George Gallacher

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As lead singer and one of the principal songwriters, George Gallacher was the most important member of the Poets, the best Scottish band of the 1960s. His tremulous, melancholy vocals matched the moodiness…
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As lead singer and one of the principal songwriters, George Gallacher was the most important member of the Poets, the best Scottish band of the 1960s. His tremulous, melancholy vocals matched the moodiness of the group's material and were key elements in the appeal of the five singles they issued between 1964 and 1966. Unfortunately, only the first of these ("Now We're Thru") was even a moderate British hit, and in 1966, Gallacher left the Poets in disagreements about artistic direction and frustration over the way the group's business affairs were being handled. He was replaced by Andi Mulvey (briefly the two sang together in the same lineup), and the Poets continued for a few more years, although they only issued one subsequent single (in 1967).

In 1967, Gallacher recorded some demos with another Scottish band, the Pathfinders, whose lineup included another ex-Poet, guitarist Fraser Watson (also Gallacher's brother-in-law). Just one of these songs, "Dawn," has seen release, and even then has only been on out-of-the-way and semi-legit compilations of obscure British '60s rock. Although the fidelity on "Dawn" is not too good, it's an enchanting slice of psychedelic poesy with Gallacher's habitual minor-keyed, haunting melodies married to romantic musings about the sunrise, with spooky harmonies and organ. If this is indicative of the material he was working up with the Pathfinders, it is a shame the other demos have not come to light, and a greater shame that he and the band did not continue working together longer and record official releases.

The Pathfinders, minus Gallacher, were signed in the late '60s to Apple Records, where they recorded two singles as Trash. In the 1970s, Gallacher and Watson played together in the Dead Loss Band, and in the 1990s, they formed the Blues Poets, who were still active in Glasgow as the 2000s began.