Poster Paints, in their own words, are Simon Liddell (Olympic Swimmers, Frightened Rabbit) and Carla J Easton (TeenCanteen and Ette) who have changed their way of working and embraced the “new normal” to make art. Their debut single ‘Number 1’ is an instant anthem. Teenage love, feeling invincible and long hot summers. It’s the sound of two people exploring. Glasgow indie pop, dream pop and shoegaze – the bands they grew up listening to, and are passionate about.
Number 1 came out in a limited edition physical form back in May, and I’m happy to say that I was able to procure a copy via Monorail in Glasgow. You can have a listen and then pick up a copy from bandcamp for just £1….all you have to do is click here.
The Simply Thrilled mob are, understandably, simply thrilled that Poster Paints have created the latest of our mixtapes which we are pulling together in lieu of us not being able, just yet, to have any of our regular nights at The Admiral Bar in Glasgow.
It’s a mix which gleefully swerves from soul to indie to 80’s pop with reckless abandon, and it is utterly joyful!
1. Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle
2. I Can’t Let Go – Evie Sands
3. Straight To Hell – The Clash
4. Freak Like Me – Sugababes
5. Summertime – The Sundays
6. Nobody Sees Me Like You Do – Yoko Ono
7. Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby) – The Cookies
8. I Met Him On A Sunday – Laura Nyro
9. Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart – The Supremes
10. La La Lie – Basia Bulet
11. The Abandoned Hospital Ship – The Flaming Lips
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that, for many of us, the lack of live music and/or club nights has turne out to to be one of the hardest things to cope with over the past 100+ plus days since we went into lockdown.
Simply Thrilled had big plans for 2020, none of which are likely to see the light of day but we are hoping to get things going again in 2021, including another set of events aligned to The Twilight Sad rescheduling their twice-postponed shows at the Barrowlands to the spring of 2021. We are doing a little something different this coming Sunday (and yes, it is this coming Sunday, 5th of July as stated on the poster, and not last weekend as I stupidly thought and put a message out to my handful of Facebook friends).
We will be airing some videos over a 90 minute period, many of which will be of singers and bands from Scotland, although not exclusively so. My own short set is about 20 minutes in length and consists of five tracks that I hope you will want to drop in and see.
The doors open at 7.30pm.
Access is via the Simply Thrilled Facebook page, and, as my mate Shug said the other day, if you’re on there yet just join and it will magically get you through the bouncers on the imaginary door.
Last Friday, 16 August 2019, it absolutely pissed down from the heavens in Glasgow for what seemed like the 20th day in a row. It wouldn’t normally be anything that bothered or concerned me being another day to confirm the modern-era summers round these parts where we are experience a bit more heat, accompanied by bursts of very heavy and thundery showers, especially in August.
The down side on this occasion was that it coincided with the first Scottish gig, in 27 years(!!) by The Cure, with the venue being a park on the south side of the city, just a few hundred yards from my front door. The venue was bound to be a quagmire, and boots/sturdy footwear would be essential for everyone going along, as too would sensible clothing/jackets to combat the heavy rain.
The real down side was that the Simply Thrilled team, having at short notice requiring to cancel our planned event for July, re-scheduled things for 16 August, shifting the timings to 11pm – 3am so that anyone going to The Cure, with support from Mogwai and The Twilight Sad, could make it along afterwards. My great fear was that we would have next to nobody there, despite selling more than 150 tickets in advance, as folk would just go home to dry out or feel they weren’t dressed well enough to come into the city centre for a bit of dancing.
How wrong could I be? Loads came along, a fair number of whom couldn’t care less how they looked after spending hours in the open air. Quite a few dropped in without having been to the gig on the basis that we have earned a reputation for putting on a good night and there were also a good number of walk-ups on the night which meant we got reasonably close to capacity.
I did my usual stint, with great help and support from Carlo, of playing the opening set of the night – normally when we’ve done our few hours with an 8pm start, it’s just getting warmed up with folk getting onto the dance floor in dribs and drabs just in time for Robert and Hugh to cast their magic spells.
This time round, with the later start, there was a desire among the crowd to get things going more quickly, persumably as not everyone has the ability to last till 3am, especially if you’ve been out all day. As a result, we got the best reaction we’ve ever had and it meant when we exited the booth, our mates took over what was already a hot, excited and happy crowd for whom they cranked it up, turning it into party central, taking and playing all sorts of requests, veering away occasionally from the Scottish stuff, before finishing things off at the end of the night with a few numbers that got everyone emotional. Here’s the full playlist:-
1. There’s A Girl In The Corner – Robert Smith 2. VTr – The Twilight Sad 3. Sweat In Bullet – Simple Minds 4. The Kindest Heart – The Affectionate Punch 5. All The Records On The Radio Are Shite – Ballboy 6. Be Less Rude – Frightened Rabbit 7. Doing The Unstuck – The Cure 8. Wonderful Lie – The Hardy Boys 9. Surfin’ USA – The Jesus And Mary Chain 10. Fast Blood – Frightened Rabbit 11. His Latest Flame – The Motorcycle Boy 12. Queer – Garbage 13. The One I Loathe The Least – The Just Joans 14. Star Sign – Teenage Fanclub 15. Why Can’t I Be You – The Cure 16. So Good To Be Back Home – The Tourists 17. The Rattler – Goodbye Mr Mackenzie 18. Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson 19. Love’s Glory – Fruits Of Passion 20. Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie 21. Lost Weekend – Lloyd Cole And The Commotions 22. Inbetween Days – The Cure 23. Hot Hot Hot!!! – The Cure 24. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics 25. Last January – The Twilight Sad 26. The Honeythief – Hipsway 27. I Travel – Simple Minds 28. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand 29. Friday I’m In Love – The Cure 30. Oblivious – Aztec Camera 31. Don’t Talk To Me About Love – Altered Images 32. Maggie May – Rod Stewart 33. You’ve Got The Power – Win 34. I’m Not Here – The Twilight Sad 35. Just Like Heaven – Dinosaur Jr. 36. Fast Blood – Frightened Rabbit 37. Live In A Hiding Place – Idlewild 38. Small Town Boy – Bronski Beat 39. The Mother We Share – Chvrches 40. Close To Me – The Cure 41. Enola Gay – OMD 42. A Little Respect – Erasure 43. Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards 44. Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera 45. I’m A Cuckoo – Belle And Sebastian 46. Rip It Up – Orange Juice 47. [10 Good Reasons For Modern Drugs] – The Twilight Sad 48. Hit The North – The Fall 49. The Drowners – Suede 50. Don’t Go – Yazoo 51. You Spin Me ‘Round – Dead Or Alive 52. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie 53. Atomic – Blondie 54. Groove Is In The Heart – Deelite 55. Testify – Hifi Sean 56. Movin’ On Up – Primal Scream 57. I’m Free – The Soup Dragons 58. Shoreline – Broder Daniel 59. The Modern Leper – Frightened Rabbit 60. The Shy Retirer – Arab Strap 61. Higher Than The Sun – Primal Scream 62. Atmosphere – Joy Division 63. And She Would Darken The Memory – The Twilight Sad 64. Keep Yourself Warm – Frightened Rabbit 65. Plainsong – The Cure (Exit Music)
I know I say this after each of these nights, but this was the best one yet. Yes, I’ve had a great buzz at previous nights standing alongside guest DJs such as Aidan Moffat, Stuart Braithwaite and James Graham, but the crowd last Friday night really made it an incredibly special and memorable night.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long till the next one.
Here’s my just under two hours of stuff (tracks 1-33 from above)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
“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.
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
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.
Hopefully, some of you will recall that I got rather excited to be asked to get involved in the launch of Simply Thrilled, a new club night in Glasgow at which all the songs to be played over a five-hour period would be by Scottish singers or bands. I even posted a review of it on this very blog….click here if you like.
A lot of folk seemed to enjoy themselves and so the real brains behind the night – Robert, Hugh and Carlo – have been working hard in recent weeks on plans for the second event.
The good news is that Simply Thrilled will be returning to the Admiral Bar in Glasgow on Friday 30 November to celebrate all that is brilliant about Scottish Alternative Music.
Our November night is going to be particularly special for a number of reasons..
Firstly, it just happens to coincide with St Andrew’s Day, the feast day of Saint Andrew and an official national day in Scotland with a number of government bodies having the day off work.
Secondly….and you’ll have to excuse me as I pinch myself to find that I’m not dreaming….we will have two very special guest DJs joining us – Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap fame will be playing some choice tunes alongside his partner in crime and fellow raconteur Noj.
It will be a genuine WTF?????? moment in my life and I can guarantee that I’ll not a get a wink of sleep in the days leading up to it due to excitement.
It would be great if some of you could manage to come along and hopefully help make the night a sell-out. Tell your pals who live around these parts about it. Tickets are priced at just £5 and can be obtained from
I spent a few days last week working on and fine-tuning in advance a set of approx 60 minutes for the first ever Simply Thrilled night last Saturday.
Best laid plans and all that!!
I shoved this up on Facebook about 45 minutes after I’d done my bit:-
Three and a bit hours in…and it’s been a triumph but in a way that we never expected.
The indie side of Scottish music has been put to side for the most part and we’ve played loads of chart hits that’s had loads of folk dancing.
Folk are having great fun…..
All of us involved in this venture aren’t ashamed to say that we are occasionally snobbish about music. But….and this is where it counts most, each of us know that having a great time at a club night is what it is all about. This was how I felt when I woke up on Sunday and shared my thoughts on Facebook:-
The morning after.
Still coming to terms with the fact so many folk came along to the first Simply Thrilled night and had such a great time dancing, laughing, hugging and singing along.
Followed Rule #1 of the DJ bible…..play what it is your audience is wanting!!! The first 90 minutes of the night were as indie and obscure(ish) as we liked, and then once I played “Don’t Talk To Me About Love’ by Altered Images, the place went nuts in a really great and friendly and happy way.
I got by through binning my planned set list – some were shuffled around in order while others were dropped. It was also decided to introduce two new songs, suggested by Robert, including one by The Orchids which hasn’t even been released yet!!
In short, I tried my best give the paying public exactly what they wanted which was made easier by the fact that the vast majority of the paying public were aged 35-50 and lived in or around Glasgow…..
Set List – Simply Thrilled Launch 28.07.2018
Friend of the Night – Mogwai Dark Matter – Siobhan Wilson Cockcrow – Aiden Moffat & RM Hubbard A Friend Like You – Aberfeldy Twisted and Bent – Trashcan Sinatras Long In The Tooth – Pictish Trail Milk – Garbage Aye Today – Delgados Scotland – The Wedding Present Heard About Love – The Big Gun Imperial – Butcher Boy It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts – Tracyanne & Danny No Longer Young Enough – Just Joans If He Loved You He’d Listen – Hardy Boys Safety Net – Shop Assistants Plastic Bags From Tesco – Wilderness Children Let’s Fall In Love and Run Away From Here – Ballboy Geraldine – Glasvegas Into The Valley – The Skids Happy When It Rains – Jesus & Mary Chain Iceblink Luck -Cocteau Twins I Only Wanna Be With You – The Tourists Nobody There – Veronica Falls Candyskin – Fire Engines Foxheads – Close Lobsters I Never Learn – The Orchids Don’t Talk To Me About Love – Altered Images Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie Rip It Up – Orange Juice Since Yesterday – Strawberry Switchblade Be Less Rude – Frightened Rabbit Oblivious – Aztec Camera 18 Carat Love Affair – Associates I Travel – Simple Minds Everything (I Ever Wanted) – Fruits of Passion Labour of Love – Hue & Cry Fast Girls and Factory Boys – Port Sulphur Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson Sunkissed – Friends Again The Honeythief – Hipsway You’ve Got The Power – Win Ain’t That Enough – Teenage Fanclub Movin’ On Up -Primal Scream I want to fall in love – BMX Bandits Robert De Niro’s Waiting – Futuristic Retro Champions Testify – Hi-fi Sean Blueboy – Orange Juice Sorry For Laughing – Josef K Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage Obscurity Knocks – Trashcan Sinatras The Rattler – Goodbye Mr Mackenzie Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken – Camera Obscura Rattlesnakes – Lloyd Cole & The Commotions I’m A Cuckoo – Belle & Sebastian Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds Right Here – The Go-Betweens Check My Heart – The Pastels Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera Party Fears Two – Associates Kiss This Thing Goodbye – Del Amitri Country Girl – Primal Scream Sweet Dreams -Eurythmics I’m Free – Soup Dragons Millions – TeenCanteen Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub Happy Birthday – Altered Images The Boy With The Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian Walk Out To Winter – Aztec Camera Living In Colour – Frightened Rabbit Promised You A Miracle – Simple Minds Dead Connection – Pictish Trail Loaded – Primal Scream The Mother We Share – Chvrches Mr Blue Sky – Delgados Pitch The Baby – Cocteau Twins Sound and Vision – Franz Ferdinand National Express – The Divine Comedy Super Trouper – Camera Obscura Keep Yourself Warm – Frightened Rabbit Everything Flows – Teenage Fanclub
That’s five hours worth…but such was the energy and enthusiasm on show that the time flew in.
There’s been an incredibly positive reaction from folk who were there with loads of nice words and images posted in places. It’s given all of us a huge lift and made us very determined to make the next occasion even better, and we are hopeful of doing something in October. It’s very much Robert and Hugh who are the driving force and they will again work really hard to pull it altogether, while Carlo and Ash will work their creative magic on the design side of things.
Me? I’ll just turn up, throw out a few tunes and hope there’s as great a response as there was last night. One person has said that Simply Thrilled took them back to the days of Level 8 and the QM (two student haunts of mine in the early 80s) and if that’s the case, then it really was, from my part, job done.
Thought I’d share with you the very first set that I planned out…10/18 survived on the night and Robert played another of them later on.
mp3 : Various Artists – Simply Thrilled One
Candyskin – Fire Engines
Let’s Make Some Plans – Close Lobsters
Sunkissed – Friends Again
Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson
His Latest Flame – The Motorcycle Boy
Be Less Rude – Frightened Rabbit
Oblivious – Aztec Camera
Breaking Point – Bourgie Bourgie
I Travel – Simple Minds
I Could Give You All That You Don’t want – Twilight Sad
Top of the Pops – Rezillos
Rip It Up – Orange Juice
God Knows Its True – Teenage Fanclub
Since Yesterday – Strawberry Switchblade
18 Carat Love Affair – Associates
Hayfever – Trash Can Sinatras
Speed-Date – Arab Strap
Sorry For Laughing – Josef K
I hope you enjoy listening….and maybe even have a wee dance round your living room/office/garden in tribute to our wee night.
A few potential curve-balls for my Simply Thrilled set this coming Saturday, one of which may well be a b-side cover of a classic:-
mp3 : Sons and Daughters – Nice’n’Sleazy
This was the flip side of the 7″ vinyl release…..and it was the third 45 released by Sons and Daughters back in 2005. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nowhere near as good as the original but that would be an impossible task. The bass line is a bit on the light side, as indeed is the keyboard solo but I’ve always been a sucker for a distinctively Scottish vocal lilt as provided by Adele Bethele and David Gow.
It’s Friday. It’s the 13th of the month. I’ve been running a Scottish theme all week here. It’s the eve of an all-English ICA World Cup final. I feel it is appropriate to sabotage the blog.
Today’s offering is the debut 45 by the rather spendid and usually tuneful Idlewild.
Queen of The Troubled Teens was released on Human Condition Records, an Edinburgh-based indie label, but such was the small extent of the distribution that few copies got outside of the city, and as such it is highly sought after by fans (and no, I don’t have a copy; I used villainous methods to get a hold of the songs for today).
Idlewild had played their first shows in early 1996, as teenagers, and they soon earned a reputation for loud, chaotic but energetic shows. It wasn’t until February 1997 that their debut single was released by which time their bass player, Phil Scanlon, had quit to concentrate on his studies and so these three songs are his sole contribution to a band which has now released seven studio albums, three compilations and twenty-three singles in a largely stellar career.
Here’s what Roddy Woomble, lead singer and main songwriter with the band has said this about the debut:-
The thing is that it’s rubbish. I mean, for what it is – when I look back, like I do with fondness at copies of a favourite book or something – musically it’s just a bunch of 19-year-olds. Of course it’s part of the band’s history, but I think things have moved on.
He’s not wrong you know….
mp3 : Idlewild – Queen of The Troubled Teens
mp3 : Idlewild – Faster
mp3 : Idlewild – Self Healer
I can safely predict that these are unlikely to be aired at Simply Thrilled.
The Vaselines are one of the best examples you can find of a band becoming more famous and influential long after they had called it a day.
Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee were romantically entwined when they formed the band in 1986. As they have said on a number of occasions, they knew they weren’t terrifically competent from a technical point of view, but they set out with the intention of the sort of music they enjoyed listening to, heavily influenced by the 60s duets of Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra, and the likes of The Velvet Underground, Orange Juice and The Jesus and Mary Chain who had all used grit and determination to get things going rather than worry about how perfect their sound was.
They released two EPs on a Glasgow-based independent label which was run and managed by a number of their friends, including Stephen Pastel, as well as recording an album which initially had to be shelved as the label had gone bust, albeit it was later picked up and released on Rough Trade. By the time the album was released in 1989, the band was no more – thoroughly disillusioned by the experience of crap venues, no money, no solid fan base and no media support for what they were doing. Little did they, or indeed anyone know, that their songs had come to the attention of a singer/songwriter from the north-west corner of the States who was determined that the band he fronted would pay homage by covering them when they played live.
Kurt Cobain’s love for The Vaselines brought them to a whole new audience, and more importantly, had critics reassessing things to the extent that a number of them in the UK would claim to have championed them from the outset. Eugene and Frances had become hip names to drop into any conversation….
The EPs and album had sold in such small numbers that they were tough to track down and so Sub Pop chose to reissue their entire 19-song back catalogue in 1992 on a compilation entitled The Way of The Vaselines at the same time as a Edinburgh based indie label issued something similar in the shape of All The Stuff and More, which is the piece of vinyl that I have in the collection.
The three songs that made up the debut EP encapsulate everything that made the band so different from their late 80s peers while also demonstrating how it was difficult for anyone to find a single reference point with which to compare them:-
mp3 : The Vaselines – Son of A Gun
mp3 : The Vaselines – Rory Ride Me Raw
mp3 : The Vaselines – You Think You’re A Man
The irony, of course, is that the lead track has aged magnificently, sounding really fresh and invigorating more than 30 years on, one which has no problem in filling the floor of your average indie/alt disco with even the young ones appreciating its charms.
The other original track is hilarious and shambolic in equal measures….it could be argued that it’s about someone looking forward to climbing aboard a fine looking horse and galloping around some freshly mown fields first thing in the morning…..but that argument holds no truck in Villain Towers. I really don’t know how these real life lovers were to keep straight faces when they sang this one in concert……
The final track demonstrates that the making indie music doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your wicked sense of humour and fun at the door of the studio. Where Orange Juice had often paid tribute to the late 70s/early 80s disco sound, so their descendants tipped their hats to Hi-NRG with a bizarre take on a hit single by the drag queen Divine (which, incidentally , was the first ever success for the production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman).
The a-side of these may well be aired at some point during Simply Thrilled….if not the inaugural night, then I’m certainly going to have it on a playlist in next time around.
Here’s a single which is kind of like a skeleton in my closet in that I don’t admit to many folk that I like it; indeed it is one I rarely play given nowadays given that I’ve never transferred it or anything else by the band onto the i-pod or i-phone.
Just as I’m finding it really hard to listen to anything involving Morrissey, so it has been for some 30 years with Hue and Cry. For those of you who perhaps aren’t familiar with the group, (which I imagine will be the case with almost all the non-UK readers), it is basically a duo, formed by brother Pat Kane (vocals) and Greg Kane (everything else!) in the mid-80s.
After a debut single in 1986 on a small Glasgow-based independent label, they came to the attention of Virgin Records who signed them to a subsidiary label Circa for whom there was immediate success which was sustained for a few years with a number of chart singles and two albums which went Top 20. They were incredibly popular in Scotland, emerging at a time when a number of others acts across the country were embracing that late 80s big-sounding production with big vocals and big social statements to match, selling out much bigger venues up here than anywhere else.
It soon became apparent that Pat Kane was never going to be content with being a mere pop star.
He made use of his fame to promote himself as something of an intellectual, penning newspaper columns and appearing on television programmes in which he never shied away from airing what he considered to be left-wing credentials. He was also a very strong advocate for independence for Scotland and, to be fair, his arguments and viewpoints did make for interesting reading, gaining more than enough traction to ensure his success when he stood in an election in 1990 for the post of Rector at Glasgow University, which in effect is the highest office that can be held by a non-academic person at that particular seat of learning.
There was seemingly nothing on which Pat Kane didn’t have an opinion, and there was seemingly nothing on which his opinion was wrong. I don’t think I was alone in growing very bored of him very quickly, switching the telly over any time he appeared and completely by-passing any articles I came across in any newspapers. There was an arrogance about him that jarred and, looking back, it is clear to see that he was one of the first ‘champagne socialists’ who would rise to power in later years, albeit at the UK level of politics rather than in Scotland.
All of this made it tough to enjoy his music anymore, but to compound things, he and Greg announced that having enjoyed the rewards from two hit albums they were now going to embrace their lifelong love of jazz, which was my cue to bail out entirely.
Hue and Cry are still on the go today and Pat Kane still has something of a profile as a journalist and political activist but I continue to pay no attention.
But….and this came from looking deep for stuff that might go down well at the Simply Thrilled night(s)….there’s no denying that the duo did write and record an absolute belter of a radio-friendly tune back in 1987:-
mp3 : Hue and Cry – Labour of Love
This was the second single lifted from the debut album and it climbed all the way to #6 in the UK charts. It’s big, bold and brassy with a defiant message. Yes, it could be interpreted as a break-up song with someone telling their other half that the love they had endured for seven years was now over; but let’s not kid ourselves – this was very much an open letter to a right-wing government which was causing havoc to so many communities, including many in and around where the Kane brothers had been brought up. If Billy Bragg had penned this lyric, we’d be still celebrating it as genuine classic.
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.