Vinyl is dead, long live vinyl

How do you pronounce it? Vahyn-l? Vīnĭl? The living room in my childhood home had a big wide bay window. Standing on either side of the windows were two tall white bookcases my Dad built. They had a deeper base section to house the record player and my parents combined record collection; my Mum was a screaming Beatles fan in her youth, my Dad tended towards folk, but both met in the middle ground of singer songwriters and rock bands. My parents are both musical, Mum played the piano, Dad the guitar and banjo, both sang in choirs and my Dad still performs at the Royal Concert Hall. Music was a constant part of my upbringing and their record collection …

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Pianoforte

I’m sure I had full length trousers I could’ve worn – I know for certain I had a pair of dungarees at some point during the height of my Oor Wullie phase – but for some reason in my memories of cycling to my childhood piano lessons I’m always wearing shorts. Wheeling my big black Raleigh Enterprise out of the garage as the first snow of winter falls, I sling my music bag over my shoulder and head round to see Mr. Pullen (he wasn’t ‘Robert’ until much later on). To properly paint this picture, let me give you some more detail. This was at a time when everyone, EVERYONE had a BMX. My bike was not a BMX, it …

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Gig: Post Modern Jukebox

Everytime I listen to the current hits of the day I come away with a catchy tune in my head. Sure it’s auto-tuned, heavily produced, and reliant on a hook rather than things like a melody or a smart lyric but they are catchy nonetheless. And yes, I am big a huge snob about this and no I don’t care. For me the sign of a good song is one that can embrace change, that can be rendered new by a change in tone, or pace, or instrumentation. Some bands do it to themselves (think Creep by Radiohead, from thrashy distorted guitars to heartfelt acoustic ballad) and some artists grab a handful of such tunes and make a career from …

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New Bands and Small Venues

For a while now I’ve been on a mission to discover new music. That might just be music that is new to me, or it might be actually new up and coming bands that I’ve not heard of, but I’ll happily admit that the recap of my musical year that Spotify provided was a bit of a shocker. We all have our own self-image but, musically at least, I didn’t think I was quite as mainstream as all that… stats never lie though, right? For the last few years I’ve tended to rely on the same few sources; a mixture of random recommendations from friends and colleagues, the occasional blog post or album review here and there, but I always …

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When Sgt. Pepper arrived

Earlier this year I listened to the remastered, reissued Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – an album that was released six years before I was born. The first thing that struck me was how similar it was to Nevermind by Nirvana. No, really. Nirvana had been making some waves but the first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on MTV it made me stop and turn and stare. What was this? It wasn’t heavy metal, it wasn’t indie rock, it was new, and once I managed to get a copy of the album it stayed on my stereo, on repeat, loudly, for several weeks. It was the soundtrack for my first winter at college and to this day …

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Band of Skulls

View this post on Instagram Band of Skulls, innit @bandofskulls A post shared by Gordon McLean (@gmclean) on Aug 28, 2017 at 1:56pm PDT First things first, don’t let the name put you off, this is not a death metal (or any other kind of metal) band. Think bluesy rock, think White Stripes, think Slade, think Led Zeppelin if the songs were more melodic? … ohh I’m going to hell for that comment! I’ve seen them a few times now, from their first album tour where me and another 60 odd souls realised that ‘hey, these guys are good’ to an audience of several hundred a few years later. I am still waiting on their “big breakthrough” but, like Eagles …

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Sloshed

I joined Hospital Radio Lennox when I was 16, primarily to complete the community service section of my Boys Brigade Queens badge, but I’ll admit the idea of being a ‘DJ’ tapped into my love of music. That plus the fact that a friend was already doing the same thing which brought a level of comfort knowing that there would be a familiar face there. A few years later, long after I left the Boys Brigade behind me, I was still going along to do the request show on a Thursday, occasionally covering other timeslots and, even better I was starting to help out on Friday and Saturday nights doing discos! As Hospital Radio was a charity we were a …

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TRNSMT Festival : Radiohead

Last Friday I took a day off work to go and walk about Glasgow Green, on the opening day of the inaugural year of TRNSMT Festival. And no, I don’t know why they don’t like vowels. The festival ran the entire weekend – with Kasabian and Biffy Clyro the headliners on Saturday and Sunday respectively – but I was happy enough to score a one day ticket, ostensibly to see one of my favourite all-time bands, Radiohead. The last time I saw them was also at Glasgow Green, on a dreich evening with a weird atmosphere, and it was a bit of a disappointment. Not so this time round! I arrived around 3pm, quickly made it through security (well organised …

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Upcoming gigs

Turns out I’ve been stealthily filling my calendar with gigs, so much so that I almost repeated my epic fail of last year by double booking two on the same night (sorry Wolf Alice but War on Drugs beat you to the date this year). The list, so far… And yes, this is exactly why I preface calendar events with an emoji. And for a nice change, most of the bands listed above I’ve never seen live before. Weezer and Gorillaz being the stand outs; Weezer are one of those ‘how have I NOT seen you live before now’ kinda bands for me given I’ve been perennial favourites for coughs 20 years? Elsewhere, the last time I saw Radiohead at …

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Kate Tempest

Head slightly bowed, Kate Tempest casts a slightly shy, almost apologetic figure as she walks on stage to a huge roar. After thanking us for being there, and some heartfelt indications of how much she likes the ‘people and soul’ of Glasgow, she pauses and says she has something to ask us. She’s there to play through her latest album (Let Them Eat Chaos) from start to finish. The tracks will take us through the lives and stories of random strangers living on the same street. She talks of connection, of pushing aside prejudice and hate, and how we need to learn to love more. She asks if we are up for the journey this evening, and if so, ‘let’s …

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