Fans rare photos to bring lost era of music back to life – The Scotsman

Posted: February 4, 2020 at 9:53 am


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David Bowie on stage at a gig in 1973. Picture: Express/Getty

Rare photos of live music gigs in Scotland from the lost era before smartphones and YouTube could soon be published in a new book.

The book, 16 Years: Gigs in Scotland 1974-1990, captures a significant period in Scottish music history by showcasing 2,000 rare photos, many unpublished, and items of memorabilia.

Bands and artists featured include David Bowie, The Clash, Motorhead, Ultravox and the Sex Pistols who only made one appearance in Scotland.

Scottish artists feature prominently, including Simple Minds and Cocteau Twins.

Sparked by his lifelong passion for live music Chris Brickley had the idea after collating his own concert pictures, ticket stubs and posters.

Over two years he has gathered material for a 500-page book and raised 14,000 through donations and co-sponsors.

A relaunched crowdfunder for the final 4,000 needed to ensure publication has almost hit its target ahead of the 9 February deadline.

Arranged by town and venue across Scotland, the book presents a treasure trove of ephemera taking in post/punk, indie, rock, pop and reggae, from household names to forgotten acts.

The collection revisits a huge number of venues many now lost.

Highlights include photos of The Jam relaxing after a show and the Stranglers incurring a rammy.

Mr Brickley said: I remember many gigs in Glasgow. Each crowd has a different dynamic, and its great to feel the band respond to the atmosphere. I used to imagine I was breathing the same stale air as the Stones, the Kinks.

Now-legendary gigs such as The Clash/Suicide/Coventry Automatics (Specials) at the Apollo, Stranglers at the City Halls and Cramps/Fall at Glasgow Tech are included, as well as back-room gigs and forgotten acts from the later 70s and 80s.

The project evolved after Mr Brickley turned his attention to capturing the energy from the punk period.

He said: I am interested in images and pictures and I felt I was too young for punk.

I thought wouldnt it be great to know what the atmosphere was like at these gigs. Quite early on I got a cracking group of punk period photographs, which is like the Holy Grail nobody really took cameras to these things. Ive just kept going.

Back then a lot of venues didnt let you take cameras in.

Its very hard to take photographs anyway you really need to know what youre doing.

As well as covering musicians, the book includes photographs of the fans, highlighting the hair and fashion trends of the years with pictures, tickets, posters and autographs.

Brickley added: Everybody knows about the big venues but really good bands that I like also played in wee villages outside Dumfries, Stirling, Falkirk and Grangemouth.

For me thats the real story because most of these venues have now gone. Its an ambitious thing.

Most of my gig-going was Glasgow but Ive lived in Edinburgh for 20 years and went to a lot of gigs in Dundee too.

It could make a good series particularly looking down south at Manchester and Liverpool.

The real excitement is saving the stuff thats going to be lost if we dont do this project, stuff sitting in peoples garages and shoe boxes or photo albums.

Author Ian Rankin expressed his support on the crowdfunder page: A trip down memory lane for many of us, its also an invaluable guide to a lost world of venues, bands, fashions and moments in time.

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Fans rare photos to bring lost era of music back to life - The Scotsman

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February 4th, 2020 at 9:53 am

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