A few weeks back I was invited along to the launch of Dave Arcari's new CD at the Captain's Rest and met many of the movers and shakers of the Glasgow Music World. Among the most interesting was Peter MacCalman, a Westender; I enjoyed a wee blether with Peter about his work with The Acoustic Affair, where he provides a platform for singer/songwriters at The City Halls and Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow, and we arranged to meet up for a longer chat at a later date.
I eventually hooked up with him one very rainy morning in the Lansdowne Bar, his local at Kelvinbridge, and I was fascinated to hear all about Peter's work. An accomplished composer and producer, his creativity has lead him on many diverse paths and covers a wide range of music related fields.
In January, 1999 he set up his company PM Music - a studio production and live promotion company and to date it has a pretty impressive list of achievements. This includes: production and broadcast credits such as TV (CH4 / CH5), short film, theatre (We're The Believers 2008) and XBox/Playstation (Evill Dead II. Recently Peter has produced an album for the band Danse or Die and he has also produced the work of other artists including River Detectives, Peter Rose and Ben Sturrock.
Peter is one of Glasgow's most respected promoters and well known for the quality acts he puts on through Acoustic Affair. Prior to the establishment of PM Music, he identified a gap in the market for acoustic acts so he set about rectifying this by organising performances.
Initially, this was in The Tron Theatre, where the gigs were well received from the outset. Peter's aim was to "create an opportunity for songwriters to play, where people would sit down and listen". The first season was in 2002 and he was delighted that the venture was perceived exactly as he had intended as "a programme with high quality acts". The second season was "brilliant" with all seven shows sold out. Acoustic Affairs was solidified when he was invited to become part of Celtic Connections, Scotland's major winter music festival. Nowadays The Acoustic Affair shows take place in two of Glasgow's top venues The City Halls and The Old Fruitmarket.
There are many demands on his time to become involved in festivals and promote bands in Glasgow and elsewhere and this was the basis for the establishment of his company PM Music, where "music is very important to us". Now more than 10 years later Peter's enthusiasm has not waned. Although, he admits that it can be "really hard work keeping all the plates spinning" but "he is very fortunate because he loves what he is doing".
He has a fantastic network of contacts and a highly efficient assistant, Lisa Craig, whom he cannot praise enough. He also calls on a large pool of casual staff for various musical ventures involving touring and local artists in a network of venues in Glasgow and throughout Scotland.
Peter seems to be unusual in combining great organisational skills and a creative energy and it's heartwarming to see such commitment to bringing quality to the music scene in Glasgow and Scotland. Little doubt that companies like PM Music have contributed to Glasgow's new found status as UNESCO City of Music.
PM Music are responsible for programming the music stages at Big in Falkirk, booking shows at the No Mean City Festival (co-promoted with O2 Academy - ), and programming shows at the Merchant City Festival