Monday, 20 May 2019

I Heart Robert Forster

So on Friday I saw Robert Forster at St Luke's in Glasgow. Don't know when I last loved a gig so much.

Too many highlights. "Surfing Magazines", "One Bird In The Sky", "Finding You" (!!), "Learn To Burn", "Life Has Turned A Page", "Dive For Your Memory", "The Morning" and "Spring Rain" will do for now. Oh and let's not forget Robert's invisible theremin playing along with Karin Bäumler's violin.

The show was long but it never dipped once. The energy just kept building. Robert was loving it - and so were we. Band were great. Wish we could do it all again soon.

Robert's latest album "Inferno" was a frequent soundtrack for me during Teenage Fanclub's recent touring. If you haven't heard it yet - well, I sure do recommend it.

I enjoyed seeing "Dirt Road To Lafayette" - a celebration of the power of music among other things. And lo and behold: a few nights later I was sharing a stage with the great James Kelman himself for a live event organised by thi wurd magazine. I sang three songs co-written with Harry Pye. (I dedicated "Isle Of Capri" to grandmothers everywhere.) Kelman read "The Burn". Glad I wasn't following him.

On Saturday I attended my first ever Mozart Opera - "The Magic Flute".

In my experience Scottish Opera's stagings are always brilliant. And 'twas great to hear this performed:

I think some the dialogue had been updated since Wolfgang's day; eg "This is supposed to be grand opera - not Coronation Street"...

On Sunday I popped my head round the door of a Camera Obscura rehearsal. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket for St Luke's in August (both shows sold out) or The Boaty Weekender - I reckon you're in for a treat.

Here is a petition to help Save Loch Lomond from the developers of Flamingo Land - please consider signing and sharing.

Oh - and #StopBrexit

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Teenage Fanclub in Belfast and Murcia - an' that

First off...

I'm glad to be singing a couple of songs at Stereo in Glasgow on 16th May. It's an event for thi wurd magazine with writers reading their fiction - headlined by James Kelman. Things kick off at 7pm. £5 on the door.

Teenage Fanclub just played a couple of festivals in Belfast and Murcia. Fun was had by all.

In Belfast I had fish 'n' chips in the beautifully ornate  The Crown Bar.

I visited The Ulster Museum which, amongst other delights, was playing temporary host to some Leonardo da Vinci drawings.

And the cafe passion fruit and carrot cake was a work of art on its own.

I heard Bernard MacLaverty read from Midwinter Break and also a new short story.

I had a Bushmills and a Guinness in the grand old Duke Of York while the one and only Bill Drummond sat a few feet away. 

I visited The Mac and especially enjoyed the video of Seamus Heaney reading his poems Digging and, with its brutal ending (especially to my tender teenage ears) Follower; both of which I remember from Mr. Rooney's English class at Holy Cross High well over 30 years ago. Yikes.  Nice mushroom soup of the day in the Mac's cafe too.

And the gig was a hoot...

We flew on to Alicante. On the drive to our hotel I searched youtube for KLF videos. I also took the notion to listen to some tracks from this Buddy Rich album which I first got (bought?) when I was maybe 12 years old. (Back in the day my drum teacher, Alan Parker at The Drum Shop, Blackie Street (gone but not forgotten - the shop I mean; Alan is very much still with us!) was a Buddy Rich aficionado.)

I love Spain. It never ever lets you down.

Arriving the night before our set at the Warm Up Festival, TFC band and crew had splendid beer, wine and tapas.

Next day we soundchecked:

Then I wandered off to the Museo de Bellas Artes:

Weather was nice, btw...

The gig was muy bien...

I caught up with some old amigos who gifted me some nice wine. Then some of the Fanclub posse headed out for tapas and vino tinto in the shadow of the great cathedral.

On the way back to the hotel was passed a gallery of fine art.

And so to bed.

I watched some episodes of Inside Number Nine on the flight home. 

And this is me since yesterday.


PS: You are aware of Camera Obscura's upcoming hometown activity, right?

Tinkety-tonk - and down with the nazis.