Saints & Sinners: Punk & After Glasgow/Paisley, Photobook by Chris Brickley: Glasgow Music Walking Tours Guest Blog
We absolutely love Saints & Sinners the new book created by Chris Brickley: the photobook follows hot on the heels of 16 YEARS: Gigs in Scotland 1974-1990, his successful independent publication from 2020.
‘A fab book full of great photos of kids on the scene and bands both locally and nationally known. Check it out!’ Bobby Gillespie
‘The book is fantastic. A flashback through a life well-lived – I was truly blessed to have lived this. A very emotional book for me.’ Bobby Bluebell
Saints & Sinners focuses on a more specific time and location – the punk period in Glasgow and Paisley. It features mainly unpublished vernacular photography – gigs, music fans, faces, pubs, record shops, streetscapes – that he feels was in danger of being lost to the public. These invaluable documents are augmented by the work of professional photographers such as Harry Papadopoulos and Laurie Evans. With a foreword and period photography by Peter McArthur, one of the original punk contingent in Glasgow, the new book offers a vivid and concise window on a genre that remains of relevance today.
‘I had no immediate plans to do another music book. However, when Graham Scott (of Glasgow band The Exile) got back in touch to say he had found a whole load of negatives, I was excited to see what there was. He sent through a fantastic selection of photographs of that early period, which became the cornerstone of Saints & Sinners. Central to this is a group of pictures from ‘The Weekend New York Came to Glasgow’.
In May 1977, Ramones and Talking Heads played Strathclyde University and their friends, Blondie, came along to hang out and watch the gig. Their first UK show was to be held the following night, at the Apollo, with Television. A relaxed and happy-looking Debbie Harry is seen dancing, kissing fans and signing autographs.
The book is arranged in three chapters: Glasgow/People/Paisley. It encompasses venues from the Apollo to the Silver Thread, and bands ranging from local punks Backstabbers and Self Abusers to international acts like The Clash and The Cramps. In the new book, Chris has expanded the ‘human interest’ content by including a chapter of faces and kids on the scene from Glasgow and Paisley. The date range is principally 1977-1981, and other key genres of the period, such as 2-Tone and the Mod Revival, are also included.
A launch event at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow on June 2 was busy and buzzing, with band members and industry figures in attendance. Early fans of the book include Bobby Gillespie, who recommends it on the Primal Scream Official Instagram page, and Bobby Bluebell who provided a quote for the cover.
Chris chose the title as he felt that an independent book requires something memorable, aside from a literal description of the contents. Saints & Sinners was a previous incarnation of King Tut’s, which hosted an infamous 77 bill when Rezillos and Backstabbers came to blows. It was also the title of Johnny & The Self Abusers’ (later Simple Minds) 1977 single on Chiswick Records. ‘Saints’ also refers to Paisley, such a key town in the Scottish punk story, and an Australian proto-punk band who appeared at the Silver Thread.
‘Leafing through the book now, in printed form, I’m most struck by the mood – fun, joyful – which is at odds with the perceived nihilism of London punk. Sure, they could be hazardous times for punks, but the book makes me smile and I’m sure others will feel similarly’.
Saints & Sinners is available from stockists in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayrshire and London, with more being added as we speak. It retails at £18, or can be posted out for the same price. All info at www.scotgigsrelived.com