Tag Archives: Glasgow

KILLER WHALE: ‘Everyone You Know Someday.’

When I was a teenager I lied about my age and got a gig supporting Frightened Rabbit (then largely unknown) in a dingy basement bar in Glasgow. Scott Hutchison’s genius that night changed my life. His music was a revelation – you can be from Glasgow and be in a band that doesn’t sound like Oasis! Unfortunately, he quipped that my own ramshackle group reminded him of High School talent shows. Inspired nevertheless, I took my free copy of their home-recorded album, ‘Sing the Greys,’ and I listened to it on repeat all night.

So says Dougie, aka KILLER WHALE, and formerly St. Cool, the masked, shamanic frontman of cult Glasgow’s mentalist, metal-funk band, The Mikey 9s.

From being inspired by a formative Frightened Rabbit to prancing around the stages of the UK gig circuit with Mickey 9s, is quite a transformation.

But as Harry Chapin sang back in ’72, ‘All my life’s a circle …’ and perhaps there is no more appropriate song to describe musical journey (God, I hate that term!) with the release of his debut album as KILLER WHALE.

The eleven tracks on ‘Everyone You Know Someday,’ are thoughtful, and introspective. As Dougie explains, they were written in the comedown of the six-month Scottish darkness that is euphemistically termed ‘winter.’ Yet, creativity often sprouts from bleakness;
” … out of the darkness, light; in the light, shadows; like the patterns on a killer whale.” 

Most of the tracks are mid-tempo, melodic and I have to say exhibit a style that I can only term as typically ‘Glasgow’ – an eclectic mix of folk and ‘indie.’ Others more familiar with this brand of music have suggested:

‘The poetry of Leonard Cohen and Neil Young mixed with the lush musicality of Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie; the sentimental melodies of The Blue Nile and Hot Chip with the experimentality of Brian Eno and The Velvet Underground; the fragile vocals of Arthur Russell and Bon Iver with the sincerity of Joni Mitchell and Frightened Rabbit.’

For me, the outstanding track is the second one in, ‘Something Like That,’ which initially evokes an image of a bleak Scottish landscape before gently bouncing along on a catchy bass line.

If any of that’s your bag, then you’ll be right into this album.


‘The Sensational Alex Harvey’ by John Neil Munro.

I just finished reading this book. A good read, and worth getting hold of, whether you are a confirmed fan, or just wonder what all the fuss was about.

Alex Harvey / The Sensational Alex Harvey Band ranked (and still do) as one of my favourite bands back in the early – mid 70s. I was lucky enough to see them play ‘live’ on few occasions, including the infamous 1975 Christmas shows at Glasgow’s Apollo theatre.

I regularly play the various SAHB albums I own, but like so many things in our busy lives these days, it was very much a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ when it came to reading about the band. So, when I saw this on sale in a discount book shop, it was too good a bargain to miss.

And I’m glad I picked it up.

Initially I was disappointed to read within the first ten pages, the revelations by the author that he’d never seen the band play, and that guitarist Zal Cleminson (amongst others) would not talk to him about Alex. There were no reasons given, but it was obviously their prerogative.

I did think this would detract significantly from the impact a book like this could make.
But despite these early confessions, and even though there is very little real contribution from either drummer Ted McKenna or indeed, any as I recall, from bass player Chris Glen, the book still serves a purpose.

Using music paper / newspaper quotes as well as significant contributions from Alex’s second wife, Trudy and his friends / management, author John Neil Munro has managed to paint a sympathetic, yet ‘warts and all’ account of Alex Harvey’s quest to change the face of what he saw as a sterile and boring scene that had dropped down between Glam and Punk.

Indeed, Alex’s well worn path through the music industry started well before that period, and in many ways, the reader (even if unfamiliar with Alex and his work) is rooting for the wee Glasgow lad trying to make good against a backdrop of early social deprivation and a musical landscape so set in its ways.

But that some bloke about fifteen years older than the rest of his band can achieve such success, at least in a ‘live’ environment, lends hope to all us who have dreams to follow. They take some cultivating and an incredible amount of belief, but this book shows that dreams do come true.

I guess, though, the real trick is learning when to wake up.

I’ll not say any more for fear of spoiling the read. For it IS a good read. And one that will now lead me to read more about the band and the other members as well.)

SATURDAY ANTHEM (15/6/19) Mungo’s Hi Fi: ‘Jump in Line Riddim.’

You wanna get the party started? Here’s Mungo’s Hi Fi.

The following is lifted from Wikipedia:

Mungo’s Hi Fi is a sound system based in Glasgow, Scotland which follows the original Jamaican sound system tradition. After working together previously, Tom Tattersall and Doug Paine founded the group in 2000, writing, recording, producing and performing their own brand of reggae and dub music, working in collaboration with other artists and producers. They were joined in 2002 by Craig Macleod, in 2006 by Jerome Joly and in 2012 by James Whelan.