HEAVEN SENT (PREFERABLY IN SMALL DOSES)

R-387007-1107532248

The above is one of my favourite sleeves and when I was younger and much much skinnier, I always thought it would have made for a great t-shirt.  Actually, I still think it would make a great t-shirt..  but I have to accept that it just wouldn’t look stylish at all on me.

It’s from a single released back in 1983, and a copy of the 12″ has been part of my collection all that time.  The thing is, I’m not actually all that fond of the 12″ cut as the extra three and a bit minutes beyond the 7″ (and album version) take something away from it.  It veers to being a tad self-indulgent.  But feel free to disagree:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Heaven Sent (7″)
mp3 : Paul Haig – Heaven Sent (12″)

While I’m here, I’ll also shove up the b-side which sees Paul’s cover of a Sly Stone song segue effortlessly into one of own songs and between them run to six minutes. It’s passable……

mp3 : Paul Haig – Running Away/Back Home

Enjoy.

BILLY MACKENZIE RARITIES…COURTESY OF SID LAW (3)

TheAudienceThatFellToEarth

Okay it is 1988. It has been nearly three years since The Associates last LP “Perhaps”. The slightly techno friendly cover of Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” has not set the charts alight despite a slew of formats (three 12″ versions, CD single, 7″ single, a 3D printed sleeve with some special glasses inside the sleeve etc). Billy has an album sitting in the can, Shirley Bassey has just covered one of his songs with Yello. In a quick series of moves Warners dropped Billy from their label and stopped the release of the already completed album “The Glamour Chase” dead in its tracks.

Three years of work on “The Glamour Chase” album and a decade of writing, recording and gigging. Now labell-less, deal-less and all his material in the can in a Warners basement and staying there. It is hard to comprehend that kind of blow. But a mighty blow it certainly was. After being dropped from the label over lunch in a Mayfair restaurant, Billy asked the record company executive given the task of dining and dropping him for a cab home on the record company account. The exec readily agreed and in a legendary move Billy took a cab home – all the way from London to Dundee.

“The Glamour Chase” did not surface in a proper release until 2002 when it was thrown in as a non-ironic freebie with the first CD release of 1985’s “Perhaps”. Some of it is fairly pedestrian lightweight, late 80’s funky standard pop stuff but there are some tremendous songs on it (particularly the Boris Blank produced Because You Love, Snowball, The Rhythm Divine and In Windows All) but perhaps the real standout track was a song Billy had been playing live for a few years called “Empires Of Your Heart” and everyone should hear it. Listen to this… can you believe a record company dropped this guy and left this kind of material in the can?

mp3 : Associates – Empires Of Your Heart

I also attach a track from a bootleg called “The Audience That Fell To Earth”. Billy MacKenzie with Paul Haig and some others performing “Empires Of Your Heart” at Wilkie House on 14 September 1986.

mp3 : Billy Mackenzie/Paul Haig – Empires Of Your Heart (live)

Cheers
Sid Law

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2011 : PAUL HAIG

From 26 September 2011

 

2810054729_0910ebd382

Personal circumstances prevented me trying to organise Paul Haig Day III back in April.

I’m quite sorry about that as Days I and II on 6 April 2009 and 2010 respectively were by far the most exciting days I’ve had as a blogger as folk the world over used their spaces on the interwebby thing to post a track featuring the very talented Paul Haig, whether it was from his early career with Josef K, his solo career or his collaborations with other musicians including the late and great Billy Mackenzie.

I couldn’t possibly let the run up to the 5th Birthday of TVV to go past without featuring Paul Haig.

For PHD III my own contribution would have the posting of an entire LP from back in 1988, one that has a few rare tracks and different mixes.   And here it is.  The 12 tracks which make ip the vinyl version of European Sun – Archive Collection 1982-1987.

After each mp3. there’s a short description of each song as described on notes on the back of the sleeve:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Running Away
7″ version of the first solo single, recorded in Brussels 1982. Written by Sly Stone, produced by Paul Haig

mp3 : Paul Haig – Chance
Short version of B-side from Heaven Help You Now. Written and produced by Paul Haig

mp3 : Paul Haig – Justice
Unreleased 7″ version, recorded Summer 1982. Written and produced by Paul Haig

mp3 : Paul Haig – Swinging For You
Unreleased 7″ version, recorded in Brussels 1987. Written and produced by Paul Haig (A different version would appear on the 1989 LP Chain)

mp3 : Paul Haig – Shining Hour
From the unreleased second solo album, November 1984. Written by Paul Haig. Produced by Alan Rankine

mp3 : Paul Haig – Fear And Dancing
From the unreleased second solo album, November 1984. Written by Paul Haig. Produced by Alan Rankine

mp3 : Paul Haig – Psycho San Jose
Spaghetti Western home recording, Summer 1987. Written and produced by Paul Haig (on 8 track)

mp3 : Paul Haig – Ghost Rider
cover version of Suicide’s road classic, with help from Malcolm Ross and David McClymont in December 1983, with Paul Haig and Alan Rankine co-producing. B-side of Big Blue World 12″ single.

mp3 : Paul Haig – Torchomatic
12″ single, recorded in Brussels in 1987. Written and produced by Paul Haig

mp3 : Paul Haig – Endless Song
b-side of Big Blue World 12″ single. Written by Paul Haig and co-produced by him and Alan Rankine

mp3 : Paul Haig – Closer Now
outtake from 1985 LP The Warp Of Pure Fun. Written by Paul Haig and co-produced by him and Alan Rankine

mp3 : Paul Haig – The Executioner
collaboration between Paul Haig and Cabaret Voltaire. Recorded in 1984 but never released. Produced bu Paul Haig, Richard Kirk and Stephen Mallinder

Now I will be the first to admit that a number of these tracks aren’t up there in terms of the best Paul Haig has ever recorded, but the whole point of originally starting up TVV was to make available songs which might otherwise be hard to obtain (I know…..it’s changed a lot since the early days). But today’s posting is intended to be in the spirit of those distant pioneering days when nobody cared or visited…….
Happy Listening

EVERY MUSIC FAN’S BETE NOIRE?

sd048_450Triggered off in part by that XTC posting the other day featuring a photo of a concert ticket from 1979….here’s a re-post of a rant from August 2009, together with the various comments folk left behind…..

 

I’m guessing almost everyone who read this blog likes going along to see live music, in all its shapes and forms, whether it is unknown, unsigned bands in tiny sweaty venues or the weekend-long music festivals that dominate the summer months (or what passes for summer these years in the UK) and all points in between.

Sadly, there are certain companies we have to deal with when trying to get our hands on many of these valuable bits of paper that will gain us admission to the venue. Its changed entirely from my early concert going days in the late 70s and early 80s where you basically went along to the box office at the venue, handed over cash and got a ticket in return. The amount you handed handed over was the price on the ticket.

Nowadays, its usually over the internet or at a centralised booking office and it never reflects the price of the actual gig.

Music fans – and indeed fans wanting tickets for the theatre or sports events – have been getting robbed by these faceless tossers for years, and other than actually taking the drastic action of not going to the gigs at all, there’s very little we can do. If you google the word ‘Ticketbastard’ you’ll quickly get hours of horror stories to cast your eye over.

In the end, its not been an outrageous mark-up that’s got me pissed off, but instead something so small and insignificant that I almost didn’t notice. But when I thought of how many times this small difference would add up to a huge profit, I thought it worth mentioning.

Now, we all know that the ticket agencies levy their service charges somewhat in proportion to the price of the tickets. So, for a sports event later this year at £67.50 a ticket, the service charge is £6.08 per ticket, while a gig ticket at £18.50 gets hit with £2.25 service, and a £9 ticket gets £1.25 (interesting that the music levy is more than 10% of the face value while the sport ticket is marginally below it).

But….there is also a processing fee on top of this…..and it was the amount charged for the music gigs that annoyed me.

On 10th October 2009, I’m off with Mrs Villain to see Jonathan Richman at the Oran Mor in Glasgow, while exactly one month later, we’re off the see Airborne Toxic Event at the ABC in the same city. It was £18.50 per brief for the former, and £9 per brief for the latter, plus that service charges I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Both sets of tickets were ordered the same day, using the same credit card and over the same PC with the same email address. Both sets of tickets were posted out on the same day, and both arrived on the same day, in identical envelopes and with identical packing.

And yet…..the Jonathan Richman tickets cost 65 pence more to process.

Why? Anyone out there know the reason???

OK, its only 65p, but as I said earlier, add up all the 65 pences and you soon get a fair whack of money for fuck all. And there’s no logic….my Morrissey tickets earlier this year were a whacking £32.50 each, with £4.50 service charge on top. But the processing fee was less than that applied to the Jonathan Richman tix.

Feel free to use the comments section to vent your own frustration.

mp3 : Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Roadrunner (Twice)
mp3 : The Airborne Toxic Event – Does This Mean You’re Moving On?

I’ve a funny feeling this posting might just end up with a dmca notice….so I hope you’re onto this quickly swissadam. Thanks for asking for it yesterday:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – Ghost Rider

Happy bitchin’.

11 RESPONSES TO “EVERY MUSIC FAN’S BETE NOIRE?”

Mona Says:

August 6, 2009 at 5:39 am
Indeed all those early morning hikes to the (Glasgow) Apollo to get in line back in the 70’s, I was invariably the first but at least I would get a ticket! we have the same shit out here in Australia and what exactly is all this money for…the recent gigs by I think it was The Police had the front seats auctioned off by the promoter, which is just scalping under a different name…I could go on…Regards/
Ed Says:

August 6, 2009 at 7:54 am
When it’s people who do it as a small business (see Ripping Records in Edinburgh, for instance) I’m sympathetic for a couple of quid, but Ticketmaster are just ripping us off left, right and centre. Another of my rants wuold be tix going on sale at times that mean you can’t get there; it’s one thing skiving school if you are a student (that that I condone this) BUT if you work for living like most of us do, then you may not be able to access the internet site from work or spend a small fortune on your mobile trying to get through…GRRR!
Coop Says:

August 6, 2009 at 8:24 am
A new development that really cheeses me off is that some venues/companies now ask you to print the tickets of yourself and charge you a fee still for the pleasure off wasting your own fucking ink. Unbelievable!
JC Says:

August 6, 2009 at 8:51 am
Ed, Like you, I have no problems with Ripping Records or other small shops in cities and towns who sell the tickets incl the booking fee. Its the big boys with their hidden and inconsistent charges that really get to me.
swissadam Says:

August 6, 2009 at 10:23 am
Thanks for the Paul Haig re-post. Agree completely about tickets- extortionate and booking fee system makes little sense. What pisses me off is tickets go on sale at say 9.00 am, 2 mins later all sold out, then re-appear on ticket selling websites, double price and upwards. When the Specials sold tickets for the Manchester Apollo gigs back in June standing tickets immediately jumped to £65, within minutes of them selling out.
condemnedtorocknroll Says:

August 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm
I have had my fair share of ticket problems (mainly to do with tickets selling out superhumanly fast and then reappearing for crazy prices on auction sites, or selling out because apparently everyone but me had some pre-sale code). And I agree that we are all being burned being slaves to the Ticketmaster. I miss the old days of lining up and first come, first serve. Thankfully, quite a few of the bands I see just aren’t popular enough to sell out quickly. I dread to think what would happen if I wanted to see David Bowie live again – I’m thinking I won’t get third row again.
Jim Says:

August 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm
That’s one thing that really pisses me off about King Tut’s. If you want to get a ticket online, you need to go through Ticketmaster. A recent gig I’d planned on going to was only a fiver, by the time Ticketmaster added their booking fee and a bonus charge for me picking up the ticket at the bar, the price had nearly doubled. I’m off to see Beerjacket in Tut’s on Saturday and he is so pissed off at Ticketmaster – apparently he’ll see no money from any tickets sold through them – he’s been arranging to meet people and sell them tickets himself, for the proper price. That’s great for me, not a problem to go meet him and get some tickets, but sucks for both people who are buying online and then for him when he doesn’t even get their cash.As Coop said, the new trend for charging you an extra couple of quid to print the ticket yourself – and I’ve seen a few times where this has been the ONLY option – is another kick in the nuts.Booking fees really get my goat. And I don’t even have a goat!
a Tart Says:

August 7, 2009 at 1:48 am
I live literally less than 10 blocks from the venue where Yo La Tengo will play and I cannot get tickets other than by online via TicketBastard who will take a $23 dollar ticket and after all their fucking service charges and fees end up taking $38 off me! That’s FIFTEEN FUCKING dollars of FUCKING FEES!!!! I am literally screaming at my computer and my wife is looking at me rather horrified even after I’ve explained why. Yes, welcome to ‘merica, land of the free to rape you in every way we possibly can. /rantthank you sir, for the space, love as always, xoxo
Agnes Says:

August 7, 2009 at 6:17 am
I’m with Mona, here in Oz ticket prices are scandalous. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re so bloody far away from everywhere else and it costs more to get here, but if that’s the case then I object! That’s a geographical fee that is, and it’s not our fault we’re at the end of the bloody world! Rubbish.Example ticket cost: $83 AUS to see Sigur Ros at Festival Hall which is basically a big barn with plastic seats and old wooden floors. Hardly a palace. That reminds me of merchandise costs too – $45 for a shirt as well! The sad thing is that I write this and I’m still thinking to myself “yeah but it was worth it”. That’s how they get us in the end.
Mona Says:

August 7, 2009 at 10:16 am
Indeed how do they justify these prices, upcoming Ry Cooder + Nick lowe @ Palais in Melb $140, that is 70 quid and that is before the extra’s. pearl Jam advertised as a value for money $99!!!Regards/
Ah Fong Says:

August 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm
whats with the same fee to pick up at the venue OR have them posted? and does anyone remember buying at the door with no booking fee? or am i just an auld bastart?do venues/promoters get cash from these companies, or does it just relieve them of the hassle(?!) of printing and selling themselves?ticketmaster are the ryanair of music.any chance of richmans ‘into the mystery’?

 

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 86)

R-685599-1155968009

A bio from all music:-

Paul Haig might be best known as the frontman of Scottish post-punk band Josef K, whose lone official record played a major role in the development of the C-86 scene that followed a few years after the group’s disintegration. Haig continued with a number of involvements in the following decades, releasing a number of records on his own in addition to issuing several collaborative efforts. The early-’80s breakup of Josef K also saw him abandon some of the anti-commercial ideals that he previously stood for, as he also aligned himself with a number of musically varied names in the process.

Haig was most prolific in the years immediately following Josef K, releasing a number of singles and full-lengths under his own name as well as Rhythm of Life. Released in 1983, the synth-based The Rhythm of Life (recorded in New York) featured the handiwork of Pere Ubu’s Anton Fier, Parliament/Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell, and the Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey. Compared to the Human League and the British Electronic Foundation, the record hardly resembled his earlier, frantically guitar-driven work, basing itself in slick pop and alienating many of his fans as a result.

A couple of 1984 singles were recorded with Cabaret Voltaire and Bernard Sumner before Haig teamed up more significantly with ex-Associate and live associate Alan Rankine. A full album was shelved due to label issues, but the recordings that followed were released as 1985’s The Warp of Pure Fun. Stylistically similar to The Rhythm of Life, Rankine remained aboard and added his mastery of electronics and production. Meanwhile, the big band and torch standards curiosity Swing in ’82 was released, which sat in the vault for three years before seeing the light of day. European Sun was issued in 1988, compiling singles and extras spanning six years. The self-funded Chain was recorded during 1988 with Rankine, with Virgin affiliate Circa picking up the recordings, but not releasing them until mid-1989.

Circa put up the money for a follow-up, enlisting the services of Lil’ Louis, Mantronix, and the Chimes. A single from the sessions went nowhere in clubs and on the charts, so the album (Right on Line) was shelved. Crepuscle eventually bought the rights to the record, releasing it in 1993 as Coincidence vs. Fate. Haig began a label of his own called Rhythm of Life, issuing a second installment of Cinematique. He also released a number of posthumous Billy Mackenzie recordings, most notably the collaborative Memory Palace, released in 1999. In 2003 LTM reissued and remastered Coincidence vs. Fate and The Warp of Pure Fun with new liner notes and bonus tracks.

Since when…..(adapted from wiki)

In 2007, Paul Haig’s first single for 14 years, “Reason” (a BBC Radio 2 single of the week), was released and made available via download and on 7-inch vinyl. This was followed soon after by his first new, non-Cinematique release since 1993’s Coincidence Vs Fate, Electronik Audience.

2007 also saw his first live appearance  in many years when he joined Subterraneans onstage at the Billy Mackenzie tribute concert in London.

Yet another new album, Go Out Tonight was released in April 2008. Go Out Tonight saw Haig return to his guitar-roots and tracks such as “Trouble Maker” are very reminiscent of early solo recordings such as “Chance”.

Haig also embarked on his first tour since 1989 when he promoted both old and new tracks in Scotland and selected dates in Nottingham and London in April 2008.

December 2009 saw the release of the critically acclaimed album, Relive, a new studio collection that featured the song Trip Out The Rider, later remixed for a 7″ single release by Lemon Jelly founder Fred Deakin. The track ‘Ambition’ also appeared on the 2011 compilation, After Twilight, issued on LTM Records.

And bringing this totally up to speed…..In October 2013 yet another critically acclaimed album Kube was released showing that after more than 30 years in the music business, Paul Haig still has an uncanny ability to surprise, delight and entertain in equal measures.

There’s so many singles in the cupboard that it was a very tough choice.  In the end, I went for a 7″ in which the A-side was produced jointly by B-Music/Dojo (Bernard Sumner and Donald Johnson) while the flip side was a cover of a Suicide song that had Alan Rankine at the helm. It also gives a great indication of how varied Paul’s music can be:-

mp3 : Paul Haig – The Only Truth
mp3 : Paul Haig – Ghost Rider

Enjoy!!!!!

MAYBE

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??????