Sunday 28 January 2024

Mars to Liverpool

At the end of my blog on Liam and John's debut single I proclaimed that I'd be there, scrambling for a ticket, if they announced a Barrowland show. This was despite the fact that Just Another Rainbow didn't really do it for me.

Thankfully, Mars to Liverpool, their swift follow up, has had me cranking up my speakers and walking about the house with a bit of a Manc swagger while singing the huge double chorus.

Here comes that feeling

Here it comes again

I'm waiting for this storm

To run out of rain

Squire is firing off all kinds of riffs throughout the song; bluesy, little bits of The Byrds I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better, or is it The Beatles Here Comes The Sun? Either way, John Squire playing around with a D chord has always caused my heart to leap, dating back to Sally Cinnamon and Mersey Paradise.

Liam sounds fantastic. This must easily be his most upbeat song (and best?) since leaving Oasis. The opening line makes me smile, its tailor made for Gallagher.  

Jesus Christ, about last night

I can only apologise

The opening line of the second verse tips nod to Liam's beloved Beatles Dear Prudence;

The sun is up, the skies are blue

And I know how close we came

This voyage of sef-discovery

Has my sails in flames

There is another Beatles-y riff leading to the chorus which bursts in like a ray of warm sunshine and the closing line is particularly apt given the stormy weather we've had this week.

I'm waiting for this storm

To run out of rain

Mars to Liverpool is fun guitar pop. Squire and Gallagher were once in bands that wanted to change the world and shake it up. Now, after blazing trails for others, they can enjoy themselves and on this song you can clearly hear that Liam is on top form. Squire has never been the most prolific of songwriters, but I hope this collaboration isn't a one off. 

Liam and John have confirmed that their debut album will come out on 1st March and they then embark on a tour of small (by their standards) venues. They will be the hottest ticket in town and the Barrowland will be absolutely bouncing. Good luck if, like me, you're going to try and get  ticket.

Saturday 20 January 2024

Let's Dance


Cover version of the month #94
M. Ward covers David Bowie

Tonight I'm going to be dancing to David Bowie songs at The Admiral Woods in Glasgow as the pub celebrates the life of the inspirational and unique artist. So I thought it might be appropriate to write a blog about one of my favourite Bowie songs - Let's Dance

Bowie's Let's Dance, from the album of the same name, was released back in 1983. Co-produced with the wonderful Nile Rodgers of Chic, Let's Dance swiftly becoming the biggest selling single of Bowie's career.

It's not hard to hear why. 

Everything Rodgers touched turned to gold. And Bowie was on to this, informing Nile that he wanted his help in making 'hits'. I would highly recommend reading Nile's Le Freak autobiography which is exceptionally fast-paced and incredibly entertaining.

Bowie played Rodgers an acoustic version of Let's Dance on a 12-string guitar that only had 6-strings. Rodgers completely rearranged the song and his original demo was released on Record Store Day in 2018.

As for the released version, it is a sensational work of pop art!

Bowie and Rodgers signal their intentions to create a hit from the get go with a Beatles Twist n Shout rip off into huge shimmering riffs over bass and beats. Bowie sounds incredible as he demands 

Let's dance

Put on your red shoes and dance the blues

Bowie doesn't only sound incredible, check out the video of him performing the song in a pub in the Australian outback, bleached blonde hair, gloriously tanned, resplendent in white and somehow managing to play his guitar while wearing gloves!

 Let's Dance official video

There is a rush as Bowie hits the chorus at the one-minute mark

If you say run

I'll run with you

If you say hide

We'll hide

Because my love for you

Would break my heart in two

If you should fall, into my arms, tremble like a flower

The groove continues, Rodgers adds shimmering guitar riffs, Bowie sounds super seductive, almost whispering through the second verse until he rises for the line;

Under the moonlight, the serious moonlight

And then we're into another rush through the euphoric chorus. The single cut is 4-minutes long while the album version stretches to a magnificent 7-minutes. 

Let's Dance is an incredible song by an all-time great, so it is a bold move to cover it!

M Ward isn't an artist I know a great deal about, so I've enjoyed delving into sections of his back catalogue of 10 solo albums, his work with She & Him (with Zooey Deschanel) and Monsters of Folk (with members of My Morning Jacket and Bright Eyes).

After a couple of lofi album, Ward signed to to Merge Records and released the Transfiguration of Vincent album in March 2003, featuring his version of Let's Dance, 20-years after Bowie's.

Ward completely strips the song right back, potentially to be more akin to Bowie's original demo (that I sadly can't find online anywhere). It's just Ward, his acoustic guitar, mouth organ and some faint piano in the background at times. Ward's voice is very soothing, particularly while listening on headphones. It is rather lovely, while Bowie's is beautifully bold as brass - setting out to be a hit and achieving the goal with ease.

Bowie's original and the M Ward 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

Official video

Nile Rodgers tells the story of Let's Dance

M Ward version

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
92. Valerie

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Introducing The Cords

One night last year, my phone repeatedly pinged with a series of WhatsApp message from my sister Carla, who had started doing some work at The Rig Arts Centre in Greenock. Carla's constant pings told me about how she had begun mentoring a young, still at school, teenage band called The Cords and she raved about their pure indie pop sound, comparing it Sarah Records, C86, early Pastels and Shop Assistants.

The Cords are Eva on guitar and Grace on drums, two teenage sisters from Inverkip in the West of Scotland, who have quickly gathered support via a couple of shows at Mono (supporting The Vaselines and then Carla) and a couple of in-house shows at The Rig Arts Centre.

My heart melted when I caught The Cords live. Warm guitar chords with limited/no effects, beautifully pure melodies and beats, playful hooks and a sibling chemistry easily won me and the Mono crowd over. Afterwards, it was great to see kids and adults supporting the band by buying up their pin badges and homemade bracelets. My youngest daughter Rosie and her friend Emily were in the front row and they proudly wore Cords pin badges to school the next day. 

I love that The Cords proudly declare their love for 80's and 90's DIY indie pop and that it is inspiring them to do it themselves. And I love that they have the confidence to put up a live bootleg recording of their first proper gig (supporting Frances and Eugene from The Vaselines) at Mono. This is true teenage angst delivered in a beautifully raw, honest and pure garage guitar pop style.

The Cords are definitely a band to watch out for over the next couple of years. It's still very early days for the duo, but I dropped them a message via Carla to ask a few questions for the blog and Eva kindly took the time to answer them.

When and how did you form?

My sister and I have both been drumming since we were 6-years old and our drum tutor Lesley McLaren started Rock school at Rig Arts to give teens the chance to form bands and be given guidance so we jumped at the chance to be involved! 

I had started teaching myself guitar and Grace decided to learn bass. I hadn't even thought about singing or songwriting at this point but after meeting Carla she really inspired me to start writing. Keiran Savage (master of all things guitar) was a great help and gave us so much encouragement. Within the first few months we had written and learned 2 songs and learned The Pastels Check My Heart to perform at the first Gig@Rig. From there we carried on writing more and more and started an Insta account which gathered a great following @the.cords_band

Do you both write your songs?

I mostly write but Grace helps with ideas and she wrote Weird Feeling alone. Grace comes up with the drum parts but we mostly work together on everything.

Do you have any plans to record at present? Or are you taking your time?

We are very very excited to be going into the studio to record with Simon (Poster Paints/Frightened Rabbit) and Jonny (Chvrches) this month!

You've already played 2 shows at Mono. What do you enjoy about playing live?

We really love playing live as it's so much fun and we love that people come to see us and even the little ones when we supported Carla at her all ages album launch as it doesn't happen that often. They were dancing and enjoying the music which was brilliant. We just love Mono, it's our favourite so to have played 2 gigs there already is incredible!

Did you receive any words of encouragement from The Vaselines?

They said they enjoyed our set and we got a hug from Frances after the set. Their set was amazing and we never imagined that we would support The Vaselines never mind our 1st big gig!

What music are you enjoying listening to at the moment?

Anything Rose Melberg for me is a winner and she is such an inspiration to me. Also The Umbrellas can do no wrong as they are my favourite band. Grace loves The Cure, Slowdive, and My Bloody Valentine, she's a wee shoegazer. We both love most of the same music and both loving Seablite just now.

Any plans for 2024 or are you taking your time?

We do have very exciting plans for 2024 but you'll just need to keep following to find out more!

Sunday 7 January 2024

Made of Stone

Trust me #64
Made of Stone by The Stone Roses

'We're not made of stone, I don't think you are, do you?' Ian Brown, Blackpool Empress Ballroom, 1989

In 1989, The Stone Roses were simultaneously the coolest and hottest band on the planet. Forever fluid, they could never be accused of being made of stone. The Roses completed recording and mixing their debut album in February 89 and they chose Made of Stone as the first single to be released on 6th March.

Made of Stone was the Roses 4th single after So Young/Tell Me, Sally Cinnamon and Elephant Stone. Brown, Squire, Reni and Mani had moved miles away from their debut single and harder sound. The additional of Gary 'Mani' Mountfield in late 87 was the final piece of the puzzle.

'When Mani joined it almost changed overnight. It became a totally different groove ... straight away, everything just fell into place.' Ian Brown

The effervescent Mani lifted everyone and he, along with producer John Leckie, helped to warm the Roses sound. It was already coming, as evidenced by the Sally Cinnamon single with the under-rated b-side All Across The Sands, but now the Roses hit their peak in terms of writing and recording.

Stone Roses, Charing Cross, Glasgow

Some songs released on their iconic eponymous debut album had been around for years. I Wanna Be Adored and This Is The One date back to 1985. 

From what I can gather, Made of Stone was written in 1987 and introduced to the Roses live sets in early 1988. Roses books often credit Primal Scream's seminal Velocity Girl, released in 1986, as being an influence.

As the Roses hit 1989 they had a brilliant album and a string of excellent b-sides up their sleeves, all yet to be released. In early spring, Made of Stone was the first song they chose to release as a single, b/w Going Down (another song that dated back a few years) and Guernica

The single kicked off 1989 for the Roses. Within 6-months they would go from playing Polytechnics and 500 capacity venues like Rooftops in Glasgow, to headlining ambitious shows/events at Blackpool Empress Ballroom and Alexandra Palace, releasing She Bangs The Drums, I Wanna Be Adored, their eponymous debut album and the iconic Fools Gold single along the way. The Roses last appearance of 1989 was on Top of the Pops as Fools Gold reached number 8. It really was the perfect year 

'It's about scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup Final, dressed as Spiderman on a Harley.' John Squire on Made of Stone

The Roses would then only play 8 shows in 1990, culminating in their Glasgow Green show and then the band didn't play again (minus Reni) until the spring of 1995. I still find this remarkable. A band at the peak of their powers going so quiet.

But back to Made of Stone.

Made of Stone, Blackpool Empress Ballroom, 12th August 1989

Made of Stone rides in on a chiming Squire riff that sounds melodic and melancholic. Reni and Mani come in together and Ian sings, your knuckles whiten on the wheel, the last thing that your hands will feel while Squire sprinkles magic as the Roses build to the majestic chorus. 

Sometimes I fantasize

When the streets are cold and lonely

And the cars they burn below me

Don't these times fill your eyes

When the streets are cold and lonely

And the cars they burn below me

Are you all alone?

Is anybody home?

For me, the chorus hints at the desolation and frustration caused by the Tory government across Britain in the 80's. The streets are cold and lonely, cars are burning and eyes are filled with tears. Imagine finding this band and this single in 1989 - the clothes, the haircuts, the artwork and the chorus beginning sometimes I fantastize! The Stone Roses were perfect.

To hear 75,000 people singing the opening lines of the chorus, sometimes I fantasize, when the streets are cold and lonely, on the Sunday at Heaton Park is an experience I will never, ever forget. I swear that the entire crowd leapt and levitated as one when the band hit the chorus for the first time.

After the second chorus, Squire gives us a beautiful searing solo, leading to a third and final chorus, before a chiming guitar outro leads us to the conclusion. What a song!

Are you all alone?

Are you made of stone?

Made of Stone 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
63. Nothing But A Heartache by The Flirtations

Friday 5 January 2024

Just Another Rainbow

The first part of this blog was written a few days in advance of the single being released. The second part was written this evening.


Liam Gallagher and John Squire have given me a lot of joy down the years. Largely with songs recorded and released in the late 80's through to the mid 90's. Liam's post Oasis material hasn't landed with me at all, while Squire (for all his prodigious talent on the guitar) has an extremely limited catalogue of work.

This is something that fellow Squire fan Liam agrees with; 'There's not enough of his music out there, whether it's with the Roses or himself. It's good to see him back writing songs and fucking good ones.'

Squire and Gallagher still excite me though, so when news that they were writing and recording came through, I immediately became intrigued by what it could sound like. Liam, in typically confident and brash mode, announced that it would be 'the best record since Revolver'.

I doubt that even the most ardent follower of Squire or Gallagher anticipates anything remotely as good as The Beatles 1966 album, but today saw the release of the first taster with the single Just Another Rainbow.

Appetites were whetted by the press release proclaiming Squire's instantly unforgettable psychedelia-tinged guitar met with passion, personality and utmost conviction from Gallagher's vocal

The Mancunian duo are joined by Greg Kurstin on bass and Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) on drums, with Kurstin also producing.

Squire has said of the single; 'To me the most obvious take on Just Another Rainbow is that it's about disappointment, and the sentiment is that you never get what you really want. But I don't like to explain songs, I think that's the privilege of the listener. It's whatever you want it to be. To me, it's also one of the most uplifting tracks we've made together, which is weird.'

My own worry was whether or not this would be Squire and Gallagher by numbers. The initial 10-second teaser certainly sounded a little like Waterfall - no bad thing right enough! And the second teaser made me think that this could easily be the best thing that either have been involved in for quite some time. Squire's guitar sounded sensational. 

So .... what is it like?

Those looking through rose(s) tinted glasses will love Just Another Rainbow. Many Liam fans immediately declared it biblical and celestial on social media. Others, a little cruelly, wondered if it was an AI experiment.

For me, as much as I love Liam and John, it is immensely disappointing, particularly as a launch single. Liam's voice sounds strained, off-key and isolated at the start before the beats come in. The riffs and groove are like Rain by The Beatles, Wah Wah by George Harrison and elements of Waterfall/Don't Stop by the Roses. No bad thing for die hard fans, but paint by numbers for those of us wishing for something as good as peak Roses or Oasis.

We may live in hope, but that ain't happening. Squire hasn't produced anything musically of note since 1994 and also deemed All For One suitable for the Roses comeback single. Liam's last great vocal and soulful performance was I'm Outta Time in 2008. He hasn't been helped by the very beige songwriters he has working for him though.

Lyrically and melodically, this isn't great. Things gets worse in the middle as the song breaks down to allow Liam to recite the colours of the rainbow, ending with indigo and violet - which just sound weird... and not in a good way. In fact, it's really crap! A little embarrassing if honest.

Squire does take off on an extended guitar solo which lifts the song and Liam sounds much better during the closing 48-seconds, but overall I'm immensely disappointed.

I'll always love John and Liam. Both have been (and will remain) immensely important to me. Their albums and songs meant to much to me, in my teens in particular. If they announced a Barrowland show I'm pretty sure I'd be scrambling for a ticket and I live in hope that there is better to come from them. But despite listening to Just Another Rainbow at least half a dozen times today, including a couple of times on headphones, I cannot get into it and find the song instantly forgettable.

Thursday 4 January 2024

2024 - Scottish music scene

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to my first blog of 2024.

At the time of writing my blog has been viewed over 971,000 times, so I'd like to thank everyone who has visited and I plan a little event later in the year to mark the 1,000,000 mark! 

The Scottish music scene continues to evolve and thrive with; new artists emerging, world class acts coming to Scotland to play to the best fans in the world, small venues promoting new music, legendary bands continuing to create and inspire and festivals like Glasgoes Pop and Tenement Trail growing and developing.

I'm kicking off my 2024 blogs with a list of things I'm looking forward to over the coming months; new artists, shows, albums, festivals and nights for dancing! Hope to see you along the way.

4 Scottish artists to look out for

Kerr Mercer This young teenage singer-songwriter has been honing and toning his craft for a few years and during this time he has written hundreds of songs. Now, after a solid six months picking up support slots around Glasgow and Edinburgh, Kerr is ready to step forward for his debut  headline show at the Poetry Club on Friday 19th January. It's sold out and Kerr will be playing King Tuts on 20th March. Equally at home behind a guitar or piano, I'm really looking forward to Kerr's first release. Look out for an introducing blog later this month.


Homework - see introducing blog from December 23. Homework saw in New Year with a show at Mono alongside Norman Blake. The 4-piece take their Fanclub-y/Pavement-y sound to King Tuts on 27th January. I really love their debut EP and look forward to hearing what they release next.


Dillon Squire - see introducing blog from June 23. Squire and his band produce guitar pop with a nice raw edge, full of melodies and hooks as demonstrated on songs like Dark Circles and Bulldozer. After a string of releases and well received shows Dillon headlines King Tuts on 20th January and 2024 could be a big year for him.


The Cords - Teenage duo The Cords (15 and 17) are being mentored by my sister Carla through a course at The Rig Arts Centre in Inverclyde. Eva (guitar and vocals) and Grace (drums) have raided their parents record collection and been inspired to write indie guitar pop songs that have a shyness, innocence and melodic edge that wouldn't be out of place on a C86 or Sarah Records compilation. Hopefully The Cords will release some singles through 2024.


4 places/nights to get you (and me) dancing

Last year my New Year resolution was to go dancing once a quarter. I probably just about managed that. I intend to dance even more in 2024. It's great for the soul, your mental and physical health and fantastic for socialising. You get to listen to and discover fabulous music ... if you go to the right places.

The Admiral (Woods) 

The Waterloo Street pub kicks off 2024 with their annual Bowie Night on Saturday 20th January. Demand for tickets was high, with the basement section selling out in hours, resulting in owner Dave Ross closing his pub to make it a private Bowie party across both floors! I'm really looking forward to it.

The Admiral also plays host to DJ Gerry Lyons on a regular basis and he has 90's Britpop v 00's electro night on 2nd February. Gerry knows his music and his audience very well and pitches his nights as club nights for really old people. They run from 7.30pm-11.30pm meaning people can catch the last train and let the babysitters away!


Simply Thrilled

Robert and Hugh who run Simply Thrilled have been putting on nights in the basement of The Admiral Woods, though Robert has promised something different for 2024. Lovely people, with very similar musical taste to me, I am intrigued to learn what they have planned.



Regular readers will know that McChuills is my favourite bar. Andrew Divine and Stevie Elements are just 2 of McChuills regular roster of DJ's with exceptional taste in music. The last time I was in, it was old Nick behind the bar playing tunes and it was brilliant - eclectic and it really got the place going. You can't go wrong with McChuills.

The Old Hairdressers

The Old Hairdressers on Renfield Lane, slap band in Glasgow city centre, is like a pop-up dive bar with a scuzzy underground vibe. The loft upstairs is great for a gig or club night. So I'm putting on a night on Friday 8th March with Starboard Hazes and Broken by Rock playing live before DJ Phil Redfearn gets people dancing for a couple of hours at the end. TICKETS HERE

My sister Carla also regularly attends the Pull Shapes night that plays an eclectic mix of indie and pop music and I intend to hit that up sometime this year. 


4 gigs I have tickets for

Kerr Mercer at The Poetry Club 

Young Scottish singer-songwriter Kerr Mercer is one to watch in 2024. I caught Kerr playing Saint Lukes as part of Tenement Trail in October and he blew me away. Every song sounded like it could be a single. Since then, Kerr has played a string of support slots in Glasgow and Edinburgh, including a show at The Barrowland with Calum Beattie. Kerr's Poetry Club show is long sold out, but you could get a ticket for his King Tuts show on 20th March. See you there.

Andrew Wasylk and Gerard Love at The Mackintosh Church

What a double bill this is. I first caught Andrew Wasylyk in this beautiful West End venue when he supported The Pastels a number of years ago. Andrew's arrangements are entrancing and he has been building a tremendous catalogue of music, pretty much releasing an album a year. Wasylyk is likely to have a 7 or 8 piece band with him to help layer sounds while he sits (and dances) at his piano and gives them nods to go for it or slow it down. 

Andrew is joined by Gerry Love who will (fingers and toes crossed) hopefully be completing and releasing his new album this year. It's still to be confirmed if this will be under his own name, or Lightships. Tickets here.

Steve Mason at Saint Lukes

Steve Mason released one of my favourite albums of 2023 and my friend Lorna caught him 3 times at the tail end of the year, including a trip to Hamburg! I've heard nothing but good reports about Mason's live shows where he works up grooves with his band and gets lost in the music. Mason has a wonderful ear for music, a deep desire to create and has a beautiful voice that is naturally melodic and soulful. Tickets here

This Is Memorial Device at The Tron Theatre

I've just started re-reading David Keenan's wonderful psychedelic tale of the post punk, new wave music scene in Airdrie, with Memorial Device at the heart of it. The book has various characters from the scene reminiscing about meeting each other, gigs, rehearsals, songs and releases - including the legendary Mushroom Giro Scene EP. Now adapted for the stage, with music by Stephen Pastel, you can catch performances at The Tron Theatre at the end of March. Will Mary Hanna show up?! Tickets here

4 albums I'm looking forward to

Gerard Love/Lightships

I'm not the only one (im)patiently awaiting news about when Gerry Love will be releasing his next album. Although one thing fellow fans have learned over the years is that it is always worth the wait.

Gerry has yet to confirm whether the album will come out under his own name or that of Lightships, the guise Gerard released an eponymous album under in 2012. 

It's coming on a year since Gerry and friends travelled to record with Bill Ryder-Jones in Merseyside and social media indicates that they have also recorded at CHEM19 in Blantyre. 

A summer / early Autumn release would be perfect for Gerry's dreamy melodies and beautifully layered soundscapes. Fingers crossed! 

Bill Ryder-Jones

Speaking of Bill Ryder-Jones, lechyd Da is out on 12th January. Ryder-Jones has spoken of working exceptionally hard to create this album that includes a children's choir and strings. And it is bound to tug on listeners heart-strings. Bill plays a solo instore show at Mono on 16th January before returning to Glasgow in March for a show with his band at Room 2. Tickets here Order the album from Monorail here

Gruff Rhys

Gruff Rhys is also releasing an album in January. Sadness Sets Me Free is out on Rough Trade on 26th. Incredibly, this will be the 25th abum of Gruff's career (individually, collaboratively and as a member of various bands) spanning 35-years. 

Singles to date showcase Rhys' sublime voice and knack for finding unique melodies. Strings soar and swirl and it all sounds beautifully grand, melancholic and cinematic at times. Gruff plays Saint Lukes on Monday 19th February.

J Mascis

J Mascis releases What Do We Do Now? on the legendary Sub Pop label on 2nd February. I'm a big fan of J's solo material like See You At The Movies and Wide Awake. It's not a million miles away from Dinosaur Jr, but there is a more mellow feel to his solo material. J plays acoustic a lot more, but can still let rip with an electric guitar solo over the top. J's melodies shine through and the singles released in advance have been excellent.

4 more albums I am looking forward to

What Now? by Brittany Howard - 2nd February

Where's My Utopia? by Yard Act - due at the end of February.

Glasgow Eyes by The Jesus and Mary Chain  - due at the start of March

Dua Lipa - title and date tbc. 

4 other things

Summer Nights at Kelvingrove Bandstand 

I always look forward to the line-up for the Bandstand shows being announced. I'm hoping that The Charlatans might play. Underworld would also be a great shout.

Summer Nights KGB Facebook

Glas-goes Pop

I've not been able to make the first 2 years due to family/holiday commitments. Booking my ticket and putting it on our kitchen calendar means I am going this year! This DIY festival has quickly developed a loyal fanbase who know that they'll get a quality bill of independent guitar pop acts from through the years.

Glas-goes pop tickets

Barrowland shows 

My first Barrowland show isn't scheduled until 11th May when Camera Obscura take to the stage. But I hope to maybe pick up a ticket for a couple of shows before then with my eye on The Bunnymen and Orbital in particular. And no doubt there will be loads of shows to come in Autumn.

Barrowland website


I only briefly popped into Tenement Trail 2023 back in October. A storm was blowing and trains were cancelled, but that didn't stop music lovers from packing into venues of all sizes down the Gallowgate to catch new and up and coming bands. Walking around the Barrowland market was a buzz as people picked up wristbands, bands walked about carrying equipment and venues opened their doors and quickly filled up. Just being in that atmosphere gave me goosebumps and I vowed to return for the full day in 2024.