My 2018 Music Review

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2018 has been a momentous year in so many ways, but for me musically … off the scale! So happy and lucky with my own music making exploits: joining and gigging with a great band The Postcards; gigging with my sister as Jan & George Glen; and recording and mixing a great CD for Rachel Edwards. Really lucky to have had all these things come together in one year … and manage to see and hear so many great artists …

Best Gigs –

My Gig of the Year award simply has to go to Susanne Sundfør at the Barbican in May. Unforgettably perfect … I still have to pinch myself to believe I was there and right in front. Sublime.

I was lucky also to witness some other really special occasions –

Best Albums

Very few notable albums to mention really this year for some reason. Enjoyed Ruins by First Aid Kit, Great Aspirations by TC&I and lately Lamp Lit Prose by Dirty Projectors, but nothing earth shattering.

Best New Discovered Artists

Again no earth shattering new discoveries either (if you exclude The Postcards ! ) Loma, Trembling Bells, Screaming Females and St Martiins are worth a mention.

Here’s to a great 2019 for all of us. It’s guaranteed to be ‘interesting’!

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Postcards – The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow – 8 Dec 2018

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks to so many of our friends and new fans who came to see my band The Postcards in our first full sized headlining gig at the marvellous Old Hairdresser’s. We have put a lot of work in this year and it was fun and rewarding to manage a set of 19 songs. More rewarding was the fantastic reaction we got, so much love in the room for these old songs played by these old codgers. Looking forward to more of the same in 2019 with many more of our favourite songs, ‘the songs that saved our lives’!

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Leave a comment

The Cardigans – Academy, Glasgow – 4 Dec 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I loved The Cardigans from their first album and only when they decided to tour again did it cross my mind that I never saw them first time round … time to rectify that! Met Andy there and I said I much preferred their first 2 albums, whereas he preferred their later ones, but the plan was for them to play the whole of their most successful 3rd album, Gran Turismo … Doh!

So although they are of course great, I hardly knew any of the songs played in their 1st set, later material 2nd Set, and only in their encores did they play 2 songs, Carnival’ and ‘Lovefool’, from my favourite albums! ‘I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer’ has to be the longest song title to the best song ever! Still they sounded great and Nina Persson is in fine voice and entertaining form with everyone in the Academy in the palm of her hand. Love her! Magic!

8/11 – Attended by George & Andy A

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Leave a comment

Bernie Torme – Bannerman’s, Edinburgh – 25 Nov 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Not someone I had ever heard of until Andy said he was a favourite of his from Bernie’s time in Gillan … a long time ago. When I spotted he was playing Bannerman’s on his farewell tour, we just had to go see. He is a great, showy guitarist, though his heavier bluesy rock is not my cup of tea, it was worth going along to see the beaming smile that never left Andy’s face!

7/11 – Attended by George & Andy

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Leave a comment

Your Reptilian Masters – Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh – 24 Nov 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 gigs in 2 nights at Andy’s instigation, this one to see the band of a friend of his, Mikey, singer and bassist of Your Reptilian Masters. A bit of a pot luck, on spec night with 3 bands I didn’t know including Glassface and The No-Things. I really enjoyed them all though and The Banshee Labyrinth is a cool place.

7/11 – Attended by George & Andy

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Leave a comment

Johnny Marr – Barrowlands, Glasgow – 15 Nov 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Smiths being my favourite band ever obviously makes Johnny Marr my no.1 fave guitar hero. His music has always meant so much to me but the first time I saw him with his own band I was not really blown away. Well 3 albums later I think they have got a lot better and this show was a belter!

Johnny has really grown into his role as band leader and consummate rock god with attitude and big poses to spare. His singing, though not his forte, is better than ever but honestly … it’s all about that guitar playing … a glorious, joyous thing. How does he do it? So casual yet perfect. I enjoyed plenty of his new songs but he has also learned to give the crowd what they want with a magnificent 7 Smiths songs so we could sing along ‘til hoarse. He made me very happy and Jan deliriously so. Bravo!

9/11 – Attended by George & Jan

Posted in My Gig Reviews | 1 Comment

Half Formed Things – La Belle Angele – 10 Nov 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I look forward to everything that the wonderful Half Formed Things do. They have been very sparing and selective with their appearances so there’s been lots of forward looking since that impressive last time at The Mash House. And a few more songs this time with their album getting there and the set growing … much appreciated and I love their approach to longer more dynamic songs than most bands.

Not sure La Belle Angele is a venue that gets the best out of artists though, I’ve never been happy there and I think the sound was disappointing and detracted from a great performance. Still, their choice of occasional cover is always inspired, from my favourite Bjork song to this time my favourite Kate Bush song … Babooshka was just brilliant. Hoping for many more Half Formed Things!

8/11 – Attended by George, Karen & Jan

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Leave a comment

TC&I – Arts Centre, Swindon – 30 Oct 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I booked a trip to London to see Jennie Abrahamson, then found out that Colin Moulding and Terry Chambers of XTC had organised a run of performances as ‘TC&I’ the same week. A detour to Swindon the next day was essential then and I was fortunate enough to get a ticket, perfectly placed right near the front centre too, couldn’t believe my luck!

XTC stopped touring in 1982, shortly after I saw them in 1981, though they continued recording until 2006. The world had their wonderful music but was deprived of live performance due to Andy Partridge’s issues. Well to get half the band live after so long was more than enough to get XTC fanatics like me racing to Swindon from all round the Globe to hear many of the songs Colin wrote and sang for XTC. We were all bursting with excitement and the show lived up to our expectations, and more!

Colin is still in fine voice and his signature bass lines flowed effortlessly in his brilliantly understated way. After so many years away from the kit Terry bashes those drums just as powerfully and precisely as ever and the other band members played their parts perfectly, bravo! What an extensive set too. A pretty comprehensive tour through Colin’s XTC songs as well as recent TC&I recordings. In the ‘Arts Centre’ environment, I felt the volume was respectful and the sound a bit polite, so they couldn’t ‘rock out’ as massively as I would have liked … but fair enough, they (and the audience, ahem) are getting on a bit so that’s a very minor quibble. I sang along at the top of my voice to compensate!

I sat next to a lovely couple from Surrey, the nicest people, and like many XTC fans at such get togethers we made friends and will keep in touch. Got to meet Colin and Terry afterwards, shake their hands, quick pic (thanks Owen) and thank them for the music … very gracious guys if not terribly comfortable in the situation. Floated back to Edinburgh stupidly happy!

9/11 – Attended by George with Jacqui and Owen!

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/tcandi/2018/swindon-arts-centre-swindon-england-1b96052c.html

Posted in My Gig Reviews | 1 Comment

Jennie Abrahamson – Rich Mix, London – 29 Oct 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I could not miss the enchanting Jennie on this, the only UK date of her ‘Reverseries Solo’ tour. She is so multi-talented. A wonderful singer, musician, songwriter, arranger, producer .. and I had seen her twice quite recently with a full band, so I wondered how she would reproduce the more complex of her songs?

Well partly using a bewildering array of instruments and technology. She was like an octopus at times playing keyboards, bass pedals, pads and effects pedals like a carefully choreographed dance. So cleverly done, no distraction from the spell of the songs. Some use of samples of course, but mainly live, augmented with touches to bring the busier songs to full life. Many songs used just her keyboards though and all featured her spectacular voice. Though her full band shows were more powerful for me, this was a lovely contrast. The 10th time I’ve seen Jennie perform and I couldn’t recommend her more! Loved it.

My note of the superb set list was … To The Water, Lights, You Won Me Over, Running, Bloodlines, Wolf, Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush), Not In My Name, Man In You, Lift Me Up (Bruce Springsteen), Snowstorm, Phoenix, Into Deep, Summer, Falling.

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/jennie-abrahamson/2018/rich-mix-london-england-3b96041c.html

8.5/11 – Attended by George

Posted in My Gig Reviews | 1 Comment

Dirty Harry – PJ Molloy’s, Dunfermline – 27 Oct 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Having heard for ages that Blondie tribute band Dirty Harry were very good I planned to see them sometime, but when I found out my friend Simon played the Clem Burke drums for them, it had to be asap, so Dunfermline it was since PJ Molloys is a great venue. And I can confirm … they are great!

Sarah IS Debbie Harry … not only in quality voice and uncanny looks but in her authentic New Jersey banter and mannerisms. She had the busy, enthusiastic audience in the palm of her hand. The band are superb too of course through a very comprehensive 21 song set, flawless, especially the drumming! Like everyone there we had a ball and will be back for more in future. Such fun.

8/11 – Attended by George, Karen & Jan

 

Posted in My Gig Reviews | Leave a comment