There is an old Hawthorn Tree out the back where the old allotments were. The council turned the plot of land into a nature reserve many moons ago and the potting sheds were dismantled and taken away. The place has since been left to grow wild. I once found a pile of mostly broken panes of glass lying under the earth where presumably a greenhouse once stood. I can’t really remember why I was out with a shovel but that was what I found. An eight foot wooden fence stands between my back garden and that Hawthorn Tree.
When we first moved in we saw that the original wooden back fence had fallen in during a storm and later my cat had gone missing, feared lost in the overgrowth. There was a family of foxes living somewhere within and we worried that he would be in danger so I prised a hole in the wooden planks that were nailed together to make up the barrier and finally he found his way through. Looking for him in the late evening with torch in hand I had met Mr Fox. Eyes shining with torch glare he stared at me and held his ground on the path.
The previous owner of our house had twisted rolls of barbed wire along the perimeter of the garden so it felt like a prison and we lopped this away and threw it into the metal recycling with the small old metal fence that had rusted and fallen to bits as an overgrown hedge on the wild side of the back fence had managed to slowly push it apart with each year’s growth.
I then went to work clearing the area around the tree. It had become strangled with the tangle of a decade of bramble ropes that had arced up through and over it. There were masses of elder trees too that had spread higgledy-piggeldy all over the place and there was a field of nettles so high they stung the skin of my arms. Sticky willies stuck to my clothes and my cat and local pigeons, fat with gorging on elderberries, left black birdshit all over our garden path.
I saw an old apple tree and chopped a path through the bramble thicket to where it stands and found some wee raspberry bushes on my way. The fruits are smaller than supermarket ones as they struggle among their hardier cousins but sweeter in the mind because they are wild and free. There is a small gooseberry bush under the apple tree that produces hardly any leaves or fruit and I cleared it some space. A forager, I plucked some apples from that tree and took a few decent apples off the ground and made my way home with a box of blackberries and made us a crumble. It was delicious.
After two days of toil among nettles, thorns and barbed wire, some gloves were ruined and skin rudely violated. Red berries and blood look black once it gets dark. Finally, the Hawthorn Tree was free and could breathe. All of the nettles were trampled away and you could walk around a bit. I snapped off the small dead twigs and branches to tidy her up and she became a solitary tree among the surrounding thicket. It could maybe find use as home to a treehouse one day when we have kids I thought.
Not long after, our next door neighbour was burgled and in the months that followed a few empty beer cans would appear tossed into the bramble bushes near our Tree out the back.
The nettles were soon up waist high again as they never really went away. The nettle plants had died but their seeds and roots were still already in the soil. There is a new fence but no barbed wire. Some elder trees have sprung up in random places where the birds have been and will soon have berries ready to feed them once again. A shop bought raspberry plant on our side of the fence has now spread to the other side in the new wilderness.
Those brambles have spread again and there are thick prickled stems that rise up, up and away ten foot into the air through the branches to dangle their black fruit out of reach. Over summer, bees and butterflies fed on the blossom and the air is alive with flying things. Sticky willies cover the trunk.
Once I saw a mouse climb a raggedy dead nettle stem and eat the bunch of seeds that were still dangling like a spent phallus near the tip. He must have been hungry as he ignored the four of us watching. The path to the apple tree is overgrown again and all of the apples will be left on the ground.
From When I Wake The Want Is was released recently. It’s Kathryn Joseph’s second or third album depending on how you count them* and the songs were mostly written during a breakup and these songs poured out like spells. And everything is in there. A tree tangled with thorns. Some sweetness, the hurt, a mouse waiting for winter, nakedness, love, a fox and a cat, a standoff, the passion, words spat out and whispered, broken fences and poetry, the fear, vulnerability, broken glass under the earth, the lust and the hatred. Scratched and stung foraging wild fruit. This is a raw and wild record; its beauty and honesty is refreshing like stolen apples and as Summer turns to Autumn and the plants die off you are reassured that the new shoots of Spring are only a few months away. It helps to know that Kathryn’s story had a happy ending too. I do believe that a poem is a naked person and this is a poetic and hypnotic masterpiece which deserves to sell a million copies by Christmas. You should have a listen.
In Manx folklore, the first blackberries of the season should not be eaten but instead should be left for the fairy folk. If you ignore this advice, any others you pick will be full of grubs…
Folklore also says that you should not pick blackberries after St Michaelmas Day, September 29. According to Christian mythology, that is supposed to be the anniversary of the date Lucifer was thrown out of heaven and he likes to mark the occasion by peeing over everyone’s blackberry bushes.
*Second album is the Out Lines project with James Graham of the Twilight Sad. It is a contender for the SAY Award this year. Marcus Mackay plays on and produces all three of her albums.
Since beginning this I am very happy to say Kathryn was number one on the Record Store Chart last week after the vinyl sold out. Bring on the repress. A million by Xmas…
This afternoon I collided with a van at about 15mph while heading from Porty to Leith on Seafield Road. The oncoming driver turned right into my path. I braked. Skidded. He eventually saw me and hit his brake and I body-slammed into his left side in the drizzly rain.
The bike seemed OK but it turns out the forks are bent, the right gear shifter is damaged and the wheel has a slight buckle. It is pretty inconvenient to me and expensive for the van driver but I do have the luxury of a spare bike. There is quite a bit of pain and a clicking sound which happens if I move the wrong way and as the hours have passed it is getting harder to lift my right arm above my head but my fingers work so I can type away. These things can focus the mind although if you ask my wife she will tell you I have been pretty vacant since. Just mulling things over… As you do do do do do…
What? Oh yeah. I had been up Princes Street this morning with my boy heading to the Book Festival at Charlotte Square for I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt where he read the book to us and we got to draw worms and finally we queued up to get a nice signed copy with an doodled “A” for Aiden shaped like a worm. There is more to life than music. Saying that, I was at the Kathryn Joseph instore yesterday to get my copy her new record signed and I was planning to blog about her terrific new album today. I still will later in the week but because I don’t think she has written a song about crashing her push-bike into a van it is hard to get a link in so here is a picture of the worm book instead.
Anyway, we were looking out the back of the bus as my three and a half year old loves buses and trams. I saw a queue of three double-deckers and a woman leisurely pedalling along in front of them on a bike. I thought she was crazy and wondered why she ended up there. Just the other week, I cut across Princes Street on the bike to get to the shop from Bridges and it is just really difficult to turn right across the tram tracks without your front tyre getting stuck. I had to literally stop and lift the front tyre over as my natural angle of approach was never going to work. A young medical student was killed at the Lothian Road end last year after her wheel got stuck and she fell in front of a minibus so I have always tried to avoid if possible.
Back in 2010 there was a Guardian article asking “Is Princes Street is too dangerous for cyclists?” Aye, I would say so. However, the alternative -Queen Street is a state of potholes. Trams and potholes… But I didn’t start this to have a gurn at the cooncil.
TRAM BUS TAXI BICYCLE ONLY
Which is the odd one out?
Photo pinched from a cycling website. A black cab is just under 2000kg. A double decker bus needs no introduction. My bike is about 8kg. Bike and I, even laden with records are but a squishy worm in comparison to these metal machines.
That word again. Worm. Worm. Worm. Worm… But the author (and illustrator) pronounced it Wirm. With a prolonged i sound. Wiiim. Scottish folk will tend to say Wurm with a rolled “r” and Doric Scots from Aberdeenshire like me and Kathryn Joseph say Wurrim with a verry purry “r”. Aha! That reminds me – Kathryn released a song called The Worm as a single in 2015! It is a song that did not quite fit on the Award winning bones you have thrown me and blood I’ve spilled album and it has little to do with the new one but if I share it, it will hopefully be enough to tie this slightly weird music-cycling-worm based blog post together.
Princes Street is chock full of double decker buses with massive blind spots pulling in and out, taxis doing U turns at the East-End, trams ding dinging along -At least they’re predictable… and the aforementioned tram lines that have been leading to those on bikes getting hurt since they were introduced. I’m surprised there have not been more deaths -especially of visitors. I have to add that the Lothian bus drivers have been great when I have been cycling near them but the truth is that around rush hour there are places that you simply do not want to be. Chamber’s Street to Princes Street, Leith Street, Haymarket, Tollcross, Lothian Road. Even Leith Walk with its new cycle lanes can be a hairy experience.
I am happy to see there is some work to improve cycling through Scotland and Edinburgh has some good cycle routes eg Water of Leith; but the cyclists have taken over a bit making it harder for dog walkers. Spokes (@Spokeslothian) are long-time campaigners on local cycling safety issues and are worth following.
I just wanted after today’s experience to say to cyclists to plan the route ahead, even short trips and to the drivers to keep an eye out and take your time especially when it’s raining. Cyclists (and everyone), take care for wandering pedestrians especially during the festival. Stockbridge seems particularly prone to folk nipping across the road between parked cars. Slow down for dogs. Speed up if being chased by a dog. Simple stuff. Most cyclists aren’t perfect but no one likes a 4 hour wait in A&E just to get checked over and explaining the dent in the wing to your boss could be problematic.
And plenty of songs about crashes. They have a propensity to not do so well so I will be avoiding the likes Johnny Bond for a while.
The Pogues on Worms…
There is some advice for folk who are hit here. My advice would be just call the police as the guy might initially be keen not to involve his insurance company and offer to pay out of his pocket but probably won’t realise the replacement costs of bike parts these days and then stall a bit. Cheaper than body parts fella!
On a happier note, I found an original copy of this psychedelic gem a wee while ago. It’s a cracking song. The kind of slam of sorts that I particularly enjoy. Oooft!
Update. The distributor selling Future Sounds of London, Amorphous Androgenous and UNKLE hasn’t sent the box up in time. We can take orders from the 1st 6 people in the queue to ask for it. Also Run the Jewels although this wasn’t on the published list.
Some small boxes are expected to arrive on Friday, however, here are the records that we will have on Record Store Day. Some are pretty scarce either because we weren’t allocated as many as we wanted or because it was difficult to gauge demand and small numbers were ordered.
Anyone wanting the ABBA single, Django Django or Sigur Ros will need to be down very very early. However, we have about 10 of each Bowie record, Eight or so Led Zeppelin and Ocean Colour Scene. Plenty Anne Briggs, Arcade Fire, Blue Planet, Courtney Barnett, Carter USM, GOAT, Mogwai, The National, Noel Gallagher, Rolling Stones, Snow Patrol, Twin Peaks and Pink Floyd. Hopefully enough to last into the afternoon. A top up of Courteeners, Stooges and The Doors expected to arrive tomorrow will bring us to good levels.
Scottish releases include great friend of the shop Pictish Trail who has a reissue of his acclaimed album Future Echoes with an Eigstra disc of bonus tracks and is out on FIRE records. We also have a good supply of Bert Jansch, Irvine Welsh, Lewis Capaldi, Mogwai, Thomas Fraser (more info on this incredible man Shetland Times) and The Vaselines.
I will try to elaborate on numbers and will amend this post later but am very aware that there are many people wanting to know what titles we have. Almost everything has arrived and I’ve missed some things out I’m sure but none of the bigger releases. Albums with Various artists and Soundtracks can be hard to search for. Try control and ‘F’ to search this page for keywords. Any questions, just send a message or call.
ABBA single x1
Alarm 12″ EP
Alarm 7” single
Albert Hammond Jr
Barbara Tucker 12” and 7”
Barry Gray Orchestra
Bass Communion (Steven Wilson)
Bert Jansch -all three
Big Audio Dynamite
Bob Dylan single and album with the Daed
Brian Eno and Kevin
Car Seat Headrest
Chaka Demus & Pliers
Cure Mixed Up & Torn Down
Cuby & Blizzards
Cymanide – both records
David Bowie S/T LP
David Bowie Let’s Dance
David Bowie NOW
David Bowie Live
Duke Reid All Stars
Ed Motta Presents
Eek A Mouse
Elton John vs Pnau
Ennio Morricone Autopsy
Eric Burdon & The Animals
First Aid Kit
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Gary Clark Jr
Gordon Beck Trio
Hans Zimmer -Blue Planet
Hifi Sean & David McAlmont
Irvine Welsh & Arthur Baker
Jesus Jones vs Aphex Twin
Jimmy Castor Bunch
Johnny Cash At Folsom
Johnny Cash EP
Johnny Thunders album and 7” single
John Wesley Harding
Jonsi and Alex
Kevin Morby & Waxahatchee
Lalo Schiffrin OST Enter the Dragon
Liminanas 7” and 12”
Lonnie Liston Smith
Los Lobos vs The Shins
Mac Demarco and Shamir
Manfred Mann Album box
Mc Demarco old dog
Marijata Pat Thomas Introduces
Mekons – both 7” singles
Nothing But Thieves
Ocean Colour Scene
OST Sucker Punch
OST Vertigo/North by Northwest
OST Autopsy Morricone
OST Drammi Gotici
OST Takin’ Care of Business
Phil Campbell and the Bastard
Police -Roxanne x1
Public Image Limited
Rage Against The Machine
Rag N Bone Man
Robert Glasper Experiment
Ron Grainer OST The Omega Man
Rowland S. Howard
Saun and Starr
Saxon Pic disc
Say Sue Me
Sly & Robbie & Junior Natural
Sonics Rendevous Band
Sparks pic disc
Sun Ra Pine St
T-Rex Bolan Boogie and pic disc
Tears For Fears Talamanca remixes
Tears For Fears Barrott remixes
This is the Kit
Thomas Andrw Doyle
Tom Waits -All three
Trampled by Turtles
UNKLE (not arrived)
V/A Motown Funk
V/A DJ Pierre Presents Acis ’88 Vol. 2
V/A Independent Venue Week
V/A Colour Climax
V/A Singapore A Go Go
V/A American Dreamer OST
V/A Hillbillies in Hell
V/A The Beginning of the End
V/A SOUL JAZZ Box sets
V/A Soho Scene
V/A Texas Soul
V/A NY Soul
V/A New Orleans
V/A Mighty Instrumentals
V/A Last Shop Standing
V/A Gary Crowley
V/A Ed Motta Pesents
V/A Up All Night Soul
V/A Iconic Monterey
Van Morrison & Joey Defrancesco
Van Morrison Alt Moondanceand album
Waterfront (pre Stone Roses)
Watts 103rd St
Winston Reedy & Salute
Wolf Alice x1
EPs that were made for RSD a few years ago but are now available as non-RSD releases.
Okay, we’re up a mountain and there are records everywhere. People are pulling records out of the sleeves, little kids are getting their sticky fingers on them, many were scratched and skipping. It was clear something had to be done. Iggy had a word with David and asked him to sort it all out.
And David Bowie spoke these words:
I have released much of my Golden Years of music on the best format. That which brought you out of the Swing Boom of the 1950s, out of the slavery of singing other people’s songs and into the Land of 1000 Dances with the cheap vinyl seven inch singles of Rock and Roll, Tamla Motown, Beatlemania, Glam Rock and so on. I also brought out Tin Machine on 12 inch Vinyl which we don’t tend to talketh about so much but it is my most affordable album on the preowned market these days so maybe it’s time for a reappraisal…
Okay, moving on, going forward etc… Here are the rules.
1. You shall have no other format above Vinyl.
2. You shall not make Vinyl in the image of another. Basically avoideth rare records at a cheap price –they could be counterfeiteths. I’m thinking about the copies of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon that have been kicking about Edinburgh at 15 shekels for some time. Don’t worry it was officially resurrected the other year like pretty much my entireth back catalogue other than Tin Machine (see above).
3. You shall not take the name of ‘Vinyl’ in vain. Ahem, they are collectively called ‘Records’ or ‘Vinyl’ but a single record should never be called ‘a Vinyl’ and many records are never ever ‘Vinyls’. Otherwise you will feeleth the tut-tut-slow-head-shaking wrath of the old farteth record collectors. See Vinyl vs Vinyls blog post.
4. Remember the Sabbath day… After working a week of hard toil, you are allowed a special record based listening treat with Ozzy and Co. On this day you will not work. You will force everyone; sons, daughters, servants and animals to listen to your swirly vertigo 1st press of Paranoid. They will thank you for it later. Why they recorded a song called Changes in 1972 for their 4th album the same year I released my version remains a mystery. How someone hasn’t already thought to mash them up on YouTube is perhaps a bigger mystery. Perhaps my record company taketh away unofficial recordings?
5. Honour your father and mother’s record collections. Though the box may be worth more than the records, your embarrassing parents may have been into some weird stuff in the 1960s that they have never before told you about and you could well be inheriting some gems. Forgiveth them the Dancing in the Street duet with Mick Jagger that is most definitely in there, for they kneweth not what they were doing in the 1980s.
6. You shall not kill (even if into Black Metal). Seriously dude, seek help! But thou canst still probably eat meat despite what Morrissey sayeth with the title of the final The Smiths album. I never did get over Steven’s sniping at me after pulling out of my Outside tour in 1995 but after recent stories I suppose it could have been worse. All the same, please look for British pork and the Free Rangeth chicken which just seems sensible.
7. You shall not commit adultery with Amazon and other onlineth retailers despite them sometimes being cheaper than your local Record Temple. Keep an eye for an aniscoric eye out for special editions which are often offered to independent Temples that are not available in the behemoth’s massive warehouse.
8. You shall not steal. Yeah man! Well ideas are up for grabs obviously, I’m a chameleon and that. But erm you know don’t be stealing records from anyone. There’s a guy that comes in on Sundays with a big puffy jacket on in the summer and I’m sure he has been nicking stuff. Spotify and streaming? ***Shrugs*** “Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity,” I told the New York Times in 2003. Well, please try to payeth for music you like in some way.
I’m watching you, Sunday guy
9. You shall not bear false witness about Record Store Day in the Edinburgh Evening News. It has many well documented flaws but on balance it is better to have it and the inevitable 4 different NEW officially sanctioned editions of my records. Contradictory, repetitive doom-mongering is doing no favours to the Record Temples that are still open and getting by.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s record room nor his amplifier, turntable and fancy speakers. Nor his radio show/podcast and blog. Your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor his diamond dogs, nor anything that is your neighbour’s. (Eh? -Ed) Basically don’t be coveting things and don’t try to wham bam thank you ma’am any of the neighbours or their things.
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the speakers rumble and saw the amplifier in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to David Bowie, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have Iggy speak to us or we will die.”
Bowie said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Iggy has come to test you by releasing a mix of great and terrible albums…”
Continues with even more commandments and don’t get Iggy/Ziggy started on their preferred record cleaning fluid.
After this piece of procrastination, some may be pleased to know that the full VoxBox RSD list will be typed and published tomorrow evening.
The VoxBox Backroom has been refitted as a private skincare and beauty clinic. VoxBox Botox will smooth you out. “It’s all filler, a bit like Steel Wheels” says Keef. The Tumbling Price… For a limited time, half price patented Jagger Lip Filler with any of our daily specials.
Monday -Charlie Warts removal
Ruby Tuesdays -Rosacea skin peel
Wednesday -Paint It Orange fake tan.
Thursday -Tattoo You removal.
Friday -Under My Thumb blackhead squeezing.
Saturday -Jumpin’ Jack lemon FLASH teeth whitening.
Sunday -As Tears Go By intimate waxing.
Andy and Mike look forward to helping you get what you need.
This guy just popped into the shop and now hangs about a bit stopping Andy from doing any work.
I met him the other day and he said he was a musician and was incredibly friendly and I thought. Ok yeah.
Then Andy said his tunes were really good and we should get him in for a session… I listened to his tunes… They are killer songs. Not cheery new neighbour friendly tunes at all.
“I met a man with a one eyed pet crow
He had a dog he trained to talk.
He kept goldfish in his hat
and I asked him how he lived.”
As far as the music goes, he sounds as serious as they come.
He has a hypnotic fingerpicking style that makes me think that if Kathryn Joseph was a very tall thin bearded man playing guitar and singing song poems, this is it. He has not been in Edinburgh long and already released an album with a couple of videos. From the People’s Story Museum:
There’s a bit of RM Hubbie and Nick Cave, Waits, Nebraska Springsteen, Molina there too.
Something for the folk that likes deep dark tunes and maybe an album ____ would like.
Give it 30mins (2 listens) See what you think. I don’t think he’s done any promo emailing. So a post from ____ would be a surprise.
You could blow his mind with a just a burst of a good few people downloading his stuff or you never know.
He has not invented anything new but the guitar playing is sometimes incredibly intricate.
It sounds like two people playing.
Listen to Stalk of Corn or Horsey Horsey.
Glad to hear things are going well _________________. Perseverance with talent will always pay off.
I’m busy with a second child who’s 5 months old. Otherwise I’d say let me know when you’re at an Edinburgh gig. But I don’t get out much.
Saying that, DO let me know and I might well get out especially.
Now look at that face. This man invented the tartan covered Highland Entertainer and so is responsible for much of what you are about to see… He was a superstar in his day. Arise Sir Harry Lauder you cheeky cheeky man.
Niven is pretty intense!
Bill McCue has a present for you.
Jimmy Logan shares his surname with a berry. I’ve an idea!
Not any more.
Another candidate for Scotland’s favourite singer.
Camp as a row of tents. Canadians also loved this stuff.
If you half close your eyes, The Piper looks like a bird of paradise.
Jimmy Shand practically invented the standing in an empty field playing accordion look as a young man. Happy hours ahead! Auchtermuchty style.
WIll Starr. The Sound of Starr. Splitting the atom with his accordion. Those eyes!
On foggy hillsides all over Scotland are accordionists like Will Starr. Be warned.
Jack Stitt serenades a rock with his accordion.
Bill Smith in a field
Kilts? Check. Accordion? Check. Loch with castle in the distance? Check. Now lift your right leg a bit…
Accordionly Yours… Spink was there first.
Bert Shorthouse, the life and soul of the party.
Double accordion! Looks like fun.
Pat Neary knew best how to sell accordion music.
Let’s Have A Ceilidh! outside.
Ranald MacDonald. Just walking around in my day wear, enjoying my loch and singing away.
Calum Kennedy on his way to work.
You’ve got Jimmy in the centre in front of the fireplace with his accordion right? Oh, that’ll do.
An Evening With The Tartan Lads. Almost a Sharon Stone moment…
Scots Wha’ Ha’e by Barry Nesbit. A Canadian so we can forgive the extra apostrophe; he gets the idea.
Will Star is The Daddy of Them All. No fire, but I’m not arguing…
Now that’s a proper fire.
Those were different times.
Twa Braw Lads. The brawest in the land.
We know Andy, we know. Which explains why you aren’t wearing yer troosers again.
Kilts were getting pretty popular.
You can tell Jim is well up for it lassie. (A dance)
Jim Outside by the hills. A tad underdressed for hillwalking.
Sorry world, it’s the best we could do.
Whistlebinkies outside in the sunshine.
The Battlefield Band. Home Is Where The Van Is. In this case home is in the middle of a field.
Contemporary Campbells outside
Boys of the Lough. Lochaber No More. And they are not happy about it.
A fashionable Runrig pose for debut album Play Gaelic in a field.
Capercaillie moved Scottish folk music into the 1980s.
Paul McCartney has a lot to answer for.
Home is a ruined castle.
Bobby Colgan’s Bothy Nicht. Let’s get the piglets drunk. Paintbrush sporran??
Again! Oh no! Better start taking my meds.
. Going to an Orkney Barn Dance? Hamnavoe will kick out the jams.
Kathy Kay. Chickens, now that’s how to sell records!
Scotland in Song or what are you looking at?
Lonnie Donegan had already converted the UK to Skiffle and the Blues before this LP came out in 1959.
Donovan feeling it.
Whistle-Binkies for the Germans.
Whistlebinkies Portrait 1.
Whistlebinkies Portrait 5. A life on the road and outside can take its toll.
This is fantastic.
Jimmy Hits The Bottle…
O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us! Australia.
In a Shetland Garden by Shirley and Larry Peterson. This is just too sweet.
Ed McCurdy A Box of Dalliance. A Canadian folksinger but this rare box set belongs here.
The Sounds of John Leslie Scotland A’GoGo
The Islanders debut LP in 1965.
Coaldust Ballads. An album about coalmining. Powerful stuff.
Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor. Scotch and Irish. Tartan bunnets all round.
The Jack Sinclair Showband on a Highland Holiday.
Tartan and Trad Jazz together at last.
Highlands and Lowlands with Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor
Joe and Sally seem close.
Fae Aberdeen. Ann & Laura Brand You’re Welcome Here. Thanks!
Mike Korb plays The Dancing Queen of Aberdeen. A rare 7 inch single.
The Seekers outside Edinburgh Castle. An Australian Band and some cunning old fashioned photoshoppery.
The McCalmans No Strings Attached. Scandanavia, you won’t know what hit you.
The Bay City Rollers Breakout the mullets in ’85.
Gaberlunzie Take The Road.
Welcome to the Dance. You, me and a crate of booze.
Phil, sit on that box for a second. Perfect.
Rangers. Both the cover and what’s inside could be worse.
Rufus Harley plays jazz on the bagpipes.
And he gets better.
Laugh along with Dot Foubister
Man recently rescued from phone box has picture taken for album sleeve.
Just For The Crack tells it’s own story. Craic ruins lives. Wait a minute…
Hello Jaqui and Bridie.
Hamish was a master of the folk song and I guess liked a pint or two.
Seems like only yesterday I left my mind behind… Watt Nicol is from the stable that produced Imlach, McGinn and Billy Connolly.
Matt McGinn here reminds me of another Glaswegian, great friend of the shop and ex-employee, Nigel.
Ever wake up after a night out in a tree?
An album of songs about how to turn leftovers into a meal the next day. Stovies.
Wait, maybe they are leftover songs turned into an album?
Edinburgh folk trio The Cairn released A Collection of “Scotch” Folk for the Americans. Bottle of “scotch” whisk(e)y included.
Company Policy is “more hair the better” and one of you is letting the side down.
Something Old, Something New by The Alexander Brothers. Can you undo a few more buttons and pretend you’re holding lightsabres?
The Jacobites. They’ve got the leg right.
Jesse Rae modelling Scottish beach wear.
These were the good times for the Bay City Rollers which is why they’re smiling.
Grey skies, hands on hips and Dedication is all you need. Glam Loch.
Willie Sutherland on Grampian Records with some good advice.
Looking like a badass preacher from Louisiana here Willie!
THE TOP 20
By this stage Rufus was mainlining $200 of tartan a day.
A Gordon for me? Thanks!
Moira takes the car to get the shopping. For running errands around town she takes the horse.
Frank Begbie’s dad. Don’t forget the cairds!
A lonely Hogmanay with Arthur Spink. As it’s almost New Year, if you are lucky he might even turn the fire on.
A warning to all those wanting a selfie with the Big Yin. You Take My Photograph (I Break Your Face)
Nailed it this time Jimmy Shand Jr!
Heeeere’s Krankie! Two Sides Of The Krankies is wrong in so many ways.
Kymm’s self titled second album released on Nevis records. As it says on the back: “Listen to this LP and you will be convinced that here is a star in the making! You’ll be hearing lots more of Kymm -Lots more.”
Normal for Fife.
Scottish Love Songs by the Corries. AKA Up The Dirt Track. Nothing says Love in Scotland more than 2 hairy men up a muddy road on a dreich winter’s day.
An Old Raincoat Won’t Let You Down. Bloody hell Rod! How can a song about homelessness turn into this?
I can’t even begin to know what this is. The Average White Band’s debut album, Show Your Hand was probably still offensive in 1973. The bum logo was a big improvement.
Alastair MacDonald Sings Robert Burns and Davy Handlebar Moustache.
They look really friendly. Looking the wrong WAY, Shetland’s Rhythym Group.
One of the greatest mysteries of Scottish music, Borderline by Nigel Denver. Complete with paintbrush sporran.
Gaberlunzie with Scotland AGAIN! Reminds me of Olaf from Wide Days with Ian Rankin on guitar.
The MacNish Distillery Pipe Band. “Quick Lads the Sun’s out, let’s get that album picture!”
After reaching the end, you are probably feeling like this. Comes with printed lyrics so you can have a greet too.
The Wally Dugs, The Road to Dundee! Even Frodo would turn back.
The Marlettes from Rutherglen/Cambuslang. Still gigging.
My favourite. Those jeans are a bit tight at the groin. Gaughan “That’ll do Dick!”
The album thread is very much a work in progress. Please get in touch with pics of any gems that we’ve missed. There are a few smaller themed posts in the pipeline but for now, this will do.
I got an email a few years ago asking if I have a copy of an old Scottish EP called White Heather Memories by James Urquhart. No doubt the sender must have first looked with Google with no luck and then contacted a few Scottish shops in hope. It just so happened that a large collection of singles had come in the week before and I recognised the title. The collection was mainly 1960s pop music on labels like PYE, Decca, Columbia and Parlophone with The Good The Bad and the Ugly (quite literally) hits of the day. and the EP had stood out as not belonging there. I love looking through old singles, reading names written on the records and imagining the parties in Scottish living rooms in the 1960s. Bacardi for the ladies, Tennent’s cans with “Ann” on them for the men and fag ash nonchalantly flicked onto the carpet.
You are in luck I said. How much? he asked. And that is the question. How do you value a record that doesn’t seem to exist? For indeed there were no previous sales documented to reference as a guide and there can’t still be many around.* This style of traditional Scottish music is pretty hard to sell in Record Shops (or anywhere) and most will either donate them to charity shops or throw them out. I would have put my copy in The Backroom for £1.50 for a while to give it a chance. But I cleaned it and played tested it and graded it a strong VG+. Being a ruthless businessman, that’ll be a fiver I said. Thank you very much, he replied, this will make James Urquhart’s 80 year old brother very happy! And he sent me a nice old fashioned cheque in the post.**
Thistle Records RWEP 630
You don’t see liner notes these days. Ah, memories.
So a happy ending and something that has since made me reluctant to let go of obscure but essentially worthless records which only begins to explains the state of my garage at home. A large part of dealing in used records is memories and the history of music itself. Hearing old songs can take you right back to a tremendous place. Sometimes a place that you’ve never been. White Heather Imaginings? Call it nostalgia if you like but it is a topic I would like to explore a wee bit in the weeks ahead.
I couldn’t find a link to the music on the record but the songs are pretty straight easy listening ballads with orchestra rather than accordion and a slight Scottish lilt. It must have sounded old-fashioned even at the time and I suppose that is where the title comes in. It was certainly at odds with what was in the charts in that era.
Melody Maker Pop 50 1965. Goldie and the Gingerbreads!? Now, you don’t see that often…
Anyway, here’s a link to a livelier James Urquhart tune that might cheer you up as the days are getting longer again and it’s hopefully no longer dark when you get up to go to work.
*While typing this I’ve actually found 2 copies for sale online. One ebay seller at £1.99 with free postage and one Canadian seller on discogs asking £7.
**A cheque that, in the age of internet banking, I never did get round to cashing.
Finally we’ll have a chance of keeping up with Mark E. Smith’s output.
We have a machine at home that has hundreds of CDs downloaded onto it and a few of mine have made it there. Every now and then, when the machine is on random my wife says “is that The Fall”. And she’ll ask to skip to the next track. Yes, darling, if it sounds like The Fall then it is bound to be The Fall again. I love the band but I often have had to agree and say “yes, please skip it”.
I found The Fall in the 1990s with their album The Infotainment Scan. A friend gave me the CD. If you have a friend that finds you music, please hug them regularly for they are the best of your friends. I thought the album was great and in that vein I shared it with my friends. “Sounds like Louis D____ on drugs” said another friend who felt that Louis D_____ already mumbled a lot. “Paranoid man… Puts head down when girls pass in the street… Got my hat and my corny brown leather jacket” some lyrics seemed profound; others just stream of consciousness.
So I looked for other albums and found a Best of the Fall that was pretty terrible. Then a tape of Code Selfish that was great. Then getting into records, and you never see Fall records -the people that own them tend to keep them as you don’t get into the Fall temporarily. Finding Code Selfish restored my Fall fandom and I became a Fall fan and I discovered The Monks. Thank you Mark for that.
But I gave up seeking out the earlier music after deciding I couldn’t afford it! In John Peel’s words, “Always different, always the same.” I was never able to keep up with The Fall. But I’d always read the interviews, read the book and kept an eye out for a live show.
I went to see The Fall at the Edinburgh Picturehouse a few years ago before it closed and Mark came out for 10 minutes then spent the rest of the gig singing incomprehensibly from the dressing room. The band were really tight but it was a pretty terrible gig experience. Play the hits! What hits? It’s an underground band… We left early and pretty disappointed. I put on Bend Sinister when I got home and all was well again.
Mark sacked so many members of his band that we’ve had a shop joke that everyone has either been in the Fall or is related to someone that has been in The Fall…
You don’t often see Fall records but I found a 7 inch copy of Totally Wired on Rough Trade last year and of course as a fan, I took it home. It sounds amazing. If ever there’s a single to show how records can be better than digital, it’s this one. Which is no use to you reading this. Sorry.
This is just meant as a brief blog post salute to a renegade music maker who has my utmost respect.
I’d like to say that I’ll get Totally Wired and that I’m going to drink a jar of coffee and take some E in homage to Mark E. Smith but I will probably just go to work as usual and make a point of not eating any vegetables tomorrow.
I love The Fall and there is so much to love.
Thank you Mark!
Lost in Music.
Bill Is Dead
Last week after “Dynasty”
I had crows feet under my eyes
Paid two days for getting high
Got pasted in a bar
I hope I’ve got the number
These are finest times of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
This is the greatest time of my life
These are the biggest times of my life
But just lately seeing you
I rise a.m. off pink sheets
I am renewed
I am aglow
Red brick and green is the streets
You dressed today as if for riding school
Your legs are so cool
These are the greatest times of my life
Every now and then we get a nice email asking for us to take some flyers and otherwise help promote a music project. We’ll always say yes but after reading this email I asked for a couple of tickets to competition off and said I’d write a blog post, take flyers, post on FB, twitter, Instagram and basically shout from the roof.
The email was letting me know about this film showing in the Cameo on 8th July. The Grant Green Story. It’s a biopic about a cultish Blue Note guitar player. I even don’t know a whole lot about the man myself but I have known for a long time that he was a kick-ass guitarist and that he recorded with the best jazz label of all time, Blue Note. He recorded with the best and made some records that are now incredibly rare. (His early records sell for about £400 and basically never ever turn up). Maybe the 1960s focused on the brass with trumpeters like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and Coltrane on the saxophone or maybe his records’ scarcity means that over the years thee are haven’t been enough collectors getting hold of them to able to spread the word about how great they are, “look at what I just picked up!”, “hear this guy play!”. The result is that a guitarist like Grant Green has maybe not had the widespread recognition he deserves. A good proportion of our jazz customers will know his music well and have heard his playing on some classic Blue Notes but won’t know his story. Green’s own son didn’t know his father’s story and that is essentially what the film is about.
A good place to begin. You’re in for a long trip!
I just dipped in to the Grant Green back catalogue and instantly recognised a riff used by Public Enemy.
That’s Grant Green Ain’t It Funky Now. He’s certainly been sampled a lot by hip hop diggers.
Before the Trainspotting soundtrack, there was the Blue Note label and Green was one of many jazz musicians of the era to find heroin a bit moreish. He has a stellar back catalogue -as well as his own releases, he performed on countless Blue Note albums- which may be some compensation for a life cut short but this doesn’t apply as much for the family as it may do for the fan. The Blue Note album covers were always gorgeous and so many have become iconic although they didn’t really have to give some of Grant Green’s a hint of green… But they work for me all the same. [I just found out that he loved the colour green and drove a green Cadillac and so on] I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie and I’m sure it will help bring his music to a whole new audience. His daughter in law, Sharony Green, co-directed the movie and hosts the Q&A afterwards.
Here’s the film promo, trailer and some useful links:
Join us for the first screening in Europe for the soon-to-released documentary on the late jazz guitarist Grant Green, one of the most recorded artists for Blue Note Records, America’s first independent jazz label. This feature length film presents a son’s search for his father, the guitar legend, via his own memories and those of others. Since the 1990s, Grant’s music has been sampled by everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Kendrick Lamar. Learn more about the backstory involving the man whose guitar licks inspired a generation of jazz and hip hop listeners alike. The film features, Lou Donaldson and George Benson, among others. 61 minutes followed by Q & A.
For more about the film, visit www.grantgreenabluenote.com
VoxBox Music became the newest record shop in the world on May 21st 2011. We buy and sell vinyl and other formats of music. We are independent and sell mostly pre-owned records although we are slowly branching into new vinyl too.