SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #252: PORT SULPHUR

A couple of weeks ago, I drew everyone’s attention to what’s on offer via Patreon in respect of Creeping Bent Records, and I hope some of you signed up on the back of the recommendation.

As it so happens, the A-Z run through of singers/band/musicians from Scotland who have one or more track on my hard drive has come round to Port Sulphur, one of the more recent developments under the Creeping Bent umbrella.

Port Sulphur is masterminded by Douglas MacIntyre and consists of a wonderful array of collaborations. There had been a few releases prior to June 2018 when the LP Paranoic Critical hit the shops, but this was my first real exposure to the music. Here’s the promotional blurb:-

PORT SULPHUR, an audio collective that’s co-ordinated and directed by Creeping Bent owner and The Nectarine No9 / Sexual Objects guitarist Douglas MacIntyre, are finally set to release the eagerly awaited debut album.

‘Paranoic Critical’ brings together the collective talents of Vic Godard (Subway Sect), Davy Henderson (Fire Engines), James Kirk (Orange Juice), Gareth Sager (Pop Group) and the late Alan Vega (Suicide) and Jock Scot together with musicians from the contemporary Glasgow scene which is centred around Green Door studio and includes Sam Joseph Smith, Katy Lironi, Graham Wann and Erik Sandberg.

Available digitally and released on limited edition vinyl, the album features ten brand-new tracks including the recent ‘Blow City’ release and the forthcoming single ‘The Lane’ which features the vocals of Davy Henderson and Vic Godard.

The idea for ‘Paranoic Critical’ was conceived when Douglas MacIntyre was going through some old music hard drives he had recorded and since forgotten. Listening again, he found that they contained some sparks of inspiration and these segments became the start-point to begin working under the Port Sulphur moniker. Taking a similar approach to the Luke Rhinehart novel The Dice Man, MacIntyre’s recording decisions were sometimes decided by a roll of the dice, not a million miles away from Brian Eno’s collaborative works in the 1970’s.

Somehow, somewhere along the line the songs were further developed with the help of the aforementioned musical collaborators and they began to form a satisfying whole. The tracks were further dictated by the enforced “only one take” rule, which helped retain spontaneity and invention and the result is a truly innovative collection of songs.

There’s barely a duff minute on Paranoic Critical. The real temptation was to offer up the eight minutes of Alex Discord – on which the late punk-poet Jock Scot provides lead vocals on something which combines Faith Healer by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band with Discord by The Fire Engines; the end result was, in due course, championed on the radio show broadcast by Andrew Weatherall.

But I’ve plumped instead for a track co-written by Douglas MacIntyre and James Kirk with the former OJ man doing the lead vocal, with contributions from Ken McCluskey of The Bluebells on harmonica and Katy Lironi (ex-The Fuzzbombs) and Amelia Lironi MacIntyre (daughter of Douglas and Katy) on backing vocals.

mp3: Port Sulphur – Orient Express

Paranoic Critical was one of my favourite albums of that year, and it has been followed since by Compendium, a 20-song digital release which features just about everything that Port Sulphur has recorded. It’s right here on bandcamp  and is well worthy of an investigation……

JC

3 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #252: PORT SULPHUR

  1. I’ve literally just discovered this LP two days ago whilst reading a wiki page on Davy Henderson. There’s a track called Exploding Clockwork on the Compendium album on Bandcamp that is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Outstanding stuff.

  2. I bought Compendium last Bandcamp Friday and I am really, really loving it. Thanks for the heads up, JC, another cracker.

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