The “Brag” Demos (1989)
Alasdair (Bod) Mackay: Guitar; Vocals; Drums
Roddy (Huggan) Huggan: Vocals, Drums, Guitar
Iain (Deadstone) Livingstone : Bass; Drums; Chanter; Vocals
Fame and Fortune beckoned briefly in the late 1980s when Tolsta Beat Poet and former Subterraneans frontman William “Wilbur” “Apartment Bill” Macleod got a job with the BBC. One of Wilbur’s first career coups was when he “talent” scouted the Guireans to appear in BBC2’s Young Trendy Maws’ Magazine Programme “Brag”.
Bod and Deadstone went to meet top producer John Smith at the BBC in Glasgow and explained what the Guireans did. Mr Mac a' Ghobhainn was transported with enthusiam for the idea: “Todhar?”, ars esan, “Fantastic! And the great thing about it is – it’s about sh**e!”. The Guireans rushed off back to Deadstone’s “studio” in Upper Grove Place, Edinburgh, knocked off Gaelic versions of a couple of standards and rushed the demo back to Queen Margaret Drive within a couple of days.
The Beeb’s enthusiasm for the concept evaporated instantly on hearing the Guireans’ execution of it. All went quiet, and on inquiring a few weeks later how the plan to turn them into superstars was going, the Guireans were told that it was all off because, er… “ We couldn’t secure permission from Lou Reed. Or something. It’s not because you’re sh**e, honest!”
In a self-deceiving attempt to circumvent the mythical Lou Reed ban, the Guireans dashed off a few more numbers - Tir an Airgead, slagging Runrig for the decreasing number of Gaelic tracks on their albums, Mucus Dubh 'son Muinntir an t--Shabain a Gaelic version of 1983's Black Mucus for Sabbath People, Gobharb*g**rs, the anti white settler rant from 1985's "Bogie Goes to Bennadrove" and "Rudeigin Eile", a Gaelic version of "Rock Mucus for Roll People" from 1984's "Mehags agus Fuidheags EP", which in turn was indebted to Eddie Cochrane's "Somethin' Else".
None of this did any good, and the Guireans never got on the telly.
Not quite the Guireans on Brag : The 101 Band, featuring Roddy "Actorrr" Morrison (who was a Guirean) and Sandie, Pluckan and Bessie (who weren't, but were nearly from Sandwick). mime to Soraidh Slan, 1989
Poor Wilbur’s career in the Beeb was irretrievably damaged by this episode. A Black Marag (it was the Gaelic department, remember) was placed on his file for the next 25 years, and has prevented him from achieving his rightful place as Director General ever since.
Recorded around the same time was the long lost "Free Muriel Gray", a "tribute" to the former presenter of the Tube, The Clothes Show etc to commemorate her election to the post of Archie Macpherson's Successor.
- Todhar (several takes)
- Walk on the West Side
- Cuart air an Taobh Siar (several takes)
- Tir an Airgead
- Mucus Dubh 'son Muinntir an t-Shabain
- Rudeigin Eile
- Free Muriel Gray