Our second release came from Andy Reilly and focused on the music of Scotland.
DRONE 002 – Rock N’ Roar: The Music of Scotland, 2014 and How We Got Here
2014 was the year that all eyes turned to Scotland. The Commonwealth Games, being held in Glasgow in what passes for a summer in the city, welcomed people from all over the world. The concept and origins of the Commonwealth may be something that is best left in the past, and apologised for, but it provided a platform for people to come and join in a celebration.
If there is one thing the Scottish, and in particular the Glaswegians, do well, it’s watching sport. Okay, we do occasionally craft a winning team or individual superstar but on the whole, our passion for sport is about consuming it and making it an event that is bigger than the sum of its parts. We also love to party, which made Glasgow the ideal host city of a sporting event of this nature.
2014 was also the year of the Scottish Independence Referendum. As good as Scotland is at partying and watching sports, it is just as good at in-fighting and running between over-gallus to the point of reckless and being so underfoot that we are scared to sneeze in case we do it wrongly. It was a matter that everyone held an opinion on and again, it was a matter that was heard around the world.
All of which brought a question of what it means to be Scottish. Like most Scottish people, Andy Reilly is a bit of a conundrum. He’ll say that he isn’t a sports fan but he’ll chuck silly sums of money away each week, month and year in having an interest in his football team. He isn’t the most sociable of people but he’s rarely in and enjoys a party as much as the next man…if that next man was Keith Moon. He also doesn’t really believe in the concepts of patriotism and nationalism, but he was very much in favour of independence.
Away from all of these conflicts, he had one true consistent element (well two if you include his crushing self-doubt) – a love of music. The book focuses on the people of Scotland, the Scottish psyche and of the ways that music plays a massive role in the life. The book focused on the major Scottish acts of 2014 and of the great Scottish bands over the years. There were interviews with many of the movers and shakers in the Scottish music scene including interviews with bands like Chvrches, Holy Mountain and Honeyblood, not to mention interviews with promoters, journalists, editors and sound engineers who all help to make up the Scottish music scene.
There was a lookback on the festivals of Scotland, providing more than enough evidence that Scottish festivals don’t begin and end with T in The Park. There was also a call to remind people that while Glasgow is fully deserving of its title as one of the best music cities in the UK, if not the world, there are plenty of great places around the country to enjoy live music.
It’s a national trait, one that the writer adheres to very well, that we often struggle to accept praise and criticism when it is offered. However, it is always great to see praise for something that you’ve put a lot of effort into. The Scottish music website isthismusic? was kind enough to offer up a review of the book, which can be found here: itm review of Rock N Roar
The final paragraph of the review runs:
An assured and helpful guide to what was an up-and-down year filled with debate and controversy, this book has longevity written all over it (pardon the pun). In years to come, when the country looks back on 2014 with rose-tinted spectacles, or not, Rock N Roar deserves to be heralded as the definitive account from the music scene’s point of view. It even speaks to those who are tone deaf. Now that’s a talent.
There was even a comment from a punter who picked the book up from Love Music on Dundas Street who said;
It’s not half bad, is it, picked it up completely by chance in LoveMusic, and was hooked on it for days, a lot of his commentary is spot on – respect due!
At Drone, we are extremely proud of this book and we believe it is one that music lovers around the world will enjoy reading but it is one that music lovers in Scotland need to have in their collection. At the time of going to press, the book is available for just 99p on Kindle on Amazon – which is an absolute steal.