Greenock sits on the West coast of Scotland and on the surface is a fairly genteel sort of a town…a bit more upmarket than it’s neighbour Port Glasgow…but it is still, like so many towns in that part of Scotland marked by decades of industrial decline and under-investment.
Which makes it fertile soil for dreamers and schemers.
Back in the early part of the nineties a gaggle of too cool for school boys found themselves with dreams of being rock ’n’ roll stars. Inspired, like so many others, by the second summer of love and, specifically, by the sounds of The Stone Roses they turned their attentions to Manchester, England and to America’s West Coast for inspiration.
They became Whiteout and followed in the footsteps of the Roses by becoming the first band to sign to the Silvertone label following their success.
Soon enough they found themselves with a dedicated local following and then heading out on tour with a similarly inspired gaggle of rough boys from Manchester called Oasis. History may have led some people to believe that Oasis stole the show on that tour but the truth, as ever, is less pure and less simple than that. The Whiteout boys were more than capable of holding their own and they were winning hearts and minds along the way.
In 1994 they released their debut single “No Time” and found themselves playing it live on The Word. You go and check out that footage and tell me that it doesn’t set your pulse racing. Everything about it is perfect…attitude, wardrobe, hair and melodies. Like all genuinely great bands Whiteout looked like a gang. The sort of gang you wished you could be a part of but, if you are anything like me, you know you never could be.
Cool is cool.
It should have been the start of something.
It should have been a brilliant career.
Instead…it fizzed too briefly then fizzled out.
The best band to come out of Greenock ever?
Definitely. No maybe.
The best Scottish band of the nineties?
Tricky when the competition includes some big names…but I reckon they deserve to be considered and, maybe, crowned.
They had it all.
Just listen to “Detroit” or “Thirty-eight” or “Shine On You” or “Altogether” from that incredible debut album “Bite It” and tell me that Bolan and Visconti wouldn’t have cut off their fingers for any of them.
No time for Whiteout?
Then you, darling heart, might be dead.
My condolences to your family and friends