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Alex Harvey: The Last Of The Teenage Idols

Album Review

Exemplary and overdue chronicle of the great man from the Gorbals, spread over 14 discs.

Alexander James Harvey was already a veteran of the working-class rock clubs that sprung up in Glasgow during the late 1950s, although his local fame and a lengthy apprenticeship in Hamburg’s 24-hour sleaze scene wouldn’t bear fruit commercially for well over a decade.

A Zelig-like figure, Harvey was dubbed ‘Scotland’s answer to Tommy Steele’, and billed as such when his beat band supported Johnny Gentle And His Group at Alloa Town Hall in 1960. Gentle’s boys were the Silver Beetles (what happened to them?); the self-styled King of Sheikh remembered tutoring them in stagecraft and the best way to extract the maximum juice from a Buddy Holly-heavy set.

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