A GUEST POST by jimdoes

An Imaginary Compilation Album of final tracks.

There’s something special about last songs on albums – where a band have taken you on a journey and leave their big statement to last. Something to remember them by and something that it’s impossible to follow. By it’s very nature this would be an extremely long ICA (those last tracks tend to go on and on). Quite a few of these bands haven’t had ICAs of their own but I’m sure at some point most of them will. It’s hard to get the order right when there’s supposed to be silence after every track but I think they flow well. I’m sure a lot of your readers will be VERY familiar with my selections – and I’m equally sure that you could choose 10 completely different tracks by different bands and create and equally brilliant ICA.


Possibly the final track to end all final tracks – but here it gets the honour of being side one track one of this ICA. It ticks all the boxes – sprawling, loud and full of false endings. It’s the track that The Chemical Brothers used to end their live shows with and it’s the last track on a truly classic album. When it first came out I’d shove it on the office stereo turn the volume up and blast my colleagues with an aural assault – they were never the same again. It was like nothing I’d heard before (Soon by My Bloody Valentine is possibly closest) and was a welcome relief from the idiocy of most Britpop. And without a doubt it’s the sound of taking drugs.


This song fills me with so much joy. It’s my favourite track off XTRMNTR – Primal Scream’s second creative peak. They were an absolute beast of a live band around this time – and these shows were some of the best I’ve ever seen – yet I don’t remember them ever playing this song last. New recruits Mani and Kevin Shields took the band to new levels that they haven’t matched since. It’s got everything – driving bass, screeching guitars and Bobby Gillespie intoning the same 4 words over and over – what more could you want?


The drumbeat. The bass. The voice – “Down Down you bring me down”. Then the guitar. It’s a record that needs no introduction – I’m sure everyone has heard it and most will love it. It was probably the first time I was aware of the whole epic final track thing – as much a statement of intent and arrogance as the opening track on their classic debut – “I wanna be adored”. They’re a band that I don’t hold dearly any more (it’s all the bellowing beer boys at their gigs and how they’ve become Oasis) but this track still gets me every time. Again it has all the hallmarks that you need for a final song – length, a certain over-the-top-ness and more false endings than I know what to do with. It’s truly special – it transports me back to being 19 spinning round dancing to it and it still makes me want to dance.


Like being repeatedly punched in the face by a drum machine. In the nicest possible way. It builds and builds – Karl Hyde working himself up into an absolute frenzy – getting more intense until it all sort of collapses. I’ve given myself whiplash on more than one occasion dancing to this when Underworld have played it live. Unsurprisingly they always used to play it last because there really was nothing they could follow it with.


I saw them first on the bill at a free gig. Expecting jangle, slightly angry indie pop I was absolutely blown away when they sat down and played sitars for 15 minutes and sang in Punjabi. It’s an uplifting, hypnotic track that I never grow tired of and it’s something of a curiosity on my ICA as it’s the same song (with added bass) as the opening track on the album it’s from. I love this track even though I’ve no idea what Tjinder Singh is singing about – in fact, to me this song is the king of the misheard lyric. When this is on in the car and I’m singing along I kind of replicate the sounds he makes which must look and sound pretty ridiculous to anyone who happens to catch sight of me. Having done a bit of research it appears to be a song calling for peace and unity – and you can’t go wrong with that.


Listening to these tracks as I write this ICA, it’s occured to me that lots of them have a driving, motorik beat – and this track is no exception. It was the first single released from The Horrors second album and proved to be a massive departure in sound and ambition from the gothic noise of it’s predecessor. And to me it’s a song they’ve never bettered although they have made some wonderful music since this. It’s one of those songs that seems to go on and on and you can get lost in – always incredible live as they teased new sounds out of it – and when the keyboard kicks in about halfway in I can’t help but feel an adrenaline rush of pure joy. There’s a great live recording of it from Glastonbury 2009 on YouTube that is worth checking out – I was there and it was pretty special.


What a band they were. Incredible that this was made by folk just out of their teens. It was a song that my best mate played as the last song at his wedding disco – everyone went bonkers, dancing, screaming and hugging each other – it’s just one of those songs. He’s divorced now, mind.


A song that doesn’t conform to my rules of the last track – although it is epic. It fills me with emotion. Majestic. It was also the song that closed perhaps the greatest show I’ve ever seen – Glastonbury 1997 – it sends shivers down my spine watching it on YouTube. I’d seen the Chemical Brothers on the NME stage with my friends who were determined to see Primal Scream in the Dance Tent – I had other ideas – my wife and I legged it through the backstage area (a shortcut between stages – one of the advantages of working for a national newspaper at the time) to catch a band make the transition from indie band to genuine stadium fillers. it was one of those situations where it was easier to go with peer pressure but I was rewarded for going with my instincts – especially as we were all chemically charged and it was before mobile phones so meeting up later was going to be tricky. Their more recent music doesn’t excite me (I stopped buying their albums around the time of In Rainbows) but I understand why the ‘young folk’ I work with (30somethings!!!) think they are amazing – they grew up with them.


The final track on Pulp‘s final album – and what a track. Jarvis get’s the singing over pretty sharpish and from about 2 minutes in this song conforms to the last track template. The band just go bananas creating a joyous uplifting sound that seems to go on and on. And stop and start. Must be great hearing it at sunrise after a long night of dancing.


A song that needs no introduction – this seems like the perfect track to close this ICA. Everyone can sing along. I used to listen to the Purple Rain soundtrack on headphones in my parents living room and it’s one of my favourite albums EVER. At the time Purple Rain was my least favourite song on the album but I’ve come to appreciate it’s sheer perfection over the intervening 34 years (how to feel old!). And the album contains one of the greatest opening tracks on an album EVER – but I’ll leave that for another ICA!



I spent a few days last week working on and fine-tuning in advance a set of approx 60 minutes for the first ever Simply Thrilled night last Saturday.

Best laid plans and all that!!

I shoved this up on Facebook about 45 minutes after I’d done my bit:-

Three and a bit hours in…and it’s been a triumph but in a way that we never expected.

The indie side of Scottish music has been put to side for the most part and we’ve played loads of chart hits that’s had loads of folk dancing.

Folk are having great fun…..

All of us involved in this venture aren’t ashamed to say that we are occasionally snobbish about music.  But….and this is where it counts most, each of us know that having a great time at a club night is what it is all about. This was how I felt when I woke up on Sunday and shared my thoughts on Facebook:-

The morning after.

Still coming to terms with the fact so many folk came along to the first Simply Thrilled night and had such a great time dancing, laughing, hugging and singing along.

Followed Rule #1 of the DJ bible… what it is your audience is wanting!!! The first 90 minutes of the night were as indie and obscure(ish) as we liked, and then once I played “Don’t Talk To Me About Love’ by Altered Images, the place went nuts in a really great and friendly and happy way.

I got by through binning my planned set list – some were shuffled around in order while others were dropped.  It was also decided to introduce two new songs, suggested by Robert, including one by The Orchids which hasn’t even been released yet!!

In short, I tried my best give the paying public exactly what they wanted which was made easier by the fact that the vast majority of the paying public were aged 35-50 and lived in or around Glasgow…..

Set List – Simply Thrilled Launch 28.07.2018

Friend of the Night – Mogwai
Dark Matter – Siobhan Wilson
Cockcrow – Aiden Moffat & RM Hubbard
A Friend Like You – Aberfeldy
Twisted and Bent – Trashcan Sinatras
Long In The Tooth – Pictish Trail
Milk – Garbage
Aye Today – Delgados
Scotland – The Wedding Present
Heard About Love – The Big Gun
Imperial – Butcher Boy
It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts – Tracyanne & Danny
No Longer Young Enough – Just Joans
If He Loved You He’d Listen – Hardy Boys
Safety Net – Shop Assistants
Plastic Bags From Tesco – Wilderness Children
Let’s Fall In Love and Run Away From Here – Ballboy
Geraldine – Glasvegas
Into The Valley – The Skids
Happy When It Rains – Jesus & Mary Chain
Iceblink Luck -Cocteau Twins
I Only Wanna Be With You – The Tourists
Nobody There – Veronica Falls
Candyskin – Fire Engines
Foxheads – Close Lobsters
I Never Learn – The Orchids
Don’t Talk To Me About Love – Altered Images
Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie
Rip It Up – Orange Juice
Since Yesterday – Strawberry Switchblade
Be Less Rude – Frightened Rabbit
Oblivious – Aztec Camera
18 Carat Love Affair – Associates
I Travel – Simple Minds
Everything (I Ever Wanted) – Fruits of Passion
Labour of Love – Hue & Cry
Fast Girls and Factory Boys – Port Sulphur
Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson
Sunkissed – Friends Again
The Honeythief – Hipsway
You’ve Got The Power – Win
Ain’t That Enough – Teenage Fanclub
Movin’ On Up -Primal Scream
I want to fall in love – BMX Bandits
Robert De Niro’s Waiting – Futuristic Retro Champions
Testify – Hi-fi Sean
Blueboy – Orange Juice
Sorry For Laughing – Josef K
Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
Obscurity Knocks – Trashcan Sinatras
The Rattler – Goodbye Mr Mackenzie
Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken – Camera Obscura
Rattlesnakes – Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
I’m A Cuckoo – Belle & Sebastian
Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds
Right Here – The Go-Betweens
Check My Heart – The Pastels
Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat
Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads
Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera
Party Fears Two – Associates
Kiss This Thing Goodbye – Del Amitri
Country Girl – Primal Scream
Sweet Dreams -Eurythmics
I’m Free – Soup Dragons
Millions – TeenCanteen
Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub
Happy Birthday – Altered Images
The Boy With The Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian
Walk Out To Winter – Aztec Camera
Living In Colour – Frightened Rabbit
Promised You A Miracle – Simple Minds
Dead Connection – Pictish Trail
Loaded – Primal Scream
The Mother We Share – Chvrches
Mr Blue Sky – Delgados
Pitch The Baby – Cocteau Twins
Sound and Vision – Franz Ferdinand
National Express – The Divine Comedy
Super Trouper – Camera Obscura
Keep Yourself Warm – Frightened Rabbit
Everything Flows – Teenage Fanclub

That’s five hours worth…but such was the energy and enthusiasm on show that the time flew in.

There’s been an incredibly positive reaction from folk who were there with loads of nice words and images posted in places. It’s given all of us a huge lift and made us very determined to make the next occasion even better, and we are hopeful of doing something in October. It’s very much Robert and Hugh who are the driving force and they will again work really hard to pull it altogether, while Carlo and Ash will work their creative magic on the design side of things.

Me? I’ll just turn up, throw out a few tunes and hope there’s as great a response as there was last night. One person has said that Simply Thrilled took them back to the days of Level 8 and the QM (two student haunts of mine in the early 80s) and if that’s the case, then it really was, from my part, job done.

Thought I’d share with you the very first set that I planned out…10/18 survived on the night and Robert played another of them later on.

mp3 : Various Artists – Simply Thrilled One

Track Listing

Candyskin – Fire Engines
Let’s Make Some Plans – Close Lobsters
Sunkissed – Friends Again
Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson
His Latest Flame – The Motorcycle Boy
Be Less Rude – Frightened Rabbit
Oblivious – Aztec Camera
Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie
I Travel – Simple Minds
I Could Give You All That You Don’t want – Twilight Sad
Top of the Pops – Rezillos
Rip It Up – Orange Juice
God Knows Its True – Teenage Fanclub
Since Yesterday – Strawberry Switchblade
18 Carat Love Affair – Associates
Hayfever – Trash Can Sinatras
Speed-Date – Arab Strap
Sorry For Laughing – Josef K

I hope you enjoy listening….and maybe even have a wee dance round your living room/office/garden in tribute to our wee night.

Feel free to visit to see some photos etc.



Having bamboozled a lot of fans with the change of image and shift in sound on the debut solo LP, Lloyd Cole displayed a wicked sense of humour by calling his next record Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe, which itself was a quote from author and poet Raymond Carver, thus further contributing to the prejudices of those who thought our singer/songwriter was a frustrated English Lit lecturer.

I have no doubt that this was the LP that Lloyd Cole had been desperate to make his entire career. He and Blair Cowan worked together and co-wrote many of its songs, specifically with the aim of having an orchestra play on them. At the same time, Lloyd wanted to further explore the rock side of things that had been captured on his debut record and so he also kept all of Robert Quine, Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet on board.  The album was recorded at great expense in New York and Los Angeles and it was given a substantial marketing budget. Here in the UK, side one of the record featured all the expansive songs while side two had all the guitar-led material; tellingly, the reverse was the case in the USA with Capitol Records determined to make him a rock’n’roll star.

It’s also worth recalling that 1991 was the year, as far as guitar music was concerned, that grunge and the heavier-end of things became highly fashionable. So it can come as no surprise that the album and the singles from it more or less disappeared without trace.

Which is a real shame, for it was an album that contained a lot of very fine songs, especially if you were prepared to accept that the jingly-jangly pop of the Commotions era was long gone, while the arrangements on the orchestral side brought comparisons with some of the finest work by Burt Bacharach…a man who whose work would become highly fashionable again later in the decade.

mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Butterfly
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Margo’s Waltz
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Weeping Wine
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – The ‘L’ Word

The last of these is an earlier, and in my view, superior version of the song Tell Your Sister which appears on the album. It was snuck out on a b-side.

Lloyd has never been slow in recording cover versions of some of his favourite songs by some of his favourite singers. He was always a huge fan of Marc Bolan and this was also one of the 1991 b-sides:-

mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Children of The Revolution




A few potential curve-balls for my Simply Thrilled set this coming Saturday, one of which may well be a b-side cover of a classic:-

mp3 : Sons and Daughters – Nice’n’Sleazy

This was the flip side of the 7″ vinyl release…..and it was the third 45 released by Sons and Daughters back in 2005.  I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nowhere near as good as the original but that would be an impossible task.  The bass line is a bit on the light side, as indeed is the keyboard solo but I’ve always been a sucker for a distinctively Scottish vocal lilt as provided by Adele Bethele and David Gow.

Here’s the a-side:-

mp3 : Sons and Daughters – Taste The Last Girl

While this is the b-side from the CD single:-

mp3 : Sons and Daughters – Stranger Song

Here’s the promo for the single:-

I must get round to doing an ICA for this lot……..




If I may, I’d like you to picture a scene from the early hours of Monday morning.

I’m on my way to work.

It’s just a few hours after I’ve got back into Glasgow after three and-a-bit days making an annual summer visit to Ireland, an occasion which involves a lot of emotion and a ridiculous amount of imbibing beverage of an alcoholic nature. It is also an occasion that is increasingly involving a lot of laughter, especially as I’m now being accompanied across there by some age-old friends while I get to hook up over there with some people who, through what were initially tragic circumstances, have become new compadres.

The mother of all hangovers is kicking just in time for me heading into the office. Yup, I’m old and experienced enough to know I should have added Monday to the period of leave and recuperated at home but I’ve made a dreadful error.

My mood has most certainly not been improved by the rail operator deciding to muck everyone about and so I’m now facing a 20 minute sit-down in a draughty and smelly station underneath the surface having raced down the stairs, foregoing some food and drink, in an effort to make a timely connection. I am extremely pissed off.

I elect to press auto-shuffle on the i-pod as I really am unsure of what I’m in the mood for.

What comes on is one of the tracks from the LP Nineteeneighties, which was recorded by Grant-Lee Phillips in 2005. Eleven well-known songs by the likes of The Smiths, The Cure, Pixies, R.E.M., Joy Division, Nick Cave, and The Psychedelic Furs given fairly radical makeovers, often with an upbeat, electric/electronica style in the original being replaced by one man and his acoustic instruments. Given he’s gone for some songs which will be among the favourites of fans of the bands, this really shouldn’t work, but thanks to the blend of smooth vocals and a gentle playing of the guitar, he delivers a truly wonderful record. There’s real evidence of a huge amount of respect for the tunes but what is most striking is that Grant-Lee’s singing and the arrangements he’s given the songs really enables the lyrics to shine and impress in a way that didn’t always occur on the originals:-

mp3 : Grant Lee Phillips – Age of Consent

This is my favourite New Order song of all time.

Since 1983, this killer tune has always got me moving every part of my body on the dance floor. I never really paid too much attention to the lyrics, especially given that Bernard Sumner isn’t really famed for the quality of the words he writes. Even looking at the words written down on paper doesn’t give any indication that this is in fact a rather stunning song about a loss; it could be, and probably is, about a romance gone wrong but it could also be interpreted as an ode to someone who has died….or indeed, killed themselves. I’m not saying it was penned with Ian Curtis in mind, but the way that Grant-Lee delivers the ‘lost you, lost you, lost you’ refrain is very haunting and incredibly moving.

It also seemed appropriate to come up randomly after my trip to Ireland…and after listening to it this morning while sitting in the railway station, my anger at the rail authorties eased somewhat…..and as anyone who is familiar with my Facebook account can tstify, that is not something which happens all the time.



OK….he got some help from his two mates, but I couldn’t resist using this particular photo.

The lads from Woking defeated the Bard of Barking by 17-13 in a surprisingly low-scoring final in which both held the lead at various stages.  I didn’t think back at the Start!, given that The Jam ICA was comprised solely of album tracks, that would they could win the whole thing but the result does go to show just how well their songs have aged and that they still have a special place in the hearts and minds of many of you.

I can’t thank enough all of you for getting involved so much these past few months – the quality across the comments section has been astounding – and of course a very special shout-out to jimdoes who came up with the initial idea. I’m planning, all being well, to having a second ICA World Cup. most likely in 2020 and featuring teams whose ICAs are from #151 and onwards.

But…..and here’s where your voice will really matter, I’d like to run some sort of competition in 2019 along similar but different lines if that makes sense.

It’s an idea which has been mulling around my head for a few months and I have shared it with the likes of Aldo and Jacques, neither of whom were moved to talk me out of it.

Everything to do with the 2018 match-ups came via random selections amd with the use of a coin and a dice. Next time around, I’d like readers to be more involved.  I’m looking for folk to volunteer themselves as managers of a squad   Once I know how many folk are interested, I can start to flesh out the idea in more detail with those concerned.  If nobody is interested, I’ll quietly drop the idea….and wait till 2020 for the next tourney.

If it does go ahead there will a need for a lot of e-mails to kick back and forth and so I’m likely going to set up a separate account for it all as and when the time comes.

In the meantime, I’d be delighted if any of you wanted to give an indication, via the comments section, of your willingness to be a manager……

In the meantime, both of our finalists get to close things off:-

mp3 : Billy Bragg – That’s Entertainment
mp3 : The Jam – That’s Entertainment



The ICA World Cup is over and the result of the final will be revealed tomorrow.

One consequence of that is that I now have the time to return Sundays to their purpose of being the day for a regular and in-depth series, which for the most part has been all the 45s of a particular singer or band.  But for the next instalment, I’m going to do down a slightly different road….

I’ve always hankered after doing a Lloyd Cole solo ICA but I’ve had real problems getting such a work down to just ten songs, especially as he has released such a rich variety of different sounding material over the years. I’m therefore going to feature him, not on a single-by-single basis, but on a year-by-year basis (as best I can as there have been some quiet spells where there were no releases). I do hope you enjoy it and stick with it over the coming months.

It would be fair to say that Lloyd Cole is best known for his output with The Commotions – three very successful albums between 1984 and 1987, all of which earned gold discs for sales numbers, and nine singles, none of which, to my surprise, got any higher than #17 in the charts.

The band, after a hiatus when there were all sorts of rumours, announced their break up in 1989, with Polydor Records in the UK and Capitol Records in the USA signing the frontman to a solo contract. There really were high hopes that he would become a major star under his own steam.

The debut material was written and recorded in New York. The singer revealed, in late 1989, that the sound would be a radical departure from that of the Commotions, although he did let on that keyboardist Blair Cowan was someone he was still working alongside but that much of the newer rock-type guitar sound would be the work of Robert Quine, regarded by many as one of the unsung heroes of American guitar music in the 70s and 80s, working alongside Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Richard Hell and Tom Waits among many others.  The other main musicians were Fred Maher (who was another NYC musician who had worked with Lou Reed) and a highly thought of but relatively unknown bass player named Matthew Sweet.

The first Lloyd Cole solo song was a 45 released in January 1990:-

mp3 : Lloyd Cole – No Blue Skies

There was no mistaking who the vocalist was, but the slower almost AOR pace of the song was a bit of a shock to those of us who danced round the indie discos to the previous singles. It sold in reasonable numbers, reaching #42 but that was probably a disappointment to the label bosses who were putting a fair bit of money into promoting the artist as a solo performer.

The album, entitled Lloyd Cole, came out a month later. The sleeve, featuring a heavily bearded and long-haired frontman, was an instant giveaway that this was not going to be an indie-pop album. Reviews were decent, although just about everyone commented on how laid-back yet harder-edged it was compared to the band material; there were also references to the fact that he continued to be a very fine observational lyricist who would strike a chord with his audience, particularly those who had been with him since the early days and were now appreciating what life had to offer outside the student bubble. It reached #11 in the charts and did, like his band albums, get certified gold.

Its thirteen songs stretched out to over 53 minutes and while there were none that stood out as obvious chart singles, there were some that became instant favourites among fans and remain part of the live repertoire almost 30 years on:-

mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Don’t Look Back
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Undressed

There were in fact three singles released from the album, all of which came with a variety of b-sides that never made it to the album, two of which were as close to Commotions numbers as anything from that period:-

mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Wild Orphan
mp3 : Lloyd Cole – Blame Mary Jane

The former, as so many of the great band songs had done, namechecks a celebrity, in this instance Jodie Foster, while the latter with its obvious drug references, could be a rock relation to My Bag.



I’m in Ireland this weekend and during whatever down time I have I’m sure to be mulling over what tracks I’ll air during my stint on the decks at Simply Thrilled exactly one week tonight.

I’ve got at least 250 options on the longlist…I need to get that down to 15-18 for an hour-long set or perhaps a little more for a 90 minute stint. just about every time I decide something isn’t going to get played, I give it a listen and realise that I can’t discard it, as happened the other day with this:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Blue For You

An 80s dance classic (and which couldn’t be mistaken for any other decade) on which the former Josef K fella is helped out by Giles and Samantha from Hey! Elastica on backing vocals. It was released on 12″ vinyl in 1983 by the Belgian label Les Disques Du Crepuscule. The b-side was a remix in which Paul’s vocal contribution is removed in its entirety:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Blue For You (version)

A year or so later, a particularly dapper, handsome and cool Paul Haig appeared on Switch, a short-lived music programme on Channel 4 in which he performed Blue For You



Please don’t run away or be scared. This is actually an excellent piece of music.

mp3 : Lambchop – Up With People (edit)

It is a shortened version of one of the very fine tracks to be found on the LP Nixon released in 2000.

Lambchop has always had a fluid line-up from record to record dating back to their 1994 debut but always featuring the unique vocal talents of Kurt Wagner. Now I’m happy to admit that Kurt wont be everyone’s cup of tea – Mrs V for one cannot stand his singing rather cruelly likening when he goes high-pitched to Tiny Tim – but I’m a fan.

The two extra tracks on the CD single feature a remix by trip-hop/ambient duo Zero 7 and a cover of a track by the late Vic Chesnutt, an artist much admired by Michael Stipe.

mp3 : Lambchop – Up With People (Zero 7 remix)
mp3 : Lambchop – Miss Prissy

While Up With People is a fine enough single, I dont think its the best track on the LP. Have a listen to this:-

mp3 : Lambchop – Grumpus


THE FESTIVE 50 OF 1989 (3 of 3)

All the words have been written at Parts 1 and 2 earlier this week. Here’s three more largely unheralded bands who had a entry in the 1989 Festive Fifty:-

mp3 : Galaxie 500 – Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste (#41)
mp3 : Snuff – Not Listening (#44)
mp3 : The Popguns – Landslide (#46)

The first, if you weren’t previously aware, is a stunningly inventive six plus minute cover version of a short spoken word number:-

mp3 : Jonathan Richman – Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste

The chart in full:-

1. Sundays – Can’t Be Sure
2. Wedding Present – Kennedy
3. Pixies – Debaser
4. Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck
5. Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven
6. Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection
7. Stone Roses – She Bangs The Drums
8. James – Sit Down
9. The Inspiral Carpets –  Joe
10. House Of Love – I Don’t Know Why I Love You
11. Pale Saints – Sight Of You
12. Dinosaur Jr – Just Like Heaven
13. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Blues From A Gun
14. Wedding Present – Take Me (I’m Yours)
15. Cud – Only (A Prawn In Whitby)
16. Mudhoney – You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)
17. Stone Roses – Made Of Stone
18. Morrissey – Last Of The Famous International Playboys
19. Wedding Present – Brassneck
20. Morrissey – Ouija Board, Ouija Board
21. The Inspiral Carpets – Find Out Why
22. 808 State – Pacific State
23. Stone Roses – Fool’s Gold
24. Wedding Present – Bewitched
25. Pale Saints – She Rides The Waves
26. Field Mice – Sensitive
27. New Order – Vanishing Point
28. Birdland – Hollow Heart
29. Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
30. Telescopes – Perfect Needle
31. Bob – Convenience
32. Jesus Jones – Info Freako
33. Spacemen 3 – Hypnotised
34. De La Soul – Eye Know
35. The Inspiral Carpets – So This Is How It Feels (Session)
36. Pixies – Wave Of Mutilation
37. Pixies – Here Comes Your Man
38. The Fall – Dead Beat Descendant
39. Dub Sex – Swerve
40. Birdland – Paradise
41. Galaxie 500 – Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste
42. Senseless Things – Too Much Kissing
43. Pixies – Dead
44. Snuff – Not Listening
45. Wedding Present – What Have I Said Now?
46. Popguns – Landslide
47. Morrissey – Interesting Drug
48. The Family Cat – Tom Verlaine
49. The Inspiral Carpets – Directing Traffic
50. The Inspiral Carpets – She Comes In The Fall


THE FESTIVE 50 0F 1989 (2 of 3)

Yesterday’s posting concentrated on the multiple entries into the Festive 50 of 1989, and those of you who are half-decent at arithmetic will have worked out that 27 acts managed to get enough votes to muster a place in the rundown.

Some of these were very well-known acts with some of their best-known and best-loved songs, with perhaps the best examples being found in the higher echelons of the festive rundown – Happy Mondays with Wrote For Luck (#4), James with Sit Down (#7), House Of Love with I Don’t Know Why I Love You (#10), Dinosaur Jr with Just Like Heaven (#12) and The Jesus And Mary Chain with Blues From A Gun (#13). They’ve all been featured on the blog before, and so it is the next few bands in the rundown that I want to shine a light on.

mp3 : Cud – Only (A Prawn In Whitby) (#15)

There are others out there way more qualified than me to wax lyrically about Cud. They’re another band of whom I own very little but anytime I’ve eavesdropped in on an offering on a blog, I’ve found myself nodding my head in appreciation.

They had been kicking around for a couple of years having released a handful of singles and recorded a Peel Session, before debut album When In Rome, Kill Me was released in June 1989. The seven songs on side one of the album are linked by short narratives thus, sort of, forming a single story in which the main character runs away from Whitby to Rome to try and escape the long arm of the law. From the one time I’ve actually heard the entire album, it seemed to me to be far from an over-blown concept record and indeed seemed to be taking the piss out of such records so loved by the prog-rock fraternity. The track featured today was based on an alleged encounter with Morrissey in which the vegetarian was supposed to have been spotted wolfing down a prawn in a café in Whitby….but in all likelihood not true.

The only other band with a single entry into the Top 20 were American grunge combo Mudhoney at #16 with You Got It (Keep It Out Of My Face).

The lower part of the chart was festooned with great tracks which still endure to this day, including these which should be familiar to you either via this or other great blogs:-

808 State – Pacific State (#22)
Field Mice – Sensitive (#26)
New Order – Vanishing Point (#27)
Spaceman 3 – Hypnotised (#33)
De La Soul –Eye Know (#34)
Dub Sex – Swerve (#39)

And then, like Convenience by BOB which started all this off, there’s a handful which may well need some prompting but are more than worthy of a listen. Here’s three today, with a similar number to follow tomorrow:-

mp3 : The Telescopes – The Perfect Needle (#30)
mp3 : Senseless Things – Too Much Kissing (#42)
mp3 : The Family Cat – Tom Verlaine (#48)


THE FESTIVE 50 OF 1989 (1 of 3)

The recent posting on Convenience by BOB made recent reference to it reaching #31 in the Peel Festive 50 of 1989. It was a year in which indie, no matter how loosely you choose to define the genre, gained a stranglehold on the rundown.

The Sundays took the #1 spot with the sublime Can’t Be Sure, but just below them were a bunch of bloke-fronted bands with multiple entries, four of whom – The Wedding Present, Pixies, Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets achieved the fairly rare outcome of having five songs in a single rundown. The other acts with multiple entries were Morrissey (3) and a couple who could deemed to be something of a surprise given the names of those acts who had just one song voted in:-

mp3 : Pale Saints – Sight Of You (#11)
mp3 : Pale Saints – She Rides The Waves (#25)
mp3 : Birdland – Hollow Heart (#28)
mp3 : Birdland – Paradise (#40)

The two Pale Saints songs were from their debut EP, Barging Into The Presence of God, released on 4AD in September 1989. They were a band that I never took that much notice of and anything I own of theirs has come via compilation LPs/CDs, but then again the whole shoegaze thing with which they were lumped in really left me cold at the time and I didn’t see things through with any of them.  But I do like these now that I’ve listened to them.

I think it’s rather obvious from what I’ve said and written about over the years on this blog that I prefer my boys (and girls) with guitars, for the most part, to make noises which were a bit more easy-going on the ear and capable of accommodating the throwing of strange shapes on the dance floor. But given that the Festive 50 of 1989 turned out to be heavily populated with that sort of stuff, it is pleasing that something so abstract and different gathered so many votes, especially as the songs had been released only a relatively short time previously and hadn’t enjoyed much exposure outside of late night radio.

Birdland were another act who you would be hard pushed to hear anywhere on your radio unless you tuned in when most folk were watching telly or trying to get some sleep. I know only of their name and have nothing by them on vinyl or CD, but looking into things I’ve learned that the entries into the Festive 50 were the band’s first two singles. It would also appear that the Manic Street Preachers owe just about everything to Birdland in terms of their initial sound and attitude, albeit they seemed to have slightly more sensible haircuts than the bleached blonde look that the boys from Birmingham relied on.

The interesting thing with both bands is that, having garnered great critical plaudits from the earliest of releases, they both suffered setbacks in 1990 with muted responses to the debut albums, neither of which incorporated the early singles/EPs.

I’m absolutely certain that there will be some of you out there who were hugely enthused by one or both bands when they emerged, perhaps even seeing them as the future of rock’n’roll as they dared to be a tad different from the norm, and I’d be very interested in hearing your views, thoughts and opinions on where and why it all went wrong for them. And if anyone wishes to send over a guest post or posts, then feel very free to drop me a line.

More from the Festive 50 of 1989 tomorrow and again on Wednesday.




from 18 March 2009

I’ve mentioned more than a few times that back in the late 80s I gave up on music for a while. It was all to do with big changes in my personal circumstances, but for maybe the best part of 2 years, I was well out of touch with things.

It was a developing friendship with a marginally younger, new colleague at work (you know him best as Jacques the Kipper) that helped get me back on track as he supplied me with all sorts of cassettes with songs from that era to help fill in the gaps. In return, he got some tapes from me with some of the obscure nonsense I had listened to.

The swapping of tapes was something we did about once every two months, but it all came to a halt when my mate settled down with a wife and kids. Not that he stopped listening to great new music, just that he had hardly any time to create musical masterpieces.

A few years later, he handed me a CD with the words…’there’s some stuff on this I know you’ll like.’ And he was right. One of the tracks was this:-

mp3 : Laptop – Gimme The Nite

Released back in 1998, Laptop was the name under which Jesse Hartman recorded for a short while. Now if like me this still means nothing, well maybe all of this, taken from his myspace page will help:-

Hartman is a musician and filmmaker who lives in New York. He made two albums as Sammy and three as Laptop (, but now just goes by Jesse Hartman. The press says it best: “Imagine Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” remixed by Devo — Hartman, like Cohen, possesses that rare and treasurable knack of writing genuinely funny songs that are not novelty pop. This is because Hartman has a rarefied understanding of the truth.” -The Independent, London

“Hartman has the semi-detached, cinematic-sociophobic world view of a Woody Allen character, The 1964 Mick Jagger reincarnated as a computer nerd.” -The Guardian

So heartbreakingly piquant are his lyrics and so tragicomically true his world-view, you wonder how he can be an American. Mischievous, snarling New York synth-pop genius Jesse Hartman, is one of the few artists that the whole Time Out music section can agree on. We’re mad about the boy.” -Time Out London

“Bitter, bitchy and as witty as a younger computer-literate Woody Allen, a ‘Users Guide’ to your 20’s…Quietly brilliant.” -Q Magazine;

“Hartman is heartless, but he’s also hilarious. – New York Newsday;

“Heavenly pop.” -Time Out New York

Clearly he was a hit with certain music journalists. The record buying public seemed to say differently as his music sold in very small numbers.

Oh and here’s the two other tracks on the single:-

mp3 : Laptop – Blow Baby Blow
mp3 : Laptop – A Little Guilt




Yup…..The Jam pulled off an almighty shock last week and knocked out The Clash by 22-18. Here’s the roads that the two finalists have gone down in this tourney.


Round 1 – St Swithin’s Day : 33-10 v The Faces
Round 2 – Tank Park Salute : 23-12 v The Pixies
Round 3 – Greetings To The New Brunette : 26-15 v Prefab Sprout
Round 4 – Love Gets Dangerous : 25-12 v Half Man Half Biscuit
Round 5 – Levi Stubbs’ Tears : 26-12 v The Smiths
Semi Final – Between The Wars : 18-16 v Pulp


Round 1 – Happy Together : 34-10 v T.Rex
Round 2 – Billy Hunt : 37-6 v The Detroit Cobras
Round 3 – Thick As Thieves : 35-6 v Daft Punk
Round 4 – Saturday’s Kids : 23-4 v The Jesus and Mary Chain
Round 5 – Man In The Corner Shop : 23-11 v Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Semi Final – To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time) : 22-18 v The Clash

Every tie thus far has seen the songs matched in randomly thanks to a combination of tossing a coin and rolling a dice. The advantage is very much with Billy as he had two ICAs (#36 and #37) and still has 14 tracks for selection: Northern Industrial Town; World Turned Upside Down; Deportees; Take Down The Union Jack; A New England; Cold and Bitter Tears; Walk Away Renee; Which Side Are You On?; The Space Race Is Over; The Saturday Boy; The Short Answer; Everywhere; Brickbat; Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards

The Jam had one ICA (#52) and therefore have much fewer options: Art School; Little Boy Soldiers; Boy About Town; The Gift, none of which really stand a chance if certain of Billy’s come through……

Please have a listen and cast your votes for one of the following songs:-

Brickbat v Little Boy Soldiers

Intriguing and fascinating, with Billy being represented by one of his love songs from the LP William Bloke, inspired by the changes in his life in settling down and becoming a dad while The Jam have the new-wave equivalent of Bohemian Rhapsody around which Paul Weller planned but didn’t quite pull off the idea of Setting Sons being an anti-war concept album.

Feel free to take your time on this one…..The closing date for voting is midnight on Sunday 22 July with the result being announced the following morning – the reason being that next weekend sees me on my annual pilgrimage to Westport in Ireland and I’m not taking the laptop with me.




It’s Friday. It’s the 13th of the month. I’ve been running a Scottish theme all week here. It’s the eve of an all-English ICA World Cup final. I feel it is appropriate to sabotage the blog.

Today’s offering is the debut 45 by the rather spendid and usually tuneful Idlewild.

Queen of The Troubled Teens was released on Human Condition Records, an Edinburgh-based indie label, but such was the small extent of the distribution that few copies got outside of the city, and as such it is highly sought after by fans (and no, I don’t have a copy; I used villainous methods to get a hold of the songs for today).

Idlewild had played their first shows in early 1996, as teenagers, and they soon earned a reputation for loud, chaotic but energetic shows. It wasn’t until February 1997 that their debut single was released by which time their bass player, Phil Scanlon, had quit to concentrate on his studies and so these three songs are his sole contribution to a band which has now released seven studio albums, three compilations and twenty-three singles in a largely stellar career.

Here’s what Roddy Woomble, lead singer and main songwriter with the band has said this about the debut:-

The thing is that it’s rubbish. I mean, for what it is – when I look back, like I do with fondness at copies of a favourite book or something – musically it’s just a bunch of 19-year-olds. Of course it’s part of the band’s history, but I think things have moved on.

He’s not wrong you know….

mp3 : Idlewild – Queen of The Troubled Teens
mp3 : Idlewild – Faster
mp3 : Idlewild – Self Healer

I can safely predict that these are unlikely to be aired at Simply Thrilled.



The Vaselines are one of the best examples you can find of a band becoming more famous and influential long after they had called it a day.

Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee were romantically entwined when they formed the band in 1986. As they have said on a number of occasions, they knew they weren’t terrifically competent from a technical point of view, but they set out with the intention of the sort of music they enjoyed listening to, heavily influenced by the 60s duets of Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra, and the likes of The Velvet Underground, Orange Juice and The Jesus and Mary Chain who had all used grit and determination to get things going rather than worry about how perfect their sound was.

They released two EPs on a Glasgow-based independent label which was run and managed by a number of their friends, including Stephen Pastel, as well as recording an album which initially had to be shelved as the label had gone bust, albeit it was later picked up and released on Rough Trade. By the time the album was released in 1989, the band was no more – thoroughly disillusioned by the experience of crap venues, no money, no solid fan base and no media support for what they were doing. Little did they, or indeed anyone know, that their songs had come to the attention of a singer/songwriter from the north-west corner of the States who was determined that the band he fronted would pay homage by covering them when they played live.

Kurt Cobain’s love for The Vaselines brought them to a whole new audience, and more importantly, had critics reassessing things to the extent that a number of them in the UK would claim to have championed them from the outset. Eugene and Frances had become hip names to drop into any conversation….

The EPs and album had sold in such small numbers that they were tough to track down and so Sub Pop chose to reissue their entire 19-song back catalogue in 1992 on a compilation entitled The Way of The Vaselines at the same time as a Edinburgh based indie label issued something similar in the shape of All The Stuff and More, which is the piece of vinyl that I have in the collection.

The three songs that made up the debut EP encapsulate everything that made the band so different from their late 80s peers while also demonstrating how it was difficult for anyone to find a single reference point with which to compare them:-

mp3 : The Vaselines – Son of A Gun
mp3 : The Vaselines – Rory Ride Me Raw
mp3 : The Vaselines – You Think You’re A Man

The irony, of course, is that the lead track has aged magnificently, sounding really fresh and invigorating more than 30 years on, one which has no problem in filling the floor of your average indie/alt disco with even the young ones appreciating its charms.

The other original track is hilarious and shambolic in equal measures….it could be argued that it’s about someone looking forward to climbing aboard a fine looking horse and galloping around some freshly mown fields first thing in the morning…..but that argument holds no truck in Villain Towers. I really don’t know how these real life lovers were to keep straight faces when they sang this one in concert……

The final track demonstrates that the making indie music doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your wicked sense of humour and fun at the door of the studio. Where Orange Juice had often paid tribute to the late 70s/early 80s disco sound, so their descendants tipped their hats to Hi-NRG with a bizarre take on a hit single by the drag queen Divine (which, incidentally , was the first ever success for the production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman).

The a-side of these may well be aired at some point during Simply Thrilled….if not the inaugural night, then I’m certainly going to have it on a playlist in next time around.



This post is dedicated to Sexy Loser

I thought it was time I tackled another difficult ICA, featuring another wonderfully entertaining and talented Scottish combo, one of the finest bands to ever emerge out of Scotland’s capital but second city.

Ballboy emerged in the mid-to-late 90s, with the various members gigging and recording around the commitments of holding down full-time careers. A few members came and went and finally things settled down in 1999 with a four-piece line-up consisting of Gordon McIntyre (vocals and guitar), Nick Reynolds (bass), Gary Morgan (drums) and Katie Griffiths (keyboards) signing to SL Records. The band would record a number of EPs/singles which were later compiled as the wonderfully named Club Anthems in 2001 before the release of a debut LP, A Guide For Daylight Hours was released in late 2002. Two more albums – The Sash My Father Wore and Other Stories (2003) and The Royal Theatre (2004) very quickly followed as the band consolidated on their ever-increasing fan base, one of whom was John Peel.

By this point in time, Alexa Morrison had replaced Katie Griffiths. There was also something of a loss of momentum with the latest LP not being as well received as previous efforts and there was something of a fall-out with the label. It wasn’t until 2008 that the next album – I Worked On The Ships – was released and it was on the band’s own imprint of Pony Proof Records. There’s not actually been all that much released since then outside of a digital Christmas mini-album in 2013, but the band have been reasonably active on the live front here in Scotland, albeit rarely nowadays as a full four-piece.

There’s plenty of songs which could have made this ICA, and what follows is not necessarily my favourite 10 tracks; but taken collectively they make for what I think would be two rather splendid sides of vinyl. It also builds on this previous posting on the band from two years back.


1. Avant Garde Music (from A Guide for the Daylight Hours, 2002)

Every one of the band’s EPs and albums opens with a truly memorable number and it was a tough choice selecting the track with which to introduce the ICA. In the end, I’ve plumped for Avant Garde Music partly on the basis it is from the debut LP but mainly as it captures perfectly what it is that makes Ballboy such an appealing listen. It is self-deprecating, humorous, catchy and with has the most wonderful put-down line of ‘I don’t give a fuck what she says or thinks about me’. Indie attitude at its very best!

2. All The Records On The Radio Are Shite (EP, 2002)

More indie attitude at its very best. Gordon’s tongue may be slightly in his cheek when he sings that, with the exception of his own material all the music coming out of the transistor just aren’t very good, but there’s no arguing the sentiments, especially these days when an awful lot of indie music seems to be by numbers. But then again, the hipsters and youngsters probably think the stuff I like is trad and dull…..

3. Songs For Kylie (from I Worked On The Ships, 2008)

There are singer/songwriters out there who have made millions upon millions, selling out arenas and stadia the world over thanks to them having the talent to match a tear-inducing lyric with a tune that somehow can tunnel its way into every brain and stay there no matter how hard you want or try to forget it. There are even, and always have been, songwriters for hire to do the very same for those singers whose voice is the only thing creative about them. I listen to some of the ballads that Ballboy have recorded over the years and cannot but feel that Gordon McIntyre missed his true calling.

4. Something’s Going To Happen Soon (from A Guide for the Daylight Hours, 2002)

And the cellos kick in……..

Boom. Pow. Whack.  You’re In Love.

5. I Don’t Have Time To Stand Here With You Fighting About The Size Of My Dick (from The Royal Theatre, 2004)

As said previously, probably the first thing that jumps out when you look Ballboy song is the finest set of song titles since The Smiths were at the height of their fame, fame fatal fame. The titles inevitably involve a wry look at life and love – successes and failures alike – but the great thing is that the tunes are more than a match, especially on the debut album. There was a wee bit of a backlash when The Royal Theatre was released in that the production and sound had removed some of what had made the band such an essential listen over the previous five years but it is impossible not to smile at the title of this song.

There’s a real complexity about the lyric – the laugh out loud title acts as its opening line and isn’t ever repeated. The closing two lines offer up a beautiful and moving image of a loving memory. In between? Well, let’s just say it’s from the perspective of a hardened, violent criminal who just never imagined things ever going wrong….just listen and then applaud.


1. Donald In The Bushes With A Bag of Glue (from Club Anthems, 2001)

This was actually the lead track on the band’s first ever EP, Silver Suits For Astronauts, in 1999.

2. Kiss Me, Hold Me and Eat Me

3. The Sash My Father Wore (both from The Sash My Father Wore and Other Stories (2003)

The sophomore album was a bit if a surprise in that it was quite acoustic in nature, offering up many songs in which it was just the singer and his guitar and the occasional use of a cello.. It’s a tremendously enjoyable piece of work, brave in many ways partly from it being such a bold step away from the sounds that had brought the band some indie-pop fame but also from the fact that the lyrics didn’t hold back on the sort of things that angered him, not least the title track.

Kiss Me, Hold Me and Eat Me must be the only love song about cannibalism. It muses on what cannibals who fall in love would do to one another given their all-consuming desire to consume flesh. Is there a happy ending? There’s only one way to find out…….

Type in “The Sash My Father Wore” into any search engine and you’ll be greeted with a toe-tapping tune of religious triumphalism and intolerance. Sectarianism is Scotland’s shame. It is somewhat on the wane compared to a generation ago but those Protestants who can’t tolerate Roman Catholics (and vice-versa) while less in numbers seem to be more bitter about things, angry that a certain way of life is ebbing away. It is, sadly, at its worst in Glasgow but there are also many small working-class villages and towns which have an historical association with dirty, grimy and dangerous industries, especially coal mining, where the marching season across June, July and August brings out the worst in folk.

Ballboy’s take on it all? A gentle ballad with a biting lyric which pulls no punches. Billy Bragg has rarely, if ever, been this courageous……

4. I Wonder If You’re Drunk Enough To Sleep With Me Tonight (from A Guide for the Daylight Hours, 2002)

The title sounds creepy and the sort of thought that goes through the head of a social inadequate on a night out in the company of someone they fancy, or indeed lust over. And yet and the upbeat, jaunty nature of the song opens it to other interpretations, primarily that it is really about a hopeless romantic who, while he says he won’t be put off by a fear of failure is in fact so terrified of it that he is incapable of behaving or thinking in any sort of rational way.

I’ve always thought this would make for a marvellous duet. Singer #1 would take it through to the end of the first chorus at which point singer #2 comes in and takes it through to the end of the second chorus. Then they would stare into one another’s eyes and both sing the closing section, pleading with one another to kiss them like they mean it this time……and it won’t matter if they are sober or drunk.

5. Meet Me At The Shooting Range (from A Guide for the Daylight Hours, 2002)

One of the most hauntingly, beautiful tunes of my lifetime.  I’ve wept while listening to this alone while very drunk……and it’s just a perfect way to bring ICA 175 to its conclusion