WEEK FIVE – Postcard Records/Chemikal Underground

>> Postcard Records

Chemikal Underground <<

POstcard logo               Chemikal logo

This week we contrast two of Scotland’s most influential and ground-breaking record labels; Postcard Records, Alan Horne’s Glasgow-based independent label from the early 1980s, the self-appointed ‘Sound of Young Scotland’, home to the breezy, jangly and sometimes angular sounds of Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and Josef K, and inspiration to a thousand aspiring guitar bands in bedrooms and church halls across Scotland; and Chemikal Underground, the equally cutting-edge Glasgow label orginating in the 1990s (but still going strong) purveying a dense, dark, post-rock sound, early home to some of Scotland’s finest indie bands of recent years including Arab Strap, Bis and the hugely influential Mogwai.

Even if you don’t know much about the music or the artists on the two record labels featured, both poems are a reminder of what it is to be in love with a sound, a voice, a feeling.



by Kevin Reid

Glasgow, Feb. 1980

Hi Honey,

Thanks to a horn(e) named Alan,
I’m in a shabby flat in the West End
listening to The Sound of Young Scotland.

Today, I heard Orange Juice sing. Aye,
you read right, Orange Juice sing.
I saw a hip-cat play a toy drum

(check the logo on the front), I
almost fell over. I hope you make it
for the birth of Josef K.

I’m thrilled, I love this city…
and you. X

P.S. Who needs London.

A Rush A Kiss A Rush
JL Williams

You come to me with a white peacock
On your back with a potato with a bright star

You sing o god o delgado o merry child of Scotland
You sing because the darkness is always here

With us until the shining and then the music comes
O god o delgados o mogwai o arab strap

You come with resignation
With a rush and a kiss and a rush

You come in the night sick with drink
You come with the taste in your mouth

You sing o god o delgado o glaswegian beauty
You brush your hair from your face you sing

You sing you sing you sing you sing you sing
If only I met you when we were young



Kevin ReidKevin Reid
‘s work can be found in various online and printed publications including: Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Domestic Cherry, And Other Poems, The Open Mouse, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Message in a Bottle. He’s the instigator of the online multimedia collaborations >erasure and >erasure ii and  Wordless, an image and text collaboration with George Szirtes published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. He edits Nutshells and Nuggets, an online space for short poems. His website is eyeosphere.com

JL WilliamsJL Williams’ first collection, Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), was inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses and a journey to the Aeolian Islands. Her second collection, Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), explores the idea of home and where we come from. Her poetry has been published internationally in journals including Magma, Edinburgh Review, Poetry Wales, The Wolf, Fulcrum and Stand. Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets, 2015), a triptych collection featuring Williams and two other Scottish poets, considers themes of war and birth.  She is a performer in the poetry and music band Opul, and is also the programme manager at the Scottish Poetry Library where she curates poetry events and creates workshops and professional development activities for poets. Her website is at www.jlwilliamspoetry.co.uk

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