The Guireans

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Guireans on Film – Critiques and Reviews

In what follows, only the Adjudicator's Comments on the Guireans Video are genuine. All the rest was made up by Ken "Orson Wellies" Livingstone in order to boost his flagging movie career with a bit of notoriety:

The Guireans Video

Adjudication Comments from the Scottish Amateur Useless Film Competition (1981):

GUIREANS ‘VIDEO’ – K.Livingston

The panel interpret live sound filming as using the actual sounds produced, whether speech or music, at the time of filming, but our impression is that this was a mimed performance to an original recording. The editing was interesting, and the variety of angles helped to add impact.

Ken’s ‘Publicity’ Spiel (for whom, exactly?):


(1981) 3mins 18f.p.s

This was shot one September morning with 3 cartridges of Kodakchrome sound film to test the feasibility of making a multi-angle pop ‘video’ with the newly-acquired Beaulieu 1008xL camera.

The cameramen where Ken Livingstone (for the shots which he wasn’t in himself) and Alex John Kennedy ("popular" Isles FM DJ and smoothie ad voice-over merchant) who also took the stills.

The Guireans (Gaelic for Acne) were formed back in 1979 to record informally as a living-room band. Initially they were hampered by the fact that only one member, Ken Livingstone, could play an instrument – about three tunes on the guitar. However, this did not prevent them being credited with the World’s first (and last?) (Gaelic) punk song – ‘Is Mise Punk’, as well as such classics as ‘The Dudes of Melbost’, ‘Cailleach Comedienne’ and ‘Hendrix Mucus for Feedback People’.

Their initial album, Pronounced Goo-thans, went silver (with a little help from some turkey foil), forming part of the prolific output which included the 32-hit compilation ‘C****y A*o*e Picks The Guireans’.

 The only live recorded appearance by the Guireans was at the notorious ‘Midges of Rock’ festival in the Stornoway Scout Hall in 1983. For the rendition of their mega-single ‘Toilet on the Sea’, they used a drum kit symbolically shaped to represent several toilet bowls.

 The Guireans’ Video was also shown at the event, confirming the group’s dominance as a multi-media force. The video, a cover version of the Deep Purple number, ‘Fireball’, is widely regarded as being just as good as the original, a rare achievement in the music business.

What The Critics Said

Actually what Ken made up - or plagiarised - on the critics’ behalf as part of his McLaren-inspired attempts to hype his video:

 “Not so much a bunch of has-beens as never-will-be’s” – NME

 “When Ken Livingstone plays the guitar it sounds as though the strings are still inside the cat” – International Musician

“We liked their songs – they should be set to music” – Melody Maker

“I’d rather have my ears amputated than listen to any more of this” – Leonard Nimoy

“This is the record that deaf people have been waiting for” – Daily Mail <o:p></o:p>

“Gordon Macleod has no discernible singing ability. His speciality is rhythm songs which he renders in an indistinguishable whine; his phrasing, if it can be called that, consists of the stereotyped variations which one associates witth a Glasgwegian bathtub” – The Times

"The Guireans – more maternity suits than Mothercare” – My Guy

“The band’s combined IQ may be approaching double figures” – MENSA

“Sounds like Frankie Goes to Hollywood without the session musicians” – Rolling Stone

“A compelling case for National Service to be reintroduced” – Defence Review

“A compelling argument for the reintroduction of Capital Punishment” – Law and Order

“Note verie gode” – The Guardian

“If Mr Macleod’s voice were trained any further it would wet the floor” – Daily Express

“Pass the cyanide” – Inverness Courier

“The  inevitable result of Picture Chords” – Time

“John ‘Eagle Eye’ Allan seems unable to distinguish between his keyboards and playing with a lump of plasticine” – Music Week

“Wot, no ‘ealth warnin’?” – The Sun

“If this record cost 1 pence it would be overpriced” – Photolove

“It appears to be some kind of concept album of a sub-standard band with frontal lobotomies tuning up broken instruments” - Musician