Lost songs from Scottish indie bands resurface after 30 years on new album

Two Fife music entrepreneurs have uncovered a treasure trove of lost recordings from bands who generated loyal followings several decades ago

Saturday, 17th October 2020, 3:31 pm
Blue On Shock
Blue On Shock

Now, Jim Russell and Ian Harrower are set to launch The Lost Cafe Sessions compilation album.

It brings to life the music of a host of talented musicians who were all part of a thriving live scene in the Kingdom in the 1980-early 1990s.

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Bands featured include Blue On Shock, The Real McCoy, Roy G Biv, and Silent Falls.

Silent Falls

The tracks, which have been digitally remastered, were originally recorded at The Sound Café Studios, near Edinburgh in 1991 as part of a project conceived by Jim and Ian - two aspiring music entrepreneurs from Fife.

It was planned as an expansion of their then student music promotions company, Smithfield Entertainments.

Beset by challenges and lack of funding, their ambitions to complete the CD release were abandoned.

Over the years, the master tapes were misplaced, eventually lost and the recordings, along with the duo’s dreams to launch an indie record label, faded to memories.

The Lost Cafe Sessions album cover

Early, during the lockdown in 2020, however, a copy of the original master tapes were recovered lurking in a cardboard box at the bottom of a dusty storage cupboard by the former studio owner and sound engineer, Dave Gray.

And so, at a time of COVID, and with musicians across the country stuck at home, the boys began rekindling old friendships and connections and gaining permission from the copyright holders now scattered across the globe to upload those lost sessions.

Jim commented: “Sadly, we have learned that a few of the musicians involved in the original recordings are no longer with us.

Roy G Biv

“Part of the motivation, then, to complete the album that we first imagined all those years ago was to pay a wee tribute to them and remember their boundless youthful ambition, creativity and talent.”

Ian said: “We hope people will enjoy reconnecting with bands that they may have followed or enjoying a wee musical trip down memory lane remembering live music venues, live music in pubs and the sounds of the music scene in Scotland across the 1990s.”

The Lost Café Sessions will appear on iTunes and Spotify and most of the digital streaming platforms from October 22

The album is also available on the favoured platform of many musicians – Bandcamp – where people can make a direct donation to the album’s dedicated charity partner, Siblings Reunited

A podcast produced by Jim’s son, Liam, featuring interviews with many of the musicians, will be launched on the release day.

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