A few days ago, I implored you all to watch a TV programme called Caledonia Dreaming on BBC 4 this evening. I did so because all the previews suggested that it was an in-depth look at Postcard Records. Well, it turned out that it wasn't.
But it's not that fact that's making me angry as I type these words some five minutes after the programme has ended.
The first fifteen minutes or so were amazing - clips of Orange Juice and Josef K interspersed with some old footage of the legendary Alan Horne. Then a little bit about the bands that were directly inspired by Postcard but who instead signed for major labels and enjoyed chart success - Altered Images, The Bluebells and Associates.
Then the programme, as far as I'm concerned, lost it.
On the one hand we were informed that the mid-80s pop acts such as Hue & Cry, Deacon Blue, Del Amitri and Wet Wet Wet were symbolic of a new emerging confident Scotland - on the other it was said that The Proclaimers being so popular was the result of the fact that Scotland never had it so bad in the 80s and early 90s.
Then we were told that the reason Hue & Cry and Deacon Blue went out of fashion was down to their singers taking high-profile roles in pro-nationalist political movements.
This part of the programme lasted longer than the Postcard segment on which so much of the pre-show hype has been about. It was dull, it was patronising, it was contradictory and it was a real fucking re-write of history. It was like a 15 minute party political broadcast for the SNP dating back to 1992.
And it was obvious where it was leading to - an assessment that it was the footsoldiers of Scottish pop from that dull era who gave us so much pride and self-belief in our Scottishness that nearly 10 years later we voted for devolution in a referendum and a further 8 years later we elected our first minority nationalist government.
I hung-on till the end to see who the writer of the programme was. We got details of where the archive clips came from, of who the researchers were, who was responsible for the cameras, lighting, production and writing - but not one single credit for a writer or team of writers. Strange that....
So.....I feel I must apologise to those of you who tuned in on the recommendation of this blog. The old clips from the early 80s were great...but it was kind of revealing that Alan Horne himself didn't take part, nor was there any sign of Roddy Frame/Aztec Camera who got passed over in a micro-second in Edith Bowman's voiceover, while Pat Kane got at least 10 minutes worth in one way or another.
Caledonia Dreaming - an opportunity missed. And a real bitter disappointment.
mp3 : Aerogramme - Shitty Lies
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub - Dumb Dumb Dumb