Vic Galloway presents Songs in the key of Fife
TV & radio presenter shines spotlight on the Kingdom
This article is from 2013.
Over the last couple of decades a musical story has been brewing in the East Neuk (literally, the ‘east corner’) of Fife, just the opposite side of the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, and broadcaster Vic Galloway is the man to finally tell it. Partly raised in the area himself, the former BBC Radio 1 Introducing presenter grew up with and played in bands alongside Fence Records founder Kenny ‘King Creosote’ Anderson and stalwart James Yorkston, and his other subjects including KT Tunstall and the Beta Band were all friends of friends.
‘I wanted to document the music and stories of these musicians before they were lost, forgotten or slowly disappeared into the mists of time,’ says Galloway of a project he held in mind for many years before putting it into action in 2011. ‘They’re fascinating characters who have provided the world with some truly outstanding music and art, and I thought they needed some kind of written praise for that. I thought it was interesting that a peer group from a small, secluded part of Scotland all managed to attain some kind of success and notoriety in music without much compromise.’
He describes fitting in the process of writing the book around his regular work in secluded bursts out at his mum’s house in Haddington, being fed soup as he whittled down hours of transcripts from artists he had caught on their own territory, in bars and cafes and on tour buses (Anderson alone was interviewed for ten hours). ‘I approached them all in advance of writing anything, and they all seemed to agree I was the person for the job,’ he says. ‘I knew everyone fairly well and they trusted me.’ In true Fence style, the book will be launched here with a late-night gig as well as a reading.
Edinburgh International Book Festival, Tue 20 Aug, 8.30pm; Jura Unbound at Edinburgh International Book Festival, Sun 25 Aug, 9pm.