A Year of Listening Scottishly – January

I’d like to claim that I’d been planning this for ages; that it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing, an idea that popped into my head on the morning of 2 January, when it occurred to me (not for the first time) how much wonderful music Scotland has produced over the years…

It was fortunate that the song I’d posted on New Year’s Day happened to be a song by a Scottish band (Camera Obscura’s New Year’s Resolution) but I suppose that, given Scotland’s long association with the celebrations that mark the turning of the year, perhaps it wasn’t too surprising. So, without giving it too much thought, I blithely announced that I was going to post a ‘great Scottish song by a great Scottish band’ on my Facebook feed, every day throughout 2015.

Foolish, I know, but as GlassHalfEmpty said at the time ‘amazingly doable’.

So here I am at the end of month 1 of 12 bringing you a summary (or ‘Spillary if you will [We won’t. Ed]) of the January highlights. First up, here are the runners and riders for the month:

1 Camera Obscura New Year’s Resolution
2 Trashcan Sinatras All The Dark Horses
3 The Proclaimers Sunshine On Leith
4 The Average White Band Pick Up The Pieces
5 King Creosote For One Night Only
6 Altered Images Happy Birthday
7 Aztec Camera We Could Send Letters
8 Hipsway The Honeythief
9 Belle & Sebastian Like Dylan In The Movies (Live)
10 Glasvegas Geraldine
11 The Blue Nile Tinseltown In The Rain
12 The Boy Hairdressers Golden Shower
13 Teenage Fanclub Sparky’s Dream
14 Cocteau Twins Heaven Or Las Vegas
15 Eddi Reader The Patience Of Angels
16 Trashcan Sinatras Maybe I Could Drive
17 Mull Historical Society Barcode Bypass
18 Malcolm Middleton Break My Heart
19 Orange Juice Untitled Melody
20 Belle & Sebastian The Party Line
21 Win Super Popoid Groove
22 Primal Scream Velocity Girl
23 Roddy Frame Small World
24 Edwyn Collins If You Could Love Me
25 Eddi Reader Ae Fond Kiss
26 Camera Obscura I Love My Jean
27 Teenage Fanclub What You Do To Me
28 30 Pounds of Bone Crack Shandy
29 Orange Juice Blue Boy
30 Deacon Blue Raintown
31 Lloyd Cole & The Commotions Lost Weekend

Scotland undoubtedly punches above its weight when it comes to quality pop music of the indie persuasion. The list of candidates for possible inclusion is long and varied (I currently have 76 acts in my virtual tartan note book) and I feel confident that I will be able to maintain a healthy standard throughout the year.

It’s proved to be a fascinating exercise so far and, without wanting to overthink it, I can already see that it’s going to lead me on some interesting voyages of discovery. I’ve already, for example, found a love for Eddi Reader that I wasn’t necessarily aware of and had the chance to rediscover music that I hadn’t listened to for years (such as Win’s Super Popoid Groove).

I’ve had an appeal (which I instantly committed to) for an absence of Nazareth and a call for more Teenage Fanclub, more Lloyd Cole and more Aztec Camera – these pleas have not fallen on deaf ears. Some artists will inevitably appear more often than others and, clearly, the list will reflect my personal tastes. But I will also try to be adventurous and explore music that I don’t know so well.

Here are a couple of January highlights:

I’m enjoying this. Keep the comments coming…

16 thoughts on “A Year of Listening Scottishly – January

  1. Scotland most definitely punches above weight in terms of music. (kinda like Boston.) I haven’t caught all of those, but i’m going to catch up with them, i swear. It’s been at the point where it’s what i look for first thing – what is it going to be today! Even though i might not have a listen at 5 am. Thanks Dave, it’s totally fun.

    (Just so you know, i have a hairy eyeball out for some old farts who deserve representation. I hope Mr. Leitch is being considered.)

  2. I’m loving the series Dave – hope you don’t mind me repeating a nomination I made for day 10 on RR; I can’t remember if the theme was angels – I started while it had NOT been mentioned, but continued to justify it’s inclusion even when I realised that shiv had shouted out Geraldine before me:

    when you’re standing on the window ledge
    I`ll talk you back from the edge
    I will be the angel on your shoulder
    my name is Geraldine, I’m your social worker (Glasvegas)

    I’m going to repeat it here because we will be voting again this year and I think it is important:

    I wrote this earlier (but didn’t post) as it hasn’t been suggested yet:
    I thought I’d try and justify a track for a profession that doesn’t really get the credit it deserves and I haven’t ever noticed any other songs bigging up their usefulness.
    Last Thursday, social workers would have been one of those on strike in the UK, their jobs attacked and criticised by the tabloids; because everyone knows their journalists are part of the moral high ground and never call a life threatening moment wrongly.
    Well the social workers I know went into work early and stayed late for the first half of last week – unpaid – often this happens because they cannot turn around to a desperate child/youth/adult and say – sorry 5-30pm time for me to go home – you can sort yourself out… there are social workers like that, mostly they are the ones parashooted in from agencies, people that come in and decide that to get the numbers down so the government can say – “see we are working – see all these fucking useful targets we are hitting”. 
Well, these do get the numbers down; then in a few weeks the people in need that have not had any in-depth help are in crisis again. The agencies workers*** are long gone (taking their better pay) and the social workers left in their badly remunerated positions are left to pick up the pieces when the shit hits the fan – these are people who daily get aggressive parents threatening them with violence or going to the papers – just because they are trying to help them or their children – these people are doing a job I would not touch with someone else’s bargepole.
    “When your feet decide to walk you on the wayward side
Up upon the stairs and down the downward slide
I will, I will turn your tide 

    Do all that I can to heal you inside”

***not all.

    When I see tossers like Cameron say that these workers need 50% of the union vote to go on strike; it makes me mad – the Tory party got 24ish% of the vote – not enough to form a Government – then jumped into bed with LibDems – whose voters have shown they WILL NOT STAND for them joining the Tories… and would have voted elsewhere if they’d know.

    So basically they are destroying the country from what they’d term an illegal position.

    Teachers, Social workers, firefighters, etc etc are all doing valuable work for the rest of us, in jobs that they try to selflessly excel at (and they got those jobs legally) – having their pay frozen FOR YEARS by a fake in a job he has wangled his party into unjustly – it is crap of the highest order.

    (I know most of us here know and understand this – but just typing it out again once in a while stops my brain exploding).

    Great choice of track Shiv… and big up to all those here who do jobs that are undervalued because they are for the greater good of the country/community/world – not the bank balance of the few.

    I will get on with designing pictures of Dogs in hats – because this saves me from needing the help of useful members of society.

  3. I really like this, but I refuse to join Facebook, so I hope you’ll be summarising every month here (please!), I’m hoping Rachel Sermanni will be making an appearance, too!

  4. Hi, this sounds like a really interesting idea. As Debby said, would be great if you post a monthly summary on here.

    Are you looking for suggestions for artists to cover? My music collection is probably has an under representation of Scots, but there are few in there. Then there are plenty that I have heard of that I need to explore in more detail.

    One that I would recommend was a group that disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived – Life Without Buildings. Unique, punk-esque indie rock.

    (I also like some stuff by the Proclaimers, Travis and Del Amitri too..don’t hold it against me)

  5. Amazing idea and definitely do-able.

    I won’t hold my breath for any Ommadon, but would love to see some of my 90s indie favourites: Delgados, Bis, A C Acoustics, Dawn of the Replicants, Macrocosmica …to name but a few

  6. Thanks all for the supportive comments. Keep the recommendations coming – I may even open it up for a week of guest contributors. Watch this space…

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