Orange Juice-You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever

For today, I would like to focus on what is my second favourite scottish album of all time, behind the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy, and one of the best debut albums ever.
This album was released in 1982, and was Orange Juice’s official debut, although many of the songs had been intended for a debut album on the seminal, legendary Postcard label that would not appear until 1992 as Ostrich Churchyard. With their influence noticeable on many Glasgow bands of now, such as Wake The President and Bricolage it would be great to hope that people would go and investigate and buy the album…if they could get their hands on it.

Unfortunately, this absolute classic of an album is not currently available on any format in the UK, neither CD nor vinyl, nor is it downloadable at iTunes or eMusic. In all seriousness, I think Polydor (or whichever soft drinks company it’s part of now) should make this album available to buy again. It’s like the insanity that prevents many seminal works being out of print be they music, film or the written word. Why? For the meantime, I will post it here for the next two weeks. To me this is a work of art, beautiful songs and something that lovers of ‘indie’ music (and I mean that in as many senses of the word as possible) should hear.

The influence of this album can be heard in The Pastels, The Shop Assistants, Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, The Delgados, Franz Ferdinand…and the Smiths.

Never heard it? Well, now’s your chance, if you don’t have the money to buy a hugely expensive import copy: I have used my USB turntable to transfer it into mp3 format. The vinyl’s in pretty good nick, though there may be the odd crackle here and there. As John Peel used to say ‘life’s got surface noise.’

‘Orange Juice – Falling And Laughing.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Untitled Melody.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Wan Light.’ mp3

Orange Juice – Tender Object.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Dying Day.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’L.O.V.E. Love.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Intuition Told Me (Part 1).’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Upwards And Onwards.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Satellite City.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Three Cheers For Our Side.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Consolation Prize.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’Felicity.’ mp3

Orange Juice -’In A Nutshell.’ mp3

DISCLAIMER: I freely state here and now that I do not own the copyright to this recording, so if you download this in a country WHERE YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO BUY IT, THEN SHAME ON YOU. If you download this and like it, please buy the album if it becomes available again.

UPDATE: Since I did this post, JC over at the Vinyl Villain has put together a post which has the opportunity to acquire everything Orange Juice ever did, pretty much, with money going to charity. You have therefore, twenty four hours to get the mp3s off here without giving any money, but I’d rather you went to this post and found out how you can help.

Ed, March 2, 2008

Links now removed -get thee to the Vinyl Villain’s blogspot!

Ed, March 3, 2008

(re)-presenting Bricolage

having done a post on one of Glasgow’s finest up and coming bands a few days ago (the well-received Wake The President) I here re-present Bricolage as yet another fine example of scottish indie talent.

I have yet to see them live (they’re playing Glasgow and London in the next wee while according to the blog, but not us folks here in Edinburgh) but after an excellent post by Matthew a few days ago over at Song, By Toad I relaised just how much I love them -and how anyone who hasn’t heard them yet should not be allowed to miss out:

Bricolage -’Our Fires Electric.’ mp3

Bricolage -’Temp It Up.’ mp3

Bricolage -’The Waltzers.’ mp3

There are two other tracks available to download over on their MySpace page, as well as downloading their three singles from iTunes or wherever else you can find them.

A big Orange Juice post is coming this way very, very soon BTW…

Presenting…The Rosie Taylor Project

Well, there is no-one in the band called Rosie Taylor, but the Rosie Taylor Project:
(drum roll, presenting…)

JONNY: vocals, acoustic guitar.
SOPHIE: trumpet, vocals, french horn.
SAMM: keyboard, electric guitar, glockenspiel.
NICK: bass.
JOEL: drums…

are from Leeds and sound mighty, mighty fine. They have released one single so far ‘Black And White Films/Songs For Lost Lovers’ on Bad Sneakers Records and mighty, mighty fine they are too. If you love Aberfeldy, My Latest Novel and Sons and Daughters then you should be checking these guys out. These are beautiful songs that reaffirm your faith in music and life at the end of a long day. Or put the seal on a pretty good one in my case. If these songs don’t move you, make you smile and rejoice at life’s beauty…I give up, frankly.

The Rosie Taylor Project – Maps For Lost Lovers.’ mp3

The Rosie Taylor Project-’The Sun On My Right.’ mp3

Hope you like these, then do as I did and go and buy them and make friends with them at MySpace.

A rifle through the vinyl-The Au Pairs

The Au Pairs were part of the late seventies and early eighties post-punk scene that has come to be known as…well, post-punk, though I get the feeling it wasn’t really called so at the time. The band consisted of guitarist Paul Foad, guitarist and vocalist Lesley Woods, bassist Jane Munro and drummer Pete Hammond. Woods was one of the few ‘out’ lesbians in the music industry at the time, even within the left-wing politics of much of the music scene of the time, and the band were considered important on the riot grrl (sic) movement of the 1990s.

There are probably many better people out there to write critiques of the politics involved, but the music is what i want to focus on. If you have heard Gang of Four and Delta 5 (both of whom I have featured here before) then they were in a similar vein but very much an influential group in their own right.

This is there second single, from 1980 ‘Diet’/'It’s Obvious.’ I should warn people that the sound is a little crackly (and not available on emusic or iTunes, at least in the UK, I did try). But it’s a great record that should be heard, as should the debut Playing With A Different Sex. ‘Diet’ is a sympathetic but frustrated look at the life of a housewife, who doesn’t have political views and spends her time cleaning and washing.

Au Pairs -’Diet.’ mp3

Au Pairs -’It’s Obvious.’ mp3

There is a good Au Pairs site here and their Wikipedia entry is here as well as an article here at Fact magazine.

Interview: Foxface

It’s a briskly cold February morning when I meet Michael and John in Glasgow’s West End for a coffee and to chat about Foxface, their album and that mask. We meet outside Tinderbox on Byres Road, the area you read about in Belle and Sebastian sleevenotes. What really chuffs me to start with is that they’ve come across from their respective parts of Glasgow just for this interview, and not like I assumed, that they’d be doing a whole day of press.

Foxface are: Michael Angus on vocals and guitar; John Ferguson on drums, accordian, banjo, and mandolin; and Jenny Bell on bass and vocals. [Jenny wasn't there at the time of the interview, it wasn't that she didn't get a chance to speak, or anything like that].

I begin by asking how the band came together.

John looks at Michael and grins: ‘You can answer that one!’

Michael takes up the story: ‘Originally it was just me doing stuff on my own, solo with an acoustic guitar. But I got kind of tired of that, so I asked John if he wanted to help me out, do some keyboards and bits of drums…and then Jenny started playing the bass, and she joined Foxface as well.

When you were performing beofre, did you do it under your name or under Foxface?

Michael: ‘It started off under my name and then the three of us as Foxface.

I take this moment to come clean; that the only time I have seen them play live was three years previously, when they supported Idlewild and Sons & Daughters at a gig at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. (This is my fault, not theirs, and they don’t offence). Do you all wear fox masks on stage?

Michael: No, we probably should. John’s the only one ugly enough to wear a mask on stage!

So was that something you did to avoid being identified by your students? [N.B. before the interview started, it transpires that both John and I are teachers]. Or taking the mick out of Peter Gabriel circa ’72…or?

John laughs. ‘Jenny had made up some masks, and Michael who played guitar had made a video, and I just put it on…they were made out of aAll-Bran packets. After a while they got soggy from sweat and started to disintegrate so a friend called Shane Connolly who makes puppets and masks, and he volunteered to make a mask and that’s what we’ve got now, which is a lot more durable.

Live it’s just the three of them, though they used other friends on the record. I take this opportunity to ask about the track ‘Can’t Afford To Go Away’ which reminds me of some of Nico’s solo work, particularly on Desertshore. Much of this record and its’ predecessor, The Marble Index are just voice and harmonium. Is this what they’re aiming for here? John explains that it’s a diatonic accordian played by a virtuoso friend called Andy Cutting.

The album This Is What Makes Us was released in November, through Gargleblast. Recorded in January and February last year, this is as sharp a debut as any to be released by any scottish band in the last few years. Gargleblast had a slight backlog of recordings to release, hence the slight wait in coming out. The band have a licensing deal rather than a record contract. Are they actively seeking a record contract? It would seem not: ‘Not really,’ they say in unison. ‘We’re trying to do most of it ourselves.’ They don’t like the idea of being tied to a label. At a time when EMI and others are shedding staff faster than a malting cat, this seems like a step towards genuine independence for a lot of bands. What do they make of Radiohead’s choice to release In Rainbows as a downloadable album, which fans could make donations towards?’ They chuckle about this. They acknowledge that its easier for Radiohead, as they’re quite rich, and their idea men came up with it, but they quite like it. They’re happy for me to post tracks on the blog, as I’ve asked. They had a bizarre experience recently when without being asked their music appeared on a skateboard video in America. They like the idea of more people hearing the music.

In Scotland they’ve received a lot from support from people like The List, The Skinny and Is This Music? but less support from further afield so far. In 2007, in addition to This Is What Makes Us, they also collaborated with Rody Gorman on the song Dreamcatcher on the Ballads Of the Book compilation. They were pleased to be involved with it, and it also represents a contiuation of a long link with its curator, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble. Do they see Idlewild an influence or contemporaries?

John says probably more as friends. On their last studio album, Make Another World, Idlewild released a rock record more in line with 100 Broken Windows than more recent efforts which saw more of an interest and awareness of traditional scottish roots music. Foxface did support Roddy Woomble on the tour for his solo album, My secret Is My Silence, which is far more folk than any of his work as Idlewild’s front man, and indeed Michale played on the record and co-wrote several tracks.

So what are the major influences on Foxface’s sound? Michael says that it owes less to particular bands than to melody. They also draw links with The Royal We and Sons & Daughters, though they all bring something different to it. I say that I love Foxface because they sound genuinely scottish, including the fact that they sing in their own accents. I mention that I think that this in contrast to a band like Big Country. John comments, not unreasonably that this may have been to do with the time that Big Country were around, and how the Proclaimers were mocked for doing so. This seems to be a recurring theme as Scotland gains its own confidence in the twenty-first century. Closer to now they mention Tattietoes, but they don’t see there being a close-knit scene.

I mention that certain publications give the impression that there is this whole network and scene of scottish indie bands, which isn’t really there. Certain bands, like Belle and Sebastian, have built their own mythology. John and Michael point out that there are a lot of bands and scenes in Glasgow, such as Hip-Hop or Metal in certain pockets that you would only be aware of if you go to certain clubs. They try to cross-over and avoid it to an extent. We compare notes on Glasgow indie legends, such as the Pastels and BMX Bandits, and also how so many bands are still based here.

‘People are supportive,’ they say, ‘You feel supportive staying somewhere wehre other people are playing,’ and suggest that it can be a lot harder getting as decent a crowd in Edinburgh or Aberdeen. They have found that this grows with more regular playing, though they still find Aberdeen quite hard-going. But it can also get boring playing the same shows. This year they are hoping to play in Spain or Iceland. At the moment, the album’s currently available in Britain and Japan, though there is talk of the album being released in America. They’re thrilled that it was a Spanish internet Radio station’s album of the month, but this was due to them mailing the album off to them, rather than the radio station seeking them out. Another project this year is a soundtrack for an independent documentary, which is changing the approach of how they make music together. They’ve been given traditional Gaelic songs to base the music on and then finalise the music when the documentary. ‘It’s something we’ve never done before.’ There are plans that they will be part of a live performance at the Glasgow International Festival, in April at the Govan Shipyard. The film is as yet untitled, but deals with an anti-motorway campaign in Glasgow.

When we speak, Glasgow has just hosted its annual Celtic connections festival. Given that they incorporate a lot of traditional music, do they think there is a revived level of confidence, in terms of Gaelic and scottish culture? Culturally and politically, they say, there has been increase in scottish nationalism, without the unpleasant jingoistic element, ‘no tubthumping or flag-waving.’ They dismiss Tartan week as pure PR, understandably blame Runrig as being responsible for the worst possible views of scottish music but feel that there is a lot more pride in what is coming out of Scotland. We laugh about Groundskeeper Willie in the Simpsons and Mike Myers’ on-screen dad in So I Married An Axe Murderer, the totally ridiculous stereotype of Scots and Scotland approach, though as they finish in unison ‘In every stereotype, there is a grain of truth!’

Are they planning on doing a second Foxface album? They are, but Foxface all have day jobs and manage themselves. Whilst some people would see this as a constraint on music making, it removes many of the pressures that affect some bands where they have to kertow to the orders of a manager and record company. John says he likes the balance while Michael likes not having to make a living out of it, pointing out that when aspects of the music industry go wrong, you can forget why you’re in a band in the first place. They draw a link between artistic and creative satifaction of their jobs and their music. They look to do more events rather than just gigs, seeing it as being like organising a party.

Surprisingly, they have only played one gig this year and have no gigs line dup until April or May, but with no-one breathing down their necks, they can make their own conscious decisions. ‘We’re not consciously trying to change…but it will be interesting to see where it ends up.’ Their next step is to release their album on vinyl, joking that they want an expensive gatefold sleeve and an LED light.

Whatever’s next, keep us posted. Oh, and can I have a mask please?

This Is What Makes Us is out now on Gargleblast. Ballads Of The Book is out now on Chemikal Underground.

Michael and John as consumers:

John’s Top Five records ‘At the moment’:

1. Steve Moore – The Hinge
2. Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity
3. Tom Waits – Raindogs
4. new DeSalvo record
5. Vernon Elliott Ensemble -Ivor the Engine and Pogles Wood Themes

John’s Top Five Films ‘At the moment’
1. No Country For Old Men
2. Dune
3. The Third Man
4. M
5. Planet Earth

Michael’s Top Five albums:

1. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness
2. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
3. Deerhoof – Milk Man
4. Modest Mouse – Lonesome Crowded West
5. Folkways Records – Bothy Ballads

Michael’s Top Five Films

1. Chinatown
2. I Know Where I’m Going
3. Spiderman 2
4. Chungking Express
5. Fargo

Foxface -’We Can Dance.’ mp3

Foxface -’Can’t Afford To Go Away.’ mp3

Foxface’s website is here

Foxface’s mySpace is here

Album Review: Antiqcool

Album Review: Antiqcool -’Songs Of Hope And Despair’ (Sicknote Records)

This is Antiqcool‘s second release, the follow-up to 2007′s Digging For Gold. Who Antiqcool are is a mystery, neither the sleeve nor their MySpace suggest as to whether it is a one-man project or a band, the sleeves mention Pete but that is all. It is hard to know where they are based, though I’m guessing the north of England.

And what of the music? The sticker on front of the CD reads ‘THe Police arrest Fleetwood Mac defended by Crosby, Stills and Nash in Simon and Garfunkel’s Crowded House.’ This is quite an accurate description; there are no kriss-krossing guitars here, nor apocalyptic beats or howling demonic exhortions to burn in hell.

Still reading? Good. This thirteen track collection of songs is a gorgeous, initiallly slight but more and more enticing and addictive with each listen. This is truly independent music, not because it has guitars on it, or isn’t on a major label, but is genuinely music that exists for its own sake, out of time, and all the better for it. I’ve played it several times since it arrived in the post several days ago, and not only do I enjoy it more with every listen, but Mrs. 17 Seconds is also enjoying it too.

If there is one thing that detracts from this album for me, it’s that while the album is pretty sublime, the record appears to have been produced so carefully that you start to miss the absence of a few rough edges that might actually add even more to this record.

No matter. I’ve been enjoying listening to this, and I think come the summer it will be on the stereo even more frequently.

Antiqcool -’Just Another Groove On A Forty Five.’ mp3

Antiqcool -’Pearl.’ mp3

Antiqcool -’We’re All Doing Time In A Minefield.’ mp3

***1/2

To hear more Anticqool music, go to their Myspace site here:

The album is also available on iTunes

Presenting…Wake The President

Wake The President are a top notch band from Glasgow who released two fantastic 7″s in 2007. I saw them supporting Emma Pollock in December and was blown away. I spoke to them after the gig and they said they were happy for me to post their music on my blog so I hope that still stands!

They have released two excellent singles so far, which hint at Belle and Sebastian, but owe far more to the likes of Orange Juice, Arab Strap and Josef K.

See what you think:

7″ #1:

Wake The President -’Mail Alice.’ mp3

Wake The President -’Sorrows For Clothes.’ mp3

7″ #2:

Wake The President -’Remember Fun?’ mp3

Wake the president -’I'm Sorry.’ mp3

If you like the tracks – and i can’t see why you wouldn’t, please support the band in any way you can.

Gig review: Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records

Gig review: Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records

Edinburgh Queens’ Hall, February 16, 2008

My first gig of the year. Headlined by my favourite scottish act of the last few years, supported by one of my favourite bands to emerge on the web and opened by one of the best local bands. So good in theory as to be only possible to be let down in practice?

Well, fortunately for me, it was a fantastic night out with three great bands that I cannot wait to see again. Broken Records -soon to do a session for Radio 1′s Huw Stephens -opened. this was the third time I had seen them, and was yet again blown away. I am mystified as to how they are not signed, as I spent most of January saying on here. They simply go from strength to strength and songs like ‘if the news makes you sad, don;t watch it’ just grab you more evry time you hear them. Sooner or later, they will headline this place.

Florida’s Black Kids are due to release their first physical single ‘I’m Not going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ in April, (it made my Festive Fifty of 2007) and having been supporting Sons & Daughters are now off on tour supporting Kate Nash. How do they measure up to the hype? Pretty damn well, actually. I had heard much of their stuff on mp3s, but live they move to a whole new level. It’s clear they’ve been listening to prime period prince and then run with the ideas they’ve had. They look cool as anything whihc helps too. Songs like ‘Listen To Your Body Tonight’ and ‘IUnderestimated My Charm Again’ are just even better live. Believe the hype, because they get even the traditionally staid edinburgh audience moving, and make me wonder how Sons & Daughters can top it.

This was the eighth time I had seen Sons and Daughters. Whilst my top performance of theirs had to be when they opened for Morrissey in Aberdeen in 2006, they still have it, and have just grown so much in confidence and stature since I saw them as third on the bill four and a half years ago. New album This Gift has seen them work with Bernard Butler and without compromising their sound or distinctiveness has helped take them to newer ground. As recent single ‘Darling’ illustrates, there is a ‘glam’ hint coming through previously only hinted at. Yet the crowd still call for old songs like Johnny Cash as well, but it’s clear that the band are moving and progressing onward. Three bands I would pay a tenner for to see on their own, never mind altogether!

Sons and Daughters – ‘Johnny Cash.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters -’Dance Me In.’ mp3

Sons and Daughters’ MySpace is here

Black Kids’ MySpace is here

Broken Records’ Myspace is here

The memory of John Peel Vs the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph, that bastion of the sort of thinking that is abhorrent and makes a mockery of free speech, three days ago published this editorial that can only serve as a reminder of why John Peel was important and why conservatives are a threat to a decent way of life. Mike at Teenage Kicks ran this this morning, and I am still so incredulous I am doing the same.

This is by someone called Michael Henderson:

” There is something embarrassing, to be frank, unmanning, about the inscription on the memorial to John Peel, the broadcaster, who passed away four years ago. Freshly carved in a Suffolk graveyard, the stone reads: “Teenage dreams so hard to beat”.

Strictly speaking, there should be a comma after “dreams”, those phantoms that are, apparently, “so hard to beat”. But, whatever else he did in his 65 years, before his unfortunate death on holiday in Peru, Mr Peel did not speak strictly. On this occasion, therefore, and making further allowance for the fact that the line is borrowed from a pop song, it is permissible to overlook that solecism.

All the same, it is embarrassing. The man lived 65 years, and in that time he must have had the kind of experiences that bring a few drops of wisdom; at the very least, a smattering of self-knowledge. Yet he chose to be remembered by the words of a song that, like the adolescent dreams they are supposed to evoke, are thoroughly wet.

One doesn’t necessarily expect a Wordsworthian invocation to see into “the life of things” from a man who spent his working life among the sharpies and ne’er-do-wells of the most venal industry in the world. A man who taught me was at Shrewsbury with Peel (or Ravenscroft, as he was known in those days), and remembered him as “the dimmest boy in school”.

People have been known to improve with the years, so, once more, we shouldn’t be too hard on the chap for his lack of sparkle in the classroom. He seems to have been a harmless man, loved by those close to him. Yet, like so many young people who found their voice in the 1960s, and were indulged thereafter, he never really grew up.

A man who tells a television audience, as Peel did, “I wish I had the courage to be a terrorist”, to milk the applause of the credulous, forfeits the right to be taken seriously on any matter under the Sun. Worse, he presents himself to the world in the colours of a buffoon.

There is going to be a lot more buffoonery in the next few months, as the BBC pulls out all manner of expensive stops to mark the 40th anniversary of les événements. They will all be wheeled out again, the well-heeled Trots from Trottington Hall, to tell us how we got things so badly wrong back then, and how, if only we had got the revolution groove, baby, life would now be much sweeter.

Again, it is that refusal to grow up, the reluctance to let go of those comforting illusions that seek to make simple what is, of necessity, complex. We all have illusions, of course. Life without them would be intolerable, even if that longed-for century at Lord’s remains vivid only in our morning reverie.

But no sentient being who has absorbed the lessons of life would ever submit to the sovereignty of “teenage dreams”. Child-like visions, by all means. Had Peel chosen to inscribe Winnie the Pooh on his memorial, or summoned the spirit of Ratty and Toad, that would have been all right. Innocence always trumps self-deception.

And self-deception is exactly what is wrong with that memorial. Its banal sentiment is not child-like, merely childish. Pop music speaks to teenagers because, green in judgment, they lack the emotional resources to respond to anything deeper. With helpful instruction, and a bit of curiosity, that should come with age, though in this case it didn’t.

In fact, it often doesn’t. We have now reached a strange, indeed a unique, stage in history, when the ageing process has been reversed, with predictably grim consequences. We read about it again this week, only this time “teenage kicks” meant something else altogether; something literal and devastating.

People in their fifties and even sixties are seen on our streets every day behaving like teenagers. In their eating and drinking habits, clothing, language, and leisure pursuits, they can be hard to distinguish from people young enough to be their grandchildren. No wonder those youngsters fail to grow up.

Funeral directors across the land have spoken with sadness in recent years of the lack of respect shown to the dead. The passing of loved ones used to release feelings of love, loss and reflection. Now they are just excuses to have a bit of a larf. Death: just one more reason to roll out the barrel.

Peel was, in effect, 65 going on 17, with a teenager’s fear of disapproval. He made his name as a disc jockey playing any amount of bilge because, as he said, “people send me their tapes, so I play them”. Scared of being considered out of touch, he jumped on any bandwagon that happened to be passing.

It is also worth noting that he was a keen fan of football, a game (or industry) that tends to pickle its most fervent followers in a jelly of arrested development. Should you doubt that, feel free to attend any fixture today and study the behaviour of spectators in even the most expensive seats. If you have never been to a football match, you are in for the kind of surprise that greeted the good woodsfolk who stumbled across the Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

“Teenage dreams so hard to beat”. Feeble stuff. What it really means is: “I never grew up”.”

Several holes I would like to pick in this travesty of journalism.

Firstly, to make a very thinly veiled link with the muder of Garry Newlove and the song Teenage Kicks beggars belief. This is utterly crass.

Secondly, the rampant generalisation about football fans. John was at Heysel in 1985 when 39 Juventus fans died, and was deeply affected by it. Yes, there are unpleasant people at football games, there are unpleasant people everywhere.

Thirdly, he jumped on every bandwagon passing – tosh. Peel played punk, hiphip and reggae, amongst others, when other DJs wouldn’t cover these genres, taking abuse from racist idiots, particularly for reggae.

But mostly, what I find spectacularly offensive is the way he makes people seem idealistic and naive for wanting to have changed things. Yes, the comment about terrorists seems misguided, but take any comment out of context and you can cause anyone to look stupid and misinformed, or worse.

As a teacher, I’m privileged to teach young people, and learn a lot from them, something Mr. Henderson seems to find impossible. Yes, I may be idealistic, but if I wasn’t, I would have ended up cynical and given up long ago. I don’t kid myself that I make a difference, but if I can help people to think for themselves, then I must be doing something. Is hanging on to your dreams and aspirations really refusing to grow up? As well as his long-running Radio 1 show, he also presented Home Truths for
many years on Radio Four, something Mr. Henderson omits.

I know next to nothing about Mr. Henderson, so I’m not going to make childish insults about him, but this article is insulting to so many people.

Elvis Costello -Tramp The Dirt Down.’ mp3

400th post -STILL keeping it Peel

(John Peel in 2004. If it’s good enough for him…)

Well, seemingly just a couple of months after I did my 300th post, here is the 400th. There will be many more to come in the following few days, my interiew with Foxface, my review of Sons and Daughters/Black Kids/Broken Records’ gig…but to celebrate, some more music that made John Peel’s Festive Fifty:

First up, given that this blog has done its’ best to champion scots indie, one of Edinburgh’s top acts:

Ballboy -’I gave up my eyes to a man who couldn’t see.’ mp3

This was actually only a b-side originally, to ‘True Faith’ but was later remixed and a hit in its own right in early 1995.

New Order -’1963.’ mp3

I haven’t featured the Smiths so far on these Festive Fifty posts, not because I don’t love them – I do very much, but couldn’t decide what. Anyway, in the end it’s this one, very appropriate for the 400th post:

Smiths -’I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.40)

This band weren’t on the c86 compilation, nor were they scottish, but it’s easy to understand how people might think they were both of these things. How this only reached no 50 is a mystery, but hey…

Talulah Gosh -’Talulah Gosh.’ mp3
(1987 Festive Fifty no.50)

Pete Astor, who also recorded as The Wisdom Of Harry, and the Loft, is one of the greats of underground English indie:

Weather Prophets -’Almost Prayed.’ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty no.13)

These two tracks were ones I had never heard of before I did research into the Festive Fifty…but I’m glad I did:

Membranes -’Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.6)

Frank Chickens -’Blue Canary.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Forty no.42)

…and another goodie from 1984. A bad year politically in so many ways, but a great year for music:

Propaganda -’Dr. Mabuse.’ mp3 (1984 Festive Fifty no.31)

Welsh act melys topped the Festive Fifty in 2001 with ‘Chinese Whispers’ but they had some other entries including this excellent track the same year:

Melys -’I Don’t Believe In You.’ mp3 (2001 Festive Fifty no.35)

And another welsh act to finish:

Helen Love -’Girl About Town.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.10)

Thanks to all my readers for support and comments, here’s to the next…?