Fantasia Sevconia

We have had the International week and for some this can be a drag but you can always rely on the lap top loyal to run stories of fantasy.

The rumour that refuses to go away consists of SEVCO manager Gerrard to Newcastle. Now as they saying goes, say it enough times and well you know the rest. Just keep talking it up.

So, Newcastle about to be the richest football club in the world seems to trust their hunderds of millions of pounds worth of transfer kitty to a guy that has, by and large, spent every single pound of his current club had on one trophy?

That’s One trophy in nine after a Celtic team totally collapsed last season. Sevco fans can dress it up as much as they want but spending over £40m borrowed money and one trophy, in Scotland is a scandal.

Callum Davidson at St Johnstone has won two in one season, when it took Gerrard three to bank one.

Now the funds and borrowing has stopped after the desperation of stopping 10-in-a-row, there is no millions left in the kitty and Gerrard isn’t happy.

Gerrard’s assistant manager Gary McAllister: “The thing is, since we have been here there has been speculation and links to several clubs. That’s part and parcel of being a high profile manager. A high profile manager that’s done pretty well here.

“Winning the league last season was decent.”

So that’s “pretty well here?” One trophy in three years? £40m for one trophy?

Done “pretty well” for a Rangers manager? Why is no one in the Scottish media challenging this dross?

Take Ronny Delia for example who won two trophies in his first season and was denied the opportunity of a treble by a poor officiating display, yet he was hounded by the media hacks!

When the Scottish main stream media cannot even be bothered to do their jobs correctly is it any wonder fans turn to fan media or bloggers in this day and age?

Not a Beautiful Sunday

The shocking standard of officiating in Scotland became exposed yesterday. Celtic fans have been left absolutely incensed. Our fans have been accused of only complaining about refereeing standards when we lose or draw a game. Yesterday that trend has been bucked and rightly so.

At a time when VAR is being looked at as a potential future option for the Scottish game, the hoops fans have witnessed two of the most atrocious displays of refereeing this season in yesterday’s games.

First up was Mr Madden who took charge of Celtic’s 2-1 win over Aberdeen yesterday.

Celtic had 62% of the possession yesterday, yet Madden managed to give 27 fouls against the Hoops.

It seemed every touch on an Aberdeen player was a foul. Every 50-50 was another free kick. It felt as though the Celtic attack in particular couldn’t play a high press game because any touch was blown up.

The other side of the coin rests on the fact that Aberdeen only committed 10 fouls. Could you honestly watch that game yesterday and say we were a lot more physical than the Dons? Of course not.

Then again, there was something even more scandalous to come at Ibrox a few hours later.

Hibernian were cruising in Govan after an early goal from Kevin Nisbet. But just when it looked as though they were taking something? Up steps, Walsh to send off Ryan Porteous to win the most ridiculous refereeing decision of the campaign.

Was it even a booking? But eyebrows will now rightly be raised as to why Walsh was so quick to get the red card out. It left you seriously inquisitive as to whether the same outcome would have been decided up the other end of the park.

This is a season in which a treasure trove is up for stake given the winners of the league will automatically qualify for the Champions League. Yet we have officials making game-changing decisions like this and getting them openly erroneous.

Incidentally, Walsh has sent off six players in the last seven SEVCO games he has refereed; I don’t need to tell you that none of them was SEVCO players

So now as we leave project stop the 10 and enter into project pay off their bills we are seeing the two-faced application of the laws of the game.

A Working Class Catwalk

First they hijacked the Skins then they came for “terrace dressers”. Two subcultures with origins in mixed race and the working class. Much like the Mods – working class lad or lass dresses up. Black and white unity if you like. A subculture. A movement. A trend.

It’s 1983 and I’m walking through the Barrowlands in Glasgow on the London Road side. Me and a mate are dressed in post Two-Tone attire with wedge haircuts and baggy jeans.

“I’ve heard it said and I agree,‘Where’s the next scene?’ Nobody sees it coming, ah its over there.”
– (Casuals DVD)

A Celtic fan walks towards us, “Cannae get moving for Aberdeen casuals lads eh?” We have no idea what he’s talking about. Then I see them – hundreds of lads walking past us dressed in sportswear and like us, they’re heading towards Celtic Park.

Soccer Casuals

I didn’t know what I thought regarding the way they looked, it seemed almost mystical. It reminded me of rugby attire or perhaps skiing holidaymakers taking the wrong route. Although they looked like boy-next-door, you could see it had an edge which became apparent when they started having verbals with Celtic fans. History tells us the original idea to this look was anti-suss; not really intended to be stylish, it was more a disguise, replacing the bovver boy hooligan. This was a welcome change from stiff-arm boneheads.To cut a long story short, within months I was hooked. Hooked on the clothes, the fights and everything that came with it for many years. You started to see this new-found look at Celtic after a wee while, but it was more an individual look rather than a collective response until the 1984/85 season when Celtic first had its own crew of this new subculture. We wanted to know more about this new thing. With the clothes evolving every few weeks we wanted to be clued-up and a step ahead.

But where was the music attached to this? We were looking to London and the rest of England for its origins, initially we’re lead to believe it was born in Aberdeen, but how could it be? Aberdeen is remote and hardly trendsetting.

Casuals had NO right-wing origins. Right-wing cranks would have you believe it’s mutually exclusive for a modern day hooligan to be a one dimensional patriotic Stone Island geez who will have zero creativity. They will jump around to bands like The Specials; sing along to their lyrics as with The Farm, The Housemartins, The Clash, Paul Weller and The Beautiful South; ignoring or unprepared to check what their message is.

Before Waxy Lemon et al. you had the NF and BNP on a recruitment drive with football firms around the country. So we end up with the obligatory stiff arm salutes trying to hijack another subculture by the end of the 80s and into the 90s. So where does it start and finish? Fascism is anti-working class; it attempts to control and split them. Fascism is not compatible with original 80s football lads and lassies. We were rebelling against Thatcher’s Britain; it wasn’t even political to be a football casual, it was born out of football and there was no music or music bands originally attached to its origins, you had to look for music that fitted.

This started in the North West, particularly Liverpool, a working class city going through major hardship at the time. When Liverpool regularly played in Europe during the late 70s and into the 80s, their fans brought back with them these obscure sportswear labels. “A crocodile? What’s this all about?”With a bit of robbing on the way, it was working class lads on the take looking for their own one-upmanship. The trainers the Liverpool lads found were also obscure and were easy pickings given the fact they were normally on display outside shops.They then went on their own personal trips to bring back this new trend, usually sportswear such as trainers and tracksuits not really seen in the UK. When the lads kicked this off it started being worn at the football. Was this supposed to be stylish? No – it was anti-suss.

“By the time London has its own version of this, it’s Arsenal that lead the way, there certainly wasn’t much right-wing within their unit especially with the amount of black lads within their ranks and leading them.” – (P. Hooton; TAL Fanzine)

The London Casual was born from modern soul boys and dub music then onto the football terraces and had a lot of Afro-Caribbean chaps leading the way. “Casual style in London grew out of the late seventies soul boy scene this was inherently racially mixed – the idiots who wanted to be racists became boneheads. Our fanzine Boys Own was very left wing (mainly because of comrade Steve Mayes, who also went to Chelsea with me) and we deliberately set out to stir shit up”. – (T. Farley; Skiddle 3rd March 2016)

Casuals as a concept finished around 1989. The anti-suss part had been sussed and it went mainstream. After this you just had trendy hooligans, although you may ask “what’s the difference?”“I am a member of Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism (FLAF) and believe that we as football fans have a duty to reject the hateful message of the ultra right. They are the tools of the ruling class and always blame the wrong people when the going gets tough. We can all support our own teams and even countries – although I’m not a patriot myself – but we also need to protect our own communities and those less fortunate than ourselves. As The Who said: we won’t get fooled again!”–  (P. Thornton; FLAF article 27/8/19)

Four-in-a-Ned G41

Lady Langlee B&B

Four pairs of Glaswegian bed and breakfast owners put their reputations on the line by staying at each other’s establishments. They pay only what they deem to be an acceptable amount for the experience, with one of them being named best value for money.

Four-in-a-ned was not like the sister show “Four-in-a-bed” as this was based on how warm your Glaswegian welcome could be.  For example, an ‘alright hen’ would be much more appreciated over a good morning.

Channel 4 have approached her to be part of Four-in-a-ned pilot series and being the landlady of the most prestigious B&B in the East End, how could she refuse. Looking out her Leopard skin full length coat and black high heels (al a Patsy Stone) excitement flooded over her and not the ‘tropical moments’ she was used too.

The Lady Langlee Bed and Breakfast, was situated at Parkhead Cross, within walking distance of St Michael’s Catholic Church, Parkhead G31 4DJ. Angie’s parish. The general clientele were labourers/tradesman working in the local area. It was also mobbed at the home games held at Paradise. The pub had been handed down to her from her grandmother Marcella, who founded the B&B in the early 50s, think local café/ice cream bar slightly renovated to become the B&B.

Being accessible from the ground floor, the old parlour was dated with tiled walls, still smoke stained since 2007.  Angie called it character as were the 70’s toilets.

The Lady Langlee had three rooms; Billy McNeil suite at a cost of £35 per room including cooked breakfast. The Paddy Bonnor and Danny McGrain rooms were £25 per room owing to no hot water and a bowl of Weetabix (non-branded of course). The highlight was of course the Tommy Burns Bar which had “Where are the lads that stood with me when history was made” carved into the gantry. The bar was also frequented by the PK (self proclaimed Mr Adidas and the CSC baby crew).

Angie had been landlady at the local B&B most of her life shooting down punters with one look and at turning a certain age of wanted a new challenge.  She ran the Lady Langlee with her daughters who were as wide as the Clyde.  Many a time she had to swiftly get the punters out of the bar after last orders, a knack her ex-Biffa never mastered, such was the selfish profit consuming drinking and gambling bassa.

The other contestants were No2 from Castlemilk (Kevin and Alice) “The Oasis”, No3 Govanhill (Mick and Mary) “Blazenhead”; originally from Galashiels were intrigued by the origin of the Lady Langlee.  Last but no means least No 4 Ibrox “the Klan” ran by (Hun and Senga).

Angie welcomed The Oasis first, and led them to the Billy McNeil suite, with an impressive “I was just thinking about you hen”. The Blazenhead and Klan following soon after.

Room inspections first:

The Oasis were impressed with the wood chip tri colour wallpaper and bare floorboards. The Blazenhead felt Paddy Bonnor had “added” character with the inclusion of the goalpost window frames. The Klan equally impressed with the lack of towels and hot water “Felt like hame” said Senga.

The welcome dinner would be held in the bar, on the menu were Frank Cross pies and Farmfoods frozen chips and Bird’s Eye peas, followed by Auntie Bessie jam roll poly and Ambrosia custard. Bound to be winner as this was lapped up by the other contestants. PK and the mob played pool whilst Bob Marley – Could you be loved blared from the jukebox, a Parkheid anthem in back in the day.

“Could you be loved and be loved?
Could you be loved and be loved?

Don’t let them fool ya
Or even try to school ya, oh, no
We’ve got a mind of our own
So go to Hell if what you’re thinking is not right
Love would never leave us alone
A-in the darkness ya must come out to light”

PK up on his feet and desperately not trying to spill his JD & Coke was well received. The evening’s activity also included a game of dominoes and some “Asda’s own crisps and peanuts”. No cheating was the golden rule but was never adhered too.

The next morning, they made their way down to breakfast (apart from the Klan who rampant hangovers). The Tommy Burns bar ‘again’ along with the hauf pint and a short brigade not long after the official opening of 11 in the morning. Eight in the morning if you added a roll n bacon or square slice to your drinks order (always left uneaten). The Oasis enjoyed the cooked breakfast of wee wullie winkies and spaghetti hoops and Angie and her girls also devoured the tasty breakfast. The “Weetabix” never made it to the table for No2 and No3.

Check-out was 1pm as usual to allow Angie a well-deserved nap as she had been up for days prior to this planning her television debut (washed her face and got the good china out of the pawn), and organising such a feast for her B&B peers.

Everyone seemed to enjoy their stay at the Lady Langlee. The feedback criteria (on the anonymous forms) was based on:

How are the HOSTS at Langlee B&B? 

No2 – Salt of the Earth – couldn’t fault the ned welcome – pure class

No3 – Angie and the girls couldn’t have been more welcoming

No4 – What were their names again?  Where are we?

How CLEAN is Lady Langlee B&B?  

No2 – Impressive, although Castlemilk cockroaches are easier to handle.

No3 – As clean as our previous establishment in Gala ‘The Ghetto Woodcutter’

No4 – Spotless, toilet paper was a good idea, need to consider this at the Klan.

What are the FACILITIES like at Lady Langlee B&B?

No2 – The drunken rebel singers were an added bonus, as was the Hooch ‘al a Sara Heid’

No3 – couldn’t fault the single bed fur twa!

No4 – Slept like a baby, or was that the bottle of Bucky I smuggled into Danny McGrain?

How was your STAY at the Lady Langlee B&B?

No2 – Road facing window meant we memorised the 89 and 90 routes all night “nae bother”

No3 – We slept like the lambs on the Melrose Hills.

No4 – Gubbed 

How was your breakfast at Lady Langlee B&B?

No2 – Spaghetti Hoops – and no the cheap wans either – superb

No3 – the leftover Frank Cross pies were delicious.

No4 – hauf pint and a short and a bacon roll at eight in the morning – standard

Would you stay here again?

No2 – Yes, the Billy McNeil suite was plush as fuck!

No3 – Yes – the spirit of Langlee lives on here.

No4 – Aye, even longer for a dominoes lock in with those two Angie’s lassies, who know how to fleece you without even remembering it!

Payment (judgement day) 

No2 – Happily paid the £35 cost of the room

No3 – Paid the £25 and booked up for Angie’s Hogmanay bash

No4 – Paid the £25 per person, per room plus a tip owing to the back facing alley view £60 (overpayment of £35)!!

The melee that followed with Hun and Senga “having a domestic” and the noisy the departure of the guests was such that Four-in-a-ned pilot series was never aired on Channel 4, but her girls caught it all on their i-phones for prosperity.

McEwan’s Lager Top

Bruce Campbell was an avid supporter of the Rangers. Although he would refer to them as “the fuckin Rangers” sounding like that angry self-entitlement persona that a lot of their support seems to carry.

Bruce didn’t live or originate from Glasgow he resided on the east coast. He didn’t go to watch his favourite football team but he would often screech at the TV when they were playing; mostly with venom at who they were playing and wailing his wise tactics such as, “get in there Rainjurzz!”.

He spent most nights at the local bowling club. If he wasn’t wearing the obligatory kit, it would be those Adidas samba training shoes, snow wash pieces of denim, brown leather jacket with big flaps. Also prominent, was his tight curly hair almost pube like, sporting a big brown moustache and silver-rimmed specs.

Lager top was his favourite tipple preferably McEwan’s. He seemed to like that wee bit of froth on his moustache so he could lick it off. This was 1987 and Rangers were sponsored by McEwans Lager. Also on the go was the McEwans Lager advert “you’ve got the power” by the band “Win” this gave Bruce a sense of belonging.

Auld Dougie was another celebrity in the town. He would turn out in the bowling club bar each Saturday with his “tranny” fixed to his ear, shouting out the latest football scores. We could see the scores come up on the TV behind the bar but Dougie liked the self-indulgence of giving out little snippets of information. He always reminded me of that character in Harry Enfield’s show, that self-righteous old twat “only me!” and “you didn’t wanna do that” especially with the tartan flat cap and the light golfing casual attire.

Dougie claimed to be a “right Scottish fitba man” and liked to observe a guid game no matter what team, he didn’t have a favourite. As long as it’s guid for Scottish fitba; a neutral through-and-through.

Through time we would start to observe Dougie’s expressions and mood swings when he was listening to the tranny. Regulars from the bar would shout over asking him what the scores were in each game, this gave him a sense of importance.

Celtic were playing Aberdeen up at Pitoddrie one Saturday afternoon. Dougie had the tranny at the ear with tartan cap hanging over the top.

“Celtic are up against it!” he informs the gathering when Aberdeen were putting pressure on.

His next snippet was, “Rangers are 2 up!” A big roar from Bruce et al and some fist pumping.

“Penalty to Aberdeen!” raised the excitement “that’s 1 nil Aberdeen” auld Dougie addresses the crowd with more joy for the punters.

It must have been about 20 minutes later, we observed on the screen behind the bar Aberdeen 1 Celtic 2, with no turbulence just radio tranny silence. As we glanced over to Dougie he was perched there resembling a trout drowning in a whirlpool. This was not guid for Scottish fitba. Dougie had been rumbled.

Later into the evening Dougie had one too many half-pints of McEwans Lager. Raymond, the barman gave him his wee carry out with some crisps that he had ordered to take home.

Raymond informed him, “I’ve put an extra bag of crisps in the bag for ye Dougie”

“Right ye are son” Dougie responded

So fuckin generous I thought.

Bruce Campbell started escorting auld Dougie to his taxi with his wee bag of beer and crisps, with a wee sway to the side from Dougie the Scottish fitba man. “Oor awe brers” Dougie informs Bruce.

“Aye Dougie we arra people” Bruce assured him.

I suppose Dougie was a harmless old chap, just getting by in life.

Cheap beer was the only reason me and John Paul would visit the bowling club and of course the odd bit of comedy. There was a video jukebox in the club, Bruce was standing at the bar one afternoon when Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello came on. “Great track from ‘79” Bruce informs us all, “a mix of punk and new wave, Costello was genius, a lyrical genius a tell ye!”

We decided to bear trap Bruce by telling him Costello’s real name and what the lyrics to Oliver’s Army meant.

“His real name happens to Declan McManus an Irish immigrant”, we tell him. The song is a reference to Oliver Cromwell invading Ireland. Also a dig at the fact the working class get hoodwinked into pointless conflicts. McManus was shocked at what he saw when visiting Ireland in the mid-’70s. The track refers to young men getting sent to places like Palestine with the boys from the Mersey and the Thames and the Tyne. It’s an occupational career!

“His names fuckin Elvis ya cunts” Bruce responds in a kind of “you’ll not catch me out” expression. “And anyone disrespecting oor soldiers I’ll take outside one-by-one”

But surely young men were sacrificing their lives for what? Should they have not have been told before these conflicts such as the Falklands, that after this is over, you’ll be going back to your pro-capitalist institutions? Back with yer four to five million unemployed. Nobody won out of the Malvinas conflict, working-class people died for nothing Scottish and English. The working class are the first to get sent into any imperialist conflict, some of them die all for nothing! What did it prove? It proved nothing. If they make it back and avoid PTSD they still own nothing, not a single crumb of the land they were fighting to preserve.

Bruce had that bewildered expression and searched for back-up from his bowling partner Arch Thomson. “Have ye heard this dross Arch?”

Arch Thomson was another one of those closet gammon brains. He was ever claiming to dislike all forms of politics “you’ll never win an argument on politics” was one of his favourite quotes. But much like auld Dougie, his mask would slip. His real issue was anything that came from a left leaning perspective. Bruce and Arch didn’t have much of a counter debate and as predicted would always go for personal attacks, slander or threats. Arch seemed to assume because he was around 15 years older than us he had some kind of superior knowledge. He was also the purveyor of the “I’m not a racist but …” quote. His jet black hair and moustache always reminded me of Burt Reynolds but certainly not in a handsome stylish way.

Arch had been listening to the whole conversation regarding Elvis Costello and the military. He had this short fuse or a capacitor like brain that would implode when he was losing an argument. As he was spilling lager top all over the top of his bowling shoes he ranted, “see awe you lot, ye just rub folk up the wrong way! Yer a bunch of wee wankers, giving it all the gob, but when I see you and yer pals during the week in Tesco, ye go pale white with worry when I walk pass yiz!”

Fuck knows what was going through this cunts head, a fast track from an Elvis Costello fact to offering us out; the old Socrates philosophy springs to mind: when all debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Bruce was standing there all smug as if he and Arch had just shattered us in this debate. Me and John Paul have never seen Arch or Bruce in any Tesco so that was a non-starter.

Arch toddled off to the corner of the bowling club whilst shaking his finger as if to imply a kind of one-up-man-ship. This settled the debate that never quite got started regarding Elvis Costello.

Excepting you are powerless when dealing with these gammons paradoxically may give you the power over them. Or, then again, never interfere with a nemesis when they are in the process of destroying themselves.

To be continued …

Passing By

Jimmy the Pipe was a curious character. Sporting a black fleece and flat cap, sitting drinking rum and peppermint tooting on his Golden Virginia in Andrew’s Hotel Bar most days. He also had that red weather-beaten face from working outside on the building sites for many years. It always kind of reminded me of strawberry, mainly the rough bits at the bottom where the pips were closer together.

The Hotel bar was centred in the Scottish Borders town of Soor Plooms and was shared by tourist residents and the locals which was a bit of a clash from time to time. The front of the hotel had one of those revolving doors, as you walked through the bar was to the left and the restaurant to the right.

The hotel was popular especially for tourists from Yorkshire passing by. It was circular shaped, fully carpeted with long couches and pictures of local landscapes on the wall. The place was very smart unlike the other bars in the area. We named the pub Andrew’s Bar only due to the fact our friend Andrew worked there, which was clever stuff. Andrew was one of our crowd and would let us drink in the bar. He knew a lot of us were underage but we were a unit and it was work, rest and play with all of us.

The town had that squalid gossip vibe that usually celebrates degradation like the place is falling to bits. Also, if you didn’t play or indulge in rugby you were a bit of an outcast; especially being from a working-class background. Personally, I liked to celebrate stupidity and absurdity when I lived in the town, I didn’t like the place. This was much reflected in the schooling system. I always had this wistful resignation, it felt their teachings were more selective to certain pupils. This made most of us malleable with passivity. I didn’t want what they had to offer, I had music, football and camaraderie. Most of the time I just wanted to go home.

It was a long hot summer in 1986 just before the World Cup in Mexico. Celtic had just won the league snatching it from Hearts on the last day of the season. Housemartins had released “Happy Hour” what a cool band they were, left-wing football lads who we could relate to.

What a good place to be
Don’t believe it
‘Cause they speak a different language
And it’s never really happened to me
Don’t believe it, oh no
‘Cause it’s never really happened to me (it’s happy hour again)
Don’t believe it, don’t believe it (it’s happy hour again)
Don’t believe it
It’s happy hour again, and again, and again
It’s happy hour again, and again, and again
It’s happy hour again, and again, and again
It’s happy hour again

Normally there would be a crowd of mainly 16-year-olds that sat around the bar in Andrew’s Hotel. We would tell Jimmy stories that were outrageous, bizarre and never factual. He would always answer with an: “ayeee?” giving a kind of patronising expression. Jimmy seemed to just sit there consumed in his little personal nirvana giving a nodding dog response to us. However, if he was riled by anything he would eventually combust much like a high voltage capacitor.

There was a pub up the street named The Hope Tap, a miserable run-down cess pit usually occupied by heavy metal types and goths. We informed Jimmy that Dukes Barton had just taken over the joint and there was half-price rum and free custard pies on the bar; to which he gave his classic response: “Ayeeeee?!”

The humorous theme in Andrew’s bar was often centred around “custard pies” the subject title was originating for a local lad named Derek Barton. Tommy had also decided to christen him “Dukes Barton” this was all in honour of his face resembling a margarita pizza or of course mini custard pies. Dukes just clashed with our personalities his music appreciation consisted of the likes of Def Leopard or Whitesnake. Most days you would see him with his sleeves-rolled-up working on the same car outside his house, each to their own and all that. When he drove past us he would salute our mob with the middle finger. This was slightly bizarre as we never had any verbal contact with him. I suppose you could put it down to the jealousy symptom of anger.

Dukes’ auld fella was chief inspector Raymond Barton of the local cop shop. A talk wiry thin bloke in the mould of John Cleese with a thick black moustache and those shaded specs. He always seemed to be chewing gum probably thinking he’s more of a Brooklyn cop than a Borders policeman. Young Dukes’ would assist him by prowling the pubs and reporting underage drinkers. Therefore, Tommy felt no shame in christening his label. Luckily Dukes never ventured up to Andrew’s joint.

Jimmy the Pipe seemed to swallow the story regarding the rum and custard pies, so off he toddled to the Hope Tap. Around the same time, the evening tourists came into Andrews’s bar, none of which seemed to be under the age of 60. Andrew was giving them the small talk welcome with wind-ups asking where they hailed from, “Morley int Leeds” one answered, with his balding flopping teddy boy quiff and red whisky nose.

The Yorkshire chap then quizzed: “what types a lager ye got mate?” Andrew replied pointing his finger around the bar “Tenants; Carlsberg; Stella; Red Stripe; Custard Pies; McEwans!” The outspoken Yorkshireman seemed to clock Andrew’s hidden wind-up, giving a confused look: “Coooostard pies??” Andrew had to save the embarrassing scene by correcting him: “no, carling I said”. These were the kind of humorous pranks we would encourage out of severe boredom.

Tommy, I and the young crew decided to take a stroll up the street on a pub crawl. Tommy was a character, a real live wire, cool chap and loyal friend, popular with the ladies and never a dull moment well, apart from his choice in football teams … The Rangers.

As we arrived at the Hope Tap we were met with some altercation involving Jimmy the Pipe. He had the barman by the collar suggesting he had been “ripped aff”

“Free custard pies on the bar and half-price rum! A fellie was in here earlier and had that!” Jimmy was aggressively claiming.

The barman was the double of Gerry Adams wearing glasses, a white shirt and a thin red leather tie. Gerry was defensively claiming “we don’t do custard pies in here and certainly no half-price spirits!”

JTP proceeded by pulling at Gerry’s red leather tie asking “are e wattin this rammed up yer arse ya bastirt?”

Gerry was still in defence mode: “we’ve never done custard pies in here Jimmy, we do crisps, nuts or pickled eggs?”

“Yel get pickled egg rammed up yer hole!” JTP responded.

Sitting in the corner of the pub was Dukes Barton analysing the situation. His attire on this day was a t-shirt picturing Darth Vader quoting: “I am your father” also wearing those snow wash denim jeans and big white boots. When you looked at his smug little boat race you couldn’t help but want to chin or join the dots on it. He had already done his bit for the community by informing Gerry we weren’t old enough to be in the bar. Dukes was 18, this seemed to give himself some superiority over us. So we were all asked to leave despite the doormen letting us enter the pub.

We started to drag Jimmy the Pipe away from Gerry the barman. Tommy was then pushing him towards the door. Jimmy didn’t even clock it all being a wind-up and was bizarrely wanting back-up from Tommy to attack Gerry; when Tommy was the one that told him the false story.

Trigger Hume was another pub celebrity in the town. When he arrived in Andrew’s bar he would be straight over to sit with Jimmy as if they had comradeship and some sort of understanding. They were “the all-time greats” Jimmy would tell us. Trigger had a full head of white hair and would usually be wearing a black blazer, gold buttons with a badge displaying a picture of a boat stating: “perseverance” we believed this to be some sort of Masonic emblem. He also had a lisp much like Daffy Duck which added to our humour. I suppose they were just harmless auld twisters, sixty-year-old chain-smokers shuffling between the local pubs.

Young Shavaz would arrive in the bar from time to time. We would applaud when we saw him. He had one of those wee faces like a hamster with funny expressions; much like those wee rubber faces the kids used to have where you would stick your fingers in the back and change its grimace to suit.

Shevaz looked up to us all and would play to the gallery replicating our styles including designer sweatshirts and gazelle trainers. We loved him, and the fact he would do anything for a laugh. He would tell these jokes that didn’t make sense with dirty smut innuendo. Shevaz seemed to make them up as he went along and we’d all laugh in unison at how fucked up the whole thing was. Again, this was all the result of severe boredom and possibly the effects of many Jamaican woodbines over a few years. Shavaz would have spring in his step when he got us laughing, and rightly so.

Shavaz’s jokes were in full-flow one evening encouraged by us sitting at the bar. We were laughing infectiously before he’d even completed his stories. Trigger and JImmy were impenetrable to the whole situation, analysing the punchline in Shavaz’s jokes and were not impressed.

“Am thorry Shavathh a dinnae get that?” Trigger responded.

That seemed to crack us all up to a different level. Shevaz looking smug and nodding towards Trigger as if he was daft at not getting it. As the dead-end jokes flowed Jimmy looked to be getting to capacitor overload with his face appearing like he’d blown up a bus tyre.

Trigger then responds again: “Smoking drugth aye, Junkeeth aye, Junkeeth!” JTP was nodding in agreement with his pipe sticking out the side of his mouth. This resulted in complete hysterics from us.

Just at this moment in walks chief inspector Raymond Barton chewing his Wrigley’s with his colleague PC Brownlee. A total flat beer moment started to take effect. We can only guess that Dukes was doing his bit for the community once again. Not only did Raymond want to see our proof of age, but he also wanted to search us for drugs due to Trigger’s “Junkeeth” accusation. It also appeared Raymond and Trigger knew each other, possibly due to the “perseverance” badge and links to the lodge. They chatted about the upcoming rugger match between the neighbouring towns.

“Are you 18?” Raymond Barton asked Tommy.

“No I’m 19” Tommy replied.

This kicked off more hilarity. After no evidence of narcotics and no proof of age, they seemed to accept our false dates of birth, especially when Trigger backed up our story.

“They boythh are 18 Ray, guid boythh” Trigger pleaded. To our surprise, pub unity, our little gathering of loyalty came through. Raymond Barton seemed satisfied with this and off he toddled.

It was all quite tedious but comical at times which dragged us away from the daily quagmire of hunting for jobs or watching reruns of mind-numbing soaps. Even after leaving school, it was getting up every day yawning and conforming.

Much like the Yorkshire tourists we were all just passing by.

No Strings Attached — Andy Weatherall

HWS welcome Justin and Steve from No Strings Attached with a tribute to Andy Weatherall.

1963 – 2020

A year on since the passing of our dear friend, here’s a few words…

After many years owning many of his productions on vinyl, copies of mixtapes and travelling to hear him at various clubs up and down the country we finally got to meet Andrew in May 2000 as he agreed to play NSA’s 5th Birthday Party in our home town of Galashiels.

No matter the destination there is always an excitement when Andrew is in town so you can imagine the nervous energy between us when we were sitting waiting on the 9:30 flight from Heathrow to touch down at Edinburgh Airport.
Let’s just say thank fuck he was flying that night as train stations charge to use toilets and given how frequent our visits were we could have probably bankrupted a small country between us.

Andrew was last off the plane which only added to our stress levels as we thought he was a no show but he finally arrived, greeting us with a quick “Hello Chaps. Nice to meet you” and we were on the road with the laughs starting from the offset mainly fuelled by his non stop highly amusing anecdotes, which we both really miss.

The hospitality on that first night amounted to a takeaway from our local Chinese, and although we thought we had screwed any chances of a return date nobody does Chicken Peking quite like The Happy House, and so a relationship was formed that allowed us to work together on many occasions over the next two decades.

Unfortunately, during this time we never quite got our act together to record his visits to NSA as we were always racing around putting together the final touches for the party but they were all very memorable in one way or another. That said, we think there is an old recording from The Venue and an unheard ALFOS from The Mash House kicking about somewhere and we do have one other mix we are very grateful for. Back in 2015 we asked him to contribute to our soundcloud guest mix series and once recorded he phoned to say it was ready and he was really pleased with the way it turned out. So raise a glass today to a great man and have a listen as it truly is a special one.

Like Billy Connolly said, you can never remember a comedians jokes when you leave the show despite laughing all night and it was like that with Andrew’s stories so here is a wee tale about us wanting to join him and Sean for their gig at Trouw in Amsterdam.

We had an eye on this upcoming night for a while but had written off our chances of going due to lack of funds following a gig that never worked out for us numbers wise, but with 2 weeks to go we were on the phone to each other and after talking about trying to win the money on a horse we scrambled about £40 between us and decided to go for it.

It was a miserable midweek evening and when making the drive to a betting shop in a neighbouring town we said we have to pick something that relates to Weatherall. Just by chance there was a race meeting at Windsor (the town Andrew grew up in), so the initial signs were already positive. Now let’s try and find a horse relating to music. Scanning the race card, we discovered a horse by the name of ’Starlight Symphony’. The trainer also went by the name of a Mr. Johnson (close enough to Johnston in a situation like this) This was it…

The horse won at 16/1. We were heading to Trouw for the ALFOS party with the added bonus of Ivan Smagghe also playing in the main room.

The next morning, we messaged Andrew to tell him what happened.. as soon as it was sent, the phone rings and he’s like “YES!!! That’s fucking amazing!!.. crying with laughter, he couldn’t believe the coincidence. “Ok call me when you arrive and we’ll meet you at the club”. Unknown to us the owners of Trouw had heard about the story via Andrews agent so when we arrived we were greeted by them at the door to the club and kindly given large handfuls of bar tokens.

What followed was one of the funniest 24 hours in Amsterdam and one of the best club nights either of us had ever experienced.

So from encounters in castles, clubs, bars, hotels and car journeys we can only look back on the last twenty years with really fond memories of all the fun filled times.

Although we are deeply saddened he can no longer be a part of it, as without his encouragement and connection we are under no illusion that NSA would never have lasted as long as it has or given us the opportunity to meet so many amazing people.

So here’s to you Dear Boy and in your own words “It’s more than just a disco”.

Friday Ins and Outs on a miserable Lockdown February


Telling people ‘they ain’t seen nothing yet!’

Asking the Barman for a drink that all the young yins drink these days!

People who pil-fridge from M&S Food shop and give it to the homeless.

Justifying necking a whole box of Go Ahead Bars!


Aldo’s Hot Dogs.

Any record by Harry Lauder!

A flag on behalf of good lads!

Boys Own

Asking ‘s’appenin?’ on a Conference Call.

Saying ‘Cheers now’ after a Conference Call. 

Liam Gallagher getting the Rebs on!

Testing all the aftershaves in Debenhams.

Professor Yaffle from Bagpuss

Smoking out racists on social media.

Diet Irn Bru.

Zipping up yer Boots!

Big Boots Big Toots!

Cold Water Exposure

Bowie – Starman full blast on iTunes.

Eighty Nine sweater from Social Recluse!


Getting texts telling you you’ve won a Diet Coke if you … sign up to …’

Getting a leaflet through the door every two days for Dominos Pizza!

Anxiety stigma ‘why don’t you just set yourself a 30 minutes worry period a day’

Black Mutt provoking horizontal sleet/snow/Covid February.

Nippy Sweetie Yadda Yadda types.

Smuggy Klansmen.

Morelos — ninja assassin.

Not getting 30 mins cardio a day.

The Voice… f*ckin cringefest!


That dilly dilly Budweiser advert!

People slurping yogurt on the train, scooping with the silver lid.

Sevconian Moon Howlers.

A student cafe in Manchester called ‘Nom Nom’

5p a bag!

Getting asked if you want a bag!

£75 average for Adidas OG’s.

Crinkled Beetroot

Modern day soccer tourist clubs.

Media pet names for SEVCO types ‘Boydy’

‘So a turned around and said’ quote. Back-to-back conversations.

That’s that for this week. Keep on keeping on.