Jazzateers album released after 30 years


Band members

Matt Willcock – Vocals

Ian Burgoyne – Guitar

Keith Band – Bass

Mick Slaven – Lead Guitar

Douglas MacIntyre – Guitar 

Stephen Lironi – Drums


Jazzateers was an underground pop group from Glasgow active for the first half of the 1980s during the Sound of Young Scotland period. Jazzateers was signed to Postcard Records and managed during this period by label boss Alan Horne. Jazzateers was also the final scheduled release of the Postcard catalogue (81-14) with the Edwyn Collins produced cover of a Donna Summer song, Wasted. However, consistent with Jazzateers inconsistent career trajectory, the single was unreleased as Postcard Records folded. Alan Horne then produced a Jazzateers album, Lee, which also remains unreleased. 

After the demise of Postcard, Jazzateers followed labelmates GoBetweens and Aztec Camera by signing to Rough Trade, finally releasing an eponymously-titled debut album in 1983. The album was a critical and commercial success, but true to Jazzateers contrary spirit, they put the Jazzateers brand on hold and transmogrified into Bourgie Bourgie, signing a major label deal. Bourgie Bourgie recorded an album (unreleased) and split up after a couple of singles.

Blood Is Sweeter Than Honey

Jazzateers reactivated after Bourgie Bourgie split, with new vocalist Matt Willcock joining and taking over lyrical input. Prior to Willcock joining, the songs had been written by Jazzateers core members, Ian Burgoyne and Keith Band, and sung by various vocalists (Alison Gourlay, the Rutkowski Sisters, Grahame Skinner, Paul Quinn). However the injection of new blood provided by Willcock and lead guitarist Mick Slaven, created the perfect environment for Jazzateers to finally hit their peak flow. Slaven’s Tom Verlaine / Robert Quine influences took centre stage in the group, along with Willcock’s poetic lyrical approach. 

The Blood is Sweeter Than Honey recording sessions found Jazzateers developing an approach akin to Destiny Street and Adventure (the sophomore albums by Richard Hell & the Voidoids and Television) respectively. A single (Pressing On) was released to acclaim, garnering Single of the Week plaudits in the music press, which coincided with Jazzateers promoting the release by touring the UK as special guests of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. However, Jazzateers errant history was repeated when the attendant album (Blood is Sweeter Than Honey), was shelved, and the group fractured shortly thereafter.

Blood Is Sweeter Than Honey is released for the first time via the Creeping Bent Organisation, available in deluxe gatefold 180g vinyl and download editions. The album is a fitting epitaph to a group that was held in esteem by peers from the Glasgow music scene and public alike.

The LP is available from www.creepingbent.net

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