Rest and be Thankful, it’s Joe McAlinden

Linden is the latest musical project from songwriter, singer and ex Superstar, Joe McAlinden. This Thursday 27th August, Linden return to play The Poetry Club for the first time since the release of the critically acclaimed, and very lovely, Rest And be Thankful.

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Superstar were originally signed to Creation Records by Alan McGee in 1992 and, up until 2000, released around seven albums. Joe has written and collaborated with many people including Teenage Fanclub, Rod Stewart, Big Star/ Alex Chilton, The Boy Hairdressers, NOM, BMX Bandits, Matthew Sweet, Jim Lambie, Alan Warner, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and lots more.

Ahead of his show on Thursday we invited Joe to write about his memorable gigs in Glasgow, and now, for your pleasure…Joe… blogs…

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Photo credit: Murray McMillan

Back in 1985 my first gig in Glasgow was with Motherwell District Concert Band at a huge event called ‘Classical Aid’ – a nine hour series of concerts at the SECC in aid of the ‘Famine In Africa’ appeal – where I performed a saxophone solo which was broadcast live on BBC Scotland and reviewed in The Glasgow Herald by critic Michael Tumelty. I was still at school and looking to audition for a place at The Royal Academy of Music. Then, one Saturday morning on a train from Motherwell to Glasgow via Bellshill, I met a couple of friends and discovered rock and roll…

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The Boy Hairdressers

My first few gigs in real bands were at Splash One, which was on 46 West George Street, and the Third Eye Centre (now CCA) as a member of The Boy Hairdressers, BMX Bandits and part-time with The Soup Dragons. We didn’t know at the time but apparently this was a period now known as ‘C86’.

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002c6a26_mediumThe Soup Dragons

Eventually, though, I felt it was time for me to do my own thing, write my own songs and make my own records. So I formed a band called Superstar, signed to Creation Records and released an album in 1992 called Greatest Hits Volume One…

In celebration of this momentous occasion I decided to have an album launch party and on 1st of June 1992, “The Benedictine Monks proudly presents ‘Superstar & Very Special Friends (celebrating release of debut LP)’” took place at The Apollo, a small, sweaty venue on Renfrew Court. Speculation grew and rumours flew as to who/what might be afoot.

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So, for those of you who missed out on a night described by Melody Maker as “the most significant show of solidarity these poor hinterlands have seen since the days of Postcard” let me fill you in…

Six bands performed on the night – BMX Bandits, The Boy Hairdressers, Superstar, Captain America, The Soup Dragons and Teenage Fanclub – all performing cover versions (who did what? – can’t remember!!) except my very own Superstar who played the new album in it’s entirety (all six songs, maybe more – can’t remember!!).

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To add to the mix, another record label who, at the time, was trying to poach Superstar from Creation Records turned up bearing bags and bags of bottles of Buckfast which was duly passed around between bands and audience members until the bitter end (can’t remember!!). Tonic euphoria ensued and apparently I spent the remainder of the night throwing LP’s in to the audience and crying on anyone’s shoulder who’d have me (can’t remember!!)… Tears!

The only dream I had when I started playing in bands back then was that one day I might get to play at Barrowlands. Despite having been fortunate enough to achieve this on more than one occasion, my glory night at The Apollo remains the most memorable gig I have ever played in Glasgow…

Now if only I could remember what the hell actually happened!!

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Linden play The Poetry Club on Thursday 27th August.

Rest and be Thankful is available from AED Records.

_Linden Live

August 27 | The Poetry Club, Glasgow.
August 28 | Strathlachlan Community Centre, Argyll.
August 29 | An Tobar, Mull.
August 30 | Albany Theatre, Greenock
Sept 9 | BBC The Quay Sessions | Tickets available from BBC website

Rest and be Thankful reviews

• ‘Gently uplifting sunshine pop’ 4/5 stars – The Guardian.
• ‘Sparklingly soulful… as welcome as the first true summer’s day in Argyll’ 4/5 stars – Q Magazine.
• ‘A record with beauty and sense of emotional elevation to match the place where it was made’ 4/5 stars – Mojo Magazine.
• ‘The British Isles may contain no finer purveyor of sunshine pop than Joe McAlinden’ – Alexis Petridis The Guardian.
• ‘More melodic hooks than you might find in an album twice it’s length’ – Sunday Herald.
• ‘Single of the Week’ – BBC Radio Scotland Janice Forsyth Show.
• ‘Album of Note’ – BBC Radio Scotland Roddy Hart Show.