Big Gold Dream: The story of Scotland’s post-punk music scene

By Alastair McKay | 19 June 2015

Orange Juice at Regent's Canal, Near Camden (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)

Orange Juice at Regent’s Canal, Near Camden (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)

As that great punk rocker, Marcel Proust noted, remembrance of things past is not necessarily a remembrance of things as they were. Big Gold Dream, a documentary by Grant McPhee, re-imagines the musical history of the post-punk period as it unfolded in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and makes a persuasive argument that something great was happening in the years which followed The Clash’s appearance at the Edinburgh Playhouse on 7 May, 1977.

In the myth, which may be true, that show inspired Orange Juice and Fire Engines, though with typical perversity it was the performance of support act, Subway Sect, which fired their imaginations.

Postcard Records was run from a wardrobe in the bedroom of a flat in Glasgow

“It was,” Fire Engines’ singer Davy Henderson told me, “a monochromatic image of otherworldliness, but rooted completely in the now. These people looked exactly like you. They had what looked like their school greys on; grey breeks, and white shirts, and the v-necks. They looked exactly like where you’d just been – at school. It was as if they’d just landed from nowhere. They were unidentifiable.”

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