For some months the existence of The Scars has been known to us at "Hanging Around" : badges and posters have been in evidence and Paul Responsible has been telling us how good they are. Yet until Friday 7th October we hadn't seen them: in fact they hadn't played a gig till then.
Their debut at Balerno Village Hall was the climax to six weeks of rehearsing, and although not a landmark in the socio-economic development of suburban Scotland in the 20th century, it was a pretty good gig. The band are Bobby Charl - vocals and dancing?! Paul Responsible - guitar and occasional vocals; John Doctor - bass and MacMean - drums. They're fired with the enthusiasm that can overcome bad equipment and technical problems; the enthusiasm that tells them they're as good, if not better than anyone else; the enthusiasm that turns a good gig into a great oneand without which rock'n'roll becomes just another sanitised branch of the entertainment industry.
Their set kicks off with "Skid Kid" - a fine original although the only words I could make out were "Skid Kid"! The P.A. (I call it that for want of any other word) effectively destroyed any chance I had of hearing the words, although from what I could hear, they were interesting.
|This shot is actually of a later gig with Matt Vinyl in Chamber Street - no way could you call a Marshall stack "bad equipment", John! - click to enlarge (65 Kb)|
Then into "You Really Got Me" and a cover of "Chinese Rocks" that's better than the single. Anti-feelings was next up (another original) a good song but ruined by the breaking of one of Paul's strings. "The Clash did this at the Playhouse" he said as he replaced it - but broke it when tuning up again. After that he played with five strings. They did three other originals - "Hard Luck Story", "Unbecoming" (about Johnny Rotten "becoming part of the Establishment") and "Problems" which is probably best of the lot. The other eight songs were "Suffragette City", "Rebel Rebel", "Substitute", "First Time", "I Wanna Be Me", "1977", "Blitzkrieg Bop" and "No Fun". All the cover versions were done well, in fact at the time I felt that these were the defintive versions of the songs. Looking back I don't think that's true, but I felt it at the time and that's what counts. The Scars aren'y the world's most technically proficient band but they know what they want and they know how to get it. They want to be stars. You may well be "pissed off with punk" but it's The Scars and hundreds of bands like them all round the country who are the best hope for the future of rock'n'roll.
GO AND SEE THEM IN GRANGEMOUTH ON NOVEMBER 7TH WHEN THEY ARE SUPPORTING MATT VINYL & THE DECORATORS.
Wee Rab, alias Bobby Charl, is a well-known Siouxsie fan and so when he saw her arriving outside Clouds he offered her a Scars badge. She refused, saying that she didn't wear badges. Rab replied in his inimitable fashion "Well why the fuck are you wearing that thing", pointing at a swastika and no dount feeling that all your heroines let you down. Siouxsie flushed and hurried off muttering "Well I just like it, that's all. Is this woman an eejit?
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