The Goodyear Social Club Drumchapel, this was the scene of another of our early gigs. Drumchapel, at this time was a charmless excrescence on the backside of Glesga. Much of it has been razed to the ground and replaced with new housing since then. Many fine and excellent people live there undoubtedly but nonetheless it was a grim and drab experience in the 80s.
In 1985 Stevie and I gained employment of a sort with the Youth Enquiry Service in that ghastly suburb. The job was to provide an information service and drop-in place for the numerous teenage denizens that haunted the Drum’s dismal avenues, already chucked on life’s scrapheap by the joyless 80’s nightmare of FATCHURS BRITTIN. Unfortunately for these youngsters this scheme for their benefit was fundamentally of a job-creation/unemployment figure massaging nature. Hence it was staffed by a bunch of wasters and chancers of which me and Stef were prime examples. In the year the project ran I reckon we achieved absolutely nada, rien or nothing. A typical day consisted of drinking coffee, endless acrimonious debates concerning tea-money, playing pool, going to the shops, sitting around having “meetings” at which our “boss” – O Jesus! the memories – rambled on in an excruciatingly circular manner leading to chair throwing and threats of extreme violence from Stevie.
On the other hand though this so-called job provided us with the opportunity of playing a few gigs, the first of which was the Goodyear. I can’t remember what the occasion was, mebbe it was to celebrate a year’s non-achievement or something like that, perhaps it was simply to promote our laughable “service”. I recall getting a good slagging for saying “the Youth Enquiry Service it’s for teenagers aged 16-25” when we were on stage.
This Goodyear Social Club was a low block of a building set on the edge of a vast desert of scrubby grass, the scene of the late Goodyear Tyre Factory, one of the many closed and abandoned industrial sites which featured so prominently in the 1980’s west of Scotland landscape. Inside, the place was quite smart as these clubs go. It had a biggish high stage and quite a good sized seating area as I recall.
We were supporting a band called “Art Cult” that night. They were local heroes in Drumchapel and had a large following. They also had a fair conceit of themselves as a top pop act. When they were sound checking their bass player gave the hapless P.A. guy (Dickie Banana yet again – see the Pinetrees ) a real hard time, telling him “your trying to rush us through this like we were some shite wee band!” Now I was always of the opinion that as a general principle it was a mistake to noise up the sound guys. After all they can really bugger up your night by making you sound like a stagnant puddle of pish. These Art Cult boys were muscular and confident however, possibly they felt that the sight of their powerful life force would have a cowing effect on the proud breasties of the P.A. maestros.
Art Cult had shortened their name from the magnificent “Artistic Culture” which I thought was just about the most monumentaly pretentious yet beautifully moronic moniker I have ever heard. I was disappointed with “Art Cult” frankly, it worked better but was so much more boring. Musically I can’t remember a thing about them. I have an impression of them being very eighties. The bass was prominent and there were keyboard and guitar effects, oh yeh they had a very loud and powerful drummer.
The gig itself went pretty well, we didn’t have much of a following at it but we were pretty well received. The rockabilly tunes went down well as ever. It was one of these places though where you worry about getting your face panned in. I remember when I was up on stage looking over at these two brawny dudes who were staring intently at me, gave me a bit of a quiver I can tell you. I studiously avoided making eye contact for the rest of the gig. When we came off one of them shouted me over. Well, my morale sank. I thought “this is it Bobby ol boy”. All they wanted though was to tell me how much I looked like Buddy Holly and that we should do more of his numbers. We’d done a couple of his more obscure ones that night “Ollie V” springs to mind and I was happy to let these guys in on this secret. I came away with that feeling of relief which always accompanies truly profound experiences, wiser and purer.
Art Cult followed us on and went down like hot tamales, it was their crowd. Davy said to me “we won the battle but I think they’ve won the war” which just about sums it up.
In summation then, quite a good gig. Not the triumph of a Pinetrees or a Jam for Fam but a happy time anyways.
The Band that night were:
R.Ruthven guitar and vocals