Another LEGEND returns in time for Christmas


Well, it’s getting to that time again: I am starting to get to work on my end of year lists for the annual Secenteen Seconds Festive Fifty and the Top 75 albums list, which should appear here soon. Any suggestiosn for anything you think I should make sure I hear before the end of the year gratefully received.

I will also be doing my annual posting of Christmas related songs. Having posted Poly Styrene’s awesome ‘Black Christmas’ last week, this track is from the Slits’ Viv Albertine, who I had the pleasure of interviewing earlier this year.

Following on from last April’s Flesh EP, Viv Albertine will be releasing this as a download-only Christmas track, entitled ‘Home Sweet Home (…at Christmas).’

…and sorry it’s been so quiet around here the last few days. Feeling a bit grotty…


An mp3 cleared to post arrived in another email:

Viv Albertine -‘Home Sweet Home (…At Christmas).’ mp3

Not only that but Viv will be releasing her own solo album next year. AND Early 2011 will see Viv releasing the last ever original Slits song never previously released; ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’. Recorded in Compton LA in 1980, remixed by Dennis Bovell, who produced Cut and mixed ‘Home Sweet Home.’

Ringo Death Starr: the build-up continues…


Having supported Ringo Death Starr on these pages since 2007, it’s great to be able to reveal the tracklisting of their debut album, Colour Trip, out on February:

1. Imagine Hearts

2. Do It Every Time

3. So High

4. Two Girls

5. Kaleidoscope

6. Day Dreamy

7. Tambourine Girl

8. Chloe

9. Never Drive

10. You Don’t Listen

11. Other Things

This is the video for the forthcoming single ‘So High’ which will preceede the album’s release on January 31:

Before Christmas, the band will be playing the UK, supporting the Wedding Present, including at both Edinburgh and Aberdeen…

An excellent Robert Smith-related track

Robert Smith - the cure

Even four years into doing the blog (and the attendant label and occasional radio show), i am still asked where the name 17 Seconds came from.

And then as now, I explain, quite simply that it’s The Cure’s second album. They definitely remain my favourite band of all time – and next year will mark twenty years since they became a massive part of my life. I suppose I could have picked another Cure album to name the website after – but given that these include Faith, Pornography and Wish…well, you don’t want someone to have to google those.

This track came to my attention last week, featuring The Cure’s Robert Smith. It’s taken from the Crystal castle’s sophomore effort; and while I’ve not ben terribly taken with what I have heard of theirs in the past, Mr. Smith’s vocals definitely work very well here.

Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith -‘Not In Love.’ mp3

…and you know, Mr. Smith, a tour north of the border and another album wouldn’t go amiss, either…

Live on Fresh Air!


tune in here for my show on Fresh Air…

1. Sexual Objects ‘Full Penetration.’
2. Album of the month : Scottish Enlightenment St. Thomas. Scottish Enlightenment ‘Earth Angel -with sticks in Crypt.’
3. Gone but not forgotten: The Primitives ‘Crash.’
4. Randan Discotheque ‘Heather the weather.’

5. The Last Battle ‘Nature’s Glorious Rage.’
6. Cover version of the week the Slits ‘I Heard It through The Grapevine.’
7. Sugar Minott ‘Good Thing Going.’
8. Esben and the Witch ‘Marching Song.’
9. Fairport Convention ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes?’
10. Roky Erickson ‘Devotional Number One.’
11. eagleowl ‘No Conjunction.’
12. Gregory Isaacs ‘ Night Nurse.’
13. Savings and Loan ‘Pale Water.’
14. Mitchell Museum ‘Tiger Heartbeat.’
15. Yusuf Azak ‘Eastern Sun.’
16. Come on Gang! ‘Fortune Favours The Brave.’
17. Le Reno Amps ‘Never Be Alone.’
18. The Last Battle ‘Ruins.’

Album review – The Scottish Enlightenment


The Scottish Enlightenment – ‘St. Thomas.’ (Armellodie)

Like the Guinness advertisements have long held, the best things come to those who wait.

In early 2007, The Scottish Enlightenment stunned with their debut EP, Eyes. It got a lot of good coverage, but the band seemed to disappear for a while. And then towards the end of last year, the whispering started that there were gigs. They’d signed to the excellent scottish indie Armellodie. Then this year, not one but TWO awesome EPs, entitled Pascal and Little Sleep, and people started to say that if the EPS were this good, and made up of stuff that hadn’t made the album, well…just how good was that debut album going to be once it arrived?

The answer is: very, very good indeed. Over the course of eleven tracks, the band release an album that not onnly features eleven amazing songs but hangs together extremely well as an album. It’s a brooding, majestic beautiful beast. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the Scottish autumn, which has well and truly arrived here, and is hinting that it’s about to get much, much nastier. From album opener ‘Gal Gal’ to the closing ‘Cogito’ the band just delievr an album that’s almost perfect, goddamit. The title tracks of those two aforementioned EPs are here, as well as one track ‘List Right’ which could be Stuart Staples fronting iLikeTrains. Yes. That Special.

I’ve played this album a lot over the last few weeks -and having born witness to them live, they’re pretty special in that field, too. This album will crop up in the end of year polls -and entirely on its’ own merits. With this release, Armellodie show themselves to be the equals of Chemikal Underground and The Scottish Enlightenment have both rewarded their listeners and delieverd on the promise they showed all those years ago.


St. Thomas will be released on November 15 on Armellodie.

The First Will Be Last by The Scottish Enlightenment by Armellodie

Little Sleep by The Scottish Enlightenment by Armellodie

Necromancer by The Scottish Enlightenment by Armellodie

The return of Poly Styrene


Six months after we saw the very welcome return to the music business of the Slits’ Viv Albertine, former X-Ray Spex frontwoman Poly Styrene has announced that she too is to return.

I do enjoy Christmas despite my bah-humbugisms a lot of the time, and no doubt, will be posting more than a few Christmas mp3s when the time gets nearer. But as Ms. Styrene poins out, it can get a bit much at times.

This is her ace come back track, which will be released as a free single next month, entitled ‘Black Christmas.’ Featuring the sooon to be immortal line ‘A child is born on Christmas Day/But they crucified him anyway.’ The track was written by Poly and her daughter Celeste, who also sings on it, after they heard the news about a man dressed as Santa Claus killing people in LA. It has been described as a tongue-in-cheek anti-Christmas song.

This track is not a one-off either; her debut solo album is set to follow in March 2011. It’s entitled Generation Indigo and was produced by none other than Youth.

Poly Styrene -‘Black Christmas.’ mp3

BONUS: A wonderful track from 1977…

X-Ray Spex -‘Oh Bondage Up Yours!’

And listen to this track…sure that the Gossip were listening!

Started your Christmas shopping yet?

I have, barely, but I think this album is going to be on my wish list:


I’ve enjoyed the work of Elliott Smith that I have heard, though I am embarassingly not authoritative about it at all.

Anyway, these two tracks are on there:

Elliott Smith -‘Twilight.’ mp3

Elliott Smith -‘Last Call.’ mp3

This gorgeous cover of an already pretty gorgeous song isn’t – but don’t let that put you off…

Elliott Smith -‘Thirteen (Big Star cover).’ mp3

This evening, this is balm to my soul…

Album review – Haight Ashbury


Haight Ashbury -‘Here In the Golden Rays’ (Lime Records)

Haight Ashbury occupy an interesting musical space of their own in 2010. Despite hailing from Glasgow, they sing in American accents.

Maybe this wasn’t comment-worthy thirty years ago, but it’s unusual now when so many acts from the Proclaimers to Aidan Moffat are comfortable and happy with performing in their own accents. Then again, the combination of sixties folk sounds with garage rock (both Pentangle and the Jesus and Mary Chain are names that have been bandied about when discussing this band) is quite a winning combination. And it kinda figures that -whilst they might seem poles apart on paper – this band have supported both the Waterboys and the Vaselines. I should know: I saw them supporting both those acts.

Within this debut album, there is some exciting experimentation going on; yet perverselythere are also times when tracks seem to get a little boring, fading into the next one, and I get anxious for them to get on with the next track. But there’s quite a few highlights on here, including album opener ‘Freeman Town’ and also ‘Favourite Song’ and ‘Molotof.’

Some great ideas here, and I look forward to seeing what they do next…


Here In The Golden Rays is out now on Lime Records.

Haight Ashbury -‘Freeman Town.’ mp3

Stream more tracks at myspace

So much news to share with you

Three very different but excellent bands I’ve been getting messages from in the last twenty four hours…

First of all, the French Wives…


An intriguing email in the overcrowded inbox from the French Wives yesterday with this press release:

” As of Monday 15th November, French Wives will be commencing a series of give aways.

Each Monday, for the foreseeable future we will be offering friends, fans and foes the opportunity to download one of the many French Wives recordings that we have accrued over the last 2 years for nowt. It occurred to us that between old songs, new songs, live songs or acoustic songs there is quite a collection that we’re sitting on and we’d like people to have it. Some are good, some are probably bad in hindsight but regardless, we’d like you to have them.

Each free download is going to be accompanied with a blog post on this here myspace with some information about the recording and weekly video content.

We realised that perhaps there are a lot of people who have just seen or heard of us recently and thought this would be a nice way of letting you hear other songs that would be new to you and if you’ve been sailing on the good ship French Wives since day one, think of it as a nice little reward for your loyalty/toil.


Every Monday swing by to pick up a free download, some insight and what I’m sure will be a HILARIOUS (probably not), unique (probably not) video…..

This series will be called The Home Fires…..

Keep them burning…..

French Wives….

If you haven’t heard them yet, check this out:

Next up: eagleowl will be supporting Broken Records on the scottish leg of their tour as well as doing some special shows of their own:

” We’re joining Broken Records for the Scottish leg of their UK tour – playing Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen this weekend. Friend, band mate and all round good egg Rob St John will also be playing a solo set to open. If you live in any these cities, it’d be very nice to see you.

Then we’ve three (3) more great shows in Edinburgh before the year’s out, each more exciting than the last – opening for Daniel, Fred & Julie (a new project featuring Julie Doiron. Swoon.), the Leith Tape Club Xmas special (on a boat!), and our own special Xmas show at Pilrig St Paul’s Church.

Our Xmas show is a ‘Stars in their Eyes’ special – where we will be dressing up and performing a set as one of our favorite bands. As will some other top Edinburgh acts. It’s going to be the best fun ever. You should probably come.

Then we’ll be hibernating for the rest of the winter.

Thanks for your time.
You complete me.


Find out more about those gigs here

Check out their Into the Fold EP, it’s amazing:

Then Tango in the Attic have a new single out next month called ‘Sketch by Quentin Blake.’

Stream it here:

Tango in the Attic – Sketch By Quentin Blake (single) by abadgeoffriendship

The continuing rise of Song, By Toad Records


Matthew Young over at Song, By Toad continues to show the rest of the blogging community not only how to blog with style but how to run impressive record labels as well.

A few weeks ago I posted a track ‘Eastern Sun’ from the forthcoming Yusuf Azak album Turn On The Long Wire; now another one has arrived from Mr. Toad and a track from the forthcoming savings & Loan album Today I Need Light:

Yusuf Azak – The Key Underground by Song, by Toad

The Savings and Loan – Pale Water by Song, by Toad

Check these out and let me know what you think.

And yes, I’m aware I have been rather quiet round these parts over the last few days…been busy doing DiY getting the flat and life in order, ahead of it all being turned upside down…