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, so much the LC sound (definitely worth the Hamburg trip to get it right). 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 little voodoo magic from Elsie

It’s very late Friday night in Edinburgh, Facebook has informed me that Logan’s Close are in Hamburg; from the pic they were let loose on the streets after their first day in the recording station working on their debut album Heart-Shaped Jacuzzi. It being Hamburg they’re posing in front of a place called Sex-House, well, of course they would, all looking fine and dandy. I wonder how the gig went last night after just travelling over there? I hope it gave them a boost for today. Couldn’t have been as good as last Sunday night at the Voodoo Rooms, though.

Ah yes, finally Logan’s Close got to play the Ballroom in the Voodoo Rooms again – and it was awesome. Not just one or two, they had three support bands to get the crowd warmed up, Julen Santamaria, Jupiter Strange and Racecar. From a low simmer the room gradually went to gently bubbling with the beats and expectation, then the lights dimmed, the lads took to the stage, from bubbling to boiling, a most rapturous reception!! Oh, the love was in the room, I think they may have been a bit taken aback by it all for a few moments before opening with Lost In You.

At the time I was taken by surprise by this choice (oh, a very lovely one, just not a song I would have anticipated as an opener) but as I recall the atmosphere, they were totally caught up in the crowd’s adoration and enthusiasm, so yeah, lost in the euphoria of it all. Next up, Never Bloom, a great live song but like the title says it’s not destined to blossom into a studio track (well, you could grab a copy of the LimbicTV session CD to hear it). Newby Merry-Go-Round was third, I remember because it was also the third song down in the Running Horse, a gorgeous number from the new album (I’m really looking forward to how the studio version will sound, I’m expecting nothing less than totally scrumptious).

Another new song to follow, Half n Half which to be honest I remember thinking was great, but that’s it, the title alone had the crowd smiling. For those outside of Scotland I should explain, a half and half (or hauf n hauf) is a whisky with a half pint of beer for a chaser. Give It To Me a particular favourite of mine was next, the opening harmonies and keyboards slither round like thick smokey tendrils reaching out before engulfing you in a hazy, intoxicating fog (well, maybe not you but it does me) with that guitar break, oh yeah.

Oo la la, Dans Le Jardin bounced and tripped along joliment, one from the album? Next song definitely was, Heart-Shaped Jacuzzi, the title track. Okay, so by this time my powers of remembering were prerty much used up, that’s it. There may have been another new song in there, and the Close “finished” with another newby about Hot Blondes. Babe Station was in there, of course, and Mock Marble Linoleum, both destined for a soak in the Jacuzzi. Classic I Want You had to get an airing, it’s not an LC gig without it, and the song about the number 33 bus? Yeah, Gouching was there with it’s luxurious rolliness.

After the brief off stage right and the crowd hollering for more the lads obliged with Eleonara (oh yay!), Girl, and what else to end with, especially on Mothering Sunday? Listen To Your Mother, of course! The band each did the obligatory solo after being introduced, the crowd went suitably nuts, oh yes, the new line-up totally rocks it.

I am so, so looking forward to the album coming out, of course that’ll be a while yet, after the recording studio there’s loads to do before it actually gets to be released, all of which costs money, so Logan’s Close have set up a crowdfunder with various rewards for pledges ranging from a digital download of the album, to a virtual pint with Carl and Scott, to a live stripped-back full band set (that’s within 150 mile range of Edinburgh, fair enough). There’s a VIP Concert Day Experience that includes “a pre-concert fry-up at their favourite greasy spoon” – they have a new favourite now? The Babelon Cafe is long gone, I wonder where Scotty gets his tatty scones now?

My donation to the coffers was pre-crowdfunder, yeah, I’m a trailblazer; currently pledges have reached 134% of the original target, so like, wow, the lads are well chuffed and, there’s still over a week to go. It helps a lot that the band were selected by Creative Scotland’s “Crowdmatch” (one of just twenty to be selected), which as it sounds, means Creative Scotland matches pledges when they reach certain milestones. If from all my rabbiting on about LC you’ve checked them out and like their stuff, please check them out again. Gonna leave you with a few pics from last Sunday night. Sorry, epic night but rubbish mobile camera.

It’s going to be a special night

….. Said Carl Marah shortly after Logan’s Close finally began their set at the Running Horse in Nottingham last Saturday night. Oh, it was a special night alright, for all the wrong reasons but I had a great time. I had a great day, first time in two years I’ve been anywhere other than Edinburgh or back home.

After much umming and ahhing I had decided I would go down to see the lads play Nottingham as a prelude to the Voodoo Rooms gig. On hearing my decision, a recent convert to the fineness of the Close asked to trot along with me, goodo, two in a twin room are cheaper than one, and of course soaring fuel prices could be shared, nice. We made the most of the day visiting a number of real ale pubs, lining our stomachs for the evening ahead in a Barburrito, before drinking our way towards the Running Horse.

Okay, so we got there fairly early, but only four including the bar staff?! It had been a gorgeous warm, sunny day, many were out drinking in the sunshine all afternoon; also remember it was Super Saturday (last three matches of Six Nations Rugby) with England not playing until 8pm; and it was just two days after St Patrick’s Day too, personally I don’t get why folk go so OTT about it but they do. The aforementioned may have been factors in lack of bodies at the gig later, who knows. We were happy sitting chatting at the bar with the rather quaffable Duck Berry Pale Ale from the Dancing Duck Brewery. As a few more folk came in we moved away from the bar, must say it’s a nice place, and having a large flat screen to watch the band on in the bar area is a masterful touch.

Rob, the man in charge, had told us the band were running late, fair enough, we were happy. So was Mr Rough when the band rolled up, he came over to say hello rather exurberantly, happy? – he was steaming. The official line seemed to be that his voice was done in from being too enthusiastic the previous two night, maybe there was some truth in that; he’d also gotten drunk after the gig in Bristol and in the morning decided to keep topping up, all day. Thank god for Carl being his usual laidback, quietly assured self keeping the show on the road, minding Scotty, and chatting to folk about the band.

Finally the band started up, my friend and I moved through to watch them (still only a few in, I did feel for the lads), yay, they kicked off with Eleonara, sweet. Next up was Girl, a song that Scott has said he’d be happy never to sing again and he didn’t tonight, Carl did all the lead vocals tonight. My friend was disappointed not to hear Scott sing or the lads’ usual amazing harmonies, that was a big shame for her, yeah. The new bassist did do the backing vocals for Babe Station I noticed (he did good) but I’m not sure if he sang on any other songs. Sadly no harmonies at the start of Lost In You later in the evening, a particular pleasure of mine.

A new song Merry-Go-Round from the upcoming album was next, oh I approve, looking forward to hearing a studio version of it! Oo, just thought, I wonder who’ll be singing it on the album? (I’ve often wondered how the lads settle who’s taking lead vocals on each song, must ask some time) It was great hearing the Marah touch on all the songs as Scott usually does the majority of the lead vocals, Saturday he was too rough to even sing backing (at times he looked too rough to stay upright!), Scott was totally in the zone for what he wanted to hear from the band though, nearly falling off his seat a number of times trying to conduct the others’ performances, even hammered the lad has it!

The sets included quite a few covers – was this the same at the Swansea and Bristol gigs, or just to get the band through the gig using more old standards in place of new songs in the circumstances? Again, I was fine with it, That’s Alright, Mama, What’d I Say, Hound Dog, what’s not to love? Oh yeah, I’d Rather Go Blind was excellent, a song I heard Scott singing some months ago in Stramash, I’m not gonna call it between them.

This was the first time I’ve seen the new line-up, one of the reasons for going down. This mini-tour was a fine bonding session for them before hitting the recording studio. If they can survive sharing a small bunk-bedded dorm room with Scott on Saturday night they can survive anything! Stuart on bass and Gavin on drums are from the same previous band; Stuart had already played with the Close when they started looking for a drummer to commit to them, enter Gavin (very smiley and very young, I like him); fine acquirements for the Close . Sean Keys was kinda tucked away on the far side off the porch, excellent on keyboards as usual.

There was a wee sideshow going on of a couple who’d just met earlier in the bar, obviously from an online dating app; she was obviously rather drunk and kept flouncing off, only to return shortly afterwards to make up, then argue again, all of us who picked up on it were very entertained. I must mention watching Scott trying to pick his plectrum back up off the floor, that was hilarious. Sure moaners would have found plenty to moan about on Saturday night, they’d have probably grumped too when Carl completely fucked up the words to Roll Over Beethoven, bless, I think he was finally begining to crack from the strains of the day. Mind, before the encore he was still on form enough to quip “Here’s one we wrote for the album” before launching into Blue Suede Shoes, haha.

Heading back to the BnB time flew by as we recapped the gig. As two old timers we concurred Scott was completely forgiven by us, it may be a bunch of hazy memories now but hey, we were twenty seven once. If I told you some of things from my twenty seventh year, I’d have to kill you afterwards!!

Just a few visuals from the evening to finish……..

Scott’s pished face, very like his bored face
from the left Sean, Stuart, Carl, Scott, Scott’s scarf and Gavin
just playin’ some tunes on Rob’s back porch
Carlos, did you just mess up that line? That’s my boy!
dear god, Carl, what’ve you been eating, man?
I know it’s only rock’n’roll but I love it ❤

Driving with Elsie

Today has seen bright sunshine and blue skies over Edinburgh, very chilly with it, as the forecast predicted. Annoyingly they got it very wrong for yesterday morning! The forecast had promised snow from the early hours, some heavy, awoke all expectant and excited I did – bloody none! And I’d come back up on Thursday for it. Well, and also to avoid Eunice, that’s Storm Eunice (who came up with Eunice?! What sort of name is that for a storm?).

I was down in deepest, dampest Yorkshire again. Very damp indeed, not much time was spent out-of-doors, it was ‘orrible! The few hours of fine were spent wandering round Hebden Bridge, note to self, some shops are closed Tuesdays as well as Mondays. Still a tasty lunch was had and a few purchases made, I do like Hebden Bridge, and there’s usually a fine calibre of busker in the Square.

Naturally, my choice of travelling audio accompaniment included my new Logan’s Close Live CD, at 63 minutes its perfect for the last legs down and up. In the gathering dusk I hurtled across the moors to Scott letting rip on I Want You, followed by the classic Listen To Your Mother – that’s when the low fuel light started flashing (yeah, yeah, mother, make sure there’s plenty in the tank, I know); after that first, oh bugger, I reasoned there was actually around 40 miles worth left so no worries. On the homeward leg it takes about an hour to get from Abington services (junction 13 off the M74) to home, that is, without slowcoaches on the road; so perfect, with a second playing for Eleanora as I pulled up.

Eleanora is a bouncing upbeat babe of a tune, a catchy infectious earworm so it is! Everything a good Logan’s Close song should be, and also something slightly new, different but still undeniably LC. Sean Keys’ (that’s what he gets called, anyway) keyboards are at times reminiscent of Jon Lord on early Deep Purple, noticeably so on Mock Marble Linoleum. I’ll admit it’s taken me a while to get into this track, my original take was “fine but nothing special”, I’d like to update that, Mock Marble Linoleum is fine and dandy, like a mid 70s rock opus, swirling keyboards, grand majestic riffs, Scott going for it, yeah, it is pretty special.

Paralysed is a whirling dervish of a tune with Carl taking lead vocals this time. This lady who “reached inside and stripped you of your core” sounds like AC/DC’s Soul Stripper; two very different songs but the same female lineage (in my head, anyway). Gallus Laces is great, a lackadaisical swing and hook to it, love Scott and Carl’s vocals together on the chorus.

Probably (at least at time of writing this) my favourite track is Babe Station, from the opening drumbeats, sultry keyboards, offhand guitar, and then Mr Marah plaintively narrates the girl’s nightlife; the spacious sleaziness and Carl’s vocals almost echoey, with added Scott on backing, omg, it’s like sliding into a hazy drug-addled dream state! I’ve also had the pleasure of hearing The Scat Rats take on this song a number of times ❤

Mind, Give It To Me is a very close second on this, right from Sean’s piano intro and Scott’s and Carl’s harmonies; the guitar sound, the space, more beautiful desolation from the lads. I Want You is always near the top spot at any gig but the competition is tough here, even with Sean back on the piano and Scott’s sublime vocals. It would be hard to place all fifteen tracks in an order of preference, really, after my top five I couldn’t separate the others. God, I love this CD! Will this recording, this moment in time, ever be made available to anyone else? I don’t know, but if it is, no self-respecting LC fan would be without it!

Toodle pip!

If you don’t ask ……

Remember my Highlights of 2021? No? Well, go back and read it later, for now I’ll recap that my top treat of 2021 was Logan’s Close’s LimbicTV performance back at the end of March. I’ve watched it, hmmm, a few times since, okay, maybe a few more just to get me through the hard times of not being able to see live bands. Is it a polished performance? Is it ‘eck, but it really shows how talented the lads are, how well fitted they are together- it’s five guys enjoying finally getting to play as a band again and making the most of it (it was obviously still going to be a while before live gigs would be allowed).

Before writing a blog post about it I made a few notes, call me sad but I kept those notes; I think I wrote them on my third viewing. A few snippets……

You get the picture? I wondered if anything would be done with the recording, and if nothing, why? Sorry but I needed those tracks, yes, needed, doing nothing with them really wasn’t an option. A moment in time, a live moment, never to be repeated like that again, ‘specially since bassist (from the very start) Ollie Turbitt has moved to Italy. Aargh! I started thinking, mulling it over, hey, I could always just ask Logan’s Close for them!? I could, and Scott did say…

on listening again, Scott’s spiel is “we want to make an album, but we don’t have any cash, so give us money and we can make it”

There’s a phrase “put your money where your mouth is” and I’ve been telling folk for the last five years how brilliant Logan’s Close are, so yeah, time to step up moose, give the lads some real support. And it would help towards a whole album of juiciness! Yes, please! Just one thing, if I donate please can I have all the tracks from the LimbicTV session on a cd? Reader, they said yes, oh yay!

I’ve spent the last month listening to my new LC cd; a polished studio album will surely be a wondrous thing but these songs are how I think of the band having seen them live plenty times. I have it on my phone so I can listen on my meanderings round the Park. My precious ❤

Hmm, so how good does his coffee taste?!

Move over Lionel Ritchie, it’s Bea Arthur’s Seat now!

Hello you, I’m ba-ack, the moose is in the hoose. All my travel bits have been sorted, cleaned and put away, time to play! And yay, tonight sees the Scat Rats back at Stramash. Oh yeah, I realised some time after I wrote the last post that I hadn’t mentioned seeing the Scat Rats before, how remiss of me. A few weeks ago I popped into Stramash on my way to the cinema as I had some time to kill, some band called the Scat Rats were playing. Well, blow me down, it was Carl Marah and Scott Rough from Logan’s Close! Needless to say, I never made it to the cinema that evening, it was well after nine when the lads finished their second set. Just the two of them on acoustic guitars playing mainly covers and a few of their own. Oo, they played Babe Station, love that song, gonna have to go back and check it out on the Limbic TV gig, has it altered since then?

I’ve been back since Wednesday evening, just before six. I know it was just before six because I made a brew, grabbed some digestives and put the telly on just in time for Richard Osman’s House of Games. What a lovely surprise and long time no see, Andy Hamilton is on it this week (he’s doing rather well). He’s a very clever and very funny man; he’s created, written and directed comedies on radio and tv, he acts, writes novels and is known for appearing on radio and tv game shows. Apparently he still appears on The News Quiz on Radio 4, I don’t bother with it any more, gave up on it a few years years ago. For me, the Simon Hoggart years were the best, when Andy was on it regularly with the likes of Linda Smith, Jeremy Hardy and Alan Coren (them were the days!).

Googling Andy Hamilton, I’ve discovered that he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in the 1970s going on to being a scriptwriter for tv comedies and radio. He’s been responsible for creating some great comedy – Drop the Dead Donkey in the 90s (essential viewing at the time), Outnumbered (out of the mouths of babies, nuff said), Old Harry’s Game on Radio 4 ( it did tail off in the later series) oh, and the wonderful film What We Did On Our Holiday. Bud and I saw him at the Fringe in 2009, he did one night at the Queen’s Hall, Andy Hamilton’s Hat of Doom. The review in my fringe diary reads “Good, sharp, but not really brilliant like we wanted. ☆☆☆☆”

If Andy wins tonight’s ROHOG he’s won the trophy for the week, he may well still win it if he comes second. I want him to win, he deserves it just for getting the answer Bea Arthur’s Seat in the Answer Smash round. Speaking of the Seat, I must go out and stretch my little legs.

Toodle pip!

So Close so fine

Last Saturday night was the best Saturday night in the last year, possibly the top night of all nights in the last year. Yes, the lads were rather good! Logan’s Close really knocked it out of the park. Two hours of music and banter all wrapped in a psychedelic haze – bloody excellent!

Hats off to LimbicTV, the set up and production were excellent (not that I know anything about these things). The layout looked good and there were lights and cameras galore to capture all the action then mix it up with trippy video effects (I really liked them!), and there’s Dave, the laidback but authoritative voice, great with the banter and keeping the Close on track and sounding awesome. Well, it all impressed me.

Should you choose to check out what has me still buzzing almost a week later (aren’t you curious?) that’s Logan’s Close on LimbicTV (Live from Aluhpasonics), not only will you hear great music, there’s chat on such diverse topics as Scott’s fashion choices, local cuisine (Dunbar fish suppers and Pizza Crunch) and liquor of the gods, well, fortified wine of some monks, Buckfast. Like Dave, I was also at Glastonbury in 1986, such a shame I didn’t bump into him and all that buckie!

Did I mention how good the music was? The band were clearly enjoying finally playing live together, Carl and Scott both had new guitars to have fun with and their vocal harmonising is none the worse for all the time away, I assume Ollie was having fun (dressed all in black including a black facemask in a darker bit of the studio) on his six string bass, Alex on drums was wearing his trademark hat, Sean not only had his own keyboard but the studio piano as well, making full use of both (to think I was initially a tad dubious about the addition of a keyboard player, he’s a perfect fit in their sound).

Fifteen tasty treats, yum, some old, some new, two borrowed, a smorgasbord of sound to feast on. For starters they served up Eleonara, a new one, fun, catchy, a delight. Second was a song I’ve heard them play live before, I thought it was called Never Blue, err, no, turns out it’s Never Bloom, well, you know how it can be at gigs! It’s a cracking rendition of it whatever the name, lots of space in it (something I really like about Logan’s Close, they don’t overcrowd their sound).

Next up were Worked A Treat and Girl. The visual effects are amazing, layering two members of the band over each other, add it a psychedelic swirl of colour, wow! Loved the kaleidoscopic bits during Girl, was Scott able to see them on one of the screens? Did it disturb his concentration or did he just forget the words? Yes, I noticed but he covered it well.

Song five was Gallus Laces which I do reckon I’ve heard before, or it could be that it reminds me of the ambience and lackadaisical sound of Fur, a band I saw in Sneaky Pete’s a couple of years ago. I actually just went because the Close were supporting them but happily made a fine new discovery. Fur were meant to be back up in March but have had reschedule the gig to November.

Next song Babe Station was sublime desolation! When Carl sang the first two lines it immediately took me back to when I first heard Rodriguez, that same plaintive bleak but beautiful sound. The Close should definitely put out this track, please, please, like this, nothing added nothing taken away. Another newby followed, one Mock Marble Linoleum, good solid, a vague early Deep Purple feel to it. Fine but nothing special. Almost an hour in now and the band played Paralysed a regular live number for them, the visual effects go nuts, strobe city! Intense.

Give It To Me had Sean over on the piano for the intro, he’s rather good, you know. This is one of those goosebump tracks, the deliciousness of the guitar break gets me every time. We’re on the home straight now, In The Morning, I Want You, Listen To Your Mother, all sheer class. Scott really let loose on I Want You, as Dave said after it “What I love about you, Scott – you’re prepared to testify” Indeed, amen to that.

Oo, I was so pleased they played Fantastic Man next. This is a cover of a song from the late 1970s by William Onyeabor, the Close did a lockdown video of it early last summer, it was such a ray of sunshine! Last year’s single Lost In You was the last song and blimey, I love this song anyway but this was astounding, I want this version. I defy them to ever play it better than that! What a finish. But, of course, this is the current version of a live gig, so one more tune was in order, but what? A good old classic that the lads regularly play Please Don’t Go, one to go all out on, they did and so did the visual effects!

Now if they could compile a CD from this gig – I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s wishing for this! I wonder what the band thought when they watched it later?! If you watch it, do let me know what you think. It’s late, time I bid you adieu.

Adieu, dear hearts 💛