Once In a Lifetime?

David Byrne and St Vincent at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall were both amazing and boring.

When it was good it was good and when it was bad .. well ..

Before the concert, having looked at the setlist for the previous gigs and realised that David was only playing a few of his own or Talking Heads songs and largely the collaboration with Saint Vincent, we started to think is it worth it?

Should we give it a miss?

But the tickets were quite expensive at £45 and what the hell a few Talking Heads songs live would make the night, any joy from anything else would be a bonus.

Once in a Lifetime .. we thought.

The gig opened with 4 or 5 songs from the new album and have to say these were fantastic both acoustically and visually, the 7 piece brand secion moving position and stepping round the stage with the music was mesmeric.

Or expectations had already been beaten and I will buy the album based on those opening few songs.

David’s vocals were as strong, if not stronger than they ever were, defintely better.

In fact, he looked well, white hair, tanned and healthy .. good for him, its great to see these heroes of yesterday looking after themselves and not being ravaged by time despite whatever excesses they may or may not have endured.

His dancing was as captivating as ever, mesmerising and it was hard not to take our eyes of him as he moved within the band around the stage.

The first Talking Heads song This Must Be The Place ( Naive Melody ) was greeted with a huge cheer by the audience in the full concert hall.

I dare say, it was a breathe of fresh air as bullshit aside, thats what most people had come to see.

The other TH songs were cleverly ( manipulatively?) interespersed, between the StV songs and the DH/StV collaboration, which at times was interesting. However the songs which StV did on her own were somewhat depressing. She is vocally strong and there is no doubt that she has talent but she does like the sound of her own voice and she did drone on a bit.

Her songs themselves are depressing, moody, introvert and self indulgent. I got over all that angst and self analysis a long time ago and frankly so should she.

The brass section were fantastic all the way through and made things interesting at all times. David was quite magnanimous in sharing the stage and during the TH song Wild Wild Life the brass guys took turns to rotate to the mike and sing the line, something like the video from the 80s, you could tell that they were having great fun and so were we!

The gig closed with 2 encores each containing 2 songs, the first in each case a Saint Vincent song which quite frankly KILLED the mood.

The second wer Talking Heads songs, wonderful renditions of Burning Down The House and Road To Nowhere which had the audience on their feet and the place going crazy.

I recorded BDTH on my phone and might upload it later, but have a look at the following from youtube.

Leaving the concert lazt night, people were smiling and happy, there was a buzz in the air..

I walked down Buchanan Street to Central Station with the Road To Nowhere stuck in my head then woke up singing it again this morning.

But my overwhelming feeling was, why did David Byrne need to collaborate at all?


For a longer more arty review read the skinny link below


Psycho Killer?

Tonight David Byrne of Talking Heads fame plays The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

I’ve got tickets in my usual seats, you know the ones, front row of the terrace, great view of the stage and handy for the bar.

David was born in Dumbarton/Clydebank on the outskirts of Glasgow but left Scotland as a child,


I was first aware of him as a tenager around 1980 when I was a fan of New Wave music, something which has never really left me.

I remember being amazed by the video for Once In A Lifetime when it first appeared on Top Of The Pops.

I thought, who is this crazy dude and went out and bought the Talking Heads album Remain In Light, produced by Brian Eno of Roxy Music fame.

Davids voice and the sound of the band were like nothing else going around at that time.

Having read his autobiogaphy and David claiming to be a borderline sufferer of Asperger Syndrome, I can understand where he gets his lateral vew on life and what set him apart from the rest.

Tonight his tour feature his latest work with a female artist St Vincent who he has collaborated with recently.

Having played some of those new songs, I’m not too impressed.

Particularly having looked at his setlists for his recent gigs were they are so highly featured.


So I’m a little more hesitant about the gig now than when I booked the tickets.

But I will enjoy the Talking Heads songs that feature and can only wish thayt he plays Psycho Killer.



PS – Well done the Glasgow Celtic, fantastic result last night, 3-0 win and we are through to the group stages of The Champions League.

I Have A Dream – Let The People Sing!

50 years ago today, Martin Luther King made one of the most famous speeches of all time and it almost didn’t happen.

MLK was reading his prepared text to a large but restless audience on the March On Washington Demonstration on August 28th 1963.

Realising things weren’t going too well, Mahalia Jackson, a supporter and well-known Gospel singer leaned over the podium and said

“Tell them about the dream,Martin,tell them about the dream”

At that point, Mr King put down his prepared text and spoke from the heart.

A “wings of a butterfly” moment in history, all because of a single sentence of advise.

The following is the transcrpt of the MLK speech where you can spot this change in tack and happens at 12 minutes into the speech in the video below.

From that moment, the speech changed from a somewhat factual but boring monlogue, to a rousing emotive, uplifting moment that undoubtedly changed history for the better.


Tonight, my football team face Shakhter Karagandy in the second leg of the UEFA Champions Leage qualifying round.

We are already down 2-0 from the first leg in Kahistan and it will take effort and ability for Celtic to qualify.

This game is worth a minimum of 30 million pounds to the club, much needed cash in the current climate.

Coincidentally, one of my teams favourite songs is Let The People sing a beautiful protest song, born in the days of the African American Civil rights moment, a song that I sing with warmth and gusto.


For those who are in love
There’s a song that’s warm and tender.
For those who are oppressed
In song you can protest.
So liberate your minds
And give your soul expression.
Open up your hearts,
I’ll sing for you this song.

Let the people sing their stories and their songs
And the music of their native land
Their lullabies and battlecries and songs of hope and joy
So join us hand in hand
All across this ancient land
Throughout the test of time
It was music that kept their spirits free
Those songs of yours and of mine

Tonight .. I have a dream!

The Platform Lovers – 10 – Fat!

She looked at me and smiled, then said hello as I entered the 6 seat booth looking for the best spot to sit as the crowd filtered on from both ends of the carriageway.

The 5:39pm from Glasgow Central to Cambuslang is choc-full as usual and if you’re not fast then you’re standing for the rest of your journey.

I took a second to look at her and politely returned the greeting but I was struggling to recognise her face.

Internally I’m thinking do I know you? How do I know you? I don’t recognise you at all.

She’s a large woman, although I can’t tell from this position how tall she is, she fills the seat and almost half of the one next to it.

I sit beside the window facing her and a couple get in beside me facing front. A business type guy sits on the end of the 3 seat row beside her.

The train is standing room but no one squeezes into the seat in the middle.

“How are you doing?” She begins.

“I’m fine thanks”, trying to keep the puzzled look from my face, it feels rude not to recognise someone that seems to recognise me.

Am I that shallow?

Have I met this lady before and dismissed her because she’s so overweight and not my type and not on my radar?

Would I have forgotten her that easily?

“Are you still at JP Morgan?”

Hhhmm,, how did she know I worked there? Was she a former work colleague or acquaintance?

“No I left about 5 years ago, but I’m back working at Barclays. What about you?”

Hopefully she will give me a clue to how we know each other.

“I’m at Barclays too, are you in Waterloo Street?”

Aaah, this must be how I know her, she must have spotted me around.

“Yes, I’ve been there about a year now” feeling relieved that I’m not that rude or forgetful.

“I have been with them for over 3 years now, but I’ve never been to the Waterloo Street offices. Is Alex Johnston still the head of Risk Management?”

Hmmm so she’s never been to my office and I’ve never been to hers but she knows one of the senior managers.

“Yes, he’s still there but I don’t have any dealings with him”.

“How are the kids? Has Laura finished university yet?”

Jesus whats with the 20 questions!

But she must know me if she knows about Laura being at uni.

“She’s just finished her degree but hasn’t graduated yet. The good news is that’s she’s got her first job and starts next week”

“That’s fantastic, it’s so difficult for kids these days. My David was lucky because he is working with his dad, we are getting on much better these days since the divorce went through ”

Fuck me, she has kids?

And why shouldn’t she, I mentally slap myself for being so judgemental.

“Yes, we were the same and hated each other for a few years but we both have our own lives now and she has a new partner and I’m happy for her”

She is nodding in agreement, this is obviously something that is important to her “That’s the way it should be, you should both get along for the sake of the kids”

“Totally agree, sounds like you are quite happy?” I can feel myself smiling at having reached some common ground.

“Yes very much so” she smiles but her eyes are elsewhere for a moment and I wonder what she’s thinking about and although I don’t feel that I know her, somehow I’m pleased that another soul has found what she’s looking for.

The train slows to pull into Cambuslang and people start to stand. I let them get up and fill the aisles as I’m not in any rush to get home.

As the crowd clears, I rise and check that I’ve left nothing on my seat. Nothing worse than your mobile phone dropping out a pocket and the resulting inconvenience.

“This is my stop, it’s been nice speaking with you” I tell her and genuinely mean it.

“Yes you too, you look happy James”

“Thank you, I am”

We smile and a few seconds later we wave as I pass her window.

But who the hell is James I wonder?


Note to reader – this is based on a what actually happened on my train journey last night.

Open Plan Changes!

As you may be aware, I’ve had the buiilders in I’ve been making changes to my house.

I’ve attached a few pics of my house .. before and after I’ve made the changes.

Its been a hell of a bit of work, but we’re getting there and this week after the decorator is in and the flooring is down it wil be more or less finished.

The first linke below is the before part, I’ve marked in black everything that I wanted to go.

ie ..

The wall between the living room and dining room as didn’t want to 2 dining tables
The window in dining room to be replaced by glass door
The door in the breakfast area replaced to match
The oven unit in the kitchen I wanted shifted to make the space more open.
Joiner was giving me grief on this, said I’d need a new kitchen, but I perservered.

Then took a maddy and knocked the wall between the living room and dining down to make it all open plan all the way through.,

The space is massive and there is a fantastic amount of light.

Once the new flooring is down this week then it will be amazing .. still working out where to put things!

And there will be lots of space for my new piano!

You can see my garden and that there is nothing behind me, I get the sun all day long and its west facing so the sun faces into the house in the afternoon and the evening which is perfect for BBQs etc.

The builder is trying to flog me a sun-room to go across both of the patio doors, I’ve been to see his and it looks fantastic.

But I don’t really need the space.

I’m looking forward to getting it all finished, then placing the furniture around, Last weekend I put a big tv up in the wall with all the wires concealed, I think it looks fab.



Wall between dining room and brekfast are area removed
Window in dining room replaced by glass doo
Patio Door in kitchen replaced

Wall between Dining room and Living Room Down
Radiators removed and replaced against wall
Door to hall covered up
Oven Unit in Kitchen turned and moved against window,
TV Mounted in Wall without visible cables

The Pursuit Of Beauty?

My blog the other day about The Dilemma Of Beauty has got me a few emails including the following from a friend of mine.

If you are out there looking to meet Miss or Mister Right then you’ll know that It’s hard work and full of trap-doors and disappointments.

My experience is that it’s important to use your time and energy where your efforts will be appreciated.

Not waste this most valuable of commodities on people you aren’t interested in or who aren’t interested in you.

She said ..

Your blog the other day really irked me.

Everything these days is about appearance.

People very rarely get a second chance. first impressions are everything in this throw away society.

I dated a stunning man for a while a pilot. tall dark handsome loaded also self centred arrogant snd moody. he always expected me to drop everything for him. it ended when i realised that although I would cross an ocean for him he couldn’t jump a puddle for me.
you can be fooled by looks. a good person will never fool you. x

I Replied ..

I totally disagree with you .. everything is not about appearance.

Absolutely and definitely that is not the case.

It’s not even about first impressions.

What my blog was about is whether you find someone attractive or not .. and that might be someone beautiful or someone who is kind of plain, but you like them .. what matters is that you or I as individuals like them .. its personal choice.

For me, there has to be some sort of physical attraction .. a pretty face .. a shapely figure.

But there has to be much more than that .. humour, personality and common interests.

Re your pilot man .. just because he was good looking and arrogant doesn’t mean everyone is.

People get rejected because they don’t meet expectations or have projected a lie.

I once met a woman. We’d spoke for a while, she is undoubtedly a nice person, so I met her for a coffee.

As I got closer and could see her waiting outside the cafe, I thought .. oh no!

She had lied to me .. she had pics online that were 10 years younger and 4 stones lighter.

I didn’t fancy her .. I knew it was going nowhere the moment I saw her.

So we had coffee and a chat,, but ultimately it was going nowhere so we said cheerio.

Does that make me wrong because I didn’t fancy her?

Does it feck.

She was fat, older than she said and she had lied.

It didn’t matter that she was a “nice” person .. that attitude is for losers.

Oh but “beauty is only skin deep” … another stance promoted by lifes unfortunates.

Have you ever heard anyone even reasonably attractive come away with that nonsense?

Yes some conventionally “beautiful people” are arrogant .. but thats not what I’m looking for.

I’m not blessed with stunning good-looks, I’m just an ordinary guy, so I’ve learned to manage my expectations..

I don’t waste my time chasng “beautiful people” who wouldn’t be interested in me.

I’m looking for someone who I find beautiful, internally and externally and that includes both physical attraction and personality.

Bottom line .. the woman above didn’t meet the expectations i have for the person that I’m looking for.

She had projected something that she wasn’t, she had tried to deceive

What are you meant to say?

Oh that’s okay because you’re nice to talk to?

Why waste each others time?

On the other hand .. I’ve also met women who undoubtedly find me intelligent and entertaining but don’t find me attractive

Thats how the cookie crumbles.

Life does that, we all need to learn to deal with it.

But we need to be honest with ourselves and each other.

It seems to me, that you’re pilot friend is like the girl Karen in the dilemma I wrote the other day .. you pursued what you percieved as beauty, knowing the guy was arrogant and didn’t make the effort .. He might be a total prick but you made a rod for your own back.

My advice to you is don’t go chasing dreams that inside you know are doomed to fail .. don’t waste time with people who will drop you like a ton of bricks when something better comes along.

Find someone who likes you for who you are .. that wants to spend time with you .. and be happy.

Nurse! Nurse!

Back in 1990 this lttle bundle of joy arrived in my world.

The midwife asked me if I wanted to cut the cord, which I proudly did.

She then wrapped her in a towel and gave her to me to hold while the docs looked after my ex-wife Alison.

I walked around the ward marvelling at the fact that I had a little girl, Laura, healthy and cute and good-looking like her mum.

Having a girl seemed all the more remarkable as I’m the eldest of 5 sons and thought I’d never have a daughter.

My mum was delighted because after having all those boys of her own she had a grand-daughter to spoil.

Back then my son Steven was one year old and this birth was much less stressful than Lauras, so Alison and Laura were back home wihin 2 days and we spent the next week doing all the things that mums and dads do with new babies.

Laura, aged 2 days old, did something that has become family legend .. she crapped all over me!!

Now my wee girl is almost 23 .. 23 bloody hell.

Those years have had their ups and downs, particularly around the period when Laura was 14 and Alison and I were separating.

She hated me then and I still have the note to prove it.

She is my middle child, my problem child, not the eldest and not the baby.

She is strong, independent and fiery and doesn’t suffer fools.

( Search for Laura on the bar at the side and there will be a few stories about her )

My wee girl has grown into a fine strong young woman.

I’ve been there anytime she needed me for advice, cuddles, encouragement, taught her to drive, been the Bank Of Dad when necessary.

All those dark days of her early teens are long since forgotten.

A few weeks ago, she qualified as a Nurse, but times ae hard and jobs are in high demand.

But today she has just called me to tell me that one of the big Glasgow hospitals had just called her and she is starting as Stroke and Alzhiemers nurse in the next few weeks once she goes through their occupational health checks.

They told her that they had interviewed 40 and she was the stand-out candidate.

How proud am I?

Well done Laura, I knew you could do it.

Thats my Stroke and Alzhiemers worries taken care of …. Bonus!!