A Tribute to Paul Reekie
I FIRST met Paul Reekie some time in the early 90s when I became aware of his heckling every time we played a gig in Edinburgh or Glasgow. He would be standing right at the front in the centre – the same position occupied by Sid at all the early Sex Pistols gigs in London. It would enliven the proceedings no end, and was not the usual brainless fare we had come to expect from a rock audience. It was more what I would call useful advice delivered in a sneering tone. In fact I can remember some of the group members being mildly irritated by him, but he seemed to have an insight into what I was attempting that went beyond that of anyone in the group. I think he was slightly disappointed with the first group he saw me with back in those days; his reaction was “nice little beat group”. After one gig on a snowy night down by the Clyde his reaction was to throw the entire contents of his pint over me, causing me to use my pullover as an improvised pair of trousers by forcing my fat legs down its puny arms. This he loved and from that moment on his would be the first friendly face I would be searching for in the crowd. If for some reason he couldn’t make it, it would feel to me as if I hadn’t really played in Scotland at all.
Subsequently, he invited me to his place on Leith Walk where he told me about playing bass in The Thursdays back in '77, and played me their version of an old Television song (Poor Circulation I think). He also told me about seeing Subway Sect in early '77, and the effect it had, and for a time we corresponded. A few more years passed, and several Sects later I think he was finally quite impressed by what we did.
The last time we spoke was in December ’09 on Grindlay Street in Edinburgh after a gig, when we arranged to meet up round the corner at Henry's Cellar Bar in an hour. There were roadworks all about the place and as he watched me reverse out he just said “nice wheels man.” Scotland will never be the same for the Sect now that he has gone.