When One Thing Leads To Another – And What Things!

A couple of days ago, I saw an FB friend tag Brian McGee, mentioning him in a post and it suddenly had me thinking “I’ve not really seen much from Brian of late, and he friended me a while back. Has he just not been posting? Or has FB been glitching and not been showing me his updates? So I went looking at his FB profile to see.

And well, it would seem, a bit of both things happened. Brian doesn’t post TOO often, but I had also not seen any recent posts. One in particular escaped my attention from the end of September. A post Brian had been tagged in, from Jaine Henderson…with a gem of a photo within it.

Before doing this post, I had contacted Jaine to ask permission to share the photo here. It’s one thing that she put it on FB and tagged Brian (which in turn means Brian’s friends, and friends of friends can see it…it has a limited publicity), quite another thing to have it here, so I thought it best to at least try and seek permission.

I am yet to get a reply, so, with some trepidation, I will share it here in the hope it is okay, as it actually has been open to public eyes. Neither Jaine nor Brian seem to know who the photographer is…but it was obviously someone in “the gang”.

It’s just a great snapshot. Those ties!! That wallpaper! Lol. OMG – Joe looks like a BABY! Lol (And he’s older than Jim! Only by a few months.) Brian in those shades. JIM WITH A GUITAR?! WTF?! Obviously just a prop. And his shades too! Lol

I must admit when I first saw it, Brian stuck out instantly. I mean it’s on his FB timeline, but I recognised him straight off. And then over to the right side of the photo I was looking, thinking “that looks for ALL THE WORLD like Jim – but he’s got a guitar?! Surely not!”

Reading the comments revealed with certainty who was in the picture:
From left to right: Joe Donnelly, Brian McGee, Tony Donald, Jim Kerr

One question posed by someone in the comments wondered if Charlie Burchill had taken the photo. No one seemed sure. Brian thinks the photo dates from around 1976.

Let’s hope it’s okay to stay here. If not, of course I will remove at once!

UPDATE: Permission kindly granted. Thank you, Jaine 🙂

Caezar – Oran Mor, Glasgow – July 27th, 2018

From the personal front…I endured the hell on earth that is the red-eye overnight coach from London to Glasgow. It had been a VERY warm day in London, and I was dreading boarding a coach with no working air con. Thankfully, THERE WAS WORKING AIR CON! Praise be! At least that aspect of the journey would be comfortable.

Arrived in Glasgow just after 7.30am desperate for coffee. Nearest coffee shop I found was a Starbucks. Needs must! After a caffeine fix, the next thing I needed was a doughnut (or two), so it was off to Tantrum! Two doughnuts and two butterbeers later, I was barely functioning.

I walked around a bit…killing time until I could book into the guesthouse I was staying at at the top of Renfrew Street. I slowly meandered up the road, taking diversions along the way as a big swathe of Renfrew Street is closed of due to the most recent horrific fire that engulfed the Glasgow School of Art and the ABC music venue. Such a tragic thing to happen to the city.

A chance for a few hours rest before the gig and BOY, did I need it! I had about an hour’s fitful sleep at best on the coach. Essentially, I had been awake over 28 hours…I needed sleep! I was able to book into the guesthouse early and get a couple of hours of solid, restful sleep.

78ADD63C-54E6-47D5-A56C-26D52A87EDB7

Once at the venue, I met up with Ronnie McGhie and his lovely wife, Mary. We were chatting away and having drinks, when after about 45 minutes or so…who should walk past? (I had my back to him, so didn’t see him at first) Just…the one and only Mr Brian McGee, ladies and gentlemen!

To say I had a “fangirl freakout” would be…a bit of an understatement, actually! Lol. He was wonderfully piss-taking of my reaction to seeing him! Lol. Honestly! Lol. I lost it, BIG TIME! I’m surprised I didn’t cry! Lol. I cringe now…but I was just so over the moon. Such a silly thing. But there is such an emotional tie attached to it!

456E715F-4102-49BC-8D8B-DC81F125A96F

He was really, really lovely. And well…you can see from my brief post about it, sharing the picture with him, and my signed Sweat In Bullet picture sleeve just what it all meant. (The pic above is the more “composed” shot. Lol)

On to the gig itself?

Support, again, came from the lovely Louise Connell. Her tunes are definitely catchy, and I am already finding myself singing along to her songs. I must check out her material beyond seeing her live performances.

E6082089-4149-4D3E-81EE-F9D7A4AF2D46

There was more of a crowd at Friday night’s gig. We were in Glasgow after all. The “tough home crowd”!

I enjoyed the gig…but hand on heart…it didn’t quite have the same feel as Windsor. I am SURE the pressure was on to do good in front of a local crowd…and I feel that might have played a part.

Where JJ was fully relaxed and happy to have some “banter” with the crowd in Windsor…he was not as talkative on Friday night. The pressure he was feeling felt palpable to me. Still a very, very strong vocal performance.

0FD382E2-0E97-41DC-B3C8-60DC237FBABC

Acoustics were a little out of balance, I felt. It’s hard to compare it probably for at Windsor there was a drum track, but at Oran Mor we had the immense talent of Brian McGee on drums.

Oran Mor is a small venue. It was my first time there, and I am not familiar with its acoustics.

In all other aspects, the gig was great. The set flowed pretty well. Jinky’s vocal was clear and solid. But there was just…not quite the connection for me with the crowd as there had been at the Old Court. But that may have just been a personal feeling on my part. All of this stuff is so subjective.

4EB665D5-F754-4069-90F2-14A54EC32AD6

I got the feeling from the reaction of the rest of the crowd that many others enjoyed the gig too. I did as well. Don’t get me wrong! It was just those niggling after thoughts. It just…had a different feel to Windsor.
Did I regret going? Travelling 800 miles as a round trip there and back to see them? NO! Would I do again? Yes!
I’ll be there at future gigs, no doubt! And I absolutely adore the album. Those of you who were at the gig, and have yet to listen to the album, I implore you to do so. You can listen to it on Spotify. Give it a go. There’s nothing to lose. Joe and JJ really have made some wonderfully atmospheric music with a heart and soul to it. Find below a link to Spotify for their album, Time.

In case the link is not appearing when viewing on a desktop PC, you can click the album link to Spotify HERE

I am a firm Caezar fan, of that you can rest assured.

Next gig on the horizon (heaven help me!) is SM, Pretenders and KT Tunstall at Kent Event Centre, Maidstone, on Saturday. That overriding sense of trepidation is starting to bubble up inside me already. Hell! 😦

Me And Mr McGee

It was an absolute honour and privilege to have met this man last night. He was funny and warm, and gently ribbed me for my extreme fangirl shock of seeing him. Lol

I never expected it to happen, only ever hoping it would.

Thank you, Brian 🙂 The fact that I got to thank you personally meant everything to me. Sorry I went a bit “fangirl” on you! Lol. Thanks once again for signing my single 🙂

You gave a great performance last night too. To actually see you play…I kept pinching myself! Good luck with Monday’s gig – you’ll knock it out the park!

I think my face in the photo sums everything up!

My Pal The Drummer

The next Caezar gig is imminent – happening tomorrow night, in fact. Tonight I start my travels up to Glasgow for the gig. Two coach journeys…some 10 hours of travel. Coach travel being the most cost-effective way of getting to Glasgow and back (unless you book a flight MONTHS in advance, or manage to get a deal with a seat sale on the trains), but not really the most “joyous” way to travel. But the rewards are great!

I already know that Caezar are well worth the effort for the hours of travel having seen them on Saturday night.

During my conversation with JJ, he told me that Brian McGee would be playing drums for them at Oran Mor tomorrow night. I think I may have had a little freak out when he told me. Lol

I then spoke to Joe and mentioned to him that Jinky had told me about Brian. He confimred that, yes, Brian would be playing with them. “We’ve not played in a band together since we were 15.”

I kept it to myself, in case I was not meant to say anything about it. It wasn’t up to me to spill the beans, but knowing this info gave an extra bubble of excitement to tomorrow night’s gig.

From the earliest days of being a Simple Minds fan, I have wanted to meet Brian to personally thank him for playing his part in the Simple Minds story…and for the drumming on Boys From Brazil, in particular. I really do hope I get the opportunity to meet him and express that. But, beyond that…I never imagined I’d ever by privelged enough to see him play live.

This next Caezar gig is going to be extra special. I think tomorrow night is shaping up to be even MORE special than last week’s gig in Windsor (and that was pretty special already!)

As a side note – Brian is actually standing in at short notice. The drummer Caezar were meant to be having with them, Liam Bradley, had to pull out, requiring emergency eye surgery. I wish Liam a full and speedy recovery.

Magazine Clippings – 1980, 1981 – Gig Reviews, Band News and Tour And New Music Info

The first snippet is dated Dec 6th, 1980. More tour dates for SM…it’s starting to wear Brian McGee out already…

5D380FC6-1486-4175-9FF0-876A8FBF5559

Next – a review of their gig at Tiffany’s on March 1st, 1981 (printed in March 14th edition of NME). Brian’s final gig with them in Glasgow. Why they get labeled as being “pretentious” with their music at this point, I will never know. Anyway, the review ends unltimately positive. Thank fark for that!

The description of Jim walking onto the stage is utterly delicious. Uber cool…sex on legs. Geez, I wish! (Why was I only 10 years old and stuck in Sydney? *weeps into hands*)

8FECED3E-4388-473A-8310-3D34BAFD9EB5

Then…the parting of the ways with Brian and the ringing in Kenny Hyslop for his short tenure. (Reported on in the NME, dated July 25th, 1981)

Then finally, info on Sister Feelings Call being (from Oct 16th 1981) sold as a separate entitiy to Sons And Fascination, as opposed to them being twinned together in a package.

BEDCB989-FA17-4919-AE03-96AAF7A80F9A

He’s The Best, Paul!

This would have been the exact same thing I would have done, until recently…lol (making the faux pas of not knowing WTF Paul Thompson was. The only drummer named Paul Thompson I knew of is in Franz Ferdinand. Lol)

Gig Review – NME, October 14th, 1978 – The Future Is kerr And Burchill

Wow…Ian Cranna hit the nail on the head, or what?! Will you look at that! And, some  near 40 years on…they are the mainstays. It is an amazing review, really. Very constructive. Not sycophantic. He did highlight shortcomings…but, wow!

Oh, to have been there at that time. Just so absolutely fucking exciting. I wish, I wish, I wish! But…I wasn’t even 8 years old (not for another two weeks after the review was published), and living on the other side of the world. You can’t turn back time. But I can love them in the here and now. And I do!

Still doesn’t stop me wishing for a TARDIS ride, or 17…

13E1D883-52BC-4BC9-A091-23406AE7A464