Wed 11 Jun 2014 / Blogs

Confessions Of A goNORTH Virgin by Ruth Walker


Quick, let me get these words down now; before the sensation fades; before life gets back to normal and the buzz of creative energy is replaced by making the tea, washing the dishes, going to work. So I put on my Siobhan Wilson CD and briefly recall the two-day sensory overload that was goNORTH. I’ll work backwards, shall I? My choice of soundtrack demands it, since Wilson was one of the last acts I saw on the final day. She moved the audience to spellbound silence, some were moved to tears.  We all fell instantly in love with her pure, breathy vocal and rip-your-heart-out lyrics. Hard to imagine her being matched, we figured, as we headed uncertainly to hear Glasgwegian “experimental hip-hop” act Hector Bizerk. Experimental. That’s never good, right? Though a mention on the shortlist for Scottish Album of the Year has to count for something.

We’d hooked up along the way with a Glaswegian novelist, a writer from Amsterdam, a filmmaker from Copenhagen, another from Shetland, an independent film producer from Glasgow, all of us lone travellers brought together by a common creative instinct and more than a couple of beers. We piled into the pub - it was rammed to the rafters and we had to literally force our way in. The music was deafening. The atmosphere was pumping. Some were crowd surfing. All of us were pogoing. One of us - I won’t tell you who - was in our seventies. She rocked. Freeze frame. In that moment the spirit of goNORTH was summed up. Inclusivity. Energy. Creative expression, Inspiration.

Earlier that day I’d been captivated by a workshop by The Design Trust’s Patricia van den Akker as she forced an audience of creatives to examine their reasons they were in business in the first place. What do you want? What does success mean to you? What will your legacy be? Other highlights included an infectious, one-liner laden talk on getting your book published from the science fiction agent who has published Iain M Banks, Mark Gatiss and Arthur C Clarke - John Jarrold. And there was an insight into music production with, among others, Roddy Hart, long listed for Scottish Album of the Year, and Mick Glossop, the man who has worked for the last 25 years with Van Morrison.

The Next Ten Years: Future Trends and Technologies delivered a fascinating insight into how our lives will change - and are already changing - in the digital age, while Neil Cartrwright’s opening keynote on the future of digital woke us up to the fact that the CD is dead; the download is so last century; the future of entertainment is streaming. As the former head of new media at Sony Music and now MD of Million Media (his clients include Jamiroquai and Ministry of Sound), we should probably all sit up and listen. But, for the moment, I’m just listening to my old school CD and feeling nostalgic.

Ruth Walker Biography

As former lifestyle editor of Scotland on Sunday, Ruth Walker interviewed everyone from David Gandy to Sir David Steel, getting a few suspect beauty treatments along the way - all in the name of work. Now editor-in-chief of Crave, a fashion tech start-up, that makes Ruth Walker a bona fide digital entrepreneur.