Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Classic black 7 inch vinyl edition!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Here we are, midway through the month andd so far I've managed to post something every day. Maybe nothing much but I'm hanging in with the notion of regular bulletins. The progress with the first print edition in close on 20 years is progressing. The list of contents is progressing and I've checked it more than twice I can tell you. 

There's been some movement in what goes where but it's going to work out having made a deadline in my noggin for the end of April to go to print. At least that's the idea on this here Easter Sunday.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017


After the false alarm a week ago, the world is yet worse off than it already was. 

Another of life’s constants has departed. As much as I dug listening to his show on a Saturday morning on my own, it was especially great with house guests. They didn’t mind getting up at 8am because the breakfast soundtrack was guaranteed to be at least great. The music was like the meal, it would set you up for the day. When they got home to wherever the heck they came from, I'd often get messages about tuning in.

The finality of his leaving R2 recently suggested this wasn’t so far away. I’ve been thinking about all those folks who I turned on to SOTS over the years and it saddens me to think that there are some of you (one in particular) that I won’t get to share this experience with now.

Such is life at this point in the proceedings. 

Sunday, April 09, 2017


This is an entertaining documentary. 

Even if, like me, you think that calling some of it "music" could be considered artistic licence. 

Still no sign of the Glasgow instalment... click image to order.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Sunday, April 02, 2017



29 BELFAST Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
30 EDINBURGH Citrus Club


01 GLASGOW Glad Cafe tickets on the door
02 DUNDEE Clarks ticket link
04 BARNOLDSWICK Music & Arts Centre ticket link
05 HULL Furley & Co ticket link
06 HULL Furley & Co ticket link
07 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club brudenellsocialclub.co.uk
10 BRIGHTON Prince Albert ticket link
11 LEICESTER The Musician ticket link
12 WORCESTER Marr’s Bar ticket link
13 LONDON 229 Club tickets link
17 LEWES Con Club lewesconclub.com
18 PENZANCE Astro-Park ticket link
19 BIDEFORD Palladium
20 BRISTOL Thunderbolt ticket link
21 BOURNEMOUTH The Winchester ticket link

Saturday, April 01, 2017


The last time out proper. 1997... 

As this malarkey turns 40 today, it’s time to (maybe) get back to some kind of regular service. I’m going to attempt to post something daily, even if it’s just a link. You’re thinking this is an April Fool but it’s not.  Rather it’s statement of intent that has every chance of falling in close proximity to the first hurdle. This inclination is taking place in the run up to an actual print edition coming down the pike. No book or repro, an all-new issue. Details to be circulated when I figure out what’s going on and when. Right now, here's a reminder of what the last one looked like. 

In addition, the label will also putter back into life with a 45 by The Dahlmanns at the end of May/beginning of June. The Moss Rock City popmeisters have tackled two brand new Andy Shernoff songs so there could be no better way to reactivate the imprint than this. To be available wherever great records are sold!

The label for one side of the
new Dahlmanns 45

I’ll see The Rezillos tonight. They’re still operating also. On April 1st 1977 when NBT launched, The Damned played Stirling University and somehow all this stuff has lasted even though it likely wasn’t supposed to.

The image here may end up as the cover for NBT 28 depending upon on the format I end up going with. There could be a version with 45 and that doesn’t suit the image that I really want to use. The green light for that may not be forthcoming anyway so a rethink or three could be on the cards along the way. 

There’s a lot rattling around this noggin that sure wasn’t when I set out on this road. What I’m referring to as a rethink here is actually closer to a heid fugue. I used to be indecisive but now I find myself full-on, less than not so sure.

This might be the cover for the
"back from the dead (what again?) issue

Tried to make a font out of my handwriting once, perhaps to head a subliminal notion of not being able to hold a pen properly off at the pass? It never worked out. It looked crap and indicated that the nuances of the letters changing was what perhaps made it engage with the reader in the first place. As time went on, there was a mix of typewriter then eventually word processing. I’m not sure how exactly this one might work out in terms of all that. If my ability to grip a pen doesn’t get me then the selection of implements I have to write with will nae doubt conspire to cause me problems.

My real rotrings died many moons ago and the concept of filling them with ink and trying to find a decent surface to work on is frankly unlikely to happen. So let’s see where this road leads...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017



Available from LA FIAMBRERA in old Madrid! CLICK HERE!

Friday, March 24, 2017


I never saw this coming.

While actively trying to get a print version of NBT together to mark the 40th Anniversary, it occurs that the label will be reactivated too nearly two decades after the last “release”. With good reason. Better than good actually. It’s the result of my favourite act from now teaming up with the guy that set me off on this road. 

The Dahlmanns have recorded two brand new Andy Shernoff songs, “Forever My Baby” a duet between Line and Andy. It hits like a classic BŐC ballad crossed with a girl group anthem. Flipside, “The Last Time” could, in my opinion, just be the best thing that the Moss Rock City crew has committed to “tape” thus far. 

There’s likely no actual "tape" involved but the way that Chris Frehley realises his own particular wall or sound makes him a power pop bliss Max Martin to my ears. 

This could - of course - be construed as "conflict of interest" but I assure you that is humungously not so. All of the folks involved have given me something to believe in. There's a cool full-circle-ness that cements the notion of an amazing small world within a larger one that is seemingly bound for the big burny fire in the proverbial hand basket. I'm bordering on babbling here now so 'tis time to zip it. Excitement can get you like that sometimes. 

Vinyl be due May/June time but as of today, hit up Pop Detective for the CDingle edition.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


T'was never going to be easy to follow “Hank” but “Faster And Louder” takes the snappy high road and delivers 10 nippy little numbers with that enormous Quattro sound. “Radio! Stereo!” kicks things off as they mean to go on. Punchy and anthemic is the S+LQ default setting.

BB Quattro has a total beat on the frequencies he wants to negotiate. In terms of “power pop arranging”, this kid knows his onions and is able to create a cogent, bahookie kicking racket right down the line. That’s not an easy thing to do. So much of the genre gets abused because some of its exponents rely on lazy retreads or modular appropriation. The Quattro not so, they take their influences and recycle them in an entirely ear-friendly way. The Q-kids swing like so many of their contemporaries simply do not and can not.

The Yum-tastic Morten Henriksen weighs in with a co-write on “Here We Go Again” that pits a Dictators-ish rush against a Distractions wall of pop. A pretty nifty trick. Rubinoo Tommy Dunbar conspired on the album’s celebration of Wee “Matilda” Quattro who is likely bashing out a rhythm on the drum kit she just got from the “wise men” as I tap away on here. I never held much store in “Heart of Glass” by Blondie but I love the way these kids flirt with that kinda “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” disco malarkey. Mirrorball mercilessly in synch with the hi-hat! I therefore unreservedly recommend “Faster and Louder” to the house. Your house, my house, a’body’s house! 

BB’s services to the wider preservation of the craft should not go un-noticed. If it weren't for him then many of your favourite bands would likely be extinct. Me? I have much to thank Suzy and Jon for in spiritual terms since I met them in September 2008 but if I didn’t think they’d made an absolutely great record then I’d keep my trap shut. 

As it is, I can blab my fucking brains out because they’ve come up with a total stonker.

The vinyl is available on Screaming Apple and the CD release is coming on Rock Indiana.  Head over to their bandcamp and take your pick.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Some years ago (30-ish) I had the good fortune to release two albums by a band called The Skeletons. A combo that is as good or likely better than your favourite act could ever hope to be. They achieved the seemingly impossible but never became a household name because the “industry” didn’t have a clue what to do with them. The band’s drummer was a fella by the name of Bobby Lloyd Hicks and he passed away during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Yours truly on location
Photo by Bobby Lloyd Hicks
In musical terms, he was a drummer’s drummer. 
A humble, quiet gent that laid down an understated beat that was never beat. I was lucky enough to find myself in his company a number of times during these three decades and when I finally made the pilgrimage to Springfield, Mo. – the buckle on the bible belt – Lloyd showed me around. He even took me to the site where Kay took the shot that became the cover of “In The Flesh” and snapped me in front of that famous (on my planet) wall. 

I recall a particularly convivial evening over at his house. From there we went on a wee road trip up to the Chicago city limits that was quite an adventure. I remember vividly sitting outside the back of the hotel in Dekalb with him beside some railroad tracks that conjured up an image of the old (mid) west. Later that same year, I caught up with them in Malmo on a bill that boasted a Skele set then they backed Scott Kempner and Dave Alvin. Uncle Tupelo were in attendance at the Heartbreak Hotel, the name of the venue.

There was also the legendary Glesga Grand Old Opry show with Dave and The Guilty Men. I brought them from London by train which was quite the logistical nightmare but they took it in good spirits. We’d sold (lucky) 13 tickets in advance and it looked like a bath might be taken but nope, more than 200+ walked up and we paid the band and the bills. Dave sung a couple of verses of “Trans Am” (after one particularly noisy wee bugger shouted for it) with two actual Skele-alumni in the crew and well, we all had a ball. You can probably guess who the shouter was.

Lloyd would often wear an NRBQ t shirt. He did that so often that he joined the actual band for a while. Amy Rigby was thrilled to catch them at a friend’s wedding not too long ago. I guess that was his last gig before he had to give up for health reasons. The last time I met up with him was when he was in Glasgow with Steve Forbert. We traipsed around town before he had to fulfil his stint in the band. 

As you may have read in Rich Nesin’s heartbreaking remembrance, it was The Skeletons association with Forbert that provided the portal for so many of us to discover this Midwestern Wrecking Crew.  It all came full circle when Andy Shernoff had them sit in for his "Not Fade Away" EP. Listen to them swing on “Let’s Get The Band Back Together” and weep because that can never happen again in real terms.

Lloyd’s regular sign off was “Fins Up” and he wouldn’t want us to be sad. This geezer was a solid example of how success should never be measured by what you’ve got. Like the Sonny Bono song them Skeletons interpreted suggests “it’s what you are” that counts and Mr Hicks is one damn hard act to follow on that score.

My condolences to his family and friends scattered worldwide.

From that 1992 road trip, I think the place was called Shades, somewhere 
outside of Chicago, pretty sure I have a flyer someplace.

Sunday, February 19, 2017