Thursday 21 December 2023

Anything Goes and Everything Flows DJ Mix 28


Welcome to my 28th 60(ish) minute mix. This one was inspired by reading Sly Stone's autobiography and his mention of the Ray Charles song Let's Go Get Stoned. That led me on to Stoned Soul Picnic and things developed from there.

Sly and his band feature 3 times. Firstly with the super stoned groove of Everybody Is A Star, then the fabulous Everyday People. It's incredible that this song is only 2-minutes 19 seconds long! The mix closes with a 12-minute Sly & The Family Stone medley which I'd never heard before. Wow! 

Stone's style, his arrangements and his originality really set him and his band apart. They were one of a kind. I'd highly recommend his book.

Enjoy this mix that you can find by searching for Everything Flows DJ Mix 28 - Let's Go Get Stoned on Spotify or CLICK HERE

Let's Go Get Stoned - Ray Charles

Stoned Soul Picnic - Laura Nyro

The Champ - The Mohawks

Ain't It Good Enough - Nu-Sound Express Ltd

Hit Or Miss - Odetta

Sexy Coffee Pot - Tony Alvon & The Belairs

Everybody Is A Star - Sly & The Family Stone

Everyday People - Sly & The Family Stone

Tiers monde - Francis Bebey

Bold Soul Sister - Ike & Tina Turner

We Got To Have Peace - Curtis Mayfield

Goin' Down - Allen Toussaint

Fool for You - The Impressions

It's Gonna Be Alright - The Natural Yogurt Band

For What It's Worth - Voices of East Harlem

You've Been Gone Too Long - Anne Sexton

I Still Love You - Anne Sexton

Dance To The Medley - Sly & The Family Stone

Sunday 17 December 2023

Never Ending Mixtape part 87


Welcome to the last update of 2023 on my Never Ending Mixtape which now has 3,698 songs on it at the time of writing.

You can search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE

As always, there is a diverse mix of music added, including;


Cool About It by Boygenius - the modern super group with 3 outstanding singer-songwriters.

Give You My Loving (live 1994) by Mazzy Star - I could happily listen to Hope Sandoval sing the phonebook.  I only recently discovered their Magic Hour live album - swoon!

Everest by Public Service Broadcast - The electronic band that take inspiration from old radio and TV recordings. They work something special up here.

Kinky Love by Nancy Sinatra - Discovered via Andrew Divine. Imagine walking into a record shop as a teenage boy and seeing this song title!

Let Me Go by SAULT - I'm still making my way through all the SAULT albums. They recently played live for the very first time and I REALLY hope they play Glasgow sometime.

Temptation Inside Your Heart by The Velvet Underground - Another discovery via Andrew Divine who I thoroughly enjoyed DJ-ing when I caught Belle and Sebastian playing live recently. I have the VU album of out-takes on CD but I can't say I have listened to it in ... probably decades! Possibly not this century! I will be listening again soon. This recording is from a Valentines Day session in 1968. I love how relaxed they all sound, there is a simple two chord groove and John Cale talks over things. 


Love In The Upside Down by David Holmes and Raven Violet - one of my songs of the year.

Can't Believe We're Here by J Mascis - bodes well for his forthcoming new solo album.

The Friends We Lost by Eric Cantona - King Eric turns his hand to songwriting ... cool!

West End Girls by Sleaford Mods (HiFi Sean remix) - the Mods cover Pet Shop Boys and HiFi Sean sprinkles it with some magic disco dust.

Love And Hate in a Different Time (Greg Wilson & Che Wilson Original Extended Mix) by Gabriels - An extended take on a true modern classic. Sublime.


All My Life by Evan Dando - melts my heart every time.

Tell Me What You See by The Beatles - I've found a new love for this song after it was covered on the What They Do To Me tribute album.

If I Never See You Again by Teenage Fanclub - also melts my heart every time!

You're Pretty Good Looking For A Girl by The White Stripes - Jack White comes across like a garage Paul McCartney. Super raw melodic pop! I was very fortunate for catch The White Stripes at King Tuts back in the day and this stood out for me.

How Do You Sleep by The Stone Roses - My love for The Second Coming album grows with every passing year. This is a gem.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Ride On Time

Cover version of the month #93
The Bamboos cover Black Box

What was the best selling single of 1989?

Was it Jason Donovan with Too Many Broken Hearts? The Bangles gorgeous Eternal Flame? All Around The World by Lisa Stansfield? Maybe Like A Prayer by Madonna with the super sexy video? 

Nope ... it was Ride On Time by Black Box, an Italian house track that sold over 850,000 copies as it topped the charts for 6-weeks!

Ride On Time came out in the heady days of July 1989, a time that many classed as the second summer of love. House music was everywhere; in clubs and fields all over the country and it was crossing into the charts. 

With vocals by Heather Small, who went on to join Mike Pickering's M-People, Ride On Time was absolutely perfect for soundtracking the times. Small's vocal is deep, powerful and soulful, repeated time and time again so people can sing on first listen.

Piano house chords sound sublime, there are instrumental passages, a little breakdown with the glorious;

 Cause time won't take my love away

And then back into the beats and piano chords. Ride On Time is euphoric pop music, perfect for the charts, the radio and the clubs. The song still sounds super fresh, energetic and exciting over 30-years down the line.

Daniele Davoli from Black Box has said that Ride On Time was the group's attempt to create a song with the power of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple with a dance beat!

I'm not sure how to judge him against that - but he created a winner! 

Originally released with a sample of Loletta Holloway's Love Sensation. The band thought she was singing ride on time, when in fact Holloway sings want you right on time. But they stuck with Ride On Time.

Their luck was in. Paul Oakenfold was in Italy looking for Italo-house records and discovered their pressings, subsequently buying up all the copies he could get his hands on.

The rest ... as they say ... is history. The song just blew up and rightly so, it's a classic of its time.

I stumbled across The Bamboos cover of Ride On Time after listening to the band The Allergies on Spotify. Algorythms kicked in and before I knew it I was googling to see if this was the original version of Ride On Time.

It turns out that it is a cover from Hard Up, The Bamboos 2021 album. 

The Bamboos are a soulful deep funk outfit from Australia who have progressed to incorporating hip-hop, psychedelic pop and cinematic music into their sound. They've been releasing music since 2004 and have developed considerably since that time, getting their music into computer games and on to TV shows like Greys Anatomy.

The Aussies remain pretty true to the original, just funking it up a little with live instruments rather than samples. The big vocal is still there, the piano chords are still vital, but the beats and percussion sound live, the bass groove is sublime, holding it all together and allowing huge horns to come in.

It's an absolute delight. An inspired choice of cover.


The Black Box original and The Bamboos cover version are added to my Everything Flows Cool Cover Versions playlist on Spotify which also features all of the songs below. Search for the title or CLICK HERE

Black Box - official video

The Bamboos - official video

Previous covers of the month blogs

13. Hurt
39. ABBA-esque
40. Jumpin' Jack Flash
64. Lola
82. Drop
87. Indian Rope Man + bonus Strawberry Fields Forever + This Wheels On Fire

Sunday 10 December 2023

Albums of the year 2023

2023 was a very good year for music!

As always, I'm sure other end of year lists will lead me to discovering music released in 2023 that passed me by at the time. However, at the time of writing, here are my 10 favourite albums from 2023 with 15 more bubbling under.

Three of my favourite albums find artists in their 50's pouring their hearts out about love, loss and moving  forward, while others by David Holmes and Eyes of Others set controls for the heart of the sun to burn as brightly and vividly as they possibly can, 

Melodies, hooks, storytelling and invention are spread throughout. Whether through pure euphoric pop, or dreamy melancholia. There are glorious grooves, gorgeous guitars, sublime synths and brilliant beats.


2023 Albums of the year

The Ballad of Darren by Blur

What is it like to suffer a major break-up in your 50's? Damon Albarn makes it sound heartbreaking, yet beautiful as he pours his heart our across the album. There is reflection, memories, realisation, thoughts of good times, confession (the frank I fucked up starts St. Charles Square ...) and pure heartfelt honesty.

The singles The Narcissist and Barbaric are fantastic, then album cuts like Russian Strings and Goodbye Albert are utterly gorgeous. Albarn is an exceptional talent, in the enviable position of doing whatever he likes with Blur, Gorillaz, solo and in collobaration.

Nothing Lasts Forever by Teenage Fanclub

Nothing Lasts Forever, the 12th Teenage Fanclub album, is a beautiful album containing 10 songs of love, life, loss, hope and light. If Everything Arcade was reflective, then this new album is looking forward, with Norman heading Back to the Light.

Have your tissues ready for Raymond's beautiful I Will Love You that closes the album. The slow burning, near 2-minute, intro is beautifully dreamy, leading to McGinley singing about how his love will last through all that is wrong in the world. Until the end of time. Norman's harmonies on the chorus are gorgeous.

This is Teenage Fanclub at their best - heartfelt emotion, love and hope in the face of racisim, bigotry, pollution, capitalism ... the grim reality of modern day life. Love can help. Love can win

Blind on a Galloping Horse by David Holmes featuring Raven Violet

David Holmes takes us on a beautiful journey on his latest album. Over 14 songs, Holmes creates wonderful sounds; dreamy, dubby, clubby, psychedelic, electro with gorgeous melodic riffs and layers. Raven Violet adds super cool vocals. Love In the Upside Down immediately became one of my favourite songs of the year. 

Sugar Honey by Carla J Easton

My sister has written and released 7 albums since the 2016 release of her debut album Homemade Lemonade. Sugar Honey is her 4th solo album and Carla has also released 2 albums with TeenCanteen and last years Poster Paints LP.

That's pretty prolific by any artist's standards, particularly one who is DIY. Sugar Honey was funded by a fanclub crowdfunder and I'm positive that everyone who generously signed up will be super happy with the results on display.

Self-produced, there is a lovely feel to the whole album with layers of melodic vocals and heartfelt lyrics delivered with bite, humour and soul. The title track talks of feeling scared while walking home at night, You Made Us is a beautiful love letter to Glasgow, One Week is a song about how love can quickly go wrong and Sleepyhead is a gorgeous dreamy lullaby

You Made Us


Heavy Heavy by Young Fathers

Young Fathers Heavy Heavy explodes into action with the opening track Rice. The bass is heavy ... heavy, the beats are tribal, the melodies flow and there is a gospel choir.

I Saw has a powerful urgency, the bass is reminiscent of Massive Attack, the groove allowing so much to go on over the top of it. There is a lot going on and it's f**king magical. The layers, the production, the hooks and harmonies. 

Heavy Heavy is 10 songs in under 33-minutes. It delivers so much but leaves you wanting more.


I Saw (live at Glastonbury)

Eyes of Others by Eyes of Others

'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!

Eyes of Others debut album is a joyful, refreshing, delightful and playful melting pot of electronica, dreamy psychedelic melodies, grooves, riffs, humour, synth sounds, effects, beats, lyrics and melodies.


New Hair, New Me 

Brothers and Sisters by Steve Mason

Steve Mason keeps on keepin' on, creating psychedelic and political grooves to move you - on your feet and in your soul. Mason has a natural sing-song voice that comes out on songs like I'm On My Way and he also has an uncanny ability to find a melody and groove, often creating dreamy mantra like chants in the process.
Mason and his band veer from Stones-y, Gospel vibes (check the London Gospel Choir on All Over Again) to the modern day blues title track where Mason pines for nights out, dancing, dealers and DJ's, urging brothers and sisters to pump up the volume.

The People Say

Brothers and Sisters

Council Skies by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

After 3 High Flying Birds albums in 6-years, Noel Gallagher took 6-years to release his 4th. Recorded in his own Lone Star Studio, there is a lovely relaxed and dreamy vibe spread throughout the album. Interviews around release had Noel in typically great form, highlighting how he didn't have to clock watch. 

Like Albarn and Blake, Gallagher has also recently gone through a break up in his mid-50's and Noel talked of Council Skies as being like 'Going back to the beginning. Daydreaming, looking up at the sky and wondering about what life could be ...'

Noel, from the very early days of Oasis, has talked of his love for Burt Bacharach and I think that shines on this album. It's his strongest post-Oasis collection of songs. Noel's voice still has that aching, soulful and melodic quality. But on these songs, backed by sublime string arrangements and melancholic horns, it really comes out.

Gallagher can still write a sky scraping chorus, like he does on Open The Door, See What You Find, but also beautiful daydream songs like Trying To Find A World That's Been And Gone.

Guts by Olivia Rodrigo

My daughters got me into Olivia Rodrigo this year through sensational modern pop songs like Get Him Back and Vampire. Rodrigo is only 20-years old and is clearly a precocious talent with a delightful and exceptional ability to use swear words!

Rodrigo can fly from talking through verses to huge pop choruses with enough hooks to floor Rocky in seconds. Her lyrics are clever, observational and confessional like diary entries with hints of a Taylor Swift influence, but Rodrigo is an absolute star in her own right. 

Salvage Enterprise by The Polyphonic Spree

Released in mid-November, this album caught me at just the right time. I'd had a particularly full on day at work and set out for an evening walk with my headphones on, ready to be transported into the world of Tim DeLaughter and his incredible band. The music in my head was like a warm hug. The lyrics were full of warmth and empathy. There is hope out there, through all the despair. 

DeLaughter wears his heart and soul on his sleeve. You can see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice. He feels it, he means it. 

Bubbling under

The Record by Boygenius

Everything Harmony by The Lemon Twigs

Parallel Lights by Andrew Wasylyk

Javelin by Sufjan Stevens

I Don't Know by bdrmm

Happy Ending by Hifi Sean & David McAlmont

Consciousology by Dot Allison

Hit Parade by Roisin Murphy

For That Beautiful Feeling by The Chemical Brothers

Sea Of Mirrors - The Coral

Tear The Place Up by The Allergies

LaVette! by Betty LaVette

Come Around and Love Me by Jalen Ngonda

Late Developers by Belle and Sebastian

Turn The Car Around by Gaz Coombes

Saturday 9 December 2023

Nothing But A Heartache

Trust me #63
Nothing But A Heartache by The Flirtations

There used to be a record shop in St Andrews on South Street that I think was called Unknown Pleasures. This was back in the 90's. I've been googling to try and check the name, but I'm struggling to get confirmation, mainly due to the fact that there was an Unknown Pleasures record shop in Edinburgh for many a year.

Anyway, on one visit , way back in the 90's, I raided the soul section and bought a number of 7-inch singles, mostly priced at only a pound or two. I might have stretched to three or four pounds for a couple of them.

Around this time (1997 I think) I was really enjoying buying old Motown and Northern Soul compilation albums. For a while I wondered if there were any bad soul tunes! Everything seemed to be outstanding!

You had floaters, stompers and floorshakers that could be dreamy, euphoric and always soulful - defiance in heartbreak, or full of love and hope. Vital.  

One of the singles I bought was Nothing But A Heartache b/w Stronger Than Her Love by The Flirtations. Both songs blew me away. 

Stronger Than Her Love, the b-side, developed as it went on, the backing vocals seemed just as important as the lead - and that really soared! Each vocal seemed to urge the other on. 

A driving beat kicks things in and there is that brilliant defiance from the off.

Stronger than her love
My love is stronger than her love

The bridge to the chorus really builds things up and the lead vocal over the glorious backing singers (that are really a second lead) is sublime.

By the time we hit the 2-minute mark, The Flirtations and the outrageous band and arrangement that are backing them are absolutely flying. Just listen to the oooohhs underpinning the verse, the repetition of the first two lines of the bridge, then the heavenly aaahhhh's that lead to the chorus. And then Lestine Johnson and sisters Ernestine, Shirley and Betty Pearce are on fire for that chorus. The lead vocal over the top is spine tinglingly good.

Out of sight, out of mind
Is what a wise girl would say
Another girl, would never allow
You to break her heart this way

But darling I love you
I truly, truly love you
And a fool such as I
Will love you until I die
Darling, darling take this love of mine

WOW! Simply sensational, all delivered in just 2 minutes 56 seconds!

As for the a-side, it's one of the most powerful songs I know of. The crashing chords at the start, the stomping beat and then into a heartfelt vocal from the bottom of the heart.

Nothing but a heartache everyday
Nothing but a teardrop all of the way
Loving a bad guy is such a sin
He's got me, oh why can't I get him

The second verse starts with the same first two lines, then a slighty change for the third line - it's the one situation that I just can't win and then we go into the chorus, or is it a break/middle 8? Because really, it's the ferocious verses that are a chorus ... the whole song is!

I got a lot of those heartaches
I got a lot of those teardrops
All of the way
Nothing but a heartache every day

The last line is delivered with immense energy, furiously and then we're off again, blitzing through another verse, another break, another verse ... the drumming is sensational, the vocals sublime, the horns are just about keeping up and everything just sounds vital. The energy leaps out of the recording.

Nothing But A Heartache quickly became a real favourite of mine. I remember playing it to my friend Reddy. Back in the good old days you couldn't just WhatsApp someone a link. You had to go searching for songs and take a chance on records. There was a real joy in finding and owning a copy a song like this.

Nothing But A Heartache is added to my Trust Me playlist; search for Everything Flows - Trust Me on Spotify , or CLICK HERE Check below for all previous blogs in my Trust Me series.

Previous Trust Me blogs

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
5. Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon
6. Gone With The Wind Is My Love by Rita and the Tiaras
7. In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans
8. The Music Box by Ruth Copeland
9. The Ship Song by Nick Cave
10. Sometimes by James
11. I Walk The Earth by King Biscuit Time
12. Didn't Know What I Was In For by Better Oblivion Community Centre
13. When My Boy Walks Down The Street by The Magnetic Fields
14. The Man Don't Give A F**k by Super Furry Animals
15. All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun by Jeff Buckley and Liz Fraser
16. Are You Lookin' by The Tymes
17. A Real Hero by College & Electric Youth
18. Feelings Gone by Callum Easter
19. Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground
20. Did I Say by Teenage Fanclub
21. Don't Look Back by Teenage Fanclub
23. Belfast by Orbital
24. Clouds by The Jayhawks
25. Dreaming Of You by The Coral
26. Everlasting Love by Love Affair
27. Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke
28. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
29. Shaky Ground by Sneeze
29. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
30. I Can Feel Your Love by Felice Taylor
31. The State We're In by The Chemical Brothers w/ Beth Orton
32. Sunshine After The Rain by Ellie Greenwich
33. Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
34. Mondo 77 by Looper
35. Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
36. Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats
37. How High by The Charlatans
38. I Can't Let Go by Evie Sands
39. Pop Song 89 by R.E.M.
40. Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective
41. There She Goes by The Las
42. We're Going To Be Friends by White Stripes
43. Autumn Sweater by Yo La Tengo
44. Sister Rena by Lomond Campbell
45. Revolution by The Beatles
46. Lazarus by The Boo Radleys
47. Wrote For Luck by Happy Mondays
48. American Trilogy by The Delgados
49. Loser by Beck 
50. Silent Sigh by Badly Drawn Boy
51. Comedy by Shack
52. Take The Skinheads Bowling by Camper Van Beethoven
53. Freakscene by Dinosaur Jr
54. Thank You For Being You by The Pastels
55. I Think I'm In Love by Spiritualized
56. Chestnut Mare by The Byrds
57. Cannonball by The Breeders
58. Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
59. You Make Me Weak At The Knees by Electrelane
60. Lucky by Radiohead
61. Strange Currencies by R.E.M.
61. I Am The Cosmos by Chris Bell
62. Like A Ship (Without A Sail) by Pastor TL Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir

Thursday 7 December 2023

What They Do To Me

I can't remember what possessed me to suggest to my fellow Teenage Fanclub Fanclub members that we should try and compile a tribute album of b-sides and rarities. Possibly someone had posted in the Facebook group chat about the possibility/dream of a b-sides, sessions and rarities boxset and someone reminisced about previous TFC FC tribute albums recorded albums like Bandwagonesque and Thirteen.

Anyway, something sparked an idea. But with a vast array of b-sides and rarities (upwards of 80), where would this project start and end?

That was going to be dependent on interest levels and quality. There was no shortage of either!

Over 40 fans from around the world registered an interest in covering a song. Either themselves or through bands that they are members of. Spain, USA, Argentina, Australia, Phillippines, Ireland, Slovenia ... The quality, diversity and love coming from around the world was mindblowing.

In addition to offers of support from TFC FC members from around the world to record covers, I also received offers of help by Tom Burgess and Mark Rolfe - thankfully! Tom is an incredibly creative guy and a talented musician in his own right, so I knew he'd keep the project on the right track in terms of quality. And Mark is also a musician, fellow Star Wars fan, runs his own small digital record label - Winnetka Records and is also skilled in the art of mastering  - so we had an outlet for releasing the album!

As the project began to grow arms and legs, I checked in with David Barker, a TFC FC member who also happens to be an integral part of the bands history, releasing debut single Everything Flows (where I got the name for this blog!) and debut album A Catholic Education on his label Paperhouse Records. 

David is still releasing records through his Glass Modern label. With the project growing all the time, I was keen to check what we could and couldn't do. I certainly didn't want to piss off the band we were paying tribute to!

Releasing an album of cover versions is quite a big project! David was really helpful and extremely experienced as Glass Modern were building towards the release of the Glass Remade / Remodelled compilation album. It's well worth checking out and includes Gerry Love covering The Pastels.

After talking with Dave and in order to avoid any complications, we decided to go with a free digital only release with a suggested donation to charity. I checked in with Norman to see if the band would like to choose a charity and he very kindly said that we should choose as it was our work. We've chosen Simon Community Scotland and you and make a donation HERE

Pretty soon we were taking suggestions for the album name (my own suggestion of Genius Envy wasn't taken forward!), artwork and recordings started to come in!

And after a while, we decided to release the album in 2 volumes in order to break up the work and also to ensure the songs had some space to breath. 

So ... after many months ... Volume 1 came out on 1st December! 

What a delight it is!

There is a great mix of Blake, McGinley and Love originals, along with a sprinkling of covers by The Beatles, Dylan/The Byrds and The Bevis Frond. After all, Teenage Fanclub are fond of covers themselves!

I'm so proud of the way this has come together. It sounds incredible - recordings in bedrooms, garages and studios around the world in tribute to Teenage Fanclub.

Here is a short piece on each song. Enjoy the album and please make a donation.

What They Do To Me Volume 1: b-sides, rarities and deep cuts
A tribute to Teenage Tanclub

so far gone - min min lights, (australia) (written by gerard love)

Min Min Lights blast through Gerry's So Far Gone that came out on the God Knows It's True single, released between A Catholic Education and Bandwagonesque. It's a faithful cover and you can tell the band are having fun. Incidentally, Min Min Lights also play Fanclub tribute concerts under the name Starsign! 

sidewinder - the pace cars, (sweden) (gerard love & brendan ohare)

Ah the chiming guitars, Swedish accent, harmonies and warmth that pour from this recording get me every time. One of my favourite Fanclub tunes. There is a beautiful purity to it and The Pace Cars (great band name!) really bring that out.

some people try to fuck with you - deep clean, (usa) (norman blake)

This particular recording really blew me away when it came through. I think it was one of the first I received and it set a high bar! Released on the Mellow Doubt single, this era of the band really highlights how prolific they were; releasing albums every couple of years and singles packed with b-sides due to labels releasing two CD's with different b-sides to maximise sales. Fanclub fans didn't complain! 

genius envy - the mondo & lc project, (philippines) (raymond mcginley)

There is a line in this song where Raymond McGinley sings so what if you see other people, I only get jealous if I listen to The Beatles, so go and get someone new.

I love it! And I love the way The Mondo & LC Project introduce Beatles strings and effects to their cover. The love for the band and the song shine bright. 

tell me what you see - the proper authorities (usa) (lennon & mccartney)

When people were staking their claim to record b-sides and rarities, this is one that caught me by surprise! I hadn't heard Teenage Fanclub covering Tell Me What You See. The band recorded it around the time of Thirteen for a label compilation album.

I love it - the band romp through it and so do The Proper Authorities. The biggest compliment I can pay them is that I've gone back to the Help! era of The Beatles as a result of their cover. What a song!

headstand - the slow return (england) (gerard love)

One of my favourite Fanclub b-sides! I love this recording, there is a little bit of The Flaming Lips to it. The vocals have a psychedelic feel to them, drawing on the emotion of the lyrics. 

speeder - japanclub (japan) (teenage fanclub)

A collaboration between real Fanclub devotees from Japan. With Kaori now residing in Glasgow. I meet her regularly at gigs around town. Kaori HAD to be on the album and I love the DIY raw punky vibe to this instrumental.

mr. tambourine man - wet paint (ireland) (bob dylan)

Oh this melts my heart! A gorgeous duet on Dylan's sublime poetry and imagery. Teenage Fanclub really covered The Byrds version rather than Dylan's. Wet Paint really take this somewhere dreamy in the closing minute. 

the count - gary page (england) (raymond mcginley)

Come put your arms around me, I can't count the times you found me

Quite why The Count was a b-side is beyond me! One of Raymond's best songs and Gary does a cracking job with it, his aching vocal is beautiful.

he'd be a diamond - broken by rock (scotland) (nick saloman)

Another cover of a cover. Broken by Rock are my friends Alan Clarke and Derek McKee. I think Alan produced this one all by himself though and I am a big fan of the punk pop DIY vibe he has lovingly created. I used to love hearing Norman and Gerry's voices harmonising on this. Check them performing live on BBC Scotland's The Quay Sessions. What a stunning song!

getting real - michael vickers (england) (gerard love)

2-minutes of guitar pop perfection courtesy of Gerard Love. Michael stays true to the original; pounding drums, a driving riff and melodic vocals. 

the world'll be ok - vlado nosal & the avedons (slovakia) (raymond mcginley)

This cover really got me. I felt quite emotional when it came through and I listened on headphones. Cause the world isn't OK right now. Everything seems to be going wrong. Just when you think it can't get any worse ... it somehow gets worse! I really do hope the world'll be OK.  This cover gave me hope.

when i still have thee - rocket kings (england) (norman blake)

I'd love Teenage Fanclub to introduce this to their sets. What a beautifully pure cover.

long hair - starboard hazes and broken by rock (scotland) (norman blake)

I recorded this with my friend Derek from Broken by Rock, who also feature on volume 1 with their cover of He'd Be A Diamond. Del (former drummer for Creation band Boyfriend) has an amazing home studio set up. He recorded absolutely everything and then I went over and recorded the vocals in one take! Definitely need to go over to Del's another time!

one thousand lights - seahorse migration (scotland) (raymond mcginley)

Seahorse Migration is a brilliant band name! Made up for this project! This is gorgeous. I love the DIY feel, the melodic vocals and the gentle xylophone.

country song - dirtwater stank, hank b & stevie sticks (scotland) (gerard love)

Volume 1 closes in style with this fantastically grungy sounding cover of Country Song. I love the guitars on this. 

Monday 4 December 2023

Introducing Homework


Homework are Michael, Santiago, Andrew and Lizzie, a 4-piece band from Glasgow that came to my attention back in October when a couple of people I follow on social media raved about them.

The band have a busy period coming up, with a string of gigs including bringing in the bells with a Glas-goes Pop show at Mono with Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake. Homework then keep momentum going with a gig as part of King Tuts New Year Revolution shows on 27th January.

So they are clearly getting their name out and about the Glasgow scene. That stems from the release of a self-titled 3-track EP via Gold Mold Records back in March 2023.

It has a delicious warm, melodic, fuzzy, slacker vibe to it. Think early Fanclub meets Pavement on a sunny day after a couple of cans of beer.

I was keen to find out a little more, so sent the band an email and they kindly got back to me.

If you read this in time you can catch them at BLOC on Wednesday 6th December.

When and how did you form?

The first two proto-Homework line-ups were formed in parallel back in 2019. On one end, Santiago (guitar) met Forbes (drums) at a cowboy themed party, and they started jamming as a noise duo. On the other end, Forbes was also playing with his primary school friend Michael (guitar).

Forbes cunningly merged these two projects together and recruited his friend Tom (bassist) formalising homework in early 2020. Covid unexpectedly hit before our first gig in april, Forbes moved to Estonia, and Tom to Aberdeen. This left Santiago and Michael playing occasional Maxwell Park acoustic jams before moving back to the studio in summer 2021.

Lizzie (30) was having a mid-life crisis and had just re-taken up the drums, her friend Izzy mentioned that we were looking for a drummer and one awkward email later, she was in. Izzy followed by taking up the bass and for a short period, our rhythm section had 4 zs!

Santiago was at the pub on a date and bumped into his old pal Alec and his brother Andrew (bassist). He started banging on about how great Pavement are, and how we needed a bassist to play on his birthday the following week. Andrew tentatively agreed to play, learning all the songs in a day, and was inducted into homework after quite a stellar performance.

2. Are you all involved in writing songs? How do you write/form your songs?

Santiago, Michael and Andrew are all songwriters. Lizzie plays the drums.

The process itself is quite collaborative with a no-front-person policy. Sometimes someone comes with a fragment of an idea, or a whole song, and we spend a lot of time jamming to figure them out. There is always quite a lot on the workbench and we love jumping from song to song. Every rehearsal is recorded and archived, so we can work on ideas at home individually. Extremely crucial to our process is spending a lot of time faffing about.

3. You've released one EP to date. Do you have any further releases in the pipeline?

Yes! Double a side single release, and a party for it in some near-future Glasgow 2024.

4. You have a busy run of shows into February including a couple of big ones at Mono with Norman Blake and then Tuts in January. What do you enjoy about playing live?

We like the general buzz that comes with hopping on the stage and putting up a good energetic show. We like to keep it quite relaxed, with a healthy dose of fuzzy chaos. One of the best parts is that we get to meet other people in great bands, hang out in a group and drink free beer. The conversations with people who you don't know after the shows adrenaline rush are really motivating.

We love really complimentary Dads. Shout out to the Dads, truly our strongest demographic.

5. Do you have much of a plan, or are you going with the flow?

We've got plans... We've got a gig coming up in London early next year, and would love to do more gigs outside of Glasgow *wink wink* promoters *wink wink* festivals *wink wink*

6. What music are you enjoying listening to at the moment?

Michael's been listening to MJ Lenderman, Bar Italia, Happyness,

Andrew has been listening to Second Grade, Ginger Root, Hotline TNT.

Santiago's been listening to this up and coming band called The Beatles, Autechre, Silver Jews, Kelora, Model/Actriz, and Beach House.

Lizzie's been listening to Divorce, Mega Bog, Dua Lipa's new one, and Beach House.

We have a playlist for this: Homework listens

7. Are there any other bands on the Glasgow scene you'd recommend checking out?

There are so many! As tempting as it is to rattle off a massive list of all our pals, we're wary of unintentionally offending anyone we'd inevitably forget. Come to our gig and well tell ya off the record : ) ; ) But we have a playlist for this to get you started: The Glasgow Scene