The Prats formed in Inverness, Scotland in late '77. They were all students at St Augustine's Roman Catholic Comprehensive School. They ranged in age from 12 to 15 at the eldest. Lead man Paul McLaughlin is 13. He tells his mum that he is playing tennis, not that he is off practicing in a punk band. They claim the Slits and Mekons as their influences. They had to be driven to their gigs. John Peel once offered his DJing fee from an Edinburgh gig to finance one of the band's releases. Over the next few years they release a few singles, most notably The 1990s Pop EP and General Davis single for Rough Trade in 1980. Gen'l Davis manages to hit number 20 in UK Indie chart that year. They manage to get one gig at the Factory in Manchester. Then the band then breaks up in 1981 and disappears as quickly as they appeared, into obscurity. Thats what happens when the kids graduate and move on.
Flash forward 25 years or so. Paul McLaughlin is 40 years old and is commuting home on the train from another day at the office where he is a senior official with the National Union of Journalists. His moble phone rings and on the other end is a Hollywood director wanting to use one of his songs in his next movie. The director is calling from Paramount, its Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) and the movie is his remake of the '62 classic The Manchurian Candidate, set to star Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Apparently, Demme was a big import collector of obscure bands like The Desperate Bicycles and They Must Be Russians.
So now, for 43 seconds, the Prats live on during the opening titles of the 2004 summer blockbuster. Demme even liked them so much that he made sure that they were at the world premiere for the film and gushed over them like a teenage groupie. So, obscure nobody bands of the world, keep the faith. Maybe someday, decades from now, you can cash in on Hollywood as well. You can buy this track, along with two CDs worth of other gems on the excellent Rough Trade Shops: Post Punk 01. General Davis, the track used in the movie, has yet to be re-issued anywhere, not even on the soundtrack.
The Prats - Disco Pope