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Great B-sides I have known

No. 2  The Shop Assistants, ‘It’s Up To You.’

In the mid-eighties I seem to recall a certain disillusionment with indie music. It was as if the wildness and innovation of post-punk had petered out; there was the feeling that a number of bands had ‘sold out’ (whatever that means) and that the alternative music scene was fragmenting, if not disintegrating altogether. All this was an illusion of course. Then, as now, real music was out there, if only you knew where to look…


The Shop Assistants (originally Buba & the Shop Assistants) hailed from Edinburgh. They had a fun, high-energy, punky sound, typified by All Day Long and All that Ever Mattered, the lead tracks on their 1985 EP Shopping Parade. The flip, It’s Up To You, comes as something of a surprise: a fragile, wistful love song that demonstrated the band also had a gentler side.


The Shop Assistants put out a number of well-received singles and an album, Will Anything Happen (1986), before splitting up in 1987. They reformed in 1989 with a revised line-up and split for the final time the following year.

Click on the Dansette to listen to

I t's Up To You


Lyric insert from the Shopping Parade EP.

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