Writer, Musician, Da.
Shane Paddy Johnstone is a writer, musician and da from Glasgow, Scotland. His first novel, The Gods Of Frequency, with Arkbound Publishing, will be available from June 2020. He has written for literary magazines such as Lallans, Pushing Out The Boat, and New Writing Scotland. He writes in Scots, English and Gaelic, and is raising a son with Gaelic as a first language in Glasgow, an endeavour which he writes about in the blog attached with this website.
Shane grew up in Allison Street in Govanhill, and moved to Pollokshields at the age 12. This experience and the subject of class features heavily in his writing. He learned guitar at the age of 16, primarily with a typical teenage interest in rock music, and later banjo, mandolin, whistle and singing on discovering country, bluegrass and Scottish and Irish roots music. Irish music (The Dubliners) is the first music he recalls hearing.
He studied music for two years in his early twenties at Stow College and then North Glasgow college, and became involved in ceilidh bands during the second year. He began to transition away from popular music by the end of college and towards the vast world of roots music. In 2012, he was invited to go to Orkney Folk Festival with a band, an experience which profoundly moved and changed his perception of the nature of music, creativity and class in the creative industries.
He went on to form and play in several genre straddling bands, playing up and down Scotland, England, Belgium, France and Italy for the remainder of his twenties before deciding to switch to writing after becoming absolutely knackered.
The frequencies that constitute the majority of his subconscious matter are largely made up of a few select Luke Kelly performances, specific Emmylou Harris recordings from the 70’s, the fiddle playing of his wife and endless traditional singers including some he knows personally.
He finds it hard to have a “favourite writer”, but reads as extensively as a parent can and has a (hopefully) healthy interest in Philosophy, and an acute Glaswegian awareness of when he sounds like a bit of a tosser.
He cuts about Glasgow with his infant son from Monday to Friday, batters the coffee without much restraint and knows Queen’s Park very, very well.