Flowers – (Life) After Dark

23rd October 2022 · 1970s, 1979, Music, Punk

Flowers were another of the Scottish postpunk bands that blossomed briefly, recording only 11 songs over the course of their short career.

The first was this feminist take on a night out at the disco*, beginning with a hommage to that clanging riff that opens Roxy Music’s Pyjamarama.

Their singer Hilary Morrison – aka’Hil-Ray’ – was the co-founder of the influential (and equally brief) Fast Product record label with her husband Bob Last.

Forming in 1978 when a band called The Dirty Reds split in two, they were part of the same Edinburgh scene that spawned Scars, Josef K and Fire Engines.

Andy Copland played guitar, Fraser Sutherland played bass and Simon Best was the drummer. Two other founder members moved on to other things, original bassist Davd Carson joining Boots For Dancing and first drummer Russell Burn moving to The Fire Engines and Win.

They never released a full-length album, but between 1979 and 1980 they recorded 11 songs, including two different versions of After Dark which also appeared on Fast Product’s first compilation EP earcom 1.

They also recorded two John Peel sessions in 1979 and released a very different version of (Life) After Dark the year after on Morrison and Last’s new label Pop:Aural after Fast closed down. (There’s an excellent compilation of both labels called Mutant Pop 78/79).

Thanks to their label connections, and the success of the bands they signed, The Flowers often opened for The Human League and The Mekons, and also toured with The Beat and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

Flowers broke up after their final release, The Ballad Of Miss Demeanour EP, in 1980 and Morrison went on to sing with several other bands in the Edinburgh post-punk scene, including Fire Engines and Restricted Code.

She later formed Heartbeats before changing career to work in theatre and is now a community educator working with charities.

*”Slipped into my bluejeans / Put on my casual jacket / Glossed my lips with cola flavour / My mind with media power / While dancing at the disco / With my handbag at my feet / I met a boy called Jerry / Whose dancing was a treat / I fed him Vesta cookies / With a little Hirondelle / We munched on Mr Kiplings / Which I knew would make him tell / He said he really liked me / And did I take the pill / I sprayed myself with Charlie / And got ready for the kill / He fumbled through my bra strap / While I prayed for whispered nothings / He was working on his technique / While I tried to be a vamp / He tried to be a playboy / And I tried to be a playgirl / But he couldn’t stay hard no / Couldn’t stay hard no… so… put… ABBA… on… instead!!!”

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