on Brandy.

It would have probably have been easier for us to find our hotel if I hadn't been so "refreshed" after the flight but when we did eventually find it, I noticed that on the same street we had passed at least three record shops.  This is looking up I thought to myself.

After spending a few hours sobering up we decided to go for a wee walk along la Rambla and get some dinner. Tapas L decided, I wasn't too bothered as long as I could get a drink which would postpone the oncoming hangover. So we had some food, a few drinks and then staggered back to the hotel.

I was woken up a few hours later to the sounds of "oh god" splash, "aw jesus!". What's the matter I said", "bloody Calamari, I thought that it tasted a bit too fishy" A strange statement I thought considering what Calamari is. So L spent the rest of the night on the big white telephone to god.

The next day she wasn't any better and was a rather off-putting shade of grey. I was all set for a day watching Spanish telly when I was ordered to go out. Okay I thought, I will go and have a browse round the record shops and come back in an hour or so.

One of the record shops specialised in dance music and I saw a couple of 12"s that took my interest and thought I will maybe get them later. The second shop was predominantly astacked with second hand vinyl with racks and racks of the stuff and I duly started digging. When I looked at my watch I realised that a couple of hours had passed. I strategically placed the records that I wanted, left,  found a convenience store bought some bottled water, ginger and some food that I thought that L might be able to keep down and bolted.

When I got back to the hotel L looked quite a bit better but said that she thought that she better spend the rest of the day in bed . I told her about the record shop and casually dropped into the conversation that there were a few that had interested me. I was told that I could buy a few but not to go mad as we were on a bit of a budget. Ya dancer, I thought to myself.  L asked me what I was going to do with the afternoon and I said that I thought that I would go to Camp Nou as she wasn't particularly bothered about seeing it.

So I wandered out to find the bus that takes you round all of the touristy places fully intending to do the stadium tour. When I got there I realised that Barcelona were playing Dynamo Kiev a couple of nights later in the European Cup. I thought to myself that this was too good an opportunity to miss and took the executive decision and blew about a fifth of our budget for the week on two tickets, it was a once in a lifetime chance I reasoned with my conscience. I hopped on the next bus and went back to the hotel to tell L the good news and show her the records that I had bought on my way.

"What the fuck do I want to go and see a football match for?" was her first question quickly followed by " HOW FUCKING MUCH!" when I told her how much of a bargain the tickets were. I could tell she was feeling much better as she had become very animated and her face no longer ashen but quite a deep shade of red.

She calmed down after not too long, well quicker than other times when I had seriously fucked up.

The last four days of our honeymoon went really well, we did the touristy things, visited la Sagrada Familia and other works by Gaudi, viewed the Picasso exhibition and found a brilliant little cocktail bar where upon entering you were transported back to the 1920s.

Oh, and the football match.

L loved it couldn't get over the size of the place, it was under half full with only 50 odd thousand in attendance, the capacity being 115 000 at that time. Barcelona got royally cuffed four nil by Dynamo Kiev, Shevchenko scoring a hat-trick. One further point of interest, the referee was a Scotsman, Hugh Dallas from Bonkle who when refereeing at home took great pleasure in persecuting Airdrieonians.

Here is one of the 12" singles that I bought in the 2nd hand record shop just off la Rambla.

The Woodentops - Good Thing (12" version)

Saturday 2 February 2013

Whine and Grine

L is a away on her Christmas Night out today, when  I pointed out that it was neither Christmas nor did nights out start at eleven a.m. she just told me to "stop moaning and think of it as a chance to bond with your children".

So instead of me just inflicting just Max on Stiff and Bat at the football they will also have Leo to contend with. Not sure about the bonding stuff but I know that it is going to cost me a fortune.

Here's a bit of Prince Buster

Prince Buster - Whine and Grine 

Update - got my dates wrong, no football today so spent the afternoon listening to the Asphodells album which is a belter, oh and entertaining the boys.

Friday 1 February 2013

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

It's been a long week, Monday and Tuesday in Aberdeen, Wednesday and Thursday in Nottingham and today in Glasgow.

I had my first blow-out on Wednesday, which was nice! Quite scary really, tyre blew on the A1 south bound doing 80 just past Catterick. Then an hour's wait for the AA but the worst was still to come, I had to drive the 130 odd miles left to Nottingham at 45 miles an hour due to the bloody space saver tyre, it may save space but certainly doesn't save fucking time!

Anyway let's have something joyous and uplifting and I know we have had it twice already over the years but it's brilliant and besides I have had no time to think of anything else.

Have a good weekend people.

Sterling Void & Paris Brightledge - It's Alright