The above photo is of Razorcuts, as found within an insert of their second single, Sorry To Embarrass You, released by the Subway Organisation in 1986.

My first exposure to Razorcuts wasn’t a good one.  It came via the inclusion of a track on the Cherry Red Records compilation CD86. The track was I’ll Still Be There, the b-side of their debut single, originally released on Subway.  I wrote about it in April 2015 as part of a series looking at the 48 tracks that made up CD86, and gave it a pasting on the basis that the dreadful sub-standard vocal performance bordered on the unlistenable.

I’ve since sort of apologised by posting, in July 2019, a very positive review of I Heard You The First Time, an EP from 1987 that was issued by Creation Records.

The second part of the apology comes today.

A long train journey a few weeks back led to me giving a listen to Indiepop, a 2 x CD compilation that came out through Rough Trade in 2004 – and the source of yesterday’s song from Beat Happening.  There’s also a song from Razorcuts on said compilation, the aforementioned sophomore 45:-

mp3: Razorcuts – Sorry To Embarrass You

It’s a very solid, enjoyable and catchy piece of mid-80s indie pop, albeit the vocal does occasionally verge towards being very off-key, but I suppose that all becomes part of its charm.

Here’s your b-side, all 111 seconds of it:-

mp3: Razorcuts – Summer In Your Heart


I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME (but I wasn’t quite sure….)

A band named after a word in a Buzzcocks lyric and who took their inspiration from Orange Juice. Tailor-made for this blog if you ask me……

I’ll hold my hands up and say that Razorcuts were one from the C86 era that completely passed me by. I was heavily dependent on Jacques the Kipper, after the fact, for my education on the genre and this lot were never featured on any of the many lovingly-crafted homemade C90s he handed to me. I’ve picked up on them from a number of their songs being included in the numerous boxsets that era has spawned in recent years. They featured previously on the blog back in 2015 with I’ll Still Be There, a b-side to an early single lifted from the CD86 compilation issued by Cherry Red Records in which I said:-

…while it is far from a bad song – the tune is actually fine – the dreadful sub-standard vocal performance borders on the unlistenable. It is also a perfect example of the off-putting whining, struggling-to-hit-the-right notes delivery that quickly became synonymous with much of the C86 genre and which led to its rather prompt demise.

Thankfully, there’s better to be found on the later CD87 boxset which features the lead track on a EP released that year on Flying Nun Records:-

mp3 : Razorcuts – I Heard You The First Time

The reverse of the sleeve advises that the personnel were Gregory Webster (guitars, vocals), Tim Vass (bass, tambourine), David Swift (drums) and Angus Stevenson (guitars), with help from John on Hammond Organ and Yvonne on vocals.

The band was formed in 1986, in Oxford, by Webster and Vass. They had actually been friends for a number of years back in their home town of Luton but had both relocated to the university town, with Webster living with his girlfriend, Liz Price, who herself would form Talulah Gosh with Amelia Fletcher, so it really was quite the fantastic twee/indie scene for a while. Vass was a huge fan of Buzzcocks, seemingly following them all over the UK when they toured (which would also have enabled him to catch a fair number of support slots by Joy Division).

It was the emergence of Postcard Records that made the dream of a band move closer to reality. Razorcuts emerged out of an earlier attempt at recording under the name The Cinemamatics with new focus being an attempt to fuse their two biggest influences along with the 60s jangle of The Byrds, even down to the idea that Razorcuts would primarily be a singles band. Like many of their contemporaries, they got their break via the Bristol-based Subway Organisation label with two singles – Big Pink Cake and Sorry To Embarrass You – being issued in 1986. Razorcuts had an unusual approach to song writing in that the music came, for the most part, courtesy of Webster and the lyrics from Vass….but it was Webster who did the singing. They also enjoyed playing live, striking up friendships with many others in the scene and happy to contribute songs to the flexidiscs that came came via the emerging fanzines movement.

1987 saw the EP featured today, after which the band were signed by Alan McGee to Creation Records, itself beginning to make a name as the quintessential UK home of indie-guitar bands of the late 80s. The bizarre thing about their time with Creation is that Razorcuts released two full length LPs and contributed to a number of label compilations, but did not (as far as I can tell) release any 45s during their two-year stint on the label. They moved on the Caff Organisation for who there was a one-off single in 1990 before seemingly calling it a day the year after.

Razorcuts have never reformed, but there was a compilation CD pulled together back in 2002 around which Gregory Webster gave some interviews, and there’s a very telling contribution in one of them:-

“There was a very distinctive Razorcuts sound, which is the sound that everybody loves now even after all these years. People still dig that sound. We tried to do things a little differently and we were good at what we did and I guess that was the issue. We never claimed, right from day one, to be able to play our instruments properly. We were genuine people who liked what we thought was incredibly good music and wanted to replicate it , taking it down to the lowest common denominator because we didn’t have the musicianship to be able to do anything else. “

Here’s the other tracks on the 87 EP:-

mp3 : Razorcuts – First Day
mp3 : Razorcuts – Eight Times Around The World
mp3 : Razorcuts – A Is For Alphabet




There comes a tipping point when too much twee starts to annoy me.  I’ll admit that, despite intending to feature all 48 songs and artistes who appear on CD86, some of the stuff gets the skip treatment on the i-pod.  And today’s offering is one of them.

Razorcuts formed in 1985 with the mainstays being Gregory Webster (vocals/guitar) and Tim Vass (bass) augmented at times by various drummers and other musicians who came and went. After a couple of singles on the Subway Organisation label and a one-off on Flying Nun Records, they ended up signing to Creation by 1988 for who they would release two albums in 1988 and 1989 without setting the heather on fire.

The song on CD86 is a b-side to one of their June 86 debut on Subway and while it is far from a bad song – the tune is actually fine – the dreadful sub-standard vocal performance borders on the unlistenable.  It is also a perfect example of the off-putting whining, struggling-to-hit-the-right notes delivery that quickly became synonymous with much of the C86 genre and which led to its rather prompt demise.

mp3 : Razorcuts – I’ll Still Be There

Here’s yer A-side:-

mp3 : Razorcuts – Big Pink Cake

The band split up in with Vass going on to form Red Chair Fade Away, and Webster joined The Carousel before the duo reunited under the name Forever People in 1992 for a one-off single called Invisible on Sarah Records.Between 1997 and 2002, Webster was part of Sportique, a sort of twee supergroup made up of ex-members of the likes of Heavenly, Television Personalities and Tallulah Gosh.