Punk man bares soul
Singer’s new departure
A popular Perthshire singer is celebrating over two decades in the music scene with a new album.
Tragical History Tour, aka Derrick Johnston, has his album Aphorisms coming out on Friday, April 20.
Much has changed in the 21 years since he started out. In fact, Derrick, originally from Alyth, did his first show in 1997 in a Girl Guides hut.
“We were a terrible twopiece, we didn’t know much, we were 15 and 16,” he explained.
“My uncle and his country friends took us under their wing and taught us a bit about PA systems and how to behave generally.”
He’s fresh from playing from his soul-baring new LP at Perth’s Twa Tams last Friday, he played Alyth Town Hall on Saturday with Holy Snakes and Callum Tosh, plus special guest Nicola Madill.
Derrick told the PA this work is a message from him, a musician now 35, who’s seen lots of things and learnt hard lessons.
“I lived in Perth during
Derrick performs on new work Aphorisms. Pic Gordon MacKenzie
2007, I had no fixed abode for a while, I was out on tour three out of four weeks so it didn’t make sense to pay to have a fixed address. I stayed with buddies, crashed on sofas,” said the singer, frontman and guitarist who now stays in Dundee.
His personal experiences have provoked him to offer his help in charity work with the Samaritans, Addaction and LGBT Youth Scotland amongst others.
“When the punk band I was in enjoyed some success, everybody lost their minds,” he said. “We were at it hammer and tongs. Jobs were lost, relationships hit the wall.”
In 2012 things hit a particularly rough patch when he had to go out on tour a day after his father died. Derrick said that marked a very bad time in his life.
He kicked some of the confusion of the past when he went sober in 2014, but it led to a differing outlook to the musicians he was working with.
“I recognised I’d suffered since forever from depression, and music was a way to stay well for me.
“When guitarist Jamie and I went our separate ways I thought to myself, ‘what do I do now?’ so I grabbed my acoustic guitar and this album is what has emerged some time later.”
Aphorisms is a step away from the punk he is known for, the music is just him and his acoustic guitar, speaking of death, love, loss, redemption, gratitude, transcendence, regeneration and transformation.
The LP’s artwork uses his long term friend Gordon MacKenzie from Coupar Angus, a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College, who also took the brooding promo shots as MacKenzie Foto.
The EP ‘Old Words’ came out last September, and two tracks were released earlier last year, ‘Field Recordings’ and ‘Come on Home, Hero’.
See https:// tragicalhistorytour. bandcamp.com