There is nothing quite like finding new music that lightens up the world a little. When this happens while stuck staring at the same four walls for weeks on end during a lockdown in the middle of a depressing global pandemic, finding good new music helps take the edge off the mind numbing combined boredom and fear is like striking a particularly nice seam of gold. This is what you might experience with the second album by Blank Spaces ‘A Home Away From Home’, released on 1 May 2020, via bandcamp, pointing to some musical talent that the world should hear more about, and in this interview with Daniel Gallagher, singer, songwriter and guitarist, we will do just that.
I remember it well before. It's only been 3 months, but it feels a lot longer. The world was this shape of expectations, norms, and behaviour. Defined as normal stuff. Going to the shops, going into town (with the crowds), school runs, cafes, walks in the park, family events, appointments - you name it, it was busy.
In Edinburgh, one wag claimed, there are about twenty ghosts per square metre. The Mackenzie Poltergeist is one of the city's most renowned and is described as the best documented modern haunting. Its story is closely linked with the Covenanting Wars, which resulted from Charles I attempting to make himself head of the Scottish Kirk in 1637, with the introduction of the Common Prayer Book. This went down like a lead balloon, as only Jesus was acceptable in Scotland as head of the Kirk. It sparked a massive revolt, leading to the signing of the National Covenant in Greyfriar's Kirkyard on 28 February 1638, which argued for the preservation of the status quo. The signatories, adherents of the Presbyterian Church, became known as Covenanters, fought for their cause for the next 50 years, known as The Killing Times.
Mention the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and you will elicit a wide range of strong emotions. Growing up in Scotland, I can recall being scared and confused by the regular reports on it from a very early age, the horror remaining with me as I came to understand what the Troubles were. As a teenager, we had a short holiday in Ireland, which involved catching the ferry to Belfast. Things were supposed to be more settled at that point, with the Good Friday Agreement being on the cards, but I was unsettled at the sight of armed soldiers walking about when we drove from the ferry terminal. However, that is of course small fry next to living through it.
The first time I ever saw anything on Rory Gallagher is firmly etched in my head. During the 1990s in the UK, Top of the Pops 2, or TOTP 2, regularly ran every weekend, showing archive footage of musicians from the 1970s on. As a young music fan, it was a regular staple of my TV viewing.
"I looked up to Stu, I depended on him to tell me the truth. Stu would tell me if something was good and I'd believe him"John Lennon (The Beatles In Scotland by Ken McNab)