SONG OF THE DAY The Prats – Disco Pope


I’ve been craving some no frills, good old DIY sounds and then stumbled upon today’s song! Voila!

You don’t get much more stripped down and raw than this: four young Scottish nippers, aged between 12 to 15, armed with a concoction of homemade instruments – including a cardboard drum kit!!! The Prats were an Edinburgh-based punk outfit founded in 1977 at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Comprehensive.  Members included Paul McLaughlin, David Maguire, Greg Maguire, and Tom Robinson.  Together they devised a delicious uncooked punk sound and in no time they had recorded a demo tape which they promptly sent to a local indie label, Fast Product (who also produced the Human League. Inspired by The Slits and Mekons).

The Prats debuted with three tracks on Fast Products’ Earcom series – a set of compilation albums, for which the Prats featured on their 1979 first issue.  A number of line-up changes saw Elspeth McLeod joining to provide additional guitar and Jeff Maguire taking over bass duties from Tom Robinson.

In 1979, the band recorded a session for John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show where Peel also offered his fee from a DJing appearance in Edinburgh to finance a single release by the band!! A series of singles then followed, including General Davis and Die Todten Reyten Schnell, which was released on a German indie label.

In 1980, the EP The 1990s Pop was released on Rough Trade Music. This record contained four tracks: Disco Pope, Nothing, TV Set, and Noboty NoticedDisco Pope received significant airplay from John Peel and was re-released in 2003 on Rough Trade Shops’ compilation CD Post Punk Volume 1. It’s no wonder, its a little corker! Check it out above.

The end of school in 1981 sadly meant the end of the Prats. Paul McLaughlin was quoted as saying “Bands are like marriages between four people. You just stop getting on with each other.”  

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