Mickey 9s’ Dougie Smith with A Celtic State of Mind – “Tommy Burns is an all-time Celtic legend.”

I’m doing what I’m doing because I love to do it… And if people like it, that’s a great bonus, but it won’t really change the way I do things.”

Björk, 1996.

The above quote from Icelandic artistic genius, Björk, could be considered as something of a mantra for A Celtic State of Mind. I recall interviewing Clint Boon from Inspiral Carpets back in 2018 after Celtic fans adopted his biggest hit, This is How it Feels, and the conversation took us on an intriguing journey through a lengthy and varied career. One Celtic account on Twitter observed that there had been no Celtic chat for the first 20 minutes of the podcast, which wasn’t strictly true, but you get the flavour of the feedback…

Clint isn’t a Celtic fan – he supports Oldham – but he was still a more than worthwhile guest for ACSOM, in that he wrote the song that was soundtracking our domination under Brendan Rodgers. I thought that much was obvious and that we might not have been discussing his thoughts on Stuart Armstrong’s marvellous quaff.

That’s not to say that I don’t take feedback on board, but the ACSOM manifesto has been pretty clear from our first episode (nearly three years ago now) and it is a concept that I’ll stay true to. Perhaps some of our guests will be fairly obscure, or their links to Celtic will be tenuous, but every one who appears on the podcast provides us with our own brand of interesting and bespoke content.

This week’s guest, Dougie Smith from “funky Glaswegian 4-piece” Mickey 9s, is no exception. The obvious difference between Dougie and Clint, of course, is that the Mickey 9s frontman is a bonafide Celtic supporter. But our 40-minute focus is not solely on tactics and jersey fabric – we instead speak about mental health in the music industry; the genius of the late Scott Hutchison; releasing a song called ‘All Tories Are C**ts’; having a crisis of faith; and embarking on a solo project.

Listen to MICKEY 9s’ DOUGIE SMITH with A Celtic State of Mind here:

Mickey 9s were introduced to ACSOM by Martin Donaldson, who has been a long-time admirer of the band. Here is an article Martin published on the site back in January:

I know the nation has been worn down by politicians and political spin in recent months, but there is just one particular Party Manifesto that still stands out from the rest and deserves a bit more broadcasting time.

Ever since meeting at high school, Mickey 9s have been delivering an upbeat soundtrack to mask the malaise in mainstream UK music. Last year, the band celebrated 10 years by playing a number of gigs and festivals up and down the country.

Now, I can’t claim to have been on to the Glaswegian funk/disco showmen from the outset. Thankfully an old friend from my school days directed me to their music after he was blown away by the band’s performance at the Doune The Rabbit Hole festival a couple of years ago. A conversation with my friend led to a search on Spotify, a few songs and fifteen mesmerising minutes later I was hooked. I suppose any band that can launch into a track with a chant of “Fucking yaldy” deserves its fair share of airtime.

With hypnotic basslines and electro dance-inspired guitar riffs, the band deliver a punchy soundtrack to bounce, dance and really lose yourself to. Dipping into a wide range of musical influences, Mickey 9s transport you to the post punk electro ‘80s and early ‘90s sound with a healthy mix of Stone Roses and Daft Punk-infused tracks complemented by the gallus swagger of an Alex Harvey-style delivery by frontman / singer Dougie aka St Cool. The upbeat dance sound along with the shadowy lyrics make for a intoxicating mix

Having digested their two full albums released so far, I made the point of getting out to see and hear them live. Taking in a show at The Record Factory in Glasgow, I looked on as the band stormed through tracks from their albums including the politically charged Ammunition and Berlin, delivering a flawless performance leaving the crowd exhausted but energised for more.

So enthralled in the euphoric performance, I made another trip to catch a further set later in the year, this time at Oran Mor in Glasgow’s west end, a bigger venue with more ravers squeezed in. Folk ranging from teenagers to retired revellers from across the country energetically partied along with the band as the rattled through tracks from The Party Manifesto and most recent album Galactic Radio.

With plenty of blistering tracks on their albums, namely Find a Thing, Shark in the Water and Psycho Control, all leave you wanting more and some thought-provoking lyrics from Ghosts shows a more socially political conscious from a band who reserve the right to protest if and when required.

Dave, Ants, Ross and Dougie are off to the studio doing the hard work collaborating on their third album in 2020, hopefully this will trigger more live dates and the chance to experience exhilarating show from one of the best live acts on the scene at the moment.

Martin Donaldson

Watch Sophie Millar’s stunning rendition of ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly’:

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