Thursday, September 09, 2004

Mixing pop and politics

Somehow, I haven't listened to Dick Gaughan's music for a long, long time. I don't know how this happened - apart from loving his work, I have so many fond memories bound up with him and his music.

The first time I saw him live was at the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival. He had to fight to be heard above the people at the back of the hall who were chatting amongst themselves, passing time till Capercaillie came on. Me, I was blown away by Dick.

Next up, me and C went to the Isle of Skye on holiday. We got fed up of the tapes we had in the car by the time we got there, so we headed to a music shop in Portree for new ones, and one of ones we bought was Handful of Earth. I have fond memories of listening to this while driving round the beauty of Skye. Somewhile later, he was playing at Band on the Wall, and we had such a brilliant evening. I'd had to talk C into going, she was a bit worried it would be too much like finger-in-the-ear folkiness. She was glad she went (not a finger in the ear or arran jumper to be seen) and after the performance had finished, me and C sat and talked so long, the staff all had their coats on and had to tell us to leave.

My fondest Dick Gaughan memory of all is the next time I saw him at BotW. C couldn't make it, but I arranged to go with an old friend I didn't get to see much. She said she'd bring along her new flat mate. Her new flat mate was R, and that's how me met. His birthday was not long after that, and I gave him a copy of Call It Freedom, which I think remains my favourite Dick Gaughan album (tho I think my favourite song is No Cause for Alarm, on Sail On). Almost exactly a year later, for our 1st anniversary, we saw Dick Gaughan again, at the first Raise Your Banners! festival in Sheffield.

(If you're thinking the name's familiar but you can't remember where from, you might be thinking of his Red Flag duet with Billy Bragg on the Internationale ep. Billy Bragg also covered his song Think Again on the Help Save the Youth of America ep).

Dick Gaughan. Singer, songwriter, Scot, web designer, unreconstructed socialist, and the man responsible for me meeting R. Is it any wonder I love him and his music?


Jude said...

Me, I was blown away by Dick.



clarrie said...


i so nearly called the whole post 'the mighty dick' for puerile amusement value

Stephen said...

Personally, I have no experience of Dick, but I am a fan of Capercallie and RunRig. I also like Eddie Reader sing Robert Burns a lot, but we seem to have lost it, otherwise I would, um, 'lend' it to Claz.

Stephen said...

Oh, and I am a great fan of Skye - done lots of interesting walks up mountains there, and wild camping... I love the Hebrides, both Inner and Outer.

clarrie said...

we've just got Eddi Reader sings Robert Burns, after O heard her singing 'Willie Stewart' on Mike Harding's folk hour on R2 and announced that he liked that song.

Jude said...

My Mam has that ;)

Stephen said...

You're Mam has good taste - it's very good.