By John Curley
When listening to Jim Gellatly’s New Music podcast recently, I heard a song by the Dundee, Scotland-based band The Cundeez called “Coloured Ribbons and Tarnished Brass” that was so moving that it left me with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Wanting to get some information about the inspiration for the song, I contacted the band. Gary Robertson of The Cundeez e-mailed me back and of the song and the band, he wrote:
I write a lot of what I call ‘Dundee Street Poetry’ which is all written and performed in the local Dundee dialect/accent. When both my grandfathers passed away many years ago, I was left both their sets of medals from serving during the Second World War which my dad mounted in a frame for me. I decided to write a poem in their honour, especially for Nobby Clark (my mum’s dad) with whom I used to sit for hours and listen to his time spent serving with The Black Watch Regiment. I was always fascinated as well as emotional when he recalled how, as a young man he faked his age to join his mates from Dundee, Scotland and join up. His first action was at the second decisive battle of El Alamein in Egypt, then on through the North African campaign. He lost his best mate while they took cover and lay in a bomb crater as the German artillery attacked with an incredible box barrage. He used to cry as he remembered seeing his buddy torn open by a piece of shrapnel. As you can imagine, it was very moving and I used to cry at his pain. Still, he recalled loads of happy memories which helped pull them through the hard days of which there were many, many. He went onto Sicily then Italy before being wounded in Germany. My other grandfather, I didn’t know so much about as he passed away when I was fairly young but I still go to the local Black Watch War Memorial with my family to remember them both as well as all the Allied troops who served to preserve our freedom. We are and always will be indebted to them all. We recorded the track and decided we’d like to help out in any way we can to support our troops involved in conflict at the moment. Troops Relief is a fantastic non-profit organisation helping troops who are injured.
The song is available for purchase worldwide via iTunes. All proceeds from the sale of the song are being donated to Troops Relief, an organization that benefits UK soldiers.
For a preview clip of “Coloured Ribbons and Tarnished Brass” by The Cundeez, click below:
Robertson also sent me some other tracks by The Cundeez. I particularly liked the tracks “Lorraine Kelly” and “Gangs o’Dundee.” They are an excellent band, well worth your time. To my ears, they sound like a cross between The Clash and The Pogues. Good stuff!
For additional information on The Cundeez, see:
For more on Troops Relief, go to: