I’ve pulled myself out of a bit of a nosedive in time to do one last post for 2014…although for some readers in far-off lands the year of 2015 will already be a few hours old.

The last 25-30 posts were all put together in a burst of activity before I headed off on holiday a few weeks back, mostly as an insurance policy in case I ran into problems with motivating myself on my return although I usually find that relaxing on the beach gives me some fresh inspiration and leads to all sorts of new postings and long-term features.  But this time I came back devoid of ideas and then just before Xmas I learned of three separate deaths over three successive days which affected the families of some of my very closest friends. To put it mildly, I was on a bit of a downer and although Xmas with Mrs Villain was enjoyable enough, I haven’t been motivated enough to return to the keyboard. Till now.

First of all….a huge thank you to those of you who said such lovely words on the occasion of the 500th posting on T(n)VV – they were hugely appreciated.

Secondly….apologies for those of you who were looking for the Morrissey links from last Sunday’s post – a slight technical hitch has emerged (i.e. – I can’t find three of the five tracks as I appear to have deleted a batch of downloads at some point in time and only have those that I got from the purchase of the vinyl; I’m planning to try to rectify things by this weekend)

Thirdly….apologies in general if some of you have dropped an e-mail to me in recent weeks. The malaise around the blog has extended to the e-mail account which hasn’t been opened in nearly four weeks. I’m going to get round to it again soon.

The strange thing is that, from a musical perspective, 2014 turned out to be hugely enjoyable in many ways, primarily from the number of tremendous and unusual live shows that I managed to get along to. Glasgow’s hosting of the 2014 Commonwealth Games also saw it host a diverse cultural programme, within which sat something called the East End Social (click here) which was single-handedly responsible for some of the most unforgettable moments in what is now 35 years of going along to gigs.

Other highlights in my home city included Aidan Moffat at the Barrowlands, the Cairn String Quartet (with all sorts of special guests) at Platform, Johnny Marr at the O2 and Randolph’s Leap at the Glad Cafe while the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh brought great joy on a few occasions, not least the last ever gig by Meursault (not that I was happy the band were splitting up but they really went out in style)

The year was rounded off by something special too, namely getting to see The Twilight Sad at the Tolbooth, a 200-capacity venue in Stirling, when the band demonstrated just how strong and memorable their new songs are while somehow also making the old favourites sound better and more powerful than ever before.

I’ve also got into the habit in recent years of holding back on some of the music I’ve most wanted to buy so that Santa can bring me joy on Xmas Day. 2014 was no exception and this past week has seen me really appreciate the work of Honeyblood, The War on Drugs, Owl John, Roddy Frame and the wonderful soundtrack that Edwyn Collins put together for The Possibilities Are Endless film.

2015 will hopefully turn out to be half-decent. I’ll do my very best to keep T(n)VV ticking over. Thanks for being part of it.

This was the final few minutes of a look back at 2014 which went out on BBC2 in the UK last night. I can’t think of a better way to end the year.

mp3 : Charlie Brooker and The Blockheads – Reasons To Be Fearful ’14



From Friday 9th September 2011


Picked up a 12″ copy of this for just 50p not too long ago. Then I picked up a copy of the LP Waiting, from which the single was lifted, for just £1 the day after in a totally different shop. Until then I had no idea that David Byrne had been behind the production desk…..

Fun Boy Three are a band that don’t get the praise they merit in blogland. Maybe it was because they formed from the messy break-up of critically acclaimed The Specials or maybe it is because Terry Hall would enjoy more success later on his career with The Colourfield. I don’t know….

I liked them a lot. They made great pop music and yet the lyrics were often edgy and confrontational, particularly in regards to dealing with nasty night-wing racist bigots. They weren’t afraid to have fun…although whenever you looked at Terry Hall performing with them on any telly programme of the era he seemed a right miserable sod. The sum of their recording career was two LPs, both of which went Top 20 and eight singles (nine if you include their collaboration on Really Saying Something by Bananarama), most of which also went high in the charts.

Their final hit was a cover of a song that Terry Hall had co-written with Jane Wiedlein of The Go-Gos and it reached #7 in the singles charts in mid 1983.

What I hadn’t appreciated until I played the disc is that the single is a completely different mix from that which originally appeared on the LP.

mp3 : Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed (single version)
mp3 : Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed (LP version)

I’m also sorry to say that the six minutes plus remix version made available on the 12″ is a bit of a disappointment… probably seemed a good idea at the time, but some songs will always sound at their best when kept down to the three minute mark:-

mp3 : Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed (special remix version)

The other track on the 12″ is well worth a listen…..much better and way more original than I ever imagined it would have been:-

mp3 : Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed (urdu version)

Anyone else listen and think of Blancmange doing Living On The Ceiling???


From Saturday 24 September 2011


Now I never thought I’d feature anything by Right Said Fred on TVV. But there was a charidee EP released back in 1992 which might be of some interest:-

mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Deeply Dippy
mp3 : Flowered Up – Don’t Talk Just Kiss (edit)
mp3 : St Etienne – I’m Too Sexy (edit)

For those who perhaps don’t know, Right Said Fred were absolutely massive in the UK in 1991 and 92. Their first three singles, all of which are covered on this EP, went Top 3. Since then, they have continued to record and tour without achieving much in the way of chart success….but they have an incredibly loyal fan base which ensures their gigs tend to sell out.

The EP features three of the best-known artistes on Heavenly Records and all profits from the release went to supporting the AIDS charity, The Terence Higgins Trust. As with most charity records, the cause is better than the music…..none of the three songs featured do all that much for me I’m afraid to say.

But feel free to disagree.


I know from past experience that the number of hits and visits to the blog goes down quite dramatically at this time of year and so I’m going to use the period to look back at some postings from September 2011.

This was a significant period for the old blog as it was coming up to its 5th Birthday and it was marked by a series of fresh postings reflecting in part why I was performing this labour of love and it built up to an announcement that I was going to, for the first ever time, promote a live gig under the banner of ‘The Vinyl Villain presents…..’

Here’s the posting from Saturday 3 September entitled “Approaching the Age of 5 (Part 3)”


Normally on a Saturday I’m to be found taking a look at a song by The Smiths. I will return to that particular series in October, but for today I thought I’d have a quick look at the band who supported Moz & Co the first time I ever saw them away back on 2 March 1984 at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.

The support act were Red Guitars, one of the three bands from Hull who The Housemartins thought were better than themselves. They consisted of Jeremy Kidd (vocals), Hallam Lewis (guitar), John Rowley (guitar), Louise Barlow (bass) and Matt Higgins (drums).  They were another of the bands from the early-mid 80s who were happy enough to play at gigs that were seen as supporting left-wing/socialist causes in the UK and internationally (the hint is in the band’s name….) and naturally enough got some positive press in the NME.

But the music they were making did mark them out as well worth a listen. Their first single was Good Technology, released in 1983 on their very own label which was called Self Drive Music. It was a hit in the Indie Charts and at student discos up and down the land. They were a band that always seemed to be out on tour and were considered a very good act which is probably why they landed the job of supporting The Smiths on their first ever UK-wide tour.

Despite being a well-respected band, they never really achieved mainstream success – indeed the debut single, which was re-released in 1984 at the time of debut LP Slow To Fade – is their best-known song and is reckoned to have sold around 60,000 copies between the two issues.

It was a copy of the 1984 re-issue that I picked up a few weeks ago, bringing the total of Red Guitar singles in the cupboard to three – all from 1984 and all on the label mentioned above:-

mp3 : Red Guitars – Good Technology
mp3 : Red Guitars – Paris France

mp3 : Red Guitars – Steeltown
mp3 : Red Guitars – Within 4 Walls

mp3 : Red Guitars – Marimba Jive
mp3 : Red Guitars – Heartbeat Go

The constant touring, comboned with the pressures of running their own record label,  led to tensions and lead singer Jeremy Kidd quit in late 1984 just a short time after the release of said debut LP. The band continued on bringing in a new vocalist in Robert Holmes for vocals, but were never the same again, even among the critics.

But you can never take away the fact it was a cracking debut single.



Now this one I did buy….and it is currently the last Morrissey 45 I bought at the time of release which was January 2014.

The single was a bit of a rush-release, with a digital version coming out just six weeks after the death of Lou Reed. It’s a live cover recorded in November 2011 in Las Vegas but which had been a staple of all the live shows throughout that particular year.

The physical product in the shape of 7″ and 12″ picture discs hit the shops just the other side of Christmas. It was the 7″ I bought on the basis of it containing a live cover version of a great track by Buzzcocks recorded at an outdoor gig in London back in 2008:-

mp3 : Morrissey – Satellite Of Love (live)
mp3 : Morrissey – You Say You Don’t Love Me (live)

I was hacked off that the other track on the 7″ was the studio version of You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side, especially as the 12″ and digital versions had other stuff to perhaps get excited about.  I was even more hacked off when I played the two live tracks – having heard Moz give decent performances of both of them at various times at small venues in Scotland I wasn’t prepared for the poor quality of what had been captured and put on the single.  Hugely disappointing stuff and again an example of taking the fans for granted.

Here’s the other stuff that was made available on the download and 12″:-

Morrissey – Vicar In A Tutu (live)
Morrissey – All You Need Is Me (live)
Morrissey – Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed (live)

All of the above were also taken from the same Hyde Park in London show as the Buzzcocks cover.

The digital single sold enough copies to take it to #124 in the UK singles chart and that is now officially the lowest ever position for any Morrissey single although a number of the limited edition releases didn’t chart at all.



From allmusic:-

Twin brothers Bjorn and Eric Sandberg, bassist Mark Corrigan and drummer Scott Sieczkowski formed Wake the President in 2005 while the twins were students at Glasgow University.

Informed by a number of shambly indie pop acts from the ’80s and ’90s (the Go-Betweens, Arab Strap, and Orange Juice among them), the group put together a group of demos that welcomed comparisons to the Shout Out Louds, Je Suis Animal, and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The band was eventually picked up by Douglas MacIntyre and Ken McCluskey’s Electric Honey Records, a student-run label (manned by the music industry management students of Glasgow’s Stow College) that gained some attention in 1996 for releasing Belle & Sebastian’s Tigermilk.

Wake the President’s debut single on that label, “Sorrows for Clothes,” was released in 2007; another single, “Remember Fun,” came out on Norman Records soon after. In 2008 the singles caught the attention of BBC Radio 2’s Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe; the singles were put into rotation, and each song went on to earn the coveted title of single of the week. Wake the President’s debut full-length, You Can’t Change That Boy, was released in the U.K. and the States the following year, on Electric Honey and Magic Marker Records, respectively. They followed it up in 2011 with an album titled Zumutung! on We Can Still Picnic records.

By all rights, I should adore Wake The President given all the boxes they tick in terms of influences and the great names from the Glasgow pop scene who were working with them from the start.

And while a recent listen again to this debut single and debut album does demonstrate some really good songs my lack of love for the band was coloured from going along the LP launch at the beginning of 2009 and coming away incredibly underwhelmed. Maybe I just caught the band on a bad night or maybe I just expected too much from them but apart from the sound being really awful (which makes me think the choice of venue was probably wrong – they went for a grand looking old hall which is more used to staging wedding and ceilidh bands rather the alleged bright new things of Scottish indie-pop) there was also the thought that the boys took the audience for granted and posed their way rather than grafted their way through the set.

mp3 : Wake The President – Mail Alice
mp3 : Wake The President – Sorrows For Clothes

Just a pity the band didn’t become as big as they had hoped. This single was limited to just 500 copies and could have been a sort of golden ticket (not that I would have sold!!)




(A shorter version of this originally appeared back on 26 December 2011)

The day after Christmas can sometimes be a bit of an anti-climax. I hope it is not the case with you dear readers.

The folk I feel sorry for are those in the retail sector.  They probably finished at 6pm on Christmas Eve after about three or four weeks in a row without a day off during which time they dealt with customers who were clueless and often rude.  I certainly saw some supermarket check-out staff get a mouthful of abuse because the shop had the temerity to have run out of some foodstuffs and those who left it till the last-minute were disappointed and in some cases angry.

Today, many of those hard-pressed workers will have had to go to their place of employment at stupid o’clock to get their shops and stores ready for those who still think that the best bargains in retail world are to be had on 26 December and so they queue up for hours, often in the miserable cold and wet, and then have a mad dash inside when the doors open.

I guarantee there will be footage on the news later on.

Over here, 26th December is referred to as Boxing Day. Thought I’d find a track with a very tenuous link to the theme of boxing for. It was one of three on a belter of a CD single from 1990:-

mp3 : Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck (Vince Clarke mix)
mp3 : Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck (Paul Oakenfold Mix)
mp3 : Happy Mondays and Karl Denver – Lazyitis – one armed boxer




Here’s the usual Christmas posting, featuring, without any question, the best festive-themed song ever. If only for including the line..’Christmas in Glasgow.’

Natives of Cork, Ireland, they were once known as The Sultans of Ping FC, then just The Sultans of Ping, before eventually becoming The Sultans. Their career initially lasted from 1988 to 1997, but they reformed again in 2005, and continue to be hugely popular in their native land and in Japan.

This particular offering was on the b-side of a 1993 single – during their period as The Sultans of Ping – that just missed breaking into the UK Top 40.

Please enjoy the wonderful:-

mp3 : Sultans of Ping – Xmas Bubblegum Machine



mp3 : Tindersticks – Drunk Tank

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m well fed-up with hearing the same old festive-related songs in every single shop I go into as I search for the perfect last-minute gift for Mrs Villain. Consider this my equivalent of the dirty protest.

But tune in tomorrow for what has become the traditional 25th December posting on TVV (and no looking back to previous years to spoil it….)

Hope Santa is good to you all.

(Lifted from the posting of 24 December 2009)



The first James single that I didn’t set out to buy at the time.

Waltzing Along was one the tracks from Whiplash that  I liked most, helped by the fact that it is driven along by some lovely work on the slide guitar which gives the song a country feel akin to some work a decade or so earlier by R.E.M.

mp3 : James – Waltzing Along (LP Version)

A lovely bit of slide guitar that was replaced by a horrible bit of standard guitar work.  Indeed, all the lovely subtle sounds which made this such an enjoyable LP track were butchered away and in their place came a more commercial and jarring sound.

The single was released in June 1997. Again, it involved 3 x CDs.

The first of them had three live renditions of songs lifted from a London gig a few months earlier, and for the second single release in a row Greenpeace featured as did  Homeboy (another track on Whiplash) together with an old favourite:-


Waltzing Along (single version)
Homeboy (live)
How Was It For You (live)
Greenpeace (live)

The Second CD was where you’d find the three new songs:-


Your Story
Where You Gonna Run?
Long To Be Right

And finally, yup, you guessed it, CD3 for the diehards who wanted all the remixes:-


Waltzing Along (Disco Socks Mix)
Waltzing Along (Flytronox Mix)

Once again it was all three for £5 if you wanted or £1.99 each. Fans bought enough copies to have it enter the charts at #23 before it plummeted like a stone.

There was a rather savage review of the single in NME but it was hard to argue with it:-

Time was when these merry Mancunian misfits could lay claim to being one of the most forward-looking groups in this country, with their weird take on rock music and an ascetic outlook that stuck out a while in times of much frippery. These days, James are more like Simple Minds than the Scottish stadium rockers themselves, if the hackneyed and plodding backing track here is to be taken seriously. Which is a pity as Tim Booth still sings like he’s got something of importance to impart – in the case a prayer for the dying. Oh well, there’s always the solo career.

The really annoying thing is that having subjected myself to so many sub-standard b-sides with the Whiplash singles I missed out for 17 years on one of the more interesting efforts from the band. CD2 was well worth £1.99….

Your Story is a song about being obsessed with sex and rather unusually has the odd expletive thrown in during its five-minute duration.  The tune is a bit more rock orientated than most James songs but it is different enough to merit attention.

It’s a total contrast to the instrumental track which follows – you could have given me 100 guesses and I don’t think I’d have stumped up James as the band who composed and recorded what is the rather haunting and occasionally beautiful Where You Gonna Run?  It sound like the sort of music that comes over the credits of a movie that just had the saddest and most moving of endings.

Just a pity that the final new song, Long To Be Right, is a self-indulgent, noodling waste of three and a bit minutes of your life.

mp3 : James – Waltzing Along (single version)
mp3 : James – Your Story
mp3 : James – Where You Gonna Run?
mp3 : James – Long To Be Right

Tune in next time to see how James got the critics and record buying public to like them again!



It’s down to the fact that this is more of a Vince Clarke record than a Paul Quinn record which kept it out of the ongoing Saturday series.

Vince had enjoyed chart success with Depeche Mode, Yazoo and The Assembly between 1981 and 1983. Indeed, there hardly seemed to be a singles or album chart in the UK over that period where one of his songs didn’t feature.

In 1985, much to many people’s surprise, it was revealed that he had hooked up with Paul Quinn. Some of the fruits of their labour were released on a 7″ and 12″ single on Mute Records. This is the 12″ version:-

mp3 : Vince Clarke & Paul Quinn – One Day (extension)000000000000
mp3 : Vince Clarke & Paul Quinn – Song For (extension)

The two talents never quite gelled. Vince would team up with Andy Bell to form the incredibly succesful and occasionally brilliant Erasure while Paul would team up with some of the best musicians ever to come out of Scotland to form the incredibly unsuccessful but always brilliant Independent Group.

Here’s the rarely seen promo for One Day which was a #99 hit in the UK charts.

And now for a little footnote….

The b-side (and superior song in my view) was composed solely by Vince Clarke.

The a-side is attributed to Clarke/Morgan/McVey….and here’s who the other two were:-

Morgan McVey were a mid-1980s pop duo with a background in fashion photography, video direction and modeling, composed of Jamie Morgan and Cameron McVey. Jamie Morgan has been highly influential as part of Buffalo, a styling team whose streetwise look was typical in the style mags of the time.

The group released a single, “Looking Good Diving”, through Sony Records in 1986, produced by Stock Aitken Waterman and mixed by Phil Harding. The B side, called “Looking Good Diving with the Wild Bunch” featuring Neneh Cherry, was a tribute to the buffalo stance. The B side was re-recorded 2 years later by Neneh Cherry as “Buffalo Stance” and it went to #3 in the UK Charts and the Top 10 around the world in 1988.

You learn something new all the time round here.



Another single that I didn’t bother to rush out and buy.

The next attempt to milk the cash-cow was in April 2013 with the limited edition reissue of one of the earliest and most enduring singles. This edition of The Last Of The Famous International Playboys came in three versions – 7 inch picture disc, CD and digital download – all featuring one previously unreleased song that had been recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio 2 back in June 2011.

mp3 : Morrissey – People Are The Same Everywhere
mp3 : Morrissey – Action Is My Middle Name
mp3 : Morrissey – The Kid’s A Looker

Not the worst ever b-sides but a tad worrying that none of the three songs, (two of which had featured very heavily in live sets over the previous two years), were considered worthy of a studio recording or for release as a new 45.  It didn’t help mind you that the great man was without a record label and so the single went out on EMI Records via the Parlophone imprint.




From wiki:-

The Wake were founded in Glasgow in 1981 by Gerard “Caesar” McInulty (formerly of Altered Images), Steven Allen (drums) and Joe Donnelly (bass), the latter soon replaced by Bobby Gillespie. Steven’s sister Carolyn Allen also joined on keyboards, and remained in the band thereafter.

The Wake released their first single on their own Scan 45 label, coupling together “On Our Honeymoon” and “Give Up”. This single eventually caught the attention of New Order manager Rob Gretton, who helped the band sign to Factory Records in 1982 and record an LP (Harmony) at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

This was followed by a number of singles on Factory and its Belgian sister label Factory Benelux. In 1983, The Wake toured with New Order, and thus received critical attention but were often unfavourably compared to their more celebrated labelmates. Gillespie was asked to leave in 1983, subsequently playing drums with The Jesus and Mary Chain and achieving fame with his own band Primal Scream.

After an amicable but short-lived stint with Caesar’s ex-classmate Martin Cunning on bass , Alexander ‘Mac’ Macpherson permanently replaced Gillespie. That same year the band recorded a session on John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 programme. The band toured extensively and scored an indie hit with their 1984 single “Talk About The Past” which featured Vini Reilly of Durutti Column on piano.

The recording and release of their seminal 1985 album Here Comes Everybody marked the apex of their career. Further releases were few and far between: one more single “Of The Matter” emerged in 1985 before their last release for Factory, a 4-track EP entitled “Something That No One Else Could Bring” finally appeared in 1987.

In 1988, disillusioned with the lack of proper promotion and indeed apathy from Factory Records, The Wake left the label and signed to Bristol’s legendary Sarah Records, releasing two singles and two LPs, the last being 1994’s Tidal Wave of Hype. By this point, once again down to a three piece featuring McInulty, Allen and Steven, they also shared personnel with another Glasgow-based band on Sarah, The Orchids, with whom they had also played a few live gigs. When Sarah shut down in 1995, The Wake effectively dissolved.

In autumn 2009, The Wake (McInulty and Allen) came together once again to record a new album, “A Light Far Out”, but it wasn’t released till April 2012 on LTM Records In July 2013 The Wake performed at the Indietracks Festival.

I saw The Wake on a number of occasions back in the days including at least three support slots for New Order. They weren’t the easiest band to take to – they always looked and sounded so dour and miserable and at a time when The Smiths were taking the world by storm The Wake seemed very much out of touch.

I’ve picked up a second-hand 7″ copy of FAC 88, the aforementioned indie hit which featured Vini Reilly on piano:-

mp3 : The Wake – Talk About The Past
mp3 : The Wake – Everybody Works So Hard




A hit single in 1998 took Catatonia out of cult status and into the rooms and CD collections of the general public thanks to having the great idea of writing a song which directly referenced two of the then most popular characters in TV fiction.

It’s true that Mulder and Scully will always be the song most associated with the band and there’s no denying that it is a catchy and clever pop song with absolutely nothing to do with the sci-fi or paranormal subject matter of the TV show, but I think their previous single, released at the back-end of 1997 remains their finest non-Welsh lyric moment:-

mp3 : Catatonia – I Am The Mob

A surprise Top 40 hit in as far as radio play was near non-existent thanks to lyrics about kneecapping, oral sex, murder, extortion, all on the back of a stupendous opening line which pays the ultimate tribute to The Godfather.

The CD single has three other tracks on it:-

mp3 : Catatonia – Jump Or Be Sane
mp3 : Catatonia – My Selfish Gene
mp3 : Catatonia – I Am The Mob (Luca Brasi Mix)

While Jump or Sane is more or less a bog-standard filler for a single, the band obviously realised that the piano ballad My Selfish Gene was too mainstream sounding to be thrown away as a b-side and it became the final track on the triple-platinum selling LP International Velvet.  It’s a song which shows off the vocal talents of  Cerys Matthews.

The remix of the single is also reasonably entertaining.




The Wedding Present recorded an awful lot of sessions for the John Peel Show, and indeed for many other BBC radio programmes.

It was often the case that they took the opportunity to unveil new songs which wouldn’t be released for weeks or even months. On the 28th October 1990 they played four songs which would be part of the Seamonsters LP that came out in May 1991, more than six months later.

I remember hearing something that night and just thinking how loud it was – loud as in just a total wall of noise. It was not the sort of sound I normally associated with the band.

It took until the release of the Peel Session box set in 2007 before I could relive those moments from all those years ago. Of the near 100 bits of music spread across the six discs, this was the first I played..I felt like a kid on Xmas Day getting the present they’ve been dreaming about for what seems like forever:-

mp3 :  The Wedding Present – Dalliance (Peel Session)

Give it a listen. The noise that so startled me back in 1990 comes in at the 2 minute 21 seconds mark. It is just after the Boy David has poured his heart out – again – and said “after all you’ve done, that I’m so…I still want to kiss you.”


Dalliance is one of the greatest ever songs about the feeling of total and utter despair from being strung along and let down at the very last moment. It’s a song I always imagined could be turned into a real tear-jerker by the original Tindersticks line-up if they had taken hold of the song and given it an arrangement with strings and keyboards.

The Peel version is shorter than that which was released on the LP – partly because it was played faster. I’m not sure if the band, having listened to the results of the Peel Session decided a change of pace was required. It makes the Seamonsters version even more intense….the wall of noise maybe doesn’t quite have the same impact, but it then seems to build and build and build in a way that doesn’t happen on the Peel version.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Dalliance

Oh and let’s not forget the live version in concert for French radio.  It lets you hear just good this band were and continue to be on stage:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Dalliance (Black Sessions)

Simply thrilling honeys.



I’ve long been embarrassed at how slow I was to catch-on to R.E.M. and always had pangs of jealousy towards those who cottoned on from the start and got to see them before they became staples of the arena/stadium tours.

My excuse?

I was way too engrossed in UK jingly-jangly indie pop and the fact that in the early 80s my home city seemed to be the centre of the musical universe to pay any attention to what was coming out of the USA .

Besides….one look at the cover of this 1984 single and noticing that one of them had long hair was more than enough to put me off taking the band seriously at the time no matter what some folk were saying in the music papers.

But I should have trusted my ears and not my eyes. For quite simply, this single, which is rather astonishingly more than 30 years old, is quite wonderful:-

mp3 : R.E.M. – (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville

A sad tale of long-distance love told over a quite exquisite tune that can’t quite make its mind up if it is indie, pop, honky-tonk or country.

Such is my belated love for this track that on the only occasion business has ever taken me to the Washington DC (it was back in 2002 and I was delighted to learn that the conference venue, which was where I was also staying for three nights, was the Watergate Hotel), I used a spare afternoon to hop on a commuter train out to Rockville, where I had a walk around for about an hour and took some photos. It was, and I guess still is, a lovely little town.

Here’s yer b-sides of the 12″ single that I picked up second-hand a couple of years ago:-

mp3 : R.E.M. – Wolves
mp3 : R.E.M. – 9-9*
mp3 : R.E.M. – Gardening At Night*

*Recorded Live at ‘The Eldorado’, in Paris on Good Friday 20 April 1984 in mono


That equated to around £6 or $9 (US) for the ticket.


THE 500th POST On T(n)VV


With thanks to everyone, whether you’ve submitted a guest post, left a comment, sent me an e-mail or simply dropped in for a look.

It’s sometimes been a bit of a struggle keeping the new blog going – I’m not sure it will ever give me the same sense of excitement and satisfaction as the old blog – but every now and again there’s something drops into the inbox or comments section that makes me realise that it is still all worthwhile.

I thought I’d celebrate by featuring some songs ripped from the vinyl collection that I don’t think have ever appeared previously on this or the old blog.

mp3 : The Jam – Happy Together
(From the LP The Gift (which I still I have in its pink and white gift wrapping))

mp3 : Meursault – Settling
(from the LP Something for The Weakened (in recognition of one of the best bands to have come and gone in the few short years I’ve been doing this nonsense – good luck with the new venture Neil)

mp3 : The Cramps – Jailhouse Rock
(from the NME compilation LP The Last Temptation of Elvis (in acknowledgement of my first ever gig more than 35 years ago))

mp3 : Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
(from the LP Highway 61 Revisited (the original 1965 mono version – gifted to me by someone a few weeks ago when they learned I had a passion for vinyl))

mp3 : Randolph’s Leap – I Can’t Dance To This Music Anymore
(from the LP Clumsy Knot (just a way of sneaking in a track from my favourite album of 2014))

Here’s a live ‘unplugged’ version of the Randolph’s Leap song which was filmed in a pub very very close to my place of work in the east end of Glasgow and which was the venue for some of my most magical musical memories this past 12 months.


And here’s to the next 500 bits of nonsense.



mp3 : Iggy Pop – Lust For Life

For years, it was always the downstairs alternative disco within Strathclyde University’s Student Union.  Level 8 was the main place for live acts and a half decent indie and pop disco but two floors down, in what usually functioned as the main dining hall, you’d find a DJ playing more obscure and cult material. Iggy Pop featured every week, alternating between The Passenger and Lust For Life (it was vinyl in those days and I’m guessing that was the only LP that the student union had!)

Moving forward more than a decade and the song became synonymous with the opening few minutes of the film Trainspotting as Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewan Bremner) sprint down Princes Street in Edinburgh pursued by security guards after a shoplifting incident gone wrong. The joy and surprise of seeing so many familiar locations come to life on the big screen was part of what made that film so special, and every time I walk up Leith Walk and pass its junction with Calton Road I instantly recall the moment where Renton sprints down the sorts set of stairs and seconds later narrowly avoids getting killed by a car emerging from a side street as Iggy’s song pounds away in the background.

Almost 20 years later and I’ve a third abiding memory and that’s of Johnny Marr and his cohorts blasting out a tremendous live version from the stage of the O2 Academy in Glasgow. In a gig packed with many highlights, including some astonishingly good versions of Smiths songs, the unexpected blast of Lust for Life was just as much a stand-out.

It wasn’t originally released as a single in the UK but was readily available on import from the Netherlands where it went Top 3, with this same track on the b-side as had been put on the UK release of The Passenger:-

mp3 : Iggy Pop – Success

1977?  Still sounds incredible and fresh today.



I don’t like the annual nonsense of Record Store Day. The concept itself is sound but all too often real fans are left out in the cold as things are snapped up and shoved on e-bay for astronomical amounts within a matter of hours, so I tend to give the event a miss and drop into a couple of my favourite stores a few days after and see what is still generally available.

Which is why I’ve never shown any interest at all in trying to get my hands on a 10″ single release for Record Store Day 2012, limited to 1000 copies:-

mp3 : Morrissey – Suedehead (Mael Mix)
mp3 : Morrissey – Now My Heart Is Full (live)
mp3 : Morrissey – We’ll Let You Know (live)

The main track was given the remix treatment by Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks, with Ron adding some keyboards. It’s dreadful.

The live tracks were from a 1995 concert at the historic Theatre Royal in London which had been broadcast on BBC Radio 1. They’re almost as awful as the remix….

Total waste of time and money. Glad mine were, ahem, sourced.



The View initially formed around a cover band from a school in the very working-class district of Dryburgh in the east-coast city of Dundee, initially signing to local independent label Two Thumbs on which they released the self-titled The View EP in early 2006. They quickly came to the attention of a number of radio presenters and before long were wooed onto 1965 Records, a London-based subsidiary record label of Sony, founded and run by James Endeacott (formerly of Rough Trade Records).

By late 2006 they had released two Top 20 singles – Wasted Little DJs and Superstar Tradesman – and at the same time began to tour extensively across the UK, including a prestigious slot on a heavily advertised package tour put together by MTV2. The View were incredibly hot property at this time thanks in part to what were exciting and chaotic live sets and the support of what seemed to be every DJ who played indie music on their shows across the UK. Their third single, Same Jeans, went Top 3 in early 2007 while debut LP Hats Off To The Buskers went straight in at #1.  Subsequent singles didn’t fare anywhere near as well although the LP would subsequently be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.  The band were either still in their teens or barely out of them while this was taking place………

But just as quickly as the band rose to prominence, so did they disappear as the music press moved on to whoever was the next big thing. The band seemed to struggle with this and there was a two-year gap between the debut LP and the follow-up, Witch Bitch. Evidence of fans having moved on so quickly can be seen by the dramatic fall in sales of the second LP – less than half of what had been afforded the debut.

The band have now released a total of four studio LPs as well as a 20-track compilation album in 2013 featuring the tracks they had most played live over the previous seven years along with three new songs.

They are still an exciting live act, hugely loved in their home city and other parts of Scotland. A short tour in 2014 with shows Edinburgh, Aberdeen and three dates at Oran Mor in Glasgow, all selling out within hours of going on general sale.  Despite a career which is now stretching into a ninth year, the band members are all still only in their late 20s.

Here is that #3 hit and b-sides from the CD single:-

mp3 : The View – Same Jeans
mp3 : The View – Cherry Girl
mp3 : The View – Superstar Tradesman (live at Glasgow Barfly, 2006)

and here’s the b-side from the 7″ vinyl version:-

mp3 : The View – Screamin’ n Shoutin’

The CD single also had a clip from that Barfly gig, one which myself and Mrs Villain had a thoroughly enjoyable time (and which was reviewed over on the old blog back in the day)