45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 16)


30. God Knows It’s True – Teenage Fanclub (1990 Paperhouse Records)

Released as a single in November 1990 (It did not chart)

Another day, another record that I was introduced to by OPG. I was a huge Teenage Fanclub fan, I guess I still am, although I admit, that as part of the same pointless space saving exercise that I referred to in Number 41, I sold three of their albums on vinyl for vast amounts of cash. Apparently original Creation Records vinyl releases are worth money, who knew…? As brilliant as ‘Grand Prix’ is, I wouldn’t pay £54 for a slightly battered vinyl copy (but still in good condition and playable) of it but some fool from Cheltenham did exactly that.

Anyway, ‘God Knows It’s True’ was one of the songs that convinced me that I should pick up a guitar and learn how to play it, rather than actually just pretend I could in front of the mirror and say I could to impressionable young ladies in pubs.

I can’t remember exactly where I was when I first heard it, but I know it was on a tape that OPG did for me, which was called ‘Shoplifters Paradise Vol.2’. It was compiled entirely from songs that she had nicked from the shelves of Our Price and then returned a few weeks later when no one was looking.

Anyway, I found myself an old acoustic guitar and found a bloke who could teach me the basics. My plan was to master the acoustic, upgrade to Fender or something cool, form a band and headline Reading (not Glastonbury) before 1995. Easy.

I walked into my first lesson, guitar slung over my shoulder, charity shop shirt unbuttoned down to the pubis bone, like the troubled troubadour I was, and my teacher, Mr Hawkins, looked at me over his half-moon glasses and sighed, loudly. The first words to me were, “You’re not Jim Bloody Morrison”. His second words to me were “If you tell me you want to learn how to play like Kurt Cobain, you can leave right now. I’ll give you your money back.”

Now. I sort of did want to learn how to play like Kurt Cobain, but I said, “No, not at all. I want to learn how to play like this” and thrust a tape with ‘God Knows It’s True’ at the start of it into his delighted hands. He put it on and sighed loudly again. He went to a cupboard and pulled out a piece of vinyl and put that on. It was The Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum.

“It’s fundamentally the same record” he said (it’s not, clearly) “But, we can work with that”.

Six weeks later I’d mastered the basics, well I knew three chords. Eight weeks later I formed my first band.

I’ve realised that the version of ‘God knows Its True’ that I truly love is the Peel Session version because it in the words of Badger “Rocks, like a bastard” so in fact it’s that version I’ve picked. Both the single and the Peel Session are backed with versions of this

So Far Gone

Oh and I still can’t play ‘God Knows It’s True’ on the guitar.


JC adds

Here’s the studio versions of both songs:-

God Knows It’s True
So Far Gone



Album : Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub
Review : Q, December 1991
Author : Paul Davies

Creation boss Alan McGee‘s latest rapscallion ruse to lighten the pockets of the record-buying public is a bunch of hirsute Glaswegians with a reputation for storming live shows and a penchant for genteel melodies and feedback-strafed electric guitars.

The self-styled Teenage Fannies have mockingly sidestepped the inevitable accusations of plundering rock’s dog-eared back pages with the nod’s as good as a wink LP title, and whilst there is little doubt that TFC have quaffed long and heartily from the fulsome musical goblets of Lennon and McCartney, Neil Young, Roger McGuinn and sundry American guitar delinquents, they are close to arriving at a sound that is recognisably all their own.

Introduced by an awesome barrage of feedback and the deadpan couplet “She wears denim wherever she goes, says she’s gonna get some records by the Status Quo”, the opening song, The Concept, is a thrilling induction into TFC’s melodious grunge guitar free-for-all. Operating in a parallel universe to the blips, bleeps and chemically assisted nirvana of the still raving indie dance scene, TFC have remodelled the whiplash guitar of Jesus And Mary Chain, grafted on their own softly shimmering vocal harmonies and replaced a black-hearted cynicism with a life-affirming brio and some sorely needed humour.

Cocking a snook at those who dissect slivers of plastic in search of coded entreaties to teenage devil worship, Satan is a murderous 80-second wind-up of orchestrated chaos and guitar savagery, with enough garbled vocals to keep the moral majority on overtime until Christmas. Cold compresses are applied to fevered brows on songs like December, Guiding Star and Sidewinder, as TFC slip into an altogether mellower groove with Norman Blake‘s understated lightweight vocals wafting along on clouds of multi-tracked harmonies and eardrum-fondling melodies.

Metal Baby drags a turbo-charged take on glam rock kicking and screaming into the 1990s, Alcoholiday is a loping singalong shuffle and What You Do To Me descends upon a classically Beatlesque melody with the untrammelled gusto of a runaway train on a collision course with an ammunition dump. The obligatory instrumental Is This Music? rounds things off with a celebratory flourish – Motown drumbeats, Rolf Harris-style wibble wobble bass lines and canoodling cross-cutting lead guitars soaring off on the back of a head-spinningly timeless melodic hook.

The sound of pop eating itself it may very well be, but with an aftertaste as good as this, it would be churlish to quibble about the choice of ingredients.

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – The Concept
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – I Don’t Know
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Guiding Star

JC adds :  A slightly shorter review than most in this series, it reflects the fact that Teenage Fanclub were something of an unknown quantity when Bandwagoneque hit the shops  – I distinctly remember that Tower Records in Glasgow offered a return with no qualms or questions if you bought the CD and didn’t like what you were hearing.  It’s a very positive and accurate review, although it is interesting to note that while the band had three main vocalists, Norman Blake was the only one singled out for mention; with hindsight (again!!) the failure to highlight Gerry Love is a serious oversight, especially given that he was the composer of the three songs mentioned in the lead-in to the praise give to Norman.




Every summer, Glasgow plays hosts to a series of outdoor gigs at a fabulous amphitheatre style venue in one of our many parks.

Summer Nights at The Bandstand is now in its sixth year, and as you’ll see from the poster above, it has again attracted an eclectic mix of performers. The tickets for each show aren’t cheap, coming in at around £50 each, but then again, it is something of a unique location with a limited capacity of 2,500. I’ve limited myself to going along to one event each year (with one exception as someone game me a freebie in 2016) , previously catching Teenage Fanclub (2014), Roddy Frame (2015), Super Furry Animals (2016), Lloyd Cole (2016) and Pixies (2017). None of the acts in 2018 were of much appeal but it was quite the opposite in 2019 and I really had a dilemma, deciding in the end to go, tonight as it happens, to see The National, mainly on the basis that this was a very small venue for an act of their stature and that Mrs Villain, having not come to any of the previous gigs at the venue, was most likely to come along.

A lot of folk I know went along to see Teenage Fanclub this year. I gave it a miss on the basis that I’m not quite sure if the band will ever be the same now that Gerry Love has taken his leave given that so many of their best songs were written and sung by him, added to the fact that they have always been a band whose charm lies in the harmonies they generate on stage. There was also the fact that just a few months ago, at one of the last gigs in Glasgow with Gerry aboard in late 2018, (for which they also had a guest appearance from original drummer Brendan O’Hare), I went home thinking I hadn’t ever seen the band in such fine form, and maybe it was best to let things lie with those particular memories.

The solution to being Love-less has been to take move Dave McGowan, a long-standing live band member, away from keyboards and onto bass guitar while adding the charming and talented Euros Childs (of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci fame) to play keyboards and add sing harmonies. The reviews of the shows the new-look band played in Australia, New Zealand , the USA and across Europe earlier this year were fairly positive, with not too much being made of Gerry’s absence, although some fans did lament that his songs weren’t featuring.

The Glasgow show was always going to be something of a litmus test. It’s interesting that, unlike all other home shows they have over the years, there were no immediate reviews the day after in any of the Scottish newspapers – either the critics weren’t given tickets or they didn’t want to go on record with anything negative about a band that is, to all intent and purposes, a national treasure.

The comments on the TFC Facebook page the morning after the gig were incredibly complimentary, as you’d expect. There was, however, one interesting observation:-

“I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think their decision not to play Gerry’s songs since he’s left has anything to do with ill feelings, but it’s a practical consideration, since he’s not there to sing them and they can afford to choose from a wealth of songs from their catalogue. If I’m right, it’s still a shame, since so many of Gerry’s songs are so important in their canon and the prospect of them never playing them again is frankly quite grim…..”

Someone else said they were good, but different and expressed “…a fear they’re on the cusp of Norman Blake and his band.”

On balance, I’m fairly relaxed about having not gone along as I would likely having come away thinking I’d seen a good but not great show. It really is rather sad to think that, as things stand, these standout songs will never be played live again:-

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Guiding Star
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Sparky’s Dream
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Ain’t That Enough
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – I Need Direction



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

Tickets are available from here.



There’s enough been praise heaped on Teenage Fanclub over the years within this little corner of the internet that I don’t feel I can add anything fresh or new.

The debut single was on Paperhouse Records back in 1990. There were just 1500 copies pressed on 7” vinyl although it, and its b-sides, would become more readily available the following year when it was issued as a CD single. It didn’t make the mainstream charts nor hit #1 in the indie charts in a year dominated by a handful of bands – Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and The Charlatans held down the top spot for a combined 32 weeks – but it did set down an incredible marker for a career that is still going strong all these years later.

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Everything Flows
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Primary Education
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Speeder

Worth mentioning that you can expect to pay £90-£100 for a mint copy of the vinyl if you so desire. For that price you could also pick up a 5 x vinyl LP box set of 50 Song Memoir by Magnetic Fields. You can determine what is the better value.

Is it the best ever TFC single? That all depends on what day of the week and time of day it is. It can be….but so too can Sparky’s Dream, God Knows It’s True, Ain’t That Enough, Star Sign and I Don’t Want Control Of You.




I’m very proud of the high level of social interaction generated by this little corner of the internet. The decade and a bit since TVV got off the ground has generated tens of thousands of comments and e-mails along with numerous guest contributions. It still humbles me that so many people are willing to contribute to the blog, especially when they do so in response to me asking for something specific.

Today is one of those really special occasions when I’m presented with something that goes well beyond my wildest dreams. It stems from a posting on Facebook by Andrea Peviani, the author of the Conventional Records blog, in which he expressed his joy at seeing one of his favourite bands play a live gig some 170 km from his home town of Lodi, Italy. I asked him if he wanted to offer up a review of the gig and to my delight he said ‘yes’.

What follows is one of the most enjoyable postings I’ve ever had the honour of sharing with you. I’ll open with the words in Andrea’s e-mail before going straight into his memories of the occasion.


My Captain,

I know one month is a long time… but here I am with my contribution about Teenage Fanclub’s only Italian date!
I hope it’s not too senseless to publish a review about this particular European concert while they’ve already been to Japan, Australia and now they’ve begun the U.S. leg of their tour…

Anyway I had a story to tell, and despite my laziness (and some other minor issues with my home wi-fi…) I’ve completed it.

I thought that some pictures might enhance the visual understanding of what I was talking about. I hope they’re not too many!

Sorry as usual about my poor English… Please edit wherever you find mistakes or words that can be replaced with better expressions.

Thank you about your patience and kindness: when you wrote that comment on Facebook I felt honoured and stimulated… It’s been hard, but now I’m glad you asked!

Best wishes for a great springtime with lots of good records and concerts.

A Teenage Fanclub concert in Italy is a precious thing. Last time they came over here was in 2005 and I think there weren’t many other occasions in the years before. For me it was the first time: I remember them since their beginnings and became a fan with Bandwagonesque. Then in the next 10 years I always listened to their records but not with the same passion, and in the early 00s I almost ignored them. It was only in these last 10 years that I completed my collection of their albums, buying all of them whenever I found them used and cheap. Maybe not all of them are masterpieces; anyway, you’re never disappointed. Always the same simple elements, but nobody can put them together with the same freshness and craftsmanship.

Bologna is one of the most rock’n’roll places in Italy (Skank Bloc Bologna anyone?), about 200 Km. south of Milan, so it’s the ideal place to gather people coming from every region of our long and narrow peninsula. But it was the unusual venue that deserves some explanation to non-Italian readers. Bologna’s Teatro Antoniano is the mythical place of the “Zecchino d’Oro”. Let me seek help from Wikipedia:

Zecchino d’Oro (Italian pronunciation: [dzekˈkiːno ˈdɔːro; tsek-]; meaning “Golden Sequin”) is an international children’s song festival that has taken place every year since 1959.  It is broadcast by Rai 1. It was started by Cino Tortorella, and the first two festivals were held in Milan.  In 1961, the festival was taken up by the Antoniano Institute and moved to Bologna. In 2009, Cino Tortorella left Zecchino d’Oro. In 1963, Mariele Ventre, a conductor and director of young performers, created the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano Children’s Choir (called Piccolo Coro “Mariele Ventre” dell’Antoniano after her death in 1995, and directed by Sabrina Simoni). From 1976 the festival took on an international perspective – each year seven Italian songs and seven foreign songs are sung by children and voted for by a children’s jury. The winning song is rewarded with the Zecchino d’Oro award.

The golden age of the Zecchino d’Oro was in the 60s and the 70s; this means that for people born in those decades there’s a canon of dozens of children songs whose verses we all can sing from start to end. Shared memories that merge with our love for the songs of Teenage Fanclub. A blurred line between pre-teenage and post-teenage music fandom.

Pre-Teenage Merchandising

Actually the venue was not in the same part of the building where they broadcast the TV Festival every year… the Antoniano Theater is a quite normal theater, so it was a seated situation, not quite right for an indie gig. I was in the second row. Gorgeous view, but unfortunately a poor sound, nobody could really understand why…

Before Teenage Fanclub, we were entertained by a short exhibition by one George Borowski. A heart warming revelation. He may be “just one of their roadies”, but he added some more intimate magic to the evening. A very talented guitar player, he played some fine acoustic songs and connected with the audience with some humble and funny talks about his love for music, supporting his daughter and her band Mora. George said something about the preciousness and value of the time we were investing in that particular evening, going there and listening to this music. Maybe a little too sentimental… but then this small band from Scotland get on stage, play Start Again and the heart fills with gratitude. We’re here. They’re here. Here.

Every song is kinda classic, those from the 90s AND the ones from last year’s album. Unfortunately only two songs from Bandwagonesque, but I’ve seen on Setlists.com that it’s been the same in the whole tour… The core of the concert are their recent tunes and cuts from Grand Prix and Songs from Northern Britain. The presence of Teenage Fanclub on stage is their main strength and weakness. They are far beyond understatement. Sometimes it’s awkward to look at them while they’re fiddling with guitars between songs. Then they start a new song, and everything flows effortlessly, their aged nerds image becomes impossibly cool and you’re reflecting your best self in the perfect songs of this perfect band.

Raymond McGinley was suffering from a bad cold: the amp behind him was covered with rows of paper towels and during the concert he went on exposing the used ones… We all stay seated but you can feel the climax coming: I’m In Love, Star Sign… then it’s The Concept and the whole theater rushes towards the stage. Norman Blake has a wide smile on his face and Gerard Love and Raymond also respond to the deep affection of their crowd. Singing along to that chorus and that guitar coda was something I never want to end; indeed was one of those moments I will keep forever in a corner of your soul.

The first two encores cool down a bit of the atmosphere: of course it was great that they played that Bevis Frond song, but I can’t help thinking what they could have done to me if they played What You Do To Me.  We went into orbit again with Sparky’s Dream, and of course Everything Flows is the perfect ending, another of those transcendental live moments.

After the concert you can feel the sense of harmony and happiness spread all around. A true miracle then happens before my eyes…..

Marco Sanchioni (a friend and a cult Italian indie musician, since late 80s with his band A Number Two, then later as a solo artist) is handed a set list from the stage – and given how few times Teenage Fanclub play in Italy you can realise how significant it is for him to have this piece of paper;  then he looks at the disappointed girl standing beside him and he decides to give the set list to her. I had to immortalize the moment (and the setlist), as an evidence of the “Spirit of Mariele” (the unforgettable director of the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano) floating in the air.

Marco Sanchioni and The Gift of the Holy Setlist

The day after the show, Marco was posting on Facebook using the the hashtag I had come up with –  #marielesantasubito (Sanctify Mariele now);  he also told a long tale of how there had been a second miracle that had blessed him.  He had somehow lost his smartphone under the seats at the theatre – all his new songs for his next record were on the smartphone and he was worried; but a man from the theatre had been in contact to say it had been found it, and now Marco was heading back to Bologna to bring it home; it was as if, again, the Spirit of Mariele was protecting everything in the surroundings…

(Saint?) Mariele Ventre

That was the next day.  But let us return to the events after Teenage Fanclub had ended the set.

Outside the Antoniano everybody is joyful and cheerful.. I meet my almost namesake Andrea Pavan, an absolutely amazing friend whose enthusiasm is always contagious.  I join him and a few other friends with the mission of meeting Norman and the others.

The night is not too cold, the company is wonderful… but time moves on and nobody is coming out of the theater. Pavan is scrolling on his iPad literally THOUSANDS of pictures he took over the years: name ANY cult hero from the British and American indie scenes of the last 30 years, he’s got a photograph with them. He’s looking to show us a specific one he took with Norman some years before at a summer festival, while he was involved in some other parallel project.

The roadies start loading the gear on the tour bus. We give a big cheer to George Borowski (for us now The Big Borowski) and he’s even sweeter on the pavement than on stage. He says we can rest assured that Norman and the others will board on this bus… he just doesn’t know when.

He thanks us for the time we spent coming to the show and for waiting to meet the guys.

(In the following weeks we connect with George on Facebook and the young but incredibly knowledgeable Monica Mazzoli has an on-line chat with him about the first song he had played in his acoustic set. She knew it had been an obscure gem she liked from a compilation of the post-punk era, “Perfect Unpop: Peel Show Hits & Long Lost Lo-Fi Favourites Vol. 1 1976-1980”. George then revealed it was a tune he had written in 1978!)

Raymond is the first to come out, but he looks quite tired and ill,; he gives us a half sleepy smile, mutters ‘Hi’ and goes onto on the bus. Gerard is even more awkward, slipping in without a word. It’s embarrassingly late, but Norman hasn’t yet come out… but we are beyond the point of no return, nobody can quit now.

Chiara Busico and Delia Burza have sore feet, but they’ve been stalking major indie stars all over the world, so they just sit down on some doorsteps. Finally he appears, a bottle of beer in one hand and his smartphone pressed to his ear. The situation is so insane that there’s nothing strange anymore with six people staring from a small distance at a guy talking (probably) to his wife thousands of miles away in a foreign country.

When Norman comes over he’s really nice and easy. Pavan has finally found THAT picture and proudly shows it to him, and he seems to remember what Andrea is recollecting. He kindly strikes a pose for pictures with each of us and all together, then he waves goodbye (some of us will see him very soon at Barcelona’s Primavera Festival).

Francesca guide us to the only place still open in Bologna to celebrate with a beer. (Francesca Sara Cauli is one of the best rock photographers around, you can see her stunning pictures of this concert here: http://sentireascoltare.com/concerti/teenage-fanclub-bologna-teatro-antoniano-2017/).

We are six very different people, of different ages. We are serious about our musical passions, connected by similar tastes and similar experiences. We come from various parts of Italy: Bologna, Roma, Firenze, Torino, even Lodi… But tonight we are all just teenagers rejuvenated by the place where our childhood heritage lies and by these Scottish pals that you instantly feel familiar with.

Norman & Andrea Pavan show Norman & Andrea Pavan

Norman & Me

Aged Teenagers

Those raw but warm pictures are memories of this simple but unforgettable night: precious visual souvenirs that I’d like to match with some solid recordings of this band at the peak of its power. I think the moment has come for a live album in their discography (maybe any other date from this tour but this one!). I have a good title: The Name of This Band is Teenage Fanclub.

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Start Again
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Don’t Look Back
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Star Sign



The rather wonderful picture for today’s piece was taken by Mike from Manic Pop Thrills during a performance back in 2014 by BMX Bandits at a now-closed tiny pub in Glasgow called the Bowler’s Bar. It was part of an event, curated by Adam Ross of Randolph’s Leap, which itself was part of an extended music/arts festival associated with Glasgow hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Click here for gig review.

I’ve waxed lyrically before about the regal status in Scottish indie-pop that has rightly been bestowed upon Duglas T Stewart. Thought I’d throw up a few of the covers versions his band have recorded over the years, along with some of the originals (you’ll hopefully understand why I balked at the last of them).

mp3 : Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – After I Made Love To You
mp3 : BMX Bandits – After I Made Love To You

mp3 : Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – That Summer Feeling
mp3 : BMX Bandits – That Summer Feeling

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Kylie’s Got A Crush On Us
mp3 : BMX Bandits – Kylie’s Got A Crush On Us

mp3 : BMX Bandits – Hopelessly Devoted To You