Pop Campaign – Hame
The third album by PoP Campaign is merely one track long. The first half focuses on the sights and sounds of Alba: an old man discussing memories places and events, the omnipresence of rain, the Tartan Army, clinking bottles and that feeling inside a club at 3am. The second half is dedicated entirely to a spoken word piece detailing a messy Ayrshire derby between Ayr United and Kilmarnock on ‘Saturday 15th February 1999.' We got one half of Pop Campaign, Exclamation Mark, to talk us through the album;
HAME was the most personal record that I have ever made. An exploration through a childhood and teenage years spent living in a now foreign land. My mission was simple: to create a postcard kiss back to the memories, sights and sounds of a land that I have lived apart from for over 7 years. Here the inspirations behind it:
The album starts off with the sound of rain. Growing up in Scotland, it’s a constant in your existence. I miss that rain. When I speak to people down here, they tell me it rains a lot. Oh, how I chortle! It doesn’t rain enough for my liking in London. I get rainsick.
Inspiration on ‘Aye Like’
The album starts off with an old man (perhaps on death’s door) recalling his younger experiences. The first words on the record are ‘Ayr beach’.
I lived in Ayr for 14 years. It’s a small seaside town about 30 miles south west of Glasgow. It’s a place where the old go to die and young run to get out. Despite that, it does have some wonderful scenery.
Inspiration on: ‘Aye Like’
The West Highland Way
Something that you just do not appreciate as a child growing up in Scotland is the beauty found in its nature. The West Highland Way is a trail from Glasgow to Fort William in the north. I remember sitting in the back of the car as a child ignoring all this in favour of a Game Boy. I promise to myself that one day I will walk this.
Inspiration on ‘Aye Like’
I don’t know how else to describe this place except to say it is truly magical. The music, literature and art that have come out of this place is astounding. It harnesses talent with welcome arms and draws you in with its charms. To paraphrase Mr Bowie, I’ve lived all over and travelled to many places. Yet something about Glasgae pulls me in. It’s still one of my favourite places in the world and where I feel truly at home.
Inspiration on ‘Aye Like’
TA on Trafalgar
Trafalgar Square is the Scottish football fan’s home from home. The TA are the encapsulation of everything that is daft about Scotland. The kilts, the flags, the facepaint, the singing, all merged together with our two favourite things as a nation: football and drinking.
Inspiration on ‘TA on Trafalgar Square’
Paisley Road West and Kingston Bridge
Paisley Road West is in the south side of Glasgow and the Kingston bridge runs over the top of the River Clyde. For many years, this was my walk home from nights out in the city centre. My brother still lives there and I love that feeling I get whenever I am near that bridge. For me, this is the real Glasgow. Not the leafy west-end with its students carrying Belle & Sebastian records. This is where you’ll find the working class spirit of old Glasgow. The one where you’d be frightened to look at someone the wrong way or risk asking for water with your whisky.
I remember one particularly hilarious tale that took place on Hallowe’en. I was awaiting my grub from the delicious Istanbul take away at the beginning of Paisley Road West, when two extremely steamin’ middle aged men came in. They had been enjoying a good session after a Rangers victory (Ibrox is just up the road). They were skinheaded, reddened with alcohol and bursting at the seams. As a result, I was just a wee bit scared with all my make up on. Naturally (for round there), they questioned my attire. I responded that I had gone out “as Robert Smith from The Cure”. I thought I was going to get a heavy kicking. However, after 10 long seconds of deafening silence, one of them starting dancing around the place and singing: “Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do, LOVECATS.”
Inspiration on ‘Saturday Night, Paisley Road West’
During the heady hedonism of my early twenties, I spent a lot of time in the clubs and venues of Glasgow town feeling ‘special’ and waiting for an after party. The atmosphere in that city is unlike anything I have ever experienced. People seem genuinely ecstatic to be out and about (a real rarity in these cynical times).
Inspiration on ‘Comin’ Doon’
This is the home of Ayr United and the scene of many tears, fears and cheers over the years. It’s still terraced in there and feels like a complete and utter timewarp. Very much what I imagine going to football in the 70’s was like. I remember spending many teenage Saturdays in there, struggling to stand up.
Inspiration on ‘Saturday 15th February 1999’
HAME is available to buy here and you can find out more about Pop Campaign through their Facebook page.
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