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Jazzateers

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Biography

In the early '80s, you couldn't do much better if you were a Scottish indie pop band than to be signed to Postcard Records. Although Orange Juice and Josef K had already moved on, it was still the hippest label around and the Jazzateers must have felt lucky to be affiliated with the imprint in 1981. The quartet of vocalist Alison Gourlay, guitarist Ian Burgoyne, bassist Keith Band, and drummer Colin Auld played a style of pop lodged firmly between the jangle of Orange Juice and the sophisticated swing of bossa nova, and fit in well with the other new Postcard signing, Aztec Camera. The band played shows in cafes and other non-rock venues, recorded a series of demos (some with Edwyn Collins in the producer's chair), and recorded a version of Donna Summer's "Wasted" that was produced by the song's co-writer (with Giorgio Moroder), Pete Bellotte. Unfortunately, that last experience was a disaster and led to Gourlay's departure from the band. The group carried on with new vocalists Deirdre and Louise Rutkowski, quickly recording an album titled Lee for the newly launched Postcard International. It was never released, Postcard was soon dissolved, and the band changed lineups again. With new singer Grahame Skinner in the fold, the band signed to Rough Trade and, amazingly enough, released a single, "Show Me the Door," then a self-titled album in early 1983. As the album began to get some acclaim, the group did its usual bit of attempted self-sabotage, shedding Skinner (who went on to front Hipsway), adding guitarist Mick Slaven, and changing its name to Bourgie Bourgie. This move somehow served to generate more interest in the band, and Bourgie Bourgie were soon signed to MCA, where they released two singles, then recorded an album. As was the norm for the band, it was never released. The core of Burgoyne, Slaven, and Band gave it another shot as the Jazzateers in 1985, adding new drummer Stephen Lironi and releasing a single, "Pressing On," on tiny Stampede Records. In another unsurprising development, they recorded an album that never saw the light of day. This ended the story of the Jazzateers until 2013 when the band re-formed around the re-release of its Rough Trade album by Creeping Bent (under the title Rough 46) and a show with fellow survivor Vic Godard at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival. The next year saw the release of a compilation of early demos and unreleased tracks from the Postcard era by Cherry Red titled Don't Let Your Son Grow Up to Be a Cowboy. ~ Tim Sendra
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