I was living and working in Toronto. Jacques the Kipper sent me a text in case I didn’t get the news. I posted this on the blog.


I was saddened by the news of the death of Tony Wilson.

I’ve no doubt you’ll find some heartfelt tributes on loads of blogs, as well as a few less than kind remarks as there are many who thought the man was a twat. And let’s face it, he sometimes thought he was as well.

I’m not from Manchester, and perhaps not best placed to offer an opinion. But I’ll contend that Tony Wilson did as much as anyone in the latter part of the 20th Century to raise the profile of the city he’s most associated with. He helped transform it into a city where those of us who didn’t live there were jealous of those lucky enough to do so.

I only met him once. He came to Glasgow for a book reading of 24 Hour Party People, and it turned into a fabulous couple of hours. He was regally entertaining, with more than a hint of self-parody about his persona. Along with Bill Drummond, he was the one guy in the music industry that I would love to have been able to go down the pub with.

The world is a slightly poorer place without him being around. I hope the city gives him a great send-off.

song : Care – Sad Day For England

song : Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Pennine Version)

2016 Addendum….

The city did give him a great send-off and they’ve never forgotten him.  Here’s one of the most extraordinary and memorable things I’ve ever had the privilege of watching and listening to.



I mentioned them in passing just 48 hours ago and couldn’t resist the temptation to re-tell the story.

Care was primarily a coming together of Ian Broudie and Paul Simpson.

The former is best known as the man behind The Lightning Seeds, but he’s been part of the music scene in his native Liverpool since the late 70s, initially as part of the new wave band Big In Japan (who also featured Holly Johnson who found fame with Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Bill Drummond, likewise with The KLF).

I remember hearing their debut single one evening on either the David Jensen or Janice Long show on Radio 1 and being knocked out by what was then a pretty unusual and distinctive mix of acoustic guitars and synthesisers. I tracked the record down the following day.

It was on a major label – Arista Records. The production team was Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley who at the time were probably the biggest name producers in the UK. But despite considerable airplay in the evenings, it didn’t make the then crucial A-list at Radio 1 and the single faded into obscurity.

The follow-up single was a Kingbird production, which was one of the names that Broudie used. It also flopped.

Single number three did the same, despite at least one TV promo slot on the Oxford Road Show (I know this as I still have the clip on VHS tape).

Care then broke up in the summer of 1984 without bothering to release their debut album which only then saw the light of day in 1997 as a CD entitled Diamonds & Emeralds. The band were referred to as Care featuring Ian Brodie.

The cash-in was of course completely cynical as it came hot on the heels of The Lightning Seeds biggest success with the football anthem Three Lions that was adopted by the supporters of England during their hosting of Euro 96.

But if a small handful of those who were new to Broudie’s talents were drawn to this album by association, they would hopefully have found much to enjoy.

And here are the afore-mentioned three singles in the order that they were released:-

mp3 : Care – My Boyish Days (drink to me)
mp3 : Care – Flaming Sword
mp3 : Care – Whatever Possessed You

The first two are the 12″ versions.

Flaming Sword was later re-recorded om 1992 by The Lightning Seeds as the b-side to their Top 40 single Sense. And here it is:-

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Flaming Sword

Not much difference you’ll find which shows either the 1983 recording was ahead of its time or the 1992 recording was immediately retro. Whatever. I just think its a great pop song that should have been a massive hit.

Oh and if any of you out there have a 12″ copy of Whatever Possessed You and would like it to go to a good home alongside many other pieces of vinyl, then I’d be delighted to offer said home….