Glasgow Comedy Festival

Christopher Macarthur-Boyd presents: Sadsgow

Dear Glasgow,

My name is Christopher Macarthur-Boyd and I am performing a show at the Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival called 'The Boyd With The Thorn In His Side' on Thursday 23rd of March at The Stand.

Unfortunately, I'm going to be performing at the Perth and Adelaide Fringes in Australia for the second half of January, the whole of February, and the first half of March, so I don't have much of a chance to promote my show, and connect to potential audience members by performing stand-up live in Glasgow.

In lieu of that, I have decided to do what I always do whenever a relationship becomes difficult - make a mixtape.

Obviously, it would be problematic to personally send several million individually hand-made cassette tapes through the letterboxes of every residence in the greater Glasgow area.

Instead, I have made a Spotify playlist of you, called "Sadsgow" - it's a collection of the saddest songs to ever come out of this dear green place that I call home. It's eleven songs in total, lasting 53 minutes altogether.

By the end of it, you'll be so lachrymose and melancholic that you'll need to buy tickets to my stand-up show, just so you remember what happiness is like.

(I hope this plan still works, even after I've explained it beforehand.)

P.S. I have also annotated each individual song with a note and/or personal memory, embarrassing or otherwise.


 1. We Could Send Letters - Aztec Camera

I lost my virginity to this song. I never planned for it it to be that way, but alas. The Very Best of Aztec Camera was in 19-year-old me's hi-fi at the time, and I was hasty with my mood-setting in case she changed her mind.

As a soundtrack to the crunch of pure snow beneath mercifully falling boots, I think it leaves a lot to be desired. The tempos keep changing, and there's nothing fun or sexy about it. This is more the kind of song that captures the moment of watching a 900 Citylink bus pull away with a passenger on-board you'd rather not say goodbye to, and nobody thinks of that when they're jacking off.

Also, the chorus: "Just close your eyes again / Until these things get better". That is the motto of a coward, Roddy Frame. The motto of a coward.

2. There's A Girl In The Corner - Twilight Sad

D'you know how I know this is one of the saddest songs ever?

Robert Smith did a cover of it.

Enough said.

3. Walk Away - Franz Ferdinand

I remember seeing a Popworld segment documenting the "making-of" this track's music video when I was about 12, and I thought it was a bit naff. But nobody had broken my heart, then.

I know better now.

4. All Dressed Up - Siobhan Wilson

Siobhan Wilson has a beautiful voice, but I've genuinely never heard a song with as much spite in the lyrics as this.

She's like a siren, perched on jagged rocks, whispering into some poor arsehole's ear everything he wants to hear.

I can't listen to this song without thinking about how bad a person I've occasionally been.

5. Recover - CHVRCHES

I remember reading a gig review in The Skinny circa 2012, where CHVRCHES were local support at Stereo for a band from New York called School of Seven Bells.

CHVRCHES had just released their first few tracks and all the blogs were buzzing like mad about them, and the gig sold out pretty quick. But after CHVRCHES finished their set, a lot of folk couldn't be arsed hanging about for the headliners and split.

Sometimes I think about how that band must have felt when that happened, and I get a little bummed out.

6. Poke - Frightened Rabbit

I remember I did a cover of this at BLOC's acoustic open-mic while I was on a date with a girl who I was desperately in love with, and I semi-ironically dedicated it to her. When I came off, she asked me why I serenaded her with a song about being unable to cry despite a thousand reasons to.

She figured it out eventually.

A few months after we broke up, she phoned me up from a Frightened Rabbit concert while this song was playing, and we haven't spoken since.

7. Let's Go Out Tonight - The Blue Nile

People only go out at night because they don't trust themselves to be okay if they stay in. Did I mention that you can buy tickets for my stand-up show, The Boyd With The Thorn In His Side on Thursday 23rd of March at The Stand?

8. Stroh 80 - Casual Sex

I interviewed the lead singer when I was pretending to be a music journalist, just before they played Nice N Sleazy with The Amazing Snakeheads and Asian Babes, and he was lovely.

I had this on 7", but like all vinyl I've bought that was released on Moshi Moshi Records, it skipped like fuck. Sometimes I'd be too sad to move the needle, and just listen to it skip and skip and skip as my brain slowly unspooled.

9. Is It Wicked Not To Care - Belle & Sebastian

I nearly called the show "The Boyd With The Arab Strap".

10. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? - Travis

At the age of 11, I auditioned for my primary school's talent show by singing this song a'cappella in front of my entire class, including the teacher and the teacher's assistant.

I didn't make it past the audition stage.

11. Hells Bells - AC/DC

This is a bit of a stretch because the Young brothers emigrated from Glasgow to Australia when they were still teenagers.

But do you know what's sad, though? Imagine being the lead singer of a pretty successful band, putting out six albums with that band, and then you go ahead and die. Not only that, but then the record that comes out after your death becomes the second best-selling album in the history of recorded music.

You'd be raging.

12.  Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura

I nearly called the show "Boyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken".

13. Colourblind - Darius

On the grand cosmic ladder of the saddest things in the universe, this song is the third rung from the floor.

The second lower-most rung is an entire existence spent without realising that the true meaning of life is to love and to be loved.

The bottom rung is Darius auditioning for Popstars with his rendition of Hit Me Baby One More Time.


Christopher Macarthur-Boyd is performing The Boyd With The Thorn In His Side at The Stand on Thursday, 23rd of March 2017. Tickets are available here.