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, 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 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!

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!

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.