Memory Palace is the collection of songs recorded by long time friends Paul Haig and Billy Mackenzie at various times between 1993-95. They were both fairly disillusioned with the music industry at this time and without record deals to constrain them they sought to fill the void by getting together in an Edinburgh studio and having a bit of fun, writing songs influenced by krautock, electropop and all out balladry, drawing on their many influences and talents for the unexpected.

It was an album released two years after Billy’s tragic suicide, with Paul fulfilling his pal’s wish to polish things off and make the music available to fans. It was initially only available via mail order through on Paul’s Rhythm of Life label but in due course, after a period in which it had seemingly been deleted, it was given a full release, with four bonus remixes, by One Little Indian in 2004.

It is an ambitious piece of work, not always the easiest of listens which is no real surprise given the chaotic and carefree nature of the recording methodology but at the same time, Billy’s voice comes through as strong and bold as at any point in his career while Paul provides reminders of why so many have long thought of him as one of the most visionary and creative talents of the late 20th century.

I thought I’d feature two songs from it, giving both of them the opportunity to take the lead vocals.

mp3 : Haig/Mackenzie – Thunderstorm

Heavily influenced musically by the trip-hop sounds of the likes of Portishead/Tricky, this tune shows how beautiful Billy could sound when he stayed comfortably with his range.

mp3 : Haig/Mackenzie – Listen To Me

Poptastic stuff. Paul would later re-record this for his Relive album in 2009 but without the killer backing vocal. The track is credited solely to Paul and I do wonder if the lyric was his heartfelt plea to Billy to look after himself a bit better.



maybeOh come on……after the past two postings you knew this was inevitable (at least Jimdoes did!!).

Sadly, I’ve only one song with that as the precise title:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Maybe

It’s the rather ordinary and throwaway b-side to a decent single from 2007:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Reason

If you look up the dictionary definition of ‘maybe’, the word often offered as an alternative is ‘perhaps’.  And there’s one song in the collection with that as its title:-

mp3 : Associates – Perhaps

The title track of the 1985 LP that was the first Associates record released after Alan Rankine had quit.

I genuinely had no idea that when I decided to follow-up McAlmont & Butler with posts entitled ‘No’ and ‘Maybe’ that I’d end up with something that featured both Paul Haig & Billy Mackenzie.  I had absolutely no recollection of that particular Pail Haig b-side until I looked it up.

It makes sense I suppose the to finish it all of with the rather stunning opening track from their on-going collaboration throughout the 90s that received a posthumous release in 1999 as Memory Palace two years after Billy’s tragic suicide:-

mp3 : Haig/Mackenzie – Thunderstorm

PS : You won’t believe whose turn it is to feature in the Scottish Singles feature tomorrow…..who do you think might just come after Pastels in the alphabetical list??????