Sunday, 31 May 2009


Here's Susan Childe & The Flamingos doing the biz live on stage at their Mains of Claverhouse gig and as you can see, getting the locals up on their feet!
From the mid 70's onwards, SC&TF introduced various members into the band, changing the line-up as they evolved. Some of the musicians were - Lemont Sylvester - Calvert Ward - Jerry Bartholomew - Hugh Paul - Sandy Robertson - Rusty - Alan McKay - Ronnie Jack plus one or two others.
Although the band were locally based, playing various venues in and around Dundee, they also often went further afield touring all over the UK.
Their material was mostly popular chart hits with the emphasis on party vibes for the dancefloor. So they'd do lively performances of upbeat songs like "Young Hearts Run Free" & "Jimmy Mack" and then occasionally slow the pace down a bit with a tune such as "Misty Blue" to get everyone in a smoochie mood!!

Thanx to Yvonne.

Saturday, 30 May 2009


This promo shot of Susan Childe & The Flamingos was taken at the Barracuda, sometime before the disco first opened for business, so would be around 1975/76.
The Flamingos go further back than that though, to at least the very early 70's when they were known as Ray King & The Flamingos, and who originated from the West Indies. The line-up back then consisted of - Ray & Shirley King - Cleveland Walker - Lloyd Owen Wisdom - Howard "Bongo" McLeod - Calvert Ward & Jerry Bartholomew.
Dundee's Susan Childe got in on the act in 1972 when on a life-changing visit to the JM Ballroom to see the band play. On this particular night, singer Shirley King had to sit it out because she had a sore throat, so Ray King shouted out to the JM crowd asking if anyone wanted to get on stage to sing with the band - up stepped Susan Childe, who went on to perform "Puppy Love". After the show Ray asked Susan where she worked - which was Timex. That then lead to Ray visiting the factory a few days later to see her and ask if she fancied joining the band full time. Needless to say the answer was "YES" and so Susan clocked-out there & then and said ta ta to Timex!
After a couple of years, Susan left the band for a short while to live in London, and when she came back to rejoin the band in 1975, The Flamingos had split, with one half going on to form funk band, Rokotto. So the new band formation was now called Susan Childe & The Flamingos, as in the promo photo.

Big thanks to Yvonne.

Friday, 29 May 2009


Cute on the outside - kitsch on the inside!
It's Cactusville, in Castle Street.
It sure was shiny, what with all those mirrors and all that chrome - but on reflection, this, along with the bright green seating, was quite trendy back then.
You may remember the name Cactusville was the hometown of Desperate Dan in the Dandy.
Can't remember the pub selling cow pie at lunchtime mind you!!
All pics were taken in 1982.

Photos by DC Thompson.

Thursday, 28 May 2009


At 26 Reform Street there was Andrew G Kidd, the bakers, and connected to it at 26a was the Cairngorm Restaurant.
What I can remember about the interior was that it had huge images of the Scottish Highlands on the walls. Not paintings or murals but actual real photos the full length. The above picture is just a wee mock-up I did to give an impression of what I mean.
I'm not sure now if you went downstairs to it, or if it was just partitioned off from the bakery area on ground level. I also had in mind it was only a cafe but it is listed as a restaurant.
And the bakers were contenders for the "best custard slices in town" in my opinion!


Made in Scotland, Lucky Tatties were a prized sweet for us kids back in the 60's. They were quite a size, solid white fondant covered in cinnamon powder. A bit more expensive than your average penny tray items, around threepence each, which meant you could be faced with a bit of a dilemma - do you buy 3 items from the penny tray or 1 Lucky Tattie?! What swayed the occasional Lucky Tattie purchase was that they had wee charms inside, usually a plastic animal or something like that, so they would be a long lasting sweet with a small reward for your efforts!
My local sweet shop/newsagent, Stan's, sold them back then but I doubt if you'll be able to find them in your corner shop nowadays. I don't know when shops stopped selling them, but I can't recall ever buying any in the 70's, or anytime after. The good news is that there are specialist shops on the net you can buy them from, although they don't make them with the charms anymore.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Sometimes, what was on the outside of your school jotter was more interesting than the content inside.
We used to scribble our favourite pop groups and football teams in various styles. I can recall 3 lettering styles in particular we used in the late 60's at primary.
The top one has balloon-like letters, each one slightly hidden behind the next. They were often used in hippie designs such as albums & badges, or crop up in pop magazines like Fabulous 208.
The middle style needed a bit of working out. You started with blank squares - 6 in this example - then you'd fill them in using just a simple straight line to represent the gaps in letters. Some letters were pretty tricky to do though - T, P & Q - I didn't like them! This grid system was also used as a puzzle in some comics, like in Beano's "Teaser Time".
The bottom technique with the words bursting out from infinity, was seen in pop graphics too, such as The Beatles "Help" poster and a more psychedelic version in the Magical Mystery Tour film.
As for remembering the stuff inside the jotters - DUHHH!!!!!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


This piece of work is by the AUA (Ardler United Artists).
The fact that it's part of a Kingsway flyover means it would be a pretty tough venue to get this done, having to avoid the volume of passing traffic. A couple of night-time commando raids needed to accomplish it no doubt!
The graffiti was put down around 1984/85, but after all that effort, in the end, the artist got busted for it!
Big thanks to Lyken.


Still up at the Kingsway flyover - mid 80's - and the Ardler United Artists with Fox On The Run.
"Scarper, it's Vixen of Dock Green!" (an old school joke!)
Thanx to Lyken.

Monday, 25 May 2009


Bloomers nightclub opened its doors in early '79, following on from its short-lived predecessor, Samantha's, in South Tay Street.
Although it was a disco in the main, it also hosted a decent batch of gigs in 1979 when punk & new wave music were coming on strong.
Examples of some acts who have performed there are - The Scars, Valves, Monos, Skids, Shake, UK Subs, Radio Stars, Pallas, etc.
Other bands who have played there are the 3 mentioned in the items above, who cropped up in fanzines in summer '79.
July saw local outfit, The Visitors, perform. Unfortunately, although the band got a good review, the guy who came through from Edinburgh to see them was a bit disappointed with the Dundee crowd!
Also in July, Glasgow act, Zones, visited Bloomers. They had done a couple of radio sessions on John Peel's show by this time and had released singles too.
August then had London Zoo play there. They were an English band who were signed to Scottish record label, Zoom. They were on the same bill as Angelic Upstarts for this gig.
The demise of Bloomers as a club and venue came in Feb 1980, when the place was destroyed by a fire!

Sunday, 24 May 2009


I was raking through an old NME from September 1979 and spotted this Revillos ad. It has their tour schedule for that month, and in it, it has them playing at Dundee - Technical College (Bowling Alley) on 28th September 79. The reason I've put it on view is because in my earlier item about the Bowling Alley (see Feb 09 Archives) there was a bit of confusion in the comments as to whether it was The Revillos (with a V) or The Rezillos (with a Z) who made an appearance there, with the resulting opinion being that it was The Rezillos. Putting 2 & 2 together, I would suspect now that they have probably been at the Bowling Alley in both of their name formats.

Saturday, 23 May 2009


38 years ago today, The Who were blasting out their sound live on stage at the Caird Hall.
I would only be 13 around this time so still a bit on the young side to attend this gig.
I did manage to catch them live a few years later in 1976 over in Glasgow at Parkhead.
One quirky connection The Who has with Dundee is that in the mid 60's, Dundee gang - SHIMMY - named themselves after The Who track "Shout and Shimmy". The gang even managed to get Roger Daltrey to shout "Shimmy Rule" over the mic at a gig in Perth they went to! This was when they were Mods, The Who being one of the few bands who have been both Mods and Rockers!

Friday, 22 May 2009


This is Dundee drummer, John Lunan, in action at the groovy looking Fairmuir Social Club in the 70's.
He has, however, been drumming in Dundee for over 4 decades, ever since he got his first kit out of Watt's in the old Wellgate.
His first gig was a residency along at the Station Hotel in Carnoustie in the mid 60's, and from then on he has been hitting the skins for a variety bands over the years.
Some of his local groups in the 60's & 70's were The Jacques, Third Edition, Hunters Key (with Jim Kelly) and Kookie & co.
It wasn't only locally he played though, he has also toured around the UK and beyond. One fabulous job he had was when he joined, Joint Effort, and found himself on a 2 year cruise around the Mediterranean.
The amount of local bands are too numerous to recall, but it's not only local acts he has performed with, some of the more famous names he has worked with include - Billy Connolly - Lonnie Donegan - Mike & Bernie Winters - The Troggs - Chris Barbers Jazz Band - The Swinging Blue Jeans - Mike Berry - Freddie & The Dreamers - The Glitter Band - Dave Berry - The Bachelors - Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, and a good few more.
Latterly, he was in Ringer, who played regularly at Tramps nightclub and who went on to perform at The Cavern in Liverpool for a Beatles convention.
And so his drumming came full circle, ending with the sound of the 60's that kick-started his career in the first place. Only as recently as last year has he had to call it a day because of a knee problem.
Just a few years short of a half a century in the biz, which is pretty good going by anyones standard, and as a consequence he knows just about every musician from the Dundee area personally!
Needless to say, I've had quite a lot of my Retro music info from him!!

Thursday, 21 May 2009


When The Damned re-formed in late '78 after having split earlier in the year, they not only had a change of line-up, they also tried out a couple of band name changes. They went from Dimmed to Doomed and back to Damned again.
This gig at Dundee College of Art in December 1978 took place during their Doomed phase with Gary Holton (ex Heavy Metal Kids) involved.
The Doomed and the Dundee crowd didn't get on very well. Lots of provocation from the crowd and similar goading from the band until finally it resulted in one of the crowd (Gerry Mitchell of Boo Hooray) jumping up on stage and having a bit of a scuffle with Rat Scabies!
All this rammy was captured on tape too - but I've chosen a track (below) that has The Doomed state at the end of it "It's the last time we ever play in Dundee!".
It's a rather fuzzy recording and probably best listened to with headphones on, but through the distortion they play "She's No Angel".

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Have to hang my head in shame at this point and admit I never went to the berries. Looking back, I can't think why I didn't go because all my mates went, all my neighbours and all my cousins too, but for some reason it just didn't make my agenda. Perhaps it seemed too much like hard work! I can remember my mates coming back with their arms & hands all scratched, their clothes stained and then rattling all the dosh they made. Sometimes during the 7 weekies I'd go to a mates house and the mother would reply saying "He's awa at the berries" and so off I went to try somebody else.
In the 70's, the "Berry Bus" was used a lot as a derisive term for an old bus in general. For example, if you went on a bus to Blackpool or travelled to an away match and the bus you were on was shooglin' along at a crawl or if it broke down during the journey, you'd describe it as "like being on a berry bus!". So at least I can claim to having been on a few of those anyway..!!
Below is some footage of local pickers getting stuck in.
Photo by The Scotsman.Tints by GG

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


To end part one of the aerial photo sequence, we now fly over one of my old hangouts, Douglas.
Another 2 schools on show here that haven't survived the passing of time. Bottom right is Balerno Primary, my school. The wee hoose to the left of the school in Balerno Street belonged to the Janitor, Mr Bowman. He was a friendly chap. Always good fun when he picked you out to help carry the crates of milk around all the classrooms.
The other school, centre right, is the old St Pius.
At the middle left of the photo, you can make out the flat roof of the shops in Ballindean Road. Been on top of there a few times, mostly to get our ba'. Borzoni's chippie was one of the shops we most visited.
Although I lived in Craigie, a lot of my schoolmates lived in Douglas, and one quirky thing I can recall from Douglas in the early 70's when we were secondary school age, was Dundee's "Magic Circle..!!". A mob would pick out a victim (usually a mate!), the mob would encircle him...and then commence to rough him up. The victim wouldn't get his head kicked in, but he would be on the end of kicks up the backside, dead legs, knuckles on the head, that kind of treatment. Although it ached, the victim would accept his fate without a fight, then once the ordeal was over, he would dust himself down and join back in with the mob. I've been on the receiving end and have dished it out. Organised bullying, with no damage done!

Monday, 18 May 2009


Don't Panic!!!....the plane wasn't a bomber...this huge crater is in fact the Longhaugh Quarry, located at the "border" of Fintry and Whitfield. I recall being told the quarry had been there before Fintry was built, so it was obviously doing business for quite a few decades. It is now completely filled in.
The 2 schools in Longhaugh Road would be Longhaugh Primary and St Lukes.
At the bottom left corner, in amongst all the trees is Longhaugh Hotel. For a while, the staff in the lounge/bar would dress up as cowboys and had a kind of Western theme going on there, long before dressing up for line-dancing became a craze. The hotel was another victim of the bulldozers and has since been flattened.

Sunday, 17 May 2009


The basic layout of Kirkton is the same now as it was back here in the mid 70's.
Today most changes to it would be more noticeable from ground level than the air, however, a couple of obvious changes from this picture are the schools.
The one at the foot of the photo I'm fairly sure is Gillburn Primary School, which if it is, then it has since been demolished. The other blue/grey building to the left of Balgowan Avenue I'm pretty certain is Kirkton Nursery School, which I also reckon no longer exists. Kirkton High School which has survived, albeit with a new name, is just visible top left in the hazy distance.
You can also make out the shops near the centre of the photo no problem.
A piece of trivia from this era of Kirkton I can add is that, back in 1979, the place was featured on BBC TV.
This was a show called "Roadshow Disco".
The quirky thing about it was that when the show visited other cities around UK, they all had the programme broadcast from proper discos and nightclubs, but when they came to Dundee, they ended up doing the show from Kirkton Community Centre!
As well as the local disco dancers that were filmed, Dundee funk act, Rokotto, were the band supplying the dance grooves.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Dens Park, Tannadice Park and Gussie Park together form Dundee's "Bermuda Triangle" with the ongoing mystery of the disappearing football crowds!
Gussie Park was where the opposition buses would park on match days leading to many lively clashes around this area amongst fans.
One quirky story from this area in the 60's is the time when Gary Glitter stayed in Fleming Gardens (orange roofs, top right corner of the picture). Local musician, Doug Martin was in a band called Johnny Hudson Hi-Four and they were sometimes called upon to back visiting acts. One such act was Paul Raven (later Gary Glitter) who then fell ill and was nursed back to health by Doug's mother in Fleming Gardens.
Doug also worked at Gussie Park carnival on the dodgems in his youth, and when I used to go to the carnival a few years later in the early 70's in my young teenage years, one of the highlights was the sound of Gary Glitter records blasting out the PA systems!!
The carnival wasn't there when this photo was taken but if you want a reminder of the carnival, there is a photo and some comments in my October 2008 Archives.

Friday, 15 May 2009


Continuing the mid 70's flight over Dundee, here we are at the area around Dock Street, Arbroath Road & Prince's Street (all the way up Albert Street).
The green patch, bottom left, is Corporation buses parked in the depot.
Quite a lot of demolition being done around here too as you can see by all the voids where there were once buildings. One such building that I used to go to that is not in this image was located in Robertson Street, just off Arbroath Road nearest to Prince's Street crossroad. This was the late 60's period. There was a large works called Taybridge Products and in this building they had the "Dundee Alsatian & Training Club". Well the room the club used also doubled as a 5-a-side football venue. I used to go there once a week in the evenings, which was organised by the BB, and had some brilliant games of football there. The photo just has it as wasteland but it is now the site of Taybank Medical Centre.
You can also make out the red & cream Tay Spinners mill in Arbroath Road which is now flats.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


In the mid 70's, my brother went on a flight around Dundee. Luckily for us he had his camera with him and managed to capture quite a lot of the city, some of which looks much different to how it is now. I must have around 40 aerial shots from the session but I'll just put up 6 over the coming days to give you a reminder of how the toon looked back in the day.
So settle down in your seats and get ready for take off...
Starting off bang in the centre of town, where you can see by all the workers huts around it that they were still putting the finishing touches to the new Tayside House at the bottom right of the picture. The most obvious observation though is the giant gap where they demolished the old Wellgate and South side of Victoria Road.
The fact that the photos were taken out of the plane's window means they are not going to be high definition clarity but they are still good enough to make out where you are and what's what, so I recommend for those who would like to do a kind of Retro Google Earth on them, to click on the image to get the large version, then right click to "save picture as" and save it onto you pc, and then you can use your zoom & pan to have a wee nosey around.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Not a brilliant quality shot but it's the only picture I have of the Dundee Rockets from the period I went to see them play.
Ex Craigie High School pupil, Jim Pennycook, is 2nd from the right in the centre row.


Yes the Dundee Rockets were one of the best teams in the UK in the 1980's when I went to see them play, and they ended up winning a variety of titles during this period.
One of the other reasons I used to watch them was because my old Craigie High School classmate, Jim Pennycook, played for them. I remember him being one of the top players for CHS hockey team, and he then went on to become a bit of a star for Dundee. Last I heard he was coaching down South.
As regards the above match against the Panthers, well from what I can make out from my scribblings inside the programme, the Rockets appeared to have won 5-0. Goals by R Wood - A Leblanc - R Halpin and 2 by C Brinster.


My first visit to the Ice Rink, ironically, didn't involve any ice! It was for a 5-a-side football tournament that took place in the mid 70's. Both Dundee and Dundee United were in with those participating, however, I'm afraid I can't recall any details as to the outcome of the event. The place was filled to capacity though and there was a great atmosphere.
I did manage to venture up later to catch some ice hockey games in the early 80's. The Dundee Rockets were a top notch team back then and they won numerous championships, so it was a great time to go see them play.
The Ice Rink also occasionally put on a variety of other functions such as live gigs, discos ( called Dice-cos, featuring the sounds of Vital Spark), and obviously you could go skating, try curling, then visit their restaurant.
I never did get around to sampling the skating sessions mind you.
In the above photo, the main entrance to the rink is just out of shot to the left. The Ice Rink finally closed down around 1993.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Monday, 11 May 2009


Bet most of you remember this...queuing to see Star Wars. This photo was taken in February 1978 on the day it burst onto screen at the Odeon for the first time. It was on a Sunday that it made it's debut in Dundee, and the queue having began at 9:00am, ended up along the length of Cowgate and all the way down to the bottom of St Andrew's Street, as in the photo. Not only that but the doors didn't open until 4:00pm and because of the size of the crowd the Odeon had to bring in an extra cashier to help out.
I remember going to see it a few days later, and although I enjoyed it I'll never forget my mates comment as we were leaving the building with everyone raving about it. Looking rather bemused, he quipped "It was a bit far fetched!".
If you think you may be in with a shout of spotting yourself in the picture - click on the image to view the large version.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


A variety of things on sticks can keep young kids entertained for ages.
A matter of simple but effective.
This is me (yes it's GG) playing aroond the backies in Craigie in the 60's.
I put it on view not because of me but because of the bubbles container. Notice, no product packaging, no logos, no manufacturing details, and yet that's how they were sold in shops. Just the plain tin with the stick inside. As basic as that.
Windmills too were as basic as it gets. A wooden stick with 4 plastic petal-like blades. The fun was derived running around pretending to be an aeroplane or attaching one to your bike. Then at the end of the day when you were puggled, you would plant it in the garden and pretend it was a flower!
Sparklers, however, well they were more of a luxury stick! Only allowed to indulge one week a year!!
I couldn't resist animating the photo (see below).
A circular breathing technique was needed to do this!

Saturday, 9 May 2009


And lastly...a nice moody shot of the Cafe Americain bar area.
Photo by Nicholl Russell Studios.


This image gives you an idea of how spacious the Cafe Americain was, the view being just one corner area of the pub in which their was a ground floor and upstairs to choose from. They actually had a grand piano which was just part of the decor and it hardly took up any room in the pub. They also had a wrought iron spiral staircase.
In the picture you can see a yellow poster on the left. You can make out it says "Dundee Jazz" on it but it's at too much of an angle to read the details, which is a pity, it would have been a nice little bonus to see what was going on when the picture was taken.
Photo by Nicholl Russell Studios.


Here's CafĂ© Americain in Union Street, which opened for business in the early 80's.
It was quite a stylish pub with plenty room downstairs and upstairs. My visits were usually in the early evenings as a city starter pub before the nights really got going, so my memory of it is it being all rather sensible and well behaved. At least you were able to have a conversation without shouting! I'm fairly sure they occasionally had a DJ spinning a few tunes later on in the evenings so it no doubt became a bit more boisterous as the night went on.
Photo by Nicholl Russell Studios.

Friday, 8 May 2009


Visocchi's in Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, was a cafe I went to in the 60's and 70's. These visits took place during the summer months because they were always the outcome of choosing to walk there from Craigie, which was a bit of a trek, so a jaunt specifically for good weather days only.
The 60's trips were family outings to the beach, and we'd stop off at Visocchi's for a treat along the way. This is the only place in the Dundee area I can remember having a Knickerbocker Glory in!
In the early 70's when in my young teens, I then went there with my mates. We'd while away a couple of hours in the summer evenings playing a few tunes on the jukebox and drinking bottles of coke.
Visocchi's is still on the go today.
The above image was taken in 1972.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


This shot of the City Square from around 1970 shows The Val d'Or restaurant sitting pretty at it's prime location in the middle of town. The Val d'Or is the canopy on the corner of the Square with the window boxes being the upstairs dining area.
This corner premises later became Burton's.
Also in the image, across in the High Street, is another place selling grub, the Restaurant above Keiller, the white/yellow building on the first floor.


2 items on the Val d'Or restaurant, starting with this advert from 1968.
I can't remember much about the place, only got a hazy memory of being there with my parents in the early 60's.
The Val d'Or translates as The Golden Valley.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Sandwiched between Robinson Rental's and Brown the Optician in the Marketgait, there was a cafe called The Grill & Griddle.
I remember visiting it from time to time - a good wee place for a quick cuppa and a chinwag.
It had an amber coloured plastic sun blind on the window that turned the interior golden. When you stepped back outside though, it took a little while for your eyes to readjust to normal daylight again!

The photo dates back to the late 60's.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


The Hong Kong restaurant was located right next door to the ABC cinema in the Seagate, as I'm sure the majority of you will remember.
Here's a photo of the interior to refresh your memory, which dates from the late 60's.
The boss was Willie Wong, and included are 3 pictures of him on the premises.
It's strange that it was there for years & years and I would have passed by it hundreds of times, yet I don't recall ever having visited it!
Never mind me though - as well as the nosh aspect, they would often provide entertainment to go with it.
The ads under the photos are a wee example - first is dated May 1974 and has Sidney Devine one week and Bert Weedon the next.
Local act, Whistlefield, were the resident band at the time.
The second ad is dated March 1977 and here we have Paul Edison, ex lead singer of 60's pop group, The Ivy League.
Also on the bill, The Vikings.
Dundee act, The Vikings, released a single, but split up in the late 60's. However, band member, Drew Larg, kept the name going for his late 70's version of The Vikings.
The Hong Kong even dabbled in the "alternative" rock music scene for a period in 1981, by putting on post-punk bands!

Monday, 4 May 2009


Well I told you a month ago I had loads of music related items to put up, and although I've still got plenty more, I'm going to fade the music theme out for now in order to crack on with other Dundee stuff.
So, to play us out in the traditional way, here is a pipe band my brother captured in the mid 70's. They have just reached the end of the Nethergate and are about to negotiate the Marketgait roundabout.
His memory is blank as to what the occasion was unfortunately!

Sunday, 3 May 2009


29 years ago today, Thin Lizzy were letting rip their famous riffs along at the Caird Hall. Thin Lizzy found the knack of keeping a faithful "rock" following as their fan base while at the same time, having commercial success in the "pop" charts. A pretty neat trick, as they had many hits throughout the 70's and early 80's.
There was a guy in Dundee (who's name escapes me now, but he used to drink in the Bread and Perth Road pubs), who was a roadie for well known bands, and Thin Lizzy was one of those who he roadied for. He became friends with the band's main man, Phil Lynott, and before this Caird Hall gig, he brought Phil into Foreigners (the rock pub in Meadowside) for a couple of swigs before the concert. I was a bit disappointed to observe that they didn't serve Phil's whiskey, in a jar!!

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Welcome to my bedroom in Craigie in the year 1975. As you can see, I paid a visit to the SAHB merchandise counter at the Caird Hall gig. Came back with this poster and a programme which I no longer have, but at least the photo survived. The SAHB logo above the poster was my own piece of artwork, getting a bit of cartoon drawing practise done....although it has to be said, I wouldn't win any prizes for interior design!!


The Sensational Alex Harvey Band brought their show to town on 3rd May 1975, and what a show it was, with showman Alex Harvey on top form.
It wasn't just going to see another rock band, it was going to witness a spectacle.
As soon as the pulsing throb intro to "Faith Healer" started, and Alex stepping on stage dressed like a punk pirate, you were hooked.
Alex would often act out a lot of the material. For example he would grease back his hair and put on a leather rocker's jacket for the song "Framed", then he'd dress like a B-movie detective for "Man In A Jar". He'd also use props like the brick wall behind the band to spray "Vambo rool ok" - gang graffiti being rather popular in Dundee at the time, so that went down well!. The rest of the band would join in too when it was time to do their zany dance routine during "Delilah".
The contrast in SAHB songs were quite extreme, sometimes scary sometimes funny, serious one minute cartoony the next, gritty then sophisticated, tales from the street then off on a flight of fantasy. When you dared take your eyes off Alex, you would then be mesmerised by guitarist Zal, dressed like a cross between the Joker & the Riddler from Batman, pulling faces and clowning around while his Gibson SG cut through you like a butcher's slicer.
A great band...a great night out!!
The support act on the night was Skyband.

Friday, 1 May 2009


Here's a couple of examples of Dundee based contests involving bands doing battle with each other.
The first item dates from August 1979 and is for a talent contest being held at the Tech College (Bowling Alley).
This one ended up with around 6 bands battling it out I seem to remember. No idea what the winner got mind you!
The ad was published in a local fanzine.
The other item is dated July 1982 and was for a UK battle, the Dundee heat taking place on 9 October.
I don't know which local bands ended up participating in it or what venue it was, but the eventual winners got cash and a recording deal.
The item was published in the national music press.