Craig Hoy: I saw Mika at the Roundhouse and went home with Covid
The Scottish Conservative Party chairman shares this top music pics, from Shakin' Stevens and The Krankies to Clannad and Lulu.
What was the first record you ever bought?
I hate to say it, but it was a Krankies album that had a song called Where’s Me Mum? on it. I must have been pretty young at the time. My mum and I went to see them at the King’s Theatre and that was my takeaway. If you want real music, which isn’t much better, I also got the Shakin’ Stevens single I Cry Just a Little Bit after going to a concert with my mum.
What record will always get you on the dance floor?
It would be all too easy to agree with Theresa May and say ABBA’s Dancing Queen, but on reflection it has to be Lulu and Shout. I saw her live with some friends in 2021 and even with Covid restrictions and social distancing people were up on their feet when the song had barely started. Lulu gets any dancefloor going.
What is your karaoke song?
I suppose I have belted out New York, New York on occasion. That or Elton John’s Candle in the Wind, the original version not the Diana one. I spent a lot of time in Asia [prior to entering politics Hoy ran an Asia-based public affairs company] and karaoke is a great leveller there. Particularly in places like China, Hong Kong and Thailand, karaoke was quite a key part of the evening. You have to have something that you are at least half-way good at because they take it so seriously. I did resist the temptation to do conference karaoke this year. At our conference there was a quiz followed by karaoke but I just did the quiz. [Glasgow councillor] Thomas Kerr apparently led the karaoke.
What music do you want played at your funeral?
In terms of the music rather than the intent I’d probably choose the theme from Harry’s Game by Clannad. [Looking the music up on his phone and playing the first few bars] does that sound funereal enough? I was at a funeral two years ago and they had obviously put a lot of thought into the music and that does make a difference. I haven’t given it too much thought yet but I will do further down the line.
What songs or music are guaranteed to make you cry?
This might sound a bit strange, but Sinfonia Pop by Mika. He takes his pop stuff and puts it into a very orchestral setting. Something like that.
What music would you always associate with your childhood?
My brother was much more into music than I was. He went out and spent a fortune – every last scrap of money he had – on vinyl. There was quite a lot of REM around then and when you’re getting into your teenage angst years there’s nothing worse than listening to Losing My Religion. My dad was a big Meatloaf and Tina Turner fan and we had a lot of long car journeys listening to either of those. I’d choose Tina Turner over Meatloaf but neither would be on my radio now.
What record do you absolutely hate but can’t get out of your head?
Barbie Girl by Aqua. It’s been played on the radio quite a lot recently but it makes me want to pull over and step out of the car. They’ve been playing it on a radio station called Cherie FM that I listen to. It plays a mix of really good easy listening pop and some really nice French poppy ballads. I don’t speak French so I don’t know what they’re singing about, and for some reason that Barbie Girl song has been played a lot, but I’d recommend it. There’s no UK political news on it.
What record would you be embarrassed to owning up to having in your collection?
I’ve already done it – it was The Krankies. There was also one that I don’t have any more but that I manged to get from my grandmother – Mrs Mills’ Piano Favourites. She always sounded like she was playing as the Titanic was going down. My gran was a big fan – she played it on an old-fashioned record player that was the size of a piece of furniture – but it wouldn’t stand the test of time.
What was the last band you went to see and who with?
It was Mika at the Roundhouse in London with my partner Mark, who went under sufferance. I quite enjoyed it but to say he didn’t enjoy it would be an understatement. He’s into classical music and I thought Mika was doing Sinfonia Pop so it would be a nice hybrid, but actually he was just busting out his standard grooves. To make matters worse, I left the gig with Covid.