17 Seconds Blog – The 1,000th post


Yes indeed!

Technically, it is more than 1,000 posts, on the grounds that I have lost a few posts after clashes with the DMCA last year, but here it is, the 1,000th published post on the blog.

So, what’s happened since I started the blog back in July 2006? I’ve reveiwed lots of albums, and quite a few gigs, interviewed some great bands, and started a record label. It’s been hard work, I’ve been driven to distraction, but I feel that there are lots of people who enjoy the blog, as it generally gets over 1,000 hits a day (1400 seems to be the record).

I’ve also enjoyed writing about bands that have come and gone – the posts on the Shop Assistants and Motorcycle Boy, for example, seem to have struck a chord. Hopefully one day those records will be properly re-issued.

Thanks is due, first and foremost to the wonderful Sam, Mrs. 17 Seconds, for all her love and support, and patience. As well as to all the readers (whether I know you or not) who have left feedback, artists who got in touch about stuff they are doing, fellow bloggers who supported me through thick and thin and linked to me, and anyone who sent me mp3s when I begged for them.

Many thanks to to everyone who has helped with the label – Mrs. 17 Seconds, my business partner Laurent, Scott for doing all the mailouts and support; my parents and brother; our five artists; Shona Donaldson, Bruce Finday, Julia Nicolle, for vital work and support; and the DJs who have supported us on the radio: Jim Gellatley, Tom Robinson, Iain Baker and especially Vic Galloway, and everyone who has come to the gigs, stocked our records, bought the music, written about us and supported us. Apologies to anyone who really should be on here that I have forgotten.

(And no thanks to the person who tried to use this against me. God is watching you.)

The song that started it all:

The Cure -‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

The most popular song to appear on the blog:

Manic Street Preachers -‘Umbrella (Rihanna cover).’ mp3

One of the bands, gone but not forgotten that I have championed:

Motorcycle Boy -‘Big Rock Candy Mountain.’ mp3

…and proof, if proof should be needed after all this time, that this blog is not just about white men with guitars:

Nina Simone -‘Feeling Good.’ mp3

Bless you all XX

17 Seconds blog…three years old


So…another year passes by, and the 17 Seconds blog is three years old!

In the course of the last year, I’ve interviewed several artists included Jennifer Herrema, Peter Parker and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, and set up 17 Seconds Records. The label has so far signed Aberfeldy, X Lion Tamer, Escape Act and most recently, The Dirty Cuts.

Sure, there have been a couple of bands that we’ve tried to get and haven’t, a few run-ins with the dreaded DMCA, and occasions when I thought I was banging my head against a brick wall. But thn again, this year has also seen the 17 Seconds Night at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh, a nice little article about the blog and label in the List magazine, and support from so many friends both on the net and here in the real world. Particular mention must go to the wonderfully loyal and supportive Mrs. 17 Seconds, ‘Diamond’ Dave who helped me re-work the website and transfer it to its’ new home, my parents, my business partner laurent and Scott who does a lot of work for the label, Matthew at Song, By Toad, Jim at the Vinyl Villain and Steve at Teenage Kicks. God bless you all, God bless Les Paul.

There’s also now a 17 Seconds page at last FM. Still figuring out how to use it all, so please bear with me!

The title track to the album that gave the club night, the blog, and latterly the label its’ name:

The Cure -‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3


X Lion Tamer -‘Life Support Machine.’ mp3

…and from 17SEC4:

Escape Act -‘God Says (Uber Glitterati mix).’ mp3

Keep it tuned to 17 Seconds.

My Life, as told by The Cure


This feature was nicked from the Vinyl Villain, who in turn nicked it from Sunset Over Slawit (click on the links to see what they did and with, ah, whom).

Basically, what you have to do is answer the questions using only song titles from your favourite band.

so I did!

1. Are you a male or female:

The Perfect Boy

2. Describe yourself:


3. How do you feel about yourself:

I’m A Cult Hero

4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend:

It’s Not You

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation:

The Perfect Girl

6. Describe your current location:

Fascination Street

7. Describe where you want to be:

The Same Deep Water As You

8. Your best friend(s) is:

The Lovecats

9. Your favourite colour is:

Icing Sugar

10. You know that:

Boys Don’t Cry

11. If your life was a television show what would it be called:

Piggy in the mirror

12. What is life to you:

100 Years

13. What is the best advice you have to give:

Play for Today

While I’m about it, a happy belated fiftieth birthday to Robert Smith who was fifty on April 21.

The Cure -’10:15 Saturday Night.’ mp3

A new home!


17 Seconds Towers

Yes indeed, folks, this is the new site for 17 seconds blog.

Pretty much all of this is down to my friend David, who has a clue about what he’s doing on the computer as I don’t. Thank you Dave.

If you have a link in your blog to 17 Seconds, assuming you still wish to link to me (and I hope you do!) the new url is: www.17seconds.co.uk (nice and simple)

As ever, just in case people need reminding where the name of this blog came from, I thought I’d post this:

The Cure -‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

Sad songs say so much…2

Haven’t posted much here this week. It’s been kinda busy, and isn’t showing sign of letting up. How the heck did Tony Wilson manage to run a label and work in TV? No marking, I suppose.

Anyway, some songs for a cold winter’s day…

Johnny Cash -‘Hurt.’ (No there’s nothing wrong with me, just something in my eye…)

afterword: Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter Cash, seen here in the video, died shortly before him in 2003. Someone said that ‘she’d gone to get the house ready for him.’ I’m sure some would criticise that statement as sexism, but to me it makes my eyes almost as misty as watching the video.

The Cure -‘Charlotte Sometimes.’

Who would have thought a pop video could be so sad and creepy? I remember watching that video with my dad and the hairs on his arm literally standing on end. Also worth reading Penelope Farmer’s book Charlotte Sometimes which inspired the song. Charlotte Sometimes is my favourite song by my favourite ever band, and second only to this…

Joy Division -‘Atmosphere.’

My favourite ever song. Apparently the surviving members of the band hated this video but I love it. The bit when the synths ocme in sounds like the sound water would make if you could tape it forming on water (actually, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Martin Hannett would have recorded). The bit where this is played in 24 Hour Party People is a misty-eyed moment as well…

David Bowie -‘Life On Mars?’

For many years, this was my favourite song and it’s still up there as one of my favourites. I’m sure I heard Flaming Lips do a cover of that on John Peel’s show in about 1993. If anyone can help, please let me know…

Billie Holiday -‘Strange Fruit.’

I was amazed but delighted to find footage for Strange Fruit. It’s a beautiful but harrowing song. Covered by many people including Robert Wyatt, Tori Amos, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and also by Nina Simone, who had to give up performing it as everytime she did, she broke down. There’s ingenious (IMHO) use of this in Ae Fond Kiss, a film that looks at sectarianism in Glasgow in the twenty-first century.

So…I’ll finish with a clip of Nina Simone, talking about how important it is to her as an artist to reflect the times. I found myself thinking it was a shame she hadn’t lived to see Barack Obama elected to be President of the US, but there’s millions of Americans who would have loved to have seen that.

Hooray – finally getting the recognition they deserve

Wow…it’s like the eighties and the (early) nineties all over again. After a gap of about fifteen years, The Cure are back on the cover of NME! And they’re going to get the Godlike Geniuses Award from the NME next year. It seems like a far cry from the days when the NME was either slagging them for being hasbeens or not writing about them at all…hopefully Echo and the Bunnymen will get their due next (perhaps to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Ocean Rain)

Their new album 4:13 Dream is fantastic, definitely a four an a half star album, IMHO.

And assuming this works, this will enable you to check out some of the tracks off the new album.

Enjoy, folks…

Is it really thirty years since these tracks?

It’s been a wonderful weekend, I’ve had a great time, and feeling quite ‘up’ for a Sunday evening.

Kinda taken aback to suddenly realise that it is now thirty years since these debut tracks were released. My world’s still shaking from the implications of these…

Is there a rule for debut singles? I kinda think they should be like a manifesto. After all, it may be the only shot you ever get, so sing it loud and sing it proud…

The Fall -‘Bingo Master’s Breakout!’ mp3

Steel Pulse -‘Ku Klux Klan.’ mp3

Scritti Politti -‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’ mp3

Gang Of Four -‘Damaged Goods.’ mp3

Adam and the Ants -‘Young Parisians.’ mp3

Magazine -‘Shot By Both Sides.’ mp3

This is a cheat, but it was the b-side and just as good as the a-side…

The Cure -’10:15 Saturday Night.’mp3

I could also have posted Siouxsie and the Banshees, Kate Bush, P.I.L…

the big question is: will we realise who all the good debut singles of 2008 were by at the end of this year, or in thirty years’ time? Answer below please…

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…


Hooray! It’s a holi, holi-day (well, it feels like one)

Much excitement at 17 Seconds towers: 17 Seconds really did make it into the blog roll at The Guardian on Saturday, as did regular comments leavers Song, By Toad and the Vinyl Villain.

So, some songs to celebrate:

U2-‘A Celebration.’ mp3

Happy Mondays -‘Hallelujah (Club Mix).’ mp3

Kelis -‘Good Stuff.’ mp3

James Brown -‘Sex Machine.’ mp3

And of course, the song that gave this blog its name:

The Cure -‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

As always, if you like the song, support the artists involved.