The non-appearance of even a single battered copy for sale has prompted a bit of Miss Marple-ing on my part. I’ve quizzed a bunch of people who regularly played at and attended small gigs around the Central Belt of Scotland and even more who bought records by small Scottish independent groups in ‘86/’87 but nary a soul remembers them. Nightshift Records, who released “Fimbria” and who are best remembered for a bunch of Lowlife records, was presided over by Brian Guthrie, the brother of Cocteau Twins’ Robin so I asked a friend of Brian’s if he remembered the record but even he couldn’t recall it or them. All of which is a bit sad and undeserved as, from the YouTube clips, “Fimbria” is without doubt a classic record of its type. One that should have been treasured at the time by those who could see the beauty in the moodiness of The Wake when they were still a Factory Records group or those who found solace in the sensitive lyrics and cut crystal guitars of The Field Mice’s “Emma House”. Come to think of it, had “Picture Frame” or “Lilyhaze” seen a release on Sarah Records, I suspect that the story would have been very different. I’m sure they would have been viewed as among the strongest releases of a near flawless catalogue. I wonder if Matt Haynes or Clare Wadd ever heard "Fimbria"? It’s entirely possible that they did and that, as with Brian’s sublime “You Don’t Want A Boyfriend”, they’re kicking themselves to this day that they didn’t get to release it. Right now “Fimbria” is the record I want more than anything. It’s the one record that, should I find a copy in the right condition, could tempt me into financial recklessness (though definitely not of the £300 sort!). Since the internet hasn’t come up trumps, a tour round the charity shops of Falkirk and Stirling is in order. If that, too, draws a blank maybe I’ll pluck up the courage to sidle up to Brian Guthrie and ask him if he has any spares when he takes part in a panel at a Glasgow gallery in January 2012*. We’ll see. Hopefully one day “Fimbria” will get the same deluxe LTM Records re-master/reissue cd treatment as the albums of Lowlife, The Wake and The Field Mice. Mind you, at this point I’d settle for Cloudberry or Vollwert popping its 6 songs onto a stack of those dinky little 3.5” cd-rs as part of one of their respective archive series. Come on, make it happen!
*- Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I didn't make it to the panel discussion so didn't get to speak with Brian Guthrie. If anyone has a contact email address please contact me on: lebrogues (at) yahoo.co.uk