Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government (by emigrating)

As the seeds were being sown so avidly in the testing ground, Margaret prayed for Scottish Independence. Thatcher was sitting round the cabinet table and announced, go back to your constituencies and prepare for government, oh sorry could the Michaels please stay back, we know your constiuents wont vote for you so we have a new plan, you're emigrating. They dont know you down here so we've told everyone you're really good, and they're all members of the club so you'll have a 5 minute interview and that's that. It was April 1983.

We have never had to face a choice like it, and we never would again. The choice was simple, she was a psycho and had to be opposed. Her policies seemed to involved deregulation, selling the family silver and all the council house stock. I could agree with the latter if it was to then build new homes, but 30 years down the line as kids struggle to get on the housing ladder, its clear that wasnt the plan, sell sell sell, dont build build build. As to the former, deregulation clearly left us a legacy Harry Enield's load'sa'money predicted as he waved his wad. The birth of the bankrupt banks and what a 21st birthday they'd have. I wont try and talk about what happens when you push one half of society out, Les Miserables has just won the odd oscar, so its a well trodden path, but let me bring discord...where there is....and may my legacy be the next generation of politicians, moulded in my likeness.

The legacy is clear for me, but I can cast my mind back to the Deadbeats of April....in fact I did, in April last year, its a belting month..................

As the daffodils fade, the sweet scent of the April Deadbeats were upon us. Easter holidays meant working and earning some dosh to go back to St Andrews with, well it did in 1983 for issue 12, I earnt enough to take Deadbeat to London and put it in Virgin in Oxford Street and Rough Trade. In these days of surfing for downloads its hard to comprehend what a massive step forward the Virgin megastore was. You could trawl through the racks for hours, flicking your fingers, much the same as we glide through the touch sensitive screens of 2012. I'm chuckling as I remind myself that A Flock of Seagulls were releasing 'nightmares' and I'm reliving some as I read the reviews, not least Life Support. Happily Peppermint Pig by Cocteau Twins and Alphaville by the Monochrome Set survive the patchy reviewer's ear, while The Marine Girls, LP "lazy ways" warms us up for the summer of 83. There's a review of U2's gig at Tiffany's in Glasgow and interviews with Friends Again, APB and Pop Wallpaper, other reviews include Club Feet in Dundee where I said it makes Edinburgh's Hoochie Coochie look like Wigan, obviously not everyone was drinking the same stuff as me, but I did like the way the DJ followed "Rip it Up", with "Boredom". 22 Beaches, Wild Indians, Sleep Detectives, Tears for Fears and Fun Boy Three complete the issue.

Issue 24 in April 1984 was another of the great additions to the racks of Ripping Records, Record Shak, Tayside Bar, Groucho, Virgin and the other fine stockists of Deadbeat. Interviews with Dancing Bears, Morrissey, Kirk Brandon Del Amitri, Danse Society, there were loads.

Have I got Scottish music 2, aka Deadbeat's second tape was finally released. The incomparable Dancing Bears with Ritchie Lambert's superb dancing songs a lasting memory for me. He's still gigging down south and last summer somebody sent me a youtube link for a video of a gig at Roslin. If I ever get a Deadbeat reunion organised the Dancing Bears would have to be there. I'm 50 in December, seems like an idea.....if not we could have a Deadbeat Tapes Karaoke.....Jo Doll must be well up for reliving some Circus of Hell, Jeremy Thoms doing some Strawberry Tarts....Martin Stephenson and the Daintees....Hey! Elastica, Josef K, the Cubs,..

Back to April 1984, Morrissey was indeed a charming man. After their gig at Clouds in Edinburgh he gave us a quick brush off but asked us to send some questions through to him. As sceptical as we were, a week later they all returned with answers. Popstars back in the day were so much more friendly. Like Gillian Gilbert in April 1985 after the New Order gig at the Barrowlands. She was absolutely superb and I discovered the tape of the interview in the garage last month. The chuckle factor is huge as I asked one stupid question after another. Thankfully Gillian interpreted them successfully so the answers negated the need for me to print some of the questions, phew!

Paul King adorns the cover of Deadbeat with our new letraset, Deadbeat's experiment was close to the deathknell as we seemed to spend more time printing than publishing. It was an experiment, a bit like the rolls I was making at my mum's roll shop, the picnic basket, opposite the pear tree pub in Edinburgh. As well as selling Deadbeat's I was selling Chicken and Avocado rolls, Brie and Apple, and this experiment was far more successful in 1985 than changing the letraset. The problem with working though, was taking its toll on the interviews and the energy to put another issue out. There is however some gems and the Paul King and Gillian Gilbert interviews ensured that an issue needed to be produced. The review of the Crucial Xylophones was also another driving force in getting the issue published. We had also finally completed Deadbeat Tape 3 and The Government, Men Men, Rhythm System, Relations, Pulsebeat Plus, Swirle, Crossfire & Splash me I'm Drowning deserved to get their music out.

Oh and of course, the reviews of the Immaculate Fools at the Dance Factory in Dundee were superb. So good I have to remind you all especially the DJ!!