Scars – Horrorshow

24th October 2022 · 1970s, 1979, Music, Punk

Here’s another of those great first-wave postpunk bands from Edinburgh. I’ve still got their debut single, Horrorshow, and their only album, Author! Author!

I’ve still got the fantastic T-shirt featuring the mutlticoloured skull on its cover, too, along with delusions that one day it might fit me again.

The Scars – Bobby King (vocals), Paul Research (guitar), John Mackie (bass) and Calumn Mackay (drums) – evolved out of Edinburgh’s punk scene.

They were part of a literary art-punk scene centred on a pub near Edingburgh College of Art called The Tap O’Lauriston, where they would meet with similar bands like The Fire Engines and The Cubs.

Horrorshow, releaesd on Fast Product, still sounds perfect today, with those guitars, that bassline, and the vocal spitting out lyrics inspired by A Clockwork Orange.

Kubrick’s film was considered highly controversial and was banned in Britain in 1977, which added a frisson of danger.

Like many of my generation I remember catching A Clockwork Orange in a fleapit in Paris on my first visit there, feeling that kind of transgressive thrill you can only get by doing something you’re not normally allowed to do.

The B-side, Adult/ery, was almost as good while another song, Your Attention Please, appeared as a free gold flexi-disc in the first issue of the style magazine i-D.

Their only album, Author! Author!, came out on a subsidiary of Charisma and seemed slightly disappointing, if memory serves, though they did record two excellent Peel sessions in 1980 and 1981.