Today we’re delighted to bring you Part Two of our guest blog from the multi-talented FRANCIS MACDONALD – Scottish BAFTA nominated composer and songwriter, record label manager, and general music gentleman around town, who’s worked with everyone from Alex Chilton, Edwyn Collins, Belle & Sebastian and The Pastels to Kevin Ayers, Kate Rusby, Max Richter and the Cairn String Quartet. Oh aye: he plays drums in Teenage Fanclub, too.
…I’ll go for the late, great, dearly departed Glasgow Apollo. I know, I know – I look too young to have ever gone there, but in May 1979 at the tender age of eight my big sister took me to see The Police supported by The Cramps. I’m not an actor but if I do ever find myself having to play a spectator at a Roman amphitheatre when some hapless Christians are thrown to some particularly hungry lions I think know what childhood memory to draw on in order to help my performance. 2000 people stamped, clapped and chanted “f**k off” at poor old Lux & Co; a thunderous racket in that ramshackle old bear pit. Various thoughts pinballed through my wee sheltered consciousness: “Is someone going to get hurt?”. “Am I going to get hurt?”, “Is swearing allowed here?”, “Do some of these people not go to mass?”
The Cramps yielded to Sting and Andy Stewart. Sorry – Sting, Andy and Stewart. And two guys tried to impress my big sister by holding me up in the air for songs at a time (2000 people had now decided to stand up for the entire show, ignoring the entreaties from the bouncers, and I was in danger of not seeing a thing) while The Police triumphed. From that night on I wanted to be Stewart Copeland and I started whacking knitting needles on the couch along with “Roxanne” until I got my first drum.
Thanks, Apollo. Well seeing Steve Earle never got to play you.
And our thanks to Francis for being our very first guest blogger, what a gent! Francis will be playing live this coming Friday as part of BBC Music At The Quay on a radio station near you.
Meanwhile, check out his website, where you will find details of his latest, widely acclaimed and quite gorgeous, new album “MUSIC FOR STRING QUARTET, PIANO & CELESTE,” featuring musicians from the renowned SCOTTISH ENSEMBLE, which was recorded here in Glasgow at Mogwai’s Castle Of Doom studio.