Thursday, 18 May 2017

Awards Schmawards


Last night I attended the Royal Television Scotland Awards in Glasgow.

The Dunblane documentary directed by Stephen Bennett (for which I provided the music) was nominated. It didn't win but I was chuffed for other winners including Louise Lockwood (Director Of The Year) and Jonathan Seale (Editor) - and the great Billy Connolly. Billy received the RTS Scotland Award and sent a nice filmed message of thanks from Florida.

Robbie Coltrane and Gok Wan were in attendance but neither of them approached me for a selfie. Weird.

I remember Gok Wan being a good guest on Desert Island Discs a few years ago. He tells a beautiful story about his parents - his dad in particular - accepting his sexuality.

More recently if you haven't heard Liz Lochead on the same show - I highly recommend it.

Did I mention Bob Dylan was amazing in Glasgow last week? Well he was.

Films I have dug include:



and



and



And finally, Cyril?

And finally, Esther....

I've been doing music for a new ad but I can't tell you who for. Wish I could give you a lidl clue.

x


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I Feel Like A Record That's Scratched

Those nice people at Clash magazine have premiered a new video by Gordon Beswick for "I Feel Like A record That's Scratched" - a track from the forthcoming album "Bonjour" my me and Harry Pye.

When Harry sent me the words, the music seemed to flow quite easily.

This track features Kevin Eldon impersonating Richard Attenborough in Brighton Rock...



Pre-order now on CD/LP/Digital (get some songs right now on i-tunes).

I liked The Handmaiden.


I discovered a smashing piece by Messiaen thanks to C Duncan on BBC Scotlands' Classics Unwrapped here.

I've watched Episode 1, Series 1 of Line Of Duty. No spoilers!

I am writing music for a top secret TV project.

I've got my ticket to see Bob Dylan this weekend.

Em...please, Father, that is all I can remember.

Voice of Priest: "Say two hail marys and make a good act of contrition."




Wednesday, 26 April 2017

One of the groovier things to happen to me lately...

So Tucker Martine did a great job producing the last Camera Obscura album "Desire Lines".

A few months ago on Wikipedia I discovered that Tucker's father wrote my favourite Elvis song. (!!!)

Here is an article from a couple of years ago (scroll halfway down) where you can see what I had to say about the song. (Harry Pye had asked me to write something about Elvis).

Here is a lovely wee piece about Layng Martine writing "Way Down" and Elvis recording it.

Earlier this year I played in Portland with Teenage Fnclub and invited Tucker along. We didn't meet up because he had an early start the next day but he sent me a nice text saying he had enjoyed the show.

Today I received something in the post...



How groovy is that?

Thank you, Layng, and thank you, Tucker!







Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hail César!

Hola.

I've just had a holiday in wonderful Lanzarote. César Manrique is my new hero.


Holiday reading: Maigret's Failure.


If you have 4 minutes to spare, here is a short film about "Bonjour" - my new album with Harry Pye:



You can order Bonjour on CD, LP or Download here.

And for those that can access it, here's a link to "A Family Divided" - a powerful documentary made by Steadipix for BBC Scotland. It tells a pretty amazing story. I was glad to provide the music.

Teenage Fanclub are coming to Spain, France and Portugal in June. Live info here.

Besos. Hasta la vista.



Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Teenage Fanclub in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and NY

OK so first of all, I'm proud to have provided the music for this powerful documentary, transmitted on BBC Scotland on 11th April:


And you can still order "Bonjour" - my album with Harry Pye - here.

So the Teenage Fanclub world tour bandwagon rolled on to San Francisco. 


We stayed in a groovy hotel....



...encountered The Ghost Of The Tenderloin...


...and ate good, inexpensive Vietnamese food.




On the day of the show I grabbed a diverting wee hour in SFMOMA.















Our show at the Great American Music Hall was a tour highlight. Great, great audience. Nice to catch  up with some old pals after the show.


Britta Phillips opened for our US west coast shows and was great.
Norman's back in Frisco (I know - nobody calls it Frisco. I'm a rebel).

Onwards to Portlandia, I mean Portland. Purty drive.
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String Bikini.

"Unless your childhood sucked...'
I had a great visit to the Portland Museum Of Art.


Ask me anything about Rodin (- don't, actually).




I especially loved some of the American photography exhibits...






left-handed cellist...


I'm going to start wearing my tie like this.














I believe this work by Jeff Koons influenced the artwork for TFC's "Thirteen" album.
Orange Words In Neon



I enjoyed speaking to Scott McCaughey after our show and hearing about the Young Fresh Fellows' experience recording with Rufus Thomas. And Ivan from The Rosebuds who toured with TFC many moons ago hung out too, and recommended I visit the Morgan Library and Museum in NY (see below). I invited Camera Obscura's producer Tucker Martine to the show and he came along but we never got say hello. I would probably have bored him with my jabbering how his dad wrote my favourite Elvis song (you read that right).


If you fancy some tasty BBQ in Portland -  I know where to go, btw.

Twas, onward to Seattle, hometown of our excellent guitar/keyboards stand-in Michael Lerner.

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I forgot to put Frasier Crane on the guest list.

It was a lovely fresh day in the city. I ate a disappointing omelette and a nice coffee; a legendary burger and a tasty tamale.







Vancouver rocked. 


We played the Rickshaw Theatre (an ex-Chinese kung film theatre, apparently) and I got some laundry done. AND I scored a tasty Katsu curry.

Thence to New York. Brooklyn to be more precise.

I suggested we repair to a characterful Italian restaurant of which I had fond memories from another visit, some years before, with Camera Obscura. Our waiter told us it was the oldest family-owned restaurant in New York. So there.



I defeated the spaghetti & meatballs once again. Go me.

Show was great. Lovely final audience for the final show of our tour.


Camera Obscura's old trumpeter Tim Cronin forgave me for my forgetting to get him guest tickets (hashtag 'oops').
 The Night Of Joy is a groovy bar, btw. It does what it says on the tin.

Next day I got some huevos rancheros, a wee visit to Strand Books, Manhattan and then on to the luscious Morgan Library and Museum.
















A few hours later, we flew home.


Thanks, y'all.