Not a lot of people know of the Khyber Trifles but we have come across some photos and an interview with the band’s van driver who still has hazy memories of the band and really only talks about the KT’s when questioned by his grandson Eddie Glasgow, here’s what we have on the band so far.
Band Line up
: singer - modeled his look on a malnourished stick insect. Pioneered heroin chic before anyone had heard the term. The band’s diseased heart and lungs but with weapons grade vocals. Could growl, shriek, yelp, belch, moan and wheedle at competition level. “The Gaffer”.
Iain: bass - the rock steady throb and jazzy bottom end. Electronic engineer with top harmony vocal. Four 12” speakers plus four 15” speakers Iain had. It registered on the Richter scale.
Nicky: drums - the loudest bass drum and rim-shot in the universe. The Timekeeper. If the Baby Jesus played drums, he would have sounded like Nicky.
Malcolm: guitar - a classic exponent of the Scottish “feel for the electric blues”. Could hold one note so long that a pint of Guinness could be poured and drunk during it: time stood still and Malcolm stood still. Simultaneously could look like both “Woody” from the Faces and “Woody” from the Bay City Rollers.
Mick: guitar - hyperactive guitar playing nutcase. Was a student but was too weird and stupid to make anything of his life. Liked to spend his time discussing “Troilus and Cressida” with any poor sod who would listen.
Eddie Glasgow interviews his Grandfather about the Khyber Trifles.
: Tommy asked me to talk to you again and get more information from you about the Khybers for his website.
Granda Glasgow: Who’s Tommy?
I’ll tell you later.
You’ve always claimed to have known the Khyber Trifles and indeed to have driven them around.
When was this?
Mid seventies. The band lasted from about 1975 to early in 1978.
How did you come to know them?
Back then I lived in Partick, I had a van and I had quite a bit a’ free time.
I was self employed - I had my own business and so my time was my own.
I didn’t know you were self employed! What line of business were you in?
I supplied, installed, maintained, cleaned and emptied septic tanks.
It’s true! I made a good living. You see from north of about Milngavie it’s all septic tanks. Your Strathblane, Lennoxtown, Fintry all rely on them to survive. No mains sewage oot by the Campsies. Now wi’ a septic tank you have regularly to…
If you don’t see to your septic tank and it gets bunged you’ll end up wi’ diarrhoea running up and doon the waws. You see what you have to do is…
Stop! Enough on septic tanks already!
Typical! You youngsters don’t appreciate the essentials o’ life. You’re all too taken up with your Paolo Nutinis.
Shut it! You’re just saying that because you know I like Paolo Nutini.
Paolo Nutini’s just another useless, navel gazin’ wee chancer. David Crosby wi’ better hair.
Stop! The Khybers: who was in the band?
You asked me that last year and I wrote it down for you.
That’s true. I’ll just repeat what you wrote then:
Thanks for that once again, although I think that bit about the Baby Jesus might be a hate crime. Where did they play?
They started in the Bowler’s Rest in Parkhead - a hell-hole. Then they got a regular gig at the Coach House in Thornliebank. After that they played the Maggie on Sauchiehall Street on Saturday nights for about two years. The Curlers in Byres Road, Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. Lots of other odd gigs here and there.
Who else was about then?
The band that later became Big George and the Business were pally wi’ the Khybers. “Giro” - whose drummer was Zeke Manyika who went on to play with Orange Juice - were around.
What was so special about the Khyber Trifles?
They had the strengths of the great Scottish performers of those days: great vocals, top guitar playin’ and a hot, tight rhythm section. And they were feckin’ loud. They also had that peculiarly Scottish streak of plain idiocy that could by turns be both infuriating and endearing.
OK. Have you ever wondered why people settled in Scotland at all? It’s an example of Bronze Age Darwinism - natural selection. Only idiots originally came this far north. The gene pool was even then trying to weed out the Jocks by sending them to the northernmost wildernesses. Consider: the further north you go, the stupider the people get. Settlers left the Mediterranean to move into areas like Lochgilphead. From Cartagena and Knossos they came north to Crinan. Why - if they weren’t insane? Take as an example this conversation from 1500BC that I’ve written down:
Minoan: We’ve got cities, palaces, running water, frescoes depicting beautiful and amazing scenes; we are masters of architecture.
Scot: We jist like tae pit wee stanes wan oan tap o’ the ither until ye get a wee pile a stanes - that’s whit we like: wee piles a stanes.
Minoan: We have a surplus of wine and fruit; lambs for meat and wool; olives for food and for oil to heat and light our palaces
Scot: We jist like tae eat oats. We’re whit ye cry beaker folk. We make beakers. They haud yer drink, ye kin drink ooty thaim…they’re made oot ah dirt.
You are now just taking the piss and trying to wind me up. You’re off your head!
Ah’ll apologise tae nae wan for bein’ aff ma heid. Ah’ve been aff ma heid since the late sixties and Ah don’t mean tae stop noo.
Actually, if you listen to the video clip of the band on their website The Khybers where Brilliant !”
( unanimous vote from all at GB80 headquarters )
Robbie and Mick with Big George