The Strange Demise Of Judy Plum

shallow focus photography of person s face side view

Photo by Marta Branco on

Things hadn’t been looking too good for Judy Plum for quite some time now. Creative indifference meant they exploded in a tangle of fishnet, leopard print and cat fights when the last album, ‘Grrrrrrr!’ tanked, not one single track even making the John Peel Festive 50.

Blame the narcotics if you like, or the fact that an Amazonian Cramps-inspired quartet from Kirkintilloch would naturally have a short shelf life.

‘Only as long as a fanboy’s wank’, spat outspoken lead screamer, Roxana, reapplying her Cleopatra eyeliner and cadging a fag off the idealistic young NME intern, a singularly charmless specimen called Jon.

Roxana blamed drummer Spike, so- called because her drug of choice was, increasingly, no longer soft; Spike blamed bass player Suki for being a distraction (to be fair, she was a Goth Susanna Hoffs lookalike in kitten heels and velvet catsuit) and Suki? Suki just thought they were all cunts, particularly shy second guitarist Lizzie, who never got involved in much of anything.

close up photo of black electric guitar

Photo by on

The record company man’s wet dream promotional material couldn’t sustain the band; women who could actually play counted as nothing when set against malleable Barbie dolls who’d wear even less and make the disposable shit the upcoming generation weren’t aware they so desperately craved… yet. The nineties were coming.

‘Huh, c’est la vie, c’est la guerre’, purred Roxana, fixing the journalist with her best, most practised Liz Taylor leer.

‘ I can go back to my original job… Making wigs for judges’. This, for once, was not an apocryphal tale: Roxana had indeed made wigs for judges and professional types, prior to taking up surf guitar.

‘Aye, and The NME will be around for pure ages, too, kiddo, you’ve nothing tae fear on that score’. She flicked a feline fake nail around the lad’s ironic skinny tie.

assorted wine bottles

Photo by Chris F on

Jon just smiled, trying to maintain eye contact. ‘Erm… Another cocktail?’ he simpered, not really listening. He was preoccupied with the myriad ways this Scottish vixen was going to divest him of his virginity. Stupid tart. Swallow Hotel was where he was hoping to go, later, and the name would surely infer something along those lines. Jon, suffice to say, was not blessed with too much imagination.

‘Fill her up’, Roxana chirruped, patting her groin suggestively  as the boy headed back towards the bar.

‘I’ve got a surprise package for ye for later’.

She allowed herself a small, tighter smile, and murmured into her glass, a little tipsy now, ‘Jayne County was always ma single biggest influence’.

(Lorna Irvine)

Note: This is a fictional tale, inspired by my friend Brian Hartley, who told me of a crazy wig shop in Glasgow called Judy Plum. I thought that was a good name for a trashy Goth band! Thanks Brian. xx

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