Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Gert & Gnu on the Blog: New VG songs,Marc Riley Session,Subway Sect Gig Reports from Glasgow, Edinburgh,Dundee,Manchester,Newcastle & Liverpool,Videos,Photos,Helene Muyal-Leiris,You aint no Muslim bruv,Veterans For Peace,Dickens,Kenneth Grahame,Gift Suggestions-Sam Knee,Kevin Pearce,The Young Holt trio,Derek Philpott,Vicleka & More

Bucolic Pastoral Scene The Pennines 27th November 2015 by the gnu
After the last few weeks I don't think anyone can dispute the view that other countries have climates and here in the UK we have weather. Over the four days of our trip to Scotland we had sun, wind, rain, fog, sleet, hail,a snow blizzard and balmy conditions in Dundee (13c at 2am) and over the Great Northern Weekender we encountered Clodagh, several times, in fact I think she followed us over the Pennines from Manchester to Newcastle and then followed us back over them again to Liverpool and Desmond has just paid us a visit.

When my brain is but an ember I will remember this November.

My brain felt a bit like an ember after six unforgettable gigs, brilliant line ups on all six nights in six great cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool, a treat and a half for a city girl like me despite a lurgy and toothache that got progressively more painful over the weeks, thus the intake of painkillers and alcohol increased with each gig, could explain some lack of detail in the gig reports!

The November adventures began on the 12th with an overnight stop in Lancaster on the way to Glasgow, stayed at the Wagon and Horses, overlooking the River Lune. Cosy rooms and good food, we had the roast chicken, which sounds boring however was not, served with fondant potatoes and veg. Definitely recommend if you're up/down this way.

Always look forward to our trips north of the border and this was no exception (barring the weather). Alan Suburb put on another two superb Sounds in the Suburbs Subway Sect/Sexual Objects nights. First up a new venue in Glasgow , The Admiral, with DJ Divine! on board was rammed with friends, old and new including the lovely surprise of Markus Wilhelms being over from Hamburg. SOBs were mesmerisng as per with a Cream Split Up flavour to their set.
PS Vic's hoping to sort a date back at Astrastube in 2016 with Markus (gatecrashing liggers not welcome, you know who you are!).
Subway Sect at the sound check at The Admiral 13/12/2015 by the gnu

Before the Admiral gig Glasgow Music City Tours asked Vic to do a guest blog about his musical history with Glasgow, it started in 1978 and is still going strong. He had forgotten quite how much there is hence the four parts!
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -
Part 4 -

No videos I'm sorry to say, I was at the back and the sound was very muzzy back there, a few  remarked on the quality however this seasoned gig goer's comment summed up the general consensus "The sound was shite but it was still the best gig I've been to this year".

Stayed at a favourite Glasgow hotel, The Pond.

Love this Gavin Fraser photograph of the Sect at the Voodoo Rooms (14/11/2015). 

More of Gavin's photographs from the night here:

SITS Sect/SOBs Night No 2 at The Voodoo Rooms was another rollicking night of music and mayhem, once again packed with friends old and new, always look forward to catching up with the Edinburgh Massive. Great sound, always is here, Murray Ramone has recorded the gig so perhaps a 'Live at the Voodoo Rooms' release? Gnu filmed 'Inertia' at the sound check, Sect in the vibe and best version so far.

Delighted that The Chroniclers Tracey Holloway and Lee McFadden made it to Edinburgh, this is 'Nobody Knows', another of the new songs, filmed by Lee McFadden at the Voodoo Rooms 14th November. More of Lee and Tracey Holloway's videos here, reverse date order:

VG & SS at Beat Generator Live! Dundee courtesy of John Cruickshanks 15/11/2015

On to Dundee and a hugely enjoyable night at Andy Wood's Cool Cat Club at Beat Generator Live!, owned and run by John Cruickshanks, possibly the most hospitable host in the business, including tea on request. Andy opened the night's events as A Hooker Without Jesus, followed by a rousing set from STOOR including a poignant demonstration of solidarity and reminder of the atrocities that had happened in Paris, which were never far from our thoughts over the weekend.
Interview Vic did with Andy Wood for Manic Pop Thrills and feature:

Thanks to Jeff Sniper for this photograph at Beat Generator Live! 15/11/2015.

We did have a few problems after the gig finding the way back to the Premier Inn on Riverside Drive, even though Beat Generator Live! is only five minutes drive away and in theory it was a simple journey. However, one way system plus road works meant logic and rationale were abandoned as usual and we took the turning that only led over the Tay Bridge.........and after we recrossed it back, we did the same thing again..........on the fourth go round, someone suggested not taking the same turn again and perhaps going a bit further on and taking the next turning which might bring us back round on to the Quay .It did. Premier Inn reliably friendly, clean comfy as usual and good breakfast, also very good soundproofing on the road facing rooms.  

Left Dundee at 11am

Arrived back In London about 9pmish, home by 10pm!

Got home in time to catch the last song of the Vic Galloway Nectarine No 9 session, 10 days left to listen:
Looking forward to the NN9 gig at The Lexington, London on 12th December celebrating Forever Heavenly's re-release of Saint Jack with very special guests Jock Scot and British Sea Power (BSP South with Yan, Noble and Phil The Horn).

The Great Northern Weekender

A lot of consensus that this is one of Vic's best Marc Riley sessions, so far, with three of Vic's new songs, Flash The Magic Sign, I'll Find Out Over Time and Inertia. Wreckless Eric did a session in the second hour (with Vic in photo on the left). 20 more days to listen:
Vic & the Sect also recorded another of the new songs for Gideon Coe, Nobody Knows, played in last 10 mins:

Gullivers 26-11-2015 by David Matthews

Next up another trio of memorable gigs which were a fitting finale to  Subway Sect live in 2015. First up Congrats to Dandy, Andrew  & Dave, who put on an unforgettable night at Gullivers Manchester.

Trying to reach Gullivers was not just a matter of trial and error it was a trial by ordeal, even those familiar with the area were stymied when it came to giving directions on how to negotiate the several one way systems in order to get to our destination. Vic's travails included driving on to tram lines in to the path of an oncoming tram, then reversing in to the path of another (luckily the gnu not on board!). My advice? Take the tram!

Old Trafford Lodge Lancs CCC, very friendly, helpful and GVFM, definitely recommend:
Was it worth it? You betcha!
Gullivers Manchester 26/11/2015 by Andrew Paul Shaw.

The new songs and set list are getting a great reception.  For the Scottish gigs Out Of Touch was at number 10 however at Gullivers someone yelled out for Blackpool and Vic decided on speck to do it, big up to the Sect's Mark, Kev and Ian for being nonplussed by the turn of events and producing a rousing rendition, it went down so well that Vic substituted it for Out of Touch for the next two nights.The encore has been the 'Andy Williams' (no guitar) version of one of the new songs 'I'll Find Out Over Time' filmed at Gullivers by Chris Dutton.
The whole night left a warm glow,a room full of lovely people, Dave, Andrew, Steve S, Stephen D, Sally H, Andrew W, Chris D, Kate and Dominik, Marc R, to name just a very few (Vic knew loads more including Cath B, Andy H, Glenn A) and atmosphere electric. St Lucifer kicked things off in style and then it was the treat that is Pellethead, brilliant as always, regrettably I missed filming The Drummer and only got a very short snatch of their last song, sorry the sound is a bit fuzzy (it is possible that the amount of drinks I was bought was having an impact!).
This is The Drummer:

The sunshine and blue skies didn't last long, hairy drive over the Pennines to Newcastle for what promised to be another Michael Clunkie Children of Godard Special and it was. Another new venue, The Cumberland Arms Ouseburn, great line up with the Sect, POST with the SOB's Graham Wann, El Cid and DJ Johny Brown, absolutely packed, had to open the back door as uncomfortably warm. No stage invasion this time, just a room full of people having a brilliant time.As the Gnu's camera was playing up with the sound, she's removed it from this POST video from the Cumby so if you watch it and play this you'll get the picture!
Great set from El Cid, didn't get any videos however but they did this - 'Mexico'

One of the best live versions I've heard of The Water Was Bad (barring the camera sound distortion), filmed by the gnu 27/11/2015.

Ian Cusack's fab review of The Cumberland gig:
 A serious plus taking weather and our record with city centre traffic in to account is that the Cumberland is also a B+B and that's where we stayed. Views over Newcastle, HUGE rooms, clean, comfy, fresh coffee and a cafetiere, iced water and breakfast is served in the rooms. On reflection I think their bountiful continental breakfast is your best bet (includes: orange juice, meat, cheese, boiled egg, croissant,rolls,corn flakes,butter,jam, etc) as the kitchen is a bit of a hike to the rooms.

The finale to the finale weekend was Bernie Connor's Birthday at The Shipping Forecast Liverpool with three outstanding upcoming groups on the bill, The Floormen, BrassHaus and Rongorongo and the Sect playing another stonker. Twelve glorious minutes of The Floormen,  gnu apologises for cutting off just before the end, human distraction. Vic makes a fleeting appearance.

BrassHaus with 'R + R' (hope that's right) - filmed side on like all the Shipping Forecast videos so sound not front on and no, the gnu says she's not fixated on drummers, they happened to be in the light on this particular night and easiest to fit in the frame!

Vic & the gnu watched the whole of Rongorongo's set which kicked off Bernie's Birthday so no videos from the night, so in stead-

My toothache reached 'throbbing in agony' stage and it being the last gig of the year I threw caution to the winds and got stuck in to the nurofen extra and large G&Ts, had a blast, hope Bernie enjoyed his birthday as much as I did. Liverpool on a Saturday is a lively place, torrential rain and wind not deterring us or the rest of the Saturday night pleasure seekers one jot. 
More of the gnu's videos from November gigs (and others) here:
We stayed here, a couple of miles from the centre, perfectly OK :

Vic and Subway Sect's Kevin Younger, Ian Holford and Mark Braby played blinders on all six nights though the medal for stamina and staying power goes to Ian Holford, who over the weekemd of 13-15th November played SEVEN sets (Sect/SOBs The Admiral Glasgow, Sect/Sobs Elvis Shakespeare-short set, Sect/Sobs Voodoo Rooms, Sect at Beat Generator Live! Dundee) and then on Monday 16th he was back in Glasgow doing a radio session with Nectarine No 9 and that's not including him drumming for the Pop Group before and inbetween  the Sect/Sobs/NN9 dates!

Gnu's video of Imbalance at The Shipping Forecast - apologies to Kev, as filmed from side on the camera angle makes him look like a giant!

Did get a tad fed up with motorway services food, Vic ate a lot of pies and I, not being a pie gnu, varied the diet a bit with a burger (big mistake), soup, lasagne, scampi and chips and sandwiches. Recommend you try for a Moto services with an EDC outlet, hot cooked 'proper' food (shock horror, vegetables available) as an alternative to fast.

Vic Godard & Subway Sect 2015
On The Horizon in 2016

February 6th Gettitude Presents
Vic & Subway Sect
The Hamsters, with the Sect's Mark Braby guesting on drums
The Get
Cryin' Queerwolf
The Railway Hotel Southend on Sea
First iconic poster design for 2016 by the talented Mr Andrew Shaw.

April 16th The Seventh Wave Presents at The Flapper Brum
Vic & Subway Sect
Yeah Yeah Noh
Harry Stafford (Inca Babies)
Advance Tickets:

April 30th Spinningchilli Presents
Vic & Subway Sect & The Bitter Springs
The Green Door Store Brighton
Advance Tickets:

Going to be like old times!

September XiriaPop Festival Galicia

Lots more in the pipe line/under discussion including Manchester, Newcastle, Scotland, Sweden, Portugal, Hamburg and London, to name a few.

Jo, Vic, Gnu, Sybil and Harry by Jay Whitcombe
Although I'm firmly in the Bah Humbug camp when it comes to the Yuletide season, already brain numbed by the big sell, there are a few things that year on year manage to prise some festive spirit out of me, like wee beasties who believe in Father Christmas and..............  


I love decorating the Christmas tree so thank you Prince Albert for introducing it to us Brits.

 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, you can get it in a book with The Chimes, another spooky Dickens Christmas tale.
I am a sucker for most of the many film versions I have seen although I can't claim to have seen most of the hundreds out there, my favourites are the 1951 Alastair Sim one (full film below), the 1935 one:
and Scrooged (1988) with Bill Murray, this is the cab ride scene with David Johansen:

 Dulce Domum - Chapter 5 of Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, love, love, love this chapter, it's Christmas time and on the way back from a long winter walk with Ratty, Mole suddenly senses his old home and has an overwhelming desire to return to it, beautifully read  here by Bernard Cribbens:

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim - nothing to do with Christmas but just the ticket to beat off the winter blues, an evocative, gentle and life affirming story about four disparate women who get together to hire a Tuscan castle, ostensibly to escape the miserable London weather.
There is also a very good film adaptation with Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Joan Plowright, Polly Walker, Alfred Molina,Michael Kitchen and Jim Broadbent.

While I'm in the mood - A Few Gift Suggestions*

                                                Aint There Something Money Can't Buy?

Buy a gift for the hedgehogs and hoglets at Prickles Hedgehog Rescue:

Following on the heels of his magnificent tome 'A Moment Worth Waiting For' Kevin Pearce has come up with another winner 'You Know My Name: The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Bobby Scott'. Review by Neil Sheasby:
You Know My Name: The Lovers, The Dreamers, And Bobby Scott from PC Hille on Vimeo.

After the success of 'A Scene In Between', a delve in to the sartorial mores of an era covering Postcard Records, Creation, C86, shoegaze, and the many sub-scenes that emerged at this time, Sam Knee has come up trumps again and brought together  another evocative collection of photographs (including the one of Vic on the right) in his new book 'The Bag I'm In', Underground Music and Fashion 1960-1990, published by Cicada

If you haven't come across this highly amusing book by Derek Philpott, Dear Mr Kershaw, A Pensioner Writes - Letters to Pop Stars and Their Replies, you are missing a treat and would make a great present, particularly if you are or know someone who is a fan of 80's pop stars,  Rick Wakeman starts the ball rolling in this collection.

How about a John Bolloten photographic print or his Belgrade book (Bradford has sold out!).

You could treat someone to one of Vic and A M Leka's prints or boxes from VicLeka or get them a copy of Vic Godard Live & Rare Vol 3 'VicLeka' CD.....or anything else from the site!

There are myriad ways to make a difference, however small, here are two:  Médecins Sans Frontières :  and to help Syrian refugees:

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose - Vic wrote this in 2001, released on Sansend 2002, 'Drop A Bomb On 'Em'.

Helene Muyal-Leiris was murdered at Bataclan on Friday 13th November, this is the message her husband  Antoine Leiris sent to her murderers:
“Friday night, you took an exceptional life - the love of my life, the mother of my son - but you will not have my hatred. I don't know who you are and I don't want to know, you are dead souls. If this God, for whom you kill blindly, made us in his image, every bullet in the body of my wife would have been one more wound in his heart.
So, no, I will not grant you the gift of my hatred. You're asking for it, but responding to hatred with anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my liberty for my security. You lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago. Of course I am devastated by this pain, I give you this little victory, but the pain will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will find ourselves again in this paradise of free love to which you have no access.
We are just two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies in the world. I don't have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.”

The Rhetorical Part: Is bombing Syria the answer to terrorist attacks? It didn't work in Iraq or Afghanistan did it? Is relying on Al Qaeda for back up and follow through after bombing a morally and ethically sound path to go down? How come no one is putting any significant pressure on those countries responsible for the proliferation and distribution of weapons to terrorists and who enable the oil the terrorists are in control of to reach a market? How come the subjugation of women, beheading and quashing of human rights is a case for war against IS/Daesh but it's OK to be more than chummy with Saudi Arabia, where women are subjugated, beheading is a regular occurrence and human rights are quashed? Who do Daesh look to for their inspiration and spiritual guidance and who could come out and publicly decry Daesh's actions but do not? Shame on you Mr Cameron et al.

Despite the actions of the British government and their supporters in the opposition here are a couple of examples of why I'm proud to call myself British.

The words " You ain’t no Muslim bruv", which you can hear being repeated over and over in the videos of this incident, are castigating and directed at the attacker who ran amok with a knife at Leytonstone Station on 5th December apparently shouting " This is for Syria". 'You ain't no Muslim bruv'  has become a rallying cry and is being used by Muslims and non Muslims alike to denounce hatred across social media, lets hope it spreads further than that. #youaintnomuslimbruv   
'Britain unites in rejection of Leytonstone Tube attacker' Adrian Withall in The Independent 


And I doff my cap to these Veterans For Peace.

British war veterans throw down medals over Syria
British war veterans have thrown down medals in disgust at UK operations in Syria. Veterans of the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya discarded their medals at the gates of Downing Street.
Posted by ITV News on Tuesday, 8 December 2015

* On to a lighter note........On behalf of female significant others everywhere these are some of my lighthearted tips for their partners vis a vis gift buying for your beloved.

   Don't buy clothes unless you are confident you know the size, favourite colours, style, etc.or you know it is something the recipient specifically wants, if not available don't make the mistake of getting something you think is an acceptable alternative, ie if your beloved asks for a scarf I would advise against substituting with a snood.
   Unless your loved one has put a hoover/drill or other household appliance on their wish list, which is not the same thing at all as the household as a whole needing one, just don't go there.
   Don't buy random perfume or cosmetics, find out what your beloved uses.
   Find out what books or CDs/LPs, etc.are on their wish list but do not ask for said list a couple of days before Christmas. Big up to you if you don't have to ask at all because you have picked up on the books, music or anything else your beloved has previously mentioned they would like and made a note of it.
A day/night out is usually welcome, as long as it's what your beloved wants to do/see!!
If you're beloved loves chocolate you cannot go wrong with William Curley, in my opinion:
Finally, it really is about the amount of thought and effort that goes in to the gift and not the price.

Adios amigos until 2016 (bar the tweaking!).

Vic and the gnu forgot about the old pics they were going to scan and post so gnu put this collage together of a young Vic, it would appear he was undecided about which career path he intended to follow, everything except music it seems!

2015 According to............Vic offers up his highs/lows/best/worst of 2015 and what and who to look out for in 2016 for Manic Pop Thrills:

It would have been Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday on 12th December, to celebrate Glasgow Music City Tours asked a selection of musicians, writers and 'other fine citizens' to choose their favourite Sinatra songs (inc Vic):

And Vic & the Sect's performance at Michael Clunkie's Children of Godard night at The Cumberland Newcastle (27/11) comes in at No 4 in Ian Cusack's gigs of 2015, a section of his 'This Year's Models', a round up of his best gigs, LPs, etc of 2015: 

Adios Amigos again and we leave you with Gert's 4 Song Seasonal Selection of Vic numbers.