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The Scars are another of the great lost bands of post punk. Their initial jagged guitars on their classic debut single ‘Horrorshow’ made them one of the most interesting bands of the period. They went more pop on their debut album and disappeared too soon. Last week they reformed and Gordon Legge was there for it. Photos by Fishbones Glover

The Scars – Edinburgh’s Picture House & Citrus Club 29th Dec 2010

Part Kinski’s Nosferatu, part Diva’s Le Cure, Scars frontman Rab King unzips his jumper/jacket to reveal, scrawled upon his matchstick chest, the words “Marc Bolan”. Rab pays his respects, in English this time. Up until now he’s only been speaking French.
Others are acknowledged. There’s a cover of Cockney Rebel’s “The Psychomodo”. At the aftershow, accompanied by the legend that is Jo Callis and event catalysts Shock and Awe, the band storm through the greatest hits of first Johnny Thunders (that’ll be “Born To Lose”, “Chinese Rocks” and “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory”) and then David Essex (that’ll be “Silver Dream Machine”). Back in the day, Mick Ronson’s “Billy Porter” was a staple of a youthful Scars’ set.

The Scars, one of the great lost bands of post punk – by Gordon Legge

On stage, the foil to the finger-painted King is guitarist Paul Research. King, the book-ish non-singing singer. Research, the sfylish smart and casual who makes the guitar look fun. There’s a bit of a Morrissey-Marr thing going on. On a couple of tunes, they even sound like them, The Smiths. And maybe Suede. This would’ve been a good few years earlier, too. The Scars – or “Scars” as they were on record – never recorded much, and never lasted that long. In their own words, they gave way to hubris, decadence and implosion.

The Scars, one of the great lost bands of post punk – by Gordon Legge
The night starts with one side of the classic Fast Product debut, the mighty “Horrorshow”, all scratchy edge and ominous rumblings, and finishes in the wee small hours at the Citrus – aka the Clitoris, Sexetera fans – with a blistering rendition of its even better flip “Adult/ery”, with the wonderful Mozzer-like opening line “Could you imagine a romantic liaison somewhere in the south of France… ” In between times, much of the band’s lauded long player Author! Author! (number 8 in Sounds 1981 year end poll of critics) is given a solid airing, but, sadly, alas, not turntable hit, the gorgeous “All About You”, a song so lovely it could easily grace the Timbaland-treated tonsils of any one of our modern day pop princesses. As to its omission; well, somebody said it would’ve been too difficult. Who knows. Maybe it’s not liked. Maybe it’s being saved. Maybe it’s just a whole different thing.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. The double-gig Scars reunion was truly a special night and not only for all of us older Scars fans who remember them first time around, but also for those who were too young to have caught them in their prime, but who were rewarded nonetheless by this great spectacle. And OK they didn’t give us some of their total mesmeric vintage killers the likes of Romance By Mail, Victim, So Strong, Antifeelings, Kidnapped, Your Attention Please, or even their final popper than pop All About You single…but it is a mark of really special group who can omit such cuts and still have a shedful of invigorating titles to seduce those in attendance. Scars showed that they are still an incredibly innovative and quite formidable onstage attraction. Long live their glam-punk infused rockandroll noise!!!

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Bolan; is well and alive!!!!

    And so is Rock On!!



    “Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld; 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977) was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist and poet.” I agree on poem! This man is calm is Swedish fight for Rock! He has a Graduate of Yale on Guitar; and won first lyricist in France in Paris! In a rare man\’s career music is a muscle of racing the time belt!

    When I first bought my first Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ( all Texas, Austin, America) “Electric Warrior” Album; the sounds I blasted to my Roman Catholic Mother Ms Margaret Ban; headed me to no leave! In, fact I sang with with interest and wondered; are you a Fan of the Greater Sir William Shakespeare?

    “Born to Boogie;” was a rare treat for the last days of Disco leaving and this man never brushed with the same tooth the same time! Sealing a deal for Mr. Bolan is not quiet! Nor me!!

    The Media of England loved none of Mr. Boland\’s talent into rock-and-roll; not an earlier example of Austin Texas in movement: Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis!

    I have one olden friend Mr. Frank Deak; who found calm cool in Lion thirst: a rare and Double-Album; in the University of Alberta!

    The photographs and recording are rare as is the $16.95.00 then ( 32-years a past!)!.

    Frank called me today and offered me time for recollection!

    We Both admire this Nut of Sing for the Stars and Planets and wish more Harmony!!

    My friend Frank now lives in height not in Brooklyn of New York; paying $10.000.00 the same or
    me Catholic; for $120.00 a month; nor into a assembly as Frank the non-Catholic; paying maybe;
    $800.00-for a- kept Town-House!

    His abode is with Ms. Usti Deak; who I wished a New Year; well!

    (12011 – 55 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)!

    On the very first day when we first read into the Mr. Bolan Scene; we never shot fool for folly ever!!

    Here\’s one song for Mr. Bolan with the interest of the Led Zepplin Fans; called Forwad to the Sun!

    Forward to the Sun

    “Checker Blue and medieval;
    Parachute scanty demand; oh, infuse my riot!

    Discover, discreet; bluish General; host;
    Jail-Bird and tag!

    Full We; underwrite; and see!!

    Con-Fused; Atomic Power;
    Mountain of Mother; Ship;

    Honey Net of whet loving Brit;

    Stock is Blue red inside untrue;
    Fire-storm all glowing red warm;
    Enter to Germany!

    To Germany!

    Forced! Yeah!!!!

    PS: This man is Mr. Donovan and many others including Lil\’ Bear!




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