...Pat Kane, actually. I am a musician (with Hue And Cry), a writer (here's some stuff from the Guardian, and The Play Ethic, book and blog), a consultant, a theorist and an activist (look, in full flow, with hair! And without). There's a more comprehensive CV at the 'continue reading' link below. For music-business matters, please mail here. For non-music-biz matters, please mail here. Peace, love and creativity, pk x
Pat Kane - Full Biography
Pat Kane was born in a Glasgow hospital on March 10, 1964, son of Mary Kane, and John Kane (d. 2007). He has two brothers, Garry John (39) and Gregory (41). Educated at St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Secondary School in Coatbridge, Pat went to Glasgow University in 1981 to study English Language, Literature and Film & Television Studies, and gained a 2:1 MA (Hons) in 1985. During his studies he began to write, record and perform songs with his brother Gregory, in a variety of bands, before finally deciding to form Hue And Cry as a musical partnership in 1983. After graduating, Pat spent a year in London with his then girlfriend, and later wife, Joan McAlpine, and freelanced for music magazines like the NME (with current Channel Four executive Stuart Cosgrove as his editor) and Jamming!.
At the same time, Pat was writing songs with Gregory, under the auspices of Chappell Music, who had signed Hue And Cry in mid-85, with the assistance of manager and studio owner Allan McNeill. Pat returned to Glasgow with Joan in 1986, and Hue And Cry intensified their search for a record deal, which they secured with the fledgling London label Circa Records in late 86. The brothers began recording in London, and then in New York, and completed their first album Seduced and Abandoned in early '87. With the top ten chart success of Hue And Cry's second single, 'Labour of Love' - a coded anti-Thatcherite anthem which was the soundtrack to the General Election campaign in Britain that year - Pat found himself opening concerts for Madonna (180,000 over three nights at Wembley), Simply Red and U2 over 1987-88.
At the same time, and with his pop celebrity as a door-opener, Pat began writing again for UK publications. He published an early piece on 'working-class kitsch' for the new Independent on Sunday newspaper, and began a weekly column with the Scotsman newspaper, titled 'Citizen Kane', in 1988. The topic of the first column was his account of campaigning with the Scottish National Party leader Jim Sillars (and the Proclaimers!) in Sillars' victorious by-election in the Glasgow Govan constituency. Throughout the next four years, Pat was a vocal supporter of 'Independence In Europe', one option among many within the constitutional movements in Scotland at that time.
In 1990, he was elected as the SNP candidate for the Lord Rectorship of Glasgow University for a three-year term, defeating no less a contestant than the Labour MP Tony Benn! Pat also regularly appeared on Scottish and UK media (Channel Four to Radio Four) advocating its cause, and co-founding organisations like 'Artists for Independence' (see this clip from 1992). During this time his print journalism also expanded, writing for Scotland on Sunday, the Guardian, New Statesman, and Marxism Today, among many other publications. Pat began a weekly op-ed column with the Herald newspaper in Glasgow in 1991, which continued (with a two year break) until the late nineties, exploring politics, culture and technology in Scotland, the UK and globally. Much of this is gathered in Pat's first book, Tinsel Show: Pop, Politics, Scotland (Polygon, 1992).
Musically, two more albums were recorded for Circa between 1988 and 1991 - Remote in 1989, which delivered two chart singles in 'Looking for Linda' and 'Violently', and Stars Crash Down in 1991, artistically strong but commercially a disappointment, which led to Hue And Cry being dropped from the label that same year. Pat continued with his brother Greg to make music throughout the nineties as Hue And Cry, four albums with two independent labels, including the acclaimed neo-jazz albums for Linn Records, Jazz Not Jazz (1994) and Next Move (1996), featuring the Brecker Brothers, Tommy Smith and Mike Stern.
In the late nineties, Hue And Cry had gone into semi-retirement, leaving Pat free to perform some extraordinary gigs with a London-based 'acid-jazz big band' called Bandzilla, led by jazz composer Richard Niles. His most exciting experience with Bandzilla was opening twice for Ray Charles in 1997, once at the Louvre and once in Glasgow (which sounded a little like this). During the nineties, Pat's media career enriched and expanded. He became a regular arts and ideas presenter and journalist on BBC Radio Scotland, interviewing cultural figures like Salman Rushdie, John Kenneth Galbraith, Noam Chomsky, Martin Amis, Doris Lessing, John Le Carre, David Attenborough, E.L. Doctorow, among many others. This culminated in two Radio Scotland series based in America, Kane Over America (1995) and Dollar Signs (1996), the former series winning him a 1996 UK Sony Radio Award (Bronze) for Radio Journalism.
Pat also contributed to BBC2's The Late Show, and even presented his own live late-night discussion show on Channel Four in 1997, Nightwatch. He worked for a spell at Microsoft, as music editor on one of their online magazines, Blizzard, and became a regular book reviewer for the Independent in 1995, continuing to this day. In 1997-1998, Pat was given editorial control over two pages in the Saturday edition of the Herald newspaper, which he used to drive a think-tank called 'E2' (shorthand for Second [Scottish] Enlightenment), and an essayist slot (modelled on the New Yorker, but dealing with Scottish themes) called 'Scotgeist'. In tandem with art director Roy Petrie, Kane ran voices and thinkers like Noam Chomsky, Richard Rorty, Manuel Castells, Paul Romer, Richard Dawkins and many others, using innovative layouts and typography, even computer-generated comic strips at one point. For this, he received what he regards as his best-ever literary review from a disgruntled Herald executive: 'That's journalism for the 31st century, never mind the 21st'.
The plug was eventually pulled, but the adventure brought Pat to the attentions of Andrew Jaspan, ex-editor of the Observer, who was starting a new Scottish Sunday paper, Sunday Herald. Along with his old university friend Rob Brown, Pat became one of the paper's founding editors, which launched in 1999, a harbinger of the 'new Scotland' represented by the restitution of the Scottish Parliament. When he left the paper in 2000, Pat had edited the award-winning 'Seven Days' section of the paper, commissioning writers as disparate as Jeremy Paxman and Tom Nairn.
Free from his editorial duties in May 2000, Pat embarked on his next major creative act - building a website, promoting the argument, and eventually writing a book based around the idea of 'The Play Ethic'. He had been exploring the concept in journalism since 1996 - observing the twin developments of the rise of the internet and the rise of New Labour, and wondering how the 'new work ethic' promised by Blair and Brown would sit with the 'playful interactions' afforded by digital culture. Pat launched the concept as a front cover feature in The Observer's Life magazine in October 2000.
Aided by a comprehensive web presence, The Play Ethic brought Pat into the world of commercial, organisational and even political consultancy - helping to shape ad campaigns for Microsoft X-Box, talking to artists and educators in Australia, technologists in Finland and Vancouver, and social workers in Scotland. He even conducting a seminar for the Cabinet Office in London, commissioned and attended by the Prime Minister's Chief Policy adviser, Geoff Mulgan. The Play Ethic was commissioned by Macmillan publishers, and released in 2004 to acclaim from thought-leaders like Charles Leadbeater, Will Hutton, Douglas Rushkoff and Daniel Pink.
The book's success has brought Pat considerable recognition. He was invited to become a Demos Associate in 2000; he was also appointed Visiting Fellow in the School of Management at York University, and became Britain's first-ever 'thinker in residence' at the Bristol Festival of Ideas in 2005.
2005 brought another strand of his career back to life again - Hue And Cry. The partnership between Pat and his brother Greg had ground to a halt, financially and creatively, in 2001 - until an unexpected e-mail from programme researcher at ITV reignited it again. The show was called Hit Me Baby One More Time - a Saturday night 'talent' show, where the talent was stars from the 80's and 90's taking to the stage one more time. In association with new manager Dougie Souness, Pat and Greg threw themselves into the fray, competing successfully enough to end up in the final of the competition (while Pat completed his duties as 'thinker-in-residence' at Bristol. As he has written, quite a headwrenching time...) From this experience, Pat and Greg decided to write another Hue And Cry record - one which captured the spirit of performance and directness that they'd enjoyed so much with the Hit Me show. Completed in 2007, 'Open Soul' will be available in digital and physical formats in early 2008.
With the arrival of the first SNP government in May 2007, Pat has returned to activism and advocacy, though in a much subtler way than before - by writing on Scotland for the Guardian's blog space Comment Is Free, by helping to set up the collaborative policy blog Scottish Futures, and by contributing to the Scottish Broadcasting Commission set up by Alex Salmond, which is exploring justifications for returning the control and regulation of media to the Scottish Parliament. Throughout this creative career, Pat's life has been blessed with two glorious daughters, Grace (18) and Eleanor (10), who have put all these strenuous enterprises in their proper and bathetic context. He has also miraculously ended up with a partner, Indra Adnan, who enriches everything he does, mind, body and soul.
If you want to contact Pat directly, mail him here.
completed December 30, 2007