It's only rock and roll but they like it – MSPs reveal their top tunes

IT'S enough to have any self- respecting music fan anxiously checking their record collection. Scotland's parliamentarians have lifted the lid on their favourite modern-day bands, their heroes of yesteryear, and their guilty musical pleasures.

About 50 MSPs, including the First Minister, Alex Salmond, agreed to reveal all about their musical tastes to The Big Issue in Scotland magazine.

It has exposed wild enthusiasm for The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, a string of secret country and western fans, and Gaelic rockers Runrig topping the charts among Scottish acts.

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The survey has uncovered one MSP who used to share a flat with a member of Franz Ferdinand, and another who almost booed Bob Dylan.

Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue in Scotland, said: "The MSPs have surprisingly good taste and a great number of them seem to be genuinely obsessed with music rather than trotting out a line they think will play well with voters."

Among the more unlikely musical pairings are Labour's George Foulkes with Coldplay; Tory MSP David McLetchie and the Beach Boys; and Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott and heavy metal stars AC/DC.

It is perhaps little surprise independent MSP Margo MacDonald is a fan of country and western rebels The Dixie Chicks; Alex Salmond opts for patriotic choices like The Proclaimers and Runrig; or Tory leader Annabel Goldie was a devoted fan of Cliff Richard in her youth. She also likes The Beatles and one of her favourites is From Me To You.

The biggest musical fan was Labour's Frank McAveety, who boasts more than 10,000 albums. The shortest response came from ex-Labour leader Wendy Alexander, who said she would be digging out CDs by folk singer Mary Black over the summer.

Mr Salmond, who is also a fan of Scots rocker Sandi Thom, added: "My guilty secret is country and western, particularly Tammy Wynette and Kenny Rogers. I like Johnny Cash too – I've seen the biopic six times."

Robin Harper, leader of the Scottish Greens, said: "I remember going to see Bob Dylan in Edinburgh in 1966 when he went electric.

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"We were appalled because we'd been hoping to hear just him and his guitar, but he appeared with a full-scale rock band. Someone shouted out 'Traitor!' and just left."

The SNP'S Aileen Campbell, Holyrood's youngest MSP, revealed how she was sharing a flat with Franz Ferdinand's bass guitarist, Bob Hardy, when the band were starting out.

Acting Labour leader Cathy Jamieson's defining concert was seeing The Smiths at The Magnum Centre, in Irvine. She is also a big David Bowie fan.


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: "The Boss" came out top in the poll. Fans include sports minister Stewart Maxwell, rural affairs minister Richard Lochhead and Bob Doris, SNP MSP.

THE JAM: Education minister Fiona Hyslop, Stewart Maxwell and former culture minister Frank McAveety are admirers.

VAN MORRISON: Another favourite of Mr McAveety, Lib Dem MSP Hugh O'Donnell and Stewart Maxwell.

THE CLASH: Acting Labour leader Cathy Jamieson and MSP Andy Kerr were fans.

RUNRIG: Favourites of the First Minister, Alex Salmond.