Saturday, 21 December 2019

Me and Paddington - The Truth... (Merry Christmas!)

First of all, I worked on the music for this wonderful documentary (directed by Eric Haynes) on BBC TWO, Boxing Day at 9pm...

It is joyous and moving. But don't just take my word for it.

I believe I got the gig partly because of my work last year on a lovely BBC doc (directed by Louise Lockwood) about Raymond Briggs. "Snowmen, Bogeymen And Milkmen" is repeated on Christmas Day this year - so yay for that:

Also - BBC Alba are showing a 3-part doc series called Priest School on 25th, 26th & 27th Dec, featuring my music (*looks shy, coughs*). For a few tracks I enlisted the wonderful fiddling of Laura Wilkie as recommended by my pal John McCusker - who was off gallivanting with Mark Knopfler. As you do.

John McCusker & Mark Knopfler. Just kidding.
Oh - and my theme music introduces the Christmas Special of Inside Central Station - 22nd Dec on BBC Scotland.
New Teenage Fanclub promo photo. Just kidding.
And Series 3 of Cash Trapped (featuring my quiz music) has just finished its 6-week run on prime prime ITV. And I've still never met Bradley Walsh.

In other news, Teenage Fanclub have been having a fun, productive time in a Hamburg studio.

It's not ALL schnitzels and beer
Here's Euros laying down some tasty Wurlitzer:


Btw, Euros has a new album - Gingerbread House Explosion. "Bits Of Me (Falling Off)" is an immediate highlight.

Recording and playing music is groovy. But sitting around in the evening, blethering, imbibing and listening to music is also groovy. Norman turned me on to this:

...and also this:

I am digging the Ken Burns doc series Country Music. And Series 2 of The Young Offenders is a right rollicking hoot.

If anyone gives a monkey' and composer Matthew Whiteside will be talking about self-releasing and self-promoting music at this event in Edinburgh on Jan 17th.

And yikes - I've got this solo acoustic gig to think about for the next few weeks...

Och, it will be fun.

And finally, Esther, the Lost Glasgow Facebook page posted Edwin Morgan's "Trio" and, just like yon painter (was it Picasso?), I was overcome with emulsion...

Do your best to have a happy Christmas.

Francis x

Monday, 9 December 2019

Hamburg and Sitges

On 30th Nov Teenage Fanclub played a wee hot 'n' sweaty 4-piece set at the excellent Clouds Hill Studios in Hamburg...

I love the Hamburger Kunsthalle and so I went back  for another mooch about...

Couldn't get near this chap for a proper view last time.

Ah, Gene Wilder...
I am reading A Gentleman In Moscow. I'm going to start coming out with phrases like "I have been known to scuff the parquet" and what not.

I recorded some drumming...

Then onwards to Barcelona and Sitges where we played a surprise festival set.
Norman onstage before the curtain went up....
...and after the curtain went up.
In Sitges I visited The Cau Ferrat Museum. Loved it.

I ate paella on the seafront. Alas the Costa Dorada was out of their tiramisu. Means I'll have to go back another time.

And that was that. Nothing says "home" like a half hour airport taxi queue at 11pm at night in six degrees.

On an unrelated note - wouldn't it be great if we could vote Boris Johnson out?