Detonators’ explosive return with road bridge song

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THE Detonators is not the most auspicious name for a band – particularly one performing at a bridge opening.

But this blast from the past could be making a comeback half a century after their explosive TV debut. The Queensferry rock quintet so impressed a film-maker in 1962 that they were chosen to perform the official song for a prime-time documentary to mark the completion of one of Scotland’s most iconic structures – the Forth Road Bridge.

Alastair Craigs of band The Detonators returns to the scene of the band's performance at the bridge in 1962. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Alastair Craigs of band The Detonators returns to the scene of the band's performance at the bridge in 1962. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Now an original band ­member has announced plans to revive his bid for musical glory ahead of the bridge’s 50th anniversary celebrations in September.

The Detonators’ former rhythm guitarist, Alastair Craigs, 67, of Queensferry, wants to enter a national song competition to mark the ­milestone.

And while he has lost touch with fellow band members including frontman George Pearson, drummer John ­McCoslin and bass guitarist James Ryan – and the sad death of lead guitarist David McAnulty – Mr Craigs said he may go solo or form a new group.

He said: “I have already written a few lines down. I think it would be quite nice to put a band together and I would be interested in hearing from anybody else over 60 who wants to join.”

He also revealed it could be a completely fresh song about the bridge or a re-imagining of the original song, called Wonderful Bridge, which appeared on a BBC One documentary about the structure.

The Detonators – who later changed their name to ­Spider’s Web – had been performing near the shore when the film crew had overheard them play. Mr Craigs said: “We used to practice down there on Saturday, and they were there filming. They heard us practising and they said ‘You are quite good!’”

The band had ever only performed covers but producers gave them just two weeks to come up with an original track. It was recorded before the span was actually completed, in September 1962.

Mr Craigs said: “They were quite impressed with it. They asked us to go to a recording studio and sent taxis to pick us up.

“We thought we were the bee’s knees. The documentary started with us playing the song and it faded out with the song at the end.”

The anniversary song contest was launched last month by Forth Bridges Live, the Academy of Music and Sound and Forth Bridges Festival because it was felt that there were too few tracks about the bridge.