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by Kirsteen Paterson
08 July 2022
Jamie Stone MP: Political Spin

Jamie Stone MP: Political Spin

What was the first record you bought?

This is very anorak-ish - it’s a recording of Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor. I bought it in Woolworths in Inverness and my mum said it was amazing. I was 15. It’s real ‘wow’ music that makes you sit up. My mum and dad had an old radiogram from the 1950s that I would put on while I swotted for my exams and I listened through my dad’s collection of records, starting with a Beethoven symphony. But my interest in music started to avoid playing football at Tain Academy. I was rubbish at football - still am - and I discovered violin lessons were at the same time as double period gym. 

Do you still play?  

I played in a dance band in Aberdeen in my late 20s and early 30s when I worked in the oil sector. We were called The Interval Band. There would be a real band at the event, and when they needed a break at the interval, we would go up and play jigs and reels. Later, when my eldest daughter was learning fiddle at Tain Academy, we would play together. Turkey in the Straw was one we’d play, an American one. She grew up and got better than me and gradually I laid the fiddle down. 

What did you listen to when you were at university?

Fairport Convention. They have a fiddle player, which I think is the connection. Tracks like Fiddlestix, that’s real virtuoso artistry, and I got into The Beatles - Yesterday is really something else, and even Penny Lane is a very, very clever melody - and The Strawbs. I also stayed in a flat with a guy who had some really good jazz records, people like Fats Waller and Benny Goodman.

Do you get a chance to get out to see live music?

I used to and I intend to do so again. Live music is tremendous. Twenty-five years ago I ended up on the stage myself, singing in a show. I was a dad in Tain and a friend approached me and said they were putting this show together. I ended up playing a wee part, and that grew so the next year I got a bigger role and eventually I played the Duke of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers. I had to learn to sing very fast for In Enterprise of Martial Kind.

That’s not your only foray onto the stage though...

Before I was elected to Westminster, I played the dame in Jack and the Beanstalk in the Tain panto. We had 50 or 60 kids on stage, playing to a packed house. The Times found a picture of me in costume and it was published. I would love to go back while I’m still an MP. If they had room for a small role I would gladly go back on stage.

What’s your go-to karaoke track?

I’ve never done it because I would fall flat on my back, but I enjoy watching others and I enjoy the whole feel of it. Maybe this conference, I’ll do it. 

What will get you onto the dance floor?

I find it very hard to resist the sound of a traditional Scottish reel, something like The Deil Amang the Tailors or the Bluebell Polka.

And what about the tracks that you hate?

Music snobs would turn their noses up at Stravinsky, but if Stockhausen comes on, I have to turn it off. And Vaughan Williams, I just don’t dig him. Benjamin Britten can get a bit tiresome. Dudley Moore did a fantastic take-off of him. Music is a really big part of my life. I’ve got a collection of records and an old record deck from my younger days which was state of the art, which I want to get refurbished, but it will cost about £500. I’m going to do it when I’m feeling flush.

What was the first dance at your wedding?

The Eightsome Reel. We got married in Ireland and that was what the band struck up with.

And what track is your guilty pleasure?

The Overture from The Mastersingers of Nuremberg by Richard Wagner, because it happens that Hitler was a big fan of Wagner. The music is magnificent but it’s disturbing to think of him tapping his feet to it.

Do you have an election song?

I have a good recording of Black Bear by The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The first door knock of the election is the hardest and when I get in the car, I put that on.

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