Superstar Palm Tree

Past Night From Glasgow
9th December 2022

Format Info

2LP - Yellow Vinyl
Trranslucent Yellow Vinyl DLP. Signed copies.

Ambitious, melodic and complex, Palm Tree is ripe for rediscovery. On translucent yellow vinyl. Signed copies.

A record that somehow didn’t find its place at the time, so good to see this one coming back round. Joe McAlinden’s Superstar seemed like they would go all the way – they had the tunes and were a vibey live group with a strong Teenage Fanclub association.

“This is the kind of music you make when your Dad was Head of the music department at the biggest Catholic school in Europe, and you love Oscar Peterson, River Song by Dennis Wilson, and Elgar; the kind of music you make when you sang in the choir as a kid, play guitar, piano and bass – are classically trained in violin, but don’t know the names of certain Fender Telecaster chords when you strum them out; but that doesn’t stop all these nameless chords appearing, like the violaceous swoon of Life Is Elsewhere, the chordal journey of The Teacher. Even jazz voicings are appearing here and there.

This is the kind of music that puts the fear of death in more timid bands, show-offs dedicated to obediently following fashions. This is the kind of music you make when you don’t follow fashion, and your chromesthesia perceives music not as colours, or even shapes, but you feel textures; certain chords are a grainy-wood-feel, others, raspy concrete. This is the kind of music you make when your guitar player comes in from The Soup Dragons and goes to Mark Lanegan, was suspicious of Larry Coryell, but could play anything in between. So, you have this glorious vertigo guitar all through this music.

This is the kind of music you make when you have a nice drum sound from a guy with a sweet, quick foot, and a harmonic bass player who arrived by ferry, and was once in Hutchison Crossway, (the cult, hip Campbeltown jazz funk band with their rare recordings and surprising support slots). This is the kind of music you make when you live by a long loch with a recording studio, great songs just pour out of you, year after year and always will: abstract electronic, hip-hoppish loops, melodic pop.

This is the kind of music you make when you just sit at the piano and play for two hours, till the room is dark and you can’t see the keyboard anymore, but it doesn’t stop him, and he plays on in that dark. This is the kind of music a quiet genius makes – and I always thought that.”.

Alan Warner 2022