From wiki:-

“Funny Little Frog” was the first single lifted from Belle & Sebastian’s The Life Pursuit. The track was released in January 2006 on Rough Trade Records, and is produced by Tony Hoffer. The single became the band’s highest-charting single in the UK so far, reaching #13. The artwork for the single features Julie Coyle and Marisa Privitera.

A different version of the song “Funny Little Frog” appears in Stuart Murdoch’s project “God Help the Girl”.

Fair play to the band for moving the sound along again in a different direction with the single that pre-dated the release of The Life Pursuit by around a month or so.  My problem was however, that it just didn’t excite me in the way that earlier releases had.  It’s not that Funny Little Frog is poor or a total let-down, but it wasn’t one that stopped me in my tracks or made me want to listen to it on heavy rotation.  Having said that, it was clearly one for radio play and the idea of its release date was to create a bit of excitement around the new LP;  it didn’t fail on either count with, as wiki states, becoming the band’s biggest 45 and paving the way for the LP to debut at #8, which again was a watermark achievement.

It was released on CD single, 7″ and DVD format, and you had to buy all three formats if you wanted all the b-sides.  Changed days indeed.

mp3 : Belle & Sebastian – Funny Little Frog
mp3 : Belle & Sebastian – Meat and Potatoes
mp3 : Belle & Sebastian – I Took A Long Hard Look

That’s the 3-track CD for you. Meat and Potatoes is is the tale of a couple’s attempts to spice up their sex life set to a tune that borders on a C&W ballad. It’s as dreadful as the words I’ve just typed up would have you imagine…..

I Took A Long Hard Look is Stevie Jackson by numbers. There’ll be loads who love this. I’m not one of them.

That’s the first time in nearly ten years that I’ll have played these songs. Still haven’t changed my opinion.

mp3 : Belle & Sebastian – The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House

This was the b-side of the 7″ vinyl. Also made available as a track on a fundraiser album for a children’s charity. I don’t think it would make too many ICAs compiled by even the most hardcore B&S fan…

mp3 : Belle & Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane (live at the Botanics)

Back in June 2004, the band had played a special gig in a Glasgow park as part of a local festival. I remember the day well as it was the occasion summer visited the city that year – gloriously hot and sunny. I didn’t bother with the gig as I’m not a huge fan of the outdoor variety – and besides, it was a day best spent on the golf course. It’s a speeded-up version of the old song from the Lazy Line Painter Jane EP, but it does feature the magnificent Monica Queen on co-vocal so it’s well worth it.




I normally put the front cover of any single on display but have gone with the back of Beathag by The Blood Uncles just to show how unconventional a trio they were. Scottish Goth-Rock….with an emphasis on Rock.

Consisting of Big John Duncan (ex-Exploited), John Carmichael and Colin McGuire, their debut EP on a local indie label attracted the interest of Virgin Records. Their career consisted of three singles, including a frantic cover of a song by Prince, and one LP, none of which got near the charts. Big John would later be part of the live act that was Nirvana…..

mp3 : The Blood Uncles – Beathag

The second of the Virgin singles. Here’s the b-side:-

mp3 : The Blood Uncles – God Says No

Enjoy. But I’m not sure many of you will.



This a true tale, the revealing of which was inspired by Badger‘s revelations of ‘humiliation’ while singing on stage.

It’s 1990. I’m out with Mrs Villain (Rachel) to see the new stage show that has been put together by the outrageously camp and very funny Julian Clary. The venue is Glasgow Pavilion and the show is being performed in front of a sell-out audience of 1,500, the majority of which it is safe to say are either female or gay. Mrs V adores Julian – she’s always had a thing about camp/glam blokes dating back to her love for Bowie and Bolan as a teenager. She warns me before we leave that, if possible, she is going to get on stage with her hero during the section when there will be the inevitable audience participation – she’s certainly dressed for the occasion wearing an incredibly tight t-shirt and skinny jeans combo and looking as great as I’ve ever seen her.

The show is very funny. Julian is as outrageous as you’d hope – full of OTT one-liners and tales that were too risqué for television. He then tells us that it is audience participation time and it’s going to be a live version of his TV game show, Sticky Moments, that had aired on Channel 4 back in 1989 and 1990.

I say game show….but as wiki states:-

the questions, answers, challenges and cheap prizes were deliberately off-centre, and rife with gay innuendo and double entendres, played for laughs rather than actual competition.

Julian tells us that the competition is to be a shoot-out between a straight and gay couple. He asks if perhaps there are any gay couples in the audience and if so to raise their hands. He then spends a few minutes wandering up and down the aisles within the stalls, wise cracking his way through as to why he was ruling willing participants out until he finally finds the two blokes he most fancies. They take to the stage to huge applause.

Julian then announces that he’s already decided who his straight couple are going to be….and immediately I know what’s coming next. Mrs V had already made all sorts of eye-contact with him as he strolled through the auditorium while I had made the cardinal error of trying to look wholly disinterested. He grabbed Mrs V by the hand and said something along the lines of her being so gorgeous that her other half will have no choice but to follow….

There are loud cheers and a few wolf whistles…which Julian is keen to explain are very much for me. He admires my t-shirt which is emblazoned with The Wonder Stuff on the front….he askes me what it means…I foolishly try to explain its the name of a band….he makes a biting retort about it being some sort of gay sex position. It’s clear my role tonight is to be the fool whom the audience laughs at….

To be honest I don’t mind at all. Mrs V is in heaven right now, a smile lighting up her face as she gets up close to an idol.  Julian explains that he will ask one half of each couple three questions, all to do with the likes and habits of their partners, and the couple who comes up with best matching answers goes home with the prize. Of course, I’m not to answer the questions – they are to be about me – and so while I’m blindfolded and made to put on headphones to listen to music, Mrs V and one half of the gay couple get talking and answering.

I can sense that the audience is rocking during this section and that the piss is being ripped royally out of me. I should also have said that Julian, when asking my name and being told Jim, said there was no way he could go with anything as common as that nor could he use Jimmy as that would just pander to stereotyping men from Glasgow. I was going by my proper name of James and he was revelling in delivering that word in as camp a fashion as he could.

“Right James. Here’s your first question. Rachel says that you’re very much a boxer shorts sort of man and so I#m not going to ask you what type of underwear you have on tonight….if any. But if you are, can you tell us the colour please?”

“Red and White stripes”

“Are you sure? Rachel is certain she saw you in black before you left the house….”

I pull up the waistband of my boxers to show that they are indeed red and white. We are now 1-0 down.

“Question Number 2 James. I think this one is quite easy. What was it that first attracted Rachel to you? Was it you larger than life personality, your larger than life pay packet or your larger than life penis”

I look at Rachel. She is trying hard not to laugh out loud. I’m trying hard to work out what answer she would have given. Surely she didn’t want to add to my humiliation……

“Julian, I would say it’s my larger than life pay check as after all my other half is a bit of a Material Girl”

“No James….It seems you have a big dick”

The audience at this point is ending itself collectively as I look at Rachel who is smirking. We are now 2-0 down.

“Final question James. Now I know you can’t win and that really is such a shame.  But you can go home with a consolation prize if you get this one right.  And you should do as it’s about music and we all know you love music what with your fabulous t-shirt. So the question….what did Rachel say you would sing if you were on a karaoke stage?”

Ya beauty! I’d only ever at this point in my life once done karaoke and it was for a laugh at a works night out. I had performed one song very badly and I distinctly remember telling Rachel about it.

“That’s easy Julian. My karaoke song is I Will Survive.”

More laughs from the audience and Rachel looks over to me in a bit of shock.  WTF?  Does this mean we are going home empty-handed and all this has been for nothing??

“James, are you sure you and Rachel aren’t on a blind date? You don’t seem to know one another very well.. She told us it would be something by Morrissey or The Smiths.”

I genuinely don’t know what to say. The idea of a Morrissey or Smiths song being an option at a karaoke night back in the early 90s just didn’t seem possible. They would have been the last answer I’d have given.

Julian turns to me and says: “James. I can tell that you don’t want to disappoint Rachel, so I’m going to give you one last chance to pick up a prize. Would you care to sing your karaoke number for us here on stage?”

I hesitate. The audience cheer and scream. Rachel looks at me imploringly. I have no choice……

As Russell Churnley, the long-time musical collaborator of Julian Clary hits the distinctive opening notes on the piano, I close my eyes and go for it. Big style.

I don’t know if I was any good or not…I don’t even know if I got the correct words out. But I gave it my all and the crowd loved it, clapping along in whatever sort of time I was keeping. One verse and one chorus and that was it. Thankfully.

Julian gave us the prize which was a plastic replica of Fanny the Wonder Dog (Julian’s pet whippet who had been part of his earliest stage and TV shows) and a bouquet of flowers. But Rachel also got a kiss and I got a hug. We went back to our seats and within seconds I realised I was shaking thanks to a ridiculous rush of adrenalin that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced again.

And that was that. Or so I thought.

Firstly, Julian sang a song in the second half of the show and dedicated it to me (see below)

Secondly….the next day, I boarded my usual 7.30am train from Glasgow to Edinburgh where I worked at the time. I sat down in the my usual seat up in the very front carriage. Another of the regular commuters looked across at me and smiled. She got out of her seat, walked towards me and leaned in close whispering ‘red and white boxers….I wouldn’t have imagined!’

With a wink and a wave she went back to her seat.

Fame, fame, fatal fame….

mp3 : Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
mp3 : Julian Clary – The Leader of The Pack
mp3 : Morrissey – Get Off The Stage





Just two guys Mucking Around 2016 – Part 2 : An ICA written Live

Yet again we find ourselves sat outside SWC’s house waiting for track ten to finish. Track Ten is ‘Bulletproof’ by La Roux, one of the tracks off of SWC’s safelist, although I have no idea why, it’s a perfectly good record. The music on the way home had been pretty good, some Cornershop, followed by Drugstore, Idlewild, Julian Cope and FKA Twigs. SWC has been slightly grumpy since he had Elbow chosen for him by his own iPod. Its not that he minds Elbow, its just that he finds them slightly uninspiring. Track 11 starts, its Teenage Fanclub.

Immediately SWC looks at me and says “I’ll give you ten quid, if you swap.” I give it some serious consideration, but then I say “No, thanks” and smile. He swears at me and then suddenly out of nowhere he says “I suppose it’s for the best, because you get tell the tale of when you sang this song to that girl you fancied.” This song, track 11, is ‘Tears Are Cool’ from the ‘Thirteen’ album and I once did indeed sing it to a girl I fancied. I’d forgotten I’d told him that. “You told me on the trip to Crewe, it came on the iPod. We almost swerved into the path of that Fiesta because we were laughing so much” he says picking up on my blank look. “I may not include this song” I say and with that we get out of the car.

I spend the next day listening to Teenage Fanclub, and have nearly decided on my ICA, when I bump into SWC at the local Spar Shop. We have a chat and he tells me that he had written the Elbow ICA, but had done it live, letting the iPod pick all the tracks for him – apart from the first one, which was already decided as it was the 11th track. He then says “You should do the Teenage Fanclub one the same way”. I reluctantly agree – largely because I’d left the window open in the car and it has started to absolutely roar it down. When I get back in I realise that of course, this means that I have to start my ICA with ‘Tears Are Cool’ and that means telling this story, or it means SWC telling it for me. Sigh…

Side One

Tears Are Cool – Taken from Thirteen

So, there’s this girl, we’ll call her Aerosmith Girl, actually let’s call her Sally, and she was lovely. I had a massive thing for her in the early to mid nineties. She drunk in my local pub – where I lived at the time. I ignored the fact that she loved Aerosmith because she was so lovely.

Anyway, one night in the pub, I saw her crying, sitting there on her own, crying. I went over and spoke to her, turns out her cat had died (to be honest, she should have just stayed in – the attention seeker) anyway, after about five minutes, I said “its ok Tears Are Cool” – taking it from the song that Teenage Fanclub had released on their most recent album.

On Saturday night it was Open Mic night, when a few people turned up with acoustic guitars, played for fifteen minutes and then sodded off to claim two free pints. That night, for the time ever, I got up to play – I mumbled my way through an acoustic version of a Levellers song and then something in my head went “This ones for Sally” and I looked straight at her and did a little fist pump. I know. Sorry.

Then I sang ‘Tears Are Cool’. When I finished she wasn’t even sitting where she was when I started it. Twenty minutes later I saw her outside eating chips with a bloke called Gavin. Chips. Gavin. I’d sang my heart out in there and she fucked off and bought some chips. I never sang in that pub again. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever sung live again.

Anyway – lets go on with the ICA, the next nine songs picked by the ipod will make up the ICA – I have 68 Teenage Fanclub songs, so here goes….

God Knows Its True – Peel Session 12”

What a place to start! The Peel Session version of this is exquisite, full on proper guitar onslaught. There is an argument that this is their finest moment, certainly the Peel Session version is I think heavier than the 12” version. It wonderful

Radio – From Thirteen

Another single, we are doing well here. Thirteen was not the breakthrough that the response to ‘Bandwagonesque’ had suggested but its every bit its equal and in ‘Radio’ was a song as clean cut and ready for the erm, radio, as they ever record. Its simply wonderful.

Starsign – From 12” single

Another single! I’m not making this up folks, my iPod has a habit of doing this. Some of you will remember wives week on WYCRA when the first three songs where by three of my favourite bands – anyway, ‘Starsign’ is again, wonderful, even if it does sound more like Swervedriver than the band would ever admit.

Everything Flows – From ‘A Catholic Education’

Wow. What an A Side – if you ignore the nonsense around “Tears Are Cool” then tracks two to five are as about as much fun as you can have without taking your clothes and finding a pot of fromage frais in the fridge. At the same time. Side Two will be a let down folks. Face it.

Side Two

Don’t Look Back – From ‘Grand Prix’

‘Grand Prix’ is my favourite Teenage Fanclub album – and sorry I refuse to call them ‘The Fannies’ – just because. The musical template is pretty similar to the rest of their stuff, but its this album that is lyrically wonderful – especially the ones that Gerard Love wrote for some reason. ‘Don’t Look Back’ is one of those tracks and as it happens its one of my favourite tracks. I love the line ‘I’d steal a car/to drive you home’ its wonderfully soppy.

Start Again – From ‘Songs from Northern Britain’

This was one of the standout tracks from ‘Songs From Northern Britain’. This was a song I remember owning of 12” – long since vanished from the Badger household I’m afraid. It had a tremendous B Side if I remember (perhaps with Jad Fair?) but the single is excellent but I think we all know that. It’s a musical road trip full of jangley guitars and Beach Boys style harmonies. I always found the line ‘I don’t know if you can hear me’ as sung in this somewhat ironic and the public inevitably ignored it.

Hang On – From ‘Thirteen’

A strange thing happened in 1993, Teenage Fanclub were on the cusp of superstardom, they were loved by the press and their fanbase was growing. So for some reason they decided to embrace grunge but were in all honesty to brilliant to do it. They couldn’t do it. ‘Hang On’ starts a bit like something by an American Grunge band – its sounds a bit like Pavement as it happens – before it slides into white noise and strings. Its ace but feels uncomfortable getting there.

About You – From ‘Grand Prix’

Has there ever been a band so democratic in its songwritng duties as Teenage Fanclub? This one was written by Raymond McGinley and it’s a catchy as a cold. Its another one of my favourite tracks. ‘About You’ is sung by all three of the bands songwriters and seriously you’ll be singing it for weeks after playing it. The fact that this was overlooked as a single for (the not quite as good) ‘Mellow Doubt’ staggered me then and still staggers me now.

Sparkys Dream – From ‘Grand Prix’

Ok I’ll keep this one short – this is one of the best pop rock songs ever written. Its another Gerard Love one and that bluesy slide guitar intro is divine and nearly every band I can think would kill for it. One I definitely would have included anyway. Decent end to a decent album that.

Tim Badger




Just two guys mucking around – 2016 – An ICA written Live.

So we went to the cricket again, it was uneventful. Somerset lost again. We have seen Somerset six times in the last year or so, they have never won, (four defeats, two rained off). I think we are close to getting banned for life for being such unlucky customers. Anyway, on the way up and on the way back we did our usual ‘11th song Write an ICA’ thing – we do this to liven up the journey up. Quite often it means sitting in the car park until track 10 finishes and we can find out what Track 11 is. Today is no different, but mercifully Track ten is quite short – the reason it has taken so long to get to track eleven is because track 8 and 9 were both long songs (Spacemen 3 and Mogwai respectively). Track Ten is a short punky blast from Eagulls. Track 11 is from miserable Northern dudes Elbow and the track is ‘Any Day Now’ from their fine debut album ‘Asleep at the Back’.

Now, to make things interesting – and to make my life easier (selfish I know) I have decided to do this ICA live – I literally have no say in what songs are picked. I have 47 Elbow songs on my ipod, they are in one playlist – and I will let the iPod choose the tracks via the shuffle and I will write about them as they come in. It will miss off some classics, but it will be varied at least – it also means we may avoid ‘A Day Like This’ which to be honest annoys the crap out of me. Not because it’s a bad song, but because for a while a few summers ago it was bleeding everywhere. I kind of lost a bit of love for Elbow around then.

The only say I have this ICA is the first track – and that was selected for me in the car park at Taunton.

Side One

Any Day Now – Taken from ‘Asleep at the Back’

One of the first songs by Elbow that I ever heard and in the Top Five of theirs. Most of the debut album is brilliant. The songs build into epic crescendos and is perhaps I think their most indie record. Its interesting to see how the band have developed over time, with more torch songs and anthems coming out. Instead of indie based tracks like this. I switch from which Elbow I prefer. Indie Elbow or Stadium Rock Elbow. Probably indie Elbow.

Some Riot – Taken from ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’

This is quite a dour track, quite slow, fairly miserable and rather brooding. It does have these meandering strings running through it. Tracks like this make you realise that largely Elbow always were a vehicle for the voice of Garvey with the music often playing second fiddle to it. The quiet bits nearly always lead to a soaring verse from Garvey. He’s good at that so it makes perfect sense I suppose.

Don’t Mix Your Drinks – Taken from ‘Asleep at the Back’

Another rather slow number that does largely what the track before does. It’s a song which laments mixing drinks as ‘it will kill you’. It’s a grower this one, it takes some time to build, it does that quietly Guy’s vocals are reduced to loud whisper and the music just trundles along nicely. Then just as it was getting going, it just stops. ‘Asleep at the Back’ really is a tremendous album guys.

Open Arms – Taken from ‘Build a Rocket Boys!’

I’ll be honest here, I didn’t like this album and if I had any choice in it, I wouldn’t have actually picked any tracks from it. ‘Open Arms’ is quite good though. You get a cheery old guitar chirping away through it and this other guitar and drum thing that sounds like a train chuffing away in the background. It’s another one of those Elbow songs that you can imagine done live, with (open) arms swaying together in harmony, whilst Garvey crouches down and sings to the crowd. Well sort of.

Powder Blue – Taken from ‘Asleep at the Back’

The third track selected from the debut album – that’s ok it is their best album. As it happens this would have been included should I have had a decision in the running order. I love this song. The piano in it is brilliant. it is this song that made me realise that Garvey is a wonderful singer – he has this knack of building a song to bursting point. Another example of this is ‘Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver’. As it goes this isn’t a bad ending to side one really, the building of this song into a small epic and then again like the ‘Don’t Mix Your Drinks’ it just stops only this time with the sound of smashing glass. Brilliant.

Side Two

The Night Will Always Win – taken from ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’

This starts for at least thirty seconds with a single piano note repeating over and over – which stays with the song pretty much through it. Garvey and the rest of the music comes in a bit later and there is great bass drum bit in – which comes in around 90 seconds, its deep and heavy but has just enough oomph to be heard. As it happens this is a lovely little song, again its largely about the voice of Mr Garvey with the music taking a backseat. Again. I’m beginning to understand why he released that solo album now.

An Imagined Affair – From ‘Leaders of the Free World’

The first track from this album to be selected but is one of Elbow’s finest moments, not just on this album but full stop. This has an acoustic guitar strumming away whilst Garvey sings about an anonymous female who ‘brings the morning’ and how he is ‘lost in the sound of her voice’. This is what Garvey does best if you ask me – the heavy whispery vocal over quaint little tunes in the background. It’s very lovely indeed.

Forget Myself – Taken from ‘Leaders of the Free World’

One of the few singles selected so far. This should have been a massive hit. It has pretty much everything. The chorus of this is another one of those occasions which you can imagine live. Lights up, strobes flashing, arms aloft here it comes…. ‘Lord I know I won’t forget you….’ It’s wonderful of course it is. This was I think the comeback single after the second Elbow album kind of flopped (an album that is missing from my ipod for some reason – does anyone elses ipod just randomly delete shit) and the band went away and sort of reinvented themselves as a band wanting to play stadiums with the tunes capable of filling them. Great song.

The Birds – Taken from ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’

An eight minute track. Back in the mid-1990s it was customary to end albums with long songs – this was done deliberately to put the cassette industry out of business. My ending an album on a long song, people were forced to waste around four minutes of their lives fast forwarding the end of Side One in order to get to the start of side two. It worked. Around three and a half minutes into to this, Elbow go a bit krautrock channelling their inner Can. That genuinely is the most interesting thing that happens in this track. Come on iPod you have one more song to pick, don’t ruin it now.

Coming Second – From ‘Asleep at the Back’

In which Elbow go slightly menacing. Right from the start, Garvey sounds like he is ready to kill you in this song. There is a string instrument running through it – (a cello perhaps?) that just plucks away like a clock ticking down to some ungodly event. Then around 1 minute 40 the guitar comes in and just accompanies that ticking noise. Then it all combines together to have a couple of minute finale, lots of whirling, screeching guitar and no Garvey – he’s probably gone for a lie down.

So that’s it. It did alright my iPod really, not a bad selection of tracks, I would have picked four of the ten should I have been less lazy. Badger has just told me he will do the same thing with his 11th track selection – that folks by the way without giving too much away was a brilliant band to be given. I offered him £10 to change – he declined.

Oh one last thing – in case you are wondering ‘Loneliness of a Tower Crane Drive’ was the 16th track out of 47 so would have been in Volume 2 if you like. ‘One Day Like This’ 41st.

Good iPod, nice iPod. Take the afternoon off.



A Guest posting from Charity Chic

Twin Cities Harmonies – A Jayhawks ICA


I have received numerous electronic messages recently alerting me to the release of Paging Mr Proust a new record by The Jayhawks their 9th album in 30 years albeit only their second since 2003

That can only mean one thing – time for a Jayhawks ICA

I do not own this one or the 2011 predecessor Mockingbird Time or indeed their 1986 debut The Jayhawks (also known as The Bunkhouse Album ) so I shall concentrate on the six albums released between 1989 and 2003 when they, and indeed I, were at their peak

Side 1

1- Wichita from Hollywood Town Hall (1992)

Their third album and their breakthrough album Hollywood Town Hall on Def American is without question one of the top 10 albums of all time and Wichita is one of three tracks from it which will feature

2 – Sioux City from Blue Earth (1989)

A song which would have graced Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series.

I told this to Gary Louris and Marc Perlman the second time I ever say the Jayhawks


but given my slurred Glaswegian mutterings they merely looked bewildered and scared

3 – I’m Gonna Make You Love Me from Smile (2000)

Smile is perhaps the weakest of the 6 albums featured but still contains one or two crackers including this

4 – All The Right Reasons from Rainy Day Music (2003)

The last of the albums featured Rainy Day Music represents a return to form.

More acoustic than it’s two predecessors it sees the Jayhawks going back to their roots

There are about half a dozen songs that could have featured; on another day it might have been something else

5 – Nothing Left to Borrow from Tomorrow The Green Grass (1995)

A terrific sing a long song to bring the first side to a close

I had a very entertaining on line discussion with Brian (http://lineartrackinglives.blogspot.co.uk/) and others as to the relative merits of Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass. The general consensus was that HTH just about shades it

Side 2

1 – Blue from Tomorrow The Green Grass (1995)

Probably their most well known song

I had the honour of seeing Sharleen Spitteri sing this with them at The Garage in Glasgow and getting to chat to her.

Being a fellow Weegie she had no problems with my accent

2 – Nevada, California from Hollywood Town Hall (1992)

See side 1, track 1 – nothing more to say really

3 – Sixteen Down – from Sound of Lies (1997)

The first album without Marc Olson. Now essentially it is Gary Louris’ band and accordingly there is a more rocky feel to it

From about the time when one of my pals christened him the Professor of Music.

I always associate the Jayhawks with Olson, Louris and Marc Perlman but Tim O’Reagan has appeared on more records than Marc Olson.

4 – Save it For a Rainy Day from Rainy Day Music (2003)

Another gorgeous acoustic number from Rainy Day Music

5 – Take Me With You When You Go from Hollywood Town Hall (1992)

It is only fitting that we end where we began with Hollywood Town Hall

Another great sing along which is often the last song at a show

Hmm – maybe I should check out Paging Mr Proust after all


JC adds…………………..this is an ICA that has been lying around for some time, so big thanks to CC for being so patient.  Oh and it’s his birthday today….so my very best wishes to you.  If you go browsing in and around the charity shops of your choice, I hope you find a few hidden gems and/or bargains.



This new series, such as it is, is partly to force me into a bit of action in that my i-tunes library is a bit of a mess having not been tidied up for years. It means there are duplicates taking up space while even worse, there’s songs that have been originally loaded and later, thanks to them being modified in some shape or form (often for this blog), are no longer where they should be. It’ll take a while to sort it out and I’m going to do it on a letter-by-letter basis.

In doing so, I’m going to places that I won’t have been for a long time and re-discovering some long-lost tracks, many of which I think are worthy of sharing with you. The idea however, will only be to draw attention to singers/bands not featured here before (in as much they’re not listed in the big index on the right hand side). It’ll be an alphabetical run-through and most likely be an occasional feature as I don’t know as and when I’ll ne in tidy-up mode. But I have finished off the first letter of the alphabet….

mp3 : Airport Girl – Striking Out On Your Own

An example here of a band I only discovered via the internet, back in the days when I had time to scour round into all sorts of nooks and crannies in the days before I developed a fetish for blogging.  If you like your pop to have an indie-bent to it – and by that I mean the sort of fragile almost twee variety, then Airport Girl will tick your boxes. They burst onto the scene back in the very late 90s, releasing a handful of singles/EPs and one album on various indie labels of note, but particularly Fortuna Pop, before disappearing for a while and coming back in 2007 with an album called Slow Light, which is where I picked up on them.  The featured track however, dates back to 2000 and is a b-side.  It’s the greatest example of Bellshill-pop (BMX Bandits etc) to not come from that particular location.

mp3 : Alexi Murdoch – Song For You

I’m astonished that I’ve never included Alexi Murdoch here before – he was certainly on the old blog a fair few times.

Born in London in 1973 to a Greek father and Scottish-French mother, he lived in Greece until he was ten, when his family moved back to Britain, settling in Scotland. In 1992, he moved to America to study and it was on the west coast, in and around Los Angeles, that he began to build a reputation as a singer-songwriter of some note. He hasn’t been the most prolific of artists – one EP and two albums between 2002-2011, but it has all been of the very highest quality, The track above is from the 2006 album Time Without Consequence, but a version was originally on the 2002 EP Four Songs.

mp3 : Au Revoir Simone – Sad Song

Some low-fo electronic-pop courtesy of a Brooklyn-based female trio who, for a time on the mid-noughties, were top of the hipster’s lists of bands to latch onto. I’ve one album and one single from Au Revoir Simone in the collection – I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about, but the featured track, from the 2007 LP The Bird Of Music is pleasant enough

mp3 : The Assembly – Never Never (12″)

After enjoying success with Depeche Mode and Yazoo, the synth-pop genius that is Vince Clarke decided he wanted to collaborate with singers on a one-ff basis under the moniker of The Assembly. First up was Feargal Sharkey, formerly of The Undertones, and the electro-ballad was a smash in the UK hitting #4 in late 1983 and showing a side to Sharkey that few imagined possible. There was no follow-up single from The Assembly, and after a one-off effort with Paul Quinn flopped, Clarke turned back to being part of a band, forming the hugely popular Erasure.

mp3 : The Arrogants – Shellshock

One of my worst habits is downloading covers of songs that I have in the collection but failing to pay much attention to who is doing the cover or where it’s from. This is an incredibly good and unexpected cover of the New Order song in that it’s stripped right down and turned into a near acoustic ballad with a lovely female vocal. Totally different from the original. Turns out The Arrogants were an American band who were around for a while at the turn of the century and this was recorded for an album of re-interpreted songs from the soundtrack to Pretty In Pink.

Hopefully today’s selections offer up something for everyone.