Hope in Humanity

By F. Fox 18/8/19

I am a simple man.

My aim is to help others whenever possible, whether that be of any religion, creed, culture or status in humanity. We all really should want to help one another, human beings are like that, aim to buy into each other’s happiness not into their misery.

There should not be a need to hate and despise one another.  There is room for everyone,  the good earth is rich it provides for everyone.  This way of life can be free and beautiful but we seem to have lost the way.  Greed has barricaded the way this has caused the world to hate and poisoned a lot of souls, blindly goosestepped into misery and bloodshed.

The world has developed speed but this has also shut ourselves in. The machinery that gives in abundance is leaving humanity in want.  This knowledge has left us cynical leaving us to think too much and feel too little.

Machinery needs replaced by more humanity, kindness and proper intelligence. Without these qualities life becomes voiding and all gets lost.  Now, the areoplane and the radio brought us closer together, the very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in humanity it cries out for universal brotherhood in the simple humanity of us all. Yet even now, as you’ll read this you will hear my voice trying to reach the unreachable throughout this world of ours,  for the despairing men, woman and children the victims of a system that makes people torture and imprison innocent people.  The misery that is now upon us is the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

Hate and Bitterness.

The loathing will pass through the political system but as the political system perishes the power of the people will return. Young military members will no longer give into this system, the one that enslaves you and regiments your lives telling us what to think, what to feel, treat you like cattle and use you as cannon fodder. No more giving ourselves to the machine-men with their machine minds and machine hearts.  These military people don’t have to hate; you have the love of humanity in your hearts, only the unloved hate.    There needs to be a stop to fighting for slavery and more for liberty.

In the 17th chapter of Luke it is written,  “the kingdom of God is within man” not one man or a group of men; but all men. We have the power and knowledge to create machines and the power to create happiness, the people have the power within to make life free and beautiful,  stressless and wonderful.

In the name of this so called democracy let us all use this power  let us all unite, let us all fight for a new world a decent world that will give everyone the chance to work  that will give the elder people security and the young hope for the future.

Politicians have risen to power but they lied with false promise. The promises were never to be fulfilled. Let us fight to relieve the planet from these mental chains to do away with National barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.  Let the people fight for a world or reason a world where science and progress to all man-kinds happiness.

Hopefully we can come out of the darkness and into a new world, a kindly world where people can rise above hate and their greed also their brutality.  Look for the soul that belongs in all of us.

Feeling the Fear

by Macaroon 11/08/19

Call it Sunday or a pending Monday musings. The day after, the beer fear or the depressing summer weather. These days seem to be the start of the week the depending doom and the ‘what if’ thoughts.

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It seems the human brain is wired to be depressed or anxious and we must find our own peace in modern day times, but what if it was just as easy to obsess over good thoughts rather than negative thoughts? I mean if part of it’s supposed to chemical then surely the chemical imbalance could work the reverse? Easier said than done, I know.  I want to touch more on anxiety here although it’s sister depression does overlap with it.

FEAR! This is where anxiety starts and of course for a lot of people worry.

If you knew you could probably handle ANYTHING that came your way , what would you possibly have to Fear?

The answer is: NOTHING!

I know you are probably not jumping up and down for joy just yet, but believe me when I say this is good news and advice. What I’m trying to put over is you can handle all your fears (and this includes myself) without having to control anything in outside world. This should come as tremendous relief if I really was the voice of reason but I’m not, however I will continue with food for thought. Now, you don’t have to control what your friends do, what your children do or what your boss does. You don’t have to control what happens in an interview or what happens in your career or what happens with your money.

All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way!

This is critical. From this moment on , every time you feel afraid, remind yourself that it is simply because you are not feeling good enough about yourself. But put this on a post-it-note wherever you want, stick it on the fridge FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY or another one I’LL HANDLE IT.

I often ask myself why we have so little trust in ourselves I’ve also been asked the question from others. I don’t really know the answer to that. I know that some fear is with our instinct much like anxiety this keeps us alert to trouble. The rest – the part that holds us back from personal growth  – is inappropriate and destructive, and could be blamed on our conditioning.

I’LL HANDLE IT!

Remember stick this on a post-it-note and onto the fridge or in every drawer. I can hear the doubting Thomases out there saying, “oh come on now how do you handle cancer or the death of a child”  I understand your scepticism. I was and can still be a doubting Thomas myself. I feel the negative feelings but give yourself a winning chance and you will find yourself coming closer and closer to self to a high level of self-confidence that you will begin to realize you can handle anything that comes your way. Never let these three words out of your mind  – probably the most important three little words you’ll ever hear:

I’LL HANDLE IT!

Obviously , the real issue has nothing to do with fear itself but, rather, how we hold fear and the perception. For some people fear is totally irrelevant. For others, it creates a state of paralysis. The former hold the fear from a position of power (choice, energy and action), and the latter hold it from a position of pain (helplessness, depression, and paralysis). These are both okay I’m not coming from the angle of weakness or strength in any of this.

FROM PAIN to POWER

To move ourselves to a position of pain to power is where we want to be. The fact we still have the fear is irrelevant – it is ok to feel fear.

I’ve mentioned Power. There are a lot of people and this includes myself who don’t quite like the concept of power and I want no part of it. In todays world especially ‘power’ has negative undertones. It often implies control over others, and, unfortunately, is often misused.

The kind of power I am talking about is entirely different. In fact, it makes you less manipulative of those around you, and certainly more loving. I’m talking about power within the self. This means power of perceptions of the world where we look at things from different angles, thinking in grey areas instead of always black and white. Power of how we react to certain situations in our lives, power to do what is necessary for your own self-growth, satisfaction inlife and power to act and power to love. It is your own power within I’m getting at. It is not and egomania, but a healthy love self-love. In fact egomaniacs have absolutely no feeling of power – thus their compelling need to control anyone around them. Fill your self with self-compassion and that is also a way of giving you that very power.

If everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life or in general then we must conclude the FEAR IS NOT THE PROBLEM. It is how we hold the fear, the fear is totally irrelevant.

Have a good week ahead folks.

 

No Strings Attached Interview

By Red Casual 31/07/2019

Here at HWS we love a chat with creative musicians, DJ’s or remixers and who better than a couple of bods I’ve had the pleasure of growing up with and lived streets away from.
From the subways to the streets, they were picking up the best tunes. If it wasn’t for these guys and few others the area would possibly have dived into heavy hardcore rave music. Langlee, Tweedbank then Gala had just the right crowd on-centre at the right time from 1990 and the duo were learning their trade from that point.
Justin Wilson and Steve Cass aka No ‘Strings Attached’ popped into see us at HWS Towers. They are the best about …

Good to see you chaps, how’s things?

Hi Mate – Thanks for inviting us along. Everything is going pretty well right now and although a fairly quiet year on the promoting front as we were slow of the mark securing dates with venues we have a few things bubbling away to keep us amused and have also started booking up for 2020.

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To start with how did the title NSA come about and when was that established?

We had been planning to start a regular club night in Galashiels back in 1995 and after brainstorming potential names we managed to get it down to 3 or 4 but could not agree on it so started to concentrate on the set up as the venue we were going to use was in the basement of the local football stand so needed a fair bit of work to transform it into something that resembles a nightclub. We wanted to source a parachute to cover the ceiling and walls so the dance floor was like a small cocoon and after searching the yellow pages we found a company who sold club decor. When making the order the girl on the line said the type of parachute we are looking for has “no strings attached” and we just liked that at the time so ran with it.

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I must give you guys a massive compliment for keeping the interest and vibe going down in Gala and of course Edinburgh.
So, for the readers, when did you start DJing – and what or who were your early passions and influences? What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

Well, the influences would have to come from guys like yourself who were involved in the scene down south and introduced the sounds to Galashiels via mix tapes along with some legendary local nights with DJs Rich Bell, Scott Ferguson (Robot 84) and others. Another massive influence was going to The Citrus club in Edinburgh from the age of 17 which gave the opportunity to regularly hear the best DJs around like Fabi Paras, Andrew Weatherall, Justin Robertson, Craig Walsh etc and meet people who still come along to NSA to this day. The feeling, atmosphere and escapism of being in the club was always the draw created by the combination of great music, sound people & various substances.

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Around this time we also got the chance to play early sets at some of the local nights as well as regular house parties and that sparked the idea for us to put on our own thing.

When doing the DJing considerations that go into deciding which track to play next? What makes two tracks a good fit? How far do you tend to plan ahead during a set?

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It’s impossible to completely plan ahead but of course we will select a few tracks we think would work depending on where we are playing. We often play back 2 back so track selection is very last minute depending on what the other person finishes on and what you think is a best fit to try and keep the flow. Usually this works out quite well as feel we are good at reading a crowd. The last half hour can be a bit chaotic if the night is going off as you start thinking about the end of your set and what tracks you have not had the chance to play yet.

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What were some of the main challenges and goals when starting out as a DJ and how have they changed over time?

As we generally warm up for our guests the goal is to try and set the tone for the night by gradually building it up before handing the reigns over to the headliner and by that time the crowd should be ready for them taking it up a gear. We don’t think that challenge has really changed but we have got a lot better at it.

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What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?

Producing is something we would like to do in the future and have had a couple of attempts in the past in collaboration with others but find it really difficult to stop changing our minds and running with something all the way through to a finished track. Djing provides real time satisfaction as someone else has already done the difficult part of creating the great music and all we have to do is put it on for an instant result.

You’ve been on the music and dance scene almost without fail for many, many years now. In terms of creativity, do you ever feel like you need to recharge? Where do you find the calm and energy to keep up with things?

We don’t put on or play at enough nights to get exhausted from it and the reason for this is we would rather do less and make them special rather than just doing it for the sake of it.

You still stay in the Gala area these days, I’ve always seen it as the cosmopolitan town in the Borders although it can be fickle at times. Do you think it’s still musically the best place for yourself to be?

Although we have had many great years in Galashiels, Edinburgh feels more like home these days and a great crowd come out to support the nights we have at The Mash House and Sneaky Pete’s including a strong contingent from Galashiels. The nights usually sell out but It still feels as if everyone know’s each other. Our aim is to make every night as good as or better than the last and one of the greatest compliments we ever received was hearing Andrew Weatherall say “That’s a proper Acid House party”.

The Fairydean still sometimes seems the spiritual home of NSA, you’ve had some top nights there over the years with cracking DJ’s. Does any of these nights stick out?

We have lost count of how many nights there have been in there but we have hosted many great DJs over the years that have all been special for different reasons. if we pick two stand out nights it would have to be when SLAM played for our 20th Birthday and the first time Ivan Smagghe played for us.
SLAM managed to play a track from every year from the last 2 decades so clearly put some thought into it and Ivan was meant to be playing at SNAFU in Aberdeen with us but the club closed down a few days prior to the night so we managed to quickly shift it to the dean and sell out within days. He played one of the best sets we have heard and has been back with us a few times since then.

One more night we want to mention was in Edinburgh rather than the dean but is pretty relevant just now given the mess that is Brexit.

The night was 24th June 2016 and the UK just voted to leave the EU. We had a big night with A Love From Outer Space at the mash house. The outcome of the vote resulted in a low mood which could be felt from the chat in the car picking up the DJs to the crowd coming through the door so we feared it might not go too well. However the club filled up quickly and the dance floor was rammed within 30 minutes of opening and the whole place went off. The soundtrack was perfect and the room was full of smiles all night as it was the tonic everyone needed at that moment and I’m sure it will stick out as a favourite for a lot of people.

Ibiza? Do you still visit? how often do you get over?

Not been to Ibiza in about 8 years so pretty detached from what is going on out there and can think of plenty other places we want to check out before returning. There are great festivals & clubs all over Europe that have far more appeal. Here are a couple of festivals and a couple of clubs to look up. Convenanza in Carcassonne (France) , Love International in Tisno (Croatia) Smala in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Robert Johnston (Frankfurt) Germany.

Top five club / dance tracks?

Red Axes / DJ Tennis – Redrago

Curses – Puttanesca

Andrew Claristidge & Workerpoor – Slow Uppercut (Soviet Union Remix)

Manfredas (featuring Bozzwell) – Mind Machine

Phunkadelica (featuring J.O.D.) – Amore Automatico (instrumental)

How would you actually describe your sound?

Nu Disco and whatever fits.

What are your plans for 2020

Celebrating 25 years of NSA which we are currently programming and can confirm it’s looking pretty tasty. Also really looking forward to getting back into putting on regular parties in Edinburgh again and perhaps releasing a track.

What was the last record you bought?

Last vinyl bought was an old electro compilation on the StreetSounds label that was a lucky find at Mauerpark flea market in Berlin. Another old find was made a bit closer to home which was Davorite – Electrick Dragon.

Choice of footwear?

Adidas is the obvious choice and have owned many between us so will go with the classic Converse HI-Tops and TST which were stocked briefly in Xile a few years back and have become practically impossible to source now. Apparently footwear designer Seishi Tanks hand draws every design and hand finishes each of them after production.

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And the best DJ there is/was is?

Difficult question as so many favourites and our booking policy is based on who we think is the best but as you pinned us down to one we are going to go with Andrew Weatherall as he never fails to amaze and inspire and we are truly honoured he still regularly plays for us after first coming to NSA in 2000 when we were running out of Edinburgh’s most iconic club space The Venue.

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Lastly, what have you guys got coming up?

This Friday (August 2nd) we are playing for Tweak_ at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh for their night with Detroit’s Carl Craig. We are on from 11pm – 2am.

August 18th – Hectors House asked us to join them at 99 Hanover Street to support Ibiza’s godfather of chill Jose Padilla. We will be playing between his early evening sunset slot and warming things up for his club based set later in the night.

September 10th – We will be on EHFM doing a mix for the the Sheikh (pronounced Shake) hosted by Adam from Cheap Picasso.

December – New Mix for a Madrid based label

December 20th – Edinburgh, TBA

Boxing Day – Edinburgh, TBA

A taste of NSA …

A pleasure to have you chaps pop in, thanks a lot.  I’ll be seeing you soon.

No worries mate.

Shake it all about time! Not on telly, only on Holywell Street platforms. Giving the folks what they want. Ins & Outs

IN:

 Double chocolate Magnum.

Tam Rogic

Saying ‘double treble, treble treble’ 100 times.

Having auld friends called Elspeth.

Days out instead of nights out.

The chippie in Inverkeithing (voted by the people)

Walking into work and shouting: ‘it’s maself!!’

Three Star Bars £1 at Tesco or Three Boosts £1.

Rita Ora.

Getting poodled.

Singing ‘Dungo’ instead of ‘Bimbo’ by Jim Reeves down the pub with yer buddy’s.

Doing the Grand Ole Duke of York with Elspeth.

Smashing fellas – all time greats.

The marvellous Paul Kealy 

Pickle Jar Heroes!

The idea of George Clooney as US President.

Benny Hill themed bars.

Harry Lauder great man – great life.

Sofia Carson dedicating an In’s and Outs song for myself and David.

Having a morning feud.

Beard Gardens instead of Beer Gardens (you only get in with a beard)

Cutting off bits of tyre and serving them up as Steak Dianne.

Transgender hamsters.

 

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OUT:

The comment: ‘I’m going on my Hollibobs’

Teeth sucking mechanics.

Return of the: ‘I’m not a racist but …’ comment.

Jobs worths at the recycle joint: ‘cannae put that in there’ attitude ae life.

Killjoy swimming pool attendants, jobs worth.

Folk saying ‘Whoop Whoop!’

Again, the price of a chippie.

Mutants on marching season.

Tommy Robinson and his merry followers.

Far right two-bob cretins.

Acquiring a whiskey nose after a day on the beer!

Socks for fish.

Being a Robert Killjoy.

The quote: ‘if I was 30 years younger’

Boy racer types, elbow out window, shitty shades, SnapBack cap, chewing Wrigley’s.

Rugger buggers.

Lassie’s giving blowies for beak!

Blokes that would hump the barbers floor!

Thats all folks and remember, it’s only a lark. 

Ins and Outs from a dentist waiting room

Time for some off-the-cuff Ins and Outs, it’s been a while but what else can you do while waiting to get a tooth out!

IN:

Calling people ‘Muckle Jessie’s’

The riot gear.

Richard Ashcroft, great man – great life.

Six Guinness and up the road.

The salad bar at Morrison’s

Saying ‘here/he is though’ to everyone that walks in the workplace

Being Jam Hat!

Speaking through your nose on a Conference Call.

Treble Treble

Vicky McClure

Starting a Jumbo Cord’s gang

Pickled onion crisps

Ready Salted Crisps with a pickled egg bombed in.

Pulling all yer wheelie bins out so you guess the right one.

Salt and pepper chip eating supporters.

Nick Stewart 70 and still cool.

Having senior friends called Elspeth.

Blocking right-wing cranks on Facebook.

Winning the pottery.

Green bras.

Kealy and McCann’s Burger Van.

Galloway destroying Alan Sugar in a debate.

OUT:

Toothache.

Moobs.

Flirty Florence’s.

Mental Health stigma 800: ‘decide to be joyful’

Herrenvolk Hubris attitude to life!

Salt and pepper’s lonely hearts club band.

People saying ‘so I got them told…’ when they told them fuck-all

The quote: ‘so a turned around and said’

Mr ‘Let’s Go’ Gerrard.

Fascists.

The price of a chippie

Hands up in the air songs like Angels – Robbie Williams.

Mental Health Stigma number 801: ‘eat more fruit’

Walking into cobwebs.

Anything ever uttered on The Apprentice

Anything ever uttered on Love Island.

 

That’s that for now!  Don’t take it serious!

 

 

 

Talking about my Generation, football, Celtic, threads and subculture with Nick Stewart

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Holywell Street have been trying to get a chin-wag with the very own Nick Stewart for a good while. Some call him the original Mod-father, he certainly is an interesting chap, well cool with a music library to die for.

He is always turned out well and is Celtic to the core with stories of a generation. We caught up with him in McChuills Bar in the Merchant City where he’s normally spinning tracks from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Myself, Paul Kealy and Lee came along and after numerous pints of Moretti, it flowed well and we could have chatted all night but the VIP treatment could only last so long.

Oh, and it happens to be his 70th Birthday today, so let’s go to print …

Thanks for meeting us Nick and inviting us in. First, what’s your earliest memory of following Celtic?

What sticks in my mind most was the opening of the new floodlights the big pylons and we were playing Wolves who were probably the best team in England at the time, we got beat 2-0 and I’d say it was around 1959, I was 10 years-old. We deserved to get beat they were a bloody good team they had a couple of good Irish players who stood-out. I mean Wolves are back in the top division now but they fell away dreadful for many years, they had this lovely gold strip that stood-out I’ll always remember that. I had been to games before this, but this is the one that sticks in my mind. I think I recall a young Stevie Chalmers that night as well.

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When would you say you saw Celtic at their best?

Lisbon Lions no question!  I’ve always said, and I quote Billy McNeill, was that every team we played, they were the round heads and we were the cavaliers. I thought that was a great quote. I mean we were swash-buckling but what a team!  I always think the greatest ever game would have been the Celtic team of 67 v Ajax 73 and why I say that is, because when Celtic played Ajax in 73 we were starting on a decline, we had very good players like Harry Hood and Tom Callaghan – great players, but I’m sorry they just weren’t in the class as Bertie Auld and Bobby Murdoch. I think that would have been greatest game, but I think the Celtic team of 1967 ‘very seriously’ would have wiped the floor with any teams in the world today, and as much as todays footballer may seem fitter and healthier and everything else, the Lions also were fit, physical and extremely skilful.  But who could not enjoy the 70’s team or Martin O’Neil’s team, Neil Lennon’s and Brendan Rodgers. I think we have been good in recent times, verging on very good that could become a great team.

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A question I’ve always wondered about and wanted to ask: do you think there could have been a mixed overlap with the Celtic teams of the 60’s and 70’s that would perhaps make a better team than the Lions?

No. The 60’s team were better not even a debate on it! Bobby Murdoch was perhaps the best midfielder in the world for four years. Bertie Auld was personally my favourite player – he was shrewd, he could be devious, but he had great skills, I always think where could all these players have played in the world; Jimmy Johnstone could be Spain or Italy, Bobby Murdoch was definitely be an Italian type player, Bertie Auld would have played for Argentina because of that rudeness and he had that nasty side to him. They were extremely fit and as I say would wipe the floor with any top teams today. I would say Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert and Johan Mjallby would have fitted in the 67 team, that’s not to say I’d replace the Lions though, by the way we also played a European Cup Final without our best centre-forward Joe McBride he got injured before Christmas our top scorer and he didn’t play for the rest of the season. I knew Joe he would come into my Mum’s shop and he was a lovely, lovely man – very humble, he was outrageously good as a player and you could argue we didn’t have our best centre forward at the time Stevie Chalmers was brilliant, but this was probably overlooked. John Fallen was a better goalkeeper than Ronnie Simpson he wasn’t maybe as reliable, but he was steady, very steady.

On a Saturday night me and my brother and our wives would go to certain restaurant and Bertie Auld was always there with his Mrs also Tommy Gemmell and Ronnie Simpsons with their wives, the six of them I’d I recall Ian St John being up from Liverpool and he was sitting with some of the Rangers players, everyone used to say they were all great pals – no they weren’t, not at all in fact the Celtic players used to take the piss out of them what a laugh it was. They were friendly with Jim Baxter, but I can tell you, no matter what anyone says Jim Baxter was NOT a true blue, he certainly would have played for Celtic and he grew-up a Hibs fan but trust me he was a good player though, bloody good.

Could Slim Jim have got into our 67 team?

I don’t think he would have got in the Celtic 67 team, it wouldn’t have suited his framework he was a bit like George Connolly who again was an excellent player.

As we know we reached another European Cup Final in 1970?

Yes, and people seem to forget that, if we reached a European final now we wouldn’t stop talking about it. We were expected to win the final, but Feyenoord were a very good unit, the year before Ajax were he final and I remember my brother Davie (God rest him) saying they would beat Milan in the final and I’ve always had a soft spot for Italian football and I’m telling him I seriously don’t think so Davie! Ajax went in and beat them 4-0 or 4-1 if I recall they totally wiped the floor with them, that was the start as Feyenoord one it in 70 and Ajax one it for the next three years the Dutch team’s ascendancy to total football.

We certainly underestimated Feyenoord?

Without a doubt. The Scottish/English football hype from the Leeds semi-final seemed to carry an arrogance that really didn’t do us any favours, thinking job done, we’ve done the hard bit. I mean Celtic played in a Scottish Cup a few weeks before and lost to Aberdeen, so phycology is a massive part of the game.

Jock Stein, how did you view him?

He was a genius and he was a tuff-nut! Alex Ferguson learnt everything from Stein. I watched Bobby Murdoch play for Celtic and he must have been one of the worst old inside-right you could have witnessed … slow, stop and skiing the ball 20 yards over the cross bar and you were thinking ‘bloody hell’. Stein came in and moved him back 30 yards and he became the best midfielder in the world. Billy McNeil was there in the knowledge that John Clark was there and of course Tommy Gemmell could rampage because he knew he could be covered.

I think I read something from Archie McPherson that Stein was the first tracksuit manager also first to get into people’s heads, whether that be media, authorities, refs and opposing teams?

Yes totally, all to do with phycology again with having a siege mentality and not forgetting to get good players to become even better players. I always remember a quote from the late Brian Clough from Martin O’Neil, when Forest were about to play in the European Cup Final and O’Neil had been injured, but seemed to declare himself fit he tells Clough he’s fit to which he says ‘no you’re not you’ll play in the reserves’ he was another genius that you could only respect he got players running through brick walls for him. But Stein, what we must remember when thinking back is that Rangers were a bloody good team as well, don’t kid yourself! They were probably top 12 in Europe back then Celtic were probably in the top four certainly always up there and of course that’s what we want … semi-finals, finals and winners it didn’t matter what team, they all feared Celtic.

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Time to jump onto another passionate subject for us all and to pick yer brains. Music and culture? Perhaps the 60’s or which would be your era considering dressers, chaps, music. Can you recall the styles of 60’s Glasgow for us going to the match with it, we grew up crowd watching the terraces in the eighties which was certainly a working-class catwalk if you like?

Well, that’s EXACTLY what it was … a working-class thing but I think it perhaps spilled more in the 70’s if we’re talking at the match. It wasn’t like Mods went to the football in the same way casuals did, we were just what we were. Me and my four mates would meet and stand in the old enclosure and we were maybe a bit sharper dressed but if you looked about no, there was a few other lads that stood over from us although they did look like something out the rat pack, they were maybe six or so years older than us and we were impressed by them.

I remember discussing it with my Dad on many times and everyone seem to wear suits, so fuckin cool!

Paul: If it wasn’t I suppose for those Mods, the original Mods, the older generation and the passion for the clothes we wouldn’t know the concept of how to dress, my Mum and Dad were both Mods. Yeah, original Mods to that 1979 revival one.

Yes, but I look back now and nobody really inspired us, we had no inspiration from anybody none. My Mum and Dad were lovely dressers don’t get me wrong, but we didn’t want to dress like Rockers and we didn’t dress like Teddy boys although Teds were smart, but I recall Mods starting and we couldn’t believe our luck and we had generated code.

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Paul:  Zoot Suit by The High Numbers was a tune that perhaps could sum it up best?

Yes, I suppose so yes. We used to down the Flamingo and we would walk past the 100 club in London at the top of Oxford Street and they would be wearing parkas with union-jacks but they were an embarrassment to Mods that wasn’t our thing to be honest, we liked to copy the black guys those who wore the pork pie hats we hadn’t seen anything like it and they were great dancers.

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Those original Skinheads were like an off-cut Mod as well, they were very smart.

I suppose it was but by that time it had been and gone. Mods were Modernists you moved on. Those Skinheads were smart in their Edwardian clothes though.  I was lucky enough to experience and witness Otis Redding and I still listen to him you never leave that behind that is part of you. You have the rockabilly’s and they keep their scene alive.

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Originally Mods weren’t fighters as such that seem to come later as well?

Correct!  You see that picture there, (pointing to a pic of Mods and Rockers fighting on Brighton beach on the pub wall) I hate that! they were perhaps defending themselves against the Rockers but that wasn’t really us! We wanted to go out and dance, look smart, have a laugh and have a good time with of course the best music. It’s again the working-class thing dressing up, no doubt about it, with the chance for us to look smart.

What was your view on the punk scene when it arrived?

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They had great musicians perhaps not taste in scene, it was ant-establishment and probably anti certain bands for example they would be against Yes, ELP and Genesis like a rebellion thing.

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You liked The Clash and met Joe Strummer?

I love The Clash, I knew Joe Strummer quite a bit and we ended up quite friendly, he was a lovely, lovely man and politically very left-wing. I got him along to a Celtic game, the valentine’s massacre against Rangers – the two -nil game. I got six tickets and he asked if he could come along, he loved it and that night he sent us over two bottles of champagne I’ll always remember that and that’s how nice a man he was. I recall one night in the Marriot Hotel and his kids were down with him, lovely wee lassies and the manager came over to say we can’t have kids down here in the Bar. The Pogues were there also and it was them who were total gentlemen but Joe Strummer took offence and Andrew Rankin set about the manager, he said he was a ‘weirdo’ for talking to the kids like that, so then he was papped out the Hotel and had to go and stay at the Beacons Hotel up in Woodlands then the Pogues decided ‘right then we’re all going!’

You’re seen as the original Mods round these parts, we would agree but what was the original Mod scene like in Glasgow?

Well, for me and my pal Jim it was very good that’s because we just bought records and went to the Maryland Club maybe on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday that wasn’t every week we went out and it was excellent, that’s where the Mods went. There were one or two other places, but we preferred the Maryland, we had Geno Washington, Herbie Goins and The Night-Timers cracking bands!  The Graham Bond Organisation they played regularly, we saw them a lot. The DJ’s were fantastic and there was never any hassle in the place it was genuinely run place. Out with the circle I really didn’t really know what it was like.

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So, did you feel it was your scene?

Yes, absolutely there was perhaps 40 of us to begin with not all great pals as such but we just spotted each other, it was, ‘how you are doing?’ We knew their names and strangely as it may seem back then guys would dance themselves or with other guys you didn’t particularly dance with girls. To this day if I’m having a wee dance over there by the decks I can’t be bothered dancing with anyone just me in the zone. But the Maryland was a very good club.

Where was the Maryland in the City?

Scott’s Street next to the old Art school I think it became the Cotton Club. There was a very decent Mod scene in Glasgow onwards from that. Glasgow Mods dressed well none of this target, patches with union jacks, bands like the Yard Birds, The Animals, Manfred Mann they were genuine Mod bands. The Stones and The Beatles were not Mod bands, but some Mods liked them, the London Mods were very cool you would have to say, the Manchester lads were sharp as a tack.

That brings us to the next question, when you visited London how did you find the scene down there?

I went down regularly, and it was certainly cooler no shadow of a doubt, but I recall a year later, I wouldn’t say it was any cooler as we had all caught up of course it was always much bigger. We would have perhaps had one real genuine Mod club where as they would have maybe twenty. It was always a case of the working class dressing up where we went. The Flamingo, Whisky-a-Go Go and the Marquee although the Marquee  was more like a venue but they would have lots of good bands, then like anything else though Jimi Hendrix came along, now Jimi Hendrix was never a Mod and you could possibly say he was a hippy but he wasn’t a happy either but he was like Maradona a bloody genius – something sent from God that’s what he was and he kind of changed everything again.

 

Lee: I suppose it takes you away the Mod music for a bit?

Yeah, then I suppose you had someone like Jimmy Smith the organist who the Mods caught onto quickly. I mean it was Jazz he was playing it wasn’t Mod music, but we just twigged to it so that put things in a different direction and Jimi Hendrix put things in a different perspective. I would say to you Mods weren’t particularly adventurous dressers, you would get a nice Italian V-Neck jumper, nice American shirts that had nice button-down collars you wore with a cool tie and suit. In my opinion Mods kind of died out when it became ‘dandy’ for example ‘the spy who loved me’ the frills etc, now, don’t get me wrong it was a nice style and The Kinks wore it as did a few other bands, but it wasn’t bloody Mod it was psychedelic.  I saw John Lee Hooker he was older than us, he was a black singer playing the blues and he was in the Bar, beautiful cufflinks, dressed fabulous – he was a blues boy. Perhaps we were a bit snobbish when Mods and much like casuals became widespread or mainstream it kind of takes the cool bit away from it.

What was your take on the Mod revival in 1979?

Well, I remember it well because it was Paul Malloy and Mikey Collins who I’m great friends with came in and asked me about it and I remember thinking to myself and I decided to ask them a question regarding ‘grow your own’ which was a B side of the Small Faces record, I wasn’t trying to be smart-arse as such but I was thinking if they would know it and they knew it! Then I thought these boys are serious, I could have chosen a hundred songs in fairness – now these guys are more Mod than me they’ve immersed themselves in it.

I remember that Mod revival of 79 it looked very one dimensional from where I came from such as parkas, target or union jack patches, sta-press and those like bowling shoes?

Yes, but Mikey and Paul were certainly cut from the original Mod and would have certainly fitted in with the original – no question! Their taste in music is impeccable and they have kept it going, Lenny Harkins, Paul Malloy, Mikey Collins and Quinney those four boys – they just love it. Once Lenny was buying a shirt and he’s trying it on, we’re telling him to get a move on, his response was, ‘hawd on a minute here … it’s a shirt I’m trying on!’ After twenty minutes he buys it – that’s just a real Mod attitude. We would buy records that we liked because it was a good record not, so it would be hopefully worth £100 one day! All those records I have are all scratched, I’ve given lots away and had some nicked.

Quadrophenia?  It’s a classic movie for a lot of us. Do you see it the same? Would you pick any holes in it from it being set in the 60s?

I couldn’t be bothered going to see it!

Eh? (laugh all round) no way?

No, it didn’t resonate with me, I mean I’ve seen bits or clips of it, I’m not being cheeky but … Sting? Are you kidding me on, fuck that! It didn’t resonate with me and our older crowd I knew, so no I’ve never seen it. I’m not against it and I’m not going to run it down, some might say it’s the greatest movie of all-time, but it just looked like blank English Mod not like the cool guys that were doing something and trying to get good music out there. I didn’t even like the name of the movie and Sting and bloody Toyah? The photo for the film was enough to put me off.

Respect to that.

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Some good films I did see involved Steve McQueen he was super cool, very well turned out, he wasn’t a Mod as such he had the look that suede American thing but the two stand-outs who were super cool were Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo two French actors that’s who you wanted to dress like – very handsome chaps. I believe Alain Delon was a bit of a right-wing nutter unfortunately but there you go and he was great friends with Jimmy Smith the black Jazz musician and they hung out again in Paris the other one his ‘great friend’ Jean-Paul Belmondo who was extremely left-wing and was until the day he died – so they were total polar opposites but great friends all the lives. They dressed great especially Alain Delon.

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Going back to that Mod revival I don’t recall seeing in suede personally. I think I preferred the punks at that time. The parkas didn’t look smart.

Well it was a bit strange because a parka is a very sensible if you have a scooter, I didn’t wear one, I had a 175 Lambretta and if there was a cloud in the sky it wouldn’t start! We used to have joke in Glasgow that I was the coolest dude parked by the side of the road, broken down – whilst every other drove by!  I looked fuckin great, but I couldn’t get moving.

The Jam again talking about the 79 Mod revival, would you have them as the real deal in your opinion?

Without a doubt! Paul Weller didn’t speak for me as a generation thing, but they were a great Mod band and they would have fitted in at any stage. Paul Weller knows exactly what he’s doing  and one of the things I do like about him (forget anything to do with Mod) is the fact that he’s still making music today and he’s not a young man anymore, he’s taken a few gambles with some of them being not great and that doesn’t matter just like Lou Reid he is/was always trying to do something different – I have much admiration for the guy. I don’t go out and buy all his stuff but by any means but in the past, I’ve bought a lot of the obvious ones. They could have been seeing as a bit of a punk band in the early years as well as The Clash who were much the same in a political sense, a rebellious band.  Weller still retains his socialist views – I mean he’s millionaire two times over but remains dignified about things. Eton Rifles; Rock against Racism and Red Wedge were all in amongst it.

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Most good creative bands are very much left leaning I’d say …

Yes, but it can also be easy to say that, but I do think the right-wing blinkers you. it is too one-dimensional, so the left has more to say lyrically.

Ok, what would you consider your favourite three albums of all-time?

Well, I may disappoint but …

(1) Lou Reid – Metal Machine Music and the reason I say that is … I’m quite obsessed with Lou Reid, I’ve never known anyone as dangerous and adventurous as adventurous with music EVER EVER! Nobody in the world.  (2) The next one is probably an album by Lou Reid called Lulu with Metallica now, I don’t like heavy metal, I really don’t, but I went to see it live and it was outrageously good. The (3rd) I would go for is Gavin Byres – Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet. It’s just a piece of music from modern day classic musicians. I was interviewed outside a Lou Reid concert by an Italian TV channel no idea why, but they asked me if you were to do any collaboration – what would you want? Well, I said it’s a mute question because I don’t think Lou Reid does collaboration’s because he works with other people on his terms only but if anyone it would be Gavin Byres and it went straight over their heads – they didn’t know what I was talking about, but I certainly would have liked it.

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Paul: So, what would have been your biggest influence growing up?

Without a shadow of a doubt … Lou Reid but, then again in a moment it could be John Lee Hooker because he can just turn you onto everything.

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For us Celtic and good bands seem to be intertwined would you agree?

Absolutely, again this probably comes to the left-wing thing where we find the best creativity.

Ok, what would be your all-time favourite band and how did it influence yourself?

What influenced me was John Lee Hooker because that opened my mind to everything! without a doubt but anything by Lou Reid would be a favourite especially the last four years. I remember it was the time around David Bowie and I recall hearing a Lou Reid track I can’t even recall which one it was, and I just bought into it right away. I mean there’s Kraftwerk … fuckin excellent! I got right into that as well, I was very lucky I got to meet Karl Bartos and spoke with them. I don’t see how you can’t jump from guitar music to electronic music I don’t see why there can’t be a connection. I have a theory personally and I’ve spoken with other musicians and I said Maradona has more in common with Jimi Hendrix; Picasso; David Lean; Robert Di Niro; Bruno Grande than he has with Peter Grant a footballer, because they are in a world apart. Now, not that I didn’t like Peter Grant but we’re taking genius and artist’s here, and Peter Grant is a great guy just getting on with the job. I think there’s a level. I had an argument in the past that Chuck Berry has more in common with Bob Marley they can write something in four lines something that would take you a book to try and explain and it’s the same with Shane McGowan I mean have you heard the track The old Main Drag? that is poetic genius, listen to the words.  I like to see all music and subcultures, the mix of different music and for myself I still have that broad range. With subcultures we can get a bit snobbish and say they weren’t as cool as us and could be Mods or the modern-day Casuals but as least they’re keeping things going and doing something.

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I would say the original Mods influenced styles and fashions – everything it certainly influenced the casuals. This again may sound snobbish, but I think if it wasn’t for the Mods you wouldn’t be listening to global music because it was them that explored even things like black music in America and made it popular. I recall an interview by the Rolling stones on radio one – they had just come of the plane in Chicago and they were asked what their favourite bands/artists were they all pitched in with the ISLEY BROTHERS, JOHN LEE HOOKER, BOBBY BLAND and SOLOMON BURKE. We then went searching for these artists … Mick Jagger mentioned Country and Western singers so we all went searching there.

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Last one on Celtic are you still attending matches these days and are you confident of ten in a row?

Yes, I’m quite confident of 10 in-a-row but I think everyone, and anyone will pull out all stops for us not to get it. I don’t think it’s a guarantee by any means, but we have the football muscle to do it a lot will depend on Kieran Tierney actually. This side is a good team, but we can become a very good team.

Lastly, Paul Waller said he’ll always be a Mod, is this the same for yourself?

YES.

Thanks Nick

My pleasure.

Thanks to Paul Kealy, Lee Foster for chipping in and Francie McCann (inspiration in everything) The bar staff at McChuills

McChuills Bar 40 High Street Glasgow (worth a visit)

 

Calling out to all Celtic fans. Brad Welsh: ‘There’s more that unites us than divides us!’

 

 

Call out to all Celtic fans.

A lot of our faithful support have been shocked and saddened to have been given the news that Bradley Welsh has passed away.  Brad has been a complete working class hero and has been a faithful friend to many of the Celtic support including our joint applause for Leigh Griffiths. Brad was determined to raise support and awareness for any mental health issues regarding Leigh or anyone that suffered in silence.

Personally, ourselves and Brad with ‘Helping Hands’ did a joint food-bank a couple of seasons ago which  raised a substantial amount for Helping Hands solidarity in the name of James Connolly and his working class ethos at a Hibs v Celtic match.

The Hibs fans will be doing a minutes applause in honour of this great man at Easter Road on the 48th minute of the match tomorrow, so can we join in with respect to this working class hero and friend to many of the Celtic fans please.

Yours and Celtic always.