Five Hungry Joes – A pictorial archive of the Trashcan Sinatras. Legendary Scottish Band

Coffee Or Cake?
September 11, 2010, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Press | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ll have Cake please.

The Nescafe/Yamaha Band Explosion was a unique event with 12 bands, yet to make the Top 40, playing live over three nights at London’s Marquee Club with the added bonus of being broadcast nationwide on BBC Radio 1.

Band Explosion originated in Japan as a means of supporting new pop talent and steadily grew to become one of the largest music events in the world. Around 22,000 groups have participated worldwide, each getting around 30 minutes exposure and was a great chance for bands that might otherwise not get one.

In September 1990, the Trashcans were chosen to participate along with others such as Swervedriver, The High, India and Everyday People. A great opportunity for a band – who were already signed to Go! Discs – you would think to get some much needed publicity. But when the band found out that Nescafe were sponsoring the event, they pulled the plug on the gig and got some publicity of a different kind altogether.

Here’s the guide which was given away free with the NME…

Programme text:

SCOTTISH FLAVOUR of the month the Trash Can Sinatras had the major labels on their tail before they’d hardly stepped out of hometown Irvine.

Naturally, they told them they weren’t ready for the albatross of a major deal round their necks, but persistant man that he is, Andy McDonald for Go! Discs “nipped round the back of the defence” and secured their signature from underneath the noses of the Big Boys.

He won, for his trouble, a subtly colourful five-piece whose potential is still to be fully realised. With a self-deprecating streak as long as a Highland river, the Trash Cans are one of the most unassuming bands playing in the Pop Game at the present time, harking back (albeit unintentionally) to the charm and refreshing brisk guitar sound of the early ’80s Postcard era.

‘Obscurity Knocks’, their first, lyrically picturesque and plaintive single, interrupted the polluted wash of the downstream Top 100, while its follow-up ‘Only Tongue Can Tell’ went a few fathoms deeper with its strummy, shiny melody – not totally unlike the more reflective songs of your Roddys and Edwyn Orange Juices.

Some rare live appearances headlining on their own, and supporting They Might Be Giants earlier in the year, raised their profile before the release of their debut LP ‘Cake’ in July.

Its matured jangliness and poetically pointed lyrics tied up in a (too?) clean production that found itself ‘out of time’ in many quarters, but raved over in others. For this we should be perversely grateful.

The Trash Cans aren’t an easy band to dismiss, but they’re a hard one to place, with their cute and cynical outlook for the ’90s so often at odds with the pundit’s perceptions of latter-day pop.

Rest assured though, they’re outsiders worth backing.

NME 1990 September(ish)

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