philosophy. I thought would change the l world. Total self-delusion. Now. my intellectual interests are satisfied by my opinion column in The Scotsman. I’ve come to realise that pop is. in itself. an extremely powerful medium. but it’s ultimately about raising sensitivity and invoking moods. rather than saying “Here’s an intellectual theory of society in rhyming couplets over a 4/4 beat.” ’
Both Kanes insist that the Bitter Suite
l album. recorded in one take before a , fan-club audience aboard the Renfrew Ferry
(‘Nervous‘.’!’ says Greg. “My arse has never
. been the same since.’). was a turning point. The intimacy ofthe performance opened
Greg’s — and a lot of other people’s — eyes to
the fact that ‘Pat’s the best white crooner in the world right now and. musically.
simplicity is what counts.‘ For Pat. the
recording was a landmark in another. more 3 personal sense: it took place the day after
the birth of his first daughter. Grace.
3 ‘Fatherhood completely changed me.‘ he : affirms. admitting to being interested now in
‘emotional states rather than post-structuralist points’ and noting his newly ‘practical’ concern for the future of Scotland. ‘the country in which my daughter will grow up.’ On this score. he is animated and optimistic.
‘IfThatcher hadn’t come along, I don‘t think Scottish National identity would be as strong as it is now. Come the next election. all the opposition parties will have a Scottish Parliament in their manifesto. Scots will finally get the political reality that goes with the feeling that we are a separate nation.
That may seem like a small victory in world } terms, but it will be a major thing for Scots l people who are tired of being seen as forever .
moaning about being Scots. And it doesn’t have to stop there. The STUC believe that there should be 50:50 representation in Scottish Parliament between men and women. That’s totally unprecedented in world politics — a new idea that’s come out of Scotland’s own quest for its own unity. Ifwe can innovate politically at that level. and create an all-round. fairer society. then maybe we can be some kind of beacon.’
It’s fervent polemic such as this. whether in Scotsman columns or Rectorial addresses. which constitutes the Pat Kane that many know and respect. To call him ‘pretentious’ or a ‘champagne socialist‘. as others have done. is unfair. There is a clear conviction about his ardent faith in the intellect as a path to a better ordered world. And it’s this faith that makes him (and his group) more rounded. and more interesting than your average pop item. When he talks about Scottish Nationalism. his eyes light up and a promising future career asserts itself. And yet . . .
Greg: ‘I’ve never read one of Pat’s columns. My mother talks about them when I visit her. She can’t understand them.’ Pat: ‘She doesso understand them!’
“ never read
one at Pat’s columns. My mothertalks about them when I visit her. She can’t
Greg: ‘No she doesn’t. Look, it’s a whole - part of Pat that I respect, but it doesn’t really concern me. I spend so much time working in the studio that my outside activities come over as very trivial. I like owning a big sports car and driving it around. I enjoy hanging around in pool-halls, drinking beer and talking rubbish.’
Pat: ‘1 like to hope that I do interesting pieces of writing. I think my mother understands it.’
Greg: ‘She tries to understand it. But Pat’s not writing for people like me or my mum. if we’re going to be honest.’
Pat: ‘It’s a fair enough point. Maybe in The Scotsman I am preaching to the converted. I was asked to write a column for The Daily Record and they tried to censor me, basically. They said “Go easy on the Scottish Nationalist bit,” and admitted that anything I said about that would be sub-edited out. As there’s a Tory establishment in England, so there’s a Labour establishment in Scotland, and The Daily Record is part of that. At least the quality papers allow a variety of perspectives. I treasure my ability to control what I write above reaching a potentially wider audience.
‘But let me make one point clear,’ he insists. ‘The fundamental realisation that I came to, precisely after The Day For Scotland last summer, was “This has got to stop/I am becoming this pseudo-political figure. Trade unions are asking my advice, people are suggesting I stand for by-elections. The reason why I am here is that [am a greatsinger. Because with my brother I can write great songs.” I had to start redressing the balance. I didn’t honestly think I could stop the intellectual part of my life because . . .’
Greg: ‘You need the other areas.’
Pat: ‘But here we are. This hasn’t been a Hue and Cry interview.’
Yes it has. It’s Pat Kane’s multi-faceted character — part-seer, part-Sinatra — and his unresolved attempts to come to terms with it. that make Hue And Cry a special proposition in a pop theatre full ofeasy options. That, and the intriguing relationship between himselfand the taciturn Greg. Long live the Glasgow duality. The longer it takes Pat to locate the out-and-out ‘pop star’ element ofhis personality, the better for Hue and Cry.
And for pop? Pop is a vehicle, but it’s not the one Pat Kane once imagined it to be. It’s the silver-grey Porsche blocking the street outside the recording studio, personalised number plate and all. Under the windscreen—wiper is a note. ‘Dear Greg, I waitedhere all morning for you but now I have to go back to school. I’ll be back later if Ican. My name is D*****. and I am fourteen. P.S. How did you get your hair so ; lovely and long. Mine won’t grow. Love . . .’
‘Not another one.’ Greg sighs. as ifit were a parking ticket.
‘I’ll have to change that press release.’ says Pat. ‘Or people will think I’m an apolitical, bonehead pop star.’ No chance. But that’s l pop for you; any which way but ‘ comprehensible.
The Hue and Cry album Stars Crash Down is released in June.
The List3— 16-May 19917