Thursday, 13 September 2018

We'll do all the law's allowing / Tomorrow I'll be right back plowing

So this was a hoot (screening courtesy of the Glasgow Dr Who Society):

"Under The Wire" is a very powerful doc that puts so many of our "problems" in perspective. Paul Conroy is amazing.

Oh - I'm at The Tron, Glasgow on 28th Sept. Performing 7 x songs.

What to sing? Maybe some stuff from this.

I got into a honky-tonk state of mind the other night. Some Webb Pierce, Wynn Stewart...and I do love Hank....

Better Call Saul. Am I right?

I am making music for a 3-part Scottish political TV doc which should be v. interesting. The director has made some other powerful political documentaries. Watch this space.

Upcoming Teenage Fanclub live shows (UK/Hong Kong/Japan/Australia*/New Zealand/) here.

Upcoming Tracyanne & Danny live shows (UK/Europe) here.

I like dipping into The Moth. This is quite something. And so is this.

You'll have heard about this?:

And that's that.

*(must remember to invite Kath & Kim)

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Never Morning Wore to Evening but some Heart did break

So y'all know Tracyanne & Danny are hitting the road again, right?

Ticket links here.
Teenage Fanclub just played a couple of fun festival shows at Electric Fields:

...and Moseley Folk Festival:

I ate nice katsu curry in Dumfries and scrumptious balti in Moseley.

Whilst in Birmingham I visited the Art Gallery & Museum:


In other news, the moving doc series "Tara & George", about a homeless couple in London, continues on BBC Radio 4. I was glad to be involved with creating the music. You can download the podcast episodes here.

Reported Missing is compelling TV, IMHO.

Oh and if you get the chance to see it, I recommend this:

Toodle pip!

Friday, 24 August 2018

The Wisdom of Einstein

Well I liked it.

Episode 2 of "Tara & George" is available now. A very moving listen. (I wonder if Brexit will have a positive impact on issues of homelessness, healthcare, mental health, poverty, food bank dependency, etc.? Just kidding.)

I enjoyed playing Hebden Bridge (sweatiest gig ever) then the Green Man Festival (Goan fish curry a particular highlight) with TFC last weekend. More gigs to come, of course.

A certain 8 year-old asked me if she could join Teenage Fanclub if she learns guitar. I managed to change the subject.

I dipped into the late, lamented Anthony Burdain's "Kitchen Confidential"- rascal that he was - a few years ago and I enjoyed this article in particular. I'd never seen his show "Parts Unknown" so I found the episode on Scotland on Netflix (Season 5). Recommended. (Beautifully shot!). Deep friend haggis with chips and cheese and curry sauce. Wha's like us?

Fat Girl, Interrupted is a brilliantly told story from The Moth. Just realised how the opening line plants a seed...

Some Tracyanne & Danny news coming soon...

Oh, I fancy checking out this, btw...

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Tara & George, etc

(Gilbert & George and Tara & George image sourced from
A while ago I was in London for Tracyanne & Danny's Rough Trade East in-store, just off Brick Lane in London. Audrey Gillan - whom I'd never met (though we followed each other on social media) - came up and said hi and asked if I ever made music for radio and did I have 10 minutes so she could tell me about a project she was working on?

She led me round to Fournier Street in the shadow of Hawksmoor's Christ Church (creepily discussed in Alan Moore's "From Hell"). The Ten Bells pub sits on the corner. Audrey told me about Tara & George, a homeless couple who have been hanging out on this street for years. Audrey had been recording interviews with them for a documentary series for BBC Radio 4. Just then Tara appeared and perched on her usual step with some bags and a bottle of cider. Audrey took me over and introduced me as her friend from Glasgow. Tara asked me if I have any money and did I know when her birthday was.

After a wee chat Audrey walked me back to Tracyanne & Danny and said she'd be in touch. She was off to Hong Kong the next day. All told our excursion took about 10 minutes right enough (during which time we also bumped in to Audrey's neighbour who had helped with recording duties for the  T&G project. Audrey would explain this thus: "synchronicity").

To be proactive I sent off some initial musical ideas. Audrey responded positively and said she would send the music on to her producer and advised that if he was less enthusiastic she'd "batter him". Audrey is from Glasgow.

Well reader, Audrey didn't have to batter her producer. And now the first episode of a moving story, with which I am proud to be involved, can be found here.

Homelessness is one of the UK's great shames. Audrey's sensitivity in telling this story is a force for good. And we need some good right now.

I've been working on music for a couple of other projects that I cannot tell you about just yet. Jeez I am such a tease!

Talking of tease - what about this?!

So - some films I recommend.



And - if you haven't ran off to join an Agnostic Satanic Humanitarians Against Organised Religion cult after all that - this:

Me and my kids are looking forward to this:

Speaking of enchanting (slick, right?) I'm nearly finished my Spalding Gray book. Amazing, honest, engaging writer. His live theatrical monologues must have been brilliant.

Kath & Kim are my new fantasy dinner party guests. They can sit either side of Billy Connolly.

"I Don't" is a well told story by Richard Kind for The Moth.

Teenage Fanclub play Hebden Bridge this Friday and then Green Man festival on Saturday. Should be fun. We've been rehearsing. Who knew Bohemian Rhapsody had so many chords?

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

comme ci comme ├ža

Oh it's you. Hello there.

Lately I've been doing music for a radio doc and a couple of documentary films, and also a couple of projects for BBC and STV.

I was filmed playing piano in Glasgow Central Station for a thing (don't ask) (actually do) (no don't - I can't tell anyone about it yet).

And I was very chuffed to hear a couple of pieces from my "Hamilton Mausoleum Suite" album on this BBC TV doc about Tacita Dean.

Recently I caught a couple of Monsieur Hulot films at the good ol' GFT, bringing back memories of my mum taking me to see "Playtime" when I was wee.

Loved reading "Swimming To Cambodia" at last. I think I caught the last few minutes of the film on Channel 4 yonks (and I mean yonks) ago. Somehow it popped into my head again and I decided to pick up the book.

This first episode of "Life In Pieces" made me laugh.

This is a moving film.

Loved this Moth story. Made sure my children heard it and took what they could from it.

The disaster of Brexit continues to humiliate but this Twitter thread was a welcome distraction.

Upcoming Teenage Fanclub live dates here.

Y'all know Tracyanne & Danny and The Pastels are playing in Paisley on 13th Oct, right?

I'll leave you with this.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

It's July?!

I'm chuffed with the beautiful "In June" which uses "20 Sep" from my album "Music For String Quartet, Piano & Celeste"....

It was produced by choreographer and Scottish Ballet soloist Jamiel Laurence.

I used to think "Live And Let Die" was my favourite Bond film but I really enjoyed a recent watch of "For Your Eyes Only".  Crazy. Anyway, Roger Moore's Live And Let Die diaries are fun.

In other news this is great. Going to see him live this eek (!) I mean week.

Toodle pip.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Tracyanne & Danny (and me ) in NY

So last week I was in NY to see Tracyanne & Danny at the Williamsburg Hall Of Music.

Another great show.

The esteemed Laura Cantrell came along but I forgot to get a selfie.

Laura's pal Rachel Liebling (daughter of Jerome Liebling) recommended I attend this Vintage NY photography exhibition featuring the work of David and Sandra Weiner. I loved it.

T&D also recorded a session for Gaylord Fields at WFMU, going out sometime after 8pm, Eastern Time on Sunday 24th June.

I ate pizza slices and cheesecake, oxtail ragu, street tacos - and fruit salad.

At Bamonte's I got 'my usual' (i.e. for the third time in 10 years). Meatballs & spaghetti, glass of house red. The owner showed us the table where Joe DiMaggio used to sit.

On the flight over I listened to this, which was a bit emotional:

I wandered round Brooklyn.

I met up with my ol' pal Michael Shelley for a wee Cheeky Monkey reunion and we want to MOMA.

We had clam chowder in the Grand Central Station oyster bar .

Last time I was there I was in the company of Tracyanne Campbell and Carey Lander.

I bade the T&D crew farwell at the Rough Trade record store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn...

A post shared by Tracyanne&Danny (@tracyanneanddanny) on

...and off they went to conquer Massachusetts.

I flew back to Manchester and had some time to kill before getting my train.  I got a tram out to Media City to visit The Lowry. I was just too late to hear this in situ:

I watched this and loved it.

This is still genius.

If you are swithering (to use a good Scottish phrase) about catching Tracyanne & Danny live on their North American tour - swither no more. Band are sounding great.

Get on the case now before it's too late -

I'm off to walk around Glasgow city centre, stepping out in front of taxis saying, "Hey I'm walking here!" and that kind of thing.

Oh and the world cup is on, of course.