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.
Monday, August 20, 2012
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!
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Sunday, August 05, 2012
Help Marco out here, order some stuff so he can bunk off on Thursday night...
Hello... Help us to get more free space in our warehouse for the next vinyl releases...
GHOST HIGHWAY SUMMER SALE PACKS
This offer is available from 1st August to 1st September 2012.
To order send an NEW e-mail to: email@example.com
• 7" + CD "Simple Pleasures" = 12 Eur
• CD-only "Simple Pleasures" = 9 Eur
4 x 3 PACK SINGLES - Buy 4 x 7inch and get One for Free!!!
Choose the 7"s from this list:
• Skip Jensen
• The Dt's
• Margaret Doll Rod / Plutonium Baby
• Digital Leather
• Jeff Pope
• Mary's Kids EP(II)
• The Sewergrooves
• Stevie Klasson's Black Weeds
• Jake Starr & The Delicious Fullness
BUNDLE: Tribute To The OBLIVIANS Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5
3 x 7" - 20 Eur shipping included (Spain)
3 x 7" - 22 Eur shipping included (Europe)
3 x 7" - 25 Eur shipping included (Rest of world)
10" SUMMER PACK
WALTER DANIELS & The GIBLETS
The SCREAMIN' TARGETS
10 Eur/each + shipping, Buy all 4 and get 2 x 7inch for free (from 4 x 3 list)
MUNLET + free 7" Tribute To The Oblivians Vol. 5, 10 Eur + shipping
FABULOSO COMBO ESPECTRO + free 7" Tribute To The Oblivians Vol. 3 , 10 Eur + shipping
OUT NOW. NEW 7"
GHR-39 - Bloodshot Bill (co-released with Squodge Records)
COMING AFTER SUMMER:
GHR-40 - T.B.A.
GHR-41 - The Diesel Dogs (12") - Out in September
GHR-42 - Scott "Deluxe" Drake & The World's Strongest Men / The Gee Strings (7") - Out in September
GHR-43 - Electric Frankenstein 7" (Tribute to The Ramones and The Dead Boys) - Out in October
GHR-44 - T.B.A. (7" - 100 copies / sticky limited editions series) - Out in October
GHR-45 - Die Zorros (7" - 100 copies / sticky limited editions series) - Out in October
GHR-46 - Cardboard Villains - (7" - 100 copies / sticky limited editions series) - Out in October
GHR-47 - Deadheads - (7" - 100 copies / sticky limited editions series) - Out in October
GHR-48 - T.B.A.
GHR-49 - T.B.A.
GHR-50 - T.B.A. special edition to celebrate our 5 Anniversary and the release number 50!!!
Thursday, August 02, 2012
If I had the time, and could be bothered with ebay, then I’d be shedding a load of excess weight in the form of stuff. I do have the inclination but not the patience to put up with the guff that comes with that particular territory. There has to be a good holiday’s worth lying around here gathering dust. A bit like myself. And I keep adding to it, seemingly not having learned the requisite lessons.
The Nomads annual Blidosund bash is underway. Always an event that I intend to attend, one of these nights... may the bar takings break unprecedented records tonight. “Solna” is still very fresh and as we wait on the rest of the planet to catch up, we all gotta meet up at a Nomads show someplace soon. Which brings me back to the ditching stuff because then I could afford to take in a couple of upcoming gigs. Now memories, I believe you can pack them right up until the lights go out.
I’m banking on beyond but I’ll take ‘til if that’s how it pans out.