The Return of Eg & Alice
Posted on Jul 27th, 2015 by Alan @ 2:42 pm

UNKLE featuring Alice Temple – Mistress:

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EG featuring Alice Temple – Pull Me Through:

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Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite tweets
Posted on Dec 9th, 2014 by Alan @ 3:08 pm

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Cool Taxidermy
Posted on Nov 23rd, 2010 by Alan @ 4:09 pm

If money was no object, I’d buy all 3 of these:

Brewdog’s “The End Of History”

A £500 bottle of beer served by it’s own furry wee waiter!

The Piglet Bank

An actual piggy bank!

Wild Grey Squirrel On A Vespa Scooter

It does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a wild grey squirrel on a vespa. You, know, a scooter? Grrrrnnn-grrrrrnnn-grrrrnnnnn?
Also available: Wild Grey Squirrel Playing a Piano, Wild Grey Squirrel On A Horse, Wild Moles Cheating at Cards, and much much more!

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Music To Run To
Posted on Nov 16th, 2010 by Alan @ 11:55 pm

I’ve got a wee bit obsessed with running recently… I’ve been an occasional runner for a few years, since being press-ganged into doing a leg of the Edinburgh Relay Marathon with my brother and a couple of buddies, but decided to step things up a notch a couple of months ago (as a way of battling the waistline if I’m honest). I set myself the goal of running a half marathon sometime in the first half of next year, and then decided to do it as a fundraiser for Homeless World Cup – I’d like to go across to Paris in August to help out with the event, and they ask volunteers to raise enough money to pay for players to get there.

I couldn’t do this without the help of Runkeeper, an iPhone app that tracks your progress, and has recently introduced training programmes into their offer. I signed up for a half marathon challenge, and have to run 3 times a week to keep up with the programme – just now the emphasis is on increasing distance and endurance, rather than speed, and a couple of days ago I ran further than I’ve ever done before (my limit had been 10km). So it seems to be working!

While I run I have to listen to music, even though I’ve started to really enjoy running it’s just too boring to do it in silence. I stopped listening to my usual choice of music (progressive rock, post progressive and post rock, mainly) in favour of mashups a while back – they’re generally more upbeat, allow you to get a rhythm going in your stride, and there’s the element of surprise (I’ve downloaded over 1000 mashups over the years, so you never know what’s coming next). But I think I’ve found the ultimate running track… I went to see a band called Hidden Orchestra a few weeks back, I’ve no idea what genre anybody else would put them in but I think of it as “big beat jazz”. Their live show has two drummers, a violinist/keyboard player, and a bass guitar/keyboard player. Loads of samples in there too, making it a HUGE noise. The bass guitar/keyboard player is a guy called Joe Acheson, who seems to be the creative force in the band (they were previously called The Joe Acheson Quartet), and he put together a mixtape on the Paris DJs website showcasing a few tracks from the debut Hidden Orchestra album, along with a really interesting selection of other music. It’s got a mashup feel to it – I particularly love the sections that use tracks from Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” album – and I listened to this for the first time while running the Winter Warmer 10k race (twice round the volcano before lunch!) in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago. It was the perfect soundtrack to the run. Listen to it here, and get hold of the Hidden Orchestra album here. If you’ve got any taste in music at all you will definitely not be disappointed!

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DJ Earworm – No One Takes Your Freedom
Posted on Oct 5th, 2010 by Alan @ 11:27 am

I found this track on a compilation called “Have You Seen My Guitar?”, a compilation of 20 mashups based on rock/indie tracks. This one’s a classic, at first it’s the vocals of one track over the instrumental of another, then they flip, then a couple of new tracks are chucked in the mix – each one merging seamlessly into possibly the best mashup I’ve found so far.

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You can hear more of DJ Earworm’s stuff here, and download the compilation at Simon Iddol’s website. You will not be disappointed with what you find at either of those sites!

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Marillion / Fish – Fugazi
Posted on Sep 18th, 2010 by Alan @ 5:16 pm

Over a quarter of a century between these two performances, and two completely different interpretations of the song.

For what it’s worth I’m in a tiny minority of Marillion fans who think that the Fugazi album is one of their very best (only beaten by “Afraid Of Sunlight” and “Brave” in my opinion). It finished the annual fans’ poll second bottom last year, with only the execrable “Radiation” behind it. I’d definitely put that down near the bottom too, with a couple of their most recent albums (“Somewhere Else” and “Less Is More”) down there with it. Am I falling out of love with the band I’ve followed since I was a kid? Maybe… or maybe the pattern that they’ve been in for 20 years of alternating a stunning album with a shocker will continue. Sandwiched in between those two was “Happiness Is The Road”, which other than a couple of weak tracks was excellent.

I’m really looking forward to Fish’s next album too – his last one, “13th Star”, was his best solo album for a number of years, and once he’s finished his current acting gig (shooting a feature film called “Electric Man”) I hope he gets back in the studio.

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Check them out at www.marillion.com and www.the-company.com

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35MM
Posted on Jul 19th, 2010 by Alan @ 10:28 am

This is awesome…

35mm from Pascal Monaco on Vimeo.

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Aynsley Lister – Ice I’m Upon
Posted on Jul 8th, 2010 by Alan @ 9:54 am

I mentioned the Aynsley Lister Band in a previous post, when they opened for It Bites back in March.

I got their “Upside Down” album a couple of weeks later, and it really is excellent. Fairly straightforward blues-y rock, not usually my thing but the musicianship is fantastic. Here’s the standout track, “Ice I’m Upon”.

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Mr Lister possibly wouldn’t thank me for the comparison… do you notice any similarity to Bryan Adams & Sporty Spice’s 1998 classic “When You’re Gone”?

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Alan & Gosia enter the rainforest, in search of panthers…
Posted on May 9th, 2010 by Alan @ 12:00 pm


Fast Tube by Casper

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Eg – Adventure Man
Posted on May 6th, 2010 by Alan @ 3:42 pm

I promised you more frequent posts, and also a review of Eg’s newest album, “Adventure Man”. Before I brave the ash cloud and jet off on holiday I’m determined to do both, and also line up a few wee posts to appear automagically while I’m away.

Eg’s almost done the pop star thing himself – he was the drummer in Brother Beyond until they signed to Stock, Aitken & Waterman, and was half responsible for the best pop record no-one’s ever heard of in 1991 (Eg & Alice’s “24 Years Of Hunger”). Since then, other than a solo album every 10 years or so, he’s been content to write pop songs for other people (James Blunt, Will Young, Duffy, Kylie, James Morrison, Take That etc)

But thankfully he finds the time to record himself, and his records are always enjoyable. Some of the tracks on this new one are quirkier than the top ten would probably live with (Weird Friendless Kid, for example) and I wonder how many of these tracks were originally intended for others to sing, and how many were written with this album in mind.

The highlights for me are “But California”, the album’s opener which starts tentatively but builds momentum beautifully (is that Alice on backing vocals?) and “Broken” which I’m amazed wasn’t a huge hit.

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Buy “Adventure Man” here

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Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite tweets
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Music To Run To
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This blog is intended as a way to spread the word about music I really like, and encourage others to support artists who are making great music. "Try before you buy", if you like. If you hear something you like here, go and buy it - I'll post links to online shops where you can buy each track I blog about.

If you're reading this and you are the artist, or their record company, and you don't want a track I've posted to be available to hear in this way just email me and let me know - I will be more than happy to take the file down straight away. I've heard of other bloggers getting threatened with letters from lawyers, and there is absolutely no need to waste your money on that with me!