1. The accordion

THE accordion was the first instrument I learned. My grandfather bought me it. The story goes, basically, when my mum was a wee girl my grandpa, who was a farmer, went to the market to buy an accordion and he came back and it had holes in it and didn’t work so it skipped a generation. So when I was born he was determined I would get an operational accordion. That was my first encouragement to go into music.

2. My dad’s record collection

My dad has an amazing vinyl collection. Not because he’s a collector, just because he’s still got them from the 60s. it’s stuff like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys but also a lot of American folk stuff like Joan Baez, the Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan and stuff like that. I think that has influenced my music taste quite a lot.

I remember putting on The Beatles, and strangely he’s not a massive Beatles fan, but he had this one record on and I asked “when did you get this? This is like a collectors item” and he was like “someone just gave it to me for my 21st birthday”.

I find it fascinating and I still enjoy looking through them today.

3. Sunset Song

It's a classic bit of Scottish literature. I read it in early high school and I was always interested in reading. I ended up studying literature at university.

At that point, it was just how it described the Scottish landscape and the communities which worked and lived there in there in the early 1900s. For me, as a young teenager, reading it and then living in the highlands – I’m from Fort William – I just felt like wow, this is someone talking about the same people and landscape I’m around. It’s like poetry the way it’s written.

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It really inspired me and it’s influenced a lot of my songwriting over the last wee while as well. I still find it emotional and it’s really beautiful the way it’s written.

4. Ben Nevis

I’m from Fort William and my house looks onto the north face of the Ben. We went there on a high school trip and just experiencing it, it’s like a different planet up there.

Being at the summit, it’s the most incredible view. You’re at the highest point in the UK and you can see for miles.

When we went up to the summit, the clouds were down and walking into this cloud felt like an alien environment I’d never experienced before.

I was thinking it was so weird because I’d been looking up at this point all my life and now I am on top of it so it’s a really weird perspective thing and it blew my mind at the time.

5. Learning to speak Gaelic

It changed my life in the way that learning any language will but it also added so much importance to me culturally. It felt really satisfying to be able to speak our native language.

In terms of Tide Lines’s music Gaelic is a part of it too and even culturally. I love the fact I can speak it. I learned it slowly. First in school, then university and then through Gaelic speakers I knew.

It wasn’t quick to learn it but the good thing for Scottish people is it’s part of who we are so it’s very rewarding to learn it.

6. Moving to Glasgow

I left school at 17 and moved down to Glasgow. That was a big change for all the obvious reasons, like adapting to a big city. Getting to explore the music scene in the city, which is really vibrant.

I played my first gig here at a pub in Argyll Street. I had never met Ross before. There was another lad who was going to play piano but he was offered a job offer in Cornwall. He phones me to say he can’t make the gig and he put Ross Wilson on short notice, our keyboardist, and he turned up five minutes before the gig started and it turned out great.

The difference between living in the city and living in the Highlands probably inspired the first two Tide Lines albums so it was inspiring me years after I had done it.

7. Bruce Springsteen

WHEN I moved to Glasgow I started seeing big shows on a scale I had never seen before. Seeing Bruce Springsteen at Hampden was definitely something that changed my life.

I was already a huge Springsteen fan but it was so inspiring. And more recently seeing The Killers was fantastic. That was amazing. Seeing gigs of that scale is great.

8. Starting Tide Lines

Ross and I had been playing for years in a different band. We met Ali and Gus over a pint. We got to know them through the Glasgow music scene. They came highly recommended and wanted to start a band. So we met for a pint and got on really well with them.

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Shortly afterwards, I had a couple of songs I had written that were more poppy, away from the traditional stuff, and I spoke to the boys about that. Gus comes from a totally different background from me, he’s from a drumming rock background. We were all sort of aligned on where we wanted to go.

We could have easily met those boys, not got on and Tide Lines would never have happened. But it was something that went really well and is obviously very life-changing.

9. Our first gig

It was at Tiree music festival. We knew the lads who ran it and they had put their faith in us and said whatever your new project is we’ll book you for the festival.

So when the four of us got together it was with the view of putting together a set list for this which was really difficult because we had only released one single as Tide Lines. That was all we had. Then we had to do a 45 minute set and say hey we are Tide Lines and this is our first ever show.

We did covers there and we did everything from Taylor Swift to Simon and Garfunkel at that point. At the last five minutes we did our first big single. Since then it’s been brilliant and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

10. Getting an air fryer

It's my favourite thing in my flat. I’m not a really good cook so it’s helped me eat healthily, quickly and conveniently.

Everyone was taking the mick out of me because for a while my Instagram was nothing but me putting chips in the air fryer. Someone was telling me recently it was the most bought Christmas present this year. I’ve had mine for a year and I am still overcome with it.

I just love it. It’s great when I come home I can have something that is quick, convenient and healthy.