Monday, 15 October 2012



Live at the Gypsy Hotel: 15-9-2012.

Greetings my dears & welcome. Step a little closer & let your dear old pal Flash Tightpocket bend your ears for a moment or three, for I have information to impart which I can keep to myself not a moment longer!
  It was by the slightest slither of chance that I happened upon the new website of Duncan Reid, former bass player & vocalist from pop, punk'n'roll legends, 'The Boys'. 
 It seems like merely the flicker of an eye since our Duncan played his last shows with the Boys at Blackpool & Osaka. So it was with great surprise & joy when news of his impending first solo album reached these grateful eyes & ears!
 Needless to say & without further ado, yours truly ordered his fully signed, pre-release copy. (Ever the trainspotter).
 Within three days, said opus landed in my mailbox & I jest you not my dears, Little Big Head has been pretty much ever present on my cd deck ever since.

To say Duncan has surprised us, is something of an understatement. What we have here, is not just a great pop/rock'n'roll album, but an insight into the last 30-plus years of  Duncans life. This must have been bubbling under his skin for quite some time. 
 So without any fore thought as to whether bills needed paying, yours truly, booked himself a ticket for the Gypsy Hotel & sorted out the train travel. Determined was I not to miss Duncans first show proper on these shores.

Was it worth the expense? was it worth the hundreds of miles travelled? You betcha! The Little Big Heads turned in one hell of an energetic, totally dynamic performance. The quality of show put in by Duncan & his band was never, ever going to be in question!
 On the sleeve notes to the album Duncan speaks of being stalked by the 'monster of self doubt', as to whether these songs were going to be good enough! !   Going to be good enough? Jeez! Let me tell ya my fluffy little swamp ducks. Duncan Reid has created his 'magnum opus', an album of perfectly crafted pop/rock songs which stands head & shoulders above anything in its genre. 

The album kicks off in fine jaunty fashion with 'The One', followed by the slower 'Thinking' with it's clever lyrical twist & sweet vocal harmonies. 'Montevideo' is an out & out raunchy rock'n'roller about the 'Clash city rockers' bar in you guessed it! Montevideo! A place where our man Duncan has cocktails named after him & he never has to pay for a drink. With such meaty hooks. Hooks not quite  witnessed since they killed off Fred Elliott, the demon butcher of Weatherfield.
  Hell, we even get the directions to the bar itself.
 I do have to point out that this is the most well packaged album I've possibly ever seen, leaving no stone left unturned. Giving an insight into the making, thought process behind & subject matter of each song.
 'Too late', a piano ballad comes across all Beatlesque, where 'Kelly's gone insane', a tale of a girl driven to the brink of madness by the punters in the store where she works & 'I gotta call Simone' are raunch driven rockers.
 Simply love 'If it's what you want', with it's country tinged guitar, never overstated!
  The stand out track for yours truly has to be 'we all fall down', a sad sounding break-up tune, but oh what exquisite songwriting.
 'Shot in the back' covers familiar rockin' territory, which is definately not lost on these old lug-oles.
 'Aren't women wonderful'. Boys & girls, you'll get no arguments from your old mate Flash on that particular score!
 The albums closer is a real crescendo builder, about our man Duncans teenage years & I guess what brought him to where he is today. Ending just when you think it's going to explode into something more. Leaving us; the discerning punter, wanting oh, so much more. Now ain't that just the way to do it?

 Perfectly balanced, perfectly written & perfectly packaged. Make no bones my dears, this album positively screams for your indulgence. Trust your old mate Flash on this one. 
 Should you wish to make a wise investment, this album can be bought here;
& along with other goodies, here;
 Now should you wish to break the confines of your miserable, day to day existence, the Little Big Heads have strung together some euro & UK dates for your delectation. Check 'em out here.  Oh, you lucky people!

As ever my dears, please feel free to borrow & use any snaps that may take your fancy, just remember to leave a link or a nod in the direction of  yours truly!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012



 Only a week since I went darn sarf to the Gypsy Hotel & here we are at the Leeds Wardrobe to once again witness the musical delights of the Urban Voodoo Machine!

Many special thanks go to my brother Adam for putting me up for the night, thus enabling me to drink copious amounts of alcohol for a change. Also special mention & kudos goes to Bill Mcnie for coming all the way from Edinburgh to see the UVM & partake in the obligatory liver abuse. Great to see you again Bill!
 Without further ado, the lure of the Adelphi was too much to bear, a grand old boozer. Closely followed by, oh god I can't remember! Jesus Christ I can't even recall what I had for breakfast.
 Neeedless to say, mucho guzzling did ensue. Though I have to admit, yours truly could not keep up with the hollow legged bleeders Adam & Bill!
 Just one further point which needs pointing out, these two fine fellows were drinking premium Belgian beers at around 8%, while yours truly was drinking cooking lager. One step up from fruit juice! What a lightweight I truly am!

Picking up a few stragglers on the way, who were incidentally from the North East, (such is the lure of the UVM), we weaved our merry way to the outskirts of town towards that garden of earthly delights; the Leeds Wardrobe! 
 Groovy as ever, bumping into old friends whilst the golden throat charmer did flow in abundance. Big hello to Jez from Grimsby, It's been a while mate!
 I did manage to catch the rear end (ooh matron) of the support band, but could I tell you anything about them? could I hell. Note to self; please take more bleedin' notice. 
 In my defence, I put it down to the onset of Alzheimers. Have you ever walked into a room & wondered "why the bloody hell have I come in here"?  In fact while we're on the subject, does anyone else have to ensure the bathroom towels are straight before leaving home in case their nearest & dearest explode? No of course you don't, it's just me isn't it? I'm destined to die alone in a pit of misery, totally secluded from the world around me! 
 Whoaaah there soldier, steady on! That doesn't sound like such a bad thing.
 Note to self; must get a fucking grip!

 Aaah, thank god for the Urban Voodoo Machine. I never tire of the suspense building intro, the way the band sneak onstage & swaaaay, prior to hitting us with their blue tinged, jazz infused brand of rock'n'roll. If you haven't seen these cats before, you really do need to get them in your life. 
  We were treated to new songs, 'pipe & slippers man' & Tom Waits stylee stomper 'not with you'. But ooh my dears, what was that new song? That ever so haunting melody? A total diversion from anything they've ever done before. The new album's out next year my dears & it promises to be an absolute belter!!!

The Wardrobe has become quite a happy hunting ground for these guys over the last couple of years, but oh how I wish the lighting rig was a little better. All halloween orange & chimney red, does not make for great photographs.
  As ever the UVM put on one helluva show & you have to say, hand on heart that no two shows by these fine fellas & fluffy young fillies are ever the same. From the presentation of the huge chocolate birthday cake to 'Dr Lloyd Gomez De Ville', to the hilarious moment when the gusset went on Paul Ronney Angels' pants. (Isn't 'gusset' a wonderful word) whereupon he was victim to a sonic blast to the groin, from the horn (oh god) of Mr De ville.

By god I love this band. Boys & girls, make the most of 'em, go & see 'em as many times as you can. As much as I want them to be, they won't always be with us, because nothing lasts forever.
 Which is more than can be said of Mr Mcnie, who made full use of his lunch by taking a leaf out of my book & leaving a perfect impersonation of Jackson Pollock on the pavement outside the venue. Top work sir!

Boys & girls, the rock'n'roll circus is in town, make sure you're at the front of the queue, because this is one hell of a ride!
   Chin Chin !!