- David Pollock
- 8 January 2009
ABC, Glasgow, Sat 17 Jan
The Shoeshine imprint isn’t so much a label (although it’s that too) as it is a catch-all umbrella term for any venture which Francis Macdonald has a hand in. The Glasgow-based musician, producer, manager and musical entrepreneur’s involvement in his home city’s scene has extended from the C86 era right up until the present day, and this showcase-come-celebration will demonstrate precisely how. There will be sets from Attic Lights, who he produces and manages; BMX Bandits, whom he’s a sometime member of; and Norman Blake, who he plays alongside in Teenage Fanclub. Blake will also be unveiling his new musical collaboration with Euros Childs of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci fame here too.
‘The first Shoeshine releases came in 1996’, says Macdonald. ‘I brought them out because I was playing part-time with BMX Bandits, and I decided to fill the rest of my time with releasing, recording and championing music. So I guess the label was intended as a kind of Lanarkshire version of Creation.’ Since then, Shoeshine artists have included The Beauty Shop, Schwervon! and Alex Chilton, while its younger, folk-focused sister label Spit and Polish has championed John Peel favourite Laura Cantrell and currently handles Scots singers Julie Fowlis and Emily Smith.
‘I’m very pleased with some of the special artists we’ve handled and albums we’ve released,’ says Macdonald, ‘but it’s been a learning curve that I’ve gone through while the business of running an independent label has become harder. So it’s a very natural thing for me to move towards management now, to try and use what I’ve learned in my time to help steer the careers of other musicians’.