Today we’re joined for lock down tracks by Sky Sport’s North East presenter, Keith Downie who admits to the wrong team making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up…
So, where does music start for you?
My Dad was a mobile DJ doing weddings and 21st birthday parties and the like so there was always music in the house growing up as he tested out the latest tracks and LPs he was going to use. People are always surprised that I know almost all the lyrics if I’ve got Heart 80s or something on in the car, tracks that I haven’t heard since, but I’m sure it’s down to those days in the house listening to my Dad getting ready for the weekend.
Any particular tracks you always liked?
If there was only one track, it’d be Sister Sledge, Thinking of You. I always said that, if I ever get married, that’d have to be the track for the first dance but then, last year a friend of mine got married and beat me to it, he really stole my thunder! When Hearts won the cup in 98, I had a video of that season, like a season review. and on that they had ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ by Candi Staton. I watched that video almost on repeat and if I hear that song I’m taken back to Celtic Park and that day but I think my Dad had it too.
And what about buying music for yourself?
The first one that I still admit to was Urban Hymns, the Verve album. I’d be about 15 or 16 when that came out. It wasn’t really my scene so it’s an unusual choice for me. I’ve never really been a big fan of Indie music. Never really liked Oasis or anyone, you know, but, for some reason, I really like that album, still do. I’ve seen them a few times and I still listen to that album in the car quite often. They’re good to relax to, if I’m trying to think about something or want peace, I’ll still turn to Urban Hymns.
Do you listen to music in the car a lot?
Not really, especially if I’m working. You’ve got to get your head in the right place and make sure you’re up to speed with the news. Armed for what’s to come. So it’ll normally be Radio 5 or BBC Newcastle. Sadly, when you work in football it changes. It’s your job and some of the excitement you feel as a fan goes, I guess because you’re focusing on the story or the moment.
And what about the embarrassing first album?
Ha, well, the first album I bought, I was about 13, and I bought Simply The Best, the Tina Turner album. I don’t really remember why even. I think someone said I should and so I went and bought it. And it’s a big Rangers song of course…
It always fascinates me that even music in Scottish football is tribal.
Yes, it is, back as a kid I loved listening to the Hearts Song. It just took me to Tynecastle in my mind. You’d hear it everywhere. There was the Hector Nicol version that sounded really old and then they did it again in 86 when we so nearly won the league and cup.
And as a Hearts fan I’m guessing you’re not a big Proclaimers fan?
That takes us back to what I was saying before about it changing when you’re working. I was working at Easter Road for a derby game and we got hammered. It was awful. Really comprehensively beaten and, as a Hearts fan, you normally just get out of there as quickly as you can after that sort of game but, because I was working, I was still there and got serenaded by them singing Sunshine on Leith. And, I’ll get hammered for saying this but, it was a hair standing up on your neck moment. Somehow when it’s work, you’re less emotionally involved and you can appreciate the moment rather than just being angry! It’s a great track and, even my Hearts friends who say it’s rubbish, deep down they know it isn’t!
And what about walk out music? What do you think the best track is?
Well you’ve got the Hearts Song I mentioned before, but, for me, I think when they play This is The One at Old Trafford it is pretty special, especially on big European nights. Then some tracks you link with after the match, like Sunshine on Leith or, I remember at Hampden in 2012 when we beat Hibs in the final 5-1, it was basically a perfect day and we were all singing Baby Give It Up by KC and the Sunshine Band at Paulo Sergio. That’s an amazing memory, if I hear that song now it takes me back there.
And away from football, do you go to many concerts?
Not much these days. I used to go to quite a few in my twenties but not so much now. I saw The Kooks and The Verve and, through a friend, I’ve seen a Scottish indie band called, We Were Promised Jet Packs, quite a few times but these days I’m more into dance music so, if I was going to listen to music it’d be more Ibiza or Ministry of Sound than a concert.
And is that what gets you on the dance floor?
I have to be really, really drunk to be on a dance floor, but yes, somewhere like DC10 in Ibiza. I’d be avoiding the more commercial sounds like David Guetta and going for the Italian and Spanish DJs.
So, if we could let you out of lockdown for one night is that where you’d be?
Definitely, I’d go to Ushuia in Ibiza. They have a night called ANTS which is awesome. I’d love to be there listening to someone like Marco Corala. It’s my 40th next year and I was just talking to friends the other day about sorting that trip. If not sooner!
Let’s hope we’re able to take trips like that in the very near future. Thanks and keep well.