Collosal


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Young Marble Giants’ Collosal Youth is a monumental album and has just been re-released on CD after 37 years.

My vinyl version is virtually unplayable now.

It comes a three CD box set with all the singles, their Peel session and more. It is full of lengthy and fawning sleeve notes. The lyrics are abysmal but this is an all time classic album that MUST be in everybodies collection and, you know what, despite it’s low-fi production values, student pretentiousness (although they weren’t students) and fayness par excellence. It remains what it was when it came out.

A stonewall classic.

That was them then…

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And this is them now…

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Happy Birthday Grandad.


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Seems it’s the time of much celebration. My Grandad (him with the baldie – runs in the family) was born on August 23rd 1907 which, had he not passed away 30 years ago, would have made him a centenarian today.

Not to worry about the small matter of him not being with us, we had a family party in his honour anyway.

The party was held in a church hall in Winchburgh and this was where I stumbled upon a very interesting fact.

Winchburgh, Broxburn and, of all places, Addiwell were the world’s first oil industry boom towns.

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The orange coloured shale bings which dot around the local landscape were the byproduct (well waste to be more accurate) of the parafin industry in that area.

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Parafin was extracted from the shalebeds and was the world’s biggest oil supply for many years from mid 19th century until it ran out in the 1960’s.

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“Bugger me.” I thought. ” I never knew that”.

And yes, before any smarty farty Jambo points it out.  Correct, even my Grandad never saw Hibs lift the Scottish Cup.  There; that’s spoilt your fun eh!

Factory Records, Tony Wilson RIP


Kenneth Fowler wrote a brilliant tribute to Tony Wilson on his blog which I do not intend to attempt to upstage.

I was a huge fan of Factory records boasting recordings by Joy Division, New Order, The Wake, Crispy Ambulance, Happy Mondays, Cabaret Voltaire, The Durutti Column, OMD, and A Certain Ratio on this venerable label.

Just being on Factory Records was a thing of greatness and everything about the label was stylish.

But this is my favourite thing which I spotted as a callow youth.

The catalogue numbers were clearly an important part of the whole shtick.

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To demonstrate have a look at this list

FAC 25 – Closer by Joy Division – their second album

FAC 50 – Movement by New Order – Their first album

FAC 75 – Power Corruption and lies by New Order – also an album

FAC 100 – Low life by New Order – Their third album

FAC 150 – Brotheerhood by New Order – Their fourth Album

FAC 200 – Substance by New Order – Their best of album

FAC 250 – Substance by Joy Division- Their best of album

FAC 275 – Technique by New Order – Their fifth album

FAC 300 – An untiltled New Order Album released on Cassette only (only 5 copies were ever made)

FAC 350 – Not allocated

How cool is that? No Joy Division or New Order singles ever got a catalogue number ending in 25, 50, 75 or 00. Only albums. And, God knows, there were plenty of singles to be afforded that accolade.
I’ll pick my anorak up now shall I?

Steve Wright, Sunday Love songs


Every week Jeana and I listen to the guff that folk spout on the soporama show.

But this morning Jeana shrieked.

“I hate that song. I HATE THAT SONG”; making me think that “I’m not in love” by 10cc was part of some jilting exercise she hadn’t told me about. But no, she just HATES THAT SONG.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the letter I’ve been planning to write to him for some time and I’m sure some of you must have had the same idea (If you’ve heard his toe curling two hours.)

It goes something like this

Dear Steve

It would make me so happy if you’d read out this letter on the air. My wife Jeana and I are such big fans of your wonderful show. In fact we record it and lissten to it time and again through the week in anticipation of you coming on air again. So, you can imagine how we would feel if you actually read out our letter.

Jeana and I met in 1943 in a military hospital in Belgium. I was having an ovary removed as the field doctor had just found out that I was a hermaphrodite. But it’s OK now, I am all man, even if I am getting on in years.

Jeana had no prejudice whatsoever towards my hermaphrodism, unlike some of my other, rather ungentalmenly, fellow patients who used to taunt me with cries of “There he/she goes” every time I went to the WC.

Jeana was a tower of strength at this time, and remains so to this day. So, as soon as I recovered I asked her to wed me. She accepted with good grace and we have been together ever since.

63 adoring years.

Steve, I can’t begin to put into words how much this lady means to me. She has often bitten off more than she could chew. (And believe me that was painful.)

We have 7 lovely children and 42 adoring grandchildren. Even 2 great grand children with, believe it or not, a great, great grandchild on the way courtesy of our delightful 8 year old great grandson, Ranolph.

Jeana hasn’t been feeling so well recently because of the CJD and Pleuracy she got on holiday in Iraq. And I fear she may have to have her other leg amputated too. But she still has the tine for a smile and a cuddle. Although that’s not so easy in her straightjacket.

She means so much to me and I hope her prison sentence for that mugging will be repealed because the women was due it.

She’s my lover, my best friend, my soul mate.  We’ve had our ups and downs but she’s always there for me.  Could you play ‘True’ by Spandau Ballet just for us? *

She’d love to hear her name read out on the radio, so I hope you will.

All the best Steve.

Mark

* Thanks Ian (see comments)

 

Or something like that.

The name game by Shirley Ellis


Mark Lamaar (standing in for Jonathon Ross) opened his radio show this morning with this sublime song. It is unique. So I tried to buy it on itunes and Amazon.

Impossible.

It’s out of print and only available at £50 as a collector’s item.

I don’t suppose any of you out there in WordPress land have it do you?

Or know where I might get it?

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