Kevin Buckle: Flippin’ good bounce down memory lane

The picture of the two boys wearing astronaut suits and playing with their space hoppers proved popular
The picture of the two boys wearing astronaut suits and playing with their space hoppers proved popular
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Often when I post a picture on Twitter I know it’s going to be popular either because it’s one I know few people will have seen before or it is just very funny. I’m not always right and some certainties somehow miss the mark while others I consider to be no more than of casual interest fly around the world twice in 24 hours.

A picture that may have been popular previously may, when posted again, reach a new bunch of followers who make it even more popular. This happened last week when a pic titled “Boys with astronaut costumes and spacehoppers Glasgow 1970” clearly hit a chord. Currently standing at 101 retweets and 226 likes it may not qualify as viral but certainly it was enjoyed by many.

Music celebrities reminisced about Flip in Glasgow's Bath Street

Music celebrities reminisced about Flip in Glasgow's Bath Street

I’d spotted the picture via a @YoorWullie tweet, an account well worth following, but wanting to use it in the paper thought I’d better look into it further. Luckily I quickly found it in the archives of The Scotsman.

The full title was “Little boys show off their Christmas presents, including astronaut suits and Space Hoppers, in Crown Street in the Gorbals area of Glasgow in December 1970”. It is a great picture and really captures a time before such kids would be most likely to be seen looking at their smartphones.

Sometimes I think there is a little too much nostalgia but in this case memories of those times for many of us are very valid. The picture had followed another the day before that had garnered almost as much attention on Twitter and became huge on Facebook and featured a place those boys may well have visited as they grew up.

I’d captioned the post “Flip Clothing, Queen Street, Glasgow” though it soon became apparent that it was actually the later Flip in Bath Street. This time the pic came via @ScotsPostPunk so it should not have been a great surprise that we quickly had a few music celebrities reminiscing about the place. Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand tweeted to say he had worked there, as did Joe McAlinden, possibly a BMX Bandit at the time, and then Mick Cooke who played trumpet in Belle and Sebastian for many years commented he had bought his shirts there.

Very quickly dozens of people were fondly remembering items of clothing and footwear both on Twitter and Facebook! 46 retweets and 205 likes put Flip a little behind the Space Hopper boys but it came into its own on Facebook with over 25,000 people reached, 50 shares, 70 comments and approaching 500 likes/loves/sad. Again not viral by world standards but impressive none the less and it is still going! I’ve put a lot of work into the Scottish Pop Music Exhibition Centre and I’ve no doubts it will be hugely popular but now I’m thinking a classic Americana clothing shop selling space hoppers and astronaut suits might just be even more popular.
You can read Facebook comments for Flip at

Never mind the 40th birthday, here’s Nick Cave

As the Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat album so rightly reminds us “Everything’s Getting Older”. Announced this week was the 40th anniversary box set for the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks, which has miraculously been stretched out to four CDs and a DVD and has an appropriate price tag.

Of course 40 years ago such a thing would have been unthinkable and it has taken the concept of flogging a dead horse to the extreme. I can remember when even a simple picture disc version of the album had fans aghast and of course since then there has been the obligatory Record Store Day versions as well.

When albums were reissued on CD with the b-sides of singles added on the end it did no harm at all as you could listen to the album and then choose whether to listen to the tracks at the end, but first we had deluxe versions of old albums, then new albums having deluxe versions and now box sets in which a single album is expanded to several discs. The Smiths’ Queen Is Dead is another good recent example which even manages a vinyl box set. Cash from chaos indeed!

This week was also a milestone for Avalanche favourite Nick Cave as he celebrated his 60th birthday.

Avalanche was in fact named after Nick’s cover of the Leonard Cohen song and as Mr Cohen proved there is no age limit to looking cool and writing great songs. I trust he had a great birthday party.

Tweet is murder for Morrissey

Morrissey is now officially on Twitter with the appropriately named @officialmoz, though clearly it is just being run by his record company to promote his new album so we can expect no Donald Trump-like explosive tweets.

Oddly after his recent claims of being discriminated against by HMV his account links to Amazon and HMV but not indies. Surely Morrissey should be writing a song railing against Amazon’s working practices, not linking to them.

I did however have a cartoon all ready to go from the very talented @Jersy_Milk_Cow who sadly no longer tweets his cartoons but had some time ago imagined what would happen if Moz was on Twitter: “Haven’t had a retweet in a long time …”