Our next Outsider hasn’t looked back since leaving Scotland to navigate the murky waters of press publicity. Here, she reveals the secrets of her success.
Name: Pam Ribbeck.
Job title: Senior press officer at Fiction/Polydor.
When did you leave Scotland? Coming up for 14 years ago.
Is your Scottish identity important to you? If so, in what ways? Absolutely. Home is where the heart is, as they say.
How did you get your job and what had you done before? I did an HND in Music Business Administration at West Lothian College. The course ran for about 10 years and was run by Gordon Campbell, a great guy. I would never have had the courage to move to London and try to get a job in music without the knowledge, contacts and friends made during that time. I was lucky.
Who is the most famous person you have met while doing your job? I would say Slash. He’s pretty famous, right? Nice chap too.
What’s the best and worst part of your job? Best: The people I meet and work with, and being immersed in music. Worst: Getting the work/life balance right. It’s a sociable job and it’s pretty hard to switch off. And emails – the greatest and worst evolution of the past 10 years.
What music are you excited about right now? I love Feist (OK, she’s on Polydor but I don’t do her press!). Her performance of Sea Lion Woman on Later With Jools Holland convinced me she is a very special woman – it bowled me over. She has the most incredible voice. Fleet Foxes, Band Of Horses, Bon Iver, Phosphorescent, Vetiver, the new Conor Oberst album (I can see a trend there), Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Alela Diane, Elbow, Les Savy Fav, Neon Neon, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Black Kids. Oh, loads of stuff! Looking forward to new albums from Archie Bronson Outfit, The Cure and Mogwai.
How would you rate your knowledge of the current Scottish music scene? Have any new Scottish acts caught your eye recently? I’ve got some pretty clued up friends based in Glasgow and I sit in the Fiction office along with the A&R people here which is helpful as far as hearing good new bands from all over the UK goes. But I wouldn’t say I had a specific knowledge of the current Scottish music scene – that would be a lie. I know Glasvegas are an obvious mention but I love the singer’s voice and his heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics and those fuzzy guitars are just lovely. And Errors are ace.
Anything else you’d like to add… Now I know how it feels to be interviewed!