(and reposted on 11 October 2014  as part of the Scottish singles series)


We now move into the middle third of the most self-indulgent chart run-down of 2008, and coming in at #30 will be a band probably not all that familiar to some of you.

The Trash Can Sinatras were formed in the late 80s, in a town called Irvine, which is around 25 miles or so south-west of Glasgow.

Much of the initial attention was focussed on singer Frank Reader, simply for the fact that his elder sister, Eddi Reader had enjoyed a fair bit of attention and fame, firstly as a backing vocalist with Gang Of Four, and later as the singer with Fairground Attraction who enjoyed a #1 hit with Perfect in 1988.

I suppose I first noticed the band for the simple reason that they were signed to Go! Disc Records which was the home of Billy Bragg and The Beautiful South, leading me to think the Trashies would be have some sort of political bent. I saw their debut 12” EP on sale in a record shop in Edinburgh and bought it on spec for £2. It was only then that I discovered the band were in fact more aligned with the other reasons that label boss Andy MacDonald signed acts – they wrote and sang gloriously catchy pop songs that were full of clever lyrics that demanded close listening.

In due course, I bought two follow-up EPs as well as the debut LP, all of which appeared in 1990. They were a band on heavy rotation, but I wasn’t really giving music too much close attention, as it was a time when I had not long met the now Mrs Villain and there were far more important and pressing things on my mind …….such as sorting out the divorce from the first wife…..

One day, I went to see the Trashies live in concert and came away rather underwhelemed. It was 1993 before the band released any new material, but the comeback single, like the gig a few years earlier, didn’t do much for me. And with that, I stopped taking an interest in the band.

However, I never stopped loving that debut EP, which still astounds me all these years later. I mentioned earlier about the catchy pop songs with clever lyrics…check this out:-

Always at the foot of the photograph – that’s me there
Snug as a thug in a mugshot pose
Owner of this corner and not much more

Still these days I’m better placed to get my just rewards
I’ll pound out a tune and very soon
I’ll have too much to say and a dead stupid name

Though I ought to be learning I feel like a veteran
Of “Oh I like your poetry but I hate your poems”
Calendars crumble I’m knee deep in numbers
Turned 21, I’ve twist, I’m bust and wrong again

Rubbing shoulders with the sheets till two
Looking at my watch and I’m half-past caring
In the lap of luxury it comes to mind
Is this headboard hard? Am I a lap behind?

But to face doom in a sock-stenched room all by myself
Is the kind of fate I never contemplate
Lots of people would cry though none spring to mind

Though I ought to be learning I feel like a veteran
Of “Oh I like your poetry but I hate your poems”
Calendars crumble I’m knee deep in numbers
Turned 21, I’ve twist, I’m bust and wrong again

Know what it’s like
To sigh at the sight of the first quarter of life?
Ever stopped to think and found out nothing was there?

They laugh to see such fun
Playing Blind Man’s Bluff all by myself
And they’re chanting a line from a nursery rhyme
“Ba Ba Bleary Eyes – Have you any idea?”

The calendar’s cluttered with days that are numbered..

Now have a listen:-

mp3 : The Trash Can Sinatras – Obscurity Knocks

It was a song that struck a chord with me. Just a short time earlier, I had been in a rather unhappy marriage. I had a job, but it was far from fulfilling. I did seem to know what it was like to have sighed at the first quarter of life. And I wasn’t sure if I had any real idea….

Thankfully, things changed for the better in the early 90s…..oh and there will be further chapters about my life this countdown continues.

I still have the EP in the collection, and here’s the other tracks:-

mp3 : The Trash Can Sinatras – The Best Man’s Fall
mp3 : The Trash Can Sinatras – Drunken Chorus
mp3 : The Trash Can Sinatras – Who’s He?

Tune in next week for something you might not have expected at #29…..

5 thoughts on “A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (30)

  1. I don’t know if it’s just my computer but there seems to be an issue with the links – all I get is the following words: Previous file Next file – doesn’t make a difference if I change browser either, getting the same message

  2. Hi Paul

    Sorry to hear that.

    Just checked the links and looked at the admin side of the box account where the files are hosted and everything is looking ok.


  3. I had the first TS album and thought Obscurity Knocks was by far the best track on it. I also never knew Eddie Reader sang with Gang Of Four. You’re forever an education, JC!

  4. I also bought the album on the strength of Obscurity Knocks. What would you call a one hit wonder whose one “hit” was a classic to some but actually not a hit at all, more of a flop in the cold light of day? One flop wonder? Harsh I know…..I feel exactly the same way about the recently posted Wild Swans and Revolutionary Spirit. Same could also be said of Bourgie Bourgie ( the band, not I hasten to add, the sublime Paul Quinn who is more of an obscure 24 carat gold legend at least imho).

    I guess as Robbie Robertson of the Band once said, some people have one song in them, some have 20 etc. and some like Paul McCartney view songwriting as a craft that allows you to churn out shite years after anyone is still interested in then.

    Lol no offence intended for fans of any of the above.

    Obscurity Knocks is great though.

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