Tuesday 25 June 2013

Break In Transmission

Since there seems to be a bit of a modern/cross over soul vibe going on at the moment. I will leave you with my favourite cross over soul tune, written by Bobby Hebb and just one of the brilliant tracks off of her 1972 album on Mainstream.

Nonsense will resume here on the 8th/9th July

Alice Clark - Don't You Care

En Vacances

Tomorrow morning we will begin the long trek to Portsmouth to get the ferry to St Malo and then head down to our friends house in le Gurcan just outside Sainte-Foy-la-Grande. This is the crossing that we used to do avant les weans. We would embark at Portsmouth get drunk and find a bit of floor to kip on, or if flush when we booked the ferry splash out for a recliner. When the boys came along, we thought that getting a cheap b&b at Dover and then the short crossing was better for them than kipping on the floor but this year rather than suffer le Boulevard Peripherique, we would do the overnight crossing, splash out for a cabin and have a shorter drive the other side.

I am really looking forward to going back to the house, it has been three years since we were last there and the scars of that nightmare have nearly healed but I am not yet ready "to look back and laugh about it" as JC suggested at the time.

Anyway, just to let you know that not a lot will be happening around here until 8th July.

I have taken to listening to The Waterboys over the past few weeks and am quite glad the records have stood the test of time. I sent Stiff a text saying how good The Whole Of The Moon sounded and he replied " the reason why it was so popular back then was because it was brilliant", never a truer statement uttered.

The Waterboys - Strange Boat

Monday 24 June 2013

(A Case Of ) Too Much Love Making

It took me will into my thirties to appreciate the subtler, more floaty sounds of Modern Soul.  From the age of about 16 I had immersed myself in the pounding, stomping 60s sounds that were the staple diet of the Northern Soul fan. I loved the sounds of Stax and Atlantic as well and even dabbled with the sounds of Philly and disco but tailor mades and modern soul were a step too far. That was until I found myself in the modern room at a Weekender for the first time and realised that I liked what I was listening to. So much so that I was there for over an hour and posted missing.

(A Case Of) Too Much Love Making is a prime example of the kind of thing that I would have dismissed out of hand a decade or so ago. I would have been horrified if somebody had suggested that I would not just like but actively seek out a record produced by Barry White and with a backing track including the strings of the Love Unlimited Orchestra.

Oh, how times have changed.

btw,  Lisa Stansfield had a fair stab at this on her third album, So Natural.

Gloria Scott - (A Case Of) Too Much Love Making

Sunday 23 June 2013

What's In Yir Box? S

We come to the letter which has the most entries in the box.

First up we have a bit of Italian, New Orleans fusion and the best use of harmonica and banjo together that I have in my collection. In The River by Fab Samperi was one of those records that the first time I heard it, it stopped me in my tracks and I knew that I would not be happy until I had. It took quite a bit of searching before I found a copy of this bad boy I can tell you.

I have always liked St Etienne but thought of them as a singles band rather than as somebody that I would sit down and listen to an album by all the way through,  up until quite recently, Foxbase Alpha being the only album that I owned but those singles both seven and twelve inche being well into double figures. I have had a great time over the last few years discovering the very many brilliant album tracks that up until then I was ignorant of. But for me it always comes back to the first two singles.  The second of which, a cover of the Field Mice song, sung by Donna Savage edges it. For me it is a brilliant summer song and evokes long sunny days coming down after a brilliant night of excess and over indulgence that really comes into it's own just as you are starting to feel human again. The first single in it's 12" Weatherall remix form is in the big box.

No self respecting record box would be complete without a Sex Pistols record and for me it has to be the EMI promo copy of Anarchy In The UK but as I don't own a copy of this rather pricey artifact I will make do with my copy of Pretty Vacant. A better song in my opinion, I think the intro is full of foreboding and Lydon's vocal is at its menacing best on this single.

Fife's finest, The Skids were responsible for more than a few great singles , I can think of six truly great and a further five really good ones. Woman In Winter is probably my favourite although Circus Games and Charade come close. One thing that does kind of bond all the singles together is the fact that I have never been able to work out what the fuck Jobbers is going on about in any of them, with the possible exception of Charles, who worked in a factory.

I suppose if you had to pigeon hole Slow Club they would be called nu-folk or some such thing. I think that they make a great racket and whose lyrics are very witty and clever. I just love the frenetic pace of Trophy Room and the drumming reminds me of the Woodentops.

I wasn't the biggest fan of Shoegaze when it sort of evolved in the late 80s,  early 90s. I did like My Bloody Valentine but I think my prejudice lay in the fact that I saw it as progression of Goth which I really despised. Another thing that put me off was the awful dress sense and the uncleanliness of its followers with their matted hair, holey jumpers and manky footwear. How could these people not keep their trainers clean for fucks sake? The whole lot of them needed to be rounded up and stood in front of a fully functioning water cannon. I did however, love the first Slowdive album and Catch The Breeze in particular.

Strychnine by the Sonics is a song I came to courtesy of Mark Edward Smith and his cover version from a Peel session back in 1993. When I eventually got my hands on a Sonics compilation I found out that Strychnine wasn't their only great original track, Psycho and The Witch being nearly as unhinged as the track the Fall had covered. They also made a great job of covers themselves, whether it be The Night Time Is The Right Time,  Louie Louie or the numerous others.

What can I say about Sonic Youth apart from they have recorded some great stuff over the years, they have also produced some things which I find practically unlistenable. One thing I would never have said was " You know who I think Sonic Youth should collaborate with? Chuck D. You know I can really see that happening". But it did on the second single from their excellent 1990 album Goo. Possibly the band at their most accessible.

I once described Handsfree by Sonny J to be the bastard child of Nancy Sinatra and Quentin Tarantino, if he made music and not films but my description was influenced by the video for the track which is very Tarantioesque but I still think that it is the sort of tune that could crop up in one of his films, the strange mix of the country vocal and the mariachi horns.

Up The Junction is just my favourite kitchen sink drama song and one of the best records ever, period. But I always wondered why having a bath on Sunday was an event worth singing about,  was it that unusual? We are back to personal hygiene issues again. Does anyone own a copy of this on black vinyl as I think the only copies I have ever seen are on lilac coloured plastic?

Gangsters is another classic, the start of a label, musical genre, youth movement and the habit of people wearing ill-fitting Sta-Prest trousers and three button jackets that looked good on the members of the Specials etc but not so great on your average 10/11 year old in Lanarkshire. But what a tune and also with The Selecter on the flip side you get two great bands on one single.

There are times when I think that Spiritualized are the best band in the world. I'm not sure why I Anyway That You Want Me is in the box over Smile or Good Dope Good Fun or any the others. Probably because it was the band's first single when they were more of a band. Pierce sets his stall out from the beginning on this cover of the Chip Taylor song, although the sound would get much deeper over the years all the elements are there right from the off.

Phil Spector has had quite a few mentions on this blog and Silence Is Easy will undoubtedly be his final production unless he gets a group together in prison but I think that those days of prisoners producing music while incarcerated in correctional institutions are over. To be honest this is not a bad record for him to be associated with. I would however like to hear, if there are any, the recordings that Starsailor made of the track before Spector got his hands on it.

One of the best gigs I've ever been to was in 2003/2004? when I saw The Raveonettes, as I said last week the Raveonettes gigs are always great even the night that the mixing board blew up. The reason that this gig was so special was not only the headline band but the support also blew me away that night. I had never heard Stellastarr before but from about half way through the first number they had me sold, the energy was amazing and after two or three songs I was a fan. They had a sound deeply indebted to British indie of the 80s, I could hear bits of the Cure, the Bunnymen and a whole load of the best bits of Big Country. Somewhere Across Forever was the band's first single and is a prime example of the energy and sound of the band. I have seen them live on three further occasions and after the last a guy standing next to me turned round and said "that was fucking brilliant, I bought a ticket on spec, best fucking tenner I've spent in a long time" and he was not wrong.

Long suffering readers of this nonsense will know of the dilemma that happens every March for me.  To go or not to go, that is the question and see SLF at the Barrowlands on St Patrick's Night. It's not because the band will be rubbish,  as they never are, it's just that with maybe with one random thrown in , you know what the set is going to be and it's quite depressing to see the amount of people that the last thirty odd years really haven't happened for. The Clash excepted, SLF are my favourite punk band and at one time there were 5 singles in the box but over the last couple of years three have had to make way for other things with only Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster, the first two singles remaining. Alternative Ulster was the second single I ever bought,  from a stall at Wishaw market. Suspect Device although the first single by the band was purchased or more probably swapped a couple of years later, not quite sure which. The thing about these singles and everything up to and including At The Edge is the rawness and sheer force of the sound, even now all these years later there is an energy off of these singles that is missing from a lot of  punk records, I'm not saying that Jake Burns and the boys were more "real" and meant it more than any of the rest but they did really capture that sense of urgency in the recording better than most.

The final single in the S's is by a band who were hailed by the NME at the time as the saviours of indie rock. I have always been suspicious of such claims and to be honest at that point in time I wasn't particularly bothering about white middle class boys with guitars and vared not a jot if the genre were thriving or not, so I was a little late to pick up on the Strokes but when I heard Last Nite, I really enjoyed what I heard and bought the single, quickly followed by the album. From the outset the track always sounded quite familiar but it was a while until I realised what it reminded me off, American Girl by Tom Petty,  a big favourite of my mate at school Ben, the boy who introduced me to R.E.M.

So that's yir whack for the S's.

Fab Sameri - In The River
St Etienne - Kiss And Make Up
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
Skids - Woman In Winter
Slow Club - Trophy Room
The Sonics - Strychnine
Slowdive - Catch The Breeze
Sonic Youth - Kool Thing
Sonny J - Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand)
Squeeze - Up The Junction
Special A.K.A. - Gangsters
Spiritualized - Any Way That You Want Me
Starsailor - Silence is Easy
Stellastarr* - Somewhere Across Forever
Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device
Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster
The Strokes - Last Nite

Squeeze -Up The Junction

Saturday 22 June 2013

1988 Rap Week part 5

Well, this is not technically rap but it did come out in 1988 and I did play it last week.

I really like this cover of a Bacharach and David standard, it reminds me of the Smith and Mighty covers of Walk On By and Anyone Who Had A Heart which incidentally were both also released in 1988.

Bomb The Bass - I Say A Little Prayer

Friday 21 June 2013

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Since it is 1988 hip-hop week and it's Friday I was going to post Hip-House by DJ Fast Eddie, see what I did there? but I'm fucked if I can find it! So here is a slab of house music from 1988 that I found in the cupboard tucked away with the rap and indie twelves last Saturday.

I'm off to see the Amazing Snakeheads tonight.

Have a good weekend people.

Kraze - The Party (Club mix)

Thursday 20 June 2013

Just Because

It's Fucking brilliant and I am officially on annual leave yea ha!

Best use of a Shirley Bassey sample I have ever heard.

Public Enemy - Harder Than You Think

1988 Rap Week part 4

I first heard public enemy in 1987 when I got a loan o the first album, Yo Bum Rush The Show from a mate in Aberdeen. It was good but not great, I think that there may have been a problem with the pressing as I remember it sounded pretty muffled at the time.

The second album, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back was a huge jump on from the Yo, it was loud and proud, there was no ambiguity around the meaning of the raps,  Chuch D said what the meant and meant what he said and the production by Bomb Squad (Hank Shocklee and Carl Ryder) was so dense but still clear, still don't know what some of those noises are that have been incorporated within the mix of some of the tunes.

The album spawned a whole load of singles of which Don't Believe The Hype is probably my second favourite behind Bring The Noise.

Public Enemy - Bring The Noise

Wednesday 19 June 2013

1988 Rap Week part three

Today's joint comes courtesy of Monie Love.

I Can Do This was the first single by the Brittish rapper. Monie Love was a protege of Queen Latifah. The backing track sounds a bit dated but the rapping is top class.

Monie Love - I Can Do This 

Tuesday 18 June 2013

1988 Rap Week part two

There is a certain naivety about the samples on this Graeme Park mix of Eric B & Rakim. To me it seems that due to the new technology samples were used just because they could, is there any other reason why you would sample some of the most recognisable lines that Humphrey Bogart ever uttered at the beginning of a hip hop song other than because it can be done.

Eric B & Rakim - Put Your Hands Together (Parkside mix)

Monday 17 June 2013

1988 Rap Week part one

On Saturday while cleaning up the house I had an urge to listen to some old school Rap and Hip-hop, first of  all I dug out Adventures on The Wheels of Steel by Grandmaster Flash which was given the Max seal of approval and I was instructed to play it again, so to keep the peace I did what I was told. After this I gravitated towards the cupboard that houses 12" singles that aren't post 1990 dance tunes and started pulling out some singles. Eric B & Rakim, nice followed by a bit of Roxanne Shante, then a bit of Public Enemy  and so on but after about the 4th or 5th record I realised that they were all from 1988. It appears that I was heavily into my hip-hop in 1988, mainstream granted but hip-hop none the less.

As I played these tunes an idea for a week long series came to me and so this week I will be mostly playing hip-hop. For those of you under the age of forty, there will be no bitches, or hoes referred to, no talk of popping caps or of firearms at all, violence will be eluded to but more through a blistering verbal assault as opposed to the physical kind.

First up, is a 12" single I remember buying from Woolies and playing very loud to my then girlfriend just returned from unsuccessfully emigrating to Australia, who was less than impressed by this sort of music. An absolute belter of a jam built upon a Lyn Collins sample from 1972. I have posted this before but it is brilliant.

Rob Base & D.J. E.Z. Rock - It Takes Two

Sunday 16 June 2013

What's In Yir Box? R

This week's selection is a little more expansive than that of last week but still maintaining the quality, well with the exception of one  whose merits can be argued, not on the basis of the single but by the gobshite lead singer being a legend in his own lunch hour, which tends to make an objective view of his music quite difficult.

To kick off we have the Ramones with their 1980 cover of Baby I Love You, I could have included Rock N Roll Radio or Do You Wanna Dance? in the box at one time but the Ronettes cover is there because it was the first thing I heard by the Ramones and also the first thing produced by Phil Spector which not only led me to listen to further Ramones records but also to the joys of the Ronettes and the rest of the Spector back catalogue, although it would be a further ten years or so before I would come out the closet regarding my love of the sounds of  the deeply troubled producer and 60s girl groups more generally.

My love affair with the Raveonettes started by chance in autumn 2002. I was sitting in the "rest area" in the Edinburgh office when the company I work for still had an office in Scotland, scanning the Scotsman when I saw a bit in the listings section talking about this  Danish duo who were playing King Tuts the following evening, the article mentioned the Jesus And Mary Chain, Buddy Holly and the Cramps as influences. So as I had nothing better to do the following night and went along.

Not knowing what to expect I was blown away from the outset when they started with prolonged feedback which evolved into Everyday, the Buddy Holly classic and for the next forty minutes or so I was in feedback and minor chord heaven. I have stated on many occasions that the recorded output of the duo does not fully reflect the intensity of hearing them live, you can't really say performing because there isn't really any performance but the sound generated is something else. That's not to say that the records aren't good, they are just different from the live experience.

At one time all nine 7" singles were in the box but some had to make way for other things and so three remain. The third single, Beat City on lovely white vinyl still has the rawness of the early days when every thing was recorded in B flat minor. That Great Love Sound from the first full album proper was the one which I thought would see the band break through as it was poppy enough to attract the mainstream but still "cool" enough for the hipsters, it actually got to number 39 in the UK charts in 2003 but the next time I saw them they were still playing King Tut's, to a bigger audience but not the breakthrough I had predicted.  The third single by Sune and Sharin in the box is from the third album, by this time they had been punted by the major label and all hope of them becoming the next big thing had gone. The single was released on Fierce Panda and is full of lovely feedback, Mo Tucker like drumming and lovely sweet harmonies which makes the song feel all the more sinister.

Next up is the single eluded to in the opening paragraph, Rock N Roll Lies by Razorlight. I first saw Razorlight strangely enough when they were supporting The Raveonettes, I really liked the noise they made but even then you knew that Johnny Borrell was a cock, who thought more of himself than the rest of the room did. I have to admit that I went to see them a further three times to diminishing returns and the final lot of tickets just after Somewhere Else was released I gave to a work colleague as I really couldn't be arsed. Rock N Roll Lies is a good indie rock tune but the reason that the single remains in the box is because of the b-side, a complete rip-off Patti Smith's version of Gloria but I still really like it and it reminds me of how good they sounded on my my first encounter with them, as In The City was certainly the highlight of the set.

I discovered a fair bit of music due to the Tube, not least the next single. I'm almost positive that it was the video for Good Technology that I saw on the Tube and not a live performance. Whatever it was that I saw  it made me seek out the single from either Virgin or HMV on my ever increasing trips into the city at the weekends at the time.

The next band also had a memorable appearance on the Tube. I was not a big fan of the SWP,  some of Chris Dean's politics didn't sit well with me and his harsh statements about Billy Bragg and Neil Kinnock really riled me but his lyrics and tunes were and still sound fucking brilliant, none more so than Keep On Keeping On and the flip side Reds Strike The Blues. They were also, probably the coolest looking band of the time, a lot cooler then The Style Council for me.

The first time I heard Eli Paperboy Reed was when Mark dropped (If You Want The Love Of A Man) Come And Get It at the final Blog Rockin' Beats night in The Flying Duck. I thought that it was an old tune, totally floored by the fact that at that time it was a new release. It was duly purchased, flogged to death and given a rightful place in the box.

My mate Ben was the big REM fan when we were at school. He was an avid reader of Rolling Stone and it was from an article there that he first learnt of the band from Athens, Georgia and duly decided to investigate further. It wasn't until he played me Life's Rich Pageant that I really took any notice, it impressed me so much that the following weekend I purchased the album. I have always loved Superman and to this day it is still my favourite REM song, a cover, I know. Heresy I hear you collectively cry.

There is not much I can say about That Summer Feeling, apart from, Jonathan Richman is a very wise man. For a young impressionable kid when I first heard this song from one of Bat's tapes I just thought it a great song but from my perspective as a middle aged curmudgeon some nearly thirty years later when it transports me back to when the summer went on forever, life was a lot simpler and all you had to worry about was whether she liked you as much as you liked her, it is a work of genius that always makes me smile and think of a golden retriever and a petulant girlfriend.

The last group in the box under R were like the first,  produced by Phil Spector but unlike the Ramones were responsible for the best pop single ever recorded, no arguments. that one was put to bed on the 18 November 2011 here. Be My Baby is not the only single by the Ronettes in the box, it is the only undisputed one but also present is I Can Hear Music which just pipped (The Best Part Of) Breakin' Up and Do I Love You and it was a close running thing and if I had room,  all four singles would be in the box. I sometimes think that I was wrong not having Breaking Up in there, as the C'mon baby" at two minutes 26 secs sends shivers up my spine. but then I put on I Can Hear Music and it's shivers from start to finish.

So that's the Rs, there seems to be a lot links between the songs here that there haven't been with previous letters, maybe there was but at the time I just didn't notice them. Anyway, tricky one to pick one from, a few have featured before and That Summer Feeling quite recently. So I've decided to post the b-side of the Razorlight single.

Ramones - Baby I Love You
The Raveonettes - Beat City
The Raveonettes - That Great Love Sound
The Raveonettes - Dead Sound
Razorlight - Rock N Roll Lies
Red Guitars - Good Technology
Redskins - Keep On Keeping ON
Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves - (If You Want The Love Of A Man) Come And Get It
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - That Summer Feeling
R.E.M. - Superman
The Ronettes - Be My Baby
The Ronettes - I Can Hear Music

Razorlight - In The City

Friday 14 June 2013

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

In honour of the summer of 2013 that was last week here is a lovely piece of Balearica courtesy of the 2 Bears and remixed by Darkstarr (Ashley Beedle & Colleen Murphy). Just the thing for when the weather is warm and there isn't a cloud in the sky, not too bad either when it's windy and the sky is overcast and grey, trust me.

I'm off for some root treatment, deep joy!

Have a good weekend people.

2 Bears - Church (Darkstarr Diskotek remix)

Thursday 13 June 2013

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Fear Of My Identity

How about a lovely piece of summery west coast pop just as the weather is set to break.

Like yesterday's track this was an exclusive Record Shop Day release. Why queue up for three hours and spend silly amounts of money on the second Saturday in April, when I can do it for you and then drip feed the releases that I managed to get my hands on over the next few months.

I think this is the one that I've played most. I really like Best Coast, really good stuff a bit like Cults but with way shittier covers.

Best Coast - Fear Of My Identity

Monday 10 June 2013

Never My Love

Here is an absolutely lovely rendition of Never My Love, probably the best know version of which was by the Association but it has been covered by countless artists. In 1999 the BMI announced that it was the second most played song on radio and television during the 20th Century which must have kept it's writers Donald and Richard Adrissi's bank manager happy. It is said that the record has been played that much that in the 32 years since it was released that the amount of times the track had been played amounted to 40 years of continuous play. I am even more impressed with myself in the fact that until I had bought the single I had never heard the song before!

This version was previously unreleased but came out on 7" for RSD 2013.

Donny Hathaway - Never My Love

Sunday 9 June 2013

Iain Banks 1954 - 2013

I have been deeply saddened by the passing of Iain Banks. I think that his books have brought me more pleasure over the years than those of any other. From the travails of Frank in The Wasp Factory, through the despair of Dan Weir in Espedair street to hoping that Prentice and Ash will get it together in the Crow Road, I have grown up and older reading his books, laughing out loud and also shedding the odd tear.  They weren't all brilliant but were always worth a read. I once, on a tour up north in my in-laws motor home got L and myself lost and nearly cowped the motor home trying to find the fictional town of Gallanch.

Here is a rather poignant passage from my favourite novel.

" We carry on in our children and in our works and in the memories of others; we continue in our dust and ash" - The Crow Road.

Go easy Iain

Kathryn Williams - The Ballad Of Easy Rider

What's In Yir Box? Q

Paul Quinn and the Independent Group, that's what.

Stupid Thing is just about the most perfect song of longing and loss from the simple piano and cello intro to the almost desperate sounding soaring vocals from Paul Quinn. For a 7" single it is quite long clocking in at over six minutes.  The single was released in 1993 on the reincarnated Postcard label and criminally  failed completely to grab the attention of the record buying public. An inferior, in my opinion, version of the song  was included on the group's second album , Will I Ever Be Inside of You.

For a more comprehensive look at the work of one of the most underrated Scottish singers head over to JCs bit of the Internet, here and simply search there

Wonderful stuff

Paul Quinn & The Independent Group - Stupid Thing

Friday 7 June 2013

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

The big shiny yellow thing in the sky is out again today, that's nearly a full week that we up in the grey country have been bathed in sunlight and we really don't know how to deal with it. I saw a lot of very bright red people about yesterday and a few walking like cardboard cut-outs today. Another thing that I wonder about, is what happens to people's dress sense as soon as we get a wee bit of heat? Pale blue people do not look right bearing flesh.

Anyway, the Lanimers is over, nearly time to take down my pirate bunting and flags and get back to normal, Hallelujah!

I think a bit of Belgian techno from the early 90s is the order of the day. Watch out for that acid line and those drums.

Have a good weekend, people.

Capricorn - 20Hz

Thursday 6 June 2013

Happy Lanimers!

It is Lanimar day in Lanark, basically our town's Gala Day.

This year the theme of the float Max is part of is Space exploration, so in honour of this here's the lead song  from Allo Darlin's album, Eurpoe released last year.

Allo Darlin' - Neil Armstrong

Tuesday 4 June 2013

The Woodentops

I think that The Woodentops are an extremely underrated band. There were very few indie bands in 1986 who were making music for the dancefloor, I actually can't think of any other and for that reason alone The Woodentops should be given a bit more credit, they were at the forefront of what would later be tagged indie dance.

The track posted today comes from the more experimental second album but you wouldn't think of that from You Make Me Feel, as it sounds most like the stuff from the first album but tracks like Stop This Car  especially the 12" version and Tuesday/Wednesday are quite a departure from Giant and the album didn't do nearly as well. I have to admit that the album is pretty neglected in this household and I think that a couple of listens may be required.

You make me feel was the first single released from Wooden Foot Cops On The Highway in 1988 and is just the tune for this unexpected extended sunny period we are having up here.

The Woodentops - You Make Me Feel

and as a bonus also posted the b-side of the 12", the strange Late Night mix

The Woodentops - You Make Me Feel (Late Night mix)

Monday 3 June 2013

Dum dum dum, dummy doo wah

As of the 01-06-2013,  my team has been allowed to have it's name back, so next season Airdrionians will be back in the Scottish League, second division granted but still there. Don't know what difference it will make on the park right enough but I feel positive.

If you are saying "so what, what's in a name?" ask anyone you know that supports that team from Glasgow that went out the game two seasons ago.

Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely

The Night

I posted this song during the first month of the blog when the "It's Friday . . . Let's Dance"  was anything that was vaguely danceable before it became the thing it is today.

This is one of the tracks that sums up northern soul for me. If somebody asked me for examples of what the genre was, this would be one of the tracks that would pop into my head straight away and it is also something that would confuse those not familiar with Northern Soul as it doesn't fit the profile in so much that it is not obscure and it is the product of four Italian Americans from New Jersey. But these are the reasons why the tune is northern soul because just as soon as you think you know what constitutes a northern track something comes along which doesn't seem to fit the bill but is embraced by the scene.

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons - The Night

Apparently my posting a 39 year old record on my blog is severely impacting on the wealth of either B Gordy or F Valli, as there has been a copy right infringement warning. I suggest that you find yourself a second hand copy of the single on Discogs or Ebay.

Sunday 2 June 2013

What's In Yir Box? P

Where P certainly does not stand for pish. There are a more respectable number of singles this week

First up we have the single that this blog takes it name from. If you don't know the story check out the first post on the blog and it will tell you all you need to know about this song. All you really need to know is that it is a brilliant song in whatever form, the album version, the single version but for me the 12" mix is the one  and that is why I think that this is the only single that features in both my "best" singles box and also the 12"/album box. I will be forever indebted to  Debbie, wherever she is,  for first playing this tune to me.

The Pastels had been releasing music for five years before the release of Crawl Babies but this was the first single that really caught my attention. It was released in 1987 when I was eighteen and running about on a Vespa GS and listening to a lot of Northern Soul but the Pastels were the sound of now , then? When I play this these days I am transported back to a time when every cool  band seemed to be coming out of Glasgow or Lanarkshire. When I was riding into Glasgow at the weekend, going to Fopp and Listen and then down to Flip then over the road to pose in the Rock Garden in the uniform of the day either a bowling shirt or short sleeved American Marine Gunnery Sergeant shirt ( I loved that shirt!), green MA1,  faded 501s, oxblood Docs and flat top. A life time ago!

The next single from the box is Summer Babe by Pavement. Yet more indie!. Somebody once said to me " you like the Fall, don't you?  you should check out Pavement then" and so I did and I liked what I found but I have always suspected that the sound is quite contrived not that it makes it any less good but I do have that feeling. Shambolic is a word that I have seen more than once applied to the Pastels and rightly so, sometimes live but I would use the word to describe Summer Babe, I think it has a lot to do with the drumming and the lo-fi sound. Malkmus did make a huge mistake when he tried to cover The Fall on the Minor Leagues ep.

I saw Candie Payne years ago in King Tut's and she could hardly hold the mike she was that nervous but when she sang she had the place captivated. One More Chance was her third single and the one which I was sure would see her break through but it bombed not even reaching the top 100 in the UK. I think that the timing was out,  as if the single had been released the following year just after Duffy set the heather on fire with Mercy, there would have been an audience more receptive to this blue eyed sixties style soul. The single version of One More Chance differs from the album version, as it is produced by Mark Ronson who does exactly what you would Mark Ronson to do to a track.

I could be wrong, but I'm not sure that many people had high expectations from a release by John Lydon and PiL in 1986. A couple of years previously there had been an album and the brilliant collaboration with African Bambaataa but I don't think that anyone expected the tour de force that was Rise. I'm pretty sure that the first time I heard it was also the first time I saw the video and it was on The Tube not only was the song brilliant but Lydon on the evidence of the video had lost none of his menace.

We are back in 1987 with the next single from the pile. But it is a couple of months later, the flat top is still in place but I've relocated to Aberdeen and frequenting a place called the Mudd Club of a Monday night. Beaver Patrol is not big and it is not clever but it did fill the dance floor on those dreich Monday nights at the end of 1987, in Aberdeen at least. It wasn't until the mid 90s that I found out that it was actually a cover version. A couple of years later I was sitting, blootered,  in the back of a car outside the McDonalds at the Forge in Glasgow when one of the staff walked past and I had the sudden urge to roll down and hang out the window humming the tune of Beaver Patrol to her and then singing "litter patrol" on account of what it said on the back of her jacket which I found hilarious but the rest of the car just shook there head at and told me to " get in and roll up the fucking window!"

Next up is Elvis Presley with That's All Right, where it all began apparently and who am I to argue.

Followed by another Elvis record, the second ep from the film King Creole which includes my favourite Elvis track,  Crawfish. The scene where Elvis sings it in the film, is up there with the motorcycle escape attempt in the Great Escape, the "Charly don't surf" scene in Apocolypse Now or the final scene in Casablanca for my favourite film scene ever, seriously how cool does E P look in that scene? The ep also includes Young Dreams, Dixieland Rock and Trouble which I once had on 7" by Gillan and which if I remember correctly was rather good.

Stop Your Sobbing is probably the single I've owned the most copies of, currently on my fourth. I think the first one was scratched but the second and third both cracked, not sure if it was pressed on a bad batch of vinyl or I have just been rougher on this single than all the rest. There is something about Chrissy Hynde's vocals on this single that thirty three years later still gives me goose pimples. The first single by the band and for me the best single by a fag paper from Kid.

The last P in the box is by Primal Scream and it's not Loaded or Come Together, they are both in the big box but neither is it All Fall Down or Gentle Tuesday, it's  Sometimes I Feel So Lonely. I know that others consider this a Primal Scream ballad by numbers with all the right constituent parts but there is a certain something that really appeals to me, I love the banjo, the harmonica, and when the strings come in on the second chorus I get a wee bit weepy and even Bobby G's vocals and rubbish lyrics don't irk me. "Nothings as it seems, boy, you can be redeemed". It is actually quite lovely.

So that's the Ps for ya.

The Pale Fountains - Across The Kitchen Table (dble pk)
The Pastels - Crawl Babies
Pavement - Summer Babe
Candie Payne - One More Chance
PiL - Rise
Pop Will Eat Itself - Beaver Patrol
Elvis Presley - That's All Right
Elvis Presley - King Creole Vol.2
Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing
Primal Scream - Sometimes I Feel So Lonely

Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing

Saturday 1 June 2013

I Think It's Time

Well, we have had nearly a week of dry and quite sunny weather, up here anyway.

"You'll have had your summer then"

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers - That Summer Feeling.