Forget Everything and Remember
Happy New Year to you!
I hope this blog finds you in good spirits or even better, that you have your hands on some good spirits.
Nearly twice as many people live in London as live in the whole of Scotland. Nearly twice as many Scottish people were more hungover on New Years Day, the first day of 2017, than the whole of England. (Don’t do the maths, it’s a joke).
Fortunately, post Brexit, the EU sponsored Irn Bru vouchers are still available, in Scotland only, rendering the hangover small beer; easily negotiated via the shop on-route to the pub where the beer is much larger.
For such a wee country, we have had some amazing bands. (Norway: take note).
One such band is The Poets. ‘That’s The Way It’s Got To Be’ is astonishing. Opening with a deep, sub-Motown psych groove before George Gallacher’s voice takes over; desperate, fragile yet dominant.
The Poets play chap-door-run down the sixties path to find a house very much of their own making, I’ve yet to hear a bad tune by this band. (I feel this is not the time to develop a discourse that The Proclaimers are an MI5 plot to undermine Scottish culture).
Your-own-take on things, appears to be a Scottish music trait. The Stretchheads offered prestigious US label, Blast First Records, new ways of marketing music with their brilliant 1991 album, the poetically named ‘Pish In Yer Sleazebag’.
It’s still with the critics as to whether Glasgow’s Whirling Pig Dervish, and their angular slab of getting it right up ye, ‘Elvis Ate A Loaf’, should have been used as the theme for Sportscene.
It’s not the first time I’ve said it, but hopefully it’s the last, The Jesus and Mary Chain can make a claim for one of the best cover versions ever, when they turned Syd Barrett’s ‘Vegetable Man’ into a lost recording from the Sex Pistols.
Marillion; I’m not prepared to talk about.
Teenage Fanclub make me want to be in theirs. I had just moved down to Slough in 1990, (I’d shagged a cow in a past life) and nearly fell off the chair which was my bedsit, when I read in the music press there was a band in the west coast of Scotland whose album was called ‘Catholic Education’. There go the Wet Wet Wet fans.
Songs for every possible moment, tons of them. Gerry Love, floors me; Light Ships is a gorgeous solo debut. For me, the Fannies are one of Scotland’s finest.
Runrig are too reggae for me.
Unlike Mogwai, who make dub sound hectic at times. A band to keep going back to.
Frankie Millar sounds one bar (pub, not number of beats) away from being on a Sly & The Family Stone album. What a voice. Rod the Mod reckons Frankie was the only white man who could make him cry. I bet The Mac (RIP) could have made Rod cry if he’d got his hands on him.
Am I the only person in the world who has never heard Belle & Sebastian?
A few weeks ago, Primal Scream played here in Brighton and they were different class, as good as I’ve ever seen them. The set was a taste of each direction over the years with a fair few songs reworked, rather than just a ‘best of’ show. High energy total commitment from the get-go; one for the cosmic dancers.
I have seen Love & Money live; as a minor. The case is on-going.
I had the absolute pleasure of stumbling across Jim McCulloch’s superb band, Green Peppers, recently. Bloody hell, what a find. Panini sticker gold badge moment. If you like your songs catchy as a big star sat on a beatle; your laughing all the way to a big smile on your face. I believe March could be when they give us a three-album vinyl and download opportunity. Can’t wait.
I should mention Orange Juice and Postcard Records, but I don’t have any vodka.
About things since passed; remember V Twin? I saw them at the Govan Opry and they were on it. ‘Baby Honey’ by The Pastels inspired me to wear anoraks, which soon became parkas. A lifelong addiction was born. I’ve always wanted to get the classic ‘Who’ logo on the back of my Fishtail but replace the letters for AC/DC. Bon era AC/DC was more in keeping with the MC5 than Deep Purple. Using FIFA rules on nationality, we are claiming that the first 10 albums are by a Scottish band, the rest, Australian.
The Twilight Sad and Phantom Band found their own space to do their cool thing, and only Nigel Farage doesn’t like the Beta Band. I loved it when Nirvana covered the Meat Puppets and I thought they did a good job of the Vaseline’s gorgeous ‘Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam’.
I can credit the Cocteau Twins with helping me finally initiate a romance that didn’t involve asking someone’s Mum if it was ok to “go out for a bit”.
BMX Bandits were a band I always loved, unlike the film.
Our contribution to House music and its mutations is significant and for a wee while the Sub Club was friendlier than the Samaritans. Boards of Canada are still the go-to band when I need infinite space.
There’s a bunch of other great bands I’ve not mentioned, but I don’t want to go on. Suffice to say, the thistle sure plays a mean pinball.
2017 – bring it on.
Aw the best!
Peace and Love,
Colour Is Sound