Wake up very tired thanks to a combination of four days of long walks, train journeys and a far higher than usual consumption of alcohol.
There’s a few domestic issues to be sorted out...Rachel (aka Mrs VV) has had to deal with a lot of things these past few days, not least trying to progress some major repairs to the property we have called home these past 27 years. In particular, we need a new roof….the building is over 100 years old and in a conservation area, so getting work of this magnitude done is time-consuming, especially with the need to agree the involvement of the owner of lower half of the property (we live in the upstairs part of a conversion). I’m filled in with the progress, kind of ashamed that it’s been left to Rachel while I’ve been gallivanting in Manchester. My gift of a Jarv Is t-shirt from the gig seems wholly inadequate. The paperwork is signed off and the timetable of initial patchworking will get underway soon, but the main contract not delivered until May 2022. The roofing company is swamped with work just now, unable to keep up with demand. But it gives me enough time to get my head round the fact that there’ll be scaffolding and all sorts to put up with next year. I hate chaos…..
I really should be staying in and spending a quality evening with Rachel, but instead I’m attending the annual prize-giving at my golf club. I’m having to do so as I actually won something this year, my first such triumph since 2013. I vow to keep it as a quiet night, home early and sober.
I fail miserably on all counts, but attach the blame entirely on the other folk at my table. I’m so easily led.
I’ve scheduled missing the football today. It’s a two-hour train trip out of Glasgow down to Dumfries, but the decision is actually based on the fact that there’s no scheduled service for ages after the final whistle, which would mean me not getting back till almost 9pm and missing out on much of something very special scheduled for the evening.
Almost a full three years after the last one, Glasgow Little League is taking place from 7.15pm – midnight. Those of you who have been familiar with this blog for many years will be aware of how much the Little League events mean to me. They are organised by John Hunt, lead singer of Butcher Boy. They are the successor to events he first organised in 2001 under the guise of National Pop League, and indeed the event on Saturday 6 November is being arranged to mark the 20th Anniversary of the first NPL.
Aldo sorted out the tickets and there’s a group of us going, including some close friends of his from Northern Ireland whom he meets every year at the Indietracks Festival. It’s also going to be the first time I’ve been on a dance floor since COVID kicked in, and it’s going to provide an opportunity to finally see and talk to dozens of friends who have been sadly and unavoidably absent from my life for far too long. The one downside is that Rachel won’t be coming, as she spent her day at the 100,000 strong demonstration in Glasgow that was arranged as the people’s response to the lack of progress around climate change and this talking shop in my home city. I would normally have joined her, but I was exhausted from overdoing things these past few days.
I’m actually a bit apprehensive in advance about Little League, wondering if it would, or indeed could, live up to past experiences. There was also the fact of so many people getting together again after such a very long time…would we have the energy or inclination to actually dance, or would we be a wee bit self-aware and worry about the dangers still inherent of mingling and tingling. My fears were misplaced, and perhaps the best summary of the night comes from this Facebook message on the group page the following morning:-
“Thanks John for a brilliant night, what a playlist. It was such a joyful experience, great to see so many friends and familiar faces and everyone looked so happy. I felt really emotional at a number of points during the night, I’ve missed my friends, dancing and music. Thanks for bringing all three together.”
There’s a photo of the night illustrating this post. It kind of captures all that is great about Little League, with folk just really enjoying themselves in so may ways. Here’s the playlist…the proviso was that all tunes aired needed to have been played at any of the NPL evenings between 2001 and 2007:-
NEU! – ISI
ESG – UFO
IVOR CUTLER – GOOD MORNING! HOW ARE YOU? SHUT UP!
VINCE GUARALDI – A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING
CHILLS – PINK FROST
ADAM GREEN – BLUEBIRDS
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – STARS OF TRACK AND FIELD
AISLERS SET – ATTRACTION ACTION REACTION
SODASTREAM – TURNSTYLE
GO BETWEENS – LOVE GOES ON
SERGE GAINSBOURG – BONNIE AND CLYDE
DEAD KENNEDYS – MOON OVER MARIN
MULTIPLIES – MEGAFIST
BRILLIANT CORNERS – BRIAN RIX
LIFE WITHOUT BUILDINGS – NEW TOWN
MAGAZINE – DEFINITIVE GAZE
DELGADOS – PULL THE WIRES FROM THE WALL
10000 MANIACS – CAN’T IGNORE THE TRAIN
JONATHAN RICHMAN – NEW ENGLAND
POPGUNS – WAITING FOR THE WINTER
CAMERA OBSCURA – HAPPY NEW YEAR
FLATMATES – SHIMMER
LEFT BANKE – I’VE GOT SOMETHING ON MY MIND
SEBADOH – SKULL
MCCARTHY – WELL OF LONELINESS
MAGNETIC FIELDS – STRANGE POWERS
JOHNNY BOY – YOU ARE THE GENERATION THAT…
JAM – DOWN IN THE TUBE STATION AT MIDNIGHT
MY BLOODY VALENTINE – WHEN YOU SLEEP
RIDE – TWISTERELLA
SLEATER-KINNEY – GET UP
ROXY MUSIC – SAME OLD SCENE
DAVID BOWIE – ASHES TO ASHES
LOVE – ALONE AGAIN OR
CURE – JUMPING SOMEONE ELSE’S TRAIN
VOXTROT – THE START OF SOMETHING
BLUETONES – BLUETONIC
STEREOLAB – PING PONG
GO BETWEENS – SPRING RAIN
PJ HARVEY – DRESS
POSTAL SERVICE – SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS
SEA URCHINS – PRISTINE CHRISTINE
BEATLES – WE CAN WORK IT OUT
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – THERE’S TOO MUCH LOVE
FELT – SUNLIGHT BATHED THE GOLDEN GLOW
LLOYD COLE AND THE COMMOTIONS – RATTLESNAKES
TINDERSTICKS – CAN WE START AGAIN?
HOUSE OF LOVE – DESTROY THE HEART
GO! TEAM – HUDDLE FORMATION
FIELD MICE – EMMA’S HOUSE
PAVEMENT – BOX ELDER
YEAH YEAH YEAHS – PIN
FALL – TOTALLY WIRED
JOY DIVISION – DISORDER
NEW ORDER – DREAMS NEVER END
ORGAN – BROTHER
ROYAL WE – ALL THE RAGE
BILLY OCEAN – RED LIGHT SPELLS DANGER
CSS – LET’S MAKE LOVE AND LISTEN TO DEATH FROM ABOVE
BLUE OYSTER CULT – DON’T FEAR THE REAPER
REM – RADIO FREE EUROPE
TEENAGE FANCLUB – GOD KNOWS IT’S TRUE
WEATHER PROPHETS – ALMOST PRAYED
ARCADE FIRE – REBELLION (LIES)
ASSOCIATES – PARTY FEARS TWO
DAFT PUNK – DA FUNK
PUBLIC ENEMY – BRING THE NOISE
VELVET UNDERGROUND – WAITING FOR THE MAN
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – ALL MY FRIENDS
PIXIES – ALLISON
WIRE – OUTDOOR MINER
STONE ROSES – MERSEY PARADISE
OUTKAST – HEY YA!
HIDDEN CAMERAS – BAN MARRIAGE
DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – THERE THERE MY DEAR
STEVE HARLEY AND COCKNEY REBEL – COME UP AND SEE ME (MAKE ME SMILE)
STROKES – THE MODERN AGE
MADONNA – INTO THE GROOVE
VIOLENT FEMMES – BLISTER IN THE SUN
JACKIE WILSON – HIGHER AND HIGHER
MCALMONT AND BUTLER – YES
ORANGE JUICE – BLUE BOY
ONLY ONES – ANOTHER GIRL ANOTHER PLANET
DINOSAUR JR – FREAKSCENE
LE TIGRE – DECEPTACON
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – LAZY LINE-PAINTER JANE
You might now understand why I woke up a tad sore and stiff the following morning.
It should have been a day of rest and recuperation, but there was one final outstanding thing to look forward to, and that was the very first Titwood City Limits event.
TCL is the brainchild of my friend, Basil Pieroni, the guitarist with Butcher Boy. Titwood is a residential area on the south side of Glasgow, and at the centre of it is a bowling club and pavilion, dating back to 1890. Basil lives very close to the club and indeed, during the COVID lockdown and subsequent restrictions, became a member. He’s now making use of the building to host what is hoped will be a weekly Open Mic session on Sunday afternoons.
It was a deliberately low-key opening, with not much in the way of publicity. It still managed to attract about 30 folk along, all of who were entertained by one man and his acoustic guitar, delivering all sorts of great songs written and/or performed originally by the likes of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Hank Williams, The Undertones, Gram Parsons, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Orange Juice, Kenny Rogers, Butcher Boy, Willie Nelson and Nina Simone, among others.
It was huge fun, and Basil did an outstanding job, especially given he hadn’t performed live, other than on one occasion, these past two years. I can see me becoming a regular at Titwood City Limits. There are far worse ways to spend Sunday afternoons.
First song is for the golf, while the third one was Basil’s opening number. I don’t think the second needs any explanation.