Saturday 25 July 2009



In 1962, Hector Nicol released a football themed single on the Scottish Gaelfonn record label.
The band accompanying him was The Kelvin Country Dance Band.
On one side it has The Dundee Song.
On the other side it has The Terrors Of Tannadice.
There is no official A & B side preference as such, so I'm displaying them in alphabetical order.
Of course, most Dundonians would have bought it for one side or the other, but I must admit, I rather enjoy both sides.
Dundee won the League in '62 and so their song has a kind of celebratory feel to it.
The United song has more of a defiant, motivational vibe to it, in their pre-tangerine days.
So if you've not heard them before, or not for a while, here they are below...

Friday 24 July 2009



Billy MacKenzie mentioned there was a plan at one stage for him to star in a horror movie.
It didn't happen though, but local trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar did manage to appear in one many years before.
In 1964, there was a UK film called "Dr Terror's House Of Horrors".
Although it was a bit of a low budget romp, they managed to get Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee to star in it.
Doug McClure, Roy Castle and DJ Alan Freeman were also onboard.
As part of the movie soundtrack, they got Tubby Hayes to supply a couple of tracks, and Jimmy was in the Tubby Hayes Quintet at the time.
The Quintet had an acting role, as they were the band for a character called Biff Bailey, a trumpeter, but the music is by Tubby's Quintet and Jimmy does appear in the film as a consequence.
Incidentally, in the film, Jimmy plays an instrument called a Mellophonium, which is a big fancy trumpet.

Thursday 23 July 2009



This is a feature about the College Of Commerce which was published when it had not long opened in 1970.
It has all the info about the building, the rooms, the facilities, the courses and so on, so I don't need to go into detail here.
A few photos to accompany it too, which may bring back a few memories for those of you who attended.
The only time I went there was in 1974 when our Craigie High School class visited it.
We were in our final year and the careers officer arranged it.
We got a full tour of the building.
They were scouting for fresh newcomers to enroll on their courses but I wasn't one who took them up on the offer.

You will need to download it to read, so click the image first to enlarge, then right click to save.


If you ignore the old fogies in the foreground, you'll be able to spot something more worthwhile taking place at the Caird Hall in the background.
A billboard poster advertising a concert by Pentangle on 5 April 1970
The band were at full strength for this visit - Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson & co - and a few months later, Pentangle were sharing the stage with Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight festival.

Tuesday 21 July 2009


Largs, in Whitehall Street, were Dundee's sole ticket outlet for a rock & pop music festival at Hampden Park in June 1970.
The event called "Scene '70" was organised by bandleader, Harry Margolis, and announced in February that year, but unfortunately, the festival was cancelled just a couple of days before the big day.

Monday 20 July 2009

JT FORBES ADS - 1960's

Some adverts from the mid 60's for JT Forbes in the Nethergate, a shop that sold musical instruments and accessories. The ads here emphasising guitars graphically - acoustic for the folkies and electric for the beat groups.
It was very popular with local musicians and was active throughout all 3 retro decades.

Sunday 19 July 2009


Unit 47 was a Scottish music magazine that sprung up in 1984.
It covered the alternative music scene mostly, but also made room for a touch of jazz and rock.
Although there were a few pages given to well known English acts, the magazine's main focus was Scottish bands, as indicated by Fiction Factory & The Cocteau Twins on the covers above.
Lots of space was used spreading the word about unknown bands, including making room for demo tape reviews.
It also had stuff like gig reviews, fashion, cinema and special features such as the lowdown on recording studios.
One of the contributors was Dundee music journalist, Bob Flynn, who managed to get a full page feature on the Tayside Bar, as well as an interview with boss, Brian Sinclair.
Unit 47 also gave away a flexi with one of their early issues.
The 2 above are dated April & June 1984.
I'm uncertain how long the mag lasted however.

Saturday 18 July 2009


Contact magazine is a University publication that started up around the mid 70's.
Not available to the public, but is an in-house mag for University staff, students & colleagues.
Quite a lot of academic related content needless to say, as well as things like grant reports, lecture news and current affairs.
They also included an occasional feature on a Dundee based topic, and covered areas such as book reviews, theatre projects, sports events and entertainment.
The 2 Contact cover examples above are dated 1980 & 1987.

Friday 17 July 2009


A couple of ads for Frank Russell's Bookshop in the Nethergate.
This was largely an academic based shop rather than a high street style book store, which is why it was most often frequented by students.
Top ad 1965.
Lower ad 1966.

Thursday 16 July 2009


On the flip side of the Rep Theatre leaflet is the list of plays that were on offer during April & June 1963. However, because of the fire in May that year, the 2 June plays wouldn't have taken place, and I'm not sure if the May plays fared any better.
So in date order we have -
9 April - LORD ARTHUR SAVILE'S CRIME by Oscar Wilde.
23 April - PHOTO FINISH by Peter Ustinov.
7 May - PICNIC by William Inge.
21 May - THE REHEARSAL by Jean Anouilh.
4 June - THE ASPERN PAPERS by Michael Redgrave.
18 June - THE CARETAKER by Harold Pinter.
Incidentally, one of the assistant stage managers for the 2 April plays was a young Dundee chap some of you may have heard of - yes, it was Brian Cox. Still learning his craft back then!
Click the image to enlarge.


The Rep Theatre was based in Nicoll Street (off Ward Road) when this leaflet was printed. It has general info about the theatre on this side and on the other side it contains the plays that were scheduled for the period between April & June 1963.
There is an additional poignant historical aspect to the leaflet - this would have been the very last such item of literature advertising the Nicoll St Rep because in May that year the theatre was destroyed by a fire and the company had to find new premises. To add insult to injury, earlier in 1963 the theatre had just been given a facelift with the wallpaper, staircase and hangings all specially designed for its new look, and in the foyer they had a mural painted by Scottish artist, Richard Demarco. The whole lot going up in flames only a few months later.
In the mid 80's, the premises reopened as a college annexe, and I think it still is to this day.
You can click the image to read it.

Wednesday 15 July 2009


In 1969 when I was aged 11, I got to buy a pair of shoes called Springers. What made them different to the shoes I had worn up to that point was the fact they had leather soles. There was a mad rush with most boys to get Springers because one of the things that made them popular were the segs that went with them. Segs were metal clips that were hammered into the soles to protect the leather. Adults would usually put in about 4 segs on their brogues, but kids being kids, we ended up buying 2 packets worth and putting the whole lot on, resembling the photo above. You could always tell when someone was wearing Springers because of the clickety-clack racket they made walking along the pavement...again another aspect that made them appealing to kids!
Style-wise the upper had a wider than normal brim where the stitching was connected to the sole, so they were quite distinctive visually too.  
However, one of the dangers of going out in these shoes was when we used to jump off the back of a bus when it was still in motion. I think you can guess the outcome...skitin' all over the pavement out of control, sparks flying and ending up smacking into a lampie..!!

Tuesday 14 July 2009


Here's 2 examples of neck-wear I used to have as a primary school kid back in the 60's.
The top one is of course, my old Balerno school tie.
I remember 3 variants that used the black & yellow stripes theme - the one above, then a black version of it with thin yellow diagonal stripes, and there was also a chunky horizontal striped version, resembling a bumble bee!
The other item, a Paisley pattern cravat, I didn't wear at school, this was only for after school hours and weekends.
I felt like a pop star with it on at the time because many of the groups on Top Of The Pops wore them!
You had the choice to wear it tucked into your open necked shirt, or have it dangling out as a scarf, like the 60's Mods did!

Monday 13 July 2009


You'll all remember these paper fortune tellers from your school days. Place your index fingers and thumbs underneath the 4 segments then flip back & forwards.
Here's a reminder of the sequence involved -
FT OPERATOR "Pick a colour"
FT OPERATOR "Pick a number"
CLIENT "Three"
FT OPERATOR "Pick another number"
CLIENT "Eight"
FT OPERATOR lifts flap and reads out what is written underneath the number 8 segment.
At primary school in the 60's we usually had silly things written like "You fancy the teacher" or something. In secondary in the 70's it was the same kind of thing...only X-Rated.!!

Sunday 12 July 2009


When I had a city centre flat in the 80's, my local Post Office was this one in Meadowside.
Back then, there used to be a separate queue at each window which meant you had to gamble on which queue to join while knowing that the shortest line didn't necessarily mean it was going to be the quickest. Customers complained about the unfairness of the time some queues took compared to others, so this lead to the P.O. devising the giant snake queuing system. And now everyone was slow that is!!
The outside steps would be used by unemployed youths who preferred sitting rather than standing whilst waiting on their mates inside cashing their dole cheques.
Around the millennium, this Post Office closed and the building was transformed into a nightclub.

Saturday 11 July 2009


Before Simple Minds played their December Caird Hall show, a few months earlier some members of the band, along with Lenny Love, were in town to catch a gig down at the Tayside Bar. The act we were all there to see was Hey! Elastica, the trash-pop new wave outfit from Edinburgh.
You can read all about this gig, and 3 others that took place around the same time (mid '82) in the above review page out of Cranked Up.
Starting at the top it's...
Junkies at The Windmill.
Junkies at Dundee University.
Hey! Elastica at Tayside Bar.
Little Wolves at Tayside Bar.
I attended the 2 Tayside Bar offerings, although it seems most of the fun was to be had at the Junkies gigs.!!
All the write-ups were the work of our very own secret agent on location, Jock Ferguson.
To read it, you'll need to click onto the image to enlarge it.

Friday 10 July 2009


Simple Minds were in town a week before Christmas 1982, playing at the Caird Hall on 17th December. A gig I was at. In fact this was the second time I had seen them live as I caught the band a couple of years earlier at Edinburgh Nite Club. This visit was the New Gold Dream tour, an album that was hardly off my turntable back then. I also remember it being a favourite down at the Tayside Bar for a while too.
For some reason, I no longer have my ticket stub for this concert, but I do have this old NME from December 82 with Jim Kerr on the front. Belts worn outside shirts were a bit of a fad at the time!
As a reminder of the show itself, here below is a recording taken from the Caird Hall gig. A track called "I Travel" (I've still got the original 7 inch vinyl of this). Also on the bill that night were China Crisis.

Thursday 9 July 2009


Just to make sure the woodwork class didn't deprive the planet of too many trees, Craigie High was one of the schools who got involved in the national tree planting campaign in 1973.
Quite a few of us mucked in, with different classes allocated their own planting space around the school. Being a brand new school CHS had rather a lot of open ground just ready and waiting to be filled. The area where my lot planted ours was on the grassy bit of the school nearest to the Kingsway circle. Looking down at it now on Google Earth, 36 years later, I'm pleased to see all the trees in that area are now fully grown.
The images above are taken from a First Day Cover and show that they issued a stamp to mark the occasion.

Wednesday 8 July 2009


This shot of the woodwork room at Craigie High School was taken in 1970, just before it opened it's doors for the first time, and being in with the first batch of CHS pupils in 1970, we got to try out all this brand new equipment before anyone else.
Some of the things I can remember making were - a pendant (with leather strap) - ornamental knife - cheeseboard (with formica surface) - tea tray - football rattle (tried out at Dens) - and a submarine. The submarine actually worked. It was painted grey, had a strong elastic attached to the propeller and it did indeed zoom under water!
I ended up ditching woodwork though to concentrate on Technical Drawing when the time came to choose our subjects for O'Levels.
The 2 main teachers for woodwork in my era were Mr Blyth and Mr Milne. Mr Milne's wife was also a teacher at CHS during this period, in the Science dept.
In 1974, some CHS bright spark came up with the idea of making their own electric guitar!!
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG

Tuesday 7 July 2009


37 years ago this month, 29 July 1972 to be exact, Hawkwind played a gig at the Caird Hall which resulted in them being banned from Dundee straight after the show!
What caused the commotion was not so much the band, but their female dancer, Stacia, who liked to perform naked on stage.
Predictably, the concert made the local headlines next day and revealed a rather amusing sideshow.
It turns out that they had actual procedures in place at Caird Hall to prevent such an "incident" occurring, but it didn't go to plan on the night.
It was Dundee Lord Provost Fitzgerald who announced the ban next day, then went on to state what the emergency procedure should have entailed.
The strategy was this - someone in charge would be on standby for any controversial event that took place on stage, at which point the lights would be switched off, the police would be called and those responsible would be charged. However, when the time came to put it into practice, the person in charge wasn't present and the instruction was never carried out!
I don't have a ticket stub to display but I do have an NME guide showing the gig date, an ad published in the local press and a magazine called "Words" also from 1972 with Hawkwind on the cover (that's Stacia in the insert). The article inside says that "Stacia has been delighting rock audiences with her free-form dancing. She believes in complete freedom of expression, even down to taking her clothes off on stage, if and when she feels like it".
So there you have it, when she was in Dundee, she just felt like it.!!
I was 14 when all this was stirring, and although I wasn't at this gig, I did at least have their "Silver Machine" single in my collection!

Monday 6 July 2009


Just thought I'd put this insert that came with the EP up on view to accompany the previous item. It has band photos, bits of info and lyrics.
Click to enlarge.


The Wilderness Children, fae Mid Craigie, released this vinyl EP in 1988. It's titled "We're A Council House Punk Rock Band" and it has 3 tracks - "Mrs Susan Spence" - "Go To Hell" and "Midsummer's Night Dream".
The band line-up, albeit only on first name terms, is Fraser, guitar - Andrea, vocals - Peter, guitar - Mike, bass - Phil, drums and Pete, visuals.
I do know that Fraser & Andrea Reid were married.
The EP, using the DIY punk approach, apparently only cost £63 to record and the band literature goes on to say "If we can do it, so can you. Get off your arse and do something", which is pretty sound advice.
It also states on the cover "Pay as little as possible".
The sample I have chosen below, is a tasty wee indie tune for July called "Midsummer's Night Dream".

Sunday 5 July 2009


Here's an interesting gig that took place in Dundee back in the psychedelic 60's.
The venue was Dundee College Of Art.
The date was 12 December 1968.
The occasion was the students Christmas Revels Ball.
Each year, students decked the hall during the festive period, and in '68 the "theme" was the medieval surreal art of Hieronymus Bosch.
The entire hall was covered with replications of his artwork, topped off with a stage set that featured one of his creatures with a giant mouth.
The bands played in its mouth!
Not only were the students in fancy dress, they also supplied the projector light show - these well known multi-coloured displays of moving liquid patterns.
Top of the bill was none other than Pink Floyd, who were starting to become a major draw by this time, even although main man, Syd Barrett, had left the group by then.
Other bands playing on the night were, Spontaneous Combustion, Gethsemane, Rock Tonsils & The Sleaz Band and Sleepy People.
The above image is my own wee arty recreation of what the stage set may have looked like!


Located at number 83 Arbroath Road in the 60's was The Haparanda Coffee Bar, or "The Hap", as it was known as by the local teenagers it attracted. There was a confectioner shop area at the main entrance and the cafe area was downstairs. The window display reflected both aspects of The Hap with half the exhibits being sweets and half being record covers of the latest 60's bands like The Kinks, The Beatles, Small Faces etc. The cafe was a bit of a magnet for Dundee's trendy hipsters, as well as being a handy stopping off place for Mods on their scooters. Bands would sometimes perform there too and a lot of the cafe action was caught on film by owner Luciano Soave.
Below is some footage capturing a typical night out at The Hap.
The building where The Hap was in Arbroath Road, was demolished in 1972.

Saturday 4 July 2009


This ad, which is in 2 parts, appeared in a pop magazine in August 1968.
It's for a range of cosmetics by Baby Doll, on sale at Woolies.
The 1st part of the ad is for their "Sun Shiny" range and features eye liner, lipstick and face shaders.
The fact that this was the age of psychedelia and flower power is reflected in the colourful graphics with the hippy girl in the dressing table mirror. However, because it is a Woolies ad, it would indicate that hippy culture had become more mainstream by then.
The 2nd part of the ad is for the "Moon Shiny" product and features sheeners, nail polish and mascara.
Not that I'm an expert in cosmetics, but I think it's plain to see that the Baby Doll range was aimed at the teenager rather than the sophisticated lady the likes of Coty were targeting in Draffens.
Dundee's main Woolworth store was in the Murraygate in the 60's and below is another wee reminder of this period. It's a radio commercial for Baby Doll which was transmitted in 1969.
Click the ads to enlarge if you want to read the details.


In June 1967, this groovy boutique called "Scene One", opened up in the newly built Overgate.
In fact, well known pop musician, Allan Clarke of The Hollies, got the honour of launching it.
It wasn't only a clothing boutique, it was also a disco, so not only did it stock all the latest fab gear from London's Carnaby Street (Mary Quant, Lady Jane etc) they also had a room spinning records and where bands played.
And if all that shopping and dancing made you feel peckish, they served up food too!
One of the female assistants (Helen) wore an eye-catching purple catsuit!
A great idea - all this happening under one roof, keeping in touch with the 60's scene at the time, but unfortunately Scene One closed down in less than a year.
The ad on display above is dated September 1967 and give it a click if you need to view the large version.
The photo shows Scene One's position in the Overgate.

Friday 3 July 2009


This sequence of photos, taken on 6th October 1961, captures the official opening of Richard Shops in the Murraygate.
The top image shows the big crowd that had gathered around to witness the event.
The middle picture features the moment the grand opening occurred, which was at 11:30 am to be exact!
Incidentally, this is Lady Isobel Barnett doing the ribbon cutting honours, and being a high profile media celeb at the time, helped attract the large turnout.
The third photo is a general shot of the store after the days commotion had settled down and was now open for business.
The shop would have looked very modern too back in '61, especially compared to its surroundings.

Big thanks to Richard.

Thursday 2 July 2009


"Doors, lead to other doors" ... so sang Billy Mackenzie ... and in the case of the Crypt (Billy's fashion shop in Princes Street) it's quite literally true.
For although this is obviously a photo of Billy at the door of the Crypt...all is not what it seems!
You see, when this photo was taken in May 1982, the shop had changed it's name to "Plan 2" and was now being run by his brother John.
Therefore the image here is of the retained Crypt wrought iron outer door, leading to Plan 2's inner shop door...!!

Wednesday 1 July 2009


Formed in Dundee in the late 70's, The Visitors released this track below "Take It Or Leave It" which came out in 1978. Although it's not a full-on punk track, it does have a rawness that was becoming more popular in the pop charts back then, and it did get a thumbs up on the John Peel show too.
The label - NRG Records - was also Dundee based, at 17 Union Street to be exact.