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by Kirsteen Paterson
30 September 2022
Lisa-Marie Hughes: Political Spin

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes (right) and her sister Hazel at an Alkaline Trio gig

Lisa-Marie Hughes: Political Spin

What was the first record you ever bought?
I would like to say it was something really cool, but I was 10 and really into boybands so it was the New Kids on the Block album, New Kids on the Block. It was on tape and cost something like £15, which felt like the most money ever. It had the single Hangin’ Tough on it. As I got older, I got into grunge and punk.

What music do you associate with your childhood?
My mum was a big fan of glam and rock, so I grew up listening to things like 20th Century Boy by T-Rex and Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf. She loved Aerosmith, Guns’n’Roses, and Bay City Rollers. A cousin of one of the Bay City Rollers lived in our village, so that was a big thing. The Bay City Rollers were a big influence on the Ramones, who are one of my favourite bands.

Where did you grow up?
Dalmellington in Ayrshire. There was a real love of music there, generally much more traditional Scottish stuff because it was a rural community. To get any kind of music scene, we’d have to go to Ayr and to see big bands we’d have to go to Glasgow.

What was the first gig you went to? 
Bon Jovi at Hampden. I was about 13 and it was incredible. I must have seen thousands of bands since. I’m still a big Bon Jovi fan, and I’m a big New Jersey sound fan in general; I love music that tells stories. Livin’ on a Prayer is a real working class story in the same vein as Bruce Springsteen, who I love. The Gaslight Anthem are another New Jersey band and have a song called The Patient Ferris Wheel about going to an amusement park in the rain. There’s something about doing summery things in the rain that really resonate when you’re Scottish. One of my jobs when I was at college was working on Ayr beachfront, which was less glamourous than it sounds. There’s a King Creosote song about Scottish beach holidays, about making the best of it. When you’re young, you don’t feel like you need anything else.

When did you start going to gigs regularly?
When I was about 24, I started going out three times a week. I’m singularly musically ungifted but my husband Dave is a musician. He played in a folk-punk band, and had concerts all over Scotland and Europe, and some stuff in America. We met through an early social media site called Faceparty. He was promoting his band and my profile said I liked punk, so he got in touch. I was a carer for my mum and wasn’t really able to go to gigs, so I didn’t actually meet him in person until six years later and it was to loan him a complete compilation of the Ramones. 

What was the first dance at your wedding?
Angel’s Wings by Social Distortion. It’s about redemption. The story of the person is that they’ve had a hard upbringing and addictions. That’s not my story, but I grew up as a carer and my mum died when I was 21. Lots of bits of my life were really nice and I was loved, but as a young person I had quite a lot to deal with and I can relate to that redemptive feeling. There’s a line in it ‘I don’t care what they say, I’m going to marry you some day’ and 25-year-old me thought it was very appropriate.

What music defined your student years?
I went to university in Dundee in 2004 and it was music like Mr Brightside from The Killers’ first album, and Green Day had exploded and everybody was listening to American Idiot.

Paisley likes to boast its musical credentials. What’s your top home-grown track?
Iron Sky by Paolo Nutini. It’s a great song about Scotland. I love a lot of Scottish bands. Mogwai are next-level, there aren’t many levels above them, and I love the soundtrack they did for the French series Les Revenants, which is so eerie and so sad. One of my favourite soundtracks is Jurassic Park; it’s absolute perfection.

What is your go-to karaoke track?
I Love Rock’n’Roll by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. She’s a spectacular singer and they’re a spectacular band. I can’t sing but I think you can get away with this one with a lot of attitude, and it’s a crowdpleaser.

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