- BIOG - DISCOG - BIBLIOG - VIDEOG -
In the late 1970's Paul Quinn became involved in the so-called
"Postcard" scene around Glasgow through his old school friend
Edwyn Collins and began singing with a band known as The
Jazzateers. Sharing the vocals with a girl called Alison Gourlay,
and then later with The Rutowski Sisters, they made some
recordings for Alan Horne which were earmarked for release on the
Postcard label but these failed to materialise as Orange Juice
signed to Polydor and the label ground to a halt. Quinn then left
the band, and the core members of the Jazzateers, Ian Burgoyne
(guitar) and Keith Band (bass) recruited a new singer (Graeme
Skinner - who later went on to have a UK Top 10 Hit in the band
Hipsway) and recorded a single and an album for Rough Trade.
Shortly after that Quinn rejoined the band and they renamed
themselves Bourgie Bourgie with a 2nd guitarist Mick Slaven and
drummer Kenny McDonald. Almost immediately their demos began to
pick up interest and they appeared on the short-lived Channel 4
music show "The Switch" in May 1983 playing two songs (both of
which were old Jazzateers numbers - and can be seen in the videos
section of the site).
Soon the band signed a deal with MCA Records and were being touted
as the "next big thing", recording a session for John Peel and
appearing on The Tube. However, in March 1984 the debut single
"Breaking Point" narrowly missed out on the Top 40 and a swiftly
released follow-up "Careless" didn't even make the Top 75. The
band began recording their debut album in West Germany
but after the first session completed - Quinn walked out.
He was swiftly back in the Alan Horne stable
recording with Edwyn Collins and working on the apocryphal "Punk
Rock Hotel" film soundtrack.
Two singles with Edwyn followed on Horne's new Swamplands label -
firstly a cover of The Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" which
peaked in the UK Charts at 72 but a follow-up, the
Collins-authored "Ain't That Always The Way" failed to chart at all.
Quinn next appeared later in 1985 singing with ex-Depeche
Mode/Yazoo main man Vince Clarke. At the time Clarke had never
released a single that hadn't made the Top 40 and he was planning
to record with a variety of vocalists, of which Quinn was the
second (the first being Feargal Sharkey of The Undertones in "The
Assembly"). The track "One Day" was a beautiful but subdued affair
by Clarke's standards and disappointingly failed to make the Top
75. Shortly afterwards Clarke would hire Andy Bell as his
permanent singer under the banner of Erasure (and it should be
noted that the first few Erasure singles also flopped..)
There was then talk of a Paul Quinn solo album in the works
(featuring a cover of Karla Bonoff's "Personally") which was to be
the pinnacle of Horne's output with Swamplands. However, after
multiple missed deadlines, London Records and Horne/Swamplands
came to a mutual agreement to end their business relationship
and whatever was committed to tape never saw the light of day.
Amidst rumours of contractual disputes preventing him from
performing or recording, nothing more was heard from Quinn until
the early 1990's.
Alan Horne re-launched his Postcard label in 1992 with Quinn's
album "The Phantoms & The Archetypes" being the first release.
Produced by Edwyn Collins and recorded with a backing band ("The
Independent Group") made up of a host of Scottish indie royalty,
it was a great country-tinged album but was eclipsed by interest
in the release of the original Orange Juice debut album "Ostrich
Churchyard" which Horne released shortly afterwards.
The following year saw the low-key release on Postcard of the
stunning "Stupid Thing" single, once again with "The Independent
Group" and although there was little publicity it nearly made
single of the week in the NME and boded well for the next album.
Released in 1994 "Will I Ever Be Inside Of You" is a record of untold
depth and beauty and quite seriously a criminal offence that it
is not more widely known. If you don't own a copy then you may not
realise what a gaping hole you have in your life and for that I
pity you. Track down a copy and buy it. Then play it until your
ears begin to physically smile. After that, it doesn't matter if
you die. You will die happy. In fact several of those who
witnessed the "Cheap Flights" one-off performance of the album at
the Glasgow Film Theatre on Wednesday 12th October 1994 have still
yet to live through a better day.
Yup so "Will I Ever Be Inside Of You" - that's a good one (can you
tell that I like it?) and so is the last thing released in 1995,
this time with The Nectarine No. 9 as house band. "Tiger Tiger" is
sublime and probably one of Quinn's finest vocal performances. A
shame that this is the only track which exists from the fine collaboration.
And then silence.
If you want to know why then I guess you can read page 663 of
David Cavanagh's book "My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize".
(or page 496 if you have the hardback...)
It's the story of Alan McGee and Creation Records but all the good
bits are about Alan Horne and Postcard. It's out of print and
quite expensive but you can wipe your arse on the pages about
Oasis. I find that helps enormously.