It’s not just carols at Christmas, nor blaring muzak in shops, neither. For the discerning music fan in your life we have some suggestions for pitch-perfect presents this year.
Fond of flares? If 1970s music is their thing, man, it’s going to be a tough choice between Some People are Crazy: The John Martyn Story or The Sensational Alex Harvey, both by John Neil Munro. John Martyn was the last of the music mavericks, loved and loathed in equal measure but hugely talented as a singer-songwriter. And what can you say about Alex Harvey? Somewhere between naughty boy and wild man, he was one of the most exciting and diverse (everything from Jacques Brel to rock) of the 1970s. Truly sensational!
If they still hanker after shoulder pads and batwings, the 1980’s music fan will love The Glamour Chase: The Maverick Life of Billy MacKenzie (our Alison certainly does). Author Tom Doyle traces the story of the fabulous front man of The Associates who left a rich musical legacy despite his short life. But if their tastes run to beautifully crafted, emotionally-charged ‘2 a.m. songs’ Nileism: The Strange Case of The Blue Nile by Allan Brown is perfect, as he tries to unravel the most reclusive of bands. (We have a small number of hardback copies of Nileism, so if you really want to make an impact get one of these.)
And for something for everyone you should tune into Stuart Adamson: In a Big Country by Allan Glen. Beginning as dynamic guitarist for The Skids, Stuart Adamson would conquer the world with Big Country before branching out as part of The Raphaels and as a solo artist. But behind his success was a tragic story of alcoholism which would drive him to disappear to a lonely death.
So, there are our suggestions for harmony this Christmas but there are plenty more at www.birlinn.co.uk.