Rab Noakes on Stewart Cruickshank: 'Everybody who came into contact with him loved him'

Concert For Stewart: 'Everybody who came into contact with him loved him . . . I miss him' [Rab Noakes]

Emma Pollock / credit: Jannica Honey

Concert For Stewart to celebrate the life and legacy of influential Scottish DJ

While the cringe comedy of W1A is close to the bone on current corporate broadcasting culture, the late Stewart Cruickshank represented all that was enthusiastic, unpretentious and conscientious about bespoke radio production by fans for fans.

Over his 35-year career at Radio Scotland and beyond as a freelance radio producer, Cruickshank enthusiastically championed so many Scottish musicians at an early (and later) stage in their careers, via the curated playlists of Rock on Scotland and Beat Patrol, the jazz programme Be-Bop to Hip-Hop and folk shows Celtic Connections – from which the festival took its name – and Travelling Folk.

So it is hardly surprising that the great and good of the Scottish music scene, including Emma Pollock, Justin Currie and Karine Polwart, are coming together at the Concert for Stewart, to celebrate his life and legacy and raise funds for Drake Music Scotland, which supports disabled musicians towards learning, playing and composing independently.

Cruickshank's own band Mowgli & the Donuts are also on the bill, alongside the Crunchies, a Glasgow indie supergroup comprising members of Teenage Fanclub, Belle & Sebastian, the 1990s and V Twin, and his former BBC colleague Rab Noakes, who affectionately describes his old friend as 'somewhat creatively dishevelled in his methods. But I was impressed with Stewart's ability to release the most surprising, yet erudite information on pop's rich story at the drop of a hat.'

As was Lou Reed, when Cruickshank was dispatched to the States to interview the notoriously media-unfriendly rocker and won him over so completely with his forensic knowledge of the Velvet Underground catalogue that he returned with a whopping seven hours of Lou musings.

'He did like attention to detail,' says Noakes, 'and that made him a good producer. But it also made him a really interesting companion. Everybody who came into contact with him loved him because he was such a lovely person. I miss him.'

St Luke's, Glasgow, Fri 24 Nov.

A Concert for Stewart Cruickshank

A celebration of the legendary radio producer Stewart Cruickshank with proceeds going to Drake Music Scotland and performances from the likes of Karine Polwart, Justin Currie, Emma Pollock and more.

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