Edinburgh post-punk band BOOTS FOR DANCING finally get their album released next month. More than 30 years after they split!
The Undisco Kidds is issued by Edinburgh dance label Athens Of The North Records on 27 November and can be pre-ordered here.
Formed in 1979 under the influence of GANG OF FOUR and THE POP GROUP, the band had a fluid line-up, that at times included Jo Callis, Angel Paterson and Simon Templar from THE REZILLOS and JOSEF K drummer Ronnie Torrance. Guitarist Graeme High went on to join DELTA 5 while Callis joined HUMAN LEAGUE
Initially signed to the Pop Aural label by Bob Last, of Fast Product fame, they released three singles but an album eluded them during their lifetime. The Undisco Kidds brings together their various recordings plus two sessions for John Peel. It also has sleevenotes by Callis and BBC producer Mark Hagen.
Frontman Dancin’ Dave Carson told Vive Le Rock: “AOTN have done a great job. I’ve been working with Euan Fryer on this for over 3 years, it’s taken an inordinate amount of time to track down high quality source material, partly because we had rare access to studio time that only hinted at our potential development. The same goes for sourcing photo and graphic images, but we’ve got there in the end and I’m extremely proud and chuffed at the end result.
“We were the home for waifs and strays! - I think because we emphasised the party/dance vibe, it attracted musicians that want to stretch out in that area, try something away from the post-punk norm. Because band really always was fluid it didn’t seem too much of an issue, everyone that hopped onboard, brought their own individual groove to the party and when people drift out there’s was a mutual respect and acknowledgement that people develop and move in different ways. We weren’t striving to cop a deal so we weren’t hungry for career opportunities in fact the opposite. My theory was the music business was ‘honest capitalism’ cause you knew from day one that you were going to get ripped off and exploited.
“The band had a fluid nature, but there were personal loyalties there as well. The loyalty that was the magical quality to it. We tried to get everyone to contribute and work as a collective. In terms of that kind of intensity that we had, it took a lot of work to do that as a unit. I suppose the only time we had nyone who really directed us was in the early days when Jo joined, because he had all these skills, and that changed us dramatically. From floundering when he joined, to being fully equipped by the time he left, we eventually had all this knowledge about dynamics and how you develop collectively.
“It was brilliant, because he just had all that all in his head, but it took a lot of energy for us to do that, and I think that's why we didn't last that long. It required everyone to have that energy, and people had other things to do. That was good as well, because it kept things healthy. If you become too insular you become like the last gang in town, and you just plough a furrow, disregard everything outside that and continue what you're doing, and what you're doing might be crap.
“There was a point it became, not frustrating, but it just wasn't going to keep going that way. I thought we'd played longer, but it was about two and a bit years. I can understand why now. It was quite a short period of time. You did something and that was for then, but for bands now there's a whole different way of working.”
Watch Boots For Dancing perform 'Parachute' at Leeds Futurama Festival in 1980.
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Pics by Alastair McKay