Tuesday, 8 February 2011


In Cranked Up #3, back in 1981, there was an entire page devoted to local talent titled "A Guide To Dundee Bands - For The Uninitiated".
It consisted mostly of acts generally tagged as "alternative", many of which have had a mention on Retro in the past.
In amongst the alternative pack, however, were a few bands categorised as being Heavy Metal.
Each band was given a brief description and a score out of 10.
Top of the pile was Street Urchin with 7/10, a higher score than many of the alternative bands.
Bottom of the bucket was Spearhead & Sarcophagus with no points, the only zero on the page and who were described as being a heavy metal kiddie band, a music genre I've not been aware of!!
Anyway, I thought they were all worth a gaze on Retro to see if anybody could recall them.
I don't have any other material on these bands, so if someone knows a little something about them, drop the info into the comments.
Or if you have any photos, memorabilia, sound samples etc, feel free to send them into Retro and I'll do a wee feature.


  1. Sarcophagus, if I remember correctly was made up of very hirsuit Harris Academy pupils. I sort of vaguely knew some of them by association and I think it was all very Led Zep/Black Sabbath influenced.

    The only time I saw them play was in the school Assembly Hall one lunchtime. Just remember it being loud and a lot of tittering going on in the "audience".

    They may well have gone on to greater things..but probably not!

  2. Well, I was the drummer in Starfyre, with Brian Young on guitar, Nige Sandeman vocals and Ally Craig on bass.

    Never recorded anything - there's an article fae the Tully somewhere - I'll find it...

    Steevo (later of The Junkies, Lixx)

  3. Thanx for the extra info.
    It didn't twig with me that the "kiddie band" quip was referring to them being school kids!
    Good to get a correction on the Starfire spelling too!
    Yeah, have a rake for band souvenir's and send them over.
    I've just found out that there's a Satan's Empire single up on Youtube.

  4. i'd be interested to see the other scores.
    what's the odds on junkies being a 10, and vex being a 0?

  5. The Junkies don't appear on the list for some reason. Perhaps they were considered a band for the INITIATED.
    No Vex (the band) either because by 81 it was Flux. They got 6/10 - defined as original but annoying!
    No 10/10 scores for anyone.

  6. SILIGON or is it Silcon? a gay band? i wonder what that entailed pretty brave stance in the world of heavy metal in early 80s all pre Rob Halford.

  7. was street urchin not a precursor to Arrival nicking the name from a Pink Fairies kings of oblivion album

  8. would be Happy and honored to have 0 in a Heavy Metal guide ....Junkies 10 - have you actually heard them ?


  9. Och no again Mike, can you never EVER , jist "lave it be " ??????

  10. yes your right ricky ... wee things just wind me up ! I don't mind negative stuff , but anon annoys me ! just write your name if you know / dislike me ! most of dundee seem to :)

  11. I thought the anon who wrote Junkies 10 - Vex 0 was implying Jock wrote the article.
    It wasn't, it was Craig as Fabian Bell, who gave the highest mark of 8 to The Scrotum Poles.
    So if you discount that self appraisal, the top mark was 7.

  12. That's exactly what i meant retro-if it was jf who wrote the article, that's what the scores would have been. Given that it was craig, they would probably be a fairer appraisal. I'd still like to see the rest
    I certainly wasn't praising the junkies who were probably one of the most embarrassing things to ever come out of dundee, and i wasn't slagging vex (or flux), even though they weren't my cup of tea.
    relax vex, not everyone's out to have a go.

  13. Id give The Raunchy Guys a solid 9&Wattie Reid the Dundee Elvis Impersonutter a fair tae middlin 6 for sheer metal shiteyness.

  14. 1981 was too early for the Raunchy Guys of course, but Grey Approach made the list and it says of them - "were Dundee darling boys for a while, but failed to deliver the goods". 6/10

  15. I didn't include the Junkies because they really were a tribute band.

    1. Oh, Craig, you were always a culture bore, and oh so preciously tasteful

  16. Spearhead had a couple of guys from Morgan Academy, a year or so above me if memory serves. A certain Mr Silvers may have also been involved - on geetar of course.

  17. I'm sure Asgard were a Grove Academy band. Didn't Dave Telfer play guitar with them?

  18. Street Urchin practised in the old Coffin Mill, in the back of a motor factors as one of their members was an apprentice there. It was a bloody freezing place.
    Singer was Danny (can't remember his surname) but he went on to front a band who I am pretty sure appeared in an early episode of Taggart.
    Drummer was if I remember rightly John (again can't remember surname, but he had glasses and curly hair!) - very good drummer ended up in clubby bands on cruise ships. His mate and rhythm guitarist was I think called Grant. There was a bass player too, but I have no recollection of his name.
    I played lead for them for about 2 weeks, then they sacked me. I was too good for them anyway (hahaha).
    Pretty sure I've got a demo around somewhere. Soundhog cassette . . . .

  19. Danny McAfee( Vocals )... John Russel ( hittin things wi sicks ) ... Grant Reilly ( Geetar ,Canna spell ) cant remember the bassist ? .... the Coffin mill was Danny's work I think ... a spec's factory ( Freezin )