Before Lostboy! There Was “Special School” Boy! Lol (Pro Synth Network with Mick MacNeil)

I need to explain this post header. Lol

“The Man in the Sky”, Mick MacNeil, was being interviewed….well, more joined in in a live stream chat (with a loose interview in there) for this YouTube channel called the Pro Synth Network. Basically a weekly synth geek’s get together to discuss all things Synth and keyboard based. New bits of kit out on the market, etc, etc.

Once we get the technicals and geek talk out the way, about 45 minutes in, then there is talk with Mick about his time with Simple Minds and just…his background of being a synth player and how it all came to be. It’s a great thing and Mick shares great anecdotes and is a lot of fun. He always gives great banter.

I am going to drop in on the interview right at the point where Mick says he went to see the band before he joined. What he says about Jim absolutely cracked me up and had me in stitches! Which then meant I missed the next minute or so of the conversation. The very interesting point Mick made about Jim and his stutter (or on anyone with a stutter – in the broader sense).

Anyway, let’s cut to it. But I recommended you maybe go back a few minutes on the clip and listen to Mick talk about taking up (or having it thrust upon him, more accurately!) the accordion and sticking with the rest of the video.

 

Strange Days … Indeed!

And, well…just in case Sir disnae see it on the SM visitor wall (as it now behaves rather oddly these days and can’t be viewed via the FB app – at least I can’t view it – maybe I have been blocked from it? Dunno!) Anyways, I did post this to the SM FB wall but on the silly notion that Jim comes and peruses this utterly sycophantic, lovesick blog then…

So I open the (digital version) latest edition of Uncut magazine and there’s a piece about Richard Strange in it. Simple Minds even get a namecheck as being a Doctors Of Madness support act back in the day. The short piece discusses Strange’s … memoir? I guess it would be. Also in an audio form on his website it says. But I am sure you are already up on all of this, Sir? If not then, you’re welcome. 👍🏻😊

Rare, Rarer, Rarest – Punk 45s

From the latest edition of Long Live Vinyl. A timely nod to Pripton. I guess he’s the reason this blog exists after all…

Personally, I still think Dead Vandals was the better song, but was obviously less ‘punk’ in the strictest musical notation terms. Thank god it was the B Side at least.

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.