1985-89 S-Z - FALKIRKMUSICSCENE2017

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BIOG'S to '89
SACROSANCT:  Camelon rock act, formed in 1988 by James Nicol, Jimmy White (guitar), Paul Bourne (bass), John Maxwell (vocals) & David Dowell (drums, ex-Broken Promise). The band played metal covers by the likes of Judas Priest & Iron Maiden, only managing one gig at The Glenfinnan Suite, Falkirk. Dowell joined Unchained, Bourne formed Indian Angel (as Kerri Paul), and Maxwell later joined Lieutenant Stardust & NU2.

SCAPEGOAT SOCIETY :  A reformation of The Shock by original members Kevin Deans (bass), Wilson Gill (vocals), Jock McLay (guitar) & Scott Lamont (drums), who only played a couple of dates in 1987. Deans, meanwhile had been a member of Crystal Religion, and was soon to play in The Happymen. Gill, Lamont & McLay later formed Giant.

The SCREAM:  Grangemouth based act formed in 1986 by Greg Drysdale (drums), Scott MacKenzie (guitar), Les Makin (keyboards, ex-Swinging Curtises), James Taylor (vocals) & Gordon Wood (bass, ex-Swinging Curtises), who managed one date at the end of that year. MacKenzie, Makin & Wood then formed Blue Ruin, with Drysdale joining Native Son.

SHAD & THE PINEAPPLES:  Offshoot band for the Blackout keyboard player, formed in 1985 along with Jim Moir (guitar, ex-Brahn Seer), Catherine Bates (vocals) & Caroline Wood. At the end of 1985 they played some gigs in people's living rooms. Moir later joined The Palmers.

SHADOWPLAY:  Camelon two piece formed in 1986 by ex-members of punk grup Social Abuse, Stuart Nelson (vocals/bass) & Robert Polson (guitar). After a debut performance supporting Two Helens, the band played a few more dates before changing their name to This Scarlet Train early in 1987.

The SHAKIN' MULESKINNERS:  Denny based rockabilly band from 1987 who featured Ally (guitar), Faitsy (vocals), Macaque (drums, also a member of Renegade) & Paul "Talli" Patale (double bass). Patale later formed The Alabama Trio.

The SHOCK:  Band formed at Graeme High School in 1986 by Kevin Deans (bass, also with Southern Comfort & Crystal Religion), Wilson Gill (vocals, ex-Four Large Whiskies), Jock McLay (guitar) & Scott Lamont (drums), who only managed one gig (the Grangemouth Rock Festival) before splitting. A year later they reformed as Scapegoat Society.

SHOTGUN RELIGION:  Band put together in December 1987 by Ross Cunningham (bass/vocals, ex-Innocent Thieves), Eddie McKenzie (vocals/guitar, ex-...And Jane) & David Rourke (drums/vocals, ex-Innocent Thieves). After struggling for six months to find their sound (during which McKenzie hedged his bets by also forming The Gangsters), they recruitd violinist Emma Hunter in June 1988. From there the act developed an acoustic based "folk/rock punk" sound, playing to crowds locally and in Edinburgh (at what is now the Liquid Rooms). The new sound led to a change of name to The Diesel Kings in April 1989.

The SIGNALS:  Falkirk band formed in 1983 by ex-Piledriver members Donald Campbell (bass), Douglas Grant (drums) & Bill Hay (guitar), with the addition of vocalist Neil Sutherland (vocals). They became popular around the region through constant gigging, and were joined in 1985 by Sutherland's sister, Rona, on sax. 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

The SILENCERS:  The Silencers began life as The Bainbridge Silencers before running into trouble from the company of the same name. Dropping "Bainbridge" from their name, they began playing live locally in early 1986, with a line-up of Stuart Brown (vocals), Dougie Cameron (guitar), Ramsay Hunter (bass) & Stephen Murphey (drums/vocals). In August they headlined the Grangemouth Rock Festival at the Leapark Hotel, before recording a three track demo tape in the fall. However, their existance was to be short lived, and after a farewell gig at the Burns Bar in January 1987, they split, with Hunter & Murphey joining The Godsend. Cameron then set up his own band called The Spacecats. This band had nothing to do with the later famous Glasgow act of the same name.
RELEASES:
"Tell Me" (cassette single, 1986).

SILENT WITNESS:  Band from 1985.

SLICE OF LIFE:  Denny based band formed in 1987 by former Esprit members Alan Dougan (drums), Steve McCabe (bass), Richard McLaren (keyboards) & Jim Morrison (guitar) along with session vocalist Mary McCain.

The SMOKEHOUSE BLUES BAND:  Local blues band formed in 1989 by Mark Lyon (guitar), Ian Moffat (drums, ex-White Dwarf), Alan Silcock (bass) and ex-Athens member, Bruce Tait (vocals). The band were joined by ex-Blackout frontman Sandy Black on harmonica in May 1989 and ex-All This & Heaven Too saxophonist Robert Henderson in July. Towards the end of the year Black started playing in another act as well, The Palmers. The band began gigging extensively during 1990, completing a German tour in the summer. A couple of months later Alan Corbett joined on saxophone, and the band continued gigging into 1991. Corbett left at the end of that year (later forming The High Society Jazz Band), and was replaced in early 1992 by Keith Robinson (trumpet) & Borderline member Jamie Anderson (saxophone). When Anderson left the band in 1993 to go to music college in London, Steve Williams (trombone) and Davie Hair (sax) came in to fill the breech. Keith Robinson left shortly after this, and Sandy Black provided a second saxophone on their debut CD, "Live To Work" in 1995.

The band contiued to gig right up until 1997, with new drummer Tam Boyle (ex-Fourth Dimension), though not as much as in the early 1990's. In 1997 Boyle left to move to Edinburgh (later forming Absent Tam), and the band advertised for a new drummer. Davie Hair left the band to form Nothin' But The Blues, and they continued as a six piece up until the band's demise in 1998, after which Black, Tait & Williams moved on to The Juke Joint Boogie Blues Band, later to be joined by Moffat, and Lyon joined The Bottleneck Blues Band.
RELEASES:
"Live To Work" (CD album, 1995).

SOUTHERN COMFORT:  Rehearsal band formed in California (up the braes, not the USA!) in May 1986 by Stephen Anderson (keyboards), Kevin Deans (bass/guitar, also with The Shock), John McAleer (vocals), Jason Taylor (guitar/bass) & Gary Verth (guitar). They were managed by Gill Porter, and within a couple of months had split, with Deans & Taylor forming Crystal Religion, before being re-united with McAleer & Verth in The Happymen. Anderson later formed Original Sin.

The SPACECATS:  Band formed in 1987 by ex-Silencers guitarist Dougie Cameron, along with Ian Deering (bass), Murray Stevenson (vocals/guitar, ex-Tunnelvision) & Alan Wright (drums, ex-Easy Money). Upon splitting in 1988, Wright joined Danger, whilst the other three formed The Grassharps.

SPANK!:  Grangemouth based act formed in September 1986 by ex-Sunrise Set members Blair Brown (bass), Lindsay Greig (keyboards), Robert Henderson (saxophone) & Alan Robertson (vocals/guitar) along with backing vocalist Ruth Webster. After a couple of months the band split, with Greig later joining Chance, and Henderson joining All This & Heaven Too. Robertson then had to put together a band in a hurry to fulfill live commitments at the end of the year, and so recruited old friends Eddie Menczyskwoski (drums, ex-Two Helens) & Alan Shields (bass, ex-Dirty Duck), and girlfriend Dawn Robertson (vocals). Early in 1987 they added Raymond Bienek (keyboards, ex-Fairy Cakes) & Kate Menzies (vocals), and began building up a huge following locally with their blend of Motown, pop & Northern Soul. That summer Menzies was replaced by 17 year old Karen Sinclair (vocals), just in time for the band to split. Alan Robertson then briefly formed The Gangsters, whilst Menczyskwoski joined The Alabama Trio and Shields later briefly turned up in The International Pop Assassins, in 1990 Bienek, Alan & Dawn Robertson & Sinclair recruited ex-Esprit D'Accord members Andy Elliott (bass) & Steve Leishman (drums). This gave the band a harder funkier sound, and was short lived, splitting at the end of that year. In late 1991 the same four continued with backing tapes, producing a cassette single the following year before splitting for good. The Robertsons then worked as a duo, under the name The Bairns.
RELEASES:
"Up To My Head" (cassette single, 1992).

SPEEDING MIRACLES:  Band from 1988 which featured Grangemouth musician Colin Morrison.

STARFLEET COMMAND:  Denny rock act formed in 1983 by ex-Time And A Half members John Fallon (bass) & Robert McGlone (guitar). They 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.
RELEASES:
"Tell Me You Love Me" (cassette mini-album, 1986).

Martin STEPHENSON:  Northumberland singer-songwriter who almost broke big in the late 1980's/early 1990's. His live band featured Grangemouth drummer Greg Drysdale (ex-Red Shelley) throughout the mid to late 1990's. Drysdale went on to join The International Pop Assassins, whilst Stephenson continued his solo career, later producing local singer/songwriter, Jill Hepburn.

RELEASES: Featuring Greg Drysdale:
"Sweet Misdemeanour" (CD album, Demon Records, 1995).
The STRANGE ROBERTS:  Larbert based band formed in 1985 by ex-B-Movie Romeos member Paul.

The SUNRISE SET:  Funk/pop act formed by ex-Johnny Panic member Alan Robertson (vocals/guitar) by recruiting Lindsay Greig (keyboards), Robert Henderson (saxophone), Alison Smith (vocals, ex-Swinging Curtises) & Blair Brown (bass) in early 1986. The band managed a couple of dates during that summer, before replacing Smith with Ruth Webster and changing their name to Spank! in September.

SURRENDER:  Falkirk band with Stephen Anderson (ex-Original Sin) & Neil, advertised for members in 1987.

The SWALLOWS:  Band formed in 1988 by someone called Paul.

The SWINGING CURTISES:  Act formed in August 1985 by 15-year old Eddie McKenzie (guitar/keyboards) & Stephen Smith (guitar), both ex-Distant Life.  They recruited Les Makin (keyboards/guitar), Lisa McFarlane (drums), Alison Smith (vocals) & Gordon Wood (bass) through an advert in The Falkirk Herald. Within a month Stephen Smith had left to concentrate on his other act The Field, whilst McFarlane was replaced by Willie Moffat (drums, ex-Excess). In November Makin & Wood left the band (turning up a year later in The Scream), so Moffat returned to his first instrument guitar, whilst McKenzie took up bass. These two, along with remaining member, Alison Smith, played their debut at the Grange Centre, Redding, in January 1986, before recruiting Grangemouth drummer Michael Davidson. Splitting, then immediatly reforming under a new name to get rid of Smith (a move which earned them the name "The Backstabbing Bastard Band" amongst friends), Davidson, McKenzie & Moffat worked with several vocalists as The Munchy Cousins, Chainsaw Dance & Johnny Was over the next few months, whilst Smith joined The Sunrise Set. In June they reverted to The Swinging Curtises, with new vocalist Val Marshall, and played a few dates over the next couple of months, including the Grangemouth Rock Festival (organised by McKenzie). McKenzie was also playing with Crystal Religion during this period. After sacking Marshall, the trio played one final date before changing their name to Outlaw Tribe in October.

TEMPTIN' FATE:  Falkirk based guitar act formed in 1985 by Gordon Murray (vocals/guitar) & Robert Nimmo (guitar), both of whom later joined Double Vision after splitting in 1986.

THAT PURPLE BUS:  Act from 1987, fromed the year before as The Invisible Sheep, who changed their name briefly to That Purple Bus in reference to another local act, This Scarlet Train. Their frontman, Jim Corbett (vocals/guitar) later formed Water Magnesium. John Eaglesham (guitar, ex-Noise Annoys) was also a member, and later formed No Love Lost. The drummer was called Frank Black.


THESE CONSUMING PASSIONS:  Denny/Bonnybridge based act formed in 1987 by ex-Ad Finem frontman David Bennie (vocals/guitar). The line-up was completed by Stephen McGuire (vocals), John McKenna (bass, ex-Rock Bottom) & Michael Ryan (keyboards). The band was short lived, and split in January 1988. Bennie & Ryan went on to form A Rose For Emily, and were joined later by McKenna.

THIS SCARLET TRAIN:  Band formed in 1987 by ex-Shadowplay members Stuart Nelson (vocals/bass) & Robert Polson (guitar), along with drummer Steven Docherty. They signed to Brian Guthrie's Nightshift label, and released a mini-album of infectious Joy Division meets Cocteau Twins tracks that year, before Docherty left in January 1988. Nelson & Polsen then called it a day in October 1988, with Nelson later forming Captain Trips, and Polson turning up in Water Magnesium.
RELEASES:
"Fimbrai" (vinyl album, Nightshift, 1987).

TRACK 5:  Local act from 1987 featuring Keith Maxwell. Maxwell later formed Perfectly Chilled.

TRUCE:  Formed in 1988 by someone called John.

TUNNELVISION:  Polmont 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.

TWO HELENS:  Local new wave/indie act, formed initially 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.
RELEASES:
"Reflections In Red" (vinyl album, Sharko 2, 1986)
"Silver & Gold" (7 inch vinyl, Sharko 2, 1987).

UNCHAINED:  Rock band formed in 1989 by Martin Ayre (guitar), Derek Dudgeon (vocals), David Horsburgh (guitar, ex-Talon), Mark Ogilvie (bass) & David Dowell (drums, ex-Sacrosanct). The band continued to play into 1991, after which Ayre, Ogilvie & Dowell formed Fine.

VICTOR & BARRY:  Comedy duo of Alan Cumming and Falkirk born Forbes Masson, started performing as a couple of Kelvinside dandies, Victor & Barry, in the 1980's. The duo were nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1988, toured Australia in 1989, playing the Sydney Opera House, and were killed off (as characters) onstage at the London Palladium in the early 1990's. After releasing a single and an album in the late 1980's, and performing in a sitcom "The High Life", the duo went their seperate ways, with Cumming making a living as a Hollywood actor, and Masson taking a role in "Eastenders".
RELEASES:
"Glasgow" (7 inch single, Jammy Records, 1988)
"Hear Victor & Barry and Faint" (cassette album, Jammy Records, 1988).

VISIONS:  Grangemouth based act formed by Gordon Adams (guitar), Paul Fitzsimmons (guitar) and David Jamieson (bass) in 1986. All three went on to play in Out Of The Blue the following year.

The WATERBOYS:  When Waterboys mainman Mike Scott moved to Ireland in 1986 he set about recording "Fisherman's Blues" with a host of local musicians, as well as taking some with him, including Falkirk born Colin Blakey (flute/mandolin/keyboards). Blakey had gotten to know Scott when he was playing with Edinburgh folk/punk/rock act We Free Kings, and contributed to two tracks on the album. He stuck about to play on most of the follow up, "Room To Roam", as well as live dates between 1988 and 1989, before going solo under the name The Clan.
RELEASES:
"Fisherman's Blues" (vinyl/cassette/CD album, Chrysalis Records, 1988)
"Room To Roam" (vinyl/cassette/CD album, Chrysalis Records, 1990).

WE FREE KINGS:  Edinburgh based folk/punk/rock act formed in the mid-1980's by Joe Kingman (vocals), Seb Holbrook (guitar/vocals), Pam Dobson (melodian), Geoff Pagan (violin), Kenny Welsh (drums), Phil Bull (cello) & Falkirk born Colin Blakey (flute/guitar/mandolin/vocals, ex-Green Telescopes). We Free Kings built up a sizeable Scottish following through energetic live dates with acts like The Waterboys (Kingman used to share a flat with Mike Scott). After a self-financed storming debut single in 1986, "Death Of The Wild Colonial Boy", they signed to D.D.T. and released their debut album in 1988. The band disintegrated the following year, with Blakey going off to join The Waterboys in Ireland. Kingman, Holbrook, Pagan & Bull then regrouped with Mark Ritchie (guitar), Simon (bass) & Grangemouth drummer Greg Drysdale (ex-One Over The Eight). This line-up released a 12 inch single, "Howl" for Avalanche Records in 1990, and then toured the UK with The Waterboys. The band split almost immediatly afterwards, with Drysdale joining The Diesel Kings, and Bull, Pagan, Holbrook, Kingman & Holbrook joining The Clan.
RELEASES:
"Death Of The Wild Colonial Boy" (7 inch single, Howl Records, 1986)
"Oceans"/"Wipe Out Gang" (7/12 inch single, D.D.T. Records, 1987)
"T-Shirt"/"Still Standing" (12 inch single, D.D.T. Records, 1988)
"Hell On Earth & Rosy Cross" (vinyl/cassette album, D.D.T. Records, 1988)
"Howl" (12 inch single, Avalanche Records, 1990).

Tommy WHITTLE:  Grangemouth born jazz saxophonist Whittle joined the Ted Heath Orchestra in 1946, at the age of 20. Six years with Heath established his name in UK circles, and he left to further his solo playing desires and, in fact, bacame a featured soloist with the BBC Showband. This time also saw him winning the Melody Maker & NME polls as a featured soloist. In 1956 he was involved in exchange tours of the US, and released a string of albums and singles for the Esquire label, leading his own quintet. In the early 1960's Whittle was musical director for the Dorchester Hotel before joining Jack Parnell's ATV Orchestra. He has recorded sessions with many acts including Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Barbara Streisand, Georgie Fame, Paul McCartney & Caravan, whilst continuing to release his own recordings.

In 1975 Tommy returned to the area for a one off date at the Metro Jazz Club, backed with the regions finest musicians.  As recently as 1990 and 1991 when he won the British Jazz Award for Top Tenor Saxophone.  In 2005 Tommy was awarded a silver medal for his distinguished career in jazz by the Worshipful Company of Musicians in London.
RELEASES:
"Martini" (78 rpm single, Esquire Records, 1954)
"Waxing With Whittle" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1954)
"The Tommy Whittle Quintet" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1955)
"The Tommy Whittle Quintet" (7 inch EP, Esquire Records, 1956)
"How High The Moon" (78 rpm single, Esquire Records, 1956)
"Spotlighting Tommy Whittle" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1956)
"Lullaby & Rhythm" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1956)
"The Finsher" (7 inch single, HMV, 1957)
"The Tommy Whittle Quartet" (7 inch EP, HMV, 1957)
"New Horizons" (vinyl album, Temp Records, 1960)
"Why Not" (vinyl album, Alamo Records, 1979)
"Jig Saw" (vinyl album, Alamo Records, 1979)
"More Waxing With Whittle" (vinyl album, Esquire Records, 1987)
"Warm Glow" (CD/cassette album, Teejay Records, 1992)
Tommy Whittle & Alan Barnes:
"Straight Eight" (vinyl album, Miles Music, 1986)
Tommy Whittle & The Bob Hudson Trio:
"Encore!" (cd album, Sine Records, 1998).

WOODHENGE:  Graeme High School based act formed in July 1985 by ex-Oats & The Sackcloth members Eric Easton (guitar/vocals), Alan Martin (drums), Sandy Sneddon (vocals/guitar) & Paul Veitch (bass), along with Hank on shouting. In October Veitch left to join Helms Deep, and the four piece continued playing breakneck folk punk. They only managed one date, at The Grange Centre, Redding in January 1986, before splitting, later reforming under the name The Bosch.

 
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