But of real interest to me is his early work which captures a time when Scotland was producing some of the most lasting and influential music around. The myth that there was only Postcard Records in the early 80s is busted on the gallery walls where there are some evocative pictures of musical legends such as Davie Henderson, Stephen Pastel, Alan McGhee and even Peter Capaldi when he was the lead singer of The Dreamboys (which featured one Craig Ferguson on drums). For anyone who is interested in Scottish music this is essential social/cultural history.
When people talk about the music of the early 1980s it tends to revolve around the boys from Postcard such as Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Josef K and those in near orbit such as The Scars, The Fire Engines, The Bluebells, The Armoury Show and The Associates. The women often get overlooked so here are two of the great female fronted pop bands of the time. First off are Rose McDowell and Jill Bryson who made up Strawberry Switchblade, one of the best band names ever. This is Since Yesterday:
Altered Images were seen by some as too twee for school, but they wrote some of the best pop songs of the day, which considering the competition is really saying something, and in Claire Grogan they had a near perfect front of stage. Strike that, she was perfect. While I head off for a wee lie down here they are with one of their later songs Don’t Talk To Me About Love:
Next up was a trip to the Gallery of Modern Art where they have an exhibition of Alasdair Gray’s original work depicting various Glasgow scenes and characters from the late 1970s, as well as prints of the covers for the original four books that make up Lanark.
The Glasgow pictures are from the time when Gray was employed as the ‘artist recorder’ for the city. There are paintings, sketches and collages of Bridgeton, Tollcross and Arcadia Street, the inside of famous Glasgow institutions of the day including the BBC newsroom and Sweeney Todd’s hairdressers, and some of the more famous denizens of the city; Edwin Morgan, Alexander Hamilton, Archie Hind and the infamous Pastor Jack Glass (left).