Talking To Girls About Duran Duran….not just a book but a musical journey back to the 8os!

Just like when i do talk to girls about duran duran, or anything for that matter, the book was too short but oh so sweet.


 It was a great read, all about the authors growing up through the 80s, and how the music of that decade shaped  his path to young adulthood. He had a geniune love for all things musical during this decade, good and bad, cool and very dodgy, and still looks back on all of them fondly, not discarding anything, as this was the soundtrack to his youth and when he revisits them they’re little musical memories of a golden time which, clearly, isnt as bad as people would have you believe.


 He treated the artists he loved as characters in his life that came alive through vinyl, cassettes and even cassingles, and talked directly to him guiding him with advice, good and totaly useless on growing up and trying to work out the many mysterious ways of how women work.


 He talked of Duran Duran being a girls band, as in woman loved this band to a degree that was baffling to boys and men the world over, saying that if women ever stopped loving this band then the band would simply cease to exist. He also noted the Duran Duran knew all of this and as theyve proved many times over the year simply didnt give a damn.


 He talked abou the music he loved, and still does, without ever being embarressed about any of the poppier, throwaway ones that as people get older would erase from their musical upbringing for fear of eternal slaggings. With his soundtrack ranging from Duran Duran, REM, the Replacements, Flock Of Seagulls, Human League, Culture CLub, O.M.D, the Go-Gos, David Bowie, The Smiths to Madonna, Ray Parker Jnr, Debbie Gibson, Hayzi Fantazee (for one song at least), New Kids On The Block and many more.


 It took me back to my musical upbringing, which if you know me at all, will know was bizarre to say the least, and i have, like this guy, never felt shamed in telling anyone who would listen what started me on my lifetime journey of loving music as much as i  do.


Whether it was going to see my first group (if i havent told you already, it was Curiosity Killed The Cat at the Barras, about 1986), or seeing Wet Wet Wet (4 times) and loving every moment of it. Or going to buy Adam Ants ‘Apollo 9’ with my hard earned paper money only to find it was sold out and having to make do with ‘Ghostbusters’ by Ray Parker Jnr instead, or standing at the counter in Boots with only enough money to buy one single and arguing with myself whether to buy ‘The Only Way Is Up’ by Yazz and the Plastic Population or ‘Can I Play With Madness’ by Iron Maiden. (Yazz won that day!). Or having a the owner of the record stall in the forum and a policeman both laughing at me when i bought Whams ‘Freedom’ with great joy in 1984.  Well Noel Gallagher though it was a good buy as he virtually stole the song and changed to words and speeding it up for one of his many famous Oasis B-sides ‘Fade Away’.


  I recommend anyone who loved the 80s and who loves music to read this book, if you can find it. it took me ages on my mission to hunt it down after chris put me on the road to get this book, feeling that if there ever was a book out there written especialy for me, it was this one.


 As one of the lines in the book goes…….


‘Fear of pop is an infantile disorder – you should face up to it like a man!’


The Big Dish reunion and random saturday madness earlier this year!

Imagine my surprise when, not only did i find out that the Big Dish were playing in the main hall at the Abc, but also that the place was mobbed. Where did all these people come from? and if they had actually bought these guys cds back in the late 80s the probably would have still been kicking around.

   But, anyway, they were back for, apparantly one night only as part of the Celtic Connection and after the reception they got i could easily see them doing  more gigs, just like what happened when Love And Money got back to do the same kind of thing last year.

 Kicked of the day shooting up to Glasgow with jodie, a quick pop into fopp and an Explosions In The SKy cd later we were flying up to sauchiehall street for a slap up China King Buffet.

  God, i dont know where Jodie puts it but i was ready to burst by the time i finally admitted defeat and  could eat no more.

 Next up for heading to the cinema to see NEW YEARS EVE, i decided that i could easily sit through 2 hours of this rubbish before heading out to my gig that night, and assured jodie that the place would probably be empty as the film had already been on for over a month.

   Oh dear. just as we got into the cinema after a quick dash to Hmv, couldnt find the cd i was looking for but still managed to come out with the new GIRLS cd and ‘Go Tell Fire To The Mountain’ by WU LYF, i couldnt believe the the FULL sign was flashing on the only showing of NEW YEARS EVE that day.

   Jodie was gutted for about a whole 5 mins untill i told her she could get some dvds and stuff so she was more than happy.

Then after a quick, dear, drink in Costa (Costafortune!) jodie got a train then taxi home and i stayed up to wait for stevie coming up, who was my gig and drinking partner for the night.

 While waiting for him i had a quick pint in Wetherspoons, too busy and too noisey, one in the Two Heided man at the station, which is a tiny wee football pub, which not only did i stick out cos i have no interest AT ALL in football but i had a Murakami book with me which would definetely had made me stick out.  Though going by the people in here, if i had planked down a colouring book on the bar they would have still been scratching their heads.

   Then i thought, i’ll jump into the station bar and grab a quick half and use their toilets as well.  I thought i had misheard when he said £3.15 for a vodka and lemonade then he informed me that it was actually £3.50!!!!!

  And they had Glenn Mederios on the jukebox!!!!

 Finally got stephen and shot up to Sauchiehall Street, and was taking him to this cheap pub i had been up at a few weeks earlier.  I didnt have a clue what it was called, and managed to walk right by the place and ended up in Nice N Sleazys for one.

   Back out we had no probs finding it and were shocked when i found out that drinks had went up from £1.60 to £2.00 since the last time i was in there, still was the cheapest drinks of the night.

 Fired across to the Abc for half 8 and timed it perfectly for the Big Dish coming on stage, and heading straight into things with PROSPECT STREET.  What followed was an hour and a half of excellent tunes, taking me back some 20 odd years and i couldnt believe my ears when they did BURN from their CREEPING UP ON JESUS album. I was more than happy after that and they even ended up the night with a cover of ALL THE YOUNG DUDES.  And anyone who was with me a few new year eves ago, yes i did sing along, and YES i did sing the right words this time.

 Back out the gig and tried to grab a few quick drinks but that cheap pub we were in was now only doing functions now so we decided we would head down nearer the station and  take out chances.

 When you hear you name getting shouted out on saturday night in the middle of Sauchihall street, your not expecting in to be someone who lives in Australia! But it was Micha (sorry wrong spelling probably…me sha) back over to visit family and friends and possibly regretting on doing this in the middle of january. A quick hello and catch up then me and stevie shot down to the station and decided whats the worst that could happen with jumping into the Toby Jug for a quick half.

 My god, this pub was like walking slap bang into the middle of a saloon in the Wild West, with a karaoke instead of a piano player in the corner.

  And i say karaoke, but the two singers we had the misfortune to hear seemed to be going through some kind of mental primal scream therapy. soundtracked by the stereophoncs and Queen.

  We were slap bang in the middle of FuckWit city and had no trouble guzzling down a couple of halfs each before getting the hell out of there unscalped.

 Train home, and for the last train it was unusually quiet then it was a last hour of songs on the jukebox in the Burns and stephen trying his best to get me as drunk as possible in the little time that was left. “fancy a pint scott?” “want a vodka to go with that?”

   well it would have been impolite to have said no, even if i knew how to say that word!

 Another successful night up in glasgow with drink, music and a little hint of madness.

James Grant and Love And Money!

  Im off to see James Grant at the weekend in the Oran Mor in the West End of Glasgow as part of the West End Festival this saturday night, in what should be a intimate, acoustic treat of musical delights from the Love And Money frontman.  With a new Love And Money album recorded and ready for release later in the year and a back catalouge of solo and band material that just gets better with age its got the makings of a great night.

  And a good wee drink beforehand will definitely set the night off.  And this has got me looking back to when Love And Money got back together again for a special show for the Celtic Connection a few years back.

  This is how i remember that night.


Best text of the weekend came from jodie last night as she asked, “what band is it you’re going to see again?”.

 “Love and Money” i answered back

, to which she classically replied “that the band with shaun ryder?”. ???!!!??? Ha. sadly jodie, no.


   The non appearance of shaun ryder aside, it was an excellent night, with James Grant and the guys taking a packed audience back in time, playing two of their ablums in their entirety.


 They kicked off the night with the ‘Dogs In The Traffic’ album, shuffling the tracklisting around so that they could save the best for last in the first half with the amazing song ‘Winter’.

  James was in fine form, cracking jokes and telling stories throughtout the night that had the audience in stiches, where he even introduced ‘Johnnys Not Here’ as a song about him being the bastard child of John F Kennedy.


 A twenty minute break seperated the two albums, so a much needed toilet break (too many pre gig drinks, as usual) was welcome before the second half kicked off with the ‘Strange Kind Of Love’ album.

    James told a funny wee story about the recording of this album in america where they happened to be in the studio right beside Prince and their, failed, attempt to try and get a meeting with the little guy.

  He also dedicated ‘Walk The Last Mile’ to late band member Bobby, and told how the song was inspired over an Indian meal with his mum.

  Strange kind of love, The shape of things to come, Jocelyn Square and Up Excalator got the crowd going and he even brought on singer Skin (no not from Skunk Anansie, the Hipsway guy), who basically looked like he had taken a wrong turning at the back stage bar and had stumbled onto the stage by mistake, although he did seem to be enjoying himself with all the dancing he was doing.

   They finished of with Hallelujah Man and eveyone was up on their feets, telling the crowd that this was the last song, and with them shouting back in protest that this couldnt be the case he fired back, “im fucking telling you!”.


  They did come back on for one more tune, sadly not You’re Beautiful  (one of the best songs ever written) but their ealy, banned from radio and should have been a hit, classic ‘The Canybar Express.


 Finally leaving the stage at half ten, which if you count in the twenty minute interval, meant it was a Bruce Springsteenesque almost 3 hour show.

 The band were truly moved at the reception they and their songs were greeted by after all these years, and hopefully its not the last we hear of them them.

Bright Eyes…….burning like fire! (reminiscing for feb 2011)

 When i mention Bright Eyes, most peoples thoughts turn to their teary eyed youth and feeling pride and emanicaption at being allowed to go out on a saturday afternoon with their friends to enjoy an unchaparoned visit to the local cinema, to find themselves distraught and youthfully sad at cartoon rabbits running and fighting for their lives in an animated world that is miles away from the cushioned disney dream they were brought up and forced to believe in.


 So its quite apt that conor oberst has got his old friends back for, apparantly, one final fling under the band name that brought this unique songwriter to fame in a small, old church, venue to sing his apolyptic end of world lullabies, that offer endless questions to lost love, faith and happiness.  He never claims to have the answers to any of the aforementioned questions, but his intelligent, thought provoking and sometimes mind bending lyrics ,which give the people who wish to delve in and follow, a hope of a far more enticing place to try and understand and live in, than any real life prophets, politicians and people of god could ever try to do.


 Quite rightly proclaimed as this generations Bob Dylan, his music, if you give it a chance, will not only move you, but will make you think and question that what is percieved as a normal,accepeted way of life is far from it.


 Although music is accepted in the general scheme of things as a throw away 3 mintue disstraction from life, to me, and (hopefully) many other people, its more a way of life.  it doesnt just play as musak in the background of daytime normality, but soundtracks a lifetime of hope, fears and dreams.


 This gig was a celebration in the on going growth of conor as a unique singer and songwriter,and if it was a glorious swansong for all that is beautiful and challenging about Bright Eyes music, he has been reborn in an old worn down church in scotland, to spread his wings, leaving an amazing body of music like a choir of angels timelessly waiting to be plucked out the unbelievable dark skies, if you care to look for them.


 If Renne Zellwegger can say to Tom (Jerry Maguire) Cruise…..”you had me at hello…”



 Then i can positively say with hand on heart, and with whatever faith i have to believe in to whatever god i believe in, that Conor had me at……..


“if you hate the taste of wine, why do you drink it till you’re blind?”