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Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub)

Norman Blake mainly plays with Teenage Fanclub but is also a member of Jonny and The New Mendicants. Look out for the new Fanclub album in early 2015.


Selected releases

  • Marcell Strong 'Mumble In My Ear'

    My friend Jason MacPhail from V-Twin turned me on to this song. There are many wonderful Fame singles but this one for me is the pièce de résistance of the entire catalogue. Marcell’s vocal histrionics are just incredible and the opening line “I’m as humble as a lamb” is perhaps the finest opening line to any song ever!

  • The Olympics 'Mine Exclusively'

    Fantastic high energy soul from The Olympics. We played some shows with Alex Chilton in the early nineties and were looking for some songs to cover. Alex brought this one along and we ended up recording a version of it with him and Jody Stephens. The man had impeccable taste in music. Whenever I hear this song I am reminded of the good times that we had together.

  • Mouse And The Traps 'Lie, Beg, Borrow And Steal'

    This song starts with someone playing a banjo in the style of a sitar (I guess they couldn’t get their hands on a real sitar) which then gives way to a killer guitar riff; a key element in any great garage tune (and this is one of those).  “Lie, beg, borrow and steal, well it’s the only way I know. Lie, beg, borrow and steal, if one don’t work then the other one will……awright!” Sing (screech) that, throw in a big fuzzy guitar solo and you’ve got my money any day of the week.


  • Dan Penn 'The Puppet aka I'm Your Puppet'

    This is Dan’s demo for the song “I’m Your Puppet” that he wrote with Spooner Oldham which went on to be a smash hit for James & Bobby Purify. Such a beautiful song. Dan’s vocal is a revelation. What a voice! He should really have been a star in his own right. But it wasn’t to be. At least we have this wonderful collection of his demo recordings.

  • Irma Thomas 'Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)'

    A dark brooding slab of deep soul “I feel so sorry for the ones who pity me, cos they just don’t know, no they don’t know what happiness or true love can be”. She is so deeply in love with him, even though he gives her the run around and is an asshole. this is one intense song. Another favourite of mine from the “Dave Godin’s Deep Soul Treasures vol. 1” album is ‘The Turning Point’ by Jimmy Holiday…….tune.

  • The Zombies 'Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)'

    “Odessey and Oracle” is one of my favourite records by one of my favourite bands. So many great songs to choose from, but I’ve picked this one. Me and Joe Pernice sometimes perform this live. Joe suggested that we do it. He describes it as one of the most powerful anti-war songs ever written. And it is. Unusual to find a song like this on a pop record, but it seems that you could do that kind of thing in the sixties.

    • Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)
  • John Fahey 'Daisy (aka A Bicycle Built For Two)'

    This is an outtake from the “Dance Of Death & Other Plantation Favourites” album. It’s an extra track on the CD. John Fahey was such a complex guy. It’s nice to hear him being playful. When I picked this album up I had to play this track over and over again. It’s such a sweet tune and for some reason this particular recording really resonates with me. At just over a minute long, my shortest selection.

  • Mighty Baby 'Egyptian Tomb'

    Formed by members of the great British mod band the Action, Mighty Baby embraced the psychedelia that was emanating from the US West Coast, and if you didn’t know, you would think that this album had been made there. The harmonies are reminiscent of Crosby, Stills & Nash and there’s a bit of a Byrds thing going on too. The song reminds me somewhat of ‘So You Want To Be A Rock’n’Roll Star’, which similarly features a trumpet line (Hugh Masekela). Have a listen and see what you think.

  • Little Milton 'We're Gonna Make It'

    This song makes me feel so good and never gets old to these ears. Wonderfully optimistic lyric and a fabulous vocal performance by Little Milton. A sentiment that I can really relate to. This is my mantra………….ha!

  • Etta James & Sugar Pie DeSanto 'Do I Make Myself Clear'

    I’m going to finish off with this great dance tune. A fantastic duet from two of the finest soul singers around. Writing this at 11am on a Sunday morning, I’m still minded to get up on my feet and throw some shapes around the room. Pure joy!