Monday, December 31, 2012

The other night at The Primevals shindig at Stereo, a guy came up to me and asked me if I was familiar with them as they started their set, “What’s their best song?” I figured this was patently absurd and said to him that they don’t have a best song, they have a whole heap of them. There were a few bampots there actually but overall it was great to see such a grand turnout. They were magnificent and it wasn’t ideal that we had to leave to make sure we caught the train. Based aupon shenanigans earlier. Grand that Mr Tjolsen was able to make the scene too.

The Liberty Takers played their debut show of which I caught two songs because of the aforementioned travel blip. The Reverse Cowgirls flipped the switch up a notch and this is only the second time I’ve seen them but the cross-collateralising of a Nuggets foundation strained through a Reigning Sound rumble is a force of nature.

My intention to stop by here in recent days have come to nowt. I have one more “engagement” this evening then I’m done so maybe, just maybe things will move forward tomorrow. I have compiled a favourites of 2012 thing but I need to flesh it out.

All that remains is to say that I hope you bob into the waters of 2013 unscathed. As always, my expectations are low but that doesn’t rule out disappointment. I have a strong urge to disappear off the face of the earth – not completely, there are a handful of people I’d confide in and that might join me but that’s unlikely – but just away from the bullshit, from the prospective independence, from those that actively loathe breathing the same air. Yeah, happy new...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A lot has happened these past weeks and months and a state of flux continues to whap them curveballs in this particular direction. It’s good that it’s the holidays though. Don’t have much of a Christmas predilection but the break is very welcome at this point.

I totally missed a few RIP’s, Ed Cassidy, Mickey Baker and Ravi Shankar to name just three. I’m just pondering the significance of the fact that this time last year – well Christmas – I was dad-sitting. And my mother was whirling around like a dervish. And now neither of them is here.

In recent weeks, I’ve been to Norway twice, London and Brighton in pursuit of rock’n’roll thrills and have been unable to report on those trips but it was a real blast. This is indeed no rehearsal – so it’s time to pursue the gear that makes everything worthwhile. People and music, in that order.

It is my intention to resume normal service as we kick into 2013. Actual reality may conspire agin that but that’s the game plan. There may be other shenanigans of the positive variety too but I’m wary of building up anything too much at this point. That’s kind of the state of the nation. Maybe I’m just demob delirious at not having to go to the salt mine for a bit. Time will tell.

Right now I believe that marzipan pigs might fly and I kind of like that condition.

Whatever your persuasion, I hope you can have fun beyond the bullshit trappings. It’s the little things...

The Nortonthon in Mono, Glasgow yon Wednesday past was a hoot and a half. Even with a gouping back and the makings of the lurghi, the evening warmed the cockles of an old grinch’s heart. There have been several instances of this lately... hmmm. I wonder if there’s something to this Mayan calendar redux malarkey?

Anyway grand turnout and many weel kent faces were there to support them Millers and their empire so cruelly disfigured by that bastard hurricane or whatever it was. Who could have ever considered that a year after they threw the greatest party ever that a year later such a terrible predicament would be brought upon them. Further evidence that there is no god and - if there is, said individual (he, she, it) needs a good hard foot up the arse.

This latest of such events popping up across the planet was organised by Sir Colin Duff of this parish along with Bryan McGarvey. Excellent work kids!

As you know the Norton cause is very close to us here. I was there when it all kicked off in Berlin and in many ways it seems like yesterday. My lifelong friends have suffered a stinging setback that may have deterred lesser beings but Norton is still rolling and will continue to do so. I managed to watch the video that Miriam made once and I don’t think I’ve ever been more unsettled in my puff.

A peculiar thing happened with Fay Fife winning The Cramps CD that I donated to the raffle. Rewind back to The Rezillos returning triumphantly from NY having recorded “Can’t Stand”. They were responsible for my getting my mitts on one of the first copies of “The Way I Walk”. So I guess this squares the circle as it’s included on “File Under Sacred Music”. There’s something pretty cool about that and if there’s an entity (Mayan or otherwise) that conjures up this kinda circumstance then more please, you’ll get my vote but don’t fuck with me or mine.

Los Tentakills kicked off the night with their Leone-flavoured garage squall. Nice to finally meet Squaw Celina who along with her partner Al are largely responsible for the racket. Mr Duff has raved about them for some time and I do believe that these kids could make quite a splash if such a thing is possible in these times. See them – don’t judge them by youtube clips

Next up were those New Piccadillys. Sharp suited and tearing through a beatific serving of skiffletastic skewed merseybeat. They’ve a version of “Complete Control” that indicates the quality of the song and totally kicks Clash ass. They’re playing Tuts on January 18th so you should toddle along and see them then.

The Gus and Finn Trio continued the Lonnie Donegan flavoured proceedings with their uke arrangements of popular classics. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” in particular is just grand. Google Gus and Finn. Discover their oeuvre for yourself. They were joined by Fay for a genuine one-off moments that only a cause like Norton could inspire. A rattle through “Destination Venus” quite unlike you’ve ever seen it before. Here’s a link to a clip that will give you an idea of how it went. It was much, much better than the quality of this might indicate.

And then we had to shoot the craw and get the last train. It was another of those George Bailey type experiences. You can never have enough of those.

The Norton campaigning continues unabated, Brother Don sent me this blurb about the SF shindig...

Hey LH -- Did I neglect to report on our local Norton thingy? Forgive me either way. It went... well I hate to say it... swimmingly. My gang, Rue '66 opened at 2:30 in the afternoon. Figuring it would be easier on everyone since it was gonna be a long day - we did a mercifully short set. Threw a new one in there... Gillian Hills's "Tut Tut Tut" and brought Cyril up for the last couple of songs: “Roller Girl” (Anna Karina) and “Huit Jours Par Semaine” (Les Beatles). Cyril took the solo on “Roller Girl” which is a Louie Louie type thing.

Next came The Dirty Robbers which is mostly The Hampton Wicks plus Steve Mackay (!) on sax. They also brought Cyril up and Steve said he remembered playing with the Groovies at the Fillmore in 1971 or whenever. These guys were great and were followed by a silly but fun burlesque act called The Devilettes, then a great surf band called The Tomorrow Men. After they were done, I went out to grab a bite and when I came back it was Overwhelming Colorfast (with CJ) and they did Freddie King's “Going Down” (Not The Dahlmanns song then?) followed by “She Said She Said” by those guys you're so fond of.

A word about Cyril's gear: Fender Twin Reverb all thru but he used 3 guitars: A Salocaster (cross between strat and tele), brand new Harmony Meteor reissue (absolutely killer!) and Gretsch Tennessee Rose. He used the latter with Colorfast and also with Roy and the Movers... “Teenage Head” and “Slow Death”. Unbelievably I had to leave before Roy's set and I also missed The Chuckleberries but I've seen them before. They nicely provided the amps and drums for all. Very good size crowd... hopefully we raised a few bucks fer Billy n' Miriam.

Photo by David Greenfield

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I never saw this yet but had to post it straight away... don't forget the Glasgow Norton Benefit tonight. If you can make it then please be there!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Don’t have time to write about last Friday night right now but in the spirit of a picture painting a big bag of words then here are several millions worth.

The Fleshtones will have landed by now and will be heading for Bristol tonight.


December 5: The Frathouse, Stag and Hounds, Bristol, England

December 6: The Albert, Brighton, England

December 7: The Well, Leeds, England

December 8: The Dirty Water Club @ The Shacklewell Arms, Hackney, London, England

December 9: Méphisto Pub, Saint-Quentin, France

December 10: Poppodium SuperMarkt, Den Haag, Netherlands

December 11: Le G...ibus, Paris, France

December 12: L'Autre Canal, Nancy, France

December 13: Le 106, Rouen, France

December 14: Mjc Douarnenez, Douarnenez, France

December 15: Le Stakhanov, Nantes, France

Monday, December 03, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Godard on Godard! It's really happening. This Sunday, 2nd December, 8pm at the GFT. Godard's dazzling mid 60s super-coloured masterpiece, Pierrot Le Fou as selected by Vic Godard.

After the screening Stephen Pastel will host a Q&A with Vic giving consideration to the influence of Jean-Luc Godard and European Cinema on the early Subway Sect.

Pierrot le Fou: Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo) leaves behind his Parisian wife and child during a party and takes off on an adventure with Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), the family baby-sitter with whom he had an affair five years earlier. The following morning a man is found in Marianne’s apartment with scissors sticking out of his throat…
Jean-Luc Godard, 1965 starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina and Graziella Galvani. Tickets:

This is part of an amazing Vic Godard weekender, VIC.ism -

Saturday 1st December, 7.30pm, Stereo.

VIC.ism kicks off with a gig in which Vic and the Sexual Objects will perform Subway Sect songs.

Sunday 2nd December, 4pm, The Poetry Club.

Afternoon Tea with Vic Godard and friends – musical performances, recollections and recitations, jazz. Tea, scones and sandwiches will be served. Tickets £5 on door or £3 advance from Monorail Music / Tickets Scotland
A beautiful vintage 1960 Bedford Bus will be on hand to transport ticket holders from Monorail Music to the Poetry Club, and later, along to the GFT.
Bus timetable:
Monorail Music to The Poetry Club 3.15 and 3.45pm
The Poetry Club to the GFT 6.15 and 6.45pm
The live performances will also feature a Sound of Young Scotland mobile exhibition of photographs
taken by Harry Papadopolous. These projections will feature photos of Vic along with the Scottish
groups (Orange Juice, Josef K, Fire Engines, etc) that were inspired by seeing Subway Sect on the
White Riot tour thirty five years ago.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mr Spence wishes to inform you about the return to Edinburgh of the 12-legged garage rock'n'roll party machine from Wigan/Liverpool that is the fantabulous SHOOK-UPS!!!! For one night only at the PARLOUR BAR, 142 Duke St., Leith. With support from Glaswegian trogglodytes, THE BRUTES.

Entry is free. Drinking, dancing and jolly japes are encouraged. Music is 60s-style garage punk/R&B of a high standard. ....and you seem smart enough to know this is gonna be one damn fine night!!!

...and word-up to any rock'n'roll fanatics in the North-East! ...THE SHOOK-UPS and LES BOF! play upstairs at the Central Bar, Gateshead this Friday, 23rd Nov for free!!!! .....sounds like a bargain to Jim!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Grabbers never really grabbed me as a title and I deliberately never even watched the trailer until the screening at the Hippodrome’s Monster Day yesterday. The writer Kevin Lehane was there too and did a pre-show discussion/Q+A with Jon Melville. It suggested he has a healthy attitude to his craft and the film itself is one of the most genuinely entertaining and cool things I’ve seen in a while. He mentioned something about the main theme during the chinwag that was very funny and so true but contrary to it perhaps ruining the mood it only heightened it connecting this even more so to "Gremlins". It straddles that fine line of cool and stupid while remaining entirely engaging all the way through without ever appearing to be premeditated.

I don’t want to give anything away because this - to my mind - would appeal to the hardcore demographic of this portal entirely. Like Joe Dante directing "Rockets Galore" from a script by Graham Linehan, right down to the character Paddy who channelled Dick Miller pretty perfectly across the piece. Add a rumour of "Local Hero" and away you go. The film will have an absurdly stunted cinema release on Boxing Day here in the UK. I’m HOPING it’ll return to Bo’ness before it languishes in big telly hell on DVD so I can see it again on the big screen.

The disc will be available on December 31st. Grabbers is the antithesis of bollocks (not the Irish term of endearment) like Sk*fall and the fact that it was made at all suggests there are still surprises out there. And who in their right gourd wouldn’t want to get drunk with Garda Lisa Nolan?

All this and a Ronnie Self tune in the score. To find out which one you’ll have to see it. Or google it but fuck you if you resort to that. This is ultimately what a trip to the pictures is all about and last night we saw it in the ideal setting. Here's to the next Monster Day and all associated with it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Double underlining the fact that there’s no such thing as a god, the situation over on the Eastern seaboard of the US is overwhelming. And that’s just hearing about it, not exactly how those that are living it are able to process what is going on. If there is a higher power then it’s time the bugger thought about focussing. And talking of higher power’s, seems to me typical that many of the “high heid yins” are putting undue strain by making unrealistic prognostications. It’s those that are at the coal face that have to carry out the work. This is something that just ratchets up more and more all the time. Like fucking targets set up in back rooms by arseholes who have not a scoob about how to do anything. These are not strategists, let me assure you.

It does seem like an outbreak of common sense to cancel the marathon though. I think that might have tipped the populace over the edge. As I understand it, while people are doing everything they can to maintain a Dunkirk spirit, there are cracks appearing in the edifice.

And let’s face it, much of the history of these areas has been washed away. No one can measure the structural damage and general condition of anything. It’s heartbreaking. Particularly for me, the Norton warehouse. Another example of people who are actually saints being dealt a terrible blow. They’ll overcome for sure though because of their bond with everyone who ever took rock’n’roll seriously and well because wat they believe in is stronger than any conventional religion. I have experienced this first hand over the course of these past 30+ years.

I’ve no idea how long the citizens of the area will have to experience this taste of the third world. Likely for longer than Bloomberg has actually considered. I think it’s important in such a circumstance not to play to the balcony. The real heroines and heroes of all this are the people who are trying to keep moving forward against seemingly insurmoutable odds.

The infrastructure over there was already creaking and I only hope that some kind of plan can be hatched to do the rebuilding of hearts and minds not to mention the stuff that makes New York, New York. For all the ways it became a theme park in recent times, let’s never lose sight of its significance and most importantly, it’s amazing people. I feel blessed to be connected to that part of the world.

Friday, November 02, 2012

This time last year we were on the verge of the Norton party. So get bejind these guys any way you can and help them beat this damn thing...

Thank you again to all the volunteers who have been helping Norton Records recover the near total destruction of our Brooklyn warehouse at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. We have been able to salvage some stock but the job is incredibly overwhelming. We will need able hands to help with the salvage effort here at Norton HQ in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. This is an indoor job, pulling records out of wet boxes, etc. If anyone has a vehicle of any sort to assist in getting wet boxes from the Red Hook warehouse to HQ in Prospect Heights, please call. No reception in Red Hook. Email is best bet at and the office landline (718) 789-4438 are the best bet for phone. Don’t leave a message. Call back til you get one of us. Messages are full.

Please do not respond with questions on facebook – we will not be following threads, but please repost if you can. We can use any help offered. We will give you the address.

Norton asked for help through the weekend but we actually will continue to need any help that we can get throughout the upcoming week. We are working from 11AM until 11PM every day. Anything that you can do to pitch in would be most appreciated. The folks who have helped so far have been simply incredible. Friends, neighbors, Norton artists and complete strangers – we thank you all for the work, the food and snacks you brought and the much needed support you’ve all shown through this ordeal.


We have gotten messages from people who live too far to get here. Thank you. If you are in our hurricane area, please direct your efforts to helping those who you can reach. Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Staten Island, the entire East Coast needs a neighborhood effort.

Norton Artists!

We are heartbroken to report all of this destruction to you. We will do everything in our power to get your records back into print as soon as humanly possible. Please believe in us 'cause we sure do believe in you as musicians, friends and superstars!






Norton landline 718 789 4438


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

with The Dahlmanns
Friday, November 2nd 2012

A night to remember for sure and I didn't even mention the Rock Boys Formation Dance troupe yet. It's all happening at Klubb Lennart. For a great guy, sadly missed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

RIP – Johan Lindsay Hutton

“I (we) always knew this day would come but that don’t make it better” –

“Don’t Fade Away” -by Andy Shernoff

I hope my friend doesn’t mind my using a slight twist on his lyric here but it captures the feeling around here pretty succinctly. My brother Iain and I finally lost our mum last night after months of her grappling with cancer. In the end it was some kind of infection that seemed to seal the deal and this is neither the time nor the place to ponder that.

Aside from the shell-shocked-ness of the actual event, my senses are working overtime. The anxieties of the past couple of weeks seem so futile now and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that we feel relief for her. Mum was dealt a bad hand in this game of life palaver.

Her god-bothering days never seemed to be taken into account at any time of her going through this. A good Christian, someone who would do anything for anyone, I guess she and my father did enjoy some glory days in their twilight years. When asked how they were I would often say that they gallivanted a lot more than me. Garden centres and cafes all over Scotland must be feeling the pinch in recent times in addition to the enforced austerity.

Mum loved animals and cats in particular. More than she did people.

I took her to the hospital on January 6th of this year and she hadn’t been back in her own house since then. Why she couldn’t have had a bit of quality life after dad passed away, I just don’t know. The urge to flavour that last sentence with an expletive is strong but I’ll try to retain some decorum.

One of her early jobs was in an electrical shop here in the town. It was called McLaughlins and they sold records. That’s where the first 45 I ever got came from – “Fireball” by Don Spencer. So I guess that maybe lit the blue touch paper.

At this point everything is kind of numb. I remember taking her to the Hippodrome for her birthday a year past last month. After that, the wheels well and truly started to come off. The positive aspect of her illness was that she seemed to be blissfully unaware of just how bad it was until this past two weeks. She was generally bright and she just let fly with whatever came into her head. Sometimes that was funny. Sometimes it was toe-curling. We couldn’t help thinking about how mortified she’d be to see herself like that.

But that didn’t stop us trying to wind her up to keep the engine running.

So Andy’s words really chimed with me. Ahead of the actual event they almost prepared me for the inevitable but that really doesn’t make it better.

Thanks to our extended family across the planet for their positive vibes at this peculiar time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

RIP - Sylvia Kristel

It’s early Saturday and I’ve been fannying about with e-mail and stuff. Now SOTS has started and I’m thinking that maybe I won’t even venture over the door today. We shall see...

It’s raining outside (for a change – not) and the weather is similar in my heart. That Wunderle news yesterday was just the icing on a particularly crappy cake. Further bolstering the soul-searching that suggests one never knows when their number will be called.

Any which way – I’m stuck for the foreseeable but there are a couple of lights in the not too far distance that will provide incidental respite from the wearing down process. If we actually manage to stumble into 2013 then perhaps it’s time to take a different tack?

Reckon it would take a year to ebay the contents of my garrett for starters. There’s another can of worms ready to be kicked over.

Friday, October 19, 2012

RIP - Jim Wunderle

(Thanks to Stefan Nilsson for the link)

I couldn't believe it when I saw Stefan's facebook post and called Joe Terry who sadly confirmed that it was so. Deeply saddened about this and always looked forward to actually meeting J rather than having e-mail exchanges about haggis, etc. Amy and Eric just saw him with the gang when they had a show in Springfield just a couple of weeks ago.

Condolences to his friends and family out there at the buckle on the bible belt and beyond.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brother Donald C caught the travelling salvation show that is Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby in San Francisco - the lucky so and so. I talked to both Amy and Eric last night as they were about to leave Seattle for Portland and they were in great spirits so that was good to hear. Anyway, over to Don...

"What a show Amy & Eric put on last nite!! Not my fave joint -- the Hemlock. I go there so infrequently it took me and my buddy James a half hour walking up and down Polk Street trying to remember where it was. Finally spotted a street (more like an alley) sign saying "Hemlock" -- duh. What annoys me about this place is that it's a big oval bar with a tiny room in the back for music. Suppose that's better in some ways so you don't get the bar noise. Certainly defines the term "intimate setting".

Ran into Roy Loney and his girlfriend just as we got in and also spotted Wally of Wally Sound -- (where we recorded the Rue '66 demos, which I just happened to be carrying around with me).

Said hi to Amy just before they went on and got a big hug. She looked great in a black print dress with roses all over it, black tights and boots. Eric wore a brown cowboy shirt and brown cords and shades and looked very good-- much slimmer than last time I saw him. They had lots of guitars: Amy had her trusty beat up Gibson J-45 but started off with a really cool solid body Harmony with the same much loved pickups in the Harmony Meteor (famously heard on very early Stones). She also had a Dano 12 string as seen on the cover of “Favourites”.

Eric began with a white Mustang bass with flower stickers on it. He also had his Guild hollow body (like the one Dave Davies had on Kontroversy) and Japanese Rickenbacker copy that he didn't use. Traynor amp with 12" bass cab. Amy went thru a Roland Jazz chorus amp with a pair of 10" speakers. She also had a Roland keyboard hidden in a vintage looking cabinet. They both had numerous pedals.... echo, fuzz, tremolo among them.

They came on like gangbusters running through (by now) old faves like “Astrovan” and “Til the Wheels Fall Off” and some very old Eric tunes like “The Donovan of Trash” (that Amy says is being re-released). “Raising the Bar”, “Please Be Nice to Her“ (still gives me chills that one), PF Sloan's “I Get Out of Breath” and more including some great stuff from “A Working Museum”.

Eric finally got around to his greatest hit “Whole Wide World” (yes Amy, it is the best 2 chord song ever writ) followed by Amy's greatest “Don't Ever Change”. They each entertained the crowd in between songs with tales of the road and Eric said he was disappointed with the trip west as "it's all the same. I was expecting little brown men raping fetuses or something!". Amy, however, was not disappointed with their first day in Frisco as someone held a parking spot for her only to ask for a ten dollar reward for his effort. Eric introduced "Reconnez Cherie" by saying that he thought he was writing a song in French but found out later "it wasn't French it was rubbish".

Rubbish perhaps, mais magnifique -- this was always my favorite song of his. They also did both sides of the most recent single and “Bobblehead Doll” was just tremendous. What that would've sounded like if they had a band behind them!! Really if they had a band they would just tear the roof off the whole country with this material.

Easily the best I've ever seen them do as a duo. I must say that up til now, altho a big fan of each of them, I never felt they worked as well together as they did solo. This show totally changed my mind.

Amy bought us drinks afterwards. Roy downed a shot of vodka and smartly left to catch his coach before it turned pumpkin. James (who first turned me on to Amy) and I stayed and hung out for a bit which meant we had to wait over an hour on the human toilet bowl known as Market Street for the N-Owl. But it was well worth it and I'd do it again tonight. Lucky folks n Seattle can do so. 

And I think Portland is next and San Diego and LA after that". - Don

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Please, if you're in NY or can get there - be at the Mercury Lounge tomorrow night. You have to be there for 7pm sharp or you'll miss The Dahlmanns and that'd be just plain daft. Meanwhile if you're in Cleveland tonight - Moss Rock City, Norway's version of Nigel Tufnel will be reciting the immortal words...

I've been preoccupied lately hence the silence. Some of you know why. It irks me that I don't have the time to keep this up to date and here's a prime example why.

Now I know you can't contribute to funding everything, we're all being squeezed, but a few shekels toward this Joe Meek documentary wouldn't go amiss. Really.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Can’t remember exactly but it’s usually about now that we get inundated by people looking for yon contest that hijacked our namesake. Maybe they’ve finally been shaken off? And while hat would be a turn up for the books, one had better not start counting that fowl just yet. Desperation makes folk do peculiar things at the best of times and having anything to do with such a beastie scores high on the desparometer in my book. Not to be confused with the despairometer you understand.

Went to the post office last week and eagle-eyed counter guy guessed that I was posting an “album”. The package was a dead giveaway and he immediately thought I was an ebayer. Of course, I put him straight but just lately I’ve thought about dipping my toe in those poisoned waters again. The consideration is to raise funds and get the chuff out of Dodge, away from the fading pulsebeat of wage slavery. I’ll be 55 soon and a lot of people haven’t been adding 10 to that too much lately, in the case of Nick Curran – WAY short of that. Actually, I got a message from a friend in PA earlier that's helping a friend sell a 45 collection but I think he wants it all to go at one time. If you'd like me to forward the list then leave your e-mail. Chances are though that you might be out to unload too?

So yes. Perhaps, maybe it’s time to consider taking a flyer? What’s the worst that could happen? I’m still sort of counting on those Mayans but a Rezilloshow in Edinburgh wouldn’t be too bad a location for an exit, right? To counter that, there are people and things worth sticking around for but there has to be more to this existence than having to tolerate situations and individuals that don’t fall into that category. There are people and things worth putting up with the bullshit - and a ton more livin’ to do should the absolute need arise. I’ve really had it up to yonder though – gestures at lamp post outside the window so woe betide those that are just posturing, serving up the jargon and hitching their sad wagons to the outright enemy.

There are two categories as I see it – problem and solution – it’s time to kick ‘em out!

The Dahlmanns are heading USA-ward and can be seen at the following pitstops.

More details at the Pop Detective and individual venue websites. I can’t make it so please cut along and support this fine Moss ensemble as they shake it up on each and every night. Mercury Lounge show is with The A-Bones and Palmyra Delran! All others are with The Deadbeat Poets and The Jellybricks.

Friday October 12th - Cedars, Youngstown, OH

Saturday October 13th - Lake Lucerne, Cleveland OH

Sunday October 14 - Mercury Lounge, NY NY

Thursday October 18 - Midtown Arts Theater, Harrisburg, PA

Friday October 19 - Roxy and Dukes, Dunellen, NJ

Saturday October 20 - Consolidated Firemans Hall, Bordentown, NJ

Sunday October 21 - The Bowery Electric NY NY

Saturday, October 06, 2012

RIP - Nick Curran

To say this week sucked would be gilding the lily. In a perfect world I would just have stayed in Madrid but as you know it is not – and may never be – a perfect world. And furthermore, I mislaid what I had assembled and haven’t been able to sit down and gather my scrambled thoughts until now so here’s how I think it went from what is left of the fried circuitry inside my noggin.

Hit the ground running an hour or so behind schedule in the wee hours of Saturday. The rain made it feel like wandering around Glasgow and a tartan brolly was purchased for the princely sum of 5 euros.

Taking a cab to the vicinity of Weirdo! seemed like a good idea but those little streets are not easy to negotiate if you don’t know the general direction. I’d been past there before but obviously from a different trajectory. After much wandering around in circles – the location was arrived at following an intervention by a rather peculiar looking blonde sherpa.

Weirdo! is a fantastic place and not weird at all. More like yet another watering hole that very much feels like home with cool art on the walls, Ed Roth models up on the gantry and some fine, fine music being served up by La Hembra Alfa and Mss Blanche Cucamungo – collectively known as Las Ya Yas. I found out that the owner Bratto, was a Los Ass Dragger, one-time Crypt recording artists. It was such a relief to get in there, I can’t even begin to tell you. From there, a pitstop at Wurlitzer spun out to the limits of 6am. It’s always a pleasure to visit this mainline to a grand time. It’s like Cheers with devil horns. Once again it rose to the heady heights above expectations. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Let’s see, now how did Saturday start, oh yeah – breakfast at Iowa, now a staple of any visit to Mad-town. Coffee, orange juice and “bikini”, always comin’ right up.

It was soon time for Pasablanca and some really fantastic local food. Good times. The deep fried breaded Buletos (?) are to die for. If you visit Madrid then I’d very much recommend this place. Big thanks to Sara and Blanca for schlepping us over there.

From yonder, the troupe headed back toward the square that I always find myself in close to Chez Munster. Indeed Inigo came out to join us for a bit before everyone dispersed for pre show siestas, protests and more aperatifs. Dropped in to Castle M with some gear for the little Munsters – Luka and Gari. Lukas is going to be Lux Interior when he grows up. Gari, well - he’s gonna be in charge of ruckus inc.

Just a short breather to roll some giveaway posters up and then a wander up to Wurli where the soundchecks were just about to get underway... no sleep til’... Got a little lost again as El Stupido (me) totally blanked on where Marcela and Raquel were. Ended up making for Madklyn and another dose of whereduhfukawe? Another amazing hostelry on the site of where Garage Sónico used to be. This is of historical significance to our tale because it’s where Las Ya Yas met.

Hostess Blanca (a different one from before) used to work in Sarti’s in Glasgow, tis a small world. So many great bars, so little time. Hmmm, that sounds like a blog waiting to happen? I could just relocate to Madrid and “review” all these joints?

Fantastic to hook up with Ulla + Lagarto again and I think The Down Down Downs were on when we got in there. It was all becoming a bit of a blur. The Downs recreated a Hope and Anchor vibe for a while by batting out pub rock chestnuts. “I closed my eyes for quite a few minutes and they were gone” and it was time for those Dahlmanns. As you know, I am entirely biased but they were even better than when I saw them in June. Limbering up for the impending US venture – full show dates and info coming by the weekend – they even threw in the new tune “Lucky” that sounded like an old friend already.

Quite a few attendees came up and told me they dug it so I felt vindicated and proud of the kids for managing yet again to confound a jaded old git some years past his sell-by date. There was a lot of love in the room in addition to the spirit of a sadly absent friend. So much carrying on went into the small hours again. The youngsters apparently got back to their hotel around 8am, less than a couple of hours before they had to head for the airport.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is the greatest rock’n’roll city on earth. If there’s a better one then by all means send in your nomination. I LOVE Madrid and those crazy Madrilènes that make we visitors so welcome. I’m too old to be doing 36 hour marathons but somehow the magic of this city fires up them old duracells. The passion and sheer good-timery that these people possess is surely a lesson to us all. May they never EVER lose that particular BEAT! Not EVER!!

Dahlpic by Lady Marcella San Martin Hermosilla of El Sol

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

RIP - Big Jim Sullivan

(Heard about this several hours ago and have been looking for an obit of note but nothing as of yet - will link something in due course)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rally 'round, fellers! Muster up with Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. at Otto's this week for an evening of potentially pantless action!

*THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two big & bawdy sets, from 8:00 sharp 'til 10:00 / No cover!

And, should your western chaps be ass-less...

*WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (on the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / Three wild & woolly sets, from 9:00 sharp 'til midnight / No cover!

Yours always, Michael - Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. "Ballads, Boogies & Blues"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Manitoba makes its Euro-debut in October. They'll bring the roof in (not literally but you know what I mean?) at the fabulous El Sol in Madrid on October 4th of this calendar year. Here are all the dates...

Miércoles 3 - VALENCIA - El Loco

Jueves 4 - MADRID - El Rudie Sol

Viernes 5 - SANTANDER - Escenario Santander

Sábado 6 - VITORIA - Hell Dorado

Lunes 8 - Cadiz - Supersonic

...Martes 9 - ALCALÁ DE HENARES - Ego Live

Miércoles 11 - LOGROÑO - Biribay Jazz Club

Jueves 11 - SANTANDER - Centro Niemeyer

Viernes 12 - BURGOS - Estudio 27

Sábado 13 - Bilbao - Kafe Antzokia

Thanks to Stephen Doyle for the head's up.

Update - well, further signage if such a thing is necessary of my grey matter disfunction, DR is obviously one of The Boys and I guess that should have been evident. Anyway hands up to being a dolt, that doesn't take away from this being great and the album sounds like it's probably a belter too. Check out his site.

Friday, September 14, 2012

“A Working Museum” is now open to the public. The touring exhibit kicked off in New York last Friday and will wind its way across the highways and byways in due course. It’s a joyously odd affair, a kind of sonic museé mechanique that's made to be listened to as it’s been curated. Eric’s credential as being "an alien of extraordinary ability" is a relative understatement. Who else could possibly come up with a line like “retching to the strains of Kajagoogoo” as he does in “1983”.

Genuine exotica in action, you won’t have heard anything like it. Certain aspects will chime but until now it hasn’t been possible to realise what a Tina Charles session at 304 Holloway Road might have sounded like. Now, during “The Doubt”, you can.

And “Do You Remember That?” is finally captured. Probably the greatest love song of our times with that unbeatable "British Rock Beat" intact. The inclusion of a sweary will likely mean that you won’t be hearing it on the radio anytime soon but maybe they’d consider a limited circulation of a version that changes the “u” to an “e”? Or maybe not. Some of you pitched in on the Kickstarter deal so perhaps you’ve experienced your first toddle through the portals? If you didn’t, and you can’t wait until the charabang arrives somewhere near you then you can get a copy direct from the dynamic duo themselves by clicking here.

Hey, hey. Adios. Olé. Amen.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This is blog post 6000. Is that significant? Probably not but it seems like a reasonably round number. It was also my parent’s phone number for a long time until those 4 digits had 48 stuck in front of them. Anyway, rather than run off at the keyboard with regard to exactly why there’s a fair chance that I might go postal at any given moment, let’s hear how Mr Duff fared out in Oslo the other evening...

On Sunday night I saw the Reigning Sound play Café Mono in Oslo and it’s been a few days now but I’m still almost speechless when I think about it. This band is truly the hands down, flat out, no contest, greatest rock’n’roll band on the planet.

We flew out from Edinburgh on Sunday morning with our passports in our pockets and no tickets for a sold-out show. I had a promise from Greg that he could ‘probably’ get us in but you can understand the slight trepidation.

A few hours after checking in to the hotel however, we stroll out into the lobby and walk straight into Greg Cartwright hidden behind Raybans, fumbling with the lift controls. It was all a little unexpected and I think I actually tripped over my own feet while trying to look casual. In any case, he was sweet and gracious and seemed genuinely excited by the present of a Poets fan club CD/DVD set that I had brought him. We chatted briefly and he agreed to put us on the guest list. Whew!!

Openers - Kosmic Boogie Tribe are way better than their PR blurb makes them sound. I feared the worst but their Nashville Pussy by way of the Nomads rawk was good enough fun and they clearly had local support.

The Reigning Sound took the stage and with little or no fuss belted into “Your Love Is A Fine Thing”. It’s been a long time since I last saw them and I had wondered if they’d sweetened up the live sound as they’ve done on record. No, they have not. They powered through more songs than I could count with not a second wasted on each. A lesser band would be so proud of any one of these that they’d draw them out forever but not these guys. I don’t know if any of the songs broke the 2 minute mark. I know I went to the bar (for a couple of those 9 quid beers Norway is so famous for) and missed two songs in the brief time that task took. At some points in the show I found myself thinking, how can they play ANOTHER song so sweet and tender and savage and still sound fresh? Then they did.

The crowd was rapt from beginning to end, every single person in the room being fully aware that they were in the presence of greatness. Everyone being obviously very familiar with the full Cartwright catalogue. They played almost everything you could want, although frequent calls for The Compulsive Gamblers tune “I Want To Be Your Happiness” were ignored.

The band left the stage toward the end, leaving Greg to croon through two solo numbers before returning to blast through two more tunes. And that folks, was all. I’ve only ever saw James Brown receive a longer encore demand. I’m not sure if the band were tired, out of tunes or had just ran over the live music license time but no matter, it could not have been any better than the show we had seen.

I asked them to play Glasgow on this tour, but there wasn’t the space in the schedule. Next time, hopefully Scotland will receive the blessing of the Reigning Sound. Who’s all up for that?

(Cheers Colin...)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Andy Shernoff’s “Not Fade Away” EP has just become available in download format. All four songs for a measly $3.99 (£2.58 UK scratch) at his site and I urge you to pledge your allegiance via paypal right now. It finds one of America’s foremost songwriters teaming up with Springfield. Mo’s finest to come up with something that almost made me have to stop the car the first time I heard it. The gear was mixed by former Skele-sound man and all round top geezer, Vance Powell too.

I can only dream that one day I might see them all on the same stage together in some part of the world but for now Andy is saving rock’n’roll remotely from his Brooklyn base with the primo help of the band that resides around the buckle of the bible belt.

“Let’s Get The Band Back Together” rips out of the blocks and will have a video accompaniment in due course, watch this space for the link. “Laugh and Walk Away” is something I’d like to learn to do, particularly at this moment in time. The interplay between Joe and Donnie on this made me plotz. The reinterpretation of “Hey Boys” is served up like The Del Lords might have performed it had it made it to “Frontier Days” instead of “Manifest Destiny”. The short set closes with title song “Don’t Fade Away”, a jangling bittersweet hymnal that in another time could have be all over the radio if such a medium still existed.

Despite the fact that none of these guys have ever gotten what they truly deserve, they continue to make music of a calibre that I truly wish the world would catch up with. Hopefully there’ll be more coming around the pike in due course...

You can get the angle on this gear from the man himself... here.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

I guess this might be a little rowdy and I'm aware that some of you folks don't get what the kids do. I can only chalk that up to the fact that you haven't seen them. Lightning will sweep the world. He typed optimistically.

Friday, September 07, 2012

RIP - Joe South

I know, this broke earlier today but I just got home...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bar Stool Walker by Bruce Anderson & Rich Stim is a collection of primo instrumental themes for an as yet unmade selection of cool movies. Cinematic in stature and drenched in the reverb that I can’t get enough of, these two guys should be sought after.

Anybody who has been disappointed with David Lynch’s recent musical output will find solace here. “Major Pipe” finds Peter Gunn swigging in The Pink Room with some Dave Alvin-sized licks that really swing and then some. “Happy Hour” features the accordion of Mrs Stim – the one and only Angel Corpus Christi to round out its grandiosity.

10 self-penned guitar-strum-mental manoeuvres and a version of Wilson/Love’s “The Warmth of The Sun”. This blighter works at all volumes, from quiet to loud but never embraces the two into one like that rather pompous genre that has sprung up these past few years here and there.

These are signature tunes for celluloid that hasn’t been shot yet and these two guys know their scores. Love the veneer design of the CD too, that’s something you absolutely could not colour match on a picture disc vinyl pressing.

You can try before you buy by clicking right here...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Greetings my American (+ Canadian) friends, I know you're probably wishing November was over but now you have an actual reason to look forward to that month. The Rezillos are headed your way and will be landing at the following joints during this raid.

Wednesday 7th - HOBOKEN, Maxwell's

Thursday 8th - LONG ISLAND, NY Ollie's point, Amityville

Friday 9th - LONG BRANCH, NJ Brighton Bar

Saturday 10th - NEW YORK, NY Bowery Electric

Sunday 11th - BORDERTOWN, NJ Open Arts Stage

Monday 12th - PHILADELPHIA, PA Kung Fu Necktie

Tuesday 13th - WASHINGTON, DC U Street Music Hall

Thursday 15th - OAKLAND, CA Uptown

Friday 16th - SAN JOSE, CA Blank Club

Saturday 17th - SAN DIEGO, CA Brick By Brick

Sunday 18th - LOS ANGELES, CA Echo

Wednesday 21st - CHICAGO, IL Mayne Stage

Thursday 22nd - HAMILTON, Canada This Ain't Hollywood

Friday 23rd - TORONTO Canada Lee's Palace

Saturday 24th - CLEVELAND, OH. Beachland Ballroom

To put you in the mood, take a look at this video for the live single of Top of the Pops they just released. A mission accomplished last December in Glasgow.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

So who remembers Clayson and the Argonauts?

Probably not many - although a deluge of messages to the contrary would be further proof toward the age of miracles not being a complete and utter lost cause. Anyway, Alan Clayson has a new album out entitled “One Dover Soul”. Not having sold his to the devil, he still has artistic licence on all aspects of his. Recorded over a period of time "in Norfolk and South West France" by the indefatigable Eric Goulden with the aid of various Wreckless alumni including Ms Amy Rigby, it’s a peculiar beastie.

On the info sheet, the reference to being “heroic and blundering” pretty much hits the nail on the head. “Cressida” crashes in like John Leyton channelling Syd Barrett. Another person it reminds me of is Julian Cope and the more eccentric end of his dabbling with the garage disease. “Refugees” and it’s “3, 2, 1... zero hour” refrain particularly but all the way out the end of a relatively long fade. ODS is a genuine anomaly. Eric assures me that his live outings are revelation but how do we translate that into a viable commodity. Clayson is almost as obscure as Rodriguez or this Bill Fay guy that has emerged again after forever although he has been hiding plain sight as an author all the while.

Perhaps a documentary film is the way to address it?

“Ug The Caveman” is a novelty that Joe Meek himself might have been proud of. Indeed it factors in an element of him in name-checking a number of death record titles across its duration.

The kitchen sink melodrama suggests an element of theatre. The feeling that this is a disjointed recording of a some distance from the beaten track “production” is never too far away. Somehow it all hangs together, I’m not entirely sure how or why. There’s no agenda other than to present what’s rattling around the canyons of this particular mind. Vivian Stanshall is another guy that springs to mind, particularly during “Teenage Runaway”.

Track 12 is entitled “I Hear Voices” and this comes as no real surprise. I can genuinely report that you won’t have heard anything like this. It’s not an instant “get” but it seems like a shame for the cast to have come this far and for you not to at least make an effort to hear where they ended up.

Flummoxed is a word that sprang to mind after the first time I heard this. After several more, I’d like to add confounded. “One Dover Soul” is a fish out of water and for that reason alone we should celebrate the fact that it can exist at all in these disposable times.

RIP - Max Bygraves

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

“Cimetière Pour Les Vivants” (Törncrantz Rock’n’Roll) is being cited as the last recorded works of Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks. While I sincerely hope that’s not the case, it’s always a possibility in these taste-tested times. RJ has been concocting savvy cinematic show-stopping instrumentals for what seems like forever. It’s like Esquivel came forward in time and figured it would be a hoot to cross krautrock with Link Wray in order to score some crazy Dennis Spooner series. “Hauptstrasse 155” kicks the door open like a cyborg update of the Get Smart theme. I think “99” would dig it very much.

This isn’t some kind of surf schtick or modular revivalism in any way shape or form. These are four dimensional scores. This six (tune) pack is available as a limited vinyl pressing and I bet its cut to take your head clean off. The take of John Carpenter’s “Assault On Precinct 13” is almost orchestral with the trademark throb intact.

So yes, the consideration that there could be no more RJaP is vexing. If you score this and some of their other waxings then they might have a rethink. How about it?

Stewart Cruickshank remembers George Gallacher

For many, the dapper and enduring singer with The Poets. For many more, a man of principle, a family man, a natural-born teacher, friend and philosopher. For me, at 13, the man who, in 1964, sang the eerily beautiful "Now We're Thru'", the beginning of a life-long adventure in reverberation.

Beyond beat music and into another realm: George Gallacher.

I loved George, I worked in music with George. He and Fraser sang at my 50th birthday 'do'.

The application of eloquence and economy in language: George Gallacher.

Not for nothing did Andrew Loog Oldham sign The Poets.

Not for nothing did Partick Thistle win 3-0 on Saturday 25/08/2012.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It is with great sadness that I report the sudden and tragic death on Saturday August 25th of George Gallacher, lead vocalist of The Poets. The Glasgow mid-60s beat group are best remembered for their October 1964 Decca debut single 'Now We're Thru' and the February '65 proto-freakbeat mover 'That's The Way It's Got To Be' after being signed up by Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones' manager.

George, who would have been 69 years old on 21st Sept, died from cardiac failure whilst driving home from Firhill Park after watching his beloved Partick Thistle FC beat Dumbarton 3 - 0. He would've been a very happy man that day. Gallacher, alongside guitarist (and brother-in-law) Fraser Watson - part of The Poets '65 - '67 era, and also a member of '69 Apple label artists (White) Trash - had recently begun using The Poets name for a series of concerts and a BBC Radio Scotland "Vic Galloway show" live session in late 2011.

The resurrected Poets were George and Fraser, backed by the long-time friends and fans of the group - Edinburgh's beat-garage merchants, The Thanes. As anyone who's heard George in action will testify, he had a totally unique vocal presence and despite having only one serviceable lung was thoroughly compelling and unique.

Since undergoing major heart surgery some years ago, George was on daily medication and often voiced his fears over his mortality. He is survived by his dear wife Anne, and sons Craig and Fraser.

Personally I feel very privileged to have been good friends with him these past 25 years and more recently to have played alongside him and Fraser, helping to keep the name of The Poets alive. I'm eternally thankful that we got to play truly memorable gigs in Glasgow, London and most recently at Festival Beat in Italy.

I Am So Blue

Lenny Helsing (The Thanes /The Poets)

Service is this Saturday, September 1st at 10am, Lynn Crematorium, Castlemilk for anyone wishing to pay their respects

Thanks for doing this Lenny...

I actually typed this last night and thought I’d posted it. Or dreamt I posted it.

Spent much of Sunday in a fog brought upon by the news of George Gallacher’s passing, the one saving grace that he seems to have left the theatre without suffering after what would have been a happy result for his team. George, in my experience was a fit-looking, dapper man who hadn’t visibly changed in years. A real gent that was always generous with his time. The fact that he and Fraser got to do some shows as The Poets in recent times is heartening too thanks to the relentless efforts of Lenny Helsing to make it happen. Introducing the music to new generations and making those that were already familiar with it relive a portion of their youth.

An abiding memory was a version of The Poets playing at my friend Simon’s birthday party at Sloans in Glasgow when Laura Cantrell and her crew were here. I guess it was during Celtic Connections? I remember the joy on Mr Tepper’s face witnessing one of the few things that wouldn’t happen in NY.

Never saw any of the recent shows. Thinking there would be plenty of time I suppose. Last time I saw him was a few months ago when he wrote up a jukebox tab for KP. Another wheeze I hoped to see through was for those two to meet the next time Matt & Kim were in town. Ain’t gonna happen.

Stopped in at the smallish but perfectly formed wee Scottish Cinema exhibit at NLS on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh. Well worth a schlep, even if it’s just to see the original poster for “The Battle of the Sexes” that’s part of it. I’d really like one of those and might even clear wall space for it. Finally saw “Searching for Sugar Man” too and it is pretty good but like Anvil, and in the wake of the giant spoof that life has become, some of the set up didn’t seem entirely plausible. The producer of the second Rodriguez album really got on my tits with a "total sincerity” schtick that really was hard to swallow to the point that I thought Chris Guest would appear any minute.

It’s only when Sixto Rodriguez and his family enter the scene that things begin to take on a more positive spin. His is a story that could never happen now. That type of mythical status is impossible and he’s sort of Jandek-like, not musically but in the way he was isolated from his audience.

Anyway, it is fairly uplifting in the end and he seems like a good soul. Nowadays as soon as someone coughs there’s camera footage so the romantic possibilities that there could be artists like this now are zero. This was a guy that slipped through the net. There are loads more both obscure and not so much that should be celebrated and perhaps introduced to a prospective new audience that might be able to provide that elusive tickle.

From there I attended a book festival event that was strangely not sold out. I’m not at liberty to say what it was because the reason for going was to score something that will be a gift for someone that may read this. If you really want to know what it was, and I’m sure most of you don’t care, then leave a comment on the post and I’ll get back to you.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

RIP - George Gallacher

Pretty difficult to process this at the minute but here's what Lenny Helsing sent me when I messaged him after seeing Holly Calder's facebook post and hoping it would be unfounded...

"Fraser called me this morn. He died in the car on way back from seeing his beloved Partick thistle playing: they won so he would've been happy!"

Thoughts are very much with his friends and family at this time and I'm sure tributes will be rolling in. George was a real gent.

It never rains but it pours and both the actual and metaphorical deluge persists. These things are sent to try us and you better believe I’m being tried, too much going on, too little time. So many records too but little or no energy to consume them and report the consequences, it won’t always be like this but there’s no sign of when that might change. Actually it's not raining outside today though. Not yet anyway.

There’s some screw up with the Drive By Truckers website today. It’s bouncing what can only be described as responses from subscribers to everyone on the list. It’s strange and irritating to see how people react to this. Mostly the latter but until they fix whatever happened then the tap will keep dripping. I’ll be unsubscribing when it’s all done. Much as I like the band, this is a textbook example of why we should be pulling up the drawbridge. Much of an info junkie as I am, I’ve become very picky about what I want in my inbox. Missus.

For now I’m still putting up with Bob Lefsetz pontifications but that might change soon too. Life is too short and instead of maintaining the status quo – stuff is increasing exponentially. Robbie Fulks’ “I like Being Left Alone” is something – nirvana - to aspire to. Not by everybody, I’d have a coterie for sure but there’s no room left in the hell of my noggin for most of the bullshit people think I might be interested in.

Lazy, good for less than bugger all, cut and paste yada will be deleted immediately. The written word has been devalued and worse than that it’s resulted in people grazing text at best. There is still great stuff out there though. Take Mike Edison’s celebration of his catpal Manly, I’m not sure if you have to be a “friend” to read it but it’s genuinely fantastic, written by a genuine human being (lawnmower).

So like I mentioned, that drawbridge will be going up. I’m not sure when or how but I’ve really just about had it up to here (makes gesture above head). And now I got to go turn the radio off because a programme about golf is coming on. Can you believe it? A radio show about a game that is so fundamentally dull in the first place that it’s prescribed to people who have trouble sleeping? Some say good old BBC Radio Scotland. Others, well they try to tell the truth.

These are “different times” and I don’t like ‘em.

The Monorail Film Club resumes today (26th). Sadly I can't make it but maybe you can?

Full details on "Practical Electronica" here...

RIP - Neil Armstrong

Monday, August 20, 2012

RIP - Phyllis Diller

In fabulous, downtown Moss Rock City this coming Saturday night!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Master Plan are hitting up Scandinavia this coming week...

Friday August 24th - Gutter Island, Vordingborg, Denmark

Saturday August 25th - Tivoli'kjellern, Moss (Rock City), Norway

Sunday August 26th - Siste Reis, Halden, Norway

Tuesday August 28th - The Liffey, Stockholm, Sweden

Go say howdy if you can!

Blimey... missed another blinder...

Of course the PR girls should be freed. There's no argument about that. Do I want to hear their "music"? Personally no. The conspiracy theory that Vlad took further hump when McCartney stuck his neb in are as yet unconfirmed. The Pooty Riot saga seems destined to run for a bit yet but it got me wondering, despite all the "publicity" - could they sell tickets? Or records, even downloads? Likely not.

They should be freed with the understanding that most people would run a mile from their "sound". That doesn't mean that it's aheard of it's time or groundbreaking. It's not. At best it's an extension of that DIY, lofi racket that never did anything for me irrespective of who it was by or how spirited others found it.

It's all high profile for Amnesty. The girls and what they did has really set the heather alight. maybe it'll result in a new movement where kids form bands or become interested in kicking agin the bullshit that we're all mired in. That's the best result that could come from all this. Inspiration. But I am sceptical. It has been cool hearing the word "pussy" on the BBC. I felt that for sure they'd get to censor that but so far not.

In America, some outlets have however decided that it might bend the minds of their citizens. All of this is further proof of why we all need to move to Madrid and just leave the rest of the world to get on with it.

So come on Vlad, be reasonable. Let the girls out. Don't be a twat.

Update - Actually, I'm not averse to this new song and it reminded me of being at Punk Kongress in Kassel where I met several Eastern Europeans who had suffered for their art. One of them even had a copy of "I Want Tae be a Punk Rocker" by Andy Cameron, possession of which could have got him gawd knows how many years in the (Colonel) Klink.

Of course, out here in the fields we bitch and whine about little or nothing. This is the nature of the beast. However, we should be prepared for this type of action closer to home. Don't take the fact that we perceive we can do what we want in the West. There are individuals working to curtail all that under the auspices that you ought to be thankful for your lot. I'm not sure that we have the collective bottle to start doing something about that but we should. I'm not and have never been of the mindset that takes stuff for granted, however much I complain or whine. So I guess what I'm saying is that Vlad is just a puppet of some higher order that's out to rain on our collective parade bigstyle. Just keep that in mind as you go about your daily business.

RIP - Scott McKenzie

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

You hear all the time about Spain and its fiscal troubles, like the “big boy did it and ran away” ethos that is sweeping the world. We’re all fucked due to greedy, corrupt, way over the borderline scumbags so we might as well make the best of it before we’re all catapulted back into the stone age. Madrid is like heaven and hell combined, at least for me. And I mean both in the best sense of the word. Forget about basking in the sun in Florida – it was 42 degrees there on Thursday. I have never experienced heat like it. Like wandering around the coolest giant oven on earth but let’s try and figure out what happened there...

Stepping out of the plane into the heat was discombobulating. Got to the city after midnight on Thursday, dropped the bags and the crew met us at the bottom of Echegaray from which we sauntered up to El Fabuloso in Malasaña. Very nice quasi-50’s joint for the first of several mahou’s. From there we daundered up to Groovie bar. Another amazing hostelry in the grand tradition of just how this place is the last great rock’n’roll town on earth. Iain plotzed when he heard The Nomads segue into Radio Birdman in a bar sometime after 2AM. He was beginning to feel the force. I need to get back there to get a "Malasaña RocknRoll Resistance" T-shirt. From there we went to a place called Weirdo that was sadly shut but next time – it looks like my kind of establishment.

Then it was time to head back to barracks. Stopped in at Wurlitzer but it was 4AM and shaping up to be a long day at the outset. Don’t worry though, that was as about as sensible as it got.

Up early and time for a saunter which was about as fast as one could muster. It was even boiling in the shade. Much of Thursday was spent wandering up until it was time to meet Marcela and The Arnesens – a Dahlmanns offshoot trio (but only 2 were in town). A reunion that recalled that fateful night in October 2009 where our paths converged and I can certainly say that was a pivotal date in my existence. Marcela runs the other best venue in the world, El Sol - a perfect space in any definition of time. So there was time to eat, yatter and even go for ice cream in the run up to the show. Oh, and more drinks.

It was a deep relief to set foot in the Wurlitzer again. Even more so because the air conditioning was so bloody marvellously cool. Any worries about heat exhaustion were quickly put at a peep. Grand to see the gang again so we left then to rev it up at soundcheck and get ready for the rumpus.

Brother Clive had come from BCN with the cast members and was good and ready for that first beer I think. We weren’t feeling a lot of pain when we rolled back up to the door of the W. Always a blast to see Helena, Benito and Alvaro and t’was a pure pleasure that La Hembra Alfa could make the scene too. A lot of familiar and some new faces. It’s hard to keep track when you’re a doddery old git but Wurli is a strange fountain of youth that certainly does me the power of good.

Hadn’t seen the Quattros since “Hank” came out. They were always magic but they’ve really gotten good in addition to just being a great combo in general. I could still be objective if need be but resistance is futile. The bang - bang - bang of the pace – no fannying about – should be used as a yardstick for all sets. Lean and mighty pop. Especially impressive was the disco-fication and Suzy has really gained ground in the owning the stage antics of performance. I was impressed and proud of my Barca crew.

As far as locations to see bands go, The pairing of Wurlitzer and The Yum Yums is an explosive combination. Other than The Dictators at El Sol, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a start to finish rush as I did on Friday night. All the hits sung back by the packed crowd translated to a truly deserved love in. And this was no regular show because BB Quattro not only went through the paces with his own combo, he also provided the bajo for the Yums in addition to driving the 7+ hour journey. These wacky kids – who says today’s youngsters aren’t capable of hard graft? Actually, this is the guy who has kept The Yum Yums flame alive and if it weren’t for him then I wouldn’t be in this extended family situation.

So - in terms of “IOU”, I reckon I’m the one that should be tipping the hat. And I did have to wear one in the daytime during this trip. I’m thinking of getting a proper one. Whaddaya think? Of course I’ll never be as cool as Jimmy Sangster but I can try.

So much hanging out was done and the world was put to right several times before we called it a halt. Some of the entourage made it to the fabled 7am ceiling even although they were to be back on the road around noon. Others fashioned an outfit out of the hotel curtains and went to buy records before they jumped in the van. Wish we could have made the journey to Felipop too but that might have been too much fun. You gotta be careful at my age.

Next day was kind of fuglike and spent in lower gear. A return visit to Casa Murky + Eva was a hoot just like last time and from there to a wee gathering at Estela’s. We swigged Mahou high above the La Latina metro station and it was a perfect closer to a cracking couple of days away from what passes for reality (I hear ya Ms G). I was especially stoked to meet Mr Lagarto, the other half of mi amigette, Ms Ulla Munster. Hopefully they shall join us in future adventures.

A final farewell to the Wurli and our groovy hosts there and it was pretty much done. Met up with Iňigo for breakfast next day and it was time to scoot. Did I tell you this before? “I HEART Madrid” - so much so that a return bout is already on the horizon.

Muchas Muchas gracias to all of you folks that made us so welcome – you know who you are.