New Monthly Column Over At


Well I’m delighted to say that on the first Sunday of every month Matthew over at songbytoad has asked me to do a column for his site.  I love his idea of opening his site up to other writers on a Sunday – his day of rest – and am totally chuffed that he has been able to see past the fact that I’m an uneducated, stupid, pompous twat/cunt who is appalling at writing, and allow me to contribute to his lovely blog.  My first instalment was due to be up on the 4th of October but due to a technical glitch didn’t actually go up until yesterday.  You can read both pieces I wrote over at and will be able to read my stuff on a monthly basis over at his site.  Obviously I will be continuing writing on this blog, though after yesterdays vicious attack on my writing I may well get back to writing only about things I love.  My one and only adventure into the world of criticism was not exactly pleasant so I’m thinking it’s probably best if I focus on the music which turns me on and not off in future.


J. Tillman, Nice N’Sleazy’s, 9th October 2009


I was due to go along to this show on Friday night, but having left for Glasgow late I discovered that one of my front headlights had blown so I could not drive on the M8 to get there.  To say I was gutted is an understatement as I had been looking forward to this show all week.  My good friend Heidi Kuisma did attend the show though and I asked her to write a few words about it for me.  So here’s her review of the show.  Enjoy.

“I’m in Scotland for the first time, there are all these wonderful
whiskeys to choose from and I’m drinking gin & tonics” wonders Pearly
Gate Music’s Zach Tillman between the songs while scratching his head.
He is providing the support for tonight’s headliner J Tillman (his
brother whose touring band he also plays in) with music which is
influenced by folk and country. It is simple and honest and his half
an hour set flies past quickly setting the mood perfectly for the rest
of the evening. After he leaves there is warm anticipation in the air
and the crowd approaches the stage and finds a spot on the floor to
sit on.

I hadn’t heard J Tillman’s name or music until just a few days before
the gig, but I’m glad Euan pointed me in his direction.  J Tillman is
perhaps more notably known as the drummer or Fleet Foxes and he has
also toured with  Damien Jurado, but this gig was proof that he is a
musician in his own right and capable of being a charismatic front
man.  He owns the stage, his presence is undeniable, and not only
because of his over 6 feet frame, long hair and great big lumberjack
beard.  He looks comfortable and at ease on stage.  There is plenty of
friendly banter and anecdotes between the songs making his sense of
humour evident and the gig float forward without a noticeable effort.

J Tillman’s voice has special quality to it.  It is beautiful, it is
delicate and soft, never out of control.  The quiet bits of the music
are quiet, loud ones are loud, there are also more experimental noise
moments with a large cymbal, accordions and bells adding to the sound
making it interesting and captivating.  It all fits together perfectly,
his honest voice being the binding element.

The crowd is good.  They give him the respect he deserves, and you
ought to for a great man, both in stature and character, like J
Tillman.  There are a few ‘shh’s to quiet a couple of ignorant chatters
but overall people are attentive, they listen, they appreciate his
music making the gig a beautiful experience.  By the time New Imperial
Brand Blues from his album Vacilando Territory Blues finishes they
have overrun their allocated time by ten minutes, making their set an
hour and half long, but they most certainly haven’t overstayed their
welcome.  A simple ‘thank you’ and the band are gone leaving me with a
smile on my face and a new favourite band to listen to those evenings
you just want to relax and forget about the world.