Tuesday 20 November 2018

Jumpin' Jack Flash

Called supernatural Delta Blues by way of swinging London by Rolling Stone magazine, Jumpin' Jack Flash was released by The Rolling Stones 50-years ago back in 1968.

It still sounds absolutely incredible. The guitars crash and collide, sounding raw and vital, the beat kicks in and so does Jagger.

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at the morning driving rain
But it's all right, now, in fact it's  gas
But it's all right, I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash
It's a gas, gas, gas

The line in the second verse I was schooled with a strap right across my back is brilliant, the riffing and grooving is relentless and the whole song and performance just oozes cool.

Here are the Stones getting it on in Texas in 1972 and click here for the original. 

How on earth do you even dare to cover so thrilling?!

Well it has been covered well over 1,000 times! However, if you are someone called Ananda Shankar you turn it into a largely instrumental psychedelic sitar infused jam with soaring backing vocals for the hooks. This version was released on an album of covers back in 1970. I first heard this a long, long time ago in one of my best friends bedrooms. We'd meet up on Friday and Saturday nights and play each other the latest records/cd's we'd bought and discuss the music news from the NME and Melody Maker - simpler times!

Reddy had stumbled across a David Holmes mix/compilation and this was on it. It blew our minds and was yet further evidence of Holmes impeccable taste and crate digging credentials.

It is very different, yet it keeps the groove you can feel the energy from the song, just like the Stones. With a song like this I don't think you could contain the energy from the lyrics and groove.


Previous covers of the month

Saturday 17 November 2018

Teenage Fanclub Camden night 3

The last 3 weeks have seen a flurry of postings on the Teenage Fanclub Fanclub Facebook page. Outpourings of love for a special band playing their Creation Records albums - Bandwagonesque, Thirteen, Grand Prix, Songs from Northern Britain and Howdy! in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London.

There were also outpourings of disbelief and grief - were these really the last shows that Gerry Love would be playing with the band?

We'll have to wait and see, but if they were then fellow Fanclub fan Chris Donnelly was there to witness what might have been the last one.

Guest blog by Chris Donnelly.

If I Could Find The Words To Say…

The last night of any Teenage Fanclub tour is usually one that the fans who will be attending look forward to for weeks. The current Creation Years tour really got people buzzing when it was announced. Plenty bought season tickets for the three gigs in the venues nearest their town, several decided to follow it around, some mixed and matched on the venues and loads decided to go to the one which resonated most – usually night two the Grand Prix/Songs From Northern Britain night. For the diehards, however, these were to be gigs to be savoured. Rarely, or never, played songs would all be getting dusted down and played again or for the first time. Vinyl reissues and a tour to follow. What could possibly go wrong? Well, how long have you got?

Firstly, and I appreciate this is a more personal one for me, the proposed site of the Glasgow gigs, the ABC, was destroyed in the School of Art fire. This meant that the original dates had to be rescheduled and shifted back a day. I was stuffed as I was double booked for night two. I couldn’t make any of the other second night gigs anywhere which meant that my TFC holy grail song, Mount Everest, was going to be played and I wouldn’t be hearing it*. I was covered for night 3 as I had booked a ticket for the last night of the tour in London. My misfortune on night two actually was a benefit to a lot more people given the much higher capacity at the Barras.

Secondly, and far more importantly, in late August the band announced a February 2019 tour of Japan and Australia. Good news, eh? Well, not quite. The next paragraph of the announcement stated that “Gerard Love will not be in the band for these dates, or any other shows beyond those we are playing this year. His last show will be November 15th…after that London show Gerry will be separating from the band, and Teenage Fanclub will be continuing without him”. It was a horribly worded and, in my opinion, disrespectful statement which raised more questions than answers and more statements were released over the next few days to try put a more diplomatic spin on the events. 

My night 3 ticket was no longer for just the last night of the tour, it was also for Gerry’s last night in the band. Like most people who will read this, I am a huge fan of the band. However, like anyone, I have favourites and I am proudly in the Gerry camp. For me, and many others, this was particularly devastating news.

Murray has covered off the Barras gigs in this blog so I’ll move on to November 15th at Electric Ballroom Camden. 

I was horribly conflicted about the gig. I was looking forward to it but I also had this horrible sinking feeling about it. I genuinely expected to cry. I thought Broken would be the one which would tip me. The words really hit home that night with the crowd singing along. Amazingly – to me- I held it together and there was one song left. 

Broken - Electric Ballroom, Camden, November 2018

Would they let Gerry sing the last one? The answer, of course, was no. Norman announced Everything Flows which was belted out at full pelt complete with an endearingly shambolic (copyright any TFC gig review) ending as Brendan and Norman swapped instruments, Brendan sang Sidewinder until he couldn’t remember any more words and then it was done. A superb ending to a brilliant gig. Gerry bolted from the stage to the exit door as if he was chasing the last bus to Hyndland. It was then that it hit home with the crowd that he was offski and it was an end of an era. “Gerry, Gerry, Gerry” rang out from all areas of the packed venue but all to no avail. He was gone. No fuss, no fanfare, no speech. Just away. He remains, as long time TFC gig goer Neil McAllister says, as cool as f**k.

Everything Flows - Gerry's last time?

I’m not sure yet how I feel about the band going on without him. At this time, I swither on whether I will ever go see them again. No doubt if they announce a date at the Barras, my Ticketmaster account will get battered again. I need to see them but I know it will never be the same. Whether Gerry will ever do a Nigel Tufnell and reappear from the side of the stage, only he and the band will know. One thing’s for sure: it won’t be in Japan. 

My hope is that after this hiatus, they sort it out and he can be back in his normal place. For me, stage left for the foreseeable future is an empty space.

The closer from Howdy! Summed up my feelings from the night. 

If I never see you again, you will stay in my mind

And that will be true for every other member of the Fanclub community.

*thanks to Terje Lynnebakken @terjely for recording the song in full at the Barrowlands for me.

Everything Flows - Camden, November 2018

Sunday 11 November 2018


Last week I was driving to work and McAlmont and Butler's Yes suddenly came blaring out of my stereo. What a slice of pure euphoric pop! Released in May 1995, this was Bernard Butler's first musical offering to the world since his departure from Suede in 1994 during the tense recordings of their second album, the dark Dog Man Star.

It is safe to say that Suede made a huge impression on the UK indie scene, so much so that they blew over into the mainstream. Their first 4 singles (previously blogged about here) were exceptional slices of guitar pop, full of hooks and riffs, but also full of intrigue and intelligence. Singer Brett Anderson and guitarist and co-singwriter Bernard Butler looked and sounded incredible and were quickly christened as the 90's Morrissey and Marr, making front covers, Top of the Pops, the Brits and gaining the stamp of approval from David Bowie.

Butler was a whirlwind on guitar, pacing around stages and studios looking like he was having the time of his life by wringing, shaking and hammering on his guitar for all he was worth. Anderson shaked, shimmied and looked like a classic front man from the off. What a duo, brilliantly backed by a super tight rhythm section of Matt Osman and Simon Gilbert. Girls ... and boys swooned.

They had a frantic 3-years of activity following the release of debut single The Drowners, it is little wonder there was tension in the band from all the writing, recording, touring and promo.

Butler left and went quiet. I think there were rumours of him joining various bands at times, but he surfaced with Yes and a partnership with singer David McAlmont. The two met in the Jazz Cafe in Camden and Butler was soon playing his new friend his first positive piece of music since leaving Suede.

And oh how positive it is, McAlmont wrote a verse but couldn't come up with a second, so Butler just told him to repeat the first with the duo hoping to commit something that could be held up as a classic single like those they loved from the 60's.

The official video, the full version has another minute on the end

McAlmont's lyrics match the positive surge of Butler's music. The strings soar and instantly sound euphoric, Butler's guitar crashes and provides a constant rhythm throughout, while seemingly simultaneously chiming and riffing.

The lyrics could easily be McAlmont's interpretation of whatever Butler told him about leaving Suede. The title, the simple Yes, is pure positivity, Butler has recovered from the dark post Suede months, he does look better and he does feel alright.

David McAlmont's vocal is exceptional and after a quick 1st verse that sounds like McAlmont relaying a conversation they are into the sky scraping chorus. The about me, about me, about me line that McAlmont yelps out is the perfect bridge into the chorus. Then they do it again for good measure, only they take it even higher and it sounds even better.

They hit the second chorus at 2-minutes and then repeat it again before leading to a stunning build up to a full on 2-minute climax. They take it higher, Butler's guitar is relentless, the strings are thrilling and McAlmont takes his vocals up a gear or three, the drums crash and pound and it all combines to sound fresh and vital, even 23-years down the line. It is timeless pop - epic, euphoric, sublime and soulful.

The song ends with it gradually breaking and slowing down into applause. I like to think that they simply couldn't keep the pace up or put anymore into it. They have played and sung their hearts out.

Enjoy the live version from Later with Jools below - look at Butler on guitar! And here is a link to the full, near 5-minute single version.

So you wanna know me now
How I've been
You Can't help someone recover
After what you did
So tell me am I looking better?
Have you forgot
Whatever it was that you couldn't stand 
About me, about me, about me?

Because yes I do feel better
Yes I do I feel alright
I feel well enough to tell you what you can do with what you got
To offer

Monday 5 November 2018

Never Ending Mixtape Part 29

Welcome to the latest additions to my Never Ending Mixtape playlist on Spotify. There is a double dose as a hefty amount of songs are added to take the total songs up to over 750. I missed blogging on my additions last month due to a bit of a Teenage Fanclub fixation, so here we go ....

As always, search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify, or CLICK HERE,  scroll to the end for the latest additions that are listed below, play from the start, anywhere in between, or click on shuffle.

Thanks to those of you that follow the playlist and thanks for checking it out.

Autobahn 66 - Primal Scream
In the Year 2525 - Zager and Evans
Here Comes My Baby - The Tremeloes
The Mighty Quinn - Manfredd Mann
Do You Believe In Magic? - The Lovin' Spoonful
Summer in the City - The Lovin' Spoonful
I Think We're Alone Now - Tommy James and The Shondells
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone - The Monkees
Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) - The Monkees
She Hangs Out - The Monkees
Is It A Dream? - Miaoux Miaoux
24-Hour Party People - Happy Mondays
Hallelujah (Oakenfold club mix) Happy Mondays
1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
Vanishing Point - New Order
The Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen
Rust - Echo and the Bunnymen
Sometimes - Jesus and Mary Chain
Don't Come Down - Jesus and Mary Chain
Why'd You Want Me - Jesus and Mary Chain
New York City - Jesus and Mary Chain
El Presidente - Drugstore
Slippin' and Slidin' (Peepin' and Hedin') - Little Richard
All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
Duffed Up - Primal Scream
If The Move Kill 'Em (12 inch disco mix) - Primal Scream
Not Enough - J Mascis
Wide Awake - J Mascis
All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem
Losing My Edge - LCD Soundsystem
Bang Your Drum - Dead Man Fall
On The Roof - The Feelies
Don't Falter - Mint Royale w/ Lauren Laverne
You Got The Love (Now Voyager mix) - The Source and Candi Staton
Behold the Miracle - Jad Fair and Teenage Fanclub
Call Me - Emmitt Long
Don't Take My Mind - Bettye Swann
Grunewald - Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe
You're A Big Girl Now (take 2) - Bob Dylan
Why Did You Take Your Love Away From Me - James Brown
Love Slipped Through My Fingers - Ohio Players
Purples - Sebastian Piano
My Heart Needs A Break - Linda Jones
Indian Summer - Beat Happening
Tangled Up In Blue (take 3, remake 3) - Bob Dylan
My Little Girl - Bobby Garrett