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Following the demise of The Bureau, Archie Brown formed Flag with Dave Cairns (ex-Secret Affair) on guitar. Pete Bartlett on bass and Alan Hodgeson on drums completed the band but they were essentially a duo with Brown and Cairns taking all the writing credits. Brown and Cairns found their ability to write together was immediate producing one of Flag's main songs "I Am" at their first session. Citing the British popscene as too trend orientated and fast moving, Flag took a deal with American label Scotti Brothers, a sub-label of Atlantic and best known in the States at the time for Weird Al Yankovich. Brown and Cairns were hoping to be given time to develop and last. You'd expect nothing less from Brown and Cairns but soulful music high on feeling and melody and that is exactly what they produced.

Their album was released by Scotti Brothers in 1985 and amazingly features bagpipes on 2 tracks. Whether this was the ingredient that made them do it is not known but when the final mixes were presented to the band Flag found that 'flash guitars' (in Archie's words) had been added to the mix. Nevertheless, Flag is a great album of mod-inflected rock/pop songs of high quality and features the fantastic, "A Little Emotion" one of my all time favourite pop songs. [Play short extract].

In Britain they had little press coverage but managed a few column inches when they toured with A Flock Of Seagulls. History repeated itself for Archie as Flag took to the stage in Britain. They were brilliant but virtually nobody got it. Surrounded by the dregs of New Romanticism I remember the blank faces all around me as Archie played bagpipe solos during 2 of the songs. Another Flag single, "We Will Live Forever", Scotti Brothers, ZSA 05811 came out as a promo but it is not known if this got a full release. Following the touring Brown and Cairns continued to write, some songs later appearing on Archie Brown and the Young Bucks releases, but a second Flag album never happened. The Flag album is still available on the net but my advice would be to shop around. I bought four copies in 2002/2003 and prices ranged from £3 to £18.

FLAG DISCOGRAPHY:

 

 Flag

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Scotti Brothers - BFZ40188 - released 1985

Tracks - 1. I Am 2. Love Is Guaranteed 3. A Little Emotion 4. Piece By Piece 5. Walk Away From Love 6. We Live Forever 7. All Is Forgiven 8. I Invented You 9. Cry Of The Wild 10. Royal Escape

(This album never had a UK release)

 

I Am / A Little Emotion

Scotti Brothers 100-14-042 Released February 1986

(This single never had a UK release the above details are of the German release)

The Flag page was written by Eddie Metal

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