The history of Scottish indie music has to give credit to the vibrant city of Glasgow where there has always been a wealth of music clubs as well as independent radio stations. Yet the nation’s indie success is actually rooted at the east of the M8, a place where the Fast Product Record Company is situated. Its producer is Bob Last, and ever since the start of his record label back in 1972, his expertise has facilitated Scotland’s wildly successful indie pathway.
Last took his inspiration from anti-consumerist and situationist ideology, and his record company turned into a centre for Edinburgh’s punk gathering which incorporated popular groups including the Fire Engines and the Scars. He strived to show the music industry that you did not have to originate from London to play your roll in the fermentation of ideas.
Postcard Records was established in Glasgow by Alan Horne in order to further the band Orange Juice. It only lasted for 18 months, and during that time it released just one album for the Scottish punk rock group, Josef K, and ten singles. Yet Postcard Records wielded a major impact on both indie music as a total concept, and Scottish music. This major stride is not comparable to that of Last’s record company which was unable to alter Edinburgh’s national approval or its cultural environment.
Aesthetics and sound went on to influence bands including Franz Ferdinand, Sebastian and Belle, and as a result of their efforts, Glasgow blossomed into a fabulous centre for Indie music. The 90s record label, Chemikal Underground, ultimately became the mecca for Scotland’s indie music scene while another centre for local musicians was making a progressive transformation. This was the integration of one of Glasgow’s leading art schools with indie music performers. The School of Art in Glasgow became a top venue for indie music, dance and art, all of which interchange and stimulate each other.
Many current indie bands regarded as coming from Britain are actually Scottish – among them, Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian, Biffy Clyro, Camera Obscura or Teenage Fanclub.