AN UPDATE ON AN OLD POST

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In April 2014 I featured CD2 of a single by Idlewild with the following words:-

Back in 2000, Idlewild released a hugely enjoyable LP called 100 Broken Windows.

Four singles were lifted from the LP, all of which charted – none higher than #23 and none lower than #38 when they were all deserving of a minimum of Top 10. It was an era when singles came out in multiple formats, which was usually 2 x CDs but sometimes you’d also have a 7″ single thrown in.

It’s no real surprise that many acts ended up putting remixes or different versions of previously released material to fill up all the required b-sides, while cover versions were also a popular way of doing similar.

CD2 of the third single lifted from 100 Broken Windows is a perfect example of what I mean as it featured an acoustic version of the most recent single and a cover of an Echo and The Bunnymen track that was bound be well-known to and therefore be of appeal to most of the band’s fans:-

The acoustic version is quite lovely and rather fragile. Not only does it show how good a song it is but it helps display a softer and highly accomplished side of the band that is all too often neglected. The cover however, in the opinion of someone who is a fan of both bands is rather pointless and bitterly disappointing. It just sounds like a pub covers band’s take on the song…

The third single lifted from that album was These Wooden Ideas and the other week I picked up CD1 and gave it a listen.  One of its two b-sides was a really decent Idlewild original which, coming in at just under two minutes was probably disregarded from the LP purely on the basis of its shortness, while the other is yet another cover, this time of a Bob Dylan number from 1964 and I’m delighted that this time, the Idlewild boys did it proud.  As a guitar-driven band it’s really interesting to hear the band going down the route of a song that leans heavily on piano and a vocal that isn’t totally reliant on Roddy Woomble.

So all in all, five tracks over 2 x CDs with just the one duff song to endure.

mp3 : Idlewild – These Wooden Ideas
mp3 : Idlewild – There’s Glory In Your Story
mp3 : Idlewild – When The Ship Comes In
mp3 : Idlewild – Actually It’s Darkness (acoustic version)
mp3 : Idlewild – Rescue

The other week I mentioned how underrated Gene were. I’d say that Idlewild fall into the same category – a band who released a ridiculously good number of singles and albums over the years and who never got the fame they deserved. They were never ever hip enough….

And since I feel this post is kind of short-changing regular readers, I thought I’d throw in another tremendous but more traditional cover of Mr Zimmerman’s number:-

mp3 : Billy Bragg – When The Ship Comes In (live)

Enjoy.

B SIDES KILLERS AND FILLERS

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Back in 2000, Idlewild released a hugely enjoyable LP called 100 Broken Windows.

Four singles were lifted from the LP, all of which charted  – none higher than #23 and none lower than #38 when they were all deserving of a minimum of Top 10.  It was an era when singles came out in multiple formats, which was usually 2 x CDs but sometimes you’d also have a 7″ single thrown in.

It’s no real surprise that many acts ended up putting remixes or different versions of previously released material to fill up all the required b-sides, while cover versions were also a popular way of doing similar.

CD2 of the third single lifted from 100 Broken Windows is a perfect example of what I mean as it featured an acoustic version of the most recent single and a cover of a track that was bound be well-known to and therefore be of appeal to most of the band’s fans:-

mp3 : Idlewild – These Wooden Ideas
mp3 : Idlewild – Actually It’s Darkness (acoustic version)
mp3 : Idlewild – Rescue

The acoustic version is quite lovely and rather fragile. Not only does it show how good a song it is but it helps display a softer and highly accomplished side of the band that is all too often neglected. The cover of the Echo & The  Bunnymen track however, in the opinion of someone who is a fan of both band is rather pointless and bitterly disappointing. It just sounds like a pub covers band’s take on the song…

Enjoy…..in parts.

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Parts 56 – 60)

Back on 8 October 2011, I started a series called ‘Saturday’s Scottish Single’.  The aim was to feature one 45 or CD single by a Scottish singer or band with the proviso that the 45 or CD single was in the collection. I had got to Part 60-something and as far as Kid Canaveral when the rug was pulled out from under TVV.

I’ll catch up soon enough by featuring 5 or more at a time from the archives..

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(56) Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie – The Rattler b/w Here Comes Deacon Brodie : Capitol Records 7″ single (1989)

Read more about Goodbye Mr Mackenzie here

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(57) Hey! Elastica – Eat Your Heart out b/w Clay Hips (1st Movement)  : Virgin Records 12″ single (1982)

From Edinburgh and part of the glorious age of Scottish pop that rode on the back of the critical acclaim afforded to the likes of Orange Juice.  Not everyone’s cup of tea but I loved them.  And discovered many years later that so did my good mate Jacques the Kipper.

Four criminally ignored singles and one LP before Virgin cut their losses and dropped the band.  Hugely energetic and entertaining live, if not, it must be admitted, the most accomplished.  This is the debut single

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(58) His Latest Flame – America Blue b/w  Tongue Tied :  London Records 7″ single (1989)

Formed in the mid 80s in Glasgow and regarded by many as the nearest we ever got to The Bangles, albeit many of the records had a political kick to them.  The early singles were on Go! Discs but the latter material, including their only LP, was issued via London Records.  Tricia Reid has a mighty fine voice……..

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(59) Idlewild – No Emotion b/w Lookin’ For A Love b/w No Emotion (Caucasian Dub – Trance Mix) : Sequel Records 2 x 7″ singles (2007)

Read more about Idlewild here.

Deliberate choice to go with a later lesser-known single, partly for the b-sides of a Neil Young cover and a weird-as-fuck dance effort

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(60) Jack Butler – Velvet Prose b/w Candles b/w He Got No Game! : Whimsical Records CD single (2006)

Hailing from Stirling (a town in Central Scotland about equidistant from Glasgow and Edinburgh), Jack Butler are a four-piece consisting of Liam Kelly (vocals and guitar), Chris Lowdon (guitar), Allan Conry (bass) and Greg Moodie (drums).

Their debut LP Fit The Paradigm was released in April 2009 to a fair bit of excitement around these parts, and not only among the blogging community as one of the biggest selling tabloid daily newspapers gave the release excellent reviews and tipped the band for stardom.

I don’t own a copy of the album which I regret, certainly based on this two-person review:-

T: Wow, this sounds like Robert Smith on a crateful of speed.

N: Umm, well that’s left our readers with absolutely nothing from which to draw.

T: Ummm, what about leaving them with the image of Robert Smith on a crateful of speed?

N: I guess that’s one image I briefly toyed with, but to no avail, as Robert is now really getting too old to be toying with speed, let alone a crateful. Let me start, Jack Butler, a four piece from Stirling and described as “one of the freshest bands in Scotland” not forgetting to add “at the moment”, as they have a hell of a lot of competition here, take Aztec Camera (the most immediate reference), Trash Can Sinatras, or maybe Orange Juice. But one thing’s for sure, these guys are not excusing their harking back to post-punk 80’s vibe and who could blame them?

T: They sound like a train has crashed through your ceiling and is driving around your walls flashing disco lights while all the nightporters and commuters dive out of the carriages and do little dances around your bed. Which is great when they’re nice looking totty but not so good when they’re heifers. Most of the time though, they’re pretty damn attractive.

N: And this is the over-riding thought this band conjure up?

T: Yep. 9/10

The thing is, it had been the best part of three years previous since I had picked up a copy of their debut single having heard it on a blog and in the absence of anything else ever appearing in the shops I had assumed that they had gone through the ‘release a single and break-up’ routine. I certainly never picked up on the fact that an LP was out there….but then I’ve never been great at keeping up with developments as they happen.

Anyways….back to the 2006 debut. and I remember thinking that it was an absolute belter. Lead track Velvet Prose did have a wee bit of the standard indie-pop sound that was all over the charts at the time but I was more taken by the two b-sides which took me back a fair bit to some of the best bits of the 80s. Candles seems influenced by the early Zoo Records stuff of the Teardrop Explodes and the Bunnymen with the angular guitar work found on Josef K songs. But it’s He Got No Game! which is by far the standout – it sounds as if the Associates have reformed…..yup, it’s that good.

It’s a real pity it took so long for the LP hit the shops as I reckon based on these three songs Jack Butler could have gained a bit of momentum and gone on to carve a niche for themselves in the Scottish pop pantheon.

Parts  61 -65 next Saturday…..