A Chemical Reaction

Ever heard of Galaxians? Nope, me neither until Field Music’s David Brewis mentioned them on the Field Music Instagram account on Friday.

A new album of theirs (Galaxians) had been released and he was recommending it for your weekend listening pleasure. He said “our Leeds compadres Galaxians (he actually tagged their Insta a/c) have a new album out! Features the finest synthesizing this side of Bernie Worrell’s most-holy ghost.”

A person leaving a comment quoted that last part with a “SOLD!” at the end of their comment.

And I was really taken by the cover art. With me still in the middle of reading Lanark, there was something of the Alasdair Gray to the album cover art. So I thought “I need to give this a listen.

And for the past two nights I have done. Wow! Not just synths. Drums! E-drums. Linn drums maybe? I’m no expert. The vocals! Wow! And the style/genre – harking back to real PROPER funk, soul and r&b. I’m not sure about the Bernie Worrell reference. I am yet to see exactly what that pertains to. All I know is – THIS is a summer album! AND IT COMES FROM LEEDS?! It’s like that constant mindfuck of knowing that Average White Band hail from Dundee. Lol. You never expect these kind of sounds to spring forth from the UK.

Anyways, I am with David Brewis firmly on this one. You could do worse things on a rainy Sunday in Glasgow (or wherever else in the world you find yourself in currently) than listening to Galaxians new Chemical Reaction album.

Spotify link below…

You can buy their music from Bandcamp also. I’ve just gone and bought the album in vinyl. Bandcamp wording is a clickable link directly to their page.

Aussie Ogling…

This arrived in the post today…of particular interest for this Aussie SM fan. I need to cast my professional ogling eye over it and see what’s what.

Some things I have seen before, others not. I am hoping for a surprise or two. We’ll see.

I hope there’ll be something good to share. It’s Kerrsday after all. Fingers crossed!

Jim (and Charlie – for a little bit) Speaks!

Talking about political activism in the 1980s and the Minds part in it. This…washing away of its relevance now. “It’s all been said.” That may be so, Jim. But…no one’s learning! So we need to keep fighting the good fight! Please! Don’t just wash it away with “it’s all been said”. Well…don’t bloody bother writing anything as poignant and relevant as Walk Between Worlds then, eh? Just…you know…”nae bother”.

Please, Sir! YOU HAVE A VOICE! USE IT! IT’S STILL RELEVANT!

Anyway…that’s my peace. As a fan. Who loves you. And loves you even more when you express some political cut and thrust. I’m not telling you to go all Bono. By any means, just…don’t be afraid to nail your colours to the mast, okay?

EDIT:

So…it was on YouTube this video…and then Reuters took it down and embedded it onto a page on their website. Thanks, Reuters!

A link to view the video is here: https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/11/22/simple-minds-look-back-at-political-acti?videoId=630401340

The Lowe Benchmark

The latest Record Collector looking into the best of Nick Lowe.

The bit about The Pretenders’ Stop Your Sobbing. I had NO IDEA that Nick and Chrissie had been an item! You learn something new every day, peeps!

Big Gold Dreams – A Story Of Independent Scottish Music: 1977 -1989

Due for release on February 22nd on the Cherry Red Records label is a 5 CD box set of the best of Scottish music released on independent record labels from for first stages of punk in 1977, through to the modern mainstream in 1989.

It’s an impressive and extensive list of acts to come out of such a small country, and a number of them go on to find major commercial success – none more successful than “our” Simple Minds – then not quite fully formed and under the original moniker of Johnny And The Self Abusers. The song that features is Dead Vandals (of the two songs that JATSA commercially produced, this is the one I prefer – even though Saints And Sinners by its pace adheres more to the punk ethos).

Below is a review in the most recent issue of Record Collector magazine. The review is very good. At the end of the post, you find a “taster” playlist on Spotify as to what’s to come on the box set.

You’ll also find a documentary, well, more a multi-interview piece about the music scene in Scotland during this thriving and almost creatively saturated period – with contributions from industury insiders, DJs and presenters and musicians.

Show Me What You Can Do

Much like with Simple Minds, I had been aware of Talking Heads for the longest time. My brother had copies of More Songs About Buildings And Food and Fear Of Music. At least in my head these are the TH album covers I remember seeing in his collection.

I don’t remember him listening to them much…but he must have. And I certainly never listened to them (I would sneak into his bedroom when he was out with friends and play his albums on his full stack sound system). I remember being a little scared of the cover of MSABAF – it looked rather strange to my young eyes for some reason.

As I got older, I naturally became more aware of them. Knew things like Psycho Killer, Once In A Lifetime, Burning Down The House – in the age of MTV such groundbreaking videos made in impact. Then of course Stop Making Sense was a HUGE thing in the cinemas upon its release. It was EVERYWHERE!

As I got more exposed to their music over the past few years, I have a favourite in amongst the songs I know of theirs – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).

Over the past couple of months, I have started to immerse myself in the music of Talking Heads. It’s been a progression.

First I gave Fear Of Music the odd listen. Cities started to grow on me as a track. I then started to listen to MSABAF and recently that has really, really grown on me. It is the album I currently play most. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel is currently the constant earwarm. But a lot of the album is really getting under the skin.

This is how music from particular artists would seep in and finally make an impact with me. It was rarely an instantaneous thing. It’s always been like true love is…a growth. A measured process.

I feel a little silly for being retrograde with this stuff…but that is the shining legacy of the music I grew up with – that there was SSOOO much great stuff around one worried they would spread themselves too thin trying to explore it all.

I feel I should try and give new bands and new music my time too. I try – but it certainly doesn’t come from the charts. That stuff really does not interest me at all. That may be some inverted snobbery there. But I can’t help but feel snobbish when chart “music” feels much more about marketability than being an artistic endeavour.

I think the exploration of Talking Heads will continue…and I’m sure lots of other retrograde and retrospective explorations of late 70s/early 80s post-punk/new wave outfits will continue.

Vive la music!

New Wave: Dare To Be Different On DVD

A great documentary about Long Island radio station WLIR that broadcasted from 1959 until it was forced to close from having its licence revoked in 1987.

A champion of the second British invasion of the early 1980’s due to an overhaul and change in musical output. The station was very popular for those wanting exposure to new music, esp. the stuff that was being shipped and imported from across the Atlantic.

Many artists from the 70s and 80s music scene were interviewed for the documentary, among them Billy Idol, Midge Ure, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Curt Smith, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, Fred Schneider, Mike Peters, Tom Bailey, Lol Tolhurst, Nick Rhodes and Mike Score – to name a few.

In amongst those interviewed was Jim. There were just two small snippets of him talking and New Gold Dream was used as an opening musical introduction to the backstory and brief history of Long Island and the beginnings of what was then LIR – Long Island Radio.

Here are those snippets for SM fans to enjoy. I do highly recommend viewing the whole documentary if you get the chance. I’ve been waiting months to watch it myself, having to wait for its release onto DVD.

Jittery Jim

He mentioned very recently about suffering nerves…which is odd because in interviews I’ve seen from the time he says he’s NOT nervous onstage…maybe it was only ever beforehand? Or an act of denial, defiance and bravado to say such things in those interviews? Maybe just…the build up to going out onstage got the better of him? And once there…

Not that you can ever see it! On the very odd occasion it may be detectable, but only through the result of him taking…substances…to combat it, and looking somewhat glassy-eyed (the Hurrah’s Club clips are one such giveaway). But he is still utterly enthralling, mesmerising…captivating.

Anyways, the organiser of the Futurama gigs that happened in the early eighties mentions Jim’s nervousness (and subsequent mishap) here….
(highlighted in pink)

I’m sure Jim also talked about the Futurama 3 gig recently, but I can’t find that on SMO…but below is a link to the post on China Crisis in which he mentions having attacks of pre-gig nerves.

The Adam Sweeting Book…


Naughty boys!! Oh my damn god, I would give my left arm to have been there! 

Like when I read this Bowie book years ago…all that stuff with the Mainman years…it just sounded so f***ing AWESOME!! 

I would SSOO want to be in that “boys club”! Can I swap with Jane, please?!! Or just be one of the groupies?! Be Jim’s slag. Lol. Hell, I got it baaaaaad! 

That’s the difference though with the Bowie days. I read that and just want to soak up the atmosphere of it. Be immersed in the chaos. Never had a thing for David like that…as much as I adore him as a performer and musician. But with Jim?! Yep! Use me. Abuse me. Spit me out! Lol. I’d take it all. Or just be sitting there…or standing about…just waiting and waiting. 

I WANT A TARDIS!! 

It’s going to be a great read, even if some or most is fiction. Who knows? 

And the picture. The second picture! Just…kill…me…now!