Friday, 26 September 2008


This is how Lyon Street looked back in the 1980's. A typical Dundee street that you would pass without giving it a second glance.
In the early 80's, however, something was brewing at number 39.
A wee social gathering of creative musicians were busy producing acts who would go on to record some classy alternative pop music. This is where Billy Mackenzie & Alan Rankine of The Associates were living back then, along with a few others. In amongst the others were Christine Beveridge & Steve Reid who went on to record as Orbidoig, releasing a couple of singles.
A cross-pollination of The Associates & Orbidoig then created a 3rd act called... 39 Lyon Street. They too released a single - "Kites" - which was a cover of the Simon Dupree hit from the psychedelic 60's.
The article under the photo is the band getting a debut mention in an NME dated June 1981.
Below, is rare footage of Billy singing an acoustic version of "Kites" on French TV.
The original vhs tape was a bit mashed, but it's well worth watching anyway.


  1. I lived at 49 Lyon Street when i was at art college around 1972.It was a top floor flat on the corner of Brown Constable st.Opposite was a corner shop called H.Islam.I think it's further along the street than this shop in the photo.This was at the time of a miner's strike and there were regular black-outs.We had nicked a road lamp and used it to make our way up the stairs in the pitch dark.

    1. I'm living in your exact old flat right now.! Top floor. Corner shop still there. Close lights still not working haha. Maybe not much changed after all! I'm maybe sitting in the same spot u did all those years ago. Funny that.

  2. Any chance that pictures of Dundee in the 90's can start being put up now too??

  3. Strange how time passes by.....I lived at 22, Erskine Street - this branches north from about 1/3rd way along Lyon Street. The 80's picture looks so run down but after the first block above the freezer shop, these flats had only just been done up in about 1982 (probably just after Bill & Alan moved on) and they were renovated again (for students) about four years ago again. I used to have a photograph of this immense 60's/70's wallpaper (Psychedelic man) which I passed most days during the renovations.
    Broadway Bar still there - was always a bit of a working man's pub - not so much for us youngsters!