The Greatest Scottish Bands Ever Part 2: 20-1



Back again...did you miss me? The first part of the list covered 20 great bands, in my opinion (and let's face it, it's my opinion that matters here) the following 20 are even better. To begin with, a recap of the rules...

The list is based on 2 golden rules: 1. You might not have heard of all the bands here. this isn't 'The Most Successful Scottish bands' list. I've mainly gone for acts that mean something to me, so not every band here made it big other than in my bedroom (so to speak). 2. It's my list. You can complain all you like that your favourites weren't included, but frankly I'm not going to care.

The next 20 bands on the list are pretty much all, in their own way, fundamentally important to my musical experience both as a kid and as a fully-grown adult. There's bands in here I've loved longer than the majority of my family members, and I can tie major landmark events in my life very neatly to new singles, albums and gigs by each of these groups. In my opinion, they are Scotland's best.

20. The Bluebells. The first entry for BTM's Guvnor, Lawrence Donegan, but not the only one. I've gone back to some of the early Bluebells stuff lately (check out the Exile On Twee Street compilation), there are some absolute gems in there. Robert Hodgens/ Bobby Bluebell knows how to write a tune. I love this song.

Jason Dobson

Oh Wow Paul!!!!!! I had completely forgotten how brilliant this tune is!!!!!!! Better than Young At Heart!!!!

Paul Cantley

Brings back a few memories of Friday night band practices in Govanhill church hall. Bobby was trying to get his band going and this was their on repeat song. Band folded and song reappears 3 years later under Bluebells name.

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19. The Vaselines. One of Kurt Cobain's favourite bands (we'll cover another of those later in this list), to the extent he named his kid after Frances. Enduring giants of the Glasgow music scene, possibly never got the commercial recognition they deserved but the royalties from Nirvana Unplugged will have made up a little for that.

18. BMX Bandits. Another vastly underrated group, some really beautiful songs and always brilliant to see live. I'm probably also the only middle-aged man in central Scotland who hasn't actually been a member of BMX Bandits at some point. Duglas Stewart can have my number if he ever wants to change that...

17. The Skids. Stuart Adamson's original Fife rabble-rousers, fronted by the former knob-turned-TV presenter-turned-good guy Richard Jobson. The obvious song choice for them is...well, it's so obvious I'm not going to take it. Wish I'd seen them in their pomp, my pal Big Al swears by them.

16. The Pastels. Seem to have been around forever, much beloved in Glasgow not least for the role Stephen Pastel has played as the proprietor of Monorail Records as well as the long and colourful history of the band. Last saw them supporting St Etienne the night Brexit happened, and they were magic as they always are.

james paterson

Heavens above is a pop gem



15. The Beta Band. The 3 EP's were magic, immortalised in the movie High Fidelity by my favourite actor John Cusack, so there's no way they weren't going on this list. Their second album is fantastic as well. Steve Mason now doing some wonderful solo stuff too. Never saw them play live sadly.

14. Primal Scream. I'm more of a fan of the trance Scream than the Stones or Byrds ones, but on their day they are as good as anyone. Screamadelica is a pure genius album, and that'll be what most people, myself included, will eternally love them most for. My mate @iainc68 has a fantastic Bobby Gillespie story that he'll gladly share with you over a pint any time.


Amsterdam man....


...where else?