Shop Assistants
The Shop Assistants were a band from Edinburgh, Scotland which existed for 3 brief years from 1984 to 1987 (and again in 1990), leaving one album and a trail of rather spectacular singles on multiple UK indie-pop labels. Here’s their 53rd & 3rd label 12″ single, “Safety Net”:

Their story is intertwined with that of Glasgow contemporaries The Pastels, originally sharing Aggi (Annabel Wright) in common (in the first Shop Assistants line-up before joining The Pastels). Later, after a brief 1990 reformation, guitarist David Keegan joined The Pastels.

The Shop Assistants featured on the NME C86 cassette which helped define the mid-80s UK indie-pop sound.

I have Shop Assistants singles on The Subway Organisation (A Bristol label around the same time as Sarah Records), 53rd & 3rd (an Edinburgh label run by Shop Assistants David Keegan and Stephen Pastel), the Blue Guitar (Chrysalis subsidiary label) album and an Avalanche records single from the 1990 reformation.

They are one of my favourite bands ever. There’s a charming simplicity and energy about them that was, and still is, utterly magic. I still play the singles and the album (still available on CD as a 2008 Cherry Red label re-issue called ‘Will Anything Happen’ if you look for it online) regularly.

When I first heard Trick Mammoth play “Delphine (With A Purpose)” I thought of The Shop Assistants, particularly songs like “I Don’t Want To Be Friends With You”. Trick Mammoth had never heard of The Shop Assistants, nor of ‘C86’.

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