2016 continues with it’s relentless cull of rock’n’roll legends. Today a man I knew through a friend passed away. I didn’t know Davie Speirs very long and I wouldn’t claim to know him well, but I knew him and as a result this blog exists. Here’s how.
I met Davie standing at the back door of the O2ABC in Glasgow on 19th December 2014. I was attending The Twilight Sad gig and in between the support act and the main attraction, my brother Rab and me retired to the smoking area where Ticket Steve, our gig daft pal, introduced me to his mate Davie, a suited, trilby wearing, grey haired man, leaning on a walking stick and puffing on a fag. Rab had met him before and reveled in telling me afterwards that I had just met someone who had met Joe Strummer and was friends with Pete Doherty. Davie asked what I thought of the support, Vladimir. I said I had liked them and would be keeping an eye out for them. It was later that I found out he was their manager.
Me and my missus bumped into Davie at a few gigs over the next year. He was always the perfect gent, happy to talk and his enthusiasm for the music was clear to see.
About 14 months after that initial meeting, I finally caught up with Vladimir when they played a supporting role to Autobahn in Sneaky Pete’s on Sunday 7th February 2016. I have, over the years, occasionally written reviews of gigs, posting them on Facebook or some band fansites. I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog, encouraged by some positive feedback from friends and family, but I hadn’t bitten the bullet. Vladimir’s performance that night had kicked my review writing into action again and I penned (typed) a review with the intention of letting it sit alongside my other writings, hidden on a hard-drive, on a computer, never to see the light of day. I had posted a video on Facebook from the same night which Davie liked and he contacted me to get the link to share.
Towards the end of February I got a PM from Davie which had, what I think was, an advance link to soundcloud and the latest offering from Vladimir. It came with a plea to keep the link off of social media for the time being and asking me to give him some feedback on the new single. He was waiting for a promised play on the Vic Galloway show when he was sitting in for Marc Riley on BBCR6. I provided my thoughts on the single and he replied:
“that assessment cheered me up you’ve just got to believe and keep knocking on the doors eh.”
A few minutes later Vic Galloway played the single and everything was good in the world.
Fueled by a couple of JD and Cokes and the frank exchange, I decided to ask Davie to read my review of the Valdimir set, whilst telling him I’d like to post it on my blog which I was about to start. I didn’t know what to expect, but this was his reply.
You go for it. As Joe Strummer once replied when I asked him a similar question ” ye man you lived it too”
I once saw Jonzip McNeil play a solo set at Wickerman. Half way through the set he recounted a story about his love of Joe Strummer, his regret at never having met him and how he had met a guy who had met Joe in a pub in Cumbernauld, before taking him home for dinner at his mum’s house. This was as close as Jonzip had got to meeting Joe. Thanks to Davie, I now have my own Joe Strummer story to tell.
After reading my review, Davie provided me with some very positive words:
Davie you’ve definitely got the knack but I think when you love music it actually comes easier than you at first imagine. I think the trick is to talk to the page like you were talking to a mate in the pub but instead of speaking it your writing it which is exactly the way you’ve done it no lardy arsed pseudo arty farty shit.Very decent read.
A week later I published my first gig review on this blog.
The last time I met Davie was outside the O2ABC after the Jesus & Mary Chain gig in September. He was with Stevie. He was suited and wearing a trilby hat. A grey haired man, leaning on a walking stick and puffing on a fag. We exchanged words on the evening’s entertainment, Vladimir’s up and coming headline slot at King Tuts and how happy he was that Vladimir had got themselves the gig which could possibly open doors down south.
Rest In Peace Davie Speirs, thanks for the words of advice and encouragement.
Finally, if it’s alright by you, I’ll just “keep knocking on the doors eh!”