I dropped out of the final year of a film and sociology degree in the early 90s to pursue a career in music as one fifth of Scottish, raggle-taggle folk-pop under achievers The Lost Soul Band. When the heady days of The Lost Soul Band came to an abrupt halt in 1994 I fled from any further involvement with making music. I maintained a keen interest in seeking out and listening to all sorts of new music but had been so badly disillusioned by my experience in the music industry that I felt any attempt to create music could only lead to further disappointment. 

Time rolled ever onwards; my kids grew up a bit and my alternative career in web and graphics took shape. At school, kids got involved in music and after a while there were guitars in the house again and I was drawn to them like an old vice, reluctantly and suspiciously at first. Before long I’d established a new relationship with music based on playing guitar and singing songs. I even had a go at writing a couple of songs of my own.

In 2014 I didn't feel that great for a couple of days. Doctors told me I'd probably had a TIA and recommended a spell off work to get back on track. I baulked at the prospect of days spent watching tv and decided instead to record two songs I’d recently written. I’d already acquired a drumkit and there were guitars, a bass, keyboards, a microphone and a tambourine kicking about the house - and I had a laptop. So, nothing stopping me.

I recorded Cale Onion and The Day After. Pleased with the result, and having had my time off work extended for another two weeks, I put together the bones of a kind of ‘record label’ to release these songs. As I looked around me for inspiration on what to call this record label, my sight fell on a copy of Ian M Banks’ Feersum Endjinn. Since then I’ve continued to write and record and release songs of my own through Feersum and I’m very proud to have also released the first two EPs by Baron Salmon on Feersum. 

Writing and recording songs in one’s bedroom/attic/cave is all very well but I couldn’t help thinking that if that’s all I did then it was a bit of a futile activity. So I took a very deep breath and booked myself a slot in a pub in Edinburgh during the festival to make my live solo debut. It was terrible. Fortunately, very few people saw it, but in doing this I slayed the fear demon. I like to think I’ve improved from that first gig. I certainly enjoy performing now a lot more than I did then.

I used to try and rationalise why I do all this. Now that was a futile activity.

Back to Top