Sunday, August 23, 2009

RIP - John Carter (The Dells)

(Thanks to Ben via Staysick)

It’s all go. Being that it was kinda truncated by my lateness in dragging myself out of my scratcher. No idea when the last time that happened was and no excuses. So much to be doing and so little available in the first instance but prior to all that, here’s a report on yesterday...

Having managed to extricate myself from the bunker, I figured that I’d go and try and pick something up to send to Ben and his wife for his newly arrived twins. This didn’t prove to be as simple as was anticipated and I really don’t want to send Scots stuff that was made in China. Nothing agin the Chinese but that’s plain wrong. So I’m no further forward on that score for now, plans B and C are under consideration.

So I made my way down to the National Portrait Gallery where they’ve been having shows on a Saturday afternoon through the Festival curated to some extent by Avalanche Records of Cockburn Street. It was the launch of the new St Judes Infirmary album and Zoey Van Goey opened. Nice idea, good space and an excellent time of day to watch some music. This was borne out by the fact that there was a good crowd and even although it was free, it’s not always easy to get people along. Plus, you have to down there, I wouldn’t say that it benefits from footfall. The building is being refurbished but this was a cool idea on somebody’s part. Excellent call. See you at Withered Hand next week?

ZVG were great. Really. And charm personified with a Modern Lovers/Velvets leaning and even a version of “I’m Sticking With You”. One of the guys had a bit of the ”Rich Stim’s” about him and you can never get enough of that. Sweet, off kilter pop then and the girl, Kim has a strong folk/pop style that should get to anybody that comes into contact with them. A short sharp set that certainly left me like I could have a couple more but I guess there wasn’t time.

I’ve seen St Judes Infirmary two or three times. They did a Christmas song many moons ago that I go back to every year. It came in a handmade sleeve and hinted at some promise. This far down the line they’ve gone the route of a Nick Cave/Badalamenti/Mazzy Star. It’s very earnest and for me there’s nothing that sets it apart from so many other things. It’s not hungry and as opposed to ZVG, I was pretty glad when it was over. Nothing intrinsically wrong with it at all but familiarity with the ingredients and the fact that some of them give me gutache means that there’s nothing for me at this table.

The estimable Mr Coyle who I ran into there assures me they’ve got something and I respect his opinion. Tam is one of the good guys who has gone above and beyond for music in Scotland and further afield for eons now. We agree to disagree as he heads for Arbroath and I saunter in the direction of the book festival. A quick shifty around, I noticed that there were no copies of Tom Morton’s book there. Maybe they were sold out?

And so to Filmhouse for “Playing With The Past” which was totally sold out. I can’t get enough of these live score with images events right now and was pleased when a second chance to catch this became available. Eagleowl kicked it off and their distinctly analog take on the form sets them aside from the more electronic nature of the other two outfits. I think it was Meursault that did the accompaniment to “Camera makes Whoopee” that lost me when the “singer” sang the “credits” to that particular piece. It was a bit too Pat Kane via James Allan and I was ready to go home to be honest. It had been a long day. FOUND were pretty good in a proto-Underworld sort of way. The event on a whole was really worth a look though. Perhaps if there was a way to tighten up the changeovers then it might retain the momentum a bit better.

Hopefully, the popularity of this will make Filmhouse consider more events in a similar vein.
Being that time of the year when the transport infrastructure is shown up to be utterly hopeless, I was briefly jazzed by having caught the 11.05p train. However, it sat in the station while the Polis and station staff futzed around. It was a bit of a zoo so the great one himself knows (Ralph Kramden) knows what the next two would have been like, might find that out next weekend because at least then I’ll have someone else along for the shindig. Another full day of activities planned so stay tuned.

I need to get this place in order for the imminent arrival of an illustrious visitor from yon US of A that’s saying such nasty things about the daftest wee country in the world. “Boycott Scotland”? Did you ever hear of such a thing?? The fuds that came up with that can away and “bile their heids”. That’s “boil their heads”, incase you were wondering...

RIP - Larry Knechtel

(Thanks to Brother Don for the info)

From Lenny Helsing...

RIP – Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas, bass guitarist of mid-‘60s Australian R&B fixated beat-punks THE MISSING LINKS has died after a short illness on Monday August 17th 2009, in Phnom Penh. The ‘LINKS from Sydney were infamous for their unkempt image, unleashed on the public such truly shocking electrified punk-outs as ‘You’re Drivin’ Me Insane’, ‘Speak No Evil’ and the incredible ‘Wild About You’. The last-named gained extra punk credentials 10 years further down the road when The Saints included a version on their debut 1977 LP ‘(I’m) Stranded’.

On The Missing Links’ only LP released on Philips in early 1966 Ian would also take the lead vocal spot for a version of ‘Nervous Breakdown’ and his own great ‘Not To Bother Me’.
Originally a member of THE SHOWMEN along with wildman drummer Baden ‘Hutch’ Hutchins, the pair then hooked up with The Missing Links whose original line-up had just broken up. Ian returned to The Showmen after the new ‘Links split again a year or so later, then had a brief recording career using the name Thomas Hood.

Links’ vocalist & frontman Andy James (real name Anderson) has said that Ian Thomas was “a true original”. He certainly gave The Missing Links an extra dose of menace with his gargantuan, tough as nails bass sound.

Thanks to Beccy Connell of Australia’s Born Loser fanzine for letting me know of Ian’s demise.

Lenny Helsing