When you’ve been rocking as long as Alan Mair, you learn a thing or two. He first appeared as bassist for ‘The Beatstalkers’ (“Scotland’s first-ever pop stars”) before joining power-pop outfit ‘The Only Ones’ in 1978. His new hit is an accumulation of all that and more.

‘Eyes to the Sky’ keeps up the dreamy, melodic mood of ‘The Only Ones’, and just like their frontman, Peter Perrett, Alan carries an unconventional vocal style about him. But while Peter showed shades of Lou Reed, Alan’s higher tone comes across like a less hysterical Peter Murphy [Bauhaus].

In fact, with the voice, the driving bass, and the glittery, soaring guitar (supplied by Zal Cleminson), it all adds up to an unashamedly old school hit. It smacks of Echo and the Bunnymens’ later output – the sort of kaleidoscopic rock that makes you want to bliss out under the stars and run rampant over endless moorland depending on the day.

The track’s charming music video – of Alan fooling around on Hampstead Heath at some point in the 80s – further cements this link to the past.

Eyes to the Sky does well to recapture a sound I thought was long gone. The production may be a bit cliché, but the shimmering post-punk style represents one of the greatest eras of British rock. And I’m glad Alan is still flying the flag.

If you want to hear more from Alan Mair, you can find him at the links below:

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Words by Nathan Makalena