dilemma : noun
a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable.

As I said yesterday, I got thinking a while back that, once the calendar turned over into 2023, I could have some fun out of creating a new series for the blog, turning the clock back 40 years to look at some of the great music that was released in 1983, perhaps throwing in a few stories/recollections/memories of the era. And judging from the responses to the Wah!/Echo and The Bunnymen offerings, it’s a series that would be popular.

My dilemma is that it feels it would be almost impossible to look at 1983 without considering The Smiths, a band who, other than one instrumental song, haven’t featured on TVV in more than five years.

The reason for all this doesn’t have to be over-analysed today.  I abhor the views that have been increasingly aired by Morrissey, and it goes beyond not posting stuff on the blog as I’ve not played any of his solo records, or those from his former band, for what feels like an eternity.

The thing is, I really miss The Smiths records.  They were a huge part of my life back in 1983 and over the next few years.  It is fair to say that I placed a lot of faith in the band, arguing long and hard into many a small hour about their merits and greatness.  I invested greatly into things (but never to the extent of going vegetarian!), and defended Morrissey to the hilt when many of the controversies emerged, including when some of the solo songs hit raw nerves.

Jez, over at A History of Dubious Taste, penned this, interesting article on Morrissey last October which I read at the time when I was pondering a potential series on 1983.   He posed the question….

“So what to do? Do we deny our experience and love of The Smiths on the basis of what Morrissey patently is, or at best, has become.”

That’s been my position for the past five years.  But I can say, in all honesty, it is making me increasingly miserable now.  Johnny Marr was every bit as important to me when I immersed myself in the band….and to a lesser extent, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce (and Craig Gannon) also made me very happy thanks to the way they contributed to the songs and the live shows and TV appearances.  It feels increasingly wrong to be cutting them out of the picture on the basis of what one other, admittedly important and high-profile, band member has become.

So, I’m turning to the TVV community for your thoughts, views, opinion and advice. Do I stay on the current path, or do I gently bring The Smiths back in from the cold at an appropriate point in time over the coming months?  It’s not any sort of vote or survey….I’m simply trying to read the room.

Here’s another song from 1983 that has long stayed with me since I first heard it.

mp3: The Special AKA – Racist Friend

As I said, it’s a dilemma.




Having gone through all the Indietrack Compilations between 2012 and 2019 in the previous eight parts of this mini-series, I’m now identifying singers or bands who appear on two or more of the compilations but have yet to make an appearance on the blog:-

mp3: Chorusgirl – No Moon (from Indietracks Compilation, 2015)
mp3: Chorusgirl – Shivers (from Indietracks Compilation, 2017)

From all music:-

“Mixing the noisy, poppy sounds of the dream pop past (Ride, Lush) with those of a more recent vintage (Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls), Chorusgirl take a straightforward approach to their songwriting and arrangements that allows the words and vocals of Silvi Wersing to bubble to the surface. The German native formed Chorusgirl in London and released two albums of stripped-down and emotionally tough songs in the second half of the 2010s.

Wersing spent her formative years as a musician playing bass and guitar in a string of bands, first in Germany, then in England, before striking out on her own under the name Chorusgirl in 2012. She began recording demos, solo and with producer Jan Niklas Jansen, at Bear Cave Studio in Cologne. When enough songs were ready to be aired live, she formed a group. Bassist (and fellow German) Udo Westhoff, drummer Michael Boyle, and guitarist Caroline Arvensis joined in early 2014, though Arvensis was soon replaced by Diogo Oliveira.  Chorusgirl released a single in early 2015 (“No Moon”/”Dream on, Baby Blue” for the Odd Box label’s 100 Club series) and performed at Indietracks, then later in 2015 released their self-titled debut album on Fortuna POP!

The next couple of years saw the band in flux; Oliveira departed and was replaced by guitarist Faith Taylor of the group Suggested Friends, their label closed up shop, and Brexit left the German members of the band feeling uncertain. Add to that mix, Wersing’s struggles with anxiety, and making their second album was a tough go. They kept at it and worked again with Jansen in Cologne on a more thoughtful and stripped-down set of songs, two of which were contributed by Taylor. The group found a new label, Reckless Yes, and released Shimmer and Spin in late 2018.”

Both of the songs on the Indietracks compilations were taken from the self-titled debut album.  Here’s a couple from the second LP:-

mp3: Chorusgirl – In Dreams
mp3: Chorusgirl – Love Is Like




The site being derailed coincided with me being away for a couple of days (golfing, if you must know).

It’s still a bit of a mystery as to what happened, but thanks to a few interventions from the clever folk at WordPress, it does seem as if things are back on track.

Thanks for your patience and understanding



Isaac’s funeral is taking place today.

I’m catching an early train out of Glasgow so that I can head down to pay respect on behalf of everyone who is part of the TVV community.

I’ve thought long and hard about a song and haven’t found it easy.  I know that Adam, Lou and Eliza want today to be a celebration of a remarkable life, and it wouldn’t be right to put something sad and teary on here.  Or try to be philosophical.

So, what I’m doing is going back to a posting on the old blog, back on 10 April 2011, when Ctel, from Acid Ted, took over this place for about a month while I was coming to terms with the death of my best friend, hard on the heels of my young brother a short time previously.

Ctel had asked readers if they would like to offer some words on the subjects of ‘sadness’ or ‘happiness’, with an appropriate song.  The response was truly overwhelming, and this is what Adam provided:-.

There are a ton of songs that help me get through bad times, and plenty that echo melancholy and the small hours when it all seems dark. But this is The Ramones. Da Brudders’ 1978 song We’re A Happy Family is full of squalor and urban misery – ‘sitting here in Queens, eating refried beans, we ain’t got no friends, our troubles never end, no Christmas Cards to send, Daddy likes men, Daddy’s likes men, Daddy’s telling lies, baby’s eating flies, Mommy’s on pills, baby’s got the chills, selling daddy’s dope’ etc – but there’s something about it that never fails to cheer me up. Thanks Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Tommy.

mp3: The Ramones – We’re A Happy Family

Isaac provided so many incredible times, and there is no doubt that he will stir countless happy memories going forward.



This wasn’t supposed to be the posting today.  Far from it.

Those of you who regularly make your way to the Bagging Area, will recognise the young man in the photo.

He’s Isaac, and he’s the son of Adam, the brains behind one of the best and longest running blogs out there.

Adam has become a very dear and close friend of mine over recent years, initially through the blog but increasingly via other social media channels, through which I’ve got to know his wife and his two children.

Adam has used his blog over the years to talk about his family, referencing some of the most significant happenings such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and graduations.  He’s also let us in on Isaac’s story, and how he came battling into the world in November 1998, his birth being complicated and difficult, and having to be taken immediately to an intensive care unit.  As Adam wrote just over a week ago, in a blog post celebrating Isaac’s 23rd birthday,

“Although I don’t think you can ever be ready for the impact that becoming a parent has on your life we certainly weren’t expecting what we got- serious unknown genetic illness, frequent hospitalisation in his early years, deafness, serious learning difficulties, bone marrow transplants, operations and much more.”

Adam never wanted you to feel sorry for him and his family for the fact that Isaac suffered many illnesses throughout his childhood.  He never shied away from the seriousness of his son’s circumstances but at the same time he, and the rest of the family, made sure Isaac was always involved in every way possible in everyday activities.  It was a genuine joy to see the regular updates and photos on Facebook in which the four of them were out and about doing something or other that was not only making them happy, but putting a smile on the faces of the hundreds of friends.

The threat of COVID was a serious one given that Isaac’s immune system was, to all intent and purposes, non-existent.  The family made sure every possible precaution was taken at all times, never ever mingling in any sort of indoor social gathering.  Isaac was shielded from strangers, understandably so, and it was sad and personally disappointing that I was unable to meet him and say hello during that trip down to Manchester at the beginning of last month. Adam did come along, making a huge effort when he had a heavy workload to deal with, and met up with myself and Aldo, doing so at an outdoor venue so that, again, any potential risk of infections being passed on to Isaac was minimised.  Much of the chat over a few drinks was  about how the family were doing and how they all were adjusting to Issac’s 18-year-old sister having moved recently to Liverpool to begin university, proudly following in the footsteps of her dad a generation ago.

Isaac celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday 23 November because, as Adam wrote on his blog, Isaac loves a birthday and Isaac loves a party.

The following day, Isaac tested positive for COVID.  Adam said it wasn’t good in that Isaac was unwell, coughing, with a temperature, and he was grumpy.  The course of action was to put him on emergency antibiotics with the hope they would work and keep him out of hospital.

Somehow, Adam found the time and the strength to give me updates on a daily basis.  The first 24 hours saw no change, but things weren’t getting any worse with the family doing their very best to nurse him through the illness.  Things, however, took a turn for the worse at the weekend, and with concerns about his oxygen levels, Isaac was taken by ambulance to hospital last Saturday evening.

The best possible medical care and attention was provided, but sadly and tragically, Isaac passed away in hospital on Tuesday 30 November, surrounded by his family.

There have, over the past fifteen years or so, been a number of incredibly sad and tragic events affecting people who are part of what I believe is a wide and inclusive TVV community. The sympathies expressed on all occasions have been wide-ranging and heartfelt, and I know, from personal experience, that they have been a great source of comfort.

Today is another of those very sad occasions when words, at the moment, aren’t enough.  Very few of us can begin to imagine what Adam and his family are going through right now.  It is something no parent ever wants to contemplate, far less have to face up to.

Isaac was an incredible and wonderful human being, who gave as much love back as he received.  He’ll be missed, but he’ll never be forgotten.  R.I.P.

mp3: Kirsty MacColl – Days



Life, like the video for The Shop Assistants Safety Net, can be a tad blurry around the edges. Now, you might be excused for thinking that this post would be a) about The Shop Assistants or b) about the fantastic pop song Safety Net. I think it fair to say both get but a cursory glance as I attempt, perhaps improbably, to argue TVV as my safety net or more accurately one of my safety nets.

It was many years ago a friend urged me to read TVV and I did. I did so sporadically as life then was more than a little tense. Every now and then I’d poke my nose in and be: transfixed by articles about bands/artists that I had thought most (including myself) had forgotten about; curious of band/artist I had never heard of but probably (based on the article) should have known and liked; and in admiration of numerous articles and ICAs crafted with such care they could have made a respected NME journalist blush with embarrassment.

I’m a clinically diagnosed depressive. Yes. That was an extremely clumsy admission but I just couldn’t find a less clumsy way of stating it. I’ve lived under the cloud since my pre-teen days and have survived the slalom of suicide attempts, suicidal ideation and self-harm; considerably longer than I ever expected … here I am, still. So, what in the name of the wee man has this to do with TVV? Good question.

At a particularly low ebb I began to delve into TVV on a more regular basis. The world, it felt, was falling out from under me and I needed something to tether me, something to offer the slightest chink of positivity on the darkest of days. The details of this issue I won’t go into but, suffice to say, someone attempting to kill you and your partner because you’re gay (as well as a long-standing campaign of other hateful, harmful acts) does, I would argue, have a tendency to put a dampener on things … hello, 21st century! During this time TVV was something of a lifeline. A wonderful distraction that informed and entertained in equal measure but, most importantly, distracted.

A previous foray (some years earlier) into the world of social media and forums (specifically to do with music) had left me despondent and on one infamous occasion, in tears, as my character (for reasons that I have never been able to determine) was mercilessly assassinated online, by a stranger. I wouldn’t ever describe myself as a fragile person but I guess, at times, we all can have our moments. Following this, I stopped using any form of social media. I still don’t use any … except TVV.

Most days I take a peek at TVV and remain in awe of the work that goes into the blog; the thought, the planning, the writing … it seems very much to this bystander to be a full-time job and a job that others too are appreciative of.

It’s a testament to JC, and others that contribute and use the blog, that differences of opinion (never, as far as I have read) descend into personalised diatribes or attacks. Of course, there are differences of opinion, but these seemed to be accepted or responded to through kind, often comedic, retorts.

It can be all too easy to criticize something that I don’t like but I do always try to balance any criticism with positive reinforcement, where appropriate. Sometimes it’s important to let someone know just what a splendid, positive impact they’re having and that’s the point of this comment. JC has provided me with a safety net, a little oasis of calm, and for as long as the blog is here, I’ll pop in, smile, nod approvingly, or, on occasion, disagree with a certain this or that. It’s also important to doff my cap to the friend (you know who you are) who has, through their recommendation, provided the best possible medicine for what ills me.

I have posted this article anonymously on TVV not because I’m in any way ashamed of my illness … I’m absolutely not and speak about it openly with those I know… but because I have no social media footprint and wish to keep it so.

mp3: Shop Assistants – Safety Net
mp3: The Hidden Cameras – Lollipop
mp3: Magnetic Fields – I Thought You Were My Boyfriend


JC adds……

The above words came in via the TVV e-mail address, so I know who the author is. I was humbled by the contents of the e-mail and it led to an exchange of correspondence, the result of which brought the three tunes and the image at the head of the posting.

I’ve mentioned this before on numerous occasions. It’s the sense of community that keeps me going on those days when I wonder if I can be bothered after all these years when I feel I have not much left to say that hasn’t already been said. It’s an undeniable fact that this place is all the better from the guest contributions, whether it be from postings and/or the contributions via the ‘Comments’ section.

There was one occasion in the past when a group of us, at my behest, got it very wrong in terms of a response to a posting in connection with a band that wasn’t to my taste. It caused a bit of hurt as the intended humour behind the responses backfired badly – thankfully, the very heartfelt and sheepish apology later offered back was accepted, but I still cringe when I think about it. It was a lesson learned and never since forgotten, and very much a one-off mistake during the past 14 years.

It’s heartening to learn that TVV is doing some good for at least one person out there. That alone, I would say, is enough to inspire all of us.


Ach, I know the title is completely OTT in terms of what is on offer today.  I hope I haven’t disappointed too many of you.

The idea is to pull together all the bits of music on 7″ vinyl that I have sitting in the cupboard which originally came courtesy of being given away free with copies of music papers. Six EPs on offer with a fair bit of hissing, skipping and popping given the age of the plastic and the fact they were fairly lo-fi recordings to begin with, not to mention they have all been picked up second hand, often via charity shops) but there’s a few things worth a few minutes of your time. There’s also a few for which I unreservedly apologise (especially The Cult, and Simply Red):-

1. Drastic Plastic: NME GIV2 (1985)

A1: The Style Council – My Ever Changing Moods (live in Liverpool)
A2: Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Forest Fire (live in London)
B1: The Robert Cray Band – Bad Influence (live in Chicago)
B2: Prefab Sprout – Real Life (Just Around The Corner)

2. Fourplay: NME GIV4 (1986)

A1: Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Uncomplicated (NME Version)
A2: Billy Bragg – Honey, I’m A Big Boy Now (NME Version)
B1: Mantronix – Hardcore Hip Hop (NME Version)
B2: Miles Davis – Splatch

3. Sounds Waves 3 (1988)

A1: The Sugarcubes – Motor Crash
A2: The Wedding Present – Go Out And Get ‘Em Boy (live at the Reading Majestic)
B1: The Pixies – Down To The Well
B2: The Pixies – Rock A My Soul
B3: The Pogues – Kitty (live at Glasgow Barrowlands)

(all tracks EXCLUSIVE to Sounds)

4. Sounds Showcase 1 (1987)

A1: The Cult – Outlaw
A2: The Fall – Hey! Luciani (original version)
B1: The Adult Net – Spin This Web
B2: The Go-Betweens – I Just Get Caught Out*

*different version than would appear later on Tallulah

5. The Hit Red Hot EP (1985)

A1: The Style Council – Walls Come Tumbling Down (live at Manchester Apollo)
A2: The Jesus and Mary Chain – Taste of Cindy
B1: Redskins – Kick Over The Statues (The Ramsey McKinnock Mix)
B2: Simply Red – Every Bit Of Me

(I have absolutely no recollection of The Hit as a publication and there’s no real info out there on t’internet. This EP seems to have been given away with Issue #1 in September 1985, the JAMC and Redskins tracks are labelled as ‘exclusive new studio recordings’ and the Simply Red song is a ‘limited edition studio recording’ – whatever that means!)

6. RM Four Track Solid EP (1986)

A1: New Order – Sub-Culture (exclusive remix)
A2: Raymonde – Jennifer Wants (exclusive track)
A3: Hipsway – Bad Thing Longing
A4: Adventures – Walk Away Renee (specially recorded for rm)

RM was a re-branded and re-launched of the long-running weekly paper, Record Mirror. This particular version of Sub-Culture, which was remixed by John Robie, to the best of my knowledge has only ever been made available on this particular piece of vinyl. It’s over seven minutes long and it’s a good one………

All this on the day the old blog first appeared 14 years ago.



I mentioned in a bonus posting last Saturday that I was now making a weekly contribution to a download-only publication being produced by Raith Rovers FC.  Here’s my 500(ish) words that were published today:-

“The initial idea behind this part of the Rovers Bulletin was for it to be of a light-hearted nature.

The plan, agreed with our esteemed editor, was to come up with five song titles that had some sort of link to a topical theme, but in a way that hopefully amused readers and maybe even raised the occasional laugh. Even last week’s extended list of ten songs which were to do with antics of Dominic Cummings had a hint of satire behind the anger and frustration, but to try the same again this week would be futile and would demean the events of the past couple of weeks in America.

Protest songs have been part of the fabric of society for decades. Many of the best-known songs were written in response to issues and events that have faced the black communities across America. The famous and brilliant jazz singer, Billie Holliday, recorded ‘Strange Fruit’ as long ago as 1939 as a protest about the lynchings carried out by the Klu Klux Klan – anger in songs around ‘Black Lives Matter’ is not, I’m sad to say, a new thing.

It’s something of an impossible task to just pick out five songs that seem to best capture all that’s happening. Indeed, such has been the continued anger of young Americans of all colours about repeated injustices in recent years that even the most basic of on-line searches throws up the best part of 100 new songs, most of them being rap or hip-hop, whose messages are direct, angry, and to the point.

My suggestion for this week’s ‘Music for our Times’ is that you go online – you honestly won’t have to dig too deep. A small word of warning for the easily offended – the ‘f’ word is a frequent occurrence.

I don’t think I’m being controversial by suggesting Donald Trump hasn’t helped things. A man who would, as the cliche goes, start a fight in an empty house. There’s plenty of songs that have been written in recent years that are critical of him and his actions and I’m thinking a few more are being penned right now. The first three on this week’s list, however, are from years back and aren’t about him, but the titles fit the bill.  The final two are recent efforts:-

American Idiot – Green Day

The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum – Fun Boy Three

You’ve No Clue Do You – King Creosote

Demagogue – Franz Ferdinand

FDT – YG and Nipsey Hustle

The fifth song? DT are the initials of the president. You can guess what the F stands for.

I’ll leave you this week with some lyrics written by Prince, a native of Minneapolis on whose streets George Floyd was horrifically murdered. They are taken from the song ‘Baltimore’ which he wrote in 2015 as his response to the unrest in that city over the police custody death of Freddie Gray.

‘If there ain’t no justice, then there ain’t no peace.’

Five years on, and his words have never rung more true.”

mp3 : Prince – Baltimore

PS: Here’s a link should you want to download the entire bulletin. Click here

PPS: One of my earlier offerings to the Rovers Bulletin formed part of a guest posting that I was involved in earlier this week. 

I’m hoping most of you will have seen it already, but if not, please click here and you’ll be taken to the magical world of Rol’s Top Tens, and in particular, last Thursday.



It’s been a long while since my football team was last in action – Saturday 7 March to be precise – and the pre-match playlist that day was curated especially to reflect that we were using the occasion to acknowledge International Womens’ Day.

Despite the fact we have had no games – home or away – the creative talents behind the match programme have been producing a weekly bulletin to download or read online, with important updates and information from the manager, players, and directors.

There’s also been a few things to keep fans occupied or entertained such as a look back at past games, anagrams that are Rovers related, themed quizzes and, for younger readers, a page in which you can colour-in a photo of a current player.

My weekly contribution has been a column entitled ‘Music for Our Times’ with five songs picked out to reflect a theme. The initial efforts were linked to football but then I began to focus on the lockdown itself, including the role played by emergency workers, the advice being provided to us by scientists, and the desire of everyone to have things return to normal. But, just in case it was getting too serious for everyone, I then did five songs about barbers/hairdressers!

This week’s bulletin was published today. My piece was submitted last Tuesday. I have to stay within a limit of 500 words. Here’s what has been printed.

There’s been one story dominating the headlines this week. Here’s a bumper edition of Music for Our Times.

1. No Regrets – Robbie Williams

A hit single back in 1999, lifted from the album ‘The Ego Has Landed’

2. Driving In My Car – Madness

The Nutty Boys from Camden, London took this all the way to #4 in the charts back in1982. It would later, in 2010, be included on the re-release of the album ‘The Rise and Fall’.

3. Get Outta London – Aztec Camera

A ballad that you can find on the 1990 album ‘Stray’. The words in the chorus are somewhat appropriate to this week’s theme:

“Get outta London, while the getting’s good,

Get outta London, while I know I could”

4. Durham Town – Roger Whittaker

An easy-listening number from 1969. It is actually about taking leave of the north-east, but when you think about it, you can only get away from somewhere if you’ve actually been there in the first place.

5. Hit The Road Jack! – Ray Charles

Feel free to join in with the next line of this one from way back in 1962:

‘And don’t you come back no more……’

6. Unbelievable – EMF

Jumping forward now to 1990 and the catchy debut single from a London dance-rock band that went all the way to #3:

“The things, you say,

Your purple prose just gives you away,

The things, you say,

You’re unbelievable”

7. Brassneck – The Wedding Present

The Wedding Present, from Leeds, have been part of the indie-music scene in the UK since 1986. Graeme Ramsay, who was a member of the band between 2006 and 2012, is a Raith Rovers fan. This particular song dates back to 1990. It has the chorus of “I just decided I don’t trust you anymore.”

8. Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)- James

Another band that has been around for decades, and who enjoyed huge success in the 90s playing gigs and arenas all across the UK and Europe. This particular single came along a little bit later, in 2001, and it reached #22.

9. Gimme Some Truth – John Lennon

A song from 1971 that expresses frustration with deceptive politicians and hypocrisy.

10. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Elton John

“It’s sad, so sad (so sad) ,It’s a sad, sad situation, And it’s getting more and more absurd”

As the Rovers Review Bulletin is a publication read by folk of all ages, I couldn’t include the song above all others that sums things up. Sweary words warning:

mp3: Jarvis – Running The World

He’s right, you know.

PS: Here’s a link should you want to download the bulletin. Click here



Two weeks have passed since the bloke who yesterday brought you the Mogwai ICA launched his latest venture.

Mixtape at The Admiral, as I said at the time, is designed as a sound track in the bar with the option for some late night dancing or clubbing for people who don’t like clubs. 🎧

The playlist covers Indie, Electro, Disco, Post Rock , New Wave , House, Soul, New Romantic, Mod, Pop, Punk, C86 and anything else that sounds good.

The first night went reasonably well. A few of Robert’s friends dropped in to wish the venture well while Aldo and Micky of my mob came by later on, absolutely hammered following a long day at the Paisley Beer Festival, to add their support and make requests for songs.

All in all, it was a really enjoyable night; I’d like to think that with this set-list, the music lived up to the pre-event hype:-

Amor – Paradise
Can – One More Night
LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police
Yazoo – Don’t Go
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Dons Vos Airs
Saint Etienne – Dive
Hot Chip – Ready For The Floor
The Just Brothers – Sliced Tomatoes
Stevie Wonder – Uptight
The Avalanches – Subways
Soul to Soul – Keep On Moving
The Elgins – Heaven Must Have Sent You
Shirley Ellis – Soul Time
Cornershop – Good Shit
Pixies – Gigantic
Soft Cell – What?
The Fall – No Bulbs
Arab Strap – The Shy Retirer
Visage – Fade To Grey
Talk Talk – Today
The Divine Comedy – Something For The Weekend
King Biscuit Time -I Walk The Earth
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
Supremes – Stoned Love
Camellia Hartman – Return The Favour
N.F. Porter – Keep On Keeping On
Primal Scream – Revenge of the Hammond Connection
Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
Echo & the Bunnymen – Never Stop
Dan Le Sac & Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Ladytron – Ghosts
LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Ce’ceil – Rude Boy Thug Life
Four Tet – As Serious As Life
TC 95 – Funky Guitar
Evelyn King – I’m In love
Xander Harris – We Smoke The Northern Lights
Mogwai – Party In The Dark
James – What’s The World
Tom Vek – I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes
Dead Kennedys – California Uber Alles
Franz Ferdinand – Michael
The Divine Comedy – Gin Soaked Boy
The Ronettes – Be My Baby
The Velvet Underground – Rock and Roll
Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand
Stereolab – French Disko
The Popguns – Waiting for the Winter
The Brilliant Corners – Delilah Sands
The B52s – Roam
The Divine Comedy – How Can You Leave Me On My Own?
Roxy Music – Do The Strand
Sacred Paws – Strike A Match
Super Furry Animals – Juxtaposed With U
Teenage Fanclub – Sparky’s Dream
Beastie Boys – Start!
The Specials – Friday Night Saturday Morning

Neither of us had any idea of what song would come on after the last one…we really did wing it the whole time, but the proliferation of Divine Comedy songs will indicate there was a big fan of theirs in the house (hi Lesley!!!) and we were delighted to take her requests.

For a first night, it went well enough, although I know Robert is already turning his mind as to how things can be made better next time around which is in two weeks time on Friday 25 May.

Here’s three of the tunes I aired…just to demonstrate that I’m hopefully not a one-trick pony:-

mp3 : Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
mp3 : The Ronettes – Be My Baby
mp3 : Beastie Boys – Start!



The times, they really are a-changin’

From The Guardian:-

The NME is to cease publication in print after 66 years, the weekly music title joining a growing list of once mighty magazine brands that now only exist online.

The website will continue, replacing the print edition’s cover star interview with a new weekly digital franchise, The Big Read.

The NME will continue to keep a sporadic presence in print with special issues such as its paid-for series NME Gold, to cater for music stars’ appetite for appearing in a printed product.

In 2015, the magazine stopped being a paid title after a decade of sales declines saw its circulation drop to just 15,000. It relaunched as an ad-funded, free title with a circulation of 300,000 in a last throw of the strategic dice for the print edition.

“Our move to free print has helped propel the brand to its biggest ever audience on,” said Paul Cheal, the UK group managing director, music, at NME publisher Time Inc. “We have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

Time Inc UK is consulting with the NME’s 23 editorial and commercial staff about possible redundancies.

NME, which has been printed weekly since 1952, managed to make money as a brand overall through spin-off activities such as awards and events.

“NME will also be exploring other opportunities to bring its best-in-class music journalism to market in print,” Time Inc UK said.

The closure of the weekly comes a week after Time Inc UK, which also publishes titles including Marie Claire and Country Life, was sold to private equity group Epiris in a £130m deal.

Epiris had been expected to sell or restructure a number of titles – the company said it wanted to bring “clarity and simplicity” to the magazine portfolio – with the print edition of NME known to have been loss-making for a number of years.

“Our global digital audience has almost doubled over the past two years,” said Keith Walker, the digital director of NME. “By making the digital platforms our core focus we can accelerate the amazing growth we’ve seen and reach more people than ever before on the devices they’re most naturally using.”

In October, Condé Nast, the publisher of Glamour magazine, shocked the market announcing that the UK’s 10th biggest magazine would stop printing monthly. Instead, it is focussing on a digital-first strategy with a print edition just twice a year.

It’s been a very long while since I was really interested in what the NME was saying, but there’s no denying it had a huge influence on the development and expansion of my listening habits in my formative and later years..

mp3 : Thee Headcoates – (We Hate the Fuckin’) NME



It’s just after 5pm on Thursday night and having just got in from work I’ve had the chance to look at the blog’s Inbox. There’s an e-mail arrived earlier at 11.16am from Tim Badger….except it wasn’t. It was from Lorna, his wife.

The contents of the e-mail reduced me to tears as the words were incredibly personal and went into some detail about events and happenings of more than 20 years ago that brought Tim and Lorna together. It also reflected on something else that happened recently that was incredibly stressful for them and was the beginning of a chain of events that led to the sudden ending of WYCRA.

Those of you who were fans of what was by far the best blog on the planet will know that Tim and Lorna have had a rough time of things this past 12 months or so, experiencing a collective pain that very few of us can begin to imagine. They’ve both also separately spent time in hospital recovering from injuries and illnesses during which they demonstrated courage and bravery that would certainly be beyond me. And all the while, they, along with SWC and KC, provided us with a daily dose of entertainment that in equal measures made us smile, cry, grimace and occasionally think that blokes can be twats.

I know I’m not alone in thinking that everyone involved in WYRCA, including the boys’ better halfs, can be considered as close friends, the type who you really care about, which is why there was a real cause for concern that it disappeared without warning.

It turns out that Tim and Lorna have decided that they need to get away and relax for a bit and so, in less than 48 hours, are off to Brisbane, Australia to visit relatives for a few months. When Tim broke this news to SWC, the latter was stuck at Istanbul airport waiting for a late flight. SWC’s reaction was that the blog had to come to an end as he didn’t want to write it without Tim being involved. It was SWC’s idea to delete it. And here he is to say why….


WYCRA was Tim’s idea, and I’m not doing it without him. Its as simple as that. I should have perhaps have mentioned it on the blog, but to be entirely honest with you, it was easier to just press delete, far easier than I expected it to be. Tim told me yesterday that we should have responded to the comments on T(n)VV, yeah he’s right, we should have done, sorry. In my defence, I have been in court for three days trying to get some scumbag rapists locked up, but that’s not that important to be honest.

I won the Snakes and Ladders you know, it was close but KC rolled a two at the end and I rolled a six to triumph and in all honesty Square 100 was a massive anti-climax because it was

Urban Futuristic by Pop Will Eat Itself

Oh talking of KC, well here’s some good news. She’s getting married. That obviously was the last chapter in her chronicle. She’s marrying a lovely chap called Dominic. She’s known him for a few years now, she met him at the recycling centre where they argued over a cabinet that they both wanted. I wish I made that up but I didn’t.

This was to be the last song she chose alongside her pieces – please don’t hold that against her.

Run – Snow Patrol

The greatest second album ever was ‘Good Kid M.A.A.D city’ by Kendrick Lamar – it really is as well.

‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst

Swimming Pools (Drank)

The Art of Peer Pressure

I suppose it falls to me to thank everyone – via the medium of JC’s blog for all the comments, good and bad, for bearing with us, for reading, laughing, sharing, and all that. I suppose I’ll be back typing at some point. I mean I’ve got two more boxes of CD’s in the loft that need opening.

Take Care everyone everywhere

SWC, KC and the Badgers


JC adds……

I’ve put this together as quickly as I could and I’m also going to leave it at the top of T(n)VV for a few days so that as many folk as possible see it. I’m going to take a few days off and will return on Tuesday 1st August.

I do hope SWC is as good as his word and comes back here with some guest postings when he gets the inclination.

I want to pass on my warmest congrats to KC and Dominic and to wish them well for a long and happy future together. I also hope KC gets an urge to keep on writing as there will always be a place for her in this little corner of the internet.

Above all else, I want to wish Lorna and Tim a safe flight to Brisbane – the city that spawned The Go-Betweens and is on my bucket list of places to see – along with a very happy and relaxing few months putting everything back together.

I’ve a glass of wine by my side and I’m raising it……to WYRCA. Thanks guys for everything.

PS : SWC won the Snakes & Ladders? I can only imagine the celebrations that ensued………………


I woke up to the numbing news about the atrocity following the Ariana Grande gig at the Manchester Arena last night.

Offering opinions about music seems so trivial right now and on the way into work I was making plans to close T(n)VV for a few days as I didn’t feel in the mood for any of it, including popping in and out of the other places I try and visit on a regular basis.

But then I thought to myself that such a gesture, small and insignificant it might be, only helps those who carried out this shameful attack on young, happy and carefree music fans.  So this blog is carrying on as normal with the posts that are scheduled over the coming days appearing at the usual times – there’s even a couple of bonus posts in the shape of gig reviews today and tomorrow.

For now, and with thanks to a non-musical mate called John Egan for the inspiration, this is for everyone affected by last night, including every resident of that fantastic city and its surroundings:-



It all starts a bit unusual on the Saturday with myself, Walter, Dirk, Brian, Adam and Drew walking through the town in the direction of Mono. We get there are but it’s not yet open so we wait outside watching the Germans enjoying yet another smoke. CC’s cheery face appears unexpectedly as the doors open and in we go desperate for teas and coffees to take the edge off things. It’s Hangover City.

We gather collectively round a table but not for long as Brian makes a bee-line to flick through the vinyl in a scene that was so reminiscent of High Fidelity. Except there were no cute singer-songwriters and the shop staff were wonderfully helpful, friendly and far from judgemental. The piss taking continued as the caffeine kicked-in with things going up a notch as another pop star wandered in and said hello. Brian’s face when he spotted Stephen Pastel will live long in the memory.

T-shirts, books and vinyl were handed over to the visitors as gifts and thank yous where they were crammed into bags alongside the essential purchases by all and sundry. Back into drinking mode except for Drew who only wanted Irn Bru and Brian who just wanted a bed to lie down in and dream.

Tales of Drew’s scooter days out were told in which Buckfast and Chinese punks featured heavily while Adam talked of weekenders in Blackpool where the entire luggage consisted of a toothbrush and two E’s. Brian continued to pine for a bed in which to lie down and dream.

We then split into two with the tricycle boy leading some out to his native Airdrie for the football and others went out looking for a beer garden with decent scenery and better lager than Tennent’s. A good time was had by all although my own state of mind was partly ruined by the Hibbees.

We all hooked up again in the evening at the Bon Accord where Aldo was waiting and strangeways would come along later. After 24 hours, Drew’s accent was now beginning to be partly understood and so everyone laughed as he told of Brian’s confusion on how to eat a mince pie while watching the game. Dirk mused on why the women in the beer garden had all looked like models and Walter wondered whether he had taken the wrong decision earlier. Brian still just wanted a bed in which to lie down and dream.

We went next to The Griffin where Stiff, Tank and William were waiting as yet more drink was taken and more pish was spoken. Morrissey, Mark E Smith and Phil Ramone were still getting slated. Brian saw some Irn Bru behind the counter and declared it the drink of the devil. The joys of drinking far too much after an 18 hour plane journey and no sleep had clearly turned him insane.

It was soon time for CC to take his leave at which point Brian also decided to realise his day-long ambition of a bed in which to lie down and dream. The rest of us went to Sleazy’s where we found a booth in which we could just sit and take everything in. The lights, the sounds, the décor and the beautiful young people out for the long haul. Same story as Friday – lots of hugging, lots of dancing of sorts etc. etc.

After a while Drew had to head back home and so began the first of the big sad cheerios. More drinking, more dancing of sorts and then outside together to head our separate ways. The Germans though had other ideas and after a quick smoke went back in for a final hurrah while the rest of us sought out taxis and the likes.

On Sunday I went in to make sure everyone still left in town could get to the airport on time which just left the bold Brian who was now fully recovered and refreshed after his much needed bed to lie down in and dream. There’s stories to be told from the rest of the day but they’re more suited to a Coldplay song than one by the Strap.

We met up for the weekend, it lasted for ever; got high with our friends; it was officially summer.

77,000 steps in four days said the app on the phone.  I got myself some sleep eventually on Sunday night after seeing the Blue Jays sneak an unexpected win. It was the perfect end to a perfect gathering. Meeting up soon with Aldo to recall the memories and smile about it all. Drink could well be involved.

mp3 : Arab Strap – The First Big Peel Thing (Peel Session, 25 March 1997)




So that was the first big bloggers weekend of the summer.

Starts Thursday as usual with Brian and Walter jetting in from the ‘Dam although Seattle and Frankfurt had been the departure points. I try to do my sound bloke routine by going in with them in the taxi and then spending the afternoon and evening being a genial host. I’m glad I bothered. We did lunch in the Griffin, some culture, some drinking and a hurl on the Glasgow subway. Ended up in the Pot Still chatting to Canucks, death metal bikers from Stockholm and posh folk from the RSNO. Before long it was Friday….

From Rhine Town to  Rain Town, Dirk flew in to be met by CC  and soon we all hooked up to head out west via The Variety and The Arlington where we were joined by Comrade Colin. I was wearing my Ponderosa Aces t-shirt so in some ways Jonny the Friendly Lawyer was also part of the entourage. The sun was blazing down and so we set sail for the Kelvin and outdoor drinking at Inn Deep amongst the students, hipsters and trendies. Why is it these places only serve the worst vodkas? There was no problem getting in but there were no seats available so we stood on the walkway leaning on the fence watching people come and go. This turned out to be sound as we soon spotted Ken from The Bluebells who was kind enough to pose for a photo with Brian before he flogged us CDs of this new band he’s working with called Pronto Mama.

Before long it was off to the Hug and Pint where Drew came in and immediately confused the German boys with his Lanarkshire guttural although they knew right away he was very sound and very funny. Or maybe they were just being polite. The next wee surprise was David from Kid Canaveral dropping by as he was playing there that night as the support act and he too posed for a photo with Brian as well as giving him some lovely vinyl. There was a long haul back into town to Sleazy’s where Aldo had hotfooted it straight from work. By now the lack of food was taking its toll so some crisps were bought and shared although the drink still flowed very freely.

A few changes of clothing ensued with Dirk now resplendent in yet another magnificent Clash t-shirt sourced in Japan worn underneath the coolest of leather jackets. Joey Ramone eat your heart out. We sat down in Tut’s, drinking ourselves even sillier and stuffing our faces with burgers and pizzas. All except Colin who of course had to be all bourgeoisie and have the beetroot falafel….mmmmmm dead tasty. Adam got in just after 8 and so the gathering was finally complete. Beers, wines, vodkas and peach schnapps were ordered and consumed but we decided to bail out before the 350 teenagers upstairs watching Seafret came back to cram us out.

CC went home but the rest of us hit the State Bar where Dirk’s jacket drew admiring glances from the ladies and in one case a sneaky caress. By this time there was some amount of pish being talked but it only added to the fun. We decided Moz and Mark E Smith were bigger tossers than Phil Ramone but it was a close run thing. At midnight it was time to go home.

But unknown to the rest of us, four of the gang went back to Sleazy’s where I’m not sure what happened as I wasn’t there and the others can’t remember. Before long it was Saturday…………

mp3 : Arab Strap – The First Big Weekend

(More to come later today)



It’s been around 10 days since I last spent any time on this blog and it might well be about another 10 days before I can devote any real time to it again. But hey, there’s the very best of reasons why this is the case.

I initially met a golfing buddy who was over here from Canada before gearing myself up for an unforgettable weekend in which I took in three gigs in two days as well as……………………


Yup. I met Jonny the Friendly Lawyer aka Jonny Bottoms, the bassist with The Ponderosa Aces. I never imagined that anything could possibly top seeing Butcher Boy play a gig for the first time in four years but just 24 hours after that particularly momentous occasion I had the joy, honour and privilege of meeting one of the oldest friends of this blog. It was an amazing few hours that flew in far too quickly and is something I’ll return to in more detail in due course. Oh and I’ll also make time to review his band, as well as the gigs the previous day by the aforementioned Butcher Boy as well as TeenCanteen who also played a set in Glasgow as part of the celebrations of Record Store Day 2017.

The reason I’m holding off is the fact that in 72 hours time, I’ll be hooking up with more friends of this parish when Adam (Bagging Area), Brian (Linear Track Lives), Dirk (Sexy Loser) and Walter (A Few Good Times In My Life) begin to arrive in Glasgow where myself, Drew (Across The Kitchen Table) and Stevie (Charity Chic), supported by other friends of our respective blogs such as Aldo, Jacques the Kipper, Comrade Colin and Strangeways will be hooking up in Glasgow over a long weekend after Dirk decided a few months back that it would be a great idea.

I know a few others had been hopeful of making it along but logistics and other issues made it impossible on this occasion. But I’m 100% certain that Glasgow 2017 won’t be the last effort to get a group of like-minded souls together.  Spending a few hours with Jonny has not only more than whetted my appetite for this coming weekend but made me really determined to hook up with many others at some point in the future. There’s something very special about the people who frequent this little corner of the internet and its associated partners and on the basis of past experiences when the blogging mate finally gets to shake a hand a give a hug, then I know this coming weekend is going to be truly special, memorable and worth writing about.

I met Jonny in the company of a long-time mate, Ian, and it was interesting that he said to me afterwards that anyone looking at and listening to us in the Manchester pub would have never believed we had only just linked up in person for the first time given how natural and relaxed we were with one another. That’s actually been true of every blogging mate I’ve been lucky enough to meet over the years and I am hyper-excited at the idea of seeing Adam, Dirk, Walter and indeed Stevie for the first ever time (although in the case of the latter we know we’ve been in the same audience at gigs and so we might meet up and recognise one another) and a reunion with Brian who I met for a very short while back in 2012 when he came to Glasgow especially to see Big Country.

I’m almost 54 years of age and I feel like a kid in the last few days before Christmas, including an inability to sleep properly!!

mp3 : The Lemonheads – It’s About Time



Folks, how was your weekend?

I certainly hope it was bit less stressful and worrying than it was for my young brother SC, a long-time friend of this blog who pops in every day and leaves the occasional comment – especially when I’ve said something nice about Simple Minds.

The photo above was taken by SC on Saturday afternoon as he and his family (including the dog) were hurriedly evacuating their home not far from Orlando, Florida as a brush fire closed in very suddenly. It was a fire that, at its height, covered 165 acres – and an acre is the size of your average football pitch – so it was a big and dangerous motherfucker.

SC’s home was in serious danger of being burned to the ground, thus the urgent evacuation. The flames got to within 15 feet of the property but thanks to the skills and talents of the Seminole County firefighters, and the deployment of helicopters to pour down huge amounts of water from a great height, the danger was narrowly averted

SC was out of his home for nearly 24 hours before being allowed to return. He tells me, unsurprisingly, that there is very severe smoke damage to the house while it took a pounding from the water that was being dropped from the chopper – his solar panels are goosed while ash from the flames has created holes in the roof. And that’s just for starters.  The clean-up will take months and a lot of dollars.

The cause of the fire will be investigated but it is possible it was caused by a discarded cigarette that set flame to a grassy wooded area that was bone dry from months of no rain. Words fail me that someone could be so careless.

But the purpose of this additional post is just to say a huge thanks to the brave men and women who tackled the blaze over the weekend – and indeed are still on-site as 48 hours on it is still only 90-95% under control – and indeed for the public service they put in each and every single day of the year.




I’ve just upgraded to a paid plan with the lot who host this little corner of the internet.

The main thing that you should notice is no more adverts when you visit the site and read the posts.

The domain name has now changed to but you should still get here if you use the old address of

All part of what I hope will be an improved look and feel to the blog in the coming months.



Sorry for the lack of a posting today.  Been a bit busy at work and things on over a few evenings recently that I couldn’t quite keep on top of things.

I’ve been in Birmingham today on work stuff and will soon be boarding a train back to Glasgow, during which time I will do a bit of catching up including posts for the rest of the week and hopefully reading and enjoying all the stuff that other bloggers have been posting at their place.

Just one thing to add.  Was lucky enough to see The Pixies at Glasgow Barrowlands last Friday.  They were, as the saying goes, the dog’s bollocks.

Late addendum at 11pm

I got reasonably near the front at one point last week….