An initially very Buzzcocks-styled pop/punk band from Glasgow, who were an offshoot of The BMX Bandits and named after a creature from the children’s TV series The Clangers.
Soup Dragons were one of a clutch of bands championed by the New Musical Express via their C86 project.
The group evolved around the enigmatic Sean Dickson who met up with guitarist Jim McCulloch, bassist Sushil Dade and drummer Ross Sinclair early in 1985.
A flexidisc, If You Were The Only Girl In The World, was released at the end of the year, by which time the band were circulating a demo tape, You Have Some Too.
The fledgeling Subway Organisation label issued the band’s first single, Whole Wide World (1986), a tight, exciting slab of breakneck-paced pop. This attracted ex-Wham! manager Jazz Summers who set up a new label for them, Raw TV Products, in time for their Hang Ten EP (1986).
Head Gone Astray marked a change away from their new wave sound towards 60s rock. The Soup Dragons confirmed this with the storming Can’t Take No More which was a minor UK hit.
Soft As Your Face also fared well commercially but its gentle serene sound was at odds with the band’s overall direction. Far better was The Majestic Head (1988). Another minor hit, this lured Sire Records to offer them a deal but their next single, Kingdom Chairs was a flop.
Their debut LP, This Is Our Art emerged without fanfare.
The Stooges‘-influenced Backwards Dog and Crotch Deep Trash (both 1989) introduced a rockier feel, which was followed by the dance-oriented Mother Universe (1990). Hinging around a Marc Bolan riff, the single was typical of the tracks on their Lovegod album (1990).
By this time, Sinclair had been replaced by new drummer Paul Quinn.
After discovering an obscure Rolling Stones track from their 1965 Out Of Our Heads LP, the Soup Dragons teamed up with reggae singer Junior Reid and DJ Terry Farley to create their cover version of I’m Free – a formidable crossover between white indie rock and dance music. The single was a massive hit and saw the album Lovegod and a remixed version of their Mother Universe single reissued, giving them further chart success.
Hotwired (1992) presented the strongest songs of the band’s career.