Glasgow Lives: Louise, Langside, Singer/Songwriter
My mum always said I was singing in my pram, so I’ve loved music pretty much my whole life. She used to take me to charismatic renewal prayer groups when I was younger and I played folk hymns there, but my older brother Shug was about 10 years older than me, and he was a punk. He had a band called Shug Plug and the Sockets and I just wanted to be him, so when I got my first guitar for my 9th birthday the first song that I learned to play was 'The Gambler' by The Clash.
I grew up in East Kilbride which was a bit of concrete jungle. But what the environment lacked in inspiration was balanced by an abundance of subcultures. Every Saturday we’d all meet and parade ourselves around the town centre. I remember being 14 and looking like a pint of Guinness with all black clothes and peroxide blonde hair.
There were loads of goths, punks, indie kids, and it led to this explosion of music and art. It was almost as if all our creativity and self-expression was being bounced off the concrete back at everyone.
The scene in Glasgow has always been so unique and so many artists from all around the world absolutely love it here. Now and again, you need to take a moment to really appreciate just how great a city it is. All the amazing music and art that surrounds us should never be taken for granted.
Living here definitely influenced me as an artist. From being signed to Sony in the ‘90s with a band called Hardbody; to releasing songs as DAWNINGS and A Band Called Quinn; I’ve been able to work with so many amazing people.
I met the DJ and producer Scott Fraser at the Berkeley Suites around 8 years ago. He’s from East Kilbride too and at the time was sharing a studio with the late musician and producer, Andy Weatherall. He sent me a track to work on which became, Together More. Six years later I found out Andy himself was remixing it and releasing it on vinyl.That night Andy was DJing in Glasgow, but at the time I was 33 weeks pregnant with my boy/girl twins so, although I was very tempted, sadly I never got to go and meet him. Andy described our track as ‘sublime magik,’ in the vinyl’s handwritten liner notes and it was this philosophy - this idea that music can transport you anywhere with almost magical properties - that inspired my latest collaborative project, Gates Of Light.
My husband at the time Bal Cooke, who helped produce the album, and I were both based in Glasgow; Scott Fraser in London; Kid Loco in Paris and filmmaker Tim Saccenti in New York. At the time of making the album we were all locked down, but through making Gates Of Light together we were all able to escape and share sounds and stories with our collaborators in London, Paris and New York.
We’re so grateful to Creative Scotland for their help. If it wasn’t for them and the funding they provided the album would never have been possible. It was a total lifesaver for so many artists at that time.
Having the album to focus on was really good for me. My twins were only 1 at the time, so some days we only had about half an hour to work on it which, as a result, means it sounds quite stripped back and underproduced which I really like.
Sadly, my husband and creative partner and I are no longer together. I think I wasn’t acknowledging a lot of my own feelings until writing the album. Although I love Gates Of Light and I am really proud of what we created, hearing some of the lyrics I’d written back made us realise we couldn’t bury our heads in the sand anymore.
The musician and producer Kramer wanted to release the album as soon as he heard it, which was just incredible. He’s been so supportive and encouraging of me as an artist, since the MySpace days. He’s a total legend and the fact the vinyl has been released on Shimmy Disc, which is such an iconic label, is just a dream.
Looking forward from Gates Of Light there’s a lot of exciting opportunities for even more collaborations - with musicians and filmmakers. I play my first gig in four years with Gareth Perrie, formerly of BMX Bandits and Randolph’s Leap, in Some Great Reward record store in the southside next weekend.
The vinyl actually sold out as soon as it was released but it’s still available digitally and on CD. It will be great to play stripped back versions of the Gates Of Light songs in an intimate setting. Maybe I’ll even be on the road touring soon with the twins!