The Prats release a compilation album ‘Prats Way Up High’ on One Little Independent Records.
The 20 track long-player covers the Edinburgh punks’ back catalogue of material from 1977-1981.
The album features three singles released by Rough Trade and Da Da Records plus demos and a previously unreleased 1979 John Peel session, and is the first time the band have been released on 12”.
Formed by Dave and Greg Maguire in the Oxgangs area of Edinburgh, the band also included Tom Robinson, Elspeth Mcleod and Paul McLaughlin, while older brother Jeff Maguire, initially the band’s manager, would eventually take over on bass guitar.
Just 12-14 years old when they started out, the quartet initially sent a demo tape to Edinburgh’s legendary indie label Fast Product, which led to the band’s debut on the ‘Fast EP Earcom 1’ compilation – which also included Edinburgh’s The Flowers, Lancashire post-punk act Blank Students, Simon Templar of the Rezillos, and Graph (featuring future Human League member Martin Burden).
1980 saw the release of the ‘1990’s Pop EP’ via Rough Trade and single ‘Disco Pope’ – which was the track was featured again by Rough Trade for their 2003 compilation CD ‘Post Punk Volume 1’.
Early in their career the band recorded the first of two sessions for John Pee, who described the debut as “one of the best sessions we’ve had for years,” even offering to bankroll their first single himself with the fee from a DJ set.
The band split in 1981, but in 2004 single ‘General Davis’ was used in the opening credits and publicity for Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ (starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep) which saw the band attend the premiere.
The band are also featured in a forthcoming documentary ‘Poxy Pop Groups – The Story of The Prats’ by filmmaker Angus McPake.
Sadly in July 2020 year bassist Jeff Maguire passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer and the band are dedicating ‘Prats Way Up High’ to his memory.
In a statement they say “Jeff was always involved in the band – we used words like roadie and manager initially to describe his role although the reality is that we had very little idea what either of those meant!
“Jeff was great at engaging with people – a talent he displayed throughout his life and he had no problem collaring the great and the good of the local music scene, getting us gigs, support slots, interviews in fanzines etc. He eventually joined the band on bass and played on all three singles.
After the Prats, Jeff played in local bands, went to university, studied and taught languages, here and in Spain and then worked as a civil servant for the Scottish Government.
‘Prats Way Up High’ track listing:
1. Disco Pope
3. TV Set
4. Nobody Noticed
5. Die TodtenReytenSchnell
6. Jesus Had A PA
7. General Davis
8. The Alliance
11. Two Views On Life (Demo)
12. Walking Dead (Demo)
13. Prats 2 (Peel Session 1979)
14. Nothing (Peel Session 1979)
15. Jesus Had A PA (Peel Session 1979)
16. You Nobody (Peel Session 1979)
17. Prats I (Peel Session 1979)
18. Poxy Pop Groups (Peel Session 1979)
19. Strange Interlude (Peel Session 1979)
20. A Day In The Life Of Me (Peel Session 1979)