Shuffle: A Scottish Summer

This week a collision of circumstances gave me the idea for this column. Firstly I had to abandon my initial idea for the column, as it turns out not everything is on the internet (more about that at a later date). Then, we made the decision to holiday in Scotland (sadly, I’ve only ever been to Scotland on business) and as soon as I’d confirmed the booking, Orange Juice and ‘A Place in My Heart’ burst out of the speakers. That got me thinking about OJ and what happened to them once they split and before Edwyn hit paydirt with ‘A Girl Like You‘.

This led to an expedition to the attic to remind me of some half-remembered 7″ singles and luckily I found them (alongside the cherished Postcard Orange Juice singles). There was ‘You Supply the Roses‘ by Memphis featuring James Kirk (formerly of OJ). It is a record of its time and alongside what you might expect, there’s a definite hint of twang. There are other bands called Memphis but this is the only one you need.

Moving towards a more countrified sound was also evident in the collaboration between Edwyn Collins and Paul Quinn (Quinn had provided backing vocals on ‘), especially on ‘Ain’t That Always the Way‘.

They also did a terrific cover of ‘Pale Blue Eyes‘.

Paul Quinn was in a band called Bourgie Bourgie; they flirted with fame but never quite broke through. Even though it was the early 1980’s and it was okay to be ambitious and to be different, things never did quite work out. Here’s ‘Breaking Point‘.

Quinn went on to work with James Kirk (and a host of other players from around the Glasgow scene) in Paul Quinn & The Independent Group. Once again critical success proved easier than selling records. Here is ‘Stupid Thing‘ – it seems quite absurd that Quinn never managed to trouble the upper reaches of the charts.

Alongside these records were a couple of singles by another Scottish pop band. Their impact on the charts like most decent music was inversely proportional to its greatness. On these days of summer, I want to hear ‘Sunkissed‘ blaring out from portable speakers in parks. It’s a dream, it will never happen. To keep me going and to return me to the days when I had similar dreams of obscurity when my semi-acoustic was set to jangle. Here’s ‘State of Art‘ – turn it up loud when you drive by my house.

About David Cowling 142 Articles
Punk rock, Go-Betweens, REM, Replacments, Husker Du, Minutemen, Will Oldham, Smog, Whiskeytown, Ass Ponys but probably most of all Howe Gelb, led me on this journey.
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