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Monday, 19 February 2018

Out of the Ether

It was only last October when I picked up my first Turin Brakes record namely their debut The Optimist LP.
A band who had  up until then pretty much passed me by but a record I quite enjoyed.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised and delighted to pick up their second album 2003's Ether Song for 50p in the Red Cross charity shop in Lochgilphead.
A slight change of direction in that it is more electronic than its acoustic predecessor . Still pretty good though.
Totally coincidentally I have opted for the two tracks which feature on a sticky on the front of the jewel case which I have just noticed.. Great minds and all that.

Turin Brakes - Long Distance

Turin Brakes - Pain Killer (Summer Rain)

Sunday, 18 February 2018

A Sunday Single #7

I am reliably informed that Mrs CC's sister was The Cure fan of the family, so presumably this is one of hers.

In Between Days was released in 1985 and was the first single from the album  The Head on the Door.
It only reached number 15 in the charts but hung around for 10 weeks.
Interestingly although they released some great singles they only troubled the Top 10 on 2 occasions with The Love Cats peaking  at number 7 and Lullaby at number 5.
I suspect all but the most ardent Cure fans if quizzed wouldn't come up with Lullaby being their biggest hit and would probably also be surprised that Boy's Don't Cry only reached 22.

There is debate as to the spacing and title of the song but In Between Days seems to be the one most quoted.

The Cure - In Between Days

The Cure - The Exploding Boy

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Covered By Cash - The Devil's Right Hand

The Man in Black is back! After 5 straight defeats on the bounce Johnny finally gets another win this time over Gordon Lightfoot with If You Could Read My Mind.
That takes the scores back to Cash 8 The Rest 8. This one could go right to the wire.

I was struggling a bit for material and then my mind turned to the Unearthed compilation.I don't own it but fortunately I know a man who does so thank you George.
This week Johnny is up against Steve Earle  with The Devil's Right Hand.
I've gone for the live version from Shut Up and Die Like an Aviator as opposed to the studio version on Copperhead Road. a) because I think it's better and b) it is less hassle to rip from the CD as opposed to vinyl.
It's another tough call this week as it is a song and subject matter that are right up Johnny's street.Two slightly different version and I am giving it to Steve as he gives it slightly more oomph.

Others, of course may chose to disagree

Johnny Cash - Devil's Right Hand

Steve Earle & the Dukes -The Devil's Right Hand

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ooh -La- La! New to Me

After leaving Oban on our way back from Ballachulish  we stopped off in the small Argyll town of Lochgilphead which I hadn't been in for over 30 years.
The main street is pretty much the same albeit  somewhat rundown. On the plus side for me that means more charity shops.
One was Mary's Meals - a Scottish charity set up to provide meals to school children in the world's poorer communities, originally primarily on Malawi which has historic links with Scotland.
Following a very quick visit I came away with the above Uncut compilation Ooh -La -La! Rock'n' Roll in the Spirit of the Faces.
I was familiar with half the artists which sealed the 50p deal .However equally excitingly I was looking forward to exploring those I was unfamiliar with. These two most caught my attention after an initial listen.

500 Miles to  Memphis are a country punk band from Cincinnati who have produced four studio albums since 2005.This song is from their 2007 album on Deep Elm records the wonderfully named Sunshine in a Shot  Glass.
The Wrinkle Neck Mules from Richmond,Virginia have 6 albums and an EP to their name.This is from their 2007 album The Wicks Have Met on the ever wonderful German label Blue Rose.

I shall shortly revisit this CD and feature two of the bands that I had heard before.

Thursday, 15 February 2018


A slice of Alt Country today from Kathleen Edwards with her album Voyageur .You will note that I have opted for Alt Country as opposed to Americana mainly because Ms Edwards is in fact Canadian.
It is her fourth album  which was released in 2012 and co-produced with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame.
She's not the most prolific of artists as this was only her 4th album since her debut in 2003.

I've always been a bit ambivalent about her as although she is clearly talented I saw her early in her career where she made what I considered to be derogatory comments about the artist who had been on stage before her the great Ray Wylie Hubbard. I'll put it down to the immaturity of youth.

It seems that she has now left the music business opening a coffee shop in the Ottowa suburb of Stittsville.
Something which stumped me in one of Rol's  excellent Saturday Snapshot conundrums.

My last Oban purchase - we are of to Lochgilphead next

Kathleen Edwards -Sidecar

Kathleen Edwards - For The Record

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Celtic Connections Review - Siobhan Wilson

Photos © Rhiannon Law
I'm on a roll now. The second Celtic Connections concert this year was Siobhan Wilson at the lovely Macintosh church near Partick Thistle's ground in the north west of Glasgow. I decided to forego the beer as Portaloos in February are not an enticing proposition
Support was provided by an acoustic set from Jamie Sutherland who is a member of  the band Broken Records. Some pleasant singer song writer stuff.
Then Siobhan came on with her guitarist Matt and a string quartet as as she would have it a Demi Octet.

Showing no nerves, despite the large (and impeccably well behaved crowd) she flitted from guitar to piano playing her album There Are No Saints (on Song by Toad records) in it's entirety and it order.
It was absolutely mesmerizing. What a voice she has whether singing in English or French. The only track which didn't really work  for me was the"experimental"  instrumental Dystopian Bach.
In the comments section on my previous post JC commented that he tends to avoid the Mackintosh church given its acoustics. I'm happy to report that from our position there was absolutely no issues. Both her voice and the music were crystal clear and you could here a pin drop.
When introducing her band she mentioned that she was at school with the guitarist Matt who mentioned that they were bullied for being different.I take a degree of pleasure in them living the dream and touring the world while the bully's remain in their little local bubble.
She then moved onto some older numbers and to a couple of encores including a version of Richard Thompson's Beeswing

She advised that she was entering the studio the next day to start the recording of her next album. I've already pledged  for my copy via Kickstarter and suggest you do to as she is a true talent.

Siobhan Wilson - Dear God

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Celtic Connection Review -Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer

Photograph: Wattie Cheung for the Guardian

Better late than never - I did say I would review this concert. Any later and we would be into next years's schedule.

The night started with a minor gripe. The tickets said first band on stage at 8pm (Celtic Connection gig times are usually pretty sharp). We got in at 7.40 to find that we had missed the first song of Teddy Thompson's set.
Where we were sat we were interrupted by others in the same situation which detracted slightly from Teddy's set. However he was excellent.Easily the best support act I've seen at Celtic Connections and worthy of a highlight show . And he played a few numbers from Bela my favourite album of his.

Shelby and Allison are both great singers in their own right. They freely acknowledged that they have had little experience of performing together as a duet and had little opportunity to rehearse. Consequently some songs worked better than others although they got better as the night went out with some standout songs.
An example as to the lack of rehearsal time was Lithium when they forgot the words to the second verse and had to borrow a phone from the wings.It was all quite naturally done and quite amusing as opposed to awkward.
Lithium is probably the one of their covers which doesn't really work although they gave it far more welly than on the album version.
The covers of I'm Looking for Blue Eyes, Into My Arms and Silver Wings were all excellent.
The finished with some of their old solo numbers some being about their home state Alabama and seemed more at ease then.
They are planning to get together to to a follow up album with more of their own songs and will only get better.
So all in all a pretty good night.
A shout out for Mrs CC who had excruciating toothache. It was touch and go as to whether we would make it but she rallied round like the trooper she is and enjoyed her night.

Here is a more professional review from the Gruniad

Teddy Thompson - The One I Can't Have

Shelby lynne & Allison Moorer - I'm Looking for Blue Eyes