Why I Love…Oh Jungleland

Glasgow is now a city I am longing to live in. The first time I visited Glasgow was in November, 2016. I felt an instant affiliation with the place. It had been many years I had wanted to visit Scotland’s most populous city. My first (and subsequently ONLY one up until that point) visit to Scotland had been a 16 hour whirlwind visit to Edinburgh and, to be honest, Edinburgh really didn’t do much for me at the time, and so I had always wished to see Glasgow to compare and contrast.

Well, it only took me another 15 years to get to Glasgow! It was a “freebie”. I had auditioned and secured a place on quiz show Fifteen To One, so my trip was all expenses paid. I arrived on the evening of November 5th – Bonfire Night. I was up on the 11th floor of the Jurys Inn on Jamaica Street. I may not be a “kid called hope” and the only reason I was holding out my hand was to film the view of the Clyde from “this highrise land”. And I wasn’t seeing the Northern Lights, but I was seeing fireworks being fired off all over the south and east sides of the city. It was beautiful.

Obviously my soundtrack for that night WASN’T Oh Jungleland but Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel.

The first thing I did when I arrived in Glasgow was to get a cab to the Old Dumbarton Road and to Tantrum Doughnuts. I bought three of them to go so I could enjoy them once I got to the Jurys Inn. As I waited for the taxi to come and collect me and get me to the hotel, I was offered a cigarette by a very dishevelled (in all likelihood homeless) but kindly gent. “No, I’m sorry. I don’t smoke, but thanks for offering anyway.” Even a Weegie that hard on his luck would offer a complete stranger a cigarette. Was I a little scared? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. That section of Old Dumbarton Road at that time was not exactly teeming with people and it was already dark and I was alone. Despite feeling a little vulnerable, I felt a huge sense of being welcomed.

Anyway…on to the song itself!

Uplifting from the get go with a fun little keyboard melody and a great guitar riff from Mr Burchill. Subtle yet perfect basslines from Mr Giblin and immaculate Gaynor drumbeat.

Only Jim could make a bleak and cold winter in Glasgow sound romantic “you’ve got the long nights” – put a parentheses of lines around it “you’ve got the love drugs” and “you got the heartbeat that spirals to heaven” and you have an irresistible romantic image of the city.

It has been a favourite Simple Minds song since I first heard it back in 1985. The only album I ever had of Simple Minds’ for many years was Once Upon A Time. I played the whole album regularly once I had it…but I never really kept up the momentum of being a Simple Minds fan. Never felt compelled to explore the back catalogue. Lost touch with them after a year or so after OUAT was released. Remember liking Belfast Child a few years later…but that was it.

Oh Jungleland to me is much more a homage to Glasgow as a whole. Waterfront concentrates more on the Clyde to me. Mr Kerr may tell me otherwise.

It’s uplifting and gives a sense of belonging. It feels like it says within the context of the lyrics…“This is my city. My people. It’s the city that made me.” The place has a beauty all its own. I see it every time I’m there. And that phrase…the city’s moto has never been a truer symbol of a city I have ver seen “people make Glasgow”. They do.

They place I grew up in is an area of south-western Sydney called Busby. On a street called Ayrshire Street. The family surname is McInnes (that’s the Scottish version of the spelling, either this or Mac). I have a mixture of Irish, English, German and Aborigine (the Scots blood is in my siblings – I should have actually been a Lawson, but took the McInnes name for convenience – well, more had it foisted on me). I can’t tell you what kind of annoying hell that was growing up – having the name Larelle – which NOBODY in Australia seems able to pronounce properly! – combine that with McInnes – then put Ayrshire Street, Busby into the mix and I DREADED being asked for my name and address over the phone! At least in person I could just ask for a pen and spell it all. Phone calls that I knew I needed to make where these questions would be asked became ritual “Larelle = L – A – R – E – double L – E. McInnes = M – C – I – double N – E – S. Fifteen – ONE FIVE Aryshire Street: A – Y – R – S – H – I – R – E street. Busby = B – U – S – B – Y. I DO NOT miss those days! And, yes, I still do have to do spelling of my name and address, but now in the days of the Internet, not so much. Phew!

Back then I would have NEVER foreseen the notion that one day I would be moving to Scotland. It was never really something on my radar. There was always more of an allure to the UK, culturally. The music in particular. I think I would have described myself as (erroneously) as an Anglophile. But I suppose the pull was stronger to England, initially. But the pull to Scotland gained more force. And over the past 10 years became a pipe dream of getting out of England and moving to. But it never seemed something remotely tangible until about 12 months ago.

So soon, somewhere in Scotland will be home. And with any luck, “Oh Jungleland” will be the place I call “home sweet home” – or as a little plaque I saw in the market stalls in Merchant City on my most recent trip up had said “Hame Sweet Hame”. I was SO tempted to buy it, but I didn’t. Hopefully the market seller will be there in several months time when there is a wall to hang the plaque on.

And that is a rather personal account of why I love Oh Jungleland.

BB787F23-9D1A-4E48-A201-5E910AE74C81

Tao Be Or Not Tao Be…

That is the question.

It is many a SM fan’s holy grail, to go to Taormina for a stay at Villa Angela.

I was mulling over the idea again tonight. Looking at what’s available at the hotel and checking plane fares from Luton to Catania around my birthday.

The idea of spending my 49th birthday there is mildly alluring. I’d rather much go for my 49th than make a hoo-ha about my 50th.

OH MY GOD! I AM TURNING 50 next year! I can’t! I’ve wasted too much of my life being an absolute useless waste of oxygen! And now I am going to be 50. WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE?! Absolutely fuck all is the answer for the vast majority of it!

I dunno. I don’t know if the place really appeals. I mean…Sicily looks lovely. The views of Mount Etna from Tao in general look stunning. But as for VA itself? I don’t feel the pull to it that others do. I feel more like I am being coerced into the notion of it, you know?

“REAL FANS” go to Villa Angela. Well, Kerr can blow it out his arse if that is something he actually thinks. I’d actually rather visit Toryglen in all honesty. See the humble beginnings rather than what the success has bought Mr Basil Fawlty.

But would I? Am I rebelling for the sake of rebellion? Am I kidding myself I don’t want to go? I certainly don’t want to go in the hight of summer! I have no desire to go in July or August. I’m not even sure I’d want to see a SM gig at the Teatro Greco.

MY “holy grail” of places to see Simple Minds perform is in Oz. Sydney highest of all, but Melbourne and Adelaide also would be wonderful to see.

And probably still a pipe dream, for who knows when they’ll be out there next? Other that? The other place to see them play that I really wanted was Barras and that’s been ticked off the list 🙂

Maybe I’ll do VA next April. The only months that appeal to me for going there are either April or October.

We’ll see.

I was never sure I wanted to shatter the myth of the dream of meeting Jim and now…well, it’s been several encounters now (I bet he’s absolutely sick of the sight of me…stupid bint that I am). I kinda feel the same about VA.

New Date For The Anchoress – Still Can’t Go!

UPDATE: I’ve pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the past 24 hours. Booked a ticket for the gig. Cancelled the Manchester accommodation the night before the Drum Show and booked the train to take me to Manchester on Saturday morning…and staying the night in a hostel near Euston station instead.

So, The Anchoress in London IS ON!!

The Anchoress has added a new date to her album launch shows.

London on September 20th has been added. The day before her Cardiff date.

I can’t go to Cardiff because it’s the day of the Drum Show in Manchester. And because it starts early, I decided it would be best to travel to Manchester the day before.

So now…that rules out London as well! Yay ☹️☹️☹️
It would have been so bloody handy to get to as well. Fuck it!

Well…I can only hope for other dates. Never mind. It is what it is, eh…

You can get tickets for the show HERE

Tom Sheehan – How The Hunter Was Unexpectedly Hunted

So, here’s the thing. I was working on social media and my work took me to Instagram. The name Tom Sheehan pops up. A photographer. I thought “His name seems familiar to me in terms of having worked with Simple Minds. I’ll go to the blog and search for him and see what crops up.”

Well, blow me down! What cropped was Melody Maker from November 27th(!), 1982 – and photos of Jim in various poses with a Canadian flag.

HUNTER AND THE HUNTED! My HATH art piece! It was Tom’s photo on the cover I had used for it.

I contacted him on Instagram. He probably thinks me a prized idiot. And is probably highly pissed off I used his photo. 😞☹️

I went on to explain the significance of it for me. What the piece I generated meant. Jim’s reaction to it…everything. And how much I would love to get an original print of the photo. I have no idea if it’s possible. He probably won’t even take me seriously. He may never respond to me.

I can’t afford to buy a print from him yet. And even if it is the only one I ever buy from him…I have to get it! I really hope he can sell it as a print. I have since been to his website and he does sell prints, but whether I can get one of Jim from the MM cover remains to be seen.

I’ll approach him again when I have the money to buy.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Birthday Jim Kerr 🎈#simpleminds

A post shared by Tom Sheehan (@tomsheehan) on

tumblr_o03tsdpp4h1tk38pyo1_1280

Video Theft

Why? I don’t get why anyone would do this. My video of Hunter And The Hunted that I recorded at the Grandslam gig at Colchester Castle Park on August 26th last year was taken and embedded into someone’s personal FB timeline, like the video was their own.

They then shared the clip on various Simple Minds groups and were happy to accept credit for the clip as if it was their own.

I really don’t have a problem with people sharing clips. Sharing the love we have for Simple Minds. But this is different. This was someone taking a clip from YouTube. Copying it off the site, then uploading it on Facebook, on their own timeline, which then makes the clip appear to be theirs.

A decent and honest person would have shared the clip from YouTube by just posting it on their timeline through sharing the YT link. Why didn’t they do that? Why take the clip and embed it in a FB post? It is blatant theft!

If you need proof, here it is. The two clips side by side. My original clip is at the top left, and the clip taken and used on FB is at the bottom right. It is 100% my video.

I’m not very happy about it…but what can I do?