Monday, 25 August 2014

Volcanic Tongue shop R.I.P.


On each of the last two nights I walked along Argyle St. past the entrance to The Hidden Lane.  Both times I felt a surge of sadness that Volcanic Tongue's shop has now closed its doors for the last time.  The news came on Thursday.  Ten years is a good run for a record shop these days but its closing still gave me a jolt of shock.  I went there for the final time last Saturday to (finally - sorry!) pick up the Smoke Jaguar cd-rs that they have aside for me but it was closed so it now feels as if I have unfinished business; that I didn't get to say goodbye.  Happily, the mailorder continues and will no doubt grow stronger now that some of the funds required to run a bricks and mortar shop will be available to buy more stock.  Volcanic Tongue was always more than a record shop.  It was a cultural institution and a focal point for Glaswegian music obsessives with open minds.  I always felt proud that it was based here and the city was most definitely enriched by having it.   It also provided a reason for bands to come to Glasgow and a welcoming space in which they could play.  The in-store events that I attended birthed some of my most cherished memories of the last few years.  Undoubtedly, the Mad Nanna show was the highlight but the last show, Chalaque / Smoke Jaguar / Des McKenna, was a complete and utter blast that still has me smiling whenever I think of it.  Sure I'll miss the browsing and the gigs but above all I'll miss the passion of the shop's proprietors David Keenan and Heather Leigh Murray and their definitive, thought-through and brilliantly-expressed stances on music, films and art and books and their hilarious/scandalous stories (especially the allotment tales!).  Oh, and the recommendations.  They were so on-the-money;  I'll certainly miss them.   Sure, I'll still have the website and the weekly mailout and their inspired descriptions but there's no substitute for someone telling you, all wide-eyed with zeal, why you NEED that Morning and The Sleepy Kids cassette.  Thanks for the memories David and Heather Leigh.  Thanks, too, for putting up with my pathological fear of the bumped corner and mild ringwear.  Oh, and thanks for serving me that time I'd fallen in a gigantic puddle while playing Saturday morning football in Kelvingrove Park and came in caked from head to toe in dry mud looking for all the world like a Terracotta Warrior.  Thanks, above all, for introducing me to Mike Rep, Cheater Slicks, Bassholes and the "pluke spattered teenage wasteland breakdowns"* of Columbus Discount.  I just wish I'd bought more of that stuff from you.  Whenever I BLAST the reissue of this I'll look back on your shop and grin:


Check out the Photo Gallery on Flickr

* - Unquestionably, this Volcanic Tongue description of Cheater Slicks' "Guttural: Live 2010" (Columbus Discount Records CDR-065 LP) is one of the most thrilling pieces of writing about pop music I've ever read:

Fairly amazing and long-time coming live documentation of one of the killingest garage punk primitive rock/roll trios of this or any age, the Cheater Slicks. No one does ugly, pluke spattered teenage wasteland breakdowns with quite as much sass as these three and although evidence of their uniquely greasy live sound has been thin on the ground Columbus Discount have stepped into the fray with the first in a proposed multi-volume series of live jags that catches them in full flight. Cheater Slicks have always been much more than your mere local peddlers of retro kitsch and their reach goes out to everything from classic Texan psych through hunching rockabilly, weepy teenage garage and pre/post Spacemen 3 repeat-riff nirvana. Alla these styles are on display here, with our heroes breaking out some power-crying folk punk in amongst a couple of inspired covers – The Huns “Destination Lonely”, The Modds “Leave My House” – and some great extended bouts of six string savaging. Gimme this and a couple of high ABV US Micros and I’ll never watch a French movie again – that’s a promise! Comes with an insert, recommended!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

An opportunity

Paul Groovy and The Pop Art Experience's "Andy Watch Out!" (Bite Back!) was one of the coolest* singles of the late 80s.  It came to my attention some time in the 2000s when it was the standout track on Topplers Records' "Free See Dee Three" compilation which I claimed (it really was free!) from the counter of Monorail Music.  It took a few years of looking but I eventually managed to get an Ex/Ex copy of the 7" from a German discogs seller.  If I'd waited a bit, however, I could have got an unplayed copy as Paul Groovy himself is selling a 'factory fresh' copy on ebay this week.  I'm guessing he has unearthed a box so if you miss out this week, keep looking as there's sure to be another along soon**.  I took my copy to The Poetry Club last Friday but the right moment to play it never arrived.  Maybe next time.


* - A catchy, clattery DIY 45 recounting the tale of Valerie Solanas's notorious attempt on Andy Warhol's life wrapped in a faux-Warhol sleeve?  Its cool credentials are undeniable!


** - Paul Groovy and The Pop Art Experience's appearance on Cherry Red's deluxe version of C86 has hopefully stoked up some interest in the group so now should be the right to sell 'em!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Poetry Club setlist (15/08/2014)

Last night was terriffic!  Teenage Fanclub eased through a beautiful set in the loveliest of settings.  The Poetry Club afterwards was fun, too.  Here's what I played:
  1. Sandy Posey - Single Girl (MGM)
  2. Maureen Tucker - Around and Around (Trash / Varulven)
  3. Memphis - You Supply The Roses (Swamplands)
  4. Mystic Eyes - I Can't Wait To Love You (Get Hip)
  5. The Groove Farm - Surfin' Into Your Heart (The Subway Organisation)
  6. Myron & E w/ The Soul Investigators - On Broadway (Timmion)
  7. The Striders - There's A Storm Coming (Columbia)
  8. The Palace Guard - Falling Sugar (Orange Empire)
  9. Comet Gain - You Can Hide Your Love Forever (Fortuna Pop)
  10. Crystal Stilts -Through The Floor (Fortuna Pop)
  11. The Shall-I-Say-Quois - It's So Hard To Be Happy (Damaged Goods)
  12. The Youth - I'll Call Your Bluff (State)*
  13. JJ Barnes - Real Humdinger (Tamla-Motown)
  14. Othello Robertson - So In Luv (Outta Sight)
  15. Bettye Swann - Fall In Love With Me (Money)
  16. Lung Leg - Maid To Minx (Southern)
  17. The Mo-dettes - White Mice (Rough Trade)
  18. The Third Booth - I Need Love (Independence 68)
  19. The Paper Dolls - All The Time In The World (Vogue)
  20. Petula Clark - Fancy Dancin' Man (Vogue)
  21. The Magic Kids - Hey Boy (Goner)
  22. The Chills - Heavenly Pop Hit (Slash / London)
  23. Jackie Wilson - Because Of You (Go Ahead)
  24. The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go? (Stateside)
  25. The Gentle Touch - Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy (Kapp)
  26. Mamie Lee - I Can Feel Him Slipping Away (MGM)
  27. 1910 Fruitgum Co. - Goody Goody Gumdrops (Buddah)
  28. Noonday Underground - London (Jonathan Whiskey)
  29. The Chesterfields Kings - She Told Me Lies (Mirror)
  30. The Embrooks - Dawn Breaks Through (Circle)
  31. The Motions - The Same Old Song (Havoc)
  32. Kaleidoscope - Jenny Aritchoke (Fontana)
  33. The Style Council - Shout To The Top (Polydor)
  34. James Fountain - Seven Day Lover (Harmless)
  35. Delores Hall - Good Lovin' Man (Keymen)
Thanks for all the dancing, folks!  It was a total blast to hear The Shall-I-Say-Quois' strident mixing of Jacques Dutronc's "Le Responsable" with The Monkees' "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" at head-wrecking volume:


* Thanks to Mole from State Records for the loan of a test pressing of The Youth 7".  You're a gent, sir!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Mystic Eyes

London's now defunct Minus Zero Records was a total knee-trembler of a shop when I first went there.  At the time Velvet Crush figured big in my life and they seemed to have countless records by Paul Chastain and Ric Menck's side-projects and previous groups such as The Reverbs, The Nines, The Big Maybe etc. for sale.  Unfortunately, I wasn't in possession of the requisite funds to buy them but it was just exciting to see them (see also the records in the hallowed glass case on the wall of the now also gone Intoxica in its heyday).  One 7" I could afford to purchase from Minus Zero was by Buffalo, New York's Mystic Eyes on that beacon of 80s garage goodness, Get Hip Records.  It's one of the strongest two-siders from that decade's garage revival to cross my path with an endearingly romantic (those cute lyrics!) folk-punk stomper on the top side and a seriously twangy tale of a serial heartbreaker getting a dose of his own medicine on the bottom.  Get Hip still has unplayed copies for sale via its ebay store for a devilish $6.66.  Go on...it's what Paypal's for!


a-side: "I Can't Wait To Love You"
(Is this a cover?)


b-side: "Taste Of The Same"
(originally by The Bad Seeds and available on this Sundazed Records ep)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Straight outta Denmark - The Youth

State Records are the truest of true believers in the sounds and ways of the guitar pop world from 1965 to 1969.  Whether it's through the records they release or sell*, there's no doubting where their passions lie. The next installment in their increasingly brilliant run of singles (remember how great that fizzing recent single by The Thanes was?) comes from scorching new Danish group The Youth.  "I'll Call Your Bluff" has a guitar sound to slacken the jaw and a vocal that is completely saturated with feeling, plus, and it's a big plus, you can dance to it.  It's so much more than a faded facsimile of the Euro-beat greats of the past.  It has too much heart for that.  "You've Done Me Wrong" on the reverse has a more overt R&B flavour to it.  It, too, should come in handy for DJs looking to tempt Chelsea boots onto the dancefloor.  The 7" is penciled in for an October release.  Only 500 copies - the first 250 with a numbered postcard - of this colossal 45 are being pressed so pre-ordering is a must.  When the time comes, get on it!



* The discerning record buyer is urged to visit their Mbrooks Mporium ebay store where the first single by The Youth is still in stock. Also still available is The Embrooks' "Jack"  7" on which you'll find their blistering take on The Barrier's "Dawn Breaks Through" which somehow manages to outdo the original for sheer power.  Skeptics are advised to check out this post on the astute Flower Bomb Songs blog to judge for themselves.

Update:
Krister Bladh over at Record Turnover has written some great words on it (and the new Paul Messis single) here. Check it out!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Post-Teenage Fanclub gig shindig at The Poetry Club


(ace flyer by Carrie from The Voidoid Archive)

On August 15th Teenage Fanclub play at the beautifully renovated Kelvingrove Bandstand in Glasgow.  If it's anywhere near as good as Belle & Sebastian's celebratory show there a few weeks ago, it'll be a real highlight of summer 2014.  After the show there's a free shindig at The Poetry Club where filmmaker and former The Jesus & Mary Chain bassist Douglas Hart will be playing some tunes.  It'll be fascinating to hear his selections.  I'll also be making an appearance behind the decks under the wee train.  There's every chance I'll play the Go Ahead reissue - no 'original vinyl only' snobbery from me; I'm no Daddy Warbucks, y'know - of Jackie Wilson's mighty "Because of You":


Come along and dance like a loon.  It'll be better if you're there!

Facebook event page here

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pang "Young Professionals"

Maybe it's because I just got my ears syringed and everything's sounding 67.3% more crisp but Pang's "Young Professionals" (Grazer) sounds more vibrant, more VITAL than almost anything else around at the moment.  They're canny enough to have assimilated the Swiss Rough Trade groups of the late 70s and realised that The Long Blondes were at their best on that 12" for What's Your Rupture?.  Not only is the guitar sound enough to make you throw things - anything!, EVERYTHING! - in the air with delight, but the "On, on, on" backing vocal refrain and the lead singer's screams are the most exquisite pop details of summer 2014.  More Pang, NOW!



(Thanks for the introduction, Mike!)