Absence makes the heart grow fonder. To say that I’m kind of ambivalent towards Glasgow these days is probably as much as you need to know to understand how we felt about each other when I left. It’s heartening to hear someone like John Smeaton on CNN talking in a dialect that must sound like binary to the rest of the world, but for every banjoing dealt out to international terrorism there’s an Orange Walk through the city and I sigh again.
One thing Glasgow has going for it is the music scene, of which I spent a lot of time hovering around the fringes during the early 90s before jumping on the internet career path. In the late 80s we had a few clubs, places like Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood Studio & Joe Paparazzi tried to keep ahead of trends by playing the top Hi-NRG hits or whatever was the popular R&B/Soul hits from the edge of the charts and fat titted peroxide blondes smoking menthol cigarettes tried to cup the DJ’s balls during the extended edit of Alphabet Street.
At this time the music scene was changing, and House was beginning to filter through. Previously pretty much unknown outside of late night Radio Clyde via Segun or similar, it became fairly clear this was a sound to remember. If I remember correctly, Slam started at Tin Pan Alley one night and eventually became one of the dominant musical forces in Glasgow at the time. The other was a rocker’s haven of import records called 23rd Precinct. If I go back to my Raintown memories the highlights were John Peel and the Friday Rock Show with Tommy Vance. I never really got the Friday Rock Show even though I listened to it, my friends at the time were into rock music, but I didn’t see eye to eye with their tastes. We did go to 23rd Precinct together while wandering the streets of the city centre for sun on a Saturday afternoon just before we would head to the Barras to buy the latest C64 & Spectrum backups. They would look at the latest Lita Ford posters or those of a similarly shock haired titilating vixen, and I’d wander through the back to the dance section where I’d hear Soul II Soul – Keep On Movin’ or at worst a bootleg of the same with an incomphrensible Italian babbling over the top of it. Or maybe even a version of it with Edie Brickell’s What I Am overlayed, pre-empting mashups by at least good 10 years.
Anyway. Slam went on to operate out of the Sub Club, easily one of the greatest club venues ever created and developed their own record label, Soma. 23rd Precinct created their label, Limbo records and had a minor success with M’Boza on Top Of The Pops. The track was based around a Lionel Richie sample, and the surname combined with the M’Boza moniker brought a smile to the various denizens of that scene.
Possibly the biggest success story from Soma or Limbo went to a French fellow by the name of Thomas along with his friend Guy-Manuel that formed one of the best known electronic music bands. They are Daft Punk, and they submitted Alive to Soma Records before being snapped up by Virgin.
Slam – Eterna. Based on an Edith Piaff sample, if drunken shouting with Sub Club employees were to be believed. One year at Christmas the “Hey” at 2:50 almost tore the roof off the place. A double acheivement considering the club was underground.
Slam – Dark Forces(Kenny Larkin remix). I also played a lot of Star Wars FPS in 1995.
Jean Michel-Jarre – Chronologie Part 6(Slam Mix 2). Slightly beardy.
Phuture – We Are Phuture(Slam remix). Respect is due.
Slam vs UNKLE – Narco Tourists(UNKLE remix). Kind of disappointing IMO. This is the best mix of the set.
I was once friendly with someone that lived in a flat with Dot Allison, and a supposed running joke with that Dot would relabel the boxes of crackers with her name so that the box would state Dotz Crackers instead. This was apparently quite hilarious to anyone else in the flat as Dot allegedly wasn’t the most popular of members. At least she went on to have a career, not end up with his life anecdote being he nearly got a gig with Leo Sayer at Butlins as a drummer.
A dove was a popular variety of, err, Disco Biscuit in Glasgow at that time.
Slam items on ebay. That Botany 5 disc wasn’t very good, IIRC. Mind you, the LFO mixes were a bit too out there.