Scottish bands we’d like to see reform
With a name borrowed from that of the protagonist of Franz Kafka’s psychological thriller The Trial, Josef K were only active for three years, between 1979 and 1982.
The post-punk quartet hailed from Edinburgh and became known for rhythms which blended funk and disco beats. After releasing The Farewell Single, frontman Paul Haig decided to call time on the band while they were at their creative peak. Their legacy lives on in 2015, with some of their devotees having started their own fanpage in honour of the group.
Founded in the same year as Jozef K, Orange Juice delivered post-punk melodies from Bearsden, Glasgow. The group’s biggest song - the Top 40-charting Rip It Up - was the first hit song to use the Roland TB-303 synthesiser that later became synonymous with the 1980s and acid house. Group tensions eventually beset Orange Juice, leading to James Kirk and Stephen Daly leaving the group. While no official site exists, an extensive catalogue of the group’s singles is documented online. Frontman Edwyn Collins continues to enjoy a fine solo career, and released his last album, Understand, in 2013.
Enjoying nearly two decades of success, the Cocteau Twins hailed from Grangemouth and cited the Sex Pistols and Kate Bush among their influences in the late-1970s. With albums such as The Spangle Maker and Treasure bringing them greater fame in the mid-’80s, the group enjoyed their best success to date with 1990’s Heaven Or Las Vegas. Eventually, an acrimonious break-up in 1997 left several half-finished songs in limbo. Fans of their work can reminisce on the band’s official website.
Bringing “folktronica” to the world in 1996, The Beta Band blended trip-hop, indie-rock and electronic music to create their sound. NME magazine made 2000’s “To You Alone”/”Sequinsizer” one of their 50 greatest songs of the year, rejuvenating the group’s careers in the latter stages of their partnership. Despite last being active 11 years ago, the band still has an online community of fans to this day.
The London-formed three-piece had Glaswegian-born Jimmy Somerville at the helm, and debuted in 1983 with “Smalltown Boy” making it to number three in the UK singles chart. As well as their distinctive electro sound, Bronski Beat’s openly gay members actively campaigned against anti-gay prejudice. Since Somerville’s departure in 1985, Bronski Beat have maintained a lower profile, but fans can still hear Somerville’s music via his website.