Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Roy Terre (Reuters - get it?) from Deadbeat mag, had a chinwag with The Grip down at the Tayside Bar in late '82.
Jim Grieve & Ross Ramsay were the 2 band members who answered the questions.
Lots of info supplied on the band (they started off as Tender Grip) as well as giving an insight into their future plans.
I like the fact that Jim name-drops The Ruts, Misty In Roots and Talisman as influences, rather than UB40.
Although The Grip and UB40 ended up in similar musical territory, if you dig deeper than the superficial parity, you can can see that their backgrounds would have been entirely different.
UB40, Birmingham - a huge black community, reggae record shops in abundance, reggae clubs, established sound systems, pirate stations blasting out reggae & dub all day, all this on their own doorstep.
The Grip, Dundee -! No black community to set the scene, no clubs, even finding a reggae record was a needle in a haystack job. So all their learning, know-how and enthusiasm would have had to be gleaned from ploughing through the music papers, listening to the odd radio programme (Peely) and travelling to major cities to visit reggae clubs, see bands and grab records.
The Grip's was a much tougher task from the outset in comparison to UB40.
I for one, doff my giant rasta hat to them for giving it a really good go.
Click item to read the large version.


  1. I always thought they took their name from the expression "To be on the grip" i.e. claiming your dole money but grafting on the side as a wee nod to UB40. Great band though, what they up to now?

  2. Urban Myth i think,I'm sure they played a gig in the Charlie Bar Lounge for the bassplayers mate under the name "TenderGrip" 81/82/83 ????? sorry, memory has gone , but i was defo there, booked myself in for a tattoo from Nash Latto and sh*t it, never turned up .

  3. Jim (Sykes) runs Dundee's hip & hot underground club, The Reading Rooms.
    The place to be for some serious dancefloor action!

  4. He was always going to do something like that , FFS he was the guy that managed (unlike GG) to get Papa Swi to play Blazers :) Pretty good band . great sense of humour, and to be fair you really had to scrape for good Reggae in Dundee in the early 80's hence we all ended up in Edinburgh , i can still smell it now ;)

  5. gg, why hasnt dundee got a hugh bangra scene or has it?
    st caldrum

  6. Now I get it. Often wondered why there always seems to be reggae on at the reading rooms every now and again.

  7. I've no idea if Dundee had/has a Bhangra scene or not. This music started to become popular just around the time I left Dundee. I'd like to think there was and still is a hot wee den somewhere in town dishing up some Bhangra beats!

  8. Great wee article there, brought back some good memories. Wasn't at the first gig but caught onto them soon after.Watched them grow from young rough lads into quite a good band. They built up quite a large following in Scotland and played some pretty big gigs, also did the University circuit playing with bands such as, Revvilos, Run Rig, Aztec Camera, The Beat, Bad Manners etc etc. Then they moved to London looking for a better record deal. They also added 3 new members, one black female vocalist, one black male toaster/percussionist and one white lead guitarist. This in my opinion is where they went wrong. They already had their own identity but bringing in the new members just turned them into another multi cultured reggae band in a huge market where there was plenty others around. They played lots of gigs, got airplay, even got their own article in highly regarded magazive "Black Echoes" But i think they left themselves in no mans land, we up north thought they sort of sold out and prfered the raw version and the London scene coudn't quite make their minds up so stuck to their own favourites. Still ! Had many a good time with them, saw loads of great gigs, all coming back thanks to Retro Dundee. Cheers Retro.

  9. saw them at an RB'S gig once