Friday, 8 June 2018

Happy Halloween

Tell your pals. Tracyanne & Danny tour North America THIS MONTH in support of their acclaimed new album:
"Magnificent" 9/10 -Uncut

"A tender and crisply realised collection of panoramic pop” -The Guardian

Jun 15     Durham, NC – Motorco

We all had a ball making the ghostly new video for "It Can't Be Love", directed by the mighty Ed Dougherty and his team.

Many props sourced locally including a reel to reel tape recorder + candlesticks from The Barras - and also a cowboy hat picked up in an interesting shop in San Francisco a few years ago...

In other news I loved "A Very English Scandal" and I am loving Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn. Finally reading it after reading this a while ago.

Rupert Everett (son of Kenny - just kidding) deserves a big pat on the back for this...

Oh and get this watched if you can.

Or just watch this...

Friday, 1 June 2018

Hello June!

OK. So it's June...

I saw The Rutles in Glasgow last week. Loved it.

This week I had a wee trip to the beautiful city of Bristol to catch the live debut of Tracyanne & Danny, promoting "your new favourite album".

First gig was a corker.
Tracyanne & Danny at The Lantern, Bristol
Then they conquered London.

Soundcheck - Oslo, London
Gig - Oslo, London
I had a wee wander around Tate Modern...

I walked over the Millennium Bridge past St Paul's...

Thence to Rough Trade East in-store which was dandy.

Rough Trade East instore - soundcheck
Rough Trade instore - gig
I also got a wee tour of the local area so now I know where Gilbert & George live. I decided not to knock on their door and tell them that their show in Dublin induced my 9 year-old to declare, "My brian hurts", although they might have liked that.

Then it was upwards and onwards for an emotional show in Glasgow.

Emotional soundcheck - St Luke's, Glasgow
Emotional gig - St Luke's Glasgow
Nice to have Edwyn blinking' Collins onstage for a vocal cameo during "Alabama" (!!!)

Then home and up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire.

Calling all people of (the east coast of) America!! Tell your pals: Tracyanne & Danny are coming your way this month:

Jun 15     Durham, NC – Motorco

AND they play Electric Fields in Scotland in September (*cough* as do Teenage Fanclub *cough*)...

So there you have it.

Tinkety-tonk, old fruit, and down with the nazis!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Tracyanne & Danny - finally released into the wild

"Tracyanne & Danny" is out now.

“Gorgeous” (The Herald)
“Magnificent”  9/10 (Uncut)
“A gem” ★ ★ ★ ★ (The Scotsman)
“Terrific” ★ ★ ★ ★ (The Skinny)
“Beautiful” ★ ★ ★ ★ (The List)
"Indie at its finest”  ★ ★ ★ ★ (Dork)

Listen again to Tracyanne & Danny live in session for Marc Riley here

Tracyanne & Danny on tour:

This week I learned that Roald Dahl wanted Spike Milligan to play Willy Wonka in the film. Fancy that.

Belated Happy Birthday, Bob.

This is one of the best books I have ever picked up:

Image result for tom lubbock, book

...and this, by the same author, is one of the most extraordinary:

Image result for tom lubbock, book

Loved this too:

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Looking forward to the next episode of this.

Friday, 11 May 2018


I met Scott Hutchison once, a few years ago, when I brought Tracyanne Campbell along to a studio on the east side of Glasgow where she recorded a guest vocal on "Fuck This Place" - a Frightened Rabbit track for an EP they were making to sell on tour.

I didn't really know Scott but that day he was was friendly and unassuming and was pleased to have Tracyanne involved.

There is a lot of heartbreak and pain being expressed about Scott's passing. He touched a lot of lives and was loved. I wasn't going to write anything because I can't pretend to have really known him. But I read that his family and friends were taking strength from the thoughts expressed and memories shared. And I remember that when we lost Carey, Tracyanne and the rest of the band, and Carey's family and friends, drew support from others sharing the different ways in which Carey had touched their lives.

I hope Scott's bandmates, family and friends are holding up as best they can.

In Michael Palin's diaries he writes about a church service for his sister who took her own life. A family friend says,"If only she could have seen herself as we all saw her."

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

It Can't Be Love Unless It Hurts

You know Teenage Fanclub are hitting the road later this year, right?

I loved these two Spike Milligan radio docs about recordings of discussions between Spike and his biographer. In the first episode there is a brutal war anecdote. And Michael Palin's wee story about Spike trying to phone him is a gem. "I've been trying to call you for two weeks to say I thought Roger Of The Raj was great. Now I think it was bloody awful!"

Here come some film recommendations:

The Royal Television Society Scotland Awards take place soon. I worked on music for two programmes which are nominated. Keep your eyes crossed for me.

This is one of the best books I have ever picked up.

And this is powerful and raw, darting from passionate endorsements of classical music to the legacy of child abuse and more. Hard to describe but glad I read it.

Caught this on BBC i-player and calmly soaked in it like a nice warm bath. With a sprinkle of Radox. Spookily lit by a candle from Flying Tiger.

3 or 4 years ago I saw a good amateur production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Last week I saw Scottish Opera's production. Loved it. I used to think I'd be bored going to an opera, but so far so good. I've liked or loved everything I've seen by SO.

Someone from Scottish Ballet has been in touch about choreographing a performance for two dancers to one of my pieces. Exciting.

And I signed some of my music to esteemed publishers Mute Song.

Anyway. Never mind all that.

Tracyanne & Danny are touring the UK this month.

They've unleashed a new song online and it is a belter; "a beautifully composed piece of songwriting" in the words of Clash magazine:

Tickets for their shows in UK and US can be booked here.

Don't come crying to me if the gig you're thinking about going to sells out.

See you down the road.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Women Of The World, Take Over

Just had 2 x nights in St Monans, Anstruther (grilled smoked haddock in the world famous Fish Bar - tick) with wee excursions to Pittenweem and Elie. Splendid.

(Despite much practise I won't be skimming stones for Scotland anytime soon)

I had to buy 2 x stamps for postcards in Linlithgow. The woman in the newsagents didn't have any for sale, but she had some in her purse and wouldn't take any money for them (another wonderful wifie in the shop was rooting in her purse for me too). Hooray for wee acts of human kindness and earth mothers.

Ivor Cutler said it best.

If you missed the "Lenny Henry: The Commonwealth Kid" programme wot I done some music for, it's here for now. More moving than I anticipated.

120 BPM is a wrenching watch. A Wrinkle In Time less so.

I enjoyed the Glasgow Sons Of The Desert's presentation of some Laurel & Hardy films in the Panopticon avec mon fils. But next time I'm wearing two pairs of socks.

Three shows for which I provided music are nominated Royal Television Society of Scotland Awards:
  • "A Family Divided" (Steadipix / BBC Scotland)
  • "The Force: The Story Of Scotland's Police" (STV / BBC Scotland)
  • "Best Laid Plans" (Tern TV / Channel 4)
Yay. Three chances to fail. Kidding.

Meanwhile I am working on music for two documentaries that I can't tell you about.

You're onboard with Tracyanne & Danny - right? Touring UK and US in May and June.

Buy tickets here.

Friday, 30 March 2018

The Truth about Me, Lenny Henry & Picasso

I recently supplied music for this BBC One show...

Buy me a drink and I'll tell you all my Lenny Henry anecdotes (I don't have any. I never met him).

I loved Picasso's Last Stand on BBC Two.

Oh! Tracyanne & Danny have released "Alabama" from their forthcoming album on Merge:

Great, right? Love Edywn Collins popping up. I got goosebumps first time I heard this song and I still get them.
"When I'm an old lady / I'll still miss you like crazy"
Tracyanne & Danny tour UK in May and US in June. Order tickets / join mailing list here: