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Oh the king he sits...

O the king he sits in Dunfermline

town a-drinkin the blood-red wine… and going to Sound Control on a Saturday afternoon if he was anything like the rest of us. I am understandably biased, but it has been my opinion for a long time that Dunfermline has, and continues to produce more than its fair share of serious ass musicians; Nazareth, Big Country, Ian Anderson, The Skids and…Barbara Dickson all hail from the town. Hey, don’t knock it, I bet we can all hum a bit of ‘I know him so well’.. good tune. For a population of 40,000, that’s not bad going.

Nazareth… Dunfermline’s finest

I grew up thinking every town had a ‘Sound Control’, a music shop at the bottom of the town which was a musical Aladdins Cave and way beyond its time in terms of how a ‘modern’ music shop should operate. Since then, other shops have inevitably caught up, particularly in terms of the way customers are treated though even the famous guitar stores of Denmark street were lagging behind Sound Control at the time. It was well worth the 30p fare and smoke filled bus ride from the village I lived in to peruse the lines of shiny Stratocasters and listen to someone murder, for the 14th time, the solo to Ice Cream Man. The guys working there must have been driven mad by the legions of 14 year old youths who would spend hours trying out a variety of gear before leaving with two picks and a top E string.

One of the reasons my parents decided to send me to my particular High School, was that it was deemed to have a better music department than the establishment to which kids from my village were normally despatched. However, differentiating between the quality of music departments within two comprehensive high schools in Fife during the 80′s was like picking a winner between China and Saudi Arabia in the category of ‘human rights’. Though it has to be said, the music department at Queen Anne high school was brilliant, and the teachers accommodating and encouraging. Even though they only had one electric guitar, one bass and a three piece drum kit. I seem to remember the instruments had to be ‘booked’ out, assuming they were not being classed as ‘admissible evidence’ that day.

So, there was Sound Control, and then there was Nazareth. Bass player Pete Agnew’s sons went to Queen Anne high and were all really talented musicians. Lee, the eldest, is now drumming with the band and the other boys are all making a living from music in some shape or form. The Agnew’s had a studio on the side of their house which contained more instruments than all the high schools in Fife combined. It was like Anfields’ Boot Room, and probably just as smelly.

In addition to the Agnews, there are a bunch of guys I keep in contact with who are doing some really interesting things in music. Ally Ferguson is, to quote his Facebook page ‘guitarist for ex-Genesis vocalist Ray Wilson and Scottish songwriting legend Dougie Maclean’, Scott Arnott is a professional drummer with Bahookie and Whisky Kiss, Dave Bernthal runs Park Music shop in Dunfermline as well as playing with Singleskin. Then there’s the whole bunch of people who do the part time thing really well; No Alibi and Broch spring to mind.

Ali is playing guitar in this Clip, and Chris Agnew plays the bass.

The Modern Faces, Cynical Brother – magic…


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Park Music Dunfermline