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Gerry Love: Part Three

In the final part of our exclusive chat with Gerry Love, the ex-Teenage Fanclub singer/bassist talks about his next steps, having a free rein to write what he wants, and putting off getting a proper job. Specifically, he speaks about reviving his Lightships project and band for his first live show since leaving the Fanclub, which happens this weekend as part of the Great Western Festival, an all-day multi-venue festival throughout Glasgow’s west end.


Musically I’ve been involved in a few things. The main focus for me is working on songs for another Lightships album. For me it’s just a shopfront for my songs, songs that would have turned up somewhere else had things not worked out the way they did.

I felt in Teenage Fanclub I was obliged to do more upbeat things. I couldn’t do ballads, Norman and Raymond started doing ballads and I thought I need to stay at least mid-tempo. But with Lightships I could go slow or quiet. For me it was just an exploration of different things. I think the most significant thing for me was that I was playing guitar. I love playing bass but it’s like wearing big thick gloves, you can’t really feel what you are doing, so the texture is provided by those doing that top coat. Everyone has their own styles – I think Raymond is a great guitar player and Norman is a really great rhythm player. But the way I approach it is slightly different – I play with my fingers so that brings different textures to the music and that excited me.

Certain songs I would never have presented to Teenage Fanclub. It’s not as if I come up with reggae songs but I do have a lot of ideas. I’ve got a total blank page and sometimes that’s terrifying and sometimes that’s the most exciting thing in the world – there is no map to what you do, you’ve got to provide the map.

The great thing about the show is it just gives me the chance to cross the line and get back in the game. I don’t see it as my chance to blow people away, it just allows me to turn thought into action, take it out the rehearsal room and into the public domain.

For me this isn’t the push, this is just an opening of a door. I’m inclined to have things in my head too long, so it just allows me to make things more real. I definitely will attempt to play a couple of new songs, but I don’t want to give anything away at this stage, for me it’s just a case of crossing the line and running about the pitch for a few minutes and going back off and being ready for the next season, that’s the way I see it.

I honestly thought I’d be doing the Teenage Fanclub thing until I’m in an old folks home. I’m not saying it’s like an enforced mid-life crisis but obviously when you’re fifty years old and you think you’re going to do something all your life and then the story changes, I wouldn’t say it’s scary because I do feel able and capable. I’ve had enough experience in life as well as in music, I’m sure I can cope with whatever happens to me.

When it’s necessary to get some kind of job then I will do that but until it happens I’ll continue to roll the dice with music and see where it goes. It’s something I’ve always done. What else am I going to do? I’m too young to be a lollipop man.

Lightships play Maryhill Community Central Halls as part of the Great Western Festival on Sat 23 Nov. More info at tgwfest.com