Hard to believe, but there's life after breaking up one of the best bands of recent times. Here's all the latest, totally unsubstantiated dirt that I could gather on the group and what they're up to these days. Everything you read below may or may not be true.
Since I live in New York, news on the band is hard to come by, so I depend on you fans around the world to help keep me and your fellow fans informed. If you have any additions, corrections or updates, drop me a line at email@example.com.
HOLY (FOUR-LETTER WORD)! IT'S A NEW JAMES GRANT ALBUM!
Of course, that four-letter word is "Love" as in Holy Love, the tentative name for James' new disc, currently aimed to come out sometime around June or July. Word has it that this one will be a bit more low-key (I know, that's such a change of pace). Some of the songs from it, like "The Streets You Walk Everyday," the title track and "Give The Poppy To The People," were performed at James' January 15 gig at the Arches in Glasgow during Celtic Connections. Naturally, a bootleg (Shite Soundcheck, Good Gig, named for a comment he made onstage) is already making the rounds (No, I don't know how to get it). Reportedly the new songs are awesome, fantastic, astounding, etc., ad nauseum. (i.e. people like the the tunes).
In October, The Scotsman (one of the the main Scottish daily papers) ranked the Top 100 Scottish Pop and Rock albums of all time, surveying critics, music fans, industry sources and so on. Dogs In The Traffic came in at number 30. According to fan Steve Hickman, the piece they wrote "was suitably effusive and said that it basically marked the end of L&M and the start of James' solo career."
According to an email we got in the fall from Lima, Peru-baesd fan "Luis," the old B-side "She Carved Her Name" became a hit on his favorite radio station, Telestereo 88 FM, prompting him to contact the Jocelyn Square site in search of the tune. You can tune in over the internet and see if they're still spinning it by going to to www.shoutcast.com; click on "Listen," and type "telestereo" to tune in.
ODDS AND ENDS
--James is reportedly booked to appear at the Galway Folk Festival at some point this year, but I don't know when or where it is (in Galway maybe?).
--Zoltan's L&M site, Cheap Pearls & Whisky Dreams, moved to a new location.
--The Links section has been updated. Mostly that means dead links were weeded out, but a few new additions are in there.
--Overall, a few pages on the site got a slight clean-up--just minor cosmetic stuff, not content-wise.
CRANK IT UP!
Warning: This careens waaaaaaaaay off-topic, but it's my website, so please humor me.
You may be wondering why it took so long for me to post an update here at the site. Well, that's because I've been toiling over my first book, Crank It Up, due out in late April from Backbeat Books. Sure, I finished writing it in September, but boy, it still takes up all my free time anyway. There's been copy editing, galley proofing, photo gathering, caption writing, and lots of general hand-wringing to do.
For those of you who came in late, here's what my book is about, according to the publisher's website:
This engaging book invites readers front-of-house with 74 of the world's top concert engineers. Musicians and aspiring live-sound professionals meet the experts who mix for blockbuster acts--from Cheap Trick to the Dixie Chicks, Barry Manilow to the Sex Pistols, U2 to Tool--and glean invaluable insight into what the pros do, how they do it, what they do it with, and how they got to the top.
Readers will learn the technical, practical, and political aspects of the job--from customizing mixing approaches and choosing the right equipment to working with artists and other engineers--and enjoy insightful, sometimes bizarre, and always entertaining anecdotes about the climb to the big time. Author Clive Young balances his lively writing style with essential details, including complete gear lists for each featured tour, and informative sidebars that offer specific advice on how to get started and get the gig.
What that doesn't mention is that there's a lot of good anecdotes about what it's like to work for people like Paul McCartney; how to keep Norah Jones happy during a gig; why Kiss demanded 100 samples of ambulance sirens while rehearsing in Scotland; the reason Elton John is gonna be stone deaf in a few years; and lots more. In all, the book features chapters on (in order of appearance):
Now the promotional effort has begun:
-- An excerpt will appear in Backstreets, the Bruce Springsteen magazine.
-- A U2 site, interference.com, plans to interview me, much to my surprise.
-- Fan websites for many of the other bands in the book are writing about it, too.
...And that's just for starters, BUT I NEED YOUR HELP, TOO! As you can imagine, this is no easy book to promote--Oprah ain't exactly knocking down my door. So if are in a position to review books, talk about 'em in your local media, or just want an expert source to comment on the music biz, concerts, and so on, contact me. If you know a media person who might be interested in Crank It Up, tell me about them. Know someone who teaches audio production or concert sound engineering? That's probably someone who could use a copy of the book, so hook us up with each other. Do me a favor here and help out your friendly neighborhood L&M webmaster, huh? Thanks a lot!
THE VAULT IS OPEN
Now, here in New York City, The Vault is an infamous club that one goes to when one feels one has been very bad and needs a bit of a stern talking to (or perhaps something else best left to the imagination). The Vault in question however is run by the BBC, and it's decidedly less dangerous to one's health and mental well-being.
The Vault is of note to L&M fans primarily because it has devoted a page to our heroes HERE. Just scroll around and you'll find it under the "L" section, complete with a few items lifted directly from this lovely website.
Another site worth peeking at is www.rootsreview.co.uk, which has an interview with James buried somewhere in it (I couldn't find it, but then again, I'm lazy).
CAN'T COUNT ANYMORE
For those who notice such things (and I usually don't), the counter on the Jocelyn Square opening page is gone. We will never know exactly how many people have been here since 1996 when this site first opened, but I'd guess it was a lot. I accidentally deleted the counter earlier today while cleaning up some files. For the record, if you really need to know how many people visited this site, take a really good guess. Now, whatever you guessed, double it and you'll have the exact number. No, really; I swear.
Forget intercontinental emails; I recently got a phone call from L&M fan Glen Ferris, who was in Glasgow on business for a week. As a result, he had already spent two evenings eating at a swanky restaurant that L&M bassist Bobby Paterson now runs, chatting extensively each time with Bobby himself [Yes, even though I work as a reporter for a living, I didn't think to write down which restaurant is was; shoot me].
On the occasion of Glen's phone call (tracking me down at work no less), he was about to go out for a night of clubbing with Mr. Paterson and figured he'd give me a ring to see if I had any questions that needed asking [Yes, even though I work as a reporter for a living, I couldn't think of any questions; shoot me]. Glen hasn't been heard from since, so either he's still recovering from his hangover, or he's still lying unconscious in a back alley somewhere, minus his credit cards and the keys to his Lamborghini. Like they say, be careful of the company you keep.
WHY IS THIS UPDATE SO DAMN SHORT?!
Well, to be honest, there hasn't been that much going on recently. But the bigger hindrance (and a welcome one at that) is that I got a book contract and have been writing away most every waking second that I'm not at my job. The complete manuscript to CRANK IT UP has to be handed into the publisher on September 1, so, following my nervous breakdown currently scheduled for September 2, you can expect to see this here Jocelyn Square website go back to normal soon after. In the meantime, you can find out all about my book at my "real" website, CliveCo.Com.
BY THE WAY, DID YOU KNOW WE THINK JAMES GRANT IS COOL?
...And finally, here's a shout-out to James Grant, who out of nowhere, sent me a kind note a few months ago, along with a number of rare L&M 12" and CD5s, all simply because he was cleaning out his closet and wanted them to go to a good home (and he signed every last one of 'em too). I've debated on whether or not to mention this on the site for a while now--I certainly don't want it to sound like 'bragging' on my part, so I didn't want to mention it, but on the other hand, I HAVE to mention it because a kind gesture like that underscores what a nice guy he is. I mean, how many artists would do something like that for their fans? JG gave me some discs for the hell of it; Eminem would probably just give you the finger for the hell of it. Record sales be damned--James Grant is the bigger man, by far. So, in short: Thank you, James.
JAMES GRANT GOES BACK TO ROCK
John (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote into the Yahoo Group, Strange Kind Of List, to announce some great news:
I thought you might like to know that I have discovered a new (at least to me) James Grant song. It's on a charity CD just released here in Scotland for The NSPCC in conjunction with Celtic Football Club. The CD is titled The Ultimate Celtic Album; It's called "Going Home."
Amazon.co.uk has it here. Supposedly the song is quite rocking and 'heavy.' Cool!
WEBSITES FOR YOUR SURFING PLEASURE
An official site for James Grant's I Shot The Albatross can be found at http://www.geocities.com/jamesalbatross.
Another L&M site, Cheap Pearls & Whisky Dreams, has also popped up. The site is down for the moment, but you can be certain it will return soon. When it is running, you can find TONS of guitar tabs for L&M and solo James Grant tunes. There's also MP3 files for B-sides and a few live tracks. I've had trouble navigating the site, but apparently it comes up fine on other people's browsers. For the record, since it was questioned at the Yahoo Group, I have no beef with Zoltan, the proprietor of the site; heck, I think it's great that there's another L&M site out there. I like Zoltan just fine; I just don't like MP3 files. (For those who note that buying a used record for the B-side doesn't benefit the artist, I'd point out that most used record and CD shops, whether physical or on the net, are run by little guys, not giant corporations. If you buy your morning coffee at the corner deli in order to support small business, do the same thing with your music). That said, if you want 'em, go to Zoltan's site.
L&M IN REAL LIFE UPDATE
Every so often in life, you get a lucky break that is solely aimed just at YOU, a case where nobody else in the world could quite appreciate the cosmic collision of good fortune and good will that you've stumbled into. That's what happened to Glen Ferris, and he recounts the tale in a really nice addition to the Love And Money In Real Life section. You'll find his great story and some photos, too, in the piece entitled "Serendipity Shines on Glasgow."
Hugh McKay (who also sent in some articles that I haven't put in the archive yet) wrote in with dirt on the Lemon Tree show in Aberdeen a while back:
The support on the night was a singer/songwriter Emma Forman; her set consisted of her own material which she performed excellently; one poignant song in particular that came over well was 'Times of Trouble.' As she left the stage and the band came on, a real pleasant surprise was in store,,, Monica Queen was first onstage. I dont know about others there, but we certainly never expected Monica to make an appearance. The rest of the band came on and got set up James sauntered on last "guitar in one hand, a beer in the other!!!" (as laid back as ever).Steve Hickman wrote in with a review ages ago:
James in his intro commented that the set would be in two parts, first, some songs from his new album, second, some stuff from an earlier period (I would like to have used his description but as this is a family site I better not ) *grin* Suffice to say James was in great form from the start of the night and got better as the night went on .
The first half set list is as follows:
Lady Weeping at the Crossroads
Anyone Live in a Pretty How Town
Little Mary Bell
The Triumph of Hunger
Throughout the night, Monica sang backing vocals as the songs required them; at this point James introduced Monica as the vocalist who sings the opening track on "I Shot the Albatross" and to his credit, gave her new album "Ten Sorrowfull Mysterys" a good plug. BUT..exhorting everyone to buy his before hers as she didnt need the money *smile* --As I said, he was in fine fettle all night. Monica then sang 'A Tale Best Forgotten' which she performed brilliantly (at the end of the first set, my pen dried up so the rest is down to memory--not my strong point)
The second part of the set consisted of numbers from Thrawn Glory/Sawdust In My Veins/Dogs in the Traffic etc etc--Lips Like Ether...Hallowed Ground.."All Add Up To Nothing"--which in James own words was his favourite from Thrawn Glory--and Winter. James and the band left the stage only, as to be expected, applauded and whistled back on. He performed 'Walk The Last Mile', then at the 2nd curtain call, James and Monica sang a duet--an Emmylou Harris number, "Love Hurts"--throughout the song, Monica stared up at James' eyes. He was blissfully unaware as he was lost in the song with eyes closed *smile*. It made me think, they performed so naturaly together.....hmmmm .....maybe a future album here. By the third and final curtain call (they had to put up the house lights at the end to get rid of us), James in his words was "being a wee bit indulgent." It was a heavy rock number with some amazing virtuoso guitar playing from both James Grant and Gordon Goople; forgive me but I have racked my brain trying to remember the title of this number as I have with the rest of the second set.
James played to a full house at Cottiers Theatre on 19th June, excellently supported by Monica Queen who later joined James on stage for songs from 'I Shot the Albatross'. Set list:
Lady Weeping at the Crossroads
Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town
Long John Brown and Little Mary Bell
The Triumph of Hunger
A Tale Best Forgotten
My Thrawn Glory
I Can't Stop Bleeding
Lips Like Ether
Does It All Add Up To Nothing
Walk The Last Mile
Love Hurts (with Monica Queen)
James and the band were on top form, playing mostly down-tempo stuff. Unusually, there was no rabid clamouring in the crowd for the old Love and Money stuff, though he was playing very much in his own territory in the West End and everybody seemed to know his newer stuff just as well. When he was talking about one of the poets he said: "You might have come to hear Love and Money stuff and if so you'll be sitting there thinking 'he's really fucking flipped it this time!' I guess as his own back catalogue grows, the L&M stuff will slowly be squeezed out though Lips Like Ether, Winter and Walk The Last Mile always go down well.
The collaboration with Monica Queen seems to be an inspired one. Their voices work well together (soulful, countryish/jazzy) and there was evidence of real chemistry when they did Love Hurts as an encore, apparently with no rehearsal. Her own stuff sounded excellent as well.
GRANT GIG GEAR
Back in June, it was announced that James was selling the 100 watt Marshall head and matching cabinet that were used in virtually all UK stage performances by Love & Money from the late '80s until the untimely end of the band in 1994. James hung on to the rig "for sentimental reasons" .. but a move for Vertical records (where the gear was stored) meant that there was no longer any room to keep the gear. James reportedly chose the Marshall stack "because Marshall had the best sound with a Gibson electric guitar."
SURELY the stack is gone by now, but if anyone wants to put it under the Christmas tree for someone, you could try calling the store it was being sold by--McCormack's Music, 29-35 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HT. Their telephone number is 0141 332 6644, e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.mccormacks-music.com
GET SOME RARE L&M STUFF
A few months ago, I got an email from Chris Duvet (firstname.lastname@example.org), an longtime fan who was looking to sell off a few goodies from his collection--they ranged from CDs to shirts to videos to lots of other good things. I picked up a few choice items and was pretty pleased with them when they showed up in the mail, but he still has a lot left that is rare and unusual. If you want his list of stuff, email him and ask for it--he especially has a lot of the old tour shirts.
NEW JAMES GRANT GIGS ANNOUNCED
Hughie McKay (email@example.com) wrote in to spread the word that James Grant has gigs coming up at The Lemon Tree on July13 at 9 PM, and then at the Tolbooth in Stirling on August 23.
Don't forget, there's also a gig later this month as part of the West End festival in Glasgow, on Wednesday June 19 at the Cottier Theatre, Hyndland Street. Gig details are below in the May update.
JG JAMS W/ KM
Hughie also reviewed a recent Karen Mattheson gig--"I was at the last couple of KM gigs--one at the Lemon Tree and Saturday 24 May in Perth. James was his usual brilliant self; in Aberdeen, he could sing very little due to his sore throat, but he was in fine form at Perth. In fact, they closed singing a duet ("Evangeline") with KM. Both gigs were "sold out" no surprise there really, eh !!"
The news section (the stuff you're reading right now, right?) has been pared back a bit--all the news since 1999 has been added to the News Archive. As a result, the archive now covers everything from June, 1996 through the end of 2001. I can't believe I've been banging my head against the wall this long....
I just got the new Karen Matheson CD and found out that Paul McGeechan also played a pretty big role on it. He produced, mixed and mastered four of the tracks. On all four of those tracks, he is also credited for programming and keyboards. Two of the tracks he helped co-write and the other two are traditionals with the arrangements being credited to K.M. and Paul McGeechan. Bobby Patterson also shows up playing bass on two of the Paul McGeechan tracks. One of these ("My Whispered Reason") also includes James on acoustic guitar so it's a bit of a L&M reunion!
While it's not the L&M reunion album and record-breaking world tour that we all daydream about, it's still pretty darn exciting. If you were on the fence about whether to pick up Time To Fall, here's yet another reason for the "plus column." To learn more about her album, you can also stop in at the new Karen Matheson website. You can find the disc at the usual suspects (including our buddies at Townsend Records ). The disc is already garnering good reviews, at least partially because critics dig James' work--see for yourself in the Article Archive under reviews.
GRANT GIGS 'GAIN
Thanks to Annemarie for passing on word to the L&M mail list that James is playing with a band as part of the West End festival in Glasgow, on Wednesday June 19 at the Cottier Theatre, Hyndland Street. Tickets are £10 + booking fee. Tel: Cottier Theater 0141 357 3868 and SECC ticket office in person (Glasgow) or on 0141 564 1640 or via internet on www.SECCtickets.com. More info is available at www.westendfestival.co.uk.
WHERE'S THAT ALBATROSS?
James' I Shot The Albatross album has seen its release date bounce back a few times, but it will come out, not to worry. Part of the delay has been due to the fact that his label, Vertical Records, has entered into a partnership with a major record label (Sanctuary). The good thing about this is that they will provide their marketing and distribution muscle to make the album more successful (at least, that's the theory). Perhaps unsurprisingly, there will be a series of gigs to support the release but no dates/venues have been decided just yet. At this point, Amazon.Com has it listed as coming out June 10.
Marty Sterio cornered James at a bar in March after a gig at the Cumbernauld Theatre just east of Glasgow. "I got to spend two hours with JG and band afterwards talking loads about Friends Again, L&M and Chris Thomson and ended up taking Ewan and Fraser home to Glasgow!!!! James told me he is releasing his new album...and its got some lively upbeat songs on it...thats all he was saying."
THAT'S THEIR STORIES AND THEY'RE STICKING TO THEM
Everybody's got a story, but it's the ones that have to do with Love and Money and James Grant that we're interested in--at least when it comes to the Love And Money In Real Life section. There's five new, often quite amusing tales recounted here by your fellow fans. In recent years, I have to admit, this is my favorite part of the site.
PUT IT ON THE GUITAR TAB, PLEASE
Readers of the site have been sending in their guitar tabs for the new Love And Money/James Grant Guitar Tabs section. Check out Ross A Nisbet's takes on "Winter," "No Chicane," and "Littledeath," while Hein VanBrussel took a shot at "Halleluiah Man." Ross is taking requests, too, so if there's a song you're dying to try out and you can't figure out how it's played, perhaps he can help. Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAMES SITS IN THE BATH
Oops, I meant 'James sits in with The Bathers.' Jimmy Smith (email@example.com) dropped a line to mention there's two songs on video at the Bathers' site, featuring James on acoustic guitar, dropping in a nice solo on the second song. You can see them yourself at http://www.thebathers.co.uk
The problem with not updating the site for six months is that people are kind enough to send me news, and by this point, a lot of it isn't news anymore--more like 'things that happened.' To whit:
FAVORITE EMAIL OF THE YEAR SO FAR...
Man, I loved this one:
I have a Love & Money question. Is that Celine Dion on the U.S. picture sleeve for "Strange Kind Of Love" and the U.K. gatefold sleeve? I collect 45 RPM picture sleeves and I saw someone selling the US single on eBay claiming it was her. If it was her, did she participate in the recording? Thank you for your time.
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