Gigs · Music

Linden news

Stuart Ferguson with Joe McAlinden

Great to see Linden playing at Neu Reekie Summerhall the other week.

Although the range of entertainment at the evening (this was the 39th Neu Reekie) can be of variable quality, it’s good to see Kevin and Michael are regularly selling out at Summerhall.

The final musical section on 27 September was more than acceptable,  The Wellgreen opening for Linden and then playing bass and percussion with Joe.  Linden played four from Bleached Highlights, a version of The Boy Hairdressers’ “Golden Showers,” and a new song.

Joe told me afterward that a second Linden album is written and Edwyn Collins is ready to produce; he’s only waiting for The Wellgreen to be available so that he can go in and record.  Great news.


linden neu reekie edinburgh

Movies · Music

Serious Drugs – a film about BMX Bandits

Serious drugs BMX Bandits


On 12 December last year I attended the world premiere of Serious Drugs, Jim Burns’ film about the career of BMX Bandits. For the first and probably last time, I was able to personally greet both the director and subject of a film on the red carpet at its premiere – in truth though, rather than a red carpet, it was the pavement outside the Glasgow Film Theatre…

It was a fine film, a labour of love for Jim, who had been personally uplifted by the music of BMX Bandits at a low point in his life. With the co-operation of Duglas Stewart and a selection of current and past members of the band, he had made a low-budget film which only would have been possible with the shrewdest applications of modern digital technology. It took some years, but it was gratifying to see Jim and Duglas being able to take the plaudits from a “live” audience at the Q and A after the film was shown.

While unflinching in exploring the work methods and the motivations which have propelled the Bandits’ twenty-five year (and counting) career, it is also openly celebratory of the positive effects their work has had on many people throughout the world.

The only quibble I had was the absence of any mention of Joe McAlinden, an important member of the band for years as composer, instrumentalist and vocalist. There were a couple of still pictures of the band including him, but it was a bit weird that the co-writer and original singer on none other than the song “Serious Drugs” was written out of the history

The film has gone on to be shown at numerous film festivals and has been roundly praised.

Serious Drugs has just been released on a limited edition DVD which is available to buy here.

Gigs · Music


Linden at the Poetry Club Glasgow

I was delighted to get over to Glasgow last night for Linden’s show at The Poetry Club.

Linden is the new project from Joe McAlinden, who has been out of music for too long, essentially invisible since the demise of his last (excellent) band Superstar. I don’t know the reasons for that and it doesn’t really matter, because happily for us all, a penny must have dropped for Joe in the last year or so; it became important to him to make and share music again.

The Bleached Highlights album was the first fruit of the new work and was released during the summer; last night’s show was Joe’s first band performance in about ten years, playing Bleached Highlights from start to finish.

It was, as they say, a good vibe; and The Poetry Club, owned by artist Jim Lambie is a truly fine venue.

Linden’s next show is scheduled for 15 December; it’s literally a home game at Inver Cottage in Argyll, where Joe has run a restaurant for many years. Sadly, I won’t make it, but I think the water-wings might be off soon and Joe will be ready to tour a little…

Steam train in the Poetry Club Glasgow
Steam train feature in The Poetry Club