Wednesday 28 June 2023

10 Glastonbury 2023 TV highlights

The crowd for Elton

I caught quite a bit of Glastonbury on the TV over the weekend. The BBC's coverage of the Pyramid Stage, Other Stage, Park Stage, Woodsies and West Holts was incredible. OK, the BBC didn't delve into the side stages, tents and areas that for many are the real Glastonbury, but they did pretty well and they know their audience.

Watching from the comfort of my sofa with easy access to the fridge for beer was just perfect, while my toilet up the stairs was particularly welcome when viewing the crowd for Elton John (above)!!!! In a sign of my age, I immediately wondered (and worried) what people would do if they needed the loo! What a crowd!

Here are 10 of my highlights from my weekend of TV watching. One additional observation was how white and middle class the audience seemed. Did anyone else feel/spot that?

You should get all of these sets on the BBC iPlayer 

You'll find BBC YouTube links to key songs from each artists set after my review. 

1. Young Fathers, Friday, West Holts Stage

Within minutes of taking to the West Holts Stage, with the sun burning bright in the sky in front of them, just before it started setting, Young Fathers performance looked, sounded and felt like a huge moment for them. With Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham 'G' Hastings lining up along the front of the stage alongside 2 female (apologies for not knowing their names) singers, you can't help but be captivated by their presence and impact. Queen Is Dead was loud, proud, cool and bold, while Rice was simply sublime.

Young Fathers - I Saw (Glastonbury 2023)

2. Carly Rae Jepsen, Friday, Other Stage

We're big fans of Carly Rae Jepsen in our house. She has an astonishing run of singles that are sheer pop perfection. The hooks, melodies, beats, riffs and choruses are just incredible. As I was watching I immediately regretted not going to see Carly in Glasgow back in February. I hope she comes back soon. Cut To The Feeling is euphoric, while Call Me Maybe and I Really Like You are timeless pop.

Carly Rae Jepsen - Shy Boy (Glastonbury 2023)

3. Texas, Friday, Pyramid Stage

Sharleen Spiteri and Texas knocked it out the park on Friday, playing hit after hit, generating huge sing-songs in the crowd. Sharleen bounded around stage one minute and strapped on a gorgeous green semi-acoustic the next. Opening with smash debut single I Don't Want A Lover set a tone, then it was into Halo, while later on it was the triple blow of Black Eyed Boy, Inner Smile and Say What You Want. A smash hits of a set!

Texas - Black Eyed Boy (Glastonbury 2023)

4. Hot Chip, Friday, Woodsies

I found myself dancing around the living room on Friday night to the delightful electronic sounds of Hot Chip. I fell for them in 2005 (see my 10 from Hot Chip blog) and they continue to woo me to this day. Alexis Taylor has barely changed in the near 20-years I have been following the band. His voice remains delicately beautiful, his fashion sense is still brilliantly geeky weird, while his band mate Joe Goddard is just the same - with a slightly deeper voice.

The synth sounds they created on stage amped up their studio versions, the light show added to the vibe. From the opener of Huarache Lights to the closing Over and Over, this was a set I cherished.

Hot Chip - Over and Over (Glastonbury 2023)

5. Lewis Capaldi, Saturday, Pyramid Stage

What an emotional performance. After a couple of songs Capaldi was coughing regularly during songs, his throat and voice were going. But he kept going, feeling the love of the audience and not wanting to let them down. His nervous ticks became increasing prominent, but he kept on singing and the crowd sang with him and for him. His self-depreciating humour was apparent throughout and he even took his top off for one song the huge cheers. 

I watched this with my 8-year old daughter Rosie and we were both feeling for Lewis. And we were both moved by the response of the Glastonbury crowd who had his back 100%, singing for all their worth.

Lewis was moved too. Taking several moments to take it all in. Bruises was beautiful, Capldi was visibly bruising on stage, making the song even more poignant. 

Capaldi then said he would try to sing 2 more songs, but after Hold Me While You Wait he was really struggling and the crowd took over for most of his monster hit Someone You Loved. Lewis was apologising one minute and thanking them profusely the next, but he still somehow found the strength from within to sing one final chorus which was spine tingling and exceptionally emotional.

Lewis, with typical transparency, told the crowd and us watching at home that we might not see him for a while, he'd be taking some time out. 

I hope he does and that his family and friends hold him close and protect him from any record company pressures. He just seems a genuinely lovely young guy who wants to write and sing. Maybe, when he returns, he could play some smaller venues, a residency at the Barrowland and/or Concert Hall in Glasgow. So he can stay at home. 

6. Rick Astley and Blossoms, Saturday, Woodsies

I'm not a fan of Astley or Blossoms. So I wasn't intending to check this collaboration out, but a couple of WhatsApp messages from friends alerted me to it, so I did. And i have to admit that they knocked their covers set of Smiths songs out of the park. 

Festivals should be barmy and bonkers. And this was barmy, bonkers and somehow brilliant.

That said, I wouldn't pay to go and see them on tour, but great at a festival.

Rick Astley and Blossoms - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Glastonbury 2023)

7. The Pretenders, Saturday, The Park Stage

One of many performances that I watched with one or both of my daughters where they said; 'How old are they?' Then we would guess how old they are against my Mum of 76.

What a beautiful sound The Pretenders created, aided by the introduction of Johnny Marr on guitar, while Macca watching from side-stage must have put a spring in their step. Oh and Dave Grohl popped up to guest on drums for Tattooed Love Boys

Chrissie Hynde was in fine voice,  there was no Brass in Pocket, but there was a magnificent I'll Stand By You and the crowd were loving it.

The Pretenders - Tattooed Love Boys (Glastonbury 2023)

8.  Candi Staton, Sunday, West Holts

At 83-years old and having recently survived breast cancer, this may well have been Candi Staton's last Glastonbury performance. However, I personally wouldn't bet against her returning again. She displayed resilience and strength throughout her set which included In The Ghetto, Suspcious Minds and a euphoric Young Hearts Run Free. But in her lengthy introduction to You Got The Love she bared her heart and soul as she told of her struggles through her treatment and how her faith kept her going. She found herself singing You Got The Love in hospital corridors to keep herself going, finding new meaning in the song.

And then she sang it for Glastonbury, she sang it for her family, us watching at home and she sang it for God and her faith. It was beautiful. A real Glastonbury moment.

Candi Staton - You Got The Love (Glastonbury 2023)

9. Becky Hill, Sunday, Other Stage

My kids love Becky Hill and they've turned me on to her brilliant pop songs like the sublime Remember. In blazing sunshine, Hill's electro pop with a nice clubby feel to it wowed the Glastonbury crowd. And she felt it! Pausing several times to take it all in and highlight how everything felt like it had built to this moment. And she fell for Glastonbury, talking of how she was at Arcadia for The Chemical Brothers and how she would be back next year whether she was playing or not.

On this evidence, she should be booked again. With 4 backing singers, the sound was euphoric and Hill's voice is incredible. Soulful and packed with emotion. She has a clear ear for pop.

Opening with the mighty Crazy What Love Can Do got the crowd on her side and Hill paused several times to stop herself from crying. Her love of dance music came out through cover versions like Heaven and You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) and her new songs mixed well. Closing with Remember, I wouldn't be surprised if Becky is invited back next year.

Becky Hill - Side Effects (Glastonbury 2023)

10. Elton John, Sunday, Pyramid Stage

What a show! What a band! What a crowd! What a career! From the opening blitz through Pinball Wizard to the emotional finale of Rocket Man with a stunning extended outro, Elton John and his band were on fire. Almost literally at the end as Fireworks exploded overhead and pyrotechnics burst from the stage.

My own highlight (in addition to Rocket Man) was a euphoric blast through Are You Ready For Love? with guest vocalist Jacob Lusk from Gabriels and the London Community Gospel Choir. What a chorus! It was a joyful performance.

Brandon Flowers from The Killers came on for Tiny Dancer, Rina Sawayama joined Elton for Don't Go Breaking My Heart while Stephen Sanchez came on to perform his own song Until I Found You with Elton and his band. John has always promoted and supported new acts.

After somewhat underwhelming headline performances by Artic Monkeys on Friday (tight as f**k but they didn't exactly get the crowd going) and Guns n Roses on Saturday (superb guitars but Axl Rose was barely audible at times and sounded awful when his mic was turned up), Elton John and his band gave Glastonbury a celebratory party goodbye. John signed off his last ever UK performance in the fun and flamboyant style he is famed for.

Elton John - Rocket Man (Glastonbury 2023)

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Introducing Dillon Squire

The name Dillon Squire came to my attention towards the end of 2022 via a lovely guy called John McKinlay. I can't remember how John and I became friends on Facebook, but it's clear that we are both passionate about music. John is extremely knowledgeable about the Glasgow music scene and was on to Dillon before he even had a release out. John no doubt knew of Heavy Rapids, Dillon's previous band.

Now going under his own name, Squire seems to have found his look and sound. There are a lot more melodies and hooks coming to the fore and he seems to have assembled a brilliant band.

Squire's debut single, released in October 2022, was named after a visit to the Allison Arms pub in the South Side of Glasgow. The vocal melody is relaxed and quite dreamy over choppy guitars that are then fired up for the chorus. 

I hope to god this never stops

We've made it this far

I know the past made you afraid

So I'll be waiting patiently

Dillon and his band followed their debut with the song Little Birdy, released in April. There is a flowing melody through the verses, a catchy pre-chorus and then a super hooky chorus leading to a guitar solo that you may well find yourself humming without knowing.

There is a breakdown and build up after the second chorus leading to an explosive guitar boost into the final outro. It's the catchiest guitar pop song I've heard from a Glasgow band in a long time. 

Little Birdy - official video

Dillon Squire - Facebook

Ripping out your eyelashes

Playing all your broken promises

All the things that you've never, ever done

Everything that you wish that you'd become

Photo by @rosemcenroephoto

I couldn't make it along to the Saint Luke's all-dayer at the start of June, but John McKinlay was there and captured a new song by Dillon called Dark Circles on film. You'll find it if you follow Dillon on Facebook or Instagram. It sounds like it could be his breakthrough song, so catchy that the Saint Luke's audience started singing-a-long with the chorus. Dark Circles will be part of a 7-song EP being released this summer (info below).

I've been thinking about you baby, always on my mind, woah-oh

I've been thinking about you baby, always on my mind, woah-oh

The song prompted me to buy tickets for Dillon's show at The Rum Shack in August and to ping Dillon a message asking if he would mind answering a few questions for my blog.

Dillon very kindly answered and we then bumped into each other in McChuills on Sunday night. Small world! Based on what I've heard so far, Dillon is definitely one to watch. And he is tall, cool and handsome to boot! Dillon also introduced me to his super cool friend and guitarist Bo. I felt very old and uncool!


Can you remember writing your first song? What inspired you to pick up a guitar and do that?

Yeah! Seven Hours. I'm sure mother bear has it in a box somewhere. It was an obsession with time and clocks, something that still troubles me today. Maybe I'll revive the seed and let it grow someday. Believe it or not, I was more into kicking a football, then I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (probably good for the world to know that). My health took a dip and I had some bed bound days which I got stuck into learning guitar and here we are still playing the same game. Glad that happened aren't I? Maybe the song inspiration came from watching the clocks and thinking about when I'd be fit and able again?

What brought you to Glasgow? And what do you think of the music scene in the city?

I grew up outside the city and somehow the buzz of the bands (particularly Baby Strange) reached the small village I lived in, Elderslie. I was magnetised by it, so much so I'd come for a gig & spend a few days on someone's sofa. Good decision to make the move up, my spine is slowly de-curving back to its natural state. I put my body through some tough tests when I fell in love with the music coming out of Glasgow. The scene is interesting now, there's always something new happening. It's like we're all little bullets in a golden revolver, someone's just waiting to fire into the next level. Exciting!

How did you bring your band together? How quickly did you gel?

Bo and I have been at it for years, we're musically and spiritually glued. Rab and Josh complete the band, we're in our hottest form yet. On the 'gel-o-meter' it's an 11/10. All undeniably the best musicians I've ever worked with, who see the bigger picture and have extreme levels of faith. I can't forget to credit other people who have performed on the project such as Amelia, Pete, Johnny and Jamie. The helpings hands have certainly been honourable ones.

Rab rings me up sometimes and tells me how excited he is for the future and how much he believes in me. Shit like that really keeps me going.

What can you tell me about your forthcoming EP? Your song Dark Circles generated an incredible response at your recent Saint Lukes show. It's super catchy! 

There's 7 tracks on it, it's coming out mid-August and it's full of bangers that come from the bottom of my heart. Somewhere I never dig but I'm so glad I have. Yes, Dark Circles will be on there and it's annoyingly catchy, infectious to the ears some say. Beware. When everyone screamed it back at us during the St Luke's show, I knew it was the one.

Are you writing a lot? Can we expect further releases in 2023? 

All the time, depends what you define as writing. I scribble silly little ideas down all day and spit random lines into my voice memos all day long. So I guess I'm writing on the daily? I do feel my writing is the best it's ever been, but I'm still young and learning all the time. Excited to see where it's at in the next few years.

What music are you listening to at present? 

Arlo Parks, Bowie, Turnstile, Inhaler and Tupac are at the top of Spotify currently, that's gotta be anyone's most honest answer... All of them mesmerise me on the daily.

You can check some tunes that Dillon enjoys by visiting

Dillon's Digital Disc #1

Dillon's Digital Disc #2

Dillon's Digital Disc #3

Tuesday 13 June 2023



30-years ago #5
Radio by Teenage Fanclub

Released on 14th June 1993, Teenage Fanclub's Radio is an impeccable slice of guitar power pop perfection. A song that always makes me want to play air guitar, sing-a-long and (still at my age) jump up and down. 

Radio is a pure rush of a song, the band absolutely tear into it and don't let up. It's all over in 2-minutes 52 seconds. Radio really did help to soundtrack the summer of 93 for me. I bought the CD single from Impulse Records in Hamilton and played it on a loop.

I loved (and love) the cover of the old radio with the Teenage Fanclub stencil logo proudly and boldly emblazoned on the front. The song begins with a little banjo intro, then there is a glorious explosion of ferocious drumming by Brendan, loud and fuzzy guitars and Gerry sounding super cool;

I think I'll kill the radio
Don't wanna hear this song
Can't relate to yesterday
What we did was wrong
Yeah, mmm

The way Gerry sings baby as he hits the chorus as Norman sings backing vocals and then harmonizes is spine tingling. The pace is fast, furious and fun throughout. Raymond's brilliant guitar riff comes out even stronger in the live performances below.

Baby, justify the reason behind your style
Find a place that fits and stay there for a while

Love to hear your song
On the AM
On the AM

I'd already fallen for Teenage Fanclub as a 15-year old in 1991. Two years on, at 17 and having just left school,  I was head over heels, eagerly anticipating their forthcoming Thirteen album and the prospect of seeing them live for the first time. 

Now, at 47, I'm instantly transported back to being 17 when I hear Radio. Energy leaps out of the song and straight into my heart, putting a big smile on my face.

Oh how I love that exuberant burst of guitar after the first chorus. It only lasts 10-seconds and then we're into the second verse. The crash after the first line is beautifully timed, the band are absolutely flying through it. Guitar pop punk perfection!

When I try to trip you up
I'm the one who falls

All these years down the line, I still find myself eagerly anticipating new releases and live dates by Teenage Fanclub. I still love to hear their songs on the radio! 

Did you know when I was young
I'd paint my face
With the latest craze

The band have announced an extensive European Tour for October and November to promote new album Nothing Lasts Forever, out on September 22nd.

And Gerry has been recording down in Liverpool with Bill Ryder-Jones. Hopefully we'll hear a single before the year is out and then the album in early 2024.

In the meantime, check out the official video for Radio, performances from T in the Park 1994 and Later with Jools (love Gerry's grin right at the end!) and a blast through it in 1995 - anyone know the venue?

And you can check my blog on Thirteen HERE

30-years ago - previous blogs in the series

Sunday 11 June 2023

Eyes of Others - the album

I really fell for Eyes of Others  after the release of single New Hair, New Me earlier in the year and I've fallen deeper after listening to their eponymous debut album, out now on Heavenly Recordings.

'Post pub, couldn't get in the club music' is how John Bryden describes his Eyes of Others project and on this evidence I wouldn't mind going back to his place!

Dub groove bass lines underpin much of the 10 songs over 41-minutes. The beats that go along with the bass are inventive and all kinds of melodic, crazy, psychedelic and gorgeous stuff is layered over the top.

Once, Twice, Thrice sets the tone; blissful, balearic and cool, the kind of tune you can imagine listening to at sunset ... or maybe sunrise. 


Safehouse has a psychedelic dub feel to it, with Caribbean effects introduced to hypnotic effect towards the end. I'd love to hear this live, I can imagine it going for ages.

At the end Bryden whispers;

I used to be handsome, I used to be good looking

Now I clean the table, once I've done the cooking

Another hypnotic bass line carries Escalation and there is so much space that allows Bryden to bring in melodica, synth effects and to sing a beautiful catchy and dreamy melody. 

At Home I am a Leader has a space dub feel to it, but there is a catchy little synth riff going on, Bryden's vocals are deep at times, hanging sweetly at others.

 I fell for New Hair New Me instantly when It came out as a single in March. It's warm, gooey, dreamy and catchy pop music. Everything hangs on a loose funky bass; beats, handclaps, ukulele drifts in and out, a dreamy synth riff, vocals that are sleepily whispered at times, addictively melodic in a playful sing-song-y way at others. 

Sometimes the lyrics are easy to make out, other times they are blurred in the perfect way. The groove, feel and melody are more important.


So yeah, I mentioned that post pub, couldn't get in the club vibe earlier. With Ego Hit Bryden creates something that wouldn't sound out of place at somewhere like Optimo. It's super dreamy again, the synths sound sublime, the bass and beats are super cool and Bryden sounds like he has been recorded sleeping and dreaming. Rather gorgeous and trippy.

Mother Father is more dreamy gorgeousness while Jargon Jones and Jones is built around a hypnotic little keyboard riff and has a dub-space feel it that Bryden has perfected.

Don't want to stay in, I want to out

Don't want to stay in, want to shake it all about

If Bryden was going out, then you'd imagine he'd want to go to a club playing something like Come Inside with its layers of grooves, beats, psychedelic effects and vocals that range from dreamy harmonies to deep voiced speech. I love the way the song just takes off on one at 2 minutes 42 and then drops to percussion and Bryden before going off on a groove again. 

Closing with Big Companies, Large Tentacles, with some kind of I Feel Love synth bass groove going on, Eyes of Others takes you deep into the heart of his trip. Don't hold on, let yourself go as it veers off into psychedelic acid techno territory. You won't want it to end, but sadly it does. Again, I can imagine this being extended and being beautifully wild when played live. The video is trippy as f**k!


I tried to love myself

So I could love you

There is a joyful and refreshing playfulness throughout the album with grooves, riffs, melodies, vocals, synth sounds, effects and beats. Bryden has been in and out of bands for almost two decades, but he has conjured up quite the debut album!

And if you like the album, why not snap up a super cool Eyes of Others t-shirt from the brilliant We Are 1 of 100.


Thursday 8 June 2023

Dream setlist by The Charlatans

The news that The Charlatans were returning to the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow on Saturday 25th November had me checking my work calendar to see if I could be poised and ready for presale tickets going live at 10am on Wednesday 7th June.

I've been on The Charlatans mailing list for many a year and ... I didn't get a presale link. From Twitter, it seems like I wasn't the only one. But thankfully my friend Robbie got me, my wife and my brother a ticket, so we're all sorted!

The Charlatans have added a second night and still have space in their tour diary for a third ... TICKETS

Tim Burgess and co have a long history with the Barrowland. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I have seen them there over the years. A few! The atmosphere is always electric, like a cup final. 

Memories include an opening blast of I Never Want An Easy Life and Can't Get Out Of Bed in 1994/95 with someone crowdsurfing to Oasis I Am The Walrus before the band had even come on stage. 

The atmosphere was electric that night, like a cup final. Indeed, it always is when The Charlatans play The Barrowland. There is a beautiful bond, a powerful connection. The band, venue and audience become one and it is very, very special.

To be honest, I'm pretty gutted when they play the Academy!

Check this sensational live Radio 1 audio bootleg from December 1997. The band are in sensational form!

The Charlatans, Glasgow Barrowland, December 1997 bootleg

Another time my brother Ross and I went out the night before he turned 21. The band came on stage and played the beautiful long intro to Forever, then Tim can on stage with his hands in the air and the place just erupted. 

And then when The Charlatans played Some Friendly in full the whole venue became a massive indie club dancefloor when the band played The Only One I Know. But then, that particular song always generates that reaction, but maybe the famous sprung dancefloor at the Barrowland helps people dance harder and jump even higher.

Many of you reading this blog will have experienced the Barrowland roar. A special ovation reserved for special songs. An ovation that goes on and on, feet stomping, hands clapping, loud roars. The Charlatans have a few special songs in their arsenal and I can't wait to hear them and the roar of appreciation afterwards. I have tingles down my spine just thinking about it. I bet the band does too!

Will they have a new album out? Or will they just smash through a greatest hits and favourites set?

Either way, I'll be happy! The news about their show led me to try and create my dream Charlatans setlist. 

It could change from time to time, but for a Saturday night at the Barrowland ... this would take the roof off the place!

You can check it on my playlist here - Dream setlist - The Charlatans or search it on Spotify.


Tremelo Song

Can't Get Out Of Bed

Crashin' In

Tellin' Stories


A Man Needs To Be Told

Oh! Vanity

Blackened Blue Eyes



Try Again Today

The Blind Stagger

Just Lookin'

Just When You're Thinkin' Things Over

North Country Boy

The Only One I Know

One To Another

Come Home Baby


Happen To Die

Let The Good Times Be Never Ending

Sproston Green

Sunday 4 June 2023

Indian Rope Man

Cover version of the month #87

Julia Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity cover Richie Havens

+ Richie Havens covers The Beatles

+ Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity cover Bob Dylan and The Band

I've had Indian Rope Man by Julia Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity earmarked for one of my Trust Me blogs for sometime, because, well, trust me, it's an incredible song.

So I was pretty surprised to find that there isn't a huge amount of information about Indian Rope Man online. Then I discovered that Indian Rope Man is in fact a cover of a Richie Havens songs. Which led me to discovering his Richard P. Havens, 1983 album ... that was released in 1969. 

Keeping up?

This also led me to discovering Havens covering Strawberry Fields Forever, Lady Madonna, She's Leaving Home and With A Little Help From My Friends across this sprawling double album. Havens also covers Dylan's I Pity The Poor Immigrant and Donovan's Wear Your Love Like Heaven. I'd highly recommend checking the album.

Anyway, back to Indian Rope Man. Haven's original version kicks into gear from the off, there is an urgency to the rhythm and his voice is beautifully rich and soulful. Even though the song is only 3-minutes long, there is space for the band to jam, the hammond organ sound is sublime.

Talking of hammond organ, Brian Auger was a man about town in the 60s, playing sessions with The Yardbirds and Rod Stewart among others. In fact, Auger had a band with Stewart called The Steampacket, but after Rod left in 1966 the band broke up.

Julie Driscoll was also in The Steampacket, the two of them joined the band Trinity and started playing live, breaking through in April 1968 with their cover of Bob Dylan's This Wheels On Fire. Driscoll and co's version became the theme tune to Absolutely Fabulous many years later.

From what I can gather, their version of Indian Rope Man was originally released as b-side to Take Me To The Water in September 1969 on Marmalade/Polydor Records. And, in the words of legendary Scottish commentator Archie Mcpherson ... ooooofffffttttt!

Driscoll, Auger and The Trinity tear into the song, injecting extra energy and flying through it with confidence and style. Driscoll's voice is super powerful and Auger on hammond/electric keys is on fire. Check the outrageous live version below, Driscoll looks sensational and sounds incredible. 

Richie Havens version

Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity live version

This month is a bonus month! In addition to Indian Rope Man, I've also added Havens version of Strawberry Fields Forever (I should also suggest checking Candy Flip's baggy version from 1990) and Driscoll & co's version of This Wheels On Fire to my playlist.

All previous cover version of the month blogs are listed below. To listen on Spotify, search for Everything Flows Cool Cover Versions playlist, featuring all of the songs below, or CLICK HERE

Previous covers of the month

13. Hurt
39. ABBA-esque
40. Jumpin' Jack Flash
64. Lola
82. Drop