The inclement Scottish weather can be responsible for many things, most of them negative, so it’s nice to see that excessive rainfall can occasionally lead to some good. Moving to Glasgow from Dublin, musician Dave Boyd was immediately struck by how wet the city is.
‘One day I Googled ‘music about weather’ and so many Scottish bands have written songs about the rain,’ says Boyd. ‘So that led to me thinking; what if it was the music that started the weather, rather than the other way round. And wouldn’t it be great if there was a guy in a room somewhere with a computer, whose job it was to play the music that made the weather happen.’
And so The Weatherman was born. Billed as a rock concert for families, the show features original music by Boyd, complemented by big screen action from around the globe. ‘We play the music and the computer does a Google Earth search,’ explains Boyd, ‘and finds the weather we’re playing the music for, in whatever part of the world it’s happening.’
The result is a musical journey that fuses reggae, Taiko drumming, Arabic drum ‘n’ bass, rock ‘n’ roll, electronica and more. And although you can’t talk about the weather without mentioning climate change, Boyd is determined not to sound preachy.
‘I don’t give a big lecture,’ he says. ‘We just ask the computer how to deal with climate change and it says we’re all using too much stuff. So we turn off all the gear until we can’t play any music – and then we give everybody two plastic milk bottles to bang together and the whole audience becomes the band. There’s no great message about recycling, they get that from everyone else, it’s more about “isn’t it a great thing to do something all together?”’
Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Fri 13 Nov; Falkirk Town Hall, Sun 15 Nov