So here’s the thing……..
Three top blokes – Robert, Hugh and Carlo – for a decade have been promoting a club night in Glasgow called Strangeways. I’ve written about it before, and indeed chronicled my experience of being given an amazing opportunity to do a guest slot at one of the nights.
There have been a couple of spin-offs from Strangeways in which I’ve had some involvement – most recently being the Mixtape Nights – but now things are going to a slightly different, higher and really exciting level. Best if I let Robert explain:-
“It’s a round world
While it turns things go in cycles, we presented our much cherished Strangeways night for almost ten years, and we loved every night.
Putting our hearts and souls into every one with the eternal hope that you guys would love them too.
And you came back time and again, dancing and singing until you drifted off into the night, it was happy, happy times.
We decided it was time to close the doors on Strangeways this year while it was still a popular night and leave on a high. But we couldn’t just waltz off into the sunset, naw.
Time for something new and the sounds of Northern Britain are calling you, Scotland’s music needs celebrated and celebrated loudly! It’s colourful, diverse, inventive, quite frankly it’s brilliant and we want to get you dancing once more.
So say hello to ‘Simply Thrilled’ our first night will be back at the fantastic Admiral once more on the 28th of July.
And here’s the dust jacket : Simply Thrilled: Glasgow’s new club night for Songs from Northern Britain and Beyond The mission? To celebrate all that’s great about alternative Scottish music – as well as some terrific bands from beyond. With a playlist that reads like a roadmap of Scotland, Simply Thrilled will be thumbing an A-to-Z of everything from the Associates to The Zephyrs. So expect to hear Glaswegian heroes including The Pastels, Franz Ferdinand, The Royal We and Teenage Fanclub – plus the sounds of the Chemikal Underground: Mogwai, The Delgados and Bis. And, celebrating another groundbreaking label, listen out for Postcard’s Orange Juice, Josef K and Aztec Camera. Need more? Here’s more: Arab Strap, Belle and Sebastian, BMX Bandits, Bossy Love, Camera Obscura, Cocteau Twins, Frightened Rabbit, Lloyd Cole, JAMC, Primal Scream, Simple Minds, The Soup Dragons, Snow Patrol, Young Fathers… And with a glut of newer names like Sacred Paws, TeenCanteen, Spinning Coin, Modern Studies, Happy Meals, Apostille and Hairband
There’s even a wee video trailer to cast your eyes over.
Here’s the thing. The intrepid trio have invited me to join them on a regular basis. And I’m simply thrilled, honeys.
These guys really do know what they are doing and they really play to their individual and collective strengths. Robert and Hugh in particular know how to crank things up at just the right moments in an evening to take the atmosphere to new levels. I can only hope that my own contributions, in whatever shape they take and whatever hour(s) of the evening they occur, maintain that level of quality.
And to celebrate all of this, I’m going to have a short series which celebrates some of the best in Scottish music. Not sure just how often the pieces will appear as they will be built in around the ongoing stuff like the 2018 ICA World Cup, the guest postings, Charged Particles and other inane ramblings that I have in the pipeline. There’ll even be an ICA from a Scottish act which I wrote a few weeks back but never quite manage to slot in.
For today, I’ve pulled out this double-pack single which was posted on the old blog but is one which I can’t trace via my search of what archives have survived.
Oblivious had been released by Rough Trade in January 1983 and reached a reasonably respectable #47 in the charts. The album High Land, Hard Rain had come out a few months later to huge critical acclaim and the band had enjoyed a very successful summer promoting it out on the road. There was a feeling that Oblivious could benefit from a re-release which duly happened in November 1983, with a new sleeve and bolstered also by a limited edition double-pack release to entice those of us who had bought the 45 first time around.
mp3 : Aztec Camera – Oblivious
mp3 : Aztec Camera – Orchid Girl
mp3 : Aztec Camera – Back On Board (live)
mp3 : Aztec Camera – We Could Send Letters (live)
The live renditions were from a gig at El Mocambo in Toronto on 11 May 1983 which had been broadcast by a local radio station. No apologies for the fact the mp3s pop and crackle a bit….I’ve played them a lot over the years.
The marketing campaign for the re-release was a success, taking the song into the Top 20, and providing a very fresh-faced and excited Roddy Frame with his first appearance on Top of The Pops.
More Simply Thrilled induced nostalgia coming your way tomorrow.