Saturday, September 29, 2012
SATURDAY'S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 43)
Today's single, or more accurately today's EP is one that is very very special to me.
My first exposure to Dumb Instrument was a cold January evening at the beginning of 2008. It was a gig at the 13th Note. More importantly, it was the first time I met Comrade Colin in the flesh.
He was the individual more than any other responsible for TVV getting off the ground. It was his writings and the songs he was putting up on his blog, which if memory serves me correctly was called Let's Kiss And Make Up, that led me to getting in touch with him via e-mail to ask for advice on how to start a blog. It was his constant encouragement over those uncertain and shaky first few weeks when the visitors were few and far between that kept my spirits up. Meeting him for the first time was incredibly nerve-racking. I so wanted him to be as cool and funny and intelligent as his postings had me imagining. Luckily, he was all that and a lot lot more.
In a very short time he has become one of my closest and valued friends. We've shared a lot of great times together over the past four and a bit years and we've loads more adventures ahead of us.
It seems very appropriate that the weekend TVV celebrates something significant (all will be revealed tomorrow) that the band we first saw together are scheduled for an appearance in this long-running series.
I consider myself very fortunate to have seen and heard Dumb Instrument all those years ago in as much that they are the band who surely inspired Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat to come together in partnership and create the masterpiece that is Everything's Getting Older:-
mp3 : Dumb Instrument - Oor Wullie's Baldy
mp3 : Dumb Instrument - What If Cliff?
mp3 : Dumb Instrument - Reverse The Hearse
It's Tom Murray on vocals and Mikey Grant on piano with a wee bit of help from Kieron Campbell on double-bass.
If you're not smiling (while simultaneously wiping away the tears) at the end of Reverse The Hearse then there's something seriously wrong with you.
It's been on TVV before. Comrade Colin himself wrote about it in response to an invite from Ctel to keep the blog going when I was struggling in the aftermath of the death of my closest friend. Here's what he said:-
Many folks will think this is an unwise choice, and, perhaps, in rather poor taste given the timing. But, frankly, you'd be completely and utterly wrong. This is the best anti-death song ever written and it's a piece of music, like a certain Go-Betweens song, that JC and myself immediately bonded over. We both laughed (out loud, yes) at the dark humour and the sentiments. It was a giant V-sign to the fact we all check-out eventually, some, alas, sooner than others. Our mutual appreciation of the lyrics, and their Ivor Cutler-like delivery, signed the deal on our early-years friendship. Indeed, this was the first band JC and myself ever went to see play live together. It was also the night of our very first meeting! We'd put it off and put it off but eventually we went beyond an electronic/digital friendship to something else. It seems like forever ago now, that night in a stupidly cold January at the 13th Note in Glasgow. I remember being rather nervous and, weirdly, it felt a bit like a first date! I needn't have worried though as JC was not at all indie-precious or a pompous prick and I managed, just about, to not project my 100 MPH verbal diarrhea or music/Goffman geekdom all over him. It was a brilliant night, all round, and we've since become very good friends indeed, with music (and a shared sense of humour) at the centre of this connection. I cannot, obviously, feel his sad loss properly - I didn't know or meet his dear friend - but I do know that he knows I am at his call during this most difficult time. My first contribution to this excellent initiative from Ctel had to be this track, really, and I am sure JC will understand why. If I had not been so certain of Jim 'getting' this then I would not have pushed ahead. The very best way - in fact the only way - of dealing with the fucking shite life sometimes throws at us is a bold, dark, humour. Aye.
Ctel and Comrade Colin. Without you guys, TVV would have long ago been binned. Thanks for everything.