SCARS AREN’T SO OLD

Long-lost Edinburgh post-punks SCARS are to have their sole album reissued in a deluxe expanded edition this Autumn.

Formed in 1977, the four-piece were north-of-the-border contemporaries of The Pop Group and Gang Of Four and adopted a similar scratchy funk template, but with a more commercial, almost New Romantic, quality, making their lack of success all the more baffling.

Fronted by Robert King and featuring bassist John Mackie, drummer Calum McKay (then Steve McLaughlin) and brilliantly-named guitarist Paul Research, like Gang Of Four, they released their debut single ‘Adult/ery’ on Bob Last’s Fast Product label before signing to PRE Records, the New Wave sub-label of Charisma, also briefly home to The Monochrome Set, Manicured Noise and Delta 5.

Released in 1981, Author! Author! is rated as a classic in post-punk terms and was rated by The Scotsman newspaper as number 75 in the top 100 Scottish rock and pop albums of all time. The band splitting the following year, the short and tumultuous story of Scars is told in Grant McPhee’s award-winning documentary Big Gold Dream.

Crying out for a reissue, Author! Author! is now presented by Cherry Red Records as a 3-CD set: alongside the original 10-track album, the set also includes stand-alone singles, b-sides and demos featuring covers of Steve Harley’s ‘The Psychomodo’, David Essex’s ‘Silver Dream Racer’ and Jacques Brel’s ‘Next’, previously made famous by Scots rock legends, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

There’s also a full CD of live tracks spanning the years ’78 to ’81, taken from six gigs, including Edinburgh’s White Hart pub and George Square Theatre, Glasgow’s Plaza Ballroom and Valentino’s club, and 11 tracks from a show in Groningen in The Netherlands.

Author! Author! is set for release on 30 October and is available to pre-order here.

Check out ‘Leave Me In Autumn’ from The Old Grey Whistle Test….

Scars on Facebook

Pic by Sheila Rock

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B.O.C. OWN UP!

Rock legends BLUE ÖYSTER CULT are back with a brand new album, heralded by a new video.

‘That Was Me’ is taken from the album The Symbol Remains, the New York band’s fourteenth studio album and first in almost twenty years.

Only singer Eric Bloom and guitarist Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser remain from the band’s original line-up while guitarist/keyboardist Richie Castellano and drummer Jules Radino have been with the band since 2004 and bassist Danny Miranda returned in 2017 after a long sting in the late 90s and early 00s.

The video features a guest appearance from the band’s original drummer Albert Bouchard on vocals and cowbell, a reference to the enduring Saturday Night Live ‘more cowbell’ sketch.

“The goal was for the new music to stand up to the quality and vitality of our legacy recordings and I believe we have successfully achieved that,” explains Roeser. “Other than that, the sound of our voices and style of our writing and playing can’t help but sound familiar to fans of our work.”

Bloom adds “The album title comes from a quote of an old Sandy Pearlman lyric, which basically we are using to show that the band is back and still rocking after all these years. To me, it means we’re still here and doing what we do.”

Sandy Pearlman was a student colleague of the Cult when they formed at Stony Brook University, London Island in the late-60s, managing and producing the band and contributing to several songs. He would infamously go on to produce Give ‘Em Enough Rope by The Clash.

Pitched between psychedelia, the proto-punk of the MC5 and the biker rock of Steppenwolf, their self-titled debut, Tyranny & Mutation and Secret Treaties (the latter two featuring lyrics by Patti Smith) – have been hugely influential, not least on Radio Birdman and the Australian underground scene of the late-70s and early-80s.

Set for release on 9 October through Frontiers Music on double-vinyl, CD and download, The Symbol Remains is available to pre-order here.

Blue Öyster Cult on Facebook

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THE SELECTER AND THE CHORDS – ONE WORD INTERVIEWS!

While carrying out interviews for our Mod vs 2Tone special in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!, our man Guy Shankland put the thumbscrews on Pauline Black from THE SELECTER and Chris Pope from THE CHORDS in and engaged them in quickfire interviews with one word answers…

PAULINE BLACK

VLR. Loafers or Dr Martens? P.B. “Doc Martens.”
VLR. Tea or Coffee? P.B. “Tea.”
VLR. The Specials or The Beat? P.B. “Mmmm… (a pause and a sigh) The Specials.”
VLR. Coventry or Romford? P.B. “Oh Coventry (Laughing loudly!) “
VLR. Hat or Gloves? P.B. “Hat.”
VLR. Dogs or Cats? P.B. “Dogs.”
VLR. ‘Too Much Pressure’ or ‘Celebrate The Bullet’? P.B. “’Celebrate The Bullet’.”’
VLR. NME or Sounds? P.B. “Errrrrm… NME.”
VLR. Rock or Punk? P.B. “Mmmm… Punk.”
VLR. Bad Manners or Madness? P.B. “(Laughing) Just put a question mark!”

CHRIS POPE

VLR. Loafers or Doc Martens? C.P. “Loafers, no Martens.”
VLR. 2-Tone or Punk? C.P. “Mmm… Punk.”
VLR. Highbury or The Emirates? C.P. “Highbury, all day, mate.”
VLR. Tea or Coffee? C.P. “Tea.”
VLR. The Jam or The Style Council? C.P. “The Jam.”
VLR. The Kinks or The Who? C.P. “The Who.”
VLR. Tommy or Quadrophenia? C.P. “Quadrophenia.”
VLR. London or Brighton? C.P. “London.”
VLR. Top Of The Pops or Cheggers Plays Pop? C.P. “(laughing) Top Of The Pops.”
VLR. NME or Sounds? C.P. “Mmm… Sounds was a bit more streetwise, no I’ll have to go NME as I used to buy it as a kid.”

The full Selecter and The Chords features can be found in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock! out now!

The final few copies of Vive Lee Rock‘s 2Tone Special featuring The Selecter, The Specials, Interrupters, Rhoda Dakar, Madness and The Beat are available here!

Pauline Black pic by Dean Chalkley

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DUB PISTOLS CLASH WITH PUNK

DUB PISTOLS

ADDICT

(Sunday Best Recordings)

Festival circuit favourites blend reggae, punk and drum n bass.

8/10

Eighth album blends jungle and dub with punk influences as the band recently covered The Clash’s ‘Bankrobber’. Frontman Barry Ashworth recorded over three albums worth of songs to whittle the best down to this record which took two years to complete. The band collaborate with emerging talents Natty Campbell and Gardna as well as Bodysnatchers Rhoda Dakar on the anti-racist anthem ‘Stand Together’. Their message of hope rings loud. All eleven tracks have a feature artist and ‘Addict’ opens the album with Cheshire Cat. Later ‘Old Skool’ includes Horseman and ‘Two Generals’ features Ragga Twins. This LP follows 2017’s ‘Crazy Diamonds’ (UK Independent chart Top 5 album). During recording, Dub Pistols tragically lost one of their most prominent members, Will Hensel and this album is a tribute to, and celebration of him. Drum & bass, hip-hop, ska, dub and punk combine in these uplifting tracks. Dub Pistols formed in 1996 but show no signs of slowing down. My album of the year.

Paula Frost

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