Monday’s Long Song

One thing Andrew Weatherall did from the earliest days of his own remixes and productions was scatter clues for you to follow. He worked with One Dove producing their debut album Morning Dove White, a much delayed album and one which was mucked about with by the record company who wanted a pop hit. Fallen came out in 1992, ahead of the album which didn’t appear until autumn 1993, and the eight minute version on the A- Side was this-

Fallen (The Nancy And Lee Mix)

The chugging intro and those huge timbales are heavenly even before the first appearance of Dot’s breathing. After a minute Dot’s speaks, her voice very close up, and says ‘I don’t know why I’m telling you any of this, one thing is don’t ever told anyone I told you this, don’t save me, just forgive me’ and then we have lift off into blissed out ambient- tinged dance music.

After Andrew’s death in February One Dove member Ian Carmichael posted his memories of the making of the album on Facebook-
‘The day Andy Weatherall came to Glasgow to work in my studio, I slept in.
When I arrived, breathless and sweaty and terrified, I was thinking I’ve kept this VIP DJ waiting outside on the doorstep for 20 minutes; he’s going to be so pissed off and I’m the biggest jerk in the world.
He was sitting reading NME. Smiling. Smiling BIG. The reviews of Screamadelica had just come out that day. The NME saved my life.
As friendly and happy as he was, I was still intimidated by him, and his way of working was so unconventional I felt that I was playing catch-up the whole day. His first instruction on the remix was to change the time signature of the track – EVERYTHING had to be reprogrammed. I was a nervous wreck.

And then we started to commit to tape the tracks as he wanted them played – starting with just the rhythmic breaths – and he would add elements in and we’d just record it to tape and build the track up bit by bit. Back then that meant editing a 1/4″ reel to reel.
I had bits of tape all of the floor, around my neck, across the mixing desk – I couldn’t remember what any of them were. I had razor cuts on my fingers and my hands were sweating so much I couldn’t hold the tape. I wouldn’t even get halfway through an edit before Andy would be giving out instructions on the next part of the track. All I could see in front of me were the red LEDs on the tape machine screaming OVERLOAD! I wanted to die.
It was one of the worst days of my life.
And one of the best.’
The Nancy And Lee Mix was named after Sinatra and Hazlewood. I wasn’t particularly familiar with Lee Hazlewood’s work in any depth at that point although I knew his name at least in part from a Thin White Rope e.p. I’d bought in 1988 where the Paisley Underground/ desert blues group covered Some Velvet Morning. My Mum had been a Nancy Sinatra fan and there were some of her records at home- Nancy In London and Boots were both around (I’m sure they still are, she doesn’t throw much away).
Some Velvet Morning is a strange, dark, psychedelic pop song with strings, rattling snares and shifting time signatures, sugar spiked with LSD. Nancy and Lee duet, Nancy as Phaedra playing off against Lee’s baritone. The lyrics suggest an acid trip- ‘some velvet morning when I’m straight/I’m gonna open up your gate’- but Lee said later on he didn’t know what the words meant. He said they were inspired by Greek mythology and that Phaedra had ‘a sad middle, a sad end and by the time she was 17 she was gone. She was a sad- assed broad, the saddest of all the Greek goddesses, so bless her heart, she deserves some notoriety, I’ll put her in a song’. Nancy, recently one of Trump’s biggest and most frequent online critics, said in the 1990s ‘I’ve been singing this song for over 20 years and I still don’t know what the darned thing means’.

Some Velvet Morning

But the clues and references are dropped for you to follow so the names in brackets on a remix send you off on a quest down the rabbit hole to fill in the gaps. Second hand records from the 1960s were easy to get hold of in the early 90s, second hand record shops and charity shops filled with dumped collections and I found a copy of Nancy And Lee without too much much trouble. Nancy’s Greatest Hits as well (with the gatefold sleeve).

Andrew Weatherall would return to Some Velvet Morning in 2003 when Primal Scream recorded a version of it for their Evil Heat album, Kate Moss duetting with Bobby. The 12″ single had a Two Lone Swordsmen remix, Andrew and Keith weirding it out in disco dub style.

Some Velvet Morning Disco Heater Dub

God’s Waiting Room

This is two hours of records being spun by David Holmes a week ago, under the guise of his regular God’s Waiting Room night but this time with a sub-title The Songs Andrew Weatherall Taught Us. Spanning Peter Perrett, The Handsome Family, Chris and Cosey, Neu!, Crocodiles, Edwyn Collins, Wire, Gin Gilette and loads more, this is guaranteed Sunday gold while you sit in your bunker and wait for the coming apocalypse. Tracklist.

Black Sun

The days have lost all sense of normality recently with every day seeming to be either Saturday or Sunday. Today apparently is Friday. In 1988 Croydon’s finest noise/drone/space rock band Loop released their second album, Fade Out, eight slices of psychedelic, overdriven, fuzzed out rock, somewhere between The Stooges and Neu! Loop tended to get a little overlooked at the time- the marketplace for this kind of music was pretty crowded and Spacemen 3 got a lot of the attention. I think Sonic Boom felt that Loop were ripping his band off. Fade Out is a minor masterpiece though and worth going back to, the sound a murky heavy cloud with bass and guitar lines occasionally cutting through, the vocals sunken into the music. This song opens the album- the guitar riffs grind away ferociously and distortion and repetition are everything.

Black Sun

Kate Moss is also from Croydon.

Time Unlimited

They have predicted a blast of Arctic weather for us this week- low temperatures, snow, ice and all the rest. To offset that here is a track from that Italian compilation I wrote about (Welcome To Paradise: Italian Dream House 1988-1993), Time Unlimited by High Tide from 1990. Close your eyes while this is playing and it is summer, you are young and all that matters is the next record.

Time Unlimited

British Summertime

At least from today onwards until October the clock in my car will be telling the right time. British summertime starts today- you did remember to put your clocks forward didn’t you? Yesterday’s sunshine made it feel like the seasons had changed at a stroke. Everything feels a little better with some sun on your face.

It gives me a good excuse to post this Ultramarine song from 1991.

British Summertime

Ritual Spirit

Massive Attack’s new songs are sounding good. The Swede posted one over at his place recently, a collaboration with Young Fathers and an eye-catching video to boot. And now there’s Ritual Spirit. Deep and unsettling music as per usual but the vocals from Azekel (pictured above) take this elsewhere, somewhere otherworldly. The video has Kate Moss, dancing in the dark with a lightbulb.

Chase The Bush

Oooh, this is a dancefloor stomper with the chug in full effect from Sean Johnston’s Hardway Bros. Some of squiggles are messing my central nervous system up a little. Turn the lights off, get someone to flick the lamp on and off really fast.

Moss

Last post in the join-the-dots sequence of this week and it’s a hop,a skip and jump from DJ Shadow on Monday to Kate Moss today. Kate collided with pop culture in 1990, the Third Summer Of Love issue of The Face magazine (Spike Island, rave, De La Soul etc) and a football and music fashion shoot in April 1990 (E For England, World In Motion etc). I had the Brazil jersey from the range she’s modelling above and wore it to Spike Island. Since then she’s floated around the music world, dipping in and out. Yesterday’s post included Jack White’s Raconteurs. Jack has at least two connections to Croydon’s supermodel- in his primary band, The White Stripes, Kate starred in the video for I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, an ace, raw cover of the Dusty Springfield song. Your enjoyment of this video will depend on whether the prospect of Kate Moss pole-dancing in her underwear interests you at all.

Ahem. Moving on.
Another of Jack’s projects, The Dead Weather, saw him playing drums behind Alison Mosshart, whose day job was singing in The Kills. I’ve posted Baby Says before but that’s no reason not to do it again. Stunning song.

Alison’s musical partner in The Kills is Jamie Hince, Kate Moss’s husband. She sang vocals on Primal Scream’s 2002 cover version of Some Velvet Morning (originally sung by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra). This song, and the Disco Heater Dub version which followed it, were produced by, and you knew this was coming surely, Andrew Weatherall. I’m not sure it’s any of those involved’s finest hour but there you go. I’ve more or less managed a Dry January- no, not alcohol, that would be stupid- a Dry January of no Weatherall and no Clash/BAD etc. Abstinence until today.

Face Time

I used to love The Face. Between the late 80s and early 00s I bought almost every copy (and many of them are in the loft, awaiting a good sifting through). Yes, it was silly, pretentious, over-the-top, often very London-centric, and over-styled. But it was also done well, trend setting, at times laugh-out-loud funny, with some really good writers, totally hit the spot at times (and completely missed the target other times), covered issues as well as music and fashion, and its front cover felt like an event- in short essential monthly reading, a frippery but worth it.

Above, the Madchester issue, in which Nick Kent made up quotes various interviewees allegedly said… and below Tricky and Martina Topley Bird

I bought a copy in summer 1987, a double sized, special edition, 100th issue I think. It tried to review the 80s- ‘whatever happens now’ it said, ‘the decade is shaped, nothing can alter the way it looks from here’. Arf. Over the next two years acid house swept the nation, the north rose again, the Berlin Wall came down, Communism collapsed…. 



The pleasure of reading old magazines is seeing where they got it right and where they got it very, very wrong; the bands, records, trends and styles they were sure were the next big thing and are now buried in the ‘where are they now?’ file. I mean, no disrespect to The Farm (who at times I quite like) and I know Groovy Train was a big hit but ‘How to succeed in the music business’? 

Whatever it did though, The Face was rarely boring and for a while it did document our lives (or aspects of them). 
Raving, Aliens, Vodka, Discos, Ibiza… it’s got the lot.

                                                                 Mmmmmmm, Kylie.

                                                     Sorry, lost myself there for a moment…

                                         Actually I don’t remember this 90s Futures Issue one at all.

I more or less stopped buying it with this issue below- I was clearly too old for it, our time together had passed and besides I began to feel they were laughing at me.

The High Numbers (early Who as I’m sure you know). I was going to post the magnificent Face Up by New order from Lowlife but it’s not on my hard drive and I can’t be arsed ripping it at the moment. Laziness. Sorry. This is good anyway.

I’m The Face