Firstly, thank you very much to everyone who came to the shows in Edinburgh. I hope you enjoyed it. We met some lovely people. And saw some terrific things, not least the play What Girls Are Made Of.
It was our friend Tam Coyle who put us onto this. Having decamped post-show to the loveable Sneaky Petes, we were at the bar when he asked: “do you remember a band called Darlingheart ?”
No. Should I? His incredulous face said I definitely should: “They toured with Blur and Radiohead at the start of the ‘90s.”
Did they?? DID THEY?? I’m really wracking my brains now. I was at the NME championing both of these bands – and I thought I had an encyclopaedic knowledge of indie groups of the time – but no, still nothing. “They signed to Fontana…their singer was a girl called Cora Bissett.”
The Coyle raves for about five minutes about Bissett and the work she has done over the years leaving music for the world of drama and her own production company, as I continue to attempt to dredge up any memory of bloody Darlingheart.
“Anyway”, adds The Coyle, she’s written a play about being in the band, you should go. I’ll get you in.” And bless him, the man who lives for music (who should get an award for being the Social Glue that connects randoms like me to the Scottish music scene) comes up trumps. So me and TM Tom go to the Assembly Rooms and watch the play and not only is it the best depiction of the early 90s music scene I’ve ever seen, it is a perceptive insight into the hopes and dreams of any band who’s ever touched the hem of success, only to have it whipped away from them.
More than that, it’s a very personal story. It pits the reality of a young (naïve) aspiring band and their rock music fantasies against the cold, brutal mechanics of the music industry.
It is funny and informed and honest; it is confessional and celebratory and just a tad regretful.
It nods to Pixies and Nirvana and Blur and the power of the music press in the early 90s. It embraces innocence and wonder and the foolhardiness of youth; while ringing out a warning of where those traits will lead you. It is about ambition and reconciliation. It’s about a teenager and her parents and growing up and looking back.
It was really, really moving.
The moment I got home, I looked for any trace of a Darlingheart record in my collection – and there was nothing. I’ve been on Discogs this morning to try and track down their album. So I missed the boat then….but please don’t miss the boat now.
It plays until the end of this week in Edinburgh followed by dates in September in Newcastle and London. I’d thoroughly recommend it.

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