On Tuesday evening we went to the Royal Conservatoire to perform a couple of songs for a very special man. More about him in a moment, but first the occasion. It was a surprise honorary graduation for a citizen from Glasgow and, as well as luminaries from the Conservatoire, the City had sent along a Baillie from the council to make a speech on behalf of the Provost. Your heart always sinks when you see the chain of office because you are pretty sure the poor councillor usually has no knowledge of the occasion and is there to read from a set text. It was therefore surprising and revealing that, in the case, our representative spoke from his notes for 3- 4 minutes flat then put them away. He’d heard about the person in question and he too came from the Gorbals so he wanted to know that much of what the Graduand had experienced was in common with himself. It was a great moment.
The Graduand was Matty McVarish, a remarkable young man who has taken it upon himself to campaign for justice for victims of sexual abuse by walking around Europe to get the law changed across the continent to make it fairer for victims to get justice for crimes committed decades ago which cannot be prosecuted due to the various statutes of limitations. He walked 10,000 miles over two years and this week he came home to Scotland and caps off a remarkable journey by stopping of with us this Sunday Morning.As I write he’s walking the road from Glasgow to Edinburgh where he will complete his final mile on the Royal Mile.
Last Friday we had another off the script moment when the brilliant Rodney Crowell broke away from his own plans to play us a brilliant Mickey Newbury cover – it’s been that kind of week. This Friday we’ll be in the presence of Punch Brothers as they perform songs and explain the background to their remarkable Phosphorescent Blues album. It will be hard for any artist to match the ambition of this record in 2015 and you will listen in wonder to hear their recreations of some of the songs ‘bluegrass style’ recorded round two microphones.
We’ll have new music from Chip Taylor and let you hear Stephen Steinbrink, Natalie Prass and Father John Misty. I also hope to bring you more from the excellent Sons of Bill album – and news of their visit to Glasgow.
It all starts at five past eight this Friday on BBC Radio Scotland.
We’ll be talking to Scottish legend – there is no other word – John Cairney about painting, acting, writing and for many years being Robert Burns.
We will have a first hand account on Selma, the new film about the crucial Civil Rights Marches of 50 years ago and how much has changed and remained the same since those times.
It’s BAFTAS Sunday and we will celebrate it by playing you some beautiful and brilliant music from the movies and we will , of course, be speaking to Matty.
Join me if you can from five past seven this Sunday Morning on BBC Radio Scotland.