THE FALKIRK HERALD has been the main place to find out what is going on in local music, and has covered that scene with varying degrees of success over the years. Here are a few journalists that have written a column:
Bob Duncan ran a monthly "Pop & Beat Corner" column in 1964, which Dave Cochrane made weekly in 1965 - 1967, before switching over to do a cabaret column, which he continued for over forty years. In 1965 he interviewed The Beatles for the paper, giving away the pen that Paul McCartney had signed an autograph with. However, he also criticised a drummer in the paper for not wearing a tie whilst playing! Mel Henderson had been in charge of a column called "Teenscene" from January 1969, which was taken over by Denny born Malcolm Brown in January 1973. In February 1976 he handed the column over to Douglas Smith, who re-named it "In The Groove", before it was taken over by Brian Pendreigh, who used his space to talk about national bands rather than local. He declared that "punk rock is dying" and described it as "tasteless, noisy and musicless" whilst critically aclaiming the latest Leo Sayer album. At that time the column was called "Sounds Fine". In September 1978 David Hamilton took over and changed the title to "Soundsaround". He covered local bands and gigs, as well as the national scene. In June 1981 the column was taken over by 22 year old Alan Crow. Tim Harper had written the occasional live review for the column, and took over in April 1982, re-naming it "Feedback". His reign, however, was short after the threat of physical violence for giving bad reviews caused him to quit in September. He later tragically died in a mountaineering accident. Peter Samson took over, and wrote the column for a year until September 1983 when it was handed over to Fiona Pearson. Her two and a half year tenure lasted until January 1986, when Niall Aitchinson took over, and never went to a single gig. Despite this, the column flourished when in April 1986 the Falkirk Herald started producing a supplement entitled "Weekend" which provided a full page of music scene news, both local and national. In August 1987 the column changed it's name to "Soundtrack" and was taken over by Adrian Mahoney, and the following May returned to the main paper when the supplement was scrapped. In September 1990 the column was handed over to Billy Adams, however his run was short and was soon taken over in May 1991 by Smokehouse Blues Band frontman, Bruce Tait. He oversaw a resurgence in blues music in Falkirk, and was succeeded in August 1992 by Media student Linda Marshall, whose brother Cal ran Black Market Studios. Alex Paterson & Stephen Myles were members of local band Roseland when they wrote a local music column starting in March 1993. They lasted a year until regular Herald columnist, Graeme Smith, took over, turning the column more or less into a listings. When Smith took over control of the whole entertainment pages in February 1998, the listing were handed over to Kevin Schofield, who reduced coverage even further. In December 1999 Brian Ferguson took over the listings, which were hidden away in the centre of the paper, and a few months later were reduced even further by Chris Bergin. By the end of 2000 the Herald carried a general "What's On" listings, run by Brian Ferguson, where you had to really search to find bands. This "What's On" column was then handed over in quick succession to Julie Currie, and then James Friel. By the end of 2002 Brian Marjoriebanks had taken over the listings. In 2004 / 2005 Sarah Moyes, a young journalism student, wrote an occassional column for The Falkirk Herald, inbetween sessions of working for Zane Lowe at B.B.C. Radio One. However, main control from early 2005 onwards was by James Trimble, who was the first Herald writer for many years to actually go out to gigs and meet the bands. With the birth of his child in 2009, James took more of a back seat, allowing Kirsty Beaton to take over. The fact that she was the girlfriend / wife of the singer from The Ray Summers had nothing to do with them being in the paper every second week, but despite this she did a fairly good job of covering the scene.
Apparently, Brian Guthrie wrote some reviews for Sounds back in the 1980's.
The NEXT BIG THING: Psychobilly fanzine run from 1977 by Grangemouth born Lyndsay Hutton. There has not been a paper copy for a few years now, however Hutton does run an entertaining Blogger site.
CLOSER: Fanzine run in the early 1980's by Larbert based Mhairi Harper. The first edition featured the story of The Clash, written by Joe Strummer!
SMALL WONDER: Fanzine run by Angular Records owner Jim Mason in 1979.
SHBOOM: Fanzine which appeared in 1980.
STEEPLETRACKS: Fanzine run by Eddie McKenzie during 1986, published monthly, which featured only local acts. McKenzie soon discovered that Falkirk was too small a scene in which to give bad reviews.
BUZZ FACTORY: Fanzine started by Stuart & Dave McIntosh in 1992, which ran until 1995, published monthly, and featuring national acts, as well as some local.
SOUL BURN: Fanzine started in 1998 by Larbert's Joseph Gormley.
DIS-CONNECTED: Fanzine edited by Billy Ross (of local band, Buzzbomb), this popular fanzine is produced frequently and best of all, is free! It contains a large amount of reviews, previews & interviews - both of signed acts and local unsigned bands. Contact: Billy on 01506 634755 / firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the website: http://www.dis-connected.com.
RADIO WOODSTOCK was a pirate staion run Lous Nieto in the early 1980's which was eventually closed down by the authorities.
Pearlfishers singer, Davie Scott, has presented several shows on B.B.C. Radio Scotland over the last ten years.
CENTRAL FM is the local radio station, serving Falkirk & Stirling, which has for the most part ignored the local music scene in favour of chart based playlists. Stephen Myles did present a weekly show in 1995 which featured local bands.