DREAMS CAN COME TRUE

I’ve mentioned before how this blogging thing I’ve got going has led to so many amazing things or events in my life.

Everytime something incredible happens, I think it really can’t get any better….until something else comes along and tops it. This time round, I really do think it is the pinnacle.

Your humble scribe has now contributed to a commercially released piece of music……..

There have been many occasions, and I’m going back decades to well before all this started, that I wished I could somehow end up in a recording studio doing something like contributing handclaps in the background, just so that I could say I had been part of something truly creative. I’m now almost 57 years old and I really thought that dream would never come true.

Until…….a few months ago The Affectionate Punch got in touch and asked if I would consider doing a spoken vocal version of a new song that the collective had just written. It was an immediate ‘yes’ from me but on the proviso that if my effort wasn’t good enough to the ears of the professionals, then I wouldn’t be offended if it ended up not being used.

Scars is the latest EP from The Affectionate Punch. It was released yesterday, as usual, on bandcamp where you can have it for free or make a donation to support the efforts of those who make the music. Here is TAP to offer more in the way of backrground:-

The idea of a Scars e.p. came about following 2 individual comments that suggested the possibility of differing vocal interpretations of The Affectionate Punch songs. This was mulled over with interest resulting in a resounding yes.

The e.p. consists of 6 vocal interpretations of Scars in addition to 1 instrumental track. Each track has its own cover art.

Scars I has Holocaust Nancy on vocals
Scars II features the talents of Paul McKeever and Amanda Sanderson
Scars III is spoken by The Vinyl Villain with The Additions on vocals
Scars IV has Amanda Sanderson on vocals
Scars V is the instrumental version by The Affectionate Punch
Scars VI is the spoken word version by The Vinyl Villain
Scars VII is a remix by The Pocket Calculator Club

mp3 : The Affectionate Punch – Scars III (featuring The Vinyl Villain with The Additions)

It’s a huge understatement to say that I’m incredibly thrilled by all of this. It’s very much a one-off on my part and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity.

And wouldn’t you know, there’s a promo been made for Scars III…….

Speechless.

Click here to visit, listen and hopefully purchase from bandcamp.

JC

STUFF BOUGHT IN 2019 (2)

Here’s my second look back at stuff bought and enjoyed immensely in 2019, featuring a Glasgow-based musician, and his friends, whom I gave a couple of mentions to last year, one of which came via a wonderfully composed guest contribution, courtesy of strangeways.

As was explained, The Affectionate Punch is a Glasgow-based ‘thing’ – yes, they’re a band, but no, they don’t tour – and probably they’re best described, really, as ‘a project’. All sorts of music influence the songs that eventually emerge – indie, twee and shoegaze are, perhaps, the biggest influences – with guitars, keyboards, loops and samples all deployed to great effect along with guest vocal contributions from friends in Scotland, England and the USA.

All the songs are released digitally on bandcamp, with one full-length album and three EPs available right here.

One of my favourite bits of music throughout 2019 appeared on the Bittersweet Me EP, which TAP released at the beginning of December, something that is wonderfully multi-layered and finds our project leader channeling his inner Robin Guthrie.

mp3 : The Affectionate Punch – Betwixt and Between

The other three tracks are equally good. Don’t take my word for it….visit the bandcamp page and listen for yourself.

JC

 

HARKING BACK TO A POST FROM A FEW DAYS AGO

You’ll hopefully recall that my dear friend Strangeways composed this wonderfully composed introduction to a Glasgow project that goes under the moniker of The Affectionate Punch.

In a nutshell, TAP have been releasing music online since November 2018, with the songs led by speed and momentum, with almost every number taken from spontaneous idea to completed, listenable take, artwork (and, often, an accompanying video) in just a few hours.

TAP is led by just one person in one room, but lurking close by, and keenly watched by the not-obvious-at-all store detective, would be a gang of contributors: Paul McKeever, a singer/songwriter from Larbet, Scotland, Marshmallow Fortresses, a musician from the San Francisco Bay Area, USA and, most regularly, Amanda Sanderson, a singer from Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

I pointed readers in the direction of the soundcloud page for TAP and also the dedicated youtube channel.  I also mentioned that plans were in place to master some tracks that would then be added to Bandcamp, as a free download, as an LP with the title So Long Ago, Goodbye.

Just a few days later, I received an e-mail from TAP

“Hi Jim

Just a wee heads up that the LP ‘So Long Ago, Goodbye’ is now available as a free download from Bandcamp.  Had it not been for Strangeways and TVV I would not have thought to do this – thank you.

You’ll note a proper thank you at track 10.  The first and last time I think I’m likely to type the 3 letter acronym that the ‘kids’ seem so fond of.”

And here, in all its glory, is said Track 10:-

mp3 : The Affectionate Punch – OMG! TVV

I was utterly speechless.

I’ve been lucky enough to have received some mentions and the occasional ‘thanks to’ within singles, LPs and one box set, and I’ve even, in real life, featured a fair bit in a political biography.

But this tops everything.  A piece of music, three-and-a-half minutes in length, on an album, named after me!

I am still utterly speechless. Oh my gawd indeed.

So Long Ago, Goodbye can be downloaded from here. It’s a wonderfully beguiling, intruiging and mesmerising listen. And of course, you can try before you download.

It is, if you choose, free of charge, but I would hope you would consider even a small contribution to support this artistic endeavour.

JC

PS : Here’s a reminder of the link to the soundcloud page and to the youtube channel.

THE AFFECTIONATE PUNCH

A GUEST POSTING by STRANGEWAYS

So DIY in spirit that their songs should be sold by B&Q, The Affectionate Punch have been releasing music online since November 2018.

This is a Glasgow-based ‘thing’ – yes, they’re a band, but no, they don’t tour – and probably they’re best described, really, as ‘a project’.

Each TAP song is led by speed and momentum, with almost every number taken from spontaneous idea to completed, listenable take, artwork (and, often, an accompanying video) in just a few hours (that’s about a second or two in KSST – Kevin Shields Standard Time).The rush is an essential ingredient, and a few songs have been abandoned midway when it’s clear they’d require lengthy noodling.

Other things that often take longer than the creation of a typical TAP song:

· Watching The Godfather Part 2
· Observing a couple, with a baby, park a car and remove from its boot items essential for a lunch in a café thirty yards away
· Resolving, via telephone, an issue that doesn’t make a large company more profit

Back to our B&Q shelf for a moment: although TAP explores a few styles of music, in general, you’d find them in the Indie aisle, probably between the Twee and Shoegaze sections. Led by just one person in one room, lurking close by, and keenly watched by the not-obvious-at-all store detective, would be a gang of contributors: Paul McKeever, a singer/songwriter from Larbet, Scotland, Marshmallow Fortresses, a musician from the San Francisco Bay Area, USA and, most regularly, Amanda Sanderson, a singer from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. As a non-musician myself, it is astonishing to me that this is largely a one-man band. Did I say band? I meant project. A one-man project, albeit one that welcomes these contributions.

The songs? They’re created for fun above all, and are led by guitars, keyboards, loops and samples – not to mention the odd peppering of toy orchestra lurking low in the mix.

And, yes, Associates fans: the project is named after the band’s debut LP. An Associates sample was being used on a previous project and this inspired the entire TAP idea. I love it when pop does stuff like that.

strangeways

————————————————————

JC adds…..

Much of the stuff by TAP has been brought together on pages at Soundcloud and YouTube, and pointers to these place will be provided in due course.

As I’ve said before, I tend not to feature new or unsigned bands/musicians on the blog, but there was just something thrilling and different about what The Affectionate Punch is/are setting out to do that I wanted to bring things to your attention.  Besides, Strangways is a person of impeccable taste. The idea that music of this quality and distinction can happen almost in what is the musical equivalent of the blink of an eye is astonishing.

mp3 : The Affectionate Punch – I Fear

I Fear was the debut single from the collective, with the video put on YouTube on 10 November 2018 and the song placed on Soundcloud at the same time.

There are now an incredible 31 tracks on Soundcloud that can be accessed here

There are 11 videos on a dedicated You Tube channel that can be found here

While most of the songs are original compositions, you’ll also be treated to the occasional cover, such as this:-

There’s plenty of instrumentals out there too, with this one being reminiscent of the work of Robin Guthrie:-

mp3 : The Affectionate Punch – Neon Afterglow

And finally, a couple of the more recent additions to the collection:-

mp3 : The Affectionate Punch – Such Is Life

The next steps are to master some tracks that will then be added to Bandcamp, as a free download, as an LP with the title So Long Ago, Goodbye.

There’s also a planned release for a cover of Lene Lovich’s version of I Think We’re Alone Now. It will feature Amanda and Paul on vocals.

I’ve a feeling TAP might be featuring here again in the not too distant future.

JC