That\’s a lot of f@cking hits.

Well. I don\’t know about Susan Boyle. Or the c@nting Priory. Personally, I\’d rather suspend my disbelief for Dundee\’s Billy MacKenzie. Just as patently ridiculous, but a tad dashed more handsome. And charismatic.

Pompous ? F@ck, yes; but unabashedly so. A bit like tartan f@cking shortbread, siblings. Hysterical ? Definitively. Like opera for soap junkies waiting impatiently for Brookside Close to stage a seige. Apparently, an entire Scottish football team went down with Swine Flu while visiting Dundee recently on an away fixture. Interesting.

\”Sulk\”, the long player which supported this 45, was the Associates \’Woolworths\’ album; ideally, it should have left point of sale wrapped in a free pair of leg warmers, or Ratners\’ vouchers at the very least. A major departure from the independently pitched \”The Affectionate Punch\” and \”Fourth Drawer Down\”, this was Billy and Alan embarking on a clear strategy to court airtime and crash the charts. With Martha Ladly – of Martha and the Muffins – on backing vocals, the Associates immediately secured a string of Top 40 hits.

And promptly went off the rails entirely: an episode of tantrums and tiaras which allegedly cost WEA £250,000, and ultimately culminated in Billy MacKenzie\’s suicide in 1997, aged 39, on his father\’s allotment back in Auchterhouse.

Dundee Repertory Theatre this week staged a production based on Billy\’s saga, \”Balgay Hill\”, named after the cemetery on the east coast where he was laid to rest. It opened on June 9th, and has already generated much positive coverage.

Alan Rankine: instruments; Billy Mackenzie: vocals; Michael Dempsey: bass; John Murphy: drums.

ASSOCIATES: PARTY FEARS TWO from \”Party Fears Two b/w It\’s Better This Way\” 45 (Associates / Beggars Banquet) 1982 (UK) BILLY MACKENZIE


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