POSTCARD RECORDS FEATURE
‘Backstage was Debbie Harry who wasn’t well-known at the time unless you were really clued-up about the New York
scene. And it struck me that she had a really huge head. It dawned on me that all the big stars have huge heads.’
One project involved a live chimpanzee. Jayne County (notorious transsexual rocker) and Patti Paladin (Johnny Thunders’ girfriend). ‘I wanted to get them on television and make records. So I got Derek Jarman to make a video for nothing, and told the record company we were onto a winner, you know. hits, Channel 4 kids’ shows. Bananarama with a twist . . . In an ideal world it would work and it wouldn’t be seen as weird. A chimp. a transsexual and somebody who looked like death. It’s just a case of getting over that hurdle of why has no one done it before.’
London weren’t amused. Bananarama were their biggest act at the time and they had a hunch Home was taking the piss. He gradually drifted away from the label. preferring to vegetate in his flat. and eventually ended up in lengthy litigation with the label over their alleged mishandling of Paul Quinn’s career.
To cut a long and involved court case short. Horne escaped, ‘by the skin of my teeth. A lot of what happened was down to bad behaviour on my part and a lot of it was what every group at the time was going through. And I felt indignant and righteOt 3 again. It was a good fight.’
He found himself back in Glasgow and a Scottish music scene that he divided fairly neatly into boring. overblown. careerist combos of the Simple Minds. Deacon Blue ilk, or sullen. hirsute defeatist indie kids forming a cult of non-achievement around the eternal slacker Stephen Pastel. After a few months sanding his floorboards and hanging out in his kitchen. Horne decided it was time to release that album Paul Quinn had been waiting to make for ten years. The result. The Phantoms And The Archetypes. was a haunting slice of torch-soul. showcasing Quinn’s voice to memorable effect. Postcard were back. ‘I met up with James Kirk and people again,’ explained Home, ‘and really got into this traditional idea of sitting around with guitars. not doing demos keeping it simple. We made that record for £2000 and it sounds better than most records that cost £100 000..
Orange Juice retrospectives have followed. along with new albums from awkward buggers Nectarine No 9 and literate ex-punk Vic Godard (a major inspiration to the original Postcard acts). No longer the ‘Sound Of Young Scotland’. Postcard has become ‘The Sound Of Cranky But Loveable Old Codgers’. It’s still essentially a one-man operation. Horne doing all the packaging and (non) promotion himself. He’s as dismissive of the
Vlc eooaao: “Vlc was the most Iaterestlng and lntelllgent person
contemporary music scene as he was in 1979. admitting only to a love of ragga and a grudging admiration for Suede and Teenage Fanclub. He’s gradually carving a niche back in Glasgow that should expand with the launch of Fin De Siecle a club cum residency featuring Paul Quinn.
‘l’m excited about that.’ he says in the tone of a man not easily excited these days. ‘There’s a gang of us and we’re going to project things. a kind of Arts Lab I guess. We don’t want the bass guitarists from Texas and Deacon Blue to be there leaning on the bar. It won’t be that sort of place.’
Alan Home is the Victor Meldrew ofScottish pop, a grumpy curmudgeon with a cynicism that has become hardened by his experiences in London. Nevertheless he’s sussed enough not to be regarded as a marginalised has-been. The only act he’d really love to sign to Postcard is Morrissey because he identifies with his maudlin bedsit mentality. Don’t hold your breath for that to happen. but for what he’s put out in the past (that tinny tambourine on the right channel of ‘Breakfast Time’) and what he’s putting out now (Paul Quinn’s ‘Superstar’) he deserves your gratitude and cash. Respect is due. D
ORANGE JUICE's James [hit and Edwyn Colllns 1979: “I was a tan whlch I never was at any of the other groups."
PAll. lllllllll: “The record company wanted hlm to be Paul Young wlth street crediblllty.”
In that area. lle dld very llttle but It was always lull ol Ideas.”
Released on Postcard are Orange Juice compilation ‘The Heather ’3 On Fire' and single ‘Blue Boy’, Vic Godard album ‘The End Of The Surrey People’ and single ‘Won ’1 Turn Back ', and Paul Quinn single ‘Stupid Thing '. The Fin De Siecle club is on Thursdays through July at the RA FA Club at 27 Ashley Street Glasgow, 8.30pm (admission restricted as it is a small venue). Postcard are contactable at PO Box 546. Glasgow G I 2 8N Y.
Temperate, considerate, generous and conservative with his opinions. Alan Horne certainly ain't. . .
. . . Aztec Camera ‘I thought they had some value. but I never really liked them that much even at the time. He (Roddy Frame) got into the whole 80s thing in a big way. I hate all that.’
. . . lndle groups ‘They all tend to come across as public schoolboys who want to be in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.’
. . . The medla ‘The media is the most evil thing in the world. If you get into that world you become obsessed with the earning capacity of mediocre scum.’
. . . The Clash ‘At soundchecks they’d do ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ and ‘Layla’. lfthe country had known that then they wouldn’t have sold a single record. That’s what it was like then, that kind of fascism of punk was really powerful, really healthy. The Clash got away with murder.’
. . . Edwyn Colllns ‘Well. I’ve always been a fan but the eternal argument between me and Edwyn is that I would like to control what he does and he’s uncontrollable. You just have to take what he is and a lot of what he does doesn’t hang together but in the midst of it there are some great things.’
. . . Postcard lmltators ‘You got all these people like Lloyd Cole and The Bluebells. all these people came along saying. ““what can we steal. what can we nick, what can we use?” That always happens. Little Richard turns into Cliff Richard.’
. . . Grell Marcus and hls book In The Fascist Bathroom ‘The worst book I’d ever read and I thought the guy was an arsehole. It was meant to be a serious study of punk and it was a cash- in. It was a piece of shitty product dressed up in a fake Jamie Reid sleeve and masquerading as a serious investigation of punk. It was nauseating.‘
_ The List 245 July 199311