The Wire(less)

I got final word today that I’ll be on the wireless tomorrow talking to Martin and John at Pulse 98.4FM Community Radio about the fine music of The Vinegar Tits. Or, as it’s going out 10-12 on a Saturday morning, the fine music of The VTs.

It’s been a bit of a challenge identifying tunes that are acceptable for a family audience, so fingers crossed the chaps have found something suitable :-)

Here’s hoping it all goes well. I’ll report back about how it went later in the week.

Spotify and iTunes

I can’t help but think that The Vinegar Tits have attained a level of respectability by getting on the auld Spotify and iTunes. It’s easily arranged, don’t get me wrong – I used RouteNote – but still…this is where NORMAL people listen to and buy music!

If yer intae it, here are the links to The Tits on:

Spotify:

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/turnin-on-the-charm-single/id834530641

If yer streaming it on Spotify, apparently it sounds better if you play it on Repeat for 48 hours. Try it. It’s true :-)

Yes, Please & Thank You, or, Why I’m Voting Yes

The Scottish independence referendum on the 18th of September is an era-defining moment for all people who live in Scotland. I have been dissatisfied with the undemocratic Westminster legislature for years – populated as it is with elitist, self-serving, avaricious, corrupt, aloof, callous, craven, bloodthirsty, deceitful buffoons – and voters in Scotland have this rare, precious opportunity to be done with it once and for all.

I’ve written two songs that express my distaste at having to live under the influence of this monstrous institution, both of which go some way to explaining why I’ll be voting Yes this autumn. They are very different beasts indeed:

Yes, Please & Thank You is about the greed and hypocrisy of the Westmonster politician:

Our money is spent on weapons made by their friends’ companies to fight wars for the benefit of some other chums’ investments; our children’s futures are sold off to protect bankers’ bonuses; the benefits recipient is to be despised unless they receive an MP’s salary.

It’s not, however, just the benefits claimant that MPs despise; they hate all of us. We are an inconvenient nasal boil that they have to lance every 5 years or so to make sure that their snouts are healthy enough to stay in the trough (unless they sit in the Lords – then they don’t need to consider us at all). And because we chose them they think they have a mandate to do as they please. And we should be grateful for everything that they do “for us”.

Swine.

Everyone’s Happy was written about 4 years ago after David Cameron started gobbing on about some happiness index garbage. I imagined someone working hard but losing their job and subsequently alienating their support network as they are cast adrift by the callous Big Society that Dave was creating. Imagine that poor bugger listening to Bullingdon Boy telling him to volunteer? See that job you used to do? Do it again for nothing.

The man is out of touch and forever will be. As are his cronies of all stripes in the Palace of Westminster.

What people in England hopefully understand is that this is not about you. It’s not about leaving you because, as dishonest newspapers may mislead you, we don’t like you. It’s about taking advantage of a unique chance to live in a society where people are more important than profit. If we vote Yes and you fancy joining us then come on up and contribute. You’ll be made very, very welcome.

And if it’s a No then come buy us a drink. We’ll fucking well need it.

Many Bargains! Much Cheapness!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’m going to release Turnin On The Charm as a single, with Ye’ve Either Got It Or Ye Huvnae as a B-side, on Valentine’s Day.

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I say “release”: what I mean is I’ve fired it onto Bandcamp, where you can get it for the king’s ransom of 80p (correct at time of writing):
The Vinegar Tits on Bandcamp

And I say “Valentine’s Day”: it’s there now. RIGHT NOW! I’ve just said the release date is the 14th because I like the idea of two songs about weird inadequate men coming out on the day for corporate recognition of lovers.

The artwork for the single is inpired by the line in Turnin On The Charm “When ye fell asleep I cut off a chunk of yer hair.” When I wrote it I didn’t intend this line to be as sinister as the art suggests but my artistic director was most insistent. I have to say he worked wonders, as well: it’s amazing what you can do with nail scissors, tomato sauce and doll’s hair.

The versions of both songs are probably those that will appear on the Nippy album, which I hope to get out this summer. Before that momentous event I expect to release Everyone’s Happy as a single in April, with Yes Please & Thank You on the flip side.
So with two singles and an album oot in 2014 I fully expect to be able to give up the day job by Xmas!

:-)

Tae A Moose

Burns Night on Saturday marks the end of Scotland’s winter celebration period, which starts with Halleen on 31 Oct and includes St Andrew’s Day, Xmas Day and Hugmanay. How thrawn is that? We cram every day of festivity into the coldest, darkest, wettest period of the year – nae parties in the street for you, Scotland!

On Burns Night, fat, round-faced sweaty men in kilts squirt jets of whisky-laced slabber into communal offal as they recite To A Haggis and test patience to the extreme with lengthy “performances” of Tam O’Shanter…

Jeezo man. How cynical is aw that?

Let’s start again.

Robert Burns is Scotland’s national poet. He was a genius. He was a fornicator. He was eloquent. He was bawdy. He was cultured. He was rustic. He was a freemason. He was a farmer. He was a taxman. He was an egalitarian. He was going to the West Indies to be an overseer on a plantation before his first book of poems, now called the Kilmarnock Edition, went to the top of the hit parade. He was “heaven-taught”. He was an autodidact. There are so many aspects to the Burns story/myth that it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on one and ignoring the rest.

So easy, in fact, that I’ve done so in this wee comedy sketch of mine. The Burns you’ll hear in it is the Burns of Nine Inch Will Please A Lady as opposed to A Man’s A Man:

Adventures In Vinyl #3

Over the holiday period I picked up two LPs that I’m pretty pleased with from charity shops in Ayr and East Kilbride respectively.

The first is a Not The Nine O’clock News disc from 1980:

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The sleeve and the vinyl are in cracking nick and it includes classic sketches like Life Of Python and Rowan Atkinson’s rant about Esther Rantzen. Aye, the content’s a bit dated, as are the people on the cover (Jimmy Carter!) but I used to love listening to these years ago (on cassette) and it’s a nice wee nostalgia trip hearing it all again.

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The same shop had John Lennon’s Shaved Fish and two Billy Connolly live albums from the 70s but all three looked like they’d been used as frisbees, coasters or both, so I left them where they were.

In East Kilbride I found a Buddy Holly Greatest Hits from 1967:

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Every song on it is a classic and, like Not The Nine O’clock News, the vinyl plays beautifully. Amusingly (for me anyway) the instructions on the inner sleeve read like a guide for rocket scientists – or should I say “competent audio engineers”? :-)

The stuff ye had to know to listen to music in they days…

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Both LPs were a pound.

Vinyl BARGAINS!

2013: How Was Tits For You?

2013 has been the first full calendar year in existence for The Vinegar Tits. What have I been up tae? Well…

I mind saying to @wullaewright on the auld Twitter at the end of 2012 that I hoped to have decent versions of all the songs I had written (at the time) up on Soundcloud by June 2013. I missed that target by about 4 months, but by October I had “no bad” versions of songs like Everyone’s Happy and Yer Maw shared with the Internet. I even managed to get some new ones battered oot as well, including my personal favourite Turnin On The Charm. The next step for 2014 is to get 10 songs together for an album, which will be called Nippy. I have 9 of them recorded already – see the original compositions on The Nippy Collection on Soundcloud – and the last song, The Light Gleams An Instant, will hopefully get recorded in January. After that I’ll do a bit of my amateurish mixing with them all and then get Nippy on Bandcamp or summink for folk to download.

Imagine that? Getting The Tits onto your portable device!

Aye…calm yersels…

Once that’s done I’ll embark on a world tour to promote it. Or…more likely…get to work on the 10 songs that will constitute album number 2: Life And Death According To The Vinegar Tits. I know what I’m doing this time round – stop laughing at the back there! – so I hope it won’t take so long to put that one together. And you can blame @hilliatfields for this intended workrate, what with his 500 albums in 6 months or whatever it is.

The Twitter handles you see in this text are there for good reason. As I said during my interview in May with @TheTinMine for the wireless – no I can hardly believe that either – The Vinegar Tits only exist on Twitter, Soundcloud and other social media platforms, so the only links the music has with real people is through the questionable patter I hit oot wi on Twitter, with associated tune-hooring at appropriate points. Twitter’s a great place for chatting with like-minded people, so I’m guessing that the folk I follow and talk to don’t find references to dug-pumping and children’s TV character suicides too off-putting :-)

The other thing I done was tell @nolanzebra3 some film stuff for his movie blog. He said he kept my answers for an entry with two other weirdos, which I’m taking as a compliment. I mean, what’s weird about Sigourney Weaver playing me, a speccy Scotch bloke, in the film about my life? NOWT :-)

Dishonourable mention to @Yer_Auld_Da_, whose self designed Xmas cards I bought in December. Drunk reindeers and naughty words…tsk. Here’s hoping he’s still talking to me after my elaborate “Auntie Jessie’s snuffed it” lie/excuse for dingying his Xmas quiz.

So here’s to the year gone and the year ahead. @wullaewright is probably a wee bit closer to fulfilling our prediction of joint-headlining Glastonbury 2014 than I am but maybe if I put a shift in with Nippy I’ll get a call from Michael Eavis in May. Here’s hoping.

(What may also feature now and again during 2014 is a reference or 50 to the Scottish independence referendum in September. Vote, and Vote YES!)

Aaaaaaanyway…

*puts on outrageous American accent*

HAPPY NEW YEARS

(Links to the music, the radio interview and the movie blog are elsewhere on The Vinegar Tits Blog. Happy hunting!)