Thursday 28 December 2023

Some favourites from 2023

Not Unloved only deals in facts (and speculation and hyperbole, of course!) and it's a fact that in 2023 I bought more records than I could possibility assimilate in the what little time there was left after workin' for a livin', going to a crazy number of gigs (it was a GREAT year for live music in Glasgow!), attending football matches, listening to music-related podcasts (hiya That Record Got Me High!) and watching copious videos of "Old men talking about records" (copyright J) on YouTube. The inevitable consequence of this was that lots of brilliant records didn't get enough spins which is madness given how expensive a lot of records are these days. Of course, I'll make a resolution to address this unsustainable situation in 2024 and then break it within a fortnight when the first batch of new releases winks at me from from the "Just In" bins. As ever, the only rule for the lists below was that they were bought on a physical format.

N.B. All titles are links to the various records so please check 'em out if you don't know 'em!

Albums:

The Clientele "I'm Not There Anymore" (Merge)
Linda Smith & Nancy Andrews "A Passing Cloud" (Grapefruit)
The Declining Winter "Really Early, Really Late" (Signal)
Purelink "Signs" (Peak Oil) / Intertoto "Thermal Shadow" (Intertoto)
Hotline TNT "Cartwheel" (Third Man)
Man Rei "Health" (Somewhere Press)
Maxine Funke "River Said" (Disciples)
Yo La Tengo "This Stupid World" (Matador)
TKB "Dream Nightclub" (Where To Now?)
seablite "Lemon Lights" (Mt. St. Mtn.)
Pia Fraus "Evening Colours" (Seksound)
GNAC "The Echoes On The Departure" (Vertical Horizon)
Famous Mammals "Instant Pop Expressionism Now!" (Siltbreeze)

E.P.s/singles:


Tara Clerkin Trio "On The Turning Ground" 12" (Tough Love)
Emilia Sisco with Cold Diamond & Mink "Trouble" 7" (Timmion)
Wet Tuna "PARTY PHONE extended play" 12" (Feral Child)
The Laughing Chimes "The Best of The Laughing Chimes E.P." 7" (Slumberland/Prefect)
The Hazmats "Skewed View" 7" (Static Shock)
Quad 90 "Le Blanc" 12" lathe cut (Last Night From Glasgow)
The Prize "First Sight" 7" (Drunken Sailor)
Rain Parade "Last Rays of a Dying Sun" 7" (090)
Lightheaded "Good Good Great!" cassette (Slumberland)
Wild Billy Childish & CTMF "Traces of You" 7" (Spinout Nuggets)
Chime School "Coming To Your Town" 7" (Slumberland)
Thee Marloes "Midnight Hotline" 7" (Big Crown)
Odd Nosdam "End Is Important" 7" (Where To Now?)

Reissues/Compilations:

Wild Carnation "Tricycle (Remastered/Expanded Edition" 2xlp (Delmore)
Ivy "Apartment Life (25h Anniversary Edition)" lp (Bar/None)
Voices From The Lake "s/t" 4 x12" (Spazio Disponibile)
The Particles "1980s Bubblegum" lp (Chapter Music)
The Woods "So Long Before Now" lp (Dot Matrix)
Shizuka "Heavenly Persona" 2xlp (Black Editions)
Hydroplane "Selected Songs 1997-2003" (World of Echo)
Byard Lancaster "It's Not Up To Us" lp (Superior Viaduct)
Primal Scream "Reverberations (Travelling In Time)"  lp (Young Tiki)
Dolly Mixture "BBC Radio Sessions" lp (Sealed)
Air Miami "Me, Me, Me (Deluxe Edition)" 2xlp (4AD)
Hal Blaine "Psychedelic Percussion" lp (Jackpot)
Experimental Audio Research "The K├Âner Experiment" lp (Space Age Recordings)

One more fact: the most exciting second hand record to find its way into Not Unloved's box of most cherished 45s was this heartfelt slice of  60s Michigan guitar pop:


Haha...looking back on this post it would appear that I was suffering from temporary amnesia. There are so many wonderful records that I didn't recall in the moment. Sigh.

Friday 8 December 2023

Mix for Linda Smith & Nancy Andrews / GNAC show at The Glad Cafe


Last night's Linda Smith and Nancy Andrews set at The Glad Cafe was utterly charming from first note to last. The "Gorgeous Weather"  7" (Harriet Records, 1990) was one of the first records Not Unloved bought by Linda Smith. Unfortunately, the Glasgow weather was anything but gorgeous last night with the rain lashing down in a wholly unacceptable manner beforehand. That was forgotten, however, when the music started. GNAC served up half a dozen elegant instrumentals enhanced by compelling visuals while Linda and Nancy were a gentle joy; a much-needed escape from the work stress and the 24 hour news barrage. Note to self: read more poetry.

There was another Not Unloved mix for the occasion which can be streamed here

1.  Maxine Funke - Call On You
2.  Rose Melberg - Take Some Time
3.  The Cannanes - Lamington Lane
4.  Dear Nora - Ghost In My Head
5.  Cheri Knight - Prime Numbers
6.  Karen Marks - Cold Cafe
7.  Trembling Blue Stars - Frosting
8.  The Durutti Column - Messidor
9.  All Girl Summer Fun Band - The Only Ones
10. Dumb Things - Crash Barrier
11. Siouxsie and The Banshees - Spellbound
12. Rodriguez - You Can't Get Away
13. Tangled Shoelaces - The Biggest Movie Ever Made
14. David Kilgour and The Heavys Eights - Christopher Columbus
15. Nikki Blu - (Whoa Whoa) I Love Him So
16. Juniper - Dawn Stole My Guy
17. The Daughters of Eve - Help Me Boy
18. The Monochrome Set - Jet Set Junta
19. The Siddeleys - Bedlam on the Mezzanine
20. Stereo Total - I Love ONO
21. Robin Saville - An Outdoor Planetarium And...
22. Minimum Chips - Goodbye
23. Summer Snow - Flying on the Ground is Wrong

Saturday 25 November 2023

Linda Smith & Nancy Andrews in Scotland (and England)!

Linda Smith's "Till Another Time: 1988-1996" (Captured Tracks) lp was one of Not Unloved's favourite records of 2021. At that point, it didn't seem likely that Linda would be travelling from her Baltimore home to play in the UK anytime soon but roll on a couple of years and Linda is, indeed, playing some UK dates. It is Not Unloved's good fortune to be based in Glasgow and, happily, she is scheduled to appear at The Glad Cafe on Thursday, December  7th. She will be joined by old friend and former Pinky bandmate, Nancy Andrews. The pair will surely be playing the bulk of their tremendous recent "A Passing Cloud" collaboration which saw a vinyl release on Simon Joyner's astutely curated Grapefruit:


"A Passing Cloud" comes highly recommended to anyone with a penchant for atmospheric, slightly eccentric homespun guitar pop and ranks highly on Not Unloved's list of favourite lps of 2023. In addition to playing The Glad Cafe, the duo is stopping-off in the East Neuk of Fife (aka The Promised Land!) at Futtle Organic Brewery on Tuesday, December 5th. Futtle is a really interesting space which combines a small record shop with the brewery. Earlier this year it played host to Andrew Wasylyk, Loris S Sarid and more at the Spots On My Apples (named for a Joni Mitchell lyric, I hear) festival.

Anyone within striking distance is advised to make the effort to see Linda and Nancy on either date as this could be your only chance to see them in the Scotland, well...ever!

Some highlights from Linda's career:

Sundazed-affiliated label Dot Matrix just released a compilation of Linda's early group The Woods:


Harriet was/is once more a smashing imprint!




Let's not forget that Linda released an early 7" on the mighty Slumberland Records
N.B. How is this 7" still available? I urge you to buy it now!


This 2021 lp of instrumentals is a total joy!



Folks south of the border can catch Linda and Nancy along with the admirably cranky Russell Walker (of The Pheromoans, The Lloyd Pack etc.!) and poly-rhythmic pounders Rattle at Upset The Rhythm's 20th Birthday Party at the wonderful Cafe Oto in Dalston on Sunday, December 9th. Full details here. Maybe Not Unloved should make a rare foray south for such an auspicious occasion!

In summary:

Tuesday, 5th December @ Futtle (St. Monan's, Fife) - tickets here
Thursday, 7th December @ The Glad Cafe (Glasgow) - tickets here
Sunday, 9th December @ Cafe Oto (Dalston, London) - tickets here

The Declining Winter & friends / mix

The Declining Winter sound-checking

"To lighten the mood, here are a couple of songs about death". Some quality gallows humour from Richard Adams of The Declining Winter last night. Their set was, indeed, sombre but also beautiful and powerful. It was certainly worth the three and a half year wait following a Covid-19 postponement! Enhanced by violin, keyboards and clarinet, they played tracks from 2023's gorgeous "Really Early, Really Late" (Home Assembly Music/Rusted Rail). For their part, epic45 brought the emotional swells and dynamic range to send the post-rock and shoegaze fans as well as the more pop-minded (Not Unloved has a foot in each of these camps...hahaha) listeners home happy. Stirling's GNAC played first and was as charming, gentle and classy as ever. A smashing evening, therefore, and one where the audience played its part by respecting the fragility of a lot of the music and keeping the Friday night chit-chat to a minimum. Of course, there was a mood-setting Not Unloved mix for the occasion. For a short while it will be available to listen to here. The songs played were:

1.  Naomi Yang - East Boston Is Not An Airport
2.  B12 - Kaxia-80
3.  The Hardy Tree - A Garden Square In The Snow
4.  Tara Clerkin Trio - Marble Walls
5.  Bobby Lee - Gnostic Loners
6.  ESP Summer - Sticky Sun
7.  The Left Outsides - Leaving The Frozen Butterflies Behind
8.  Connie Lovatt - Lines
9.  The Notwist feat. Angel Bat Dawid - Into The Iceage
10. King Khan - The Nature of Things
11. Robin Saville - A Fail All Girl (Loscil Flagra Flagri Mix)
12. Bill Wells & Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Tipsy Cat
13. Berntholer - My Suitor
14. Richard Youngs - The Future Is So Different Today
15. Future Conditional feat. Bobby Wratten & Beth Arzy - Demolitions
16. Black Marble - Emma's House
17. Horse Lords - Rundling
18. Yo La Tengo - Shades of Blue
19. Cat Power - Stay
20. Lee Hazlewood - The House Song 

Sunday 12 November 2023

The Declining Winter / Epic45 / GNAC @ The Old Hairdresser's, 24th November 2023

Back in the spring of 2020, The Declining Winter was scheduled to play at Glasgow's The Old Hairdresser's. Stuart Braithwaite of the mighty Mogwai had agreed to play, too. Unfortunately, it was one of the first shows to be cancelled due to the C***-19 pandemic. Roll forward to November, 2023 and The Declining Winter is finally hitting the road (full tour dates, below!) and, happily, they're stopping-off in Glasgow on Friday, 24th. The bill has been put together with great care with like-minded souls GNAC and Epic45 also due to play:

 

Hood was unquestionably one of the great British groups of the 1990s/early 2000s which released essential records on seminal labels such as Slumberland and DominoThe Declining Winter is the most recent creative outlet for that group's Richard Adams so it's no surprise that their catalogue is a formidable one. 2023's "Really Early, Really Late" (Home Assembly/Rusted Rail), in particular, is a stunning piece of work from start to end and stands up there with the best records Not Unloved has heard in 2023 or, ever, really. In "How To Be Disiullusioned", Adams has crafted one of the most moving, beautiful pieces of music in years that somehow, despite being 10 minutes long, manages to leave you wanting more. If they play it on the 24th, Not Unloved will most likely expire then and there!

 


Over the last couple of decades, Epic45 has amassed a sizable catalogue of gentle, elegant music, sometimes with hushed vocals and sometimes instrumental, informed by minimalism, ambient music and the quieter ends of indiepop and postrock. If most recent album, "Spring" (Wayside & Woodland Recordings), is any guide, their set will be a balm for the soul in these turbulent times:


GNAC (pronounced like the second half of the word 'cognac', I hear) is the pseudonym of Mark Tranmer formerly of The Montgolfier Brothers (the best band Alan McGee signed after Creation Records, according to the venerable Not Unloved) and Sarah Records group St. Christopher. GNAC's lambent instrumental music and sumptuous visuals are always a treat to experience up close. 


Tickets are available >> here *

* as of 12/11/2023, however, there are only 9 tickets remaining so if you fancy it, you better get on it!

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Kickstand

 When was the last time someone mentioned the group Kickstand in your presence? I'll hazard that it wasn't yesterday which is a real shame as in the mid-90s they were one of the best pop bands around for Not Unloved's money. Unfortunately, neither of their albums - 1994's "Kickstand" (Queenie Label) and 1997's "Autostrada" (Little Teddy) - was released on vinyl so modern day collectors who eschew the lowly, unloved CD format are unlikely to seek them out. Both albums are treasures troves stuffed with sweet, unassuming pop that takes its cues from Young Marble Giants (they faithfully covered "Colossal Youth" on their debut) and the K Records school of endearing naivety. Kickstand comprised the Colichio twins, Torry and Tammi, and Half Japanese member and chronicler, Jeff Feuerzeig (who went on to greater fame when he made 2005's brilliant "The Devil And Daniel Johnston"). They collaborated with some real heavyweights of the 90s independent scene with Jad Fair, Dean Wareham and Hamish Kilgour (R.I.P.) donating their talents at various points. Kilgour's appearance on the second album came as no surprise as they had covered The Clean's"Tally Ho" on the first (Not Unloved's introduction to that absolute classic  - cheers, Kickstand...I owe ya!). Unusually for the time, Kickstand didn't leave behind a raft of 45s on an array of small but brilliant labels. Again, that's a shame as they had so many songs that would've made perfect a-sides and some great covers (Felt! The Undertones! Daniel Johnston!) that would've made ideal b-sides. Over the years, one song above all has kept Kickstand somewhere near the front of Not Unloved's memory at least on the 31st of December every year (I post it on Twitter most years):

"New Year's Day" was a proper mixtape staple at the time. For some reason, Kickstand were keen on flying saucers (Torry was even a member of the group Flying Saucer):



Every now and then I daydream of reactivating Not Unloved Records to restore this music to print although, realistically, a label like World of Echo would probably do a much better job and reach a wider audience having established a track record through recent reissues of Kickstand's contemporaries such as The Shapiros, The Cat's Miaow and, in the near future, Hydroplane. For the time being, the curious are urged to hold their nose and snap up the shiny lil discs.

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Playlist form the Barbara Manning/Gerard Love gig

Of course, one of the best things about putting on a pop show is the opportunity to inflict your music taste on a fairly captive audience via a mood-setting playlist. Last Friday morning was spent picking tunes and compiling them into a playlist on my laptop (no 'original vinyl only' policy here!). Unfortunately, it turned out not to be time well spent as you couldn't really hear the music before, between and after the artists. I did ask for a wee volume boost or two but to no avail. Ah, well - next time! So, for no other reason than posterity, here's what made the air molecules in the room vibrate just a little (all song titles are links):
  1. Tia Blake "Wish I Was A Single Girl Again"
  2. Yo La Tengo "Polynesia #1"
  3. The Umpteens "People Ride Their Scooters"
  4. Carolyn Sullivan "Dead"
  5. Hortense Ellis "Can I Change My Mind"
  6. Irma Thomas "Two Winters Long"
  7. Summer Snow "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong"
  8. The Happy Couple "Another Sunny Day"
  9. Clydie King "Missin' My Baby"
  10. Lee Hazlewood "The House Song"
  11. Dino, Desi and Billy "The Rebel Kind"
  12. The Sequins "He's A Flirt"
  13. Tight Knit "I Want You"
  14. East Village "Cubans in the Bluefields"
  15. The Springfields "Sunflower"
  16. Oh-OK "Choukoutien"
  17. The Siddleys "Bedlam on the Mezzanine"
  18. The Foggy Notions "Need A Little Lovin'"
  19. Birdie "Folk Singer"
  20. Club 8 "A Place In My Heart"
  21. Rachel Love "Down The Line"
  22. The Cookies "Wounded"
  23. Linda Smith and Nancy Andrews "A Passing Cloud"
  24. Aluminum "Solar"
  25. The Tills "One Sided Love"
  26. The Umbrellas "Near You"
  27. Seablite "Breadcrumbs"
  28. Chime School "Love You More"
  29. Buzzcocks "Sixteen Again"
  30. Tammi Terrell "I Gotta Find A Way (To Get You Back)"

Summer Snow's ultra-gentle take on Buffalo Springfield's divine "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong" has been something of an obsession of late. It appears on this fine mix of Capitol Records' sunshine pop/pop-psych output. On the evidence of it, The Guess Who's beautifully-sung rendition and The Sneetches' slightly more rollicking verison, it's a song that seems to be done well by everyone smart enough to cover it.


Friday 23 June 2023

Juniper "She Steals Candy"

Nearly 3 years ago, Not Unloved flipped for Juniper's star-studded debut lp. Earlier this year Juniper's second record sneaked out and, unsurprisingly, it's as lovely as her first. Again, a host of  great collaborators provide instrumentation and backing vocals: April March, Amy Rigby, Chris Geddes, Ira Kaplan etc.. All 16 songs are covers but the choice of material is impeccable with songs by The Bangles, The Muffs, Amy Rigby, The Go-Go's etc.. A few are from the pen of Delbert McClinton; a new name round these parts. There's even a brilliant song written and recorded by Bread's David Gates that was released in the mid-60s under the name Del Ashley. "Little Miss Stuck Up" is impossibly perky and foregrounds Juniper Shelley's pure, fresh vocals; it's a real swinging scene! The vinyl is out now via FABCOM! Records / bandcamp. A must for the discerning pop fan!

Sunday 30 April 2023

Not Unloved presents: 30/07/2023 - Barbara Manning & Gerard Love @ The Glad Cafe (Glasgow)

Exciting news: Not Unloved is putting on a show at The Glad Cafe (Glasgow) featuring two of our favourite artists!

Barbara Manning 

Barbara has released music on some of the greatest labels of the indie-rock era (Matador, K, Siltbreeze etc.) both solo and with an array of fabulous groups (San Francisco Seals28th DayWorld of PoohGlands of External Secretion etc.) and collaborated with some of New Zealand's finest. She also had the ultimate honour of gracing the cover of an  issue of esteemed indie zine/lifestyle guide, Chickfactor. I've written before about my love for her sublime "Optimism Is Its Own Reward" but there is so much to love across her stellar back catalogue including this sonically inventive ode to The Fall's 80s power pair, Mark E Smith and Brix, from her crucial debut lp "Lately I Keep Scissors":

This song is so great!

It's been many years since Barbara played shows in the UK so this is an incredibly rare opportunity to catch her in Glasgow. If you still need convincing, check out this cool Chickfactor interview from a few years ago. Anyone who dreams of writing a song for Kendra Smith is fine by me!

Gerard Love

Gerard Love needs no introduction having written and played on some of the most era-defining music of the last three decades with Teenage FanclubThe Pastels and, most recently, with his group LightshipsI penned a few words that didn't quite do justice to the sheer loveliness of Lightships' "Electric Cables" upon its initial release in 2012 (wisely, it was restored to print on vinyl late last year). When Gerard returned to the stage in July, 2022 Not Unloved waited expectantly in the queue outside Glasgow's Stereo. Of course, his set was nothing short of beautiful. A subtly stunning return!


This is a thrilling version of one of the most brilliant songs to be released in my lifetime:


While I'm at it, how gorgeous is this Moondog cover?

Keep an eye out for the all the usual stuff like posters, Facebook events, ticket links etc. in the next wee while.

When: 30th July 2023 (N.B. That's the Sunday night after Glas-Goes Pop!, POP fans!)
Tickets: TBA

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Priced outta the game wishlist!

Whilst idly rummaging on discogs for bargains the other day, I noted with interest that one of my favourite tunes from the brilliant "Teenage Shutdown, Vol. 9: Teen Jangler Blowout!" comp. - The Jackson Investment Co.'s rollicking "Not This Time" - had sold for 1,200 GBP in February:


Prices for the most sought-after garage rock 45s seem to be going the way of Northern Soul 45s with prices spiraling upwards at a wild rate in recent years. That got me wondering about what Not Unloved's money-no-object 60s garage/pop/psych/freakbeat 7" wishlist would look like and how much each record would cost by discogs past sales/current listings. After way too much deliberation the other day, this was my list*:
  1. The Selfkick "Gosh, I'm Your Woman and Not Your Wife" (640.00 GBP) The wildest Dutch single of the 1960s?
  2. The Whatt Four "Our Love Should Last Forever" (391.26 GBP) The best US Yardbirds-style rave-up to blast Not Unloved's ears!
  3. Tracy Rogers "Baby" (150.00 GBP) The Toughest 60s Brit-girl 45 to hit these ears.
  4. The Harbinger Complex "Sometimes I Wonder" (320.00 GBP) One of the coolest singles ever. The vocal is just perfect for us folks who came of age during the Sarah Records heyday!
  5. Tol Puddle Martyrs "Time Will Come" (257.72 GBP) The intro reminds me a little of "Rock Lobster" by The B-52s. Brilliantly restrained.
  6. The Gentlemen "It's A Cryin' Shame" (1200.00 GBP) The quintessential guitar cruncher with shredded vocals. Everyone knows this!
  7. The Foggy Notions "Need A Little Lovin'" (799.99 GBP) Effortlessly cool vocals and some of the most memorable guitar bits...ever.
  8. The Zoo "Sometimes" (never sold on discogs) The weepiest moody teen garage sounds - adorable.
  9. Him and The Others "She's Got Eyes That Tell Lies" (429.53 GBP) One of the heaviest 60s UK cuts - a wall-shaker but also singalong-able.
  10. Flash and The Memphis Casuals "Uptight Tonight" (never sold on discogs) Sounds like The Rolling Stones hopped-up on adrenaline cruising for a bar brawl.
It could've been worse, I guess! I'm sure that if Not Unloved were a DJ with an eye on getting feet moving on a dancefloor this list would have been very different.

* Of course, on another day this list would have The Dovers, The Fly-bi-nites, The Shades of Blue, The Stoics etc etc on it.

N.B. These listings haven't been included (13K for The Fly-bi-nites? 8K+ for The Gentlemen etc.)

Friday 31 March 2023

The Hergs "Style of Love"

Everything I know about Adelaide, Australia's The Hergs was gleaned from this Garage Hangover article. "Style of Love" is the a-side of the group's sole contribution to the avalanche of great 45s released in the mid-60s. It's an admirably snotty, vaguely psychedelic rammy that takes a trip to the twilight zone. Singer Eddy McPherson could teach Liam Gallagher a thing or two about drawn-out, sneering delivery but he's also surprisingly precise when it comes to enunciating his t's and d's. The slow bassline married to frenetic guitars is a great trick with the overall effect that the listener is left a bit battered and bruised when its 3 minutes are up. Being a bit of a masochist, Not Unloved gleefully places the needle back to the start of the groove in anticipation of another ear bashing.

Friday 24 March 2023

An ambient/minimal mix for a friend

Consumed by spring fever, Not Unloved compiled a mix for a friend. It's by no means the sort of overtly melodic pop music that usually gets posted here but if you're needing a lullaby, then it could be worth a spin. 

Tracklist and approximate timings:

1:  Intertoto - DSK8 (00:00)
2:  JJ + JS - 6am (05:46)
3:  Blackwater - L Line (09:08)
4:  Tacita Trjj - Non-Human Year (16:13)
5:  Deepchord w/ Convextion + cv313 - Vantage Isle (Spacecho Dub) (19:04)
6:  A New Line (Related) - Belle Ile En Mer Dub Night (Perfume Advert Remix) (21.59)
7:  Unearth Noise - Sleep Well, Sweet Friend (26:07)
8:  Hollie Kenniff - Shifting Winds (31:56)
8:  Seefeel - Industrious (36:04)
9:  Oliver Coates - Caregiver Part 2 (4am) (42:39)
10: Marlene Ribeiro - Toque No Sol (48:19)
11: Mary Lattimore - Princess Nicotine (53:59)
12: O Yuki Conjugate - Discrepant (57:48)
13: Dania - Whale Song (1:00:53)
14: Princes Diana of Wales - Fragments of Blue (1:04:44)
15: HTRK - Kiss Kiss and Rhinestones (Eurodance version) (1:08:27)

Friday 10 March 2023

The Fenians "Got A Feeling" (Dee Gee Records)

Recently, a post on Not Unloved made reference to 'rummaging on discogs for affordable 60s bangers '. A recent example of the riches to be had is "Got A Feeling" by The Fenians (Dee Gee, 1966). Despite costing less than a tenner for a near mint copy, it's absolutely one of my fave 60s janglers. It's so chirpy, romantic and wholesome that it can't fail to lift the mood whenever it plays. There's something incredibly endearing about the big showbiz ending, too. The Fenians only made one 45 so I'm glad they really went for it to the best of their abilities. I'll bet that in 1966 they could've had no idea that nearly 60 years later a middle-aged bloke in Scotland would be playing it on repeat and (ill-advisedly) singing along. What a lovely legacy.

Avalon Emerson "Sandrail Silhouette"

A week off work means more opportunities to listen to the radio whilst doing mundane tasks. Easily the most enjoyable new track to alleviate the boredom of hanging-up the laundry is Avalon Emerson's "Sandrail Silhouette". I think it's safe to say that it'll find broad appeal among fans of late period Cocteau Twins and their 4AD label-mates of the early 90s, the majestic Ultra Vivid Scene (those guitars at the start are a dead ringer for something UVS would've done). Emerson's vocals are so lovely and really cut through on the radio. I see a fair amount of folks bemoaning the fact that BBC 6Music is 'not what it used to be' or is 'too mainstream now' but as long as presenters like Nemone are giving airtime to music as pretty as "Sandrail Silhouette", I'll happily turn the dial in its direction whenever there's a spare half hour that would benefit from being sound-tracked by someone other than me.



Saturday 4 March 2023

Senza Di Te

"Feel A Whole Lot Better" by The Byrds is rightly considered one of the finest pop tunes of the 1960s. It also features Not Unloved's favourite guitar solo ever. A solo which I've been accurately, but smugly, referring to as 'a ceilidh in 30 seconds' for more than three decades. One of Not Unloved's most cherished gig memories is seeing Sid Griffin with his post-The Long Ryders group The Coal Porters absolutely nailing a rendition of it at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut sometime in the early 90s. Sublime stuff! Whilst rummaging on discogs for affordable 60s bangers recently, I spied an Italian language version by Swiss beat group Les Sauterelles which appeared on the b-side of one of the issues of their excellent "Routine" single. It's a little less refined than the original but makes up for that through the sheer attack of the performances. Unfortunately, at around 500 GBP for a near mint copy, it's the very opposite of an 'affordable 60s banger' so Not Unloved will have to make do with significantly increasing the view count on the clip, below.



Sunday 26 February 2023

Pachyman feat. Samira Winter "All Night Long"

If the weather forecast is to be believed, the final week of February 2023 looks set to be sunny and dry in Glasgow so it is only right that Not Unloved's listening should reflect this. First on the turntable today was the spacious, languid lovers rock of Pachyman's "All Night Long" (ATO, 2022) which features an endearingly sweet vocal from Los Angeles-based Brazilian singer Samira Winter that had Not Unloved scurrying to dig out those untouchable Em Records Brenda Ray LPs and CDs from a few years ago. It was also a welcome nudge to give Winter's more recent releases a listen. Spring's nearly here!

Glas-Goes Pop! 2023: another indiepop happening

2022's inaugural Glas-Goes Pop! was a real blast brimming with bands operating at the top of their games e.g. The June Brides (holy smokes - if that was, as claimed on the night, their last ever show, what a way to bow out!). At the time it felt like it would most likely be a one-off so it was a genuine thrill when it was announced a little while ago that there would, in fact, be a 2023 edition this July (28th/29th). As with last year's shebang, the line-up is great with big names like Go-Betweens legend Robert Forster and Belle & Sebastian's Stevie Jackson sharing billing with Sarah Records greats Even As We Speak (they were so great at The Old Hairdressers 5 years ago!) and, excitingly, The Luxembourg Signal. With members of The Luxembourg Signal calling San Diego and Los Angeles home, I'd consigned them fairly and squarely to the Bands I'll Never See Play Live In Glasgow file so it was a real joy when their name was announced. I'm doing some heavy duty Noel Edmonds-style cosmic ordering to ensure that they play this moody masterpiece:


The full line-up so far is:

Robert Forster
Stevie Jackson and Friends
BMX Bandits
Even As We Speak
The Luxembourg Signal
Birdie
Jeanines
U.S. Highball
McCookerybook & Rotifer
The BV's

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Sunday 8 January 2023

These Things

Every year I listen to "Wish" by Bristol's blistering bliss merchants Flying Saucer Attack at worrying volume to see if it remains the most exhilarating piece of music ever to rub sandpaper on Not Unloved's gig tenderized eardrums. I'm happy to report that it does, indeed, retain its crown. There are so many great FSA tracks spread across the group's albums and singles but one of the prettiest doesn't appear on one of their main releases but on a compilation 45 included with the German Hayfever magazine in 1996:


Dave Pearce's voice has seldom been gentler and the acoustic guitar is so lightly played that it almost out-gentles some of the most adorably twee music of the 90s. Of course, being a Flying Saucer Attack song it eventually gets overwhelmed by the group's trademark hovering feedback and distortion. Copies of the 7" are very cheap on discogs so my advice is: get while the getting's good!