I feel as if the blog is getting a tad neglected while I keep on with my academic pursuits. So here is a brief round-up of recent things of note.
Firstly – at 1pm GMT today, Jim will be taking part in a show on BBC Radio 6 Music with Liz Kershaw titled “Legend In Their Own Lunchtime” – Lol! What a title! I’ll be tuned into that. (BBC Sounds link to the program HERE)
Secondly, the magnificent Sarah Brown has a lovely recorded video of I’m On My Way out. You can watch it below.
Lastly (but definitely NOT least!), there are some new releases from The Anchoress – one is an expanded pack release of her much lauded and highly acclaimed The Art Of Losing album, fresh with five acoustic versions of songs featured on the original release.
Also, in honour of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, Catherine has released a song for Bandcamp Friday and only available this weekend (so be quick!). It’s called The Tradition, and is a cover of a Halsey original. You can download the track from Catherine’s Bandcamp page by CLICKING HERE. Again, be quick with this one if you’d like to hear it.
As a side note, my unit of study this week has been concentrating on Mary Wollstonecraft. The broader branch of study is philosophy but I felt it somewhat conveniently placed in time for the study week to fall inline with International Women’s Day on Tuesday. Wollstonecraft’s ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ still feels like it has relevance today even though we have moved forward in a lot of respects, there is still some ingrained inequality to be dealt with out there.
I don’t think there will ever be true peace and harmony in humankind in all honesty.
Two interviews took place almost simultaneously yesterday. One pre-recorded, the other live.
The live chat happened on BBC Radio Scotland. Grant Stott was hosting The Afternoon show and during the middle of the program, he spoke to Bruce Findlay, Billy Sloan and Graeme Thomson about the book and Simple Minds. You can listen to that interview and chat directly below.
The second interview was on BBC Radio 6 Music. Chris Hawkins was sitting in for Craig Charles and he spoke to Jim about the release of Act Of Love and the anniversary of the Simple Minds debut gig at Satellite City in 1978. Jim was at his loquacious best – although the interview was brief, it was highly entertaining. You can listen to that interview below.
Well, well, well…look what we have here! This week on Billy Sloan’s Show on BBC Radio Scotland, SOMEONE is going to be Billy’s guest. A day after I conduct my interview for this wee blog. (No! I’m not interviewing Jim! In my goddamn dreams. But the person I AM interviewing is relevant to the content of this site…very much so. My lips are otherwise sealed.)
Now…how the fuck am I meant to concentrate on MY interview on Friday with knowledge of THIS now? Come on! Talk about test a woman. Jeez-o!
Look at him! Smug as you like! And I don’t mean Billy! 😁😁😁
It seems things are warming up quite nicely at SMHQ. GOOD! We could do with some cheer at long bloody last!
Not much else for me to say but…tune in to BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday night from 10pm GMT.
Today is the debut of this fine bit of merch! Wasn’t expecting this on Sunday night. Very lovely of Steve to offer me one of these fab shirts. Had their gig been going ahead, I’d be seeing them tonight in Glasgow. I’d have loved nothing better! Alas, it was not to be.
Roll on December 16th and my trip to Newcastle and a Warm Digits Christmas.
Beauty and the Beast was fab. As was the Sunday birthday lunch. Weather was iffy but…meh. It’s Scotland. What are ya gonna do?
Yesterday was the belated added bonus of my Warm Digits boys being on the radio doing a live session on BBC Radio 6 Music on Marc Riley’s show.
They played The View From Nowhere, Feel The Panic and Replication. Replication sounded particularly fantastic. It is clearly going to be a live favourite for me. I remember particularly enjoying that when seeing them support Polica back in Feb. 2020 at St Lukes.
Just before the show was under way, I had an email from Eventim, the ticket agent I bought my tickets for their upcoming Glasgow gig with. The email was informing me that their Glasgow gig is cancelled. Oh, damn!
And yes, it is true. Sadly it is cancelled. But I will get to see them in Edinburgh at the Stag and Dagger in just under two weeks time, so that’s some compensation. Might have to see if I can get to Manchester as well. I have a ticket for their gig at The Cluny in Newcastle, but that’s near Christmas. But I’ll hope that the weather and travel is okay and that I can actually get there too. The Cluny is a fab venue.
In the meantime, here’s a link to BBC Sounds and the Marc Riley show from last night. He played a great blend of music. I recommend listening to the whole show. It was very entertaining.
Want something SPOOKY to get your teeth into for Halloween? Then may I suggest the Battersea Poltergeist?
I have spent the past week freaking myself out listening to this podcast at night…in bed…in the dark. Literally shitting myself! Lol. It is really creepy – well I found it creepy. The story centres around a house on number 63 Wycliffe Road, Clapham, home of the Hitchings family. It’s the winter of 1956. Strange things are happening and they seem to centre on 15 year old Shirley, daughter of Wally and Kitty Hitchings. Are the family being haunted by a poltergeist? You can listen HERE
Another podcast I listened to before that was the sad and harrowing story of missing 6 year old Mary Boyle. She disappeared when walking back to her grandparents house in Donegal in 1977. She has never been found. Over the past 44 years suspicion and accusations abound, leading to family relationship breakdowns. The podcast is called No Body Recovered. And you can listen to it by clicking the link HERE
The latest one I have started just last night is called Limelight: The House That Vanished. It’s the story of Neville Presho and his family. After starting a new life in New Zealand, Neville and his wife Fiona decide to return to Ireland with their young family to the remote island of Tory, located nine miles of the north coast of Ireland, off the coast of Donegal. When he moved to New Zealand, Neville left a house on the island, but when he returns to the island to live there with his family, his house is gone! Where did it go? How does a whole house just disappear without anyone on the island seemingly noticing or caring? The link to this podcast is HERE
I was catching up with Billy Sloan’s radio show last night. I haven’t listened in for….a few months now. I think I got a bit overwhelmed by him referring to me as one of his “most loyal” listeners. And to be honest, I wasn’t at that point, though I would listen most weeks. But that statement from him – I guess it kind of put the mockers on it. I didn’t feel worthy of such a thing and then weirdly it kind of then … I dunno. Weird, eh?
Anyway, the previous week he had been asking for favourite songs that mentioned mens names in the lyrics or title. Earlier in the week when he first asked the question the song I chose hadn’t entered my head, even though it had been an earworm for days on end already. By Saturday evening, it was there swirling around as Billy posed the question again just before show time. Of course I put in my choice of “Oh, Jim”. I didn’t end up listening to the show that night. I was chatting away to a friend and ended up “otherwise engaged” but I was intrigued to see if my choice got mentioned. It did. And it seemed Billy had missed me! Bless him! I didn’t expect that at all. Well, I’ve missed him too. He puts on a great show week after week and there’s always something that particularly piques the interest – more on that shortly.
Anyway, that’s a looong preamble to say…I am back listening to Billy Sloan’s show. I didn’t hear it go out live but caught up with it via BBC Sounds last night. The topic was … what do you think is the greatest song of all time? One choice! Mine is “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted?” by Jimmy Ruffin. It’s both sadly melancholic but ultimately uplifting.
Around midway through the show, Billy played “River Deep, Mountain High” and it had me thinking about Jim’s post a few days back about “songs of home” and him talking about Nutbush City Limits – another Ike and Tina Turner song. As River Deep, Mountain High was playing, I am taking in the words as I usually do with the songs I listen to. I always try to pay attention to the lyrics. Not always easy as singers’ diction when they sing can vary wildly so it isn’t always easy to decipher lyrics. Hence the long litany of misheard lyrics. Lol. Nothing wrong with Tina’s diction though. I was taking in the lines “when you were a young boy did you have a puppy?” and then my brain backtracked and was thinking about the first lines of “when I was a little girl I had a rag doll” and “I love you just the way I loved that rag doll” and started thinking… “Hang about? Is THIS the genesis for ‘she rag doll’ in Celebrate?”
I have been in recent times debating this line (one could deem it a “mass debate”, perhaps? Though no…not between just two people it ain’t. Lol) with a friend of mine about the true meaning of that “she rag doll” line. Rather unusually for me, I interpreted rather “innocently” – my version of innocent anyway. More a kind of “canoodling” way….a bit kind of “post-coital spooning” kind of way. My friend informed me that a “rag doll” can be seen much more sexualised than that even. I never considered it to have such potency. I found it potent enough with my interpretation of it to be honest. And if one ponders the lyrics further then “she rag doll, keeps him warm / but this negative shows no form” – then I guess a “rag doll” in its most sexualised sense would NOT show any true form on a negative. My word!
Either way, it’s damn sexy! And it is why I love Celebrate so much. Celebrate, when you get down to the heart of it, is a kind of love song. Well, maybe not a LOVE song – but a song of desire. The desire for lust and life. “A lust for life.” And it’s certainly uplifting. That “dark light” of theirs. Of Jim’s lyrics. Give it a dark heart but make it ultimately “feel good”. God, he’s good at it!
Anyway, River Deep Mountain High seems like the most innocent thing in the world now compared to Celebrate! Lol
Also on Billy’s show, he played this – the new Placebo single. It immediately piqued my interest before it even played as Billy said the title of it is “Beautiful James”. And what a chorus! “Beautiful James / I don’t wanna wake you” – how goddamn beautiful is that?! That’s me right there picturing Jim sleeping and just enjoying the sheer beauty of it. Gorgeous. Just so we end on a rather more innocent note than we could have done on the dirty ditty of Celebrate.
As highlighted on Cherisse’s social media accounts as well as the Simple Minds social media accounts, Cherisse took part in Drumathon Live last night.
The Drumathon is a 264 hour non-stop drumming session, featuring drummers from all different bands from all around the globe. It’s all for charity, raising funds for the NHS and mental health charities, including the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK Trauma Council, Mind, NHS Charities Together, and Child Bereavement UK.
Yesterday morning, Cherisse was interviewed for BBC Radio 5 Live about the Drumathon. She also performed a little snippet of Alive And Kicking during the interview.
Mel Gaynor will also be taking part with his drumming slot taking place between 10am and 10pm on Thursday, May 20th.
You can tune into the live stream and donate by visiting drumathon.live
Catherine Anne Davies – aka The Anchoress was a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme on Tuesday night. In case you missed it, you can listen here. This will remain a permalink of her interview.
I listened in live and it was very good. She was very eloquent, esp. when giving her response to the arts funding boost offered in the latest budget. A mere piss in the ocean. Then again, they dared only give NHS nursing staff a MEAGRE 1% pay rise. Oh, all that money saved from leaving the EU was going to go STRAIGHT into the NHS. Was it just…
Anyway, the wait is nearly over! The Art of Losing is out on Friday, and the Q and A with Pete Paphedis for Rough Trade will happen on Friday evening as well. This is going to be some album launch!
In the meantime, here is the Front Row interview for your lugholes to enjoy.
Geez, I loved them then. What a cracking version of Gloria! And to hear A Celebration being done live is fab. That line in Rejoice “I can’t change the world, but I can change the world in me” resonated so much with me. They were so flipping fab then. Honestly. Just watching this 9 minutes of them had me fist-pumping and singing along. I just don’t feel that from them any more, unfortunately.
I have no idea if Simple Minds were on the same show? They appeared on Get Set For Summer as well, doing Promised You A Miracle and King Is White And In The Crowd…Sweat In Bullet too.
I always find it odd too that these days, retrospectively (or…maybe not so retrospectively), I’d have Jim in a damn heartbeat. But back then I looooooved Bono. I was absolutely GUTTED when I found out he was married. Lol. It didn’t stop me getting jealous of every single girl he’d drag up on stage to dance with him, either. Lol