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Saturday, 10 July 2010

ALTRES - TAYSIDE BAR - 1983


Dundee's electronic explorers, Altres, sparked into life in 1983.
The band in full back then was - Kevin L Guthrie - Jeremy Bryning - Brian Hutton - Maurice Richardson - Joe Donnelly - Mike Nelson.
Locally, they played venues such as the Tayside Bar, Mr Dees & Cloisters, and they also ventured outdoors sometimes performing at places like the City Square and Baxter Park.
I'm fairly sure when I saw them in Cloisters they had a slide show projector to accompany the music too, but the main thing about them was all that great gear they had - a multitude of synthesisers, drum machines and effects equipment, all adding up to a rather addictive sound.
Another thing I liked was that they played unfashionably lengthy tracks. This was around the time when tunes longer than 3 or 4 minutes were still generally frowned upon, an attitude harking back to the old punk days. So here were Altres pumping out half hour tracks, mesmerising the locals with their trippy synth sequencers and pulsating loop patterns!
The band also made a few recordings back then, however, in 1985 they decided to pull the plug out and Altres was switched off for good. Or so it seemed, until that is, they were regenerated back to life in 2003, and have been powering onwards ever since - gigs and recordings aplenty.
You can catch up with the band's history and present day pursuits in more detail on their site at
http://www.altres.co.uk/
The sound sample below is taken from Altres first ever gig which took place at the Tayside Bar on 23rd February 1983. The picture above shows some of the band's gear tucked away in the corner of the TB lounge. Only 4 members played on this one, Kevin, Joe, Brian & Maurice.
The piece, just called "Set 1", was semi improvised and lasted around 30 minutes, but this here is only an 8 minute snippet to give you a flavour of the original Altres in full flow!

Thanks to Kevin and the rest of the posse.

video

9 comments:

  1. The sad thing is Maurice and Jeremy aren't around these days. I miss them both.

    The Tayside Bar was fantastic for it's time and I remember going to loads of gigs at that time. Actually the first time I was ever there was to see Kevin's band (can't remember the name) in 1981 I think. Maybe '82. I seem to remember something about a Zoo. Kevin made Martin Rev sounds behind a Kirriemuir group.

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  2. great to hear again , you forget how much diverse talent there was in dundee in the early 80's !

    mike kane

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  3. anyone got any more info on early Dundee electronic acts? I rally enjoyed that clip. That Kirriemuir/Martin Rev-esque thing sounds fun..

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  4. Poor Jeremy. A genius of electronics and electronic music, been 10 years since he was reported missing :-(

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  5. Speaking of Jeremy, I included him by proxy in a film I was part of see http://www.hoolywoodproductions.com/dundee-street-poets.html

    click on Luna Films then "Float but not away"

    Vince P

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  6. Interesting film Vince. Spotted the Jeremy reference there. Did you realise that you posted the link above 11 years to the day that he disappeared?

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  7. Re Altres at Cloisters. There was a slide-show when the band played! and John Anderson did the live sound.
    Mr A

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  8. The band Kevin was in when he was in Kirriemuir was Sound F/X... they played the Tayside Bar in '82. Jock Ferguson featured then in issue 2 of the Voice. They were a 5 piece with James Cruickshanks (Keys/Gtr) Neil Young (Vox), Steve Gray (Gtr), Raymond Thomson (Bass) and Kevin L Guthrie (Synths/Gtr). They formed in Kirriemuir at Websters High School and played in and around the area. Kevin had a Wasp Synth and a SH101 which heavily influenced the sound, originally they had a drummer Iain Cameron and another Gtr Alan Thompson but both were replaced, one with a drum machine....

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  9. To hear the complete recording of this gig and for some more up-to-date tracks, visit the Altres Soundcloud page. More info at www.altres.co.uk.

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