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Josef K \ The Scottish Affair (Pt 2) [TWI 019]

Crepuscule presents The Scottish Affair (Part 2), a vibrant live album by iconic Scottish guitar group Josef K recorded at the historic Beursschouwburg arts centre in Brussels on 8th April 1981.

Best known for their association with Postcard Records, Josef K also recorded two singles for Belgian indie Les Disques du Crépuscule (Sorry For Laughing; The Missionary), and also taped studio album The Only Fun In Town in downtown Brussels. The group first performed in the city on New Year's Eve 1980, playing a riotous show with Orange Juice and Marine at legendary warehouse venue Plan K, and resumed their 'Scottish affair' with Crépuscule the following April, cutting their album in a matter of days and performing at the Beursschouwburg as well as a small youth club in Lier three nights later.

At the Beurs show Jokay rattled off 10 songs in just half an hour, with journalist Bert Bertrand noting "several good reasons to get excited" about the visiting quartet. Adds guitarist Malcolm Ross: "We played four dates in Holland on our way to Brussels and then recorded the album in about five days. So we were pretty tight and Paul was in good voice."

Recorded from the mixing desk, all 10 songs have now been newly re-mastered for issue as a vinyl only album, The Scottish Affair (Part 2). Pressed in a limited edition of 1000 copies in clear vinyl, the sleeve features original 1981 poster artwork by designer Jean-Francois Octave printed in black overlaid with metallic gold pantone. The inner bag includes period flyers and images, as well as quotes by Paul Haig, Malcolm Ross, Alan Horne, Michel Duval, Annik Honore, Allan Campbell and Bert Bertrand.

LP tracklist:

A1. Fun 'N' Frenzy
A2. 16 Years
A3. It's Kinda Funny
A4. Crazy To Exist
A5. Forever Drone
B1. Revelation
B2. Citizens
B3. Chance Meeting
B4. Sorry For Laughing
B5. Final Request

Available as a clear vinyl album (with digital copy) or digital (MP3). To order please select correct shipping option (UK, Europe or Rest of World) and click on Add To Cart button, or else contact LDDC by email for other shipping options (including tracked).

The Scottish Affair Pt 2 [TWI 019]
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Reviews:

"Brussels was clearly an important place in the world of Josef K. The Edinburgh band previously known as TV Art played a New Years Eve event with Orange Juice in 1980 and returned early the next year for two shows after four gigs over the border in the Netherlands. The Beursschouwburg Arts Centre show is from where this new live album is taken. Josef K also taped their only LP in Brussels, too. In the sleevenote Malcolm Ross observes that the band were in pretty hot form live at the time, their craft honed by the run of Dutch shows. Here they blast through 10 songs in around 30 minutes as though they were battling against the clock. Which in a sense, bearing in mind Josef K split not that long after, they were. They're a ball of pent-up tension here, full of fire and energy to burn. They were clearly not for mucking about at all on 4th April 1981.

"The tense, trebly attack of the band is right there at the get-go - racing drums drive the guitar scrawl forward on Fun 'N' Frenzy, with Haig spitting out words through an echo effect with an almost psychotic nonchalance. 16 Years follows with a bouncing bass line before a super-languid and cool take of It's Kinda Funny, a rickety guitar jangle counterpoint to the detached vocal. Crazy to Exist belts past at a right old pace, but then Forever Drone injects a little dischordinate punk funk into the proceedings. The quick attack of Revelations ("So many times exposed") gives way to the more mid-paced Citizens, but this one has a fine bit of guitar interplay that even Television would have been proud of.

"Not that there aren't moments of perfect pop heaven. Chance Meeting and Sorry for Laughing follow in quick succession towards the end of The Scottish Affair and you would be hard pressed to find a pair of more attractive guitar-based songs. They're done justice on these live versions, they are both endearingly sensitive and delicate where they need to be. Final Request brings things to a close with Haig near-screaming like a baby Howard Devoto and the band concocting a fine and fiery cacophony. The Scottish Affair (Part Two) is a release that Josef K fans will surely want to snap up, given their limited output and the good quality of the recording. The added memorabilia is also an important part of this release, but the main impression I got from this LP is that Josef K cut a mean and addictive live proposition, louche practitioners of fearsomely fast cool. Something we will not see the like of again, so this record is the next best thing. The only question remaining is what was The Scottish Affair (Part One)?" (Louder Than War, 11/19)

"This new release from the archive captures the Edinburgh quartet in their heyday" (The Scotsman, 01/2020)

"Captured on The Scottish Affair, the quartet tear into 10 songs in just half an hour. Subtlety is out the window, future Orange Juice guitarist Malcolm Ross' already taut playing made frenzied to keep up with Paul Haig's histrionic vocals. Reaching a peak with the deranged Revelation and Chance Meeting, Haig abandons the debonair cool of Josef K's studio work to get very sweaty and shrieky for the Belgians. You can still hear why the band were so influential, particularly on Franz Ferdinand, but the feeling persists that they're about to collapse at any moment. In the event that's pretty much what happens on the closing Final Request, as Ross's guitar cuts loose in a squall of feedback. Given their disparate talents and desires it's no wonder they only lasted for one album. Haig hasn't played a full live show in years - here's evidence of how good he was on stage" (Classic Pop, 12/2019)

"Josef K were The Sound of Young Scotland, together with Orange Juice, whose guitars were also radiant and brittle, whose rhythms were also scrubbed and blunt, whose vocals were also proud and serious, but who sounded like another group entirely" (Paul Morley)

"Josef K was about the heroic Outsider suavely surfing across the fraught surface of their albino funk fracas. Haig sounds high on anxiety, finding an odd, giddy euphoria in doubt" (Simon Reynolds)