Thursday, 18 August 2016

Aug 18

Yesterday I wrote "Francis" for 3 hours on some vinyl LP covers. I am looking forward to writing "Francis" repeatedly on some CDs soon. Have you ordered yours yet?

So I'm onboard with Stranger Things. It keeps making me think what a great film E.T. is.

This is one powerful film:

Here's how to turn the Royal Albert Hall into the upstairs folk club in a pub.

What have St Kilda, Julie Fowlis, James MacMillan, Craig Armstrong, Rebecca Dale, C Duncan, The Scottish Festival Orchestra and me got in common? You will find out on Sept 9th....

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Potatoes And Molasses

I saw "Over The Garden Wall" recommended by Graham Linehan on Twitter. 5 episodes in I can vouch that it's creepily fun family viewing...

Apropos of nothing, I like the look that Henri Dutilleux is rocking in this picture:

I enjoyed the Merchant City Festival panel chat about album artwork on Friday, sponsored by the good folks at Glasgow Music City Tours. I was reminded that I used to pore over this when I was nine years old...

I picked up a pair of these for £3 at Tiger in Glasgow:

Anyone recommend a good VR app?

Six new contestants on Cash Trapped this week. I'll miss Es.

I got an email from young Polish boy praising the music. Good for my fragile ego while half of Twitter demand to know what happened to The Chase...

Onwards and sideways.

Friday, 5 August 2016


I am going to miss Cash Trapped (featuring my blinkin' music) today cos I am talking on this panel about Record Covers...

I've been reading Blair Tindall's "Mozart In The Jungle". Charlie Watts pops up and make a nice impression.

This week I watched and dug "La Grande Bagarre De Don Camillo"

...which put me mind of Cinema Paradiso...

(Itzhak Perlman pops up in Mozart In The Jungle too).

BTW if you fancy a smashing' family film, this gets my vote...

Monday, 1 August 2016

Cash Trapped - The Truth About Me And Bradley Walsh

Bradley last Tuesday

OK I'll come clean. I've never met Bradley Walsh. 

However I can, at last, exclusively reveal that the rumours are true. I did indeed provide the music for "Cash Trapped" - his new quiz show which begins on ITV today at 5pm. 

Now to see if they spell my name correctly in the end credits...

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Time After Time

It's been a wee while.

If you are in Glasgow I recommend a visit to the Water Tower at The Lighthouse sometime. Great views of the city.

I am looking forward to the release of this and this....

I loved this article by Frank Cottrell Boyce and this BBC Imagine doc about the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Films I have dug..... *clears throat*


 It's almost a love letter to Europe - you remember Europe...


...a kind of companion piece to Grace Maxwell's book. Bet it looked great on the big screen.

And this:

I was right in the mood for it. It reminded me of Alex Chilton coming to Glasgow one time and recommending the Best Of Chet Baker Sings album.

Alex had recorded - but not yet released - Clichés, which included "Time After Time" among others. There were a few us at Riverside Studios in Glasgow and he held up a cassette and said, "This is my new album". I said, "Wow". He said, "It's yours", and tossed it to me. Chet was cool but so was Alex.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016


So I voted *Remain* in case anyone is wondering...

You can order the new Teenage Fanclub album "Here" here....

I am gradually making my way through the Don Camillo films from the 50s/60s. This was last night's treat...

I've stumbled across this music from the 18th century by Johann Philipp Kirnberger and I dig it.

So "The Neon Demon" is boring and predictable. Just kidding!

I liked this:

This Glasgow building is worth seeking out...

I took a wee jaunt down to the Baird Institute, Cumnock for the Picasso At Play exhibition. Which was nice. But look at this detail from a piece of furniture by Baird himself...

Yay for the Govan Ferry.

Last Friday I headed along to the CCA to help celebrate Ian Smith's retirement from Creative Scotland. It should have been a great night. Except I got the date wrong and it is happening this week. What larks.

And in other news - I've been writing music for a *timpani roll* Quiz Show!! *trumpet fanfare/gong*

I'm off to bed. Wake me when the Brexit referendum is annulled... 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

See Me, See Baroque Music...?

So, The Cottier Chamber Project. In my never-ending journey to find out more about music I know very little about I'd been hoping to make it along to more performances at this festival. But with one thing and another (one thing being a debilitating muscle injury picked up at the local school sports day dad's race - but enough about that) so far I've only managed along to a few of the smashing wee (free) lunchtime baroque concerts at St. Simon's Church, Partick.

Concerto Caledonia gave several lovely performances of pieces by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre including this as a wee encore on Thursday....

And on Friday L'ENSEMBLE MAGNÉTIS put on a cracking show. They like to bob and weave about while playing and lead violin/conductor Sébastien BOUVEYRON's introduction to they encore of this Kurt Weill tango, written in  exile in France, was as good an argument for voting Remain - in terms of cross-cultural co-operation - as anything else I've heard recently:

(Here's an articulate economic argument for voting Remain too, btw.)

When I listen to classical music I like to figure out what I can borrow as a composer *adjusts cravat*. Meanwhile I've been making music for a new TV quiz show. How would a 17th century composer approach the perfect Buzzer sound?

On Tuesday I saw "Love And Friendship". Fun, well-cast, nice locations, good music. (Watch out, Barry Norman).

Over 2k plays for this. Hooray.

Oh and look at this. I'm could have sworn my email said something about us all dressing like The Pogues...