Monday, 31 December 2007


Ah, The Soup Dragons! Much maligned Scottish scamps of eighties indie pop. And yet for a while there, I loved 'em. The itchy excitement of their first single 'Whole Wide World', or the chaotic splurge of 'Too Shy To Say' with it's super cute opening lines: 'I've fallen in love with the daffodil that sits upon your window sill. It gives me an excuse anyway, 'cos in truth it's you but I'm too shy to say'. 3 minute rushes that captured the adrenalised buzz of, just, y'know, being young and feeling like you could get up to any old nonsense, mess about, have some larks, sing effervescent, shouty, buzzsaw guitarred-up pop songs.

When I discovered a contact address on the back of second single 'Hang Ten' I sent The Soupies a letter. And they, or rather guitarist Jim, sent one back! This missive from Motherwell in Scotland arrived one Christmas Eve (see spiffy Soup Dragons 'notepaper', right). It was so exciting, it made my Christmas. These days I guess ver kidz are forever Facebooking and Myspacing and generally electronically galivanting with the 'stars', but in 1986 to make actual contact with someone in one of my fave indie-pop bands was a twinkly miracle.

We swapped letters some more. Jim told me about the band's plans, about new songs they'd recorded, including the sweet-hearted 'Soft As your Face':

"It's a bit of a departure for us, 'cos it's basically all acoustic guitars, sort of Freddie and The Dreamers meet The Cure (- who mentioned the bloody Buzzcocks?!), with Burt Bacharach thrown in for good measure".

There were details of gigs they'd played, and planned on playing:

"I don't know if you'll be able to go or not, but we'll be supporting The Mary Chain this Saturday at Brixton Academy, so that should be a laugh, what with the fact that there'll be over five thousand drunken people dressed in black throwing up all over the place, as usually happens at Mary Chain gigs."

I got sent badges and a couple of ridiculous photos of Jim and drummer Ross (right). The photos were all kind of raggedy at the sides. In the letter was an explanation:

"Sorry about the state of the photos but I don't own a pair of scissors."

Eventually, the letter writing petered out. The Soup Dragons went a bit wrong ('Backwards Dog') and then very wrong (the Baggy bandwagon jumping years), but I was always impressed that Jim had bothered to make the effort to write.

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