Just Another Manic Monday

Well that title’s not entirely true as it’s 1:36 and I am still under the duvet penning these words. Also it’s Memorial Day – so not entirely your ordinary “Manic Monday”. But the week has certainly been a bit all over the place – in every sense of the phrase!


Rockvale Guest House, Isle of Tiree Scotland. Thea Newcomb May 2015
The cray-cray (that’s youth speak for crazy, I think?) – started off last Monday at this time when I was checking into the Rockvale Guest House on the Isle of Tiree. I flew out there for forty-eight hours consultancy work with a fantastic firm called Blackhouse Watersports. They’re an adventure business that teaches surfing (both regular and kite), rents kayaks and bikes, and from this weekend they’re having a Yoga Surf retreat.

There will be a full dedicated blog written about them, the island’s many beaches (see my Life’s a Beach – in Tiree series of photos here) and my overall experience of Tiree, but not today…Suffice it to say there are some days I truly love my job – that job was definitely one of them.


Back to the mainland Wednesday and off to Hillington to teach a Twitter course. Of all the course I do, Twitter can be the most challenging as it can be like learning a new language and some people are simply more adept at “getting it” it seems. It’s the one course that tends to give me polarising feedback. I’ve had some of my BEST and WORST feedback of the Twitter course from people in the same room! It can be hard to strike the right balance.

In any event, I can’t really complain about the feedback for the session, as it was pretty good…which is always a bonus. Plus it was fabulous to see the delegates go home and be tweeting each other (and me) all weekend long! Result!

Thursday night it was off to Celtic Music Radio to get ready for Sunday’s show which needed to be recorded in advance as I was hosting Forever Young @Mcphabbs – an 80s night. Radio is an absolute joy. It’s the one thing I can always do and lose myself completely in it. You might say it’s my bliss though each show far at CMR has had its challenges but more on that in a minute.

Ideal Home Show Scotland

Philip Raskin founder of Philip Raskin PlantersOne of my new clients was launching his product at the SECC at the Ideal Home show. I decided to go along to support him but also to get some images etc that can be used on Social going forward. The actual “doing” of social media for clients is a rare thing these days as I prefer to train other people how to do it themselves but I decided to take on this particular client for a few reasons. First of all – I loved the product. It’s one that is both simple and versatile. Secondly it’s good for me to test out what I am training other people to do so I have actual case studies and I can show as examples of things that worked or didn’t.


CMR Bird, the other one in the studioThis week was a special “cover versions” radio show of all Scottish tracks (just about) – sometimes Scottish bands doing tracks from elsewhere and sometimes people from elsewhere doing Scottish band’s tracks…but as I was a bit short of time – I ended up throwing in some Irish people into the mix. It’s been a long time since I pre-recorded a show and another thing that made it very challenging was that there was actually a stressed out bird trapped in the paneling behind me. The poor thing was freaking out something awful. We never managed to get it out so the two of us just did my show together and you could hear periodically weighing in on tracks in the background. I suspect s/he had some good taste as it seemed to be dancing around to a few of the tracks. You can catch 30 days of Celtic Music Radio programmes here if you fancy hearing mine or anyone else’s…

Forever Young @ Mcphabbs

Forever Young @ Mcphabbs - Collage of fun

After the radio show was done and dusted, it was a mad dash home to finish the playlist for my first eighties night in Glasgow in many years. It’s always challenging running events…and wondering if anyone will actually show. What was worse is well-meaning people kept messaging me all day long saying they weren’t coming which only served to stress me out even more than I already was!  Show or don’t show – there’s not need to tell me! It’s all fine. And it was fine on the night. It was definitely a case of quality over quantity for the two dozen folk (or so) – but for those that showed, they really seemed to enjoy themselves which is the main thing.

Happy Memorial Day 2015

That brings us today which has been spent going through photos, making collages, posting on social media, and blogging (it started at this afternoon and it’s now nearly half-nine but no it’s not taken me that long to write this)…so much for taking a day off (which was my intention).

Forever Young @ McPhabbs – 24 May

Hey 80s Music Lovers in Glasgow

Hey folks – so  we’re just about two weeks away from my next 80s music night at McPhabbs.

Well I say “next” – but really it’s my first one at McPhabbs in Glasgow Scotland, I’ve done several others at places in Glasgow, like the Admiral Bar, and some place on the far corner of George Square, but this time it’s McPhabbs. I’m taking over the pub – upstairs and down.

Come along to Forever Young at McPhabbs

There will be nibbles. There will be some classic 80s tracks from New Romantic, Rock, Pop, Synth, Goth, and so forth bands.

Music to make you go “Yah”. Thoughout the night, I’ll take you on a musical journey to a time of shoulder pads, big hair, leg warmers day-glo too.

You can dig those things out again, or just come as you are,…”fancy dress” is optional. I’ve no idea what to wear myself. If only I had a “Frankie Says” tee-shirt. I don’t own a raw-raw skirt.

Forever Young

Why not share our namesake and get you in the mood for the evening!

What classic 80s song would make your night? Answer in the comments below.

Please RSVP your interest in attending over on McpHabb’s Facebook Event Page. Thanks!! Be there or be square 🙂

My Big Week – #29Social and a Return to Radio

Well this is a big week for me. Frankly I am actually a little overwhelmed but in a good way, I guess. You see in 48 (and a bit) hours, #29Social will be kicking off at 29 Private Members Club in Glasgow. It’s a night of social networking, short talks, a few drinks and nibbles. It’s third one I’ve run but the last one was 18 or more months ago. There have already been around 50 who have RSVPd where they are supposed to. There are more than 80 who say they’re coming on 29’s Facebook Event page.


The last ones were fabulous and I am sure this one will be even bigger and better.

Forever Young @Mcphabbs

Also this week, I’ve started to promote the 80s music night that I am hosting at McPhabbs next month. Bank Holiday Sunday – 24/5. We’ll be playing all kinds of cool, 80s bands (and yes there were some…many actually)

Have been asking people on Social Media to share their favourite track from the decadent decade! If you are in Glasgow or within traveling distances please feel free to pop along and simply click the image to RSVP over on Facebook. If you have a fave 80s track feel free to comment below and I’ll see if I can play it on the night!


Return to Radio

Yippeee! It’s true! I’m back! I did a big ole blog about my radio show over on Linkedin yesterday, so I don’t want to rehash what I said over there. Suffice it to say, I am back on air from this Sunday night at 8pm. I’ll be playing all kinds of music from Scotland and in Scotland. In other words, my favourite Scottish tracks and any relevant acts who may be coming to Scotland to play live. That keeps it pretty broad. And though it’s on Celtic Music Radio there will be little, if any, “traditional music” on my show. I’ll be saving that for actual Scots!

Music of Scotland - Thea on Celtic Music Radio in Glasgow

I haven’t had time to really focus on a playlist but can tell you I am considering tracks from the new Gun record and Admiral Fallow too. The rest will remain to be seen…Any suggestions on Scottish tracks for my show? Place them in the comments below.

Still doing the #5x50Chal too…Yesterday was a 40-min run (a best for this challenge) and today a walk before the sleet arrived. Feeling pretty good over all. Hope you are too!

#RSD15 – It’s International Record Store Day

Well Saturday has come and gone far too fast. I spent the first  half of my day immersed in a sea of 7-inch singles. It was like a long, stroll down memory lane. There were a lot of records there in the pile that I don’t even remember getting. Others of course had a story and so I did.

International Record Store Day - my 7" singles

I ended up penning a pulse post over on Linkedin about it – which is, arguably, not the place for it, but I figured 1) it’s Saturday 2) it talked a bit about my musical working life and 3) it’s Record Store Day after all.

If anyone doesn’t like it, I guess they can either ignore it or they can remove me as a connection.

Anyway, after I penned the post I headed out to Paisley to see some live bands in Apollo Music. Bainy, Lemonhaze and The Scarlets. They were all pretty good.

There is just something about being in a record store that makes me feel “at home”. It’s fabulous really, except I can’t help but straighten and organize the records due to my “past life” working in Tower Records (in the 80s).

Speaking of my best job ever, I really can’t wait to see this film about that record store chain. The film’s being made by Tom Hank’s son Colin.

There were a lot of CDs in Apollo today that I’d like to have bought, but I’ve banned myself from buying any more physical products, for now. There are too many in my home already.

So instead I mostly just spent the day playing music. Mostly old music. On the way to Paisley was an old school funk, rap and R&B type CD. While organizing the records I played KFOG (a San Francisco radio station – my fave in the world). On the way home from the movies tonight I listened to BBC Radio 2 – an 80s show. There was an interview with Steve Levine talking about a chart topping Culture Club record he produced and then we heard Strawberry Switchblade with their words echoing in my brain ever since…

“it’s so clear that all we have now are our thoughts of yesterday.” Sometimes it sure feels that way.

PS: I’m hosting an 80s music night at McPhabbs in Glasgow 24/5. More info on that very soon.

FLASHBACK: A 1983 Dance Party on a Saturday Night

Well you know how it is,…You have something really important that you need to do — maybe write a report, prepare a presentation, update your mileage document for your accountant, invoice a client,…but instead you go onto YouTube. Big mistake. This is my story of what happened a short time ago…


When I should’ve been working on my Linkedin talk for next week’s New Start Scotland Exhibition, I decided to look up a track “Runaway” by an obscure band 1,2,3. Unless you’re of a certain age, and grew up on watching MV3 every night at 5pm, you probably don’t know it. In fact, even if you did those things, you still probably wouldn’t know it. But someone out there did, thankfully, and uploaded this sort of random, mismatched video to YouTube which I happily watched.

Playing this tonight, while making dinner, was like reconnecting with “an old friend” – thirty years later…It was nostalgic, comforting, familiar and a happy memory of a simpler time. Back to a time when I used to go dancing every weekend at Mothers in San Jose or Stargaze in Fremont. A time when every day was spent listening to the Quake (KQAK).

I thought this was effectively a nobody-band, but thanks to Wikipedia, I just learned a lot…Like the fact that it was produced and recorded by Bobby Orlando. Not a name I recognized at first, but boy do I know his work...”West End Girls” anyone? Or how about the Flirts “Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime)” (on the Valley Girl OST incidentally). I am happy to report I’ve got this 12″ single back in California in my dusty vinyl collection. (You may be too young to understand what that actually is, and if you are, I feel bad for you right now young’un).


Well, once I heard that 1,2,3 track, then I decided to try to find some other random gems from circa 1983…and found this one! Some more fond memories of dancing around to this one back in the day (and again earlier this evening) followed.

Once again I’ve just learned that Language was a band centered around a Glaswegian Steve Hale. (Isn’t the Web an amazing thing?) Who knew?

Anyway I still, to this day, have this 12″ single in back in California too…

So after those two crackin’ tracks, I wondered where else to go on my magical musical tour of 1983, and next it had to be this German track with, yet another, Scottish connection…

Robert Görl – “Darling Don’t Leave Me” featured none other than Annie Lennox on backing vocals. What an absolute sublime song (and video for that matter) this is!

Incidentally, I can’t remember if I have the 12″, but I definitely have the whole album from ole Robert…

What next? Well, I had to search for Debbie Deb. At that point, I had to make a tough decision – namely to choose When I Hear Music” or “Lookout Weekend” – both were fantastic tracks. Debbie Deb’s story on WikiP did make me a little sad, to be honest, as I think she should be a millionaire for those two tracks alone.

As it’s the weekend we’ll go with that one, besides the video (though not “official”) is kinda fun in an ‘Electric Boogaloo’ sort of way. Not sure why it’s only two minutes of the track, and cuts off in an excruciating fashion (maybe that’s all the kid had to do for his assignment), but it’s a belter none-the-less.

So I have another five videos stored in my Spundge 80s Dance Party notebook, ready to throw out into the mix, but too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing.

Maybe I can continue with another five videos next weekend….We’ll see.

In any event, I will leave you with one more random synth-tastic track…Blue Zoo (Blue who?).

Wow that was so good to hear that one again, and their other one that I’d totally forgotten about – “Love Moves in Strange Ways” (and it does). That song used to end up on my 80s compilations a lot. Well, now that I am having some serious flashbacks from this dance down memory lane, I’d better call it day, or rather a night…


Book Cover - Essential 80s Pop TriviaSo if you’re from that era, and love your 80s music (or you know someone who is and does) – I’ve got a few (hundred) copies of my 80s music trivia book for sale for 6.00 GBP (Appx $10.00 – FREE SHIPPING). Written exactly 15 years ago now, they gotta be collector’s items at this point, and they might be a good Christmas gift for the music freak in your life.

Until next time, “I’m Thea, saying see ya…” 🙂


  1. “Language – Touch The Radio Dance 1983” · inmotion68 · Oct. 24, 2008 · YouTube
  2. “Blue Zoo – Cry Boy Cry” · flemwad · May 10, 2007 · YouTube
  3. “ONE TWO THREE ..Runaway [FAN VIDEO]” · bobbyovstheflirts · Sept. 25, 2012 · YouTube
  4. “Robert Goerl – Darling Don’t Leave Me” · bgfoto · June 20, 2008 · YouTube
  5. “Look out weekend” · sethmisek · Aug. 29, 2006 · YouTube