Thursday, 19 April 2018

Interview - Lynne and Dave Girdwood



Way, way back in the early 90's I attended Carluke High School and by the time I reached the common rooms of 5th and 6th year I was heavily into music. Delving into my parents record collection, starting my own and becoming involved in a little mixtape culture with other teenagers who were developing obsessions.

There was a metal crowd that worshipped Metallica, Guns n Roses, Iron Maiden and things like that, the indie crowd where the Roses, Fanclub, Nirvana, Inspirals and Charlatans featured heavily (and the Frank and Walters!) and then there were a few cool kids who were embracing house music.

Lynne McGilvary was one of these cool kids and I distinctly remember her cutting about in flares and kickers! She always had a lovely smile and was one of the few people who could easily cut about between the various groups/cliques that the common room held.

I would see Lynne out and about in the years after high school in clubs and at gigs and then we connected through Facebook. Lynne was living in Amsterdam with her boyfriend and hey - she had a couple of spare tickets for one of the first Stone Roses comeback shows in 2012!!! A quick phone call to my wife and a check of Easyjet flights and I was off to catch up with Lynne in Amsterdam.

My wife Lynn and I met Lynne and her (then) boyfriend Dave and went back to their super cool flat to listen to tunes and catch up over rooftop beers ahead of the Roses. Dave was clearly mad for music and also had a healthy obsession with desert boots which I always take to be a good sign! In our short time together it was clear that the two of them were mad for each other and music.

Lynne and Dave are now happily married, back in Scotland and have taken their passion for music to new levels through building a collection (and knowledge) of rare records and super cool tunes, dj-ing across the country and making great friendships along the way.

I always enjoy their social media posts about tunes and records they have discovered, tracked down and played to great reactions and also their little jokes with each other.

In May they get to do something that makes me insanely jealous but also very pleased for them. They get to DJ at the Barrowland Ballroom as part of the annual Barraloadasoul night!

Lynn and I went in 2015 and 2016 and we're in the process of organising babysitters to ensure we can go again. It will be quite something to dance on the hallowed ballroom sprung floor to tunes being spun by two friends.

Ahead of this, I pinged some questions to Dave and Lynne. I hope you enjoy reading their answers as much as I did. See below.

Tickets for Barraloadasoul are available HERE and you can keep up to dates via their Facebook page.

Here is my blog from the 2015 event







INTERVIEW - Lynne and Dave Girdwood

1. Music clearly plays a large part in your lives, is this what brought you together?

Dave - Pretty much, we used to sit opposite each other at work and already had a few mutual friends, the main one being Gav Wallace from the Scuffers (Lynne grew up with him and I worked beside him for 10-years), so we used to chat music all the time. I remember Lynne giving me a loan of a CD that I already had but said I hadn't heard it before, as I fancied her! When Lynne was living in Amsterdam and I was still in the UK we used to send each other tunes all the time. So as you can see music is pretty much brought us together and really is our life nowadays.

Lynne - I remember getting lots of lync messages telling me how much Dave was enjoying the tunes I was listening to on my iPod as I had the volume up so loud! We weren't even sitting opposite each other at that point, I had moved to a different part of the office! Haha!

2. Who had the best record collection when you first met? Do you share collections now? Does it always have to be original vinyl?

Dave - We both had pretty decent collections when we first met and both were quite different, mine consisted of predominately hip-hop, funk and soul, while Lynne's was house music and indie orientated. We mostly buy our records independently but if an expensive one comes up that we can't afford on our own, we'll buy it together. For the music and venues we play it has to be original vinyl and we pretty much dedicate most of our waking hours to sourcing records from all over the world, some would call us nerds or purists but we just like to do things properly.

Lynne - Obviously my collection is the best! (only joking!)

3. How have you influenced each others taste? 

Dave - We still have our own individual taste in records. Lynne will tell me pretty bluntly if she thinks something I've bought is shite (and I''m not shy either). We're always trying to outdo each other with new records, we've spent many an hour playing new stuff to each other before buying or just buying and watching the other one's face when it's put on the decks for the first time. We're also pretty good at finding records for each other, so if I come across something that I know Lynne would like I'll pass it on to her (unless I like it more) and vice versa.

4. Can you remember the first northern soul night you went to together? Any memories?

Dave - First soul night would've been the old Amsterdam Soul Club at De Badcuyp, we also got engaged there and it was the place we visited the night after we got married (also the only soul club tattoo I have). Amsterdam is a pretty special place for us and we go back each year, we're fortunate enough to also DJ there as well.

Lynne - Yes Amsterdam Soul Club! I landed a job over in Holland and moved over to Amsterdam. Dave moved over to live with me not long after we got together. Amsterdam Soul Club was on a monthly basis and we went as often as possible. Brilliant venue, great crowd of punters and amazing hosts that we are lucky to call friends now.


5. Was Dave first to DJ? When did you start dj-ing together?

Dave - I used to DJ at the student union in Dundee when I was living there, then stopped for a god few years before being asked to double deck with someone in Aberdeen at a soul night and I've been playing regularly since then. Lynne also got her start in Aberdeen at a different night and has also been playing regularly since. We've actually only DJ's together a handful of times, it's fun as you can bounce off each other as we have different tastes and styles.

Lynne - I still have to pinch myself that I'm getting asked to play the records I love out at soul clubs. It's amazing! We're both very thankful to get the opportunity to do it and are loving every minute of it.

6. And you DJ regularly all over. What have been your highlights so far?

Both - Dave playing at the last ever Amsterdam Soul Club night, was a great honour to be asked, as the place and the people mean a lot to us. SSW and MSFB - the crowd are amazing and I love how Yogi trusts us to play what we want. If you haven't visited MFSB yet, sort it out! Afternoon clubbing is the future! Being asked to play the notorious Different Strokes New Year's Eve parties, Manchester Soul Weekender and Aberdeen Soul Collective. Being asked to be residents at True Soul alongside some amazing DJ's. Every time we get asked to play somewhere is a highlight and we really mean it as we love playing music to people.

7. Barraloadasoul is still a relatively new annual event. What has it meant for the scene in Scotland and beyond?

Dave - It's one of the biggest soul events in Scotland, it's great to see somewhere that you normally associate with concerts, full of people dancing and having a great time. A major for me is how close it is, normally the weekends mean a lot of travel but this is only 40-minutes away by train for a change.

Lynne  - It's a massive event which is a great thing for the scene up in Scotland as it attracts people who have been into the music for years, but also people new to the scene.

8. What does it mean to the two of you to be dj-ing again at the famous Barrowland Ballroom?

Dave - I think it's still pretty mental! I remember being on stage last year before anyone was in and thinking to myself that the Barras  was way bigger from up on the stage than it looks from the floor. Really appreciate Geraldine asking us back again as we thoroughly enjoyed playing there last time and really look forward to this year again.

Lynne - I have been to the Barras so many times over the years and seen my favourite bands on that stage, so it's unreal that we get to DJ on the same stage as them! Delighted that Geraldine asked us, means a lot.

9. Who are your favourite DJ's?

Dave - For me it has to be Butch, he's always pushing the rare soul scene forward with new discoveries. Henning Borg from Switzerland is another, he's passionate about what he plays and he shows that when playing. Any DJ that shows passion whilst playing their music is a winner. Lastly Mark Linton, who unfortunately is no longer with us, he always told me to play what I wanted and believed in me.

Lynne - It's hard to pick favourite DJ's as there are so many with amazing records who can put together unbelievable sets! Big love for Markie too and very sad that he's no longer the life and soul of the party.

10. Lastly, could you each list your 5 favourite northern soul tunes?

5 from Dave's collection, not necessarily Northern, but definitely soulful;

1. Emmitt Long - Call Me (Donoyia)
2. Paramount Four - You Don't Know (Southern City)
3. New World - We're Gonna Make It (Polydor)
4. Delreys Incorporated - Destination Unknown (Tampete)
5. Sir Guy - I Need You Baby (DPG)

5 from Lynne's collection, again, not all northern, but soulful nonetheless! Oh...and this list could have literally hundreds of tunes on it - picking 5 is very tricky.

1. Brothers of Soul - Dream (Shock)
2. Cookie Scott and the Chevelles - I Don't Care (Orr)
3. Rising Sun - Good Loving (Kingston)
4. Kelly Brothers - Crying Days Are Over (Sims)
5. Johnny McCall - I Need You (Alteen)



Monday, 16 April 2018

Arcade Fire at Glasgow Hydro



Emmmm WOW!

Arcade Fire slayed Glasgow tonight, making a compelling (water tight!) case for being the best band on planet earth. They were funny, brave, adventurous, euphoric, energetic, exciting and just utterly sensational.

The band were playing 'in the round'. Using a boxing ring as a stage - who needs a massive stage? They immediately made the cavernous Hydro fell more intimate and they had a few more tricks up their sleeves than that!

The lights dropped and Arcade Fire made their way through the crowd like boxers, entering triumphantly and setting off into Everything Now, the lead single from their latest album. They immediately hit their groove and led the song in the first of many, many sing-a-long moments.

The 9-piece (at times more) band were literally bouncing off each other in the ring/on the stage. Win Butler was on little mini stages/boxes like he was up on the ropes after winning a boxing game and he drenched himself in water for effect.

The power and impact of Arcade Fire was delivered with full force and relish by a band delighted to be back in Glasgow, a city that they acknowledged had given them so much support over the years.

Does any other band of this size have as much fun? Arcade Fire have been inviting special guests on stage throughout their tour and as they were in Glasgow it was one of the city's favourite sons, Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, who strolled into the boxing ring (by this point the ropes had been removed to make it even more intimate) and performed a glorious Don't You Forget About Me.

The crowd didn't need any encouragement, but this just moved things up yet another gear! How do you follow that? Well with Keep The Car Running, one of my personal favourites from the band. I just love the flow and the groove and the hooks and developments.

The whole 2-hour+ set was a delight, but Sprawl II into Reflektor was sensational. The light show (see above) was incredible and Arcade Fire turned the Hydro into a massive disco. The band were truly brilliant, surging and soaring. At one stage smoke billowed from the front of the ring and it appeared as if the band were actually on fire - they were!


Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) blazed a trail, a beautiful fragile We Don't Deserve Love showed a different side to the band and then Arcade Fire delivered a sucker punch (had to get a boxing pun in) with Wake Up complete with their support band on stage. Band and audience united in a way that the Hydro is unlikely to have witnessed before as arms were in the air and everyone was singing with all their hearts.

The band exited as they had left, through the crowd with the brass band playing Bowie's Rebel Rebel.

Come back to Glasgow soon!


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Blue Flowers


You can expect a few blogs through the year that feature or focus on L Space, a band I first introduced with an interview in November 2017.

They really did blow me away when I caught them at Nice n Sleazys in that same month. They look great; all different but really coming together as a band. They sound fantastic; capable of tender moments of wonder and soaring sonic journeys, both of which can transport their audience to a special place. And singer Lily has the look, style and personality that captivates. A real star in the making.

Lily Higham by Brendan Waters

When I first checked L-Space out, I was kind of spoilt for choice. They had a whole range of digital singles/demos I could check out online. I opted for the song-title that attracted me the most - Blue Flowers.

In my November blog I described it as Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star fronting Portishead. I was floored by its dreamy brilliance; Lily's voice whispering and soaring over a tight groove and Gordon Johnstone's guitars rising to blow minds. It reminded me of things, but it was also most definitely different from anything else I was hearing from young bands across Scotland. It is simply beautiful but with an edge, ready to explode.

L-Space filmed their live set at the recent Last Night From Glasgow second birthday bash and they have released the video of Blue Flowers. Look out for more videos over the coming weeks and months as they build to the release of their debut album on LNFG later in the year.

L-Space play the Shuffledown Festival in Larbert on 28th April. Look out for more live dates;

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Monday, 2 April 2018

Serious Drugs

Cover version of the month #35
Super 8 cover BMX Bandits


Serious Drugs is BMX Bandits most celebrated song. Written by Bandits leader Duglas T Stewart with his good friends Norman Blake and Joe McAlinden, this melodic, melancholic and reflective song is a truly beautiful, with great depth.

The opening lines speak volumes and the scene is set;

I said I don't think I can take it much longer
She said maybe your tablet should be stronger
Get some serious drugs

And then we have the glorious break/chorus;

The trouble with me
I can't give in, you see

Throw in trademark backing vocal harmonies and a sax solo and the song is deceptively simple and straightforward. Yet it does have that remarkable depth to it, covering depression and someone longing for love.



Joe McAlinden sings lead vocal on the original recording, with Norman taking over on the single version. It's a song I have heard so often down the years, yet mainly with Duglas himself singing through regular live performances in and around Glasgow. I've seen Duglas sing with a 7 or 8 piece band accompanying him, other times with only the likes of Stuart Kidd and Marcus Rea from The Wellgreen backing him. It felt quite weird going back to listen to the original versions. When I think of this song it is Duglas' voice I hear in my head.

And the song became the title for a brilliant documentary on the band by Bandits fan Jim Burns, who found Duglas' music at just the right time as he was going through a difficult time. For me, that took the song (and a lot of Duglas' catalogue) to another level.

Duglas T Stewart

Duglas T Stewart is such a rare and unique talent, someone with exceptional musical taste and knowledge. I regularly discover brilliant music, from the past and present, courtesy of Duglas' social media postings. Earlier this year I was led to check an album by a band called Super 8. I'll be blogging on the album in the near future.

Super 8 - aka Paul Ryan

Then some weeks afterwards when digging around to find our more information about the band I discovered they had covered Serious Drugs.

The Super 8 cover has a lovely warm and rich feel to it. Super 8 is just one guys - Paul Ryan. Paul plays everything, harmonies with himself and creates a truly beautiful version of Serious Drugs. One that Duglas himself says is better than the original.

So although I still hear Duglas when I think of this song, the Super 8 cover is like a warm blanket on a cold day. It is gorgeous. I hope you enjoy it.

Please read on for interviews with both Paul from Super 8 and Duglas from BMX Bandits.


Super 8 interview


You've covered Serious Drugs - what made you decide to cover the song? 
I wore it out on 7” vinyl when I was younger! I remember hearing it on the John Peel Show then rushing out to buy it the following day (from my local Woolworths if my memory serves me well!) It’s just one of those songs I instantly connected with. Anyway, as much as I loved it (and still do!), I hadn’t heard it for years when it popped up on an old mix tape. I just picked up my acoustic and began to strum along. It seemed to suit my voice so I actually got in touch with its main writer (Duglas from The BMX Bandits) via social media and asked him if it was okay for me to have a stab at covering it (and, if so, what were the PROPER chords!) I was very pleased when he replied …. and in the affirmative! And that was that, I recorded my version that same evening and sent it to him as a thank you.   

What feedback have you received? For ‘Serious Drugs’? 
Well, Duglas has gone ‘on record’ saying he likes it! As for my album … yeah, the folks I know who have heard it so far seem to dig it which is rewarding. I could just do with a few more folks hearing it!

Do you have a favourite cover version of all time? 
As a rule I tend to prefer the original version of a song but, off the top of my head, both the Harpers Bizarre & BMX Bandits takes on ‘Witchi Tae To’ are awesome (and preferable to the original IMHO!)


If Duglas was to cover one of your songs, what song would you like him to cover? 
Erm, WOW! Anything at all! Duglas from The Bandits covering one of my tunes would be an honour so yeah, anything you like Duglas – dive in! (In fact, thinking about it, there’s a new song that’s earmarked for the next album which I think would be perfect for Duglas.)

Duglas T Stewart interview

BMX Bandits have covered many songs over the years. Could you select your 3 favourites? (I know Love and Mercy means so much to you)



I always love singing the Brian Wilson song Love and Mercy, we've never recorded it but I've done it live quite a few times. I've had the honour to sing it t celebrations of people who have died and at happy occasions. Like so much of Brian's music it's healing music. It's  the musical equivalent of getting a hug from someone who loves you and is looking out for you.
My 3 favourite covers that we have recorded are (in no real order):

You Don't Wanna Be My Girlfriend Phoebe. It's a song by a duo from Hong Kong called My Little Airport. To my ears the beautiful melody is like a mix of later Velvet Underground and Gainsbourg. The lyric is very 21st Century, about online love and people manipulating others for the sake of their own gratification. Our arrangement is version is very different to the original. I wanted to make our version darker but still very tender from the point of view from the narrator. The key sounds for me are little casio keyboard flute sound, omnichord and a baritone electric guitar. I generally like to sing quietly and close to the microphone, that's what they were invented for and that way you can get a more intimate and subtly nuanced vocal performance that I think brings the listener in to the recording. Jim McEwan and Stuart Kidd are the other people on this track.




Just a Memory. This is a cover of a song called Mais Do Que Valsa by Marcos Valle, who is an artist really worth exploring. I was in really bad way regarding my mental health and emotional well being and Stuart Kidd offered to help me record some stuff as he had the time, the equipment and the skills that you need to do that. I think he was trying to offer a positive distraction. My good friend Cineplexx had introduced me to the album featuring Valle's original version. I couldn't understand the lyrics of this song but it made an immediate emotional connection with me. It was very beautiful but also seemed to capture the state of my mind, the mournful tone, those sad chords and the way it goes round and round. One night I played it in a loop for many hours and just started to sing a long my own words while he was singing in Portuguese. I took it to Stuart and we had it recorded in 4 hours. Music is an international language, the specifics of situations in lyrics aren't always so important. I think it more important to capture the deeper things that the music says in a translation than a literal and accurate translation, sometimes they can sound clunky and awkward. One little note of interest is we accidentally recorded a door slamming from a neighbouring flat but the timing was so perfect and we loved the sound of it so we copied it and put it in again later in the song. A happy accident.



Hopelessly Devoted To You. I think almost everybody knows the O.N.J. version from Grease and I wanted to use that sense of familiarity that listeners would have and twist it. When I recorded the song I was feeling like my heart was breaking like a teenage girl, like Sandy in Grease, but I was the hulking, clumsy middle aged man I think singing this song puts me in vulnerable position but I wanted to express that sense of vulnerability and longing with this song. To have a slight sense of discomfort that I thought would help the aforementioned vulnerability I decided I wanted to perform it with what I hoped might create the feeling of me performing it with a house band rather than musicians who I was really familiar working with and were familiar with working with me. I had gotten to know the guys in The Attic Lights and I thought they would do a great job with the track. So Stuart Kidd and I went into Riverside, rehearsed it a bit with them, but not too much, and then we recorded it. 



Have you had any direct feedback from artists you have covered? (if so, what did that mean to you)
When we recorded Jonathan Richman's That Summer Feeling Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley said they were going to play it to Jonathan when he guested on their radio show. We were nervous because Jonathan could be dismissive of versions of his songs by other artists and it meant a lot to me as he was the guy who made me know that I wanted to make music. When he heard it on the show he was very enthusiastic he said he loved it and he thought it was one of the best versions of one of his songs, including his own versions. That made us happy.

One of the songwriting team behind the song That Lonely Feeling, a great pop writer John Carter, gave our version of the song his blessing. He said he liked it and gave me permission to write an extra verse that made the song have a deeper connection to me and what I was feeling when we recorded it. I was very pleased that he let me do that. It was very generous of him.




How did you hear about the Super 8 cover of Serious Drugs?
Paul Ryan of Super 8 contacted me through Facebook and sent me the track. I didn't know his music or him at all before that. When I played it I instantly thought it was better than our original recording or other versions we've done of it. I loved his arrangement ideas, starting with a taste of the end hook is a great idea. I also thought it sounded perfect for how he sings it. I love the handclaps. It sounds very natural and uncontrived. There's also something very exuberant about how he's done it that mixes nicely with the song's poignancy and makes it very human. Norman Blake who I co-wrote it with also loved it when I played it to him. I went on to discover Paul / Super 8 has a lot of great songs of his own. I've become a real fan of his work.

Is there any song in your extensive back catalogue you would love to hear covered or reworked?
I still think someone could have a proper hit with I Wanna Fall in Love. When we did that track we thought it could have and should have been a mega-hit. I have to give Francis Macdonald most of the credit for that song. He wrote the biggest part of that one.



Sunday, 1 April 2018

Last Night From Glasgow - 2nd birthday

In only 2-years Last Night From Glasgow has released albums, singles and EP's by Mark W Georgsson, Emme Woods, Stephen Solo, TeenCanteen, Be Charlotte, BooHooHoo, a live Christmas album,  Medicine Men, Radiophonic Tuckshop, Sister John, Sun Rose, Annie Booth, The Gracious Losers, L-Space and Zoe Bestel .... I hope I haven't forgotten anyone!

What would have happened if LNFG hadn't arrived? How many of these releases would have been pressed on to vinyl, or even released at all? Last night in Glasgow (pun alert) wouldn't have happened - and it was amazing!

So much about the label makes sense. So let's just revisit that before I go on to review the second birthday bash.
  • LNFG is a crowdfunded label.
  • 200 members pay an annual membership fee of £50 (with optional donation that many choose to make)
  • For that £50 they receive all planned physical and digital releases plus access to launch shows! 
  • Members are the core of the label. They raise the capital to allow LNFG to run and to release records.
  • Physical/digital releases are also available to buy/stream for non-members and (get this) almost 100% of sales go to the artists!!! LNFG is a not-for-profit record label with everything directed towards supporting and rewarding artists. In addition to support through sales, LNFG pay our artists well for shows.
There are still a few membership places for our 2018/19 year. Why not take a chance? We will be releasing albums by Zoe Bestel, Radiophonic Tuckshop, Gracious Losers, BiS and one more TBC, plus you'll get access to all these launch shows.

Talk about great value for money.

Anyway, on to last night.....


Stereo was the setting for the 2nd birthday party. It's a glorious hub of leftfield musical, artistic and vegan activity down a cobbled lane just round from Central Station with a fine selection of drinks. Well worth checking if you have never been,

Birthday parties should be celebrations and this was no different. I guess there was an added sense of occasion for those that had been involved from the off - the founding members - and also for those that became label members from the off - investing into nothing more than an idea. We swapped stories and favourite memories from the last two-years. And for relatively new label members, they got to experience something special, something magical - a sense of community.

I guess that is probably the most amazing thing of all, the community that Last Night From Glasgow has created, friendships, trust, a platform of creativity.... last night was special.

Stephen Solo opened proceedings, bursting into a sun drenched blitz of psychedelic pop with LocoCoco. Solo has an incredible talent for melody and for taking the listener on a journey, his songs are packed with glorious breaks, middle-eights, hooks and choruses.

Behind Your Eyes from his debut album contains the most beautiful Albarn-esque chorus, Think Strange from his latest album is brilliant inventive pop music and you have to remember that this guy recorded both his albums on his iPhone. For me, Stephen Solo is a genius.

Sample tweet

Just saw Stephen Solo at the show; it was weird and beautiful and fucking marvellous 💯

Photo courtesy of Brendan Waters


Sun Rose were on next. This was only their second ever gig. The band (Albert, Gus and Callum) created their glorious The Essential Luxury album in the studio and online, never really intending to play it live. When they did create a live band, it was a 6-piece, with 4 of the members living Manchester. It was special (blog here). So how would they fair as a 2-piece? They smashed it - Gus and Albert mixed things up live on stage with synths, samples and Albert on guitar. Their voices combined beautifully and as the smoke billowed behind them, they created a real clubby feel with Dry In The Water soaring and flowing superbly. Stereo was rammed and before a glorious climax with Counting Upwards Albert had to ask the crowd to take a couple of steps forwards.

Sample tweet

🎶🎶 Can't stop thinking about how good Sun Rose were last night. 'The Essential Luxury' might be my favourite album from last year. Closer #5 - Counting Upwards (Sun Rose) THAT SYNTH CRESCENDO!

Photo courtesy of Brendan Waters


L-Space followed, playing a trippy dreamy set to the biggest crowd of their (so far) short career. They look and sound superb, playfully weaving melodies from synths, keys and guitar together, all underpinned by a groovy bass. Blue Flowers is already a contender for one of my songs of 2018. I previously described it as Mazzy Star meets Portishead and i stand by it. I can't wait to own it on vinyl. Lead singer Lily looks super cool and her imaginative lyrics are set to widescreen sounds with Gordon Johnstone on guitar looking like he was having the time of his life.

Sample tweet

@stephenwattspit
were glorious at last night. A band still sheathed in shyness in the purest and most positive way.

Photo courtesy of Brendan Waters


On to headliners BiS. The band shot to fame in 1996, being the first unsigned band to appear on Top of the Pops with their glorious and furious Kandy Pop. The band have aged well in terms of appearance (not that they are old!) and on the strength of last nights performance and the poptastic new song that they dropped, they haven't lost any of their energy or sense of fun. They tore through a hit packed set (this song got to number 37) with urgency and the enjoyment on stage was matched by the packed crowd. Eurodisco was a real highlight for me and I know how much it means to label leader Ian Smith to have this band on the label.

Sample tweet

, Bis were the absolute bisters


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Never Ending Mixtape Part 22

Welcome to a bonus edition of the Never Ending Mixtape.

I have listened to sooooo much music through March that I'm posting 2 updates to the mixtape this month.

The latest additions might be the most eclectic selection of tunes in a blog yet; we have the unique and brilliant Stereolab, the gorgeous tones of Cat Power, truly amazing songwriting and delivery courtesy of Wilco and Jeff Tweedy, artists I have never heard of before like Fruit Bats (not the guy from Carter USM.... at least I don't think so!), Phil Cordell and Darondo, some of my really favourite tunes like Saint Etienne's version of Neil Young's Only Love Can Break Your Heart, He'd Be A Diamond by The Bevis Frond and I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel.

And more! Electro perfection from the Chemicals, Orbital and Lemon Jelly, classics from Fleetwood Mac and George Harrison, the exceptional version of The Last Time by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra that Richard Ashcroft used for Bittersweet Symphony, we have underground indie/dance from The Pastels and ESG sitting beside pure pop perfection from Madonna, we have a song from Belle and Sebastian with my sister Carla on lead vocals!!!!! And some hidden bonus tracks from Evan Dando, rock n roll from JAMC, the bonkers and brilliant Beta Band....

And just read on..... Search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or click HERE.


Miss Modular - Stereolab
Way We Won't - Grandaddy
Dark End Of The Street - Cat Power
Gold Soundz - Pavement
All Your Secrets - Yo La Tengo
Jesus, etc - Wilco
I'm Always In Love - Jeff Tweedy
Crazy About You - Whiskeytown
When U Love Somebody - Fruit Bats
Pot Kettle Black - Wilco
There She Goes Again - The Velvet Underground
What Goes On - The Velvet Underground
That's That - Cass McCombs
Head On - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Only Love Can Break Your Heart - Saint Etienne
He'd Be A Diamond - The Bevis Frond
Squares - The Beta Band
Inner Meet Me - The Beta Band
Hudson Line - Mercury Rev
Reservations - Wilco
I Am A Rock - Simon and Garfunkel
What Is Life - George Harrison
Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac
Nathan Jones - The Supremes
Surface To Air - Chemical Brothers
The Staunton Lick - Lemon Jelly
Copenhagen - Orbital
The Last Time - Andrew Oldham Orchestra
Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
Dance - ESG
Material Girl - Madonna
Best Friend - Belle and Sebastian
Tongue Tied - Evan Dando
Whoops - Evan Dando
Rudy With A Flashlight - Evan Dando
Looking For Space - Evan Dando
Hitchin' A Ride - The Pastels
Femme Fatale - The Velvet Underground
Something On Your Mind - Karen Dalton
Red Lady - Phil Cordell
Didn't I - Darondo
Yesterday's On My Mind - Chrish Cohen
Baby I'll Come - Mary Love
Can't Get Away - Rodriguez

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Best Friend


Last month Belle and Sebastian released the final EP in their trilogy entitled How to Solve our Human Problems. I had been eagerly awaiting its release, not only because Belle and Sebastian are one of my favourite bands, but because I had known for some time that it would contain a song my sister (Carla J Easton) had co-written with Stuart Murdoch! The song, titled Best Friend, also has Carla on lead vocals!



I was super excited when Carla told me stories about going to Stuart's flat to write and bounce ideas off each other and loved when Carla went into the studio and told of how the band were so impressed when she nailed the vocals.

And then there was the wait......... Carla sent me an unmastered version of the song, but I was sworn to secrecy......and I pretty much kept schtum. Why has it taken me so long to write about it?! Well I have just been super busy, but I didn't want to let this pass without a short blog.                                                                                                                                                  I was immensely proud when the song came out to the world at large. It is a beautiful flowing song with a gorgeous melody, containing observational, poignant and humorous lyrics. There are strings, handclaps and Stuart Murdoch on backing vocals. And like all the best Belle and Sebastian songs (and there are many!), it all sounds rather effortless - the groove and the flow... it seems and feels so natural.

I'm not saying that we will be best friends
But I'll take you dancing at the weekend

I've yet to get my hands on the trio of 12-inches, I really must get into Monorail! So expect a blog on all the EP's after I get my hands on the vinyl - although all are available on Spotify.

Belle and Sebastian have been (and are currently) touring extensively and have Scottish dates coming up at the Perth Concert Hall on 23rd March, I'm venturing through to see them at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 24th March and then they play the SWG3 Galvanizers Yard on 25th May.

Meanwhile Carla released her 'debut' (at least under own name) solo single, the brilliant Lights In The Dark, in January and has Lights In The Dark a cracking follow up coming soon. She plays Nice n Sleazy on 4th April and Sneaky Petes on 11th April with excellent support from West Princes.







Thursday, 8 March 2018

I Don't Wanna Grow Up


Cover version of the month #34
Scarlett Johansson covers The Ramones/Tom Waits


UPDATE - I usually research the history of a song before writing a blog about a cover version. However I was so confident that this song was a cover of The Ramones that I didn't bother! So thanks to Jamie Keenan from the La Fontaines for pointing out that it is in fact a Tom Waits song, released on his 1992 album Bone Machine.

Check the original version here, before my unresearched blog below. Lesson learned!



I'm not overly familiar with the back catalogue of The Ramones (who may feature in this regular feature again soon with their cover of The Ronettes) at all. Other than owning some of their 'hit' singles on various compilation albums, they are not a band who have inspired me to dig deep into their history.....or buy a t-shirt!

This is yet another song that I discovered through a cover version. I was browsing Scarlett Johansson ....(ahem!) on Spotify and loved the song title so clicked on play.

The almost homemade electro vibe captivated me immediately, and then Scarlett's treated vocals made me fall (further) under her spell.


The lyrics are brilliantly young, naive and innocent, yet at the same time some of them speak out and capture things that everyone thinks about at times.

Nothing ever seems to turn out right
I don't want to grow up

Seems that folk turn into things
That they never want
The only thing to live for is today

The song lists observations about the world and society, cutting through everything from watching the 5 o'clock news, to getting a loan, to hair falling out.

The Ramones version is predictably punk pop and it's great fun. But Scarlett's version would always get my vote as I think it capture that young frustration and is more believable than The Ramones.

She finds extra beauty in the song, in the lyrics and in the melody. And the sparse electro backing modernises the song brilliantly.



Previous covers of the month

Monday, 5 March 2018

Normandy (On A Beach) by The Waterfront


The Waterfront, the band John Squire and Gary 'Mani' Mountfield were in before the Stone Roses, are receiving a vinyl release for Record Store Day.

The band never played any shows, but did come together in 1983 to cut two indie guitar gems that are closer in sound to post Sally Cinnamon Roses, rather than the early tracks accumulated on the early Roses Garage Flower compilation album (not released until 1996) including debut single So Young b/w Tell Me.

Normandy (On A Beach) b/w Where The Wind Blows will receive a limited edition 12-inch Record Store Day release with all proceeds going to The Christie in Manchester, the largest cancer centre in Europe.

The demos, long talked about among Roses fans, have been remastered and I for one will be trying to track down the 12-inch on 21st April.

The Waterfront consisted of John Squire (guitar), Mani (bass), Chris Goodwin (drums and later of Doves), Andy Couzens (guitar and laterly of early Stone Roses and The High) and David 'Kaiser' Karty on vocals.

Ian Brown was asked to join the band as a second vocalist; "John and I had an idea of having Ian and Kaiser at the front trying to do a counterpoint with one another. That's what we were trying to push, this question-and-answer thing with these two lads at the front singing sweet pop music." Andy Couzens told the bands biographer, Simon Pence.

Normandy (On A Beach) is definitely sweet guitar pop music with echoes of Orange Juice. Mani's bass grooves from the off and there are chiming guitars over a shuffling beat with vocals that could easily be mistaken for Ian Brown - that Manchester choir boy from a council estate kind that captivated so many hearts.

Where The Wind Blows is a little rougher round the edges, moving to the more brazen punkier side of The Roses that features on Garage Flower, the album they recorded with legendary Martin Hannett on production duties. The lovely guitar riff and bass breakdown after the early bizarre (whistling solo) are pure Roses.

The group seemed to just naturally fold almost as quickly as it came together. Mani tried to form a group with Brown and Clint Boon from the Inspiral Carpets but it never materialised.

Quite how Mani fell out of the picture as Squire and Brown formed the Roses without him isn't clear from any articles or books I have read on The Roses, but they got there in the end.

For me it sounds like the Roses almost took a step back from The Waterfront tracks to move forwards. There is no doubting the power and urgency of So Young and Tell Me, but much of the other Garage Flower era tracks leave no impression on me at all. The early version of This Is The One is raw yet still shines, Adored just doesn't contain the subtlety of the final version. There is no doubt that when the Roses classic line-up finally formed and they were matched with producer John Leckie, that is when things finally clicked into place. It was only in 1987, after the Garage Flower recordings and  fresh batch of Brown/Squire originals had been written that Mani joined the band and in Brown's own words "When Mani joined it almost changed overnight. It became a totally different groove...straightaway, everything just fell into place."

This Record Store Day release is sure to be much sought after by fellow fans of the Stone Roses.






Thursday, 1 March 2018

Never Ending Mixtape Part 21


So my Never Ending Mixtape (Spotify playlist) reaches 500 songs! And it does so by bringing together 27-songs that largely have a very indie guitar vibe to them.

I add songs to my Never Ending Mixtape on a regular basis and do a catch up blog monthly. And I have to confess that I listen to it a lot myself! Even more so now there is so much on it. Shuffle is my preferred option, but if you want to listen to the latest additions back-to-back then you will need to scroll down t near the bottom of the playlist.

In February I discovered Ezra Furman and wondered why I hadn't before now. He comes across as an artist just pouring with imagination, stories, ideas and energy. Like a pilled up Dylan jamming with Springsteen and Arcade Fire. His latest album Transangelic Exodus should feature in many end of 2018 polls/blogs and he plays the ABC Glasgow on Monday 28th May.

Elsewhere Australia is represented by Smudge, Grant McLennan ad The Go-Betweens. We have the purity of Daniel Johnston, the playfulness of the Moldy Peaches, heartfelt indie gems by Sebadoh and a whole lot more; including Spotify discoveries of Sloan, Miracle Legions, Insecure Men and the crazily names Cleaners from Venus!

Dig in and enjoy. All feedback welcome.

Search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE.

Here are the latest additions.

Suck The Blood From My Wound - Ezra Furman
Take Off Your Sunglasses - Ezra Furman
Are You Gonna Break My Heart - Ezra Furman
Impractical Joke - Smudge
Easy Come, Easy Go - Grant McLennan
Black Autumn - East Village
True Love Will Find You In The End - Daniel Johnston
Anyone Else But You - Moldy Peaches
I Will - Sebadoh
Think (Let Tomorrow Bee) - Sebadoh
Brand New Love - Sebadoh
Rebound - Sebadoh
It's So Hard To Fall In Love - Sebadoh
Everything You've Done Wrong - Sloan
Bout des doigts - Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Ballad of Red Buckets - Yo La Tengo
Psychocandy - Jesus and Mary Chain
Can't Hardly Wait - The Replacements
All For The Best - Miracle Legions
Let's Go - The Feelies
Keep It Surreal - Ride
I Don't Wanna Dance (With My Baby) - Insecure Men
Depreston - Courtney Barnett
Bye Bye Pride - The Go-Betweens
My Favourite Dress - The Wedding Present
Holdin' On - The Clean
Corridor of Dreams - The Cleaners From Venus