Minds Music Monday – Fitba Toons

In light of His Nibs’s post about the bloody fitba on Saturday, I decided this MMM should highlight tracks representing the nations.

And seeing that in said post he declared his love for the English team, then we have both Jerusalem and When Spirits Rise to represent both England and Scotland.

In fact, Scotland play at Hampden Park this afternoon. And that, my friends, is the extent of my knowledge of the (reputed) “beautiful game”.

I had compiled a completely different post and wanted it to be my MMM post, but it is awaiting approval, so it may just be a bonus post later on today, or will be posted some time during the week (fingers crossed). But I promise that the normal Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call track-by-track celebration Minds Music Mondays WILL RETURN next week!

Until then…Yes, Sir – you *can* indeed boogie! (I miss your dad dancing!)

Scenic Scotland

Oh, at long last! After nine months in the tightest restrictions in all of the UK, Glasgow came out of Level 3 lockdown last Saturday, June 5th. I was happy to let a few days pass by at least until we tried to get out and see anything. Just bide time a little longer.

We hired a car from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening for a 24 hour period. I was hoping for a splendid west coast sunset followed by a day in the east but…mother nature had other plans! Although conditions were dry on Tuesday night, it was quite overcast so the glorious sunset I was hoping to see wasn’t really going to happen.

A change of plan. We broke up what was the rest of the plan into two parts – which was probably a good thing in hindsight as it would have been a bit of a stretch to have tried to cram it all in on one day.

On Tuesday night we went to Falkirk to the wheel and to the Kelpies. The Falkirk Wheel really is an engineering marvel! And that part of the country is just beautiful! It was a stunning thing to behold – all of it! The wheel itself, the scenery around it. Just beautiful! And even more glorious to behold as the sun is setting. I wanted to try and get to the Kelpies at sunset so we could see them lit up. But we are so close to summer solstice and the days are ssooo long at this time of year that true nightfall doesn’t happen until after 11pm. The Kelpies were lit up but it was still a bit too bright to truly experience seeing them in the dark. They are incredible also. And the park around them is gorgeous.

Wednesday the weather was going to be dreich in Glasgow but the east promised to be brighter. So over to South Queensferry and to Portobello Beach near Edinburgh. We travelled north and crossed the Clackmannanshire bridge over the Forth and then headed south skirting near Dunfermline before crossing the Forth Road Bridge and stopping at a charging station for car electric car charging. Great views back over to the north of both the road bridge and the rail bridge from a little observation point at the charging station. Took a stroll into the town while the car charged up. Walked past a hoose. Took some snaps. Watched trains go over the rail bridge. Grappled over which of the million ice cream parlours there were in the town which to buy from (you must have been spoiled for choice when you wanted an ice cream when you lived there, Jim! Lol) – then decided on none in the end. Bought sandwiches and carrot cake slices and went back to the viewing point and ate while taking in the view back from there.

Car charged up and onto Portobello Beach. Tried to work out which groyn – and YES, those things are called “groyns”….those wooden things that look like broken piers – the Minds were stood at for their early Zoom photoshoot. Asked the OH to take a photo of me by the one I thought it was. Inadvertently looked as despondent as Jim did in said shoot. Lol

The Edinburgh bypass by that time in the afternoon was a joy [sarcasm] and the only real crappy point to a really lovely day, The sunshine was on Leith as we left and it got increasingly dreich as we headed back west. By the time we got to Glasgow though it wasn’t as gloomy as it had looked when we had set out.

A lovely day.

All that remains is to ask – who did it better? Looking despondent – me or him?

UPDATE: Seeing as you asked, Scott 😁

Always Destined To Be The … Next Big Thing

I posted this onto SMOG earlier this afternoon – but I get the feeling it is going to be somewhat overshadowed by a wonderful post about Jim, which I am sure he will love (who can blame him?). Anyway, I thought I’d also post it here as well. (I haven’t altered the words I posted.)


Back a few years ago, I posted something on the Simple Minds visitor wall. I think it was a review of a gig. It came from an independent fanzine. Jim replied to my post, saying he had fond memories of some of the guys who set up these kind of publications, recalling the names of Johnny Waller and Lindsay Hutton, particularly, on this occasion. Hutton had started a fanzine called “Next Big Thing”.

Well I stumbled on to a copy of Next Big Thing today, and there within the pages was an advert for Empires And Dance, as well as a glowing review of the album by Lindsay himself. (Albeit if he is somewhat disparaging to Roxy Music and Gary Numan in the process. Oops!)

It took me on my own little nostalgia trip. Of a time that I particularly loved being a Simple Minds fan. Thanks for those wee chit-chats, Jim. They’ll always be super special to me. I loved putting on my “researcher’s hat” for that one as when you replied to me you had said “I wonder what happened to Johnny and Lindsay?”, which had me off and searching for you. A time you made me feel both happy and purposeful.

If it doesn’t come out too clear for reading, then here is a transcript of what is written below.

“The danceable solution to teenage revolution? If Roxy were still any cop they’d be making albums like this. I don’t altogether go along with the belief that synthesisers always ruin things. There’s ample proof of the reverse here, but the fact that idiots like gerbil face Numan seem to represent the genre, mean that there is no media indication that there is life after electronics. ‘Empires’ is the 3rd Minds elpee and places them well up the league. Especially tasty are the opener ‘I Travel’ and the Jeepster style backbeat of ‘Celebrate’. If you’ve been put off by the moderne talk of Morley then think again kiddo, because this sound can co-exist with rock ‘n’ roll because it’s performed from the heart. Can you afford not to own a record by a band whose singer drew Noddy on the Berlin Wall in lime green chalk? Good wee group this.”

Happy Gray Day! 40 Years Of Lanark

Today has been marked as Gray Day – marking the 40th anniversary of the release of Lanark by Alasdair Gray. I read Lanark for the first time last year and fell in love with it and Alasdair.

Last October I went to the Oscar Marzaroli exhibition at the Street Level Photoworks on Trongate and had to take a photo of this photo Oscar took of Alasdair.

Happy Gray Day!

Happy Birthday, Bruce!

The wonderful and loquacious Mr Bruce Findlay is 77 today. Here he is pictured with someone masquerading as a “social butterfly” back in the summer of 2018, after a talk he had (with Ian Rankin and Vic Galloway) at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh as part of the Rip It Up exhibition.

A Welcome Delivery

Received these in the mail this morning from Virginia.

Merry Kerr-istmas 🎄🎄🥰🥰🥰

Photos taken in August, 1981. The three at the top, in preparations for the gig that evening in Edinburgh. The bottom three, waiting around at Heathrow Airport for the flight back to Scotland.

Minds Music Monday – Waterfront Extended Version – Happy St Andrew’s Day

One year ago from today (yesterday) we “moved on up to the Waterfront” and arrived in our new home, and to Scotland, and Glasgow. And on that beautiful, crisp, clear morning – despite feeling so incredibly tired and a little violated, having been robbed for the first time in my life – I already within minutes of arriving had the overwhelming feeling that it was the right move and that this is where I’ll be for the rest of my days.

As tired and drained as I was that morning, I squealed with excitement as we crossed the Clyde, just knowing this place was now going to be home and I could spend time at the banks of this river any time I wanted to.

And I’m sure I’d have had Waterfront playing in my head. Or Speed Your Love To Me…or any plethora of Simple Minds songs.

Today is also St Andrew’s Day and although Waterfront is more specifically about Glasgow, it could easily apply to most of Scotland. It is such an anthemic piece. And it gets the blood pumping.

I do remember being turned on by it back in the day. Oh, the things that could have been had I become a “real” fan of SM back then. I’ll always have regrets.

A few days ago when I had Spotify on in the wee hours, this version of Waterfront played and I lost myself for six minutes…filled with amazement that I actually LIVE in this city now.

Only yesterday was I thinking that had someone told the 13 year old girl listening to that opening bassline in the summer months (in Australia) of early 1984 that, in years to come, she’d be living in the city the song was about. And not only that, but she’d OWN the house she was living in…she’d have scoffed! “No fucking way”!

But…here we are.

Happy St Andrew’s Day, everyone! GIE IT LALDY AND GAUN YERSEL!