Thursday, August 10, 2006

Scottish punk timeline (part 4)


December 12
Johnny & The Self Abusers cut their only single: a seven-inch on Chiswick Records, "Saints And Sinners"/"Dead Vandals." As the stories go, the band splits the day its record hit the shops. And from the ashes emerge two new acts: Simple Minds and another group that will proove to be significantly less successful, The Cuban Heels. According to stories, Johnny And The Self Abusers contact Chiswick to have Simple Minds printed on the singles, as Jim Kerr has grown weary of the sophomoric moniker. ("I began to feel Johnny And The Self Abusers sounded like Big Dick And The Four Skins," he says. "I can do without that kind of toilet humor.") However, it's too late; the singles have already gone to press.

Bruce Haggerty retires the Silver Thread Hotel in Paisley, which has reigned as the Glasgow area's offical punk headquarters since September. Haggerty begins promoting punk shows. One of his first takes place in Glasgow: a gig featuring The Backstabbers that famously degenerates into violence.


February 17
Scottish punk fans double their pleasure: two releases on the same day. The Zones -- who are essentially PVC2 without Midge Ure -- release their debut single on Zoom: "Stuck With You"/"No Angels." Meanwhile, The Exile issue their follow-up to last June's EP: "The Real People"/"Tomorrow Today"/"Disaster Movie."

February 24
The Stiff/Chiswick challenge series -- designed to highlight the U.K.’s top, unsigned acts -- hits Edinburgh’s Clouds Disco. Among those Scottish performing are The Skids, The Subs, The Monos, The Cuban Heels, Groper, The Freeze, and The Scars. Thanks to the event, The Subs will ink a deal with Stiff's One Off label and release "Gimme Your Heart"/"Party Clothes" March 3.

March 14
The Skids, who are currently in the process of being courted by Virgin Records, issue their EP Charles on their own No Bad label. The Dunfermline group formed out of a David Bowie cover band regrettably dubbed Tattoo. The release also touches off a five-month flurry of tartan punk releases, as Scotland is now officially a player in the U.K. punk scene.

March 23
The Cuban Heels' debut single hits record shops: "Downtown"/"Do The Smok Walk," on Housewive's Choice. The release isn't a smash, but the band can take solace in the fact that it released a single before Simple Minds.

April 25
The Jolt have taken the first steps down the mod revival path, releasing a cover version of The Small Faces' "What'cha Gonna Do About It."

Hear it for yourself. Download: "Charles" by The Skids.