Monday 30 September 2019

Monday's Long Song

I don't think that it is a coincidence that quite a few of the 10 minute plus tunes that I have also have the name Pete Kember/Sonic Boom in some way associated with them. Today's track is one such example. Ocean is a cover of a Velvet Underground track that was never released when the band were still going. This version by Sunray and was one of the tracks on their second and in my opinion best album, Tomorrow from 2007. Sonic Boom's not only contributes vocals, guitar, keyboards and Tambura but also produces the track as well. It's a great extended, blissed out, fuzzed-up version of the song not quite on a par with the Velvets take on the Matrix Tapes but then it was never ever going to be.

Sunray - Ocean

Monday 23 September 2019

Monday's Long Song

An epic from the pen of Mike Scott today, a song that Scott himself called "big music". Red Army Blues was influenced by two books that Scott had been reading, The Forgotten Soldier and The Diary of Vikenty Angarov, both stories of the Eastern Front one from the German and the other from the Russian perspective.  The song is the story of a hero of the Soviet Union in the second world war who on his return is sent to the gulag as Stalin fears the influence that American troops had on their Russian counterparts when they met after the fall of Berlin. This was the standout track from the second Waterboys album, A Pagan Place released in 1984.

The Waterboys -  Red Army Blues

Friday 20 September 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

For me no other genre of dance music is quite as goods as the progressive house sound that was kicking about from 1991 to 1994 which probably says more about me and my age than it does about any other genre of dance music, except the trance which followed progressive house that was pure pish. Hard Hands was a consistently good label not only did they have Leftfield on the roster, as label owners it may have been surprising if they had not been but also releases from Full Moon Scientist, Vinyl Blair and two belters of 12" singles from Delta Lady. Swamp Fever was the second release by Kris Needs and Wonder, which contains a very good Scream Team mix but the one you want on a Friday night ids the full on Delta Baptism mix. Magic stuff!

I can't quite believe what I'm typing here but Airdrieonians are sitting 4th in the league at the moment, granted the table is tight but fourth is fourth. Tomorrow sees the Diamonds welcome Raith Rovers, two points and two places ahead of them in the League. A win would be great but a draw and a performance like the one against Falkirk three weeks ago would more than do.

Have a good weekend people

Delta Lady - Swamp Fever (Delta Baptism mix)  

Thursday 19 September 2019

Age of Chance

I was sent a link yesterday on Twitter for the C86  Radioshow on Mixcloud  which included an interview with Geoff T from Age of Chance. You can get it here if you are interested.

For about 18 months from the first tine I heard their cover of Kiss and the Kisspower mix on the John Peel show they were one of my favourite bands, I loved everything about them from the mad record sleeves designed by the Designer's Republic, the slogans, the cycling gear at least two decades prior to the explosion of middle aged men in lycra,  the shouty vocals and most of all the use of a dj and sampling in their music.

When I look back at my time in Aberdeen in 1987/88, along with all the house music I was immersing myself in two albums also feature heavily, Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush The Show and 1000 Years of Trouble by Age of Chance both of which sounded nothing like anything I had been listening to previously. Age of Chance deserved if not to become superstars Like Chuck D and Favour Flav, should have been a lot better known than they were. Last night I played 1000 Years of Trouble and this may be the nostalgia talking but I think it still sounds pretty damn good. I think this evening I might go through the 12" singles as they include some pretty good remixes two of which done by Hank Shocklee and Carl Ryder bringing us back to Public Enemy.

Age of Chance - Learn To Pray 

Age of Chance - This Is Crush Collision

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Five Years Ago Today

Things could have been so, so different but the majority voted no. Buying the arguments that we were too wee, too poor to go it alone, That the best way to stay inside the EU was to remain within the UK where we were a valued equal partner in the relationship.

How's that working out for you now?

Last week the # FuckoffScotland was trending due to the mendacity  audacity of the three highest judges in Scotland daring to suggest that the clown in No.10 Downing Street had been less than truthful to the monarch. All the tropes of "subsidy junkies", "scummy wee country full of drunks and junkies" "shite football team" etc were rolled out. Okay I'll give you the third one, that has been a given long before the resurgence of the SNP.

I do think that we made a mistake. As you can see from Johnson's recent European jaunt, the smallest countries in the EU are allowed a voice whereas within our own "Union" we are allowed to be a part of it but don't dare step out of line.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

If This Doesn't Make You Smile

Sure Twitter can be a fucking desperate place with all of the shit but sometimes some of the interactions can give you back your feeling that not all of humanity is like that horrible woman who was once on the apprentice and the guy who has unsuccessfully stood for Parliament 8 times. The other times it can make your day with one clip that has you smiling all day. Last Tuesday  was one of those days when the clip below was posted and it also had me scurrying to the soul boxes as, shamefully The Nitty Gritty was a single that I had but neglected for far too long.

The clip is from the Judy Garland Show and is probably the best example of a white guy getting his groove  until Pulp Fiction. The guy dancing like nobody is watching is Bobby Banas, who was a professional dancer and choreographer who was in West Side Story and also Down And Out In Beverly Hills.

Shirley Ellis is probably best know for the Clapping Song, however in my house it's Soul Time that is played more often. The Nitty Gritty was released on the Congress label in 1963.

Shirley Ellis - The Nitty Gritty

Monday 16 September 2019

Monday's Long Song

Not sure I have anything to add to the reams of stuff that has been said about Bob Dylan or this song in particular apart from it is a work of fucking genius that you just don't want to end and when it does you can't quite believe that eleven and a half minutes have passed.

I first heard Dylan at a mate's house when I was either twelve of thirteen. Ben's dad was a huge Dylan fan and it was not uncommon to hear Bob's dulcet tones when entering the house it was either that or the Archers if I wandered up at that time of evening. So both parents were responsible for turning me on to two quite different forms of aural entertainment.

Bob Dylan - Desolation Row

Friday 13 September 2019

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance

A few weeks after discovering Whyte Horses and buying both of the albums I found myself once again in Monorail, I'm not sure if they have some sort of tracking device but sometimes I find myself in there when I have gone in the town with absolutely no intention of going anywhere near King Street. So I was just flicking through the racks when I came to the W section and the divider stating Whyte Horses but the only thing there was possibly the worst album artwork this side of the Regrettes with the name Justin Velor and 2013 emblazoned across the front. On closer inspection on a sticker it informed me that Justin Velor is none other than Dom Thomas the man behind Whyte Horses and so I decided to take a punt on the double album, there was bound to be enough good music to justify the £6.99 price tag, surely on past evidence of the man's output.

So when I got home I put it on expecting something in the vein of Whyte Horses or Cowgirl In Sweden, I was not prepared for four to the floor house, electro, rhythms stolen from Detroit and a smattering of Balearica, actually the last one wasn't that much of a surprise. After a bit of digging it made a bit more sense as some of the collaborators were Jez Williams from Doves and Graham Massey, others were a bit more surprising, Gerry Love from the Fannies, Chris Geddes from Belle and Sebastian and Lee E John from Imagination. With a squad like this you may be thinking that the album will be all over the place and it is but there are more good tracks than duds with Energizer being the pick of the bunch for me.

Third tier Scottish football, you've got to love it. Three weeks ago Airdrie the Diamonds got an absolute mauling away to East Fife, so none of us were confident for the following week's home game against Falkirk, the team that had been relegated from the Championship last season and during the summer spent big, well in relative terms, to ensure that they would not be hinging aboot in League 1. What we got though was a thoroughly entertaining nil-nil draw where Airdrie more than held their own and could have sneaked it in the last minute. For the first time ever Leo saw the opposite stand open with the large travelling support providing much needed atmosphere to proceedings.

Last week it was time for cup action, the Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Cup, no less and the Diamonds welcomed European opposition in the form of Irish side Bohemians and a bizarre 13:00 Saturday kick-off . Another thoroughly entertaining game with Airdrie just edging to a 3-2 victory.

Tomorrow sees the team away to Dumbarton where hopefully they can keep up the wining ways.

Have a good weekend people

Justin Velor - Energiser

Thursday 12 September 2019


Yesterday a live version, recorded at a gig on the Renfrew Ferry that I attended, of the track posted came on and it gave me quite a jolt, firstly it hit me again that there would never be a chance to feel that buzz and relief of seeing MES wander on stage mid song, select a mike and slur the immortal words "good evening we are the Fall . . . " Then I started to smile as I remembered how amazed I was that night in March 2008 as I never thought there was a chance that I would hear this incredible song live as it had been released as the b-side of Kicker Conspiracy some 25 years earlier and I knew Smith's feelings about playing things from his back catalogue.

One thing about Smith, he could always surprise you. Or to paraphrase John Peel " That's the thing with the Fall, you never know what your what your gonna get , at may not be what you want but it is what you need"

The Fall - Wings

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Crying In The Night

There hasn't been much in the way of Northern Soul on this place for a while, I realise that there hasn't been very much of anything really but I am trying to up the posts, honest.

Crying In The Night is another of those unfathomable decisions by Motown to shelve an absolutely cracker of a track. It has all the hallmarks of a hit from the Tamla stable, a driving beat, a powerful main vocal, sweet backing vocals and those distinctive drum rolls. It was recorded on 14th June 1966 and produced by Willian Weatherspoon  but never saw the light of day until it was included in the This IS Northern Soul, The Motown Sound Vol I it can also be found on a 7" boot.

The Monitors - Crying In The Night

Tuesday 10 September 2019

This Strange Effect

I do like a good cover version, even when I'm not aware that the version I am listening to isn't the original until I read the credits or someone else informs me that it is a cover version. In this instance I became aware that This Strange Effect was a cover was from a comment by Johnny TFL when I first posted a track by the young Brooklyn duo who first met in high school.

The track was penned by Ray Davies but a studio version by the Kinks was never officially released, however a BBC session was included in a couple of compilations. The song has been covered a few times, originally by Dave Berry in 1965 when it reached the low end of the top 40 in the UK but Number 1 in the US. The Shacks version was released  on The Shacks ep which is well worth tracking down.

The Shacks - This Strange Effect

Monday 9 September 2019

Monday's Long Song

Today's long song came out in 1993 but could have been released any time from the late 60s until sometime last week. Another extended fuzzed-out, distorted piece of space rock that won't ease you into the new working week but should give you a jolt and get you ready for whatever madness that may befall us in the coming days.

I was thinking the other day that over the past few years there seems to have been  a resurgence of psychedelic music but when I look at my cds and records looking for tracks for a Monday morning it's not really the case the music has always been produced. This track being a prime example as it comes from the third Sun Dial album, Return Journey released back in the days when the Brit Pop stuff was just starting to emerge and Trance was sneaking into the clubs.

Sun Dial - Sunstroke

Wednesday 4 September 2019

A Little Bit of Something To Cheer Me Up

All of the turmoil that is happening on this island is really starting to get me down. So much so that I have been seeking solace in a manufactured boy band. A couple of months ago I had an urge to listen to the Monkees, I have no idea where this came from but I dusted down the double cd Best Of I had and rifled in the cupboard for the handful of singles I have.

Since then I have kept returning to one song, my favourite song by the band and one that was purposefully left off of the first album by producer Don Krishner who appears to have taken personal offence to this Mike Nesmith penned song which didn't receive an official release apart from on the b-side of the Australian release of I Wanna Be Free, a complete travesty in my opinion.

Below I have included the footage of the song being performed on the Monkees TV show. If that doesn't make you smile there is no hope for you. And also the recording of the original session for the first album where Nesmith explains to the legends that were Hal Blaine and Robert West exactly what he wanted.

The Monkees - You Just May Be The One 

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Whyte Horses

A couple of weeks ago I featured the mysterious Cowgirl In Sweden album which I took a punt on after a couple of people had mentioned it on Twitter,  After a few listens I decided to do a bit of digging to see if I could find out anything about this mob, So after rooting about the internet I found the consensus opinion was that it was most probably a side project of Whyte Horses, a band I had heard of but never actually heard. I consulted Discogs and it appeared that this "pop psych" band hailed from Manchester and had released a couple of albums and a few mix cds. So I decided to start with LP # 1 Pop or Not.  My first thought once I had played the album all the way through was why the hell had I not heard this or even anybody talking about this album as it was absolutely magic, a complete mish mash of styles and sounds that really worked as an album and held my attention throughout.

Still peeved off that it has taken me four years to find this band.

Whyte Horses - Feels Like Something's Changing

Monday 2 September 2019

Monday's Long Song

There is a gloom descending and at the weekend I thought that some KC might make things better. It didn't work but I did re-discover on the shelves the criminally ignored, by me for the past few years anyway, experimental album that Kenny Anderson released under the moniker Kwaing Creasite back in 2004, This dark, claustrophobic album just fitted right in with the gloomy mood. I'm not sure if "Jack Shit" is a miserable song or not, there is definitely a melancholy in KC's voice but there seems to be a glimmer of hope in there too. 

Kwaing Creasite - Jack Shit