You’ll all be fed up with me lavishing so much praise on The Twilight Sad over the years that I’m probably just as well to go straight to the music.

mp3: The Twilight Sad – Alphabet (alt version)

Originally appearing on their third studio album, No One Can Ever Know (2012), a live stripped-back version was later recorded for inclusion on N/O/C/E/K, a limited edition of 300 CD EPs that were sold at live shows at smaller venues in Scotland later in the year.

I’ve got #53.




Back in part 1 of this series, I mentioned that when it comes to the second-hand market it’s always been about wanting a particular record and me being happy enough to pay a price which I think is reasonable and fair.

Sometimes I look at a price and think, ‘no way’, and that a record isn’t worth it.  That’s why I’ve shied away from ever getting into a bidding war for a copy of Falling and Laughing, the first single on Postcard Records, and the only one I don’t have,

As for today’s purchase, which was made in September 2020, it all boiled down to the fact that I bought all the very early singles by The Twilight Sad on vinyl, but the albums were CD purchases.  The later albums were bought on vinyl, and that led me to begin to look for original copies of the band’s first two albums to complete things.

I spotted this during the COVID lockdown when holidays weren’t happening and money wasn’t being spent in the normal way.  As such, I didn’t hesitate to fork out £55, plus £5 for P&P, for what the seller said, and was truthful about it, was a near mint vinyl copy of Forget The Night Ahead, the second studio album.

The vinyl version is spread across two records and is housed in a gatefold sleeve. It’s a far cry from the CD version.  I’m thinking it would maybe have been £20/£25 tops when it had been released on Fat Cat Records in October 2009.  If it hadn’t been the case that there was some spare money floating around, there’s no way I’d have paid £60 for it.  But I made the call that it would be worth it just to be able to put the needle into the grooves of a song like this:-

mp3: The Twilight Sad – Reflection Of The Television

I’m fully acknowledging everything Fraser said in his guest posting last time out in this series, and the tremendous contributions that came in via the comments section.  I know full well that a purchase such as this doesn’t help at all with the issue we all have about the cost of vinyl; if anything, it only adds to the problem in that neither the band nor the label gained financially from the transaction.

I really am uneasy about paying such high prices, but this was a rare instance when ‘the collector’ in me came to the fore.  It was inevitable that, at some point, I’d look to pick up a copy of Forget The Night Ahead, and it really was about hoping to do so without, in future years, feeling I had paid too much.  So, the question most relevant to this posting is whether I’d have been better to wait things out.

There are, as I type this, three copies listed on Discogs.

One can be shipped from America for $99.89 plus $28.50 shipping, (approx £106 at the current exchange rate) with all the customs nightmares such purchases entail these days.

Another can be sent over from Italy for 110 euros plus 16.90 euros shipping (approx £112 at the current exchange rate)

The third is via a UK seller, not linked to a shop, who is asking for £100 plus £6 for P&P.

In other words, if I was on the market today, I’d be expected to pay almost double what I did just two-and-a-half years ago, which just seems ridiculous.The average selling price or the album on Discogs over the past 18 months or so has been £50-£60, although not all these have been rated as mint copies.  The highest price achieved by a UK seller has been £75 in November 2021.  A copy, where the sleeve was described as having a split to outer sleeve at top, with a small corner dink, went for £50 in late December 2022.

I’m therefore feeling OK about what I paid.  I’ll finish up with the observation that as I now have just about everything I’ve really been looking for via the second-hand market (I picked up a second-hand copy of the Twilight Sad’s debut album in a shop), I can’t see me paying that much for any such record ever again.

I won’t ever stop browsing, mind you.



The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.

Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.

V is for Videograms released by The Twilight Sad as a 10″ single-sided etched single in October 2018

I won’t take up too much of your time today, given how much I’ve written about The Twilight Sad over the years.

2022 is going to be some year for the band.  It will begin with four dates in January at which James and Andy will take to the stage and perform stripped-down versions of their songs, while April sees the full band play two nights at Glasgow Barrowlands, shows that have been postponed on at least two (and maybe three?) previous occasions as a result of COVID restrictions.  Tickets have been in Aldo’s possession for a long, long time and we can’t wait.

From October – December, they will be  the special guests of The Cure on a 44-date arena tour of Europe and the UK, playing to about 10,000 folk on average each night. Other news of their own summer dates is awaited…..and possibly some new material too, as it’s been a while.

Today’s musical offering is a limited edition single from the most recent album It Won/t Be Like This All the Time.

mp3: The Twilight Sad – Videograms

While it was one of three singles lifted from the album, it was the only one given a physical release, with it appearing in the shops some three months in advance of the January 2019 release of the album. There was also a digital version on offer, one which not only appealed to the long-time fans but was of interest to those who followed the work of a well-known producer and mixer:-

mp3: The Twilight Sad – Videograms (Weatherall Mix)

It wasn’t the first time that The Twilight Sad and AndrewWeatherall had worked together, but with the untimely death of the producer in early 2020, it proved to be the last.



I mentioned yesterday that The Twilight Sad are often very good when they re-imagine and strip back some of their best-loved songs.

This is from the 2013 album, Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave:-

mp3: The Twilight Sad – Last January

The following year, Òran Mór Session, a hand-numbered tour-only CD was made available, consisting of stripped-down recordings of songs from the 2013 album, as well as a cover song not previously available in any shape or form:-
mp3: The Twilight Sad – Last January (Òran Mór Session)
Both are quite special in their own different ways.



This was very much a candidate for the ‘Cracking Debut Singles’ series, but in the end it nudged its way into the list of those songs that I want to offer the opportunity to listen to at 320kpbs, straight from the vinyl.

mp3: The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy

It first appeared, in November 2006 on the US-only release, on CD, of a self-titled EP containing five tracks.  Here in the UK, we had to wait until early April 2007 when the band’s label, Fat Cat, issued the debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, although quite a few fans (including yours truly) had previously been able to give it a listen thanks to the EP being available in some indie record shops – whether it had come in on import or whether Fat Cat had sent out copies direct from their base in Brighton, England, I have no idea.

It was then chosen for release as a single, some two weeks after the album had appeared in the shops, via a relatively limited pressing on 7″ vinyl, with a previously unreleased track on its b-side.

More than fifteen years later, it still has the ability to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, especially when it is played live with the full band.  I never experienced the full weight of the My Bloody Valentine sonic experience, but the occasions when ‘That Summer….’ has been blasted out, particularly at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, surely must have come close.



Most folk do end of year lists to highlight all the great new music they picked up in 2019. I’m too lazy/alternative for that……plus there’s the fact that I tend not to buy too much later in in any given year so that Santa Claus can come up with some goodies.

Every now and then over the coming weeks and months I’m going to bring your attention to stuff that I did spend money on/was gifted at Xmas that was released during 2019.

The very first album that I bought in 2019 (on limitede edition blue vinyl!!) turned out to be my favourite album of 2019. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a calendar year before when that was the case.

I’ve covered The Twilight Sad many times before, and I do appreciate that they they are not to everyone’s liking. The new album was a long time coming and there was an incredible amount of anticipation, and some intrepidation too, given that there had been some more personnel changes during the intervening years with the departure of long-time drummer Mark Devine, a man who had provided much to their sound in the studio and in the live setting.

Catching them live in June 2018, at their first UK gig for the best part of three years and hearing some new songs had been a great experience, but there was always the nervousness about how the recorded versions would sound. As has become typical nowadays, there was a drip-feed of new material, with tracks being made available digitally via the band’s website and videos posted up on you tube etc. There was also a 10″ single released in late 2018 with a remix of a new track and then finally, on 18 January 2019, It Won/t Be Like This All The Time came out, on Rock Action Records, a label owned and run by Mogwai.

The critical acclaim was near-unanimous and deservedly so. It’s the band’s fifth studio album and contains their strongest and most consistent collection of songs yet. It is a loud album, but in a totally different way from the earlier material released at the tail end of the first decade of this century. There’s a great deal more electronica and bass on it than before but not at the expense of some incredible guitar work from Andy McFarlane, one of just two members left from the original line-up. The other, of course, is singer James Graham, and on this record he again spits out an incredible set of raw and emotional lyrics in that unique way of his – he sounds just as good when he sings soft and quiet ballads as he does when he is competing with the five-piece band going at full pelt. He’s one of the few these days who can get me right in the chest every single fucking time.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – VTr
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – I/m Not Here (missing face)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Auge/Maschine

There’s a live show coming up at Glasgow Barrowlands in April 2020. It will be a triumphant homecoming and probably the occasion that puts this album to bed and signals the start of a whole new set of songs. It’s one of my most eagerly awaited events of the next 12 months, and believe me, it’s a year that is going to be packed with all sorts of highlights.



Album : Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters by The Twilight Sad
Review : Pitchfork, 12 April 2007
Author : Mark Richardson

The first time you hear the Twilight Sad, a four-piece band from just outside Glasgow, they already sound familiar. It’s like they’ve been around a while, even though their debut EP only came out last September. You might think of Arab Strap‘s Aidan Moffat when hearing singer James Graham because he’s got a feel for concrete imagery and does nothing to hide his thick Scottish accent. Shoegaze comes to mind because guitarist Andy MacFarlane favors billowy curtains of white noise that dominate the sound field. And, as Pitchfork writer Marc Hogan has already pointed out, the Twilight Sad sometimes bring to mind U2, with their shared fondness for huge choruses that occasionally verge on histrionic.

All that said, the Twilight Sad are pushing these familiar elements in some unexpected and exciting directions. Graham may sound a bit like Moffett but he doesn’t sing about getting wrecked in the pub while trying to forget. His focus is primarily the concerns of adolescence, and he even narrows it down to a specific age. In the first line of the key track “That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy”, Graham sings “…14, and you know…” and you want to stop him right there. (Fourteen. Yes, we know how awful it can be.) But what follows is a portrait of a miserable kid that’s both touching and cathartic. Graham sounds angry, with sarcastic barbs about a “loving mother” and a “lovely home,” but “That Summer…” is anything but a tantrum. He’s got about four different levels to his voice in the song, from a calm articulation to a throat-shredding wail, but he’s never so clouded by rage that he forgets the details.

And the details are what make the track, and the album, so compelling. The song titles suggest a writer trying to find the profound in the mundane, and in that way they remind me a bit of the Clientele, even though the tone couldn’t be more different. There’s lots of weather, elements like earth and fire. There are train rides and long walks to nowhere that offer plenty of time to think. “Last Year’s Rain Didn’t Fall Quite So Hard” reads one, and the structure, a canon of Graham’s multi-tracked voice swirling around a single piano chord that sounds like the opening of the Velvet Underground‘s “I’m Waiting for My Man”, reflects the sadness streaked with hope. In “Walking for Two Hours”, Graham sings about being “so far from home” as bass drum, crash cymbal, and guitar strums merge into a tightly coiled implosion that drives the loneliness home.

The shifts in volume, though not exactly surprising, are crucial. Peter Katis and the band produced, and the sonic arc they construct tracks the lyrics beautifully. There’s a “big moment” on most songs where the music gets ridiculously loud and the guitar distortion crowds almost everything out. There is, of course, no trick in this sort of surge; a couple clicks on a floor pedal is all it takes. But the Twilight Sad know how to use dynamic range to advance the plot.

With songs so direct and the band’s hearts on their sleeves, the music’s debt to shoegaze only goes so far. Instead of tying the overdriven fuzz to a blissed-out sense of surrender to noise, the Twilight Sad uses the guitar as another kind of yell. The instrumental title track closing the record touches on My Bloody Valentine‘s “glide” guitar drone, but the almost martial drumming, with the snare seemingly vibrated by the guitar amp, keeps the track intimate and grounded. And when the band gets ethereal, it’s in a loose, folky way, as with the braid of ringing guitar sounding during the coda of “Talking With Fireworks/ Here, It Never Snowed.” Regular use of accordion, also played by MacFarlane, imparts an appropriately street-level earthiness to the sound.

As exhilarating as Fourteen Autumns is at its most anthemic, the vividness of the lyrical themes ultimately carries the record over. If one were to consider only the widescreen sound while scanning the titles, you might think the Twilight Sad were overwrought and sappy, another example of a band overly concerned with childhood, too young to know how good they really had it. But that’s not the way these songs come across at all. The Twilight Sad approach the darker side of growing up with consideration and dignity, and manage to maintain a proper perspective. “As my bones grew, they did hurt/ They hurt really bad,” an angst-filled songwriter from another generation once sang; the Twilight Sad do a tremendous job of remembering that ache.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Last Year’s Rain Didn’t Fall Quite So Hard
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Talking With Fireworks/Here, It Never Snowed

JC adds :  It’s Saturday, and by tradition, the blog looks at something Scottish.  I know I am consistently shoving The Twilight Sad down your collective throats, but I’ll never apologise for that.  I was simply thrilled to find an American review which was so positive and understanding (apart from the U2 comparisons which i Just don’t get) that I was tempted to then go through all the successive albums and pluck out reviews from over the pond.  But I haven’t….not yet, anyway!

There will be another superb Scottish album review from yesteryears in this spot next Saturday, but there will be six others before then.



I hadn’t quite appreciated until I went back to read over the previous time The Twilight Sad had featured, that the that the ICA series had been running for such a long time. They were #3, posted on 9 September 2014, following on the back of The Smiths and the solo career of Edwyn Collins. The rush to complete that particular ICA was that I wanted to pull together something before the fourth album hit the shops as to wait would likely have made it an impossible task. In the end, I went with four songs from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters (2007), four from Forget The Night Ahead (2009) and two from No One Can Ever Know (2012)

Since then the band has released two more albums Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave (2014) and It Won/t Be Like This All the Time (2019), both of which have taken the group to even higher levels of achievement and enjoyment.

Nobody…..was an album which could very well have been their farewell to the music industry. Andy McFarlane, the guitarist and main music writer, stated on its release that the aim was to capture all the different forms the music has taken over the years, from “full on noise/feedback, to a sparse, synth led sound, to a stripped back set up with just keys, drum machine and guitar, to playing with an orchestra, and to just an acoustic with vocal.” It certainly achieved that, but the interviews that accompanied the album’s release caught a band seemingly unsure of themselves, feeling as if they had run out of ideas and really worried about how fans and critics alike would respond. The very title of the album captured the dilemma they seemed to be in.

Despite the band’s fears, there was near universal acclaim, and leading the plaudits was none other than Robert Smith who ended up covering one of the tracks from the album and making it available as a b-side to 7” single by The Twilight Sad. He then followed it up by offering the band the opportunity to be the supporting act for The Cure on their May/June 2016 North American tour, which included three nights at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and three nights at Madison Square Garden in New York and to then fulfil the same role on the October–December 2016 European tour, which included three nights at London’s Wembley Arena as well as dates in Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris.

I was quite fearful when the news of the support slot was revealed – history records that many names bigger than The Twilight Sad have taken on the task of opening up arena/stadium tours and freezing with fear when the enormity of the task hit home. I ended up one evening in the company of someone who is highly respected as a performer and entrepreneur in the Scottish music industry, who told me I had nothing to worry about. It was his view, and there were few better qualified than him to judge things, that The Twilight Sad made music that would easily fill the arenas and in such a way that would connect wonderfully with the sort of fan base that The Cure were able to command. He felt they would relish it but it would leave them exhausted and again unsure of what to do next….but against that, it would at long last bring them the financial rewards that were long overdue.

Those predictions were uncannily accurate. There were no Scottish dates on The Cure’s European tour and so fans awaited the announcement of some sort of one-off headlining gig at the end of 2016 or early 2017, but it never came. Lead singer James Graham went off and did some side projects, all the while remaining coy about the future of his main band, albeit he did say songs were being worked on.

There was no discernible activity in 2017 and then a bit of a bombshell in January 2018 with the news that drummer Mark Devine was leaving – this meant that only James and Andy were now left from the original four-piece that had started out back in 2003. The band announced an immediate replacement and stated that work was well underway on a new album which would also be coming out on a new label as they were leaving Brighton-based Fat Cat Records after a ten-year association.

May 2018 saw the band play at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona, their first gig in 18 months since the end of the tour with The Cure. The following month saw them play this astonishing set at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds as a warm up to more Cure-linked activities in London.  July saw the announcement of them signing to Mogwai’s label Rock Action Records and the release of a new song “I/m Not Here [missing face]”, for streaming and as a digital download, together with dates in North America and Europe taking place towards the end of the year. In September 2018, just before the North America/Europe tour, it was announced that the fifth album would be called It Won/t Be Like This All the Time and would see light of day on 18 January 2019, before which two more tracks would be made available for purchase/download/streaming.

I’ll cut to the chase…..the latest album is an absolute knockout and has attracted praise from all quarters. It’s been called timeless and full of high-quality songs, but Paul Carr at Popmatters nailed it better than anyone:-

“The squalling, shoegaze guitars of Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, the brooding electronics of No One Can Ever Know, [and] the raw intimacy of Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave are all present but they are melded with fresh, nuanced sonic textures and bright, emphatic post-punk synths all injected with more direct pop hooks and melodies. What’s left is an album informed by all of their musical experiences and as such works as their definitive artistic statement.”

I haven’t stopped listening to the new album since I picked it up at the launch show at Mono in Glasgow were I was privileged to hear Andy and James perform a spine-tingling stripped-down acoustic set of new and old material. I had the luck of getting to hear the songs played by the full band at two Glasgow shows – a warm-up gig at King Tut’s and then the sell-out show before a devoted audience at Glasgow Barrowlands, after which I had the unforgettable honour of being part of the Simply Thrilled gang who hosted the official post-gig after show, where I’ll be played a set as part of the warm up for none other than our guest DJ Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai.

Talk about surreal.

All of which leads me, finally, to a second ICA for The Twilight Sad. I never thought a second volume would better the first, especially as that had contained some of their oldest and most enduring songs from the first two albums. But trust me on this dear readers, volume two utterly transcends it.


1. There’s A Girl In The Corner – from Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave (2014)

The band played a few gigs in 2014 before the release of the album and this was very much to the fore in the sets. It was an obvious tour de force, mixing that sparse synth sound of later albums with the pounding drums and guitars of the earlier material as had been promised by Andy McFarlane. This was the one which Robert Smith couldn’t wait to get his hand on, and no wonder.

2. Don’t Move – from No One Can Ever Know (2012)

It was a really tough call having only two songs from the 2012 album make it on to the first ICA but that all came down to me trying desperately hard to make it a ‘proper’ album which maintained a flow throughout, with the consequence that there was less ‘natural’ space for the more keyboard driven songs. There’s no such issues with this ICA as N/O/C/E/K really set down the template for the direction the band would take into the studio in later years and they link well to the 2014 and 2019 LPs.

I’m happy to admit that Don’t Move was a track I kind of missed when the album was initially released, slotted as it was into the middle of the running order and not quite as immediate or mind-blowing as those which preceded or followed it, but I soon realised, from hearing it live, that it was one of the real stand-outs.

3. Shooting Dennis Hopper Shooting – from It Won/t Be Like This All the Time (2019)

This was the first of what turned out to be three unreleased songs which were aired at the Brudenell Social Club gig and it was immediately clear that the new material was going to be quite sensational. The band have always had the habit of giving songs obscure or strange working titles which are kept even after they’ve gone beyond the demo stage. The lyrics have nothing to do with the American actor, nor have they anything to do with photography. This loud, bombastic tune works amazingly well as a stripped back acoustic tune, as evidenced when it was played that way at the album launch show. I’ve a feeling the band, as they have done with previous albums, will release the unplugged versions.

4. Alphabet (alternative version) – from N/O/C/E/K Tour EP (2012)

As mentioned above, The Twilight Sad have a history of later releasing alternative versions of songs. Alphabet is the disturbing and haunting opener on No One Can Ever Know and becomes even more so on this unplugged version which was made available for download (along with five other tracks) from the band’s website and as a limited edition CD for sale at shows. If you do ever see any live shows billed as not being by the full band, it will almost certainly mean its James on vocals and Andy on acoustic guitar…..and if you go along and watch any such shows, this is the sort of thing you will be lucky enough to hear.

Worth mentioning that this slowed-down version of Alphabet was the inspiration for Bill Wells & Aiden Moffat doing a cover version for one side of a 7” single for Record Store Day 2013, with The Twilight Sad offering their take of Bill and Aiden’s If You Keep Me In Your Heart on the reverse.

5. Vtr – from It Won/t Be Like This All the Time (2019)

In the fullness of time, this might very well become the song which most defines The Twilight Sad. James has said in interviews recently that the line ‘there’s no love too small’ is one of the most hopeful he’s ever penned which nevertheless is surrounded by lines which are full of anxiety and fear. He’s also said that the album was written while the band was dealing with ‘birth, death, illness, uncertainty and self-hatred’. But in an album of outstanding numbers, it is this upbeat tune with its optimistic refrain which carries the biggest and most important message.


1. The Wrong Car – single (2010)

I’ll play this near eight-minute epic and wonder to myself how it didn’t make it onto the previous ICA. It’s actually down to the fact that the first ICA was packed with equally epic numbers and there was just no room. The Wrong Car was recorded at the Chem 19, the studio just outside of Glasgow which is owned and run by Chemikal Underground and Paul Savage from the Delgados worked alongside Andy and then drummer Mark on the production side of things. It was the most ambitious thing they had done up to that point and they haven’t quite explored similar territory since. In most instances, it would be a fair bet to say that the best part of a decade on The Twilight Sad won’t ever make another song quite like The Wrong Car…..but this is a band who never stand still and never fail to surprise in the most pleasant of ways.

2. I/m Not Here (missing face) – from It Won/t Be Like This All the Time (2019)

This was the track chosen to showcase all of the new material, being released as a digital download last July. If this had been the 80s or 90s, there is no question in my mind that this, on vinyl or CD, would have flown out of the shops and gotten the band into the mainstream charts and led to appearances on shows such as Top of The Pops. Even a decade or so ago, a tune as anthemic and danceable as this would have made been all over daytime radio. Having said that, the thought of The Twilight Sad having to play the game in the same way that chart bands have to would be a huge risk in terms of them keeping going – there’s just a feeling that James in particular would be uncomfortable with such attention. As things stand, he and his mates can do things as they feel suits their continued development best, and this includes taking time off to do the side projects or accepting the opportunities to do the mega gigs as guests in and around their own much smaller headlining tours. Sometimes it’s just better that way.

3. I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
4. It Was Never The Same (both from Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave (2014)

These songs are back-to-back on the 2014 album and it’s one of those rare occasions when I can’t help but always wanting to hear the latter immediately after hearing The former. They were, incidentally, the two songs given physical releases as singles by Fat Cat Records.

I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want is another track which I imagine had Robert Smith nodding his head in appreciation recalling the many times when he could write and record perfect indie-rock music. Fat Cat Records elected to issue this as limited edition picture disc which was great for those of us who were happy to snap up every release on the day of issue, but in the hands of major label, and with the marketing push they are more than capable of delivering, I reckon this could have been the breakthrough hit…..

The latter is a wonderful example of the mellower slower side to the band. It’s a beautiful and haunting piece of music, one which enables James to display his vocal abilities. The band played a Scottish tour of smallish venues at the end of 2014 and myself and Aldo got ourselves along to the Tolbooth in Stirling (at which the wonderful Adam Stafford was supporting). We arrived early and as we made our way past the venue on our way to a nearby pub, we could hear, through an open window, the band sound checking with a really haunting take on It Was Never The Same. It was one of those spine-tingling moments that won’t ever be forgotten.

5. Videograms (Weatherall mix)

Andrew Weatherall first worked with The Twilight Sad on No One Can Ever Know, receiving the very strange credit of ‘anti-producer’ on the album. There is no doubt that his contribution to that particular record was immense, helping to guide the band into making the sort of sounds which enabled critics to mention the likes of Public Image, Magazine, Can, Nine Inch Nails, Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire and The Cure in the accompanying reviews.

In advance of the release of the new album, The Twilight Sad (or more precisely, Rock Action Records) revealed that the producer had given his attention to Videograms, a track that had already been made available on vinyl as a one-sided 10” single. The Weatherall mix was only available as a download….it was wonderfully reviewed by Adam over in the Bagging Area late last year:-

Unless he sneaks something out between today and New Year’s Eve this looks like being the final Andrew Weatherall remix and release of 2018, a seven minute re-working of Scottish post-punkers The Twilight Sad. Weatherall adds that metronomic drum machine and sends the whole thing through an FX box called ‘Early/Mid 80s New Order’. A friend aptly described this as Widescreen Goth. I just hope there will be a proper 12″ release because it’s a fine example of the art of the remix (you can buy it as a download but somehow that’s not quite enough).

Sadly, this seven plus minutes of magnificence has still only been made available as a download, but given that The Twilight Sad have a very happy habit of occasionally offering up remix albums a while after the original LP has been released, then I’m not giving up hope entirely.

I know this has been something of a long read, and prrhaps it has just been a bit too much for some of you.  But as far as I’m concerned, The Twilight Sad are probably the most important band out there just now and so there’s no apologies on offer……

And don’t rule out a volume 3 at some point in the future – possibly full of remixes!!



You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m, understandably, a bit obsessed with The Twilight Sad this week.

The poster above indicates that our Simply Thrilled night, in which we get to host the official post-Barrowlands gig event, has completely sold out. What it doesn’t indicate is that the sell-out involves the entire space within The Admiral Bar, both the basement level where the club night normally takes place together with the ground floor bar area. The band have a good number of guests coming along but we have sold over 300 tickets which means there will be a substantial donation going the way of the Scott Hutchison fund.

The planning and preparation for the Simply Thrilled night has kind of overshadowed the fact that I’ll be seeing the band at the Barrowlands beforehand – I’m still working out how best I can quickly get out of the venue and make the mile and a bit journey to The Admiral for the 11pm start time and as such, a taxi may well be utilised.

I didn’t think things could get much better but at the tail end of last week the band announced a warm-up gig at King Tut’s in Glasgow for Tuesday 26 February with tickets available only via a link from their mailing site. Tickets went on sale the following morning (Friday) at 9am, but with a capacity of just 300, and each person entitled to two tickets, it was always going to be a long shot to land lucky, even getting into the queue would be something of a result!!

I clicked on the link…..pressed a few keys on traffic lights to prove I wasn’t a robot…..entered in that I would like two tickets please…..and waited all of ten seconds to be advised that tickets weren’t available just now and to try again later. I did and went through the same process except this time I clicked on few cars in squares to demonstrate that I was genuine flesh and blood, and again was advised to try again.

Third time lucky????? Well, I wasn’t asked to prove my credentials but then again I was quickly advised no tickets were available….in other words it was a sell-out.

I checked up with four other folk who had been trying and each had the same sad story to tell but then my dear mate Aldo, who had been incommunicado because of work issues, got I touch to say I wasn’t to worry!

I found out later that while most of us were sitting at laptops with the fastest possible wifi speeds, he had been walking along to his office at 9am and casually clicked on his mobile phone to have a try and not only got into the queue but got the tap on the shoulder to enter in the full payment details. And I’m going to be his +1!

It also looks as if a couple of the Simply Thrilled gang are getting in via the guest list, so all in all, it’s shaping up to be a memorable evening and hopefully my hearing will recover in time to do it all again four nights later.

The critics have given an enormous thumbs up to the new album It Won/t Be Like This All the Time, and understandably so. There is no question that the four year gap since last being in the studio, during which time they played cavernous arenas and outdoor shows as the special guests of The Cure, has been good for The Twilight Sad with the new record meshing all that they have put down before – the loud guitars, the sombre electronics and the intense vocals from James Graham – but adding in places a number of almost pop-like hooks and melodies that can only bring them to the attention of a wider audience. I’ll be very surprised if hear a better album in the rest of 2019.

I was lucky enough to attend this show in Leeds last year at which three unreleased songs that were aired and it was immediately clear that the band’s new material was going to be quite sensational. They have, some twelve years down the line since the first album, penned a song which will most define The Twilight Sad. James has said in interviews recently that the line ‘there’s no love too small’ is one of the most hopeful he’s ever penned which nevertheless is surrounded by lines which are full of anxiety and fear. He’s also said that the album was written while the band was dealing with ‘birth, death, illness, uncertainty and self-hatred’. But in an album of outstanding numbers, it is this upbeat tune with its optimistic refrain which carries the biggest and most important message.

The other ten songs on It Won/t Be Like This All the Time are every bit as strong…’s some more footage to help illustrate that:-

Oh….and is that isn’t enough to get me thinking how special the next few days are going to be, the Simply Thrilled team have been given another huge honour in respect of this Saturday as will be the first to air, outside of a couple of radio stations, a new song by the incredibly talented Siobhan Wilson, whose debut album There Are No Saints, released in 2017, just gets better and better with age.

Her sophomore album, The Departure, is being released in May 2019. I’ll certainly be giving it a mention or two around then.

Seems appropriate to return to The Twilight Sad and their tour de force from 2014’s Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave. This was the one which Robert Smith couldn’t wait to get his hand on, and no wonder.

mp3 : Robert Smith – There’s A Girl In The Corner

Just occurred to me…..all that is needed to make this week unbelievably perfect is for Robert, should he happen to be attending the Barrowlands gig, to come along and say hello at The Admiral afterwards.

Dreaming is Free.



FROM UNDER THE COVERS (Parts 64, 65 & 66)

When I saw that Glasgow’s very own The Twilight Sad had recorded a cover version of a great David Gedge song for the b-side of one of their singles earlier this year, I knew I just had to have it.

It wasn’t what I expected. But that made it all the better.

That’s three cover versions I now have by this lot – they’ve all been of songs that I’ve adored for a long, long, long time. And all of them get the TVV seal of approval:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Suck
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Half A Person
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Twenty Four Hours



I recently mentioned that myself and Aldo were heading off to Leeds to catch The Twilight Sad play their first UK show in 18 months and their first headline show since December 2015. I wasn’t sure beforehand if I was going to say anything after the event, but as you can surmise from the fact these words are appearing in a post on the blog, I’m now entirely sure that, unlike Rod the Mod and Everything But The Girl, I do want to talk about it.

First up, some thoughts on the city of Leeds. It’s a place I hadn’t been to for the best part of 20 years and the last time around I wasn’t all that impressed – but then again I had gone down to watch a day of cricket with a group of mates and we didn’t venture too far from the hotel bar or the ground at Headingley. The railway station, which had been the arrival point, was a dark and depressing place, reliant on unpleasant smelling underpasses to get you from one part to another and the city centre seemed equally unappealing with the pubs not offering much of a welcome to non-regulars.

The Leeds of 2018 has been transformed way beyond recognition. It’s not a city which seems to be incredibly dependent on tourism in that there’s none of these ‘hop-on, hop-off’ buses which are so common in such hotspots, but there has been a remarkable growth in the number and quality of hotels in the centre, with all sorts of new accompanying commercial and retail developments. There’s been an explosion of new bars but at the same time, many of the older traditional places have clearly upped their game, offering all sorts of real ales/craft beers and high-end vodkas, gins, whiskys etc. for the most discerning of tastes.

In short, the city proved to be well worth a visit and would be one I wouldn’t hesitate to return to if the opportunity arose, which it might well do given that the Brudenell Social Club has jumped straight to the higher echelons of my all-time favourite gig venues.

As I said last week, it was one of two long sitting on the bucket list and I had knocked off the other last year with a trip to Hebden Bridge Trades Club, again in the company of Aldo, when we had enjoyed Jens Lekman followed by a memorable afternoon and evening in Manchester in the company of the man in charge of the bagging area. The Brudenell, however, proved to be something else again.

The Twilight Sad have a long association with the venue, but even this was a first for them in that they were making their debut in the Community Room, a new part of the building which opened just last year. It’s a superb space, just perfect for gigs with its width, low-roof and raised stage offering great views no matter where you choose to stand. It also has the very best in acoustics and thanks to it being designed in a way that the bar area is separated and largely buffered from the main auditorium, it reduces the likelihood of the yakkity-yak nonsense which often spoils a good night out at a live music event.

Mind you, having had a look at the Function Room where the majority of gigs have previously taken place, I’d love to catch an act in there sometime of an evening as it had the look, feel and vibe of a very special place where an audience and singer/band would bond brilliantly; last Saturday is was busy with folk watching Croatia v Nigeria in the 2018 World Cup – I can’t imagine how rammed it would be if England and/or one of the big teams were involved.

So….with all this in mind, given that the city and the venue hadn’t disappointed, the onus was on the band to ensure the feel-good factor remained intact.

They took to the stage at 9.15pm and they ended a 14-song set at 10.30. They opened with a classic and they closed with something that was awe-inspiring, moving, powerful and as sensational 7 or 8 minutes as I’ve ever experienced in what is now almost 40 years of watching live music. In between, we got some familiar and often aired favourite songs from the back catalogue and were also treated to three as yet unreleased numbers. They sounded pitch perfect thanks to the afore-mentioned sound system and acoustics…..and while they are very much a five-piece band, especially in the live setting, there has to be special mention of frontman James Graham who is, without any question, the most mesmerising of performers whose vocal delivery and accompanying movements surely leave him on the brink of complete physical and mental exhaustion every single time.

It was fascinating to look around the audience when the lights went up. Given it was such a rare show, it had sold out quickly and of interest to fans from all over – you could certainly pick out a fair number of Scottish accents in the bar area beforehand – and so was always going to be one in which there were very few, if any, folk who were experiencing the band live for the first time. Most seemed to be, like myself and Aldo, quite speechless, coming to grips with what had just been witnessed; there were some in tears, understandably overcome by the intensity and emotion of the final few minutes. I’m sure if there had been an exit poll, the option of ‘best show they’ve ever played’ would have won a landslide victory.

The band have always been prolific in their use of social media. The following morning, as we sat down to a lovely and value-for-money breakfast in an old café which was defying the surrounding regeneration and partial gentrification of the canal area, Aldo read out what had just been posted on the official Facebook page:

“I’ll never forget last night. A room full of beautiful people. Brudenell Social Club is part of our history and will be part of us as we try to move forward. There’s no love too small x.”



That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy
Don’t Move
Dennis Hopper (new song)
Last January
I Became A Prostitute
It Was Never The Same
VTR (new song)
Reflection of The Television
The Wrong Car
Arbor (new song)
There’s A Girl In The Corner
Cold Days From The Birdhouse
And She Would Darken The Memory
Keep Yourself Warm (cover version)

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Last January
mp3 : Frightened Rabbit – Keep Yourself Warm


PS :   Typing this up at 6pm on Tuesday night at which point The Clash are hoilding a narrow lead over Echo & The Bunnymen in the ICA World Cup quarter-final. There’s still time to cast your vote if you haven’t done so already – do you prefer Clampdown or Never Stop?


It’s been two and a half years since the last time I saw The Twilight Sad when they played a triumphant pre-Christmas show at The Barrowlands in Glasgow. They spent most of 2016 travelling the world a the support act to The Cure while last year they took some time out to recuperate during which lead singer James Graham ventured into a side project called Out Lines, working with Kathryn Joseph (winner of the Scottish Album of the Year in 2016) and Marcus Mackay.

Tomorrow night they are playing at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, a venue that has long been on mine and Aldo‘s bucket list and so we are off down south to take it in where we will hopefully be joined by Comrade Colin.

I’ve been excited about this one for months, counting down the weeks impatiently. And yet, I was nearly in a position of not being able to go as the death of a close friend last week threatened to put things on hold – if the funeral had been tomorrow, then there would have been a very tough decision to make. As it is, Aldo will head down as planned later this morning and I’ll delay my departure for a few hours and join him this evening.

The gig promises to be special. They have a new drummer following the unexpected but amicable departure of Mark Devine which was announced a few months back. They also are likely to include a Frightened Rabbit number in the set as a tribute to the late Scott Hutchison – I’ll do well to stay in control of myself if that happens.

Here’s a reminder of why this band are, and have been for a while, my favourites:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisble Boy (from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, 2007)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – The Room (from Forget the Night Ahead, 2009)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car (frm The Wrong Car EP, 2010)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Sick (from No One Can Ever Know, 2012)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – It Was Never The Same (from Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, 2014)



“Firstly, this song is not about being a whore, it’s a line from the Jean-Luc Godard film Vivre sa Vie (My Life to Live) that seemed to fit with the concept of the lyrics. I’m not sure if we shot ourselves in the foot with that title, seeing as it was the first single. For radio, it had to be called “I Became a ……..” because the word ‘prostitute’ is apparently offensive. This one came together quite easily when writing it and always stood out to be a single.”

So said singer James Graham an interview given back in 2009 when the songs on the LP Forget The Night Ahead were dissected one-by-one.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – I Became A Prostitute

One of the most powerful and impressive singles to have come out of anywhere, never mind Scotland, in recent years. And a real tour-de-force when played live.

Here’s your b-side which is not without its merits, especially if you like music that is reminiscent of the Seamonsters era of The Wedding Present and a bloke singing in a Scottish accent:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – In The Blackout

When you think of all the crap that hits the charts nowadays, it really is criminal that so few people bought this single.




I’m not a fan of Record Store Day. It started out with the best of intentions but before long became another way for real music fans to be ripped off. Not necessarily by any small/independent record stores or the sorts of labels who supply much of the stock to such stores, but I’m more thinking about the majors who jumped on the bandwagon and issued all sorts of product for stupid prices, and in doing so tied up pressing plants at the expense of the smaller labels.

Oh and not forgetting the greedy fucks who got into the habit of going along on RSD for the sole purpose of hoovering up bundles of rare and in demand releases to then shove them on the internet within a matter of hours at vastly inflated prices. The sort of greedy fucks who ticket tout……

Anyways, this is probably the last thing I bought on the actual RSD and it was only because at the time I had everything ever released on vinyl by The Twilight Sad and I was also intrigued to hear what Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat would bring to a Twilight Sad number.

Limited edition of 500 on 7″ vinyl on Fat Cat Records.

mp3 : Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat – Alphabet
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – (If You) Keep Me In Your Heart

One thing I’ll say. Both acts make the songs sound as if they are their own rather than covers.  But both ultimately are not a patch on the originals.



Many thanks for continuing to drop by while I was away chilling in the Caribbean with the missus – batteries were fully recharged until a bit of a nightmare journey home courtesy of the incompetence of British Airways, although a word of praise to the security folk at Gatwick Airport whose helpful approach ensured that we caught our connection back to Glasgow by the skin of our teeth and so avoided the nightmare of a six and a bit hour delay combined with hoping somehow there were spare seats on later flights.

I was delighted to see that so many folk were still happy to leave behind comments  – as I’ve mentioned before that’s the aspect, together with the guest postings, that make all the time and effort put into this all worthwhile.  Which kind of brings me round nicely to this….


We’re pleased to be able to again invite you to take part in the 2015 Scottish BAMS (Blogs and Music Sites) Award.

For those of you who don’t know, the BAMS* (Bloggers and Music Sites) was inaugurated and run for the first 4 years by Lloyd from the Peenko blog. In recent years other bloggers have helped make it happen.

Past winners have been:

2009 The Phantom Band – ‘The Wants’
2010 The National – ‘High Violet’
2011 Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – ‘Everyone’s Getting Older’
2012 Meursault- ‘Something for the Weakened’
2013 CHVRCHES – ‘The Bones of What You Believe’
2014 The Twilight Sad – ‘Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’

Unlike, say, the SAY Award the BAMS don’t have £20k to give away. But, as well as the prestige, we have something even more exciting for the winner than that – some vintage tonic wine – if we can work out how to get the bottle to the winner.

This year we’re again asking you to vote for up to TEN LPs released in 2015. As usual, your choices need not be restricted to Scottish LPs but can take in any album released during the course of 2015.

Ideally you will rank your LPs from 1-10 but if you can’t separate 2 (or more) LPs, we’ll award an average of the points* for the equivalent places in your list. You don’t need to submit as many as 10 choices to take part but we’d ask you, please, not to submit any more than 10.

The deadline for submission of votes will be 10 p.m. on Friday 7th January – we’ll confirm nearer the time when the announcement of the winner will take place but it’s likely to be a couple of weeks after that.


I was thinking however, that rather than it being a personal list, my preference would be to invite all T(n)VV readers to fire across an e-mail with their Top 10s for 2015 from which I will submit a collective entry for the 2015 BAMS. And strangely enough, S-WC and Badgerman have already done so without being asked in advance – as will be revealed in a guest posting in the next 2-3 days.

So if you’re up for this, please drop a line to; it would be helpful if you could head up any e-mails BAMS 2015 : MY TOP 10 so that I can easily keep track of any submissions.

Just a quick word on the BAMS 2014 winners The Twilight Sad who I caught playing live last Saturday at the Barrowlands just 24 hours or so after getting home. They are gearing up for a momentous year as they have been given the accolade of opening for The Cure when they embark on a mammoth world tour – it’s already at 60 dates and growing. On the basis of the blistering, sonically booming show last Saturday they are more than ready for the task in hand and have a sound that will not sound out-of-place within any of the vast arenas in which they will be performing.

I’m delighted for them as they have worked tirelessly over the past seven or so years since the debut material was released and haven’t always taken the easy route of just churning out similar sounding albums time and time again. They’ve looked on as a number of bands who emerged from Scotland around the same time, as well as a number of more recently formed bands, have found not just critical acclaim but a fair degree of fame and fortune and not once have any of the Twilight Sad expressed any bitterness or regret about their lot. They have been slowburners in much the same way as R.E.M. and James were back in the day. And the other thing they have in common with those particular bands is that it has taken a lengthy period of time for the singer and main focus of attention to have his confidence, self-belief and stage presence finally match his vocal talents and connect with an audience in a way that is truly awe-inspiring. The Twilight Sad are in a great place right now and I really hope that 2016 is the making of them in commercial terms.

Here’s a single of theirs – not included on any of their four albums – that was a particular highlight of the Barrowlands show.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car


* forgot to mention that BAMS also has another connotation in the Scottish vernacular.  It is a shortened form of the word bampots which is best translated as idiots.  And yes, Lloyd Peenko knew exactly what he was doing when he came up with the acronym for the awards back in 2009.


It’s been kicking around the internet for a few months now that Robert Smith of The Cure had been asked and agreed to do a cover of a song by The Twilight Sad.

He has been a fan of the band for years and there had been hopes that he would have been able to get involved in the remix version of the No One Can Ever Know LP but that didn’t work out due to work and touring commitments. However, having been given a copy of the band’s newest LP Nobody Wants Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave and described it as ‘BEAUTIFUL’ he was then approached with what the band thought was an audacious request to cover one of their songs for inclusion as a future b-side. And to their great delight he said yes and selected There’s A Girl In The Corner which is the opener on the latest LP.

The version has been available to listen to on the web for a long while now, but knowing that I was going to physically get a hold of the track via the purchase of the single, I decided I would wait until I had the piece of plastic in my hands before ever my first ever listen. I wanted to hark back to those days when buying 7″ singles provided a sense of adventure as playing a new song by a much-loved singer or band via a b-side provided real excitement.

I was pleased to read that the version Smith had recorded was brand new – I had a fear it was going to be karaoke by numbers with him just supplying a new vocal to the Sad’s music. But there it was on the sleeve : “Voices and Instruments by Robert Smith. Engineered, Produced and Mixed by Robert Smith at Homestudio. Assisted by Bunny Lake.”

This however, only provided a new fear.

What if it was rubbish in comparison to the original?

I should remind regular readers that I went for The Twilight Sad very early on in the Imaginary Albums series specifically to avoid the dilemma of having to include songs from their then upcoming album. It was a great move on my part as it is a really mature and classy record that also sounded magnificent in the live setting with a gig in Stirling last December rounding off what had been an exceptional and i doubt ever to be repeated year of live music thanks in the main to so many special events that supported Glasgow staging the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The song the band had chosen for this single – It Was Never The Same – is a standout from the album as indeed is the song Smith had selected.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – There’s A Girl In The Corner
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – It Was Never The Same

These were high standards…….and so just seven days ago, at the end of what has been a trying and difficult few days, I gave it a spin:-

mp3 : Robert Smith – There’s A Girl In The Corner

If I had heard this without knowing the original then I’d have been hugely impressed with the fact that the best part of 40 years on since bursting onto the scene that Robert Smith still had a great ability to deliver marvellous music.

In other words….I was impressed. Very Impressed.

But to add some additional other words… ain’t as good as the original. Which confirms the conclusion I’ve been coming to over the past nine months or so since the fourth album was released and on the back of what have been some unforgettable live outings in different formats over the past few years.

The Twilight Sad are the best band going right now.

No arguments please.



A wee treat for fans of The Twilight Sad.

Back in early 2012 the band released their third studio album. No One Can Ever Know was a work that shocked and stunned a lot of folk with a very clear move away from the ‘wall of sound’ guitars that had dominated the previous LPs into something that was heavily reliant on a dark and moody synth sound.  It was an album that I adored on its release with my appreciation heightened by a spellbinding performance in the confines of the Grand Ole Opry in Glasgow, a venue that 99.99% of the time caters for country music and Americana.

Later in the year the band went that bit further with the experimentation by authorising the release of No One Can Ever Know : The Remixes which was, as the name suggests a collection of remixes of songs from the album, many of which were quite experimental and more likely to appeal to fan of those doing the remixing than those who had gone nuts for the first two Twilight Sad LPs. Me?  I’m very happy to be counted in as a fan of the remix effort although I was a little disappointed that it was primarily the same songs that got the treatment with the nine tracks comprising three versions of Sick and two each of Nil, Not Sleeping and Alphabet.

But for diehard fans there was even more to come thanks to the existence of No One Can Ever Know : Tour EP which the band made available as a digital download when you placed an order through their online store or, as in my fortunate case, as one of 300 physical copies put on sale at the merchandise stall when the band went out on the road. It’s actually something the band are very good at in terms of rewarding loyal fans – over the year I’ve picked up a some limited edition mementos including CDs and prints.

The Tour EP offered up one entirely new song (in demo form), three new slowed-down versions* of tracks from the parent album and two songs otherwise only available on hard to get limited edition singles:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Idiots (demo)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Alphabet (alternate version)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Not Sleeping (alternate version)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Untitled #67
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Another Bed (alternate version)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – A Million Ignorants

(* and in the case of Alphabet, a heart-wrenchingly beautiful rendition that is my favourite version of the song)

I’ve also discovered a cracking fan site devoted to the band. You can visit by clicking here on the new link I’ve put up on the right hand side of the blog.




From wiki:-

The Twilight Sad are a Scottish indie rock band, comprising James Graham (vocals), Andy MacFarlane (guitar), and Mark Devine (drums). The band are currently signed to Fat Cat Records and have now released four full-length albums, as well as several EPs and singles.

Their 2007 debut album, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, drew widespread acclaim from critics, who noted Graham’s thick Scottish accent and MacFarlane’s dense sonic walls of shoegazing guitar and wheezing accordion. The Twilight Sad’s notoriously loud live performances have been described as “completely ear-splitting,”and the band toured for the album across Europe and the United States throughout 2007 and 2008. Sessions inspired by stripped-down and reworked live performances yielded the 2008 mini-album, Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did.

Their second album, Forget the Night Ahead, marked a shift in the band’s direction; lyrically more personal and musically darker and more streamlined, it was released in 2009 to further acclaim. Recording sessions for the album also produced the mid-2010 release The Wrong Car, which followed the departure of founding bassist Craig Orzel in February 2010. T

The Twilight Sad’s third album, No One Can Ever Know, was released in February 2012 and marked another stylistic shift, with the band citing industrial music and krautrock influences for a darker, sparser sound.The band’s fourth album, entitled Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, was released just a few days ago on 27th October 2014.

The band describes their sound as “folk with layers of noise,”and music critics have described the band as “perennially unhappy” and “a band that inject some real emotion and dynamic excitement into a comparatively standard template.”

Your humble scribe loves this band and never tires of listening to them or catching them live. The aforementioned 12″ single from 2010 features today, complete with its b-sides containing an otherwise unavailable songs and very different versions thanks to remixes of two of their best-loved tunes:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Throw Yourself Into The Water Again
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – The Room (Mogwai remix)
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Reflection Of The Television (Errors remix)

Enjoy.  Can’t believe it is already November and that I’ve now featured 115 different Scottish artists in this series of singles in my ownership.



Just a reminder…the idea of this series is to take one of my favourite bands or singers and list what I think would make the idea ‘Best of’ album with a few words on why. The only proviso is that I’m going to do it as a proper old-fashioned LP…10 tracks in total with an A-side and a B-side and it’s got to hang together like a proper LP and not just a collection of greatest hits. Neither will it necessarily be the 10 best songs (which in any event change on a regular basis)

I started things off with The Smiths and then looked at the solo career of Edwyn Collins. Today it’s The Twilight Sad.

Once again, the inspiration was seeing from a live performance, in this instance in Richmond Park in Glasgow as part of the Last Big Weekend which saw them take to the stage at 5pm under the canvas of a tent.  It was an electric performance, but then again every time I’ve seen the band perform over the past seven years has left me awestruck, whether it is the full-blown band, an acoustic stripped down version or, as on one occasion, accompanied in a fabulous gothic abbey by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

It was the opening three songs of the 45-minute long Richmond Park set that got me thinking they would be the perfect opening to any compilation LP and therefore I only had to narrow things down by another seven songs.  It was also the fact they aired a brand new song as the fourth offering in the set that got me determined to do this now as to wait for the release of what will be their fourth full-length LP this October would make it an impossible task.

Side A

1. Cold Days From The Birdhouse
2. I Became A Prostitute
3. Reflection of The Television
4. Sick
5. That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy

Side B

1. And She Would Darken The Memory
2. The Room
3. I’m Taking The Train Home
4. Seven Years Of Letters
5. Kill It In The Morning

Despite getting the head start from the first three songs, it’s still take ages to come up with the final seclection….but the bonus has been getting to play all the songs all over again before working things out.

1. The first track of Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, the 2007 debut LP. It contains a couple of particularly incredible moments in what is an incredibly good song….the first of them at the two and a half  minute mark when Andy McFarlane’s wall of noise from the guitar kicks in….played live it really does get the hairs on the back of the neck standing to attention.   The second bit of true magic comes just under a minute from the end when James Graham‘s vocal fades out to be replaced by an unexpected bit of acoustic guitar accompanied by a repeated single piano note.

2. The second track of Forget The Night Ahead, the sophomore LP from 2009  and it’s straight back into the wall of noise, this time with pounding drums courtesy of Mark Devine and a great bass back-up by then member Craig Orzel.  This is alternative indie-rock at its very best and goes a long way to explaining why the band have a decent following over in the States

3. More loud and wailing guitars, pounding drums and a killer hypnotic bass line.  The opening track of the second LP.  The song was later given a complete remix by Errors for inclusion on the Wrong Car EP – by complete I mean the drums, bass and guitar are almost completely replaced by electronica and a dance beat.  And such is the greatness of the song and the music that the remix more than holds its own.

4. The band surprised many fans with the contents of the 2012 LP No One Can Ever Know.  The previously dominant guitars were replaced by keyboards and drum patterns from machines.  Imagine the music  of Joy Division benefitting from technological improvements over the past 30 years and you’ll get an idea of what many of the songs sounded like.  I felt the imaginary compilation LP needed a little bit less intensity at this point of listening, so in comes a slightly slower and softer number.

5.  A track which in some ways is eerily reminiscent of Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs,  this is a strange and disturbing song told from the point of view of a very unhappy and disturbed teenager. It was  my introduction to the band back in 2007 when I heard it played over the speakers in a Glasgow record store.  And yes, there is the occasional use of the dreaded c-word which is normally a bit of a taboo, but it is spat out by James in such a way that you can have no doubt that the person being sung about is truly loathed.  They say you never forget your first time and in the case of The Twilight Sad I never will.

Take a deep breath and turn the record over……

6.  Just as you might be thinking from the opening minute or so that this track from the debut LP (an edited version of which was released as a 7″ single) might be a more easy-going indie-pop listen,  then the brutality and violence of the lyric and takes centre stage with boots being put in and rabbits being threatened with death.  And then the final two and a half minutes deliver the sort of shoegazing noise most usually experienced via a My Bloody Valentine track.  Aurally stunning…..

7.  This was the most difficult part of the imaginary album to compile.  I just find it near impossible to have anything follow-on to Track 6 and not sound inadequate.  But I think this song from the second LP. which was also released as a 45 (and later remixed in spectacular fashion by Mogwai) does the trick.  It is driven along by a constant drum and keyboard but in a minimalist way this enabling James to display that he is a very fine singer.

8. Back to the first LP again.  A softer song than the others selected from that LP, this has a lyric which refers to green and blue eyes and as such recalls Temptation by New Order...not that it sounds anything like that song…just the bit about the green and blue eyes. Again, it’s a song like so many of their earlier efforts, one which builds up a great bit of momentum before slowing to a lovely climax.

9. A similarly paced song to that which precedes it on this imaginary album. Released as a 7″ single with a very surprising and very understated cover of Suck by The Wedding Present on the b-side, this is one of the few tracks that James has been happy to explain – ‘the lyrics revolve around running away from people and things’

10. I’ve ended with a song that splits a lot of fans. It’s the closing track from the third LP and it’s rather unlike anything else I’ve included on this imaginary compilation. It was originally made available free via the band’s website some five months before the release of the LP and it’s fair to say the electronica caught out a lot of folk who were desperate for more of the same after the first two LPs. I fell in love with it right away and I have never got bored with it. It belts along at a great pace and then just as you think it is going to fade away quietly, a change of rhythm takes it off on a different course altogether before it does conclude with a shouted single line. A perfect ending and again has the intention of making you want to get up out of your chair to turn the LP over and listen again.

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Cold Days From The Birdhouse
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – I Became A Prostitute
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Reflection of The Television
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Sick
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – And She Would Darken The Memory
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – The Room
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – I’m Taking The Train Home
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Seven Years Of Letters
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Kill It In The Morning




I’m off tonight to what I think might turn out to be one of the great gigs of 2013.  The banner above says it all.

Here’s a repeat post from September 2012:-

It’s now five and a bit years since The Twilight Sad they first came to wider attention thanks to the stunning early singles and debut LP.  They’ve been consistently excellent ever since. To the best of my knowledge, the first two singles were only ever made available on 7″ vinyl, albeit CD promo copies are out there. It seems appropriate to share them with you straight from the vinyl:-

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – And She Would Darken The Memory
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy (Decomposed by Ensemble)

mp3 : The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy
mp3 : The Twilight Sad – Watching That Chair Painted Yellow

Warning for those of you who might not know these songs. There’s regular use of a swear word in That Summer…. one that some folk find offensive…the ‘c’ word. It’s a word that sounds especially brutal when delivered in a hard West of Scotland brogue.

I love both of these 45s. And if it hadn’t been for the fact I only picked them up some six months after release (being away in Canada for much of 2007) then one of them would certainly have made the 45 45s at 45 countdown the following year.