David Duguid: I once won a prize in a karaoke competition
What was the first record that you ever bought?
The first single I bought was a song called Tears of a Clown, which is an old Smokey Robinson song, but it was by The Beat. The first album I bought was Let There Be Rock by AC/DC. That was mostly because I had my brother breathing down my neck. And the first cassette was The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta.
So, a bit on the rockier side. Do you like that music now?
Not really. Most of the music I like was made before I was born, or perhaps originally recorded before I was born and redone. I actually played in a band for a while in my teens and 20s. The most fun I had was going to pubs and clubs as a cover band, playing all the songs that people have vaguely heard of, but they weren’t too familiar with – like Beatles album tracks, rather than their singles, that kind of thing.
What did you play?
Guitar or bass guitar, and I did a bit of singing as well.
Do you still play?
Not as much as I would like. You might be surprised at how many MPs play musical instruments and have a bit of a jam. You might have heard of MP4. That’s Pete Wishart, Kevin Brennan, Greg Knight and Ian Cawsey. There was a time when Pete Wishart wasn’t available, and I was called to stand in for him a couple of times. That was the one and only time I’ve ever played on TV, on Unspun with Matt Forde.
If you’re used to performing, does that mean you have a go-to karaoke song?
I don’t particularly enjoy the idea of karaoke, but when there’s karaoke going and everyone else has had a go, it feels rude not to. So my go-to song is Stand By Me by Ben E King, though the version I always have in my head is the John Lennon version. I even went as far as winning a prize in a karaoke competition. I won a DVD player.
What song do you want played at your funeral?
I haven’t thought long and hard about this question. It’s not something you’d like to think about! There’s one song that comes to mind: In My Life by The Beatles. It’s a John Lennon song, reflecting on all the people he’s known and loved in his life. It’s kind of a sad song, kind of slow, but the sentiment is quite happy.
What songs/music is guaranteed to make you cry?
I’m not easily brought to tears, but Danny Boy, especially if it’s played on the bagpipes.
What music would you always associate with your childhood?
Mostly old country and western records that my mum and dad used to listen to. My dad was in a band, and me and my brothers would help him figure out the words to various different songs. Back in the days when you had a record player, you had to lift the needle and put it back again to figure out what the words were. Charley Pride was often a staple.
Another time was when we were on holiday, a caravan holiday to Aviemore in 1977. It was the first time we ever had a car with a tape player in it. We left the house, all packed up, my dad was well chuffed with his new car, a Fiat 131 – and then we realised we didn’t have any cassettes! So the first filling station we came to, we stopped and we got the Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975. All these memories of that holiday are prompted by listening to every song on that album.
What record do you absolutely hate?
I can’t stand Runrig’s Loch Lomond. I just absolutely can’t stand it because it’s at the end of every single wedding. When I got married, we went through the band’s repertoire and they mentioned, “oh, we will do Loch Lomond at the end”, I said, “No, you won’t”. So, the wedding finished, the band stopped, the lights came on, and everyone was like, “Oh! Why are we not getting Runrig?”
Does Pete Wishart know you hate the song?
Yes, but it’s nothing personal against the song or the band!
Who was the last band you went to see and who with?
This is going be an MP4 extravaganza, but the last live act I saw was Kevin Brennan, MP for Cardiff West. Kevin released an album of songs that he wrote all about him growing up in Wales, and he was having a launch event. Pete was there, a few of his Labour colleagues were there, and my wife was in town so she joined us.
I think the last big band I saw, probably one of the biggest gigs I’ve ever been to, was Red Hot Chili Peppers at Murrayfield. Everyone was up at the mosh pit, and I was like, this is just not for me. So I went about as far back in the stadium as I could go, sat on one of the seats at the other end and watched the whole show on the big screens. It was absolutely fantastic. All the other people were miles away so it almost felt like I had the place to myself.