David McTague

My essentials for Stereographics © David McTague
Originally hailing from West Yorkshire, but now based in Liverpool, Dave McTague is something of an all round music and arts practitioner. He lives a life of music in a UNESCO City Of Music. Its true to say that his love of music and the passion he shows for the work of these he works with are an integral part of his Essentials. Through Mellowtone Records, Dave brings some of the best in new songwriters, blues, folk, acoustic and roots music. Mellowtone is so much more than a record label, though. Its a collaborative entity: more like a family if anything, bringing like-minded souls together, supporting and fostering new writers and performers alongside more established Liverpool names. He’s also long been a member of the team behind Liverpool’s much loved Africa Oyé festival. Oyé recently celebrated 25 years bringing the greatest African music to an audience of 50,000 people in the stunning surroundings of Sefton Park. Dave is also part of Next Stop New York, an innovative archiving project looking at the influence of black American music on the British social and cultural landscape via its arrival at the Liverpool docks after the Second World War. He also works closely with the RedHouse Originals gallery, specialising in Pop, Modern and Contemporary art. These are his Essentials.  — Paul Fitzgerald


1. Record & Guitar.
A record.  A guitar.  Music.  Magic. They’re here to symbolise music as an integral part of my life.

2. Bag.
My mobile office. I carry this pretty much everywhere, and it certainly contains a few essentials. This particular specimen is a few years old now, and hails from Marrakech.

3. Flat cap.
I call it my flat cap but I think it’s technically a ‘newsboy’. It’s brown corduroy and I wear it a lot.

4. Ashtray.
This is something I’ve just had for ages. Pretty much since leaving my parents house, so it’s symbolic of that I guess.  Time has moved on, people have moved on and places have moved on… and this ashtray has been along for the ride. I still use it now and again.

5. Mellowtone flyers.
I had to include them here as I’m always carrying them, and leaving a trail around. In this digital age I think it’s really important that we still retain some tangibles, so we never stopped printing our flyers. We use lots of different illustrators, but always monochrome artwork.

6. Ring.
Many years ago I tried on a ring, that was owned by my girlfriend at the time. A slender, square, silver ring; one that fitted my little finger perfectly.  And I didn’t take it off.  It was really thin and broke a few years later, so I had it copied using silver from a ring from the Oman my parents had given me. I wear it every day. If for any reason I don’t have it on it feels very strange…

7. Pencil.
I like to write in pencil.

8. Diary.
I like to have an old paper diary.

9. Computer & Phone.
I guess these days they speak for themselves as essentials.

10. Notebook.
An essential for anyone who wants to get anything done, in my opinion.

David McTague
July 2017

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My essentials for Stereographics by David McTague
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