am. 3 The subject of a major BBC series

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history of Scottish pop? Isn’t that a _ wee bit excessive? Not at all, says i Alastair Mabbott, who finds Brian

Hogg’s The History Of Scottish \ if; '. 03‘ 0 ~ Rock And Pop eminently readable. 4, » - f: ' s "a; i "'5‘ '.

Brian Hogg felt a twinge of anxiety at the publication j ‘5 , I I I ' . of Jim Wilkie's Blue Suede Brogans in 199], but he i a , ' -- [a F needn’t have worried. The world, the country even, is j V 5,, l I \ l :‘X i , if," big enough for two books tracing the history of ' " I , . . ,r .,,.;_M_‘ ' " A Scottish pop, especially two so different. While 1 , I... ' . Wilkie’s book is more episodic, Hogg‘s The History Of Scottish Rock And Pop is an exhaustive, wide- ranging and thoroughly absorbing tale of all the myriad characters and factors that have shaped é Scottish pop over the last 35 years. ' Herein are such phenomena as the Clan Balls, the _ W . I, I, a 2 I inevitable Hamburg residencies and the talent shows . .2 4 '- : ~ 7’7 ' .' i ' seemingly so ingrained in the Scots characterthat 1 , " " r . they even launched the great Alex Harvey; and a - I, ' ' ' ' ' . - i

cast-list that snatches band names from the jaws of z" " E r ' ., ‘I .: . 55.1%”! r

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obscurity, all the way from The Boston Dexters to

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‘I think that was so important.‘ says Hogg, ‘because ' I I g "'1’" ' , "W > V ' l . I ldidn't want the idea that all Scotland was was Big ' f2 ~ ,. " f' -’ ‘r' .. "3} " ' Country. Simple Minds. Deacon Blue, Wet Wet Wet ' E ' "M ' i 7 and Runrig. I think there is far, far more to it than I it c i I! I that. I think bands like The Dog Faced Hermans and L s " ., fl, '- i. - ' W’ * / The Stretchheads are far more interesting, far more ~ . " r. , ,f Z 7 , , ' ' ' L I: ‘T exciting than the ones who have received all the ' I ' ' ' é

commercial approbation.‘ Obviously, in such an undertaking. mistakes are bound to creep in - the New Zealand label licensed

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by Avalanche Records is X resswa not Sna r, it‘s '5'" v ' " t , ' J "1‘ Tennents Live News not Tenaents tiger Newftflut ' Bab-y Mal“. I t. r g Q“ Y3 Hogg does his subjectjustice. Here, at last, is the n . A- "4 ~ L "J " ' r; "L essential read for Scotpop scholars and casual ~ rock'n'roll went down best. i to get attention. Similarly, these media-saturated browsers. ‘There was so much live music then,‘ he times mean that someone in Glasgow has access to a Hogg got the idea while researching the BBC Radio remembers. ‘even more gigs than there were in the staggering range of music. This is, as Hogg puts it, ‘a series Beatstalking in 1985, but ran into a brick wall punk era. In the 60s. bands could quite conceivably double-edged sword‘, threatening the individuality 3 when he found that Scottish publishers were wary of play three gigs a night. It was a really fertile time. ! and distinctiveness of Scottish bands. But he still pop books and national publishers wary of Scottish which helps to explain why there were so many 3 secs threads that bind current musicians to those books. Then, towards the end of a stint of work on f bands at the time, even though few of them working in Scotland 30 years ago. I The Guinness Encyclopaedia 0f Popular Music, he g recorded.‘ ‘I think there‘s a common factor in, sort of, self— l revived the project and succeeded in interesting 2 He puts the bands of that time more on a par with proclamation and a desire to assert some sort of i Guinness, London club bands like those of Zoot Money and ? independence - not political independence butjust a Brian Hogg is 42, and, when pressed, describes Georgie Fame. rather than hit-making acts like sense of individuality. I think there's still a . himselfas ‘archivist and writer, I suppose'. His early Herman’s Hermits. The London club bands didn't 3 garrulousness within Scottish musicians which musical memories are of sneaking off in his teens to have him. but they’re fondly remembered as being makes them different from what happens south of the clubs like the Gonk Club in Edinburgh‘s Tollcross at significant. So it is with the groups that played the border, Not necessarily conceptually so, but just in l a time when The Beatles ruled the world and the Scottish circuit. the way that we tend to approach anything in 3 most popular local bands were combos like The Reading the early chapters of the book. you quickly Scotland, the desire to shout and say, “Look, I’m Moonrakers. While Glasgow and Dundee were the get a picture of Scottish bands being very isolated doing this and it‘s worthwhile, please listen".‘ 3 soul axis. he explains, Edinburgh was more pop- and fumbling around. Nowadays, there's an The History Of Scottish Rock And Pop is published orientated and in the small towns straightahead infrastructure in place which makes it easier for them by Guinness at £12.99,


The List 8—2l October 1993 29'