Thursday, 15 March 2012

Champion Doug Veitch - Not The Heart

Do you remember Champion Doug Veitch?  He achieved some prominence in the mid 1980s.  He also had a run of six consecutive NME singles of the week.  I believe this is a record.  One of them was this one....

Not The Heart b/w Guilt Edged

And what a marvellous thing it is.  Champion Doug Veitch styled himself the 'King of Caledonian Swing' which is probably underselling his oeuvre.  Each track was some sort of combination of dub, reggae, country, and Scottish Folk.  'Not The Heart' features of all these and a bit of yodelling for good measure.  I think part of what makes this tune so marvellous is the input of esteemed dub maestro Mad Professor at the production controls.  This one will put a smile on your face and quite probably get you skanking about the place.

I've got the 'Jumping Into Love' single too.  I'll be ripping that one sometime soon.  A much sought after vinyl compilation entitled 'The Original' was released by the wonderfully named Bongo Records in 1989.  Remarkably, at the time of writing, this album is available to buy on iTunes for £7.99. 

Hearing this single again - which has one of those covers that can be unfolded to make a Champion Doug Veitch poster - made me wonder whatever became of him.  After some intensive online research I can now reveal Champion Doug Veitch was born Douglas Veitch in 1960 in Hawick in Scotland. His music was, as mentioned, a trailblazing polycultural mix of dub, reggae, country, and Scottish folk music, years before such cross-cultural mixing became common pop currency.

In 1985, he co-founded the label DiscAfrique with his colleague Owen Elias, which was one of the first world music labels in the United Kingdom, releasing records by The Bhundu Boys, Orchestre Baobab and The Four Brothers amongst others.  In 1989, he released an album of Scottish dance music with his wife under the moniker Martin, Doug and Sara.

After drifting out of the music industry Veitch took a PhD in Woodland Management.  Recently he has returned to music, reuniting with Bhundu Boys guitarist Rise Kagona under the moniker Culture Clash.  The duo released the album 'Tanzwa Neku Tambura: We've Suffered Enough' in 2007. 

Now you know.

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