TeenCanteen - Sister video looking down

So on Monday I announced that TeenCanteen would be unveiling details on Tuesday of their PledgeMusic campaign to raise funds so they could complete their long-awaited debut album. And they did. But due to a combination of domestic considerations and me not being near my house (and therefore my PC) when it was announced and other such excuses it’s only now I’m posting the details.

The band have lots of great stuff on offer but some of the more interesting ones have already sold out. Even as I type they have reached 99% of their original goal. That’s not to say you don’t need to contribute because they still have lots of great goodies to buy. You can appear in the video for their next single, do handclaps on the new album, take a tour of their recording studio (while they’re there doing their thang) or purchase a very rare t-shirt/artwork by Ross Sinclair. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it opportunity to have the band perform a 30-minute acoustic set in your own home but they were snapped up sharpish. Also gone gone gone is the chance for the band to record a song of your choosing, within reason. (For the record, I’d’ve picked Kim Wilde’s Chequered Love). So get yourself over to PledgeMusic and contribute to the making of an album that promises to be very special indeed.

The Girl Effect#2

TeenCanteen - The Girl Effect 2

Last night TeenCanteen’s lead singer Carla was a special guest of her brother Murray as he spoke at the Apple store in Glasgow about life as a music blogger. She took the opportunity to announce the line-up for The Girl Effect #2, follow-up to the successful charity fundraiser which took place at Edinburgh’s Summerhall earlier this year. It raised £3500 for Scottish Women’s Aid.

Another stellar line-up has been put together with some acts from #1 re-appearing. The gig will take place at Mono in Glasgow on Thursday 26 November and tickets are a modest £10. I’ll see you all down the mosh pit.

The current line-up for the event, subject to change, is: TeenCanteen (hosts), Broken Records, Kathryn Joseph (solo), BMX Bandits, Skies Fell, Randolph’s Leap, Jo Mango, Sonny Marvello, Henry & Fleetwood, Sharptooth, Bodyheat, The Just Joans, The Cairn String Quartet and a DJ set from TYCI.

As with The Girl Effect #1 each act will perform two of their favourite girl group/female-led songs. Here’s the set list from The Girl Effect #1.

The GT’s performed The Cookies’ Chains and Brenda Lee & Jessi Coulter’s Tell Me Baby Why You’ve Been Gone So Long,
Bodyheat also covered The Cookies with I Never Dreamed and, a favourite of mine, We Got The Beat by The Go-Go’s,
Machines in Heaven went for Bills Bills Bills by Destiny’s Child and Nowhere to Run by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas,
Henry & Fleetwood plumped for Fortunately Gone by The Breeders and the Prince-penned Manic Monday by The Bangles,
Golden Arm continued The Bangles theme with Walk Like An Egyptian and followed it with The Pipettes’ Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me,
Flash Talk went for the double whammy of medleys with firstly a mix of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and The Supremes on Joan Jett & The Blackhearts joining Freak Like Me/I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll and then The Runaways, seasoned with some Salt ‘n’ Pepa, on Push It/Cherry Bomb,
Duglas T. Stewart (with Norman Blake) covered the Carter-Lewis classic That Lonely Feeling, originally performed by Edinburgh sisters The McKinleys and the sublime Nobody Knows Whats Going On In My Mind by The Chiffons,
Stanley Odd fused Really Saying Something and Doin’ The Do for all Velvelettes/Betty Boo fans and then covered TeenCanteen’s single Honey,
No More Tiger  brought you I Can Hear Music by The Ronettes and The Paris Sisters I Love How You Love Me,
Jenny Lindsay performed a poem made up of the audience members favourite girl group lyrics,
The Spook School brought us I Love It by Icona Pop and Bratmobile’s Gimme Brains,
Broken Records did The Supremes’ Stop In The Name of Love and Modern Girl by Sleater Kinney,
Eugene Kelly (with TeenCanteen) gave us My Boyfriend’s Back by The Angels and 90s number 1 Never Ever by All Saints,
TeenCanteen feat. Eugene Kelly and Dave Hook from Stanley Odd finished off the evening with Say My Name by Destiny’s Child, Waterfalls by TLC and The Ronettes’ Be My Baby.

If you can’t make it along for The Girl Effect #2, TeenCanteen have a couple of support slots coming up.On Friday 2 October they’ll be supportng Summer Camp at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh – tickets HERE – and on Monday 19 October they’ll be playing at the Hug and Pint in Glasgow alongside La Luz and Halfrican – more details HERE.

Contact TeenCanteen through all the usual channels, whether it be Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud or buy t-shirts and records from their Store.

TeenCanteen - Sister video balloons

It’s fair to say that with the notable exception of the long overdue RPM Dream Babes box set (more chance of a new Blue Nile album at this rate) there’s only one album I would sell my soul to have right now and that’s the imminent debut album from glam-bam-thank-you-ma’am popsters TeenCanteen.

The tentatively titled “Sister” has been a wee while in the making and with all of the band now domiciled in Glasgow and their recording home of TAPE Studio situated almost 50 miles away in the port of Leith the band are looking for some help in speeding along the process.

Tomorrow the band will announce details of their PledgeMusic campaign to raise the necessary moolah to complete the project. I’ll provide the links and details as I get them.

Meanwhile TeenCanteen’s vox humana Carla Easton will also be a guest of her brother Murray on Thursday night (24 Sep) when he talks about the trials and triumphs of the music blogger at the Apple store at 147 Buchanan Street in Glasgow. Tickets are FREE and can be obtained from HERE. More details on what Murray and Carla will be discussing can be found on his excellent Everything Flows blog. Carla will also be unveiling the first guests for The Girl Effect #2. The first Girl Effect night, held at Summerhall in Edinburgh, raised just over £3450 for Scottish Women’s Aid and the second event, due to be held on 26 November at Mono in Glasgow, will be looking to top that.

More details on the PledgeMusic campaign and the Girl Effect #2 line-up later in the week.

  TeenCanteen - Sister video looking downTeenCanteen make their long overdue return to the world of popular music with the release of their third single, Sister, on Friday 19 June. Not so much a change of direction as a minor detour, Sister retains its pop core while enhancing it with a bombastic glam stomper of a track. Grrrreat stuff from Carla, Debs, Sita and new-girl-in-Teen Chloe Philip, currently on loan from No More Tiger!

Sister will be available via the band’s Bandcamp page and 20p from every sale will be going to Scottish Women’s Aid.

The recent Carla-curated “The Girl Effect” night during the Nothing Happens Here strand at Summerhall was also in aid of Scottish Women’s Aid and raised a whopping £3246.58. I, and many others, can vouch for what was a cracking night that will live long in the memory.TeenCanteen - Sister video balloonsSister made its radio debut on Marc Riley’s BBC 6Music show on Monday night (15th) and you can hear the show for the next 28 days HERE. Sister will also be released as a very limited edition cassette (jelly red no less), just like debut single Honey, my favourite song of 2013. The cassette will also feature a live version of How We Met (Cherry Pie) recorded at The Arches, a venue which meant so much to the band as it was where they made their debut in 2012, as well as coming with a  download code. The video for Sister should be up on YouTube soon – the teaser is already there to whet your appetite.

Also available on the band’s Bandcamp site is the version of How We Met (Cherry Pie), which appeared on the soundtrack to 2013 film Not Another Happy Ending. The band’s debut album is coming along quite nicely thank you very much and should be ready…well, when it’s ready. Be patient!


The photos in this article are used with kind permission of Carla Easton and photographer Kat Gollock.

TeenCanteen - Group Shot 4


Many thanks to everyone who entered the Wickerman Festival competition to win a pair of tickets and a car pass.

We put the names of all the entrants with the correct answer into a wicker basket (what else would we use?) and my daughter kindly picked out the names of the two winners.

The correct answer to the question, which was on the Wickerman Festival website, and *most* of you got it, was “Dress like a spiv”. The two lucky winners were…*drum roll*Andrew Ewington from Johnstone and…*second drum roll*Rozena Firman from Doncaster. Well done to you both and hard lines to the other 68 who got the correct answer. To those of you who got it wrong, see me after class.


Wicker sunset

With more musical genres catered for than any festival has a right to offer, for many the Wickerman Festival is *the* summer festival.

This year’s headliners on the Summerisle Stage – The Waterboys and Tom Odell – will be joined by a stellar line-up including Squeeze, Example, Lulu, John Cooper Clarke, Jimmy Cliff, Neneh Cherry, Sugarhill Gang, The Sonics, The Phantom Band, Withered Hand, The Ramonas and Stereo MCs amongst many others.

If you would like to be one of TWO people to win a pair of general admission tickets, plus car parking for one car, then answer this simple question.

Question: According to the list of Wickerman Do’s and Don’ts on the Wickerman Festival website, what should you dress like? Clue.

When you think you know the answer, email it to jocknroll@gmail.com with your name, address, email address and contact telephone number.

Good luck

Wickerman burning

Obligatory Legal Type Stuff:

1. There are two prizes of a pair of tickets and parking for one car. Travel costs and any other expenses are NOT included.

2. Don’t enter if you can’t go. It’s Friday 24 and Saturday 25 July 2015 – clear your diary for a great weekend in beautiful Dumfries and Galloway. Read all the information on the Wickerman Festival website.

3. Only one entry per person. I’ll be watching.

4. The closing date is midnight on Sunday 7 June. The correct entries will be placed in a wicker basket (see what we’ve done there) and the first two names picked out will win. Once they have confirmed that can use the tickets the names will be published. Any entries received after the closing time, as defined by the clock on the PC in my mancave, will be ignored and then deleted.

5. The prizes have been kindly supplied by Burt Greener Communications – thanks Aarti.

6. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter. So there.

7. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice. But I have been promised them so we should be okay.

8. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Especially if you get a bit shouty. I don’t like that.

TeenCanteen - Summerhall 9 May 2015 Gig Poster 3

Summerhall in Edinburgh hosts a series of gigs and events throughout April and May under the collective umbrella of “Nothing Happens Here”.

My personal highlight is the TeenCanteen-curated The Girl Effect on Saturday 9 May 2015. The hosts take a break from recording their debut album to play one or two of their favourite girl group songs. A number of the guests’ selections have already been mentioned on social media but I won’t spoil the surprise for those who haven’t seen the previewed tunes. I can say that there will be modern girl groups as well as tracks from the golden age of girl groups, the 1960s.

For a measly £10 there will be a host of great acts paying homage to their girl group favourites. As well as hosts TeenCanteen you’ll hear selections from Solareye (Dave Hook from Stanley Odd), electro triumvirate Machines in Heaven, The Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly, Broken Records, synthpopsters Flash Talk, Bodyheat, Henry and Fleetwood, The Spook School, Jenny Lindsay (Rally and Broad), The GTs, No More Tiger and the ever-wonderful Duglas T Stewart. That’s a lot to cram in between 1900 and 2200 so get there early. See you down the Slosh Pit!

The event is in support of Scottish Women’s Aid.

Shabam - On The Planet of the Apes

Wendy Pickles, vox humana of The Popguns, one of my favourite jingly-jangly pop bands of the 80s/90s, has been sharing her “Soundtrack of My Life” on her Facebook page and has suggested others may wish to share their own musical choices; selections that evoke good and bad memories or simply mean a lot to them. While I can’t follow in Wendy’s footsteps in choosing a “Song That Made Me Want To Be in a Band” (because I’m not and she is) I’ll try to pick more relevant topics. Not that I didn’t want to be in a band, you understand. I simply had neither the talent, temperament or parental encouragement to make the necessary moves towards becoming the new Jimmy Page or Reg King.

My father, who walked out of my life when I was about 11, and has since passed away, was in the army. This took the family around the world. While I remember nothing of my time in Germany, where my younger brother was born, I have many vivid memories of living in the Chip Bee estate in Singapore. This was the “Army Houses” where all the forces’ families lived. While we weren’t allowed to venture too far, we did have the local open monsoon drains to call our playground. There were no such concerns as what we might pick up from the king-sized rodents we regularly ignored around our feet, it was simply another area of adventure.

My father ran the local youth club, imaginatively entitled the Chip Bee Youth Club. I have two distinct memories of the club. Firstly, there was ignominy of being thrown out of the club by my own father for being caught, dare I say it, kissing a girl. I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 but I was frogmarched off the premises for bringing shame to the family. I don’t know if Paula Simmons remembers that day but I do and I can definitely catalogue it under First Kiss.

It always amazes me how people can instinctively recall the first record they bought. I can honestly say that I can’t remember the first single or album or cassette or eight track I bought with my own money. I remember two of the eight-track cartridges we had – The Carpenters and The Bay City Rollers – but nothing else. What music my dad was into is anyone’s guess.

The second memory of the Youth Club was the seemingly endless stream of Planet of the Apes movies shown there on a Saturday morning. Assuming it was 1974 by then the club would’ve been able to access the original Planet of the Apes and the four cinematic sequels. They probably showed other movies but none of them registered with me like those five. As is usually the case with high-profile franchise films and TV shows there were records related directly to them or independently produced novelty spin-off records. One such record was by a group calling themselves Shabam. In 1974 the band released a cash-in single called “On The Planet of the Apes”. This was a favourite at the Youth Club but when we moved back to Scotland I managed to “borrow” it for my own record collection. A collection that, at the time, consisted of one solitary single.

The record label featured the names of Hiller, Sheridan and Lee but in those pre-internet they meant nothing to me. Only when my love of 60s music was ignited in the early 80s did it finally dawn on me who these people were. Tony Hiller was a songwriter but also manager and founder of the group Brotherhood of Man in 1969. The first original band split in 1971 after some success but Hiller kept the band going and the second incarnation would feature Martin Lee and Lee Sheridan as the male half of the foursome and the unrelated Nicky and Sandra Stevens complementing the guys.

It would be four years until they struck gold at the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest in The Hague when Save All Your Kisses For Me would storm to victory and give the band the first of their triumvirate of UK number 1 singles.

I emailed Tony Hiller via his website about the song, asking for information about how it came to be and why the name Shabam. It was only afterwards that I realised Tony is actually 87 so I may not get a response. Indeed, since I started to write this piece a few weeks I still haven’t heard from him. I changed tack and tried to contact Martin and Lee, first via their website (“Professional enquiries only”) and finally via Facebook. This latter move was successful and I received the following reply (I don’t know if it was from Martin or Lee):

No special story I’m afraid other than the fact that the Apes were so big at the time and it seemed a good idea to write a song about them. SHABAM was just a name that sounded good and lent itself to the situation. So glad you liked the record.

So there you have it. An unknown song to many but one that will always have a special place in my heart. As this Planet of the Apes Wiki page shows Shabam weren’t the first, or last, to cash in on the success of the Planet of the Apes.

For those you don’t know the song, and why would you, you can catch it on YouTube where Tony Hiller posted it.


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