When it comes to popular music, Scotland is at the top of the charts, according to the radio DJ behind a one-off concert celebrating our musical heritage.
BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway is curating a special gig featuring some of the biggest names in the country’s past and present music scene.
Called Rip It Up, it’s based on the popular exhibition held in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland last year.
Vic, who wrote the accompanying book to the display and was part of the TV and radio documentary series, is thrilled to bring the concept to the stage as part of the True North Festival in Aberdeen.
“It’s a celebration of Scottish pop, but it’s not definitive,” he said.
“Because we don’t just punch above our weight when it comes to music in Scotland, we are often world leaders in certain genres and have artists who are the most successful at what they do.
“Look at the present-day performers. You have Calvin Harris, who is one of the world’s most successful producers, CHVRCHES, KT Tunstall, Paolo Nutini, Lewis Capaldi, Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai, Belle And Sebastian, Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic, and Anna Meredith,who has just been made an MBE. The list goes on.
“It’s ridiculous, considering the size of the population.”
The idea for Rip It Up started when Stephen Allan from the National Museum, who was a fan of Vic’s first book, Songs In The Key Of Fife, told the DJ he wanted to put on a music exhibition.
“He asked me if I would be up for writing the book if it happened,” Vic continued.
“It did happen and exceeded all expectations regarding footfall.
“I’ve been involved with True North, which is a great festival, for a few years now.
“In previous years they’ve had a Neil Young night and a Kate Bush night, and they wanted to continue that tradition by putting on a Rip It Up night.
“They asked me if I could pull something together, so I began approaching as many vocalists as possible.
“We have an amazing array from the ’70s onwards. It’s a great cross section, like The Rezillos from the punk era, Richard Jobson and Clare Grogan from post-punk, and Del Amitri’s Justin Currie from that indie-goes-mainstream period.
“We also have King Creosote, Steve Mason from The Beta Band, Emma Pollock, and younger talent such as C Duncan, Kathryn Joseph, Fatherson and Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale.
“We have a setlist of 25 songs, including music from Average White Band, The Associates, Simple Minds, Aztec Camera, Trashcan Sinatras, Teenage Fanclub, Franz Ferdinand and Biffy Clyro, to name just a few. Each singer will do two songs – they might do one of their own or it might be two covers.
“It’s an honour to be asked to pull it all together.”
Vic has just celebrated 20 years on the BBC, having joined Radio 1 in July 1999.
He’s also worked for World Service, Radio 6 Music and, of course, Radio Scotland, where he still has a programme every Monday night.
He added: “I feel like I’m the luckiest man in the world, because I turned my teenage hobby into a job.
“I don’t think my parents can believe it.
“They’ve gone from asking, ‘What’s that racket?’ to me playing that racket on the radio!”
Rip It Up – A Celebration Of Scottish Pop, The Music Hall, Aberdeen, September 22