4AD

Songs They Never Play on the Radio: The Happy Family

In 1981, a young Nicholas Currie handed a home-recorded demo cassette to Malcolm Ross at what would transpire to be Josef K's final Edinburgh gig. Ross was impressed enough to put a band together with Currie including Davy Weddell from Ross's former group. Ronnie Torrance, also late of Josef K, would eventually join on drums and so, although Ross left to join Orange Juice prior to any official recordings, comparisons to the Postcard band were and are inevitable. Their solitary album The Man on Your Street is a bit of a lost classic and the song above marks the point where the album really takes off. There's no denying the scratch and shuffle of Josef K is present, but there's a brightness of tone that renders The Happy Family somewhat less gloomy, despite a rather grand 'plot' centring around the son of an evangelical detergent salesman and the daughter of a fascist dictator set in Switzerland and the north of Italy. It wasn't to last long in any case and the band would split up shortly after 'in a spirit of apathy and aversion to the force of habit'.

Currie recommenced his university studies and would later transform into Momus. He will release a second collaborative album with former Orange Juice bass player David McClymont in the next few weeks and will also perform at Neu Reekie at Summerhall on 28 February.