Hold on a minute while I don my hard hat… Today the 14th Scots Whay Hae! podcast is out and about and it is an attempt to come up with the Top Five Scottish Albums…Ever! We hope you like at least some of the final choices although I’m sure everyone will find something to disagree about. If you were to stick the three participants together again today there’s every chance the result would be different. But as always with such an undertaking, it’s not about the destination, it’s the rather circuitous way of getting there that makes things interesting.It does seem that discussing music raises people’s temperature more than books and/or films.
There is something psychologically vital about our relationships with our favourite bands, songs, or songwriters. They become part of our identity, they help define our selves. A big part of the discussion is of how the importance of a piece of music is enhanced when heard at a particular place and/or time. It can be about the local and still be universal, and in the same breath intensely personal. I’m not sure other art forms manage to do that in quite the same way. (Although a claim can be made for poetry, it’s very rare that you could also dance to a poem). If you’ve ever been part of a group defined by a musical movement, or a tribe as they say in cultural studies, or even just fallen in love with a band/singer, then you’ll understand how music is not just a soundtrack, but an intrinsic part of living.
As you can see by the accompanying picture (above) the panel comprised of Roddy Frame, Lloyd Cole and Mike Scott, otherwise known as the fabulous music journalist Nicola Meighan, the gorgeous Chris Ward and the bearded Ali Braidwood. It took them over 1 hour and 40 minutes to come up with their final five, but the conversation fairly flies by, so pour yourself a drink, relax, and enjoy the ride.
They manage to move from the 70s through to the last 12 months, touching, to greater or lesser extent, all the rock, and pop, of ages in between. Things are mostly good humoured, although lovers of the semantics of passive aggression will enjoy deciphering all the sighs, oohs, aahs and mmhs. Listen very closely and you can hear the whimper as Chris grinds a pencil into his hand in attempt to stay civil. Luckily sound guru Ian was on hand to be the arbiter in any arguments, which is just as well as Nicola states early on that she is quite handy, and happy for things to be settled with bare knuckles.
Thanks must also go to the legendary Jim from Aye Tunes for settling at least one of our debates by Twitter. We’ll be fascinated to hear your own thoughts on the panel’s choices; what should have been included, and in place of what, but I hope you’ll agree that every choice made is carefully and cogently argued, and vigorously defended. The three talk about music with the true passion of fans, rather than trying to strike a pose and come up with a prescribed/approved list that would fit some form of received wisdom as to what ‘should’ go on such lists. This was a podcast from the heart and we hope you approve of the sentiment even if you quibble with the outcome.
As always you’ll find the podcast at the iTunes or on RSS feed. Keep an eye out over the coming weekend as there may be a wee podcast extra, a Margins festival special, in your subscription box. That’s if we can manage to put something listenable together from various behind the scenes recordings. The next official podcast should be an interview with novelist Doug Johnstone whose latest novel Hit & Run will be reviewed on these pages sometime this week.Until then, ‘That hurricane day…’