Sunday, February 04, 2007

UK Early-80s Indie Pop - part 7

Back to the sound of young Scotland again, such a critical
force in the early 1980s independent scene.

Aztec Camera were basically the Roddy Frame band. They started out releasing a couple of singles on the super-cool Glasgow Postcard records alongside Orange Juice and Josef K, and then released the classic Scottish pop of 'High Land Hard Rain' on rough trade in 1983, including the sublime pop single 'Oblivious'. That was their high point, although Roddy went on to release a further four albums for WEA and his latest album 'Western Skies' was released in 2006.

Roddy Frame plays the Buxton Opera House Festival on 18th February, supported by the excellent Martha Tilston.

"Music's food 'til the art-biz folds

Let them all eat culture."

(from Good Morning Britain) You can access a full discography and listen to other rare tracks at the killermont street website. Roddy's own website is at the link below.
Bonus track

The Fire Engines
cannot be described adequately in words. There has never been another band like them, as Franz Ferdinand recognised when lauding them a year or two ago, playing live with them and covering one of their songs. Basically, a ramshackle indie band who sounded like they were into both disco and Captain Beefheart and played the two at the same time.

The Fire Engines comprised Russell Burn on Drums, Davy Henderson vocals and guitar, Graham Main on bass and Murray Slade on second guitar. They produced just three singles and one album 'Lubricate Your Living Room' in the space of about a year and then they were over. The Henderson bands that followed - Win, Nectarine No.9 - never quite lived up to expectations. The FEs reformed briefly in 2005 to play a couple of gigs supporting Franz Ferdinand and they played their final ever gig at the ICA in London on 17 September that year - an exciting, but all too brief, set.

Candyskin was their second single, after Get Up And Use Me. You can also get a feel for the beautiful dischord in some other tracks and a highly recommended video on the myspace site. In 2005 they released the atrociously under-produced collection of out-takes and live tracks 'Codex Teenage Premonition' - which bizarrely excluded Candyskin, the band seeming to regard it as too poppy and compromised. A shame, as it's a masterpiece and a high point in the history of the brazenly independent and creative field that is Scottish pop music.

1 comment:

michael said...

Good to hear this again. I used to listen to the Fire Engines on Peels show in the 80's. I had tones of tapes back them with sessions and wiped them all in the 90's when I got into world music in a big way. I wish I'd kept them now ofcourse. But. lots to be found around the internet saved by far seeing folk. A big favourite of Franz Ferdinand too and you can see the influence.