The Scotsman Sessions #55: Duglas T Stewart

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts world shutting down for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Duglas T Stewart of BMX Bandits performs The McKinleys’ 1964 song That Lonely Feeling, having asked the song’s co-writer, John Carter, for permission to add a new final verse.

The humble kazoo has played a significant yet sadly unsung role in pop history. It’s been employed by such luminaries as the Beatles, Hendrix, Zappa, Pink Floyd, Tame Impala and cherished Glasgow indie stalwarts BMX Bandits. Frontman and lynchpin Duglas T Stewart bought his kazoo in 1985, the year the band were formed. It’s the very same one you’ll see and hear him play in this touching performance.

“It’s great for me because it’s the simplest instrument to play,” he says. “I had five years of guitar lessons and still was terrible. With the kazoo, the day I bought it I was like a virtuoso.”

The number he’s chosen to perform for The Scotsman Sessions is That Lonely Feeling, which was originally recorded by Scottish sister act The McKinleys in 1964, and shortly afterwards by a nascent version of Glasgow hit-makers Marmalade. Duglas, who recorded the backing track with fellow Bandit Stuart Kidd, asked the song’s co-writer, John Carter, for permission to add a new final verse.

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    Duglas T Stewart

    So why did he choose this song in particular?

    “I thought the feeling of loneliness, along with me singing it into my webcam, quite close up like I am conveying something quite intimate, would feel appropriate for these times,” he explains. “It isn’t a widely known song and it deserves to be heard by more people.”

    Meanwhile, Duglas continues to host his lockdown quiz every Tuesday on Facebook. “People have told me that they find it a welcome escape and distraction from all the dark stuff that’s been going on in the world,” he says. “I hope for people playing along, even if they get a low score, they will have found it entertaining. And I think it’s as much about me welcoming people into my world as it is about quizzing.”

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