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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Praise: David Keenan's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , December 2nd, 2020 09:46

Jennifer Lucy Allan hears about high-fiving Edgar Froese, frightening the neighbours, disavowing the devil and how Scottish author David Keenan is all about saying yes. Portrait by Heather Leigh.


Dexys Midnight Runners – Don’t Stand Me Down
I love stylish men. I love when they're well groomed, people like Andrew Weatherall and Billy Childish, these suave guys. Kevin Rowland is a total style icon for me, and this is one of my favourite albums of all time. I associate this record with first having girlfriends, first falling in love in Airdrie, first moving out of my parent's house. Don't Stand Me Down was a flop, but it's incredible. He's writing about beauty and how impossible it is to articulate the power of beauty, to actually see it. It really spoke to my romantic sensibility at the time.

I remember this walk I took one day – one of those summer days that only exist in your childhood with those perfect blue skies – to an Our Price a few miles from Airdrie. You could walk it using parkland virtually the whole way. I decided I was going to walk to Our Price, buy two records and walk back and listen to them with the window open. I was working in a hospital kitchen so I had a wee bit of money, and I walked the whole way and remember thinking ‘I will remember this walk for the rest of my life’. It was so beautiful. I got to Our Price and there was the Dexys album I'd read about, and I think I bought Sound Effects by The Jam. Walking back with them in my Our Price bag and feeling all romantic, then listening to that Dexys track 'What's She Like', where they sing about ineffable beauty and about first love and about remembrance, I just felt I was in it. I felt alive. I remember thinking ‘I'm in my boyhood right now, it's amazing, and it'll never come again’. I love that word 'boyhood', it's such a lovely word.