It’s been a significant year for author/musician Doug Johnstone. First up came the publication of his third novel, the page turner ‘Smokeheads’. And whilst previously there’s been a few years between Doug’s books ‘Hit and Run’, the follow-up to ‘Smokeheads’, will be published as soon as March 2012 next year.
Musically, Doug released his first post-Northern Alliance material in the shape of the excellent ‘Keep It Afloat’. Add in frequent live appearances, either reading or playing his songs, sometimes both, and a hugely entertaining Twitter feed (@doug_johnstone) and he’s been a busy lad throughout 2011. Here he looks back on that year for MPT.
Your own Musical highlight of the year
Releasing my first solo EP after eight years in Northern Alliance. It was really exciting to get positive reviews and radio play.
Favourite performance of the year
I did a gig in the DCA in Dundee that was really lovely – amazingly well received and pretty drunken. Perfect combination.
What inspired you musically in 2011?
Mostly electronica or other instrumental music – I seem to have gone off voices for now.
What you gonna be doing next year?
I have a whole album’s worth of new material to record, if I can find the time. It’s a lot more varied than the stuff on the EP, electronica to alt,country to full-on rock.
Song and/or LP of 2011?
Remember Remember’s The Quickening – just a beautiful piece of pastoral folktronica from a band that really knows how to create an atmosphere.
Best gig attended?
I had the privilege to share a bill a couple of times with Aidan Moffat – his recent solo stuff as well as his album with Bill Wells are sublime.
Who should we be looking out for in 2012?
They’re pretty well known in some circles already, I guess, but United Fruit are gonna be kicking out the jams big style next year, I reckon.
Anything and everything
Event of 2011
Can I be cheeky and say the publication of my third novel Smokeheads?
Lowpoint of 2011
Everything the Tory government has said or done. Cunts.
Hero of 2011
Anyone who went on strike against the disintegration of their working conditions. On a lighter note, Armando Iannucci.
Villain of 2011
Just the usual role call – David Cameron, Rupert Murdoch, Piers Morgan, Jeremy Kyle, Andrew Neil, Kelvin MacKenzie et al.
Something to look forward to in 2012?
Euros 2012. Once England go out in the group phase, it should be a joy to watch.
A tune from Doug’s E.P.
Previously on MPT
Doug at Cargo vs Chemikal Deathmatch
Keep It Afloat EP review
Doug and Alan Bissett at the EIBF