Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Truly Remarkable Man...

The first Orange Juice album always reminds me of warm summer days. Not really sure why, it just has a sort of summery, happy feel to it that perfectly compliments this glorious weather that Glasgow has been experiencing these last few days.

I seem to be going through a bit of an Edwyn Collins phase at the moment. Today I visited Hillhead Library, where they are showing an exhibition of the wonderful photography of former Sounds photographer, Harry Papadopoulos, which contains many great pictures of early Orange Juice. As well as all the Postcard bands of the early 80's, Papadopoulos also took some era defining photos of the likes of Blondie, David Bowie, Devo, Joy Division, Bryan Ferry, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash, The Specials, Wham!, ABC and The Associates amongst many others. If you are in the Hillhead area before the end of June it is well worth half an hour of your day.

I am also currently reading Simon Goddard's excellent "Simply Thrilled - The Preposterous Story Of Postcard Records". Goddard has lovingly retold the history of the short lived but hugely influential record label that introduces us to the joys of Roddy Frame, Josef K, The Go Betweens and, of course, Edwyn himself. Hugely entertaining, with a full discography at the end and some great pictures. And of course, the drumming cat.

Last Sunday I found myself in the always pleasant surroundings of Glasgow's Oran Mor where Edwyn was playing a gig to celebrate the venue's 10th anniversary. I saw Edwyn play the same venue 6 years ago, in the splendid Alasdair Gray muralled main auditorium, on his comeback after his illness with Roddy Frame riding shotgun. I have seen him a few times since and thought Sunday was as good as I have ever seen him. Opening with "Falling and Laughing" and "What Presence" was just the start of a truly great gig. There was a good mix of tracks from the new album, "Understated", solo material and Orange Juice classics such as "Bridge", "Rip It Up", "Blueboy" and "Felicity".

Personal faves were the Northern Soul-esque "Losing Sleep" with, former Sex Pistol, Paul Cook drumming like his life depended on it, and the first 2 tracks of the encore where Edwyn performed with Carwen Elle and David Page on acoustic guitars for stunning versions of "Low Expectations" and "Home Again". The show finished with a roof blowing performance of "Don't Shilly Shally".

Edwyn and the band are in great form at the moment and left a massively appreciative crowd eagerly awaiting his return to Glasgow.

A remarkable show from a remarkable man who is going from strength to strength and is a true inspiration to all of us.

Home Again


  1. Falling and Laughing by his missus Grace Maxwell has to be one of the greatest books ever written about music and more importantly the human spirit.
    I don't like Oran Mor as a venue personally put I've only been downstairs -didn't know bands played in other bits

  2. There is an Orange Juice song that I love...I can't remember the name of it. I had it on a compilation or a seems like there was a cartoon cat on the cover. Anyway...I looked for it on iTunes, after this post, and can't find it. Which means I'm now obsessed with it and will end up digging through tubs of CDs until I find it. Thanks for that...:0

    I did find a single on iTunes called Orange Juice that was about "Sexy People Doin' Sexy Thangs/Sexy People order sexy dranks" was very crunk. So that was good.

  3. CC- Couldn't agree more bout Grace's book. They don't have that many gigs upstairs in Oran Mor, but what a stunning place for a band to play with the Alasdair Gray mural above you.
    Adam - It's impossible not to have so much respect for Edwyn and what he has achieved since his illness and hopefully a wee bit of that came over in the post.
    Erik - Hope you find the single, must have been one of the Postcard singles...