Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Desert Island Discs 16 Sugar and Spite by Unkle Bob

16 Sugar and Spite by Unkle Bob 2006

From now on the 80s are going to dominate , mainly as I struggle to find stuff that has the same emotional punch as the stuff so closely linked to memories and "first times". However every now and then something comes along out of the blue.

Linked to the last post in that the debut lp was partly produced by Saul Davies of James.

First of all came the melt in the mouth single

I'm not sure if it was the longing in "wish you were mine" or the ache in "say that you want me" or the sweet harmony backing vocals or the acoustic strum , or the catchy middle 8 but it had me hooked and became one of those songs that I just kept hitting repeat on.

The rest of the lp sticks to this template

The same combination of close harmonies and sweeping melodies means that the lp is crammed with should have been singles let alone should have been hits

Too Many People - Unkle Bob

Among the catchy songs are ballads that hide an emotional punch in the sweet vocals.

You can get the best debut lp for a long time here

The second lp was a little harder in sound but another cracker. The band have split up but lead singer and song writer has recently started to record again using the Unkle Bob name - you can get 4 excellent new tracks here


  1. Hit Parade is brilliant, and I like Swans, Hold It Down and a couple of other tunes. Always remind me of Shack/Travis/Reindeer Section. Good album, but didn't quite make my my list.


    Although they're apparently Scotland's best kept secret, I think we all know and love this band. Don't we??? We're @ #16, I'm surprised they haven't appeared on anyone's list yet!

    Picking a Pearlies favorite has been maddening. I've flip-flopped all over the place. Narrowed it down to Sky Meadows, Tall Poppies & Up With The Larks. At first I was sure it would be Sky Meadows, which blasts out of the gate with five of my favorite Davey Scott tunes. Then it was their wonderful Marina debut Tall Poppies. But Milky Way is fine too! Crap!!! I ended up listening to all of 'em twice today and finally going with their latest Up With The Larks. Perfect choice... for today!


  2. Great news! In Cassidy's Care arrived today. Played it through 3 times... classic Miracle Mile!!! Congrats & thanks Trev & Marcus - She's a real beauty!

  3. Glad that they arrived safely Tim; a few have gone AWOL.
    Up With the Larks my favourite Pearlfishers too.
    Odd that I couldn't find space for them. See also Red House Painters. I'm listening to their 'Retrospective' compilation now. If they catch you on the right day they are just perfect songs. Otherwise miserable and samey. Today: just perfect.
    I didn't realize that I stole 'I Love You, Goodbye' as a title from Thomas Dolby. I'm definitely claiming 'Sugar and Spite' as mine; beating Unkle Bob by over ten years, although I did manage to mis spell 'Suger' on the art work. Thank god for spell check. As for the album; I have it but need to readdress it to understand David's rave. I'll be doing that once I've cracked the 'James' conundrum... You guys are stealing my life!

  4. I'm not sure why I like this one so much.
    I'm with Trev I love the Pearlfishers (right from 3 early eps I picked up in a record store in Dundee) and when I first got it I play debut lp za zas garden non stop. I'm a bit perplexed why they aren't in my list. I'm with you both on Up with the Larks being the best

  5. I'm a bit behind re CC - just ordered it from the mm website!

  6. You both deserve a whoopin' for overlooking the Pearlies!!! I'm even more shocked at this than Phil's omission of Lloyd! I was so sure that I woulda bet my left nut on it. So much for my gift of ESP...

  7. I bought this album after you featured them a couple of years ago.There's not a track on it that I don't like,but didn't make my list ,I think, because there's not one truly great song on it.
    I've had their ep 'Letters' for a month or so and it's a real grower.Again 4 excellent tracks
    Tim, your ESP is in working order......
    #16 The Pearlfishers - The Strange Underworld Of The Tall Poppies
    OK, not the same album, but bloody hell same band in same posistion.
    Although I really love all of Davey Scotts output there was never any doubt that this wouldn't be on my chart. There's the sweet harmonies we've come to expect but this also has a bit of Scottish grit. The female narrative on 'Cherry Sky' is unlike anything he's done since. Boasts a couple of great singles' Even on a Sunday afternoon' and 'Banana sandwich', which are worth buying for their strong b-sides (Try the rip-roaring live version of 'Snowbird').
    For what it's worth 'Sky Meadows' is a close second ( My album of the year for 2003) and 'Up with the larks' third, so same top 3 as Tim


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