Dundee unveils new city anthem for culture capital bid

An artist's impression of the V&A Museum in Dundee
An artist's impression of the V&A Museum in Dundee
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Dundee has unveiled a new anthem which the city hopes will help see it crowned Europe’s new culture capital.

Singer-songwriter Gary Clark, frontman of the band Danny Wilson, has masterminded the creation of song Over Bridges, which is said to capture the “iconic view” of the city while crossing the Tay.

A host of Dundee’s musical talent, including Kyle Falconer, singer with The View, and the bands Model Aeroplanes and St Martiins, all appear on the track, along with Clark and Adam Hunter, who he wrote the song with.

Dundee has been preparing a bid to be crowned European Capital of Culture in 2023 ever since losing out to Hull with a bid to become UK City of Culture this year. It is the only Scottish contender for the title, but is up against competition from Leeds, Belfast-Derry, Truro-Cornwall, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.

The anthem has been unveiled ahead of Dundee submitting its “bid book” to the UK government in October. A shortlist is expected to be announced the following month, with a winner due to be revealed at the end of 2018.
Clark, one of Scotland’s most prolific songwriters, has previously worked with the likes of Natalie Imbruglia, Lloyd Cole and Melanie C. He narrowly missed out on an Oscar nomination with a track from the hit Irish film Sing Street.

He said: “I’d been working on the debut album of a young artist called Adam Hunter and we’d written a song called ‘’Bridges” about returning to Dundee and seeing that iconic view of the city and crossing the bridges to home. I thought the chorus was perfect but strongly felt a song representing Dundee should be performed by a cross-section of local musical talent.

“I wanted the artists to bring their own style to the song. The only thing I said was that it needed to be an expression of how Dundee inspires you. My only regret is the amount of Dundee music talent that isn’t represented. The line had to be drawn somewhere and I was happy that we were able to showcase more established artists with some of the young talent that Dundee is producing right now.”

Bid director Bryan Beattie said: “It’s a great song that captures the spirit of Dundee and how folk connect and reconnect with the city. We want to give opportunities to young artists and Gary has done that instinctively in the way he’s produced a brilliant bid anthem and signature tune.”