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Kai and the Joyriders


Kai and the Joyriders, originally uploaded by ccgd.

Well we buried him on Friday, and what a remarkable day. The Crematorium was standing room only, my sisters, his pal Murdo, his daughter and myself gave a great service and a wonderful wake.

I think he would have been pleased.

Here is his obitury from the Scotsmans Newspaper - news.scotsman.com/obituaries.cfm?id=975362007.

Kai Davidson

Musician, entrepreneur and social worker
Born: 8 September, 1962, in Lerwick, Shetland.
Died: 13 June, 2007, in Edinburgh, aged 44.

KAI Davidson was a talented musician, a music promoter of unnerving energy (and The Proclaimers' first manager) and a caring, compassionate man who dedicated the latter years of his short life to caring for and supporting others.

Kai lived quietly in Restalrig, but the walls of his unassuming flat sheltered a comet of a man who blazed a bright trail through life. He counted many friends in the British arts and music scene, among them Craig and Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers, the author Irvine Welsh and, latterly, the urban artist Banksey. On the international stage, he was a friend of the members of Nirvana, including the late Kurt Cobain, and with the Lemonheads' Evan Dando, whom he first met at a gig played with them at London's legendary Dingwall's.

He came close to stardom on many occasions, but somehow the luck and timing were never quite there. A weaker man would have been bitter about these brushes with success, or at best philosophical. Kai simply laughed it all off with self- deprecating humour.

Atypically in an industry riddled with egos, Kai rarely had an ill-word to say about anyone. On the contrary, he spoke well of everyone he knew, and was all the more popular for it.

Myths, legends and anecdotes abounded. Never averse to a little self-publicity, he invented a few of them himself, but there was really no need - the truth was often remarkable enough.

Kai spent his teenage years in Inverness. He was an early recruit to the original new wave movement - "the first punk in Inverness". His band, The Hormones, formed with a group of school friends in 1977, raised eyebrows in the staid streets of the northern towns where they played to a few dozen devotees.

In Edinburgh in the late 1970s and 1980s he continued his interest in music. From 1983, he was The Proclaimers' first manager as they started on their own road to success, arranging gigs and trying, unsuccessfully, to sell them to EMI.

Kai and The Proclaimers went their separate ways, but remained good friends.

Charlie Reid said: "Kai was so helpful to us in so many ways. Professionally, he introduced us to a whole load of people we would never otherwise have met. Personally, he was civil and a gentle man in the truest sense of the word. Never in the 27 years I knew Kai was he ever once rude or unkind.

"In the early years, we played with him in a band and that led to the introductions where we met the right people at the right time. We travelled with the band to Inverness and experienced such support and kindness from him and his friends.

"He then had a period of managing us. It wasn't the most successful in terms of management, but, to be fair, we were not the most successful band at the time.

"Kai was unfailingly kind

. His strengths were unique, and if he had failings, they were only the same weaknesses suffered by anyone who is different, interesting and who makes an impact on the world."

Kai's next band, The Cateran, was a remarkable outfit. Playing hardcore punk at unbelievable velocity and volume, "the fastest guitars in Scotland" were the kings of grunge before anyone had even coined the term.

Their music brought them into contact with an unknown group from the United States - Nirvana. In 1989 The Cateran were asked to tour on Nirvana's first UK dates, with fellow Seattle rock monsters Tad. It was to be a chaotic and thrilling jaunt, with the increasingly unstable and intense Cateran being described as the only band in the UK worthy of sharing a stage with their US counterparts.

When The Cateran split, Kai and bandmate Murdo Macleod formed the Joyriders. By 1991 Nirvana had become a worldwide musical phenomenon, but their friendship with the Joyriders continued. During Nirvana's Nevermind tour, they spent the night of 1 December playing a secret gig with the Joyriders at the Southern Bar in Edinburgh to raise money for the Sick Kids' Hospital.

The Joyriders were eventually to disintegrate, in spite of rumours of a dozen record labels chasing them. Somehow they contrived not to get signed, instead falling apart after two NME singles of the week and glowing gig reviews which represented one of the highlights, but also the final act, of Kai's career as a professional musician.

Throughout his adult life, Kai possessed a keen social conscience and a concern for people less fortunate than him. His musical ventures did not prevent him pursuing an active career in social work with disadvantaged children and adults. He had just started a course in TEFL, planning to spend time travelling and teaching in the future.

Sadly, like the lives of so many characters in rock music, Kai's was scarred by the twin blights of alcohol and drug addiction. He fought a successful battle against both, but the physical damage done to his body proved a harder adversary. He will be missed by his four children, by his family, by many fans, and by countless friends whose lives he enriched.

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