GO ON……YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO

At the risk of sounding like a needle which is stuck in the groove of a particularly well-loved but well-worn 45, one of the most exciting things to have happened to me in recent years is becoming part of the Simply Thrilled collective.

The launch night was something special, but that was surpassed by the two subsequent events we’ve run with guest DJs, firstly Aidan Moffat & Noj and then Stuart Braithwaite as part of the official after-show party for The Twilight Sad at which we raised £1800 for the Scott Hutchison Fund.

We’ve just announced details of our next night. No guest DJs, just hard work and honest endeavours from the four of us (myself, Carlo, Shug and Robert) who will put together the music to match the graphics and visuals from our IT genius, Ash.

It’s on Friday 5 July and the venue will once again be The Admiral Bar in Glasgow.

There might still be some early-bird reduced tickets available – £4 plus 40p booking fee – which is a real bargain for what will be a memorable night.  Even the full price tickets at £5 plus 50p booking fee will be more than worth it for five hours of consistently great music that you can shake one or more of your body parts to without looking or feeling ridiculous.

Here’s the link to make your purchases – https://www.wegottickets.com/event/468991

In the meantime, here’s an hour(ish)-long mix of the sort of stuff you might hear on the night, complete with occasional interjection of my exclusive Radio 2 style jingle, courtesy of my great friend Alison Eales of Butcher Boy fame:-

mp3 : Various – Sampling Simply Thrilled

Playlist

Top of the Pops – The Rezillos
Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub
The Modern Leper – Frightened Rabbit
Stop The Rain – Suede Crocodiles
I Could Be Happy – Altered Images
Michael – Franz Ferdinand
I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists
Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics
I’m Free – Soup Dragons
I Travel – Simple Minds
The Rattler – Goodbye Mr MacKenzie
Oblivious – Aztec Camera
Happy Like Yesterday – Groovy Little Numbers
A Girl Like You – Edwyn Collins
Big Rock Candy Mountain – The Motorcycle Boy
Party Fears Two – Associates
Rocks – Primal Scream
April Skies – Jesus and Mary Chain

JC

 

BONUS POSTING: SIMPLY THRILLED #3….OMFG

Those of you who pay attention to what’s happening around these parts will be well aware that I was chuffed to bits with the way the second Simply Thrilled night panned out.

The St Andrew’s Night Shindig was an overwhelming success, selling out in its entirety and providing a very special and unique atmosphere in the basement of The Admiral Bar as those in attendance danced their socks off to all sorts of great tunes, especially over the closing couple of hours when guest DJs Aidan Moffat and Noj took control.

Among those who dropped in were The Twilight Sad, long-time friends with our guest DJs, and who wasted no time whatsoever in getting straight into the groove on the dancefloor and on the decks. As a long time fan, I couldn’t think of any more surreal or dream like event since I started all this nonsense back in 2006, never thinking it could ever be topped.

But guess what……it’s about to be, and by some measure.

The third Simply Thrilled night is taking place on Saturday 2 March, once again at The Admiral. This time, it is doubling up as the aftershow party for The Twilight Sad’s gig at Barrowlands that same evening and we have again attracted a very special guest DJ who is another friend of the band – none other than the legendary Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai.

I’m still coming to grips with it all. There’s a lot of hard work been put in behind the scenes to pull this together and for the band to give us their blessing for the event, and for Stuart to agree to come on board, is so unbelievable that I can’t actually believe it’s actually happening.

And you, dear readers, can take advantage of the pre-sale, with access to Early Bird tickets, costing £5, available from https://www.wegottickets.com/sct/9jzYdwGvmD

Doors will open at 11pm and the event will go on until 3am.

All proceeds are going to a very special charity, the Scott Hutchison Fund, which, in the words of the members of Frightened Rabbit, will “form the basis for a Mental Health Charity to be set up fully in the coming months….able to help others the way Scott did with kindness, empathy and hope.”

It would be great to see some of you there. It really does have the makings of something incredibly special.

JC

AND NOW THE END IS NEAR….

This will be the final original post on the blog in 2018. I’m going to take a wee break over Christmas/New Year and so what will appear here over the next couple of weeks are archive postings relating to the date in question.

I thought I’d finish off with a look back to three weeks ago and the Simply Thrilled St. Andrew’s Night Shindig, the one in which we had Aidan Moffat and his sidekick Noj appearing as guest DJs.

The review has been delayed by my going off on holiday almost immediately after the gig and I was concerned that my initial euphoria would have worn off somewhat by the time I got to the keyboard, but that’s not been the case. If anything, it’s a night that I look back on with ever-increasing amounts of happiness and disbelief that it turned out the way it did, and in particular the realisation that I spent time sharing a DJ booth with more than one modern-era hero….

Here’s what I put on Facebook the following morning:-

“Here’s the set list from the sold out, five-hour long Simply Thrilled St Andrew’s Night Shindig which I helped put on last night at The Admiral in Glasgow.

When I say set list, it’s the ones we remembered to write down (it got enjoyably chaotic towards the end)

I think you’ll find there truly was something for everyone…keep scrolling past the indie obscurities that took up the first 2 hours before the party truly got started…

Mouths Full of Blood – Kathryn Joseph
J is for Jamie – Butcher Boy
Trees and Flowers – Strawberry Switchblade
In Recognition – The Proclaimers
Steal The Keys (1996 Tears) – The Just Joans
A Better Ghost – Butcher Boy
Number One Son – Camera Obscura
Gettin’ Dirty – BMX Bandits
Sometimes Always – Jesus & Mary Chain
Coming In From The Cold – The Delgados
Think That It Might – The Wedding Present
You Lost Me At Hello – Tesco Chainstore Massacre
Crawl Babies – The Pastels
Big Rock Candy Mountain – The Motorcycle Boy
The Life and Times of Alex Johnston – Edinburgh School for the Deaf
Seems To Be – Shop Assistants
The Cabbage – Teenage Fanclub
The Day I Was A Horse – The Vaselines
Fotzepolitic – Cocteau Twins
Dark Matter – Siobhan Wilson
Love Is A Momentary Lapse In Self Loathing – Malcolm Middleton
Give Him A Great Big Kiss – The Secret Goldfish
With Handclaps – Y’All Is Fantasy Island
Fast Blood – Frightened Rabbit
Donald in the Bushes With A Bag of Glue – Ballboy
Fall Forever – Honeyblood
Hang Ten – Soup Dragons
Foxheads – Close Lobsters
Lost Weekend – Lloyd Cole & The Commotions
Cath – The Bluebells
Don’t Talk To Me About Love – Altered Images
I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists
Candyskin – Fire Engines
Darts of Pleasure – Franz Ferdinand
The Shy Retirer – Arab Strap
Rip It Up – Orange Juice
Shampoo Tears – Win
Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie
The Rattler – Goodbye Mr Mackenzie
I Travel – Simple Minds
The Honeythief – Hipsway
Radio – Teenage Fanclub
Oblivious – Aztec Camera
A Girl Like You – Edwyn Collins
Since Yesterday – Strawberry Switchblade
The Boy With The Arab Strap – Belle and Sebastian
Jailbird – Primal Scream
Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins
Obscurity Knocks – Trashcan Sinatras
Old, Old Fashioned – Frightened Rabbit
Happy When It Rains – Jesus & Mary Chain
Blue Boy – Orange Juice
Promised You A Miracle – Simple Minds
Rattlesnakes – Lloyd Cole and The Commotions
Do You Want To? – Franz Ferdinand
Good God – Jock Scot
My Big Kilmarnock Bunnet – Alexander Brothers
Shout – Lulu
Japanese Boy – Aneka
Feels Like I’m In Love – Kelly Marie
Do You Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart
Thorn In My Side – Eurythmics
Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera
Rocks – Primal Scream
Shang-A-Lang – Bay City Rollers
It’s Shite Being Scottish – Trainspotting
Ebeneezer Goode – The Shamen
New Emotion – The Time Frequency
Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads
Donald Where’s Yer Troosers? – Andy Stewart
Into The Valley – The Skids
Party Fears Two – Associates
Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat
Swastika Eyes – Primal Scream
Eurodisco – Bis
Modern Girl – Sheena Easton
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
500 Miles – The Proclaimers
Don’t Leave Me This Way – Communards
Heart of Glass – Blondie
Sisters are Doing it for Themselves – Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin
It’s Raining Men- The Weather Girls
Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle
Loaded – Primal Scream
Everything Flows – Teenage Fanclub
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

One of my FB friends, Steve Fleming, made the observation that there was a Scottish theme running right through all the artists until near the end and wanted to know what had happened. I replied by saying that folk were having fun…it was party central….the dance floor was mobbed…and Aidan Moffat was on the decks and knew exactly what he was doing!!! Robert, one of the founders of the Simply Thrilled concept, was a bit more direct when he added “Moffat got pished is the real answer Steve”

Aidan and Noj took over the decks around 11pm when the rest of us had fulfilled our duties of initially playing the indie-schmindie and getting a few folk onto the dance floor. Their set began with this:-

mp3 : Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To?

If you look at the above set-list you’ll see that they went straight into full on party mode. None of us would have dared play the disco classics alongside some traditional Scottish music for such an extended period…well maybe we would have if we too had filled the floor and kept it that way

I was on door duties at the time and could only look on in admiration at what the dynamic duo were achieving and then the night took on a totally surreal feel for me as I got to welcome, and provide a wristband to, around a dozen people whose names had been given to us as a guest list by Aidan’s – namely all members of The Twilight Sad and their wives/girlfriends/mates – all of whom were coming along to fully join the party which was now very much in full flow.

Before too long, James Graham, lead singer of the Sad, had joined Aidan in the DJ booth, from where he took the lead in some communal singing and/or danced his ass off. The atmosphere was like no other…..and can best be summed up by Robert’s own posting to the Simply Thrilled Facebook Page the following day:-

“The people behind Simply Thrilled have collectively and individually been putting on nights for more years than we care to mention but last night for us was by far and away the best we have ever been part of.

It was a party …

We just want to say a huge thanks to everyone who came along but also to Aidan and Noj who just made its so special. Their set was like a lesson to us on how it should be done and I think it’s safe to say we learned something last night that we will definitely be putting into practice in the future. We should probably also thank the Twilight Sad and especially James who by default turned in another guest DJ (although I don’t think he played a tune .. but he was in the mix).

And we think playing Belinda “Carlisle” was a tenuous act of genius.

We also think our second night being a sell-out is pretty good going so much so we are already starting to plan our next night which is happening in the new year, until then have a great festive period and we will see you soon.”

In terms of the St Andrew’s Night Shindig, I don’t think I can add much to that. In terms of this little corner of t’internet, my thanks, as ever, to everyone who has taken the time to pay a visit over the past 12 months, with a very special appreciation from me to those of you who have taken the time to leave comments, send e-mails or contribute guest postings. I wouldn’t still be keeping things going without your incredible backing and support.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs of 2018, from an album that I’ll be giving a mention to at some point when normal service resumes after Monday 7 January 2019:-

mp3 : Port Sulphur (featuring James Kirk) – Orient Express

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone.

JC

ONE WEEK TONIGHT

Last week I said that I was hopeful of including music from five separate decades in whatever set I come up with. I still am, but it’s a near certainty that I’ll end up concentrating on a particular era and try to throw in some non-hits:-

mp3 : Friends Again – Honey At The Core
mp3 : Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – The Rattler
mp3 : Shop Assistants – Safety Net

JC

TWO WEEKS TONIGHT

I’m still mulling over a potential set list. And I’m hoping, subject to audience approval (i.e., they do get up and dance), that five separate decades will be represented, possibly by these:-

mp3 : Simple Minds – Life In A Day
mp3 : Altered Images – See Those Eyes
mp3 : Soup Dragons – I’m Free
mp3 : Franz Ferdinand – Darts of Pleasure
mp3 : Sacred Paws – Strike A Match

Tickets are going fast.  Click here for entry to a guaranteed night of enjoyment.

JC

THREE WEEKS TONIGHT : A GUEST POSTING BY HUGH HAGGERTY

JC writes………I had intended to post something about the sorts of tunes that I might play at the next Simply Thrilled evening until I came across a wonderful piece of writing from Hugh Haggerty, one of the real driving forces behind the club. I told him that I intended to steal it and repost it….it’s his reflections on Teenage Fanclub, written in appreciation of them perform three entirely different sets on consecutive nights in Glasgow, drawing solely on the material from the years they were on Creation Records.

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“Every day I look in a different face”

Don’t we all? Looking in the mirror it reflects back all the new creases that my face seems to have picked up overnight, and I see the aggressive campaign that the grey in my hair is waging against the brown. (Spoiler: The grey hair is winning) I have to sigh and accept that I’m getting older, a fact that’s made all the more solid with the thought that popped into my head about the three nights of sheer guitar pop bliss I’m about to attend at the legendary Barras.

My first Teenage Fanclub gig at the Barrowlands was nearly thirty years ago.

Ten seems cheeky, twenty seems statesman like but thirty? That’s a lifetime. Could I ever have imagined as an awkward, skinny eighteen year old who babbled a lot of gibberish that I’d be right back at the same place but this time an awkward, fat forty-five year old babbling exactly the same gibberish but with the seasoned tone of man with aggressive grey hair.

Why have I come back? Well that’s obvious, Teenage Fanclub have been a hugely rewarding band to grow up with. The melodies have never left them, from those shambolic riffs and scattershot drums of ‘A Catholic Education’ to the pastoral multi-layered joy that is ‘Here’ and the constant beauty of all those glorious albums in-between, it’s a soundtrack for the musically eloquent who still have a sense of humour and dress well.

Since that freezing cold night in December 1991 (Why did Gerry want to assassinate December anyway, does he hate Christmas?) I’ve had the fortune to have met people that would become impossibly precious to me and I see some under the star strewn turquoise and cream ceiling each night. I shall spare their blushes and not name them but it doesn’t go without saying that each night of the band’s residency is made all the more special because of them.

Needless to say the gigs are an utter delight with so many highlights and here’s some of mine.

Brendan’s Back! I have a feeling of sorrow for those poor people who climbed aboard after Mr. O’Hare left the band, his Keith Moonesque tub-battery notwithstanding the high jinks and banter was solid gold entertainment. Never a dull moment with Brendan and it was no different for these gigs. My favourite moment being him walking onstage shrouded in a red cape only to drop it to shake the maracas for the intro to Sparky’s Dream. With perfect timing both musically and comedically.

‘Thirteen’ The album they were lambasted for getting it’s day in the sun. So much of this album has aged beautifully. Of course ‘Radio’ and ‘Norman 3’ still light the room up but ‘Fear of Flying’ (Given even more depth due to recent events), ‘Escher’, ‘Ret Liv Dead’ and the dreamy ‘Gene Clark’ all sounded magnificent. Extra credit for the always superb ‘Tears Are Cool’ and the utter joy of hearing ‘Get Funky’ live.

Norman and Raymond’s harmonies on ‘Say No’. A song that was merely ok in the past seems to come completely to life when live and the two voices lift it to a higher plain.

Gerry. Nuff said really, the man was born cool.

Paul Quinn’s drum THUNDER! I always thought Quinny’s (As the crowd were chanting) drums were really efficient and tight but watching the man up close I realise when he hits a drum they feel it in Australia! The recordings don’t do the man justice, he really batters those tubs and his fills are raptor-like. Hats off to the drummer man.

Norman being the most charming bastard ever made. Effervescent and smiling throughout, he gives the impression of a man who loves his job. And as such you can’t help feeling warm and fuzzy too.

Raymond being a guitar hero. Again having the fortune to watch the man at work up close pulls into focus how much he’s doing at any one time. From scuzzy guitar freak-outs to squealing solos the man does it without breaking a sweat. A total professional. (The solo during ‘I Need Direction’ is like a robust hug from a dear friend you’ve not seen in years)

Francis’ backing vocals. Tucked away at the back sat behind a keyboard with no spotlight Francis joins his voice with the three songwriters at the front and it’s alchemy, never showy but crystal clear harmonising. Wonderful and ridiculously multi-talented. Playing everything from drums to guitar, keyboards and even setting up the metronome for ‘If I Never See You Again’ He even stopped it at the right time, what a guy.

Speaking of multi-talented what about Dave McGowan? With effortless grace he plays bloody everything whilst showing Brendan which button to press to make the whooshing noise on ‘Take The Long Way round’

The B-sides set. Every one of them belters! Two favourite moments were hearing ‘Long Hair’ which catapulted me back to being the aforementioned awkward teen but the stand out moment must be ‘Broken’ in which a hushed choir of perfectly formed voices sang ‘Your heart has been broken again, it’s broken’ over and over, even after the song finished. Shimmering and frankly stunning, it was a moment of beauty that could only come from the combination of Teenage Fanclub, their fans and Glasgow’s most beloved venue.

The sheer joy that this band give is one of the reasons we do Simply Thrilled. I walked away from the gigs right beside my brother in arms Robert and we were both deeply affected by the music and the way it was embraced. We want to capture a little of that magic, those voices, and many more, we want to light up people’s faces when their favourite Scottish song suddenly bursts from the speakers. We love this music, so should you.

HUGH

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mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – December
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Tears Are Cool
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Say No
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Start Again
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – I Need Direction
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Long Hair

Tickets are available from here.

JC

FOUR WEEKS TONIGHT

Simply Thrilled is on its way back, once again at The Admiral Bar in Glasgow, on the evening of Friday 30 November, And you’ll see from the publicity poster, there’s a couple of guest DJs, one being a well-kent face and the other one of his best mates.

This blogging malarkey over the past 12 years has enabled a ridiculous number of incredible experiences, far too many to list and to risk mentioning as inevitably I’ll have missed something or someone out. Being able to share a stage (as such) with the nearest thing Scotland has to a living national bard is up there.

You’ll hopefully recall how much fun we all had at the debut Simply Thrilled event. It was never the plan to wait so long to get it all going again, but a few logistical and availability issues caused a bit of a delay. It’s somehow fitting that a club night dedicated to music, new and old, from singers and bands from Scotland will coincide with the feast day of our national saint, thus providing an opportunity for the tagline of a St Andrew’s Night Shindig.

Robert, Hugh and Carlo will, as ever, put together a genius plan to make the evening go with a swing, with some free stuff to hand out to the first 100 or so revellers who come through the door (nothing too fancy, it’ll be a one-off badge or the likes), while Ash is already putting his mind to some suitable and appropriate artwork, visuals and graphics for display on the walls of the basement venue. Me? As I said in the aftermath of the launch night, I’ll pull together a set list for my allocated time in charge of the laptop and hope there’s a similarly warm response as I try to take patrons of a certain age back to the days of 80s student unions and the like.

The really positive reactions to certain songs took us all by surprise last time out. A number of tunes, some which were huge hits and others which were loved locally but didn’t travel well outside of West-Central Scotland, got loud cheers from the outset. Others had folk, mostly blokes, cosying up to the booth and asking to be reminded what a particular song was and saying it was amazing to hear something again for the first time in decades. I’ll very happily take the same result again.

This one filled the floor:-

mp3 : Danny Wilson – Mary’s Prayer

The temptation is to try to play a completely different set next time around, but in the same way that bands can’t get away without playing the songs that the fans have come along to hear, those of us charged with trying to ensure the floor fills up and stays that way must air the popular tunes and requested tunes. I suspect the big hit for Danny Wilson will be aired at some point in the evening, but there should still be room for some more recent stuff such as this:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
mp3 : Mogwai – Party In The Dark

To my surprise, neither of these two outstanding pieces of music have been posted before.

Tickets for the St Andrew’s Night Shindig, priced just £5, are available from here.

PS : As it all this wasn’t simply thrilling enough, my dear old friend Walter from A Few Good Times In My Life is flying in from Germany to come along.  Can’t wait.

JC