Fiddling With The Kit

I’m starting to get to grips with the new kit. Need to do some height and space adjustments to get it right in the sweet spots I want it in.

Some audio below of me fiddling about. You can hear some of the plethora of sounds you can get from the module settings. The are 10 styles of kit to choose from and then many variations from there.

For those wanting to know exactly what the kit is, it’s a Yamaha DTX452K

 

 

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Warm Digits – Flight Of Ideas – Listening Party Replay

Now Jim may well be found “in the kitchen at parties” (bedroom, more like!) – but Tim Burgess is now the self-proclaimed Twitter DJ to end all Twitter DJ’s. Since pretty much the beginning of lockdown he has held “listening parties” on Twitter. The concept being, we all join up online and listen to an album together all simultaneously and tweet along with our thoughts on the tracks and sounds, etc.

It is a thing that Simple Minds International on Facebook have been doing for some time. And when lockdown started, I did my bit by being “DJ”/host of a couple of the SMI Playbacks, though the majority have been held by SMI page creator and admin extraordinaire, Gordon Machray, with another helper who may wish not to be named on here and myself helping latterly.

Back to Tim’s parties on Twitter. On Monday one of the albums up for listening to was Warm Digits’ Flight Of Ideas. Anyone who has visited this blog in recent months will know how I feel about this dynamic duo of men. Other than Simple Minds, Warm Digits are just about my favourite band in the world – and certainly, along with Ruts DC and The Stranglers, an absolute favourite live act. And mercifully one of the acts I got to see live in 2020 before Corona caused chaos.

I wasn’t feeling well on Monday night, so I unfortunately missed tuning in and joining along but amazingly, you are able to watch and listen via a replay. Not as much fun as taking part live, but still a way to enjoy what was missed.

You can view the replay by clicking HERE

Enjoy!

You can also read my review of Flight Of Ideas and my interview with Steve Jefferis by using the search feature and searching for ‘Warm Digits‘ on this blog.

In the meantime, this one’s for Jim…

The Anglophile – A ‘Discs And Doughnuts’ Playlist

This one started germinating from the idea of two things – the response to the “Antipodean Greats” playlist and that love of music from the UK that I always had too. “The Mother Country”, old “Blighty”. As the Australian nation post WWII looked to align itself firstly with America and then in more recent years as part of southeast Asia, my personal allegiance was still with the UK – particularly musically and culturally.

The other was Jim’s choice of Life In A Northern Town for his June playlist. As much of an affiliation I had for the UK musically and culturally, it wasn’t necessarily somewhere I desired to live when I was growing up. It always looked so bleak and dreary. Despite the bleak appearance though, it still managed to appeal. “Life In A Northern Town” may not have seemed very aesthetically appealing, but in other ways there was a draw.

Cars – Gary Numan

It’s synch pop bliss. And I was always conscious of it coming out of the UK. The synth based New Wave sound was very obviously very UK centric to me. Cars is probably the epitome of that sound for me. That final minute is just heaven. It gives me goosebumps every time. Always just does something to the senses. Never fails.

Dreadlock Holiday – 10CC

Brits abroad. That’s Dreadlock Holiday. It always used to be on the radio this one. Feels kind of odd to go for this track but it just came to me as I was thinking about what songs seemed typically “Brit” to me. I was so very tempted to add Godley and Creme’s An Englishman In New York as well – if for nothing else than the splendiferous video that accompanies it.

Ghost Town – The Specials

Seemed to sum up how Britain looked from the outer. Bleak, drab, rundown…deserted. Not exactly a song that English Tourism would be clamouring to use for an advertising campaign. Lol. And now the song has resonance again in a whole new light. Life is constantly cyclical. Only certain aspects change.

Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

1984 Probably the height of my love for 80s music and the vast majority of it is coming from the UK. I guess there are some exceptions. Australia was a real melting pot of influences – taking in music equally from the USA and Britain. The preference for me was always the British stuff. FGTH was HUUUUUUGE in 1984 and into ‘85. And the first thing that made its way to us was Relax. It took quite a number of years before I saw the “other” video (the one I chose here – seems rather sedate now). The one I remember when first recalling hearing the song is the one done with the laser lights. I loved Frankie and Holly’s voice just absolutely knocked me for six.

I could have chosen Ferry Cross The Mersey but…nah.

Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again

Rain. It always seemed to be raining in the UK. If it wasn’t raining, then it had just rained or was about to. The skies seemed permanently grey in any footage I ever saw coming out of the UK. Very rarely did it ever look sunny.

God, how I wanted to be Annie Lennox as a 13 year old! She was tall, androgynous, and she looked beautiful. Nothing I was ever going to be. The one thing I always wanted to change about myself (apart from weight – but that I could alter and do something about) was my height – or lack thereof. I ALWAYS wanted to be tall. If I had been at least 5’8” tall, I’d have been happy. Wasn’t to be…

Big Country – In A Big Country/Wonderland

I couldn’t decide which Big Country track I wanted. I love In A Big Country. As opposed to England and its urban drab dreariness – Scotland seemed beautiful and mystical. You don’t really get sold Glasgow. Alasdair Gray was spot on in Lanark. No one ever “sold” Glasgow to you. They sold the Highlands, the munros, the heather, the kilts, the lochs – Brigadoon. Big Country were rock music Brigadoon. They fed you it, still. Stuart Adamson with guitar effects like bagpipes. So…I think I was initially sold it with Wonderland. I bought it as a 12” single and then bought The Crossing after that. So, I’m not purely an “Anglophile”. But…try and find an equivalent phrase for Scotland and you see how Anglo-centric the UK is! Scotophile? Hiberophile? Caledonophile? Albaphile? Which would you choose? Answers on a postcard.

The Clash – London Calling

Political punk that always rang a chime with me.I can’t say I am the BIGGEST Clash fan. Never sought out their music too much. Had a 12” copy of Should I Stay Or Should I Go back in the day. Always loved Rock The Casbah too. They just had that very London centric kind of sound – even though there are ska, reggae and rockabilly leanings in the fusion of musical genres.

Adam And the Ants – Stand And Deliver

Although Adam had that kind of meld of the Native American meets pirate look thing going on – it was so very obvious he was from London and so Stand And Deliver plays up to that kind of thing. “The dandy highwayman” – Dick Turpin et al. Prince Charming played up to it to a degree also. It just has that skewed “cheeky chappy” Londoner thing about it. Playing up to aged stereotypes.

Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK

Well if you properly research your music history, then you know that punk – purely as a musical genre – started out in America. But punk as a concept, as an ethos, as a culture as a way of life DEFINITELY took hold in Britain. And the one band most lauded as taking the ethos and running with it are The Sex Pistols. I guess you could choose anything from Never Mind The Bollocks – but the obvious choice due to the playlist subject is Anarchy In The UK.

Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

The first thing that knocked me for six was the sound of Jimmy Somerville’s voice. And then it was the video. As a 14 year old girl who probably wasn’t even aware if she knew any gay boys at the time or not, I was just floored by that video. I mean, even still for that time, it was brave to highlight such a thing. I mean in the same year Queen release I Want To Break Free and do their video and the U.S. fans just DUMP them. And although gay rights was a worldwide thing, it was obvious the video was UK based. So the song has a UK centric sensitivity to it for me.

The Police – Synchronicity II

The picture of domesticity. A highly “dysfunctional” family – as they would be called. “Another suburban family morning / grandmother screaming at the wall / we have to shout above the din of our rice crispies / we can’t hear anything at all” Sting writes. It’s a bleak picture. It could be anywhere in the modern western world, really only for the chorus that pertains to a Scottish loch “many miles away”. I guess it could be Europe somewhere – but more likely England, and more likely northern England, perhaps near Sting’s childhood home in Northumbria. It conjures up that bleak, dreich imagery in its wording for me and the drama of the music. And…just, a moment to say that – as a drummer, I worship the ground Stewart Copeland walks on! In my dreams I would be even ONE TENTH the drummer he is! OMG!

Tubthumping – Chumbawumba

I’m not usually much of a victim of misheard lyrics as I will study songs and I am usually pretty good and taking lyrics in properly. But in this case, the northern accents got the better of me and I did mishear the chorus as – and it makes absolutely NO grammatical sense! Lol “I get knocked down but I get up again and I’m hanging on a cheap guitar”. Lol. I KNOW! As a joke I still end up singing it like that. So, yeah…it’s just an anthem, really, innit? A celebration of pub culture, essentially. Something oddly uplifting about it too in that – correctly worded here – chorus “I get knocked down but I get up again and you’re never gonna keep me down”.

Blur – Parklife

It’s just…London, innit? All the “cool Britannia” stuff of the mid to late 90s. The bands of the time and the whole Oasis v Blur thing. In that contest it was Blur for me. Oasis didn’t do as much for me – though I liked Don’t Look Back In Anger, Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova. I suppose I just preferred Essex boys to northern lads – musically then, perhaps. The other groups I liked at the time were Supergrass, Pulp and into the early noughties, Elbow – though after getting a copy of Newborn, I didn’t really stick with them much. Guy Garvey certainly has a way with words though. I also loved the more dance and trip hop stuff – Massive Attack, Faithless, Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim.

But, back to Parklife…it just kind of sold a stereotype then – pallid Brits in the sun. And, well, due to Cool Britannia and the closing down of the more industrial aspects of Britain, it started to look cleaner and began to seem more aesthetically pleasing. It wasn’t just the music now that was appealing, it was how life was looking here. We had just ended 13 years of Labor government in Australia in 1996 and the UK finally had a Labour government come in in 1997. The future looked bright. It looked better.

The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset

A homage to London and the Thames. London was not a part of the whole “Anglophile” thing that particularly appealed. It seemed a big scary, dirty place. And even after my first visit there shortly after I moved over, I felt very “meh” about it. The place I fell in love with first in the first few weeks I was here was Bath. My partner has relatives in Bristol and a cousin was getting married 4 weeks after I moved over. A bit of a baptism of fire, that. Going to a big family wedding when we’d barely been married a year ourselves. We stayed a weekend in a B&B on the outskirts of the city and had a day in Bath. The weather was glorious and warm and the architecture of Bath floored me.

It took a while…but slowly there were aspects of London I grew to like. The convenience of getting there from Luton was a HUGE plus. Erm….the West End. Theatreland. The museums and art galleries. The fact it is a cultural hub. From being absolutely indifferent to London, over the years I found the little hubs and things I liked about it. And certainly being by the Thames (particularly along the Southbank) was one. I never wanted to live in London though. NEVER. Luton was more than close enough.

London is definitely no Glasgow! Thank fuck for that!

You can also listen to the tracks as a Spotify playlist here…

Jim Kerr – In His Own Words – Record Mirror 1985

We’ve always had an Art School tag…I don’t even think there is an art school in Glasgow.

Jim Kerr, 1984 on Simple Minds

I do NOT believe for a single second he’d have said that! I mean, geez, the Glasgow School of Art is one of the city’s most famous buildings! They even played there in the early days as far as I am aware. If he said it, he was trying to be contrary and funny, which was obviously lost on the magazine! Lol

Also can I just say – the thing about him saying Chrissie being a friend – and more? Oh…I dream! Well, I dream JUST to be a friend. Geez! Just friendship would do. Anything else is beyond pie in the sky. “Friendship” is pie in the sky enough!

I took close up scans of the pics as well. Pretty sure the one of him holding the mic is one of Virginia’s.

I’m post some more as and when.

Midsummer In Glasgow – Lockdown Adventures

I hadn’t been down to the Clyde since I saw Brian Ferry at the SEC Armadillo on March 3rd and I had desperately wanted to go there over the past couple of months. So with it being a mighty fine day yesterday and it almost the height of midsummer, I decided to set out for the Clyde in the afternoon.

Here’s a photo montage from yesterday’s venture…

Photos taken around the Great Western Road and the West End around Kelvinbridge, into Finnieston, onto the Clyde itself, through Woodlands (avoiding going back through Kelvingrove Park on the way back) then back through St George’s Cross to get home.

Never Too Much ‘Guyliner’!

I shared this photo (just a quick snap of it when it arrived by post on my camera, rather than the proper scanned image that I’m sharing here) on FB when it arrived just to share the sheer beauty of this man and show some of the collecting hoard I had got myself.

A friend said “he’s got too much eyeliner on”. Lol. I was like “WHAAAAA? This is NOTHING compared to some make up jobs he’s had.”

I personally thought it was subtle and beautiful.

Jesus though, Kerr! You ain’t half a looker! Don’t be giving me none of that “acne-faced geek” business. Codswallop! You’ve always been gorgeous. You always will be.

And I know it isn’t Kerrsday, but what the hay. Who cares?

I got some magazines and did some scans of the articles and pics and will post some of them shortly. In the meantime…

Jim Kerr – you’re a spunk! (It’s old Aussie slang for someone who’s ‘well braw’ – despite how it sounds. Lol)

Minds Music Monday – This Fear Of Gods, Tiffany’s – Dec, 1981

I’m feeling anxious about the easing of lockdown restrictions. I used to be such a scaredy cat about going out and doing things. I used to stay home A LOT. Never went to gigs or hardly ever went out socialising. I’d just stay home. Lockdown has rekindled a lot of that stuff within me.

Fear of going out and mingling with people. Fear of large crowds.

”Fear is fast and I’m turning white now.” Yes.

Wow…the way this version at Tiffany’s starts. The synths and pedal effects and just – it’s very trippy. And I just love that bit of Jim saying “give me an echo, Gallagher”. Yeah, Frank. Hurry the fuck up! Lol

He def. gives Jim echo, for sure!

And I am listening away, awed, reminding myself these boys are babies! That Simple Minds is barely 4 years old and that Charlie has only just turned 22 and that they are already a musical “tour de force”.

If anyone is dismissive in front of me….daring to say “Meh, Simple Minds” I’d reply “LISTEN TO THIS! Then tell me ‘Meh, Simple Minds’, ya fud!”

(P.S. That ident pic. Virginia was talking about this photoshoot with me a few days back, saying these particular ones of the band, up on the hill, are her faves. There is one in this bunch with a guy wheeling a pram around in the background. That’s her fave. Of those ones, this one is probably mine – Jim’s face! I could pinch those cheeks! And then snog him something rotten! – In my dreams.)

Visual Treats

Well, for me anyways. Quite a number of photos I hadn’t seen before in the pages of this little booklet.

I’m sharing most of the previously unseen (by me) photos within. A few of them have been around before but I just liked scanning them and having a perhaps better copy than I previously did.

I’ve tried to clean some of them up. The print quality of the booklet wasn’t the best so I’ll try to share good, clean scans of the photos.

For now though…

Felt Cute…

*Feeling cute. Might delete later – IDK*
(Insert #selfie fail for added effect.)

It’s a silly meme thing and I looked it up to get the wording right. Lol. But…you know, for a very rare moment I was here in my room sitting on my bed and I kind of did just in that moment “feel cute”. Several selfie attempts and fails later, I took the one I was most happy with. But the one right before it is kinda cute too…as a fail.

You know how I was saying the other day that Jim was getting nothing from me for his birthday? Well…he can have this! Me – being very uncharacteristically (for me) bolshy and full of myself saying – HERE, Jim – me! Have photos of me for your birthday. See what ya missing, boy! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

Yeah, I know. Oh, well…the bravado and bolshiness was there for a few seconds anyway.

Still feeling cute for now. Bite me!
(P.S. You may notice something new in the right side of the photos…)

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