Wednesday 30 October 2019

Never Ending Mixtape Part 41

Welcome to the latest additions to the Never Ending Mixtape, now approaching 1,200 songs.

Once we get through the incredible sound of the Happy Mondays tearing and grooving it up, we go on a  real American indie guitar vibe with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, I love the sound and feel on these songs having recently discovered their 1998 album Strung Out In Heaven.

Evan Dando features alongside friends Willy Mason and Smudge who have two versions of the incredible Divan. The latest release from The Beatles archives has some gems, check out the instrumental of Because and .... The Long One.

John Lennon is in with a song that never sounded more apt, my favourite from The Charlatans, One To Another, is finally added, we have some Idlewild and after their announcement of touring Darklands, including a date at the Barrowland Ballroom, we have a few from JAMC.

Dig in and enjoy. The full list of the latest additions is below.

W.F.L. (Think About The Future Mix) - Happy Mondays
Rave On - Happy Mondays
Jennifer - Brian Jonestown Massacre
Maybe Tomorrow - Brian Jonestown Massacre
Got My Eye On You - Brain Jonestown Massacre
Spun - Brian Jonestown Massacre
If It's The End - Willy Mason
Oxygen - Willy Mason
Divan - Smudge
Divan - Smudge (different version)
The Same Thing You Thought Hard About - Evan Dando
Because (Take 1 instrumental) - The Beatles
The Long One - The Beatles
Bit Part - The Lemonheads
Al Kindsa Girls - The Real Kids
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End - The Beatles
Gimme Some Truth - John Lennon
One To Another - The Charlatans
Tougher Than The Rest - Angel Olsen
Everybody Needs Somebody - Primal Scream
When I Argue I See Shapes - Idlewild
El Capitan - Idlewild
You Wear It Seconhand - Idlewild
Either Way - The Twang
Darklands - Jesus and Mary Chain
Happy When It Rains - Jesus and Mary Chain
Some Candy Talking - Jesus and Mary Chain
Kitted Out - The Pastels
Ya We Are Cruel But We Have Our Agenda - Smudge
Dive For Your Memory - The Go-Betweens
I Know But I Don't Know - Blondie
Sunlight To The Dawn - Lightships
Flowers Never Bend In The Rainfall - Simon and Garfunkel
The More I See You - Chris Montez

Sunday 27 October 2019

Confidently top 10

My sister and her friend Kat recently co-presented a regular show (fLUNT) on LP Radio which I thoroughly enjoyed. The two enjoy great banter when discussing songs, proudly stating after some that it would confidently be in their top 10 list of fave songs ever.

It got me thinking, could I confidently state my top 10 fave songs ever?

I think I can ... it might change. But these 10-songs will always be there or thereabouts.

1. Come Together (Farley mix) - Primal Scream
This is blissful psychedelic pop touched with a little acid house and gospel. Absolute perfection.

The ambition, progress, collaboration and invention surrounding Primal Scream at this time still generates interest and debate all these years down the line. This is an example of why.

The Weatherall version on the Screamadelica LP is blissful, the Farley mix is my favourite. During the anniversary shows the Scream combined about 3 versions together to create utter euphoria. Check the Farley mix and then the extended live version below.

Kiss me, won't you, won't you, kiss me

2. Going Back To My Roots - Richie Havens
I discovered this song on an incredible compilation called All Back To Mine by Sean Rowley. Every track was incredible and impeccable, but this stood out. That intro, those lyrics, the vocals ... a perfect groove.

Not talking 'bout the roots in the land, I'm talking 'bout the roots in the man

3. Temptation - New Order
Whether it is the original raw version in its extended glory or the polished rerecorded version from Substance, or an extended live version, Temptation pushes all the right buttons for me. The guitars, groove, lyrics, vocals ... it is perfect. Sumner shows why he is one of my favourite singers and guitarists, the circular guitar riff is one I could listen to for hours on end.

Oh you've got green eyes, of you've got blue eyes

4. You Set The Scene - Love
I had fallen for Love after the Fanclub, the Roses and the Scream all mentioned their Forever Changes album in interviews. Then amazingly Arthur Lee announced that he was playing King Tuts following a release from prison and a long period of inactivity through a drug habit. The show was astonishing, a captivated crowd were treated to a show they never thought they would see and you could have heard a pin drop during You Set The Scene. One of my all-time favourite live moments was during this show and this song when Arthur sung I see your picture, it's in the same old frame his voice soared in a way fans could only dream of after years of substance abuse.

The way this song flows, dips and rises is astonishing. Lyrically and musically brilliant, structurally ambitious and just all round stunning.

This is the time and life that I am living
And I'll face each day with a smile
For the time that I've been given's such a little while
And the things that I must do consist of more than style

5. Don't Leave Me This Way - Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes
What .... A .... Song
What .... A .... Tune
I adore this song. I still find so much in it, the groove, the way it develops, the way it builds to the euphoric chorus, the way it picks up pace, the way that even as it fades out I want it to keep going. Does an even longer version exist?

This is a song I always played whenever I DJ'd in pubs or at parties. Even if you haven't heard it you're going to be hooked in and singing along by the second chorus. The vocals are exceptional, the band are incredible, the drums and percussion are just sublime.

Don't leave me this way
I can't survive, can't stay alive
Without your love, oh baby

6. Everything Flows - Teenage Fanclub
Probably no surprise that Everything Flows is in my top 10! I think this song gets better with age, like a fine wine, I get more meaning out of it, I get more feeling out of it.

A young Norman Blake sounds wise beyond his years as he sings;

We get older every year
But you don't change
Or I don't notice you changing

And perhaps this opening line, more than anything else that is magical about the song, highlights why the song takes on more meaning year on year, gig on gig, listen on listen.

The whole song is magical. The guitars sound incredible and the chorus is beautifully self reflective and one that we can all relate to and the band just gel. It is perfect.

The band later revisited their debut single on the Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It EP that I blogged about HERE and where you can check out their stunning acoustic version.

You can check out the original release and a stunning Peel session version below.

I'll never know which way to flow
Set a course that I don't know

7. Don't Let Me Down - The Beatles
Lennon is so in love that he needs 4 words rather than 3. I love the rawness of this song, the feel and the soul. And I particularly love the middle-eight as Lennon drifts off sounding dreamy I'm in love for the first time, don't you know it's gonna last ...

And I love the footage of The Beatles playing on the roof of the Apple building looking super cool. Imagine if they had gone on tour at this time?

8. I Believe In Miracles - The Jackson Sisters
This still blows my mind every single time I listen to it. I love the power, the groove, the big long intro on the extended version and the skyscarping euphoric vocals, the way they rip through the verses to reach the chorus and the whole way this comes together to sound like it is a remix, but it is the real deal. It just sounds this good, this catchy, this dancey, this groovy.

Believe in dreams and think they are real
And one day soon
The miracle will come true

9. California Soul - Marlena Shaw
I was lucky to catch Marlena Shaw a number of years ago, when the Renfrew Ferry was still moored on the southside of the River Clyde. The reception for this song will live with me forever. It seemed to go on longer than the song itself, such was the reaction, the appreciation, the love for it in the audience.

This is another song I would play (back in the day) when I DJ'd and it would always generate the response I look for. People dancing, people coming up to say 'tune' or people coming up to ask who sings it.

Quite simply perfect. It's controlled yet it still has a sense of euphoria for me. I will always dance to this song.

Like a sound you hear
That lingers in your ear
You can't forget
From sunrise to sunset

10. One To Another - The Charlatans

We end with a monster tune from one of my all-time favourite bands. One To Another is a song I sing most days as I have a framed print at the top of our stairs containing the lyrics be my spider woman, I'll be your spider man.
The first single after the death of Rob Collins, One To Another has a sense of defiance to it, it rocks, it grooves, it explodes and it is utterly magnificent. I think the promo film captures all of that perfectly and I have also included a live version from The White Room - you get the added bonus of Crashin' In. This is my favourite Charlatans TV performance. Look at Tim Burgess gazing on with love and admiration as his band are on fire.

Justice for believers and love can keep the faith
I don't need you, I can't buy you, I can't hurt you

Thursday 24 October 2019

Gone With The Wind Is My Love

Trust Me #6

Gone With The Wind Is My Love - Rita and the Tiaras

I recently discovered this gem of a song on an old Kent Records compilation. Oh my! It floored me; the lyrics, the heartfelt emotion in the voice and that northern soul feel that the best songs have coming from the playing and production.

There isn't a great deal of information about the song or the band online. Although a quick google search will show how cherished the song is among northern soul community.

From what I can make out, the song was originally released back in 1967 and has since been reissued several times to satisfy the demand of music lovers who discover it.

The info from discogs suggests they only got together to record this song;

Latish Thelma Harvell, Joyce Williams and Edna Woods from Los Angeles, USA are most famous for backing Rita (Graham) who was reputedly drafted in at the last minute by the producer Louie Barreto to lead on Gone With The Wind Is My Love, probably the most famous release from Louis Bideu's fabulously rich Dore catalogue.

Anyway, this is absolutely incredible. Trust me, check this one out. And then check out the INSTRUMENTAL. 

i gave up every thing i love, i liked

what things i possessed... i ...knew it was wrong

you said... you were straight, and i ...did it for you, babe

and now i see you leave ...right out of my life

my heart crys out... i gave you love and my devotion

and i... gave you my soul
well my love, love, love ...

he's gone with the wind is my love

like a bird in the sky...
he's gone with the wind... is my love
i thought he could weather the storms of life

stand by me... through my pain and strife

but at the first sign of a breeze... he freezed
he fled... with the wind
instrumental break
section b ...
now who can i lean on... when all my friends and folks have gone

but i know that they ...really want to... love and to comfort me
but who can take away a pain of love... a pain that starts...

a tear to swell... deep in my heart... and i... burst into tears
well my love, love, love

he's gone with the wind, is my love

like a petal on a rose
he's gone with the wind... is my love...

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Louie Barreto
Gone With the Wind Is My Love lyrics © Millbrand Music

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Dogrel by Fontaines D.C

My friend Robbie has been raving about Dogrel by Fontaines D.C for months. So I invited him to write a blog. Fontaines D.C play Glasgow SWG3 on Thursday 21st November.

Album Review – Dogrel by Fontaines D.C. by Robbie Robinson

From the opening pounding beats of Big the album Dogrel lifts you in a tumultuous surge of dirty water, throwing you in all directions, raw guitar strings pulling you further along, guttural vocals before leaving you, somewhat unexpectedly, gently washed up with the smooth melodic sounds of Dublin City Sky. Simply put this is the best album I have heard in 2019… and for some time before that.

The album rushes along at a furious pace, it is not until we reach Roy’s Tune that it breaks rank with what has come before, a fast paced full bodied wall of sound. From the opening bars of Big you can almost taste and smell Dublin, chaotic, loud, dirty, wet, mercurial. However, it doesn’t let up as we crash into Sha Sha Sha and then lurch into the story telling of Too Real, unapologetically demanding an answer ‘Is it too real for ya?’

Described as ‘post-punk’ or punk this Dublin band appear to have produced a classic first album. The gruff narration, rapid fire drum beats, coarse guitar melt together to create the perfect combination. But what perhaps makes it work is the story telling lyrical delivery. The album demands you listen, sit up and be in awe.

Television Screens offers another slight shift in direction, although the beat is still demanding and the lyrics rich the delivery is somewhat smoother, gentler, asking us to stop and think, pause for thought. It lulls us into a soft sense of security before Hurricane Laughter smashes into you, the narration is back taking us round and round, down and down, the harsh oration to the back drop of relentless chords and riffs.

Where as what has comes before is angry and raw, Roy’s Tune tells a similar story but from a different point of view, the daily grind of the city slowly slowly slowly getting the better of you while you fight to hold on for hope and dream of something better, not becoming another cog to be used by the machine, running fast just to stand still, passed by as it dawns on you as what you wanted to be is not going to pass.

Friday 11 October 2019

Easy Life at Saint Luke's Glasgow

On Wednesday night I headed to the beautiful Saint Luke's in Glasgow's East End to see a band called Easy Life at the recommendation of one of my best friends and his 17-year old daughter.

Ella had introduced Phil to the band and they have followed them as they move up the venues in Glasgow; starting at Broadcast, on to King Tut's and then to a sold out Saint Luke's.

Based on the evidence of Wednesday night the next stop will be the Barrowland Ballroom.

I was thoroughly impressed, the band were tight but loose, they connected brilliantly with the crowd who knew every word and it is a long time since I have seen a crowd jump about with wild glee. It took me back to being 17 and discovering bands and being swept off my feet while jumping and singing.

Phil and I watched from the balcony as the young crowd went crazy and it was brilliant to see Ella and Phil sharing their passion for the band on the way home. They are going down to see them in Liverpool on Sunday.

I asked Ella to write a guest blog;


Bouncing, buzz and Buckfast, Easy Life's third gig in Glasgow was legendary. Having previously seen the five piece three time, I didn't think they could get any better. I was proved wrong.

The crowd was buzzing and so were the boys. The music energetic yet chilled. The band played a mix of upbeat and more relaxed songs, with the introduction of new song nice guys a pop/dance fusion.

This band are one to watch out for. It's safe to say they won't be having any 'nightmares' about coming back to Glasgow any time soon...

Monday 7 October 2019

10 from The Lemonheads

The second in the new series where I look at 10 of my favourite songs from some of my favourite bands and artists.

Following on from 10 from The Vaselines we move on to The Lemonheads.

I am a HUGE Lemonheads fan and given the treasure trove of album, b-sides, bonus tracks, demos and cover versions that the band have released since forming back in 1986, it has been hard to leave out loads of songs I love to create a list of only 10. I might go back and do a blog on my 10 favourite cover versions by The Lemonheads.

I fell for the band in 1992 when they released their breakthrough It's A Shame About Ray album. Dando was super cool, super handsome and super talented. He seemed to make friends all over the world and write songs (or get them to write songs for him), play in bands, or party with them.

Evan lived the high life, in one NME/Melody Maker interview back in the day he literally couldn't talk due to partying so hard. Juliana Hatfield and Courtney Love were among his lovers, Ben Lee wrote a tribute song I Wish I Was Him, Dando won hearts and broke hearts.

The Lemonheads circa 1992 
David Ryan (drums), Juliana Hatfield (bass), Evan Dando (guitar)

After a burst of 3 albums It's A Shame About Ray (1992) , Come On Feel The Lemonheads (1993) and Car Button Cloth (1996) and constant touring, Dando burnt out and escaped from the very public eye he was living in, disbanding The Lemonheads until 2006, occasionally venturing out to tour acoustically, releasing his stunning Baby I'm Bored solo album in 2003.

The Lemonheads released an eponymous LP in 2006 followed by two albums of cover versions. Dando has talked on stage about having side projects with Willie Mason and others. I just hope Evan keeps releasing music and keeps touring. He has a huge back catalogue to delve into to keep his audiences happy and entertained.

Live, Evan Dano solo or with The Lemonheads is an absolute joy. I smile widely throughout and have enjoyed seeing Evan or the band in venues ranging from Sleazys, to the old Renfrew Ferry when it was across the river, the QMU Debating Chamber, the Garage, Oran Mor and Saint Lukes. And The Lemonheads playing Benicassim in 2005 was a drunken joy.

So with 10 LP's, numerous EP's, b-side and more to choose from. Here are 10 of my favourites by The Lemonheads.

The Outdoor Type
Dando became friends with Tom Morgan from Smudge while touring Australia. They would go on to co-write together and Dando would also cover many of Morgan's songs; The Outdoor Type being one of them. Whilst reluctant to include cover versions in any of the top 10 features I do, I had to include one of my real favourites.

This song suits Dando perfectly as it tells a story, it has humour, it is clever, melodic and pure. Dando's voice is perfect for the confessional lyrics;

I lied about being the outdoor type
I never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike

A gem from the 1990 Lovey album. The beauty of Dando and his Lemonheads is that many songs can be played acoustic or electric. Stove is one of these gems. Acoustic, it is a lullaby to an old stove that someone helped Dando move. With a full band, The Lemonheads romp through it at pace, the melody may be blurred by the speed, but the longing and love for the stove remains all too clear.

Shaky Ground
I first heard this on a Steve Lamaq Evening Session live broadcast where Dando, at the height of his pin-up days promoting It's A Shame About Ray, played an acoustic set. I think it was at Sheffield Leadmill/University. At one point he had to stop the show to ask people to stop screaming.

He introduced himself that night thus; 'Hi my names Evan Dando and I was born in the spring of the summer of love'. I think I swooned myself!

Around this time I kind of saw a girl who would walk by my house with her dog and I would make an excuse to go out and bump into her. So I particularly love the line;

When I wanna see you I take Jersey for a walk
What's with all this secrecy when all we ever do is talk

Being Around
A Dando and Morgan co-write. This gem was originally the b-side of Mrs Robinson, the cover version that broke The Lemonheads, before being rerecorded and released on Come On Feel ...

The song is equally deceptively simple and brilliantly clever; asking questions with answers full of humour. Dando is all kinds of dreamy gorgeous in the promo video! #mancrush

Alison's Starting To Happen
This delightful pop punk romp contains one of my all-time favourite lyrics;

She's the puzzle piece behind the couch who made the sky complete

This is 2-minutes of perfection, a pop punk romp about Alison Galloway from Tom Morgan's band Smudge. Dando and Galloway were on ecstasy and he came up with the line Alison's Starting To Happen. Here are Evan and The Lemonheads playing it at Glastonbury 1994.

If I Could Talk (I'd Tell You)
A co-write with Eugene Kelly from around the time Dando effectively lost his voice due to his crack addiction. This is chiming guitar pop heaven for me.

I love the feeling to this song, it's really reflective, almost tinged with sadness.

Hope in my past
Hope in my past

I love when Evan sings walked back home to my place and Juliana then sings tired of getting high. And the closing ship without a rudder section is one I always try and sing without needing to stop for breath. Just a super cool song. Check this great version from Tokyo in 1994 with Dando looking all kinds of grunge cool with his hair hanging all over his face.

It's About Time
There is a bit halfway through this song where Dando sings it's not about you, it's not about sunshine and then Juliana Hatfield chimes in with the most gorgeous SUNSHINE that warms my heart every time I hear it.

Mallo Cup
Early Lemonheads with the beautiful opening line Here I am outside your house at 3 AM, trying to think you outta bed

Mallo Cup beautifully captures why I love The Lemonheads so much. Underpinned acoustic, chiming guitar but with Dando's foot never far from the distortion pedal which he pushes for the chorus and it's all over in 2 minutes 11 seconds.

I forget to forget
I ain't remembered yet

Bit Part
I found it very difficult to choose my final song. My Drug Buddy and Hannah and Gabi are absolutely beautiful songs, and how heartaching and heartwarming is Into Your Arms (a cover version). But this is 10 of my favourites, not 10 of the best. And I LOVE Bit Part, another co-write with Tom Morgan and another with beautiful vocal by Juliana Hatfield to compliment Evan.

I'm a sucker for the Dando and Morgan co-writes. They are so simple yet so clever. This one is only 1 minute and 51 seconds long. Acoustic and electric guitars collide, the lyrics are brilliant, the solo is fizzing and it builds to a brilliant climax with Dando hollering the final verse/chorus - it's all one in this song. Check them flying through it at Glastonbury in 1994.

I want a bit part in your life
A walk on would be fine
I just want a bit part in your life
(A bit part in your life)

Thursday 3 October 2019

Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon

Trust me #5
Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon

I had started my Trust Me series by just posting lyrics and the song and saying - trust me, this is good.

But I do feel compelled to write something about Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon before you go on to read the lyrics and listen to the song.

So much of Lennon's work is timeless. His take on love, life, death, politics and the universe is one that struck a chord with millions. And it still does.

Songs like Imagine, All You Need Is Love and Give Peace A Chance might be more celebrated, but in the case of Gimme Some Truth, this song in particular rings true in Britain right now. What a state we are in with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and the threat of Brexit hanging over us. I have yet to hear any positive arguments put up for Brexit. Instead all evidence based articles and common sense point towards food and medical shortages, unrest and job losses. A bumbling fool is leading the country - oh how we laughed at the USA when Trump got in!

So yeah, Gimme Some Truth is post primal scream therapy Lennon telling it exactly like it is with some scouse wit thrown in. The circular electric guitar riff sounds vital, at the heart of everything and the solo is rip roaring.

And Lennon is at his most biting, there is no intro, he is straight into it. Sick of it, fed up, drawing the line that he won't be 'mother hubbard soft soap-d'! All he wants is some truth.

Lennon's vocals are exceptional. He is rasping, spitting the lyrics out, matching their distaste at everything that is pissing him off. Gimme Some Truth is exceptional, pre-punk punk in its disdain and delivery.

I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight-short-sighted narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic-pyschotic pig headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

No short haired-yellow bellied son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope

I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight lipped-condescending-mommies little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

I've had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic-ego-centric-paranoid-prima-donnas
All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth

Written by John Lennon

Gimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010) lyrics © Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Lennon Music, Lenono Music, Northern Songs, Sony Atv Music Publishing France, LENONO MUSIC C/O DOWNTOWN DMP SONGS

Trust Me
1. Something On Your Mind by Karen Dalton
1A. Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells
2. I Am, I Said  by Neil Diamond
3. Where's The Playground Susie?   by Glen Campbell
4. If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lighfoot