ICYMI – Enjoy Some Dulcet Tones For Burns Night

Looking for something else to do to celebrate Burns Night other than downing some haggis, neeps and tatties? May I suggest that you get your lugholes around this?

In case you somehow missed it (I dunno how you would!), Jim was on Billy Sloan’s show on Saturday night. Billy did ask one or two questions of Jim that I would want to ask him myself in all honesty. Jim’s responses were actually quite frank and full of humility. It’s always great to hear him talk.

If you missed it, you can catch up with it on BBC Sounds. Click on the player below to listen to a direct extract of the interview.

Of course there was talk about Act Of Love and the first official Simple Minds gig with Billy’s conversation with Jim happening on the actual anniversary of the gig (last Monday, Jan 17th).

The song is still an earworm for me. There was talk of it being played live when the tour commences – that will be great!

Billy’s Smug Mate

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.

I’ll be there!

Photo courtesy of Billy Sloan Show FB page.

Pictorial Passion – Musical Years In Review – 2021 and 1982

Last night Spotify revealed my yearly listening stats to me. There was no real surprise to find Simple Minds at the top of the tree yet again! And that Boys From Brazil was my top track for seventh year running. All the SM tracks in my Top 5 played tracks of 2021 all came from Sons And Fascination and given it was the 40th anniversary of the album, that would be of no surprise to anyone.

My latter love for Jonathan Richman shows itself in him being at number five of my Top 5 played artists.

My top podcast showed how much I have been enjoying Frank Gallagher’s Soundman Confidential this year. I love the bit about that yes, it’s okay for you to consider the host a member of your family now. Lol. Never in a million hears did I ever think I’d be having little online exchanges with Frank! I felt that Jim always made him sound intimidating as fuck, but he’s brilliant and is always wonderful. And even comments on my FB posts sometimes…which I find amazing that he’s sitting there in Flagstaff, AZ, reading my complete pap! Just last week he responded to one of my posts about enrolling in the OU for my Higher Ed. English diploma and my endless self-doubt. His response was “drive til they take the keys away”. I responded by asking him to “spread some gallus my way”. He replied back, “you don’t need anyone’s permission to be yourself”. He’s lovely. Just lovely.

Of course there is much more music I listen to outside of Spotify so it isn’t 100% everything I listen to. I have been listening to SM live bootlegs and gigs much more this year and that won’t be reflected on Spotify stats, just as one example.

Here’s the breakdown of it in full visual splendour.

Lastly, today sees the release of Classic Pop magazine’s retro look back to all things 1982 in a dedicated special issue. In amongst the artists and bands discussed is a piece on the art side of music which features Malcolm Garrett. And of course the main feature to do with Simple Minds is a look through New Gold Dream. There’s a part of it that covers the official videos released. They mention the Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize videos. Someone Somewhere In Summertime was the third single from the album and therefore should have had a video released but one was never made. Instead the magazine talked about this one (below). I love what is said about Jim’s moves. Lol. You’ll not be surprised to learn that I adore this video and quite a bit of art from me has come from it. I will leave my favourite example of that at the end of the post.

Click to play Someone Somewhere In Summertime video.

Sardonically Speaking…

I know that from seeing the Velvet Underground documentary my feeling on Lou Reed was left being quite….disparaging. There was little positivity to be gained from how he was portrayed in that. A remarkable writer and intellect, yes…but not a person you could imagine yourself wanting to spend much time with.

Jim talking about the paradox within the construct of time – a minute feeling like an hour, and vice versa? I could imagine a minute in the presence of a “not in the mood” Lou Reed would feel like hours.

Then I watched this this morning. And yes, he is being a sardonic asshat but he is also being very humorous in a good way. He’s incredulous at the amateurish nature of the interviewer. Poor guy! I feel for him. But unless he got this interview right at the very last minute – WHY hadn’t he done his research?!

It left me feeling … and I feel awful almost for saying it – because there is a sense of schadenfreude watching it – warming to Lou. That he obviously did mellow somewhat over time. That is very apparent to me watching this clip.

The title of the video is slightly misleading…

VU Too

From the makers of Uncut magazine – a WHOLE 124 page special edition on the Velvet Underground, and their individual members. I have only taken a quick glance through it so far – but it looks pretty extensive…and dare I say possibly more insightful than the documentary?

I am still finding myself aghast that with every “Top 10/20 Films Of 2021” list I see, the VU documentary doggedly gets placed ahead of The Sparks Brothers film. The mind boggles!

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying the doc was shite. I’m just saying it wasn’t as good as The Sparks Brothers and in my list of top films for this year, there ain’t no way on earth I am putting the VU doc above The Sparks Brothers doc. No way, no how!

Of course, already the highlight of the whole magazine, before I have even read it, is a piece by Jonathan Richman. The love keeps blossoming, yes! Oh, yes.

Random Roundup

I have a bit of a mish mash of stuff to catch up with on here. Just, general music news and observations over the past few days. All to be brushed upon shortly. I’ve been delayed in getting to the topics coming up because on Sunday I was out pretty much all day with not much opportunity to post prior to leaving home. And yesterday I was just in an exhausted state. Physically knackered and tired, but also in the brain fug that comes with it, not in any real state to be writing blog posts with any kind of clarity. 

Hence two wordy posts today. First the rather extensive one about the Warm Digits set at the Stag & Dagger in Edinburgh on Sunday, and now this general catch up in the world of Simple Minds and associated acts.

Firstly on the Friday was a special Drumathon fundraising for Children In Need. BBC weather presenter, Owain Wyn Evans, came up with the idea and Cherisse Osei was involved. All through Friday drummers took turns to do stints at the kit and raise funds for CIN. The highlight was a mass drum-a-long to the BBC News countdown theme.

You can still donate HERE. Children In Need is on BBC One this Friday (Nov 19th) at 7pm.

Saturday night I tuned into Billy Sloan on BBC Radio Scotland. His special guest for the show was none other than former Dreamboy and Springburn local done good, Peter Capaldi. After some 40+ years in the musical wilderness, Peter has released his debut album titled St Christopher. His interview with Billy was a great one. He discusses getting back into music, the making of the album, the songwriting process, his acting career and highlight roles like playing The Doctor and Malcolm Tucker and meeting Burt Lancaster on the set of Local Hero, and of course he talks about The Dreamboys, the Hellfire Club, Jaine and David Henderson, and meeting Craig Ferguson and Craig becoming drummer for The Dreamboys.

You can listen to the interview by clicking HERE

As I was heading out for the day in Edinburgh, there was a post from Jim on SM FB. Something about tartan shorts. Nah – not the pledge for him to wear some (and nothing else!) on the stage next year (goddamnit!) – but more to do with the construct of time and how time can feel both fleeting and protracted, dependent upon all the other sets of circumstances you find yourself in at any given moment. An hour feeling like a minute when in the company of a pretty girl (or that five minutes when you’re with that man that you bloody swoon over every single second of the day…how that feels like it is gone with a click of the fingers) – I wouldn’t know. Or conversely a short passage of time feeling an eternity. Billy Sloan’s interview a few weeks previous with Patti Smith springs to mind – of her telling the story of waiting on a phone call from her then boyfriend – later to be husband – Fred and how they only got the chance to talk on the phone once a week. He’d call at a prearranged time, but this one week he hadn’t called at the arranged time. An hour went by, then two… while she waits for him to call, she writes her section of lyrics to Because The Night. “Have I doubt when I’m alone / love is a ring, the telephone” – that line symbolic of her waiting on her call from Fred. Actually, the whole song is for him, she said. 

I digress. 

Jim shared a rather different anecdote – one to do with boxing and Ken Buchanan. There was Einstein in there too. And there he was expressing the duality in him that I love – the brains and the brawn. “Brawn” I guess being rather overly complimentary of me as he describes his 12 year old self as being “whippet thin” and me thinking “you were still a whippet 10 years later – ya sexy devil – ggrrrrrr!!!”, more than a little conscious of how sad a fact it is an old, fat ‘coo’ like moi should be crushing on wee skinny boys (of then) like Jim. Talk of a 12 year old “whippet” had me thinking of one boyfriend I had for all of five minutes. 

The view as I typed this post out – of “Whippet Jim” – body of a jockey more than a boxer – and looking for all the world like he is about to take part in the Grand National in this photo by Virginia Turbett. (So glad she got the peachy tush in the mirror!)

Should I share this sad tale of woe here? Ah, go on then! Why the hell not?

When I liked a boy…really liked a boy, I was NEVER going to wait for him to ask me out! (Sometimes I think the 51 year old me could really do with the gallus that the 11/12 year old me had for certain things!) Boys. I was boy crazy from… I dunno when. I can’t EVER remember a time in which I thought “Boys?! Eewwwww.” Nah. NEVER happened!

I’m in my final year of primary school – so I’m 11, turning 12. The boy in question was called Rodney Johnston (it is VERY rare for me to remember names of people I went to school with, so there’s some insight already about how fixated I was with him). Over the year, I asked him out several times, either directly, or indirectly. Every time a knockback. And…not just a subtle knockback, either. I mean…he made it pretty obvious after a while that he was NOT interested. I eventually stopped asking, starting to realise I was flogging a dead horse.

Several weeks later, lo and behold, he’s asking ME out!? Whaaaa? I was suspicious. Had he been dared into it by his mates? Why the sudden turn around? Was I gullible because I still fancied him? Probably. OF COURSE I SAID YES! So…we arrange “a date”. I’d visit his place and we’d hang out.

The day comes. I am SSSOOO excited! It was a beautiful spring day. The sun was shining, it was warm. I’m almost sick with excitement when I get to his house. “I’ll meet you by the back gate” he said to me when we arranged my visit. So I’m there at the gate waiting for him to appear. I can hear him approaching but before he gets to the gate, the family dog arrives at the gate. I put my hand over the gate to pat the dog and just as I do Rodney rounds the corner from the side of the house, sees what I’m about to do and shouts “NO! DON’T TOUCH THE DOG!” Just as the dog starts to take a leap and a snap of my hand. I retrieved my hand, but not quite in enough time to not get done by the dog’s bite. I still have the scar, though it is very pale now, on the pinky finger of my right hand. The dog sliced the top third of my right pinky finger open. Blood went everywhere. Rodney ran inside and got his mum. I was driven home and then driven to the local GP. I got five stitches to my wound. I didn’t have any other dates with Rodney. 

The dog wasn’t a whippet, in case you’re wondering – but an Australian cattle dog – or “red/blue heeler” as they are known (depending on colouring). I had a fear of cattle dogs from that day on. Not really any other dogs. Just the red and blue heelers. 

Rodney himself was the whippet. A skinny boy. 

I have such luck with boys. Lol

I mentioned in my comment on the “tartan shorts” post about how that miscorrelation of time happens to us fans too. That a Simple Minds gig can feel like it lasts minutes. That it’s over before it has begun. The American is the signal indicative of that feeling for me. The American usually heralds the beginning of the end for me. 

When someone asks why you would want to go and see your favourite band gig after gig, time after time – this is why! This is the biggest reason why. Because – time doesn’t behave itself! “Only with you life moves so fast – when I’m with you life moves so fast.” Don’t you know it, Jim Kerr! You were grappling with the construct of time even all the way back then.

Finally – a post on Instagram last night from Joe Donnelly, talking of new Caezar music in the making. All on course to be released early next year, with a summer tour to follow. Wonderful stuff!

That was a rather wordy catch-up! And a bit of “Priptona’s Life Story” piece right in the middle of it there. Oh, well. I had nothing much else doing on this Tuesday afternoon. 

Ciao for now.

Belated Birthday Swings And Roundabouts

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.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00112m0

ProSynth Mick

There was a live YouTube stream last night by the ProSynth Network. Mick MacNeil was on for a big three hour marathon.

Sadly I missed it as I was having an evening out in Edinburgh seeing Beauty And The Beast for my birthday.

Thankfully it is available to view back which I will do in a few days.

I also thought I’d link to it here as a matter of interest. He talks a lot Simple Minds, apparently.

Jim Kerr: The Laird – Magazine Interview – 1987 (Publication and exact date unknown)

I’m guessing by the description Adam Sweeting gives of the weather “a summery day” and the talk of Live In The City Of Light having just been released (LitCoL released in May), it must be around June of 1987.

I thought seeing as I’ve been to South Queensferry a few times over the past 12 months, I might as well get the damn article and share it here.