Monday, January 29, 2007


"If you'd like to know what popstars have for tea, ask Johnny Dee". Johnny Dee was a fanzine writer in the 80's, but he didn't really know much about popstars he says in the liner notes for last year's Chesterf!elds retrospective. But The Chesterf!elds encapsulate what I think this programme is about. The theme is sort of a non-theme: the only thing that ties these songs together is that they're all POP! and that they can't be fit into some microscopic subgenre. The links I mention on the show can be found here in the playlist.

The Chesterf!elds - Thumb
The Westfield Mining Disaster - Judy Greer
Pas/cal - I Wanna Take You Out In Your Holiday Sweater
Skypark - She Is Me
The Hi-Life Companion - Brockweir Winter Reverie
Butcher Boy - Girls Make Me Sick
Roscoe Shelton - You're the Dream
The Three O'Clock - With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend
The Close Lobsters - I Kiss the Flower In Bloom
Yeah Jazz - Any Day
Groovy Little Numbers - Hey Hey
Majestic 12 - Nothing On TV
Glo-Worm - Wishing Well
G.O.O.F. & Nils Folke Valdemar - Skimming Stones
Free Loan Investments - Speeding Ticket
The Railway Children - Over and Over
Slipslide - Will You Lead Me?

What Popstars Have For Tea

Saturday, January 27, 2007


The Fairways were undoubtedly one of the best bands in the world. But if you haven't heard Brent Kenji's previous band Skypark you've missed something that is even more magical. They were only together for a short time, and the posthumous ep Summer Days Are Forver was released by Shelflife in 1998. It's still the best record they've put out (but maybe the Days album will top that?). It's been sold out for ages and is hard to find, so I thought I should share the opening-track with out. It's called "Bicycle Boy" and if you listen to the radio programme next week you'll get to hear "She Is Me" too!

Skypark - Bicycle Boy

Spirit of Sixty-Eight

I recently realised that what makes a club good is if you feel welcome and at home even if you go there by yourself. This can be either if you're likely to know other people who are there or if people are welcoming despite not knowing you. Yesterday I went to Friday Street instead of NPL. It's too bad I didn't know about this monthly mod and northern soul night before. Well, it's always the same date as NPL anyway so I might not have made it either way. The similarity between the indiepop and northern soul scene, is that as long as you wear the right clothes and dance the right way you will always be excepted. The difference is that the soul scene seems to be slightly smaller here... and older.

Friday Street is back at Blackfriars after moving around for four years. The basement is quite nice and just big enough, with a sizeable wooden dancefloor. Andrew Symington was the night's guest dj (which meant Chris Geddes was there too), but I was much more impressed by the residents. They played a great mix of northern soul, boogaloo and garage-psych. After a while people started coming up to me, wondering why they'd never seen me before. Well, they'll see me again for sure. There's apparently another club called Central City Soul that's going to be at the Woodside on February 16. I haven't heard of that one before either!

Friday, January 26, 2007


One of the main reasons I bought Accident's reissue of the Hoopla tape was to get my hands on that Reserve track. It's a fantastic, languid number and the best song on the LP together with The Siddeleys and North of Cornwallis tracks. Al who had the Sombrero label (Reserve, Siddeleys, Bob) has started a blog (see Dustysevens in the link box) which you should keep an eye on if you like these bands. Here's "Last Train" from the 1989 La-Di-Da compilation.


Take the Shortest Way With the Men of Violence

I went to see The Great Melée on Tuesday, at the Glasgow Film Theatre. It was the last film in their Wild Japan: Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film series, and unfortunately the only one I managed to catch. It was made by Eiichi Kudo in 1964 and is a story about a samurai rebellion during which the heir to the Shogun title is murdered. I also managed to see Palindromes, finally, you know Todd Solondz's latest film. But I haven't decided if I liked yet.

On Thursday I went to the year's first Sounds of Sweden night, this time at Nice n Sleazy. Supporting were Glaswegian Skeleton Bob who compensated for their non-Swedish origin by playing a cover of Abba's "Mama Mia", which actually wasn't too bad. The rest of their songs were in the Pavement/early Yo La Tengo/Uncle Tupelo style. The main act was Vapnet (The Weapon in Swedish - their first song translates as "Give 'Em Violence"), who I've seen at least three times before. It was a good show but not even close to when I've seen them ealier. They're not supposed to play venues this small, where the sound works against them.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Rodney Allen was signed to Subway after Martin Whitehead had seen him play just one gig. He was very young, don't know exactly but sixteen maybe. At least he's got one song about being sixteen. He recorded one album and one 12" for Subway, and although "Circle Line" from the 12" might be my favourite I'm going to give you a song from the album Happysad. Because I managed to find it on eBay a few months ago. Two copies turned up around the same time and one of the sellers said it was the first copy he'd seen for years and years. I certainly haven't seen it anywhere before. But it's much too good to be kept in dusty record collections. Rodney Allen is a great songwriter and the description 'a Rickenbacker-equipped Billy Bragg' is not too far from the truth. This is one of the best songs on the record and it's from 1987. I wonder what became of him when he grew up?

Rodney Allen - Come Around Suzy

Monday, January 22, 2007


So, today's show is about Sarah Records - the famed Bristolian label that brought us 'twee'. Well, this program is in part meant to prove that wrong. Too often it's reduced to Field Mice/Heavenly and there not really much information about many of the bands. Not to mention how hard some singles are to find. When you search the internet about Sarah, you are most probable to find their catalogue again and again... and again! So all the rambling about catalogue numbers and years-of-release in today's show is meant to be ironic. Obviously I got it wrong and called The Poppyheads record 'Sarah 54' after introducing it as the label's sixth release! Naturally, Chris from the next show had to play some Swedish death metal right after The Orchids, just to safeguard the station's reputation. You'll have to turn it off just in time, in case you're afraid of Entombed. The name this time, The Cleverest Word I Know, is a bit far fetched but it comes from a song by Man From Delmonte called "M.I.C.H.A.E.L.". It has nothing to do with label whatsoever but it's about girl called Sarah, and while his name doesn't mean a thing to her anymore Sarah means much more to him than the cleverest word he knows. And towards the end the singer goes "you're the cleverest word I know". Anyway... here's the playlist (complete with catalogue numbers):

The Sea Urchins - Solace (Sarah 8)
The Springfields - Wonder
(Sarah 40)
The Forever People - Sometimes (Sarah 54)
The Poppyheads - Cremation Town (Sarah 6)
Even As We Speak - Blue Suburban Skies (Sarah 37)
14 Iced Bears - Unhappy Days (Sarah 5)
St. Christopher - You Deserve More Than a Maybe (Sarah 15)
Blueboy - Stephanie (Sarah 80)
Aberdeen - Byron (Sarah 93)
The Sweetest Ache - If I Could Shine (Sarah 36)
Christine's Cat - Your Love Is (Sarah 13)
The Golden Dawn - My Secret World (Sarah 9)
Boyracer - Beautiful Lines (Sarah 76)
The Field Mice - By Degrees (Peel Session)
The Wake - Carbrain (Sarah 21)
The Rosaries - Ivory Tower (Sarah 62)
The Orchids - From This Day (BA 5)

The Cleverest Word I Know

The Non-Essential Wolfhounds Interview

So, here it is at last - the interview I did with Dave and Dave from The Wolfhounds at the ICA in London on October 28th long after everybody had left (including the van that was going to drive them home). I've decided not to play it on the radio, because the sound isn't very good, but you can download it from the link below. There's lots of noises in the background from people packing everything away. It's quite c86 in spirit in any case. It's about 15 minutes long.

Wolfhounds Interview Oct 28

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm Happy Because I'm Stupid

I went to see The Boy Least Likely To at the Oran Mor yesterday, American The Little Ones were supporting. To my surprise there was a second support act, I found out when I got there. Not to my surprise though, it was Swedish Loney, Dear. I don't like them very much but it was an ok show. The Little Ones seemed to have A LOT of fun playing, but the only thing I could think about during their set was that their singer was definitely guilty of the crime 'miss-use of Rickenbacker'. He had a Voxx amp too, but he just didn't have the tone knob turned up far enough. (He didn't use two amps either, needless to say.) He didn't play it very much and you could barely hear it anyway. He should have passed it on to their second guitarist! There were lots of kiddies at Oran Mor last night. The Boy Least Likely To singer seemed to be popular with the girls! The band had lots of cascading lights, balloons, party poppers and a bubble machine with them. All to make for the best party ever. I wish I could have gone to gigs like this when I was fourteen! Maybe it wasn't the best GIG ever, but it got really good towards the encore. I got to dance to "Be Gentle With Me" which they played as the last of their four-song encore. That's all I wanted, really! If you don't like "Faith" by George Michael, you can download the Boy Least Likely To version.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I got Opal's Early Recordings released by Rough Trade in 1987 from The Brogues the other day. Opal was a band that included members of Paisley Underground bands The Rain Parade, The Dream Syndicate and (early) Green On Red. There's even a MySpace page dedicated to them here. It's a fantastic record and sounds much like David Roback's next project Mazzy Star, in which Hope Sandoval replaced Kendra Smith. Here's a psychedelic little track called "Lullaby" for you.


Just Another Snowy Day

We went to see Vashti Bunyan the other day at ABC, and it felt good to finally see her because I've missed several opportunities to do so before. Well, it wasn't just Vashti. It was called The 0 Degrees of Separation Tour and it was a collaboration between her, Adem, Juana Molina, Vetiver and quite a few other musicians. All in all there where eleven people on stage sometimes. They played a few songs each and Vashti's were the ones that left the biggest impression on me. And it was fantastic to hear a few of the old songs, like "Diamond Day" and "I'd Like to Walk Around In Your Mind". Juana played a few songs all on her own, looping lots of guitar, vocals and keybords and maybe she came across as the most talented of the bunch. Indeed it sounded much better than I remember her records doing, which I like as well. I'm looking forward to seeing The Decemberists and The Earlies there further on. As we went home, what I think is this winter's first snow started to fall. And it snowed some more yesterday, but it had all melted away by dusk. Is that the best they can do?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Apple Orchard have released a few cassettes and a seven-inch so far. This year they will finish their first album, and it's one of the records I'm most looking forward to at the moment. They're putting it out on their own new label Haymarket and it is to be called Half-Steps Toward Bright Skies. They've had lots of unreleased material so far, so I wonder if some of that will be included or if it's all new stuff. This is an old demo and it's also their most Field Mice-sounding song. Maybe that's why I like it! Or maybe it's becase I've spent the last two nights at B&Bs... Which do you like best - the bed or the breakfast?

Apple Orchard - Bed & Breakfast

Trout Fishing In Tobermory

We didn't do any fishing, sorry. But most people who live there probably do - when it's not pouring that is. The Isle Mull, that's where we went last weekend I should say. I don't think many other people did. One, because it's winter and all the tourist stuff is closed. Two, because it's a weekend and everthing else is closed too (there weren't even any buses operating on Mull on a Sunday!). And three, because there'd been storm strength wind and rain for several days and most of the ferries were cancelled. But we stayed in Oban for a night, and luckily the wind decreased a bit the next day so we could go over to Craignure. Then we had to stay THERE for the night because if we'd gone to Tobermory there would have been no way for us to get home on Sunday. We did go there for a few hours though and had a look around. It's was fun, despite the rain. The distilleries in Tobermory and Oban were closed but luckily they sold their stuff in the local shops. Craignure was SMALL, I didn't even see any shops there. There was an inn though, and the owner had a very friendly dog and cuddly cat. I may not have catched any trout, but I did EAT some delicious hot-smoked trout at the inn.

On Saturday we took the Forest Walk from Craignure to Torosay Castle, which was - of course - closed. But you could walk around the gardens and with a bit of luck we managed to get into the self-service Tearoom. And then we took the VERY long walk to Duart Castle and back again. It took the whole day and my legs are still a bit sore. It's was a good weekend anyway. What did you do? I'm going to see Vashti Bunyan tonight (finally!).

Monday, January 15, 2007


This is the second radio show and it went a BIT better this time. I still started too early though, so you won't be able to hear the nice little intro tune. Also, I've noticed that the stream skips a bit now and then. I'll have to see if anything can be done about that. Anyway, the name for the week's show is put together from Strawberry Switchblade and Baby Lemonade - one combination NOT used by Bubblegum Lemonade and Strawberry Whiplash, whom a large part of the show are about. Cover picture: Tennis practice at Drysdale Recreation Ground, by Partick Camera Club. Next week we'll have a Sarah Records Special, don't miss out!

The Loft – Winter
The Stems – Love Will Grow
The Springfields – Reach For the Stars
The Bats – Up to the Sky
Sodastream – Wedding Day
Nalda – When Nalda Became Punk
The Popguns – Don't Smile
The Manhattan Love Suicides – Indian Summer
The Primitives – She Don't Need You
A Smile and a Ribbon – My Bunny's Back
Bob & Fred – I'll Be On My Way
The Rain Parade – You Are My Friend
Bubblegum Lemonade – My Dreams of You
Bubblegum Splash! – Fast of Friends
Baby Lemonade – The Jiffy Neckwear Creation
Strawberry Whiplash – Who's In Your Dreams
Strawberry Switchblade – 10 James Orr Street
Meat Whiplash – Here It Comes

Strawberry Lemonade

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm Only Dancing On the Roof-Tops

So, I got to see Sodastream after all! Apparently it was their fourth time here, I can't recall them ever playing in Sweden? Only two of them this time around however. They've got a new album out called Reservations and they played some stuff from that, but lots of old favourites too. Not "Messiah" though, from which I got the post title. They played at Bacchus Bar, a nice enough place I think. Everyone was there, including Stevie Jackson. That was probably because his friend Roy Moller was the support act (you know the guy he wrote "Roy Walker" about). And also the guy who released a single on Félicité Singles Club a few years ago, called "Maximum Smile". He played that one yesterday and a bunch of songs from his new and first album Speak When I'm Spoken to.

There are a few other good shows coming up. I might skip Now It's Overhead on Thurday, but next week there's a thingy at ABC featuring Vashti Bunyan, Juana Molina and Adem. And on the Friday the wonderful The Boy Least Likely To play Oran Mor.

If you still haven't checked the results of the TweeNet 2006 poll, do so here and here. It's always fun to see who vote for their own bands/labels/sites etc. I'm happy to see A Smile and a Ribbon at a shared seventh in 'best new band' and to see The Rain Fell Down among 'mailing lists/newsgroups/blogs'. Thanks! You can catch A Smile and a Ribbon live if you happen to be in Sweden when we play Malmo (Feb 25th) and Lund (Feb 23rd). The latter date is shared with other new Shelflife signings Days. We might make it over here too sometime this Spring, if I can find somewhere for us to play!

Monday, January 08, 2007


Iain from The Mayfields has put up most of the band's songs on MySpace, but the song I think he still hasn't put up is the amazing b-side of their second single. The single's called "World of Your Own" and it was released by Ambition in 1989. I bought the single on eBay last year, and I've longing to share it with you ever since. I think it's even better than the a-side, and the chorus is simply magical. Care for a dance?

The Mayfields - Call My Name


Finally, it's here. I'm back in Glasgow and I just did my first radio show. It's called Glasgow Green, and in this week's cover picture you can see what the Glasgow Green looked like in 1955. That's when someone from the Partick Camera Club took this fine photograph. The show went rather well, considering it was my first. I did mess up once, but one mistake per show is almost obligatory. If there's one thing I've learned from broadcasting student radio, that is it. Here is the playlist:

The Fairways – The Rain Fell Down
The Mayfields – Feels Like Yesterday
Days – Downhill
Brighter – Nothing At All
The Submarines – Take Me Away
13th Floor Elevators – Splash 1 (Now I'm Home)
The Inspirations – Touch Me, Hold Me, Kiss Me
Biff, Bang, Pow! – There Must Be a Better Life
The King of Luxembourg – Flirt Bliss Love Kiss
The Orchids – Another Saturday Night
Pipas – Windswept Room
Love Parade – Dave Clark 5
The Hit Parade – You Didn't Love Me Then
Sweet William - Lovely Norman
Postal Blue – Maybe I'm Dreaming
Felt – Dismantled King Is Off the Throne

The ones in italics are the week's Swedish and Northern Soul tracks respectively. Listen to the show through the link below! We started a bit early and finished a bit early, so it starts in the middle of the first song. I'll try to be more exact next time. We even had time for an extra track towards the end, which will remain secret for now! Please let me know what you think about the program, and hopefully next week will be even better.

Glasgow Green

Monday, January 01, 2007

She Turns to Flowers

dear sinister,

on the bus home, i listen to the jesus and mary chain in my head:
i'm going back to a happy place
all my life i've lived to taste
someone else's flavour on my tongue

i didn't remember this:
cherry take me back to the start of it all
where everyone's up then everyone falls
almost could destroy me with her kiss

i fell asleep to the popguns:
in the back of a taxi cab
i felt another's hand upon my thigh
as london whistled by
we were young, we were ill at ease
and everything came easily to me
i wish there could have been
a better ending

i dunno,
the wind is howling