Scars are back on stage with Tam Dean Burn - Kevin Buckle

Scars perform on stage.  Pixcture: Trevor PakeScars perform on stage.  Pixcture: Trevor Pake
Scars perform on stage. Pixcture: Trevor Pake
Exciting news with the announcement that seminal Scottish post punk band Scars are to play gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh with new vocalist Tam Dean Burn.

Tam is not new to being in a band having been in the Dirty Reds in the late seventies with his brother Russell Burn, a band that later became the much lauded Fire Engines, while Tam left to concentrate on his acting.

Tam, of course, is best known for his many roles in film and television including Outlander and River City and had joined the Mackie brothers, Paul and John, at the Hungry Beat book launch at the end of last year to play a couple of classic Scars songs, Horrorshow and Adult/ery.

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Formed in 1977 by Paul and John Mackie, they recruited Calumn Mackay on drums and Robert King on vocals and produced one very well received album Author! Author! along with a handful of singles before splitting up.

Paul, known as Paul Research, used to come into the Avalanche in Cockburn Street to bring in copies of the album on CD which he had licensed from the original label, Pre Records. And I was absolutely amazed when we were looking for bands to play a gig to help finance our move to the Grassmarket that he offered to get the band back together, as they had all recently met at a friend’s birthday party and discussed the possibility of a reunion. A sold-out gig at the HMV Picturehouse with TV21 who had also reformed followed in December 2010.

Apart from this brief return, nothing more had been heard from the band, though Paul had released a solo album Skate The Royal Mile in 2021.

Hungry Beat, written by Douglas MacIntyre and Grant McPhee, follows the history of Scottish independent music in the late 70s through to the mid-1980s and, of course, Scars played a big part in that along with bands such as Josef K, Orange Juice, Fire Engines and TV21.

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Scars featuring Tam Dean Burn, as they are to be known, have now agreed to play two shows, with the first at Glasgow’s CCA on Saturday May 6 with Port Sulphur and the second at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on Saturday June 17.

With Paul saying there may well be new material as well as reimagined old songs there has been much chatter on social media about what can be expected.

Bands from that era reforming and recording new music is not unheard of. TV21 reformed in 2009 and produced a second album over two decades after their first released in 1981. The band actually played in our Cockburn Street shop to help launch the allbum as well as playing the Voodoo Rooms and it is one of my favourite albums by a Scottish band from any time period.

For those of us old enough to remember the bands playing the first time, it was a late Christmas treat when Scars and TV21 played that HMV Picturehouse gig on December 29.

Doubtless there will be a healthy number of well known faces at both Scars gigs and will mean I get to have a rare night out!

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