Tied Up In Nottz, A Perfect Storm & The Wind That Cried The World (Best of 2014, Part Two)


Change of plan. Instead of the best thirty tracks of the year, I’ve decided to make it 35. So, again in no particular order, here are the final twenty of those selections plus ten albums that are either compilations, reissues, recorded live or soundtracks.


Subway Sect: Born to be a Rebel
The Vaselines: Crazy Lady
North Atlantic Oscillations: August
Simple Minds: Blindfolded
BMX Bandits: My Girl Midge
Moodoid: La Lune
& Sleaford Mods: Tied Up In Nottz

Honeyblood: Super Rat
St Vincent: Digital Witness
James King and The Lonewolves: Fun Patrol
Hookworms: On Leaving
Poppy Seed and the Love Explosion: In the Real
Future Islands: Seasons
& Casual Sex: A Perfect Storm

Young Fathers: Get Up
Alvvays: Adult Diversion
Odonis Odonis: Alexa Wait
Roxy Agogo: When You Dress Up
Sonido Gallo Negro: Inca-A-Delic
& The Phantom Band: The Wind that Cried the World


Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground 45th Anniversary Edition
Franz Ferdinand: Late Night Tales
David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed
The Bluebells: Exile on Twee Street
Edwin Collins, Carwyn Ellis and Sebastian Lewsley: The Possibilities Are Endless OST
Various Artists: Punk 45: Sick On You! One Way Spit!
Pixies: Doolittle 25
Vic Godard: 30 Odd Years
Bis: Social Dancing
& Siouxsie and The Banshees: Peepshow

If anybody’s wondering, my favourite film was Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, favourite documentary is a toss–up between The Possibilities Are Endless and All This Mayhem and my favourite gig was The Nectarine No. 9 performing Saint Jack in its entirety at Rutherglen Town Hall – with Casual Sex supporting. Oh yeah.

Nobody’s Scared, An Ex-Scar & Saint Jack Live In South Lanarkshire

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Vic Godard Preston Poster 2014 Vic Godard June Brides Birmingham 2014

An early contender for my best of 2014 list is Vic Godard’s 30 Odd Years, a double CD that highlights some of the finest music from Vic’s long career but which includes some idiosyncratic tracklisting choices that make the compilation all the more intriguing for long term fans, for example, the late Paul Reekie, occasional Subway Sect heckler but colossal fan, provides an intro and outro, while Ambition is represented here by a live version of the song performed ten years ago in Brentford by Vic along with The Bitter Springs rather than by the 1978 Subway Sect single.

30 Odd Years has attracted some sky-high critical praise with Louder Than War rating it 10/10 and Neil Cooper in The List describing it as a ‘joyride through Godard’s back catalogue that reveals Godard as craftsman, explorer and multi-faceted pop songwriting genius’.

This Thursday night, Vic and the lads will be in the 6 Music studios to play a live session for Marc Riley’s show before embarking on some sporadic live dates around England where they’ll be showcasing much of the material from the new album.

Here’s the latest details of these forthcoming shows but check Vic’s site for updates:

March 28th: New Continental, Preston
29th March: The Cross, Birmingham
April 19th: The Thunderbolt Bristol

Vic Godard Blue Orchids Bristol 2014 Poster

April 20th: Light It Up Alldayer. The Star and Garter, Manchester
May 3rd: The Rigger, Newcastle-Under-Lyme
May 4th: The Leek Arts Festival. Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
19th July: Latitude Festival. Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
8th August: Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
TBC September: Trash Cannes Festival, Hastings
19th September: The Star & Shadow, Newcastle
20th September: Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough
9th October: John Peel Night. TBC, Brighton

Vic’s also been involved in some recording over the past few weeks and the latest news is that 1979 Now should be out on AED round about September. Before that, a DVD/CD of his London Town & Country Club show of 1992, where he was accompanied by Edwyn Collins, Segs, Martin Duffy and Paul Cook, is due out in August.

This is one of the songs from 30 Odd Years, Nobody’s Scared, originally released in March 1978 although this is from a performance in March 2012 at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms:

As you can see from the posters displayed here, there’s usually an interesting support act or two when Mr. Godard rolls into town and at his gig in Newcastle last November, he was joined on the bill by a newish Edinburgh band formed by ex-Scars vocalist Robert King called Opium Kitchen, who also feature the talents of William Baird on guitar, Colin Whitson (Gin Goblins) on bass and drummer Russell Burn (Fire Engines and Win).

Their debut single, We Will Be, was released on iTunes last Monday on Eromeda Records and a CD and vinyl single should also become available in the very near future with an album in the pipeline too. I’m growing very fond of the song and here’s the promo video:

For more on Opium Kitchen click here.

Next up, some news on Vic Godard’s old pal and frequent collaborator, the Sexual Object that is Davy Henderson, who is reuniting one of his many stunningly good previous bands – Nectarine No.9 in this instance – to perform their 1995 Postcard album Saint Jack in its entirety live at Rutherglen Town Hall on the 7th of June. And not only that, the support on the night will be Casual Sex! And that sentence really does deserve an exclamation mark. This is NN9 with South Of An Imaginary Line:

And finally if you’d like to hear Vic’s special set in Edinburgh in tribute to Paul Reekie from 2011, where Davy Henderson helped out on guitar and Russell Burn guested on drums, here’s the link. And while I’m at it, I should also mention that one of the books in the pile at the end of the Opium Kitchen video is a 1997 collection of Scottish writing called Children of Albion Rovers, that included work by Paul Reekie, Irvine Welsh, Gordon Legge and others and which I would recommend.

South By Southwest – Like Nothing on Earth

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If you don’t know about South by Southwest, which kicks off today, then think the Edinburgh Festival without the backdrop of the castle and with the emphasis on new music, cinema and technology rather than theatre and comedy. And think better weather too as this takes place in the very much warmer climes of Austin, Texas.

Since its inception in 1987, SXSW has grown in size each year and is now widely recognised as the world’s most prestigious international showcase for contemporary music with thousands of performers cramming into over 100 venues – and again like Edinburgh, just about any space that could conceivably host a show is utilised, be it bar, art gallery or even taco joint. There’s an official element as well as a fringe and there’s a range of festivals on offer, SXSW Film focuses on new directing talent, while Interactive SXSW showcases emerging technology. Twitter didn’t officially launch there but that’s where it first made a big media splash. #blameSXSW

The only problem for SXSW is the possibility that it might just be in danger of becoming a victim of its own success with an inevitably ever growing corporate presence, hotels guaranteed to be fully booked increasingly insisting on whopping price hikes, seating shortages at film screenings and folk being turned away from the gigs they most want to see being just some of the problems. Good luck to anybody hoping to see St. Vincent by the way.

Over the years, the music festival has attracted a high number of Scottish based bands such as Franz Ferdinand, The Rezillos and Trashcan Sinatras and the 2014 contingent, who hopefully won’t forget to pack some Factor 50 sun lotion, includes Withered Hand, Meursault, Honeyblood, Young Fathers and Casual Sex, who’ve just finished a short British tour that included Mono in Glasgow and, just a couple of nights ago, Mad Hatters in Inverness. Here, from their Bastard Beat EP is Like Nothing on Earth:

Around this time last year the Guardian’s Paul Lester memorably described them as: ‘the Glitter Band impersonating Neu! at the height of punk’ which maybe isn’t really very accurate, or any more accurate than any number of combinations of glam, art rock, krautrock, post-punk and indie references that you could equally throw in into the equation. Okay, I’ll go for Josef K impersonating ESG with Jarvis Cocker helping out with the lyrics.

If you wanna Google them it might be best to add Sam Smith (the singer/crooner) to your search query. Or just click one of the links below:


And if you haven’t heard of ESG and happen to be in Austin, good news, as South Bronx’s finest are playing live in town on Saturday the 16th. Here’s the funky and much sampled Moody followed by another set of Scots who have previously been part of SXSW, Django Django with Default.

And finally, a couple of Scottish films have been invited to feature in the SXSW Film Conference & Festival. Following its recent world premiere at Sundance, Stuart Murdoch’s directorial debut God Help the Girl is screening in the 24 Beat Per Second strand while Paul Wright’s For Those in Peril is screening as part of SX Global.

Indie Cindy, Stroh 80 & San Francisco (The Best of 2013)

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On the last day of the year and in no particular order, thirty of my favourite new tracks released during 2013, at least I think they’re all from 2013, along with ten of the very best compilations, reissues, live albums or soundtracks and five books.


My Bloody Valentine: Nothing Is
Arcade Fire: Reflektor
David Bowie: Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix)
Tess Parks: Somedays
The Sexual Objects: Feels With Me
Primal Scream: 2013
Vic Godard & Subway Sect: Caught in Midstream
Jagwar Ma: Come Save Me
Dot Dash: Hands of Time
Pixies: Indie Cindy

Steve Mason: Fight Them Back
Daft Punk: Giorgio Moroder
Cat Power: Bully
The Pastels: Kicking Leaves
Boards of Canada: Reach For The Dead
PiL: This PiL
Iggy and The Stooges: The Departed
Lloyd Cole: Women’s Studies
Edwyn Collins: Forsooth
Casual Sex: Stroh 80

Franz Ferdinand: Love Illumination
The Fall: Loadstones
Brazos: How The Ranks Was Won
Prefab Sprout: The Best Jewel Thief In The World
Paul Haig: Daemon
Low: Just Make It Stop
Anna Calvi: Eliza
Book Group: Victory Lap
James King and The Lonewolves: Pretty Blue Eyes
Foxygen: San Francisco


The Clash: Sound System
Simple Minds: Celebrate
VA – Punk 45. Kill the Hippies! Kill Yourself!
Belle and Sebastian: The Third Eye Centre
The Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat – 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition
XTC: Nonsuch
The Boys: Alternative Chartbusters
Jazzateers: Rough 46
TV Smith: Acoustic Sessions, Volume 1
Jon Hopkins/VA: How I Live Now (OST)

The Written Word

Morrissey: Autobiography
Alan McGee: Creation Stories
Nina Antonia: 13 Knots
Sheila Rock: Punk +
Harry Papadopoulos: What Presence!