BBC Introducing in Scotland is going to be undergoing changes in the new year. It was announced a while ago that Ally McCrae from Detour will be taking over from Vic Galloway, who had been doing the job for something like ten years.

BBC Radio 1 is aimed at a yoof market, and I suppose this kind of transition was inevitable at some point, even though it seemed a little abrupt when it finally happened. I’ve only really met Ally once or twice, and I hardly know the guy, but he’s always seemed like a really sincere, decent bloke so I am sure he’ll do a cracking job, and this post is in no way supposed to be a slight on the new regime, just a quick salute to the old one.

The first time I ever really came across Vic was when he was in a band called the Khartoum Heroes with Kenny Anderson, who I loved when I was at university, although I only found this out much, much later.  The first time I knowingly encountered him was at Homegame quite a few years ago when his band, Deaf Mutes, played a set.  I cynically expected it to be shit, ended up really enjoying it, and I remember thinking ‘Oh right, so he can actually walk the walk, unlike most of the rest of us doing media-based stuff, who generally just talk a good game’.

Anyhow, since then I have bumped into Vic and his producer, Muslim Alim on a number of occasions (Scotland is just not that big a country) and honestly, they are two of the loveliest guys you could hope to meet.  They’ve also given our label and the bands we work with an absolute ton of support, not least in the absolutely crucial role they played in getting Meursault their BBC Introducing set at Glastonbury, which resulted in a playlist slot on Radio 1 and all sorts of other stuff.  They haven’t always played everything we’ve sent them, but they’ve been generous with advice, honest about what they haven’t played and why, and just massively encouraging in a way that means an awful lot to a startup record label with no idea whatsoever what the fuck it is doing.

More to the point, though, they are not dicks.  That may sound like a stupid statement, but it actually isn’t; the music industry is full of total pricks.  Whiney pricks, slippery pricks, backstabbing pricks, fairweather pricks, snotty pricks, status whores, fashion whores and attention whores.  The number of times I have been dismissively ignored by people who think what we’re doing might not be fashionable enough for them to be associated with, or by people who have themselves been treated like shit and realise that, given our respective positions on the status ladder, now it’s their turn, is just plain depressing.  In fact it is one of the most wearing parts of being involved in music.

So when you meet people like Vic and Muslim who are just absolutely straight down the line, genuine guys it is a complete breath of fresh air, believe me.  With those two I have never once felt like they expected me to try and impress them, like they were evaluating us, or like they were anything other than just plain good lads who enjoyed what they did and wanted us all to do as well as possible.

So no slight on the new team intended at all, but I did think it worth saying this: cheers fellas, you’ll be missed.

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Photo Credit: Peej Reid