Christmas Posts 2018 #2

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the imminent Christmas album from RM Hubbert and Aidan Moffat. The album Ghost Stories For Christmas comes out on December 7. In the meantime, they have released another track from the album entitled ‘A Ghost Story For Christmas.’ And it’s really rather lovely…Check out the lyric video below.

…as I said yesterday, it’s my plan to make sure I post some new Christmas tracks this year, as well as repeating some that have previously been on here.

As always, there is debate about what constitutes a Christmas song. Many years ago (alright, 2009, but it seems like another lifetime ago) I argued that ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell is a Christmas song. Some songs become Christmassy by affiliation, quite often because they first became hits at Christmastime (in the UK at least), a list which might include Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power Of Love,’ East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ and of course ‘Only You.’ ‘Only You’ started life as a synth ballad by Yazoo  before being redone as an a capella version by Flying Pickets and becoming the Christmas no.1 in 1983. So, there’s something quite Christmassy by association – but maybe this lovely version by Aidan and Hubby will mean that it is seen as being a ‘Christmas song.’ Whatever, it’s lovely…



A song for today #32: Arab Strap vs. Miaoux Miaoux


I’m really very cheered by the news that Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton have united again as Arab Strap, and that they are gigging later this year. Not so chuffed that the Glasgow gig has sold out already, but hey.

I got the chance to interview Aidan Moffat the other day – which should be appearing soon on God Is In The TV, and their awesome 1996 debut single ‘The First Big Weekend’ has been remixed by Miaoux Miaoux, who I have also featured on the blog before. Check it out below:

…and while you wait for my Aidan Moffat interview, you can read the interview I did with Malcolm Middleton in 2007.

Update: The Aidan Moffat interview is now live on God Is In The TV

Christmas Posts 2012 #12


Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift To You album has become a staple at Christmastime, surviving even his incarceration. Coming out on the same day has the Kennedy assassination, the world was -understandably- more preoccupied by other events at the time. One of the best known tracks is Darlene Love’s ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ which has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

Tonight’s version is from Arab Strap. Now, it’s not the most cheerful of songs anyway (there’s a lot of sadness around at this time of year, anyway), but Aidan Moffat’s vocal here could make the hardest of hearts melt.

Arab Strap -‘Xmas Baby Please Come Home.’ mp3

Some covers for Friday


…time it was that Friday usually was cover versions day round these parts.

I never consciously made the decision to stop doing it, but I thought it might be fun to start doing more regular cover versions posts around here.

So…there is no real theme here, just a handful of cover versions I enjoy. I hope you will too!

Jimi Hendrix -‘All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover).’ mp3

The Fall -‘Victoria (The Kinks cover).’ mp3

Arab Strap -‘You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC cover).’ mp3

Six By Seven -‘I Want To Destroy You (The Soft Boys cover).’ mp3

Le Tigre -‘I’m So Excited (Pointer Sisters cover).’ mp3

Bauhaus -‘Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

Wedding Present -‘Back for Good (Take That cover).’ mp3

Kathryn Williams -‘All Apologies (Nirvana cover).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Oasis cover).’ mp3

Mogwai -‘Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbath cover).’ mp3

Lethal Bizzle -‘Police On My Back (Eddy Grant cover).’ mp3

A Christmas heart-breaker


I don’t know what the consensus is these days on Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift To You – is he now as vilified as Gary Glitter? I don’t believe so, though I offer no defence for his actions. Whatever the man may have been like, there was some great music and that famous ‘Wall Of Sound.’

One of the best known songs from A Christmas Gift To You is ‘Christmas (Baby Plase Come Home),’ as performed by darlene Love.This has been covered on numerous occasions, some of them almost as old as the original, which is now 46 years old.
Darlene Love is still performing live. Another song recorded in 1992 ‘All Alone On Christmas’ turned up on the soundtrack to both Home Alone 2 and Love, Actually. She is due to be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame next year. About time.

So here are her original, and some notable covers:

Darlene Love -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

U2 -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

Arab Strap -‘Xmas (Baby please Come Home).’ mp3

Death Cab For Cutie -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

Slow Club -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

Songs For Christmas XVII

I know, it’s the first day this month I haven’t posted, the internet was down yesterday.

Anyway, as anyone who has been anywhere near this blog in the last six weeks should be aware, yesterday was the release of Malcolm Middleton’s bid for the Christmas No.1with ‘We’re All Going To Die.’ So, here’s an acoustic version of the track:

Malcolm Middleton -‘We’re All Going To Die (Acoustic).’ mp3

Malcolm’s old band, Arab Strap, are winding down their website, a year after their last gig, and here’s a Christmassyish track from their website, a live version of ‘To All A Good Night.’

Arab Strap -‘To All A Good Night (live).’ mp3

And there’s a couple of other tracks from Malcom’s website that I’ve linked to for your pleasure here…

Malcolm Middleton -‘Burst Noel (Damien Shackleton version).’ mp3

Malcolm Middleton -‘Cheer Down (Damien Shackleton).’ mp3

Ok, so a different style of Chrsitmas post from some of the others, but this deals with the here and now…

Songs For Christmas VIII

The Manic Street Preachers

so, for a change, here’s one new song this year. The Manic Street Preachers have made this available to those on their mailing list…and so why not share it?

Manic Street Preachers -‘Christmas Ghost.’ mp3

I don’t know much about the origin of the tune Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), but I have three versions of it, by U2 (who are the first band I heard do it), Death Cab For Cutie, and Scotland’s own Arab Strap:

U2 -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

Death Cab For Cutie -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

Arab Strap -‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).’ mp3

Enjoy. There will, naturally, be more tomorrow… : ))


300th post

..and a mere sixteen months after my first post, I finally do my three hundreth! What can I say, it’s been great fun, and continues to be so.

First of all, I thought I’d start off this post with the title track of the album that gave this blog its’ name. The pic at the top is The Cure circa this album. I didn’t do many 17 Seconds club nights but I’m pleased that the blog is still going.

The Cure -‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

I’ve written about a lot of up and coming scottish bands, like the X-Vectors for example…

X-Vectors -‘Now Is The Winter Of Our Discotheque.’ mp3

and watched a few of my favourite bands split up…

Arab Strap -‘Here We Go.’ mp3

The Cooper Temple Clause -‘Let’s Kill Music.’ mp3

I still have to decide on my personal festive fifty, but I guarantee these tracks will be there…

Battles -‘Atlas.’ mp3

Hot Chip -‘My Piano.’ mp3

Justice -‘D.A.N.C.E.’ mp3

Penny Century -‘Nothing Burns Like Bridges.’ mp3

Emma Pollock -‘Adrenaline.’ mp3

As time went by, I got the vague hand of how to post tracks (which I was clueless about when I first started writing a blog!), and started doing interviews too. Getting listed at the Hype Machine was great (thanks Mr. Toad) and getting feedback still makes my day.

Personally, this blog has hinted at some of the ups and downs in life outside of this blog, but much love is due to Mrs. 17 Seconds (I wasn’t even planning it when I started writing this!) and our two cats, our families and friends for keeping me sane.

Here’s to the next X posts…


Scots indie!

When I first started this blog, about fifteen months ago, one of my main aims was making scottish indie as high profile as possible.

Arguably since then, I have diversified a little -folk, death metal, grime and even a little classical have made their way onto these pages.

However, my bandwith is about to be exceeded –again! and so I thought I would do a post the old-fashioned way, and about music I am passionate about, with or without regard to fashion.

Some of these you may know, others you won’t. Some are well-known, others less so, some bands are gone, some new, some just beginning. But enjoy…

Arab Strap -‘Love Detective.’ mp3

Belle And Sebastian -‘Funny Little Frog.’ mp3

Isobel Campbell -‘Amorino.’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Darts Of Pleasure.’ mp3

Delgados -‘American Trilogy.’ mp3

Mogwai -‘Dial:Revenge.’ mp3 (featuring Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals, it’s a celtic thing, you understand!)

Sons and Daughters -‘Johnny Cash.’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub -‘What You Do To me.’ mp3

Twilight Sad -‘That Summer, At Home I Had Become The Invisible Boy.’ mp3

1990s -‘You’re Supposed To Be My Friend.’ mp3


have a good weekend!

More Arab Strap

Thank you to my reader Chris, whoever you may be, I have corrected the link below-so the Van Halen cover is, now, actually the cover of ‘Why Can’t This Be Love?.

As requested, here is Arab Strap’s cover of AC/DC’s ‘You Shook Me All Night Long.’

Arab Strap -‘You Shook me All Night Long (AC/DC cover).’ mp3

Enjoy. No doubt more scottish indie to follow very soon…