Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Friday, 22 February 2013

February Fun eh.. How good is Rattlesnakes?

I think its time I paid attention to the nosense that masqueraded as nonsense back then when I was wearing my Articulated Van hat. Self praise is no praise indeed, but do I care? I do like the review I gave and I got onto you tube and found a German gig which was loaded on by someone called mgvintage, I think, and I played the whole gig twice. Its now that I cast my mind back to the nosense that I wrote. The last paragraph in particular where I gush about how well they use silence. Many try but few have succeeded the way Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Echo & the Bunnymen, and a few others have, they just knew how to ride that emotional wave without surfing into sleep, superb.

As LPs go Rattlesnakes and Ocean Rain were released 30 years ago and they are complete albums. I love songs on Highland Hard Rain on many different albums from the era, but rarely do I get out of my seat (every 40 minutes you'll find) to click an album on from the start again, ahh, the benefits of Alztheimers, every time is like the first.

the funniest thing when you read a review like that you wonder what was going on in your life, another good day, another bad day, well you'd think I'd lost my virginity the day I heard Rattlesnakes!

I cant wait for the mad March hare now, to remind what was going down in March 83, 84,85 & 86. This therapy is superb. I cant tell you what I was doing last week but I've got hard evidence for what I was doing in the early 80's.

Well, actually that's a lie. I once reviewed Tony Benn at the Caird Hall in Dundee and I put the review in a week before his 'gig'. I called it a 'Song for Europe' which was loosely based on one of my favourite tracks by Roxy Music at the time, the other being 'Chance Meeting' which shouldn't be confused with Josef  K's 'Chance Meeting' which is the same name, but a different song, although when we covered one of them I'm sure most of the adoring public weren't sure which song we were covering, (but Mark was a shit guitarist, he was certainly no Malcolm Ross, who funnily enough was interviewed in March1984, his issue sold out and is still considered the must have by the collectors, oops, typo, collector!)

I digress, so back to the Song for Europe. I wrote the review because I was taking my half of Deadbeat down to Edinburgh and in the Dundee half was this and that but we were wan page short of a picnic. From memory - I draw a blank - but that doesnt stop me making something up, which is exactly what I did on the bus to Edinburgh that famous February night. I thought it would be quite cool to have the new issue of Deadbeat out with a review of our Anthony Wedgie Benn, so I wrote it on the bus, got a kerry oot, typed it at the folks and gave the copies over to Keith watched his masterly use of the glue pen and we wandered down to the printers.

I dont know if it did bear any resemblance to the events of that night and I must get someone from Dundee, ooops, fi Dundee, to have a quick look and correct me. Either way it was a great wheeze as we had Deadbeat in Groucho's and the Tayside Bar the day after the 'gig' and we thought we were Lou Grant, I'm certainly as fat as Lou Grant, but that's enough of 80's American tv, I'm also as fat as Danny Devito but I carry it better than he did in Taxi, another reason Deadbeat rarely hit the shelves on the days it meant.

It was when the Tube hit the screens and suddenly our world was changed. The pop videos grew during the early 80's into mini movies and everyone had a part to play. I remember when the Scars were doing a video for "All about you" which involved Rab Scar singing, 'It was a cold day, outside today....' so of course, the video was shot, yes you've guessed it, in Freezing February up the top of Arthurs Seat, in Auld reekie where the wind blows and even the women wear pants under thier kilts. But from one big budget blockbuster to the  You Tube and other mediums of today, is quite frankly mesmirising. I mean, when I was only 5 there was all this stuff about Walking on the  Moon, and then 15 years later, The Police have got a song and a video, and then another 30 years later, still we wait. Its all a myth. Nobody, is Walking on the Moon.

"I hope my legs dont break, Walking on the Moon..." HELLO HELLO is there anyone out there, nobody is Walking on the Moon. I've walked to Spain, albeit, I started in France, it was certainly a lot quicker, but nobody is Walking on the Moon. Walking to Spain is great. I remember that too as I did a blog. When I walked it in 2007, me and Si the bassist, walked the 500 miles to Sanitago de Compostela, and can I tell you , right here, right now, its a lot better than Walking on the Moon. 'I hope my legs dont hurt, Walking on the Moon' HELLO HELLO, it all depends how  far you walk. If you play golf you'll walk a long long way as the golf ball once hit will travel miles, or if you are walking to the pub and haven't been informed that the Moon doesnt have one yet, you'll walk a long long way, so yes your legs may hurt, but not as much as walknig the Camino to Santiago nd I'll tell you why. Its because you have a pack on your back that weighs something. When you are walking on the moon, even fat boys like me will feel like they are walking on air, I could run faster than Bolt, well that's not true, as we would probably not be able to fit in the same space craft, him needing the height and me needing the width, I suspect I'd need to book two seats, but I off on one again. The second time I did the work across Spain, Europe's premiere pub crawl as I sold it to my mate Harry, I was fit enough to be able to eat and drink even more at the end of each day, so the 500 mile walk took us a few days more in 2011, but all that nonsense is on the other blogs and - that's Fat Al and Bananas for those who havent gathered that Vinny is now so Fat he's using his old name again, it also looks good on golf balls when you mark them fatal.

So you wont hear me digging out the Police album then, but you will be delighted to know that I'm getting the band back together for a 2020 gig. Not sure how many of us will still be breathing by then, but it was never about the music was it?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

February Fun - Lloyd Cole 1985 - Bluebells 1983

What a big jump from issue 9, as someone once wrote " enigma on my files, nascent and naive, ignominous fate awaits, innocent faith in these...", and with this foreboding do we migrate to the dark ramblings of issue 29, as the youthful bambi of deadbeat's desire, bludgeons itself on the print machine which outweighs it....oh, and for the health and safety community out there, dont lift heavier objects than you are able, they will probably hurt you and judging by the print quality, its probably pointless.


So that was 1985, but I'm more fond of  the Bambi days, yes issue 10, the one with Switch on the cover, aka Charlie Higson if I'm not mistaken. They were called the Higsons, the had a single called 'Run me Down' and along with the Farmers Boys and Serious Drinking they were putting Norwich on the map, its a town in  East Anglian, well, ok a city, as that's what their football team is called, and at the time they were my favourite team, I liked the strip.  So good an area was it, that John Peel moved there, and more important than that they had a record shop called BACKS, and it sold Deadbeat. Not many in 1983, but we could proclaim ourselves as a nationwide rag. February 1983 also saw the demise of one of the great Deadbeat outposts, The Tav in Dundee aka the Olde Tavern was to be making way for a road. now on so many levels that is so stupid. If Dundee was to keep people from bypassing it a road is the last thing it needs. more traffic lights and pubs like the Tav could only encourage people to stop for a pint, a fag and a chat, its well said the seeds of despair for the Dandy were planted in 983, although it was another scoop the far thinking  people at Deadbeat, failed to spot, lets face it. February was also the month we were getting ready to interview Annie Lennox, but more of that in March.

Yes February 1983 was braw. It was Bambi braw.The Tayside Bar, Bruces, Groucho, Rockpile and the Watergate studios were selling Deadbeats and we were having to print the next issues early to keep up with demand in the city of Discovery. Meanwhile across the silvery Tay and the frothy Forth the Record Exchange, Ripping Records, Virgin, Scales, the other record shop and Ezy Ryder were all phoning up demanding more copies of issue 9, when they weren't selling out of Aztec Camera's 'Oblivious' as it headed into the top 40. I'm sure I've heard 'Oblivious' more on the radio this year than any other, clearly the pop pickers just look back 30 years, oh no, that means we could be getting............................................

As predicted in issue 9, issue 10 proudly confirmed, the Undertones did indeed book a gig at the Playhouse March 31, Glasgow Tiffany's April 1st and Aberdeen's Fusion on the 3rd April, fingers on the pulse or what....we even mentioned "Hippies please note that Eric Clapton plays Edinburgh Playhouse on April 8 & 9" and followed that up with and for those who really want to see some music "Pop Wallpaper are at the Edinburgh College of Art on Feb 25th. A review of Pop Wallpaper's demo is sandwiched between "Fields of Fire" and "Rip it Up". It was a tough ask, and I wasnt impressed, but I hasten to add, I'm not a good judge. Just because I really enjoyed Rip it Up, everything else was given lip service. Having rubbished the demo, I then published Evan Henderson's Dalkeith Road address and phone number, although after the review the only kind of calls he'd be getting he'd probably not want. Happily Pop Wallpaper ignored me and produced some fine music as well as the flexi disc in issue 17.

Happy Hints had a campaign to "Adopta Bee in 1983", such wisdom in such young minds.

Cleaner than dogs and cheaper to can take it for a fly and it will ward off intruders, Each will come complete with a dinky black and yellow jumper......

The Bluebells review from their gig in Dundee is another highlight of issue 10 in February 1983. I remember it well, do you remember where you were in February 1983, well I remember where I was the day I first heard "Cath, Woaah led me up the garden path", yes the Dance Factory in Dundee.

Mark had written Life Support's classic 'On Your Own' a few years earlier using the same riff in the chorus, it used in a lot of songs, eg the Velvets 'Waiting for the Man', and I really liked our line, "your old man, when he sees me splits his sides in laughter, he used to think that you were 'stupit', now he thinks ah'm even dafter", but when you heard the way the Bluebells put it together it was perfect pop. It took until the Frattelli came out with some of their stuff for me to hear a song so instantaneously brilliant. I remember that day at T-in-the-park when me and my 13 year old daughter Caitlin, divided up, she for the Editors and me to see the Fratellis. It captured the mood, in 2006, just as the Bluebells had in 1983, although I did wonder where the years had gone as my daughter carried me back to the bus!

Pure Energy and undiluted fun. Aye, Bambi was Braw.