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BIOG'S to '89
The LAST DAY:  Formed February 1983 by Andrew (vocals/keyboards/drums), Brian (bass/keyboards/drums) & Eddie (guitar/drums), but had changed their name to Parade by the end of the year.

The LA VISTAS:  Falkirk based rock/blues act formed in 1979 by Ian Baxter (drums), Bob Marshall (vocals/guitar) & Paul New (bass/vocals), all of whom had previously been called 1984. The band were popular and busy, but split for a while in 1980, with Marshall going on to play with Kee West. In 1981 the three piece reformed, and added second guitarist Derek Fleming the following year, before splitting for good.

The LIBERATORS:  Grangemouth act formed in 1979 by John Barrie (drums), Stuart Everest (vocals/guitar), Robin Guthrie (guitar) & Bill Heggie (bass). The four had previously worked under the name All This & More. Guthrie & Heggie left in 1980 to form The Cocteau Twins, whilst Everest later turned up in Dead Neighbours. Barrie recruited vocalist Mike Tonner, and they released a cassette single, "Scream & Shout" in 1981, featuring the tracks "I, Robot" "24-24-26" and "My Part of Town". Barrie was later a member of Roseland.
"Scream & Shout" (7 inch / cassette single, Sharko 2 Records, 1981).

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS:  Polmont based act formed at Graeme High School in 1983 by Murray Stevenson (guitar), Alastair Bell (vocals), Archie McWatt (bass), Christine (keyboards) & Craig (drums). At least Stevenson, Bell, McWatt & Christine soon went on to form Tunnelvision.

LIGHTNING:  Formed November 1981 by 11-year old Eddie McKenzie (vocals/guitar, ex-Death), with school friends Brian Muir (drums), Craig Struthers (guitar) & George Tomashevski (guitar). No one in the band could play and they were never actually in the same room at the same time, so McKenzie got rid of Struthers and Tomashevski, and replaced them with Mark Anderson (guitar) & Alan Burt (guitar) at the end of 1981. This line-up didn't do anything for over a year, and saw Muir being replaced by Gordon Robertson (drums). In June 1983 Robertson switched to keyboards, and Burt & Anderson were thrown out the band. Robertson & McKenzie then began writing songs and rehearsing, changing their name to Venture 2 later that year.

LOST IN HEAVEN:  Band formed in 1981 by Angus McKay & Alex Neilson (ex-Deja Vu).

LOW PROFILE:  Band formed at Graeme High School in late 1983 by Ali Wilson (vocals/bass), Derek Wilson (bass/vocals), Andy Scott (guitar) & David Hunter (keyboards). The band used a drum machine until Martin Andrews (drums) joined in 1985. Their first gig was at Reddingmuirhead's Prison Officers' Club, and played most of the venues in Falkirk at the time. The band changed their name to The Fun Section in 1985 after another group called Low Profile appeared on a Saturday morning TV show.

LUCY IN THE RAIN:  Played one gig in 1984.

Andy MacKENZIE & John MacPHAIL:  Falkirk/Slamannan duo Andy MacKenzie (banjo/mandolin/guitar/bodhran) & John MacPhail (vocals/guitar) started playing together as a folk duo in the late 1970's, and released a self-titled album in 1980.
Andy MacKenzie & John MacPhail (vinyl album, Loudon Records, 1980).

The MARBANX DISTRIBUTORS:  Punk act formed in 1980 by Alex Irvine (guitar), Alan Robertson (guitar/ vocals), Jamie White (bass) & Barry Wom! (drums). The band lasted into 1981, with Wom! being replaced by Davie Hendry (keyboards, ex-Lazy) & Liam (drums). Irvine left that year, and formed his own act Shout, with Robertson carrying on a further year before forming Fifth Estate. Hendry later joined Mikifin.

Brian McNEILL:  A career spanning 46 years has established Brian McNeill as one of the most acclaimed forces in Scottish music. Brian was born in 1950 in Falkirk and has been described as ‘Scotland’s most meaningful contemporary songwriter’ (The Scotsman); add to that his work and influence as performer, composer, producer, teacher, musical director, band leader, novelist and interpreter of Scotland’s past, present and future and you have a man who has never stood still. He has performed around the globe, both as a soloist and with some of the era’s most influential bands, including Battlefield Band, which he founded in 1969. He left the band in 1990 to concentrate on solo projects. Brian performs and teaches regularly at many of the world’s major festivals and is a core member of  the UK fiddle phenomenon, Feast of Fiddles. He is the longest running booked artist at Cambridge Folk Festival.
Brian is a multi instrumentalist – chiefly fiddle, bouzouki, mandocello, guitars and concertina – and the importance of his songwriting has long been recognised with such songs as The Yew Tree, The Lads O' The Fair, The Snows of France and Holland,  Strong  Women Rule Us All With Their Tears, Any Mick'll  Do and No Gods and Precious Few Heroes.
Brian was especially proud when two lines from The Lads O' The Fair were carved into a viewpoint above his home town of Falkirk, as part of the renovation of the Policy Bing  - an old pit spoil heap - by Falkirk Council and local charities.  His connection with his home town continued with The Falkirk Music Pot project, for which he was commissioned to write, produce, direct and perform music for Falkirk’s 2014 Creative Place Award. The year long project involved local schools, music groups and individuals and culminated in a double CD on Greentrax.
Brian’s audio visual shows, The Back O' The North Wind, about Scottish emigration to America, and the sequel, The Baltic Tae Byzantium, exploring the influence of the Scots in Europe, have won wide critical acclaim. His continuing connection with America's Lone Star State led to him being created an honorary Texan by the then Governor George W Bush.
Brian is increasingly in demand for his production skills and his credits include albums by The Paul McKenna Band, Lorne MacDougall, Rua Macmillan, Eric Bogle and John Munro, Drones and Bellows and The John Wright Band.
Brian is a voracious reader of crime fiction and also writes crime and mystery fiction involving his hero, busker Alex Fraser and his heroine, private sleuth Sammy Knox. His third novel ‘… In The Grass’ was published last year and has just been published in German, along with some of his short stories.
For six years Brian was Head of Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
www.brianmcneill.co.uk/     Photograph courtesy of Daniel Coston.
"Monksgate" (vinyl album, Escalibur Records, 1978)
"Unstrung Hero" (vinyl album, Temple Records, 1985)
"The Busker & The Devil's Only Daughter" (CD/cassette album, Temple Records, 1990)
"The Back O' The North Wind" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1991)
"No Gods" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1995)
Brian McNeill & Alan Reid, "Sidetracks" (vinyl album, Topic Records, 1981)
Brian McNeill & Tom McDonagh, "Horses For Courses" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1994)
Brian McNeill & Iain Mackintosh, "Stage By Stage" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1995)
Guest performances:
Heather Heywood, "Some Kind Of Love" (vinyl/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1978)
Dick Gaughan, "Handful Of Earth" (vinyl album, Topic Records, 1981)
Iain MacKintosh, "Gentle Persuasion" (CD/vinyl album, Greentrax Records, 1988)
Horse, "The Same Sky" (CD/cassette/vinyl album, Capitol Records, 1990)
Robin Laing, "Walking In Time" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1994)
Tony McManus, "Tony McManus" (CD/cassette album, Greentrax Records, 1995)
Jock Duncan, "Ye Shine Whar Ye Stan!" (CD/cassette album, Springthyme Records, 1997)
Danny Kyle, "Danny Kyle" (CD album, Iona Records, 1998)
Tequila Mockingbird, "Agora Mesmo" (CD album, Tequila Mockingbird Records, 2001)
Wolfstone, "Live - Not Enough Shouting" (CD album, Once Bitten Records, 2001).

MIDAS TOUCH:  This band were in great demand during this period, holding down three residencies across Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian clubs! Till early-1986 the band members were: Roy Leask (vocals), Duncan Leask (guitar/vocals), Bill Ritchie (bass/vocals) and Davy Lowe (drums/vocals). On the departure of Lowe the remaining members reverted to a Trio.  Over the following years there were numerous changes of personnel!  The four-named musicians also played in Natural Harmony, Topaz and Solitaire while Ritchie played lead guitar in the Stirling-based beat group The Trespassers in the 1960's.

MIKIFIN:  Larbert based act formed by Alisdair Blair (bass/vocals), Dave Paterson (drums), Michael Schofield (vocals) & Justin Skelton (guitar/vocals), who changed their name from Ice Blue at the end of 1981. The band proceeded to gig with a fury around Scotland, building up a large local following in the process. Their only single, "Riding The Wind" was released in 1982. At this time both Blair & Paterson were also playing in Complex. In 1983 they shot a video at the same time as they began a weekly residency at the Burke & Hare Pub in Edinburgh. In August they recorded "Sympathetic Ear", "Sour Hour", "Gone Too Far" & "Ride The Wind" at a studio in Edinburgh. At some point they added David Hendry (keyboards, ex-Marbanx Distributors) and also recorded a second studio set: "American Dream", "Here Come The Doubts Again", "Black and White", "You Can Never Hear Me" & "Look At You".

There was also a very low budget video of "Time" with the band running around some landmarks in Edinburgh , the highlight being Skelton dressed in a jesters costume, sitting on a stone pillar with a large sand filled egg timer. Brian Guthrie managed Mikifin for a while, but did not succeed in gaining them a record contract.  
A reshuffle in personel in February 1984 was short lived, with Schoffield & Paterson being replaced by Blackout members Alan Burn (bass) and Ian Wallace (drums), and new vocalist Julie Gibson being recruited. Within a couple of months this band had evolved into The Breakfast Boyz. Meanwhile, Schofield formed 24 Hours, and Paterson later helped out The Harbour Road Angels, as well as forming Fat Davy & The Stennie Brass.
"Riding The Wind" (cassette single, 1982).

MOTHERS RUIN:  Abroath based act from 1984 featuring local bass player Donald Bowie (ex-Blackout), along with Andy Black (drums) & Gillian Stark (guitar).

NASSAU:  Grangemouth based funk band formed in 1979 by Alistair Buchanan (drums, ex-Siren), Margaret Buchanan (vocals), Robert Buchanan (saxophone, ex-Siren), Sandy Cruickshanks (guitar/saxophone), Tony Porco (saxophone), Hugh (bass) & Kevin (guitar). By the following year Hugh & Kevin had been replaced by John Fairley (guitar) & Jim Toye (bass), and the band played locally. 1982 saw another reshuffle, with the three Buchanans and Fairley being joined by Kevin Harkness (guitar), Eddie Meechan (trumpet) & Richie Newlands (bass, ex-Speakeasy) The band split in 1982, with Robert Buchanan later having a successful cabaret career under the name Stevie Walker, and Newlands joining Punch. Tony Porco turned up in 2005 playing his own compositions on keyboards at Acoustic Kitchen.

NATIONAL SERVICE:  Act who changed their name from The Happy Trails in 1980 to avoid being mistaken for a country band. Their line-up was Jim Bloomfield (bass/vocals), John Divers (guitar/vocals), Arnie Gray (drums), Alex Smith (vocals) & Billy Whitelaw (pedal steel/guitar). Divers later tragically died after being electrocuted onstage at the Polish Club, whilst Bloomfield & Gray later formed Workingman's Deed.

The NEON BARBS:  Act from all over Scotland who had Larbert musician (and ex-Deft Jerks) Andy MacKean on bass. The rest of the band comprised Phil Cowan (guitar), Jimmy Hannah (keyboards), David Reid (vocals) & Donald Stirling (drums). They released a self-financed single, "Break Your Chains" in 1981, and had a couple of tracks on a 12" sampler called "The Stand," also on Logical Step.
"Break You Chains" (7 inch vinyl, Logical Step Records, 1981).

NEW GERMANY:  Three piece Industrial band formed in 1984 by Graeme Bryson (percussion), Greg Corbett (bass) & a vocalist (possibly called Spizz?). In 1985 they changed their name to Fear Of Sex.
"Need" (cassette single, 1984).

NEW YOUTH:  Band formed from ex-members of Eyes In The Dark and The Fakes in 1981. Their line-up was Donald Cross (guitar), John (vocals), Jamesie (bass) & Les (drums).

NINJA:  Band formed in 1981 by Robert Brown (vocals, ex-Citizans Bureaux), Audrey Bunga (drums), Harry Motto (bass, ex-Deft Jerks), Brian Robertson (guitar, ex-Twice As Nice) & Ian Robertson (keyboards, ex-Citizans Bureaux). Motto returned to The Deft Jerks the following year, whilst Brown & Robertson later turned up in a reformed Citizan's Bureaux.

OATS & THE SACKCLOTH:  Graeme High School based act formed in late 1984 by Eric Easton (guitar), Alan Martin (drums, ex-Fizzy Pink), Sandy Sneddon (vocals/guitar, ex-Fizzy Pink), Paul Veitch (bass) & Gavin Wilson (keyboards). Early in 1985 Easton & Wilson left/were sacked, and soon afterwards the others formed Woodhenge, with Easton welcomed into that act as well.

ONCE BITTEN:  Band formed in 1980 by ex-Gritt members George Aitken (guitar), Jim Glen (bass), Ian Mackintosh (guitar) & Richard Rooney (vocals), along with drummer Les Rice.

ORION:  Denny based rock act formed in 1982 by Sandy Mitchell (drums), Harvey Lockwood (guitar), Brian Lancaster (guitar). Pete McBride (bass) & Brian Burns (vocals). Burns was replaced in 1983 by Sandy Newlands (apparently known as "Sandra"), and in 1984 Mitchell left (eventually joining Agatha & Cleo's Exploding Plastic Ynevitable). In June 1986 ex-Stealer guitarist Stuart Drake and drummer Alan Wright joined, allowing the band to continue playing locally. Wright later joined Easy Money, whilst McBride was a member of Dragonfly.

PARADE:  Formed in 1983, (name changed from The Last Day), this band contained Andrew (vocals/keyboards/ drums), Brian (bass/keyboards/drums) & Eddie (guitar/drums), along with new vocalist Lynn.

PARLOUR GAMES:  Grangemouth rock band formed in 1983 by John (bass), Pete (drums) & Stuart (keyboards/vocals).

PASSIF RESISTANCE:  Self-styled "most original band in Falkirk", this synth duo from Camelon played a regular Thursday night at the Golden Tiger Lounge. Their line-up in 1983 was Tommy Taylor (vocals, ex-Rejects) & Robbie (synth/drums).

PASSIM:  Rock act formed in 1982 by ex-Blackout members Chris Maitland (vocals/bass/guitar/keyboards) & Toni Tkocz (vocals). The band split the following year.

PASSION PLAY:  Band formed in 1982 by David Barry (guitar), John Scullion (drums) & Gary Sturrock (vocals)

PASTIS 51:  Falkirk based act formed in February 1981 by Gordon Davidson (guitar), Chas Fotheringham (bass/ vocals), Ally Gibb (guitar/saxophone/keyboards), George Smith (drums) & Barbara (vocals). They built up a strong local following, and recorded a session for Radio Royal in 1982. Barbara was replaced by Diane Smith (vocals) as the band released their debut cassette single, "Long Summers" in April 1983, and recorded a Radio Forth session a couple of months later. Davidson was then replaced by former Shout guitarist Alex Irvine, and later in the year they won a Levi's Battle Of The Bands in Edinburgh, judged by Radio One DJ Peter Powell. This led to a support with The Bluebells. Gibb also guested on The Cocteau Twins album "Head Over Heels" at this time. By 1985 Diane Smith had left to pursue a career as a dancer, eventually turned up in the Cadbury's Twirl (Take 5) advert, and also in the video for "Radio Ga Ga" by Queen. The band split up soon afterwards, with Gibb joining The Breakfast Boyz and Irvine turning up ten years later in Frank's Wild Years. Future Smokehouse Blues Band saxophonist David Hair played a few dates with the band whilst still at school.
"Long Summers" (cassette single, 1983).

PILEDRIVER:  Rock act formed in 1980 by Donald Campbell (bass), Douglas Grant (drums), William Hay (guitar/vocals) & Colin MacIntosh (guitar/vocals). The band played live between 1982 and 1983, after which Campbell, Grant & Hay formed The Signals.

The PLAGUE:  Band formed at Graeme High School in 1984 by Dougie Cameron (guitar), Stuart Brown (vocals), Ramsay Hunter (bass) & Stephen Murphey (drums/vocals). After a few dates they changed their name to The Bainbridge Silencers in 1985.

POZESSED IMAGES:  Bo'ness based band formed by Gogz, Bri and Hammy, who played between 1984 and 1985. In 2005 they reformed for a charity night in Bo'ness, and then decided to keep going.

PRYMAL URGE:  Grangemouth based act, formed in 1979 by Dougie Coulson (drums), John Haggerty (bass/vocals, ex-Citizans Bureaux), Kevin Kirkham (vocals/guitar) & Derek McNair (guitar/vocals). After an eight date tour at the beginning of 1981, the band split, with Haggerty joining Churchfall Lantern, McNair joining Bad Blood, and Kirkham forming The Rainpals.

RATTLEBONE:  Folk act from 1983 featuring George Burt (double bass), Craig Mair (guitar/whistle/vocals), Jim Russell (melodian/guitar/concertona/banjo/whistle) & Andy Shanks (mandolin/guitar/vocals).

RENT-A-DEP:  Jazz-rock act formed in 1981 by George Futter (violin), Robin McLeod (guitar), Andy Rankin (drums) & Bill Wells (bass). They continued to play until 1983, after which Wells went solo.

RHYTHM METHOD:  Band formed in 1983 by Eric Baker (guitar, ex-Bustop), Alan Leckie (keyboards, ex-Caspian), Eamon Tolan (drums, ex-Bustop) & Jamie (bass). Leckie also helped out with Fifth Estate. Rhythm Method were still going in some format in 1988. Leckie turned up in 2005 playing jazz with Fifer Willie Logan.

SCRAPE:  Three piece act from the early 1980's formed by Duncan Dewar (drums), David Buller (guitar) & Willie Beaton (bass/vocals). The band played compositions with memorable titles such as "Polaris Dog", "P-Joe Die" & other unmentionable titles. Dewar later formed The Bottom Line.
SEVEN SECOND DELAY:  London based band formed in the 1980's by Falkirk musician Dougie Strathie (bass, ex-10%). Strathie then joined Offramp.
SEVENTH DWARF:  Kincardine band formed in 1982 by ex-10% members Rich Jenkins (guitar) & Calum Leitch (vocals), who played locally before splitting early the following year.

SECOND NATURE:  Larbert based band from 1984.

The SHAD T. RACK BAND:  Grangemouth High pupil, Alistair Clachan (vocals/keyboards/guitar), was perhaps better known as Shad (or Shad T. Rack). His band ran between 1981 and 1983. Members of his band went on to join Brahn Seer, whilst he joined Dirty Duck.

SHEER LOONACY:    Local "comedy showband" formed in 1980 by Andy Hogg (bass), William McCairney (keyboards), Charlie Morrison (drums), Lee Owen (vocals) & Angus Ramsey (guitar). The band's LP - "Searching for Sanity" was attributed to Lee Owen & Sheer Loonacy!  Following Owen's departure the remaining members changed their name to Cuckoo.  Many thanks to Stephen Small for the LP photographs.

SHOUT:  Shout were a band that ex-Marbanx Distributors guitarist Alex Irvine attempted to put together in 1981, before joining Pastis 51.

The SIGNALS:  1983 Falkirk band formed 1983 by ex-Piledriver members Donald Campbell (bass), Douglas Grant (drums) & Bill Hay (guitar) along with Neil Sutherland (vocals). They became popular around the region through constant gigging, and were joined in 1985 by Sutherland's sister, Rona, on saxophone. The band released their debut home recorded cassette album, "Familiar Scenes", later this year. This was followed by a second effort, "Days To Come", in 1987. Not long after this, Rona left. Gigs were sporadic, due to one of the members being a "virtual recluse", and by 1997 they were a six piece with backing vocals (according to the Falkirk Herald, but not the band!), who continued to play live until 1998. The band's final date was in December 1999. The band got back together for a charity date in 2007, and continued playing into 2009, including a date at the Grangemouth Homecoming Festival. These dates were continued into 2011 (including an annual return to the Grangemouth Festival).
RELEASES:  "Familiar Scenes" (Cassette album, 1985) & "Days To Come" (Cassette album, 1987)
WEBSITE:  http://www.myspace.com/thesignals83

SKIN DEEP:  Skinhead act from the 1980's featuring at least one member from Falkirk. They released a single, entitled "Football Violence".
RELEASES:  "Football Violence" (vinyl single, 1985).
SLIGHT RETURN:  Slight Return were a five piece Stenhousemuir act formed in 1979, and including Watson Easton (drums), Jim Morrison (bass) & Stuart Wardlaw (guitar). They continued to play live into 1980.

Stuart SNOW:  Solo act from the Bog Road, better known as Snowy, who performed a few support slots locally in 1983 and 1984. One solo gig at the 1066 (the juke box had broken down) was memorable when a slightly older bloke approached him and stopped him mid-song, “I dinnie like this boring, depressing, shite!” said his assailant. An altercation with some nearby Neil Young loving bikers was averted when Snowy pointed out to them that the unimpressed bloke was actually his own brother! Early 1984 there was a quote from Fiona Pearson, then writing the ‘Feedback’ section for the Herald, saying Snowy had “split up due to musical differences". He subsequently joined Gareth Finn to form Randy Horn and the Section.
SOCIAL ABUSE:  Early 1980's Punk band influenced by then current groups such as The Exploited. The line-up was Eddy Deany (vocals), Stuart Nelson (guitar), Neil Buchanan (drums) and various friends pressed into bass duties, including George Sturroch, Les O'Conner and Robert Polson. Buchanan then joined Four Minutes, whilst the Four Minutes drummer David Duncan joined Social Abuse. Duncan was then replaced by Pete Pacetti. Nelson later formed Shadowplay with Polson, whilst Pacetti joined Inferiority Complex.
SPEAKEASY:  Rock act formed in 1979 by Stewart Drake (guitar), Dougie Hendry (keyboards), Sam Hinks (vocals), Dougie Malone (drums) & Richard Newlands (bass). Speakeasy played a lot locally until splitting in 1980, with Drake & Hinks forming Stealer, and Newlands joining Nassau.

STARFLEET COMMAND:  Denny rock act formed in 1983 by ex-Time And A Half members John Fallon (bass) & Robert McGlone (guitar). The duo advertised for musicians for a long time before recruiting John Boon (drums) & Johnny Gordon (vocals) in 1985. Boon was replaced by Ian Wallace (also of Blackout) before the end of the year. The following year Wallace was replaced by George Crook (drums, ex-Janie White Band), and this line-up released a mini-album on cassette towards the end of that year. In March 1987 Gordon left the band, and by the end of the year Fallon and McGlone had changed their name to Nirvana.
"Tell Me You Love Me" (cassette mini-album, 1986).

STEALER:  Local rock act formed in 1982 by ex-members of Speakeasy Stewart Drake (guitar) & Sam Hinks (vocals), along with Willie Leadbetter (bass) & Alan Wright (drums). They split up briefly in March 1983 before re-forming in August without Leadbetter, but with Colin (guitar) & Ian (bass). Another split was on the cards at the end of that year, and Drake & Wright formed Orion. By the early 1990's, the line-up was Liam Wilson, Pat "Paddy" Johnson, & Kev. Johnson & Kev later formed Aramanth, whilst Wilson joined Bladdered.

TALON:  Rock band in the style of AC/DC, formed in 1983 by Brian Smillie (bass), Callum McPherson (guitar), Davey Horsburgh (guitar, ex-Citizan's Bureaux), Glenn Ford (drums) & Tiger (vocals). The band played locally until 1984, including a three month residency at the Tiger Lounge, after which Horsburgh formed Unchained and McPherson joined Shaker.

10%:  Short lived act formed in 1981 by ex-X's & Y's members Rich Jenkins (guitar) & Calum Leitch (vocals), along with Les Dick (drums), Ian Jamieson (guitar) & Dougie Strathie (bass, ex-Armadillo). In 1982 they split, with Jenkins & Leitch forming Seventh Dwarf. Strathie then formed an unamed act with Bobby Nixon (vocals, ex-Castle), Eamon Tolan (drums, ex-Bustop) & Eric Baker (guitar, ex-Bustop), before moving to London in 1982, where he formed Seven Second Delay. Jamieson may have turned up 26 years later hlpingout Ross Fairweather, or that may have been someone else. with the same name.

THIS MORTAL COIL:  Project conceived by 4AD Records owner Ivo Watts-Russell. Originally it featured cover versions by other label/non-label artists and some original songs and instrumentals. participants were drawn 4AD's roster (such as Cocteau Twins, Dif Juz, The Wolfgang Press, Dead Can Dance, Modern English, and Xmal Deutschland) with occasional non-label guest performers. Grangemouth duo The Cocteau Twins participated in 8 of the songs featured on the two This Mortal Coil releases from 1983/84. The most successful track was Robin Guthrie and Liz Fraser's atmospheric, soulful, and melancholy cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren." The song was also performed live on a European television programme around this time, and was only slightly different in the interpretation.  "It'll End In Tears" was the last This Mortal Coil project in which Fraser & Guthrie participated, however Cocteau bass player (not local) Simon Raymonde went on to feature prominently in the 1986 This Mortal Coil LP, "Filigree and Shadow".  Ex-Johnny Panic vocalists Dierdre & Louise Rutkowski also sang with the act.
"Song To The Siren" (7 inch vinyl/12 inch vinyl single, 4AD, 1983, UK charts #66)
"It'll End In Tears" (vinyl/cassette album, 4AD, 1984, UK charts #38).
The THROBBING NUDGERS:  Act formed in the early 1980's by Cameron Nisbet (guitar) & Dave McEwan (guitar/vocals). McEwan then went on to form Mirror Mirror, whilst Nisbet joined Dragonfly.
THRUSH:  Popular local country rock act formed in the 1975 by Roy Whittit (guitar, ex-Triad), Richard "Dickaroo" Dow (guitar, ex-Aardvark), Charlie Dyer (bass, ex-Cat Violet) & Davy Waugh (vocals, ex-Aardvark). Whittit, Waugh & Dow then changed the band's name to Bushrod Gentry in April, but they reverted to Thrush by October, along with Norrie Stirrat (bass) and Ross Crichton (drums, ex-Castle). This line up was the most successful of the Thrush line-ups, and played regularly in Glasgow at "The Maggie" and in Oban at the "Bistro" where people were known to queue for hours to see them. In 1977 the band were featured on BBC Radio Scotland in a concert recorded at Falkirk Town Hall. They also featured on Scottish TV programme "Thingummyjig" a few times in 1978. In July 1978 they played at the legendary Glasgow Apollo...suporting Christian! Stirrat was soon replaced by Glaswegian musician Jim Gallagher. Gallagher & Crichton were then replaced by Colin Silcock (drums), Derek Lenathan (guitar) & Mick McNally (bass, ex-Makaris Park). 1981 saw Dow leave to be replaced by Eddie Reader who bought Dow's sure microphone and Barcus Berry pick-up from him. Reader didn't last long (later singing backing for The Gang Of Four & The Waterboys, before forming Fairground Attraction and going solo), being replaced by ex-Makaris Park guitarist Robert McMullan. Soon afterwards the band split , with Waugh later going on to promote bands at The Burns Bar, The Glenfinnan, The Metropolitan Hotel and The Argyll Bar, as well as playing in Fast & Furious with Dow. Lenathan, meanwhile, joined The Deft Jerks, and some members of Thrush went on to form Red Dexter & The Trailblazers. McMullan & McNally later formed The Rocks.

A late line-up featured a returned Dow and George Falconer (drums, also with The Deft Jerks). Dow later moved to Australia (where his daughter now plays in a band called Voyager).  
Thrush were actually the last band to ever play the legendary Apollo Theatre in Glasgow. On that night they had invited Haldane Duncan, who was a producer at STV and had become good friends with the band after doing several "Thingummyjig" shows. He turned up pretty drunk and the band were having a laugh when the stewards threw him out. An hour or so later Duncan appeared and said to the band "You bastards think you're great...the last band to play the Apollo... but I'm the last punter to get chucked out". Needless to say, he brought the band to their knees laughing.

Another funny event was the night they played the Loch Long Hotel, where only two people turned up to see them! They were a bit funny about receiving a cheque from the hotel, so when Thrush got home Dow took the cheque to the Scotia Agency who had booked them for the gig, and which was run by Bill Barclay (the comedian/singer/actor). Barclay exchanged it for one of their cheques which was made out to cash. Needless to say, the hotel cheque bounced and every time Dow later Barclay he would say "Ya little bastard... that cheque bounced". The hotel gig was also remembered for roadie Alan Scott fainting three times in the lift after smoking too much weed!


TIME AND A HALF:  Denny based act formed in 1983 by John Fallon (bass), Robert McGlone (guitar), Ian Wallace (drums, of Blackout) and Colin (vocals). By the end of the year Fallon & McGlone had formed Starfleet Command.

TUNNELVISION:  Polmont based band, formed as Light In The Darkness, by Murray Stevenson (vocals / guitar), Ali Bell (vocals), Archie McWatt (bass) & Christine (keyboards), before changing their name in 1983. They continued to play until 1985, with Stevenson later joining The Spacecats and Bell joining Bladdered.

24 HOURS:  Local rock act formed in 1984 by Stephen Allan (drums), Stuart Penman (bass), Scott Prentice (guitar) and ex-Mikifin member Mike Schoffield (vocals). The band played a few local dates before splitting, with Schoffield later joining Lesson One.

TWO HELENS:  New wave/indie act formed in 1981 by frontman and songwriter Ian Murray (vocals/guitar) along with Eddie Menczyskwoski (drums) & Alan Shields (bass). That line-up was very short-lived, with Menczyskwoski later joining Spank! and Shields joining Dirty Duck. Murray then recruited Mark Dickson (drums), Robert Greenaway (guitar/vocals) & Alan Whyte (bass) in 1985, and set about becoming the biggest unsigned band in Falkirk at the time, and one of the few bands able to pull a crowd. Extensive gigging throughout Scotland led to B.B.C. Radio Scotland play, which in turn led to a deal with local label, Sharko 2. Their debut album, "Reflections In Red" was released in 1986, followed by a single "Silver & Gold" in 1987. The band's final act was a great gig at Edinburgh's venue in front of almost no people, before Murray pulled the plug on the band, choosing instead to start up The Alabama Trio, a rockabilly act. The others recruited Jim Laird, formely of Exposure, however no gigs were played and the band were unfortunatly forgotten about. In 2008 Murray, Dickson & Whyte rehearsed "old 60's garage stuff" just for fun.
"Reflections In Red" (vinyl album, Sharko 2, 1986)
"Silver & Gold" (7 inch vinyl, Sharko 2, 1987).

VENTURE II:  Rehearsal act formed in late 1983 by 13 year old Eddie McKenzie (keyboards/guitar/vocals, ex-Lightning), Gordon Robertson (keyboards/vocals, ex-Lightning) & Stephen Smith (vocals/guitar/keyboards, ex-Kabuki). When McKenzie left in November 1984, Robertson & Smith became The Field. McKenzie & Smith also worked as The Distant Life.

The WALK:  London based band formed as Axess, and then Who's George?, featuring former Falkirk musician Wilson Sharp (guitar), along with his wife Janis (vocals/guitar). The duo released a single in the early 1980's entitled "I Didn't Catch Your Name", which was picked up in Germany, and listed in the UK as "bubbling under" the charts in Music Week. The duo then bought their own recording studio, and ended up spending more time recording other acts. In 2000, Janis decided to make a movie of one of her tracks ("Telepathic Lover"), which was then picked up by a TV channel with a social purpose agenda, and shown a couple of hundred times over two years. At this point things took a turn for the worse when the couple's son Gary McKinnon became obsessed with UFO's, and attempted to find evidence of a cover up by "wandering into NASA and Pentagon computers". After being caught by the police, and told he would be given six months community service, the US governemnt stepped in and demanded his extradition. The UK government then signed over McKinnon's rights to a trial.  Wilson & Janis are now planning a sing-in outside the US Embassy, with a song written by Graham Nash. The cuple are currently recording the song, with an extra vocal by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and James Litherland of Colloseum.
RELEASES:  "I Didn't Catch Your Name" (7 inch single).
Stevie WALKER:  Popular cabaret artist locally, originally called Robert Buchanan, Walker sings and plays saxophone around the clubs, and is an ex-mamber of early 1980's funk band Nassau.
WHITE DWARF:  Grangemouth Rock act formed in April 1983 by Bruce Tait (bass), Rab Thomson (keyboards), Gus Sparrow (guitar, ex-X's & Y's), Ian Moffat (guitar), Maggie Steel (drums) & Margaret Rae (vocals). According to Moffat they "did a selection of Gong, Hawkwind, Rush and a psychadelic Steeleye Span cover or two - very badly.  Lots of noise, strobe lights, smoke and white lab coats. We split after just a few gigs 'cos we were rubbish!!  In November Thompson left the band, and they split soon after, with Tait going on to form Athens, and Moffatt joining him in The Smokehouse Blues Band, whilst Sparrow formed Acoustic Soup. Steel later auditioned for The Fall!

WHO'S GEORGE:  London based and formed by former Falkirk musician and ex-Axess member, Wilson Sharp, with his wife Janis. Three singles, "Didn't Catch Your name", "Shu Shu/I'm Not Leaving" & "Who's George?" were released in the early 1980's, but failed to chart, with a couple recorded at Abbey Road. The duo then changed their name to The Walk.

"Didn't Catch Your Name" (7 inch vinyl single, Impact Records, 1980)
"Shu Shu/I'm Not Leaving" (7 inch vinyl single, Impact Records, 1980)
"Who's George" (7 inch vinyl single, Impact Records, 1981).

Ann WILLIAMSON:  Bo'ness born light entertainment performer who released some singles in the early-1980's on Emerald Records. More recently in the mid-1990's she released a couple of "spiritual country" albums for Scotdisc.
"When You And I Were Young, Maggie" (7 inch single, Emerald Records, 1982)
"LIke Strangers" (7 inch single, Emerald Records, 1983)
"Flower Of Scotland" (CD album, Scotdisc Records, 1995)
"Amazing Grace" (CD album, Scotdisc Records, 1996)
"The Pride of Bonnie Scotland: The Cream of Scottish Music, Vol. 2" (CD Album, Blue Sun Records, 1999)  
"Songs for the Country Line Dancer" (CD Album, Scotdisc Records, 2003)  
"Count Your Blessings"  Emerald/Emerald Records, 2006)
"Golden Memories: 20 All Time Irish Country Favourites (CD Album, Emerald Records, 2006)                                                                                               
"The Greatest Songs Of Love And Inspiration - 40 Great Tracks" (CD Album,  K-Tel).

X's & Y's:  Kincardine act formed as F.B.I. by Calum Leitch (vocals) & Chris Toole (bass), who changed name to X's & Y's in 1980 and recruited Ritchie Jenkins (guitar), Jamie McLenman (drums, ex-Those French Girls) & Angus Sparrow (guitar). Whilst Jenkins & Leitch soon formed 10%, Sparrow turned up in White Dwarf.

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