Wednesday 25 October 2017

Keeping It Peel

It has been quiet round here recently. I have neither the time nor the inclination to think of the blog at the moment but thought that Keeping It Peel day should not go unmarked so here is one of the highlights from the Afghan Whigs session which was recorded on 22/02/94 and broadcast on 25/03/94. I'm not sure if I heard this at the time but I certainly wouldn't have taken any notice as at that time I had disregarded the Whigs as just another American Grunge band. A mistake not rectified until the early 2000s thanks to John Richards and KEXP.

The Afghan Whigs - My Curse 

John Peel - The Fall

Friday 20 October 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Last Saturday afternoon what with no home game to go to and completing the house work early, I was at loss as to what to do. I knew that Lynn was going out for a friend's birthday later on. Max was up to god knows what with his trackie wearing ned mates and Leo was busy taming T Rexs' on  some weird Playstation game. So I decided to footer about with the records. I am in dire need of another box for storing 7" singles as there are wee bundles of singles lying about the place. So I thought about re-arranging some of the boxes so when I get a further one it will either house an extension of another box or if warranted a whole category in one box. After a couple of hours I was no further forward in my task but had added a couple more bundles of records around the dining room, ones for ripping for the blog and another comprising of singles that I had dug out to listen to. I decided that I need to have the box first and then it will be an easier task.

So I moved on to filing a load of the 12" singles that are piled beside one of the Expedit's housing the albums, A - O to be exact. This is an easier tasks, some will go in a pile to go upstairs into the office, the ones that I will not play again for a while,  the indie type ones go in the cupboard and what's left being the ones that will stay out as I am still partial to listening to them.

So to get to the point of the post, you may be aware that a certain minor deity of a DJ/Producer/Recording Artist/taste-maker has been rather prolific of late, just how prolific was being revealed to me as flicked through this pile of records and I thought to myself that I might spend the evening revisiting some of the records that had been touched by the hand of god, or Andrew Weatherall to give him his name during the early 90s when almost everything he touched turned to gold.

This resulted in me scurrying about collecting 12" singles from everywhere they are stored in the house and creating a pile about three times the size of the original one. I started with a brace of productions for Primal Scream, Trainspotting and Screamadelica  and by the time I finished on Sunday night I had played 43 mixes by the Chairman. I would have continued with this but as I've stated I was on holiday and there was therefore painting to be done.

One of the mixes that I was pleasantly surprised by was the Cabin Fever mix of Skunk Funk which I hadn't played in years but remember being not that partial to, probably why it hadn't been played in years but last Saturday and last night it sounded pretty damn good and I think has the same sort of laid back vibe that Everything Grooves Pts 1 &2 has, two remixes he did for the Stereo MC's.

Aidrrie are away to Arbroath tomorrow who are sitting two places and three points above the Diamonds in the league. After last weeks excellent draw away to second top Ayr Utd there are high hopes that the team are coming into some form and so anything is possible this weekend, a draw would be acceptable but undoubtedly all three points would be preferable. In other news the club have appointed a couple of new Directors so possibly things are getting better. And the latest signed shirt to raise funds for the Sensory Room is a pure belter.

Oh and I will be spending the day filing all of the 12!" singles that I pulled out last weekend and have decided to have a full section dedicated to Weatherall remixes.

Have a good weekend people.

Galliano - Skunk Funk (Andrew Weatherall's Cabin Fever mix).

Thursday 19 October 2017

Feel Your Feelings Fool!

Is it wrong for a middle aged Scottish man to be enthralled by the music of some teenagers from Los Angeles California who make thrashy guitar music with songs about body image, feminism and dead end relationships? It may well be but I do love the noise that the Regrettes make and the fuck you attitude that they seem to have.

A few months ago I posted Seashore which I had head a couple of weeks previously and couldn't get out of my head and so I investigated further. It turns out that the group met at music school and had signed to Warner Brothers which would usually have had me running a mile while shouting manufactured nonsense, however I "parked" my preconceptions and listened to what I could find on the internet and everything I heard was great, nothing revolutionary but great put together punky songs with loads of attitude and so I bought the album which I have been listening to over the past couple of weeks when I think that I have overdosed on skally psychedelic rock. The only minus for me for this debut is the bloody awful cover.

Here is my favourite from the album at the moment which is a little different from the rest of the tracks. Not for download, sorry.

The Regrettes - Pale Skin

and here is a previous single which is also on the album

Wednesday 18 October 2017


Since the gig at Oran Mor just under a fortnight ago I have been immersing myself in all things Michael Head.  From the very early days of  the Pale Fountains, through Shack and the Strands stuff up to the ep and single with The Red Elastic Band and all the time waiting not very patiently for this week's long time coming Adios Senor Pussycat to be delivered by Ted the Postie. In fact since Monday I have been listening to Shack exclusively while painting. I'm on holiday, of course I'm painting what else would I be doing.

All of this got me thinking as to why I haven't posted more stuff by Mr Head. Of course the blog is named after my favourite Pale Fountains track which has featured on here in all mixes more than once,  another Pale Fountains song, Shack only once! and the Elastic Band stuff a few times. I'm not sure if it is the music snob unconsciously coming out in me in the fact that he is mine and a small band of obsessives little secret and I want to keep it that way, smug in the knowledge that Head is a special talent . But I don't think so as I would like as many people to know about how absolutely bloody brilliant a song writer and recording artist he is and then maybe this would help towards Michael Head getting the appreciation and perhaps renumeration he most certainly deserves, although I'm not sure he craves. A few times I have had Shack tunes in my head and thought,"I will post that" and then got distracted by something else and it wasn't the time.

So I think over the next few weeks I will rectify this situation by posting a good few of my favourite things. I may even have a pop at a couple of ICAs for JC, one on the Pale Fountains and the other on Shack, the later I know will be a very difficult proposition.

The only way to start is with possibly the unluckiest album of the 90s, the second Shack album, Waterpistol. This is often referred to as a "great lost album" which it probably is but I really don't like that category, as I have seen lots of albums which were neither really lost nor that great being hailed in this manner. I have also seen it being referred to as "the greatest album that you don't own", hyperbole? Probably but it is fucking tremendous, however I think I will stick with my categorisation.

The story of the album is one which if you wrote a screenplay around would probably seem a bit far fetched. Waterpistol was recorded in Star Street Studios in 1991 and produced by Chris Allison. Shortly after eventually getting Head to finish the tracks the studio went up in flames along with the master tapes of the album. But the bad luck didn't stop there, no Shack's record label then went bust. Fortunately all was not lost as Allison remembered that he had a DAT of the master tapes, but again, more lucky white heather,  they had been left in a hire car when the producer had been on vacation in the United States. When he realised that he had lost the only surviving copy of the recordings, months later,  Alison contacted the hire company and eventually tracked down the missing DAT. Although by this time the band had broken up, Head had fallen victim to depression, who wouldn't have, and also heroin addiction. And therefore it looked like that was it for the second Shack album.

Fast forward to 1995 when the tapes find their way to Marina Records, a German independent record label that specialised in releasing UK indie artists. they had already released albums by Paul Quinn and The Independent Pop Group and The Bathers (which JC and Brian probably own) amongst others and brought out the album initially on cd and then on vinyl in 1999.

On release the album was highly praised by critics but was missed by the record buying public who were all in thrall to the latest big thing "Brit Pop". The album was re-released in 2007 and again failed to catch the attention of a wider audience.

If you like jangly guitar music, I guarantee that you will love this album. It has been said that there is quite a bit of Stone Roses influence on the album and Michael Head himself prior to the recording sessions that he was influenced by the likes of The Charlatans and especially the Stone Roses album at the time and was heading in that type of direction.

Shack - Mr Appointment

Monday 16 October 2017

You Didn't Say A Word

I have a suspicion that this tune was supposed to cash in on the popularity of James Bond when it was released on Cameo Parkway Records back in 1967 what with the very John Barry sounding backing track. Why it was resigned to the b-side of a very ordinary ballad is one of those mysteries that will never be solved. Instead of being an obscure northern soul rarity, albeit number three in the original Northern Soul Top 500 it could have been a billboard top ten. Completely ludicrous marketing decisions such as this is what northern soul was built upon.

Yvonne Baker - You Didn't Say A Word

Thursday 12 October 2017

Machine Gun

I have been thoroughly gripped by the documentary series on BBC 4 about the American War with Vietnam. I have never before heard the views of the North Vietnamese, the Viet Cong or the ordinary citizens of the country. My opinions regarding the war were most probably formed in my mid teens when I read Dispatches, Chickenhawk ,  A Rumour of War and saw the films Platoon and Full Metal Jacket but I suppose I had already made up my mind prior to this,  being a bit of a hippy and also by the fact that most of the music that I love from the late 60s, that isn't soul was most definitely on the anti-war side. I don't think that this series will change my mind but it has given me the impetus to revisit the subject and read some of the other books that I bought but never got round to reading.

The audio tapes of Lyndon Johnson discussion the war with advisors and Robert McNamara have been a revelation to me. This troubles me as LBJ I think was a far more intelligent person than the present incumbent in the White House, with some very able men around him, If he couldn't get the USA out of Vietnam, Trump really needs to get gone soon before things with The Democratic Peoples Republic of North Korea escalate any further or we are all doomed.

Whenever I read of Vietnam or watch something where it is mentioned, Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix and The Band Of Gypsies is always the first song that comes into my mind. I don't think that I have ever seen it used in conjunction with any images of the war but from when I first heard it round about when I was 13/14 years old I have always associated it with Vietnam and of course that is what the song is about but it has always stuck and as soon as I think about the useless waste of life oand decimation of South East Asia that first thirty or forty seconds of Machine Gun go through my head, the wah wah guitar, the cymbals and then the rat a tat a tat of the snare drum.

The track was recorded live at the Fillmore East, New York either late New Year's Eve 1969 or very early New Year's Day 1970.

Band of Gypsies - Machine Gun

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Fillmore Jive

I stuck Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain on for the first time in ages the other day and instantly berated myself for the fact. This used to be a constant play in our house but I'm not sure that L was that impressed, she has commented on Malkmus voice being irritating more than once, so there are some similarities with the Fall. I'm not sure why or come to think of it when I stopped playing this album as much but sometimes you do need a bit of a break from something to realise just how bloody marvelous it was in the first place. I think that Fillmore Jive would be in my top 5 Pavement songs. The thing I love about it is that it seems that it is all going to fall apart a few times but just when you think disaster is going to strike the band pull it back from the brink. It is also when I come to think of it quite a bit longer than most Pavement songs clocking in at 6.39.

Pavement - Fillmore Jive

Tuesday 10 October 2017

The Other, Other Half

The Girl With The Long Black Hair by the Chicago Band The Other Half, who shouldn't be confused with any of the other three groups with the same name recording at this time, the most famous of whom would be the San Francisco band who originally recorded Mr Pharmacist. The Girl With The Long Black Hair was recorded as a demo in the Windy City  in 1967 and was never officially released as a single although 300 copies were pressed on the Orlyn label and sent to local radio stations and given to friends and family. I can find no further info on the band they seem to have just disappeared after this.

This is a bit less frantic than the usual fare posted in this spot but no less entertaining.

The Other Half - The Girl With The Long Black Hair

Monday 9 October 2017

Make A Change

That's what half the nation were wishing Gordon Strachan had done earlier last night. Alas yet again Scotland failed to secure a place in another World Cup. I vaguely remember the 1974 World Cup but I do remember Ally's Army in 1978 vividly when a collective stupor came over the whole nation and we genuinely thought that we could go to Argentina and win. I was nine and it was great until we did a "Scotland" and went home at the group stages. Fun while it lasted. Max will be fourteen next month and has never seen his nation qualify for anything, France 1998 being our last foray. I fear that he may reach his twenties and still not see it happen.

Still, it was good of Strachan and the boys to deliberately not go through as a protest to Russia's Human Rights record.

I know nothing about Johnny Rodgers, other than he released this rather beautiful piece of soul on the Detroit label Amon in 1965. This was a huge play at Top of The World All niters in Stafford when Pat Brady spun the tune but covered it up as Make A Change by The Chandlers, devious folk those northern djs!

Johnny Rodgers with the Nu Tones - Make A Change

Saturday 7 October 2017

What A Night!

Scotland live to fight another day and Michael Head and The Elastic Band perform the gig of the year at Oran Mor.

Highlights? You ask, well that would have been the whole set. But here are just three

and just for Echorich

It really was a special night.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Natalie's Party

I'm in Luton today and tomorrow, deep deep joy. But I am getting away early tomorrow to catch the earlier flight as I'm off to see Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band at Oran Mor. To say that I have been looking forward to this gig would be a bit of an understatement as the last time he played Glasgow I was also away with work but unable to get out of. I expect the set list will consist of a lot of Adios Senor Pussycat the much anticipated album due out on the 20th of this month but I'm sure that there will be a smattering of older tracks from his days with The Strands and also Shack but not sure if any Pale Fountains songs will be aired though.

Shack - Natalie's Party (Youth Radio mix)

Tuesday 3 October 2017

This Is What I Need Just Now

The only words I have at the moment are all angry sweary not very positive ones so I think that I will just "haud ma wheesht". So here's a bit of Otis at his best.

Otis Redding - That's What My Heart Needs

Monday 2 October 2017

This Is Democracy?

No soul today.

I am raging about what is going on in Catalunya and our inept Foreign Secretary's response. This should not be going on in Europe, or anywhere fucking else for that matter.

Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will be Next