Advent Calendar

Some of you know that a few years back I got access to a large number of tapes. Many of these tapes were soundboard recordings of live performances, but there were a lot of other interesting items too. So, as a Christmas exclusive, a few things from the 'other tapes' are going to be released.

Ideally, this advent calendar should have started on the 1st December. Well, it didn't! Instead it's started on the 13th December - and one new item wasreleased every day between now and the 6th January. (So, you'll still get 25 days of gifts.).

A lot of what I'm putting up is old studio tracks - some are from higher quality sources than others. (Some have come from DAT, others from cassettes.) I've deliberately chosen a mix of material over several different years.

I can guarantee there will be things you've never heard - so keep checking back.

And that's it for now. But, fear not, the Advent Calendar should return on December 1st 2022.


Date Published Track Comments
6th January The World Is Lit By Lightning This version was recorded early on in the sessions for the second album. It might have 'escaped' all those years ago on the Palladium sessions bootleg - but here it is in much better quality.
5th January The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail Here's a version of 'Jackie' from a monitor mix tape from Guillaume Tell studios in Paris.
4th January Town To Be Blamed Another monitor mix from Raintown. Quite a bit shorter than what ended up on the album.
3rd January Wide World Away Here's a 'lost song' from the second album. It was performed live at the Cotton Club gig in October 1988, but this is the first time I've heard a studio recording.
2nd January Indigo Sky This is a full band version of the song. This was recorded in February 1992.
1st January My America This is quite an early demo of the track - probably some time in May 1988. The arrangement is quite interesting.
31st December The Further North You Go This is a song that was originally recorded for 'Sleeper.' This particular recording is from a DAT of tracks from Manor studios in May 92 - but it doesn't sound any different to the 'Sleeper' version, so I can't tell you whether it was produced by Jon Kelly or Steve Osborne.
30th December Closing Time Here is an early demo of Closing Time. It's from the same tape as Good.
29th December Cut Lip Another song that went through loads of changes, starting out initially as almost a country song, and then turning into this - before changing again for the album.
28th December From Midnight To High Noon This is a demo from September 1987. It's a track that originally was planned for the second album, and got played live a few times.
27th December A Brighter Star Than You Will Shine (Extended Mix) This was found on a DAT of master mixes for Fellow Hoodlums. I suspect this would have been on the 12" single.
26th December Mexico Rain Here's a track that was originally part of 'Sleeper' and was also one of the tracks still being worked on as the Whatever You Say sessions came to an end. This is quite an early recording - the lyrics are a little different in places.
25th December Peace & Jobs & Freedom I could write loads about this song. Suffice it to say, it was originally written and recorded alongside some of the B Sides for Fellow Hoodlums. It was the opening track on the lost album that Ricky refers to as Sleeper. And judging by the number of different mixes on the master DAT, it was earmarked as a single. This is nothing like the album version - this is much closer to the live versions from the Hoodlums tour.
24th December Suffering Suffering was one of the songs recorded with Jon Kelly for Raintown, that didn't make the album. It was recorded again later for a B Side, but this take captures the early live sound.
23rd December Good Officially, the band didn't demo the songs for Fellow Hoodlums before they started recording in Paris. However, here's a track from a 'rehearsal tape' in March 1990, where most of the album is taking shape. I like this track because it sounds very different to the released version.
22nd December Love and Regret This is a demo from Park Lane Studios in September 1987.
21st December Almost Beautiful Some of the songs from 'Whatever You Say, Say Nothing' went off in many different directions. Almost Beautiful is one of them. This recording happens to be a 'monitor mix' from February 1992. Some of the earliest demos sound like this, but there are also versions recorded in early 1992 that sound much closer to the track that got released as a B Side.
20th December Real Gone Kid This was marked the 'Overnight Mix' dated 5th May 1988.
19th December Bethlehem's Gate This is a mix of Bethlehem's Gate from the end of July 1992. While I can't be certain, I like to think that this was intended to be released as a single.
18th December The Very Thing I hesitate to call this a demo. The Very Thing had been demoed many times (including on the tape that lead to Deacon Blue being signed to CBS.) But, this is a piano and vocal recording from Air Studios in December 1986. Now what makes it very interesting is the very next song on the tape is the original demo of Circus Lights. (The version that eventually was released on the Queen Of The New Year single).
17th December Fellow Hoodlums This is a really early demo of Fellow Hoodlums. The tape was labelled as being from February 1989.
16th December Your Town This isn't quite the earliest known version of the track, but I'm going to stick my neck out, and suggest that this was the version that convinced the band that working with Steve Osborne and Paul Oakenfold was going to work. It's a monitor mix from March 1992.
15th December Cover From The Sky One of the highlights of the recent tour was the campfire version of Cover From the Sky, which reminded me of this track.
This particular recording was actually earmarked to be on the CD single. But then someone realised that if it was, the CD single would no longer be chart eligible. When I found it languishing on a DAT - I thought people might like to hear it
14th December Born In A Storm This comes from a tape containing 'monitor mixes' from January 1987. I like this, because it's a chance to hear the track fade out, rather than segueing into Raintown.
13th December Fergus Sings The Blues This comes from a tape from Dec 1988, when the final album is being mixed. It sounds quite different from what eventually got released.