A Scottish Podcast review
This has been a long time coming. Despite winning one of my coveted (purely imaginary) podcast geek trophies in December, I have never got around to writing a review. While other, newer podcasts jumped to the front of the queue, this one has always been waiting, like me waiting to be picked for school teams in PE. Today is that day though, A Scottish Podcast gets reviewed!
The first time I heard of this podcast was an interview with the creator Matthew McLean on The Good Friends Of Jackson Elias. His self-deprecating style and sense of humour immediately impressed me. With Scott Dorward waxing lyrical about it, It struck me as something I needed to listen to forthwith, so I did.
So what’s it about?
Some might say that ex radio DJ Lee Power is unemployable. That isn’t strictly true. Lots of people have employed him, it’s keeping a job that is the problem. After his most recent sacking, Lee decides to start a paranormal podcast. After the genesis of “The Terror Files”, he decides he needs a hand to run things. He teams up with reluctant friend Dougie (Dougie would probably despute the term “friend”), a musician recently returned from London.
Soon we are introduced to a wide range of insane locals, gangsters, and all manner of Lovecraftian horrors that lurk in the forgotten catacombs and windswept remote islands of Scotland.
The storylines themselves range from impromptu urbex under the streets of Edinburgh, to derelict military facilities to… well, I’m not saying any more than that. You’ll just have to listen.
Is it any good?
This is one of the funniest podcasts I’ve ever listened to. As I type this I am listening to all the series for the fourth time. Honestly, it’s still just as funny as the first. This goes to show the talent of Matthew McLean as a writer, as well as the brilliant voice talent for bringing the characters to irreverent life.
Talking of voice talent, series one features the legendary (in my book anyway) David Ault as Councillor Byers. His deadpan delivery suits the corrupt politician perfectly. An honourable mention also needs to be given to Jim Balfour as retired footballer and crude Francis Begbie-alike George. I think he probably has more of the classic lines than any character. Even though I know what he’s going to say, I’ll still laugh out loud as he says them.
The series really comes out swinging. Lee’s first story recounting his meeting with a werewolf to media students setting the gloriously crude style of the rest of the podcast. The first epsidoe also ingtroduces the weird meta style of McLeans writing. Lee frequently references real podcasts such as The Black Tapes, and later on Lee and Dougie reveal that they know they are only characters in someone elses podcast. Again, thats just another great detail that makes me love this show.
The later series release schedule has been “relaxed” to say the least, sometimes only a handful of episodes in a year. While the storylines may go on hiatus, there will be a few random posts of poems McLean has written. These are also very good, the one for his brother was outstanding, and really heartbreaking. These offer a great contrast to the silliness of the main story and show that he is far from a one trick pony.
Most people think that anything to do with horror, and particularly the work of H.P. Lovecraft has to be serious, stuffy and usually not very scary. However, I think it lends itself more to humour. Maybe that’s just me, but podcasts like this, Wormwood, The Lovecraft Tapes, or Ain’t Slayed Nobody are much more entertaining (and yes, those last two are roleplaying podcasts, but they play how I like to, so they get a mention).
As I think I’ve made clear already, I love this podcast. The only caveat I would give any prospective listener is that the language is VERY coarse. If you have a disposition that gets upset at swear words and euphemisms of an incredibly inventive nature, then “Turn the tape off now, this is not a pop album” (as Ice T once said). I happen to think that swearing is very funny, but that’s just me…
You can get A Scottish Podcast here:
Or wherever you get your podcasts