SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #306: THE SMILES

From a live review which appeared in the Daily Record on 1 August 1997:-

Singer Tony McGovern smiled through the pain and braved a sore throat to perform a blistering live set. The Smiles frontman apologised to the packed crowd at Glasgow’s King Tut’s and soldiered on with guitarist Paul Smith, bassist Terry Reilly and drummer Neil Payne.

And it’s easy to see why the up and coming rockers are creating a buzz among music industry bigwigs. Fans went wild as they opened with Slow Day Monday and It Doesn’t Have To Be which, along with Landslide and Not So Lonely, is likely to feature on the band’s debut album.

A cracking-paced High On Me rounded off the high energy set.  The Greenock band – who share management with Texas, Nowaysis and Gun – were snapped up in a lucrative recording deal with A&M Records earlier this year.

Guitarist Paul used to work as a check-out assistant before clinching the deal. And he said: “Getting a record deal was a relief. We’ve given up jobs which were a stop gap and it’s great to escape normality.”

It’s obvious that their gigs, including a stint at last year’s T In The Park, have prepared The Smiles for the live circuit. But fans can also look forward to some forthcoming releases from the band. Their debut LP, which doesn’t have a title yet, was produced by Hugh Jones, who has worked with Dodgy and The Bluetones.

Say Something, the Smiles’ first single, is due to hit the shops in September.

The single (pictured above) was released on schedule.  The album didn’t ever appear.

The only reason I know of the existence of The Smiles is from their inclusion on the Park Lane Archives CD:-

mp3: The Smiles – God Only Knows (demo version)

The booklet with said CD provides the information that The Smiles album ‘got buried due to corporate shenanigans’.

Tony McGovern put it all behind him very quickly and joined Texas as guitarist and backing vocalist in 1999.  I’ve a feeling he’ll think things worked out OK for him.  I’m not sure The Smiles, on the evidence of this demo, had anything that would have provided success.

JC

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