Saturday 27 February 2021

Podcast with Port Sulphur & Ross Sinclair


Episode 5 with Douglas MacIntyre (Port Sulphur) & Professor Ross Sinclair

My friend Stephen from Into Creative is currently raising funds and awareness for Tiny Changes, the charity set up in memory and celebration of Scott Hutchison.

Stephen is asking bands and artists to record a cover version of a song that is personal to them. In addition, a visual artist is then challenged to create an accompanying film.

I was keen to help promote Stephen's project and he very kindly arrange for me to chat with Douglas MacIntyre (Port Sulphur, the Creeping Bent Organisation record label and FRETS Creative) and Professor Ross Sinclair from Glasgow School of Art and formerly of The Soup Dragons.

We discussed Port Sulphur's cover of Josef K's It's Kinda Funny with Ross' accompanying film, punk and post punk, the importance of Joy Division, going to punk gigs at 11 and 13, Postcard Records, the FRETS shows Douglas is putting on, Ross' forthcoming album on Last Night From Glasgow that is around 20-years in the making, crowdfunding and patreon models for record labels and the importance of doing things your way.

Download It's Kinda Funny from Bandcamp. All collaborations are available and more will be added. 

Make a donation to the project for Tiny Changes

Check the podcast on Spotify or via my podcast website (where there are links to other platforms)

And check the beautiful cover version and Ross' film below / HERE

Saturday 20 February 2021

Teenage Fanclub Fanclub Podcast - The long way round


Welcome to episode 3 + 4 of the Everything Flows Glasgow Podcast and the first in what will be a regular feature - the Teenage Fanclub Fanclub in conversation.

My love of Teenage Fanclub has led to me meeting some brilliant people; online through the old Forum on the website, then at gigs and then through the new Fanclub Fanclub Facebook Group.

During lockdown I arranged a few zoom calls with members of the group and it was great to chat music over some beers, while also finding out what was happening in different parts of the country and around the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the calls and wondered if other people would too - could we record them for a podcast?

So I hope to record a monthly Teenage Fanclub Fanclub podcast where we discuss certain times, albums, singles, b-sides and shows. Or we just completely wing it!

For these episodes I was joined by Barry McLuskie and Alan Clarke. Alan came up with the idea of everyone selecting a song by each of Raymond, Gerry and Norman. Then expanding on that idea by deciding we couldn't select singles or songs featured on the Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds - A Shortcut to Teenage Fanclub compilation.

We'd take the long way round - pun intended!

Thanks to Alan and Barry for brightening my Friday night with beers and chat over zoom to record this podcast. I hope it brightens your day if you choose to listen.

Here is a list of songs that we chose. You can search for Everything Flows Glasgow podcast on Spotify or click here for Episode 3 and Episode 4. It's available on all kinds of other platforms as well, including my podcast website via Anchor FM.

Barry has put the songs (minus Broken) into a playlist HERE. We've also included songs by our friend Donald who couldn't make it last night. 

The Long Way Round to Teenage Fanclub

Only With You (Alan)

Fear Of Flying (A)

Dark Clouds (A)

Tears Are Cool (Murray)

Near You (M)

Broken (M) (I'm More Inclined on the playlist)

Feel (Barry)

Thin Air (B)

Alcoholiday (B)

Can't Feel My Soul (Donald)

Cul de Sac (D)

Darkest Part Of The Night (D)

Wednesday 17 February 2021


Cover version of the month #64

The Raincoats cover The Kinks

Lola by The Kinks is a magnificent example of Ray Davies songwriting skills. There is a story full of humour, delivered with a dash of mischief. You can imagine Davies smiling with a gleam in his eye as he wrote the song.

The playfulness in the lyrics is there from the off, warm chords turn to a finger picked riff and Ray introduces us to the setting of where he met Lola, cheekily and a little outrageously spelling out cola in the first verse. It's so cool, so simple yet so clever, and so effective - you're hooked immediately.

I met her in a club down in old Soho

Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola

C-O-L-A, cola

Davies doesn't let up, the song flows easily with his humour spilling into every verse, almost every line. There is some exaggeration as he tells the story of meeting Lola who has a deep voice who nearly breaks his spine when she squeezes him.

The fourth verse is just hilarious, leading to an even funnier break where Davies introduces the imagery of Lola picking him up and sitting him on 'her' knee.

I'm not dumb but I can't understand

Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man

Ray Davies is in sensational form, in his element as he continues his tale. My favourite section is probably the flowing break where he sings;

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls

It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola

Davies continues his tale to conclusion;

Well I'm not the worlds most masculine man

But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man

And so is Lola

La-la-la-la Lola

Lola was released in 1970, a full 2-years before Lou Reed's Walk On The Wild Side opened with Holly plucking her eyebrows and shaving her legs and then he was a she. I would have put money on Lou's song being released first.

This is just genius songwriting, an artist completely in the zone. The inspiration for Lola has generated a few stories down the years, but regardless of whether it was a band member or Davies himself, the result is undeniable - a story beautifully, hilariously and vividly told via the form of pop music, full of a vibrant energy, Davies sounds excited by his tale, excited by the song.

How on earth do you cover it?

What an amazing picture! Couldn't find a credit but how cool
do The Raincoats look? Like a real gang!

Well, in 1979 the punk band The Raincoats decided to cover it on their eponymous debut album. The brilliant picture above is how I imagine the song being played, the band close together, bashing it out and having fun. The Raincoats formed around Art School and the London squat scene in 1977, with Ana da Silva and Gina Birch as the central members.

The difference is quite staggering, a band feeling their way through the song. The zip and confidence that shines through The Kinks original is replaced by a young band sounding extremely raw, yet still managing to put their own twist on it.

Ana knew a couple of chords and I could sing along with a few hymns and rock n roll tunes - Gina Birch, The Raincoats

I definitely prefer the original version, but there is something I admire and love about The Raincoats version. The beats sound almost primitive at the beginning, the vocals start very deadpan before lifting in the second verse, then lifting further in the third verse when harmonies kick in. 

At times the band sound like they aren't sure what the chords are, then at times the band flow as they all sing and inject urgency into their version. I believe one of the main reasons that so many punk records have stood the test of time is precisely because a lot of the bands were far from technically great, but the rawness in terms of musical ability and production, matched with passion, creativity and energy created magic.

Well I left home just a week before
And I'd never, ever kissed a woman before
Lola smiled and took me by the hand
And said little boy I'm going to make you a man

I would have seen The Raincoats in 1994 supporting Nirvana at the SECC in Glasgow. Kurt Cobain was a huge fan. Sadly the show never happened. Kurt's love of The Raincoats, The Vaselines, The Meat Puppets and even the likes of Daniel Johnston helped propel these artists to worldwide audiences. Cover versions, t-shirts in pictures and regular mentions in interviews.

Cobain visited Da Silva in the antique shop she worked in while he was in London in 1992, asking her if she could replace his worn out version of their debut album. 

When I listen to The Raincoats I feel as if I'm a stowaway in an attic, violating and in the dark. Rather than listening to them, I feel like I'm listening in on them. We're together in the same old house and I have to be completely still or they will hear me spying from above and, if I get caught - everything will be ruined because it's their thing. They're playing music for themselves.
Kurt Cobain, extract from the liner notes to the reissue of The Raincoats debut album

Click here (or search for) Everything Flows cool cover versions on Spotify for a playlist of the covers I have blogged about and read on for a full list and links to previous cover of the month blogs. 

Previous covers of the month

13. Hurt

Friday 12 February 2021

Never Ending Mixtape part 57

Welcome to the latest additions to my Never Ending Mixtape. Where The KLF and Sylvester sit next to Suicide and The Raincoats. There are Beatles demos, a rip roaring take on Day Tripper by Otis Redding, comedown beauties from Beth Orton, raw garage punk pop by 13th Floor Elevators and gems from Stevie Wonder. And a few more things besides.

There are now 1,852 songs (over 122 hours of music) on the Never Ending Mixtape. A far cry from the C90's I used to use! So dig in, I hope you find something you've never heard before that you fall for, or rediscover and old favourite.

Search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE

The latest additions are;

Harvest Moon - Neil Young

I Wish - Stevie Wonder

Tuesday Heartbreak - Stevie Wonder

So Far Gone - Teenage Fanclub

Something I'll Have To Remember - 2nd Grade

About You - The Jesus and Mary Chain

bdrmm - Momo

Justified & Ancient - The KLF

You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) - Sylvester

Magic Fly - Space

Dreaming Of Me - Depeche Mode

Everything's Gone Green - New Order

Last Time - Suicide

Lola - The Raincoats

I Know My Rider ( I Know Your Ride Her) - The Byrds

Nowhere Man - The Beatles

Droge CX9 - Vampire Sound Inc

Place Unknown - Quintron

Holiday Inn - Stereo Total

Hot Topic - Le Tigre

Heartbeats - The Knife

Try Some, Buy Some - Ronnie Spector

Leave My Kitten Alone - The Beatles

My Love Is Your Love (Forever) - The Isley Brothers

Micro-Organisms Will Take These Instruments - International Airport

Be My Baby - The Ronettes

Walking In The Rain - The Ronettes

Here Comes The Sun - Charles Wright

Day Tripper - Otis Redding

You're Gonna Miss Me - 13th Floor Elevators

Catholic Education 2- Teenage Fanclub

Flying - The Beatles

I've Got A Feeling (Anthology 3 version) - The Beatles

She Cries Your Name - Beth Orton

Central Reservation (The Then Again version) - Beth Orton

Sunday 7 February 2021

Podcast - Stone Roses at Rooftops in Glasgow


The Stone Roses first gig in Glasgow was at Rooftops in June 1989. Following a recent blog post on my 10 favourite Roses songs I got talking to my friend Tam Coyle, the promoter for this show. I thought discussing his memories might make for a good podcast, we also invited Stevie Watt who DJ'd before the show and Craig McAllister, a fan who travelled up from Irvine for the show.

Me, I was too young, I was only 13 in 1989. I discovered The Roses in 1991 at the age of 15 and then had to wait until later 1994 for them to release any new music!

So I was keen to discuss what it was like to see The Roses as they were really starting to break.

Hear about Tam worrying about a band called Birdland playing the same night, queues down the street, anticipation, Stevie taking The Roses to his parents so they could do a phone interview with an American magazine, a support band (that Tam had forgotten about!), Craig's friend having the handwritten setlist, the atmosphere, the clothes ... a happening...

The podcast is available now on Spotify - Stone Roses at Rooftops, Glasgow, 1989, Memories

Bootlegs exist of the show, capturing a band in sensational form, Reni in particular sounds incredible. Thanks to Neil Carmichael for sending me this picture of his signed setlist from the night after he checked out the podcast.

Saturday 6 February 2021

Podcast launch episode 1 - Bobby Bluebell interview

 I have recorded a few podcasts over the years. You'll find 5 of them on mixcloud, including an interview with Duglas T Stewart to celebrate the 30th anniversary of BMX Bandits.

Over the last year I've really enjoyed a number of zoom calls with fellow music fans and on a couple of occasions I had the thought 'this would make a good podcast'.

Yet I never did anything about it until I received an email from Bobby Bluebell. I had emailed Bobby some questions with the intention of writing a feature blog on the reissue of The Bluebells Sisters album on the Past Night From Glasgow label.

Bobby replied but he had recorded his answers rather than type them out. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Bobby talk really openly, warmly and passionately about music; from fanzine culture, imaginary bands that he made up that led to him writing a song, the formation of The Bluebells, the Glasgow music scene, writing and future plans.

So because I enjoyed it and because I thought 'this is going to take ages to transcribe!' I asked Bobby if I could turn it into a podcast. I still intend to finish my blog on Sisters!

I now intend to record bi-monthly podcasts with fellow music fans, bands, artists, managers, promoters, DJ's ... the podcast will be people who love music, talking about music. It's kind of Bobby Bluebells fault!

My podcast site is HERE and on Spotify 

Here is a little bit more about episode 1.

The Bluebells, Bobby second from left

For many, many years I would see someone cutting about Glasgow with unruly curly hair, big thick cool glasses, a duffel coat (quite regularly) and turn up jeans. I would see this guy at loads of gigs.

Eventually we met when my friend Stephen Watt held a launch party for his book MCSTAPE and it finally dawned on me that this was Bobby Bluebell from The Bluebells.

We'd messaged each other on Twitter a few times about music and Oriel Records, but I didn't know what he currently looked like! 

Bobby was open, energetic and very friendly, qualities I'm sure that most people that have had the pleasure of his company would highlight if asked about him.

Last year I was delighted to finally hear The Bluebells Sisters album when it was lovingly reissued on Past Night From Glasgow and I was really hoping that I'd see The Bluebells play in my hometown of Uddingston at the second annual music festival that was scheduled for September. 

I'm writing a blog on Sisters. It's taken longer than anticipated as I wanted to live with the album for a bit before writing about it. 

To accompany my review of Sisters, I asked Bobby if I could interview him. Upon sending through a few questions, Bobby replied with an audio recording that I intended to transcribe into a blog.

However, I think it is lovely to hear directly from Bobby himself, 

Early gigs, hanging out at clubs and gigs in Glasgow, friendships, the reissue of Sisters, gigs and new Bluebells material?

1. How did The Bluebells form as a band?

2. Was there an early song that you wrote and performed when you thought 'yeah we have something'?

3. Were you intentionally working towards an album (that became Sisters)? You had released a number of singles and an EP beforehand.

4. What was the Glasgow scene like for you back then? Who did you admire and who did you hang out with?

5) What was it like being in The Bluebells back in the 80's? You seemed to just get on with everyone (which still seems to be the case). How did you get on when you ventured south?

6) How much have you enjoyed the remastering and reissue process? What memories did it bring back?

7) When was the last time you had listened to the album before the reissue process started?

8) What do you think of the album now?

9) What do you think of the current Glasgow scene? You and some of your contemporaries like Stephen Pastel are still very active and encouraging of new artists.

10) Do you hope to take the album on tour post lockdown/restrictions?

11) Will The Bluebells write and release new material?


Thursday 4 February 2021

Don't Look Back

Gerry Love

Trust Me #21

After highlighting the genius of Norman Blake's songwriting in my last Trust Me blog, I felt it was only fair to feature messrs Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley over the next couple of months. 

I usually choose a song to write about in the Trust Me series on a whim. I listen to it and think - yes I'll write about that this month or next. I don't normally plan the song I am writing about in advance.

So I didn't give any thought to choosing Did I Say by Norman, I just really enjoyed listening to it and then blogged on it. How do I go about choosing songs from Gerry and Raymond?!

From So Far Gone (read a previous interview with Gerry on this song HERE) through to It's A Sign from 2016's Here album, Love has peppered albums with sky scraping anthems like Ain't That Enough, power pop perfection like Sparky's Dream, Radio and Take The Long Way Round, to more mellow (yet powerful) moments like Sometimes I Don't Need To Believe In Anything. Not to mention b-sides like Getting Real and his exquisite Lightships material, with Sunlight To The Dawn being a real favourite.

I've chosen to feature Don't Look Back from 1995's Grand Prix album.  It's classic Love with mentions of the sunshine, city skies, reflection and romanticism, a beautiful song ending with the excellent advice in the refrain don't look back on an empty feeling.

Pic by me! From the Creation shows at the Barrowland, 2018

Opening with warm guitar chords before a piercing and soaring lead kicks in, Love sings heartfelt lines of brightening city skies, stealing a car to drive his love home and stretching time to stay.

That line she lives in your life every day, stretching time to stay is one I hadn't fully appreciated until my friend Ruthie Blaney highlighted it for this blog. I immediately thought back to younger, more innocent times, when every minute with the person you were in love or lust with felt so important - stretching time to stay beyond your last train or curfew was something you would do.

Don't Look Back has mellow verses that build to a punchy and euphoric chorus. The first time is like a relief, it builds so naturally and feels so good, the second time, after Love sings I don't need a guiding light to lead me in the dark, is utterly joyous and euphoric, leading to the closing refrain and then into the glorious sound of Teenage Fanclub in full flight, Raymond's guitar sounds beautifully scuzzy and fuzzy, there is an acoustic behind it, at 3 minutes 15 things are turned up further to a beautiful conclusion. Stunning!

The acoustic version released on the Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It EP (BLOG ON THAT HERE) is tender and arguably even more beautiful for being stripped back. I love the electric guitars, but oh man, this is just heart melting gorgeousness.

If I could find the words to say .... well I tried my best to capture what an amazing song this is, but I called upon friends from the Teenage Fanclub Fanclub to help me. 

Don't Look Back - album version

Don't Look Back - Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It version

Don't Look Back - live from 1995

You can find a playlist of songs in my Trust Me series by searching for Everything Flows Trust Me on Spotify, or CLICK HERE

Teenage Fanclub Fanclub on Don't Look Back

Donald Soutar

For the longest time, this was, and probably still is, my favourite TFC song, and was always the highlight of live shows. Don't Look Back is the first thing I play when I pick up a guitar (capo fr. 3), it's a beautifully constructed song stripped down, love the TFC Have Lost It version, but the arrangement on Grand Prix is perfect, from the way the intro builds to the thumping drums at the chorus, to the call and response outro and guitar solo. The lyrics, vocals and harmonies are all different class, but the bit that always gets me is the slight strain in the she lives in your life every day line.

Alistair Braidwood

I was working in Sydney when GP came out and listening to it caused homesickness to kick-in immediately, but the power pop also made complete sense in the Aussie sunshine. Don't Look Back, more than any other song, captured the essence of where I had come from & where I was going.

Terje Lynnebakken

This should have been another single from Grand Prix. Possibly the song I sang loudest to at concerts (sorry!). 


First heard them doing DLB on a Clyde 1 session promoting Grand Prix and instantly fell in love with the band. Still got it on a tape somewhere. Also might love the Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It version more than the album version. What a classic and very inspiring EP.

Ruthie Blaney

It's a highlight live, isn't it? Everybody seems so enthusiastic when it starts, like we've all just realised en masse that it's our favourite song, looking around smiling at strangers 'Aw I love this one!' and the mood lifts.

Some clever lyrics about the sun. Is he ever so slightly behind the beat when he sings the morning sun's a fire in space? Whatever it is, it's a beautiful touch. 

She lives in your life every day, stretching time to stay always makes me think of how no day is exactly the same length as the next. As we head out of winter and into spring, the sun hangs around a little bit longer every day, it's a hopeful thing to know in winter in the middle of a pandemic.

The Have Lost It version is stunning in every way too. No harmony on got my mind set on something else so it's hard to see. Who can resist replacing it with their own, particularly if you're on your own and no one can judge you?

And sometimes we all need to hear those lyrics in the chorus, it's good advice after all

Neil Macleod

Love the major going into minor from chorus to verse. I think Gerry is great at big sunny choruses and almost slightly gloomy (but still melodic) verse.

Pedro Delanotte

This is one of my Top 10 Fanclub tunes. The understatement of the simple guitar line which is folky and the big unashamedly emotional, declarative quite poppy chorus. I'd steal a car to drive you home.

One of his "sun" songs too. I always think of how connected to the very stuff of life Gerry's songs tend to be and I think his seeming obsession with the sun is what does that. The giver of life. These song are elemental. 

I love the line hope's never gonna teach me as well. It's pretty much perfect, really.

Kevin Robertson

For me, one of the best intros in pop music. I rate this along with The Only Ones Another Girl, Another Planet on that front, only mellower. For me this sums up Gerry's songwriting in Teenage Fanclub in one song, i.e. beautiful!

Keith Bell

I love this song ... If I could find the words to say ...

Matt Moir

One of the finest vocal performances by anyone. I love, love, love the stripped back version on the Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It EP. Love also that my Mum, who's seen them a fair few times, always thought the lyrics were don't look back on empty fields .... poor farmers!! :-)

John Wallace

Gerry Love sings like an angel.

Mark Hannah

I'd steal a car to drive you home is one of my favourite lines in any song ever. It conjures up brilliant imagery buoyed by that brilliant melody.

Anne-Marie Feeney

As others have said I'd steal a car ... is a great line but don't look back on an empty feeling - one line that manages to be optimistic and melancholic simultaneously. I simply love this song. No pun intended!

Stephen Forsyth

Gerry's singing on this is amazing. Love the urgency in the chorus. The guitar outro is so uplifting. 

If I could find the words to say, 

The sun shines in your eyes, 

So brighten up my city skies

Break out the news, it's back again

The voice that tried to sing

She don't hang on

And hope's never gonna teach me

Wake up the story's over

Climb aboard, I'm going nowhere

And understand if I must say

I'd give both these wings away

I'd steal a car to drive you home

I don't look back on an empty feeling

Repaint the blues, my saving grace

Is lost without a trace

The morning sun's a fire in space

She lives in your life every day

Stretching time to stay

Got my mind set on something else so it's hard to see

I don't need a guiding light to lead me in the dark

And understand if I must say

I'd give both these wings away

I'd steal a car to drive you home

I don't look back on an empty feeling

(Don't look back) on an empty feeling

(Don't look back) on an empty feeling

(Don't look back) on an empty feeling

(Don't look back) 

Monday 1 February 2021

Talking In My Sleep


Cover version of the month #63

The Bangles cover The Rain Parade

The Rain Parade formed back in 1981 and soon generated a name for themselves among the Paisley Underground scene that was creating a buzz in California. Counting David Roback, who later went on to form Mazzy Star, in their line-up, The Rain Parade wrote melodic and moving guitar pop that gave a hefty nod to 60's bands like The Byrds.

Debut album Emergency Third Rail Power Trip was released in 1983, opening with the dreamy, chiming Talking In My Sleep, a song I only discovered around 18-months ago. I fell for it and enjoyed digging into the bands small but perfectly formed back catalogue.

After tweeting the song last week, Stuart Jackson replied saying that I should check out The Bangles version. I duly did and I was blown away.

The Bangles have a history with The Rain Parade as Susanna Hoffs had previously been in a band called the Unconscious with Roback.

Fast forward to 2018 and 4 of the bands from the Paisley Underground scene got together to cover each other for an album titled 3 x 4, released on Yep Roc Records.

The guitar riff that opens Talking In My Sleep just sounds fresh and exciting, the beat and bass lock in behind it create a flowing groove that then has hushed vocals sprinkled over the top.

Talking In My Sleep allows plenty of room for the band to jam, there is a glorious rush of an instrumental section after the second verse, from 1 minute 16 seconds, through to the start of the third verse at 2 minutes 5 seconds.

Part of the beauty of this song is that there are only 3-verses, but the song is stretched to 3 minutes 49 seconds to allow the band time to play. The instrumental after the third verse is a full 80-seconds in length and it's just perfect, it sounds thrilling, fun and pure.

Lyrically the song seems simple, but the the repetition of sleep, sleeping, dreams and dreaming in the first verse just adds to the dreamy, blissful, guitar pop psychedelia vibe.

The Bangles 2018 cover version remains very true to the original, the guitar sound is pushed even more to the fore and Susanna Hoffs vocals are crystal clear dreamy, rather than the original's more shy / blurry vocal. It's absolutely gorgeous, I've been playing it a lot this week, hope you enjoy.

I know, I'm talking in my sleep

Sleeping in my dreams

Dreaming on my feet

I don't know what it means

There's something in my head

But it don't frighten me

I heard, a knocking at the door

I crawled across the floor

And tried to let you in

But you were gone before

I could turn a key

And almost certainly

I find that people leave their homes

To find a place to go

I've seen them on the street

But I don't wanna stop

I thought I couldn't speak

And I wanted to go home

The Rain Parade verison

The Bangles version

Search for Everything Flows cool cover versions on Spotify for a playlist of the covers I have blogged about and read on for a full list and links to previous cover of the month blogs. 

Previous covers of the month

13. Hurt