Against all odds, and just when we need it most, kindness is having a welcome renaissance, at least in terms of our culture. At this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival, talking about his collection of essays The Passion Of Harry Bingo, journalist Peter Ross explained that the key to his work is kindness. He never belittles or condescends to those who he writes about, no matter how alternative their lifestyles or interests may appear. From S&M clubs to the subject of self-harm, Ross approaches his interviewees from a position of empathy and understanding.
It’s refreshing to hear, and other examples can be found in the work of Grammy winning singer/producer Adam Bainbridge, who is better know as Kindness, and in recent books by Helen Taylor and Helen McClory. What unites them is a desire to understand the choices and lifestyles of others, and include them in any conversation – benevolance without patronization. In short, and in the words of Abraham Lincoln, the theme is, “Be excellent to each other”.
To those you can add the forthcoming Starry Skies’ album Be Kind which is out in October on Fox Star Records. Starry Skies are a bit of a Supergroup, as well as a super group, with members of Sister John, The Gracious Losers, and Attic Lights involved, as well as a various guest appearances when playing live. They are ably led by singer-songwriter Warren McIntyre, a man who has played with legendary bands The Ducks, The Moondials, and many more. This is a band of multi-talents who come together to make a greater whole.
Having heard a sneak preview of Be Kind I can promise you it’s a belter. With themes of peace, love, and harmonies, it makes a stand against the sense of cynicism and negativity which is prevalent in the present day. It’s packed with pop songs in the classic tradition – music to uplift you while making you think, and with more than a hint of ‘60s psychedelia sprinkled throughout. Scots Whay Hae! is delighted to present their latest single from Be Kind, ‘Starry Skies’, (which boasts a wonderful cover from Glasgow artist Ashley Cook – see top of page), which makes that point perfectly and you can listen to it now, as well as marvel at the fabulous video from Knights Like These.