OK. I admit this is a bit of a cheat as this lot aren’t really what you’d call a truly Scottish musical combo.  But one half them is.  And they are on Creeping Bent Records, which is very much from this part of the world. And, as you’ll read, they were, technically, born in Scotland…..

From bandcamp:-

“Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus announced themselves as Creeping Bent’s house group remix supervisors, headed up by former Article 58 / Restricted Code / Altered Images drummer / guitarist Stephen Lironi. A techno RCTJ remix of Suicide‘s Frankie Teardrop started doing the rounds at clubs, leading to a fax being received at Creeping Bent HQ by Marty Thau (former New York Dolls and Suicide manager), who had released the debut Suicide album on his Red Star imprint. A deal was cut and Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus released Frankie Teardrop as a 12″ on Creeping Bent, gaining a NME Single of the Week in the process.

Thau informed Creeping Bent that Alan Vega loved the track so much that he wanted to join RCTJ, .. ergo Lironi headed to Brooklyn to write and record with Vega. Another couple of 12″ singles (Protection Rat / Pay Tha’ Wreck, Mr Music Man) followed, garnering further singles of the week in the weeklies. The resulting album –Righteous Lite – was Vega’s best album in years.”

Originally only released on CD in 1999, Righteous Life was issued on vinyl earlier this year.  Click here for more details and ways to order it.

This is one side of a 12″ single which has a home here in Villain Towers:-

mp3 : The Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus – Pay Tha Wrack, Mr Music King

See, it’s not all jingly-jangly pop.  It’s a track I’ve long wanted to post, certainly since the January 2021 reissue of the album, but I kept it to one side specifically until it came round to the turn of RCTJ in this long-running series.




Held over from last week to allow the update from Germany.

From 30 December 2013.  This one doesn’t have any decent sort of back story, but given it was originally posted when traffic to the blog is traditionally low, then some folk might have missed it first time round.  It’s worth it today for the cover versions alone.

It took me a long while to write about Curve over at the old blog, and when I did, it was as part of an occasional series on cover versions. It was a post which attracted a fair number of comments, and it is fair to say that there’s a few folk out there who remember the band with much fondness and who have never got over their lust for lead singer Toni Halliday.

For the uninitiated, Curve, comprising said Ms Halliday and multi-instrumentalist Dean Garcia, came together in Manchester in 1991. At a time when the Madchester sound (Happy Mondays/Stone Roses/James etc) was very much in full flow, Curve were something a bit different. The first few releases were EPs. The music press loved them, and they were championed by John Peel.

And yet….they didn’t ever quite turn the critical praise into popular acclaim and really meaningful sales, albeit the debut LP in 1992, Doppelganger, reached Number 11, while the follow-up, Cuckoo, went Top 30.

I love an awful lot about Curve, but especially the sound of Toni Halliday’s voice. In many places it reminds me of Elizabeth Fraser, and there’s no doubt that Shirley Manson of Garbage owes a lot to Toni.

Many fans consider that they never surpassed Blindfold, which was their debut EP:-

mp3 : Curve (feat. JC001) – Ten Little Girls
mp3 : Curve – I Speak Your Every Word
mp3 : Curve – Blindfold
mp3 : Curve – No Escape From Heaven

It was an astonishing debut in so many ways and while I can understand some folk thinking they never quite hit those heights again I’m willing to stand by a number of their later releases and say that they were equally good – especially this track:-

mp3 : Curve – Fait Accompli

Going back to the March 2007 posting, here’s the two covers that were featured:-

mp3 : Curve – I Feel Love
mp3 : Curve feat. Ian Dury – What A Waste

  • The first song originally appeared on the NME album Ruby Trax and is a quite fantastic cover of the disco classic written by Giorgio Moroder and sung by Donna Summer. Evidence, if any were needed, that dance music need not be mindless pap.

The second song was recorded with Ian Dury himself, as part of a project called Peace Together that raised money for young people in Northern Ireland.




P is for Pooh Sticks

Young People (Taken from the ‘The Great White Wonder’)

I gave blood today. It was the first time I have given blood in about 25 years. In fact the last time I gave blood I was still dating OPG so it’s longer than 25 years ago, more like 27 years, 6 months and 22 days. On that occasion, OPG and her mum picked me up in their Austin Maestro from the small car park behind the church hall near Gillingham High Street, and OPG rewarded me with a Mars Bar for being such a brave boy. I was really pleased with myself not only because I’d done a good a thing, but I’d also managed to get a free cup of tea and a small packet of biscuits, and now I had a whole Mars Bar as well. Some days, you just felt like the King of the World.

I’m always reminded of the last great Tony Hancock in ‘The Blood Donor” when I give blood. I can’t help it. I love Tony Hancock and ‘The Blood Donor’ is one of my favourite pieces of television ever. Despite telling myself that I have absolutely no intention of watching ‘The Blood Donor’ before I go and donate, there I am at midday on the hottest day of the year in my lounge, chortling away to myself as Hancock delivers his immortal line to the harassed looking doctor.

“I mean, I came here in all good faith, to help my country. I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint? Why, that’s very nearly an armful.”

I am tempted to quote Hancock to the nurse who deals with me today, but I decide not to, largely because the man in front of me does it first and the gag falls so flat on its arse that I tell myself that annoying the kind lady with the big needle is not a tremendous idea. She is also about 25 as well, and the reason why the joke is falling flat on its arse is because the nurse probably thinks that Tony Hancock is related to Matt Hancock, the totally fucking hopeless ex health secretary.

R is for Ride

Close My Eyes (Taken from ‘Ride EP’)

The nurse, who is called Vanessa, pricks my middle finger and then proceeds to squeeze some blood out of it, she is quite content with the quality of my blood and then tells me to go and sit on the reclining chairs. It is there in the reclining chairs that you give your armful of blood. It’s kind of relaxing, once you get past the needle in your arm bit that is. I lie there close my eyes and listen to the music that is playing in the room and once I realise what it is, I try and shut out the racket that is Heather Small singing ‘Proud’.

“You feeling nervous, love?” Vanessa says; it’s a bit weird being called ‘Love’ by a woman who is young enough to be my daughter, but I smile and say “Nope, I’m just trying to not listen to Heather Small’s voice”. Vanessa offers me a cushion to put behind my back, and I feel myself ageing a few more years.

After about ten minutes a machine beeps a noise similar to the noise you get when you finish a level of Super Mario Brothers, and I am told to sit up and then Vanessa asks me if I would like a drink. I ask for an Earl Grey, black and with a squeeze of lemon if they have it. She hands me a piece of card that tells me “NO HOT DRINKS FOR SIX HOURS”.

I’m also, for the next six hours, not allowed “Physical Exercise (including sex)” – it genuinely says that, “too much sun” (it’s the hottest day of the year) and “no alcohol”. I tell Vanessa that the last time I gave blood, I got a cup of tea. She looks at me strangely and asks me “When was that” as apparently, it’s a really bad idea to have hot drinks after giving blood.

I tell her it was in “1994”. She laughs and says “Christ love, I wasn’t even born then” and about 3000 of my hairs immediately turn grey, and I ask her for some water.

I am walked over to the relaxation area, where you must sit for fifteen minutes after donating. I am offered a box full of crisps and salty snacks to eat with my water (“helps your body retain water, love”) and I pick up two bags of salt and vinegar crisps and sit in one of the comfy chairs and pick up a copy of ‘Devon Life’ Magazine and read an article about the Westward Ho!

I open the crisps and munch away. I’m really hungry. I’d gone out without lunch, you see, choosing instead to watch Tony Hancock videos instead. About seven minutes after I finish the first bag of crisps, I realise that this was a mistake. My head starts to spin a bit, and then a lot, and the nurse to my right has started talking in a weird slow motion style. I pick up my glass of water, my hand is shaking, and suddenly I feel really hot, sweating buckets hot, like the moment about two minutes before you puke up last night’s alcohol.

A kind nurse called Toby wanders over and asks me if I am ok. I feel a bit faint, I tell him. Within minutes, I am lying on the floor, with a cool pillow behind my head and Vanessa is back and shoving my feet on a small box so they are higher than my head.

Vanessa looks at me and smiles, “Bless” she says.

The Pooh Sticks were outstanding, a jangly indie pop band from Wales and ‘The Great White Wonder’ was their second album and featured as a guest vocalist Amelia Fletcher from Talulah Gosh. I saw them live just once at the 1992 Reading Festival (I think) that ended with this.

I’m In You – a fifteen minute wig out of sheer brilliance.

I’m pretty sure I used to own ‘The Great White Wonder’ on tape.

The Ride EP was as we all know the first release from Ride. It remains to this day essential listening, and here for the unacquainted are the other three tracks from the EP. It is unlikely that you will hear many songs that are better today.

Chelsea Girl
Drive Blind
All I Can See




M has been written by SWC, so you can expect the usual rubbish.

N, however, sees a very welcome return to the blog by Lorna.

M is for Mazzy Star

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You (Taken from So Tonight That I Might See)

You probably already know this song. We probably all know it. Its beautiful. Wonderful. One of the few songs that I could generally stick on repeat and listen to for a couple of hours without ever getting bored of, even one second of it. I’ve sort of done that today, I listened to it about six times back to back and each time I am transported back to different hazy memories.

I remember a friend of mine getting married about fifteen years and his bride to be walking down the aisle (well it was a path in a rose garden) to this song and the groom just standing a crying blubbing mess of a man as Hope’s vocals floated across the garden.

I remember another of friend of mine, seconds after this came on the stereo at a house party about five years ago, telling me about the time that he split with his long term girlfriend and him just walking down the road whilst this played on his Walkman. You could see the minute the song came on the stereo his mind had gone back to that exact moment.

I remember OPG playing this song after we’d had two bottles of strong cider and us just dancing slowly to it her bedroom her head perched on my shoulder and me holding her like she was the most precious thing in the world. Which she was, at the time I suppose. She used to say that the thing about Hope Sandoval was that she looked exactly like she sounded, and she was right.

It’s that kind of song. The sort of song that makes you half smile because it reminds you of another time when you might have been happier than you are right now or just associate it with a lovely moment in your life, but it’s also the sort of song that makes you half weep because it reminds you of a time when you felt fragile or lonely or that you missed someone or never got an opportunity to right a wrong.

There is a video out there on the internet, of ‘Fade Into You’ being performed by Mazzy Star on Later with Jools Holland (Jools is barely in it, so its ok). It is incredible, perfection personified. Everything about it is brilliant, from the stunning slide guitar that kind of holds the song together to Hope’s vocals, which are just insanely wonderful.

But the one thing that does it for me is the way Hope just stands there. She barely moves during the whole track, occasionally her right hand moves up and down, when you drag your eyes away from her face, you realise she is playing the tambourine, and even that, is bloody perfect. Frankly, watching Hope Sandoval in 1993 standing still gently tapping a tambourine is the sexiest thing I have seen on TV in about twenty years.

Loads of M records in the box, I’ll skirt over the Manics and the Massive Attacks and give you this…

Mega City 4 – Iron Sky

…..which I think was the band’s biggest ever hit and as close to a pop record as the transit rock pioneers got. In fact, I knew a lad called Danny who went to Kent University who painted the lyrics to this on his student digs wall when it came out and lost his deposit because of it.

Oh, go on then

Masses Against the Classes

Bumper Ball Dub (from ‘No Protection’ – Massive Attack vs Mad Professor)

N is for New Order

New Order – Everything’s Gone Green (Taken from ‘Substance’)

‘Substance’ is as you will know, an essential record. Another record that you should all own. This is the second version of ‘Substance’ that Badger owned. I know this because the first one got destroyed, and this version came from a record shop in Birmingham (it still has the sticker on it – he paid £12 for it). But here’s Lorna to tell the tale.

“In January 1997, Tim and I bought our first house. We’d been married about a year and had previously rented a one-bedroom flat overlooking Exeter Canal. The house was an old two bed Edwardian terrace in a nice part of Exeter. Within a week we’d painted it, taken up the revolting blue carpet (like you used to get in schools, the sort that gave you an electric shock) and replaced them with fancy new designer rugs straight out of the Habitat catalogue. We painted the kitchen a smashing shade of duck egg blue and stripped the stairs back to their original wooden state.

A week later, we went skiing in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee. We travelled up to Bristol airport in Tim’s VW Polo, which was sound tracked by a mixtape he had made the night before we left. I remember this was playing as we parked the car at the airport, I know this because Tim always ended his mixtapes with New Order and this must have been the last track as knowing him he would have planned it meticulously to finish at the airport.

Confusion (new version)

I learnt to ski. Tim, who could already ski, tried his hand at snowboarding. He bruised his arse colliding with an old Italian guy, who on learning we were British, swore at him brilliantly. It was like listening to Bruno Tonioli channelling his inner Danny Dyer. Apart from that we had a lovely time, after skiing we fell into the small après-ski bar next to our boot room and get slowly drunk on Gluwein and very strong vodka.

When we returned home, we got back quite late due to a slightly delayed flight and a pile up on the M5. It was about midnight when Tim put the key in the front door, which is when we realised that a pipe or pipes had burst in the bathroom. The pipe burst was behind the bath, and it had flooded out under the bottom of the bath into the rest of the bathroom, which then finally worked through the ceiling and was now cascading into the lounge and kitchen area. It was pitch black and we were lit only by a single light from our hallway (which was largely dry) and a lamppost from across the street.

I can still picture the sheer devastation it caused, all our hard work largely ruined. Our brand-new rugs ruined (I mean we were insured, so it wasn’t the end of the world), a lot of our furniture severely damaged, and work surfaces, cupboard doors and some electrical sockets were all dripping wet. I must have cried because I remember Tim hugging me and telling me it would be OK; he made a joke about the wanting to put a slide in from upstairs to downstairs anyway, which did make me laugh.

It was halfway through that hug that he swore really loudly, and I thought that was him just letting off a howl of frustration, but he broke off the hug and walked (or splashed really) slowly to the table where he had left a few records to gather dust before we left (i.e – he had forgot to put them away). They still sat there next to a small teddy (‘Herbert’) which had now seen better and drier days. The records were ruined:-

Substance by New Order
Dirk Wears White Sox by Adam and the Ants
Galore by Kirsty MacColl
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels by Dexys Midnight Runners

(and SWC will kindly pop a song from each in here I suspect, each one featured on the mixtape from the car, but it was 25 years ago, I really can’t remember all the tracks).

True Faith

Catholic Day

They Don’t Know

There, There My Dear

There’s only one other N in the box, and it’s this, but I don’t know anything about the band though.

Nirvana – Lithium



A GUEST POSTING by flimflamfan

If the internet is to believed, the term Gothic Rock was coined in 1967, when John Stickney reviewed a Doors gig. Some claim that what we now know as Goth began in the late 1970s, in the UK. Others claim the roots of Goth lie in the early 80s burgeoning into a full-on scene in mid-80s – my view is more aligned to this but I don’t know enough to dispute any other view.

Like most scenes the music press garlanded this new scene only to pillory it later. Unfortunately, the scene itself, bathed knowingly in the cold blood of parody. On occasion some of the bands did dress and behave in a quite ridiculous fashion which detracted from some of the exceptional music being made.

I don’t pretend to be a Goth aficionado, but on the whole, I’d say that it’s a genre that I enjoyed. Some of my choices may be arguable, terribly obvious or possibly a tad pompous. This is intended as a flavour of Goth in no particular chronological order and definitely not sequenced – that’d take me ages.

I’ll begin where Goth entered my life (although, at this time, I’d never heard the term Goth). Hello, Dead or Alive.

I was a pain in the arse fan of Dead or Alive. The first I heard of them was the It’s Been Hours Now e.p. and I devoured all that came before and some that came after. The e.p. remains a firm favourite of mine. With a front man like Burns and the musicianship of Hussey (he’ll appear again, obviously) Dead or Alive, at this point owned Goth (all other opinions accepted). While there are several tracks that could feature here I have chosen I’m Falling.

Dead or Alive – I’m Falling (1980)

Before Cocteau Twins became synonymous with Indie, Shoegaze, Ethereal Pop, Ambient or whatever other inappropriate descriptor that was thrown in their direction they were a punk/new wave band and some will argue a Goth band – for a time. They are a band I love and I was shocked to learn that this year is 26 years on from the release of the LP Milk and Kisses. Choosing a song to add here has not been an easy task. I eventually whittled it down to two: Hazel and Perhaps Some Other Aeon. In the end I plummeted for the latter as it continues to strike me as odd that this magnificent song was initially only released on a Japanese CD reissue of Garlands (1987).

Cocteau Twins – Perhaps Some Other Aeon (1982)

I have no clear idea where I first heard Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s Walking On Your Hands (I suspect a short-lived club night at Rooftops on Sauchiehall Street in the centre of Glasgow but can’t be sure). However, I knew instantly that I had to dance to it. It was one of the few songs played at a Goth disco that really animated some of those dancing – the speed of that floor-face pacing, exhilarating. I can smell the dry-ice now.

A truly exceptional, pulsing, pop song.

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – Walking On Your Hands (1986)

Specimen band members ran the Batcave (a London club night, 1982). Bands that would appear there included Sex Gang Children and Alien Sex Fiend. Batcave was a place to be seen much like other scene clubs before it. Wikipedia informs us that regulars included: Nick Cave, Robert Smith, Siouxsie, Steven Severin, Bauhaus and Marc Almond.

I first encountered Specimen via children’s tv show (I still have the performance on VHS), the internet informs me the shows was called No. 73 with Specimen appearing on June 30th (1984) to perform the song below and Sharp Teeth Pretty Teeth.

I can’t say Lovers is one of the greatest songs in the world but I often think the bands place in history has often been overlooked or hastily papered-over in favour of their involvement with Batcave. Strange thing here is I’d describe Specimen as Goth-Glam-Rock. They really did like to ‘ham’ it up.

Specimen – Lovers (1983)

Come the late 80s/early 90s change was afoot in Goth-world at Glasgow’s premier Goth-haunt The Tech (Glasgow Caledonian University Student Union, as was).

Juliette was an aptly-named and rather attractive, young goth who was more than a little acquainted with white face make-up. She was on the periphery on my wee group (as I was on hers) but we got along rather well and were known to enjoy the Goth-shoe-shuffle together on more than one occasion. Imagine my smile when I see Juliette catch my eye just as the intro to The Cure’s Boys Don’t Cry begins.

We move towards each other from opposite sides of the dance floor. As we move closer – our heads floor-bound – there they were … a blimmin’ over-sized pair of trainers adorning her small feet. They looked like clown-shoes and cartoony on her petite frame. We danced – the trainers syncopating in and out of view – mesmerising. The song ended but I had to ask … “why are you wearing those trainers?” Apparently, Robert Smith had recently posed for a well-known music weekly wearing an over-sized, poorly-laced pair of pumps. As a consequence, trainers in Goth-world – were now ‘in’. Goth had, to my mind, a rather uncompromising uniform and this new-fangled change marked what I describe as the decline in Goth. When counter-culture embraces the mainstream it rarely works out well. Silly? Perhaps?

The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (1979)

(Not Juliette!!!!)

It would be just too obvious to add Bauhaus’s Bela Lugosi’s Dead, wouldn’t it? It’s a song I’m extremely fond of and one I danced to whenever I got the opportunity. This was hardcore Goth-dancing that was akin to Dynamation at it’s jittery, stop-motion best. The place to dance to this was Delirium 7 (Rooftops) and a short-lived Sunday night goth-night that also operated on Sunday nights at The Cathouse. The dance floor at Rooftops is small and the back of the wall was mirrored. Those pesky goths draped a black curtain over the mirrored wall to make the place seem more dank – if you’ve ever been to Rooftops you’ll know it was dank enough to begin with. A friend and I took great pleasure in pulling the curtain aside, on occasion, as the disco-lights reflected and caught the dancing goths like vampires in the sunlight. It was very childish of us. I’d do it again.

It was at Delirium 7 that, I requested and had my first dance to, Lagartija Nick. It was an exhilarating experience. The dance-floor was full with what seemed like cocaine-fueled Goths abandoning the cooler-than-thou aloof personas for a good old, invigorating dance – like Psychobillies slamming without the Psychobillies, or the slamming.

Bauhaus – Lagartija Nick (1982)

I know very little about Macrch Violets but I do know that many felt rather precious about the band. The first and second singles were released on Eldritch’s Merciful Release label before seemingly setting up their own label, Rebirth. Religious As Hell is the song I probably know the best but the one I’d dance to more is Walk Into The Sun. There’s a palpable indie-twee feel to this which is why I favour it.

March Violets – Walk Into The Sun (1984)

One of my favourite bands of all time – Dead Can Dance. I care not a jot as to the many descriptors flung hastily in their direction – the music speaks for itself. I’d be an arse if I said baroque, so baroque it is – for now. My first purchase was the LP Spleen and Ideal and what a delight it is. I never thought of the band as Goth so was surprised when out one evening to hear Avatar belting out over the dancefloor. The dancefloor was sparsely populated but I did my best to fill it up – with my well-practiced Goth-walk.

Fast forward to 1993. I had just met my beau (aye, he’s still here) and we decided to take a wee trip to a small town in Ireland, Bundoran. As you do on holiday – we visited another town close-by – the more well-known, Sligo. As we casually sauntered down one of the main streets I stopped in my tracks.

Above us, across the entire street, was a banner with the art work for Dead Can Dance’s Labyrinth LP informing locals the band would be playing, in what I recall as a local warehouse. I scanned. I scanned. I hurriedly scanned the dates. I yelped, loudly. We’d still be in the area. Immediately a hunt was on to find out where we could get tickets. Tickets bought. Just before the band took the stage an announcement was made informing patrons that smoking was not allowed and photos were prohibited – both negatively affecting the experience the band wished to provide. Could it get any better? Oh, it did. It did. It. It did. I was my usual emotional mess and when the gig ended I was exhausted – in the best possible way. As the crowd began to shuffle the announcer returned “the band would like to invite you to an after-show party”. What, eh? “Will someone please pick me up from this floor!” We went. The band mingled. Way more gregarious than I had ever thought. I stood in what I kid you not was a nook – a small shallow kind of doorway – watching. My partner, new to me, said “why don’t you go say hello.” Clearly, he had a lot to learn. I continued watching, soaking the whole night in. One of the best nights of my life.

Dead Can Dance – Avatar (1985)

Unfortunately, for Fields of the Nephilim, they were drowned in negative reviews purely because of how they chose to look rather than the music they released. I believe they were unfairly maligned and an absolutely great band. Apart from the first single I think I have everything else on vinyl. Choosing a song has been difficult. Power was the first I was aware of and in terms of club nights Blue Water, Psychonaut were featured regularly to say nothing of LP tracks. However, I’m going to choose Preacher Man as the track that best fits here. I have so many fond memories of dancing to this very popular dance-floor-filler with folks who’s faces I can see now but have no idea how they are, or where they are.

Fields of the Nephilim – Preacher Man (1987)

Shelleyan Orphan were what I describe as niche-goth and very much on the outskirts of the scene. They have been described as Baroque-Goth-Folk. I think it’s fair to say that musically they orbited the sphere of All About Eve. On this track this vocal is much more akin to Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) – never, ever a bad thing – and Everything But The Girl.

Shelleyan Orphan – Anatomy of Love (1987)

Strange thing about Polaricht by Xmal Deutschland. On first hearing it I thought it was a Siouxsie and the Banshees track that I hadn’t heard before – which at that time would have been most odd. A cracker to dance to and a superb introduction to the band. Had I not chosen Xmal Deutschland I would have chosen Clan of Xymox, Moscoviet Mosquito. It’s the only track I own by the band – appearing on the 4AD compilation Lonely As An Eyesore.

Xmal Deutschland – Polaricht (1987)

As JC recently posted This Corrosion – the impetus for this piece – it does make life a little easier in choosing a song by The Sisters of Mercy. Often regarded as ‘the’ Goth band The Sisters of Mercy captured and expertly exploited the scene. Later they attempted to distance themselves from it but I don’t believe anyone was having any of that. Again, I whittled this down to two songs Temple of Love and Alice. I opted for Alice as it too is a superb song to dance to. I feel guilty leaving Temple of Love on the shelf – it’s a cracker.

The Sisters of Mercy paved way for Wayne Hussey’s The Mission and brought greater prominence to The Gun Club with the addition of Patricia Morrison to the Sister’s ranks.

The Sisters of Mercy – Alice (1982)

As interest in all things Goth seemed to wane, in terms of a vibrant scene, a new scene was kicking and shouting to be heard – Industrial. Industrial cut its teeth in Goth clubs and Goths (well, some Goths) really took to it. The most prominent Industrial band at that time was Ministry in conjunction with alt. metal band Body Count. Goth clubs could no longer survive by playing the old favourites although some did attempt to fly the ‘true’ Goth flag, for a while. Now, such clubs would probably be full with nostalgia seekers and new-blood Goths.

Spearheading the change in electronica and what it termed ‘Electric Body Music’ was Front 242. It’s double a-side single Headhunter/Welcome to Paradise was a weekly staple of any Goth club night I attended – both sides of the single. I love it. Absolutely love it.

Front 242 – Welcome to Paradise (1988)

Bands loved by many but not by me: Virgin Prunes, Christian Death, The Mission, Ghost Dance, Inkubus Sukkubus, Skeletal Family, Lords of the New Church etc…

An argument to be had here is that the songs chosen above don’t accurately represent the breadth of the Goth scene. I’d agree with that. These songs/bands represent a small fraction of the bands involved in the scene and act as more of a personalised taster rather than a definition.

Accidentally, I chose 13 songs. The dark-force is strong in this one …



JC writes…..

In recent times, Mondays have been set aside for a hi-res track ripped from vinyl, direct from Villain Towers. But this week, as a one-off, there’s something a bit different.

Simply Thrilled, the club night I’m involved with alongside my good friends, Robert, Hugh, Carlo and Ash, has unsurprisingly had to take an extended break as our location, The Admiral Bar in Glasgow, has been closed for much of the past sixteen months. Things are beginning to perhaps return to normal, and the hope is we can get something organised before the year is out, failing which early 2022. A few things have been taking place on social media, which those of you who follow Simply Thrilled on Facebook or Twitter will be aware, including the introduction of the Simply Thrilled Mixtapes on an occasional basis.

Robert has been working the oracle to come up with a special guests, with the most recent being none other than Douglas MacIntyre, an absolute doyen of the Scottish music scene whose main role this past decade has been as the guru behind the Creeping Bent Organisation. Douglas not only pulled together a great mixtape, but he provided a superb commentary for each selection. I’m very pleased to be able to bring it you today.

Douglas MacIntyre

The tracks I’ve chosen for my Simply Thrilled mixtape reflect moments in time from the Scottish independent labels that have influenced me most; Fast Product, Pop Aural, Postcard, Rational, Geographic – I’ve also included two tracks from my own label, The Creeping Bent Organisation.

I was a teenager at school when the seismic explosion of punk created an environment when new possibilities opened up, inspiring many in Scotland to ultimately become musicians, artists, writers, provocateurs. The moment that the tectonic played shifted was the White Riot concert in Edinburgh on 7th May 1977, however most of the future independent movers were more influenced by Subway Sect and the Slits than headliners The Clash. Attendees at the concert would go on to form groups associated with the Scottish independent labels movement of the late 70s / early 80s.

I have chosen two tracks by each of my favourite labels, I could have chosen other tracks and artists from the labels but feel the singles I’ve included on my mixtape are a broad collection of why these labels matter to me.

Fast Product announced itself with The Mekons’ ‘Never Been In A Riot’ in Jan 1978 and propelled forward at a rate of knots. Fast releases immediately felt like artefacts and the label was a massive influence on Rough Trade, Factory and Postcard. They proved that sometimes art is an influence that harnesses negative energy and provokes reactions. The singles I’ve chosen are Scars’ ‘Horrorshow’ and The Human League’s ‘Being Boiled’. I’ve always felt the Scars single on Fast was the year zero moment in Scotland, it is still a remarkable rush. The Human League and Fast Product is an incredible story, brilliantly document by Grant McPhee in the award winning documentary he directed, ‘Big Gold Dream’. The fact that David Bowie would write to Fast founder Bob Last to praise the label and the Human League, and would go on record stating they were the future of music, was a massive vindication for Fast Product at the time. Bob Last would manage the Human League to an international number 1 single within a couple of years of their debut single on Fast.

Fast Product abruptly ceased releasing records and transmogrified into a brand new idea, Pop:Aural, who released great singles by The Flowers, Boots For Dancing, Restricted Code and Fire Engines. The tracks I’ve chosen are by The Flowers and Fire Engines, with the former being a vehicle for Hilary Morrison. Hl Ray was a partner in Fast Product, contributing to the aesthetic and providing the photographic elements and A&R impetus for Fast and Pop:Aural. Fire Engines were an art movement unto themselves, and the most exciting group of the period. ‘Meat Whiplash’ is a classic, should have been a single in its own right instead of being the B side of ‘Candyskin’.

Postcard Records announced itself with the Feb 1980 release of ‘Falling and Laughing’ by Orange Juice, with group leader Edwyn Collins running the label along with Alan Horne. Postcard quickly outflanked Pop:Aural, largely due to Horne’s brilliant media manipulation and great taste in music, relentlessly bullying and cajoling the Postcard groups to greater heights. Truly punk. I’ve chosen groups at the opposing aural ends of the Postcard spectrum; Josef K (brittle, nervous, alienated) and Aztec Camera (romantic, joyous, melodic). Josef K were my favourite Postcard group, the guitars of Paul Haig and Malcolm Ross chimed with my own tastes at that time (Television / The Voidoids), though I think ‘Chance Meeting’ is their most pop moment. Aztec Camera were my age and lived up the road from me in East Kilbride, the original Postcard trio line up should have recorded an album for Postcard, by the time ‘High Land, Hard Rain’ was released on Rough Trade the group had lost something.

Rational was an incredible label that didn’t really stand a chance against the twin towers of Fast and Postcard. The label was run by Josef K manager Allan Campbell, and released the only single by my own group, Article 58. We’d recorded a single produced by Alan Horne and Malcolm Ross, which Malcolm passed on to Allan Campbell who signed us to Rational. Article 58 supported a lot of groups at the time (Scars, Restricted Code, A Certain Ratio among others), and completed a short tour of England supporting Josef K before imploding. The tracks I’ve included from Rational are by Delmontes and Paul Haig’s Rhythm of Life. Delmontes were an amalgamation of European sensibilities meshed with US garage bands, whilst Haig’s ROL concept mirrored the Walter Tevis book, The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Finally, moving forward to the 90s I’ve chosen tracks released on The Pastels’ wonderful and underrated imprint, Geographic Music.

Bill Wells should be soundtracking films, his sense of melody and adventure is magnificent, whilst Gerry Love’s album under his Lightships guise is another hidden treasure, it’s an album I constantly refer back to. I set up The Creeping Bent Organisation in 1994, our first interaction was a maxi-media event (A Leap Into The Void – BENT 001) at the Tramway theatre in Glasgow. Since then we’ve issued music by a wide range of artists including Appendix Out, The Leopards, The Nectarine No9, Vic Godard, Alan Vega & Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus, Sexual Objects, and many many others. The tracks I’ve chosen are at the avant-pop end of Bent, by Adventures in Stereo and The Secret Goldfish. AiS feature the angelic voice of Judith Boyle and the pop chops of Jim Beattie. Jim came to prominence co-writing ‘Velocity Girl’ and was Bobby Gillespie’s partner in the first iteration of Primal Scream during their Byrds/Love phase, my favourite period of the group. He’s a great writer and producer. The Secret Goldfish were formed by two musicians from the C86 period, Katy McCullars from the Fizzbombs and Paul Turnbull from Mackenzies, and like Adventures in Stereo took influence from 60s girl groups like The Shangri-Las.

1. Scars – Horrorshow (Fast Product)
2. Josef K – Chance Meeting ( Postcard)
3. Rhythm of Life/Paul Haig (Rational)
4. Flowers – Ballad of Miss Demeanour (Pop Aural)
5. Adventures in Stereo – Down In The City (Creeping Bent)
6. Bill Wells – Singleton (Geographic)
7. The Human League – Being Boiled (Fast Product)
8. Aztec Camera – Just Like Gold (Postcard)
9. Delmontes – Don’t Cry Your Tears (Rational)
10. Fire Engines – Meat Whiplash (Pop Aural)
11. The Secret Goldfish – Seasick (Creeping Bent)
12. Lightships – Two Lines (Geographic)

The Creeping Bent Organisation is currently utilising its Patreon site to release new and archive music, new writing, art, photography, video, ornithology. We have been releasing new album tracks by Port Sulphur, The Secret Goldfish, Monica Queen, Black Hill Transmissions, Hapton Crags, and archive tracks and bootlegs by Article 58, Bricolage, Alan Vega/RCTJ, The Nectarine No9, Gareth Sager, Sexual Objects & Vic Godard.

Subscription is monthly and can be stopped anytime, it has proved to be extremely popular, which has taken us by surprise. If you are interested in subscribing it is £5 per month, here is the link.


JC adds……

Regular readers will hopefully be aware of many of the acts mentioned by Douglas, given that many of them have appeared, often on a regular basis over the many years that TVV has been in operation.  Douglas is clearly someone with very fine, almost impeccable taste, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the Scottish music scene, not to mention having the contact details of anyone who is anyone!

I’ve mentioned before, back in March, of how much I was enjoying and valuing the Patreon subscription to Creeping Bent. It’s actually hard to believe, but the output in recent times has grown, with all sorts of wonderful music, images, cuttings and streamed live performances being made available. It’s an absolute treasure trove and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

Here’s a couple of images which Douglas provided to go with his piece for the mixtape.

The above, taken by Gavin Fraser of The Secret Goldfish features the legendary James Kirk alongside Douglas.

The colour photo is of The Secret Goldfish, just one of four groups which count Douglas as one of its members…the others being Port Sulphur, Sexual Objects, and Jazzateers. For good measure, he’s also done session and live work with Future Pilot AKA, The Nectarine No9, Vic Godard, The Bluebells….. & countless others, including as a member of The Leopards, who have backed Lloyd Cole on a number of occasions.

As it so happens, a Creeping Bent act is going to feature this coming Saturday on the long-running series on songs by Scottish singers and bands….it wasn’t deliberate, their slot came up on the alphabetical rundown. The Secret Goldfish will also be making an appearance on a Saturday in the not too distant future.

In the meantime, from 1997 and ripped direct from the 7″ vinyl here in Villain Towers are the two sides of the record with catalogue number bent 019:-

mp3: The Leopards – Theme E
mp3: Adventures In Stereo – Waves On



And now to something which isn’t technically an album, and so qualifies for inclusion in this series.

Slates was released on 27 April 1981.   It has six tracks on 10″ vinyl, but wasn’t eligible for either of  the single or album charts, being too long for the former and too short for the latter. (It is 24 minutes in running length).  It was, however, included in the UK Independent Singles chart, where it reached #3, but it was also ranked at #13 in the best albums of 1981 by the NME.

It was originally put on sale for just £2, (nowadays you can expect to pay more than £30, even for a battered copy of the vinyl), and was, without any question, another way in which MES tested the patience of everyone at Rough Trade. It’s a recording which is has long been among the very favourites of long-standing fans of The Fall while also being one that more recent fans cite as being among the best of the back-catalogue.

It does seem that the plan, when convening at Berwick Street Studio in London was to come up with a standard 7″ single, although which tracks would have made that up remain unclear.  I’m guessing that the label would have pushed for Fit and Working Again, with it being the most immediately accessible of the songs, and I’m sure they would have been horrified if presented with An Older Lover Etc. as it is the sort of song that would be of appeal to a very small minority of listeners, with most reaching for the off button quite quickly, or, if they stuck it out to the end, would wonder, ‘what the fuck?’

In all likelihood, it would have been Prole Art Threat that everyone initially had in mind, given it isn’t too far removed from the frantic energy put on display on the most recent singles. But given that MES was always looking to move onwards, maybe not….

The other three songs on Slates are great listens.  It’s worth noting that, thanks to Rough Trade’s US arm, Slates was available in some shops on the other side of the Atlantic (where it retailed for $5), and it can be no coincidence that its tunes, and in particular, Leave The Capitol, would become the sort of templates for the way that indie music of the non-polished variety was set to go over the next decade or so.  Pavement anyone???

The musicians on Slates are the same as on Totally Wired, indicating that the band was enjoying something of a settled period, although it would later transpire that  MES was falling out on a frequent basis with Marc Riley.

mp3: The Fall – Middle Mass
mp3: The Fall – An Older Lover Etc.
mp3: The Fall – Prole Art Threat
mp3: The Fall – Fit and Working Again
mp3: The Fall – Slates, Slags, Etc.
mp3: The Fall – Leave The Capitol

Production credits are shared among Geoff Travis, Grant Showbiz and Adrian Sherwood, which maybe explains why the sound is, for the most part, cleaner and more polished than previous releases. It was perhaps for this reason alone that MES decided he’d had enough of Rough Trade and so, within a matter of weeks after Slates hit the shops, the ties had been severed (for now!).



Here’s a two-part story adapted from the band’s own website : https://restricted

Part One : 1978 – 1981

Tom Cannavan, vocal/guitar
Frank Quadrelli, guitar/vocal
Kenny Blythe, bass/vocal
Robert McCormick, drums
replaced by Steve Lironi, drums

Friends Tom and Frank had written songs and played together in various school bands before discovering punk and going on to create Restricted Code in 1978. Influences were pretty eclectic from punk (big Sex Pistols fans) to New Wave (Talking Heads, Magazine, etc.) to funk and soul (Chic, Otis Redding, etc.).

In 1979 the band got together with fellow Glaswegian bands Positive Noise and The Alleged to release an EP called Second City Statik, which enjoyed considerable critical acclaim. Even as Second City Statik climbed the indie charts, the band recorded further demos in search of a deal. In 1980 they got a call from Bob Last, manager of The Human League and the man whose Fast Product label released seminal records by The Gang of Four, The Mekons and Joy Division. Last loved the demos, and after arranging a showcase gig, he became their manager and signed them to his new record label, Pop:aural.

Restricted Code released two further records on Pop:aural and toured extensively, including supporting The Human League in the UK and Europe and a nationwide tour with the Fire Engines, label-mates at Pop:aural, the bands taking it in turn to headline each night. They recorded sessions for John Peel and Richard Skinner at BBC Radio. Aged just 16 at the time, the increasing touring commitments led to Robert’s decision to quit the band. Steve Lironi was recruited on drums.

Restricted Code enjoyed fantastic critical success and something of a ‘cult’ following. Paul Morley in NME picked them as “band most likely to…”, in 1981 Sounds music paper claimed they delivered the “best gig of 1981”, and there were rave reviews and extensive features in magazines including The Face and Melody Maker. As one of the hottest up-and-coming bands around, one memorable gig at The Embassy Club in London saw a who’s who of musical faces in the audience including John Peel, Debbie Harry, Frank Zappa, Julian Cope and members of the Sex Pistols and dozens of other bands. There were also, as one magazine reported at the time, “dozens of record company A&R people.”

Despite the critical acclaim, an extremely loyal fan-base and universal praise for their live gigs, the band didn’t sell the volume of records that they, or their record company, expected. The single First Night On topped the NME indie charts – but that didn’t mean huge sales in 1980 – and while Love to Meet You sold well, it didn’t break though into top 40 success. The band split up late in 1981, perhaps down to the pressures of not acheiving real breakthrough success despite such critical acclaim. Each of the members formed or joined other bands in and around Glasgow and Edinburgh, with some success. But life moved on, with the members developing careers in everything from teaching to aircraft engineering.

mp3: Restricted Code – First Night On
mp3: Restricted Code – Love To Meet You

(JC adds…….the first is from the 7″ that’s part of my vinyl collection; the latter was included on the Big Gold Dreams boxset referred to quite often throughout this particular series).

Part Two : 2018 – present

It took more than three decades until Restricted Code got together again. Having rekindled their friendship via social media a few years earlier, one day the crazy idea came to Tom and Frank of getting together to write and play again. There was no plan, no great ambition, just a desire to get the guitars out and see where it took them. They were already in touch with Kenny via social media, and with Robert, but knowing he no longer played drums, they approached Les, a friend from the old days.

Soon, the four piece band was together again, re-learning the old songs and enjoying making music. One day, quite by chance, they bumped into Robert outside a Glasgow rehearsal studio. They arranged a jam for the following week which went so well that for the first time Restricted Code became a five piece, with keyboards.

New songs soon began to emerge, Tom and Frank hitting a rich seam of renewed creativity, and the band continued to rehearse the old and new material. A support gig appeared on the horizon, then another, then another, and suddenly they were headlining their own gig at Glasgow’s 13th Note to a sell-out crowd.

Recording the new material became the focus in the middle of 2019, slightly delayed by Kenny breaking a finger, Les busting his toe and Frank ending up in hospital with an ankle injury. Were the gods against them? Well, eventually they did get into the studio at the end of 2019, recording the four tracks for their self-funded E.P. that was released in February 2020.

I Got Lost has picked up extensive radio play on BBC radio, Astounded Radio and other stations, with lots of enthusiastic critical comment. As fate would have it, the coronavirus lockdown struck just as CDs were manufactured and their official launch gig scheduled. The gig has been postponed, but the CD is available from the official website (link above) as well as all major download and streaming services.

The band cannot wait until lockdown is lifted and they are able to play again. The story goes on, and the band says, “The truth? It’s like we have never been apart.”


I’ve always said that this place would be far poorer if it wasn’t for the views, thoughts, contributions and postings from others,  Here’s some evidence from back on 19 February 2014:-

In recent weeks, in response to what has been posted on T(n)VV, a number of readers have made suggestions about tracking down some songs. Here’s what I mean:-

“Heard CHVRCHES version of Bela Lugosi?” : from London Lee on 5 February

“On the other hand, Lightspeed Champion has made some pretty good records. I loved ‘Madame Van Damme’.” : from The Robster on 31 January

“Last year, Kylie sang vocals on a track called ‘Whistle’ by Icelandic electronica meisters Múm. It’s probably my favourite thing she’s ever done, even topping that Nick Cave duet and her Dr Who appearance. I very strongly urge you to check it out.” : from The Robster on 29 January

“The Flaming Lips have a pretty good version of I Can’t Get You Out of My Head” : from Brian on 29 January

“Frank Sidebottom did a tremendous Kylie tribute track which is worth tracking down” : from Charity Chic on 29 January

So as The Chemical Brothers once chanted on a hit single of theirs (but, as pointed out to me by acid ted, who is my oldest non-Glasgow based blogging mate, it was originally on “The Roof is on Fire” by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three)……..

……HERE WE GO!!!!!

mp3 : CHVRCHES – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
mp3 : Lightspeed Champion – Madame Van Damme
mp3 : Mum – Whistle
mp3 : Flaming Lips – I Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
mp3 : Frank Sidebottom – I Should Be So Lucky

Thanks again everyone for keeping the faith this week (he types optimistically before seeing the responses these past few days).  I’m hoping normal service will be resumed next week.



I’m interrupting the planned schedule to bring you some news from Germany.

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in being horrified watching the scenes of carnage and devastation from the unprecedented flooding which recently hit many parts of central Europe, and in particular Germany. The death toll is at 171, while 155 people remain missing, with the president of the country’s disaster relief organisation now saying she does not expect rescuers to find any more survivors.

My immediate thoughts were for two very good and old friends of this corner of t’internet, Dirk and Walter, both of whom came to Glasgow a few years ago when a small group of bloggers decided a meeting in person was long overdue. I was sure that Walter would be fine, as his home city of Stuttgart had been spared the worst of the downpour. Dirk, however, I wasn’t so sure about, and this was confirmed with this part of the response from Walter to the e-mail I had sent to both of them:-

“Hi Jim,

many thanks for your mail. Everything is fine with me and slowly normal life comes back as we knew in the times before the pandemic. Although I suspect it won’t be too long. Thank God I am not affected in my region by the rains and the floods, but as far as I know the area in the Dirk lives the full force of the storm hit him.”

Two anxious days passed before an e-mail dropped in from Dirk. It was short, simply saying that he and his family were OK but that he wasn’t at home just now, adding that he would get back to me in detail once he had returned. He was as good as his word:-

“Hello JC, hello Walter,

First of all thanks VERY much for being worried/taking care/asking. I can assure you though that everything is fine over here, and although I live in a region which basically was surrounded by the floods, nothing at all happened to the village. Also, I live on a bit of a hill anyway, so all I had to do was to empty the swimming pool a bit before I left for a few days away on Thursday. And that trip was the only reason why I couldn’t write earlier, I just HATE to write longer messages on my mobile … too old-fashioned, me, I suppose …

In fact, we went to a vineyard in Rhineland-Palatinate where I probably ate and certainly drank too much, but also this region was not affected. But I crossed the Mosselle river as well as the Ahr river on my way and what I was able to see from the motorway down in the valleys was really shocking.

I mean, people who live at the rivers are used to high tides and all the villages have high tide protection systems and plans. But what happened there last week was so “special”, there was no way whatsoever for them to cope with it in the shortness of time. I just watched an interview on the telly with the mayor of Schuld – a small village which by and large fully got destroyed – and he said that they had a high tide of 3.60 meters in 2016. After which they improved their system, but no-one could do anything at all against the masses of water which hit the village last week in the middle of the night. The wave was 8.86 (!!) meters, he said, and apparently it didn’t slowly build up, but came rushing down instead within seconds.

The only “family and friends – damage” I know about was in my sister’s cellar, but they had mostly everything in shelves, perhaps the floor can even be saved, but first of all it has to dry fully before they know for sure. And if not, well, it’s just a bloody floor, a bit of laminate, nothing serious.

Nothing serious anyway compared to the hundreds of people who lost their lives, are still missing and/or haven’t got a home any longer. One problem will turn out to be the various forms of insurances here in Germany. If you have a house, you have to insure it. But if you’re not specifically insured against natural hazard, you will get nothing from the insurance for the house, just for what was in it. Now every bloody politician says: ‘No need to worry, we will take care of you”. But I know German bureaucracy, believe me, and I’m willing to have a small bet that those poor people will wait forever for any government money.

So, hard times indeed, luckily not for me. All in all, I coped rather well with Covid, mainly because it meant that I could work from home three weeks out of four. Which I enjoyed very much. Still do, in fact, because – as Walter said – with all the lowered restrictions, it’s just a question of time when the whole mess will start again. But before it does, I will be away again (the week after next) to the Baltic Sea with my brother-in-law’s caravan. Very much looking forward to this as well, because basically it will turn out to be a repetition of the vineyard-trip. Only with beer instead of wine, I suppose.”

Dirk’s e-mail went on to explain why he had been quiet of late, offering all sorts of wholly unnecessary apologies. Not surprisingly, like all of us in these unprecedented times, his priorities have shifted increasingly towards his family and his own physical and mental well-being, and he’s not spent too much time browsing round music blogs in the way he used to. He has, on the plus side, built himself a Tiki-bar!!

Our exchanges ended on a positive note, with me promising that, as soon as travelling becomes more possible and enjoyable again, to make a trip over to Germany to meet up with both Dirk and Walter, two of the nicest and most genuine folk on Planet Earth.

As Dirk is a huge Clash fan, the title of this one seems appropriate today:-

mp3: The Clash – Safe European Home

Thanks for reading.



It’s back to 17 April 2015 for this one.

Nick Cave was a truly creative force in the first decade of the 21st Century, releasing an album every 18 months or so with the backing of The Bad Seeds or with the Grinderman offshoot. It is a body of work that, due to its volume, doesn’t always quite hit the mark in comparison to the material from the 80s and 90s but it is never less than fascinating to listen to, especially in the live setting where he and his band established themselves as one of the must-see acts with every tour bringing something different thanks to the revolving door policy of band and tour members.

One of my favourite songs of his is the lead-off single from the 2008 LP:

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig Lazarus Dig!!!

It bounces along a right old pace, paying homage to the sort of more direct tunes that Grinderman had been performing in the previous couple of years – in particular the call and chant nature of the vocal – and has a chorus that was tailor-made for A-listing on daytime radio. Except, this is Nick Cave and unless he duets with Kylie or Polly Jean then there’s no chance of ever hearing him outside of Radio 6….

Ever wondered what the hell this crazy cut-up vocal is all about? The great man explained all at the time of its release:-

Ever since I can remember hearing the Lazarus story, when I was a kid, you know, back in church, I was disturbed and worried by it. Traumatized, actually. We are all, of course, in awe of the greatest of Christ’s miracles – raising a man from the dead – but I couldn’t help but wonder how Lazarus felt about it. As a child it gave me the creeps, to be honest.

I’ve taken Lazarus and stuck him in New York City, in order to give the song, a hip, contemporary feel. I was also thinking about Harry Houdini who spent a lot of his life trying to debunk the spiritualists who were cashing in on the bereaved. He believed there was nothing going on beyond the grave. He was the second greatest escapologist, Harry was, Lazarus, of course, being the greatest.

I wanted to create a kind of vehicle, a medium, for Houdini to speak to us if he so desires, you know, from beyond the grave. Sometimes, late at night, if you listen to the song hard enough, you can hear his voice and the sad clanking of his chains. “I don’t know what it is but there is definitely something going on upstairs”, he seems to be saying. It is, most of all, an elegy to the New York City of the 70’s.

So there you have it…………..

Incidentally, the version of the song put on the blog is the limited edition 7″ single version, which comes in at some 32 seconds shorter than the album version (that’s the anorak in me coming to the fore I’m sad to say).

Here’s yer b-side:-

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Accidents Will Happen

NOT a cover of the Elvis Costello classic, although that didn’t stop EC’s folk a few years back issuing me with a dmca notice (over the old blog where these things were a regular occurrence) demanding that the Nick song be taken down – I knew it was from EC’s folk as the other three songs the notice referred to were all from a posting to do with him!!



I’m still not quite getting to grips with things just now, so with your blessing and permission, I’m going to go back into the archives for the rest of the week, pulling out some postings that have a decent enough backstory to bear repeating all these years later. This is from 27 January 2014.

The first time I heard Kathleen it was on a tape given to me by a friend. I assumed it was an original composition, as it had all the hallmarks of a classic Tindersticks recording. I got round to talking about it with said friend and was very surprised to learn it was a cover version.

mp3 : Tindersticks – Kathleen

The Tindersticks of this era (mid-late 90s) are impossible to characterise. They can’t be defined as rock, jazz or soul and yet they have a little bit of all of those in many of their songs. They employed all sorts of instruments on their records, including brass, strings and percussion – and in Stuart Staples, they had, and still have, a singer with a distinctive and unmistakable baritone voice. Some say they are just another doom-laden miserablist lot. Far from it.

They were a band best consumed in the live setting. Until the time I was away for my 50th birthday and, by sheer chance, managed to see Frightened Rabbit in a packed compact venue in the middle of a Berlin heatwave, the Tindersticks gig at the Jaffa Cake in Edinburgh in 1997 is the hottest I’ve ever been at a gig…so hot that the band had to remove their jackets! And in 2002 I was lucky enough, in the company of Mrs Villain, to see them perform in the stunning surroundings of Somerset House in London, complete with 20-piece orchestra on a warm summer evening in which I was sure I had seen THE perfect concert in my lifetime. I even spotted Concorde flying overhead in the sky above at one point….

For a long long time I only had a copy of Kathleen courtesy of it being on said cassette tape. One day I dropped an e-mail to the band looking for a bit of heads-up on plans to re-release the early LPs to find out if any bonus material in the offing would include making Kathleen available as I had been looking out for a copy for a number of years. I was told yes, but was also asked that, if I wanted, I could have a copy of the 7″ single as there was a spare one lying around in the office. You can guess my answer….

It now sits in the cupboard proudly beside all my other vinyl, #2184 of what had been a limited run of 5000. Here’s the other three tracks on the 7″:-

mp3 : Tindersticks – Summat Moon
mp3 : Tindersticks – A Sweet Sweet Man
mp3 : Tindersticks – E-Type Joe

As I said at the outset, I was surprised to find out this was a cover. It made me determined to track down the original and was amazed to learn just how close in style and tone the Tindersticks version was, and yet they had still made it sound as if it was one of their own. I thought only The Wedding Present were capable of such genius….

mp3 : Townes Van Zandt – Kathleen

Until that point in time I knew nothing about Townes Van Zandt. His life is surely a Hollywood movie in waiting….



It’s more often than not that you’ll find this little corner of t’internet to be the comforting home of the three minute pop-song, often of the twee variety.

But, occasionally, I’ll drift into some unexpected areas.  Such as using this Monday morning slot to go deep into the cupboard to dig out and play what I’ll argue is THE greatest of all the goth anthems.  I have no idea how many years it’s been since I put the needle into the groove of this 12″ piece of vinyl, but let’s just say that even after given a good wipe-down, there was still enough accumulated dust that I had to stop the recording, carefully clean the stylus and start all over again.

mp3: The Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion

As this blared from the speakers, a murder of crows made their way out of the nearby trees to nod their heads in unison and give approval to what they were hearing.  Or maybe that was just the side effects of the painkillers I’m taking to combat a sore back.

A #7 hit single in 1987, this version comes in at just over eight-and-a-half minutes, some three minutes shorter than the album version.  Produced by the late Jim Steinman, famed for his work with Meat Loaf, it really does have the kitchen sink thrown at it, including the 40 members of the New York Choral Society.

Admit it, you’re all closing your eyes and picturing yourself throwing all sorts of strange shapes to this in the confines of a very dark, cave-like subterranean club, possibly while Peter Murphy and Siouxsie Sioux look on approvingly from the VIP area.



mp3 : The Fall – Totally Wired

This is the first time in this series that I’ve put the song ahead of the words I want to offer up.  It was the band’s sixth single, released on Rough Trade in September 1980.  I included it as part of the very first ICA dedicated to The Fall, back in August 2015, and said this:-

One of the very finest post-punk/new wave songs of all time. It might sound a bit rough’n’ready nowadays, but for something that is now 35 years of age it still feels awfully fresh. I’m sure every alt/indie/punk band on either side of the Atlantic have been influenced in some shape or form by this

Totally Wired is now more than 40 years old. It was recorded at Cargo Studios in Rochdale in July 1980. This time around, Geoff Travis and Mayo Thompson stayed away and production duties, according to one of the websites devoted to the band, are co-credited to Kay Carroll (band manager) and John Brierley (owner of Cargo Studios). The single itself, which comes with minimal design in terms of a sleeve and information, doesn’t give away anything about credits other than saying the music was the work of Riley, Scanlon, Handley and Smith, with the lyrics being credited to Smith.

Unsurprisingly, given the subject matter of the song, the BBC were unwilling to put Totally Wired on any of its lists for daytime or even nighttime radio, meaning that John Peel continued to plough a lonely field. I still maintain, all these years later, that if this had gained any sort of exposure, it would have smashed the charts as it was the chorus made it that sort of song that would cross over very easily. It would have been hilarious to have been able to hear young kids chanting ‘I’m Totally Wired’ at the top of their voices in playgrounds up and down the country….

As it was, the single, like its predecessor, had to make do with reaching #2 in the Indie Charts.

Fun fact… was kept off the #1 spot by the reissue of Paranoid by Black Sabbath on the NEMS label which spent five weeks at the top in August/September 1980.

Here’s the b-side:-

mp3: The Fall – Putta Block

The same credits as the a-side apply here. But it’s all a bit misleading. Putta Block is a very strange release. In fact, strange doesn’t come close to doing it justice.

The first one minute and twenty seconds are taken up by a live recording of what, at the time was an unreleased song, but would reveal itself as The NWRA when the next album came out. It gives way to a lively and very new wave sounding studio recording, which is itself the song, Putta Block.

But that’s far from the end of things. The studio track lasts just under two-and-a-half minutes before it suddenly stops and another live song is segued in, this time we hear MES ranting a bit as the band play the intro to Rowche Rumble. This, however, ends very abruptly after 20 seconds, and almost in homage to a badly recorded bootleg, it goes into another snippet, this time to pick up the very ending of Cary Grant’s Wedding which had been released on the Totale’s Turns album mentioned in last week’s post. It all ends with MES singing/chanting ‘What Is This Shit?’

Bonkers. Genuinely bonkers, and I’d love to know what the Rough Trade folk said to one another when they first played it.

Another fun fact. Putta Block was never played live after it was released (surprise, surprise).

Oh, here’a final fun fact for today. Cary Grant’s Wedding has never been recorded for a studio album, EP or single.

The only other info on the back of the sleeve of the 45 was was that neither Totally Wired nor Putta Block were going to appear on the soon-to-be released album ‘After The Gramme’. As it turned out, this would be the case, although the album would be re-titled ‘Grotesque (After The Gramme)’ by the time it hit the shops in November 1980.

Hope I’m not losing too many of you already…..this series still has a lot of mileage ahead.



From the C88 boxset, issued by Cherry Red Records in 2017-

This Glasgow five-piece could be described as the archetypal mid-80s indie combo, blending pure pop with combustible and wittily-observed lyrics (courtesy Andrew Smith) that drew comparisons with such doyens as The Close Lobsters, The June Brides (minus the brass), The Smiths and even Billy Bragg. Sadly, they left behind a tiny musical legacy.  The cool, irreverent ‘Hey Hey Hate’ graced a Sha La La flexi in 1987 and various tracks troubled compilations such as ‘Airspace!’, ‘Corrupt Postman (‘Clearly Blurred’) and A Lighthouse In The Desert (‘Cold Inside’) before the more laconic ‘Apple In My Eye’ appeared on a Bi-Joopiter cassette comp, What Feet.  A four-track EP, ‘Train Journeys’, finally surfaced in 2001.

And that is my only link into Remember Fun.  This was the track contained in the C88 boxset:-

mp3: Remember Fun – Apple Of My Eye

But there’s been a 2021 postscript.

Firestation Records, the Berlin-based label and record shop, turned its attentions to Remember Fun and earlier this year issued Contentment, a 14 track vinyl compilation (18 tracks are on the CD), of everything they could get their hands on.  The pic accompanying this post is the cover of Contentment.  I haven’t rushed out to pick up a copy as, to be honest, I’m not all that sold on Apple In My Eye. But there’s a couple other songs I’ve heard in recent times which I have liked, albeit it’s easy to date them as being from the mid 80s, and while they aren’t life-changing, the album would fit in quite nicely with a fair bit of the vinyl here in Villain Towers, albeit storage space is increasingly becoming a premium.



You can blame Clare Grogan for this one.

I recall reading somewhere that she had said Sexual Healing was one of her favourite records.  It turns out, thanks to the wonder of t’internet, that it was actually in the pop magazine Smash Hits:-

I was, as I’ve admitted on many an occasion, besotted by the pop star back in the early 80s.  Glasgow wasn’t that happening a city back then that folk like Clare, or indeed any of our resident pop stars, could find their own hideaway bars. There were probably only about three or four in the city centre that weren’t the traditional ‘old man boozers’ and we all knew where we were likely to bump into them.

There were also a couple of bars attached to hotels in which they would make an occasional appearance.  One of these was ‘The Devil’s Elbow’ which was part of what was then the North British Hotel, owned and run by British Rail as it was attached to Queen Street station, one of the city’s two remaining termini.  The Devil’s Elbow had a jukebox, but it wasn’t very good, being for the most part dealing in nostalgia along with some current chart hits.   Sexual Healing was on the jukebox.  I always put in some coins so that it would play, merely in the hope that Clare might drop in while it was airing.  She never did……

I was sure the song was a #1 hit back in the day, and at very worst, Top 3.  Turns out that it stalled at #4 in November 1982.  I also always thought it was a spring/summer hit, but I guess that’s just the times of year when I’d most be in The Devil’s Elbow.

Incidentally, the wiki page (I know!!!!!) states that the final two lines of the song have Marvin Gaye singing:-

“please don’t procrastinate, it’s not good to masturbate.”

I have no idea if this is true as the 7″ version fades out as he sings ‘please don’t…….’.  The next word could well be ‘procrastinate’…………

mp3: Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing

The b-side of the version that arrived in the Discogs bundle was an instrumental.  Tough, if you hate the tune:-

mp3: Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (instrumental)



As mentioned yesterday, the weather, here in Glasgow, was very warm and sunny in the final couple of weeks in the month of June, and I’ve not been in the mood to sit indoors at the keyboard churning out lengthy and analytical pieces with which to bore you rigid.

This is another of the bundle of singles picked up on Discogs a short time ago as part of an effort to save some postage.  As with my pop sensibilities, I’ve never hidden my love for much of the disco music that emerged in my late teens, as these songs were every bit as important as those in the punk/new wave genres on which I was splashing my hard-earned cash from delivering newspapers.

mp3: Earth Wind and Fire with The Emotions – Boogie Wonderland

The copy which arrived in the post had the above cover and seems to be some sort of import from Italy.

This was riding high in the charts in 1979, spending the best part of three months from mid-May to mid-August in the Top 75.  It reached #4. I recall dancing a lot to this that summer and beyond…..

The b-side is disco at its absolute purest…….

mp3: Earth Wind and Fire with The Emotions – Boogie Wonderland (instrumental)

The punk and new wave of 1979 may have ticked all the boxes of the typically angry/frustrated/unfulfilled teenager that I was, for the most part.  But Boogie Wonderland offered some form of escapism, even if it was just within the confines of a far from glamorous church hall.



Those of you who were paying attention last week will be aware this post is now running seven eight days late (it was bumped 24 hours to accommodate the Goon Sax review from yesterday).

The weather, here in Glasgow, was very warm and sunny in the final couple of weeks in the month of June.  As such, I became disinclined to sit indoors at the keyboard churning out lengthy and analytical pieces with which to bore you rigid.  The remainder of this week will reflect that.

I picked up this single on Discogs a short time ago.  It was one of a big bundle of 7″ singles bought in bulk to save a wee bit on postage.  I’ve never hidden my pop sensibilities at any point in time, and this #3 hit from 1984 has long been a favourite:-

mp3: Bananarama – Robert De Niro’s Waiting

As catchy as anything I have in the collection.  But it’s not quite as good as Shy Boy……as recalled around this time last year.

The fact that I now finally own a copy of the single allowed me to discover a really decent b-side:-

mp3: Bananarama – Push!

Feel free to mock.  But if you do so, you’re wrong.



This blog rarely highlights new or emerging bands, and it’s even rarer that a new album gets some sort of review.  This is on the basis that I don’t think I’m smart or skilled enough to make the sorts of observations needed for such purposes, and besides, I hate putting up an mp3 when a song is new, and it’s hugely important that as many folk as possible make a purchase.

But I’m making an exception today.

Back in 2018/19, it took me four months to review We’re Not Talking, the second album to be released by The Goon Sax, an Australian trio consisting of Louis Foster, James Harrison and Riley Jones.  It was a very impressive effort, one which was a very welcome addition to their debut from 2016, Up To Anything. I concluded that particular review by saying that the trio had come a long way in a short period even though they were not yet out of their teens, and that I thought it would be fascinating to see what came next as they matured and developed as individuals, and as a recording and performing band. My summary was that ‘Perhaps, the onset of their 20s will lead to a genuinely classic album which will stand the test of time.’

And now, as the summer of 2021 continues, The Goon Sax have given us Mirror II, an album recorded last year with the assistance of veteran producer John Parish, best known for his work with PJ Harvey, and which I picked up last Saturday from my local indie record shop here in Glasgow.

The short summary, based on two full listens, is that the new Goon Sax album is different from the previous releases.

Very different.

And it will divide opinion….especially for those who were hoping for a record that would make them nostalgic for indie-pop of the guitar, bass and percussion variety, with twee vocals.

Mirror II opens with In The Stone, Psychic and Tag, three often synth laden efforts that feel aimed squarely at ‘the kids’ rather than the folk attracted to them via the Forster family connection. In The Stone was the track chosen as the preview song a couple of months back. It’s easy to see why:-

And there’s also been a video made for Psychic, which illustrates what I mean about the synth-led sound:-

And just as you settle down expecting more of the same, along comes Temples, a song written and sung by James Harrison in a style that made me think immediately of The Television Personalities with a very off-key vocal delivery. Side 1 concludes with another sharp and jolting turn on the rollercoaster as Louis, again assisted by Riley, takes over on The Chance, a track which has all sorts of indie and pop influences from through the ages running through it.  I’m sure it too will get the video treatment in the fullness of time.

Side 2 opens with Louis now channelling his inner art-school influences, as the near five-minute long Bathwater veers all over the place tempo wise, incorporating sax and guitar solos and lyrics sung in German (there’s his mum’s influence very much to the fore!) before another track for which a video has been made….and this time it sounds as if it wouldn’t be out of place as the slow-down number on a CHVRCHES album:-

Two of the final three tracks belong to James. And this is where I fell for the album in a way that I didn’t anticipate.

Where Louis and Riley’s efforts are polished in a way that makes them tailor-made for daytime radio and for the crucial 16-25 market to fall head-over-feels for, James takes us back to the shambolic indie-pop of the 80s….Carpetry really feels like a tribute to James Kirk‘s efforts with Orange Juice….completely unexpected and one of my musical highlights of the year. But I can see the kids giving this one a miss when they play the album, and no doubt make a sharp exit for the bars when the band do finally make it back to the stage.

He does more of the same with album closer Caterpillars, which, rather bizarrely, is the closest song to anything you’ll come across on the previous two records, sounding to my ears like a Violent Femmes influenced effort. These two songs bookend Till Dawn, the one I initially thought was easily the weakest effort on Mirror II. I’m still not convinced by it, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it suffers from its placing on the album, very much at odds with the songs that come before and after it.

I’m very happy to give the new album by The Goon Sax a huge thumbs-up, although it doesn’t quite form a classic that will stand the test of time.  Mirror II veers off in directions I wasn’t expecting at all, and while I find that encouraging, there’s a few fans of old who won’t be happy.  Having said all that, it’s likely that those who decide they no longer like what they are hearing will be replaced by a larger number of new, and most likely younger fans, for the time being at least.  I wonder what ‘the kids’ would make of these songs from 2016 and 2018:-

mp3: The Goon Sax – Boyfriend
mp3: The Goon Sax – Love Lost
mp3: The Goon Sax – Strange Light

Here’s hoping there’s much more to come in the years ahead.



I went onto Discogs recently to pick up a decent second-hand copy of this #9 chart single from 1977, specifically to have it included in this weekly series where a piece of vinyl is put onto the now year-old turntable and put through a wee bit of chicanery to come out at a higher rip than is normally offered up.

mp3: The Stranglers – No More Heroes

The least you could do is give it a listen…..(at this point author should insert winking emoji…..)

No More Heroes was further evidence that the positively ancient Stranglers weren’t really a punk or new wave band, no matter how much the PR folk at United Artists would like to have you believe.  Yes, the pace and energy of the song had a fair bit in common with their younger contemporaries, but the extended organ solo, courtesy of Dave Greenfield (RIP), brings more than a hint of prog-rock elements to the proceedings, in much the same way as Dave Formula did with the recent offerings from Magazine.

The thing is, it has somehow managed to age much better than many other singles from the era, testament in part to the way the band wrote the song, but also to the production skills of Martin Rushent, who would go on to weave his magic with many others but none more successfully than The Human League and the multi-million selling, Dare.