Kirkcaldy Guardians: a life in music for Skoti - promoter, performer and driving force at Kings Theatre

A natter, with Skoti, Sunday name, Graham Scott, musician and weel-kent face in Kirkcaldy known for his passion for music and creativity, can only be described as an experience.
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From the Valley area of the toun, Skoti remembers his first concerts hanging out of his bedroom window at 11 years old, listening to likes of Robert Plant, Rory Gallacher, and Jimmy James and the Vagabonds at the Kirkcaldy YMCA - going on to form a “wee punk band” called Nationwide at the same venue.

In 1985, The Ghost Train was formed with John Lessels going on to release two singles, funding the first with a pay-off from local factory Marconi Electronics through Kingdom Come Records and the second with support from an independent label in the USA followed by a successful tour of Germany. The band plays The Kings on April 5.

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Describing himself as a ‘glorified roadie’ he went on to work on OnFife for 23 years as a stagehand, working with The Tubes, Jethro Tull, Billy Ocean, Candi Staton, Newton Faulkner, Eddi Reader, Frankie Boyle and Derren Brown, turning his hand to vox pops and promotion.

Graham 'Skoti' Scott (Pic:  Alexander Henderson) and backstage at the Kings with Mercat the Cat in last year's pantoGraham 'Skoti' Scott (Pic:  Alexander Henderson) and backstage at the Kings with Mercat the Cat in last year's panto
Graham 'Skoti' Scott (Pic: Alexander Henderson) and backstage at the Kings with Mercat the Cat in last year's panto

Asked what music means to him, Skoti simply says “the world. Music is everything I would die without it,”.

Curious about his favourite gig he played in the band, he shares a night in Germany when they were playing opposite a jail with the warden coming across to ask the band to stop performing as the whole jail was singing along to their adaptation of ‘Stand by Me’. I can’t help asking about his experience as a concert go-er and it’s a quick response; “Live Aid,” he grins, “I was 50 feet from Freddie Mercury,”.

Skoti makes no bones about his preference for original music: “Art by its very definition is creating something that never existed before. I just don’t see the point in learning how to play a guitar and copying Andy Summers for the rest of your life,”.

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This ethos led him to The Kings, a charity trust, on the prom, performing with The Ghost Train before arranging a monthly punk/rock band night offering local talent a chance to experience the stage lights.

The Ghost Train gig posterThe Ghost Train gig poster
The Ghost Train gig poster

“Inadvertently, I ended up promoting bands,” he says. Skoti’s knowledge and contacts in the music industry has paid dividends for The King’s. He was instrumental in bringing renowned ‘Kirkcaldy Dame’ Billy Mack, to the venue for the UK’s smallest panto, bringing 4000 folk, mostly new visitors, through the door, as well as an appearance in Fife filmed ‘Dick Dynamite 1944’.

He is fiercely protective of The King’s autonomy, manifesting in a community cinema, playing everything from kid’s films to The Big Lebowski to Barbie. As well as plays and a plethora of musical acts, JJ Gilmour from The Silencers, Darren McGarvey, Dave Arcani, and local talent, Pheonix Falls, and local rapper Kamihamiha, Skoti proudly shares that bands are writing their own music so they can perform in the venue.

It’s remarkable what the team produces with a skeleton team including Paul McCabe and Mandy Hunter with no current funding. And when I say no funding, I mean not a single penny.

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As for how the Kirkcaldy community can help. Skoti asks plainly, “just get behind us,” inviting local creatives, musician, writers, and everyone in between to open the doors; “come and speak to me about staging it,”.

There’s full circle moment with Skoti rehearsing at the YMCA soon with The Ghost Train where it all began. Skoti, our very own punk rocker, maverick, and rebel poet, long may you keep playing your own beat of music.

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