Tuesday 30 November 2010


July 1988 saw another installment of the annual Dundee Jazz Festival.
Here is the events list published in Street Life magazine.
There were 3 parts to the festival - the main big acts with the likes of Remmy Ongala, Donald Byrd, Humphrey Lyttleton etc. Then there was a secondary late night line up featuring local acts such as Dougie Martin and Jimmy Deuchar. Finally there was the Jazz Village which was basically lots of gigs taking place around the city pubs.
Being spoilt for choice was courtesy of the reliable Platform Jazz team.
If I was still in Dundee back then, I'd have been along to the Rep like a shot to catch Donald Byrd!

Monday 29 November 2010


This rather clear-headed account of a Vex gig, appeared in an issue of Voice fanzine in 1982.
You may recall in an earlier item when they played in Newport they decided to call themselves Mass on the night, well for this do down at the Tayside Bar they opted to be The Death Cult.
The line-up had Ewan on violin, Gary Kidgell and Gail doing vocals, Mike Kane playing bass, and the good old drum machine providing the beats.
There seems to have been a touch of performance art type of behaviour to their show, some of which didn't go down very well!
Anyway, still sounds like a better evening than Tiffanys!
Unfortunately, as you can see by the grainy images, the Xerox machine was a bit hit & miss for this issue, and manages to cut off the final sentence in the review.
It reads - "Last word goes to Al of Waiter Waiter who said it's still one of........." then it fades out at that bit, which is annoying.
In fact, maybe it wasn't the Xerox machine, it might have been the work of Vex!!

Sunday 28 November 2010


Here's a candid domestic scene caught on camera in 1984.
Filmed in Mike Kane's kitchen, it features Mike and Steve Grimmond having a bit of a blether about AAGA, while tucking into some nosh.
Serving up some tasteful tunes in the background is Bob Phillips, adding to the ambiance with a touch of classical guitar.
A few years earlier (1977) Bob supplied slide guitar on The Drive's single. He was also one of the participating guitarists in Boo Hooray.
You may remember he was advertised as Boab Philips in the Soul Kiss Club feature on Retro, when he was playing down at the Tayside Bar.
The Tayside Bar crops up during the chinwag by the way.
Those of you who are knowledgeable on classical music may enjoy playing "Name That Tune" while all the chatting is going on. One tune you will get is the "World In Action" theme!
Unfortunately, Bob is just about to give us a rendition of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" when the video fades out after only 3 notes!
The scene was captured by Kevin Guthrie of Altres.
Thanks to Mike.

Saturday 27 November 2010


This is the time of year a lot of oldies go for their winter jab, so I thought I'd get involved and inject a Boo Hooray track into your circulatory system!
Boo Hooray were sonic fidgets. Personnel-wise and music-wise. There was never really a settled band line-up. There was main man Gerry Mitchell, and a cluster of others who weaved in and out.
This cool image above is Scott Gowans, one of the guitarists who teamed up with them for a spell. The photo would have been taken around 1981ish, roughly the same era as the record.
I suppose whether you like Boo Hooray's output or not, could depend on how musically aware you are. If, for example, your taste lies solely in the Top 40 Pop Charts and your record collection was purchased in ASDA, then there is a good chance the track will go in one ear and out the other.
Should you be the more adventurous type who liked to delve into music's more vibrant underground scene, then you may be able to identify a few influences in the mix.
The guitar intro on their track "For Example" attacks you like a bout of pins & needles, but as it subsides it then administers a fragmented funky groove into your body, which, providing you're not one of the living dead, ought to give you a good wee buzz!
Much better for you than any corporate rock placebo..!!
Thanks to MK & GM.

Friday 26 November 2010


This is a picture of Dundee band, The Poor Souls, photographed in 1965.
It's a typical kind of publicity shot, which cropped up in a national music magazine - and at the time of the photo, the band were promoting their debut single released on Decca, which I have already featured on Retro.
Under it, is a typical gig the band would be playing at that time too - this one at the Masonic Hall, Crieff, in September 1965.
However, this show was not your typical night out with the band, because during their performance, and incident happened in which main man, Doug Martin, ended up later, being fined for assault!
Their van was also vandalised after the gig.
No encore that night then!
Anyway, I thought I'd take this opportunity to play another track of theirs, this time from 1966 and on Dundee's own label - ALP Records.
So here's Thi Pare Sowls with the B-side of the single, a track called "Please Don't Change Your Mind".

Thursday 25 November 2010


I reckon the graphic at the top of the page on the first item is based on a Gibson Firebird, and so from that you may guess Dundee band No Fixed Abode was a guitar based rock outfit, in which case you'd be bang on. Being a trio, however, they weren't full-on heavy metal merchants, but they did like to rock the joint!
NFA members were - Lloyd Anderson, drums & lead vocal - Jed Ward, bass - and doing all the guitar work was Lyle (or Lyall?) Osborne.
This live review is a positive one, the gig having taken place at the Tayside Bar in 1981. They played for an hour & a half, the majority of which was their own material, but they did slip a couple of covers in the set as well. It doesn't say so in this particular write-up, but to give you an idea of their musical leanings, cover versions they've indulged in have been Thin Lizzy's "Dancing In The Moonlight" and David Bowie's "Stay".
The second item is also a fairly positive review of a gig NFA played up at the University in January 1982. This one appeared in the national music press.
There's a bit of advice in the write-up, but all 'n' all it's a general thumbs up for the performance.
Despite the band's ambitions, as far as I know No Fixed Abode's recording output never got past the demo tape stage.
You may need to enlarge the top item to read it, so just give it a click.

Wednesday 24 November 2010


Dundee band Circus Of Hell played Fatties on 18th June 1984. The flyer advertising it as the "Satin 'n' Trash Show".
Underneath is a full page ad from a 1984 Deadbeat mag, the Fat Sams Dance Factory Sunday's list being -
4th March - Perfect Crime
11th March - Bourgie Bourgie
25th March - Reflex
1st April - Swans Way
Not sure if Icicle Works stopped off at Fatties on their Spring Tour that year as it only has their Edinburgh & Glasgow date on it, but I do know the band has played at Fat Sams.
Bourgie's Paul Quinn, although not a Dundonian, used to occasionally socialise in town back then and recall Dundee guitarist Steve Reid teamed up with Paul sometime later, 1990ish.
Thanks to Joe Ogilvie.

Tuesday 23 November 2010


I was hanging out in some old ramshackle tumbledown saloon way out west recently, when this wizened old-timer slid an object over to me across the full length of the bar. "Have it" he said, "I've plenty more nuggets like this stashed away in my shack down by the creek". He then finished his plate of beans, gathered up his belongings and rode off into the sunset.
Luckily for Retro, that bar was in Westport, the creek was the Tay and the nugget was a rare recording from Dundee's dusty past.
This long forgotten sonic posse was The Raunchy Guys, 4 notorious varmints who got together to rustle up their unspeakable plans and go stampeding across the county inflicting this torture - all in the name of music.
Fortunately, their music was Country & Western, so nobody really noticed!
Anyway, the lowdown on the hoedown is as follows...
Band line-up, Al Hendrickx, guitar - Jim Low, vocal - Gordon Walker, bass and Joe Jordan, drum machine.
This track of theirs called "Johnny Cash's Boots" was recorded at Al's mums house in King Street in winter 1983.
You can tell by the lyrics and the fact they use a drum machine that they were not exactly die-hard C&W purists, and yet they did actually do gigs at Dundee's Country & Western Club.
Mind you, there is some rather fine authentic sounding twang geetar galloping along throughout.
I think the song ought to bring a smile to your face, but if not, perhaps their C&W names will... there was Big Musket Teepee - Bullet Fritter Snakebelt - Stompin Hoss and The Bear.
That's all for now y'all!
Big thanks to Sheriff Walker.

Monday 22 November 2010


When I put up an ad in March earlier this year for Rainbow's original music shop in Hawkhill, it got quite a big response in the comments. However, most of them were about their Bell Street store!
So here now you have an advert from 1988 for Rainbow Music, 15 Bell Street.
Seems like this was the place to go if you were looking for a synth in the late 80's, judging by their special offers!
Below the ad is a review of the Bell Street emporium.
Keith Mackintosh & Alan Roy, who ran the Hawkhill shop for 6 years, were still the main men at their new premises. Also, Bob Orobzcuk gets a special mention, he being the shops Hi-Tech expert.
According the the previous batch of comments, the guys at Rainbow had a good rapport with their customers, and this bond is backed up in the review.
Those of you who can't remember where you've put your specs, just click the review to read the large version!

Sunday 21 November 2010






All the above photos were taken in the mid to late 80's period.
I've already done a wee feature on the history of Lixx, so those of you who need to refresh your memory, you can find the first batch of Lixx stuff in the September 2010 Archives.
Meanwhile, here below is a track from 1989 called "Someday". This was to have been released as a single following on from their album, but for some reason it never saw the light of day, so it's good to give it a new lease of life on Retro.
No shortage of Lixx guitar licks as the guys sound fully energized on this metal workout, their polished performance buffing up a blazing burnish!
Big thanxx to Joe Ogilvie.

Saturday 20 November 2010


2 wee bits of info on Dundee band The Megazones.
They brought out this vinyl single in 1980 - A side was called "Never Been So Lonely" and the flip was "Circles".
Unfortunately, the record has escaped my clutches, so if anyone has an MP3 version of it you can pass on to me, I could put the audio up on Retro later and that would help put a sound to their name.
Meanwhile, the following year, The Megazones played their final gig at the Barracuda.
This short review of the evenings event was written by accomplished alliteration aficionado, Rikki Rimshot, and appeared in the first issue of Cranked Up.
There is mention of the possibility that the band may resurface later with new band members, but having looked through all the local fanzines I have from 1981/82/83, The Megazones name doesn't crop up afterwards, so I think this gig probably was the last thing they did.
A little footnote - I know there is also a recording of a collaboration with Megazones man, Jim Farrell and ex Scrotum Poler Craig Methven, but again, I haven't been able to get my mitts on that either yet.
So you never know, there may be more to come on The Megazones and related material, in the New Year.
The large version of the review will be easier to read - just give it a click. 

Friday 19 November 2010


This concert took place in Dudhope Park sometime in the early 60's.
It was actually part of the entertainment laid on during the 7 weekies.
No idea who the act is but if anyone wants to have a stab at who it might be, there are 2 guitarists, a drummer, a pianist and a female singer.

Thursday 18 November 2010


Back to Dundee's post punk days we go and to a band whose sound reflected the era very well, Severed Arm.
The line-up was - JIM LOW, vocals - DAVE McDONALD, guitar - JOHN ANDERSON, bass and CASS on drums.
Severed Arm played locally at venues such as the Tayside Bar, Marryat Hall and even the Baxter Park Fest.
The band also used to play up at Ardler Community Centre, and during one of those sessions, around 1982, they had their tape recorder running and managed to get a few tracks down on cassette. From it, below, is a song called "Open & Closed", a tune which captures that typical early 80's alternative pop template of jangly guitar and youthful angst!
Big thanks to Dave.

Wednesday 17 November 2010


This article dates from April 1988 and is a wee notice letting local musicians know of a newly opened rehearsal studio called Joe's Garage, based in North Isla Street.
It was rigged out with band gear and recreational facilities, and had Steve & Graeme eagerly awaiting on the switchboard!

Tuesday 16 November 2010


I'm gonna squeeze in a few music items now before it gets all Christmassy in December, so the next couple of weeks will consist of a rummage through some old publications and a dip into Dundee's back catalogue.
It's The Old Tay Whistle Test!
Let's get our toes tapping with this...(snigger)...classic, from our very own singing minstrel (or should that be mincetrel?!) Dean Eastwood.
The tune is called "The Tigers Of Dundee" and is a song about the Dundee Tigers, the ice hockey team who's 2nd generation incarnation formed in 1987.
Perhaps Dean's regular visits to the Kingsway Ice Rink explains his choice of footwear!
Thanks to the Bear.

Monday 15 November 2010


Probably the most famous footballer the world has ever known is Brazilian superstar, Pele, and he paid a visit to Dens Park one summer in June 1989.
He was there to present a "Man Of The Match" award when Dens was hosting a Group C section of the Under 16's World Cup tournament - Group C consisting of Argentina, Nigeria, Canada and China.
Before the football action, he had a "meet the locals" kind of PR stint at the ground, signing autographs, having his photo taken, that sort of thing, and the picture above is of him in the middle of a Q&A session with a group of kids from Hill Primary School.
The then Scotland manager, Andy Roxburgh, is alongside him.
Photo by DC Thomson.

Sunday 14 November 2010


I mentioned in yesterday's post about Dundee ref John Gordon, that he was one of the officials who was chosen for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. So whilst on that topic I thought I'd drop this little feature on Retro from a year later when the newly crowned 78 World Cup champs, Argentina, paid a visit to Scotland.
This was a friendly match at Hampden, and surprise surprise Scotland got beat 3-1, however, the game has gone on to become quite a famous one because this was when a young kid called Maradona scored his first ever goal for his country. He was still in the under 20's youth team in 1978, so this full international encounter helped him on the path to being known as the worlds best footballer throughout the 80's, and some say, ever!
There were 2 Dundee United players in the Scotland team that day, Dundonian, David Narey, and the guy in the photo, Paul Hegarty.
Thanks to Ali Strachan.

Saturday 13 November 2010


As a young lad, John Gordon played football locally for Stobswell and the Violet before he made the decision to be a ref. It turned out to be quite a good move as he went on to referee at top level in around 30 countries. In fact, included in his travels were Argentina in 1978 and Spain in 1982, when he was referee at the 2 World Cup Tournaments hosted there. In Spain he was actually officially titled by the sports medical authority as being the "fittest" ref at the 82 World Cup, and he was aged 52 by then!
John did, however, choose to hang up his whistle after the 82 World Cup and retired.
It has not always been plain sailing for him on match day mind you. Once when he was refereeing a televised Hibs v Rangers game, the teams were all lined up in their kick-off positions and after a quick check of his watch, John then signalled for the match to start in the usual ref way with a big sweeping hand motion as he ran forward. He soon noticed the players were all still standing still, and it was then brought to his attention that he didn't blow his whistle! A bit of a minter that day!
One of the highlights of his career was when he was chosen to referee the 1973 Scottish Cup final when the SFA were in their Centenary year. It was the first time in a hundred years that a member of the royal family had attended a Scottish Cup match and the photo above is of him meeting Princess Alexandra just before kick-off.
I also have footage below from the 73 final. An old firm battle with around 130,000 packed into Hampden... and no shortage of Scottish football legends on view!
John Gordon died in 2000.

Friday 12 November 2010


When your time's up, it's time to depart, and Timex's time at Milton of Craigie ended in the 1980's after around 3 decades of having a presence there.
This photo taken at the tail end of the 80's, shows where the Timex factory once stood, looking over the barren ground to Douglas Road, with Longtown Road to the left.
Shortly afterwards, it was ASDA's turn to keep the area ticking over!
Big thanks to Ecky.

Thursday 11 November 2010

INSIDE TIMEX - 1980'S - #2






Another half dozen images from the 80's brochure I featured on yesterdays post.
Click on the pictures if you want to view the large versions.
1000's on the dole quite a hefty price to pay for affordable watches!
Thanks to Ecky.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

INSIDE TIMEX - 1980'S - #1






After a mass of redundancies in the early/mid 80's, many of the departments in Timex factories around Dundee lay idle. To try and attract alternative use for the machinery available, Timex printed hundreds of brochures in various languages to see if they could entice other companies to make use of what the factories had to offer. However, despite the desperate effort, it was all too little too late and they eventually closed their doors for good with the factory contents having been auctioned off.
The above pictures are from these 80's brochures and show a variety of departments when they were still in full flow.
The 3 main Timex factories were at Camperdown, Milton of Craigie and Dunsinane, which in their heyday employed many thousands.
A local saying back then was "Everybody in Dundee knows someone who works in Timex".
So on that basis, there are bound to be some of you out there who will be familiar with the departments in the pictures, or maybe even recognise a friend or relative.
If you need a closer look, click onto the image to view the large versions.
There will be more tomorrow.
Big thanks to Ecky.

Monday 8 November 2010


Here's a nice shot along the length of the old Cowgate when the Wishart Arch was still connected to it.
The arch was where plague victims were brought to in the middle of the 16th century, but nowadays the arch itself looks as if it has the plague, cast aside in isolation like a bubonic casualty.
There's evidence too in the photo that this is where nicotine victims came to in the early 1970's, with a discarded packet of Embassy Tipped lying alongside it in the gutter!
"Bring out your dead...bring out your dead..."

Sunday 7 November 2010


William Lane ran from Victoria Road down to King Street.
It consisted mainly of the steps in the photo, although there was a wee bit of road at the bottom of the lane before reaching King Street.
The building on the left of the steps photo (or to the right of the billboards on the top photo) was a stone engravers called Carnegie & Son. It's a place I remember passing on the bus regularly as a youngster because it's window display was made up of gravestones. No need to stop off there with your pocket money!
You can consult yesterdays map to find the location of William Lane. It was to the left of Dens brae, opposite Wellington Street.
I checked Google's satellite map, and if you zoom into the area you can still see the ghost of the steps showing through from the undergrowth.

Saturday 6 November 2010


This stretch of property was on Victoria Road between the Wellgate and Idvies Street (now Ladywell Ave).
The rear of the buildings would normally be hidden away from view because they were surrounded by tenements on all sides, so the shot of the backies is quite a rare sight.
To help you with your bearings, the building to the right with the large extensions on the back, is Forbes.
Also in the backies image is the church on the far right which was across the street at Eadies Road, and is now where a block of flats is.
The picture of the back of the tenements is a great one to zoom into on the large version. Lots of ancient nooks & crannies connecting the jumble of buildings to nose around. Not too sure what's what mind you - outside toilets, sheds, dovecotes, stock rooms, who knows, probably a mix of all of these. Just looks like a huge inviting adventure playground for a 7 year old kid!
By the mid 70's it was all gone and has since been replaced by free lodgings for birds - trees!
I've included a map of the area to give you a reminder of the layout back then.
If you'd like to recall what this same stretch of road was like when it was bustling with business, there's a good photo from the 60's in the Retro Archives - 7th November 2008.
Click onto the images to view or download the large versions.