THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS TEENAGE FANCLUB

A GUEST POSTING FROM ANDREA PEVIANI

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.

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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.
Andrea

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

ANDREA

OVERDOSING ON COVER VERSIONS (7)

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

Enjoy

BONUS POSTING : FEEL GOOD HIT OF THE SUMMER

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A few months back, Teenage Fanclub surprisingly announced that the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh was to be the sole Scottish date on the short UK tour to support the impending release of Here, the band’s tenth studio LP but just their second in the last eleven years. This is a band who can instantly sell out some of the largest venues in Scotland and who, whenever appearing on an outdoor stage at a festival, will attract numbers in the many thousands no matter who is on at the same time elsewhere in the field. And yet, this 600-capacity basement venue is where we find ourselves packed into on a sticky September evening.

Now let me make it quite clear from the outset; this particular has long been a favourite location of mine. It is just the right side of intimate and offers options to stand downstairs or up above on a balcony. It’s more or less a square shape and the sight lines to the stage, other than at the very back, aren’t affected by unsightly pillars. It also, especially since a major refurbishment some six years ago after a devastating fire, has an excellent sound system.

But it is a venue that is always, without fail, incredibly stifling thanks to its basement location in an old stone church that seems to just absorb the heat. And when it sells out, there is next to nothing left in the way of breathing room. This is all fine and dandy when it is a young band attracting a young and predominantly thin audience where there will always seem to be a little bit of leeway. But the average age, and the ever-increasing average waist/dress size of a more mature audience such as would be typical at a TFC gig was always going to generate ridiculous amounts of bodyheat.

I got there in time to catch the support.  I don’t like using this place to knock or criticise new and emerging bands as they collectively always have more talent than 10,000 maniacal bloggers called Jim could ever conjure up. So I’ll simply say that the four-piece band from Glasgow who opened proceedings weren’t my cup of tea but there were others were quite taken by them. The 45-minutes were endured but with the consolation that I had got there early enough to bag a great spot from which to watch the main attraction.

TFC bounded on at the stupidly early time of 8.30pm as there was a curfew of 10pm – I’m told this might have to do with the venue often doubling up a dance club in the late evenings/early mornings rather than the crazy licensing laws in the capital on the 49 weeks of the year that the Festival and Fringe aren’t hanging around.

TFC bounded on (yes, they really did with all sorts of energy, enthusiasm and smiles) and went straight into Start Again to huge acclaim at the end of which Norman thanked everyone for coming along and said that the show was going to feature songs from every album except one (which in the end turned out to be The King). In keeping with the democratic nature of the live shows, they then went into Don’t Look Back followed by About You, thus allowing Gerry and Raymond to take lead vocals and in doing so ensured the show hit a high spot from the outset.

And over the next 90 minutes, it rarely deviated from that level with no alarms and no surprises.

There’s just no way to find fault with a set that relied most heavily on Grand Prix and Songs From Northern Britain, their two biggest selling and most enduring works in which they really nailed the trick of killer choruses via warm harmonies and great melodies. The four new songs were aired at really appropriate times being wrapped around an achingly beautiful Ain’t That Enough mid-set; they closed with Sparky’s Dream and The Concept , and yup, it was the full 8 minute version of the latter that could have gone on for twice as long and still not bored anyone.

And then they came back for a three-song encore : I Need Direction, Can’t Feel My Soul and Everything Flows.

No wonder all 600 of us exited back up the narrow staircase and out into what was now a drizzly yet still hot evening wearing the widest of grins and using one-word descriptions like amazing, stunning, incredible, awesome, wonderful, astonishing, extraordinary, stupendous, phenomenal and outstanding.

Or perhaps it was best articulated by a complete stranger who came up to me as I waited on the friends who were generously giving me a run home and so letting me avoid the misery of engineering works on the railway line back to Glasgow – ‘that was fuckin’ magic big man – no wonder we’re all smiling like we’re on ecstasy!’

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

Enjoy

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #86 : TEENAGE FANCLUB

A GUEST POSTING FROM TIM BADGER

tfc

Just two guys Mucking Around 2016 – Part 2 : An ICA written Live

Yet again we find ourselves sat outside SWC’s house waiting for track ten to finish. Track Ten is ‘Bulletproof’ by La Roux, one of the tracks off of SWC’s safelist, although I have no idea why, it’s a perfectly good record. The music on the way home had been pretty good, some Cornershop, followed by Drugstore, Idlewild, Julian Cope and FKA Twigs. SWC has been slightly grumpy since he had Elbow chosen for him by his own iPod. Its not that he minds Elbow, its just that he finds them slightly uninspiring. Track 11 starts, its Teenage Fanclub.

Immediately SWC looks at me and says “I’ll give you ten quid, if you swap.” I give it some serious consideration, but then I say “No, thanks” and smile. He swears at me and then suddenly out of nowhere he says “I suppose it’s for the best, because you get tell the tale of when you sang this song to that girl you fancied.” This song, track 11, is ‘Tears Are Cool’ from the ‘Thirteen’ album and I once did indeed sing it to a girl I fancied. I’d forgotten I’d told him that. “You told me on the trip to Crewe, it came on the iPod. We almost swerved into the path of that Fiesta because we were laughing so much” he says picking up on my blank look. “I may not include this song” I say and with that we get out of the car.

I spend the next day listening to Teenage Fanclub, and have nearly decided on my ICA, when I bump into SWC at the local Spar Shop. We have a chat and he tells me that he had written the Elbow ICA, but had done it live, letting the iPod pick all the tracks for him – apart from the first one, which was already decided as it was the 11th track. He then says “You should do the Teenage Fanclub one the same way”. I reluctantly agree – largely because I’d left the window open in the car and it has started to absolutely roar it down. When I get back in I realise that of course, this means that I have to start my ICA with ‘Tears Are Cool’ and that means telling this story, or it means SWC telling it for me. Sigh…

Side One

Tears Are Cool – Taken from Thirteen

So, there’s this girl, we’ll call her Aerosmith Girl, actually let’s call her Sally, and she was lovely. I had a massive thing for her in the early to mid nineties. She drunk in my local pub – where I lived at the time. I ignored the fact that she loved Aerosmith because she was so lovely.

Anyway, one night in the pub, I saw her crying, sitting there on her own, crying. I went over and spoke to her, turns out her cat had died (to be honest, she should have just stayed in – the attention seeker) anyway, after about five minutes, I said “its ok Tears Are Cool” – taking it from the song that Teenage Fanclub had released on their most recent album.

On Saturday night it was Open Mic night, when a few people turned up with acoustic guitars, played for fifteen minutes and then sodded off to claim two free pints. That night, for the time ever, I got up to play – I mumbled my way through an acoustic version of a Levellers song and then something in my head went “This ones for Sally” and I looked straight at her and did a little fist pump. I know. Sorry.

Then I sang ‘Tears Are Cool’. When I finished she wasn’t even sitting where she was when I started it. Twenty minutes later I saw her outside eating chips with a bloke called Gavin. Chips. Gavin. I’d sang my heart out in there and she fucked off and bought some chips. I never sang in that pub again. Come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever sung live again.

Anyway – lets go on with the ICA, the next nine songs picked by the ipod will make up the ICA – I have 68 Teenage Fanclub songs, so here goes….

God Knows Its True – Peel Session 12”

What a place to start! The Peel Session version of this is exquisite, full on proper guitar onslaught. There is an argument that this is their finest moment, certainly the Peel Session version is I think heavier than the 12” version. It wonderful

Radio – From Thirteen

Another single, we are doing well here. Thirteen was not the breakthrough that the response to ‘Bandwagonesque’ had suggested but its every bit its equal and in ‘Radio’ was a song as clean cut and ready for the erm, radio, as they ever record. Its simply wonderful.

Starsign – From 12” single

Another single! I’m not making this up folks, my iPod has a habit of doing this. Some of you will remember wives week on WYCRA when the first three songs where by three of my favourite bands – anyway, ‘Starsign’ is again, wonderful, even if it does sound more like Swervedriver than the band would ever admit.

Everything Flows – From ‘A Catholic Education’

Wow. What an A Side – if you ignore the nonsense around “Tears Are Cool” then tracks two to five are as about as much fun as you can have without taking your clothes and finding a pot of fromage frais in the fridge. At the same time. Side Two will be a let down folks. Face it.

Side Two

Don’t Look Back – From ‘Grand Prix’

‘Grand Prix’ is my favourite Teenage Fanclub album – and sorry I refuse to call them ‘The Fannies’ – just because. The musical template is pretty similar to the rest of their stuff, but its this album that is lyrically wonderful – especially the ones that Gerard Love wrote for some reason. ‘Don’t Look Back’ is one of those tracks and as it happens its one of my favourite tracks. I love the line ‘I’d steal a car/to drive you home’ its wonderfully soppy.

Start Again – From ‘Songs from Northern Britain’

This was one of the standout tracks from ‘Songs From Northern Britain’. This was a song I remember owning of 12” – long since vanished from the Badger household I’m afraid. It had a tremendous B Side if I remember (perhaps with Jad Fair?) but the single is excellent but I think we all know that. It’s a musical road trip full of jangley guitars and Beach Boys style harmonies. I always found the line ‘I don’t know if you can hear me’ as sung in this somewhat ironic and the public inevitably ignored it.

Hang On – From ‘Thirteen’

A strange thing happened in 1993, Teenage Fanclub were on the cusp of superstardom, they were loved by the press and their fanbase was growing. So for some reason they decided to embrace grunge but were in all honesty to brilliant to do it. They couldn’t do it. ‘Hang On’ starts a bit like something by an American Grunge band – its sounds a bit like Pavement as it happens – before it slides into white noise and strings. Its ace but feels uncomfortable getting there.

About You – From ‘Grand Prix’

Has there ever been a band so democratic in its songwritng duties as Teenage Fanclub? This one was written by Raymond McGinley and it’s a catchy as a cold. Its another one of my favourite tracks. ‘About You’ is sung by all three of the bands songwriters and seriously you’ll be singing it for weeks after playing it. The fact that this was overlooked as a single for (the not quite as good) ‘Mellow Doubt’ staggered me then and still staggers me now.

Sparkys Dream – From ‘Grand Prix’

Ok I’ll keep this one short – this is one of the best pop rock songs ever written. Its another Gerard Love one and that bluesy slide guitar intro is divine and nearly every band I can think would kill for it. One I definitely would have included anyway. Decent end to a decent album that.

Tim Badger

SUNSHINE AND SADNESS

sunshine

Last week saw much of the UK bask in warm, glorious sunshine and record temperatures. Here in Glasgow it wasn’t quite like that although it seemed pleasant enough and the dry spell was very welcome after what had been a largely damp, dreich and often cold May and June.

The thing is, I didn’t notice it all that much as the good weather coincided with a great deal of sadness in as much as I was at two funerals in the space of 48 hours. The first of them was for a talented young man in his early 20s who was killed in a road accident and the second was for a wonderful lady who wasn’t that far off her 100th birthday but whose latter years were ruined by the onset of various illnesses including dementia.

All the while, the world was coming to terms with the latest of what are increasingly scary terrorist attacks in Tunisia just as we are getting our heads around the horror of the attack on a black church by an extremist in South Carolina in the USA.

I don’t know how the rest of you cope with trauma and adversity but you won’t be surprised to learn that I try to do so through music. And this past few days instead of relying on the shuffle feature of the iPod as I normally do when I’m on my way to work I’ve found myself searching out songs that make me smile and which can form a perfect soundtrack to a normal summer. Here’s four that have stood out:-

mp3 : The Sundays – Summertime

Harriet Wheeler and the boys have made more important and indeed essential indietracks but this single from 1997 is a real standout for me partly as it is a perfect love song but mainly because it is so full of warmth and vitality that it is impossible not to smile and sigh as you listen.

mp3 : The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost

A hit single from the summer of 2005. It doesn’t seem as if was as long as ten years ago. A bittersweet break-up song clothed in a ridiculously upbeat and zestful tune. The Magic Numbers never bettered this, their debut single.

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Sparky’s Dream

No way is this 20 years old. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy.

I’ve said before that I can be a bit ambivalent about Teenage Fanclub but the thing is, when they’re good, they tend to be exceptionally good. It’s impossible to listen to this and not do a wee imaginary dance in your head as you stare at your fellow commuters.

mp3 : Cats On Fire – I Am The White-Mantled King

I don’t know all that much about pop music and Finland. But I do know that Cats On Fire have been doing tremendous things for well over a decade now and ought to be better known and more appreciated than they are. If they are new to you, then you could do worse than head over to somewhere like youtube and watch some of their wonderful promo videos. This is the opening track to the 2007 LP The Province Complains, a record that every fan of intelligently crafted indie pop should own.

Coming up tomorrow…..something else that cheered me up in the middle of last week.

Enjoy

CAMPFIRE SONGS

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This bit of music sounds as if the makers should come from deep in the heart of Texas, but in fact The Rockingbirds were a London-based outfit formed in 1990.

mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Gradually Learning

They were first signed to Heavenly Records but no mainstream success came from any of their four singles/EPs or their 1992 self-titled debut LP. Some of the band left after this initial burst of activity, but a new line-up inked a deal with Cooking Vinyl and an LP was recorded with Edwyn Collins at the producers desk. But still The Rockingbirds remained too square-dance to be hip and by 1995, they called it a day.

However, there was a very brief reformation in 2008 to play a show celebrating the 18th birthday of their first label and then some more gigs in 2009 to support the re-release of a remastered and extended version of the debut LP.

One of the band members was Andy Hackett who has long been a sidekick of the afore-mentioned Edwyn playing on his records and being part of the various tour bands.

Here’s the other tracks on the CD single:-

mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Where I Belong
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Love Has Gone And Made A Mess Of Me
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Gradually Learning (full version)

While here’s another of those early singles on Heavenly – a tribute to a very talented singer-songwriter from Boston who featured just yesterday on T(n)VV:-

mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Jonathan Jonathan
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Time Drives The Truck
mp3 : The Rockingbirds – Older Guys

The last of these tracks is a cover version of a song by The Flying Burrito Brothers and was co-written by Gram Parsons.  It was also covered, in 1993, by Teenage Fanclub and featured as one of the b-sides to Norman 3:-

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Older Guys

Enjoy.

PS

Here’s an update on The Rockingbirds as provided by the man who is sitting on the horse on the sleeve of Gradually Learning:-

“Hi, Andy from The Rockingbirds here, just to add we’re still going strong and are currently finishing our 4th album provisionally titled ‘More Rockingbirds’ as we speak. We also released an album called ‘The Return of the Rockingbirds’ a couple of years ago, which like all of our albums is still available.”

I’m off to track down a copy….and hopefully the band will take to the road later on in the year to promote the upcoming 4th album.

MY FIRST TASTE OF TEENAGE FANNIES

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I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that Teenage Fanclub are a bit hit and miss with me but this particular 45 is one I’ve adored for nigh on 25 years now and I still think it is one of their all time greats:-

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – God Knows It’s True

I reckon this was the first time I ever heard the band and again it was thanks to it appearing on a compilation tape put together by Jacques the Kipper. It’s quite incredible to realise this single came out as far back as November 1990. It was the last thing they released on the Paperhouse label before the switch to Creation Records and the deserved commercial success from Bandwagonesque onwards.

I was delighted a few years ago to pick up a mint condition copy of the 12″ for just £3 and to discover that the other tracks consist of a cracking b-side that could easily have been released as a single and a couple of instrumentals which demonstrate the boys liked to listen to bit of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr just as much as the west coast Americana that they claimed were the biggest influences:-

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – So Far Gone
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Weedbreak
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Ghetto Blaster

Enjoy