A TALE ONCE TOLD ON THE OLD BLOG (circa 2012)

So I glance at this single in a box in a shop in Glasgow. £2.50 for a split effort between a band called The Blisters and occasional TVV favourites Urusei Yatsura. Never heard of the main band and certainly not that sure if I’ve ever heard this particular track by Urusei Yatsura. Oh it’s on red vinyl…..but £2.50?? What if it’s a total dud??? Do I really want to waste my cash.

You’ll know that those last two sentences never even entered into my head when I saw this piece of vinyl. I’m a saddo for things like this…..there’s quite a few bits of vinyl sitting in the cupboard gathering dust just because I took a punt for a few bob in the hope it might make something interesting for the blog only to discover that it’s just not very good.

Now clearly this bit of vinyl has some merit otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here typing these words. So without any further ado, here’s that track by the band featured on TVV a few times before:-

mp3 : Urusei Yatsura – Pampered Adolescent

This was actually one of the band’s very earliest releases coming just a few months after their debut mini-LP All Hail Urusei Yatsura that was released in January 1995. It’s a little bit less polished than the material that would later emerge on Che Records from late 96 through to mid 98 when they just about became famous, but still well worth a listen. Indeed they themselves probably realised that as well as they would go on to re-record it and make it available as an extra track on the 1997 single Fake Fur. So it was a song that I should have known…..but I can’t just rhyme off every b-side in the collection. (Maybe when I was younger I could but that’s being nearly 50 for you….)

mp3 : Urusei Yatsura – Pampered Adolescent (later version)

Very reminiscent of Pavement dontcha think??

But what of the other side. This mysterious mob called The Blisters. On first listen…..it sounds awfully familiar…the spiky guitars and that voice…..awfully like one of the most successful bands to come out of Glasgow in the 21st Century. But this is some eight years earlier…so it can’t possibly be. Let’s hit wiki…..

Fuck me.

Alex Kapranos (born Alexander Paul Kapranos Huntley, 20 March 1972 in Almondsbury, Gloucestershire) is a UK based musician who is the lead singer and the guitarist of the Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand. From the early 1990s, he was a fixture of the Glasgow music scene, running live nights at the 13th Note, most notably The Kazoo Club. While working as a chef, bartender, lecturer in IT at the city’s Anniesland College, and other various jobs, he played in some of Glasgow’s popular bands, including The Blisters (later known as The Karelia), long-standing ska stalwarts The Amphetameanies, Quinn (now known as A Band Called Quinn) and The Yummy Fur. He is also known to have contributed to Urusei Yatsura and Lungleg recordings.

And sure enough this track was composed by A Huntley and The Blisters:-

mp3 : The Blisters – A Dull Thought In Itself

Now I know it’s not a hugely valuable piece of plastic in itself, but the fact it’s one of the earliest recordings by someone who many years later became incredibly famous makes it well worth the £2.50 that I handed over…..

Happy Listening.

JC

One thought on “A TALE ONCE TOLD ON THE OLD BLOG (circa 2012)

  1. I know I will have bored folk over the years with my reminiscing re: Kazoo Club and the 99p Club. To my mind, not since the Glasgow/Bellshill quango, had anything quite so significant occurred in Glasgow as this Tuesday/Thursday night scene. Although a devoted attendee I was never part of the scene(s) – I never was much for joining in.

    The Blisters were an astonishing live act – even then you could see the styling of what would become Franz Ferdinand. It’s odd to think of Hubby with waist-length hair and in a suit. Mr Huntley, as was, hasn’t changed his style that much. All four an affable, gregarious bunch who were regularly augmented by one Tracy Van Daal for versions of Fever and Blister in the Sun (which is were I have always assumed the band name came from?) There is footage out there of these gigs …

    Urusei Yatsura were firm favourites of the scene. Notably, most musos moved closer to the ‘stage’ area as the guitar was beaten with a screwdriver to get the acquired sound during Siamese – always a highlight. Utterly mesmerising on stage, yet aloof, some might say a tad cool off it, as people they were difficult to warm to. Maybe that was down to my social akwardness? The music though, just consistently excellent.

    JC notes “ … when they just about became famous”. I think it fair to say that most in that scene thought they would break through. The constant support of John Peel – even turning up to Glasgow gigs – and fans travelling from Japan, yes Japan to crouch in the 13th Note, it seemed the only obvious conclusion. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

    Both bands remain very much intrinsic to an astonishing scene. A scene in which many now well-known names 1st played live or at the very least 1st played live in Glasgow. In the words of Mr Huntley “Oh, nostalgia. Let’s reinvent the past”.

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