By Ljubinko Zivkovic, Rock At Night Amsterdam
Review: Alan Mair’s “The Devil’s Porridge”-Release date June 17, 2022
We’re talking double classics here – Alan Mair was a member of one of The Only Ones, a classic British new wave band. On the other hand, ‘The Devil’s Porridge,’ his latest single, is about The Canary Girls, celebrated Scottish heroes in WW1 and their chilling back-story.
So who were The Canary Girls? Alfred Nobel (of Nobel Prize fame) and his involvement setting up the world’s largest explosive factory in Scotland where 12,000 female workers endured harrowing conditions. Dubbed ‘The Canary Girls’ from their yellow skin and bright green hair caused from Cordite mix, the trauma continued with acetone addiction and passing on their yellow complexion to their newborns. These workers became the backbone of war efforts when the factory’s use was extended during the course of the First World War.
For his part, Mair, bassist for UK punk/new wave legends The Only Ones, the Glaswegian artist comes with an excellent, slow-burning track in the tradition of his former band and the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen, bringing that ringing eighties guitar sound to modern times and adding some substantive lyrics to boot.