Wednesday 30 June 2010


3 ads for Bruce's Record Shop dating from 1977.
The top 2 are from Bruce's own fanzine "Cripes" dated end Aug '77.
Bruce's back then was in Reform Street, and although their shop stocked all types of music, they did go out of their way to champion new music.
1st ad - Cripes has the debut by 999 as their single of the week, a record which did pretty good biz amongst the punk fraternity.
2nd ad - Boomtown Rats were already pop stars by the time their self titled debut album became Bruce's LP choice for that week, the band having scored a couple of hit singles by then.
3rd ad - from a Tele dated March '77 - and Bruce's  Album Of The Week was "Marquee Moon" by Television.
What I can remember about this album is - I was tuned into Alan Freeman's radio show one Saturday afternoon, and he played a track from Marquee Moon. It caught my attention because it was something a bit different to the more rockier kind of material he broadcast on his Saturday show. As a result of this, I ended up switching the radio off, putting my coat on, getting a bus into town and buying the Television album from Bruce's there and then!
I was a real serious vinyl dude back then!!

Tuesday 29 June 2010


This was the 2nd single released by The Wilderness Children.
It was recorded in December 1988 at the Chamber Studios in Edinburgh.
Line-up - Andrea Reid - Fraser Reid - Peter Moug - Phil Davidson - Mike Kane.
The record sleeve graphics were done by Laura Anne Walker (remember the DRCU creche artwork?), and photography by Joe Jordan featured on the inner lyric sheet.
So here below is the A-side, a frisky little indie number called "Plastic Bag From Tesco's"

Monday 28 June 2010


The final AAGA cassette I have in my collection is this one here from around the 1983/84 period - "The New Saints Of Drab Intensity".
There are 4 tunes on it, 2 are live recordings, 1 was done on 16 track and the one here below "Patience Is Virtue" was done on 4 track.
This is probably the most tuneful thing AAGA have ever done. It's even, dare I say, commercial sounding! Quite a sensitive touch to it too.
Thanks once again to Mike Kane.

Sunday 27 June 2010


You may remember I put a track by Flux up last year which turned out to be a rare example of a tune connected to Mike Kane which everyone who commented seemed to like! It was a dreamy ambient chill-out track.
In the caption back then I said I would pick out a contrasting tune from the 1987 "In Flux" cassette and post it later. Now's the time, and so here is a little ditty of theirs called "Destroy All Systems(2)"
I think you can guess by the title that it's Flux in a tuffer mood and with the volume turned up! A dizzying wall of sound out on a mission to subvert the masses with it's relentless chants and slogans pile-driving their way through it all.
Well you didn't think they were gonna let you get comfy in your bean bags, did you?!!

Saturday 26 June 2010


Now for some Auditory Integration Training.
Otologists explain (and they should know), that "Hearing is not the same as listening", because hearing is passive and listening is active. A wee reference for later.
So, in 1989, Dundee improvisers and sound manipulators, Novus, put on a show at the DRCU up the Hulltoon.
Band line-up was - Mike Kane - Gerry Mitchell - Paul Smith - Brem - Ewan - Kevin L Guthrie.
Doing away with any thought of rhythmic and melodic structures, they set about downplaying personal expression in favour of the collective process, a method which also included swapping instruments during the performance.
The sound you encounter at first on the footage below, appears to be a bit of a hubbub with them all "soloing" together, but that's your cue to allow your ears to go roaming around the stage. You'll discover all sorts of interesting things going on in there, and then just as you settle on one instrument for a moment, something happens elsewhere that sets your ears off on a different instrument to find out what's cooking further along. It's actually good fun.
It's a bit like going to a market with all the stallholders bawling, trying to grab your attention - there's no need to feel intimidated by it, just relax, have a wander about, and you never know, you may even stumble upon a tasty treat for your efforts.
The song Gerry sings at the start I recognised as a segment of "Desire", a tune they brought out as a single, but it is just one of many bits & bobs going on in the mix.
The clip is only a few minutes long, taken from a piece that went on for around an hour or so.
The thing is, getting back to my intro - are you willing to make the effort to listen...or are you gonna turn a deaf ear?!
The choice is yours.
Thanks to MK

Friday 25 June 2010


The AAGA "Whatalife" cassette dates from 1982 and only contains 2 tracks - "Illness" and the title song.
I can't help chuckle at some of the lyrics in "Whatalife", which are basically saying there is more to life than just going boozing and watching telly. The only song ever to mention the Lea Rig and Harry O..!!
Me being a bit of a dubologist (makey up word!) also gives the echoed phrase weaving in & out, the GG seal of approval!
Thanks to MK

Thursday 24 June 2010


I've still got quite a few items of Mike Kane based material I haven't delved into yet, so ploughing on with a few more post punk goodies, here's a 4 track cassette by AAGA called "The Unheard", done in 1983.
Get a load of the gruff, grimy, gritty, grunge guitar powering it's way through. WOWEE!!
The basic drum machine rhythm along with Steve Grimmond's distant vocal is really all it needed.
All the tracks are untitled, so this is just referred to as "Track 4".
Thanks to MK

Wednesday 23 June 2010


The info I have on locals, London Broads, is a bit patchy, so I'll need you to help out on this one to try fill the gaps.
The only band members I have are Dave Christie, bass - Steve Taylor, guitar - Duncan Paterson, vocals.
I actually saw them play in the Oriental around 1979/80 (?), they being the first band to play at that pub. They did of course play the Tayside Bar too, but once at a gig at the YMCA in the Ferry, a group of local soul boys disconnected the power supply 5 minutes into their set!
They were a good, lively alternative pop act, performing a mix of their own material as well as covering tunes by the likes of The Jam, Boomtown Rats and The Clash.
In 1981 they split temporarily, with a couple of members intent on resurrecting the band name with new signings in the line-up. I don't know what happened after that, whether they did continue as London Broads, or changed their name or called it quits.
There was a local band on the go in 82 called New London. Could that have been ex Broads involved?
Anyway, as you can see in the photo, there were 5 guys in the original outfit.
If you have any details to add, just drop them in the comments.

Tuesday 22 June 2010


Dundee's disco funksters, Rokotto, penned a good chunk of their material themselves, but occasionally they would top up their repertoire by dipping into a dance classic. They covered Banbarra's "Shack Up" for example, and this one below, The Commodores 1977 hit "Brick House" was another they added to their parties.
Rokotto's version is almost an identikit copy of the original, as I'm sure many of you who were regulars on the Sands dancefloor will spot, but nevertheless, a fine slab of funk it is, and a tune that just makes you want to go out clubbing!

Monday 21 June 2010


From Street Life magazine, here's a review of Don Cherry's NU gig at the Whitehall Theatre on 22nd October 1987, organised by Dundee jazz promoters, Platform.
Although Cherry's mainstay was jazz, having worked with big hitters like Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler and many others, his lifelong global travels with his wee pocket trumpet saw him become one of the innovators of World Music, fusing various cultures along the way, and so this show had a bit of both.
His band in Dundee were - Mark Helias, bass - Ed Blackwell, drums - Carlos Ward, sax and the peerless percussionist Nana Vasconcelos.
My brother was at this gig and managed to get a signed copy of a cassette called "Garden Of Music" - that's Don Cherry's autograph in gold ink!
As well as being a highly regarded trumpeter, Don was also genuinely "cool", and remained young and hip to new musical trends right up to his death in the mid 90's.
Click the review to read the large version.

Sunday 20 June 2010


Although The Associates had only been in existence for a year or so at the time, in 1980 Billy MacKenzie got involved in a little side project with a few friends that ended up a short-lived outfit called Strange News.
Billy, vocals - Steve Reid, guitar - Andy Sturrock, bass - Gavin (surname?), drums.
They must have liked the sound they were making because it lead to them recording a couple of tracks in Edinburgh.
Here's a wee blast of one below, a song called "Hungry Look".
Check out Steve's guitar in it. Wicked! The driving chords of the main tune sounding like John McGeoch of Magazine, while a 2nd layer of plinky plonky notes are sprinkled about randomly in the background.
This tune also appears to be a precursor to Club Country, lyrically at least.
I don't have a photo of the Strange News line-up, but I do have this rather strange news item (above) from the same year - 29th April 1980, to be exact. A quirky wee feature from the Record Mirror telling of the time when Billy missed out on getting a cut of Howard Hughes billions!
Bit of a strange picture of him too as a matter of fact...bathing with his beret?!!

Saturday 19 June 2010


It all started back in 1977 when young tearaway, RT Ripper aka Rat The Ripper aka Ewen, walked out of school aged 15, and never went back. He teamed up with Mike Kane (who was still at school) and formed The Bastards. Rat had no interest in playing instruments in the conventional way, instead opting to explore the sounds they made by bashing them about, mutilating the tuning and generally deconstructing their original use.
This approach fitted in perfectly with Dundee noise guru's, Vex, Flux and Novus, of which he was a member.
I have 2 tracks of RT Ripper's solo work from the early 80's below - both, nuggets of darkness!
The 1st track called "Asterisk" is a spooky wee beastie, who's haunting drone lasts 2.40 minutes. Swiftly followed by "Return From The Land Of The Dead", a scary shrieking monster with a really menacing voice. Some of you may be glad it lasts only around a minute - I would have liked more!
If Jack The Ripper had been a musician, he may very well have sounded a little like this..!!

Friday 18 June 2010


Here's a rare photo of Dundee band - Sweet 'n' Tender Motion.
The group formed sometime around the late 60's, with Henry Simson their manager.
As regards the line-up of Sweet 'N' Tender Motion, I can list 4 - these being...
Danny Mitchell on drums.
John Manby on bass.
Ritchie Duncan on guitar.
Ian Mann on vocals.
On the photo though, you can see there's 5 in the group, so if anyone out there can do a "from left to right" style definitive line-up of the guys, feel free to pass on the info in the comments, along with any other details you can recall.

The JM advert is dated November 1969 when Sweet 'n' Tender Motion were sharing the evening with the Set.
Then in 1971, after a change of line-up, they were transformed into Forever Amber, along with a couple of guys from Rite Tyme.
Thanks to Craig & Danny.

DUNDEE SHOPPERS #4 - 1984-86-87

3 Murraygate shots to finish the 80's shoppers sequence.
TOP - 4th February 1984 - pretty packed at this end of the street looking towards Arnotts across the road. Pretty cold too by the look of the clobber!
Some of the Murraygate shops are- Menzies - Curry's - Top Shop - Jean Jeanie - Peter Lord - Radio Rentals - Dolcis.
MIDDLE - 2nd June 1986 - not quite so packed but a bit warmer with most folk going around in their shirtsleeves.
A few more shops - Dixons - Question Mark - Top Man.
BOTTOM - 6th July 1987 - back to being busy, and now the height of summer.
Some of the items featured on the Dundee Summer Events banners are, Frigate Unicorn, Witch's Blood and The Rep.
You might even be able to spot Mrs Doubtfire in the crowd!
Photo by Neale Elder

Wednesday 16 June 2010

DUNDEE SHOPPERS #3 - 1985 & 1986

The top scene looking along the Nethergate was taken from Burton's doorway and is dated 13th April 1985.
A couple of things I spotted in the City Square - there seems to be some kind of petition going on with stuff laid out on a table, although can't make out what for.
The other thing is the yellow poster with "The Man" on it. I thought it may have been for a play at first, but I couldn't find any info about a play from 85 with that title. So a couple of other possibilities - there was a band on the go in 85 called Happy The Man, it may be a gig poster. Or, Elvis Costello released a best of album in 85 called "The Man", perhaps it's an advert for that.
The other colourful image below it was snapped on 2nd June 1986 and has some locals taking a wee break from shopping, down at the Steeple grounds.
Photos by Neale Elder


Another 2 shopping pictures from the mid 80's, the High Street this time.
The top image taken on 15th September 1986 contains a tantalising glimpse into the fashions of the day! Smashing shell suit!!
The picture below it, dated 2nd June 1986, has more traffic than shoppers but this is how it looked just 6 months before I moved South. Some kind of work going on outside the Andrew G Kidd / Keiller Centre area. I recognise those orange vehicles too but can't recall who they belong to. Begins with a "P".
Photos by Neale Elder

Tuesday 15 June 2010


You may be able to have a bit of fun playing "Where's Wally" over the next few days, trying to spot someone you recognise in the crowd, in the next batch of photos coming up from the 80's.
Starting with the top one of the Cowgate, taken on 4th Feb 1984.
All that congestion at the Wellgate doorway is just how I remember it. Sometimes it seemed to take forever making your way in & out the entrance, with the less patient always attempting to barge their way past!
Must have been a bit chilly when the picture was taken mind you, judging by the attire on show.
Not so on the photo of the Murraygate underneath where everyone is in their summer togs. Not surprising, as this image was captured on 30th July 1984.
A couple of wee observations - the blue shop front at the top end near the Amusement arcade, is the fashion boutique called "Jean Jeanie".
Down the opposite end, the shop with the green & yellow sign is Richard Shops. Above it however, top right of the same building, there is a large chunk of concrete missing. Did this not come crashing down onto the pavement one night in a storm? I have a hazy memory of something like that happening back then.
Anyway, if you fancy having a go at identifying any of the faces in the crowd, click the images to enlarge, zoom in and have fun!
Photos by Neale Elder.

Monday 14 June 2010


This picture taken in the 60's, shows Ardler still in the process of being built.
Plenty of work to be done yet at this stage by the look of it, with the pipes, cement mixer and so on lying around.
Although the multi's appear to be complete, Turnberry Avenue took many years to finish off, even going through into the 70's. In my 1970 Dundee Directory, Turnberry Ave had reached up to house number 385, but by the time the 1974 Directory was published, the Avenue had extended to number 1255!
And talking of Turnberry Avenue - does anyone remember the Nisbet's at number 21? Well in 1967 quite a few people in Scotland knew of their whereabouts. The slideshow below contains a sound clip from Radio Scotland (still a Pirate Station back then) featuring a request for Margaret Nisbet at #21. It cropped up on the Ben Healy show, who's voice incidentally, resembles Mike Smash from Smashie & Nicey! It's all rather fab & groovy with mentions of Monkees T-shirts and Union Jack T-shirts on offer.
Anyway, there are 3 Ardler shots from the same photo session to accompany the radio clip.
Images from Mike & Laura

Sunday 13 June 2010


A 1988 advert for In Hawkes Hairdressing in Westport.
Not sure whether "Hawkes" is supposed to mean "Hawkhill" in a more upmarket slang way, or if it's someones surname, but anyway, I do like that haircut!


This ad for Jack and Irving Hairdressing in Commercial Street is dated 1987.
Dawn, one of their stylists, did the hairdo in the picture.

Saturday 12 June 2010


I don't have an exact year for this flyer printed for the opening of Salon 51 in the Murraygate, but I reckon late 70's/early 80's wouldn't be too far off.
As you can see, Dundee FC players were involved in the official ceremony razzle, which got me wondering - did Salon 51 have a special offer on for a blue rinse that day!?
Thanks to DD

Friday 11 June 2010


2 ladies hairdresser ads from 1968.
Parr Salons was at 128 Gray Street in the Ferry.
I seem to recall Parr's had a bit of a reputation for being a cut above the rest, although maybe it was they themselves who planted this high opinion in the first place!
As well as the Cowgate, Perth Road & Logie Street addresses in the ad, Fredericke also, later on, had a Ladies Hairdressing Training Centre in the Nethergate.
Now, Fredericke was obviously doing very good business with ladies hairstyling, but back then, there was another hairdresser who was also very successful with the ladies!! John Watson on the corner of Cleghorn St & Benvie Rd, used to attract ladies from all over Dundee. Not because of his scissor work, but because of his good looks! Yes, females, even from the other end of town, would make a special trip to his joint just to swoon and go weak at the knees!!
Ach well, it was the swinging 60's after all!!
Last I heard, he moved to New Zealand.
So away and book your flight girls..!!

Thursday 10 June 2010


Some amusing accessories were available in the early 70's to customise your Subbuteo pitch layout. Photographers, ambulancemen, police, TV crew, fans, in fact just about everything you can think of - apart from a streaker!
I had to scan the page in 2 sections, so poor old Ken Baily is split up the middle!


It was my wee brother who had the Subbuteo football gear, not me, but in the early 70's I was the one who came up with the idea of having a European League Table for us to indulge in at home. So along with Dundee, we had a few of the top Euro teams from that era in it - Ajax, Ujpest Dozsa etc, and I had the job of organising the fixtures, recording the results and writing out the league positions in my wee notebook! Good fun.
Looking back at the 1972-73 catalogue again reminded me that I have no idea how you went about playing Subbuteo Cricket, Rugby or Angling!!!

Wednesday 9 June 2010


Getting the Football League Ladders free with "Shoot" magazine each summer was always something to look forward to as a schoolboy in the late 60's/early 70's. It fired you up with enthusiasm for the start of the new football season ahead.
However, once the League Ladders board was pinned onto the bedroom wall above the bed, it didn't take long for all that pre-season excitement to ebb away.
The first two or three weeks were fine, the fun of rearranging all the team tabs into position after a couple of opening games. Then, because the tabs were a bit fiddly, tabs would get knocked off the board while changing them, and down the back of the bed they'd fall. Not so bad if they were from lower English Leagues, but after a few weeks passed, lots of other tabs joined them down below. So it would be at this point I'd give up on them, remove the board from the wall and chuck it in the cupboard!
Not once did I ever complete a full season, and yet I'd get all excited again the following summer when it was time to get another batch of Shoot League Ladders, only to go through the same sequence one more time!!

Tuesday 8 June 2010


Back in the good old, bad old, ugly old days of football in Scotland (referring mostly to the 70's here), battles inside grounds were commonplace. There was often no segregation, drink was allowed in which meant cans & bottles were chucked about willy-nilly, and bovver boy culture was in full flow. All these ingredients in the mix went on to create the matchday scrap! Although much of it was pretty horrendous, most fans just kind of took it for granted that battles would break out and it was all part of the spectator experience. For those of us who survived it all, we can sometimes look back at the trouble with a dark sense of humour, finding certain aspects of it rather amusing now, the opposite of how it was at the time! "Shit happens" as the saying goes, and retaining a sense of humour can help you get through it.
So having a look back at the pickle the human race got itself into over a game of futba, I've taken my cue from the guy in the photo above, collapsing, as if hit in the back by an arrow, and have given the slideshow below a light-hearted "Wild West" theme.
This kind of thing happened at Dens & Tannadice for years, but the images on show are from other locations around Scotland.
The final picture in the sequence is quite surreal, which brings to mind a surrealist proverb that goes - "When reason is away, smiles will play" - and that's why absurdity can induce laughter!
Photos by the Scotsman

Monday 7 June 2010


The Wonderful World Of Soccer Stars "World Cup 1974" picture stamp book, was an alternative to the packs of football cards with bubbly.
You got packets of 8 for 3p out of newsagents and the players photos were referred to as "stamps" - glossy paper rather than card.
There should have only been the 16 qualifying teams represented in the book, but as the book went to press, the Spain v Yugoslavia play-off had not yet taken place, so both teams got in the book, ending up with 17 in total. (Yugoslavia won)
This is actually my wee brother's book who gave it to me for safekeeping, and he did pretty well collecting the stamps, with only a few missing. The good news is he managed to get the full set of Scotland squad stamps. So if you want a reminder who some of our star players were back then, click on the team picture to view the large version, and I'm sure you'll spot a few legends in there!
The 1974 tournament has been Scotland's most successful World Cup to date, returning home undefeated, on goal difference only.
West Germany won it 2-1 v Holland.

Sunday 6 June 2010


Germany was still divided back in 1974, but all of Scotland was united when we travelled over to the West to take on Brazil, Yugoslavia and Zaire.
Roaring us on, was the official Scotland mascot, as shown on an original patch in the top picture. I think it may have been nicknamed "Roary", but I really can't remember now.
To hold some of your essential knick-knacks for the trip, you might have had a bag designed like the one above. Very popular they were in the early 70's. We used similar styled ones at school, usually with football team crests on them. The one in the photo, however, shows the Scottish Bus Group logo, which would have been doing a roaring trade back then, shifting Scotland supporters to airports.
And below, you can view a very short film clip from 74, of Scottish fans greeting the team at an airport in Germany.

Saturday 5 June 2010


Remember Larg's in Whitehall Street used to sell sheet music downstairs? Well here's 2 from 1974.
The Scotland World Cup Squad with "Easy! Easy!" and "Scotland! Scotland!".
Words and music by Bill Martin & Phil Coulter, who composed quite a few hits for the Bay City Rollers around this period.

Friday 4 June 2010


The 1974 World Cup in Germany was the first time Scotland had qualified for the tournament since 1958, and so for those who were in my age group (16) it was the first time we were involved in the event too.
There was also the added bonus of there being local interest, with Dundee lad Peter Lorimer a regular in the team. In fact by this stage in his career he had become a bit of a Scottish superstar! Then there was Dundee FC goalkeeper, Thomson Allan, who was also in the squad.
There was a good buzz in town when all this was going on. Most folk had colour TV by this time and the team were getting plenty of coverage. It wasn't just the telly and the newspaper sports pages they were making themselves known, they were also heard blasting out of Radio 1..!!
The Scotland Squad released an album to coincide with the tournament, which not only included the voices of the players but featured a hotchpotch of Scotch talent - Gallagher & Lyle, Lulu, Bay City Rollers, JSD Band, Middle Of The Road and Junior Campbell.
From it, there were 2 tracks which were released as a single - A-side was "Easy Easy" and the B-side was "Scotland Scotland".
However, the LP also presented one of the unlikeliest offerings you're likely to encounter in music ...Denis Law sings Jimi Hendrix!!
Actually, the track itself is fine, the Hendrix track being "Angel" which was a hit for Rod Stewart a couple of years earlier. This version has Rod singing along with Denis and contains a lot of banter which kind of captures the fun the World Cup was having on the Scots.
Top picture is the album cover. The cover opens up into a gatefold centre spread, as seen underneath it, and below is "Angel" by Rod Stewart & Denis Law.

Thursday 3 June 2010


One of the first materials we used in primary school when it was time for "arts & crafts", was plasticine. At aged 5, we usually just enjoyed rolling it out into as long a snake as possible, sometimes ending up like a 2ft piece of string if the didn't snap during the rolling!
However, I can remember the very last ever arts & crafts session I had there. Now aged 12, and in my final week at primary, which would have been June 1970, I set about making the World Cup trophy. It was approximately the same size as the real one, but in 2D rather than 3D, flat with sculpted details. It was then sprayed gold and mounted onto white card, similar to my wee recreation above.
The World Cup back then was called the Jules Rimet trophy, and just like Brazil who got to take the real thing home for keeps that year, I too got to take mine home.
When I went to secondary school, the material used in art class had changed to "modelling clay". So feeling a bit older at this stage (7 weeks!), the opinion had become - plasticine was for bairns!

Wednesday 2 June 2010


I already have the first & final issue of Cranked Up on Retro, so thought I'd show you the rest of the covers in between. There are too many to put each one up individually, so I've stitched them together and made a wee video with all 18, in numerical order, below.
Thanks to The Major, Craig, Mike, Kevin & DD.