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Sometimes x 2

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This week I’ve been pondering on some of the world’s greatest mysteries.

Could Stonehange have been built in Wales and somehow transported all the way to Wiltshire? Could Jack the Ripper actually have been a woman, thus throwing the police completely off the trail? And perhaps most puzzling of all, why when people like Ed Sheeran seem to manage the task effortlessly has someone with Davy Henderson’s talent never been propelled into stardom.

Just think, Sheeran could release a track of himself humming tunelessly in the shower and it would likely sell more in a couple of hours than Davy’s combined sales for Fire Engines, Win, The Nectarine No.9 and The Sexual Objects.

Yes, we all know the music business is unfair but that is just an outrageous fucking travesty, the kind of thing that would probably ensure that I would go through life bitter and twisted if I was in Davy’s position. Actually I maybe go through life like that anyway.

On the plus side, despite the lack of fame and fortune, Davy has obviously still made an impact over the years. The Fire Engines were namechecked on Losing My Edge; they shared a single with Franz Ferdinand in 2004 while Win supplied McEwan’s Lager with the music for the best advert ever produced in Scotland (shame the lager was honking, mind). Davy has also recently been named a cult hero by The Guardian and he featured prominently in Grant McPhee’s must-see documentary Big Gold Dream.

Fire Engines + collage

And that music! From the manic panic of Get Up and Use Me I was hooked. Sets only lasting fifteen minutes max? Who cares, they never felt that short. By the time of the pounding hyperpop of Win’s You’ve Got the Power I believed a breakthrough was inevitable. The song was released three times and each of those times I predicted a hit. In his 10/10 review of the album Freaky Trigger, NME‘s Stuart Macone proclaimed: ‘These are the ten best songs Salvador Dali never wrote.’ Henderson’s masterpiece, though, arguably came in 1995 with The Nectarine No. 9’s Saint Jack, which absolutely confirmed his status of pop alchemist.

Much of the best music in the world this year will come out on labels from major metropolises such as London and New York but only a tiny minority of that music where be anywhere near as good as the latest release from a wee label based in ‘the twin outposts of Crail and Achaphubuil’. Available now on Triassic Tusk, here are The Sexual Objects and Sometimes:

 
The SOBs will be sharing a bill with Vic Godard & Subway Sect and The Secret Goldfish in Edinburgh’s Wee Red Bar on October 20 and the following night the same acts will be stepping onto the stage of Glasgow’s Admiral Bar.

For more on The Sexual Objects, click here.

Here’s a remix of Sometimes from the finest Scottish act to have emerged so far in the 21st century. Compare and contrast if you like but, most importantly, enjoy. This is Boards of Canada’s superb, mesmerizing take on the song:

 
For more on Boards of Canada, click here.

And finally that TV advert I mentioned earlier. I think this is based on a Greek myth but I’m not sure which as my lack of knowledge in that area has always been my Achilles elbow. Boom boom.

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.

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.

Singles

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


 Compilations

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!

 

Sexual Objects and Casual Sex

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OK, if you happen to be a perv who’s stumbled on here hoping for either a little titillation or even something downright naughty, sorry but this post is actually all about two of the very best singles to come out of Scotland this year so you know where YouPorn is.*

Firstly, an irresistible new track by The Sexual Objects, the latest band to feature the former Fire Engines, Win and Nectarine No. 9 frontman Davy Henderson. Last night the SOBs backed the legendary Vic Godard at Edinburgh’s Liquid Rooms, performing Vic’s What’s the Matter Boy? album in full. They’re appearing again tonight with Vic at Glasgow’s CCA. Was hoping to be there myself but, due to unforeseen circumstances, sadly it wasn’t to be.

Vic Godard CCA 2013

Here’s Feels With Me, which according to their Facebook page, was filmed in Girona, Osaka and Dunbar by Soland Goose. Enjoy.

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You may well have been hearing a lot recently about Casual Sex, the band that is.They seem to be Vic Godard fans and their debut single Stroh 80, was released earlier this year on limited edtion 7″ vinyl and download on the Moshi Moshi Singles Club and very good it was too, especially the glammy guitar that sounded midway between Mick Ronson and Robert Fripp. They’ve just been supporting Franz Ferdinand on tour and have just brought out an EP from which this comes – Nothing on Earth, the video of which was filmed not in Girona, Osaka or Dunbar but in good ol’ Glasgow by Partikular Films.

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The Bastard Beat EP is available through We Can Still Picnic on limited edition 12” vinyl and digitally through all reputable outlets. And I can’t put it any better than one fan did on YouTube: ‘fantastische fantastische fantastische’.

* I’m not one to incessantly check the number of visitors accessing this blog but I am just a little curious about traffic numbers here over the next few days.