The Scotsman Sessions #71: Warren McIntyre

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, Warren McIntyre, frontman and songwriter of Glasgow-based Starry Skies, performs Be Kind, the title track from the band’s 2019 album.

Kindness may not be the most rock’n’roll of emotions but it has cropped up as a theme in a number of songs and initiatives in recent years as musicians figure out a positive counter to the rise of right-wing populism – be it Paloma Faith’s mission to spread an epidemic of kindness or Frank Turner’s Be More Kind album, both of which homed in on personal responsibility rather than political activism.

Warren McIntyre, the frontman and songwriter of Glasgow outfit Starry Skies, was thinking along the same lines when he penned the thoughtful ballad, Be Kind, a simple note to self which became the opening number and title track of Starry Skies’ 2019 album.

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For his Scotsman Session, McIntyre has recorded a solo rendition at his home in the village of Auchinloch in North Lanarkshire. “Be Kind seems to have connected with many people,” he says. “Over the last two years, it has been played as the first dance for two weddings, used at the eulogy for Outlander/Star Wars actor Rony Bridges and also been covered by singers in Sweden and New York.”

Warren McIntyre

Like many bands, lockdown has meant cancelled shows for Starry Skies – but also an opportunity to record and release two new songs, the breathy country-flavoured ballad Sweet Honey Blue and the peppy, propulsive garage pop of Here Comes the Moon, as well as finish work on the follow-up to Be Kind.

Keeping with the gentle directives, the album, slated for October release, will be titled Do It With Love, and is dedicated to sometime Starry Skies drummer Ian Stoddart, a much loved and supremely talented musical figure in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the last four decades, who passed away a few weeks ago.

Starry Skies music available from https://starryskies2.bandcamp.com

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