The Scottish band Sugartown has roots that stretch back to the early '80s with the new wave outfit Friends Again. Keyboardist Paul McGeechan was a member of Friends Again from 1982 to 1984. After Friends Again broke up, McGeechan joined Love and Money in 1985, also featuring another future Sugartown musician, guitarist Douglas McIntyre. McGeechan and McIntyre then formed Sugartown with Gwen Stewart (vocals) and Gordon Wilson (drums).
In 1995, Sugartown released their debut album, Swimming in the Horsepool, on Marina Records. Two of the tracks, "The Last Beautiful Day" and "Sin of Pity," were co-written by ex-Love and Money leader James Grant. Slow Flows the River followed in 1997. McGeechan and McIntyre were also members of Cowboy Mouth with Mick Slaven (bass, guitar) and singer Graham "Skins" Skinner. Skinner was the frontman for Hipsway, a funky new wave band that had one Top 40 hit in America, "The Honeythief." The two groups became one, keeping the name Cowboy Mouth (not to be confused with the American band with the same appellation). Cowboy Mouth recorded two albums in the '90s: Life As a Dog in 1994 and Love Is Dead in 1995.