The Subterraneans

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Early 80s SY Rock n Roll Scene

Oct 26th 2007 - "Sad Day We Left the Croft" Documentary now on YouTube.

Early 80s SY Rock Scene fans take note - Kenny "Fraochie" Stewart's recent BBC2 Ealtainn documentary on "Sad Day We Left the Croft" is now up on YouTube, and you can also buy the classic compilation on CD! Check out the myspace page set up by the Honcho Record coves at


This page is intended to provide a bit of context by looking at some of the other stuff that was going on around Stornoway at or before the Subterraneans started up.

Stuff like the Sad Day bands, post-punk indie townie poseurs in raincoats, beardie folkie teachers, the dominant metal thing, the collective Skynyrd fixation, country an westren cove, the AGOFR scene, the Meantime and Swedish TV, and the Oasis/Mission/Kontrast "professional" type bands. Am I missing out any major musical forces at work in the island around that time?

A Bunnyman, the Caber 1983Even More Bunnymen FansMore Bunnymen Fans 1983Bunnyman Fans 1Another Bunnymen Fan

The Love of Bac  - Early 80s Leodhasach Trendies Get All Excited as Echo & The Bunnymen Play the Caberfeidh, 1983.

The Subterraneans got together mainly because they reckoned everything else on the go circa 1981 was cr*p. That may have been a slightly biased view, sowe were hoping to balance things up a bit by getting recollections from a few different angles.  (eg "I liked the Cure but Stornoway was crap because all the bands in town played Dr Hook" or "I was really into Foghat but it was crap because all the bands were playing Don Williams songs") . So  If you remember anything and you can string a couple of paragraphs together then send your recollections in.

Otherwise we'll have to resort to the professionals, and get Norrie & Sandy to do a "Punk Rockers of Old Stornoway" programme on Isles FM.

So far we've got  reminiscences from:

Kenny "Fraochy" Stewart

Iain "Wattie" Watson

Leroi Z Coondawg

John "Pluckan aka Fonn" Murray

I'll also include links here to relevant web pages elsewhere:

1. The Bland (now operating as The Drugs, also formerly known as Revolver) - Innovative seafront synth pioneers built around a core of Malcolm Burns and Neil Finlayson.  At one time included legendary axe hero John D Macleod (big brother of Derek "No Head Jackson" Macleod) - Starting in 1974, these guys were Newton's avante-garde answer to the electronica of Suicide/Kraftwerk/Stockhausen et al. Appeared on "Sad Day" playing doom-laden post-punk classics "River Creed" and "Letters While Travelling". That's the one about Tommy Nicolson's.

Until we get a bit more stuff on this page, here's a few pictures from Sam Maynard's cover for "Sad Day We Left The Croft", the 1980 compilation of Island punk and post-punk bands (and Addo with Mission...).

A bit of the "Sad Day" LP front cover - couldn't fit the whole thing in the Scanner



  Punk stars and hangers on - Goat Island one Friday Night, 1981