One of the most enjoyable events in many a year happened just a few months back at The Admiral Bar in Glasgow when Strangeways (a collective made up of Robert, Hugh and Carlo) held their first ever There Is A Night That Never Goes Out. I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute a short set at the beginning of the night before the professionals took over. I wrote about it all afterwards.

As you’ll see from the above poster, the second such night is taking place in a little over two weeks time, once again at The Admiral. It sold out last time round and fingers are crossed that this will do the same as all monies rasied will go towards Starter Packs Glasgow, a charity that provides household items to those who most need them.

The night will also have a fabulous guest DJ involved in the shape of Gavin Dunbar (Camera Obscura) but there’s also a likelihood that I will get to slip in 45 mins worth of tunes early on. I’m working on a possible set just now and hope to send it off to the team over the weekend in the hope they like it.

If you’re in the Glasgow area on the 26th, then please feel free to drop by and say hello. It really is a great night. And the Strangeways team are among the nicest folk you could ever hope to meet….and the crowd they attract to their nights are just as lovely.

Here’s one from last time out:-

mp3 : The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty In Pink



As I said in the comments section, many many thanks for all your kind words on the occasion of my 54th birthday.

The mix of the tunes played during the first half of the recent There Is A Night That Never Goes Out event seemed to be well received. And in keeping with giving into public demand, and in particular from Neil McAllister, here’s the mix of the 43 songs that made up the second half of the night as selected by Hugh and Robert (some of them being in response to requests made on the night itself)

mp3 : Various – There Is A Night (May 2017 – Part 2)

44. This Is The Modern World – The Jam
45. A Message To You, Rudy – The Specials
46. Love Plus One – Haircut 100
47. Temptation – Heaven 17
48. Fade To Grey – Visage
49. Debaser – Pixies
50. Crash – The Primitives
51. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
52. Pretend We’re Dead – L7
53. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince
54. Girlfriend In A Coma – The Smiths
55. Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys
56. Na Na Hey Hey – Bananarama
57. Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics
58. Cannonball – The Breeders
59. Kill Your Television – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
60. This Charming Man – The Smiths
61. Do You Remember The First Time? – Pulp
62. Sit Down – James
63. Geno – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
64. You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
65. Yes – McAlmont & Butler
66. Don’t You Want Me? – The Human League
67. Panic – The Smiths
68. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? – R.E.M.
69. New Sensation – INXS
70. Animal Nitrate – Suede
71. Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
72. Getting Away With It – Electronic
73. A New England – Kirsty MacColl
74. Happy Hour – The Housemartins
75. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
76. Gold – Spandau Ballet
77. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
78. Hit – The Sugarcubes
79. Faith – George Michael
80. How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths
81. There She Goes – The La’s
82. The Only One I Know – The Charlatans
83. Sheila Take A Bow – The Smiths
84. Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm – The Wedding Present
85. Sensitive – The Field Mice
86. Everything Flows – Teenage Fanclub

Poptastic indeed….



With apologies for those of you who were expecting and hoping for the latest instalment of the XTC series. I promise it will return next Sunday.

It’s my 54th birthday today. For much of my life I had an irrational fear that I wouldn’t reach that number. I can’t explain why and I was quite nervous this time last year just in case I wasn’t totally crazy but in fact scarily psychic. But thankfully, it did turn out I was just crazy. My state of mind was helped midway through the year by SWC and Badger inadvertently finding the real reason #53 was significant in my life – it turned out it was to do with Billy Bragg and Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards

I thought I’d share another mix thing today. It’s based on something I did for an event a few weeks ago in Glasgow.

The folk who have been running Strangeways, a club night in which 90%+ of the tunes were from The Smiths or Morrissey, felt that, after more than five years, a wee change was needed. Thus was born There Is A Night That Never Goes Out.

As the poster above indicates, the idea was to go with The Smiths alongside the sort of stuff with which I tend to populate this place.  The sort of night that I reckon dreams are made of.  The first one was arranged for Friday 26 May but as it clashed with a number of gigs, including The Wedding Present just up the hill from the venue for Strangeways, it was decided to make it 9pm – 2am instead of the usual 8pm – 1am to allow folk to make the most of things.

I got in touch with a few suggestions, including what I thought could make for a decent 90 minute run of tunes early on in the night.  To my absolute delight, I was asked if I wanted to take the slot from 9.30 – 11pm. Honoured and thrilled as I was, my overriding concern was that the date also coincided with my brother and his family being over here on holiday and I might have ended with an unavoidable diary clash.  And to be perfectly honest, I was nervous about possibly making a mess of things and getting the evening off to a start that would be impossible to recover from.

So…the compromise was I’d supply the tunes on a memory stick.  A full 9o minute mix in the preferred running order but with each tune in stand-alone fashion so that Robert, Hugh and Carlo from the Strangeways crew could take the temperature of the crowd and alter things if necessary.

The good news was that I was able to get along, in the company of Aldo with Comrade Colin also along for a bit of moral support.  It was fascinating to stand and watch people react to the songs I had chosen and which Robert was cueing up and playing.  Initially, there was a lot of smiling, nodding and quietly mouthing along to the tunes, but nobody seemed too keen to dance.  It was blisteringly hot in the venue – Glasgow had enjoyed a day of scorching sunshine – and between that and folk still being sober there seemed a bit of reluctance to get on the floor.  Not even a couple of Smiths songs for the regular crowd from the old format of the night did the trick.

And then, just after 10pm something just seemed to click.  Almost as if everyone decided at the same time that too many good tunes were being passed up.  Or maybe that’s the new witching hour. Anyways, it was a song by The Cure that was the trigger, which was great news as it provided the evidence that going with a wider selection of music than the previous Strangeways nights was the going to work out just fine.

The next four hours proved to be an absolute triumph.  The crowd began to ask for requests, all of which were met.  A smattering of tunes from the late 70s and the second half of the 90s were also sneaked in to keep folk happy.  Everyone seemed very happy judging by the smiles on all the faces and there was a real and obvious buzz being generating; the subsequent feedback on social media over the following days only confirmed what everyone had been feeling on the night. It was an absolute triumph.

My only regret was that I had to leave just before midnight to catch the last train home as I had much to do over the weekend and needed a reasonably clear head.  I’ve been asked to take part in the next night on a date yet to be determined.  I’m delighted about that and incredibly excited.  Never dreamed that I’d be doing such things at 54…..

The whole night contained 86 songs.  I thought I’d shove up the first 43 of them in a single, downloadable mix.  It lasts a handful of minutes over two-and-a-half hours all told. My set list goes from songs 9-31.

It was all predetermined before the crowd arrived; there was one addition thrown in on the night (at song #29) and another shifted from earlier in the set list to #30 as these made for better links from some goth tunes to the Postcard classic that I wanted as my closer.  A couple of my initial suggestions were rightly dropped once it became clear what was going to work and what wouldn’t click with the crowd which meant in the end my ‘turn’ came in at a shade under 85 minutes that for the most part was bang on and helped set things up nicely for the main DJ acts as the space filled its 200 capacity.

1. Ceremony – Galaxie 500
2. Oblivious – Aztec Camera
3. Obscurity Knocks – Trashcan Sinatras
4. A Better Ghost – Butcher Boy
5. Round and Round – New Order
6. Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack
7. What Difference Does It Make? – The Smiths
8. Everything Counts – Depeche Mode
9. Let’s Dance – David Bowie
10. Don’t Talk To Me About Love – Altered Images
11. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side – The Smiths
12. Take The Skinheads Bowling – Camper Van Beethoven
13. Talulah Gosh – Talulah Gosh
14. Bye Bye Pride – The Go Betweens
15. Still Ill – The Smiths
16. Blister In The Sun – Violent Femmes
17. Driver 8 – R.E.M.
18. In Between Days – The Cure
19. Age Of Consent – New Order
20. Girl Afraid – The Smiths
21. Waiting For The Winter – The Popguns
22. Our Lips Are Sealed – Fun Boy Three
23. A Song From Under The Floorboards – Magazine
24. Speed Your Love To Me (extended mix) – Simple Minds
25. Pretty In Pink – The Psychedelic Furs
26. I Want The One I Can’t Have – The Smiths
27. Hong Kong Garden – Siouxsie & The Banshees
28. This Corrosion – Sisters Of Mercy
29. April Skies – The Jesus and Mary Chain
30. When All’s Well – Everything But The Girl
31. Blueboy – Orange Juice
32. Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub
33. Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? – The Wedding Present
34. Here Comes Your Man – Pixies
35. Ask – The Smiths
36. It’s The End Of The World…. – R.E.M.
37. Rise – P.I.L.
38. Street Life – Roxy Music
39. She Bangs The Drums – The Stone Roses
40. Connection – Elastica
41. Homosapien – Pete Shelley
42. Enola Gay – OMD
43. The Cutter – Echo & The Bunnymen

Feel free to recreate Strangeways in the comfort of your own home or garden.

mp3 : Various – Studio 54





Have I ever mentioned that I’m a big fan of The Smiths and Morrissey?

It should therefore come as no surprise that I am recommending the above  as an event not to be missed

Strangeways Glasgow  is a club night dedicated to the music of Moz and The Smiths with the occasional associated track thrown in for good measure and variety. It’s an event that has been going for a number of years thanks to the hard work and dedication of a small group of Glasgow-based uber-fans with maybe three or four shows in a calendar year, albeit the guys have become so well-known and appreciated that they are often asked to appear in other towns and cities across the UK at various points in time.

All the profits from the Strangeways Glasgow nights are always donated to a charitable cause and in this particular instance it will be to the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs Home which suffered a genuine tragedy a few weeks back. The music and the cause alone should be enough to make you fancy parting with the £5 for a ticket.  But there’s something more this time…………….whisper it.

I’m doing a stint on whatever the modern-day equivalent is of the wheels of steel.

Yup. Fatboy Jim will be doing his thing for the first time since 2010 when Drew from Across the Kitchen Table talked me into being part of a triumvirate of Scottish bloggers to do some stuff at the Flying Duck in Glasgow.

Actually, I was thinking that since this will be my first bit of DJing since I turned 50 that I should update my name to something like Grandfather Flash but the connotations of that name right now are just too much to bear given the number of awful sex scandals in the UK featuring DJs dead and alive.  So I’ll simply be at the Strangeways night as JC (aka The Vinyl Villain).

The invite has come courtesy of a very wonderful and lovely gentlemen called Robert who, along with Carlo and their respective partners Jen and Angela, have been the driving force behind Strangeways Glasgow over the years.  I got to know them initially through going along to another wonderful club night – Little League – and was thrilled by the fact that they knew about my blog and were fans of what I was writing about and featuring.

They kept telling me that I should get myself along to Strangeways but I had shied away as I wasn’t sure if I could go an entire night dedicated to Moz, especially as I had this pre-conceived idea that while Robert and Carlo were very decent down to earth folk the rest of the clientele would surely consist of hardcore fans made up of look-alikes standing around demanding to be noticed.  It took me until March earlier this year to go along and realise how wrong I had been. I wrote about the experience at the time. Click here if you’re interested.

I made it along to the next night back in August which is where the idea of me taking a turn playing some tunes was talked about and agreed.  It seemed like a good idea at the time and it still does.

But I’m happy to admit that I’m nervous.  But very very very excited and honoured.

mp3 : The Smiths – Panic
mp3 : Morrissey – Dear God Please Help Me

Tickets are still available but the night inevitably sells out. Click here if you’re tempted




A few years ago, a couple of folk I knew from the Little League events decided that a night dedicated to The Smiths and Morrissey would be a good idea.   I’ve long-planned to get myself along, but for one reason or other it just never happened until last Friday night when Aldo made sure of it by purchasing a ticket for me in advance.

Even then, I almost never made it along.  I was very tired after a hard few days at work and wasn’t sure if a night in basement venue beneath one of Glasgow’s best pubs was really what I was after.

One of the things I most feared was that it would be a hardcore crowd made up of Morrissey look-a-likes standing around just trying to pose and be noticed.  There were a handful of such creatures, but the vast majority of the 200 souls who were lucky enough to get tickets were there for a great night out on the dancefloor.  I wasted little time joining in despite the fact that I had told Aldo beforehand that in an effort to pace myself I had mentally drawn up a list of songs that were certainties for dancing to and a list (including some of the better-known band and solo material) that were strict no-nos.  I got carried away (as I feared!!) and danced myself dizzy, mostly without the aid of alcohol to throw off any inhibitions as I was very quickly onto bottles of water to stop the dehydration.  

Even when the DJs played non-Moz material I couldn’t drag myself off the floor – not when you get stuff like The Wedding Present, The Cure and Associates thrown in….and as the night went on I knew I’d pay the price the following morning when I’d inevitably wake up with another realisation that I’m not as young or fit as I used to be and that I really out to know better at my age.

And all this despite me leaving more than an hour before the end of the event to catch the last train just after midnight and so missing what  many of the showstoppers that the younger Aldo was able to shake his frame to before the lights came up.

The next Strangeways night will be in August 2014.  Details will be unveiled at this facebook page (where incidentally a photo of my good self taken last Friday night can also be found).

So a huge thanks to Robert, Carlo, Angela and Hugh for a magnificent and memorable evening, made all the more special by the fact that all proceeds, as with all the Strangeways events, went to a local charity with a second charity benefiting from food bank donations on the night.

Sadly, the laptop that was used to supply the tunes for the evening was missing a few of the more obscure b-side cover versions which meant my request for the one that matched my t-shirt couldn’t be realised.  I’ve been promised it will feature next time….so I better get myself along to make sure….and next time I will finish the night along with everyone else.

mp3 : Morrissey – A Song From Under The Floorboards

It’s a good version.  But nothing can ever hope to match the original….

mp3 : Magazine – A Song From Under The Floorboards