Monday 30 April 2018
When Madeline Bell's name is mentioned I am instantly stransported back to the back room of some shady pub in Lanarkshire around 1986 - 89, where the smell of 2 stroke and the threat of violence hung heavy in the room. Picture Me Gone was a staple of those Scooter dances and one of the first "northern" singles I ever bought. Ain't Gonna Cry Anymore, I'm not sure but I don't think was ever played at any of the do's we attended back then but was probably spun at Mod nights which I avoided not being of that persuasion. The track was the flip side of a Netherlands only release, making Help Yourself quite a hard to find single.
Madeline Bell - Ain't Gonna Cry Anymore
Friday 27 April 2018
I was on a bit of a downer already this week what with getting a year older. some say it's only a number but I think those folk are all in denial or deluded or both. What has really depressed me is that while trying to find a track for today I realised that it's thirty years since the only "summer of love" that mattered, well for me anyway. I think that I uttered more than one sweary word when tis dawned on me. I am not going to get all dewey eyed and sentimental but fuck! it was a good summer and the music was bloody magic. Sharp As A Knife is a track that I listened to quite a bit back then and still sounds good to me. Even in the age of the information super highway I know no more about Brandon Cook than I did back in the day. Roxanne Shante on the other hand was well know to me back then and one of my favourite rappers who could cuss with the best of them.
LAst game of the season tomorrow and Airdrie are at home to Forfar Athletic in what is a bit of a meaningless game but it would be good to go finish with a win. Last year I was accompanied to the final home game with some of the International Chancers Brigade and we were hoping/praying for a win to secure a play-off place so the atmosphere will be a little different tomorrow. I will have a pie and possibly a full fat Irn Bru in Brian's honour and think of the other two, SA and Walter who are used to watching their teams in much larger crowds than we get at the Excelsior.
Have a good weekend people.
Brandon Cooke and Roxanne Shante - Sharp As A Knife (Acid Attack)
Thursday 26 April 2018
There is a hell of a lot of good new psych bands kicking about at the moment. This popped into my inbox the other week , the latest single from Manchester's Hey Bulldog . But I had already been alerted to it by @Colourhorizon on Twitter. As the Swede is fond of saying " a glorious racket". If you're in the Manchester area next Tuesday you should head down to The Soup Kitchen wherer they are supporting the brilliant Liminanas.
Wednesday 25 April 2018
Last week I posted a video clip of what I thought was a brilliant performance of my favourite track by The Dream Syndicate, a band up until about a fortnight I hadn't listened to for quite some considerable time but in the past few weeks there has been no getting away from them, A few days after the post by Swiss Adam that jogged my memory I received an email informing me that the Dream Syndicate were touring around the USA and that they had a 12" out for RSD which included another live version of John Coltrane Stereo Blues and I managed to bag the last copy of the record in Monorail on Saturday afternoon.
So when I was wandering about Glasgow on Saturday in my opinion the definitive version of the Bob Dylan/Nico classic I'll Keep It With Mine came on the Ipod, This version by Rainy Day, a supergroup of sorts made up of many of the leading lights in the Southern California bands from the early 80s that were tagged as "the paisley underground", that came together to record an album of covers by the bands that influenced their sound, like Jimi Hendrix, Big Star, The Who and of course the Velvets. Included in the 15 musicians credited on the subsequent album were Kendra Smith and Steve Wynn founding members of The Drean Syndicate, Michael Quercio from the Three O'Clock (who had coined the term Paisley Underground), Dave Robak from Rain Parade and the little known at the time co-founder of the Bangles, Susanna Hoff. I would be lying if I said that all of the covers are successful but the very good certainly outweigh the mediocre.
Rainy Day - I'll Keep It With Mine
Rainy Day - Holocaust
Tuesday 24 April 2018
This is absolutely gorgeous, timeless soul from Lee Fields, the man nicknamed "Little JB" as they say he resembles and sounds like Soul Brother No , I'm not that sure about either. Fields released his first single back in 1969 nand has been recording ever since. The stuff that he has done in conjunction with the Impressions since 2010 are particularly good this single was released on Big Crown Records last year.
Lee Fields and The Expressions - Coming Home
Monday 23 April 2018
Friday 20 April 2018
Today's blotter of acid is one of my favourite of the UK acid sounds from 1988. Psychic TV featuring Jack The Tab was in fact Genesis P-Orridge and Richard Norris. On the Temple re-release of the DC Records original there are 4 mixes of Tune In (Turn On To Thee Acid House Sound) all of which are worth having, my favourite is the one posted, the Mister Love Acidisco Northern Soul mix.
Last week's football was not pretty but it did result in a two nil win for Airdrie, Tomorrow they take on Arbroath away, let's hope it's not a repeat of the 7 - 1 thrashing the Diamonds received last October when they were last at Gayfield. The highest the club can finish is 6th but even if the team lose the last two games they will still finish 7th not bad considering the first half of the season.
Have a good weekend people.
Pyschic TV feat Jack The Tab - Tune In (Turn On To Thee Acid House Sound) Mister Love Acidicso Northern Soul mix
Tuesday 17 April 2018
At the tail end of last week over at The Bagging Area, SA featured a rather splendid mix from a festival in Italy by a dj that some of you might be familiar with, a certain Mr Weatherall. Well known for his eclectic mixes on this mix he had the young Italians jigging along to the some top tunes including a track that I have not played, I'm ashamed to say, in what must be a decade but which I used to love, John Coltrane Stereo Blues by The Drean Syndicate. So I thought that I would post it unmixed here but I didn't get round to ripping it from the 1984 album Medicine Show but I did remember seeing a KEXP clip on Youtube a couple of years back where the reformed band did an absolutely belting epic version of the song which just so happens to break into a verse or two of a Doors song just over half way through which is quite funny as I found myself reapraising the Doors a few weeks ago and to my surprise actually quite enjoying the experience, they weren't as wanky as I remember them being. This version of John Coltrance Stereo Blues is the business but the band sadly these days look like a bunch of Maths and Physics teachers trying their hardest to be cool but boy can they play!
I'm In Luton for the next couple of days, which is nice!
Monday 16 April 2018
I know nothing about Ronnie and Robyn other than they recorded four singles between 1966 and 1967 three of which were released on the Detroit label Sidra. Step Into My Heart is the best of the tracks that I have heard by the duo, it's just a really lovely piece of soul. It was the flip side to as far as I can find out the couple's final single, As Long As You Love me which doesn't really do it for me, it could have something to do with the harps at the beginning.
Not a bad way to start what will be a busy week.
Ronnie & Robyn - As Long As I Have You
Friday 13 April 2018
Bet you thought thast you had seen the back of this feature?
I'm still sticking with the acid which seems to be totally underwhelming you all. Today's track comes from SLF, no not Jake Burns' mob, although they did do that terrible Beastie Boys parody, No Sleep Til Belfast, as far as I'm aware they did not jump on the Acieeeed bandwagon as well. No this SLF were Street Level Funk and I know absolutely fuck all about them apart from the fact that in 1988 on their only release, Show Me What You Got they included two rather good acid mixes of the track on the b-side, part 2 being the better of the two.
You will be as relieved as I am to hear the the Diamonds place as a Scottish League One side is assured as of last week, something that even at the start of March could not be taken for granted and which at Christmas looked highly unlikely. It is just as well as the side that will take on local rivals Albion Rovers at the Excelsior tomorrw could be fully comprised of second team players with the exception of the goalkeeper, what with injuries and suspensions. I suspect that the football will not be pretty but let's hope it is as entertaining as last week's narow defeat by Ayr United.
Have a good weekend people.
SLF - Show Me What You Got (Acid mix pt 1)
SLF - Show Me What You Got (Acid mix pt 2)
Thursday 12 April 2018
Most peoople who know of The Other Half, the San Franscisco garage band, not to be confused with the other garage band from Chicago who recorded The Girl With The Black Hair, because of the excellent rare as hens teeth single Mr Pharmacist which would later be covered so well by the Fall. The group actually recorded a whole album a rare thing wwith the garage bands of the mid 60s who either disintegrated after one or two great singles or whose members were drafted to Vietnam which understandably put an end to their recording careers. The eponymously titled The Other Half is a different beast entirely from Mr Pharmacist, being recorded in 1967 in Frisco the sound is much more blues rock which is no bad thing in my book. There are still some tracks that would fit with the garage/psych sound such as The Flight Of The Dragon Woman but mostly it is more rock focused, their sound has been likened to the Yardbirds and it is therefore unsurprising that the guitarist Randy Holman was offered tthe job or replacing Jeff Beck in that band prior to joining the Other Half. I have posted posted both parts of What Can I Do For You. Part one sounds a lot like the Doors without Ray Manzarek's keyboards. Part Two is the one that does it for me, much more of a stoner jam with some loud distorted guitar soloing which I love but I know some of you fought the punk wars to get rid of this kind of thing but I love it.
The Other Half - What Can I Do For You (Part One)
The Other Half - What Can I Do For You (Part Two)
Tuesday 10 April 2018
WARNING - CONTAINS A LOT OF SAX - JC should maybe avoid this one.
The original version of Masterpiece was recorded by the Temptations but was really more a vehicle to show the abilities of Norman Whitfield as a writer and producer as it only contained 3 minutes worth of vocal in it's thirteen and a half minute running time. The track was the title track of the Temptations 1973 album released on the Gordy label and the final album by vocal the group to be recorded in Detroit. I much prefer the version by the Jazz-Funk saxophonist Groover Washington Jr from hos excellent 1973 album Soul Box 1 from the same year as the original and which also contains an amazing extended cover of Trouble Man.
Groover Washington Jr - Masterpiece
Monday 9 April 2018
I can't believe that I have not featured this absolute classic northern soul sound which has been a huge track with the allniter crowd since 1971 and still sounds great. This was no small obscure label release either being released on RCA Victor in 1966 albeit on the flip side of Walk Hand In Hand. Roy Hamilton had been making records since 1948 when he started out as part of a gospel act and had hits with Unchained Melody and You'll Never Walk Alone. Everything about this record is huge from the dramatic intro, the driving beat and the emotional vocal delivery, They don't get much better than this.
Roy Hamilton - Crackin' Up Over You
Thursday 5 April 2018
I have been on annual leave this week, I say annual leave but I have mostly been trying to referee the boxing matches between two spoilt little gits! Due to the inclement weather we have been mostly stuck in the house and with no painting required, (that's not quite true there are a couple of rooms that could do with being "freshened up" but I haven't been instructed to do so yet), I have been looking for something to do and decided to listen to all of the Fall studio albums , on vinyl when possible, all 32 of them in order. A task that I took to with gusto, although I know at least one person, thanks for the records btw Ctel, who could think of nothing worse. Sixteen albums in and some have been a revelation. The Frenz Experiment which I have always been rather ambivalent towards sounded a couple of nights ago, Bremen Nacht and Carry Bag Man sounding especially good. The album which I have enjoyed the most and had to play again was 1993's The Infotainment Scan an album that I duck into now and then but mostly to listen to the best cover version ever, the gruppe's cover of Lost In Music which really is astounding and may hint at why in the early 80s Motown were interested in signing the Fall. But the whole album is actually a tour de force from a group that had just been let go from their major label contract, Smith deciding to walk before becoming one of the next round of casualties in the Phonogram restructuring.
The album was recorded using Smith's own money at Hooky's Studio 16 in Rochdale and only when complete did MES go looking for a label to put it out.
The album has a techno feel about it without sounding like Techno, if you get what I mean. At the time there was a lot of talk about the song Glam Racket being a sideswipe at Suede, Smith however in his own inimitable way set the record straight when he told a journalist "The song has fuck all to do with the group Suede, and they shouldn't flatter themselves to think it is" The album as a whole I think focuses on the that feeling of getting older with songs like, It's A Curse, The League of Bald-Headed Men and A Past Gone Mad where Smith rallies against the nostalgia industry which had yet to really get established reminding us that Spangles and the 70s were shit and disparages his own older Fall fans with the first use of the phrase "look back bores". Even I'm Going To Spain, a cover of a song by someone who won New Faces, Steve Bent and was considered to be one of the worst songs ever sounds very good with Smith actually trying to sing and sounding quite wistful, if you can believe it.
This is an album that if you haven't heard you really need to give a go even if it is just to hear the castanets at the end of I'm Going To Spain. I have posted A Past Gone Mad which contains the unforgettable lyric, "and if I ever end up like U2 slit my throat with a garden vegetable.
The Fall - A Past Gone Mad
Wednesday 4 April 2018
Tuesday 3 April 2018
A lovely slab of smooth soul that is unmistakably from the Windy City. The song was penned by Curtis Mayfield and released on his Mayfield label in 1969. Marvin Smith was also the lead singer of the Artistics who released records on th Okeh and Brunswick labels and featured here a couple of years ago.
Marvin Smith - Who Will Do Your Running Now