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16 Years: Gigs in Scotland 1974-1990 Guest blog

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A new crowdfunding project, 16 Years: Gigs in Scotland 1974-1990, is right up our street, we love the sound of it and would love to see it in print. We invited Chris, the man behind the project to tell us more…

16 YEARS is a comprehensive photobook I’m currently Crowdfunding, showcasing 2,000 rare live gig photos (many unpublished) and items of memorabilia.

Many of Glasgow’s lost venues, from the Amphora to Zhivago’s, are featured. Now-legendary gigs such as The Clash/Suicide/Coventry Automatics (Specials) at the Apollo, Stranglers at the City Halls and Cramps/Fall at Glasgow Tech are included, as well as back-room gigs and forgotten acts from the later 70s and 80s.

Photo by Chris Brickley

I was brought up in Glasgow, and early gig forays were to Night Moves (my favourite, a brilliant venue several narrow flights above Sauchiehall St), Strathclyde Uni and The Barrowland (felt hermetically sealed since the 60s, and I imagined I was breathing the same stale air as the Stones, Kinks and Beatstalkers). One early memory of the latter is standing seemingly immobile for two hours at a packed Factory Records night, in a long black overcoat and with arms pinioned by my sweltered sides. These legendary venues are covered in detail in 16 YEARS, as are Tiffany’s, Daddy Warbuck’s and the QMU. As much as the gigs themselves I loved the anticipation, ritual and people-watching. Each crowd has a different dynamic, and it’s great to feel the band respond to the atmosphere. I saw very few dud gigs in those Glasgow venues.

Former entrance to Night Moves Sauchiehall Street photo by Chris Brickley

16 YEARS presents bands as diverse as Kraftwerk, Cockney Rebel, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ramones, Johnny Thunders, Bauhaus, Dead Kennedys, Killing Joke, Sonic Youth, Motorhead and REM in full flight. We see The Jam relaxing after a show, and the Stranglers incurring a rammy. Key clubs like Splash One are explored in detail, thanks to the support of those who started it.

The Wake 1982 at Henry Wood Hall: photo by Grant MacDougall

As you’d expect Scottish artists loom large from Altered Images to Simple Minds, Backstabbers to Cocteau Twins. Rare venue and crowd shots remind us of a lost era, the sights and smells and energies of a time before smart-phones and youtube.

Pre-order 16 YEARS now, to ensure the book gets published. It may be our only chance to present rare photos and ephemera to the general public.

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