Friday 30 September 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

It's twenty five years since Slam released Dove's Fallen on their Soma Quality Recordings label which seems like both yesterday and a very long time ago. I loved Fallen which just reinforced my belief from the first hearing of Eterna that this label was going to be something special. Twenty five years on sadly Dove, or One Dove as they were to be know were around for an all too brief period but both Soma and Slam are going strong with a new double album from Stuart and Orde  out imminently on the label. Here is the last collaboration between Dot and the boys, a dark piece of minimal techno. Posted is the vocal mix which sadly contains all too little of Dot's dulcet tones.

Not sure what's on the cards this weekend. Airdrie are away to Alloa Athletic, the league leaders and if the previous two weeks dismal performances are anything to go by we are in for a mauling. Sort it out Kevin!

Have a good weekend people

Dot Alison - Cry (Slam Vocal mix)

Thursday 29 September 2016

Phase I

You might have guessed that I have a bit of a thing for long drawn out space /kraut type things. I think that this goes back to when I used to hang about with the older hippy types in my early teens who introduced me to things like Gong and Can and I realised that songs didn't have to be short, sharp and punchy. So over the years I have been rather partial to tunes on the more self-indulgent spectrum of music. To be honest, I find Gnod a bit hit or miss some of their stuff I love but other things I have bought listened to once, maybe given it a second go and then filed for posterity. The collaboration with White Hills, Drop Out With White Hills II, first released in 2010 is a record that I keep coming back to. The album feels like it is one long jam session (see even the hippy language is flooding back), and when I ripped the vinyl I didn't bother to separate the tracks but just recorded the sides in their entirety. I have posted side 1 (Phase 1 as it is titled) which consists of three tracks, the very short opener, Bits, the meat of the side,  Run-A-Round full of prominent bass, powerful drumming and repetition and then the come down at the end, Streams. The album is best listened to in one sitting and then if you have the time listened to again but who does these days.

Gnod/White Hills - Phase I

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Bye Bye Allo Darlin'

I received some sad news the other week that Allo Darlin' have decided to call it a day in a very Allo Darlin' way while they are all still friends  Wait, don’t be sad! Although we are generally a reflective and nostalgic bunch, this is not an overwhelmingly sad decision or twist of fate for us. Most bands have to stop actively recording and playing shows at some point, especially those like us who don’t have this as our day job. 

Allo Darlin' at their most melancholic always cheered me up their is something really comforting in Elazbeth's tone and when they are doing the winsome pop thing there are few better. Live they were always fun to watch, when the ukelele was produced for Tallulah you could here a pin drop and I always went home happy after a night listening to a band of decent human beings.

Allo Darlin' -Some People Say

Allo Darlin' - Henry Rollins Don't Dance

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Pain And Sorry Filled My Mind

Another blistering, raucous piece of US garage rock for you, I know absolutely nothing about this piece of music apart from the fact that it is rather brilliant.

The Blue Chips - Where 

Monday 26 September 2016

Pain Is The Name of Your Game

I am ashamed to say that I had no idea who Ural Thomas was until I saw this single on Nick Waterhouse's Pres label last year so I initially thought that Ural must be a friend of Waterhouse's or an artist that he had toured with. When I dug a little deeper I found that Thomas hails from Portland Oregon, knows as "Portland's Pillar of Soul",  had released three singles including a deep soul ballad version of today's track back in 1967 and then appears to have given up recording until 2011. Nick Waterhouse produced Pain Is The Name Of Your Game which if you are familiar with his two albums will be quite evident as it has the same sort of sound and feel to them. Talking about Waterhouse albums, his third, eagerly anticipated, well by one quarter of this household anyway , third full release, Never Twice is due out this Friday.

Ural Thomas & The Pain - Pain Is The Name Of Your Game

Friday 23 September 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

One half of the duo that recorded the original of today's track won't be happy with this post, he described the remix as "girly disco music" if you hadn't already guessed we are taking about possible the greatest remix of all time and it isn't by Andrew Weatherall, the quote is from Eric B and the remix is by Coldcut. For all of Eric B's disdain for Seven Minutes of Madness as it was subtitled became the benchmark for remixing. made a name for Coldcut but not much richer, they were paid 700 quid for it and became a hit all over Europe. I never tire of this record. I have also included Coldcut's deconstruction of the track, where they identify all of the samples and where they came from which is pretty informative, who'd have thought they sampled Playschool.

Last weekend we had the kid on Lanarkshire derby when Motherwell took on Hamilton, tomorrow sees the real deal when Airdrie host Albion Rovers, three points would be good. I will be spending the rest of the weekend fixing Max's bedroom wall and then re-hanging the radiator that he pulled off the wall from lying along the top of it!

Have a good weekend people.

Eric B and Rakim - Paid In Full (Seven Minutes of Madness)

Coldcut Deconstruct Paid In Full

Thursday 22 September 2016

She's The One

A recent post on the consistently brilliant if a bit intentionally obscure at times (joking Badger/SWC) When You Can't Remember Anything sent me in search of my vinyl copy of Foxbase Alpha. I have heard this lp described as less of an album than a collection of songs in different styles from dub to cool jazz to house  and if you believe Wiggs and Stanley and why wouldn't you it came about through a series of accidents and they were learning and making it up as they went along. All I will say is that it hangs together pretty well as an album and is as enjoyable to listen to now as it was back in the heady, optimistic slightly chemically enhanced autumn nights back in 1991.

The picture above is the Subbuteo edition that came out in 2009,  The gullable consumer that I am,  how could I resist owning a 6" Saint Etienne Subbuteo figure,

Saint Etienne - She's The One

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Honey Child What Can I Do?

On the first couple of times I saw Isobel Campbell perform Ballad of The Broken Seas, Eugene Kelly did a sterling job of filling in for Mark Lanegan and we were treated to a rather fine version of Son of A Gun by The Vaselines. I say that Kelly did a great job that was until the first time I saw Lanegan with Campbell which changed my opinion completely not by anything Eugene Kelly had down, it was just that he wasn't Mark Lanegan who although saying very little and moving even less filled the stage with his presence and you had the impression that Campbell was in awe of him. I know that L was more than a little impressed and taken by him. Here are two examples of Honey Child What Can I Do for you to compare and contrast.

Isobel Campbell & Eugene Kelly - Honey Child What Can I Do?

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanaegan - Honey Child What Can I Do?

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Love Special Delivery

I'm going through a bit of a garage/psych phase at the moment. If that's not your bag don't worry as I don't own all that much. Another similarity with Northern Soul this genre has is that for quite a lot of the best records there is very little known about the artists. Take today's track by The Fire Escapes, a cover of Love Special Delivery by Thee Midnighters, there is a question mark over whether they were even a real band or just a load of studio musicians brought together by producers Hank Levine and Larry Goldberg to lay down this and flip side Blood Beat which were released on GNP Crescendo Records in 1967. Whatever the true story is they make a rather fine fuzzed up racket on this galloping track.

The Fire Escape  - Love Special Delivery

Monday 19 September 2016

There Is Nothing Else To Say

This 1967 release on Audio Arts in the States was a minor hit according to the Northern Soul Top 500, however,  elsewhere the release date is recorded as 1967, with a release the same year here in the UK. No matter when it was released it is a classic bit of soul in a similar vein to the Four Tops, I love those strings. This was a big play at the Twisted Wheel.

The Incredibles - There Is Nothing Else To Say

Friday 16 September 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

I  have been pretty busy this week and as usual hadn't given much thought to Friday's tune. Last night I was flicking through the 12" box that contains the 100 or so full size pieces of vinyl that would be grabbed in case of an emergency and tucked in there with the likes of Fallen by Dove, Someday by CC Rogers and William, It's Really Nothing was Beat Dis by Bomb The Bass. Which got me thinking "did this really deserve to be in the box? So I pulled it out and played it. Of course it did. twenty nine years later it still sounds great, not dated and it also brought back a flood of memories. This is one of the records that switched me on to electronic music and away from thrashy, shambolic guitar bands. Also without this record it is arguable that "the stupid yellow circular face now known simply as a smiley" may not have taken on the cultural significance that it did in the late 80s.

This week the Diamonds take on East Fife at the Excelsior tomorrow, the first home game in three weeks and only my second of the season.

Have a good weekend people.

Bomb The Bass - Beat Dis

Thursday 15 September 2016

Stoli, Ushankas and Adidas Trackies

I loved the Age of Chance so much so that I saw them live through the fug of concussion once. I was in Aberdeen, my first year at Uni and my mate Stiff and Hazel came up for the weekend which started calmly enough, a few beers (Crucial Brews) on Friday night, dancing at the Union, trying to avoid the fucking goths sitting about the dance floor, well I tried to avoid them Stiff just danced and if a member of the undead was stepped on in the process so be it. Then a kebab and a frozen,  drunken walk home as there were five of us going back to my place, so  Hazel and the two Susan's got the taxi promising to send it back but after half an hour Stiff and I realised that we would be walking and so set out on foot. I was sure that I knew a shortcut but what should have been a half hour stagger at the most turned into a two hour trek but we did find the Beechgrove Garden, the location for an extremely popular gardening programme at the time in Scotland.

Things started to go wrong around lunch time on the Saturday when I remembered I had a bottle of Stolichnaya in the freezer that my mother had brought me back from her recent exchange in Moscow and Leningrad. So as Hazel went out with some of the others into the town Stiff and I sat around drinking shots of Vodka while taking turns wearing my bearskin Ushanka, another present from the USSR and saying "yavas lublu" and "nostrovia". When Hazel returned we couldn't bite our little fingers. We were supposed to be going out for dinner to Radar's, a cheap student eatery in the town, with some of my friends. Stiff sensibly bailed out, stayed in to watch Sportscene I on the other hand insisted that I was fine and ventured out.

A very stupid move, as when I stepped into the fresh air, I went down like a sack of potatoes cracking my head off the granite pavement. I got up staggered across to the bus stop and went down again. How I was allowed onto the bus will remain a mystery however by the time we reached Union Street I had been sick all over my mate John's suede jacket and was bundled into a taxi with a good Samaritan who took me back to the flat where I remember saying something incoherent to Stiff and then passed out on the floor where I remained until the next morning when I awoke with the mother of all sore heads.

The Sunday morning was a blur and when Stiff and Hazel left to go back down the road I decided to do my washing in the laundry. I was sitting there when a girl I knew asked me if I was alright. I said yes and then asked why? To which she informed me that I was sitting watching an empty machine going through a cycle with what she took to be my washing still in the laundry basket at my side!. I told her of the events of the previous evening after which she insisted on taking me to A&E to get checked out. I tried to protest as I didn't have time to wait around the hospital as I had a gig to go to but she would not take no for an answer.

After what seemed like hours, I was seen by a registrar, related the story once more was told that I probably had concussion and sent home to rest. I asked if it was alright for me to go to a concert and was told in no uncertain terms no. So an hour or two later I was in, I think,  The Venue watching a very loud Age of Chance promoting 1000 Years of Trouble.  My main memory of the evening is the band's DJ, Powercut resplendent in his Adidas trackie. I did not drink vodka after that until my very late thirties.

I think that Age of Chance would have played this track that night.

Age Of Chance Take It (Unlimited Credit mix)

Wednesday 14 September 2016


The Alarm Clocks were formed in 1965 in Parma, not the one famous for it's ham but the suburb of Cleveland Ohio and only ever put to tape two songs Yeah and No Reason To Complain. Both were recorded live and released on the band's own Awake label. Due to the complete apathy of the record buying public the band split up in 1967.  The record, unsurprisingly once you hear it became a big deal over the years for Garage and psych collectors and if you have a spare two grand you could be the proud owner of the one copy for sale on Discogs, or you could buy a copy of the album Yeah on Norton records which has both sides of the single plus the tracks from the band's demo tape and also three tracks from one of the bandmember's previous band. Both tracks also appear on the first in the series Back From The Grave with fifteen other hard to find garage tunes.

The Alarm Clocks - Yeah

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Lack of Afro

I've been meaning to post this track for months but just never got round to out. Lack of Afro is Adam Gibbons. DJ. producer multi-instrumentalist with an ear for a great vocalist, one of whom just happens to be Juliette Ashby who sings on All Of My Love the flip side of I Got The Rhythm,  the first single from Lack of Afro's 5th album, Hello Baby  and first on his own label.  Ashby is just one of the guest vocalists on the album, others include. Elliot Cole who features on I Got Rhythm, Emma Noble and Joss Stone, remember her. The album flips from soul, through hip hop, funk and a bit of disco, if any of those float your boat then it is well worth taking a punt on and can be purchased here. As this can still be purchased the track posted is not downloadable.

Lack of Afro - All Of My Love

Monday 12 September 2016

Good Good Feeling

Here's a bit of soul from the source, It is hard to believe that this record is fifty years old. The Falcons were formed in Detroit in 1955 and had a couple of hit singles in 1959 with Just For Your Love and the following year with The Teacher, both Wilson Picket and Eddie Floyd were members of the group although I think that Sonny Monro is the lead vocalist on the 1966 Big Wheel release featured today but I could be wrong. Everything about this song oozes class from the instantly recognisable intro to the lead vocal, the absolutely bang on harmonies and the horns. Just magic.

The Falcons - Good Good Feeling.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Going, Going

There have been a lot of really good albums released recently from the likes of King Creosote, Ette, Slow Club, Beyond The Wizards Sleeve and others which along with the pledges for the Raveonettes and The Orb and pre orders for future releases from Nick Waterhouse, the Lucid Dream and Toy have ensured that my bank balance is on a pretty sorry state. I think that on the whole it has been worth it.

There has also been the quite brilliant and at some times very surprising ninth studio album by the Wedding Present. This was also an album that was crowd funded through Pledge Music, with various packages on offer. It finally arrived last Friday.  On first listen of side one of the vinyl you would be mistaken for thinking that the wrong record had been pressed  as there are none of the jangly guitars that you associate with the band or Mr Gedge's distinctive vocals detailing relationships in all of their glory and heartache, in fact there are no vocals at all on the first four tracks. The songs on Going, Going are all linked and the result of trip across America that Gedge and  photographer Jessica McMillan undertook a couple of years ago.There is a dvd of short films that accompany the songs included in the beautifully packaged double lp but I have yet to watch them. Indie stalwarts make concept album shocker. The Lp is right up there with the best of the Wedding Present output but I do have difficulty with one track,  Secretary which for me is out of place and to be honest not very good at all but apart from that the other nineteen tracks are up to the standards you would expect from the band. Particular favourites at the moment are Spraque, with it's lovely strings and piano which is just too short and the final two tracks Rachel a song that could be said to be typical Weddoes fare but no worse for that and then the epic closer with it's nod to George Best, Like all other Wedding Present albums this is an essential purchase.

Talking about the Wedding Present, here is my favourite track from the last album, 2012's  Valentina, although there is a lyric that bugs me "and when you entered your number in my phone" which I don't think would have been possible as when the DDR was in existence and the Wall was still up,mobile phones were rather thin on the ground, so unless the character was a very early adopter or a city spiv he wouldn't have had one and it probably wouldn't have been able to have connected with the East German phone network anyway.  Apart from that it's a fucking great song. This is why I try never to listen to lyrics too closely as I have a tendency to over analyse them.

The Wedding Present - The Girl From The DDR

Wednesday 7 September 2016

I'm A Man

At the weekend I was going through  the box containing my rather sparse collection of garage/psych 7" singles making a list of my most wanted and checking online to see the kind of money I was looking at, a pretty penny it turns out. This got me thinking of the similarities with the rare soul scene, the obscure non hit wonders, the even obscurer labels, the avid/fanatical collectors,  the price of the records and the obsession with original vinyl. I think that if in my mid teens I had been able to get my hands on as much of this as I had soul I may have ended up with a collection of music with a different emphasis but then again maybe not, as although I am no great dancer I like to have a go and soul is just better to dance to than the feedback fueled, frenetic sounds of garage rock.

Enough of ifs and ands, here is one hell of a noisy  cover of a Bo Diddly tune which is probably best known due to the Spencer Davis Group version. The version by The Litter was the b-side of Somebody Help Me released on the Warick label in 1967. The band were formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1966 and they disbanded in 1970 after going through more members in the four years than even Mark Edward Smith could go through. Their first single Action Woman was the first track on the original Pebbles album. I have absolutely no idea how you would dance to the last two and a half minutes of I'm A Man but it is a glorious racket.

The Litter - I'm A Man

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Love Runs Out

Love Runs Out was originally the flip side of the 1965 release The Duck on the Dunhill label. The record was bootlegged in the 1970s by dodgy soul dealer Simon Soussain  and was covered up as "Let's Do The Duck" by Richard Temple. The artist was actually Willie Hutch, one time boyfriend of Brenda Holloway and the lead local on "Just A Boy's Dream" by the Phonetics. The Duck is a great dancer and a totally different song to the song of the same title by Jackie Lee, although I prefer the other side, which was re-released in 1977 on the ABC label as a split single with Lend A Hand by Bobby Hutton which featured here not that long ago.

Willie Hutch - Love Runs Out

Friday 2 September 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

We are a wee bit more up to date this week with a track that's only five years old. What is it about producers of dance music and multiple aliases? I blame Norman Cook (see what I did there) myself. Maurice Donovan is just one of the nom de plumes that David Kennedy, co founder of Hessle Audio employs, others you may have heard of include Pearson Sound and Ramadanman. Babeh was released back in 2011 on the SSSSS label.

This weekend I will be mostly nursing my sore mouth as I suspect that by the time you are reading this I will have had one of my back teeth extracted. I have had a bloody abscess for a week with pain that not even Solpadol or Dihydrocodeine could shift.

Have a good weekend people.

Maurice Donovan - Babeh

Thursday 1 September 2016

"I'm Never Gonna Sing Another Song I Don't Believe In"

Pretty strong words which were uttered by Elvis when he was presented with the song "If I Can Dream" by  Walter Earl Brown as the song to finish  the Elvis' 68 Comeback Special for NBC TV.  The song was written by Brown after discussions with Elvis and his feelings at the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy earlier in the year, Tom Parker, Elvis's manager said that it wasn't an Elvis kind of song and wanted the finale of the show to be "I'll Be Home For Christmas" but Elvis got his way and when he recorded the song he reduced the backing singers to tears with the emotion that he put into the song .

The full quote was "I'm never gonna sing another song I don't believe in. I'm never gonna make another film I don't believe in" I'm not sure how true to this statement Elvis was, as surely he thought Mama Liked The Roses from the "From Elvis in Memphis" sessions was a piece of turgid sentimental pish as much as I do. I cannot comment on the final two films he made after the 68 Special, The Trouble With Girls or Change of Habit as I have never watched them but I suspect they were in much the same vein as most of the other films that he had made.

EP - If I Can Dream