SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG #29 : THE BIG GUN

biggun2

The return of the Saturday series that had to make way for the loom back at the old 45 45s at 45 feature.

Last time round, back in September 2015, was The Big Dish and they were the 28th Scottish band alphabetically within my itunes collection. Next up, naturally, is the 29th. And so the spotlight focusses on The Big Gun.

An internet search will reveal very little other than…

The Big Gun from Ayrshire, Scotland, recorded only one single, “Heard about love”, in 1986. After having it played and praised by John Peel, the young band including Andrew O’Hagan (later author of acclaimed novels Our Fathers and Personality), played a few gigs and then promptly split up, convinced they had played their part in music history out and only really had one good song in them anyway. The band was, according to O’Hagan himself, named “not very brilliantly, after ‘the big gun factory’ where Arthur Seaton works in the novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”.

But as I mentioned previously on the old blog and then again via a re-post in November 2014, the band also released a one-off flexidisc back in late 86/early 87 with the other track being given over to Basil Pieroni, who I would later get to know and call a friend through Butcher Boy. It was done as a taster for the label Hi-Fibre and the accompanying info with the flexidisc offered the following:-

The Big Gun : Keith Martin (vocals, guitar); Alan Carruthers (guitar); Andy Crone (bass); Andy Kerr (Drums); Andy O’Hagen (additives)

Hi-Fibre : Fresh, substantial and committed, in this instance, to the provision of free pop. Here, enthusiasts can sample the delights of The Big Gun and Basil Pieroni recorded here for the first time.

Hi – Fibre : Bright, urgent and working through the night to deliver instant classics to the nation; fast, reliable and painfully instinctive

As it turned out, only one single was ever released on the label, but to my ears it is one of THE great lost 45s of Scottish indie-pop.  I don’t own a copy of said 45 (very few people do!!) but I have digital versions of the songs.

mp3 : The Big Gun – Heard About Love
mp3 : The Big Gun – Happens All The Time

POSTSCRIPT (added 23 June 2016)

I’ve said before that certain things seem to happen around this blog that prove to  too much of a coincidence to suggest nothing other than some strange forces appear to be at work.  And so it proved with The Big Gun….

It’s worth recalling that it is now nine months since I called temporary time on this series, all the while anticipating this lot would be involved in its relaunch.  What I didn’t know then was that a Berlin-based record label, Firestation Records, would in May 2016 turn their attention to The Big Gun and manufacture a limited run of 200 12″ mini-LPs containing the original single, the demo that was on the flexi disc and a further two songs recorded in demo form but never given a release.  As soon as I learned about this I put in an order and just 72 hours before this posting was received a package was safely and securely delivered.  And so at long last, I own something by The Big Gun.

Another example of how the summer of 2016, in musical terms, is turning out to be more than OK.

Here’s the link to the mini-LP as well as many other great things that Firestation are doing.

JC

 

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