Named after the Friends Again single from a few years earlier, this cassette-only compilation was put together in 1986. It features 15 tracks from a variety of Scottish performers and bands (mainly from the Glasgow area), some of whom in later years would go on to find fame and fortune. Indeed, one of the performers would go onto be an enormous star in the entertainment world, though I’m thinking nobody involved in this tape, nor indeed anyone who saw the performer during this particular era, would have imagined it would turn out that way.
It’s a cassette that I knew about for years long before I ever saw a copy. And even when I got my paws on a copy, I was too scared to try to convert the tracks to mp3 as the item seemed so fragile and ready to snap if played one more time. I’d long ago given up ever featuring the tracks when this e-mail dropped in:-
I’ve been a regular visitor to your site for some time now. I recently converted some old cassettes to mp3. One of which was the 1986 Honey at the Core compilation. You may already have it, but if not you’re welcome to a copy of the mp3 link if you’d like to stick the odd track on your site.
All the best
So today’s post is very much courtesy of Tom Brogan, a writer and actor from Clydebank (a town, famous for decades for its shipbuilding, which borders Glasgow on the west side). You can see from clicking on this website that Tom is a very talented individual who will be appearing in shows at the upcoming Glasgow International Comedy Festival later this month.
Honey At The Core was compiled by John Williamson who for the best part of 30 years has been a hugely important and influential figure in the Scottish music scene. It’s interesting looking at the limited information available on the tape that more than half of the acts featured had, at the time, no record or publishing deal, so it’s clear this was an important stepping-stone in the careers of many.
Tom’s e-mail thought I might want to stick the odd track on the blog. But I’m going to be greedy and showcase the lost of them. A word of warning…..these are taken from a cassette that was in its day fairly lo-fi and of course has been subject to a fair bit of wear and tear, so the sound quality isn’t what you might usually expect on the blog….but I’m making no apologies:-
mp3 : Wet Wet Wet – Home & Away
mp3 : Wyoming – Ambition
mp3 : Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – Skimming Stones
mp3 : Kevin McDermott – The Right To Reply
mp3 : Deacon Blue – Take The Saints Away
mp3 : Tony O’Neill – Try Again
mp3 : Painted Word – Worldwide
mp3 : Pride – Love Night
mp3 : The Big Dish – Reverend Killer
mp3 : Hue and Cry – Dangerous Wreck
mp3 : Kick Reaction – Your Favourite Song
mp3 : The Floor – It Really Doesn’t Matter
mp3 : White – Fear Of God
mp3 : Bing Hitler – A Lecture For Burns Night
mp3 : The Bluebells – Guns And Accordians
I won’t waste your time mentioning those who went on to bigger things in the music industry, so instead I’ve tried to find out some more things about the lesser-known names:-
Wyoming : One of the members was Ross Campbell who had previously been part of Sunset Gun (label-mates of Wet Wet Wet) who had released an LP in 1985 and then broke up. I can’t find any trace of Wyoming material outwith the cassette.
Tony O’Neill : If it wasn’t for the fact that I have worked alongside Tony for nearly 20 years I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything. Outside of his day job he is still singing and performing, nowadays as the frontman to a band that is often hired to entertain at corporate-style events while I’ll always be grateful to him for bringing his then band along to the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow in September 1997 to play at mine and Mrs Villain’s wedding party. Oh…a little know fact about Tony’s contribution to the tape is that he is accompanied on vocals by a young lady who in later life has become incredibly well-known in Scotland as a newsreader and programme presenter. Click here (although part of that wiki profile features an urban myth…..)
The Painted Word : Around the time of the tape they were regarded as a band ‘most likely to succeed’ on the basis of signing a deal with a Mother Records, a label backed by U2. Nothing however came of this and the band began to fall apart, although vocalist and songwriter Alan McLusker Thompson kept the name going long enough to sign a deal with RCA and release two singles and an LP in 1989, none of which set the heather alight.
Pride : can’t find anything.
Kick Reaction : Another of the label-mates of Wet Wet Wet. As far as I know, they released one single in 1986 and then disappeared from view. I’m fairly certain I caught them live back in the day as they were active on the gigging front
The Floor : can’t find anything.
White : The tale of this band can be found here
Bing Hitler: I saw this guys loads of times doing his stand-up routine in some very insalubrious venues and to incredibly hostile audiences. I never thought under his real name he’d become one of Scotland’s best known exports.