On our tours, we try to give a flavour of the diversity of music which pumps out of Glasgow year round. But indulge us for a moment, as we compile our latest playlist from a particularly juicy genre vein – that somewhat mercurial many-headed beast that is the Glasgow indie sound.
We have already celebrated a number of the city’s finest indie exponents – Belle & Sebastian, Orange Juice, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai – in our inaugural playlist so, rather than repeat ourselves, we’ve chosen key tracks by ten more artists who have helped over the years to make Glasgow a mecca for indie music, arranged in roughly chronological order to create a selective indie timeline. If your favourite is not included, it’s only because we are fortunate enough to have access to an embarrassment of riches. (Scroll down and you’ll find out Spotify playlist lurking elsewhere on the page…)
Jesus & Mary Chain – Happy When It Rains
So the Mary Chain actually hail from East Kilbride, about ten miles to the south of Glasgow, and they hightailed it to London as soon as the opportunity presented itself, but we’re claiming them as our own. There’s a new album in the works; in the meantime, revisit one of the finest Scottish pop songs about our national obsession (after football).
Teenage Fanclub – Everything Flows
One of the most fondly regarded bands ever to emerge from Glasgow – or, to be precise, the cultural hotbed that is Bellshill – got it right first time with their gorgeous debut single.
Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun
Another bunch of exiles who once dared to rock bowlcuts and Chelsea boots on the mean streets of mid-80s Glasgow. We could have picked any track off the classic Screamadelica album, but we’ve gone for this seductive trip.
BMX Bandits – Serious Drugs
The band that birthed the Fanclub and provided a rallying point for so many other musicians are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Feast your ears on one of their prettiest tunes, featuring a lovely, vulnerable lead vocal from Joe McAlinden.
Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
There are many, many fine songs in the Edwyn Collins solo canon but let’s not overlook the big hit, with its fuzz guitar, chiming keyboard refrain and those adenoidal vocals. An exquisite production of an eloquently passionate song.
The Delgados – Monica Webster
The Delgados went on to produce more sophisticated indie pop but we love the manic urgency and distorted guitars of their debut single – which was also the first ever release on their Chemikal Underground label back in 1995.
Bis – Kandy Pop
Another key Chemikal Underground release. Famously, this was the song which earned Bis a slot on Top of the Pops as the first “unsigned” band to perform in the show’s history. It’s quintessential, effervescent Bis tempered with a hectic punky energy.
Frightened Rabbit – Old Old Fashioned
Bringing things a tad more up-to-date with this much-loved Glasgow-based outfit. Can this indie folk skiffle really be seven years old already? Listen and weep, Mumford & Sons.
Glasvegas – Daddy’s Gone
Another band who are happy to flaunt their Scottish accents. Glasvegas love their girl groups and their melodrama and this early single about an absent father combined both in one lusty terrace anthem package.
Twilight Sad – Another Bed
It sounds like the Rabbit’s broodier peers took a leaf out of the early Simple Minds songbook with the epic keyboards which garnish this propulsive post-punk track from their 2012 album, No One Can Ever Know.