Christmas is coming ….

…. the goose is getting fat, but this moose is keeping trim. After lapsing somewhat from my daily walks, I’m getting back in the swing, after all it’s just three weeks to my annual NYD hike up to Arthur’s Seat. Well, that and the smattering of snow we had yesterday morning enticed me out, so two days on the trot I’ve been up in Arthur’s foothills. There is more snow forecast over the next week, yay. I do hope there’ll be enough for sledging. One time recently when I was down in Yorkshireland, I snaffled the old tray sled from the garden shed, well, no-one else uses it; bought years ago it was, in Aviemore when I was but a wee calf.

Christmas plans seem to be going well, cards all sent, presents mostly bought, the date is set for heading to the mothership. I’ve decided not to make a christmas cake this year – shock, horror! I know! Instead I’ll make plenty of parkin, it’ll be good sustenance when I’m freezing in the bleak midwinter! And, a cake is in the process down Yorkshire way, so I will get some of that (yeah, it won’t be a patch on mine, but I applaud the effort).

At the cinema they’ve reissued Elf, you know I’ve never actually sat down and watched it all the way through. I must have seen all of it over the years, bits here and there when it’s on telly, so I reckon this maybe I should take the opportunity to see it – I was going to add with no distractions, but, have you been to the cinema recently?! I went to see The Menu last week, a brilliant, dark film but the amount of noises from rustling various food packaging, folk unwrapping sweets, aargh, atmosphere flattened time and time again!! They obviously not really into it that their attention was on putting something it their mouth, rather than was what about to happen next. And breathe, rant over.

I’m almost tempted to see The Menu again, hope for a better crowd. I do fancy seeing Matilda at the flicks too, I wasn’t bothered about it but then I went to see Tim Minchin: Back when it was in cinemas last month – wow, he’s so good, and he wrote the songs for Matilda, I’m going! Back is bloody excellent, the man is so sickeningly talented and brilliant. I got home after seeing it, wondering what I put in my Fringe diary when I saw him, I had the feeling it wasn’t an outstanding review….

Ah, yeah. Thinking back that may well have been more about other stuff than Mr Minchin. Bud and I had just seen Aeneas Faversham Forever by our favourites the Penny Dreadfuls earlier that evening, the night before included Dead Cat Bounce … Late Night Radio. Our Fringe starter had been Sammy J‘s brilliant first Edinburgh Fringe appearance; the bar was set very high, our fourteenth and last show of the opening week, I was probably pooped out at that point (oh, it was 2008).

There’s also Violent Night in cinemas, I’ve enjoyed the preview clips and it is a christmas movie. I’m one of the few who quite enjoyed the other Hellboy film starring David Harbour and not Ron Perlman, I recognised him immediately, even under the Santa garb. Yeah, it looks like fun, switch your brain off time. I probably won’t be making it to the cinema until next midweek, mind.

There’s way too much good music around this weekend to go to the pictures! Tonight The Scat Rats are at Whistlebinkies at seven (well, the website says that, time enough to go see something if not, I suppose). The late afternoon slot at Whistlebinkies tomorrow is Jed Potts with Jon Mackenzie, followed by The Moanin Bones at seven. Annoyingly, Black Cat Bone are playing Stramash at eight, what to do?!

On Sunday Chris Buckley is back at Stramash doing a solo set at seven, then just a minute down the road, Jed & Nicole will be at Bannermans from eight thirty. Another slight overlap with The Buccaneers in Stramash from ten. So many good sounds, a great build-up to Monday and Tuesday when Logan’s Close finally play again in Edinburgh at Sneaky Pete’s. Sooo looking forward to that!

I’ll leave you with a pic I took this morning in Holyrood Park, adieu!

I had the Salted Caramel

…. And very nice it was too! That’s the Salted Caramel chocolate from the Co Co Co. Festive Selection, a packet of six different christmassy chocolates. No, I’m not starting my christmas this early, its purely research for presents, honest, but I did hold back from trying them since last Saturday when I bought them at the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market at Castle Terrace.

Co Co Co. are usually at the Farmer’s Market fortnightly, selling an amazing array of sumptuous chocolates all made by Rob, naturally at this time of year he’s turned his hand to a few Christmas treats. Edinburgh is just one of a number of markets he goes to around the South of Scotland, and this weekend he’s back in Edinburgh at the 3D2D Christmas Art, Craft and Design Fair in the Assembly Rooms. Stalls with amazing stuff from all over the UK, it’s always worth a visit, maybe find a Christmas present or two!

Stramash had their Christmas decorations up when I went along on Sunday evening, it looks very nice, nothing too much, just right. It was Chris Buckley from Moanin Bones with the Handsome House Band, a shame that I only caught the last few numbers; mind, the Handsome House Jams are filmed so I can watch it on Facebook (Carl Marah‘s night will be on there too, if you’re interested!)

Stramash was nicely busy by the time the Scat Rats came on. Plenty of the seats around the balcony were taken and on the ground level any vacated tables, with a view of the lads, were immediately swooped on by eagle-eyed drinkers. Luckily I had a lovely Spanish couple next to me, who were happy to guard my seat for me whenever I got up (that’s one snag of solo drinking – keeping a good seat!) A stand-out for me was the Rats Norwegian Wood especially the intro; they like playing around with long intros and this time Carl threw in a snippet of a Scottish melody, nice! Not as good as his intro to Runaway, that’s very special.

A recent addition (at least to me) is Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again a jaunty country number. I was singing it as I wandered down home afterwards and just had to google the chords to have a bash at it when I got in. Not sure what the neighbours must have thought!? Well, they never banged on the wall – I’m counting that as approval!

It’s rather late, so I’ll leave you with pics from a recent walk up in the Park. Oh yeah, and exciting news – the video for Heart-shaped Jacuzzi comes out tomorrow! Yay! ❤

No, it wasn’t chianti

If someone told my young self what I cooked for my tea tonight, my response would definitely have been “Yeuck, no way!” Even my teenage self and probably mid-twenties self would have reacted the same; and what is this terrible dish I served up tonight? Liver, a bain of children’s lives, we’re told it’s good for us, certainly the version dished up at school dinners wasn’t!

Mind, I still wouldn’t particularly want liver and onions old-fashioned British style, mine has tomatoes, oregano, garlic, paprika, a generous slosh of red wine and a dod of double cream in there. Sometimes I have it with rice, tonight it was accompanied by sweet potato mash and broccoli. Scrumptious! Oh, and some more of the red wine to wash it down. My young self would not have known what to make of my plate, how times change.

And tonight when I pop along to Stramash, I wouldn’t dream of having a cider, whereas twenty years ago ale would have been my last resort. Umm, it’s over three weeks since I was in Stramash (wow, yeah, that long), there was a very nice new ale from Stewart’s, I do hope it’s there again. Tonight it should be Chris Buckley with the Handsome House Band, then at ten it’s that dynamic, edgy duo The Scat Rats, yay! It’s a fine weekend when I get to see them twice!

They were on the four o’clock slot at Whistlebinkies again yesterday. Now that afternoons are shorter before the darkness descends and temperatures have finally dropped, more folk seem inclined to seek a warm pub much earlier on. Binkies is well placed for people coming or going from the town, music from four is a good enticement to have another drink, especially when it’s this good! Last week Jed Potts & Nicole Smit were dishing up the goodies, and I do believe they’ll be back next Saturday at four, sweet!

I suppose I should do the washing up before I head along. It won’t get done when I get back in, that’s for sure, so I’ll bid you adieu.

Adieu!

A dud, an oddity and a hero called Jane

One of the best things about unlimited viewing at Cineworld is not being annoyed for wasting money on some rubbish film, time maybe but not money, hey, I’d have probably frittered the time away anyway! The film on this occasion was Black Adam, boy was it bad. I should have paid attention that it’s part of the DC Extended Universe, even with Dwayne Johnson in it I would have thought twice about bothering. For me Black Adam was dull, oh there’s lots of action scenes but they do get tedious and boring when there’s no decent story between them, no interesting characters, no sparkling wit. The few attempts at humour were obvious, sad or cringey, or all three (like some Radio 4 comedies).

The shazam thing had me a tad puzzled, was this the same as in Shazam!? Actually that’s a DCEU movie that I did enjoy. What really bugged me were the sanctimonious Justice gang, were they meant to be nice guys? I really couldn’t tell, and that locking him away ’cause they didn’t like his attitude, next minute, please, please break out of that prison we put you in and save the world. Come on!

I also went to see The Banshees of Inisherin this week, a definite go-see for me as its written and directed by the chap who did In Bruges which also starred Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson (that film truly blew me away). Banshees is a quiet, oddly compelling film; I really felt for Pádraic (Colin Farrell), his bafflement and sorrow at the sudden end of a long friendship, his attempts to try to put things right, always making the situation worse. Oh, there’s lots of dark humour in there and so many little absurdities scattered around along with just a little violence (well, this is a Martin McDonagh film, there was definitely going to be at least a bit of violence somewhere). The slow pace of it won’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s got more going for it in one of Colm’s (Brendan Gleeson) cut off fingers than the whole of Black Adam.

In between seeing The Banshees of Inisherin and Black Adam I went to see Call Jane, a completely different kettle of fish again. I knew it was a fact-based film about abortions in America in the late 1960s, sounds heavy, but with Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver in it, I was fine when a friend asked if I’d chum her along to it. Wow, yes, a heavy subject but here it’s tackled so well, it’s written with a lightness and positivity, showing women joining together being proactive, helping each other; a very welcome change from how this subject is usually portrayed on screens according to my friend.

Bet I wasn’t the only one who got home afterwards and immediately went on Google – there’s plenty about The Janes and their background (the Smithsonian Magazine had one of the better pieces). Call Jane may be set just over fifty years ago but it is a very relevant film, especially with the overturning of Roe v. Wade by America’s Supreme Court in June this year.

It is a very human trait to want to have superheroes of one kind or another, enjoy watching films where cities are smashed to smithereens by great hulking chaps, superheroes who will return again in our hour of need. Then there’s real folk who go about under the radar helping others even when it puts themselves in danger, doing the right thing just because.

Goodnight all.

Long-forgotten but well-remembered

Dusk yesterday found me at Powderhouse Corner in Holyrood Park with Lady Evil blasting in my ears. What’s that? Lady Evil from Black Sabbath’s first album with Ronnie James Dio singing. Why? I’d been in Fopp on Rose Street earlier and as I moseyed around I started wondering what I was singing along to, I seemed to know all the words, Rainbow, perhaps? No, then it dawned, omg, it was Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, god knows when I last heard it! There was a time when I loved that album, it was one that I used to “borrow” from my older brother (he had no idea and to keep it that way I handled his records very carefully). He like many others had bought it but then hardly played it because “it wasn’t real Sabbath without Ozzy” it just wasn’t right.

Just listening to it by my young self, outside of the rock fraternity, I had no idea how it had fractured the fans. I remember later on confusing folk by liking that but nothing by Dio (it was much later again before I finally appreciated the earlier albums with Ozzy). Hearing Heaven and Hell again wandering round Fopp was amazing, I remembered why I loved it so much, I would have bought it but at £15 for the CD, no, I’ll have a ganders in some second-hand record shops for it, meanwhile there’s Spotify. And that’s why I was listening to it when I went up into the Park to take some photos. When the last track started I suddenly remembered that was the one that really caught my attention, Lonely Is The Word, bloody brilliant it is. I never did care for anything else Dio did, or much of Ozzy’s own stuff, they don’t move me.

The Moanin Bones didn’t move me on Hallowe’en – they weren’t there to! I heard that apparently someone was still on holiday, well, I hope he’s back as they’re meant to be playing Whistlebinkies this evening. Oh, it’s been posted on Facebook today so there’s a good chance! The post also said Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters are on at 21:30, yay, twice in one week! Yes, I got me a ticket for the Leith Dockers Club show, definitely was worth going, though an odd venue for them (mind, being a club bar, the drinks were cheap). The band were on fine form, playing some from the new album, some old and some to just mess around with, mighty fineness!

Such a good evening couldn’t end yet, so I headed up to Stramash to catch the Scat Rats second set. They’re playing the midnight slot at Binkies on Sunday but I doubt I’ll be there. I did see them at Hallowe’en as they were pulled in late on to play the seven o’clock set at Stramash, so at least it wasn’t all disappointment that night, and I got to see Carl Marah two nights in a row. On the Sunday evening he was playing with the Handsome House Band being very bluesy (and rather excellent too), I haven’t yet but I’ll put a clip of something up on Instagram.

Stramash really went to town with their Hallowe’en decorations, they looked brilliant, folk with severe arachnophobia would have had a few problems! The bar staff dressed for the occasion too, one guy accessorising with a blow-up chainsaw (first time I’ve seen one of those). Tonight is Bonfire Night here in the UK, I can already hear fireworks exploding in the distance. Ah, for the long-gone years of the village bonfire, firing rockets across the valley out of milk bottles stuck in the ground, Catherine wheels that rarely spun round as well as they should, treacle toffee and parkin.

Its almost time to trot up to Whistlebinkies, best eat first. Toodle pip!

Strictly can wait – I have a date

It’s been a week since Logan’s Close released Heart-shaped Jacuzzi, today I realised I’d been whistling it as I headed home from the Farmers Market (just a couple of bits from it over and over and over again). Oh, I inadvertently hum and whistle a lot, only realising I’m doing it when someone gives me a look. People don’t whistle so much anymore, at least not around here, hardly at all I’d say, which is a shame, well, I think it is.

This week saw more new Edinburgh music splash into the streams, yesterday Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters released a new album Swashbucklin’ (also available in solid form, CD and vinyl). Their gig next week that’s part of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival Autumn Series is now the official album launch show, coincidental timing I gather, at least it saves on organising another show for it (it does seem that the album release date is possibly a tad earlier than expected?) The show is at Leith Dockers Club on Thursday 3rd November; I have no idea where Leith Dockers Club is, presumably in Leith, but am definitely considering getting a ticket.

Mr Potts will be playing at Stramash this evening as part of Nicole & The Backup Crew, unusually they’re playing the seven o’clock slot, yes, I shall be trotting along. I’ll be back there on Sunday evening too for the Handsome House Jam; the Handsome House Band play on the first and last Sundays of the month and invite a guest musician to jam with them – on Sunday it’s Carl Marah, yay! So glad I wondered who the guest was this week, I often don’t think to check.

And as if that wasn’t enough fun for one weekend, Monday night Stramash have the Moanin’ Bones on at ten o’clock at their Hallowe’en Haunted House Party. It’s been a wee while since I last saw them, well looking forward to that! I may even get spookified for the occasion.

Meanwhile back at the Close …… their December show at Sneaky Pete’s sold out a few days ago, but our lads aren’t going to have anyone miss out on their juicy goodness – Logan’s Close will be back in Sneaky’s the following evening (so thats Tuesday 13th) to do it all again!

Must go eat. Toodle pip!

Never leave the dishes piling up, just don’t

It’s oot, Heart-shaped Jacuzzi is out there (on all good music streaming sites), the brand new single from Logan’s Close and, in my opinion, it’s rather damn fine. I had a first listen as soon as it launched as I headed from Binkies down to Stramash at midnight – not a complete coincidence that I wasn’t in a noisy pub just then! I mentioned in my last post that the Scat Rats were playing at Stramash Friday night, this week they also played Whistlebinkies late Thursday night and after midnight Carl was in Stramash with The Buccaneers (Scotty was there with a beer). Busy lads!

I reckon Heart-shaped Jacuzzi is set in the same district as Never Bloom and Mock Marble Linoleum, these folk are neighbours, bumping shoulders in the street unaware; facades of chirpiness hide creeping despair, each numbed by feelings of inadequacy and inevitabilities that are seem unescapable. The songs are like a voyeuristic camera sweeping through the neighbourhood spying on their little worlds; I see the last riff of Mock Marble Linoleum as a montage of his day, ending with him setting out again into the night, the camera pans away from him, swooping up through an upstairs window to the first strains of Babe Station. 《BTW this is one of those very late night train of thoughts that I climbed on-board and went with. Just a personal, moosed up idea inspired by the music of LC and a lack of sleep》

It’s now another day in the Close, another house to peer in, who lives in this one? The intro suggests early 70s sitcom with a slightly creepy edge, then those last two chords, uh oh, “Stale beard…” and Scott paints the scene for us. Messrs Marah and Rough always have great lyrics and even when they’re on the bleak side, there’s still a lightness and wit; and the arrangements of their music combine with their words perfectly to enhance whatever scene or story is unfolding. Here Scott is letting us in on how disillusioned the wife is feeling about her husband and how her life has turned out, “golden days distant memories for you”.

Scott’s vocals are as gorgeous as ever, like a coarse velvet (ok, that may sound odd, if I ever think of a better description I’ll edit it), narrating the wife’s turmoil, almost like her own subconscious dispassionately assessing her life choices. The discord builds up with some dark moody guitar, the keyboards reappear, finally the thoughts break back in, everything is swirling around building up and up (okay, I haven’t yet deciphered all the words in this part of the song yet, but I reckon safe to say, the lady is not in a good place, the video really can’t come out soon enough!) then it all cuts out to a sparse guitar ending, plaintive, but our lady has survived to, hopefully, move on.

Plenty of keyboards in this one, plenty space too. The production on this is brilliant, still the LC sound (definitely worth the Hamburg trip to get it right) but there’s been gradual shifts as the band grow together. The lads do like a tempo change or two, well, they help with scene-shifting, cutting to another camera. Talking about cameras, on first hearing this I thought, oo, another Lynchian tune but on further listens it’s more Edgar Wright to me (a game I play, matching music with film directors).

Of course Heart-shaped Jacuzzi gets 5 stars from me, heck it can have a few more!

Toodle pip!

one sexy red heart-shaped jacuzzi

A cobbler, a duke and a bear ….

I’ve been back down in deepest, driest Yorkshire again, yup, those reservoirs aren’t looking any fuller. Oh, there’s more rain now but not nearly enough to make a difference, just enough to get soggy while dog walking.

Fun fact I discovered – Halifax once had a zoo! What?! Yes, a zoo that even had a visit from the King and Queen! That was King George V and Queen Mary back in 1912. It had hundreds of animals including lions, monkeys, an elephant, llamas, a pelican and two bears, one russian and one grizzly. It’s because of the grizzly that I became aware of the zoo’s existence, that and the desire to go explore the drinking establishments of Halifax, from the ancient to the barely out of the wrapper.

Halifax has a fine variety of pubs and bars for all tastes, old pubs like Lewins, the Plummet Line, the George, very very old pubs like the Union Cross and charming newbies like The Victorian (okay to me it still feels new but I’ve just realised its been there about seven years!) There was one pub I didn’t get the name of, they just refer to it as the Ikea Pub and I could see why; hmmm, probably more bar than pub. Actually more like Habitat was, than Ikea is now, but I’m sure you get the idea.

From there we trotted through the market (Halifax Borough Market to give it it’s full name) to Dukes in Market Arcade, very very new this one and I liked it very much. I love the style and decor of the place, it has a lovely friendly, quirkly feeling to it, the setting within an old Victorian arcade helps, that and the interesting selection of beers. Next time I’m down and in the market….

After Dukes we headed straight over to the Meandering Bear, I know this because i)the photo of the pump clip was taken after four o’clock, that’s when the Bear opens, ii)I remembered (i) when Dukes pointed out that the final pic on my Instagram post wasn’t one of theirs. So the story behind the name? The aforementioned bears escaped from the zoo and while the russian bear was quickly caught, the grizzly went on a long walk around the district before it was finally recaptured. Drinking in pubs can be educational!

Enough about pubs in Yorkshire – Logan’s Close are finally getting round to doing a gig in Edinburgh, yay, yay, and triple yay! In Sneaky Pete’s on 12th December, crikey it’s been a while since I last saw them in there. Very excited about that but there’s even more!! On the 10th of this month the lads announced that their first single Heart-shaped Jacuzzi from the new album will be digitally released on the 21st, wowzah ❤ And as if that wasn’t enough to get the fans excited, four days later they gave us a wee taster of the video, oh my heartses!! It looks sooo good, how to ratchet up the anticipation 👄

So that’s Logan’s Close, new single Heart-shaped Jacuzzi out on 21st October on a music streaming platform near you, do yourself a favour and check it out. Methinks the Scat Rats will be on fine form at Stramash on Friday, yes, it’s their usual seven o’clock time. I had wondered if they would be playing as there’s still nothing for Friday night on the website, but Stramash have now put the week’s band list up on Facebook – huh, the Rats are playing late tonight as well, what!? Much as the heart is willing, my body needs to sleep, I’ll be seeing them on Friday. Sweet! 《Update. I did go see the first set, excellent as per usual, maybe a wee clip will find it’s way on to Instagram. Oh, and the video will come out a bit later after the single》

Toodle pip!

Music, murder and mousetraps

I was doing a spot of washing up while waiting for a friend to get back to me, put the radio on, Elaine Paige was just starting a tribute to Angela Lansbury, good timing! Ah, Miss Eglantine Price was singing about The Age of Not Believing and I sang along with her, all the words still tucked away in my head, I loved that song so much! Bedknobs and Broomsticks, a favourite film from my calfhood, just one part of a varied and illustrious career. Another generation of kids loved her as Mrs Potts the singing teapot in Beauty and The Beast; then just a few years ago she was the Balloon Lady in Mary Poppins Returns (three thoroughly wonderful films that should be seen, no matter what age you claim to be).

Of course, many will mainly know Angela Lansbury for playing Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote on the telly, a role that won her many awards. Elaine, of course, was looking back at Angela’s career in musicals that spanned many years, likewise she returned to theatre work regularly (I would have loved to have seen her in Blithe Spirit as Madame Arcati). My, she kept herself busy! A great lady who obviously enjoyed life, there was always that little twinkle in her eye, I bet she was every bit as lovely as she came across. There’s one final film performance still to come in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (just a cameo), out at Christmas, I’ll look forward to seeing it.

And that brings me neatly on to cinema news – the Edinburgh Filmhouse is no more!! The charity that runs the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Belmont cinema in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh International Film Festival has called in administrators. Like, what?! I didn’t see that coming. They say it was a perfect storm of rising costs and the lasting impacts from the Covid pandemic, many in the entertainment and cultural sector are in for a bumpy ride, there will be more closures for sure. I didn’t go to see anything at the EIFF this year, nothing appealed enough to me, but I do hope it comes back next year (just not in August, I’m busy).

Last week I did get to see See How They Run, a film that is so Wes Anderson but actually isn’t (with smidgens of Edgar Wright). My friend who I mentioned earlier is off to London next weekend and will be seeing The Mousetrap, I’ve recommended him to watch See How They Run. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the whole cast are excellent and the dialogue is so sharp and funny, so many little clever quips and references. It’s a murder mystery comedy set in London 1953, opening with the afterparty for the 100th performance of The Mousetrap when the director of a potential film adaptation is murdered, dur dur durrrr.

Fun facts, the film rights for The Mousetrap were indeed optioned by the film producer John Woolf and there was a clause that the film could not be made until six months after the run was over – haha, sixty years on and still going strong; also, Agatha Christie was inspired by a real life case when writing it. The plentiful use of splitscreens and flashbacks keep things moving fast, you have to pay attention, everything’s important, but don’t jump to conclusions, leave that to the overenthusiatic Constable Stalker played brilliantly by Saoirse Ronan (for me she is definitely the star of the show).

Its very late again and I promised myself an early night, well, I was up very very late last night because Bad Times at The El Royale came on the telly. I shall away to my bed, but I’ll just mention there’s a wee bit of excitement over in Logan’s Close, things are afoot. I promise I’ll share the news with you tomorrow, or you could check it out for yourself on their website, Facebook or Instagram!

Nighty night, sweet dreams!

Spuds and Saints

October already! Ah, but September ended on a couple of fine notes! First off, last Tuesday evening Fur were back in town, yay! This time at The Mash House, not a place I’ve seen a band at before, Fringe shows yes, in different rooms there. A friend said they weren’t keen on it as a music venue and having now been, I kinda get what they meant; not that there’s anything particularly bad about it, it’s just got no appeal. I will say that the bar there is quite nice and reasonably priced.

Fur were as brilliant as ever and the crowd were really up for it. I spotted Mr Rough across the room, so I moseyed over to say hi, and as there was a bit of breeze from a nearby air conditioning vent (very warm venue) I stayed on that side; there were also fewer giants in front of me there. It was a very fine gig but the announced last song was indeed the last song, no encores, no Can’t Help Falling in Love, the band were all there ready come back on except Murray, no one seemed to know where he’d gone! No sign of him, so the lights came up and that was that, an odd end (I gather he was not feeling well). Shame.

Friday I was all set for more music, even if I had to go over to Glasgow for it. It must be at least fifteen years or so since I last went through to Glasgow to see a band, I don’t know Glasgow at all – this was gonna be interesting. The venue was St Luke’s & The Winged Ox, the band The Strange Blue Dreams with support from Logan’s Close, yeah okay, so, it looked easy to get to and LC said they’d put me on their guest list, yay. I had a wee printed out map and the return bus times, knew how long it should take me to get back to Buchanan Street bus station (to be double checked with how long it took me to find St Luke’s). It turns out that St Luke’s & The Winged Ox is just past the Barrowlands, funny how many bits looked familiar as I went by; heading back afterwards I stuck to the same route, but had a strong recall of a drunken discussion between two friends I was with after a Barrowlands gig, about which was the best way back ( I just tailed along behind them praying we’d make it in time otherwise it was an hour til the next one).

Oh, I do like St Luke’s, it’s an old church that’s been converted into a space for live entertainment and other events, one with a three quarters round balcony and the old organ pipes are a magnificent backdrop for the stage. There’s still the old pulpit at the side of the stage which became a booth for DJs Anna and Holly to spin some fine pieces of vinyl, some seriously good taste there! The Winged Ox part of the name is the bar adjacent to the venue room, a good sized bar with a kitchen, so a convenient place to eat before a show; reasonable bar prices too, and a very nice IPA! (there is a little bar with limited choice in the venue, best to head to the full bar)

Now, the evening itself, wow, The Strange Blue Dreams, yep definitely on the strange side, haunting, intense, infectious, so many retro sounds going on, hints of forgotten tunes, glimpses of older times, smoky dance halls. The band are all dapperly dressed in keeping with their stylish sound; a sound and look perfect for a David Lynch film.

The gig was to celebrate the release of their second album Simple Machine, well reader, I was so impressed with their brand of rock’n’roll I just had to buy it (on dvd), oh, and a copy of their first album too. If you’re on Spotify you can check them out.

Yes, now I’m getting round to Logan’s Close , so good to finally see the full band again. I noticed Scott went and changed into his stage attire, no scruffy Rat for this gig! Head attire for the evening was his heart-shaped sunglasses (Scott always has something on his head). Eleonora was first choice and they were off!

It was a short and sweet half hour set of deliciousness. Naturally they mentioned the album-in-waiting Heart-shaped Jacuzzi and played the title track; Dans Le Jardin was in there too. A couple or so escape me, but I do remember they played the now very familiar to me Gouching On The 33 and, of course, Babe Station, Hot Blondes In Your Area Tonight rounded off an excellent set.

I would have included a shot of Sean Keys, but as usual he was in a darker spot and the guy is never still for a second! My crappy phone camera is incapable of taking a decent photo of him. The drummer in the back was previous sticksman Alex, filling in for the evening as Gavin was away.

It was a great evening, even my trek back to the bus station was well-timed with just a few minutes to spare. After their set Carl was on merch stall duties, apparently because he was driving, so Scott was taking the opportunity to get bevied, no surprise there! I noticed the Live At Limbic TV CDs were getting some interest, as they should, an hour of juicy goodness for only a tenner? Bargain!

Not sure what they were up to when I took this!?

It’s very late, I’ll leave this here I think.

Toodle pip!