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Sticky dancefloors, sweaty bars, and choosing songs for your own funeral (with David Paisley)

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david paisley

This week we are talking to David Paisley, a Scottish actor known for roles in soap operas Holby City, and River City.

He is also a tireless LGBTQ campaigner, recently being acknowledged with an Attitude Pride Award for his  campaigning against the trans-exclusionary agenda of the LGB Alliance.

He first moved to London when he got the role as midwife Ben Saunders in Holby City, and hated it. It wasn’t until the second time around that the city’s charms started to show themselves, and he had fun exploring the sticky dancefloors and sweaty bars of Soho. 

We originally caught up to talk about Ghetto, that beloved icon of the mid-00s queer scene, but, as is usual on this show, went on the scenic route, which took in other clubs such as Popstarz and Trash Palace, and some entirely unrelated conversations about funeral songs, Spice Girls, and the anxiety of controlling the playlist at a house party. 

Make sure to follow David on Twitter to keep up with his goings on. 

David is also one of the people behind LGBT Glitterati, who are selling all kind of queer t-shirts, caps, vests and face masks, with all profits going to the Transgender Defence Fund – go top up your summer wardrobe!

David Paisley: it reminds me of that time when I felt like anything could happen and anything was possible. You know, your twenties are a point at which you could go in a multitude of directions, the possibilities feel limitless. Um, so like for me, it’s a really positive time and happy, happy memories of silly dancing on a sticky dance floor, dropping a can of Red Stripe and failing to pick it up.

Intro

K: So, when did you move to London?

David Paisley: First of all, I moved in about 2003 and 2002, 2003, because I got offered a job working in London, um, working on a TV show. Um, I had a boyfriend at the time and we had to come to an accommodation with that. Cause he, he was still studying up in Glasgow. So he stayed in Glasgow. Um, yeah, it’s quite a change of pace and

K: so why do you bring up the boyfriend then?

David Paisley: Cause we had a long distance relationship for a number of years while I was in London. And he was in Glasgow.

K: Oh, for a number of years, it didn’t just like fall apart within a month.

David Paisley: No, not really. No, no. We were together for what together for seven years,

K: I’m always surprised when people are like managed to make that happen. Like, wow.

David Paisley: I think moving to London was a factor in why we eventually broke up. You know, I think it’s really challenging to be in a long distance relationship. And I was really young. I was only. 22/ 23. Um, but we’d already been together for about three years by that point and three or four years. Um, so we’re quite a settled couple.

We were quite happy together. Um, so moving to London was quite a big challenge for us, but I couldn’t turn down the job. The job was such a good opportunity. Um, so yeah, I  had mixed feelings about going, I had mixed feelings about being there my first time in London. I was there for two years and, uh, I didn’t enjoy it.

Like I didn’t like London.

K: Oh, wow. Okay. So, okay. Uh, like did you always want to be and actor and was it always like, this is, this is the path I’m on. This is what I’m going to do.

David Paisley: Um, kind of, yeah, so I was like in school plays and things like that, I was the shyest kid you’ll ever meet. I was incredibly shy. Um, but for some reason I was drawn to this idea of, uh, performance and, um, partly that’s. I, I always try to work out why I was so drawn to it. But I think for me, it’s, there’s something about the kind of cathartic release of, of playing with your emotions on stage, in a way that’s not real, right?

Because you can explore emotions and feel and feelings and thoughts in a character. And that’s not, you that’s kind of outside of you. Um, so like I was quite, I was quite drawn to that even when I was quite young, um, So I, I feel like I always wanted to do something creative. I think that’s one of the creative impulses is to kind of, is to get a, get a, get a response from, from whoever.

And if it’s, if you’re a musician, you kind of want to have an audience, or if you’re in visual art, you know, a lot of people create stuff in, they create it for themselves. Um, but there’s another part of creativity. That’s about, um, connecting with an audience. So there’s different, different ways in which we’re creative, different reasons why we’re creative.

K: And there’s kind of this kind of a safe way of doing it. Isn’t there, like if you’re an actor, it’s a very kind of contained, like I am going on stage and I am going to do this. So you have you maintain that control while still being able to connect.

David Paisley: Yeah, absolutely. It’s also, I think for someone who’s shy, who’s a bit of an introvert, like it’s a really great way to hide, um, cause you can be on stage in front of hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, and it’s not, you, there’s a character there looking at the character. They’re not looking at you.

And that I’ve never had stage fright because I don’t feel like people are. Me. Um, I also, I play music and write music and I had to stop doing that because I got such terrible stage fright because the music that I write is as, um, it’s so personal. Um, and when I’m on stage doing music suffers, I’m feel like I’m bearing my soul, which I don’t feel like I’m doing as an actor because it’s someone else’s soul and all that sounds kind of odd.

But, um, I think it’s one of the reasons why a lot of musical performance perform in character. You know, there’s a lot of people who take on a persona in order to. And so I

K: Yeah, but I always kind of think, I dunno, I guess like with my songs, although they are very personal, it feels like that’s someone from another time. So it’s not really me. So it’s got that.

kind of sense of performance around it

David Paisley: Uh, yeah. So if you, so if you have enough distance from it and that you feel like that.

K: Mm

David Paisley: I can kind of understand that. I can understand that. And also some people write in character, they write songs in character. So they’re not, they’re not songs about them. Some people are really clear about the fact that.

The write stories about characters and the songs that they’re singing, one of my favorites singers is Kathleen Edwards. And she always writes songs that are in characters. Cause if she was that character in her songs, she’d be messed up. She’s got several boyfriends in jail or life’s a mess. Um,

K: That’s that country thing. Isn’t it?

David Paisley: yeah, which I love.

Yeah, for sure. So there’s definitely different approaches. You know, when you create something, it can be incredibly personal or you can step outside of it and have a level of objectivity. Um, yeah. And I’ve never mastered, mastered that with my music. I just find myself so exposed. So

K: that’s so interesting. Cause even like.

when you’re writing about yourself, there’s some creative license

David Paisley: But then I think that the w the way that I use music is so personal. So I play and

K: to process and.

David Paisley: yeah, I play instruments and it’s like therapy almost, you know, when I’m sitting with my guitar player and playing music, it’s almost meditative and therapeutic. And so therefore, It’s not actually, that’s what I’m saying some art is for an audience.

I feel like that’s not for anyone else it’s for me. Um, like it’s a process that I just enjoy. That’s very, very personal. I like, and if anyone ever overhears me, I said, I feel like I’ve been caught naked. Um, so

K: Oh, wow. Oh, that’s so interesting. Um, Nick Drake once said that he’s written like five alb- Oh, I hope it was Nick Drake. Um, that he’d written like five albums that were like for him. And he’s never gonna like release that music. Actually. I think it might be Jeff Buckley. It’s someone who’s white and a man.

David Paisley: well, I think cause Nick Drake only. He, he wrote three albums, I think. And the third one was Pink Moon and he wrote that almost in total isolation and apparent= because the legend is that it just slipped the masters on the desk of his record company and walked out. So like if I, well, I can’t, I of, I understand that though.

I think that’s like, I’ve got recording equipment home for that, because I thought I should probably record some of this stuff just for me. So I’ve got it. Um, but it’s, it’s hard to do because I don’t really it’s honestly, it’s like letting someone read your diary from the time when you wrote that song.

Some of it, some of it’s incredibly personal and, um, And you know, that, that thing of inviting people in to see a part of you, that’s very private. Um, that’s, that’s one thing that music can do, but, but that’s not the only thing that music can do. You know, music is more about connecting with people and sometimes people see it as having a good time.

Most of my music is miserable.

K: Join the club. I didn’t see, but like for me, I think

David Paisley: Yeah.

K: because. Like if I’m on stage, if I’m in front of a group of people, if I am like in any way in any kind of social setting I suddenly become Like really inarticulate, unable to, uh, really communicate what it is that I’m trying to say. And so for me, songwriting, because it’s something that I’ve done beforehand and then memorised, I can then come and say like, and this is what I want to say.

And it is in that kind of safe way because I’m not then. Uh, cause what I’m communicating becomes like second nature. So I’m not going to think overthinking it in my head whilst performing.

David Paisley: Hmm. Yeah. That’s, that’s kind of like it, wasn’t it. So when you rehearsed something and sort of, because it’s just in your bones, isn’t it sets in, you know, so it’s much easier. Um, to then explore it on stage because

K: Mm.

David Paisley: it’s not, an immediate, like you want performance to look like it’s immediate it’s in the moment, but actually any stage performance tends not to be tends to be rehearsed.

And that’s, that’s how you, that’s probably one of the reasons why I don’t really get nervous on stages because it’s always quite well rehearsed. Um, and also being given the words that you’re going to see. It means I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing cause I have. You know, I have, I have the thing planned out.

It’s not, whereas things like public speaking and trying to be, you know, or, um, you know, anything that that’s something else, you know, that’s not planned.

K: Like anything like This like this conversation we’re having right now, you mean.

David Paisley: This is okay. This is fine, this is a conversation between two people. I think I’ve, I’ve done. Q, have you ever done a Q and A in front of an audience? I’ve done things like that. And that’s always a bit, it’s just different because

K: w yeah, when they ask the question and you don’t have time to think about what Your response is and all these people are staring at you and yeah.

David Paisley: Your brain just goes. I don’t know, or worse, your brain does that thing of clicking into different gear and it’s just like pouring out of you kind of stop, like just the other, the

K: better for the audience, I guess. Like, you know, It might be embarrassing for you, if

David Paisley: how long

K: you over reveal things, but you know, at least they’re getting their money’s worth. Yeah. But, so the reason that I was asking about that is because, so assumption that I would make is if you were aspiring to be an actor and you lived in the UK, you would be like, I’m going to move to London.

I’m going to go and like audition and I’m going to like, make it.

In acting. Was that ever, was that ever part of your plan?

David Paisley: Uh, not specifically, I think you’re right. So much of the industry has done. Yeah. Um, my entry in the industry was quite, um, Immediate and, and unexpected. Cause it was a teenager. I got cast in a TV show, um, at an open audition. I wasn’t really planning on it. I didn’t go to drama school, but although it was something I always wanted to do, my mum was a writer.

Um, so she was a published writer and I knew that I wanted to maybe do something creative. And we’d spoken about it quite a lot. And she’d said, well, you know, she knew the reality working in these industries and she’s just said, ah, he has a career, a bedrock underneath it. And also she really felt that, you know, the best creative output comes from people who have life experience.

It’s not always true. I think sometimes you can get really interesting stuff from very young people that maybe, you know, But it’s also true. That experience helps inform the creative process. So she felt, if you feel that you’ve got something to say, give it 10 years, you’ll have even more to see, you know?

Um, and I think she just didn’t want me to be skint, broke. Like, don’t do it because it’s like any, all the creative professions can be quite challenged and yeah. Um, acting is difficult. I know a lot of work in musicians. It’s very similar. They am actually making a career where you owe the majority of your income comes from, from that, that work is really challenging.

Um, so most people have to have a mixed income and look at ways of making it work, you know?

K: Yeah. So then, so you’d done this open audition when you were a teenager. Got an acting role. And then that led to the acting world in London, or

David Paisley: Yeah.

K: to there.

David Paisley: Yeah. So I got this open audition, um, and it was, we did two series of that TV show and a few plays with the same theatre company that made the TV show. Um, and that led to an audition with the BBC for a network TV show on, on the BBC. Um, and I did that for a few years as well. Each thing. Led them to the next.

And I ended up living in London. I hadn’t really planned it. It just all happened. Um, and I, I definitely, this is a weird one because I definitely wanted to work. I definitely thought this is a great opportunity to do something. And like, I sometimes I’m quite brave about that kinda stuff. Like, I’ll just do it now that I’m over 40 looking back.

I wonder how I was so, like, I didn’t have any fear of doing it. I just did it. Yeah. Whereas now that I’m a little bit older, I feel like I’ve got some more, um,

K: Hmm.

David Paisley: now that I’ve got that experience, I’m slightly more cautious, um, and less brave and bold. I think we’re all quite bold when we’re young. Um,

K: Well it’s because you’re not necessarily thinking through the negative consequences. Are you.

David Paisley: yeah, I mean, I was a teenager when I got into the industry and you just think, oh, this will be fun. I’ll give this a go. Um, and that’s, that was one of the reasons why I went. I, when I left London, after my job on that TV show finished, um, I found it quite challenging. You know, I had to, I moved back to Glasgow, as I said, my relationship with my partner.

He, he had got a job in Bristol by this point. So he moved to Bristol just when I moved home. Yeah. And that, that like, uh, typical at that put strain on the relationship and eventually that relationship failed I was in Glasgow, I just didn’t really know. If I was supposed to be an actor anymore. Um, and if that’s really what I wanted to be, because like, you have to be really committed to working in creative professions, um, in order to make it work.

Um, so I had, I had a few years of just really considering whether or not it was, that was, that was for me. And eventually I thought, well, give it another go. And I moved back to London because like you said, London is the city where a lot of those industries are based. So I moved back. Um, and that was my second time in London.

And that was a very different experience to the first, because it was choice to move down in the first time. Wasn’t really a choice. It was a necessity. Um,

K: Oh, that’s interesting. So it wasn’t like, oh, I’ve got this, I’ve got this acting role. I’m going to go to London and I’m going to live this fantastic life. It was like, oh, I bet I better go and Do it. Then I suppose.

David Paisley: Yeah, well, this is elements of the first time round in London. I really didn’t enjoy. I didn’t like being away from home. I miss my partner. I don’t like the.

I th the fame side of the work, the work that I do, um, I’ve never been a big fan of, um, being in the public eye. Um, and the TV show that I did was quite a big TV show at the time. It had a bit with 8 million viewers, 10 million maximum kind of. So it’s quite well watched and, and, um,

K: why do we keep not saying the name of the TV show, by the way?

David Paisley: I don’t know. I feel like I’m being discreet.

K: Why are we, why are we like the TV show?

David Paisley: that TV show. It’s called Holby City. I was a midwife on Holby City for a few years. Um, and they killed me off in a car crash. I got crushed to death by an oil tanker. Um, I know, but, but I suppose my experience with that was it’s not a wholly positive.

Like w w we’re going to talk about scene and venues. And there was a point where I couldn’t – going out to like venues and going into the gay scene kind of thing, gonna bled away. Because, um, at that time, when I was younger, there weren’t that many out gay actors playing out gay roles. So like, I was a bit of an outlier.

It’s much more common now. Like, you know, there’s so many more. Um, public figures and people like that people can point to and look up to and have representation. Um, but when I was young, there wasn’t that wasn’t so available when I was, um, in a, in a position where if I’d go out to certain clubs and I’m quite shy, like I said, I’m really, really shy.

And that, that kind of attention I didn’t enjoy. Um, and yeah. Experiences I hard with that are, you know, I bet it made me not want to be on television anymore. Um, so after that I am, like I said, I had a bit of a, gosh, why am I doing this? Do I really want to do this? Um, like I said, I don’t really want to be on television anymore.

Um, and I had to have a think about what I did want to do with my life. And if acting was really for me and I was only about 25, 26, um, and it’s odd. It’s. To have a career and to think, oh, is that it? Is that, is that done? Am I going to leave that now? Or is it leaving me? Because sometimes that happens.

K: You don’t have that choice. yeah.

Uh, so are we able to just talk a bit more about those experiences in like queer clubs when you were in London the first time? Was it just like, uh, everyone wanted to talk to you because of who you were or was there more to it?

David Paisley: I have some really good experiences of the first. Because I was a regular Popstarz, you know, the club, I just loved the, um, but I was always in a fight with my best friend over because he liked that there’s like the rubbish room where they played pop music. And I really liked the Indy room cause I’m like a bit of an Indy boy at heart.

And so he was always like dragging me off and I’m always like dragging him back down.

Uh, so I have really fond memories of, of, of that space at the Scala. Um, and that was probably a highlight of my time in London. It’s that place. Um, and places like Heaven, which I used to go to quite a lot…. um, which I like, they are quite busy and like a sweat box and you can kind of get lost in them a little bit.

Em, and so like actually most of my time in London was it was all right. Uh, eh, that was okay. It was only really later on that I kind of started. Um, but as I say, like the Popstarz was such a wonderful venue, just, um, just kind of scuzzy and grotty and wonderful. And I have so many happy memories of, of, so what I did when I went to London, I made a friend with a big group of people from a university LGBT group that I kind of semi joined, even though I wasn’t at university because I was university age, I also the same age as them.

So I just Hung out with this whole group of people from, and just like pretending there was a student and I pretended that I wasn’t her. Like if someone asks me what I did, I said, I was just. So I’m a student. I had someone come up to me once and say ‘has anyone ever told you that you look just like David Paisley?’

I’m like, no, I’ve never heard that. Really? so, but London, London can be a bit more anonymous and at times, um, and there’s, there’s quite welcoming places that you can go, like I’m not, um, like I said, I had had had some very good experiences in, in, in those venues.

K: But, but What about the negative experience? Sorry, tell me the bad

David Paisley: about what about the bad stuff?

K: What about the drama? You were saying that like, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like, because you were shy, it wasn’t always welcoming. You didn’t always enjoy the same that first time around.

David Paisley: Yeah, I was very, very shy, so I kind of just. Hanging with my friends, like most people do on their own. And, um, let me just, there’s a few instances of, of, of things being uncomfortable. People, sometimes people would be rude to my friends. Um, and I wasn’t very good at it. I wasn’t very good at, eh, because people just want to see her law or they want to just acknowledge something.

And I’ve learnt how to cope with that better, you know, it’s just about being polite and friendly and then also being boundaried and saying, thanks so much. I’m just going to go back to my friends. No, you know, um, so like understanding how to handle that. My shyness was still both the a and I’d get terrible social anxiety, um, that I would kind of clam up and yeah.

Almost appear rude. I think I would, because I was so like, oh, I don’t really like talking to strangers. I have this real, um, hello, hello, by the way. Um, like I like that, but that’s something from childhood. I was always, I didn’t really like strangers. I was quite a shy, introverted person. I used to hide behind the sofa with the dog when a stranger would come into the house.

K: Oh, wow.

David Paisley: Yeah.

K: was the dog willing or was the dog dragged.

David Paisley: Oh, we were good pals.

K: Okay. All right.

David Paisley: Um, I I’ve had to learn how to push past that shyness. I’m much better at it. No. Um,

K: And that’s something that you get better at with age as well. Isn’t it?

David Paisley: yeah. Well you learn what people, what people want from that interaction. Like people just want to like, be seen and be heard and to acknowledge that the. Um, and at almost 98% of the time, people are just polite and, and, and ok, there’s a small fraction of people that kind of, um, are less polite or a little bit invasive.

Um, and,

K: Might have their hands in certain parts of your body that they shouldn’t have.

David Paisley: that’s happened. Yeah. Or they just see something disrespectful and not very came and, um, Yeah. So I’ve had challenging experiences where people have disrespected my boundaries and disrespected my friends, um, and stuff like that. And that made me really question things. Um, yeah,

K: Oh, so.

so that was like your first stint in London, then you got run over by a truck, then you moved to Glasgow and then you were like, yeah, I do want to do acting. I’m going to go back to London and pursue it. What was, what was that like? Going back the second time.

David Paisley: Very different. Um, very different because like that that’s when I could really be anonymous in London. People forget very quickly. Um, so it was a couple of years. Later. Um, and I was a little bit older and it was a very different experience. My relationship had ended, so I was single.

K: Okay.

David Paisley: Um, actually one of the reasons I moved to London was because my ex had moved to London and I was like, I’m going to go to London.

I’m going to get him back.

K: Oh, no on there. Did you like just happened to, to rent a flat on the next street or?

David Paisley: That’s worse than the, oh my

K: Oh, God, no. Tell me.

David Paisley: I moved, I moved to London and he had met someone else and he introduced me to this person that he met and it was, I was like heartbroken and it was all really, really difficult. Um, and, um, yeah. Anyway, I ended up going out with his new boyfriend.

K: Did you

David Paisley: I’m a terrible person.

K: what, so, okay. All right. Let’s unpack this. So you then like stole him away.

David Paisley: Not really? No, no, they were, they weren’t, um, this is really personal. I love them both

K: you coaxed him away?

David Paisley: still. I’m still really good friends. I’m still really good friends with them, both. I was actually at my ex’s wedding just a couple of years ago. And I, um, my, my partner that I met in London who ended up being a long-term partner was originally going out with my other, yeah, this is like such a, like, this happens a lot.

K: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a right passage for a queer man.

David Paisley: I we’re all, we’re all still pals, so that’s that’s all

K: Yeah. All right.

Okay. Okay. Like, it’s great that you’re all still friends, but what happened?

David Paisley: This is how it all relates. I actually messaged my ex that I met in London. The second one, um, his name is Ben and we met. And, um, those, these venues that I, I really loved places like Trash Palace and the Ghetto or, and we were like regulars in the Ghetto going to nights like Red Eye and Miss Shapes. And Wig Out and there was another night called Nag Nag Nag, which was at the Ghetto, which is quite well known.

Yeah. Um, cause they did like an electro clash kind of, and it was really popular at that time. It was like the early naughties, like up to, and he had, he was a punk, so he had like a Mohawk and eh, he went to cause Red Eye was like the punk night. I feel like in London at that time had these venues that were so much more diverse than

I’ve seen the last few years. Um, like so many different types of music, you could go out on a different night and, and yeah. I, it was quite a golden time. I really enjoyed, um, that particular period just because of the music. And like the Ghetto was like a little sweat box. That was just mental.

K: So, okay. So you’re taking me off in a completely different direction. Do you, do you not want to talk about this?

David Paisley: no, no, I, well, yeah. Yeah. So that’s where I met Ben who’s, who was my, my second partner. Um, I was just one of these awkward things. So my, so my first partner is a wonderful, wonderful human being. Um, and so is Ben and that’s probably why they were drawn to each other. Um, and then when I was introduced to him, I was like, oh, hello, hello.

On the way I met him. And that night I was like, oh God, he’s lovely as well. He’s a really lovely human being. Um,

K: fuck my life they’re together. Dammit.

David Paisley: Yeah. Oh gosh. Great. Well, he’s lovely. And I really, really happy for them.

K: Yeah.

David Paisley: Um, things actually, that’s not, we didn’t immediately get together because Ben and my ex broke up and then I, um, I knew I had a kind of connection with Ben and I spoke to him about it and we agreed to wait to give it time.

Um, and we waited a year before we actually started dating because we wanted to give it enough space. And I asked permission from my first partner. I was like, would you be okay if we got together because we we’d look quite like each other? And is this okay? So yeah, I asked permission, um,

K: Oh, you made it – I thought this was going to be like

David Paisley: Do you though, there’s

K:to be really scandalous.

David Paisley: oh, that’s, that’s why you were digging. You were looking for that. You’re like, oh, there’s some scandal here.

K: It’s like, so it’s so innocent. Like you went and asked permission. Gosh.

David Paisley: Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t, I mean, to be honest, it wasn’t, he wasn’t pleased. He wasn’t like, I think it was challenging for

K: Even though they’d been broken up for a year.

David Paisley: yeah. But me and him had been together for seven years. He was. He was, I met when I was 19 and we were, we were like proper. We had a house and a cat, two cats and a car, you know, we were

K: Oh, but with the cats names?

David Paisley: George and Martha, um, we, we named them after the two lead characters in cat – not Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; That was our other cat. We had three cats. We had Maggie the cat who was named after Maggie from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. And then we had George and Martha who were named after Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf.

Um, Yeah, it was a bit of a Liz Taylor obsessive

K: Were you gay at all?

David Paisley: I don’t know. I had two cats named after Liz Taylor characters. You tell me

K: Hmm.

David Paisley: Um, yeah, so like there was, it was a little bit scandalous. It was a bit difficult and emotionally difficult because I see we all were in the same friendship group and we tried to be as respectful and kind as possible. It’s not, it wasn’t one of those I’m going to steal your man things. It wasn’t like. Um,

K: Yeah, I thought it was like, well, if, if you don’t want me, then you can’t have anyone. I’m going to take him from you.

David Paisley: oh, gosh, no, no, no, no, it wouldn’t be like that. No, I wasn’t. It was heartbreaking because when I met, when I met, when they were together and I was like, oh gosh, you’re your lovely, you probably are a really good couple. And uh, oh, well, um, like I just thought, well, you’re such an amazing person, um, that, eh, you know, my,

K: Oh, so you didn’t spiral into like a pit of self-pity.

David Paisley: A little bit, because my plan initially was to try and win my partner back. And then I met his new boyfriend and I was like, oh, oh well, he’s, he’s amazing. Um, and really, and it’s, it’s very, it’s a very handsome man as well. And yeah, I felt like I couldn’t compete. Um, and I felt – if you want to get personal, but it, yeah, it was, it was, it was quite devastating.

Um, but then I think that was my first love. I lost my first love and that’s always a little bit devastating. Um, eh, so yeah.

K: So you’ve moved back to London. You had a very clear plan about what you were going to do. That plan was up in flames quite quickly, but then what about the acting. What was the plan there?

David Paisley: So I. Well, I didn’t really have the drive to get back on to television so much. Um, I wanted to do some theatre and I want you to kind of do other things. Um, I changed my agent, um, and, and I ended up. It took a while to get myself reestablished because I’d had a bit of a time out and I got my new agent.

And then eventually I got a job on a TV show in Scotland. I had to, I had to move again and I left my partner. Ben my new partner at this point, I’d be together for like three years and I had to move to Scotland and leave him behind. Um, honestly, honestly, my career hates me being in a relationship.

K: Oh, but you’re pretty good at being in relationships if you’ve managed all these long ones. Um, oh, okay. So then let’s not go down that path. So then being in London the second time, did it feel, did it feel different? Did it feel exciting this time?

David Paisley: Yeah, very different because, uh, I, um, like there was some, a lot of distance from my previous experience of being like on the screen. And so that, that kind of had faded away, which I was much more comfortable about . Um, yeah, and me and Ben, he was a student when I met him and we just kind of typical kind of student boyfriends, mid twenties, like exploring like London kind of student-y, clubbing and fun stuff with our friends and just, uh, yeah, it was, uh, it was a different time, I think.

Um, So I enjoyed it a lot more just because it was on my terms. Like I was in London and I had chosen to be there. And like it’s challenging. London’s a challenging place to live, um, and challenging to get myself reestablished in a city. Um, But I made such a lovely group of friends, uh, people that I absolutely adore.

Um, and I’m still really close friends with, uh, I’ve got such lovely connections down there and that’s why I didn’t have the first time. So the first time I was there, I just felt like a Scottish man, just plonked in the middle of London. And I didn’t know anybody. And the second time around, I had like really lovely people who helped look after me, help me get said, do you know what?

I’ll tell you this. I didn’t have a place to stay when I’m done. So my best friend, Zara, who is absolutely what was absolutely wonderful. And she and her pal, Kate, let me stay on their sofa. Um, I stayed on their sofa for 10 months. I like tried to sort out a job and a place to stay. I was on that sofa for 10 months.

um,

K: Oh

David Paisley: I, I, I D I could.

K: And w and what was your back like at the end of that?

David Paisley: It was a lot very comfortable so far. Um, it was a futon, um, so it was

K: Oh, yeah, And you’re short,

David Paisley: end, so at the end of 10 months I found a place to live and I said to them, I was like, oh guys, I’m so sorry. I’ll find a place to live. I’m going to have to move out. I thought they may be.

They were like, oh, thank God. I was like, oh,

K: Okay.

David Paisley: but there’s this? Cause there was, then we so lovely that  never. We feel like it like, uh, like I was in the, we are the, you know, and they, they, they really, really helped me when I needed to establish, you know, get myself like back into. To change my life and they really helped me.

It was really lovely of them and it didn’t kick me out despite me staying on for so long.

K: Yeah, you wouldn’t have lasted that long in

David Paisley: That is love.

K: my flat,

David Paisley: Yep. Yep. Two days. Um,

K: So I’ve, I’ve been to the estate agent. I’ve found a bunch of lovely flats for you off you go. Bye. Um, so, so let’s go to the Ghetto then, because this is the club that we’re here to talk about. Do you remember the first time you went there?

David Paisley: Oh, gosh. I think so. Yeah. Well, yeah, because that will have been with Ben and I think it would have been to Red Eye, which is like the punk night and his friend was one of the DJs. Um, and.

So the experience of going in is quite heady, like, um, it was underneath, um, the Astoria. So underneath G-A-Y, um, and the specific night, it was, it was one of the like harder nights with, with like some quite harder music in terms of more punk based. And, and if someone just wandered in thinking they’re going to get the.

Like gay club experience that get quite a shock that actually used to happen. Quite a lot. People would get chucked out of G-A-Y and they’d wander around to the Ghetto or, and, um, but as a venue, because you went down these stairs, as I recall, and it just had this, it smelled terrible. Um, it was sort of sticky and dirty and like all there really was, was Red Stripe.

That was the most affordable drink you could have. Right. Everyone drank either Red Stripe or like, I think they did a deal with like, like, like. It wasn’t Red Bull, but it was like Red Bull

K: Oh like a knockoff brand?

David Paisley: yeah. And a spirit that maybe was vodka. Maybe it wasn’t, maybe it was met. Maybe it was methylated spirits. Who knows?

Um, but cause it was cause it’s definitely for that kind of like twenties, student-y kind of London, crowd of people that had a real hunger for like an alternative, um, scene. So each of the different needs that they had at the Ghetto was all was focused on a slightly different like vibe. Um, and so there’s like lots at that point that, you know, electroclash was a thing.

There was a lots of young punks, young gay punks in London. There’s quite a lot of resurgence of the punk movement, Yeah, lots of cute boys in mohawks. Um, and just me kind of stoating about the dance floor, um, to Courtney Love, um, and the Distillers. Um, and cause I quite liked that that sound, you know, like I’ve got quite varied music tastes.

Um, and at that point I was like quite into things like that. And, um, A riot girl was something that I was like, I really like riot girl. I was quite big fan of Veruca Salt back in the nineties. Like I, like, I kind of am a very American, um, a punky kind of female led bands, which I really adored when I was younger.

Um, Yeah. And then they had, like, and what time at night, at some point in the night, someone would like would come on and they’d have like a live gig on certain nights and it would be really unexpected. And you never really knew who was going to turn up. That was always something really exciting about the venue because suddenly the music would go off.

You’re like, oh, what’s happening. Yeah. And it would say up and yeah, it just had that real electric kind of feeling in the air that of possibility. And, um, Yeah, it’s strange just as an older person now I’m 40 ish slightly over. That’s not good. Um, yeah, I haven’t cast my mind back to that time so much.

And you know, you asked me my first experience and strangely always experiences kind of blend into one that’s quite positive. Um, because. That sense of having found a tribe and a bit of a family, which, um, is quite important for young people in their twenties when they are trying to get established, exploring their identity and who they are.

Um, so I think venues like that are really crucial for people finding like-minded people. Um, and music does that. I think because you can, you can tell a lot from someone from the music that they listen to. Yeah.

K: Mm Hmm. Oh, can you?

David Paisley: can you, well, it can be deceptive. I used to think it can be.

I used to think one that you want me a bad person. That’s Tori Amos fan because I’m such a big fan. I said, oh, you’ll never meet a bad Tori Amos fan. And then I dated one.

K: Oh, I feel like that. I mean, that’s a very weird barometer to be measuring people on. There are lots of pretentious Tori Amos fans.

David Paisley:  Yeah, that’s the thing. I don’t know if I fit in. Maybe, maybe that’s where I’m at. I don’t know. I, I th I find Tori Amos fans are usually.

K: I’m getting pretentious vibes. Yeah,

David Paisley: Yeah, is that what you’re getting? There’s this there’s a fairly kind of, it’s quite a niche fan base and it’s very dedicated, like, um, I was like completist with her stuff and like, absolutely like I absolutely adore her.

Um, um, I don’t know. I, like I said, I don’t think it’s necessarily healthy to judge people by their music tastes. Yeah. Um, but sometimes, you know, it is important to. Like  have a little bit of overlap or things that you like. Cause I like, I like going to gigs and I like to go gigs with a partner. Do you like going to gigs with partners or

K: yeah.

see, this is the thing for me, I’ve never had one that I’ve had musical tastes that overlap. So if I do go with them, then it always just feels like they’re there under duress. So I’d rather just not go with them. Yeah.

David Paisley: Yeah. That’s I feel like I just like, I’ll just go on my own. I’ll just go on my

K: Yeah. As much easier.

David Paisley: you can see them tolerating Like, Oh, okay.

K: Because there’s nothing where there is nothing worse than being at a gig with someone who doesn’t want to be there. And then you just feel like isn’t this so great. Isn’t this amazing. Aren’t you having the best outline? Oh, it’s just, yeah. What a waste of time and energy.

David Paisley: I think it’s always difficult if you invite someone to get, and they don’t know the person and you’re like, I feel really responsible for, cause I like this band’s amazing, or this, this, this you’re going to love it. You’re going to really enjoy it. And there’s a couple of times, yeah, that’s worked out really well where people would be like, thank you so much.

That was, I never have gone to that. I’m so happy. I went and sometimes like my best friend was at a gig for this Irish band that I used to quite like called The Frames and I thought she’s Irish. SHE HATED IT, literally sat there, arms folded like that. Um, and this was before smartphones and I know 100%, if this was in smartphone time, she’d been like this

K: Yeah.

David Paisley: not trying to hide the disdain,

K: yeah.

I totally agree. This is why, like I never choose the film. If I’m going to the cinema, it’s just like you choose the film. I don’t want to have to like, be responsible for your happiness for the evening.

David Paisley: Oh my gosh, you know, that thing of like, oh, this is actually my favourite film and I’m going to let you see it and

K: Oh

David Paisley: oh my gosh. I’ve you never had no it’s uh, yeah, it’s a worry.

K: I just learned my lesson. Like, you know, just throws everything that you thought about that person into disarray. If they’re sitting there and they don’t understand why you love that film or that TV show or that thing,

David Paisley: Yeah. Like, oh,

K: just not worth it.

David Paisley: It’s not worth the hustle. Like you want them to, to, to, to experience the same kind of rush and the same kind of like, and yeah, sometimes it just falls right flat. Um,

K: And you just lose all respect for them. It’s like, oh, I just may as well not be your friend then.

David Paisley: let’s never see each other again, but I’m like that with me music as well. Like I feel I have to be really careful not to because I’ve got such, such, um, my tastes are quite varied and quite, um, Yeah, I’m very used to that thing of like nobody liking what I like. And so if I, if I’m meet someone that does, uh, it’s quite rare, um,

K: So the thing with music as well, is that like, sometimes you hear something the first time you hear something, you hate it and then. You grow to appreciate it. So when someone is doing this to you, so, I mean, this is, it’s just in case you want to introduce music to me at some point in the future, I’m just giving you the heads up.

If I’m sitting there and you’re playing, be like, like, oh, here’s the new Tori Amos record. Isn’t it amazing. And I’m just sitting there like, Hmm it’s because I need time to like process it and like get used to it and like, learn to enjoy it.

David Paisley: Yeah, that’s, that’s an interesting way of phrasing it. Um, well I think I th I think also that’s one of the reasons why I think I shied away from pursuing music, um, is also because I think music is one of these things that you have an instinctual reaction to. Um, you, you just know if you like or not. Um, and it can be almost immediate sometimes because you can walk into a room and see, oh, what’s that play and turn that off.

Do you know what did that kind of sense? So, and I’ve always felt because my

K: Is that why you don’t go to parties much?

David Paisley: You know when people are like, oh, does someone want to take over the stereo, does someone want to put something on. And I’m always like, you, you do not want to know what is on my iPod. You do not want to hear it because I’ve done this so many times in parties saying, oh, I’ll put something on and.

What is that?

David Paisley: It doesn’t help though. Like a lot of my music is quite, down beat a lot of stuff that I listened to is not party music. Um, oh God, really put this off. Um,

K: David brings the party.

David Paisley: well, you know, those people that are like, they’re desperate to get on the stereo at a party, they’re desperate to play some play some tunes

K: Show off their fantastic music taste.

David Paisley: Yeah, like, I’m the opposite. I’m like you really, you don’t want to hear it guys. You really, which, which I I’ve, I’ve grown comfortable with because I know what works for me. And it’s not a party vibe. Um, no, not really

K: I mean a funeral party.

David Paisley: Maybe. Yeah. Do you know what? I have a whole playlist, like for my funeral

K: What, how many songs are on this playlist?

David Paisley: only one or two.

K: Oh, okay. So you’re like, even, even at your funeral, you’re not expecting people to like, be interested in your musical taste.

David Paisley: I’m not, no, I didn’t go to, he said he’s only because I wrote my will because you got a bit older and you’re like, well, I suppose I should write a will. Um, so I’ve got a, will, when I was like, I mean, you start to think, okay, well, I’ll do that as well. It’s just about a forward planning because do you know what?

I would hate someone else to be in charge of the stereo at my funeral and to hear what they would think. Do you know what I mean? I would, I would, I would rise from the grave if someone played Angels. Not that there’s anything wrong with Angels. It said it’s a very well-known song, but it’s just not me.

So

K: um, I mean, it seems it’s quite, um, Think it’s quite anthemic,

David Paisley: it’s anthemic. Yeah.

K: Um, so, okay, so what’s on this playlist. Is it an, is it the Professional Widow remix?

David Paisley: Yeah. That’d be amazing.

Um, I might even put the original Professional Widow on. Cause if you’ve heard the original it’s it’s filthy, the

K: oh, no. Yeah, but you know, you’ve got to give the audience what they want.

David Paisley: I suppose there’s a bit of that. Yeah.

K: I mean, it’s only your funeral.

David Paisley: Uh, I don’t think that’s that unusual. I mean, maybe it’s a little bit morose too, to have a playlist for such an event. Um, maybe, maybe it’s a little bit morose. Um, but actually I actually, that, that relates to something we spoke about earlier. You know, as I mentioned, my friend who was Irish, who put me up in

K: What’s up. What’s up.

David Paisley: well,

K: Sorry. I’m really bullying you today. What, what songs are on the playlist?

David Paisley: Oh, you want to know? Do you want me to look it up for you? This is, this is like, this is

K: shouldn’t you just know shouldn’t you just know off the top of your head,

David Paisley: look, I’ve got tonness of like little ideas that popped in.

K: but this is your funeral. Like you’re only gonna have one

David Paisley: Yeah, I know, but it’s not a definitive list. It’s like, these are nice ideas for what you know, in between the, and between the weeping, you know, what, what kind of vibe do I want. Um,

K: tropical house.

David Paisley: do you want me to look up for you? I might be too embarrassed to tell you, um, let me have a look for you.

K: But, are these songs, just not on the, like in the front of your brain.

David Paisley: That’s not how my brain works.

K: Ah, how interesting

David Paisley: Yeah, no, no, no, no. Well, no, I don’t spend every week in minute thinking what’s I could song, I could play. What is it?

K: um, but, okay. And so then my up question to all of this, so you’ve, you’ve put a lot of thought into your funeral songs.

David Paisley: Mm.

K: Have you also like planned songs for your first dance? If you get married?

David Paisley: Oh, gosh, I mean, I, yeah, so I was engaged for, for a while and, uh, we had put some thought into that. Um, my, the person I was engaged to was a huge fan of Kate Bush. And so am I. Although I don’t think Kate Bush has got, I mean, can you imagine two, two big lumbering gay men doing Wuthering Heights? Can you imagine it?

K: I can. I

David Paisley: I actually think that would be wonderful and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it at the time.

Um, uh, have you got a song for you? Have you, have you planned one or is that that you like,

K: no. No, I can’t imagine, like, I mean, you know, uh, repeating themes that we’ve already covered. I can’t imagine that like standing in front of people and expecting them to watch me have a first dance.

David Paisley: Yeah, it’s quite horrifying. Isn’t it like? Oh God,  why is everyone looking at me.

K: Like I know it’s kind of like the done thing and I wouldn’t begrudge anyone else if they were doing it, but it’s just, there’s something so like, weird about, about getting married in that way. Like let’s invite 500 people and let’s make the whole thing about us.

David Paisley: that there are certain things that people think are traditional that they have to do. I think one of the advantages of the fact that gay people couldn’t get married for a long time. And then in the last 10 years or so, we’ve been allowed. The laws have been changed to allow people to get married to people of the same gender.

And one of the good things about that is that there’s not really a tradition that’s established. So actually you can do it any way you want. Um, and you can kind of buck any tradition that you think doesn’t suit you. I think it gives you an opportunity to say, this is how I’m going to do it. And it’s going to be about what I enjoy and… what… my best friend got married.

And he, he absolutely did the full traditional very Scottish. We’re all in kilts. It’s very, very traditional wedding. That kind of was all of the things that you’d expect from when people say wedding. I’ve been to other weddings, um, from like mixed-gender couples and same gender couples where people just do.

The to, what the you want to, to, to there, to meet and expression of who they are as a couple. Um, and I, I think both is, is equally valid. You know, some people are really traditional. They want to do things that are traditional. Some people will really want to do something. And I had one wedding that was on the side of a hill and we were in a campsite and the meal was, we all cooked the meal together.

Um, so there’s lots of different ways you can celebrate your relationship. And I think the most important thing is to make it your own. Yeah.

K: Yeah.

I’m also like a bit of a doom, a doomsday. What am I, what am I? I like to say it’s pragmatic, but I’m probably more on the negative side of things. And I really wouldn’t want like my relationship to dissolve and that song to be ruined to me forever.

David Paisley: well, that’s a really fair point. Yeah. Yeah. Like, yeah. So yeah, for a long time, I couldn’t listen to Kate Bush after that relationship ended. Um, it’s really like, like, cause it just was too. Cause that was, that was at the time when she did those concerts, you know, the, Before the Dawn tours?

K: Oh, yep. Yep.

David Paisley: yeah, so she did those concerts and we went to see, I went to actually went three times.

Uh, don’t tell anyone, but wait. Oh yeah. Three times. Yeah, it was incredible, but I didn’t think I’d get another chance to see her. Um, and so like, you know, when something ends and you’re like, it’s just that, that entire thing that we shared, I can’t know. Do you know.

K: Yeah. Yeah.

David Paisley: Like if, if, if it came on shuffle, I’d be like, no skip.

I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to hear it. Um, but you say you’re quite, quite, a roomful person, do you have a full person? Do you have a funeral playlist? Have you done that? Just me.

K: no. And I don’t even want a funeral. I just want them to like throw me in the river,

David Paisley: oh. There’re songs I can tell. There’re actually songs I can tell you that are very good for that.

K: like down by the river.

David Paisley: Well, no, like if you’re, are you aware of someone called Aldous Harding? She’s got some really good

K: Oh

David Paisley: doomful songs, um, which will, would really suit being just thrown in the river.

K: Well, I didn’t know, like, I mean, I also quite enjoy irony, so I’d want something like Spice Up Your Life or something

David Paisley: Oh, that would be wonderful.

K: river. Yeah.

David Paisley: sploosh.

K: Yeah. You’d get it. You get

David Paisley: Yeah. Well, I went to see Spice Girls in the, in their last tour. So we went to. W wait, wait, seen the Cardiff. Um, because, and the reason was because we couldn’t get tickets for London, so we thought let’s just go to Cardiff. We’ll have like fun. And, and it was wonderful, wonderful, but it was like six of us. We were six men and my best friend was there with his husband.

And I would would’ve thought like, it’s fairly obvious that six men at Spice Girls don’t want to make any assumptions, but they were holding hands and kissing and things like that. It was fairly obvious. But my best friend, it was like a. What was around us was felt like a big Welsh hen do. And those ladies next to us, they started hitting on my best friend, seemed to be part of this group of, and I was like, really guys we’re singing along.

We knew every single word.

K: But was it not in a like, oh, I feel comfortable around these people because they’re obviously gay,

David Paisley: No, no one, she was, she was, she was, she was, she was flirting. She would, there was flirting going on and he’s like, but I’m with my husband,

to be honest, it was, it was, it, it was, that was a wonderful experience because it just brought us right back to like, it was only a couple of years ago. And, um, Yeah, it just brought us right back to her youth of dancing and those kind of pop, like, you know, like I said, my best friend used to drag me to the pop floor and that’s that’s, um, you know, we were always to-ing and fro-ing between different types of music and I love pop music as well.

Absolutely love, like a good Sugababes banger on the dance floor. Um, and pop music is like, as in my bones, as other types of music, you know? Um, so yeah, if you are going to get through it in the river and you want someone to sing Spice Up Your Life, I’ll I’ll I’ll step up. I don’t mind

K: Whilst we’re here. Um, The fact, like, so you keep saying Ghetto and I keep getting really excited about the way you say it in your accent. Can you say space

David Paisley: space. Space ghetto.

K: you know, cause do you know that? Do you know the,

David Paisley: Yeah. Yeah.

K: know what I’m Yeah.

David Paisley: I actually, I actually have to not put into that. He don’t know it is speed. Space Ghetto. It does sound like spice girl girl,

K: Oh, it’s

David Paisley: It does. It sounds exactly the same

K: it’s so lovely.

David Paisley: space. Ghetto spice girl. Yeah. Yeah. It’s there. I can, I can hear it.

K: Uh, but just say, just say, ghetto a few times for me as well.

David Paisley: Uh, ghetto, ghetto ghetto

K: Yeah.

David Paisley: Yeah.

K: Um, so we are going all over everywhere

David Paisley: Yeah. Sorry. Yes. Yeah. That’s yeah, the Ghetto. Yeah. So what, what would you like to know about the Ghetto?

K: So were you in London when the Ghetto closed?

David Paisley: Um, I think I had, yeah, it was, yeah, it was quite sad at that point, but I kind of stopped going by that point and it kind of, because it moved venues, it moved to a venue in east London and that’s kind of right about the time that I stopped going. A couple of the. It’s strange how the scene has changed and shifted in London.

Uh, that when I was in London, that kind of student evade was very much in the centre of London, but that’s shifted to east London. Now. Um, and, uh, yes. I hit my thirties and grew a little bit older, eh, just going out and partying every single weekend. Wasn’t really like a priority. And those particular clubs that I used to love so much kind of fell by the wayside a little bit.

Um, club nights often have a shelf life because it’s like music falls out of favour. So they need to be keeping an innovative and keep, um, You know, reaching out to who is going to be going to the clubs. Um, and yeah, like I said, I, I slightly outgrew it. And then I think a lot of the, a lot of the clientele that used to go to those places, you know, the mid thirties to forties – I knew that they had like a reunion for Popstarz and I really wanted to go, but, but I, I kinda felt like I would have that.

Cause th these were all part of a collective of, of pubs and clubs that were all owned by the same groups so Popstarz, Ghetto,  Trash Palace. Um, they were all kind of part of the same group and had the same vibe in the same kind of clientele. Um, So we all knew each other. I knew people that were behind the bar and like we knew DJs.

And if you knew the right person you could get in at certain nights, you know, um, not that it mattered because it was never a very expensive, uh, that’s another reason why we used to go so often, like I say it moved, it moved east and it can changed and, and, uh, like the vibe kind of changed and, and things just changed in London’s gay scene generally.

It’s a very like, You know, it’s, it’s alive and it shifts and it changes and people have different, um, experiences and different times. My, my experience is very settled at that in that time period and that very specific, kind of a flush of a very specific type of music where, um, like punk and indie and a, like, that was all very much.

Eh, you could find those nights really easily. I wouldn’t know where to go now, I don’t , I don’t know if that’s just cause I’m over. I’m over 40. Um,

K: just a quick side note, I love how every time you say you’re ready for 40, you like laugh nervously.

David Paisley: because I can’t believe it. I’m like really? I, I almost don’t believe it. Is it cause yeah, cause we’re talking about a time that’s like 10 to 15 years ago. Um, up to 20 years ago, — time passes in a strange way. It doesn’t feel some of that doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. Um, I spoke, I spoke to my ex about some of the stuff that we’re speaking about because so much of that is associated with the people that I was spending time with.

So a lot of my memories of that club specifically are about him. And we’re speaking about a gig that we went to see Courtney Love. And it was a solo gig that she played at Bush Hall, um, which is a really small venue. It was like a secret gig that we found out about and managed to get tickets for. And we’re just saying, like, it was such a formative gig experience.

It feels like it was just last year. Cause it’s so cemented in my mind that that experience of like being there with the crowd, listening to the music and just, um, those kinds of experiences, I think.. Don’t leave you. Um, so when I think about it, it feels like it was only a short while ago. And then when I look at my calendar I realise it was two decades ago, um, and then I, like, I like, I quite enjoy ageing.

I quite like being older, you know, it gives you a lot. Um, but you don’t realise it when it happens. You just say, one day you wake up and you go. oh, oh, I’m 42. How did that happen?

My mum used to always say that she’s like, David, I still feel like I’m a 16 year old. I feel like I don’t feel any different on the inside. It’s just, my body has changed. Um, and the years have racked up, you know, I don’t, I don’t think you do. You always feel like you’re the same person, um, or you grow and you change, but the core of you, I think you always feel connected to, to where you’ve come from.

And sometimes like those memories. Of things that are really formative, you can like, honestly, it’s so clear in my mind. Um, yeah,

K: Um, and so with that in mind, why was it Ghetto that you wanted to talk about as a venue?

David Paisley: I think because I have such joyful memories. Um, I like to see that it was related to a very positive relationship. Um, I’m still really close with, with Ben, um, my partner, who I was with at the time and introduced me to a bunch of really interesting creative people who were doing really fun and creative things.

I felt like, eh, I think it relates to a time when I felt like anything was possible. You know, when you’re young, when you’re in your mid twenties and you’ve got your future ahead of you. And I had already done some stuff that, you know, I’d already achieved some things, now I’m quite proud of. Um, but at that point I was felt unsure of, and I didn’t really know who I was or what I was supposed to be.

And there’s a point in your, mid twenties where that starts to form and solidify and you get more of an idea of your own identity and what that means to you. And that can involve a lot of experimentation and trying different things and meeting different people. And I feel like people of that age, when I was that age, I was much more open.

Um, to new experiences and new things and going to the Ghetto was very like that . Ghetto was a place where like every night was, uh, had a different flavour. Um, and it was sometimes it can be incredibly unexpected, like that sense of being open to an experience that you don’t know where it’s going to go.

Um, I think that’s a very, it reminds me of that time when I felt like anything could happen and anything was possible. Um, in my life as well. You know, your twenties are a point at which you could go in a multitude of directions, um, and you know, the possibilities feel limitless. Um, so like for me, it’s a really positive time and happy, happy memories of silly dancing on a sticky dance floor, dropping a can of Red Stripe and failing to pick it up.

K: What? You didn’t pick it up.

That’s

David Paisley: Well, it depends if, if the crowd, if, if, if in like the middle of a mosh pit and everyone’s like pogo-ing, it could be quite dangerous to try.







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