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The Pastels at Frannz Club (August 30, 2019)
Venue: Frannz Club (Berlin, Germany) Find tickets
The Pastels Aug 09, 2019
Sometimes you need to go a little further... So proud to be working with my pals, Graham Eatough and ⁦David Keenan on a version of the amazing This Is Memorial Device for the Edinburgh Book Festival. We've got the best cast too, Paul Hickey, Gavin Mitchell, Gabe Quigley. It takes place on Saturday afternoon.…
The Pastels Jul 05, 2019
So pleased to announce a couple of shows in Berlin and Köln, two cities that we love. We won't be playing much this year so please try to make it with us when we do.
The Pastels Feb 20, 2019
I'm really looking forward to taking part in the Ripped & Torn event in Mono this evening with Tony D, and my pals Michael (Apostille) and Becky Marshall. I'll be be playing some of my favourite punk and DIY records. Ripped & Torn was an important part of my teenage landscape as I tried to find my own path through the records and styles that were changing my life. Ripped & Torn was one of the highest profile fanzines of the time, and in the end maybe the most important. The writing was personal, heartfelt, sad, funny, sometimes bitchy. Originating in Cumbernauld (pre-Gregory's Girl), Tony Drayton was a first wave punk who ended up in London, part of the squat scene, with an in to Adam & The Ants, Siouxsie & The Banshees & Crass. Every zine was the epitome of cutting edge printing and the layouts still look bonkers and great. Amongst the early contributors were Eddie Collins & Steven Daly (pre-Orange Juice) shining a light on Glasgow record shop culture and the music hippies who were lingering on. It ran for 17 issues when Tony went travelling, leaving the 18th to Vermliion Sands (Angry Young Women). With a new anthology on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace imprint, this feels like the right time to re-examine its incredible culural impact. Poster by Musheto Fernandez.
The Pastels Dec 25, 2018
Feeling like arch traditionalists or something decorating our tree on Christmas Eve listening to Vince Guaraldi. Have a great one, pals. Stephen and Katrina xx
The Pastels Dec 12, 2018
Really looking forward to playing at Alien Disko in Munich this Saturday with our friends, The Notwist & Tenniscoats. Amazing lineup across this festival, if you could be there it would be even better.
The Pastels Dec 08, 2018
A few words for The Guardian about Pete Shelley. Thanks to Laura Snapes for asking me to take part. At 15 /16 I was ready for the change that punk was bringing, ready to move on for a while from my Beatles / Bolan love and get into something a little more current. In the shock of the times, Buzzcocks bacame my thing, their already amazing catalogue of songs, the way their records looked, their muted styles, their everything. Pete Shelley, the modest magician frontperson became a sort of hero to me. I was fascinated by him, how could he write so many amazing songs, sing and play them the way he did and make it look so easy. My parents said I was too young to go and see them with Subway Sect but they relented when they came back round with Joy Division. They always had amazing supports, they were up for the challenge. I loved them so much, even considered trying to go out with this girl, probably totally unsuitable for me in every way other than she had a Love Bites poster on her wall. I stuck with them when people stopped going to their shows and in a way they became more accessible to a smaller audience. I always come back to them, to their deceptive simplicity, the brilliance of it all, the thrill. They were great and they were a great gateway too, to Can and other musics. They were the way into punk and the way out of it. I loved them, I loved him. Thanks Pete.
The Pastels Nov 13, 2018
Looking forward to playing the National Museum Of Scotland this Friday with our pals, Sacred Paws. It ties into their excellent Rip It Up exhibition and is part of the Lates season. Here's a preview piece by Henry Northmore for The List...
The Pastels Oct 13, 2018
Our Suse is on a double shift tonight. She's on ace bass for us and our pals, Tracyanne and Danny. We play at 8.45, Tracyanne and Danny at 7.15. That Spiegel Tent is the driest spot in town and the music is the best. Monorail Music still have a few tickets and there might be a few on the door too. It's almost sold out. Come to the dance.
The Pastels Aug 13, 2018
Extremely proud to be playing Leith Theatre next Friday 17trh August as part of a stellar Neu! Reekie! extravaganza for the Edinburgh International Festival. With Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Vaselines, Molly Nilsson and djs Andrew Divine and Chris Geddes. Poster by Annabel Wright. Tickets here...
The Pastels Jul 25, 2018
Looking forward to the upcoming series of Teenage Fanclub vinyl reissues, my excellent colleagues at Monorail decided that we should, each of us, talk about our relationship with the group by way of one of the records. I think it’s a really nice idea and I loved what everyone else came up with. My own piece is on Thirteen. I guess it’s never been quite as popular as the albums either side of it but Thirteen’s a total gem. It was pivotal, they started in a hurry and finished at a speed of Teenage Fanclub (which is, ok, I admit faster than a speed of Pastels). In between I think they mapped out their own future, maybe rejected quite a few easy things that would have made them a bigger, less personal group. What can I say about this time? They were away an awful lot after Bandwagonesque and that probably influenced them to book CaVa studio in Glasgow, just off Kelvingrove Park. It was a big old space and they certainly used it very well, made themselves at home with a subbuteo room and other comforts. Norman's obsessions at the time - cheese, olives, chess. This would have been unusual for Creation to deal with. They were still young, Brendan was on drums, they were a rock group with amazing, heartfelt songs and a slightly rough round the edges charm. I remember the first time I heard The Cabbage at a party (Stuart Murdoch’s) and thought, this must have been what it was like to hear an early version of a Beatles song. Other songs were just as good too, Gerard had become as prolific as Norman and there was really nothing to choose between them as writers. Raymond was a slightly darker horse but it was his sometimes wild playing that made the group. Andy Macpherson (who'd worked with The Who) engineered it, his impassive face the very definition of a seasoned pro. Tony Doogan, then a youthful tape-op on one of his first big sessions was more forthcoming... “The take goes out on bar 126 and comes back in on bar 130”, he once announced, marking himself out as one to watch. Work on the record eventually moved to Manchester, months later. Maybe in the end it was only Gerard there or they were by now doing it in relays. It was about things being right, not perfect. As it always was with them. Still not sure why some people don’t love it the way they do Bandwagonesque, maybe it’s timing, transition, things like that. I think it’s one of their best. Stephen Pastel Glasgow, July 2018
The Pastels Jun 19, 2018
Here's some words I wrote about Alan Dimmick's photography and a new book which spans his work 1977-2017. Christopher Isherwood: “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.” It’s hard to think of Alan Dimmick and not think of Alan Dimmick and his camera. "Alan was there…”, but when was Alan not there? Somehow he’s always been there, over almost 40 years documenting something important or something peripheral that he’d spotted that might become important. His combination of foresight, diligence and brilliant talent has made him the pre-eminent documenter of the 'Glasgow Miracle’, the wave of prize winning artists associated with the city. Cathy Wilkes, Christine Borland, Katy Dove, they’re all here, either at work or just out and about. It often looks quite casual or unguarded, and it is. Alan is as much about reportage as beautiful portraiture which he will do when commissioned. Like Alan, many of these artists had one foot in the parallel music scene, and Alan moves fluently between the two - photographs of Roddy Buchanan and Alasdair Roberts confirm that they belong in the same world. Lucy McKenzie, Ross Sinclair, Roxanne Clifford, photographed for their music or their art or because they look interesting? It’s all of these. Most of the most memorable images are of people we don’t know or don’t know well - there’s an important message in family members and friends usually stealing the show by just being themselves. It seems to say we all belong. I don’t know Alan’s politics but it seems to clearly reflect our city’s socialism. 40 years is a lot of time, the book isn’t chronological but you start to notice changes. I look at the photo that Alan took for The Pastels’ Songs For Children cover in my bedroom at my parents house and realise that it was so long ago. Why did we work with him? I ask him, neither of us can quite remember. Because he’d photographed Orange Juice or because Justin from Del Amitri said he could do it? I don’t know, I’m glad we did, he was there, he was always there. An essential collection of Alan Dimmick’s photography mapping out Glasgow music and art scenes from Orange Juice / Gregory’s Girl times through to the present day. From secondary school sports days to Jim Lambie floors, important and peripheral moments take centre stage as the scruffy, unbroken style of Glasgow and its bohemian crowd shines through. Epic, modestly epic.
The Pastels May 12, 2018
VIS Sanjalice. This is so cool.
The Pastels May 03, 2018
Playing the beautiful Mackintosh Church, Queens Cross on June 1st with Modern Studies and Andrew Wasylyk. Part of a series of Museum Of The Moon shows. Poster by Annabel Wright. Printed by Risotto Studio. Tickets from Monorail Music and Tickets Scotland...
The Pastels Apr 10, 2018
We're really excited about our Cafe Oto residency which is this weekend. There are still a few (as in hardly any) tickets left for the matinees and the Sunday evening show. Saturday 14th, 2.30pm - Snails. Pastels promo films, Q&A with Gideon Coe and Stephen Pastel. Saturday 14th, 7.30pm - The Pastels. Ela Orleans. Sunday 15th, 2.30pm - Comet Gain. Pastels promo films, Q&A with Gideon Coe and Stephen Pastel. Sunday 15th, 7.30pm - The Pastels. Ela Orleans.
The Pastels Mar 26, 2018
We’re very happy to be part of this project to raise awareness of Money Advice Scotland’s work. It’s a great privilege to be alongside so many other musicians that we admire - never thought we’d ever make it onto a compilation which also has music from Gregory’s Girl. We’ve made it.
The Pastels Mar 24, 2018
This time last week we were invited to play some of our favourite tunes by Weekend festival. From the box that we had in Cologne we chose these, all on 7"... Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Unknown Happiness (Geographic) Sly & The Family Stone - Runnin' Away (Epic) The Wake - Clouds Disco (Factory Benelux) The Wailers - Love Won't Be Mine (Island) Bettye Swann - Make Me Yours (Mojo) Ennio Morricone - L'Assoluto Naturale (Cinevox) Maureen Tucker - Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Trash) Television Personalities - Magnificent Dreams (Rough Trade Japan) Spinning Coin - Albany (Geographic) Jacno - Rectangle ( Dorian / Celluloid)
The Pastels Mar 14, 2018
watch out, look out for there is so much for you to dare for unknown happiness of the past unknown happiness over you Maher Shalal Hash Baz are playing in Cologne this weekend at Always Coming Back To You festival. We're playing records at this, so excited.
The Pastels Mar 06, 2018
So sad to hear the terrible news about our friend Patrick Doyle. He wasn't an angel but he was a sweetheart. We used to see him around and smile at him before he finally said hello. He was a shy boy but when the bravado arrived it was spectacular and funny. He talked me and Katrina into releasing The Royal We record on Geographic even though the group were clearly dysfunctional and already about to split up. No regrets. Thanks Patrick xx Photo by Stuart Reidman.
The Pastels Mar 02, 2018
A Pastelist Otopia :) We're playing 2 days at Cafe Oto in April with Ela Orleans, Snails, Comet Gain, Gideon Coe, and we'll be screening some Pastels promos too...
The Pastels Mar 01, 2018
Hey! Support trans equality in Scotland? We do - we've responded in support of Equal Recognition - please do the same if you can before 5pm today! It's easy and quick, and you can answer as many or few of the 16 questions as you want. It's here: and you can see Scottish Trans Alliance's guidance on each question if you scroll down this page: Oh yeah, and you can respond to it from anywhere in the world! ✊
The Pastels Feb 15, 2018
Very much looking forward to seeing the new Agnes Varda film, Faces, Places. Here's something we already love, Agnes Varda by Annabel Wright. There was a mid 90s Varda retrospective in the Glasgow Film Theatre which she attended. Annabel met her but said she wasn’t too impressed with a back of envelope sketch she’d made of her. This painting was part of a later show Annabel had in the GFT cafe bar. We're generally using Instagram for this kind of thing these days... Annabel is on Instagram too...
The Pastels Feb 05, 2018
This is an absolutely fantastic BBC documentary on Glasgow and the tenement world we know and love. It's only available for another four days. Thanks to Chris Geddes for the tip-off.
The Pastels Dec 30, 2017
This year's Four Tet album was so good. We played it constantly in Monorail and were all into it. I was sad when Four Tet left Domino, it always felt like a big part of the label's identity. That said, I'm so full of admiration for the way Kieran makes things work. His label, Text has released some great music. It's probably a more modern way of doing things and Four Tet keep getting stronger. Well played.
The Pastels Dec 24, 2017
Peace please. Happy Christmas everyone. Stephen and Katrina xx
The Pastels Dec 14, 2017
Hey, we weren't meaning our popup shop to be quite so blink and you'll miss it. Circumstances intervened. We'll have it back up at some point next year with some different stuff. We've managed to pack all existing orders and they're shipping now. Meanwhile if you want to get our Slow Motion Boats tote you can get it from our friends at Monorail...