Edinburgh Doors Open Day

Jeana and I went into ‘Big Edinburgh’ yesterday and saw some great places including The Drumsheugh Toll which plays host to The Edinburgh Society of Musicians who have a nice line in humour in their signs.

This was at the bottom of the stairs.

And this was at the top!

Recent Listening – Teddy Thomson

I saw this guy supporting Lucinda Williams at The Barrowlands in Glasgow last year.

I thought he sucked.

Acoustic Guitar, no band, huge venue, privileged son of Richard and Linda Thomson.

No chance mate.

Then he brought out this.

A middlebrow, tuneful box of magic.  It’s fun, it’s bleak at points (but only if you consider suicide bleak). It rock and rolls, but it’s pop.

Get off ya ass and buy it.


Recent listening – Glasvegas

It’s hard to write about phenomena that are gestating in your back yard.

Glasvegas are Scotland’s latest phenomenon and with with some merit.

My mate Iain, who should have no real connection with this band (he said ageistly), has been quietly raving about them for a year or so.

He was right.

Much has been written about the Spectorish ‘wall of sound’ they create and the similarity to Jesus and Mary Chain. Well, for a start I can reveal that they are as far removed from Phil Spector as I am.

What is intriguing about the production of this record though is the sheer intensity of it – that’s the ‘wall of sound’ I think reviewers are referring to.

But it’s not the volume or the depth of the music that creates that, so-called, wall, it’s the relentlessness of it (for instance there are actually no start and stops between tracks – it’s just a fuzz.)

This is a big and important aspect of this record because it makes it epic.

The vernacular in the vocals are well catalogued but this is one of those rare records (I suppose like White Stripes and Foo Fighters) where actually the drumming is the essence. And the wall.

It is tribal, incessant, preternatural. It is what drives the record forward.

Plenty folk have had their say.

I approve. It is, for me, a much more interesting breakthrough than the flim flam of Franz Ferdinand which has most certainly not stood the test of time.

Current reading – Engleby by Sebastian faulks

I think he might be a) dodgy or b) misunderstood.

I think he might be a) dodgy or b) misunderstood.

I have to say, to start with , that this is probably the best book Jeana has ever recommended to me (and purchased for that matter), but I don’t want to get too carried away with it in case it doesn’t deliver.

The fact is; I am on page 112 of the paperback and I am gobsmacked.

It is hilarious. But so, so black.

Anyway the reason for writing this post was not to review the book (that’ll follow) so much as to recall something that had completely left my consciousness. This was brought explicitly to life on page 112 of this wonderful novel – the running out of money in Student Unions in the days before cash machines were commonplace.

Oh ya bugger! How harsh was that?

This book is set in the early 1970’s, but I studied, sorry read, at Stirling a decade later. Nevertheless, the issue was the same.

Would the bar staff cash a cheque so one could get a last round in? Could they? Could they? Will they? Oh thank God. They will.

Two black and tans and a bottle of Nooky Broon please…

(Review will follow.)

Grays School of art

It was Amy’s first ever University recce today and so off we set to Aberdeen to see what Robert Gordon’s Art School, Gray’s, had to offer

On the way the car hit a momentous odometric milestone.  It had a certain integrity and symmetry to it.

Well, that's lucky.

Well, that's lucky.

On arrival I paid a visit to the Gents and discovered a really nice piss of art.

On the way home we overtook more great Scottish vernacular art.

What a creative day.