the early 80$, sounding cleaner, fresher and brighter than most of what was happening at the time.
That’s certainly how it seemed to Robert Forster, co-frontman of Australia’s now-defunct Go-Betweens, who were Postcard’s only non-Scottish signings.
‘London was so depressing at this time. the music scene all over England was just horrible. It was sort ofJoy Division times. and you can’t imagine how black and depressing everyone was, and how bad the music was. There was no sense of fun, no sense of adventure. The Go-Betweens liked things like Creedence Clearwater Revival or
‘I think it was the campest label ever, butl liked that. There was a certain naivety involved that distanced it from other labels at the time.’
Bob Dylan or The Lovin‘ Spoonful . . . and it was a time of avant-garde scratchy beat stuff with gloomy, doomy lyrics. As soon as we arrived in Glasgow, it was like sunshine. When we came over to England we didn‘t know where we’d find people that we could make friends with and like their music. so it was a wonderful shock that it was Glasgow.‘
Malcolm Ross, whose ‘burn the rule-book‘ style of guitar-playing in Josef K. Orange Juice and Aztec Camera was never short of outstanding, now lives in London. Having embarked on a Music degree a couple of years ago, he continues to find time to play in Dave Graney’s Coral Snakes, the C&W house band at Brixton’s Dead Dog Country Club and has recently formed The Magic Clan with ex-Josef K bassist Davy Weddell and drummer Paul Mallinen. He has fond memories of the early days of the label, but admits to thinking that a lot of it seemed old-fashioned.
‘I think it was the campest label ever, but I liked that. There was a certain naivety involved that distanced it from other labels at the time. It’s a shame Alan didn’t keep it
going a bit longer. lfhe‘d brought out the first Orange Juice album and the first Aztec Camera album instead of letting them go. it would have given the label time to develop and get some real money behind it. but there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. 011 the other hand. he might have ended up signing some of the rubbish he was ﬂirting with towards the end. and that would have been a bad move.‘
‘There was absolutely no business experience.’ confirms Forster. ‘Alan Home was definitely into a sort of Andy Warhol thing, and there were lots ofpeople that used to hang around the label that did different things. more like Warhol‘s Factory. It was like a company. and Alan was definitely searching for individuals as well. There were the groups and the variety of friends that were very important to the groups, who had ideas as well. and were
14 The List 6— 19 November 1992
listened to. But in terms ofbusiness or
economic sense — total disorganisation.‘
Postcard was hugely influential for a while. but nowadays direct descendants of ‘The Sound Of Young Scotland‘ appear quite thin on the ground.
‘I don‘t hear many groups who sound like we did.‘ claims Ross. 'But ifyou take someone like The Rockingbirds. they’re not citing any influences that weren‘t cited by Postcard then. All of a sudden. everyone’s
going on about Big Star. whereas we were all listening to them ten years ago. Edwyn said that the reason Postcard did so well was that we were the only people who were paying any attention to any kind of roots music.‘ I Robert Forster. meanwhile. would point j to three other qualities that set it apart from
the pack: ‘Attitude. friendship and a belief , that it was the best label in the world at that moment—which it probably was.‘ I