First-time promoter brings Scottish singer to Arena

Gordon Baisley with sons Hamish and Euan promoting the concert

Gordon Baisley with sons Hamish and Euan promoting the concert - Credit: Archant

It will be more than just a ‘first’ for Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean when he appears at the Alban Arena next Saturday, July 25.

Dougie MacLean

Dougie MacLean - Credit: ROB MCDOUGALL

For the concert is being arranged and promoted by St Albans resident Gordon Baisley, who has had no previous involvement in music promotion.

A long-time fan of Dougie, Gordon had suggested that his hero should be invited to play at the Arena once before when the theatre asked for Facebook posts suggesting artists to play there but his bid was unsuccessful.

So with his 40th birthday approaching, he decided to email Jenny MacLean, Dougie’s wife and manager, to ask about prices for booking her husband to play a small venue as the main part of his birthday.

In her reply, Jenny said Dougie was on an English tour but had two nights still available. While her husband did not perform at private parties, she asked if Gordon would be interested in promoting a Dougie MacLean public concert in a sizeable venue on either of those two nights.

Gordon said: “Next stop was the Alban Arena. Again my expectations were low; I thought it likely the nights would be booked or the cost prohibitive.

“This time it was Chris Baker at the Alban Arena I spoke to and Chris was also very encouraging. Saturday, July 25, was available, much of the complexity is taken away with things like the Arena offering box office facilities and the venue cost was achievable.”

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He managed to secure sponsorship from Quast, a quality assurance and software testing services company, and although Gordon admits the promotion has taken over his life to a certain extent, he has got the bug and set up a company, Behind You Promotions.

Jenny said that she and Dougie were looking forward to the concert and coming to St Albans. She went on: “It will be towards the end of a short tour of England and looks like a lovely venue.

“It feels good to be working with Gordon who’s a real enthusiast for the music and someone’s who’s finding the whole process novel and interesting and I think with that he brings some new ideas and the interesting energy of someone who’s not in a routine.”

And Chris Baker added: “We’re looking forward to a great evening of music with Dougie MacLean and wish Gordon all the best for his first foray into producing.”

Dougie, who is regarded as Scotland’s pre-eminent singer-songwriter, is renowned for his song Caledonia, music for The Last of the Mohicans and such performances as the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

His songs have been covered by Paolo Nutini, Amy MacDonald, Ronan Keating, Mary Black, Frankie Miller, Cara Dillon, Kathy Mattea and many other top performers.

The concert starts at 8pm and tickets at £25 can be obtained from the Arena box office on 01727 844488 or click here.