The first Rezillos album Can’t Stand the Rezillos was released in July 1978 and like the single Top of the Pops, the album speedily made its way into the UK top twenty.
Within four months, though, the band had imploded.
Extraordinarily enough the second Rezillos studio album, Zero, is finally set to be released and is due out on March 10 via Philadelphia based Metropolis Records.
Anybody who has seen the band live in recent years or heard the session they recorded last summer for Billy Sloan will know that they sound surprisingly fresh and irresistible as ever. This is a band that clearly never lost the ability to whip up taut, hook-heavy gems like Tiny Boy and Groovy Room, songs that possess the same kind of clamorous energy that helped earn them their reputation all those years ago.
The band is touring with The Stranglers in the UK this month including dates in Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Glasgow.
I saw both bands together at the Apollo back in 1977 and that night, Tory councillor Bill Aitkin, chairman of Glasgow District Council’s licensing committee and a group of fifteen or so committee members attended the event to monitor the behaviour (or misbehaviour) of ‘punk’ fans and to find out if punk concerts were suitable for the young people of the city. This kind of thing actually used to be depressingly common back then.
Not long into into the headliner’s set, Hugh Cornwell instructed the lighting crew to shine a spotlight up onto the balcony where the councillors were seated and made some disparaging remarks about them. The audience promptly booed them and you had to suspect that this might further give them the hump and the city’s unofficial punk ban would continue.
The next day the politicians got their say in the local press.
Talking about the dress sense of the crowd, Aitkin noted that some punks had shocked a number of his colleagues and claimed they resembled walking ironmonger shops with their chains and razor blades – obviously he had no idea of the amount of gear that the bouncers confiscated from fans during searches as they waited to enter the concert hall.
Aitkin also commented that the event was noisy and exuberant but at all times the fans had remained good natured, cheerful and ‘a credit to the city’. Apparently the council group even joined The Stranglers afterwards in their dressing room and had an enlightening discussion.
It was decided to finally welcome punk bands to the city.
The Stranglers have been playing Glasgow on a fairly regular basis ever since. Last year they fitted in a date at the O2 Academy during a sold out tour that celebrated their 40th anniversary. This time round the band will be at the same venue where they intend to dip into some of the less obvious music from their seventeen albums worth of material. The show has already sold out.
This is the song that was pencilled in to become the third Stranglers single although Something Better Change was eventually chosen instead. This is Hanging Around: