Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Manchester



James - Sit Down (Live at the MEN)

Not As Good As The Cover



There is an old joke - how many soul fans does it take to change a lightbulb?

One to change it and four hundred to scream, it's not as good as the original.

Well in the case of today's track the opposite is true for me, in that the original is ok but the cover version is just so much better.

Superman by Clique was released in 1969 and has that kind of psychedelic pop sound and if it hadn't been for the later REM version I would probably hold it in higher regard. As it is the later version is not radically different from this recording it's just a bit faster and a bit louder, more indie if you like. But Clique have to be given some kudos for writing what is a very good tune in the first place.

Clique - Superman

Monday, 22 May 2017

My Man, A Sweet Man



Some uptempo happy soul for you this Monday morning. No stories of no good men cheating on and walking out on their partners today or of wreckage left after bust ups. Nope, Millie Jackson seems to have found that one in a million guy who's always around when needed and doesn't go looking for a bit on the side.

My Man,  A Sweet Man was an early single by Millie Jackson, released in 1972 on the Spring label in the States and Mojo records this side of the pond. With a very upbeat Philly style backing this track could be considered a pop song if it weren't for Millie's gospel style vocals. One of those tunes that gets in your head and stays there, not a bad thing in this case.

Millie Jackson - My Man, A Sweet Man

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Just Sittin' There Rippin' The Pish




Yesterday's Springsteen Covered post at CC's made me think of this post from way back in September 2012, not that the music has anything to do with the Boss but CC's mention of "the Tonic" favoured in the Shire got me all misty eyed about being 17/18 and the trials and tribulations of that time  although I was never "dumped doon the Strathy".

I don't know what it was like then you were sixteen or seventeen but in deepest darkest Lanarkshire organising your fun of a weekend wasn't the easiest thing to do. There wasn't that much to do in Lanark during the mid eighties if you were at that certain age when playing  football just didn't do it any longer,  you had a baby face and couldn't get into Blondes or Foxes,  the two pubs where under-agers stood a chance of getting served or didn't have a steady girlfriend. Once a month there was the YM disco but most of the time that ended early due to fighting or the calling of  an ambulance for some poor unfortunate, who had drunk too much and needed his/her stomach pumped, and besides the sounds pumped out by "Purple Rain Disco" were pure pish anyway.

So the only other thing to do was drink. Well there were loads of other things to do,  we could have chosen athletics, badminton or any number of other character building pursuits that involved effort and exercise. We however, chose drink.

When partaking of alcohol while not legally allowed to you had  two options open to you.

Firstly if you were in with the heidbangers and local young team you went down the park with a bottle of wine. Invariably this led to having to partake in the athletics mentioned above, particularly the steeplechase while being pursued by Sergeant Slater or other members of Lanark's Finest.

The other option was of course the civilised one where you drank in the comfort of someone else's home. Some were lucky enough to know someone with liberal parents who allowed the drinking of a cargo on their premises. For the rest of us it came down to whose parents were either out for the night, even better for the weekend or the holy grail, they were away on a fortnights holiday!

So from first period on a Friday the question could be heard "Do you know who's got an empty this weekend?" and as soon as you found out who it was then the charm offensive began to get yourself invited to the poor unfortunate's abode. It was not unknown for kids who had a very small circle of friends before the revelation that their parents were in Malaga to become the most popular guy or girl in 5th Year.

Such evenings started off well,  all civilised, folk having a good time, drinking,  listening to music, trying to cop off with members of the opposite sex. But as the night progressed there was always a casualty or two and some projectile produced.  A romance would bloom, another couple ended and things generally degenerated  until the night was ruined when some shady characters turned up, probably from down the park and either wrecked the place or stole the drink or even worse the parents came back early.

Up until recently nobody had captured the trials and tribulations of trying to have a good weekend while under-age in Lanarkshire in song. This situation was rectified earlier this year when the Just Joans released their "concept album" about the last year of school and the first year of Uni away from home,  wonderfully entitled Buckfast Bottles In The Rain. Granted the band are relating their experiences in Motherwell in the mid nineties but things don't change much in the shire and this is the same scenario I found myself in at the same time during the previous decade in Lanark but replace Wonderwall with The Rattler or Dignity

The Just Joans - Coia's Empty

The Just Joans - Wham Bars Are Great 

Friday, 19 May 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



There was an article in the Guardian yesterday that said 29% of 18-24 year olds had never listened to a song by Elvis Presley. I was shocked, I thought that the figure would have been much higher. In the same article it was reported that Elvis merchandise "is in freefall" which I suppose is reason to be cheerful as this means that taste is returning,  as of the memorabilia I remember seeing was almost criminally tacky and not the kind of thing that if I were the King I would want associated with my memory. This blog is not the kind of place that would attract millennials, I would wager that the only time that one has ended up here is by mistake. But if any do wander by listen to some fucking Elvis the stuff from 54 - 58 and from 68 onwards, even the Vegas years had some good moments but not the bloody horrible soundtrack albums and for christ's sake steer clear of  Wooden Heart or it will stay in your head for ages torturing you and sending you to the edge of reason!

All of that was just an excuse for me to post my favourite Elvis tune, remixed by my favourite Gallic dj/producer, Pilooski, yet again.

With the football season once again, it's back to the domestic chores and DiY. This weekend I will be mostly tackling the shed and the cupboard under the stairs. Deep, deep joy!

Have a good weekend people

Hell Vice - Crawfish (Pilooski refit)

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Contemplative Time Out



I wasn't really that impressed by the original of Tied Up, it was a sort of Industrial/Techno hybrid that left me cold. The acid mix on the other side was better, a proper bleepy 303 workout, But it's the Spiritualized Electric Mainline mix that.s the one for me. I'm not sure how much of the original remains in the mix, there are some very faint beats in there but that's about it, if it the time it had been covered up and I had been told it was a Spiritualized tune I don't think that I would have argued.  Am ate of mine once described it as "nine minutes of sound to navel gaze to", I think he meant it in a good way, well that's the way I took it anyway.

So take ten minutes out, sit back and immerse yourself in these sounds or you could just induge in some "navel gazing"

LFO - Tied Up (Spiritualized "Electric Mainline" remix)

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My Baby's Good And I Feel Fine



This got lodged in my head today and so I checked the hard drive and found that I had never ripped it. I was sure that I had listened to this on the iPod before but obviously not. So down to the indie 12" single cupboard to rectify the situation. I was going to rip the whole ep as Jacob's Ladder the a side on the 7" isn't even the best of the 5 tracks that is Le Boom Boom, however time and my teenage exploits with vinyl has meant that the record is in less than mint condition. I did however also rip le Boom Boom, my favourite although it does have added snap crackle and pop.

The Monochrome Set - Jacob's Ladder

The Monochrome Set - le Boom Boom

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Brevity Is The Key



We're back with the Garage Rock this Tuesday and what for me is the sonic equivalent of a flamethrower leaving nothing but scorched earth in it's wake.  The Outcasts have featured here before with their glorious I'm In Pittsburgh And It's Raining which which I thought was a short song but the sixth and final single from the band from San Antonio, Texas is not likely to outstay it's welcome clocking in at one minute forty-eight seconds a full ten seconds less than that previous release. The group broke up the year after this single's release in 1967 after the death from hepatitis of Buddy Carson co-writer of 1523 Blair with Jim Ryan. I think that this single is the epitome  of Texas Punk.

The Outcasts - 1523 Blair


Monday, 15 May 2017

Good Gosh, Almighty Lord



Long before Craig David boasted about his exploits over the course of week, James Fountain was letting people know that he was a lover with staying power over the course of seven days.

Seven Day Lover was recorded and released in 1970 and was virtually a new release when Ian Levine started playing it at the Blackpool Mecca one of the first tunes to break the mould as far as northern soul was concerned with this "modern" sound. It was released on William Bell's Peachtree Records out of Atlanta, Georgia and is as funky as .

James Fountain - Seven Day Lover

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Sacrilege?



Quite possibly but it is also very very good.

As you may be aware I hold the Velvet Underground in quite high esteem. I also quite like a bit of Christina Aguilera now and again but the prospect of the two of them mashed together made me baulk a bit and I thought to myself that's just plain wrong when some one on my Twitter timeline last night posted this. But it is a work of sheer genius splicing together The Velvet's Rock and Roll with What A Girl Wants and then the added wee twist of a bit of the Communards in the fade out.

Go Home Productions - Girl Wants (To Say Goodbye)

Friday, 12 May 2017

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



One thing that became apparent last weekend with my fellow bloggers is that if they have a favourite posting on my site it isn't the Friday dance music, with the exception of Dirk who , being brutally honest said that he wasn't interested in the tunes but did check out each Friday's post to see what the picture was.

Me being the stubborn, pig headed person that I am have decided to ignore this feedback and continue to flog the dead horse for as long as I find dance tunes to post, In fact recently it has been harder to find the pictures to accompany the series than it is to pluck out  a "good" bit of house or techno.

Four years ago. Just let that sink in SA, jesus four years ago! Daniel Avery released one of the most cohesive dance records that I have, I realise that that length of time is not really that long in normal music but in dance music it is absolutely ages but Drone Logic sounds as good now as it did the first time I played it. I noticed the other day that the vinyl is getting a well deserved re-release this month. So with that in mind I thought that I would post one of the tracks from the series of remix 10" and 12" singles that accompanied the album and were gathered up and released on cd  as New Energy (Collected Remixes) which is well worth seeking out, unless you are Dirk, Stevie, Brian or JC to whom it will be of no interest at all.

Drone Logic, the title track from the album was an immense track in it's original form with a huge wobbly bassline, spoken vocals which kept building to become one of those tracks that you never want to end which brings to mind Underworld but is not at all derivative  Berlin based producer Rodhad turns it into a more brooding but no less epic piece of minimal techno.

Back to the play-offs. You will probably know if you are interested in the slightest that Airdrie beat Alloa one nil at the Excelsior on Wednesday night in what has to be the team's best performance this season. If they had played like that all season most probably we would still be in the position that we are in now but still. Unfortunately Andy Ryan's days at the club are numbered, I can't see someone who has netted 28 goals even in the first division fail to be on the radar of the scouts of at least a few better positioned clubs, c'est la vie.

We now have to take on Alloa away tomorrow, where Leo, me and the W brothers will be in attendance. If the Diamonds are able to get a victory there or even a draw we will go into the play-off finals where we could meet JC's mob, Raith Rovers who drew one each with Brechin also on Wednesday but had two goals disallowed.

Have a good weekend people.

Daniel Avery - Drone Logic (Rodhad remix)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

First Round of The Play-Offs



As some of you may know Airdrie won an absolutely enthralling and at times extremely frustrating game on Saturday 3-2 which means that tonight we take on Alloa for the first leg of an encounter that if successful will mean that we could be playing JC's team Raith Rovers for a place in the Championship. We will be back down to our core tonight of myself, Leo, the Wilson brothers and father John. No American, German or English friends in our part of the crowd at least to cheer us on. Perversely,  Brian, it will probably be warmer than it was on Saturday, it did get quite bitter with the wind swirling around and the fact that the sun was behind the main stand. We will be hoping for less schoolboy errors tonight but they have just been part and parcel of the team's game this season.

Airborne Toxic Event - The Winning Side

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher



I must admit I am in a bit of a post weekend dip at the moment and need something to lift the spirits and get me going again and I find that a bit of upbeat soul usually does the trick.

I first heard of Jackie Wilson long before I knew anything about him or his music when Dexy's Midnight Runners covered the Van Morrison song Jackie Wilson Said and the infamous TotP edition when they put up a still of Jocky Wilson either intentionally or as a mistake. I am sure that by the time Reet  Petite was re-released in 1987 I had a tape with I Get The Sweetest Feeling on it  as when it was re-issued on the back of the success of Reet Petite it was not unknown to me. My favourite of the three singles re-released in 1886/87 has to be Higher and Higher, originally released in 1967. It has the unmistakable talents of the Funk Brothers on the backing track which they laid down while moonlighting from Motown. Wilson's vocal was added later in one take.

Not my favourite Jackie Wilson track, that as anyone who stuck with my Northern Soul Top 50 will know is Because of You. But it is a great uptempo song to dance to with an infectious beat great bass line and an irresistible hook not to mention the wonderful vocal.

Jackie Wilson - Higher and Higher


Monday, 8 May 2017

Coldplay Monday



Well. that is a weekend I never want to repeat, a bigger bunch of tossers I have never met in my entire life!**

But to the important work. I am at a loss today. I literally do not have the words to describe how absolutely amazing today's featured band is in the eyes of, mind blowingly,  millions of people. It is difficult to convey the absolute genius of Chris Martin's lyric writing or the incredible innovation present on the band's albums.

I have many fond memories of listening to Parachutes while renovating the living room and stairwell of L and I's previous house. Stripping back the walls to the plaster, re-skimming them and then applying new skirtings and facings thoughout. In fact every time I look at a particularly tricky angle on a dado rail going up a staircase the words " look at the stars, look out they shine for you" fill my head. Similarly when I see a tin of  Ronseal Mahogany varnish I get a "Shiver". Good times indeed, coming home from work and then starting on whatever needed to be done until the wee small hours as I was on a deadline that it all had to be completed before L's hen night.

So you would think that I would obviously pick a track from Parachutes but no, the Coldplay ouevre is just so damned good,  with the band  breaking new ground with each album,and all the time  winning over more and more fans as they progressed, it has been incredibly difficult to pick just one track to feature today. It could have been Fix You with the deeply profound :-

When you try so hard but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse.

Or I could have selected, God Put A Smile On Your Face, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Violet Hill or Viva la Vida . Only a few examples of the abilities of these four earnest, educated young fellows. It has been a tough choice, and a difficult listen, trust me but I finally picked an album track from the group's second long player A Sudden Rush Of Blood To The Head, Green Eyes which starts with the unforgettable lyrics :

Honey you are the rock
On which I stand
And I came here to talk
I hope you understand.

Nothing more need be said, I think.

** I'm just kidding,  a better bunch of guys it would be hard to find which the photo above doesn't quite capture.  I had an absolutely blast and I thank Dirk for coming up with the idea and for everybody who took planes, trains and automobiles to be in Glasgow at the weekend. 

Coldplay - Green Eyes

Friday, 5 May 2017

It's Friday . . .




. . . Let's meet up,  drink too much and talk pish in different languages.

As some of you may be already aware a few sad middle aged men from Scotland, England, Germany and very surprisingly America are meeting up this weekend for a few days of getting to know each other, drinking, eating, record shop visiting and for some the dubious pleasure of heading out to Airdrie for a few hours on Saturday to see if Airdrie can make the League One play-offs. I have to admit that I am really looking forward to this gathering. I've met up with JC quite often,  had beers with Swiss Adam on more than one occasion in Didsbury, suspect that I have unknowingly bumped into CC at more than one gig in the town but up until this point have only ever communicated with Dirk, Walter and Brian on the blogosphere.

A couple of people have said to me "are you mad, spending a weekend with people you don't know " to which my response has always been it can be no worse than some of the time that I have spent with people that I do know or thought I did until I had to spend an extended period of time with. So no I'm not mad, well not in the way they mean it anyway.

"The football, what's happening to the mighty Diamonds!" I hear you yell. Well, after a four - nil mauling of East Fife last weekend Airdrie are one of two teams on 49 points, the Diamonds in third on goal difference from Brechin City y which would mean a play off place, if it were not for the fact that there are two teams below on 46 points, one of whom happens to be Queen's Park, our adversaries tomorrow and although our goal difference is better, which hadn't been the case until recently, we will have to win to not be reliant on results elsewhere. So saying that Adam, Walter and Brian are in for a treat may be stretching it a bit, they should find it thrilling, then again Airdrie might be absolute pish. That is the great thing about supporting, lower, lower league football "you can never be absolutely certain what you're gonna get" to quote the great John Peel.

I'm pretty sure there will be no dancing to house music this weekend for us but still.

Royal House - Can You Party (club mix)