The second of our friends to select his 3 favourites of 2014 is noted Greenock playwright Danny McCahon. Danny’s 30 minute radio drama, “Going Spare” was broadcast in September by Radio Scotland. It’s a slice of modern social realism in the tradition of “Cathy Come Home” & is being repeated on Boxing Day. That’s Radio Scotland, check the BBC website & their iPlayer it’s well worth a listen. Danny used to pick the half-time music at his beloved Celtic F.C. now that’s my kind of job…
I am rubbish at lists and have great admiration for people who can remember in December what they were listening to in January or February. This year, for me, that listening was mainly what loosehandlebars was recommending. I reckon I only bought nine new music albums this year and one of those was released in 2013. So a top ten is beyond me.
Giving it proper thought, most of my musical highlights in 2014 have been live moments. I’ve reached an age where listening to a good band with a pint in my hand is the height of contented bliss. Doffing my cap to James King and the Lonewolves and The Everlasting Yeah who will be on many people’s lists, here goes . . .
Veloninos. A mate of mine, Shug, is pretty much the go-to bassman in the west of Scotland for bands of a certain flavour. For months I was bumping into him on my street every Sunday afternoon. His guardedness about where he’d been pricked my suspicions enough for me to stop asking. Finally, on a drive home from watching him play with David Ritchie’s Debris Rose, Shug came clean: “I’ve been rehearsing with Davie, Laurie and Kenny and we’ve got a gig coming up.” Davie and Kenny are two-thirds of eighties reeferbilly rebels The Shakin’ Pyramids and Laurie is the guitar hero from Cuban Heels.
I bought tickets and got more than my money’s worth. Veloninos won’t remain unsigned for long. In this clip, three quarters of the band give an acoustic taster. Wait till you hear them when Laurie’s got his tremoloed Gretsch plugged in.
Lola In Slacks. Built around the deep, gallic-tinged, Nico-flavoured vocals of Lou Reid (yep, that’s her real name) and the guitar soundscapes of Brian McFie, this Glasgow outfit unleashed a collection of well-honed songs on Facebook early in the year and played their first live gig at Glasgow’s Glad Café in February. I was among a crowd that loved them.
For a toe in the water, I have selected “Trocchi’s Canal”, there’s more of this good stuff on the band’s Soundcloud page. I hope this time next year there’s a Lola in Slacks album to make the lists.
Steve Jones. Despite my lack of skills with lists, I do have anorak blood and when a new (to me) musician catches my attention I get a bit Google-obsessed. When the same name appeared on two albums I am fond of that came out late in the year, this guitarist sent me a-searching. He shares a name with a guitarist that made my ears happy in my youth, but that and a Gibson logo appear to be about all he shares with the Sex Pistol.
Steve Jones is one of ten guitarists credited on Bryan Ferry’s “Avonmore” – nine of them contributing to one track – and plays on 15 of the 17 tunes on Craig Armstrong’s “It’s Nearly Tomorrow” including the luxurious, luxuriant “Desole”.Google tells me he’s a software/app genius, does soundtracks and has his own band, Ramshackle Crow.
There’s always new music out there. It’s not always in the NME
Well, the Lola In Slacks track needs another listen, that’s great. I know that Mr McCahon listens to music made outside Scotland (there’s just not enough Scottish reggae ), hopefully he will share more of his new & old favourites with us in 2015.