Scotland might have embraced devolution, but as an army of London-based A&R scouts descends on Glasgow for In The City, will the nation's music scene get a big Yes/Yes? In an A-Z of Scottish rock and pop music, The List discovers where it's at.

Research: Brian Donaldson, Rodger Evans, Kenny Mathieson, Fiona Shepherd, Jonathan Trew, Rory Weller

14 TIIEIJST 26 Sep—9 Oct 1997

A.C. Acoustics

Guitar-flagellating wrecking crew who have been kicking around since the early 90$, perfecting their ever more ferocious sound. They have finally released their first full-length album Victory Parts, which is mellow and bruising in equal parts. The foursome make a mean touring machine, and a number of high-profile support slots have led to symbiotic friendship with Placebo whose singer Brian Molko has been known to sport their T-shirts on Top Of The Pops.

Adventures In Stereo

First, Jim Beattie played guitar with rock beasts Primal Scream, then he went into hype megadrive with the short-lived Spirea X. When that burnt out, he wasn’t feeling too enthused about pursuing musical ends, but a bunch of home recordings he made with his girlfriend Judith Boyle eventually saw the light of day as a couple of EPs and an eponymous album early this year. Lo-fi in technique and swoonworthy 60s in sound, Adventures In Stereo are the best medicine for those who long for more Beach Boys records.

Arab Strap

For a while it looked like last summer’s losers’ opus 'The First Big Weekend’ was going to be Arab Strap’s sole moment of distinction. However, the Falkirk duo of Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton, with musical support from others including Belle And Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, have decided that they quite fancy this rock ’n' roll Iark and look set to continue with their combination of supreme ugliness and witty and twisted diatribes over minimal backing. For In The City’s cinematic programme, the Strap have chosen that celluloid rock landmark flick The Goonies.

The Bathers

Precious, peerless, perfectionist and pretentious. Just four of the 'P' words which have been used to descnbe ex-Friend Again Chris Thomson and his vocal and lyrical outpOurings since 1986 when their debut Unusual Places To Die hit many a lonesome bedsit. The sound has become progressively more lush with 97's Kelvingrove Baby album and tour. Look out for two October dates at the Tron with Scottish Ballet.

Belle And Sebastian

The beautiful pastoral vignettes written by Stuart Murdoch and performed by his fellow Glaswegian

musicians have made Belle And Sebastian the biggest musical cult to come out of Scotland for some time. And the word is spreading . . . legendary US rockumentarian D.A. Pennebaker is working with them, and on their first Stateside foray there was a kind of hush all over the venue. Their forthcoming EP '369 Seconds Of Light' should be their first to make the charts.


The precocious Glasgow trio, who made history by being the first unsigned band to appear on Top Of The Pops, have been a little quiet on these shores lately. However, over in Japan their debut album The New Transistor Heroes made the Top Ten in the international chart, while Stateside they've made the Top Three in the CMJ College charts. A European tour kicks off in October before they head off to America and Australia. Somewhere in between all that, they’ll lay down their second album. Casio are manufacturing Bis watches which play their tunes as alarm calls. Frightening but true.

Blue Boy

Agonisingly press-shy, Blue Boy is Glasgow-based Lex Blackmore whose ‘Remember Me' track was undoubtedly the tune of the year. His absolute refusal to do any interviews has made him an enigma in the industry, allowing him to work on projects under many names without intrusion. Originally part of the Shamen team, Blackmore also remixed ’The Professionals‘ theme as Blue Boy.

The Blue Nile

The band's last live dates were three gigs in June, which Paul Buchanan said was probably the final time they’d be playing with such a large line-up. We can settle in for the usual long wait for new material. Their record company can't say what plans the band have, but will confirm that they haven’t set foot in studio yet.

BMX Bandits

Having parted company with Creation, individual Bandits have taken time out for projects like Sushil’s Futurepilot AKA (album coming soon). Duglas released a solo album and has another non-Bandits project in the pipeline with Pearlfisher Davey Scott. Organising Serge Gainsbourg tribute concerts in Glasgow and Stirling also took up a lot of his time. Three BMX singles are planned by the end of the year and an album in early 98.


Arab Strap: Happy. happy. joy. joy