One Of The Banned

Whenever I see something that I think will interest Jim these days I can’t think of any other way to try to get it to him than to just….post it here. As if he would visit here! But…how else am I meant to do it? There’s no point posting anything via SM social media – he’s never there. Those days are gone.

For fear of sounding like the continual scratched record – I miss being able to easily get to share these things with him. Just to highlight something that I’d think would intrigue him and it might have invoked a ‘conversation’ (commas needed, as it would be a written thing rather than an oral dialogue).

Anyway, I digress.

This is from Reason magazine. I was only looking through it for the first time ever today and their main feature in the magazine was looking at books that had been banned. The Master and Margarita was one of the books they covered. I thought the piece might be of interest to Jim, and/or Charlie. It made me wonder whether Charlie ever got my version of Behemoth that I painted for him – and whether he actually kept it if he did?

I may actually have to revisit the book, seeing how much I have been enjoying the religious studies element of my study so far.

New Book Release by Sheila Rock

I had discussions about this with Malcolm Garrett as he said he was feeling a little nervous and overwhelmed to be asked to contribute to it (I think it might be this particular release anyway).

He at least spoke to me about Sheila bringing out a book and I am guessing this may be the one – due out in autumn. In this post a few days back on Instagram, she says that Jim has been involved with it too, obviously in turn making it that more exciting for yours truly. Especially if there are more photos from this session inside the book. OMG! I made a whole poetry thing with this “Jimmy Jesus” photo of Sheila’s. Lol. It’s still on my bedroom wall (the photo with the poetry). It has my favourite line of poetry I have ever written ending it…

“I find you intoxicating, and will be happy, spending all the rest of my days, drinking you in from afar” – I know! Lol. Hardly Wordsworth, Shelley or Keats…but I like it. And this was the image that inspired it. That jacket. Those troosers. Them boots! (You can’t see them in this image but trust me, he’s wearing them!)

Thank you so very much, Sheila Rock. Looking forward to this book.

P.S. If you follow me on Facebook you’ll also be familiar with another Sheila Rock image of Jim from this same session that I use for my frequent “18:18 – Timecheck” posts. 😁😁❤️

See The Heights!

I had heard about the infamous Glasgow Apollo stage and its height. Some people had accused others of making the stage sound higher than it was. I had always been intrigued to see it and get some idea with my own eyes. I had never seen a photo of it – until today!

OMG! I don’t think many people were exaggerating about its height! It has be be at least 10 feet tall. Maybe 12 feet. Geez Louis! I’d have NEVER seen Jim standing at the front there!

Even the first few rows of seats wouldn’t really see that much. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted a front row seat there! I can see why people stood on the chairs in there now!

Anyway, the photo was originally posted by the Glasgow Chronicles FB page. Just wanted to share the image here.

Quality Is Key

There’s been a recent newcomer on YouTube, uploading SM bootlegs. Some I really enjoyed as they were of a fairly decent quality – others …. not so great.

The most recent upload I was really excited to see was another from the tail end of 1982 – my all time favourite period for listening to them live.

I started to tune in last night but I quickly stopped, disappointed that the quality of the audio just WASN’T there.

They had shared the upload on one of the SM fan group pages with a cheeky “Art & Talk who???” comment. Lol

Well, if you’re going to be full of bravado about it, then honestly, A&T has nothing to fear because A&T uploads QUALITY!

I’ll even delve into periods of the band I am not so enamoured with because I know the sound quality of the bootleg will be “to a standard”. It is why I listened to the Glastonbury set a few nights ago. As much as I love the Good News From The Next World album, and as great as the band was live at the time, there is an element of Jim’s singing voice at that period that grates on me. I don’t really know what it is – I just don’t like the way he sounds at that point. It’s mostly to do with word annunciations and nuances in pronunciations of words – kind of “American mid-west crooner” kind of style. Or more … over-emphasised “blues man”. It just sounds false and kind of protracted and laboured. It wasn’t so pronounced at the Glastonbury gig so I did enjoy it but other gigs from the time, his voice just gets on my tits and I have to stop listening (sorry, Jim!).

So, yes, the quality of A&T’s uploads means I *will* listen to things I normally wouldn’t. Not always. Some I still haven’t dabbled in – but I’ll get around to it.

Of course there are some points in the history of the band’s bootlegs in which it will be nigh on impossible to have quality recordings. Unless they actually had made recordings for radio, etc, and they were professionally recorded, there is going to be little quality around.

And still, for my own level of interest in wanting to listen to bootlegs – quality is key. It is why I shied away from dabbling into bootlegs for so long. One) the general poor quality of recordings, and two) I wasn’t overly into live music when I first got into the band. That has changed massively since being a SM fan and now I really enjoy the live music experience. And I actually find the bootleg experience to be a much better (and truer) representation of what it is like being at a gig than a more professionally recorded thing with full production techniques and “in studio ‘enhancements’” and overdubs made to them.

I want to hear the crowd! Yes, I hate having some bloke being a pub singer right next to me and wailing over the top so I end up hearing much more of them than I do of Jim! But I’d prefer that than to no crowd noise at all and Jim’s voice sounding perfectly audible … almost as if he had gone and recorded his voice in a studio 🤨🤔🤔

If you’re going to give me a live album – make it LIVE. Don’t fiddle with it! Give me the imperfections and the crowd noise.

Still, one wonders exactly HOW MUCH is *live* at the gigs these days. Well, not much at the moment in good old Covid World.

But I digress.

Bootlegs – they need to be of a certain standard. They can still have the crowd and the punters talking and singing and you can hear the cheers and the screams and that makes you feel a part of it. And the band still sounds full and strong, and you can hear Jim’s patter between songs and he always sounds amazing and emotive, sometimes even breathless, and on the VERY ODD occasion, off key – but it all adds to the magic.

So, you provide the quality and I’ll keep on listening – capiche?!

Magazine Malcolm

“It isn’t creating art. It’s a job in the service of information.”

A great interview with Malcolm Garrett in the latest edition of Electronic Sound magazine. (And who knew he’d produced music?! I didn’t! You learn something new every day, folks!)

Click the “Assorted iMaGes” (you see what I did there? Lol) for a better view of the individual pages.

And GEEZ, I’M SLOW! I’ve only JUST taken in why the “iMaGes” part of the name is written that way. Duh!!! Lol

BBC Radio 2 – Best Albums Of The 1980s – National Album Day

Tomorrow is National Album Day and it has a theme this year – the 1980s. Celebrations abound over the next 48 hours or so. Special limited edition albums and singles are to be released today, available in record stores across the country.

Tim Burgess is holding a day of themed listening parties via his “Tim’s Listening Party” Twitter account tomorrow – mostly involving the albums that have been released to celebrate the day.

BBC Radio 2 have joined in the celebration by asking fans and collating the results with a panel of judges (involved in the music business) for the Top 40 Best Albums of the 1980s. The Top 10 list was revealed in the early hours of the morning on the BBC News site in the Entertainment and Arts section. I won’t link to the Top 10 here just yet. I feel a bit peeved it got revealed before the broadcast of this (information below), in actual fact.

Gary Davies hosts the Sounds of the 80s on Radio 2 and tonight at 8pm BST, he’ll be doing a countdown of the Top 40 Best Albums of the 1980s.

Will New Gold Dream feature in THIS list? It bloody better! Well, at least ONE Simple Minds album should! I’d even be happy if it was LITCOL to be honest.

Anyway, I’ll be tuning in to see how the list pans out and what gets where.

Click on the image to go to the page that will get you tuned into Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s.

Simple Minds Top Five

A surprising Simple Minds Top 5, I’d say but probably not from an American fan stand point. And nothing really discussed post 1986 which, well…given the broader subject of this YouTuber’s channel is 1980s music, it makes sense. But…SM did have the high selling Live In The City Of Lights and Street Fighting Years released before the decade was done.

I guess for me, sadly, most songs from Once Upon A Time feel overplayed now. So I do try and limit my exposure to them. I loooooved Sanctify Yourself at the time but I feel overexposed to it now. Which makes me sad that I don’t enjoy listening to it as much as I once would have. The same goes with Alive And Kicking. I need to be reminded of the greatness of some of these songs as the overexposure leaves me jaded. And the less we talk about Copenhagen and “ba-na-na-na”, the better! Lol. I’m sure Jim would LOVE that Otis Reading comparison!

But then there are other songs that I never, ever tire of. And two of the others in his Top 5 fall into that category – namely: Waterfront and Promised You A Miracle.

And there are tracks on Once Upon A Time I still love hearing: Ghostdancing, Oh Jungleland, I Wish You Were Here are the ones I still love to hear.

The thing I will say about Don’t You and all the crap urban myths that abound with this is – some time back (4-5 years ago) I saw Billy Idol tweet Keith Forsey with a question that read “did you offer me Don’t You (Forget About Me) to record?” Keith Forsey replied “No.” And then Billy Idol tweeted – “I REST MY CASE!” Lol

Anyway, see what you think. Do you agree with the Professor of Pop’s choices? Let me know what you think. What would be YOUR Top 5 Simple Minds tracks?

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!