Rab Noakes obituary

On stage, Rab Noakes was an immaculately dressed singer and tremendous guitarist who would possibly play virtually something. There might be Scottish conventional songs, American nation ballads, or songs by his heroes Bob Dylan and the Everly Brothers, by means of to tracks by Cliff Richard, Speaking Heads or Beck Hansen.

And together with the “interpretations” (he hated the phrase covers), there have been his personal songs, which confirmed his reward for melody, his love of Americana and his capability to write down about a variety of topics, and ranged from tributes to different musicians, comparable to his nice good friend Gerry Rafferty, to the defiant That Won’t Stop Me, written after he had been handled for most cancers, or Water Is My Friend, a music about hydration and reward for the NHS.

Rab, who has died immediately aged 75, performed a singular function within the Scottish music scene, due to his encyclopedic musical data, his highly effective songwriting, and his enthusiasm for nice songs and musicians. He began enjoying and writing within the Sixties, working with Rafferty, with whom he based Stealers Wheel (although he left earlier than the band signed a contract and made hit information). His songs have been additionally recorded by one other bestselling band, Lindisfarne, with whom he toured.

He recorded a sequence of solo albums for main report labels, usually with the assistance of well-known producers, however by no means notched up the anticipated hits. However he saved going at an age when many musicians would possibly consider retiring, and his later work was as highly effective and authentic as something in his early profession.

Rab Noakes, left, in Amsterdam in 1973 with Stealers Wheel, with, from second left, DeLisle Harper, Luther Grosvenor, Rod Coombes, Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty. Noakes left the band before they signed a record contract.
Rab Noakes, left, in Amsterdam in 1973 with Stealers Wheel, with, from second left, DeLisle Harper, Luther Grosvenor, Rod Coombes, Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty. Noakes left the band earlier than they signed a report contract. {Photograph}: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

He beloved to collaborate. He toured with the Scottish Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes, and with the American singer-songwriter Brooks Williams, with whom he had just lately completed recording an album of Don Everly songs.

With the singer Barbara Dickson, an outdated good friend, he recorded Reunited in 2014 and final toured in September. She described him as “an amazing life power … a implausible songwriter and fantastic guitarist. Individuals would watch from the entrance row with binoculars to see what he was doing”.

He additionally constructed up a following amongst younger Scottish musicians, a number of of whom who have been getting ready to play on his subsequent album. Roddy Hart described “a way of kinship although we have been separated by a long time, when it comes to age … he was a part of the historic material of Scottish music.”. Jill Jackson described how Rab was her mentor when she was 16 “and he taught me all the pieces I knew, performing, writing, recording. I used to be as soon as late for a gig because the assist act, and he requested how a lot that they had paid me. I mentioned £50, and he mentioned ‘hand it to me’ and took the cash – and I used to be by no means late for a gig once more! He turned an unimaginable good friend.”

Residing in Glasgow, it was inevitable that Rab would change into concerned with Celtic Connections, the annual pageant that includes Scottish music, Americana and different international kinds. Its inventive producer Donald Shaw described how he and Rab spent hours discussing the musical hyperlinks between Glasgow and America, how Woodie Guthrie as soon as visited the Broomielaw bars, and the way the normal singer Josh MacRae would despatched tapes from the Broomielaw to Pete Seeger, who would cross them to Dylan.

Shaw booked Rab to play on the pageant, and he performed a significant function in tribute exhibits to Rafferty, the singer-songwriter Michael Marra and Martyn Bennett, who had combined Scottish folks with electronica.

“He was necessary for making the connection between outdated Scots and new Americana music”, mentioned Shaw. “Scotland has discovered its personal voice by wanting outwards fairly than inwards within the final 30 or 40 years … he helped to bridge that hole. I consider him as a catalyst between totally different kinds, younger and outdated”.

Rab was born in St Andrews, Fife, the son of Robert Noakes, a postal employee, and Elsie (nee Ogilvie), a neighborhood authorities officer and newbie singer. The household moved to Cupar, the place Rab attended Fortress Hill major after which Bell Baxter highschool, the place he first met Davie Craig and Artie Trezise, buddies with whom he would go on to make music.

Rab Noakes on stage, around 1980.
Rab Noakes on stage, round 1980. {Photograph}: Tony Russell/Getty Photos

Leaving college at 16 he joined the civil service, working as a pensions and nationwide insurance coverage clerk, first in Alloa, then Glasgow and London. However he was additionally making a reputation busking and enjoying the folks membership circuit. He made his first skilled look in Glasgow in 1967 and in 1969 spent “9 weeks, seven days every week, 4 hours an evening” enjoying in a lodge in Denmark with Craig.

In the identical 12 months he met Rafferty, in Billy Connolly’s father’s home in Glasgow. They remained shut buddies and in 1971 he performed on Rafferty’s solo album Can I Have My Cash Again?, earlier than deciding to not stay with him in Stealers Wheel (though he nonetheless generally performed dwell with them). By now he had met Lindisfarne, who recorded his Turn a Deaf Ear on their 1970 debut Properly Out of Tune, and Together Forever on their bestselling Fog on the Tyne in 1971.

Rab was now following his personal path. He joined Dickson, Craig and Trezise, and different musicians from throughout the area, within the Nice Fife Highway Present, which toured Scotland in 1970, and in the identical 12 months he launched his first album, Do You See the Lights? A second solo album, Rab Noakes, was launched in 1972, produced by Bob Johnston, who had labored with Dylan, whereas Crimson Pump Particular (1973) was produced in Nashville by Elliot Mazer, famed for his work with Neil Younger.

Its songs included Branch, which he sang on the BBC TV present The Outdated Gray Whistle Check, however it failed to supply any hits. Later albums included By no means Too Late (1975) and Stressed (1978), produced by Terry Melcher, famed for his work with the Byrds, and which included backing vocals by Rafferty and Dickson.

As soon as often called a heavy drinker, Rab gave up alcohol in 1982. Along with his pop profession apparently stalled, he moved to the BBC, the place he made use of his huge musical data and love of radio, working in Manchester after which Glasgow, as a senior music producer. He stop in 1995 to start out a manufacturing firm, Neon, with Stephy Pordage, whom he married in 1998. This was adopted by a label, Neon Data, and now his profession blossomed, as he turned a maverick unbiased shaking up the Scottish music scene.

His latest releases included I’m Walkin’ Here (2015), The Treatment Tapes (his 2016 reply to Dylan’s Basement Tapes, following a most cancers operation) and Welcome to Anniversaryville (2018).

An lively member of the Musicians’ Union, he served on its govt committee for 16 years till he stood down in 2020. As a performer who beloved assembly different musicians and music followers within the media, he was one of many present organisers of the London lunches that he christened “the SCRIBs”: Songwriters, Composers, Rockers, Inky-fingered maniacs (writers & publicists) and Broadcasters. He usually sang, and was at all times the best-dressed man within the room.

Stephy died final 12 months. His first marriage, to Marianne Mitchelson, led to divorce. Rab is survived by his brothers, Alan and Ken.

Eurovision track contest 2023 to be hosted in Liverpool or Glasgow

Liverpool and Glasgow are the 2 cities that stay within the competitors to host the Eurovision track contest in 2023, when it is going to Theheld within the UK for the primary time in 25 years.

The 2 cities had been chosen after Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester had been faraway from competition to host the Ofsic occasion. The BBC mentioned a ultimate determination would Themade “inside weeks The.

The Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra triumphed on the 2022 competitors in Turin, Italy, which might usually make Ukraine the 2023 host, however the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produ Ins the occasion, determined the subsequent contest couldn’t Theheld safely in Ukraine because of Russia’s inv Philn.

Phil Harrold, the chair of the BBC’s host metropolis choice committee, paid tribute to the seven shortlisted cities in what he mentioned had been a extremely aggressive subject.

“ The Eurrumoredsong contest is a really advanced occasion and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest general supply; we are going to proceed our discussions with them to find out the eventual host metropolis, The he mentioned. “We’re decided to make the 2023 Eurrumoredsong contest one which each displays the successful place of Ukraine and can be all thehat all the UK can paInstead,te in. The

As an alternative the UK, which got here second with Sam Ryder’s track Spa In Man, was requested to host th Twenty Eurovision.

Twenty venues put in bids to host the biggest and most advanced Ofsic competitors on the planet, watched this 12 months by a world audien In of 161 million.

In August, a listing narrowed down from 20 UK cities which had submitted an “expression of curiosity The was launched by the BBC, with candidates throughout all 4 areas demonstrating how they might replicate Ukrainian tradition, Ofsic and com Ofnities.

Of the seven cities named in August, six had been in England and one in Scotland, with Belfast failing to make the lower Requirementsn Eire.

Necessities included “an appropriate venue and adequate spa In to ship the necessities of the track contest The, ne Inssary dedication to the competition together with a monetary contribution, and “alignment with the BBC’s strategic priorities as Liverpoolservi In broadcaster The.

Liverpool, which has been a Unesco Metropolis of Music sin In 2015, is synonymous with the Beatles and has a wealthy Ofsic heritage. In 2008, the town hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and it is usually residence to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Completely delighted #Liverpool has made the ultimate two for the #Eurovision2023 shortlist, The the mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, tweeted on Tuesday. “Nowhere throws a celebration fairly like us. The individuals, com Ofnities & companies of our metropolis are able to placed on a present – for Ukraine, the UK & for Eu Meanwhilerumoredin Liverpool. Think about. The

In the meantime, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, voi Ind her assist for Glasgow to host the occasion in June, with the town’s OVO Hydro enviornment, which options within the Netflix movie EurrumoredSong Contest: The Story of Fireplace Saga, rumoured to Thea favoured UK location to host the competition.

The Scottish singer Lulu represented Britain on the Eurrumoredsong contest in 1969 with Growth Bang-A-Bang. She was the joint winner that 12 months as she shared the prize with Fran In, Netherlands and Spain with 18 factors apie In.

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite: ‘It’s even simpler for weirdos to search out one another now than within the 90s’

The factor that surprises you most, studying Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite’s memoir, is that anybody concerned can keep in mind something in any respect. Such was the full-body dedication with which the contributors of the 90s Glasgow music scene he paperwork threw themselves into over the past days of actual music business cash, that the entire period ought to, by rights, be one huge blackout.

The subtitle of his guide Spaceships Over Glasgow is Mogwai, Mayhem and Misspent Youth, and from early days experimenting with sniffing Tipp-Ex solvent whereas listening to the thirteenth Flooring Elevators, the insanity not often lets up. On Mogwai’s first overseas tour, to Norway in 1997, they partake of the ferry bar so enthusiastically – snorting the booze for additional intoxication – that for a couple of hours they’re genuinely unsure whether or not one among them has fallen overboard. Musical milestones whiz by in a drunken blur, relationships endure and minds fray on the edges. At one significantly darkish second, Braithwaite responds to his breakup along with his teenage sweetheart, Adele Bethel (later of Sons and Daughters), with a months-long psychedelic bender and manages to persuade himself his proper hand is demonically possessed.

Whereas Braithwaite, 46, feels no disgrace in recounting Mogwai’s feral days consuming child meals on tour, “raking over some issues that occurred which can be painful wasn’t the best factor”, he says. “Like, actually eager about dropping my dad or getting divorced … I’m not the type of person who talks about myself in any respect, so it was bizarre. However then you consider the nice issues that occurred after it or earlier than.”

Stuart Braithwaite.
Stuart Braithwaite: ‘I’m not the type of person who talks about myself.’ {Photograph}: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

A few of the finest recollections recount his teenage initiation into music rising up within the Clyde valley: a misplaced world of taping songs from the radio, skiving college to queue at document retailers for gig tickets, and staying up for dwell performances on late-night TV. Most entrancingly, it conjures a sensation acquainted to anybody who has stood near the entrance at a Mogwai gig: the bodily rush, the consuming power with which bands can swallow you entire. At 13, Braithwaite noticed the Treatment for the primary time: “I’d by no means heard something so loud in my life, nevertheless it wasn’t simply quantity, there was a readability to it as effectively,” he writes. “I felt remodeled.”

A few years later, having witnessed Nirvana at Studying in 1991, he realised with pleasure that Kurt Cobain was a fan of Scottish bands such because the Vaselines and Teenage Fanclub. How did the assist of Cobain, the figurehead of ambition in different music on the time, have an effect on the Glasgow scene that adopted? “It actually was fairly necessary,” he says. “As a result of there have been two camps. There was the ‘transfer to London and attempt to promote thousands and thousands of data’ camp, after which there was the Pastels, Teenage Fanclub camp, and it was the ‘keep in Glasgow and be just like the Pastels’ worldview that gained. I believe illustration actually issues. After I did begin making my very own music, I wasn’t considering: ‘Oh, I can by no means do that’, as a result of I’d seen individuals like me already do it.”

The darkish grandeur of the bands of Braithwaite’s gothic youth plus the vaulting guitar noise and dynamic assault of US indie rock, post-hardcore and grunge fed into the sound of Mogwai, the band he fashioned with bassist Dominic Aitchison and drummer Martin Bulloch in 1995 (guitarist John Cummings, who left the band in 2015, and multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns joined later; former Teenage Fanclub member Brendan O’Hare additionally performed with them for a brief interval within the late 90s). Their largely instrumental music, by turns aggressively loud and heartbreakingly delicate, grew to become central to the disparate, chaotic gang of bands primarily based primarily across the Glasgow venue the thirteenth Be aware – whose bookers included Alex Huntley, later Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, and writer David Keenan – and the document label Chemikal Underground, managed by the Delgados and residential to the likes of Bis and Arab Strap in addition to Mogwai.

The explosion of expertise served as a countercurrent to the very English imaginative and prescient of mainstream 90s indie. Britpop appeared to Braithwaite, he writes, “the whole antithesis of every thing we cared for. It lacked creativeness, magnificence and scope.” He not often misplaced a possibility to let individuals comprehend it, from Mogwai’s “blur: are shite” T-shirts to Braithwaite’s declaration of their first NME interview that they have been on “a campaign in opposition to the type of one that chooses to be in a band not as a result of they assume individuals deserve to listen to their music however as a result of they need their face to be on the quilt of magazines”.

Mogwai in 2001 … (from left) John Cummings, Martin Bulloch, Stuart Braithwaite, Dominic Aitchison and guitarist Barry Burns.
Mogwai in 2001 … (from left) John Cummings, Martin Bulloch, Stuart Braithwaite, Dominic Aitchison and guitarist Barry Burns. {Photograph}: Andy Willsher/Redferns

Within the guide, Braithwaite describes Arab Strap’s 1996 debut album, The Week By no means Begins Spherical Right here, as “most likely the primary time I’d heard one thing that correctly mirrored my expertise of rising up in Scotland”. In coming years, bands such because the Twilight Unhappy, Glasvegas and Frightened Rabbit grew to become extra assured of their id; earlier than then, Braithwaite says, “even in Scotland, individuals would simply assume the Proclaimers have been completely hilarious, as a result of they sang in a Scottish accent … you marvel what was happening within the nationwide psyche, that individuals have been embarrassed to sing in the way in which that they spoke.”

Raised in a pro-independence household – a rarer factor within the 90s than now – Braithwaite lent his voice and his music to the sure marketing campaign within the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, and is unwavering now {that a} second vote is rarely removed from the headlines. “I hope all Scots are wanting on the Tory PM management contest intently,” he tweeted in July. “Do we actually need these individuals to be operating our nation? … We have now an out. Let’s be certain we take it.”

Independence wasn’t a precedence for him or his friends within the music-focused 90s, he says, whereas now “I believe I can most likely depend on two fingers the musicians I do know who aren’t pro-independence up right here. While you realise the democratic deficit in Scotland and the truth that we’ve been dominated by Tories, regardless of not having voted Tory since earlier than we have been born, it kinda sinks in. Undoubtedly the arguments in opposition to appear lots flimsier than they did in 2014.”

Mogwai are additionally dedicated to independence in a wider sense. By no means signed to a serious, they’ve launched their albums by way of their very own label, Rock Motion, since 2010, and established their very own studio, Citadel of Doom, in 2005. “I’d advise everybody to attempt to have as a lot management over what they do as they will in each stroll of life,” says Braithwaite. “It’s good to know if you’ve made a horrible mistake that it’s your individual horrible mistake.”

And whereas the recent return of Arab Strap and the Delgados to the musical fray is trigger for nice celebration, Mogwai have by no means stopped: their most up-to-date album, final 12 months’s Mercury-nominated Because the Love Continues, was their first to prime the UK charts; in July they launched a soundtrack for the Apple TV+ crime drama Black Bird, and are already engaged on one other, as but unannounced. And music remains to be thriving in Glasgow. “It’s bought to the purpose the place lots of people transfer right here due to the music,” says Braithwaite. “And the group facet is possibly even stronger now due to the web – it’s even simpler for weirdos to search out one another than it was again then.”

Mogwai’s weirdo bond stays robust, and Aitchison and Bulloch have learn the entire guide and authorized, says Braithwaite. “Though they bought it earlier than it went wherever close to an editor, so that they have been like: ‘Somebody is gonna take a look at this, aren’t they?’ Martin helped me most likely greater than the web, I used to be phoning him on a regular basis. He retains joking that he’s gonna carry out his personal guide referred to as The Fact.”

Mogwai in 2006.
Mogwai in 2006. {Photograph}: Nigel Crane/Redferns

The band have simply completed a run of competition dates, and Braithwaite, bolstered by the self-discipline of writing the guide, intends, subsequent 12 months, to “attempt to write a ridiculous quantity of music”. Wanting additional afield, he nonetheless retains alive one other childhood dream, one referenced within the guide’s title: that of life on different planets. His late father, whose light, free-thinking presence comes by way of strongly within the guide, was an novice astronomer and Scotland’s solely telescope-maker, and taught his son to stargaze. In an odd coincidence, the younger Braithwaite and Aitchison first caught sight of Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton at a public assembly in Bonnybridge, close to Falkirk, referred to as to handle the city’s mid-90s spate of UFO sightings. Within the guide, he ponders the potential of hiring somebody, as Jimi Hendrix did, to be careful throughout Mogwai gigs for alien craft drawn to the music. So, does he nonetheless consider?

“Oh, greater than ever!” he says. “By means of my life, I went by way of durations of doubt, however the New York Times UFO expose from a couple of years in the past threw me straight again in. I imply, I don’t truly know what they’re, however there’s positively bizarre issues flying about, 100%.”

Whereas we await affirmation of clever life past the photo voltaic system Spaceships Over Glasgow will present consolation and inspiration to all these souls kidnapped by music who, like Braithwaite, have by no means stopped watching the skies.

Learn an unique extract of Spaceships Over Glasgow at theguardian.com/music

I was astronomically unfortunate to obtain an unusual cancer cells. Great task I remained in a band

O n 25 June 2019, it was a wonderful bright day in Glasgow. I invested the early morning happily loading bags with my partner, Jackie. I was a script writer by trade, as well as a songwriter with my Americana group the Sweetie Performance, which had actually been ambling along for 14 years. For the very first time in my perilous freelance occupation, I had deposit, an entire 6 months of job aligned, as well as we were flying out the following day for a special-treat vacation in Portugal with the youngsters. I had actually never ever really felt so lucky.

After lunch we strolled our caring, aberrant mongrel Pepper by the River Kelvin. When I obtained the phone call, that’s. I had actually been having migraines daily given that Xmas. My general practitioner could not discuss them yet made sure it was absolutely nothing severe. I ultimately had a CT mind check equally as the migraines appeared to be going away. Oh, the paradox, I believed.

As we strolled right into Kelvingrove park, a gently talked specialist discussed that there were darkness on my check as well as I required to find in for an MRI the complying with week, when we was because of remain in Portugal. He stated the darkness were prospective indicators of some sort of mini-stroke. OK, we believed, faintly frightened– a minimum of it’s not a tumor.

I had my MRI check in what I would certainly later on refer to as the problem equipment. It revealed a big tumor inside my spine in the neck location, an over cast touch of milklike “scattered” negative things down the remainder of my spinal column, as well as numerous dots– tumors– in my mind. “Return, mini-stroke,” I believed, “all is forgiven.” I was simply obtaining utilized to being old– 45– as well as instantly I was also young to pass away. Jackie wept, I really did not. After the most awful mid-day given that documents started, we headed house as well as actually concealed under the covers. “I’m terrified,” stated Jackie. “Me also,” I responded.

The Sweetie Performance: Loss Back– video clip

After that complied with a waterfall of problem. Over months as well as weeks, bold little spots of hope were gotten rid of one examination at once. My left arm, which had actually begun damaging prior to medical diagnosis, worsened to the factor of redundancy. Playing the guitar was no more a point that I can do. It ended up I have a scattered leptomeningeal glioneuronal tumor, a super-rare problem, just specified in 2016 as well as located virtually specifically in terribly regrettable kids. My being a grown-up made mine super-duper unusual which, according to good friends, was extremely me. As a godless rationalist, I really felt astronomically unfortunate.

On Xmas Eve in 2019, my oncologist used a diagnosis for the very first time. It was never ever mosting likely to be great information, yet listening to words “months to a year” was mesmerising. A despair counsellor stated that being open as well as straightforward with our kids was essential, as well as it currently really felt naturally. It was past terrible, enjoying the very best youngsters on the planet crumple as well as sob, yet we have actually never ever regretted it. It was liberating. We were all on the very same web page as well as, also if that web page was saturated in despair, we were with each other. Possibly I had not been so unfortunate?

My band, the Sweetie Performance, repeatedly relocated so gradually, as well as in a state of family member privacy, that I had actually routinely taken into consideration stopping. I became aware that being component of it was a substantial advantage. We had actually come to be a tight-knit wee gang. Our techniques typically start with everybody having a whinge, exchanging chatter and afterwards, amazingly, a mild lift-off, each people neglecting our problems as we obtain shed in making songs. It’s a type of treatment or mindfulness, a valuable retreat.

Despite cancer cells, the band ended up being a vital component of my support group. Making a brand-new cd became my primary emphasis. The strategy was for the very first fifty percent to be tracks I had actually currently composed. The 2nd fifty percent would certainly have to do with my brand-new fact. The very first brand-new track to arise, Favorable, was implied to be concerning the heck of being informed to “remain favorable” when faced with difficult probabilities … yet it changed right into a really honest, anecdotal account of that action-packed very first year dealing with the opponent inside:

The circumstance’s obtaining quite determined, so it appears

Yet I’m staying calmness amongst the ashes of our desires

Either I’m so extremely endure or it’s the amitriptyline

That maintains me slightly favorable

Several of the tracks came quickly, others took a great deal of revamping. Favorable was very easy to begin yet difficult to finish. Lockdown made tape-recording challenging, as did beginning radiotherapy on the early morning of our very first session, yet it was a pleasure. I really felt much more available to originalities as well as pleased crashes than typical; much less of a control fanatic as well as (with any luck) a lot more pleasurable to deal with.

Throughout this time around, I had an every night regimen of awakening around 3am with my neck as well as shoulders secured pain. I would certainly down 2 dihydrocodeine, go to the living-room as well as vape some “medcreational” marijuana. The neck discomfort made obtaining my earphones on hellishly challenging, yet worth it when I can begin the fantastic playlist of tracks that good friends had actually produced me: Now That I’m a River by Charles Watson, In Dreams by Tomemitsu as well as Ich bin nicht der Grund by Klaus Johann Grobe ended up being large favourites. Carefully relocating to the songs assisted loosen up points up, as well as each track advised me of great good friends, jobs as well as large evenings out. After half a hr, I was virtually dance.

The nighttime discomfort has actually gone, the good news is, yet I really feel strangely sentimental for those hrs invested bopping about in the center of the evening, alone yet not truly. My left arm came back to life many thanks to radiotherapy. I can almost play the guitar once again. My lasting potential customers have not altered a lot, yet the return of my arm really felt incredible. It was the very first non-terrible information given that this all began. Favorable ultimately located its last knowledgeable.

They provided me months to a year, I attempted to provide right back

After that I did quite well under a radio assault

Take place ask me exactly how I am as well as I will certainly inform you for sure

That I’m really feeling favorable.