A couple of weeks back I found myself, very willingly, at the very first Glas-Goes Pop Festival. It took place on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August within the Glasgow University Union in the leafy west end of the city. (Regular readers will hopefully recall that, thanks to flimflamfan, I was able to offer one lucky reader the opportunity of a free ticket….the winner was Sarah and I was able to introduce myself to her during the course of the event).
As it turned out, I only managed to get along on the Friday. I always had plans for the Saturday involving the match day announcing duties at the football on the Saturday, but had hoped to make it along for much of the evening, but alas the fates conspired against me thanks to a combination of Rachel feeling very poorly (food poisoning) and public transport woes between the east coast of Scotland and my home city.
The Friday was worth the ticket price on its own given that four absolutely wonderful acts took to the stage – Davey Woodward and The Winter Orphans, The Catenary Wires, The Orchids, and The June Brides. I also saw Close Lobsters, but they proved to be a major disappointment, primarily because lead singer Andrew was as drunk as I’ve ever seen anyone on a stage.
The thing was, Close Lobsters, as headliners, were always going to struggle to top the performance that had been delivered by The June Brides, a band I hadn’t ever managed to catch before and who were the one I was most looking forward to in advance of the festival.
They played for maybe 50 minutes or so, rattling through many memorable tunes from their back catalogue, with an energy and vigour that belied the fact that all six musicians are well into their 60s (not that any of them looked anything like their ages). They were a ridiculously tight outfit, making it nigh-on impossible to believe it had been six years since they had last played live, with the really sad thing being when Phil Wilson said that there was a real possibility that this could be their final gig.
I know that The June Brides never achieved any sort of commercial success when they were active back in the early 80s, and maybe the reformation back in 2012, with two new singles released subsequently on Slumberland Records, didn’t quite reach the expectations that those involved had hoped for, but on the basis of the Glas-Goes Pop performance, they certainly are more than capable of bringing down the ceiling at an indie music venue in towns and cities across the UK, and further afield.
It’s got to be hoped that the ‘last gig’ comment was simply a throwaway remark, and that perhaps reflecting afterwards on the huge reception they received from the appreciative audience, there’s a view that playing together again would be well worth it. I know it’s nigh on impossible to put together any sort of tour, but the promoters behind the various established festivals akin to what was on in Glasgow the other week could do an awful lot worse than getting in touch with The June Brides.
I’ve dug out a 12″ single from the cupboard, issued on The Pink Label in 1986., which brought together all the tracks that could be found on the band’s first two singles, also on The Pink Label, from 84/85.
mp3: The June Brides – In The Rain
mp3: The June Brides – Sunday to Saturday
mp3: The June Brides – Every Conversation
mp3: The June Brides – Disneyland
There was a rather brilliant 41-track 2 x CD compilation issued by Cherry Red Records back in 2005, but it has long been hard to come by. The time for reissuing it, or some variant on it, is very long overdue.