Shop Assistants are probably best known for Safety Net, the first single to be released, back in 1986, on the Bellshill-based 53rd & 3rd Records. This was actually the band’s third single, following on from the late-1984 debut, Something to Do (which was by Buba & The Shop Assistants and is extremely rare and hard to find) and a four-track EP, Shopping Parade, which was issued by The Subway Organisation.
Worth mentioning that the line-up for the debut single consisted of Aggi (vocals), David Keegan (guitar), John Peutherer (bass) and Moray Crawford (drums) with Stephen Pastel on backing vocals and production duties.
By the time they were in the studio for the follow-up, there had been huge changes with only David Keegan still around, joined now by Alex Taylor (vocals), Sarah Kneale (bass), Laura MacPhail (drums) and Ann Donald (drums). The EP was recorded for their Bristol-based label in Edinburgh in April 1985 with the results being energetic and tuneful lo-fi indie-pop, mostly fast-paced (apart from the one that sounds like a Velvet Underground outtake) that provided the introduction to the vocal talents of someone who was being increasingly talked of as the new face and voices of the independent Scottish music scene in the mid-80s.
mp3 : The Shop Assistants – All Day Long
mp3 : The Shop Assistants – Switzerland
mp3 : The Shop Assistants – All That Ever Mattered
mp3 : The Shop Assistants – It’s Up To You
For the avoidance of doubt, All That Ever Mattered is a totally different song to the one of the same name later recorded by Orange Juice. Oh, and All Day Long is one of the best and most enduring songs to come out of Scotland the entire decade.