The Dun Ringles

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(see also "Zing Pop")

Zing Pop! A Brief Hiztory

Formed in the Cafeteria of the Stornoway Sports Centre one Saturday morning in the summer of 1981 with the original line up proposed to be CJ, Wattie, Stumpy, Gonze and Wee Guy.

Planned to meet that afternoon in the Venture Room of the Scout Hall to rehearse

Met up around 2.00pm with a collection of instruments including guitar, ukulele, recorder, a Rolf Harris ‘Stylophone’ and assorted percussion devices

Wee Guy turned up but left to help fix a motor-bike. Wee Guy automatically appointed Roadie

Band rehearsed diligently and recorded 45 minutes of aimless tuning up, half-hearted attempts at ‘real’ songs, and general larking about.

Songs recorded include House of the Rising Sun, Squeeze Box, Sweet Home Tolstachaolis, Pigs On The Wing, one by the Tubes, a bit of a Jethro Tull one and several attempts at songs the band thought they knew but didn’t.

The band decided not to have a name as they felt this would be a clever gimmick

The following week the band assembled at CJ’s attic studio where they decided to record and ‘album’ (a C90 tape)

Band had no idea what to record until CJ remembered a book of poetry written by CJ, Wattie and Honkas during the prelims in November 1980 in the Nicolson. Poems all very bad but ideal for Zing Pop

Started composing songs with great enthusiasm. In general Stumpy or Wattie came up with a short riff either on guitar or Stylophone, which was then crafted into a song of some description. CJ would leaf through the poems to come up with one that vaguely fitted the music. Once everyone was ready, the four of them would crowd round CJ’s tape recorder and the ‘record’ button would be pressed. In most cases what was recorded was the first and only take.

Stumpy played guitar, ukulele, green (melodica), CJ played voice, guitar and ukulele, Wattie played Stylophone and Gonze played the drums (upturned wastepaper bin)

The album was recorded over three nights giving the band a repertoire of over 20 songs, including The Poster Song, Alec The Toad and Me and My Tractor.

Highlights included Stumpy’s ukulele playing on Me and My Tractor, CJ’s singing on ‘Observations’ (‘Michael Parkinson is a nutter……. Was he just dragged up from the gutter…)

The band decided to make ten copies of the tape, which was to be called Zing Pop! (The name of the album soon became the name of the band, as it was just too confusing telling people that they didn’t have a name)

CJ designed a cover for the album. A large drawing was produced and cut up into ten pieces, which were all individually numbered.

CJ copied the ten albums on his tape-to-tape machine

A record company was set up there and then and took the name of ‘Tape Records’

The ten copies of the album went to a select few. The lucky recipients were; Stumpy, CJ, Gonze, Wattie, Wee Guy, Skip, John Peel, Honkas, Nixon and somebody else who I can’t remember. John Peel failed to play any tracks from the album on his radio show. (as far as we know)

Flushed with the success of Zing Pop! (which was awarded Double Ollac status for 10 ‘sales’) the band decided to hold a concert.

The Monsters of Rock festival had become one of the premier dates in the rock calendar so Zing Pop! decided to hold a similar festival in the Scout Hall to be known as the Midges of Rock.

A Saturday night in August was selected and other bands of a similar nature were approached to see if they would perform. Black Stan and The Props both agreed and with Zing Pop! Headlining, all three bands turned up at the Scout Hall.

An audience of several people sat in stunned silence as Zing Pop! performed for the first time in public. A recording of the Midges of Rock was made which has sadly become a lost artefact.

After the MOR, the band took a well-deserved rest. CJ and Wattie left for Uni, where they coined the name ‘Avante Gaelic Obscurist Folk Rock’ for the blossoming music scene that was following hard on the heals of Zing Pop!

At Xmas 81, Zing Pop reconvened to record more music. The band had invested heavily in new equipment. Wattie had spent Ł20 on a Casio VL-Tone and CJ had bought four Kazoo’s. One recording session took place where a re-recorded version of The Poster Song was made. After this the band decided to split up.

Nothing else happened until the summer of 1982, when the band decided reform for the 1982 Midges of Rock festival. Cyclefoot headlined the festival with Zing Pop as the support act. Once again the gig was recorded. Gonze missed the performance due to working down in the Coastguard Station. Happily no ships ran aground that night.

Buoyed up with the success of the MOR performance Zing Pop decided to record a second album. This time they decided to record an AGOFR version of Tolkiens Lord of the Rings, known as Lord of the Zings.

Once more they assembled in CJ’s attic and over two or three nights they recorded their greatest work. CJ and Wattie wrote the words and the band used their unique song writing technique to compose the music.

Twenty copies of this album were made, again on Tape Records, along with a lyric booklet.

In the Winter of 1982/83, a number of AGOFR bands decided to hold a Feis in the Scout Hall. Zing Pop were invited to perform along with the Guireans and Cyclefoot. A recording of the gig was made. Wattie didn’t perform due to being ill.

Next summer, 1983, the band held a couple of sessions and wrote one or two new songs, but never recorded them

The band also drove over to Ardriol Beach in Wee Guys car to hold an outdoor gig

In August, the band again appeared at the Midges of Rock festival, along with Rab Kuartski, Cyclefoot, The Guireans and Swedish TV

Shortly after the gig, the band decided to split up.