Aztec Camera

Early Aztec Camera (Roddy Frame, centre)

Aztec Camera were a new wave band from East Kilbride, Scotland. The group was founded in 1980 by vocalist and guitarist Roddy Frame (b. 1964) who also wrote the majority of the group's output. They released six albums between 1983 and 1995, five of which entered the Top 30. Five of their singles went Top 40 in the UK, the last of which "Good Morning Britain" was recorded with Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash. Frame changed the band's line-up numerous times over the course of its existence and, in a 1988 interview, explained that the changes were motivated by "a desire to continually improve the quality of their music". After the final Aztec Camera album in 1995, Frame decided to record as a solo artist. All Aztec Camera's studio albums have been re-released and a 30th anniversary edition of High Land, Hard Rain in 2013 was supported with three live performances of the album played in its entirety with a full band. (Read more on Wikipedia)

Links to Peel

Peel first became aware of the group via Glasgow's Postcard label to which Aztec Camera were signed for their first two single releases in 1981, before moving on to Rough Trade. Their second single "Just Like Gold" was featured on a show broadcast from Edinburgh, during the Radio 1 week in Scotland, which also featured an interview with Edwyn Collins of label-mates Orange Juice. In a nostalgic play of both sides of the single in 1983 Peel described them as "The sound of young Scotland as was in 1981". He continued to play their early material and the jangly guitar pop of "Pillar to Post" got them a no. 24 placing in the 1982 Festive Fifty and no. 18 chart hit "Oblivious" a no. 29 placing the the following year's list. The DJ chose the Aztec Camera track "Hot Club of Christ" when featuring the 1981 Disques du Crepuscule alternative Christmas album Chantons Noël - Ghosts Of Christmas Past. Perhaps inexplicably, Aztec Camera failed to record any sessions for Peel although did so for David Jensen and Janice Long, both in 1983, and for BBC 6 Music in 2014.

Johnny Marr of Peel favourites The Smiths is quoted as saying that when he heard Aztec Camera's "Walk Out to Winter" on Radio One, he "..felt a little jealous. My competitive urges kicked in". He went on to write 'This Charming Man' especially for their debut Peel session[1]. Ruts drummer, founder member and Peel session musician David Ruffy played with Aztec Camera from 1983–1988.

Festive Fifty entries

Shows played

Aztec Camera - Pillar to Post

Aztec Camera - Pillar to Post


See also


  1. R.Dimery, 1001 Songs: You Must Hear Before You Die

External links

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