The misfortune of The Poets was to exist in those pre-renaissance, pre-1990 years when Glasgow, to recall the words of Alasdair Gray, had no imaginative existence.
As a location of the mind, their city was off the maps of all the arts except that of the knife-crime, horror-show TV documentary, and furthest off that of pop music. Everybody knew this was nowhere, except for the natives, who didn't realise it was even that.
It is difficult to imagine a scene less suited to such an original and exceptional group. As The Beatles had found before them, the music industry was infamously reluctant to look further north than Watford. It was only a piece of kismet that got the band noticed in the first place, by Andrew Loog Oldham, the capricious character who'd already asked the world Would You Let Your Daughter Marry A Rolling Stone?
If that Star Is Born moment was a cliche, so was the discovery that George Gallacher and The Poets were years ahead of their time. Not for nothing did John Lennon describes the band's debut single as "f****** weird".
Their raw, eerie sound would make more sense when 1968 rolled around, it turned out. But the world of Herman's Hermits and Freddie and the Dreamers was the one in which they were obliged to operate. The band were like diamonds in a lucky bag.
It is wistful to ponder various what-ifs about The Poets, such as what might have happened had they not fallen into the orbit of Loog Oldham or if they hadn't been destabilised at their creative height by a shuttle of exits and entrances.
Even George, by all accounts a character of conspicuous loyalty, got out early, sensing seemingly that a square peg was failing to interact with a round hole.
He left behind him a catalogue of singles that, even now, remain insufficiently known.
If only the band had never been reduced to making a record in praise of a fizzy drink by the makers of Barr's Irn-Bru; if only they could have become a giant-midget Scottish band like The Blue Nile or Belle and Sebastian. Such would have been the best of outcomes. That, however, would have required them to be in another Glasgow at another time.
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