Bill Drummond

As one half of avant-garde dance music outfit KLF, Bill Drummond enjoyed international chart success with hits such as ‘3am Eternal’, ‘What Time Is Love’, ‘Last Train To Transcentral’ and ‘Justified And Ancient’. Having enjoyed a career with a string of music and art project achievements as long as the A75, he has been described as anything from, ‘the coolest man in pop’ to a ‘madcap Scottish genius’. More importantly, he is a Queen of the South fan.

Bill also attracted plenty of controversy for such events as burning £1 million in 1994 on the Isle of Jura - an event on which he has placed a 23 year ban on answering questions about. Additionally though, on his 1986 solo country / folk music album The Man, he recorded an instrumental track called `Queen of the South`. Taking a break from his current project, The17, to speak on Sunday at the BBC ‘08 festival of free thinking’, it was a pleasure to then hear Bill Drummond speak on passionate form as a self-confessed Queens supporter.


“Bill Drummond, thanks for your time. How did you become a Queen of the South fan?”

“Because I lived in Galloway! It had to be Stranraer or Queen of the South - and actually I lived nearer Stranraer. Queen of the South were in the first division in those days, when there was only two divisions in Scotland, so they had the glamorous teams come down. I got taken along to see Rangers play Queen of the South and that’s how I ended up supporting Queens. It was 4-1 to Rangers and, even worse though, I went along - as we all know all over Scotland there are Rangers supporters - I went along, sadly, as a Rangers supporter.”

“I got taken along that day and something started turning around. We also then moved to England to a place called Corby which is in the English East Midlands. Corby is like 85% Scottish people. It was only then that the whole Rangers and Celtic and all of that took on all this other stuff, that I became aware of all this other stuff. I started pulling back from that and the call of Queen of the South got stronger and stronger over the years. It’s only per chance that I’m not wearing my retro 1950s Queen of the South top this morning. I pulled that out and this one out [pointing at the top that he’s wearing], ‘which one shall I wear, which one shall I wear’. Bit surprised [for an impromptu interview for the QoS website], I would have been wearing that Queens top this morning.”

“How often do you get back to Galloway? I’ve seen that you are from Newton Stewart, or that’s where you grew up anyway. Born in South Africa, grew up in Newton Stewart?”
“We moved to Newton Stewart when I was 18 months old, and I was there until my early teens. I go back, I was there two and a half weeks ago. This morning driving up the motorway I overtook a lorry from Castle Douglas and I was thinking, ‘he’s going straight there and I’ve got to go somewhere else.’ I’m going back there mid-November.”

“How often do you get to see Queens play?”

“I haven’t seen Queens play since the cup final. I wanted to go to the European games but from a work point of view I couldn’t get to them, so I haven’t seen them since then. I took my 21 year old son up with me for the Cup Final, so he has taken on Queen of the South as his Scottish team. He now keeps on saying, ‘Come on dad, we’ve got to get up there to see Queens’ just cause that’s where his dad’s from and he came to the Cup Final with me.”

“Do you play football at all or do you have any history of playing football at any level - even if it’s just with friends or the school team?”

“I was complete rubbish, I have to admit I was totally rubbish at football. My son who I was talking about, the 21 year old, he was fantastic, still is fantastic and still plays football all the time. My eight year old son, that’s all he does. Of course I’d play every lunch time at school and that but that was it.”

“What about when you were in Corby. Were there any other Queen of the South supporters there? I can imagine you were something of a marginalised football minority.”

“In Corby, obviously Rangers and Celtic were the big things but there were people from all over Scotland that lived in Corby. I knew one other Queen of the South fan. Most people didn’t even know in England where Queen of the South are from. They’d heard of Dumfries but they’ve got no idea.”

“What about your favourite memory as a Queen of the South fan?”

“Getting to the Cup Final - it’s got to be! It’s usually something from childhood but it isn’t actually for me. It’s actually walking into Hampden, being at Hampden and seeing, obviously it’s blue everywhere against Rangers, but that side, the kind of more ‘Queens blue’ side of Hampden and thinking, ‘that many people’, that was the biggest thing even before the game started. And the fact that we scored, that was a phenomenal thing, I was going in there thinking we all know who’s going to win, we can dream about things, but it was great, it was fantastic. I had a great night the night before. We were on this boat on the Clyde that had been arranged by somebody I know who is also a Queen of the South supporter, a guy called Ewan McNaught. He’s from Dumfries but now lives in Edinburgh. He organised this boat, got a band up and it was just all full of Queens supporters.”


(Left to right, Sean O`Connor. Stephen Dobbie. Stevie Tosh, Neil MacFarlane and Paul Burns in the game of Bill Drummond`s favourite QoS memory. Tosh has just scored Queens` first goal)

“One last question and it’s not a question for now as such. The ban you’ve got for 23 years on discussing the one million pounds that you burned; I wonder when that 23 years is up if we can add a question to the list? That question is what do you think the late Willie Harkness’s reaction would have been to news that a Queen of the South fan was burning a million pounds?”

“There’s a lot of questions in the queue already before we get to that one!”

“Bill Drummond, thanks very much for your time.”