Saturday, 12 August 2017

Orange Juice : Coals To Newcastle (artwork)

 Artwork used to illustrate the Orange Juice 'Coals to Newcastle' boxset that was released by Domino Records in 2010. The artwork, layout, and design for the box set was done by Paul Kelly -known for his artwork for Saint Etienne and as a musician himself in the band East Village. For these two pieces he's relied heavily on a lot of the artwork used at Postcard Records for their original Orange Juice releases such as the 'Falling And Laughing' and 'Simply Thrilled Honey' singles.

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Anyone interested in this boxset will be glad to know that it was recently reissued by AED Records and is available to buy at their website.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Postcard Records Kitten Tattoo!

I've been, as per usual, sort of busy since my last post (all of 6 weeks ago) but I should get round to adding a couple of things this week or so. Maybe a things that I've already posted on Twitter; I'll see what's worth posting. Anyhow, today we have a photo of a Postcard Records, drumming kitten tattoo. Generously and courtesy of the lovely Bea Dewhurst. You can catch up with vintage clothing archivist and researcher Bea's recent adventures in Paris at her photoblog (and at Flickr) and follow her, as well as more of her "cats", on Twitter.

Photo: Courtesy of & ©Bea Dewhurst.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Deltiology - Arab Strap

Arab Strap can be rightly considered as one of Scotland's most infuential bands. From 1995 to their split in 2008 the band released a whole series of excellent singles and albums -mostly on Glasgow indie label, Chemikal Underground but also a few like the 'Cherubs' EP and the Elephant Shoe album on the Go Beat! label. In today's post we feature 3 promotional postcards that were printed by Chemikal Underground to tie in with the releases: Philophobia (1998), The Red Thread (2001), and the Here We Go / Trippy single (1998). Very nice items indeed.
Arab Strap recently reformed (2016) to play a couple of gigs to mark their 20th anniversary. They'll also play a string of festival dates during the summer of 2017 though no new recorded material from them has been forthcoming so far.


Click on images to see larger versions.

Philophobia artwork / graphics : Marianne Greated / Adam Piggot
The Red Thread artwork / graphics : Gavin Moffatt / Adam Piggot

Images courtesy of and ©David Bonney

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Tap Your Winklepicker To This!

The recent, exciting exhibition tracing the history of Scottish pop music from the 60s to the present day organized by Kevin Buckle of Avalanche Records at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh appears to have been quite succesful. Kevin put on show lots of original artefacts (like the one pictured here) that had been kindly donated / loaned by various collectors such as Glenn Gibson, Scottish Post-Punk, and collectionneuse extraordinaire, Caroline Binnie among others.

Pictured left is an original postcard for Postcard Records, featuring the iconic Louis Wain drumming kitten, done by James Kirk (Orange Juice) in the early days of the record label.

Photo : Courtesy of & ©Graham Purnell


Sunday, 11 June 2017

The First Year Plan

Ad that appeared in the 1979 music press for the compilation album, 'The First Year Plan' from Fast Product. Features the first six singles issued by the label in 1978 and 1979.

Artwork for the album by Bob Last, Malcolm Garrett, and Helena Zakrzewska-Rucinska.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Only Fun In Town - Exhibition

If anyone out there is in Edinburgh on Friday 16th to Sunday 18th of June don't miss out on this exciting exhibition tracing the history of Scottish pop music from the 60s to the present day. An exhibition organized by Kevin Buckle of Avalanche Records.
Features : artwork • memorabilia • original artefacts.

More details:
Open Fri 16 11–7pm. Launch 5–7pm, all welcome.
Sat 17 and Sun 18, 11am–6pm. Free Entry.

"We are hosting the first pop-up exhibition of the latest project from Avalanche Records. This history of Scottish pop music will showcase rarities, memorabilia and music from Scotland’s rich musical past brought to you by its musicians, record labels and fans. A journey through the 1960s, post-punk and indie bands of the 1980s up to the modern day where you can pick up some exclusive finds."

This forms part of Open Out – a week of performance, film and music at The Fruitmarket Gallery.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Be Part of the Amazing Teenage Superstars!

From the makers of 'Big Gold Dream' comes the story of the The Fall of Postcard and the Rise of 53rd & 3rd Records, 'Teenage Superstars'.

"Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream. Teenage Superstars picks up where we left off with Big Gold Dream - the demise of Postcard Mk. 1, along with Fast Product shutting up shop."

After the brilliant BGD this time Grant McPhee and his team will be telling the story of the second wave of great Scottish, indie bands that appeared from the early to late 80s. Bands like The Pastels, Shop Assistants, The Vaselines, Simple Minds (oops!), The Jesus And Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, etc. etc.

For the time being the film is still in the post-production stage. So far the lads have made a great effort in managing to complete the film and licence the music for it but, to complete their post production process, they need some financial support. They need your assistance to pay for things like archive clearances (footage of Nirvana costs a lot more than a sausage roll from Greggs!), and the likes of insurance, and marketing.

So, go ahead, Punk! Send in a couple of £s, $s, €s, and Make Their Day !

If you want to help crowd fund the film you can make a donation here.

Here what Bill Drummond (KLF) has to say about the film here.

Teenage Superstars - Trailer

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Psychedelic Etchings of the Smooth

 One of the many documents and original pieces of memorabilia you'll be able to see at the upcoming exhibition, organized The Scottish Music Centre, at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh on the 16th to 18th of June this year. 

So, if any of you are in Edinburgh, on those dates, take time to check out the exhibition.

One of the items on show is this nifty little 'Postcard Communique'. Something that James Kirk (Orange Juice) put together in the early days of Postcard Records in 1979. Features the wee 'Drumming Kitten' from an original Louis Wain drawing that was used as the Postcard logo. 

Document source: @HistoryofSMC

From the Glenn Gibson collection. ©GlennGibson

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Background Beat For Active People

Thanks to the Big Gold Dream documentary I've been digging out any Fast Product / pop:aural discs that I've had ever since they were released way back in the day. This one is the legendary, Fire Engines 'Lubricate Your Living Room' album. Sounds as good today as it did back then. BTW the 'Room' in the title is singular and not plural as stated in the ad for the disc above.

I've no idea how many copies of this disc were originally pressed but I can't imagine it being more than a thousand or two. Reached N° 4 in the Indie charts. Hugely influential on the Scots post-punk, indie-music scene, Fire Engines were one those great bands, in their day, that never quite made it beyond cult status. They were gone before most realised they'd been around.

Born from the same literary art-punk scene as other Edinburgh greats, Scars (Fast Product) and Josef K (Postcard Records), the shortlived band broke up, less than a year after this was released, in 1981.

Images: ©japanese forms

Fire Engines Wiki

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Pulling A Fast One

Well, the other week I finally got to see the Grant McPhee documentary, 'Big Gold Dream.' A wonderful insight into the early days of the Scottish indie, post-punk music scene (Fast Product, Postcard Records, Josef K, Fire Engines, Scars, The Associates, etc. etc.).

The documentary particularly centres on Bob Last's, Edinburgh labels, Fast Product and pop:aural; with Bob and various people, who were part of the music scene back in the late 70s early 80s, giving us the lowdown on how things were as well as how Fast Product and pop:aural came about.

An altogether fascinating documentary which I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed.

Anyhow, the whole got me looking out any discs that I still have from the Fast/pop:aural era, giving them a spin and posting some pics of the artwork and graphic design work that Bob Last came up with for both labels.

Also, by way of the documentary, you get to realise just how much Tony Wilson's Factory Records owes to Bob Last. The large part played in influencing the great Manchester label when it comes to graphic design, marketing, etc. is really quite astonishing.

One of Last's ideas was to use the image of an old ad for Silva Thins cigarettes (a brand which once sparked controversy for its sexist tagline: "Cigarettes are like women. The best ones are thin and rich" in an 1970 ad) to illustrate the plastic pop:aural bag which enveloped initial copies of the Fire Engines' 'Lubricate Your Living Room' album when it was released in 1981.

No idea of this appropriation caused anything of a stir back then or if pop:aural ever had any problems about it. Then again, I can't imagine anyone in Scotland, or even the UK for that matter, ever smoking Silva Thins cigarettes.

Special thanks to Austen Harris for reminding me of Silva Thins-pop:aural link.


©japanese forms

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Glummest Group In The World

Two minutes of hate 30 years ago today from the Jesus And Mary Chain in Smash Hits, April 22, 1987 issue.

Not only do they hate everything and everyone but they're also, as William says, "such lazy bastards". And who are we to disagree? I mean, it only took them about 18 years to release their recent 'Damage & Joy' album.

Anyhow, if you want to read all of the interview; just click right on the image and on the + to enlarge for your reading comfort.

Document source & ©Brian TV

Thursday, 13 April 2017


Cutting from the NME (circa 1985, I reckon) featuring Edwyn Collins in the 'Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer' section. Edwyn gives us the lowdown on his favourite sounds, drink, books, etc. as well as other things that he dislikes.
Otherwise, in the Hot Tips bit Edwyn mentions then fairly unknown bands, Pride of the Cross and Sonic Youth. Pride of the Cross only lasted the length of one single release before a couple of the members split to join The Pogues. Wonder what happened to Sonic Youth?

Document source: GC's Punk & New Wave

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Big Gold Dream - Saturday 15th April, BBC2 Scotland

When the late, great, American journalist Hunter S Thompson wrote: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.” It fast became an overused sentence to describe the music industry because its sentiments in brevity (exactly 140 characters, coincidently) describe pretty succinctly what the music biz represents for many indignant musicians around the globe, current and past. It’s almost become a bit of a clichéd phrase, but it’s also important to note - and let’s chime with one of the points made in Michael Hann’s departing piece as Guardian music editor; yes, musicians don’t make fortunes from their endeavours - but neither do producers of feature length music documentaries. Malcolm Ross of Josef K, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera: “It’s art, not commerce. We always wanted to be independent.”

Punk changed all that. No longer enthralled to the major corporations, Independent labels were sprouting up all over Scotland and then The White Riot Tour arrived May 7th, 1977: “It was a real year zero moment.” Davy Henderson, singer, arch agitator with Fire Engines, muses in Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk & Infiltrating the Mainstream. The feature length documentary that finally sees a public broadcast on BBC2 Scotland come Saturday night almost 40 years to the day when The Clash, The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Slits and The Subway Sect crammed into Edinburgh’s Playhouse.

 Directed by Grant McPhee, Big Gold Dream centres on Edinburgh’s greatest record label of all time, Fast Product: A precursor to Manchester’s Factory, a curious influence and competitor to Alan Horne’s Postcard across in Glasgow, Fast Product’s short life time spanned two glorious years as it released records by some of the period’s most enduring groups.

 Almost 40 years since its inception, founders Bob Last and Hilary Morrison’s label Fast paved the way for “indie” music, as we know it now. Such was the popularity of Fast they were knocking back tapes from the Cramps and Joy Division (the latter appearing on one of the Earcom compilations, Morrison rightfully uncomfortable with Curtis’ band name of choice). It brought us The Mekons, Gang of Four, The Scars and The Human League. For too long Fast has lived in the shadow of the rather flamboyant, west-coast timbres of Orange Juice and Postcard Records – Daly, Kirk, McClymont, Collins, and the hermetic Horne et al – still an absolute obsession of mine. Big Gold Dream corrects this and in doing so puts to bed the 2008 documentary Caledonia Dreamin’ which sadly ended up as a promotional film for Scottish Independence.

Albeit parallels in spirit and philosophies what Big Gold Dream documents is the antitheses of Postcard and Fast. Innes Reekie rightly points out that The Glasgow School were listening to the Byrds, The Velvet Underground et al. The Edinburgh cognoscenti: Television and Pere Ubu.

It was the Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch single that really started it all for Fast Product. Hillary Morrsion, co-founder of Fast bought the 7” for her then boyfriend Bob Last, who were both at the time working on tour with The Rezillos. The aspiring impresario, Last, immediately acquired a £400 bank loan, whilst drawing on “Mao’s military strategy” to push his vision forward and as the Australian narrator on Big Gold Dream describes - Robert Forster, singer with The Go-Betweens and Postcard alumni: Fast Product was born.

What Big Gold Dream achieves with its national broadcast is finally what Fast Product, Morrison and Last deserve: mainstream recognition. Consolidating on the relative success of Fast – Last finally gets the hits he’s been craving with The Human League - managing them, signing them to Virgin - Dare selling 9m records in the process and Don’t You Want Me topping the charts on Christmas day, 1981. Orange Juice hadn’t even released their debut album yet.

©Erik Sandberg

Big Gold Dream, Saturday 15th April, 9pm on BBC2 Scotland.

Watch the trailer here.

Many thanks to Erik Sandberg @Kiltr for giving me permission to publish his article here at SoYS.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Rip It Up

Poster ad for Orange Juice's 1983 'Rip It Up single. Probably the groups' best known track from OJ's second album of the same name. One of their few discs that made it into the top ten; climbing all the way to the number 8 spot in the UK singles chart. It would also be the band's last real success before they split in 1985.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Back With A Vengeance

Ad from 1982 announcing the "long awaited debut album" from Orange Juice. Features lists of the band members' favourite tracks by other artists at that moment as well as the upcoming tour dates. China Crisis and Dislocation Dance supporting the band on said tour.

Ad also features a couple of quotes(?):

"As it is, Collins is too knowing, too smug and cynical, to be the pop face that his songwriting talents warrant."


"Owange Juicepies expect their debut albumypoos to be taken seriously. Just fancy that!"

I suspect that these are some sort of Postcard marketing ploy pisstake though.

Source & ©Mike Dixon

Sunday, 15 January 2017

"Stop Ruddy Well Slouching" - JAMC Live in London

Well, it seems like I didn't keep my promise to post some more here during the past few weeks -as before I've been too busy on other projects to keep this blog up to date as I should have. Sorry, but I just don't have enough free time.
Anyhow, today we have yet another great document from the excellent Smash Hits archive of the one and only Brian McCloskey and features a review of the Jesus and Mary Chain playing live in London in 1987. Some fine pics of the band -Jim in his mandatory leather breeks- as they get down on their knees and give the patrons their money's worth instead of "standing around and looking sulky" as they did in previous shows.

From Smash Hits, January 14, 1987.

Source & ©Brian McCloskey

 Review : William Shaw
Photos : Andy Catlin

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Associates - Smash Hits 1982

Well, it's been a long time since I posted anything here. Been too busy what with work, other projects and also the fact that I'm tending to get a bit tired of blogging. I've been concentrating a lot more on my photography in my free time, as well as some graphic design stuff, so this leaves little or no time at all for the blog. Anyhow, over the Xmas break I'll try to remediate and put up a couple more posts.

Anyhow, today we have a great pic of those once-handsome lads, The Associates, on the cover of Smash Hits way back in 1982. Of all the Scottish bands of that era, Associates were undoubtedly my favourite band. A band which released some true marvels* and faded much too fast. All of it ending in the tragic death of the late and much lamented Billy McKenzie.

Here the lads appear to be on a photo shoot -modelling for Kays catalogue. Billy in beret and one of those horrendous roll neck sweaters and Alan in a trenchcoat (?) of a truly eyewatering colour. Well, the mauve matches his lipstick sort of.

Not sure where I sourced this so I can't credit it.


* The Associates albums; The Affectionate Punch, Sulk, and Fourth Drawer Down were reissued as two-CD deluxe editions, earlier this year.
All three include 28 page booklets featuring in-depth liner notes, unpublished photographs, original promotional material and unseen memorabilia from The Associates’ archive. Sulk is also available on vinyl.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

"The Best of the Faces"

Haven't been doing much on this blog recently due to other committments and general lack of free time. I'll try to remediate this over the next couple of weeks or so but can't promise anything.

Anyhow, today we have a clipping from some music mag of yesteryear featuring the one and only Edwyn Collins (of Orange Juice). If anyone knows the origin of this article, date etc. please let me know. *
Here Edwyn gives us the lowdown on some personal facts and his choices in recent books, films, records etc.
Lets us know that he "belongs to the classic school of non-singers like Dylan and Lou Reed" and other vital information like, ahem, what time he goes to bed.

Document courtesy of & ©Rob Waters.

*Rob has kindly informed me that the 'Personal File' is from an issue of Smash Hits circa '82-'83

Sunday, 21 August 2016

L.O.V.E... it's a hit!

Some more fabulous documents from Rob Waters' Postcard Records archives. This time we have an ad and a review for their 'L.O.V.E... love / Intuition Told Me' their major label debut single on Polydor/Postcard. Rob reckons this is from an October 1981 issue of Record Mirror but I have a feeling that it might well be from a copy of the NME from the same period.

Fab uncredited shot of the lads optimistically pointing towards the number one spot in the hit parade.

Original documents courtesy of & ©Rob Waters

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Paul Haig : Circa 1989-1990

Today we have a couple of promo pics of Paul Haig while he was briefly signed to Circa Records where he released 3 singles and the  album, 'Chain' in 1989 - 1990. Album recorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh and which features Alan Rankine of The Associates on guitar, keyboards and as producer. The disc also includes a track entitled 'Chained' written by the other half of The Associates, the late, great Billy McKenzie.
Circa, or Circa Records, was a subsidiary label of Virgin between 1986 and 1999.

Documents courtesy of Coventry City & Scotpop fan heaven & the sea.

Images ©heaven & the sea

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

"Postcard in fact is totally finished..."

"Postcard in fact is totally finished" confirms Alan Horne in this Face article from 1981. Here we get the story of Orange Juice's signing and deal with Polydor, as opposed to a deal with Rough Trade, as well as how they retain "as much control over what we do with them as we did with Alan."
Plus news on arrival of Malcolm Ross (formerly of Josef K) to the band, his disagreements with Paul Haig and the huge sum of £1500 being spent on keyboards by Orange Juice for him.

Document from The Face (November, 1981). Courtesy of & ©Rob Waters

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Josef K : " Their own worst enemies "

Josef K's 'Only Fun in Town,' "let down by scrappy arrangements and wilfully obscure lyrics" gets panned once more in Smash Hits.

From Smash Hits, August 6th, 1981

Document courtesy of & ©Brian McCloskey

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Just Pure Orange Juice

"Segment by segment..."  *Groan*

An interesting snippet on Orange Juice from 1981 by way of Rob Waters' Twitter timeline. Timeline full of wonderful documents -press clippings- from the golden era of The Sound of Young Scotland. This one features Edwyn reminiscing on his schoolboy days; the addition to the band of Malcolm Ross (formerly of Josef K); how the band are "very popular in Leeds" and the release of their single 'Warm Light' (sic).
It's also briefly mentioned at the end of the article that Stephen Daly and James Kirk have left the band since the interview took place.

Document from Jackie magazine (1981) courtesy of & ©Rob Waters

Rob provided me with date this was published on but couldn't tell from which publication he got it. Apparently he's working on it. If anyone has any idea, details, please let me know.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Musical Version of Buster Keaton Meets Gloria Swanson

 Associates :  Smash Hits, July 9th, 1981

Another Associates gem from Smash Hits courtesy of the one and only Brian McCloskey. This time from Brian's goldmine archive journalist Mark Milligan gives us the rundown on what the band was up to 35 years ago to this day. Their latest recording; a cover version of Simon Dupree's Kites, under the moniker of 39 Lyon Street -named after Rankine & Mackenzie's former address in Dundee in 1976- and how Christine Beveridge happens to be on vocals on it is the main lead. Also in this story we get to find out about all of what the boys were planning for future release including Kitchen Person and White Car in Germany.

Document courtesy of & ©BrianTV

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Liverpool versus Glasgow : Orange Juice @ Plato's Liverpool, '81

Well, I've been a bit busy lately at work and on other projects but I've finally gotten round to do a wee post here at SoYS. I have a whole host of other pics and artefacts to post -many provided by that treasure chest of all things from Scotland's post-punk era, Scottish Post-Punk. First of all though we a flyer and an excellent pic for and from an Orange Juice concert at Plato's, Liverpool way back in August 1981.
Very nice indeed. Edwyn looks as if he's really enjoying himself. His fringe too!

More posts up soon.

Documents courtesy of EricsToEvol

Photograph : ©Denise Hodgkinson