Calum Baird has never been shy to use his music to take a stand against those privileged few who seek to oppress the common people.
His new single City For Sale is inspired by the Save Leith Walk campaign in Edinburgh, which seeks to save a section of Leith Walk from developers who want to demolish the block and build a luxury hotel and student flats.
“That’s the direct inspiration,” said Calum. “But this kind of thing is happening all over the UK – where developers and hedge funds can move in, take over a local community, drive people and businesses out and empty public spaces of culture and a community environment, replacing it with a souless atmosphere which locks the local people out.
“A word often attributed to this process is gentrification, and I want to discuss this with this song and highlight the debate growing in society around the influence of faceless money having too much of a say over what goes on in our communities.”
Usually on the road gigging, with five shows in Berlin this year alone as well as the Scotland Against Trump shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Calum – armed with his voice, guitar and harmonica – jumps at the chance to combine an important message with a toe-tapping knees up.
“I have a launch night for the single at 7.30pm on Sunday in Leith Depot with support from Jack Hinks and Fiona Liddell, with a local Edinburgh Councillor, Gordon Munro, speaking and performing his poem about saving Leith Walk.
“Jack performs on the single with backing vocals and some lead guitar. He and I have been working together for a number of years now and this is the first song we’ve released together.
“I’ve written four or five new songs Jack and I have been rehearsing together and hopefully they will be released in the New Year at some point on an album.”
After a whirlwind four years of performances and racking up road, rail and air miles, Calum is slowing things down a bit in 2019 – but not too much.
He said: “It’s been a busy year for me, but not as busy as previous years. I’ve taken a bit of a step back to assess my music and where it’s going, have a bit more patience in my writing and also to work on other things outside of music.”