Reading about Turntable in the Festival programme, I was undoubtedly intrigued by the idea but didn’t fully appreciate its significance.

Sitting in the Recovery Café in Paisley, patiently waiting for my turn to spend a few minutes with lead artist Michael John McCarthy, I was able to enjoy the music that other people had chosen. A Beach Boys track here, an AC/DC track there, the hustle and bustle of a busy community café – the whole experience was very relaxing. But I still didn’t get it.       

However, like many things, you don’t understand until you try it yourself. Cue my selection and cue Michael John, sitting at his table, dropping the needle:

‘Tell me Andy, you’ve picked ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac – does that take you to a particular time and a place?’

Now I get it.

Immediately, I am flooded with memories of this song. While I chose it just because I like it and wanted to hear it, I suddenly realise that the reason this song means so much to me is because of something entirely non-musical. The song has tied itself to all manner of childhood memories, feelings and pictures. Michael John and I have a nice chat about the memories that the song conjures up – in this case, for me, of watching the Grand Prix on Sunday afternoons.

And that’s what Turntable is all about. It’s about reconnecting with music and reconnecting with memories, memories that have been forgotten or dulled, or maybe memories that are as fresh as the moment they were formed. Above all, it is a wholly enjoyable, personal and even transcendent experience. 


Written by Andy Revill


Join Michael John McCarthy for Turntable at Rattray Community Connect, Blairgowrie, Fri 16 Oct; throughout Headspace Festival Day at Platform, Glasgow, Sun 25 Oct; and at The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, Mon 26 Oct.


You can listen to Andy’s conversation with Michael John here: