Friday, July 31, 2009

A car pulls out of Marianna...

Playlist
Soft Cell – Non Stop Erotic Cabaret
Soft Cell – Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing
Soft Cell – The Art of Falling Apart
Disco Complex – Attic Tapes
Bryan Adams - 11
The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
Isaac Hayes - The Man

Selecting Soft Cell on the jukebox this morning, spurred on by the most entertaining remix album last night, I’d forgotten just how good they were in their heyday...

Lunch today with excellent colleague Margaret and chums Nick and Kenny from a rather large Dutch corporation...

Home through the rain, still soundtracked by Messrs Almond and Ball...

Exec Producer was over in Fife on a “works night out”...

Spent the evening trawling through all the tapes I could find in the attic of the group Disco Complex which existed from 1982 to 1983 and featured me, the Exec Producer, Count Brodski, George Coleman, Kenny MacLeod (who went on to form Sugar Bullet)and Mr Keith Apter...



The first four named started out as an electronic “covers” band in the Spring of 1982 playing tunes by the likes of Petula Clark, David Bowie, David Essex, Gary Glitter, Iggy Pop, Roxy Music, Magazine and the Beatles and the Ronettes then, during the Summer of that year we started writing our own material...

Towards the end of the year we added Kenny and Keith to expand the sound palette...

I am still in contact with them all, save Kenny, who’s not been seen for a good number of years – as I type, he’s singing a version of a song “All I Ask” – I’d completely forgotten he replaced me as lead vocalist on that one after he joined the band...

Unfortunately, some of the live percussion (that not being played by Keith Apter) which is accompanying the drum machine, is not quite on the mark and, possibly, too close to the microphone – it was all recorded live in my bedroom out at my mum’s house in Loanhead...

Hah – now here’s me trying to sing Kenny’s song “Righteous” – making not too bad a job of it but when Kenny comes in on the chorus it’s obvious how much better his voice is than mine...

Eventually we drifted apart and Brodski continued to work with Kenny on the initial stages of Sugar Bullet but, unlike Kenny, he never made it as far as being signed to Virgin from 1990-1992 – he continued on projects with me from1984-1986 in Love Parade and The Dancers of San Martino...

The period 1986 to 1991 however is known to me and the Exec Producer as “Brodski – The Wilderness Years” as the (then) ginger headed one disappeared off the radar for five years only to be bumped into again in the Summer of 1991 (n.b. these dates may well be completely wrong)...

Now I’ve found a much worn tape of our last song ideas from February/March 1983 – by which time we were down to just me, Kenny and Brodski - I don’t remember any of these tunes (bar one which turned up in 1987 on one of my albums and one which sounds like a Love Parade song from the year after) - not much is salvageable – and I suspect no-one will ever hear this but me – why would they want to anyway?

Bloody hell – there’s some stuff on side two and the first thing is a song which I thought Brodski and I wrote between us in 1984 – it’s clearly an idea we worked on with Kenny and later brought to fruition ourselves...

Just one tape left after this – the final Disco Complex album “Collonades”, a cobbled together effort released before the afore mentioned demos petered out and signalled the end of the band...
Just received an e-mail from Moira of Lex & Moira fame advising Mars will be as large in the night sky as the moon during August...



Sorry but it's a hoax - Moira's an awful one for hoaxes...

Now awaiting the phone call to collect my better half...

Update - Mission Accomplished and Bryan Adams and The Mars Volta added to the day's playlist...

Off to bed with Isaac Hayes in my head...

Highlight of the Day : Hearing Kenny singing one of my songs again...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Targeting beyond 2032...

Playlist
Various – Cagliari Playlist on Shuffleplay
Soft Cell – Heat : The Remixes
The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath

Aaargh...

More from Fopp...

A 2CD remix album by Soft Cell...

The Mars Volta’s “The Bedlam in Goliath” from a couple of years back...

Bryan Adams’ “11” (with the Exec Producer in mind)...



The EP has been researching my family tree recently and is now back as far as seven generations into the past on my dad’s side...

Today we discovered that the day I was born was smack bang on the 144th anniversary of the birth of my great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Reilly on 4th May 1815...

The lads in question from his father to me are:-

Name (DoB-DoD) Longevity
John Reilly (????-????) (Not yet known)
Thomas Reilly (1815-pre1911) Died Younger than 96
Jonas Reilly (1855-1911) Died at 56
Thomas Reilly (1878-Post 1914) Died older than 36
Thomas Reilly (1899-1967) Died at 68
Douglas Reilly (1930-2003) Died at 73
Me (1959-????)

Interesting to see if I get beyond 73 then – that’ll be 2032...

This particular male line will die with me since I have no kids...

But at least I get to live like a teenager for my whole life (a teenager who isn't a parent that is)....

And also from the EP this evening, via the kitchen, a very tasty indeed Red Thai Chicken Curry...

Mmm, mmm...

Then, up into the attic and digging out more old tapes...

There are boxes full of them up there...

Around 8, a knock at the door signalled the arrival of one of my oldest chums (yes he’s over 50 – boom, boom) Mr Jim Park and one of his three co-stars of this year’s Fringe show “The Silence of the Trams”, Mr Gordon Alexander...

They’re doing 24 shows at The Stand starting 3 August...

We spent around three hours working on a three and a half minute intro piece for the run...

It all went swimmingly and, if the show itself is as funny as the monologue recorded tonight, it’ll be very funny indeed...

Of course, in all the excitement, I forgot to take a photo – so, instead, here’s one of the sky first thing this morning...



Off to bed in the company of Soft cell and The Mars Volta....

Highlight of the Day : Making film soundtracks...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The children of heaven...

Playlist
King Crimson - Heavy ConstruKction
Dar Williams - Promised Land
Love Parade - Six Pieces
Reilly/Brodie/Gajewski - Demos May 1993
Haystacks Balboa - Haystacks Balboa
Velvett Fogg - Velvett Fogg

Now I've probably already mentioned FOPP is part of HMV...

Today I popped into HMV at lunchtime and all the Crimson stuff I saw yesterday at FOPP for £5-£7 is £10-£14...

A single highlights disc of the 3CD box set I bought yesterday for £2 by Gershwin was £16...

Weird...

Tonight from the Exec Producer, a most excellent pork and chilli sausage and onion casserole with the best gravy in the world...ever! plus mash and broccoli...

Tasty!

In the attic I found some long lost tapes of me and Count Brodski back in the day - so of course I spent some time transferring them to digital...

Whilst doing so, during a surf, I found an MP3 download of a vinyl rip of this LP...



Haystacks Balboa for it is they - I bought this in Woolies on Lothian Road in 1973 for 50p - today it's going for over £75 on e-bay...

It's not the greatest LP I've ever heard but it's good to have it back in the collection...

Highlight of the Day : Anne's new gravy recipe...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the court...

Playlist
Various - Albums from the Mojo Collection
Robert Fripp - Exposure
King Crimson - Level Five
Gershwin - Porgy & Bess
R Strauss - Ariadne auf Naxos
Travis & Fripp - Thread
King Crimson - Live in London 1996

If you're an avid collector of music like me, you'll probably have had that dream where you go into a record shop and you find loads of albums by your favourite artist that you've never seen before...

OK well it wasn't quite like that today but, look what I found on entering the Kingdom of Fopp...



Must be a wee bit shaky because I was so excited - a whole display featuring around 40 King Crimson and related titles...

It was a case of "got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got..." etc until around half way down where the wee voice in my head said "not got, not got..."

And so it was that four CDs (two of them 2CD sets) made their way into the collection - of course I already had "Exposure" but not the recent 2CD version - and the copy of "Level Five" I already had was one burnt from downloads with a home made cover...



As you'll see, there were more bargains to be had upstairs - a Gershwin 3CD set and a R Strauss 2CD set for just £2 each...

Aargh!

Elsewhere, a mail from old chum and comedian Jim Park - we will soon record his intro for this year's Fringe Show "The Silence of the Trams" - the intro for last year's "No Comedy for Old Men" was recorded a year ago tonight...

Back home to some lovely chilli from the Exec Producer followed by first in a new 4 parter of "Proof", then listeninmg to the new arrivals...

Noted today also that the footie career is almost definitely over...

Running, very slowly I might add, for around 20 yards for a bus scuppered my right knee...

Possible era ending scenario...

Great difficulty in getting off to sleep re the arm too...

What a wreck...

Highlight of the Day : Fopp's Crimso display...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cut ka...

Playlist
Various – Albums Listed in the Mojo Collection 1946-2003
Mahavishnu Project – Phase 2
Schnittke – Complete String Quartets

Mondays eh?

Rubbish mostly...

Little time today to listen to my latest playlist based on the albums I have which are featured in the “Mojo Collection”, a recommended reference book of subjectively “good” LPs from 1946 to 2003, totally unrated other than being included of course; and listed, rather tastily, in a purely chronological fashion...

So, yes, rubbish mostly...

Mind you, I was on fire for tonight’s “University Challenge”...

Stumbled across a Mahavishnu Orchestra related release in my German Chum’s MP3 player (of which he kindly gave me a copy last year when he visited) whilst trawling through the external hard drives...

Reading a review on Amazon led me to the string quartets of Arnold Schoenberg...

Whilst obtaining the set for a listen, I noticed they nestled next to Alfred Schnittke’s Complete Quartets...

And so a rubbish day turned to delight with the hard going/difficult sound of Mr S’s strings in my lugs and a nice cup of tea and a hob-nob (eaten pre pic-take)...



Lovely...

Ended the day with the film "Rock Star", loosely based on the Judas Priest scenario where a major rock group plucks the singer of a tribute band from obscurity to be their replacement singer - a bit like the current situation at Yes headquarters - although I doubt the boys from Yes partake of such wanton hedonism as was depicted in the film...

Not bad - not great though - rubbish mostly...

Highlight of the Day : Music by chance...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Caveats aplenty...

Playlist
Various – Albums of 1973
Love Parade – Half the Civilised World
The Dancers of San Martino – 1915
The Dancers of San Martino – Adagio
Sombre Reptiles – Kernelkrux
Boom! – Faithful/Rockall
Sombre Reptiles – Starcrossfix
Creek – Full Discography
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Callingstill
Various – A Different Kettle of Fish
Crazy Wisdom – The Reptile Tapes
Boom! – Pop Culture
Crazy Wisdom – We Live the Foreigner’s Life
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Livedovehawk
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Doveloveshawk
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Songs of the Sombre Reptiles Vol 5
CBQ & Creek – Live at the Café Royal 2004
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall

Worked during free time today (from 6:40) on a new wee project featuring one of my chums...

Much enjoyable music and many enjoyable memories brought back...

Drove out to my mum’s and, from there, on to Nephew Andy’s new home with fiancé Tori – his son Kerr was also there, as was Andy's mum, sister Sheila (not pictured)...

Caveats re the pics...

1. This is not the best ever pic of Tori (sorry Tori)...
2. They have just moved in and the decor is to the taste of the previous occupant...

Young love...



Father and son...



For regular reader, sister Pam, here's the latest of our Mum with her wee friend, Sheila's smelly but nice wee dog, Ben (other dog, Smudge, not pictured)...



A lovely meal featuring bang bang chicken and home made chocolate cake was enjoyed by all...

I made the mistake of forgetting about my painful post-op shoulder and, foolishly, attempted to lift the wee lad onto a chair, almost dropping him and causing myself some excruciating pain...

Owya!

My latest LP soundtracked part of the afternoon and was deemed by my mum to be “quite good background music”...

Great...

Andy was impressed though, so that’s the main thing and we will work soon, I hope, on some remixes and, perhaps, some new material and, possibly, some live appearances...

Back home to The Pie (much better than any dog!)...



...and the new wee project continued into the night and was listened to whilst, rather more quickly than usual, typing up the last four days...

Highlight of the Day : An old chum’s musical prowess...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stretching out...

Playlist
Puccini – Heroines
Various – 10 CD Celebratory Set
Deus – Vantage Point
Various – Albums from 1973

Up around nine, not feeling my best...

Went to work on the currently being compiled and mastered 10 CD celebratory set...

Decided against driving down to Dumfries for Queens’ first competitive game of the season, the Alba Cup versus Livingston...

Queens won 1-0 though – yaroo!

Next week, we return to Hampden to see them play Queens Park in the CIS Cup...

Watched too much TV – “Law & Order Criminal Intent”, “Mock the Week”, “Total Wipeout”, “Live at the Apollo with Michael McIntyre and Rich Hall” and taped a film “Deep Impact” for my own future viewing, Anne not being a Sci Fi fan...

Also watched a film we taped over two years ago, “About Schmidt” with Jack Nicholson – gentle, moving, enjoyable...

Did not venture forth other than to purchase a lottery ticket (no numbers) and an Indian takeaway treat...

Ended the day feeling fat...

One of the reasons I love cats is because they spend their day doing things like this...



Highlight of the Day : Queens winning...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ran and, indeed, dan...

Playlist
Various – Albums from 1973

So, what happened today...

Well I went to FOPP yet again and, this time, bought “Big Star Story” by Big Star...

Didn’t get a chance to listen to it though, as I was out on the ran dan for the first time in a while and got rather the worse for wear with chums Gaz, Kris with a K, Keith and Scott...



We were joined later on by Anne and Chris with a Ch and further drinking ensued...

Your correspondent was advised the next day by the Exec Producer of many things said and many things done which seemed to have been wiped from his mind...

In addition, a perfectly good umbrella was mislaid...

Worse for wear...

Oh dear...

Highlight of the Day : Ran and, indeed, dan...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Demon's eye...

Playlist
Various – Albums from 1972
Deus – Vantage Point
Gong - Camembert Electrique
Faust - Faust IV
Trace - Trace
Impossible Songs - Intermittent Stimuli
Secret Machines - Secret Machines
Lambchop - OH (Ohio)
Lee Morgan - Lee Morgan Volume 2 : Sextet
Art Pepper - Four Classic Albums
Jimmy Smith - Back at the Chicken Shack
The Stills - Without Feathers
Sandro Ivo Bartoli - Fugitives
Alice Peacock - Love Remains
Elgar – Enigma Variations
Led Zeppelin - Presence
Deus - Vantage Point
The Black Keys - Attack and Release
Dvorak - Symphonic Poems & Overtures

So, what happened today...

Well I went to FOPP yet again and, this time, bought CDs by excellent Belgian outfit Deus (my first by them) and from blues rock type duo the Black Keys...

Also picked up a 3CD set by Dvorak for good measure...

Anne was out up town with Lynn and I took the opportunity to update the Cloudland Podcasts site – it’s in the links, can’t be bothered linking here as no-one seems that interested in hearing the music I buy...

Drove into town with some difficulty re the shoulder and picked the girls up to bring them home...

Other than Meg the Black Cat behaving like a demon...



...that was about it...

Lights out...

Highlight of the Day : New bands...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Long distance cookaround...

Playlist
Various Composers – Most Relaxing Classical Music in the World
Gentle Giant – Acquiring the Taste
Jethro Tull – Aqualung
Isaac Hayes – Black Moses
Joni Mitchell - Blue
Grand Funk Railroad – E Pluribus Funk
Electric Light Orchestra – ELO I
Deep Purple – Fireball
Lindisfarne – Fog on the Tyne
Yes – Fragile
David Bowie – Hunky Dory
John Lennon – Imagine
Hawkwind – In Search of Space
King Crimson – Islands
Alice Cooper – Killer
Led Zeppelin – IV
Uriah Heep – Look at Yourself
Alice Cooper – Love it to Death
McDonald & Giles - McDonald & Giles
The Move – Message from the country
Genesis – Nursery Cryme
Paul McCartney - Ram
Uriah Heep – Salisbury
Isaac Hayes – Shaft
Roy Harper – Stormcock
Grand Funk Railroad – Survival
Emerson Lake & Palmer – Tarkus
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World
Faust – Faust IV
Laura Pausini – Primavera in Anticipo
Hardline – Double Eclipse
King Crimson – The Acceptable Face of King Crimson
The National – Alligator
The National – Sad Songs for Dirty lovers
Symphony X – Twilight in Olympus
Stratovarius – Diamonds
Vanden Plas – The God Thing
Seventh Key – The Raging Fire
Yes – The Word is Live
Tangerine Dream – Alpha Centauri
Pink Floyd – Meddle
Yes – The Yes Album

Not much happened uptown today other than it poured with rain and I listened to music from 1971...

Back home, the Exec Producer was on top form in the kitchen – and I was helping out – sort of – while Meg the Black Cat wasn’t...



On the menu was the chicken jalfrezie recipe from Sunday morning’s “Something for the Weekend”...



The garnish was finely chopped hot red chillis and coriander...



A bottle of Chianti accompanied...



And the results were extremely tasty...



Spent the rest of the evening mucking about with music and adding covers to CD burns I received a good few months ago now from Prog-Metal Willie...

Off to bed with seemingly ever increasing pain in the recently operated on shoulder...

We’ll see...

Lights out...

Highlight of the day : Yes, Anne’s cooking skills...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nobody's fault but mine...

Playlist
Alice Peacock – Love Remains
Dar Williams – Promised Land
Santana – Abraxas
Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother
Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
Deep Purple – In Rock
Gentle Giant – Gentle Giant
Hawkwind – Hawkwind
King Crimson – In the Wake of Poseidon
Led Zeppelin – III
The Beatles – Let It Be
Paul McCartney – McCartney
The Upsetters – Scratch The Upsetters Again
The Move - Shazam
Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman
Yes – Time and a Word
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World
Uriah Heep – Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble
Al Stewart – Zero She Flies
Dream Theater - Images and Words Live in Tokyo Plus (DVD)
Led Zeppelin - Presence
Various Composers - The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the World...Ever!

Another nothing day really – soundtracked mostly by the sounds of 1970 – will I continue with this?

Thought this morning summer had returned....



By lunchtime rain was pouring yet again...

Didn’t stop me going to FOPP though...

Three DVDs today by Dream Theater plus a Led Zep album I once owned on vinyl (and IMHO, far and away their best LP) and a very inexpensive (would you believe £2?) 4CD set of classical music to which I will no doubt never listen...



Carried around but put back, were a DVD of Elvis Costello’s promo vids and one featuring John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk – and I noted a brand new album by Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter...

I foolishly put my umbrella inside the FOPP bag at one stage, almost ruining three of the four covers...

Idiot...

By the time I got home the rain had settled over Crispycat Towers...



...and, mid evening, as I enjoyed the shredding metal sounds of Dream Theater, lightning flashed and thunder (rhymingly) crashed around our ears...

Meanwhile, Meg the Black Cat slept blithely under the dining room table (no pic, sorry)....

Late on Frankie Boyle on the new Charlie Brooker vehicle entertained...

Highlight of the Day : Rocking DTs....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Forty years on...

Playlist
Brian Eno - Apollo
Brian Eno - On Land
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Soundingfall
David Bowie – Space Oddity
Joni Mitchell – Clouds
Pink Floyd – More
King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
The Beatles -Abbey Road
The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
Yes- Yes
Free – Free
Grand Funk – Grand Funk
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul
Led Zeppelin – II
Pink Floyd – Ummagumma
Alice Peacock – Love Remains



One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind...

Forty years ago today the first men walked on the moon – July 1969 – and just three and a half years later the astronauts of Apollo 17 finished the first stage of our exploration of the satellite...

Only twelve men have walked on the moon...

So far...

We’ve come a long way since but I think things need to be kick started again and I’m sure, eventually, they will be – but I’ll probably be dead before a man walks on Mars...

In honour of the anniversary, my music today comprised (in the main) albums released in 1969...

Back in humdrum CBQ-land, Alice Peacock’s new album arrived from e-bay and is very good (as I expected)...

More of a surprise was watching the first in a new series of “The Street” by Jimmy McGovern and it having a happy ending...

The acting was excellent, especially ex-Brookside favourite, Anna Friel...

Finished off the day watching a few minutes of footage from each of the Apollo missions to the moon and remembering the old days...

You can find the films here (for the time being no doubt)...

Highlight of the Day : Thinking about the moon....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fly me to the moon...

Playlist
Various – Tracks for Celebratory 10CD Set
Culture – Two Sevens Clash
Brian Eno – Apollo
Art Pepper – The Return of Art Pepper
Impossible Songs – Intermittent Stimuli

Owya – up not quite as early as planned and so we missed the 10:40 showing of the new Duncan Jones movie, “Moon”...

Saw Jim Kerr on the TV though, talking about last night’s gig...

Out to the Cameo for the 1:30 screening and this was a brilliant film – totally recommended if you’re into thought provoking, rather than shoot ‘em up CGI’d Sci-Fi – think “2001”, “Silent Running”, “Dark Star”...



Here’s the trailer...



An absolute pleasure – music by Pop Will Eat Itself’s Clint Mansell was good too and a nice touch by the management to have Eno’s “Apollo” as the pre-film soundtrack as we sat waiting for the show to begin...

Forgot to mention – I was driving for the first time in six weeks – and we stopped off at Sainsbury on the way home and picked up some nice burgers and relish for late lunch/early dinner – cooking them together back at home to the groovy sounds of Art Pepper...



...and ate them as we watched Tom Watson throw away the open...



Meg the Black cat was not impressed...



Whilst doing the dishes afterwards, managed to break the handle off my unfeasibly large “fish” cup which has featured in a few pics over the years here – so it’s all over for that particular piece of crockery – also managed to slash my left thumb open – any excuse to get Anne to finish the dishes...

Fraday's "Law & Order : Criminal Intent" made it all better...

Listened to Impossible Songs new album and was making notes to send to them when I accidentally deleted the document – very annoying – the LP is good though...

Finished the day writing this up whilst listening to Eno again and then watching the very funny Dara O'Briain on BBC2 - an edited version of the show we saw a couple of years back at the Playhouse...

Highlight of the Day : Moon

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alive and kicking...

Playlist
Various – Tracks for Celebratory 10CD Set
Ornette Coleman – Beauty is a Rare Thing
Sandro Ivo Bartoli – Fugitives
The Fireman – Electric Arguments
Brian Eno – Apollo
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Soundingfall
Simple Minds – Various

Up reasonably early and, having previously noted that some of the tracks for the proposed celebratory 10 CD set were not up to scratch, I went about replacing no fewer than 38 of them...

Then, at 10:30, out with Anne to the outskirts of town from where I caught a bus to the centre (soundtracked by the far out sounds of Mr Ornette Coleman) – noting what a mess they’ve made of Princes Street...


Bummed around for 40 minutes or so, having arranged to meet with Dr Prog at the library...

In doing so, I discovered at Ripping records that Dar Williams is in town on 21 November – so I of course immediately secured tickets...

This is my schedule in mid November:-

19 Yes - Edinburgh
21 Dar Williams - Edinburgh
22 Gong/Steve Hillage - Edinburgh
25 Alice Cooper – Glasgow

Pretty good for someone who doesn’t enjoy live music – or rather fellow live music audients and their cretinous behaviour..

The Exec Producer will accompany me to Dar and Alice, the other two are solo outings...

So, met Dr Prog and we both borrowed from the library – I partook of Paul McCartney’s last, Eno’s moon expedition soundtracks, and classics by Culture and Robert Wyatt...

Fine wraps followed by coffee and wee bit of cake each sustained, before we took a stroll down to Avalanche on the Royal Mile where the Doc splashed out on a few classical discs but missed a piano recital from Sandro Ivo Bartoli of pieces by Casella, Grainger and Pabst, which your correspondent nabbed for £1.99...

I left the doc outside the Fruitmarket Gallery looking for a suitable pub for a quiet drink and some cricket watching - that's him waiting to cross at the lights...



Made my way back home and prepared for this evening’s entertainment whilst listening to some of the new acquisitions...

Off out at five and back into town to Pancho Villa’s on the Royal Mile for some excellent Mexican cuisine in the company of three colleagues and their partners before walking up towards the castle and meeting up with a fourth (“The Man”) and his partner...

We at the offices of “The Man” do work for Simple Minds and so, tonight, we were on the guest list (this was the Exec Producer and my’s fourth SM concert in recent years)...

After a couple of drinks (allowing us to miss support act The Silencers) we got soaked during the five minute walk to the venue and by the then misdirection of various stewards as we tried to gain entry to the VIP area...

Thankfully this was a covered box - the gig itself was excellent - shortened of course re the 10:30 curfew – but I have to say they do put on a rather good show...



Probably over 100 at the aftershow so not too exclusive...

We walked up the esplanade into the castle itself past various flaming torches...



...and enjoyed spectacular views of the city...



Of the band, only singer Jim Kerr was a no-show – but he’s on telly from London first thing tomorrow so I suppose he had an excuse...

Surprisingly though, no music and a paying bar – I even saw the promoter forking out for a glass of Red Wine...

Still, didn’t pay for the gig and, unlike those who did, we didn’t get thoroughly soaked during the first half of the gig, so these are not complaints, merely comments - just letting you know the celeb world isn't always what it’s all cracked up to be...

Around 1am we walked back down the Royal Mile to the car of our transport buddies and were tucked up in bed by 1:40...

A good day...

Highlight of the Day : The Minds were good but I think it was being up the back of the bus watching the Saturday morning go by whilst listening to Ornette Coleman to be honest...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Feeesh...

Playlist
Lee Morgan - Volume 2: Sextet
Art Pepper – The Return of Art Pepper
Art Pepper – Modern Art
Art Pepper – Meets the Rhythm Section
Art Pepper – The Art Pepper Quartet
Jimmy Smith - Back to the Chicken Shack
Simple Minds - New Gold Dream
The Stills - Without Feathers
Alice Peacock - Real Day
Alice Peacock - Alice Peacock
Alice Peacock - Who I Am

A rainy day...



No record shops at lunchtime...

In the evening, we cooked...



We tried out a coconut fish curry recipe...

Here are both the coconut and the fish...



The results were deemed a qualified success...



The dark bits are "curry leaves"...

As we're used to spicier items it did seem a little tame perhaps...

Tame but tasty nonetheless...

Later on, I listened to music and also took a look through some of the movie clips I've taken over the last couple of years...

This included a few performances by your correspondent - they did not bode well for my upcoming gig in October...

Ah confidence is a fickle companion...

Late on "The Wedding Crashers" entertained though the EP had to head off early due to the possible onset of the Lurgi...

After a bout of reading on the moon landing 40 years ago (which I remember watching at my Grandmother's house in Glasgow), some surfing on e-bay secured the new album from one of my favourite ladies, Alice Peacock...

Look forward to its arrival - and her songs took me to sleep...

Highlight of the Day : Cooking with the Exec Producer...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stirrike...

Playlist
Lambchop – OH (Ohio)
Secret Machines – Secret Machines
Autorotation - Everything is Everything
Dar Williams – Promised Land
Depeche Mode – Singles 1981-1996
Flare Acoustic Arts League – Cut
Hawkwind – The Space Ritual
Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
Matt Eaton - Finish Your Chips
Moby – Last Night
Derringer – Singles A’s & B’s
Sherwood – A Different Light
Simon & Garfunkel – Bookends
Steve Abel and the Chrysalids - Flax Happy
Van Tramp – Van Tramp
We Are Scientists – Brain Thrust Mastery
William Fitzsimmons – Goodnight
Jimmy Smith - Back to the Chicken Shack
The Stills – Without Feathers

Soundtracked today, including whilst taking a walk over the Dean Bridge...



...by many of the albums I’ve been buying recently, especially those from the recent Manchester trip...

FOPP attracted yet again at lunchtime and I partook of Canadian band the Stills’ sophomore (as they say) LP, “Without Feathers” – a track “Helicopters” appeared on an NME compilation I bought after last year’s holiday in Canada and impressed...

Upstairs, and a Jimmy Smith classic on Blue Note was mine too...

A fiver for the two...

Another warm but stormy day...



Back home, Anne was out ten pin bowling (three strikes in a row apparently), so the house was blasting with new music...

Upon her arrival back home, “Mock the Week”, “That Mitchell & Webb Look”, "Reaper", “Question Time” and “This Week” entertained before we turned in...

Highlight of the Day : The very irreverent Frankie Boyle on MTW...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Get in the swing, boy...

Playlist
UK – In the Dead of Night (3CD-R)
Lee Morgan - Volume 2: Sextet
Art Pepper – The Return of Art Pepper
Art Pepper – Modern Art
Art Pepper – Meets the Rhythm Section
Art Pepper – The Art Pepper Quartet
Lambchop – OH (Ohio)
Secret Machines – Secret Machines

Up and off to bring home some legitimate bacon rather than sick pay – although I have been working from home as much as possible during my time away from the offices of “The Man”...

Of course I’ve been suffering from FOPP withdrawal symptoms – nine days away...

And so, I took a wander along at lunchtime...

There were indeed some new delights - firstly, the latest by Secret Machines which, only a few weeks ago was a whopping £12 – now £3...

Then Lamchop’s last, again just £3...

Upstairs, intending on partaking of a few more classical bargains, I stumbled across a Lee Morgan Blue Note for just £2 and, finally, a 2CD set for £5 of four Art Pepper albums (the CD of just one of which was in the racks elsewhere for £7)...

Nutter alert...

A stormy and sunny day...



...on which a FOPP bag full of goodies was brought home....



...and with nowt on the telly, after a splendid home made beef chilli from the Exec Producer, it was upstairs for some listening and some typing and some reading...

So, still not 100% over the swine flu I feel, and the arm causing pain but, getting back in the swing perhaps...

Highlight of the Day : New purchases...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tronic tonic...

Playlist
John Surman Glancing Backwards : The Dawn Anthology
Various – 10 CD Set

Ripped 190 tracks to the hard drive in preparation for a celebratory 10CD set...



Spent some time surfing Youtube and found some previously unseen clips...

Robert Fripp playing a Frippertronics piece on what looks like mainstream US TV...

Some rare footage of 72-74 era King Crimson...

The Allan Holdsworth Group I saw play in Glasgow last September....

Watched “Freefall” re the property market balls up – ok they had to pack a lot in in 90 minutes and they did it quite well but it was still a little too pat...

Listened to more British Jazz – Nucleus being the highlight of the evening...

Back to the offices of “The Man” tomorrow – swine flu hopefully behind me...

Highlight of the Day : Undiscovered Fripp...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moped...

Playlist
Various – Prog 1967-1979
Circa – Live 2008
Harmonia – Harmonia Deluxe
Daft Punk – Human After All
If – Tea Break Over
Jeff Beck Group - Truth
The Revolutionaries – Channel One Dub Room
Roy Harper – BBC Tapes Vol 6 In Concert 1978
Various – Zunior Sampler 4.12
John Surman - Glancing Backwards : The Dawn Anthology

Moped around the house most of the day apart from watching a very funny set on video from comedian Sean Lock...

Worked on the running order for a new 10CD set for an upcoming celebration...

The latest edition of The Wire arrived...

Once I’d gotten it away from Meg the Black Cat...



...I gave it a read, the feature on British Jazz in the 60’s inspiring me to take a listen to my John Surman anthology of “out there” stuff

At bed time, I was unable to interest Meg the Black cat in Surman or his contemporaries, Ian carr (and Nucleus) or Keith Tippett...



Not to worry...

Highlight of the Day : Far out jazz, man...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Clever crow...

Playlist
Gentle Giant – The Edge of Twilight
Various – Prog Rock 1967-1979
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Songs and Soundscapes 1996-2009

Slept in reasonably late then, the Gentle Giant frenzy continued with their 2CD anthology, as did the prog frenzy...

Breakfast at home then did nothing all day really...

Still not 100% but to Anne’s mum’s for a small family tea, just me, Anne, Keith, Maureen and Anne’s mum...

Anne stopped off at Tesco on the way for some fish sauce for her mum – I stayed in the car, under quarantine, and was impressed by this crow’s idea of picking dead insects off the bumpers of the parked cars...



High in protein no doubt...

Excellent Thai Chicken, followed by Mary’s strawberry crème tart thing, which was so tasty, it trumped her best sponge in the world...



Home just after eight and watched TV with headphones on – Gentle Giant again...

Compiled a very long list of music for an upcoming event...

Highlight of the Day : Might well be the dessert pictured above....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Return of the giant...

Playlist
Various – Prog Rock 1967-1973
Dvorak – String Quartets
Grieg – Complete Chamber Music
Lennon/McCartney – The Beatles Symphony
Lennon/McCartney – Beatles Go Baroque
Steve Reid Ensemble – Spirit Walk
Hebden/Reid – The Exchange Sessions Vol 1
Seventh Key – The Raging Fire
Gentle Giant – Interview in Concert
Gentle Giant – 11 Albums on Shuffleplay

Up around 8 or so and to the back room where I started re-reading Paul Stump’s book on Prog Rock, “The Music’s All That Matters”, whilst listening back to a couple of the CDs compiled over the last two days...

Breakfast at home, Dvorak’s String Quartet in D Major soundtracking its preparation...

Then, feeling fairly upbeat, retreated again to the back room with Grieg’s String Quartet No 1 and followed this with two attempts at classical-ification of the music of The Beatles...

Then, some tasty jazz from Steve Reid, followed by his experiments with Fridge/FourTet’s Kieren Hebden and, finally, some reasonable heavy metal from Seventh Key - all while Anne was out shopping - I am, of course, still confined to barracks...

Whilst listening, I sorted out some recent purchases into alpha order...



...storage is becoming a problem and full alphabetisation isn’t currently possible...

Helped Anne out slightly in the garden – I am a rubbish gardener unafflicted with hay fever while Anne is a great gardener, totally afflicted with hay fever...

Prepared and enjoyed lunch then watched one of the worst films we’ve ever seen – “Being John Malkovitch” which has been lying around on DVD for over a year – wish we hadn’t bothered...

More buggering about with prog rock followed and, purely by chance (via a mis-click), I discovered that three of the originals, Kerry Minnear, Gary Green and Malcolm Mortimer have formed a new seven piece band, Three Friends..

They are out and about performing GG classics around the world – heading soon to the States and Japan – the vids on Youtube are worth a look if you’re a GG fanatic like me...

Of course this sparked off a Gentle Giant frenzy which was interrupted by an aborted trip the New Happy Palace (I stayed in the car) which was shut for holidays and back to Wong’s (I stayed in the car) for some nice Chinese takeaway...

We watched some of “T in the Park” – the same rubbish “too many talking heads” coverage as Glastonbury last week – then, a DVD of “Al Murray Pub Landlord”, who then turned up as headliner on Michael McIntyre’s show...

As Anne snoozed on the sofa I was drawn in to the film “Armageddon” and stayed up till gone 1 watching that, whilst taping “The Culture Show” for an appearance by Kraftwerk, to which Count Brodski had alerted me earlier in the day with a text...

Not a great Saturday really but I’m not complaining...



Highlight of the Day : Discovering Gentle Giant are back, kind of...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Comfortably numb...

Playlist
Various – Prog Rock 1967-1973
Impossible Songs – Intermittent Stimuli
William Fitzsimmons – Goodnight

A day much the same as yesterday as I continued to monitor work e-mails and compile a very large collection of prog rock...

Alerted by Dr Prog, I also bought a single ticket (front row circle) to see Yes in November at the Usher Hall - in the same week as Alice Cooper in Glasgow - and shortly before seeing both Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys (again) a couple of days apart - Winter's not looking too bad...

But, right now, it's definitely summer and, outside, the sun was beating down...

Meg the Black Cat luxuriated in a particularly sunny spot...



The Exec Producer was ferrying brother-in-law Keith and wife Maureen to a wedding in the wilds of East Lothian – on a beach – good day for it...

Meanwhile, the postie brought a get well card from the Impossible Songs along with a further tonic, in the shape of their new LP, which made for some palate refreshing listening late in the day after the prog marathon...



A call too from Count Brodski and a good chat. His 82 year old dad had to have one of his feet amputated today. Puts things into sharp perspective...

Finished ripping the prog tracks (160 of them) to the hard drive and laid all the source discs in question out on the floor to record for posterity...



Of course Meg the Black Cat had to get in on the act...



Superb pork, mozzarella and pesto dish from Annie tonight – mmm, mmm...

For the fifth time this week, TV highlight of the day was “Torchwood” – and they managed to maintain the quality right to the end - which seemed also to spell the end of this "Dr Who" spin-off - an excellent mini-series nonetheless...

It was followed by "Law & Order : Criminal Intent" and, on tape, the first in a new series of the superb "Mock the Week", including some well desreved jokes aimed at the followers of Michael Jackson...

A call from Dr Prog late on revealed his mix up in his concert ticket purchases...

With Yes playing in Edinburgh on the same night that he already has a ticket to see Steve Hackett in Glasgow and, unable to face a trip on the next day to Newcastle, he felt forced to secure a ticket for the Topographic Progsters in Manchester...

Of course, only after the deal was done, did he discover that the date for that clashes with already purchased seats for Gong and Steve Hillage in Edinburgh - long story short, the ticket for Gong is kindly bequeathed to me...

Winter gets even better...

Will also be a guest at upcoming gigs by both Simple Minds and U2...

And I do so hate live music concerts - my idea of hell on earth would be to attend this weekend's "T in the Park"...

Highlight of the Day : Discovering more excellent music hidden away in my own collection...