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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
07 July 2023
Ben Macpherson's Political Spin

Ben Macpherson in the Scottish Parliament | Alamy

Ben Macpherson's Political Spin

What was the first record you ever bought? 

I didn’t buy it myself, but my father bought me Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits. And that was already quite dated in the 1990s, but a true rock’n’roll great and it gave me the taste for that genre of music, but also the quality of music made by musicians and those of previous decades.

We went to see him about a year or so later in the Usher Hall, which was the first concert I ever went to, so that was special. 

What record will always get you on the dance floor?  

There are a few. I really like Love Generation by Bob Sinclair and World Hold On and any of the remixes of that. I remember when I was travelling this guy said Bob Marley was for our parent’s generation and Bob Sinclair for ours – it’s always stuck with me. 

I also like Wake Me Up by Avicii, and recently I have found an appreciation for Best of My Love by the Emotions.  

I used to work in one of the first trendy bars in Edinburgh that emerged called Bar 38 and then I worked in one of the nightclubs Lulu, so I have quite an appreciation for music that gets folk on the dance floor. 

What is your karaoke song? 

There are two really. The safe one is I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, which gets the night going and the one that I try to attempt is Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, but it doesn’t really go very well.  

What songs would you like to be played at your funeral? 

It’s not one I have given a huge amount of thought to. People want to be able to reflect and remember but also feel good about the life lived and celebrate. Two songs that I think would be good for that are The Good Will Out by Embrace, and there is a piece of music by Pink Floyd called Side Two, Part Four: Anisina. I love guitar solos and I love saxophone solos, and it has got both.  

What songs or music makes you emotional? 

Songs that I find reflective and beautiful are Starlit by Thomas Newman, which is from the film Passengers, which has brought a tear to my eye on certain occasions, Autumn Leaves by Paolo Nutini, Vienna by Billy Joel, and Hard Times Come Again No More (particularly the version by The Chieftains and Paolo Nutini).

What music do you associate with your childhood? 

Queen, Bon Jovi, Oasis, and U2 are the four bands that I would associate with my childhood. My friends and I really liked those bands. Actually, add Paul Simon to that too.

Is there a record that you hate but you can’t get it out of your head? 

It’s not regular but there is a song that really makes me laugh in Holyrood, it’s I Like to Move It by, you know how members will go ‘formally moved’, every time someone says that I hear it.  

Is there a record that you are embarrassed to own? 

I’ll confess that I have got a Spotify playlist called Ultra Cheese and nobody else listens to it apart from me, occasionally.  

Who was the last artist you went to see and who did you go with? 

Last year I went to see Paolo Nutini in Glasgow in December at the Hydro. And unfortunately, my friend was ill. So, I ended up watching him by myself. But Paolo Nutini is an artist that I admire hugely, and I really love his music and the album These Streets is very meaningful to me. So, to stand there on my own and just take it all in was fine – I didn’t feel alone.  

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