Stringfellows was located at 10 Greenock Road, Paisley right next to Love
Street football ground. The club was well set up for bands with a decent size
stage and good size dance floor. The success of Stringfellows as a punk venue
in the late 80s was down to the efforts of Derek who not only put on local
bands but also attracted touring bands from England, France, Belgium and
Stringfellows was demolished a number of years ago and there's now a petrol
station on the site!
The video to the left shows Toxik Ephex playing there in 1987.
"I've been asked to write something about my contribution to the lively Paisley punk scene of 1987.
The music scene seemed quite dead in Paisley during 1985 and 1986. I wanted ideally to find a free venue where punk and alternative bands could play. I didn't
have any experience of concert promotion and just learnt as I went along. Looking back on it now I think most things went well, except the funding - we were often
short of cash to pay both the bands and the PA system. I was full of enthusiasm and wanted the venue to work well. I spent a lot of time on promotion and
organisation and had friends helping me with posters/flyposting throughout Glasgow and Paisley, ticket sales and a few other things. The gigs were never done for
profit, the whole idea was to get a message across, enjoyment and to create something interesting in Paisley. In that sense all 3 things were achieved and there
were some memorable nights at Stringfellows.
Anti-sect were probably the biggest band that I organised a concert for. Many people throughout the UK will have heard of this almost legendary band. They broke
up later that year but played a great concert at Stringfellows.
Feed Your Head, a Manchester band played a winter gig. There was snow on the roads everywhere near Paisley. Around 25 people turned up to see the show and
the local band The Humour couldn't make it due to snow on the roads. Feed Your Head travelled up from Manchester. Stuck without amps and a PA system they
played the whole gig in a sort of karaoke fashion, using a plastic sandwich box as a drum kit. And it sounded good.
My plans were quite small scale initially, book local bands,and keep things simple etc. The more concerts I organised the more varied they became. Sometimes I
put on 2 bands, other times 4 or 5 bands made up the bill. The style of music was varied too - I tried out goth bands (which didn't turn out well, the attendance
was poor) and bands with an alternative sound. Overall the majority of bands that played were punk bands.
After a few months I was in touch with a major UK promoter which meant any punk bands doing a UK tour could end up playing in Paisley. There were plans to
bring bands from Finland, Japan, Brazil and Italy to Stringfellows. Those concerts fell through but bands from France, Belgium and Holland did play that year.
Namely The Scraps, Heibel and Larm - all hardcore punk bands. Larm are the best known band from those three.
I'm fairly certain, but can be corrected, that the first discussions on bringing down the Poll Tax began in Stringfellows in the summer of 1987. People were just
more politically active back in those days, that is how I feel at the moment. Punk was mostly about politics all the way through the 1980s".
Derek has been in touch and provided the following about his time as
the promoter for Stringfellows. He's also provided a list and details of the
gigs he promoted, and has been kind enough to allow me to post 18
Stringfellows posters. Links at the top right of the page!
I was one of the 25 at the Feed Your Head gig and it was a great night! No
equipment but they went ahead and played anyway. The plastic sandwich box
as a drumkit was classic!
If anyone has photos from Stringfellows and would like them featured on the site
please send them to me via email!