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 ❤

Five long gloriously juicy years

Next month It’ll be five years since I stumbled upon Logan’s Close, towards the end of this month the new line-up will take to the road with their mini tour of the UK before heading off to Germany; what will the next five years have in store? But before they headed off to their future would they have time to chat about their past to an old moose? They did ….. in the Waverley late Tuesday night before they played the midnight set at Whistlebinkies. Yup, The Scat Rats, aka Carl Marah and Scott Rough, agreed to meet me there (a favourite pub of theirs) well, they are two lovely amiable chaps, funny, smart, easy-going; as delightful offstage as on. Unfortunately we were drinking, and still drinking at Binkies ’til after two, so I’ve had to sift through an alcohol-induced blurriness to recall anything from the conversation.

Rough and Marah have been best buds since they met playing football at eight years old, so going on twenty years. Both started playing guitar around the same time, Carl was self-learning, Scott was going to a guitar class and told Carl about it; and so the seeds were planted. By 2014, in their late teens the two had been joined by friend Mike on drums and they took the name of a lane in their hometown, Dunbar, as their moniker Logan’s Close. This bit’s hazy, finding a bass player who fitted in took a while, I think Olly was the third one and he was a perfect fit. Now they were a tidy foursome, things started progressing nicely.

I first became aware of them at the end of April 2017 when Facebook suggested I might like their video Listen To Your Mother. Oh, I did, it was cracking and I still reckon it’s a great watch, do check it out! The following month they were the support for a touring band playing Sneaky Pete’s in the Cowgate so I went along and was totally blown away by their energy and sound, yup, one taste and I was hooked! I saw them three times more that year, the final time in November was for the launch of their latest single Girl, at the Caves just off the Cowgate.

Logan’s Close at Sneaky Pete’s Wednesday 31st January 2018

As good as this line-up and sound were, Rough and Marah were after one more piece to complete the puzzle – a keyboard-player, but where to look for someone to match their sound? The gods were happy to oblige them and dropped one into their laps, late one night after a gig in Stockbridge, a chance meeting in a small supermarket. He sent them a demo and Sean Keys was part of the LC sound; as I suspected, it was Scott who christened him Sean Keys, no his surname is not Keys! That was in March 2019 and now those keyboards are very much an integral part of the Logan’s Close soundscape.

Logan’s Close at the Voodoo Rooms supporting Black Cat Bone in April 2019

Alas, in July 2019 the band said a sad farewell to Mike. Since then they’ve had various drummers, but drummers seem to be flighty things, LC wanted one who’d settle down and go steady with them. Mind, it’s been an interesting time, Alex (as seen on the Fantastic Man lockdown vid and the LimbicTV gig) was great and Simon Gibb (currently playing with The Buccaneers amongst other things) has picked up the sticks for them on occasion. They have a new drummer, yet to be seen out at play with the band and also a new bass player since Ollie left for Italy last year, interesting to ponder how this change in the rhythm section will affect the band.

Messrs Rough and Marah have been very busy coming up with a whole stack of new tunes since the lockdowns. That must have been grand, finally getting back together, bouncing ideas off each other, getting the old chemistry sparking again. I had intended to ask a bit about the process of their particular alchemy on Tuesday night, hey ho, maybe another time if I’m lucky.

There’s been a shift in their style, the lads have gradually moved away from their initial early Beatles and Sixties sound, looking back Give It To Me (released July 2019) was a clear signal of this change. Oh, there’s still the sixties sensibilites in there in the weave but much more subtly. There’s so many new songs, and what with new band members, much of the old repertoire has been consigned to the band’s history, but there’s the odd one or two that’ll be kept around. Playing as The Scat Rats some LC tunes can pop up, I presume their particular favourites (some of mine too). A couple of songs from the LimbicTV session last year will be on the new album, I’m rather excited to hear how both will have evolved since then, and with the full studio treatment too! Yes, I know which two – not telling!

Sadly Eleanora isn’t one of them, shame. Oh, I did ask where Eleanora came from – Carl having his fortune told high up on a mountain in Italy (Apparently the fortune teller only spoke Italian, so he recorded it and got it translated later). Hey, at least it’s available on the Logan’s Close Live at LimbicTV CD now on sale as a limited edition vinyl-style CD on the band’s website for a mere £10 GBP (exc. shipping). I’d like to think I had a small part in their decision to put the CD out there, you may thank me later.

That’s it from what I’ve retrieved from my sozzled memory of Tuesday night. It was a fun night, there weren’t many in Binkies but we had plenty of enthusiasm and yes, I was up dancing again! So that’s the first five years of my acquaintance with the Close, can’t wait for the next five and beyond. Whatever Marah and Rough get up to next, it promises to a whole barrel of juicy fun.

Let’s finish this with a pic of the divinely talented, exquisitely in-sync Scott Rough and Carl Marah ❤

late night in Binkies

NEWSFLASH!!! Just announced on Facebook, the Close’s debut album Heart-Shaped Jacuzzi will be recorded in Hamburg in April. Well, newsflash to you, I already knew.

Odd balls and green eyes

Another rugby weekend done and dusted, the French fans will all be back home again after a grand weekend away. Some arrived early last Thurday (as noticed in Stramash in my last post), some stayed to carry on the party ’til Sunday night. Oh, I wasn’t witness to it ’til after Peaky Blinders had been on telly. Yay, the new and final series of Peaky Blinders is up and running, and I wasn’t being anywhere other than in front of my telly at nine o’clock on Sunday night. By ‘eck it was good, a fine tribute to the late actress Helen McCrory, Aunt Polly, who died almost a year ago.

Only after it did I tidy round from my evening meal and get ready to head out to Whistlebinkies. For why? The Buccaneers were scheduled to play at midnight. Now if you’ve been following my posts recently you may wonder if it was worth staying up so late – this time it was definitely happening, The Buccaneers said so on their Facebook page. I’ll admit to a slight hesitancy as I drank my way through a pint of Stewart’s Edinburgh Gold at just after midnight, oh yay, the band members started turning up, that helped wake me up! And I stayed awake ’til around three having the most splendid time drinking and dancing, it was a fine crowd there, all really enjoying the music. Mr Marah was on top form, well, all the band were. From pics on Facebook yesterday I think the keyboardist, Luke Cunningham, had just been on at Stramash which could explain his being the last to turn up but it was no problem to turn in a great performance. God, I’m so lucky to have such great musicians on my doorstep!

Not so lucky as the Welsh, though, well, the ones in Swansea. Whilst the Welsh may have been beaten by England on Saturday, they will have the first look at the new Logan’s Close line-up at Hangar 18 in Swansea on Thursday 17th March – jeez, I’m sooo jealous! I’ve never been to Swansea, don’t think I haven’t been pondering on a visit! The day after it’s a drive to The Elmer’s Arms in Bristol; again, somewhere I’ve never been, some very nice pubs there so I’m informed, hmmm. Saturday 19th March sees the band trotting north-east up to The Running Horse in Nottingham, then a left turn to Liverpool and the Prohibition Recording Studio on the Sunday evening before heading home to Auld Reekie. Might as well give you the other dates, that’s their long awaited return to the Voodoo Rooms on Sunday 27th (yay!!!) and then a skip across to Hamburg and the Indra Musikclub on the 31st; again, I’ve never been to Hamburg, I haven’t been anywhere (except Yorkshire) for over two years, maybe?!

I’ve noticed that the Nottingham gig is on Super Saturday, the final day of the Six Nations Rugby this year (so called as all three matches are on the same day). In years gone by that was a pub day, often the Greenmantle or The Blind Poet, ah, we were young, up for it and very, very drunk by the end of it. This year I’ll be down at the Mothership around that weekend, Nottingham is just down the road, well, under two hours down the road, oo.

Maybe I should just appreciate that the lads are having four dress rehearsals before the big one back here, the glass half-full approach. Yeah, I’m not really buying it. Swansea, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool, Logan’s Close are coming your way, you lucky, lucky bastards!

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?!

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

And all through the hoose, not a creature was stirring, not even a moose, everything was ready for the morn and all presents wrapped….

Yes, I’m down in deepest, dankest Yorkshire for the festivities. I’m on veg duties tomorrow – a thousand sprouts to be prepared and cooked! Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, we wouldn’t have room for the carrots and tatties for mashing (roasted parsnips and tatties has been assigned elsewhere). There’s a cake courtesy of a cousin, it looks okay but it won’t be a patch on mine waiting for me back in Edinburgh (for one thing, mine doesn’t have any nuts in it – I’m not allergic just not keen).

I had been starting to wonder if things would go bonkers in the run-up to Christmas again, thankfully not so much as last year. I made it down on possibly the greyest day of the year, at least I had a great soundtrack for it: Logan’s Close for exiting the Lothians, on to 70s Black Sabbath (Fluff is just an amazing piece), followed by Christmas tunes from the last seventy years, and as I still wasn’t quite back in happy valley, a dash of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I may have sung along on the odd occasion.

Have a very Merry Christmas wherever you are in this big wide world. Now I must go to sleep or Santa won’t come! I’ll leave you with a couple of pics of Old Hummus bedecked with tinsel!

Wot?! No Christmas Pudding?

Bah! This covid thing sucks! Had the plumber cancel first thing this morning after he received a positive test result, and now the sad but inevitable news on Facebook that Logan’s Close won’t be dishing out any pudding on the 23rd 😭 yes, I’m that upset I’ve had to use an emoji. Damn you, covid!

The new variant in town, Omicron, has seen Westminster and the Scottish Parliament bring in tighter measures just in time to deflate Christmas again. First Christmas parties were “advised” against, then things got serious. In England masking is required again and adults will now have to show proof of double-vaccination or a negative test result to get in certain venues. As Scotland still had similar the Sturgeon had to go further to be different; isolation rules have been extended, advice on socialising is now to limit to three households (up until Christmas), hospitality is once again facing tougher restrictions.

Oh, I do get that something needed to be done, I just have no faith that our politicians are making the right decisions for the right reasons, does any one of them look further than how it will affect their own immediate career (nevermind in the longer term), rather than the effect on the country ten, twenty years hence? One comment I read today that resonated with me, those making the decisions and policies have been in jobs, getting paid, through these last two years, I’ll just leave that one there.

Things were pretty ominous last week when the government advised against office parties, almost immediately hospitality saw cancellations soaring. On Monday I noticed Stramash hadn’t put a list of bands for the week on Facebook as they usually do; awaiting the latest update from down the road? Tuesday evening their opening hours now showed closed until Thursday (UPDATE Wednesday early evening, Facebook shows open with two bands on tonight). So many businesses have been relying on this festive season succeeding, so many livelihoods still desperately treading water. Sad.

Promise the next post will be more upbeat! I’ll leave you with the photo of Messrs Marah and Rough on Logan’s Close Facebook page today. I think this a brilliant picture, says it all, whoever took it, well done, you nailed it.

I’ve never been to Barra

….. so Barra came to me, well, Storm Barra popped round. Luckily Edinburgh rarely gets the brunt of any bad weather, some poor sods had only just had their power reconnected after Storm Arwen to lose it again! (who chooses the names for storms?!) Arwen caused a right kerfuffle around the UK, she came the last weekend in November and set quite a high benchmark for the rest of the storms this winter! Storm Barra was never going to be as badass but he gave it go.

As I said, Edinburgh never gets hit as hard as other places, bad weather here is really just crappy weather, but, of course, folk will moan like it’s the absolute worst! Arwen brought Edinburgh cold high winds, some rain, and left a smattering of snow; I would have enjoyed a toddle around Holyrood Park but was booked to leave Edinburgh first thing on the Sunday morning, shame. At least there was snow where I was headed, and it was the easterly, powdery stuff, yay, and not so much as they had around Tan Hill in North Yorkshire, so getting about was fine.

The Tan Hill Inn, previously famous as the highest pub in Britain (1,732ft or 528m above sea level) is now famous for having a three day lock-in thanks to Storm Arwen. She brought 3ft of snow, but the high winds caused snowdrifts up to 9ft deep and downed a power line blocking the road, the pub was completely cut off – with over sixty folk inside, including an Oasis tribute band who’d been playing on the Friday night. The story made the news around the world, yesterday the pub’s Facebook page had an estimated audience size of 48M-56M, like wow! The tribute band Noasis (soon nicknamed Snoasis by the press) kept their fans updated on Facebook, finally announcing “Noasis have left the building”, hey, the story even got a mention in RollingStone.

This highest pub in Britain thing got me wondering about where the highest pub in Scotland is, the Highlands, surely? And how much higher could a pub in Yorkshire be than a pub up in the Highlands? It turns out, the highest pub in Scotland is nowhere near the Highlands, it’s actually way down in the south west in a village called Wanlockhead, goes by the name Wanlockhead Inn (no The for this Inn) and it falls 201ft short of the overall British title. Oh, and it’s not the second highest pub in Britain neither, that goes to The Cat & Fiddle in Cheshire at 1689ft above sea level. Have many folk visited all three as a thing, I wonder? Some years ago I may well have made it a challenge to myself, for now I’ll content myself with battling the wind blowing down the Cowgate!

I left Edinburgh after Arwen had swept through town and returned in time for Barra turning up. My trip away was also bookended by Carl Marah playing at Stramash, first with the Willie Dug Band ( I was going to see Willie Dug anyway, Carl was an unexpected bonus!) and then with his fellow Scat Rat, Scott Rough. After a full-on week it was so good to have a pint and listen to my favourite duo, the lads were on great form. I recall their rendition of Norwegian Wood was particularly fine, oh and they finished the first set with Del Shannon’s Runaway, don’t reckon I’ve heard them do that one before.

If I had to be stuck in a pub in the middle of nowhere for three days with a band, Logan’s Close would be my first choice, yes, above all other current bands (if we’re going full fantasy line-up, I’d need more time to think about it). As long as there was enough food in for full scottish fry-ups, oh yay, breakfast serenades!

I leave you with an attempt to replicate the plight of the Tan Hill Inn….

Moose heads and table lamps, musthaves!

I did it! It took a while and a few wrong turns but I did it! Indeed, Great Uncle Hubert looks great on my wall, a fine head!

He’s so going to be tinseled and baubled up for Christmas. How could I not?! Yeah, it’s nearly crimble time again. The Edinburgh Christmas Market is up and running; a lot smaller than previous, which is no bad thing. I had a quick scoobies at it yesterday and can report that it’s nothing to write home about (yes, the irony is not lost on me). I hope no one makes a special trip to Edinburgh for it, there’s surely much better Christmas markets to visit. I used to treat myself to a drink and a snack on one wander each year just to get into the Christmas spirit but, like (call me Scrooge if you want) not at those prices, especially for Rekorderlig Swedish spring water with added apple flavours!

There is an ice rink in town this year, I think it’s at the west end of George Street, and there seems to be some fairground rides at the west end of West Princes Street Gardens. Haven’t been for a tootles at either, I shall report back when I do. I can report that Frites on Lothian Road do rather good chips! Yes, they probably prefer to call them french fries but I reckon they’re large enough to count as chips, good mayo too. I was heading for the cinema and realised I needed to eat but also needed to keep moving; I’ve passed it a million times but never stopped before, I couldn’t wait until I had popcorn, a good choice!

The film I was seeing? Venom: Let There Be Carnage for a second time, actually I reckon that I enjoyed it more on second viewing. I’ve also been back to see Last Night In Soho again, such a brilliant, brilliant fillm ❤

Talking about brilliant things, Fur finally made it back to Sneaky Pete’s, yay. This was a rescheduled date from March this year – oh, how confident folks were in summer ’20 of Covid being controlled by early ’21. Now at the back end of ’21, we can see bands again by masking up to enter venues and buy drinks at the bar ….. then removing them to bop and jostle about in a packed out box! I did notice the air-conditioning seemed to be rather better than pre-Covid, no bad thing, it still got very warm but not like before.

Fur last played Sneaky’s in September 2019, I actually just went because Logan’s Close were supporting, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by this band from Brighton. Reader, I was so blown away I bought the EP! The sound, the songs, the vocals, wow. You’re probably expecting me to give some description of them next, erm, sorry, fully formed sentences ain’t happening. Retro, jangly, disturbing, disquieting eeriness, wistful, euphoric; there’s a few words that come to my mind about Fur.

This time round they have a new album out, When You Walk Away, so natch, I had to buy one. White vinyl, no less! And all the lyrics on the inside sleeve, nice. I rarely buy records these days but it does feel so good to have these two spicing up my collection. Plenty in Sneaky’s were obviously already well acquainted with the new stuff, as Murray (vocals and guitar) was blown away by how many were singing along. Me, I just bobbed about, soaking it all up, a blissed out moose; I love Murray’s voice, and the new stuff is more of the same, no bad thing! And you’ve got to love a band who take table lamps and a rug on tour to add ambience to the stage, oh yeah.

The evening was too good to just head home after the gig, you know how it is! A few drinks later and the night ended in Whistlebinkies, a late night bar with live music just off the Royal Mile, and what do you know, Fur were there drinking with the Scat Rats (The Close weren’t support this time). Just had to get a couple of shots for the files…….

And on Logan’s Close, they’re having a big Christmas bash at the Voodoo Rooms with three support acts, including Julen Santamaria from Awkward Family Portraits. Now that’s how to get into the Christmas spirit!