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  1. Over and Out

    Thursday 25 July 2013, 17:09

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    So what’s the perfect goodbye song? I’m not sure there’s anything as immense as Roy Orbison and ‘It’s Over’. The trembling delivery, the staggering beat, the swelling apprehension and worse. The girl has been untrue and she tells Roy that they’re emphatically done. No more rainbows, only lonely sunsets. The song surges for the last time and the sorrow takes us to a hitherto unreachable summit of disconsolation. Even the stars are weeping in the sky

    .  

    I may have mentioned Soft Cell before and the imperial ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’. Seek out the 12 inch version for the most lonesome clarinet solo, ever. But while Roy Orbison had a kind of dignity in despair, Marc Almond is more theatrical and less generous with his exit. He takes a few bitchy sideswipes as he stumbles out the doors of the Pink Flamingo and into the rain. But beyond the posturing, there’s an ill-disguised heartbreak. David Gray used this in his version of the song. Then he had the smart idea of hitching it onto Van Morrison’s ‘Madam George’ - the tune with the most protracted and soul-shredding outro in popular music. A hundred goodbyes, and it’s still never enough.

     

    Yet on the other side...

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  2. Playlist, July 22

    Wednesday 24 July 2013, 12:31

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

     

    Meryem Abouloufa Meryem Abouloufa Meryem Abouloufa is from Casablanca. Her voice has a dreamy, measured tone that will please fans of Natalie Merchant and Stina Nordenstam. She was recently recorded in Marrakech, Morrocco by a team from Belfast – travelling out there with the British Council. The delegation included members of And So I Watch You From Afar, Start Together Studios and No Dancing Records.

     

    A portable studio was delivered, 15 songs were recorded in 6 days and by all accounts, it was emotional. There’s a lovely symmetry in this story in that for many decades, artists from Northern Ireland complained that the system was against them, that there were few facilities and that the infrastructure was bust. Now we have evidence of some confident guys from these parts, actively helping another music community. That’s Meryem in the centre of the photo, with Rocky O’Reilly and Jimmy Devlin.

     

    It was so hot in the makeshift studio that they windows remained open and so during the Meryem sessions, you can hear the birds singing in the lime trees outside in the Riad. Delightful. She sang an eerie version of ‘Jealous Guy’ and another tune, ‘Apologise’, which is an original. Love...

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  3. The Blackboard Of My Heart

    Monday 22 July 2013, 21:14

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    David Bowie once put a major question out there. “Ain’t there one damn song that can make you break down and cry?” he wailed on ‘Young Americans’. Well, here’s a response. For some years, I’ve been blogging in instalments about records that have a personal significance. My ‘Gotta Hear This’ series has covered some of my favourite tunes, but also includes lesser-known records with my own intense narrative . One play and I’m utterly back there, either in glory or returned in that mood indigo. Music can sure hit the recall zone. TS Elliot called this “the objective correlative”. What he was really saying is that it’s writ deep in the blackboard of his heart.

    Here then, is a list of the tunes and links to the relevant blogs. I’ve also put together a Spotify playlist here: http://open.spotify.com/user/stubey77/playlist/1CqLt6pc3QxyjBkwBzvgDs

    The Graham Parker recording on Spotify is an inferior live version and Hamilton Bohannon’s ‘Let’s Start The Dance’ is an earlier recording. But sure, you get the drift. My Monday night Radio Ulster show will also revisit some of these tunes in the coming weeks. Thanks, as ever, for the indulgence.

     

    1. Willie Tee ...

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  4. Bury My Heart At Eagle’s Rock

    Sunday 21 July 2013, 17:17

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    La Faro La Faro, Glasgowbury 2013.Photo by Stuart Bailie Hey LaFaro, you’re looking good. Johnny wears a black halter neck dress with matching trainers. Herb has opted for a white tutu and tights and he does an elegant pas de deux while sucking on a ciggy. Al is on drums with a black diamanté bra, possibly a homage to Gautier while Dave’s over-the-shoulder ensemble is on loan from Wilma Flintstone. Thus attired, LaFaro summon up their riffs from the deeps of the Sperrin Mountains and hurl them into the cobalt sky.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the final ever Glasgowbury Festival, and every performer...

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  5. Playlist July 15

    Wednesday 17 July 2013, 10:39

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    Such a happy occasion to hear the Kowalski album. There were times when we worried that it might never drop – that one of the sweetest bands in recent years would shuffle off without a true legacy. I don't know all of the issues that delayed its arrival, but ‘For The Love Of Letting Go’ doesn't manifest any of the pain. Rather, it shimmers and swoons and rightfully shows up when the sun is bright and the days are expansive.

    You will already know ‘Outside’, a song that finds poetry in oil slicks and persuades you that love’s young dream can still resonate. Many of the songs are sited...

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  6. We Belong To Glasgowbury

    Monday 15 July 2013, 14:04

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    I was shocked when the news bulletin revealed that Glasgowbury Festival was  ending this summer. I’ve been attending since 2004 and have missed only once. I’ve seen it in makeshift spaces, in a challenging sports field and once when it retracted to the Cellar Bar in Draperstown and was besieged by drunken meatheads.

    In all of these situations, Paddy Glasgow has been a dependable feature, mobilising his team, a great propagandist for the rural story and our introduction to the mind-expanding vistas of the Sperrins and Eagle’s Rock. I have frozen on those hillsides and I’ve bonded with dear...

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  7. Mad About The Whipping Boy

    Thursday 11 July 2013, 14:52

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    Whenever I hear a Whipping Boy song – which isn’t often enough – I have a vision of Ferghal McKee on stage, his hair brutally hacked off and his face streaked in congealed white powder. He was quite an artist, but he didn’t seem at ease with the gig. And when people praised him, he cranked up the self-sabotage regime. In this respect, the guy was successful. He was never famous, even though the Dublin kids adored him and the eulogies came from farther away. Still, we’ll always have ‘Heartworm’.

    Not a few Irish critics have ranked the second Whipping Boy album as one of the greatest...

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  8. Clameen Genies

    Wednesday 10 July 2013, 17:29

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    Surely you will love The Clameens. Youthful beat-merchants from Derry, raved about by Soak, by Stephen McCauley at Radio Foyle and profiled this Monday past by Radio Ulster’s ATL. That’s Sean, Ryan, Hayden and Ethan, with freshness in their bones and a seeming affection for Alex Turner and Peter Doherty. The vocals are smartly declaimed, the drumming is brisk and sweet and new release ‘She’s Got My Heart’ is a certified pop tune that finds Sean in an unrequited discussion with another girl in the neighbourhood. Ah, those Derry wans.

     You can see them at Glasgowbury and at Stendhal Festival. They play well, they have energy and you would hope that this unreliable music palaver will give them a positive run at it.

    They Clameen it, man. 

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  9. Playlist 8th July

    Tuesday 9 July 2013, 14:30

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    ‘Simmer Down’ is a record that can’t get started soon enough. The horns are colliding, the harmonies are on it and the supreme players from The Skatalites are the backing band. Which gives this 1963 recording the maximum ska value. But that’s only part of the narrative, because among the guys who front this recording are Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and a young Bob Marley. This first release from the Wailing Wailers would top the Jamaican charts early in 1964.

    Musically, you can see how Marley was paying his dues to Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions, especially in the way that the backing...

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  10. Born On The Fifth Of July

    Friday 5 July 2013, 15:56

    Stuart Bailie Stuart Bailie Late Show Presenter

    Fans of The Great Gatsby may remember the July 5, 1922 was the date of an extravagant party at West Egg. The narrator has written down the names of the visitors and there are some amusing snapshots of the old money snobs from across the bay. That includes SB Whitebait, Clarence Endive in his white knickerbockers, the Chester Beckers and Doctor Webster Civet. Not forgetting Ripley Snell, who was so drunk that Ulysses Swift ran over his hand with his automobile.

    A few local establishments have tried to put on Gatsby-themed parties, but without the resources of a millionaire bootlegger. The real deal...

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About this Blog

Music journalist and BBC Radio Ulster presenter Stuart Bailie writes on music and culture and opens up the archives on his long career in the business.

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