Way back in 2009, Metropolicana Records walked the streets of Glasgow and, since it was a sort of offshoot of the then current incarnation of Bluesbunny, it seems appropriate to compile a memorial discography for, like all things started with good intentions, it was destined to fail and duly did so.
“Metropolicana was named after a song by a band called Mat D and the Profane Saints from Sioux City, Iowa. I vaguely remember that the song was actually about a racehorse but I could be wrong as all that anger management therapy has had a negative effect on my memory. No idea what happened to the band but, if you ever got to wondering what happened to BB001, then now you know.”
The releases on the label?
“There were three vinyl singles and one vinyl EP, all on coloured vinyl.
BB002 - Uncle Leon - "The Bartender" b/w "Honky Tonk Ways" (2009)
BB003 - The Viragoes - "Escape From Glasgatraz" b/w "Madame Nicotine" (30 November 2009)
BB004 - Sonny Marvello - "Easy Boys" b/w "We're All Cruel" (11 January 2010)
BEP001 - Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete EP "Ode", "Love Lust Tales", "Night" and "Maud" (April 19 2010)
Two other releases were scheduled - BB005 and BB006 - but neither got further than the burning up studio time stage.”
The story behind the song?
BB002 - Uncle Leon - "The Bartender" b/w "Honky Tonk Ways"
“Uncle Leon was from Brooklyn, as I recall, and had drawn some cult attention with his then, and now, band The Alibis. “Bartender” was a rambling and affectionate Americana style ode to the ladies who sell you beer. I don't know what Uncle Leon's fantasy was called but I know what mine was called so the release seemed like a very good idea at the time. “Honky Tonk Ways” had a Nancy and Lee type vibe with Mimi LaValley (later of The Calamity Janes) providing the vocal counterpoint. All copies were on blue vinyl in a company discobag. The first 100 or so copies came with a colour insert.”
BB003 - The Viragoes - "Escape From Glasgatraz" b/w "Madame Nicotine"
“The Viragoes were a band, mostly from Clydebank, with a knack for creating the kind of songs that you could actually sing in the kebab shop. There were many times when I sang “Glasgatraz” in a kebab shop and it always went down well. Besides this release, they also put out a self-released CD called “Cheap Shoes and Lies” but that, as they say, was that. There were a couple of demos recorded after the single release (and destined for BB005) - “December” and a sublime song called “Below Zero” – but no finished versions exist as the band did the rock ‘n’ roll thing and imploded shortly thereafter. That said, one of singers, Louise King, did recently reappear under the new identity of Feed Your Silence. All copies of the single were pressed on blue vinyl and came in a picture sleeve.”
BB004 - Sonny Marvello - "Easy Boys" b/w "We're All Cruel"
“Oh God, why do you hate me? Here was a band that had both musical ability and a sense of style yet were still cursed with the kind of bad luck that led me to believe that they were secretly mass murderers of black cats. The masters were delivered six weeks late. The vinyl had to be recut. The deluxe gatefold sleeve had also to be redone as the initial copies had been printed on something that looked like recycled toilet paper (complete with suspicious brown flecks). The costs escalated so much that every single copy would have had to have been sold just to break even so the courier did the decent thing and lost a couple of the boxes in transit just to make sure that financial viability would never be achieved. Both songs were sterling power pop but probably no one outside their friends and family ever found that out and even a big feature in local rag The Evening Times could not bring this band the attention they deserved. All copies were pressed on red vinyl and came in a rather fine gatefold picture sleeve. Various parts of Sonny Marvello seem still to be alive and well in a suspiciously anonymous and elusive band called Flash Talk.”
BEP001 - Louise McVey and Cracks in the Concrete EP ("Ode", "Love Lust Tales", "Night" and "Maud")
“Four songs of gothic art rock distinguished by the distinctive, and glorious, voice of Louise McVey. This EP was the physical representation of a digital release on Optimo records. Louise seems still to be an artist and the band, or parts of it, very occasionally turns up at events where the gothic and the artistic meet. They did self-release an album sometime thereafter but I have never actually seen a copy and that would, of course, just add to their cult appeal. All copies of the EP were on white vinyl and came in a picture sleeve. ”
How many were made?
BB002 482 copies
BB003 497 copies
BB004 352 copies
BEP001 221 copies
The final straw?
“A flood in the storage facility destroyed most of the stock so the actual count of copies out in the wild is far lower and I would estimate no more than 100 of each release actually made it into someone’s hands. The flood was clearly a sign from God so Metropolicana was duly, and humanely, put down. Copies of the singles occasionally turn up on Ebay.”