Friday 30 November 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

As it's St Andrew's Day I thought that a bit of Scottish Progressive House from my golden days of clubbing should be the order of the day. I have talked before about 23rd Precinct in Bath Street in Glasgow before and the folk that worked behind the counter in the shop who made Barry from Championship look like the most customer centric record shop worker, so won't go back there suffice to say, gits one and all. The two labels that the label produced that probably released records by the aforementioned gits were for a time two of the labels that I would buy as soon as I say saw the label, no need to hear the track first as they would inevitably, to steal a phrase from another Glasgow label be quality recordings.

Between 1992 and 1994, Graeme Drinnan and Mark Brown, collectively know as Sublime released four belters for the labels, the first on 23rd Precinct Recordings Ltd and the other three on Limbo. The fourth release, TGV an homage to France's excellent  high-speed intercity rail service speeds along like you would expect and would probably soundtrack a journey through the Gallic countyside perfectly, certainly worked in the dingy clubs of Scotland's best city in 1994.

Airdrie are going through a bit of an renaissance at the moment with three wins on the bounce. The change in the team over the past wee while is nothing short of remarkable and last Saturday there were shouts of ole during a particularly skilful period of play that saw the midfield string together more passes than they have achieved during the rest of the home games this season combined bringing back memories of the short-lived heady days of the Archibald era when we were being linked to Barcelona and an expectation that Airdire would be the place that Barca's up and coming players would be bloodied and their stars on the wain would finish their careers took hold of the stand, I kid you not. We were a guillable bunch once upon a time. Anyway, let's hope that the guys can sustain their winning ways away to Raith Rovers on Saturday. A game that Leo and I will be attending, as he approves of the half-time catering especially the Steak and Gravy pies (a totally different thing from the pie that you attempted to eat at the Excelsior Brian). We will meet up with JC and Walter there and I hope that on the journey back to Lanark it will be me this time telling JC that his team played well but unfortunately couldn't hold on to the 99th minute to secure a victory.

Have a good weekend people.

Sublime - TGV

Thursday 29 November 2018

Coldplay Thursday

As most of you will be aware The Sound Of Being Okay will be losing its most talented member, KT,  this week as she heads off on mat leave from the blog. KT or KC as she was know previously has regaled us with some hilarious, often quite personal and on more than one occasion extremely moving posts.

So in KC's honour  it seems appropriate that Coldplay be posted again. I realise the last time I did this I got some pelters but we really were ripping the pish out of ourselves for being the musical snobs that we are and in keeping with that I am going to post the same tune as I posted the last time as secretly if it were sung by say Ryan Adams or Jesse Malin I would be telling you it was brilliant as to be honest it's not a bad song. I still think that the first four lines are complete gash though.

All the best KT and I hope that your child sleeps as long as our second one did right from the off, the least said about the first the better.

Coldplay - Green Eyes

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Candie Payne

Candie Payne's only album to date, I Wish I Could Have Loved You More, released 11 years ago has really got under my skin recently. When I first bought it I was quite disappointed as I thought that apart from a couple of really good songs it was a bit "meh" as the cool kids and Comrade Colin back then would have said. But over repeated plays over the past month or go the subtleties of the album have really appealed. The influence of Dusty and Nancy are all over the album but it's not just a 60's pastiche, well mostly it is but it is a very good one and for me stands up to the other purveyors of that sound at that time very well.

Around the time of the release of the album I saw Payne perform at King Tuts and I have never seen anybody more nervous on stage, she was visibly shaking when she first came on but by a couple of songs in she seemed to have calmed down although she didn't set the heather on fire she was very good.

I wonder why she hasn't released anything else.

Candie Payne - In The Morning

Monday 26 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

To try to stave off the Sunday night blues last night I reached for the Pledge Music funded live release by Dexys from 2014 and headed straight for side H and This Is What She's Like. Now any of you acquainted with the vinyl version of this release will know that the sound on the  first 3 minutes or so of this side are not the best quality wise, I had three different copies of this sent to me and they all sounded the same, like an album that I had had for forty years and which had seen more than a couple of airings at parties but now I have been able to filter the noise out and just listen to what for me is the best rendition of my favourite Dexys song which always makes me regret hesitating just that little bit to long for tickets for the One Day I'm Going To Soar tour.

After listening I thought to myself that would be a great track for Monday's Long Song, such a pity that I've posted it before but I decided to check the blog to find out how long ago it had featured and to my amazement it hasn't so that sorted out today's post.



What Was She Like?

Dexys - This Is What She's Like 

Thursday 22 November 2018

Somebody's Always Trying

There has not been a great deal of Soul posted here since I resurrected the blog, not sure why as I am listening to as much as usual and over the next few weeks will probably immerse myself in it as I've got to Richard Searling's book, Setting The Record Straight and the final book in Stuart Gosgrove's soul Trilogy, Harlem 69 at the top of the reading list and sitting on the bedside cabinet,

Talking of one half of the Off the Ball Team, Stiff and I attended a talk by him in Motherwell library on Tuesday night where he discussed the three books with the emphasis on Harlem 69 and very entertaining it was too.

So really I should be featuring a song from 67 - 69 today but I'm not. I've got what Brian would I think term a "doozy" for you from a few years earlier. 1964 but it is at least on the Okeh label out of N.Y.C. Somebody's Always Trying lies more towards the R&B send of the soul spectrum but is nonetheless a belter, It is also pretty rare, a vg copy would set you back around £430.

Tuesday 20 November 2018


Back in May I posted Count Your Blessings the first single on Burger Records from Mattiel. A week or so later the single was released over here after being picked up by Heavenly and in July her debut originally released last year in the States also got a release this side of the pond and I have to tell you it's a belter. It ticks loads of boxes for me, a bit Garagey here, soulful there and with more than a smidgen of Girl Group sounds. What's not to like, not much, I do have one slight gripe Mattiel Brown's voice can come over a bit shouty when I'm not in the right mood or am on my third listen on the bounce, although I haven't once taken the album off before the end. It could be in my top ten albums of the year, although there have been so many great and extremely good albums this year it may not.

Mattiel - Just A Name

Monday 19 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

As the nights draw in and Autumn turns to Winter I always find myself rifling through the M section in the vinyl and cd shelves. I'm not sure what it is about this time of the year that lends itself to the sounds of John Martyn for me but I always find that the songs soundtrack this time of the year beautifully especially the output from 1971 to 1977.  I have posted Small Hours from the classic One World album on a few occasions but never this instrumental version before. To be honest it's not a version I play that often as I like the vocal in the track but now and again it hits the spot and is a pretty good way to ease you into the working week.

John Martyn - Small Hours (Instrumental)

Monday 12 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

These long songs on a Monday are unearthing some gems across the sites, the Swede in particular has been putting me on to things that are totally new to me. When looking out things for here I have dusted down some tracks that haven't been played for ages or I had totally forgotten about and in some cases has sent me off on some weird and wonderful listening tangents.

Today's track fall into the "hasn't been played for ages" category. When I took a punt on "These Were The Earlies" back in 2004 I was kind of perplexed at first, didn't know what to make of it, it didn't sound like anything else around at the time, It was very trippy in an late 60s British folk/psychedelic way but with modern synths but with a bit of a US West Coast vibe about it too. One of the stand out tracks was Morning Wonder. A while ago I managed to pick up a single sided 12" promo of this track which extended the album cut to double it's length, all repetition and krauty sounding synths.

The Earlies - Morning Wonder (Final Mix)

Sunday 11 November 2018

Friday 9 November 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Australian psychedelic dance rockers Jagwar Ma have a knack of getting it spot on when they pick the producers to remix their tracks, the man that is Andrew Weatherall has produced a couple of belters, the Time and Space Machine dub sessions are excellent and the Pachanga Boys epic trippy mix of Come Save Me is essential but my favourite comes from the Every Now and Zen remixes 12" and is definitely aimed more at the dance floor than sitting stoned out of your gourd nodding along to. The original is a pretty good dance floor friendly track if you can get passed Gabriel Winterfield's vocals which for me are a weakness of the band and probably why I prefer the remixes of their stuff where the vocals are at a minimum. However, German producer and DJ Michael Mayer strips out the vocal, adds a wobbly bassline and turns the track into a minimal techno monster that build over the course of seven minutes, it reminds me somewhat of Reveal by Richard Norris' side project Circle Sky.

If I must talk about the football, I can sum up last week's performance by Airdrie with one word pish. If you need further details, the fact that the goalkeeper was the man of the match should tell you all you need to know. Tomorrow they make the long trip down to Stranraer who are two places above the Diamonds who crashed from 4th to 7th after last week's rubbish. Let's hope they can do something tomorrow but again, I wouldn't put any money on it.

Have a good weekend people.

Jagwar Ma - Give Me A Reason (Michael Mayer Does The Amoeba Remix)

Thursday 8 November 2018

Some Kind Of Wonderful

I've had an urge to watch Some Kind of Wonderful this week not sure why. I think it may have something to do with the state of the world and going back to a less scary time. It's quite a feat to be in a time that makes you hanker back to the good old days of the Cold War and Thatcher at the height of her powers. Or maybe it's just that I'm just a sad middle aged man reminiscing about my youth. Whatever the reason I watched what I think is John Hughes' best film and thoroughly enjoyed it, sure some of the acting isn't terrific, the plot is typical John Hughes and the characters are all stereotypes but it made me smile and also get as infuriated with Eric Stoltz character as much as I did way back when. It's Watts you clown, she's the one not the Wannabe but this being a John Hughes movie he get's it in the end.

As I've said previously,  simpler times.

One thing did that did stand out was that the soundtrack is not as good as I thought it was, there is a terrible remix version of The Hardest Walk, Brilliant Mind by Furniture, a rather sweet cover of Can't Help Falling In Love and the Stephen Duffy song posted below which soundtracks one of my favourite scenes in the film. I think that this song may have been written for this film as I couldn't find it anywhere other than on the soundtrack album. Apart from those the rest is pretty par for the course mid 80s sludge.

Stephen Duffy - She Loves Me

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Martin Stephenson

On Saturday night I had the great pleasure of seeing Martin Stephenson perform Gladsome, Humour and Blue in its entirety at Oran Mor. This album is probably my favourite by this much underrated artist and sound tracked my year in Aberdeen just as much as the Betty Blue soundtrack, 1000 Years of Trouble and various House 12" singles. In fact Nancy was played at least once a day for about a month.

I have never seen anybody so happy to be on stage as Stephenson and his between song banter was funny and at times informative about presenting the Dainties with one more dirge to record, when all they wanted was for Martin to come up with something a bit upbeat and poppy "like Roddy Frame". He also gave some insights into what it was like to be on the road with other bands, apparently the Bluebells were a great laugh but that Prefab Sprout were a miserable shower.

Gladsome, Humour and Blue has been re-recorded for it's thirtieth anniversary and can be purchased here. If you liked the original you will also love this re-interpretation and if you don't know the original you should buy this anyway as it is a lovely album, not the most upbeat of records but the music and lyrics are top class. The album was re-recorded at Beetroot Studios in Airdrie, a stone's throw from the football stadium and produced by Stuart MacLeod who joined the band on stage for an encore and who Stephenson tried to sell him a guitar. This recording session was not the first time that Stephenson had been to the town of my childhood, he has recorded at MacLeod's studio a few times and in 2004 released an album called Airdrie - Songs From The Industrial North which is pretty rare to get a hold of these days but is available for download at the Bandcamp page. Although today's track is on that album it did not get an airing on Saturday night but I can't grumble because the extras that we did get over and above the Daintees album were perfect for the time and place.

If you ever get the opportunity to see Martin Stephenson, don't hesitate as it is worth it just for the big stupid grin and the stories alone, the songs are a great bonus all the same.

Martin Stephenson - Mountainous Spring

Monday 5 November 2018

Monday's Long Song

This track is a few minutes shorter than my usual song in this series but it come on over the weekend and I listened to it three times on the bounce and thought that it was quite apt this week.

Now,  I'm not one for trying to tell people from other countries how to vote, I lost a lot of credibility for David Bowie prior to the Scottish Independent Referendum when he deemed to put his neb in and a few others for that matter but folks in the USA could do worse than listen to Bruce Springsteen this week, that's all I'm saying.

Land of Hope and Dreams was written by Springsteen in 1998 was performed live on the following year's E Street Band reunion and then recorded during the sessions for 2002's The Rising but not included it was subsequently rerecorded and released on Wrecking Ball in 2012, The studio version is ok, actually really good but does not pack the punch of the live one posted here, from the Live In New York City album. Most Springsteen songs when you think of it come into there own in the live environment. I really should have paid the money a couple of years ago and gone and seen him at Hampden!

Bruce Springsteen - Land of Hope and Dreams 

Friday 2 November 2018

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

Propellerheads are probably best remembered for their collaboration with Dame Shirley Bassey, History Repeating or the cover they did of the theme to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The duo were signed to Wall of Sound one of the leading labels lights in the "Big Beat" genre in the mid to late 90s. Take California was the second single from the boys from Bath and is my favourite. It has your typical hip-hop beats, synonymous with this scene which are actually sampled from on old soul tune, Hit or Miss by Odetta which I first heard when it was used on DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist's seminal mix cd Brainfreeze.

Well, no new manager bounce for Airdrie last week. just another incredibly poor performance in which the Diamonds eventually succumbed to the inevitable defeat on the 86th minute when Stenhousemuir scored. It was bitterly cold last Saturday with limited benefit coming from digging out the long-johns and I think my feet eventually warmed up at about 22:00 hrs. Tomorrow they play host to Forfar who are one place and two points above them in the table. I will be going more in hope than expectation and will be wearing two pairs of socks!

Have a good weekend people

Propellerheads - Take California

Thursday 1 November 2018

I've Been In Front, I've Never Given In.

I love this track so much it is an aural sedative. After listening to the pompous twat that is Michael Portillo on the Moral Maze last night, I put on They Gave Me A Lamp and almost instantly  calmed down which is strange that a song about the Miner's Strike of 1984 - 85 should do so and not make me rage even more so, especially as Portillo lest we forget due to his reinvention as a railway enthusiast and extremely bad dad dancer, was an acolyte of Thatcher and a very loyal member of the government intent in crushing not only the miners but any worker who didn't stay in line and put up with their lot.

Enough of the politics already, I hear you say.

 I think that it may be the participation of the Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut, as their latest album, There Is No Elsewhere (which is very good by the way) has a similar effect on me. Or it could be the brass or the impassioned sampled dialogue or just that it is a great song which is sadly over far to soon. There is a very good remix of They Gave Me A Lamp by Plaid which came out on RSD 18 release, People Will Always Need Coal which is also very good. O

The album that the track comes from, Every Valley, the third by Public Service Broadcasting is worth checking out, although an album thoroughly wrapped up in the coal industry in the Welsh Valleys may not sound like a great listen, it really is, it's atmospheric, moody but also has some great moments of light and optimism not least on Progress , on which Tracyanne Campbell provides the unmistakable vocal, what there is of it.  I had the good fortune to see both of those tracks being performed live at Electric Fields during one of the standout sets of the festival for me.

Public Service Broadcasting - They Gave Me A Lamp