As part of this Rip It Up exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, several events were curated alongside it, thought-provoking strands still very much on the topic of Scottish music, and one of these was the Keynote Sessions. There were several of these but the one I was interested in attending had author of I’m Not With The Band on the panel, Smash Hits, Q and NME journalist, Sylvia Patterson. She was sitting with Emma Pollock, musician who used to be in The Delgados as well as Pete Irvine, who set up Unique Events, who initially began Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, as well as host Nicola Meighan to discuss their musical inspirations.
It was an interesting enough hour with Patterson a delight to watch, enthusiastic and clearly nostalgically enamoured with her job. As she talks about Steve Mason and The Beta Band, it is clear that the lass fae Perth got into music journalism quite evidently because it was her passion. She was captivating to watch as she shared anecdotes of John Travolta style dance sessions that used to take place in Perth when Saturday Night Fever hit the cinemas, and the music of the Bee Gees was in their ears. The format of the session so went that they had to choose the song that first got them into music, then their favourite Scottish song, and then the last was different depending on the panellist, for example, Emma Pollock was asked to choose a favourite song of hers, no easy task and not one I would like to personally do. There would then be a brief moment where they would play about ten seconds or so of their chosen track, which was interesting but felt a little voyeuristic. It was however great for reminiscing over fabulous music, Stayin Alive, Madame George by Van Morrison and Inner Meet Me from The Three E.P.’s.
Despite being an interesting session, there were many criticisms of the event. The list of panellists, albeit great to keep variety, did not seem to gel that well, and the format of the event was strange in that the Q&A was not opened up to the paying audience in attendance. It appeared that Nicola had taken questions prior from the socials but this did not get extended to the floor, which might have made for a more interesting event, as I am sure many in the auditorium would have had questions for all three, with their various backgrounds. That being said, I will no doubt head home and kick on Astral Weeks or The Three E.P.’s and immerse myself into their shoes, inspiring albums for anyone in the music industry, Scottish and outwith.
Photo courtesy of Chris Scott.
The National Museum of Scotland’s Rip It Up Museum Lates is Friday 16th November, more information here.