Thursday, 19 April 2018

Interview - Lynne and Dave Girdwood

Way, way back in the early 90's I attended Carluke High School and by the time I reached the common rooms of 5th and 6th year I was heavily into music. Delving into my parents record collection, starting my own and becoming involved in a little mixtape culture with other teenagers who were developing obsessions.

There was a metal crowd that worshipped Metallica, Guns n Roses, Iron Maiden and things like that, the indie crowd where the Roses, Fanclub, Nirvana, Inspirals and Charlatans featured heavily (and the Frank and Walters!) and then there were a few cool kids who were embracing house music.

Lynne McGilvary was one of these cool kids and I distinctly remember her cutting about in flares and kickers! She always had a lovely smile and was one of the few people who could easily cut about between the various groups/cliques that the common room held.

I would see Lynne out and about in the years after high school in clubs and at gigs and then we connected through Facebook. Lynne was living in Amsterdam with her boyfriend and hey - she had a couple of spare tickets for one of the first Stone Roses comeback shows in 2012!!! A quick phone call to my wife and a check of Easyjet flights and I was off to catch up with Lynne in Amsterdam.

My wife Lynn and I met Lynne and her (then) boyfriend Dave and went back to their super cool flat to listen to tunes and catch up over rooftop beers ahead of the Roses. Dave was clearly mad for music and also had a healthy obsession with desert boots which I always take to be a good sign! In our short time together it was clear that the two of them were mad for each other and music.

Lynne and Dave are now happily married, back in Scotland and have taken their passion for music to new levels through building a collection (and knowledge) of rare records and super cool tunes, dj-ing across the country and making great friendships along the way.

I always enjoy their social media posts about tunes and records they have discovered, tracked down and played to great reactions and also their little jokes with each other.

In May they get to do something that makes me insanely jealous but also very pleased for them. They get to DJ at the Barrowland Ballroom as part of the annual Barraloadasoul night!

Lynn and I went in 2015 and 2016 and we're in the process of organising babysitters to ensure we can go again. It will be quite something to dance on the hallowed ballroom sprung floor to tunes being spun by two friends.

Ahead of this, I pinged some questions to Dave and Lynne. I hope you enjoy reading their answers as much as I did. See below.

Tickets for Barraloadasoul are available HERE and you can keep up to dates via their Facebook page.

Here is my blog from the 2015 event

INTERVIEW - Lynne and Dave Girdwood

1. Music clearly plays a large part in your lives, is this what brought you together?

Dave - Pretty much, we used to sit opposite each other at work and already had a few mutual friends, the main one being Gav Wallace from the Scuffers (Lynne grew up with him and I worked beside him for 10-years), so we used to chat music all the time. I remember Lynne giving me a loan of a CD that I already had but said I hadn't heard it before, as I fancied her! When Lynne was living in Amsterdam and I was still in the UK we used to send each other tunes all the time. So as you can see music is pretty much brought us together and really is our life nowadays.

Lynne - I remember getting lots of lync messages telling me how much Dave was enjoying the tunes I was listening to on my iPod as I had the volume up so loud! We weren't even sitting opposite each other at that point, I had moved to a different part of the office! Haha!

2. Who had the best record collection when you first met? Do you share collections now? Does it always have to be original vinyl?

Dave - We both had pretty decent collections when we first met and both were quite different, mine consisted of predominately hip-hop, funk and soul, while Lynne's was house music and indie orientated. We mostly buy our records independently but if an expensive one comes up that we can't afford on our own, we'll buy it together. For the music and venues we play it has to be original vinyl and we pretty much dedicate most of our waking hours to sourcing records from all over the world, some would call us nerds or purists but we just like to do things properly.

Lynne - Obviously my collection is the best! (only joking!)

3. How have you influenced each others taste? 

Dave - We still have our own individual taste in records. Lynne will tell me pretty bluntly if she thinks something I've bought is shite (and I''m not shy either). We're always trying to outdo each other with new records, we've spent many an hour playing new stuff to each other before buying or just buying and watching the other one's face when it's put on the decks for the first time. We're also pretty good at finding records for each other, so if I come across something that I know Lynne would like I'll pass it on to her (unless I like it more) and vice versa.

4. Can you remember the first northern soul night you went to together? Any memories?

Dave - First soul night would've been the old Amsterdam Soul Club at De Badcuyp, we also got engaged there and it was the place we visited the night after we got married (also the only soul club tattoo I have). Amsterdam is a pretty special place for us and we go back each year, we're fortunate enough to also DJ there as well.

Lynne - Yes Amsterdam Soul Club! I landed a job over in Holland and moved over to Amsterdam. Dave moved over to live with me not long after we got together. Amsterdam Soul Club was on a monthly basis and we went as often as possible. Brilliant venue, great crowd of punters and amazing hosts that we are lucky to call friends now.

5. Was Dave first to DJ? When did you start dj-ing together?

Dave - I used to DJ at the student union in Dundee when I was living there, then stopped for a god few years before being asked to double deck with someone in Aberdeen at a soul night and I've been playing regularly since then. Lynne also got her start in Aberdeen at a different night and has also been playing regularly since. We've actually only DJ's together a handful of times, it's fun as you can bounce off each other as we have different tastes and styles.

Lynne - I still have to pinch myself that I'm getting asked to play the records I love out at soul clubs. It's amazing! We're both very thankful to get the opportunity to do it and are loving every minute of it.

6. And you DJ regularly all over. What have been your highlights so far?

Both - Dave playing at the last ever Amsterdam Soul Club night, was a great honour to be asked, as the place and the people mean a lot to us. SSW and MSFB - the crowd are amazing and I love how Yogi trusts us to play what we want. If you haven't visited MFSB yet, sort it out! Afternoon clubbing is the future! Being asked to play the notorious Different Strokes New Year's Eve parties, Manchester Soul Weekender and Aberdeen Soul Collective. Being asked to be residents at True Soul alongside some amazing DJ's. Every time we get asked to play somewhere is a highlight and we really mean it as we love playing music to people.

7. Barraloadasoul is still a relatively new annual event. What has it meant for the scene in Scotland and beyond?

Dave - It's one of the biggest soul events in Scotland, it's great to see somewhere that you normally associate with concerts, full of people dancing and having a great time. A major for me is how close it is, normally the weekends mean a lot of travel but this is only 40-minutes away by train for a change.

Lynne  - It's a massive event which is a great thing for the scene up in Scotland as it attracts people who have been into the music for years, but also people new to the scene.

8. What does it mean to the two of you to be dj-ing again at the famous Barrowland Ballroom?

Dave - I think it's still pretty mental! I remember being on stage last year before anyone was in and thinking to myself that the Barras  was way bigger from up on the stage than it looks from the floor. Really appreciate Geraldine asking us back again as we thoroughly enjoyed playing there last time and really look forward to this year again.

Lynne - I have been to the Barras so many times over the years and seen my favourite bands on that stage, so it's unreal that we get to DJ on the same stage as them! Delighted that Geraldine asked us, means a lot.

9. Who are your favourite DJ's?

Dave - For me it has to be Butch, he's always pushing the rare soul scene forward with new discoveries. Henning Borg from Switzerland is another, he's passionate about what he plays and he shows that when playing. Any DJ that shows passion whilst playing their music is a winner. Lastly Mark Linton, who unfortunately is no longer with us, he always told me to play what I wanted and believed in me.

Lynne - It's hard to pick favourite DJ's as there are so many with amazing records who can put together unbelievable sets! Big love for Markie too and very sad that he's no longer the life and soul of the party.

10. Lastly, could you each list your 5 favourite northern soul tunes?

5 from Dave's collection, not necessarily Northern, but definitely soulful;

1. Emmitt Long - Call Me (Donoyia)
2. Paramount Four - You Don't Know (Southern City)
3. New World - We're Gonna Make It (Polydor)
4. Delreys Incorporated - Destination Unknown (Tampete)
5. Sir Guy - I Need You Baby (DPG)

5 from Lynne's collection, again, not all northern, but soulful nonetheless! Oh...and this list could have literally hundreds of tunes on it - picking 5 is very tricky.

1. Brothers of Soul - Dream (Shock)
2. Cookie Scott and the Chevelles - I Don't Care (Orr)
3. Rising Sun - Good Loving (Kingston)
4. Kelly Brothers - Crying Days Are Over (Sims)
5. Johnny McCall - I Need You (Alteen)

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