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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes December 28, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

For sometimes (well one clear instance in one song) very hard edged political pop, a fairly dark name and links to the Scottish pop scene of the 1980s Jesse Garon & the Desperadoes provide a perfect example. Members of them played in or with The Darling Buds, Meat Whiplash, The Shop Assistants and many more. They were produced by Douglas Hart of the JAMC. And as to the politics, well read on.

A Scottish group based in Edinburgh in the late 1980s, their debut single was the almost amazingly good Splashing Along. Their sound was typically indie-pop, slightly scratchy guitars, a lot of melody.

The approach to vocals was slightly unusual – though on reflection not that different from The Primitives. Fran Schoppler sang most of the songs, with Andrew Tully singing a number here or there. This dynamic of female/male vocals was interesting, generally effective and while perhaps losing the coherence of a single vocalist did allow their sound to encompass a broader range.

A Cabinet of Curiosities released in 1989 compiled their early singles and EPs to great effect. Nixon from a year later was an harder edged affair, with a tougher sound. Allmusic suggests that the album ‘revealed a more forthright perspective’. That’s one way of putting it, as wiki reveals single Grand Hotel referenced the IRA’s bombing of same, and notes that ‘Tully described this as a ‘fuck Thatcher and fuck the IRA for not killing her when they had the chance’ song’.

Subsequent to that they dropped from sight, though vocalist Fran Schoppler released a solo album in 2000. It’s a pity, they definitely had something of interest in the mix.

Splashing Along

The Rain Fell Down

Laughing and Smiling

I’m Up here

If I needed Someone

Adam Faith

Grand Hotel


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