Few bands are as integral to the Glasgow independent music scene as The Pastels. Formed in the early 80's they have steadfastly refused to conform to whatever the latest trends are and have always followed their own path. After a few singles throughout the 80's, including a single on Rough Trade, their timeless debut hit the shelves in 1987. Up For A Bit With The Pastels may not have set the charts alight but its enduring influence is still being felt today. Like The Velvet Underground's debut, Up For A Bit influenced pretty much everyone who bought it to form a band or get involved in some way with music. Cited as one of the must have albums by the likes of Sonic Youth, The Mary Chain and Yo La Tengo there is a certain naive quality to Up For A Bit that I have always found extremely endearing. Combining 60's classic pop with a DIY punk ethos it is an album that, for me, is one of the essential Scottish albums of the last 35 years. Many bands may be better known but nowhere near as influential as The Pastels.
I have had the pleasure of seeing the band live a few times, but the one that will always stand out for me was at Fury Murrys in '87 supported by the ever wonderful Vaselines, in what must have been one of their earliest gigs. I'm not sure if Stephen McRobbie himself had any idea at the time that they would still be releasing music almost 35 years later. Thank goodness they are as each new release just reaffirms how vital they are and continue to be. Long live The Pastels.