Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Cafe Domenico - Sandport street - Leith *****

There's a huge community down Leith and I know this because I went to school there. It changed drastically 20 years ago and is now one of the great places like Stockbridge that is a destination part of Edinburgh.

Cafe Domenico, quietly situated is that quientessential small Italian restaurant. From the moment the primotivo hits your lips and your tucking into a small plate of Chorizo and Black pudding stew you could be anywhere in the Mediterranean, warming yourself by the sea, on St Andrews day.

I'd ordered the special, chicken stuffed with ndgua (I think) a very spicy version of Chicken Balmoral, I'd call it ~Chicken Sistine chapel myself, or Chicken Leaning (tower of Pisa....) it certainly leads to the spicy ends of things and made me think how good chicken tastes when its stuff.

As well as being stuffed it was also coated in parmesan and the chef had smashed it out of the park.

No room for the tasty looking sweets so coffee then off to work creatively - ah... Primotivo!


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Cathode Ray

It seems fair to talk about the Cathode Ray now the Gods of Rock'n'Roll the Monochrome Set have departed on their way to Germany, via Utrecht.

What The Cathode Ray possess is probably a silver medal, and to be second only to the Monochrome Set is worthy, worthy, worthy.

Two bands playing their music and appreciating their fans. There were many for both.

The Cathode Ray song I taped was good and 20 seconds is to be found further in this blog, along with "Backed Up", this punter thought, yeah, spot on, superb, give me more.

The music is rich in style, I say rich, because they have posh gear, no, I joke, I mean they have lead guitar that is lead guitar. There are arrangements where the lead guitar properly rules the roost and also where I think refinement is still going on and I like the way it happened on stage.....there are drum fills that merit it and they have no vocal when its an instrumental.

I love superb instrumentals, bands brave enough to do it like the Stone Roses are music to my ears, others are perhaps music to someone else's ears!

I'll edit the stuff below as I clearly got started on a thought on how the 80's was informed by me.....so excuse it...sometimes I publish too soon and I've re-read and realised I need to edit....hopefully this wont be read...but my red wine is superb

The basics of the music business are something that was completely lost on me when I played in a band and the idea of tuning up I thought was for the band. My guitar was in tune when I bought it, so its not like I need to tune it again, it only 1983.....

On top of tuning what I loved (with hindsight) was our rhythm section. Clearly just a bass and drums as our Rhythm guitarist could tune up never mind tune in, (and his gibson was a copy) but we had no rhythm. We had no soul, and all we had was drugs. Which, given the former, seems not a bad way to play your way through life.

But back to the band, THE CATHODE RAY!

I loved them. They were the embodiment of everything I dreamt as a teenager, as a fanzine writer, they were up there giving it large and could deliver a sound that had us all bouncing across the floor.

One of the joys when I wrote Deadbeat was being a fan and talking up bands I liked. Fanzines became successful because they talked up the bands they liked. Job done here today and my only regret....I never blagged on the guest list...just joking,....I would've paid £30 happily for Sunday night. It was absolutely superb from the moment I entered the venue and was greeted with "yes, you can get a ticket."

Service is everything and I was properly serviced by the night....Thank you


The morning after the night before....

Yeah, Wednesday's are ok on account of the Pilates class. Its my weekly alco'holiday where I squeeze my 17 stone into ill fitting lycra, hold my belly and three chins in, then assume the position.

To be fair, I dont do lycra but ~I do hold the position for an hour, give or take. After Sunday's manic gyrations the slow steady moves of a Tuesday night Pilates class can seem a wee bit more trembly than usual. Shouts from the teacher about the DT's only serve to encourage me to shake even more uncontrollably. I'm good at the swimming and stretching on all fours but thereafter anything involving holding my weight is merely fodder for the end of term video.

I'm there for morale, the morale of everyone else. When I'm trying to balance on one leg, holding in my belly, bending my left leg while dangling the right out and behind me, there's only one result. Carnage, full on carnage. Nobody will place their mat on the floor until they see where I'm putting mine down first. Its a pre-class ritual, even if I'm running late, they'll all sit to the side.

This week I chose an alcove so I could fall into a wall one way and a cushioned seat the other, obviously while making whale noises. That's the sound a whale makes when it hits dry land not the ones under water. On the mat, especially when peeling my spine off the floor into the bridge position, the vacuum packed blubber noises are terrible. I feel like Billy Connolly's character on the squeaky seats mumbling breathlessly its not me arse its my blubber.

A great class, and already I'm looking forward to a big session tonight to try and put those calories back on. There's a red wine from near Borja in Spain, home of the fresco, touched up by the Granny in a 'Jesus plays the Joker', Dark Knight, kinda way. Its a Ribera del Duero by Azul, I love it. I dont normally like a 14% wine but this one is just so good. Buy a bottle then head up to Lebanon by the Mosque and treat yourself to the mixed kebab - I love it, a BYOB that lets you take a £12 bottle that would cost you £35 if they sold it!

Monday, 14 November 2016

The Monochrome Set tour dates copied from www.themonochromeset.co.uk

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR GIVE YOURSELF AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT


26/11/2016 - The Thunderbolt, Bristol, UK (tickets)
03/12/2016 - dB's Studio, Utrecht, Netherlands (tickets
04/12/2016 - Naumann's @ Felsenkeller, Leipzig, Germany (tickets
05/12/2016 - Roter Salon @ Volksb├╝hne, Berlin, Germany (tickets)
06/12/2016 - Das Bett, Frankfurt, Germany (tickets)
08/12/2016 - Hafenklang, Hamburg, Germany (tickets)
09/12/2016 - Club W71, Weikersheim, Germany (tickets only available in person, from club- or ring to reserve)

10/12/2016 - King Georg, Cologne, Germany (tickets
28/01/2017 - The Half Moon, Putney, London, UK (tickets
25/03/2017 - Gullivers, Manchester, UK (ticket link#1ticket link #2)
12/05/2017 - QuayArts, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK (tickets TBA)
13/05/2017 - The Hope & Ruin, Brighton, UK (tickets)


The cathode ray


Not long now to hear the guys perform "The Eyes are the window to the soul", or the 20 seconds here! "Backed Up" was another well performed track but I am a hapless performer of the tape machine and so I deleted it to record this!! I loved "Backed Up", did I get it right.....go along and you'll know for yourself next time The Cathode Ray play

The Monochrome Set & The Cathode Ray - Voodoo Rooms 13/11/17

Stereogram presents .....a great evening of entertainment, I've said it already this was a superb night and the Monochrome set had me off the f'n'clown clock. Why write more?

I just need to say it again, to myself, as this gig was electrifying. I found a pulse in my 53 year old body and it was all over the place. At one point during "Alphaville" I seriously thought I was taking off. I'd been in Ian Curtis gyration mode for most of the night anyway but someone turned up the voltage and I was full on fitting.... in a good way.....well?

The whole gig was peppered with classics. I say that because I knew most of the songs. I'd always thought that bands tended to favour either the studio or performing live and in my head I'd completely boxed up the Monochrome Set in the studio. I dont know why, I'm just stupid that way. I once told Gillian from New Order that they preferred the studio and she said "no", but it didnt stop me following it up with 'why is that?', bad ears, cognitive failure or just plain ignorance. Gillian was good and just said "No, we like playing live." and my cognitive function returned.

Back to the performance and my cognitive function was clearly working as Bid introduced song after song in a leisurely accomplished well practised way and the Monochrome Set delivered another powerful salvo from their repertoire. Bid's voice is better than ever and their music is beautifully smooth, jagged and disjointed. It hits this particular nail right on the head. There is so much to like about the music and as I said, the performance is something I was ecstatic about. John Paul Moran, the keyboard player has a great feel for the drama the songs offer and if air traffic controllers had his sense of timing we'd see some fantastic air shows in the skies, but never a crash. Wait, wait, wait, smash! Like a sportsman awaiting the delivery he timed ever movement so well, watching him and drummer Mike Urban was a joy. Its all about energy, subtlety, craft, comedy, nuance and delivery. So many things and my mind was just exploding with the rhythms. Bass player Andy just dodged along as ever, bang on the beat and smiling at the end of each song thinking, yeah, smashed it out the park again!

"Alphaville" is a good song and I've always thought of it being quite composed, almost aloof in its jaggy way but on the record it sounds and feels like good jaggy guitar tearing at you but not like last night. Last night "live", and nearly 40 years on, it was clinically tight, everything absolutely on the beat, crisp and loud. The light and shade of the song meant that when it was loud it was very loud and when it went quiet, it went quiet. Spectacular arrangements that have clearly been worth the time spent on them. I've seen a lot of great bands over the years and got to go backstage and tell them how good they were, even wangling backstage in Paris when the Clash were playing the Mogador theatre in September 1981 and I know I have seen and heard great performances or even songs but the way the Monochrome Set played "Alphaville" blows everything out of the water. The whole gig was superb but words really do fail me in trying to articulate why the way the Monochrome Set played "Alphaville" last night set it so apart. Quite simply it's the best performance I have ever been lucky enough to have seen.

The best music for me has melodic intros and a bit of stop start, rise and fall, but always in a groove. Its understandable that after 40 years playing music, musicians tend to slide into a groove that feels good for them and its probably why fans like the old stuff best. It reminds the songwriter of their youth and performers play it with the skills they've acquired in a lifetime of playing. The audience love it because its a reminder of their youth and the playing is even better than the original, off the f'n'clown clock I think was my reaction. The encore was He's Frank and now you're just thinking I dont know if my body can take any more of this, I'm moving into heart attack territory. I've never thought you could have too much of a good thing but this was one time when I genuinely was grateful there wasn't anymore, I'm sure incontinence was on the way.

Afterwards I pestered Bid about how good they were. The closest I got to interview mode was asking rhetorically 'do you realise how good you were?' before proceeding to tell him how fucking good he and the band were. Jools Holland has to get them onto his show, then I can watch it over and over again. I am quite happily going to find ways of pestering him to get the band the audience the music world deserves. As exercise videos go an hour of dancing to The Monochrome Set burnt a few calories in my wee fat carcass. Pilates eat your heart out as Hey! Elastica famously said.

The Cathode Ray are fronted by the former frontman of the Strawberry Tarts and Jeremy may have lost the feather boas and make up but he still happily doffs his hat to the Velvets and he still writes some lovely songs. I would've preferred the vocal mic to be a bit higher, (there was also a track I really wanted to sing myself, need an extra vocal Jeremy?) and as usual I would've mixed the rest to my peculiar taste, but the band clearly like a groove and they were having fun up there. As with the Monochrome Set you can hear how comfortably their instruments feel after 40 years playing music. I'd like to hear them play some of Jeremy's earliest Tarts' songs as the light and shade in songs like 'Bone of Contention', would be brought to life by The Cathode Ray. Musically we all progress so do we really want to sing songs we wrote when we were 19, oh go on, give it a bash, live on the edge!


The Monochrome Set & The Cathode Ray - Voodoo Rooms 13/11/17

I've said it already this was a superb night. Why write more?

I just need to say it again to myself as this gig was electrifying. I found a pulse in my 53 year old body and it was pounding. At one point during "Alphaville" I seriously thought I was taking off. I'd been in Ian Curtis gyration mode for most of the night anyway but someone turned up the voltage and I was full on fitting.... in a good way.

The whole gig was peppered with classics. I say that because I knew most of the songs. I'd always thought that bands tended to favour either the studio or performing live and in my head I'd completely boxed up the Monochrome Set in the studio. I dont know why, I'm just stupid that way. I once told Gillian from New Order that they preferred the studio and she said "no", but it didnt stop me following it up with 'why is that?', bad ears, cognitive failure or just plain ignorance. Gillian was good and just said "No, we like playing live." and my cognitive function returned.

Back to the performance and my cognitive function was clearly working as Bid introduced song after song in a leisurely accomplished well practiced way and the Monochrome Set delivered another powerful salvo from their repertoire. Bid's voice is better than ever and their music is beautifully smooth, jagged and disjointed. It hits this particular nail right on the head. There is so much to like about the music and as I said, the performance is something I was ecstatic about. John Paul Moran the keyboard player has a great feel for the drama the songs offer and if air traffic controllers had his sense of timing we'd see some fantastic air shows in the skies, but never a crash. Wait, wait, wait, smash! Like a sportsman awaiting the delivery he timed ever movement so well, watching him and drummer Mike Urban was a joy. Its all about energy, subtlety, craft, comedy, nuance and delivery. So many things and my mind was just exploding with the rhythms. Bass player Andy just dodged along as ever, bang on the beat and smiling at the end of each song thinking, yeah, smashed it out the park again!

"Alphaville" is a good song and I've always thought of it being quite composed, almost aloof in its jaggy way but on the record it sounds and feels like good jaggy guitar tearing at you but not like last night. Last night live, and nearly 40 years on, it was clinically tight, everything absolutely on the beat, crisp and loud. The light and shade of the song meant that when it was loud it was very loud and when it went quiet, it went quiet. Spectacular arrangements that have clearly been worth the time. I've seen a lot of great bands over the years and got to go backstage and tell them how good they were, even wangling backstage in Paris when the Clash were playing the Mogador theatre in September 1981 and I know I have seen and heard great performances or even songs but the way they played Alphaville blows everything out of the water. The whole gig was superb but words really do fail me in trying to articulate why the way the Monochrome Set played Alphaville last night set it so apart. Quite simply it's the best performance I have ever been lucky enough to have seen.

The best music for me has melodic intros and a bit of stop start, rise and fall, but always in a groove. Its understandable that after 40 years playing music, musicians tend to slide into a groove that feels good for them and its probably why fans like the old stuff best. It reminds the songwriter of their youth and performers play it with the skills they've acquired in a lifetime of playing. The audience love it because its a reminder of their youth and the playing is even better than the original, off the f'n'clown clock I think was my reaction. The encore was He's Frank and now you're just thinking I dont know if my body can take any more of this, I'm moving into heart attack territory. Ive never thought you could have too much of a good thing but this was one time when I genuinely was grateful there wasn't anymore, I'm sure incontinence was on the way.

Afterwards I pestered Bid about how good they were, the closest I got to interview mode was asking rhetorically 'do you realise how good you were?' before proceeding to tell him how fucking good he and the band were. Jools Holland has to get them onto his show, then I can watch it over and over again. I am quite happily going to find ways of pestering him to get the band the audience the music world deserves. As exercise videos go an hour of dancing to The Monochrome Set burnt a few calories in my wee fat carcass.

The Cathode Ray are fronted by the former frontman of the Strawberry Tarts and Jeremy may have lost the feather boas and make up but he still happily doffs his hat to the Velvets and he still writes some lovely songs. I would've preferred the vocal mic to be a bit higher, (there was also a track I really wanted to sing myself, need an extra vocal Jeremy?) and as usual I would've mixed the rest to my peculiar taste, but the band clearly like a groove and they were having fun up there. As with the Monochrome Set you can hear how comfortably their instruments feel after 40 years playing music. I'd like to hear them play some of Jeremy's earliest Tarts' songs as the light and shade in songs like 'Bone of Contention', would be brought to life by The Cathode Ray. Musically we all progress so do we really want to sing songs we wrote when we were 19, oh go on, give it a bash, live on the edge!


Watch with mother from 1985 - dunno the venue

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Off the Monochrome Set ..CLOCK!

Its hard to review a band you like - its even harder to review a band who you find your body uncontrollably liking.

 It transpires that I am huge fan and I fucking gave it large!

So now I apologise to the band ...but you are superb and everyone should buy your records!

It's the monochrome set

And they didn't get lay it on us but it was a superb gig

I thought I knew a few songs but I knew the bus and loved it

I went off like a fucking rocket and even my table mate checked me to see I was alright ! Had it b en and he Beatles I was ducked

Luckily it were the London lad bid with his monochrome lads....


Sent from my iPhone

Alphaville - monochrome set

Off the f'n'clown clock - and I don't swear ha ha ha best singing in Edinburgh for the 30 years - best song for 37 years - I love candy skin by the fire engines but I like that singing so much more

Bid

Legend

Job done

Please let us know next gig


Sent from my iPhone

I love the monochrome set

A band you have not heard of - because I'm pussed

I can't even spell pUddgrd aka pished


The best band to come out of 1979 to 1983 said to cherry red we are gooD trust us

I absolutely off the clock think that Atapuerca man would doff his cap

Best band ever

Love the velvety nature of some bands but ... Malcolm Ross and Davie weddell were you here tonight listening to that electricity


Sent from my iPhone

It's still the same bands drown singing accidentall

It's still the same bands drown singing accidentally as sound checks ain't like the gig - but lead guitarists playing riffs make it all worthwhile.

You might ask are you typing like some sad bastard taking pictures instead of the view and you'd be right.

This sad bastard is sitting on the toilet as he is over 50 and has the bladder of an iguana and you've seen them, pissing every 21 minutes!

So I will be typing soon when my bladder next needs it, you won't wait long.... oh no the monochrome set have arrived!


Sent from my iPhone

Screaming Nobodies - deadbeat -#18

Raise a glass in memory and have a chuckle at the historical references when Gary and Davie from the screaming nobodies everyone's favourite band from trainspotting talk about Kevin turvey.

Absolutely superb.

If you are under 47 you may not know Kevin Turvey and
Rik Mayall played this guy the PI from comedy heaven

And these guys loved KT

Sent from my iPhone

Go to Lexington 125..... I'm Waiting for the cathode ray

December 1982 - Deadbeat issue #7

Reading this brought back so many memories. We knew that one was f the joys of deadbeat was to put the gigs on that everyone could go to free as well as the paying gigs. I was a huge fan of Brian at the Tayside bar and i loved the venue. He sold as many deadbeats as Groucho usually 50-100 and kept the 10p pieces in a glass jar. He took nothing for selling the copies such was his appreciation of our efforts. I rewarded him by buying pints with all the 10p's until they were done. Not so much money laundering just liquidising. Oh how we laughed. I describe the gig of pulse beat pluse- an error I remember making and then realising I had no snowpake. That's a brand of f white paint typists used back in the day. As usual I just thought - shit happens - and carried on. Berlin Walls come to mind too! Nick Cave was like us unaware the wall was tumbling- when it did I wasn't too surprised - they put it up far too quick for it to last more than 30 years! Like those flats in Gilmerton!

Deadbeat tape advert in #18

What issue 27 really looked like - no glue required or letraset...

Jeremy & Euan talk about tarting the world up in issue 17-1983



I like the line about the Screaming Nobodies....

Jeremy & Euan talk about tarting the world up in issue 17-1983

Jeremy Thomas and Euan Baird talking in Issue 17

Strawberry tarts in August 1983 and tonight...

The Monochrome Set & The Cathode Ray

Looking forward to the gig tonight in the Voodoo Rooms

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Guess the song - Roddy Frame walking it like he talked it in 1982 at the Dundee Dance Factory @ Teasers

A brilliant gig circa October 1982 and by the looks of the pinkie it's "We could send letters" but who knows - surely Roddy will let us know! The Daintees supported them that night and are appearing at king tuts in Glasgow November 23rd while my immediate sights are set on the monochrome set tomorrow at the voodoo rooms in Edinburgh

Big Flame - SINK - bIG fLAME - Laughing Gun records

I loved this single back in the day (issue 25), I felt like I'd gone all wine tasting on it when I heard hints of the Monochrome Set, and by the finish it was a disjointed version of 'Candyskin' by the fire engines. Listening again to it the other day my head was back in that space. I liked that disconnect, the erratic stuff with the dry vocal, it was very danceble in my head and my bed. Plug me into a socket on the wall and have a two minute thrash. 30 years on where are they now?

Young Roddy Frame @ 18 - Aztec camera - Dance Factory Dundee #4