This is an alphabetical run through of singers and groups from Scotland from whom there is at least one song on my collection of vinyl and CDs, failing which there will be something located on the hard drive of the Villain Towers laptop.  The fact there was nothing previously by The Revillos tells you all you need to know in that regard…..

The Rezillos, a coming together of students attending the Edinburgh College of Art, were in existence between 1976 and 1978.  The break-up was initially very messy, but their record company allowed two key members – Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife – to be released from their contract with the proviso that they couldn’t use the band name.  Thus, The Revillos came into being, staying together until 1996 (!!).  Fast forward another five years, and The Rezillos reformed, still going strong today.

From the band’s website:-

The Rezillos ripped into the rock scene through a shared love of Sixties Garage Rock, the Spectoresque Girl Group voice of The Shangri Las injected with their inimitable molten attitude and created their unique left-field brand of punk rock and roll. The speed at which they gathered a following took the band by surprise.

The Rezillos off-kilter three minute sparkling pop gems and a unique visual style was steeped in a culture of bad boys, bad girls, bad movies and great rock and roll. Their independent debut single, “I Can’t Stand My Baby” shot them to underground fame initially via airings on John Peel’s radio show. Their follow-up classic singles “My Baby Does Good Sculptures”, “Top of the Pops” and “Destination Venus” signalled critically acclaimed milestones for the band. The Rezillos recorded their landmark album “Can’t Stand the Rezillos” in New York’s fabled Power Station studio, immersed themselves in the local music scene and dropped in during downtime to play a gig at CBGB’s, the hub of Punk Rock music. The album reached the top 10 in the UK album chart and is lauded as a punk classic.

The Rezillos gave two legendary performances on “The Old Grey Whistle Test” and did the same on the music showcase programme “Top of the Pops” where in keeping with band’s ironic take on pop culture, they played their hit single of the same name satirising the show. The Rezillos single hit the Top Twenty and their album charted alongside. The same year they released a live album; “Mission Accomplished… But the Beat Goes On”.

The band had a meteoric rise, made a seminal album and stamped their unique identity on an unsuspecting public. Much to their fan’s anguish, The Rezillos had hit the too much too soon button and abruptly ceased.

As I don’t have anything by the band post that first break-up, nor anything from the 21st Century reincarnation, I’ll stop right there.  I will say that Can’t Stand The Rezillos, a mint condition second-hand copy of which I picked up a few years ago for a bargain price, remains a fun listen and a great reminder of the fast nature of much of the music I was listening to in great quantities in my mid-teens. I’ve also got this non-album single on 7″ vinyl, the follow-up to Top Of The Pops; I was sure it was also a chart hit, but it seems it stalled just outside The Top 40:-

mp3: The Rezillos – Destination Venus

It’s that much loved mesh of the sound and look of B-52s, The Cramps and Devo, but with broad Scottish accents and a less-stylish fashion sense.

Fun fact.  Fay Fife’s real name is Sheilagh Hynd, and her stage name is the answer to a question…….

Fay (but with the spelling of ‘Fae’) is the local dialect version of ‘from’ while her home town of Dunfermline lies in the historical Kingdom of Fife, located on the other side of the Forth Estuary, north and east of Edinburgh.




One of the links on the right hand side is to The Corn Poppy, primarily an art/photography blog which is run by Phil Oates who has long been a supporter of this and indeed the original Vinyl Villain in the google days.

Phil has been in touch about a great piece of nostalgia he’s been working on, and he tells a self-deprecating tale which may well be familiar to many of us who have been at hot and sweaty gigs.


Thought I’d let you know about a new blog I’ve put together. Its a time limited event, 40 or so posts, each featuring a months worth of artists who performed at Liverpool’s Eric’s Club, between October 1976 and March 1980. Each post will include a flyer/member’s notice and contemporary videos of the bands. A couple of these (Clash, XTC) feature the audio of their Eric’s gigs and there’s footage of Elvis Costello on stage at Eric’s. There’ll be one post a day until we get to March 1980 in mid April. It’s called, with no imagination, Liverpool Eric’s and you can find it at

Eric’s was a wondrous place, the first gigs in October ’76 were Stranglers, Runaways and Sex Pistols; the night the Clash played in May ’77 was the night Julian Cope, Ian McCulloch and Pete Wylie set out to become rock stars/legends. I can remember my first gig there, headlined by Scots band The Rezillos. I was a bit young for Eric’s; it was a member’s club with a minimum age of 20. I was 16 first time I went. I recall one occasion when Jimmy the Bouncer asked me how old I was. 16 year old me says 20. Jimmy asks if I have any proof. “Well” I say, my voice cracking and going up an octave, “yer can phone an’ ask me mam”. That wasn’t this first night. Back to the Rezillos.

Most of the gigs I went to in those days were at the Empire, a 2,500 seater, where you stayed sat until the encore, then ran down the front for the last 15 minutes. Eric’s was very different. For the Rezillos it was one big mosh pit. They were incredible. Total energy. I was right at the front pogoing, bouncing up and down, loving it. It was so hot, there was no air, after a while I had to get out , get to the bar, get a drink. I fought my way out to the bar at the back of the room. I asked for a pint.

The barmaid said we’ve got no pint glasses left, do you want two halves. It made sense so I walked off with a half pint glass in each hand. I’d passed over all the money I had, I wasn’t sure how much drinks cost in a club. I didn’t take any change. I walked away from the bar and . . . passed out. Dropped the two glasses. Came round, no money, no drink, dehydrating, in a room like a sauna. Walked towards a stairway, not the entrance, crashed through the fire escape out into Mathew Street. Walked off into the Liverpool night in a daze. Couldn’t wait to go back the following week………

JC adds……

I’ve never passed out before, but only because I’ve pulled myself out of the mosh pit and either gone out for fresh air (sometimes not getting back in thanks to evil bastard bouncers) or got water and poured it all over myself.  I remember coming out of a particularly crazy Bunnymen gig in Glasgow in a tiny venue in the early 80s and the amount of steam coming off me was ridiculous.  That many of the smaller venues nowadays have some sort of ventilation system that wasn’t around 30-odd years ago is a godsend.

Phil’s musings about Eric’s are worth checking out and I’ll be adding a permanent link over the weekend.

In the meantime…..

mp3 : The Rezillos – Destination Venus
mp3 : The Rezillos – Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
mp3 : The Rezillos – Top Of The Pops




Last Friday’s guest appearance by Fay Fife at the Big Gold Gig led me to search the archives for this posting over on the old blog back in September 2011…..

Is this a classic of the post-punk era or a cartoon joke that all too quickly wears thin?

The one album released by The Rezillos back in 1978 divided opinion then and even today, it took me a while to determine which side of the fence I come down on. Visually, there were few like them at the time (although plenty since have stolen some of the ideas). Musically, they were like lots of other acts as they raced through their songs at a blistering pace with spiky guitars to the fore. There’s an awful lot of the guitar work that sounds very like the debut LP of The Clash while the tunes are as poppy as many of those performed by Buzzcocks – the big difference being that when co-vocalist Fay Fife comes to the mic there’s no mistaking that this is a band from Scotland.

It contains 13 tracks all told and clocks in at a mere 31 and a bit minutes. There are ten band compositions (most of which were written entirely by Jo Callis (who would find huge fame and fortune a few years later with Human League) and three covers. The covers are truly bizarre – one is of a huge hit for the Dave Clark Five, another a huge hit for Gerry & The Pacemakers and one of an obscure b-side on a Fleetwood Mac single. And until I was doing the research for this piece, I had assumed the last of these covers was actually a Rezillos original!!

It was August 1977 that saw the band release their debut 45 on a small indie label and although it wasn’t a hit, it showed enough promise for Sire Records to offer a deal. Three more singles and the LP followed between November 1977 and July 1978 followed by a further single in November 1978 when the band called it a day – of sorts.

What happened was i splintered in two out of which came The Revillos…who were active up until early 1984 without ever achieving much success.

Going back to the debut LP. This was one I owned for years and played a fair bit. To my late teenage ears it was as thrilling as anything ever put out on vinyl. But as my tastes matured so my fondness for this record diminished and I probably didn’t listen to it again after maybe 1982. In fact I must have at some point given my copy away to someone around this time but I honestly can’t remember. No matter though as I saw a copy in a shop a few months back and handed over £5 for it.

It’s not as great as I remember – the cover versions of the 60s hits are pretty awful – but at the same time I found myself really enjoying at least six of their own songs and thinking they were great tunes that have aged well. And while it’s not an album that I could play in its entirety over and over and over again the way I did all those years ago I do very much regard it more of a classic than a cartoon joke.

mp3 : The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack
mp3 : The Rezillos – No
mp3 : The Rezillos – Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
mp3 : The Rezillos – Top Of The Pops
mp3 : The Rezillos – 2000 A.D.
mp3 : The Rezillos – It Gets Me
mp3 : The Rezillos – Can’t Stand My Baby
mp3 : The Rezillos – Glad All Over
mp3 : The Rezillos – (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures
mp3 : The Rezillos – I Like It
mp3 : The Rezillos – Getting Me Down
mp3 : The Rezillos – Cold Wars
mp3 : The Rezillos – Bad Guy Reaction

I’m more than happy to have the LP back in the cupboard again. And knowing that some of their stuff will now be popping up occasionally on random play on the i-pod is a good feeling too.




From wiki:-

The Rezillos are a punk/new wave band formed in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1976. Although emerging at the same time as other bands in the punk rock movement, the Rezillos did not share the nihilism or social commentary of their contemporaries, but instead took a more light-hearted approach to their songs, preferring to describe themselves at the time as “a New Wave beat group”.

Their songs are heavily influenced by 1950s rock and roll, 1960s English beat music and garage rock, early 1970s glam rock, and recurring lyrical themes of science fiction and B movies, influences that mirrored those of US bands the Cramps and the B-52s who were starting out at the same time. The Rezillos’ biggest hit in their home country was the UK Top 20 single “Top of the Pops” in 1978, but they are best known outside the UK for their cover version of “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight”, which featured on the soundtrack to Jackass: The Movie in 2002. Since the Rezillos recorded it, the song has been covered by other punk bands, including Youth Brigade and Murphy’s Law.

Released in July 1978, the Rezillos’ only studio album Can’t Stand the Rezillos is now considered a classic album of the first wave of British punk, but the group split up four months after its release, following internal arguments about their future direction.

After the Rezillos split the band’s guitarist and principal songwriter Jo Callis briefly joined a couple of unsuccessful Edinburgh post-punk groups, before being invited to join The Human League. He went on to co-write some of The Human League’s best known songs during their most successful period, including their biggest worldwide hit, “Don’t You Want Me”.

The Rezillos’ vocalists Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife formed the Revillos, a group with an ever-changing line-up that continued where the Rezillos left off. The Revillos split up in 1985, briefly reforming in 1994 for a tour of Japan, and again in 1996 for a UK tour. In 2001 the Rezillos reformed after being invited to play at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, and have continued to play live ever since, as well as releasing new singles occasionally.

And, straight from the cupboard full of vinyl, here’s the tremendous follow-up single to the big hit:-

mp3 : The Rezillos – Destination Venus
mp3 : The Rezillos – Mystery Action





A quick count tells me I’ve got 118 tracks in my i-tunes collection that begin with the word ‘No’.  Of these, 115 have at least one more word afterwards, which leaves three as the complete opposite to yesterday’s McAlmont & Butler tune.

mp3 : Associates – No
mp3 : The Rezillos – No
mp3 : The Wedding Present – No

They’re all LP tracks, taken from Sulk (1982), Can’t Stand The Rezillos (1978) and Bizarro (1989) – and all three of them are cracking songs in completely different ways.

Gedgey & Co spoiled what would have been a cracking bit of trivia by placing the track as the third song on the LP…..No is the second song on both of the other LPs.