Media Music

T time

I was delighted to be a small part of BBC Scotland’s new podcast, The Rise and Fall of T in the Park. It’s about more than just the festival itself; it’s about the impact it had on the Scottish music scene and on Scotland as a destination for touring bands. I’m in there talking about TiTP being my very first festival, and what it was like for a small town band to play one of the tents after winning a place in the T Break competition.

The first four episodes are live now, and the remainder will go live on 18 July. I hope you enjoy it.

Media Music

Not cancelled

Earlier this week, the singer Lizzo released a record containing a word she didn’t realise was a slur against disabled people. When disabled people told her on social media that it was derogatory, she effectively said “Oh my god! I’m so sorry!” and re-released the song with the word changed.

If you believe the endless pieces about cancel culture in the press, you’d expect Lizzo to be on the receiving end of ongoing abuse. But that’s not what happened. The very same fans and disability advocates who had criticised her thanked her. This, by writer Hannah Diviney, is typical:

Thank you so much for hearing us Lizzo and for understanding that this was only ever meant gently and being open to learning, it honestly means the world.

Had Lizzo been a famous comedian or an opinion columnist, I suspect things would have been very different: they’d have used the slur deliberately and then rather than apologising, they’d have doubled down on the offence and planned their lucrative “I’ve been cancelled!” tour and media appearances. But Lizzo is a member of multiple marginalised groups, so she did what the comedians and columnists usually don’t: she listened, realised she’d made a mistake and apologised.

In other words, she tried to be a decent human being.


Dreams that glitter

I’m really sad to read about the death of Sarah Harding, who has died of breast cancer aged just 39 (please, please, please get yourself checked out whether you’re male, female or neither). Her band, Girls Aloud, were one of the finest pop bands we’ve ever had: they had the same crying-on-the-dancefloor thing as the best ABBA songs and made some of the most anthemic, life-affirming and joyous bangers you’ll ever hear. I have never wanted to be in a band as much as I wanted to be one of Girls Aloud.

RIP, Sarah.


SausageFest 2021

My talented musical pal Becci Wallace made this. It’s funny because it’s so very true.


I’m braw*

I’m delighted to be featured as today’s Woman of the Day by Braw Gals In Music: Jordan’s Instagram/Facebook/Twitter has highlighted some incredible women and non-binary people, and I’m very proud to be included.

* Braw is Scots for fine, good or excellent.

LGBTQ+ Music

It’s okay to cry

Glaswegian musician and producer SOPHIE has died. She was an extraordinary talent and this is a very sad loss.

Munroe Bergdorf:

Our community has lost an icon, a pioneer and a visionary bright light. Heartbroken. SOPHIE you will be missed.

“Thank you for sharing your talent with us. I hope we get to meet again one day. Rest in peace sister.

Inevitably the transphobes are already all over this on social media, sharing their joy at the death of a young woman and being hateful to the people mourning her.


Say a prayer for the lost and lonely

My band released a Christmas EP last year, and I think the closing track is even more appropriate this year. It’s called A Christmas Prayer.

The lyrics are:

I hope you have a good one
I hope your christmas is fun
I hope you’re with your family
and there’s something for you under the tree

and I hope you thank your lucky stars

Say a prayer for the lost and lonely
pray for the battered and the bruised
raise your glasses and remember
the ones that didn’t make it through

I don’t believe in a god up there
but I offer up a Christmas prayer
to fill every aching heart with love
fill every hateful heart with love
fill every broken heart with love
fill every empty heart with love

I hope you have a happy Christmas and that 2021 is better for all of us.


LGBTQ+ Music

“Maybe you haven’t found your people yet, but they will be there.”

There’s a nice piece in Refinery29 by Robin Craig. It’s about chosen families, the networks of supportive people that can mean so much to LGBT+ people.

A chosen family is, as the name suggests, a family that someone chooses for themselves. It blurs the lines between friends, siblings and parents. For trans people, relationships with biological families can often be strained or marked by transphobia. Chosen families can step in as replacement care networks that provide emotional and community support when biological family ties break down.

There’s a song on my band’s current EP about this. It’s a very noisy guitar song called Tribe.

The key line, which is also the chorus, is simple and true:

Everybody needs to love and be loved.


“I wasn’t dreaming of a quiet Christmas”

My band released a Christmas EP last year, and I wanted to make Christmas releases a tradition for us. This year there’s just one song, a quiet acoustic thing about being unable to spend Christmas with the one(s) you love. It’s a very simple arrangement and production but I think that fits the vibe of the song.

Bullshit LGBTQ+ Music

The f*ggot debate

It’s that time of year again: straight people demanding the right to sing and play the uncensored version of Fairytale of New York, which contains a homophobic slur.

Huw Lemmey did an excellent piece about it last year:

Well, this is it, from now on. Like the War on Christmas, the faggot debate is set to become a perennial staple of the culture war. Every year column inches will be devoted to it, thinkpieces like this one will be written, people will become more polarised on the issue, and more and more straight people will gleefully sing about faggots, not because they hate queer people but because they’ll be damned if they’ll be told what to do by the ‘woke’ left. Meanwhile more and more queer people will be reminded of those people who do hate them, and everyone will trust each other a little less and the world will get a little bit shittier for everyone. We need, as a culture, to break out of this loop. The problem is, we won’t, until it’s too late.

As for me, I don’t care if you, as a straight person, do or don’t sing the lyric about the faggot, but I would like to live in a society where you’re not desperate to.