JC writes…..I had vowed to keep the ICAs down to one per week on the basis that they tend to be labours of love and lengthy pieces which require a great deal of time and energy to be enjoyed fully. But, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of guest ICAs in recent weeks and I really don’t want anyone having to wait what could be a couple of months before seeing their work make an appearance.

I also think the quality of what has been offered up will lead to what we will, in due course, all agree is a particularly golden period for the series as the band selections and the writing which accompanies the chosen songs are outstanding.

So, I’m going with a near full week of guest offerings (Wednesday is a pre-prepared post for what will become an obvious reason)….and I’m kicking off with something from a long-time reader and friend who I’m pleased is bailing me out as I’ve been too cowardly to take on the task of compressing the career of Alun Woodward (vocals, guitar), Emma Pollock (vocals, guitar), Stewart Henderson (bass), and Paul Savage (drums) into a 10-track ICA. Over to CC….

All You Need is The Delgados

“Quite simply, the most important group to ever have come out of Scotland whose legacy has brought so much joy to so many people over the years”

Not my words but those of our illustrious host JC. And who am I to argue?

I’ve checked and double checked and unless I am very much mistaken an ICA extolling their virtues has yet to grace these pages.

There are others more far qualified than me to carry out this task but I’ll give it a go and hopefully will do them justice.

A band that only released five studio albums between 1996 and 2004. I was pretty late to the party only coming on board around the time of Hate which was album #4. I’ve since got round to filling in the blanks.

There are so many excellent tracks to choose from but I have decided to feature tracks from the five studio albums in chronological order on both sides to show the band’s evolution.

Here goes

Side 1

Track 1 – Under Canvas Under Wraps (from Domestiques, Chemikal Underground 1996)

When they were loud and thrashy. A splendid racket with a brilliantly abrupt ending The Chemikal Records website ( mentions that the front cover of the album is of a cinema in Muirhead , Glasgow now converted to luxury flats.

I’m thinking it my actually be the Toledo in Muirend, which I frequented as a youth, but am happy to be proved wrong.

Track 2 – Everything Goes Round the Water (from Peloton, Chemikal Underground 1998)

Peloton is a recent acquisition and the last piece in my Delgado’s jigsaw. One I’m still exploring but again the opening track seems to be one of the standouts. Others clearly agree as it reached number 9 in the Peel Festive Fifty of 1998

Where the strings begin to kick in.

Track 3 – Accused of Stealing (from The Great Eastern, Chemikal Underground 2000)

Considered by many to be their greatest album it was shortlisted for the Mercury Music prize losing out to Badly Drawn Boy for fuck sake!

Lovely vocals and a relentless beat

Tell me all your confessions. Let me be the ears to all your sins

Track 4 – All You Need is Hate (from Hate, Mantra 2002)

The only album not to be released on their own Chemikal Underground album and the one where I come in.

For a song about Hate it is absolutely beautiful and it’s simplicity is it’s strength

Hate is everywhere
Look inside your heart and you will find it there

Track 5 – I Fought The Angels (from Universal Audio, Chemikal Underground 2004)

Back to Chemikal Underground for their final studio album and another really strong opening track but one I feel that is equally fitting to end side 1

Side 2

Track 1 – Big Business in Europe (from Domestiques)

Emma’s voice seems to be at odds with the music but somehow it works. Magnificently

Track 2 – Pull the Wires From the Wall (from Peloton)

Their first hit single peaking at number 69!

But more importantly number 1 in the Festive Fifty and rightly so.

It’s easy to see why Peel was such a huge fan.

Starts slowly and builds brilliantly

Track 3 – No Danger (from The Great Eastern)

Quite possibly my favourite Delgados track and Alun is quite definitely not singing out of tune!

Track 4 – Coming In From The Cold (from Hate)

If No Danger is the best then this one is the best with Emma on lead vocals

Track 5 Is This All That I Came For? (from Universal Audio)

Apparently so

It was a toss up between this and Everybody Come Down but this seemed more fitting.

Over to you to tell me what I missed out and which ones you would replace


JC adds…..given how CC has gone about his task with two tracks from each album there’s some songs I’d have included that are missing, but overall this really is a superb collection he’s pulled together.

I have, however, been shamed enough by CC to have a go at my own. It’ll appear in due course.  In the meantime, please come back every day this week for some very special bits of work.



  1. Splendid choices, Stevie: well done indeed! I’d have added “Sucrose” perhaps, but then again … what to leave out for it?

  2. Love The Delgados. Great choices. I’ve only recently heard/got into ‘Domestiques’ but love how rough and as you say ‘thrashy’ it is (incomparison to the more polished later albums). Intrigued to see/hear what’ll be on your ICA JC.

  3. I’m still working my way through Rol’s Luke Haines trilogy and now along comes this. Another outfit I really don’t know enough about. A couple of singles plus the tunes I heard on Peel is as far as I go, but they’ve always been on my periphery, waiting to be given more attention – and this is the day. Thanks CC, fine work.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed that read, and looking forward to a
    listen too.

    Richard, I’m very far from an expert, but check out the
    lovely song ‘Paper and Glue’ by Emma Pollock.

  5. A band that took you on their journey. From initial lo-fi noise-nicks to the polished grandeur of later recordings; the melodies and harmonies always enveloped you. From hand-drawn/painted paper bag 7″s to beautiful soundscaped albums they didn’t put a foot wrong. As was once regularly opined in Emma’s favourite music venue “Oh, nostalgia …”.

  6. Nice selections, CC. Don’t know how you could choose from the Great Eastern. Had to be tough. Your picks from Hate and Universal Audio are spot on.

  7. “I’m thinking it my actually be the Toledo in Muirend, which I frequented as a youth, but am happy to be proved wrong.”

    Yeah, reckon you’re correct.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.