Take it to the Bridge: Dundee's Rock & Pop History by Lorraine Wilson is, as the subtitle implies, the story of the music scene in Dundee over the fifty year period from the Sixties to the Noughties. Lorraine Wilson is a Dundee-born journalist and broadcaster who has had a lifelong passion for music, and in particular for the music of the city in which she grew up in the 70s and 80s, and in which she has lived since 2004. The foreword of the book tells how she caught the music bug from her parents, and over the years she has written about music and performed it herself, as a member of many bands. There can hardly be anyone better qualified to write the story of Dundee's music, and the result is fascinating, enjoyable and authoritative.
There is a very short bibliography in the back of this book, but it is dwarfed by the three page list of some 60 people involved in the Dundee music scene who were interviewed by Lorraine Wilson while researching "Take it to the Bridge". Most of these are musicians, though the list also includes promoters and journalists. This has allowed the author to draw on a very broad range of first hand accounts of the complex and surprisingly deep story of music in the city. As she says in the foreword: "The wealth of bands that Dundee has produced and nurtured could fill a book (luckily enough!) but the community of those musicians, and how some of their stories are interwoven with the venues, record shops, music shops and even music hacks, shows how music has always been such a strong part of its culture."
The book itself is divided into five chapters, one for each of the decades covered. Within each chapter, individual sections pick up separate strands. What comes over very forcefully is how remarkably connected each of these strands is with many of the others. This should perhaps not be a surprise given the compact scale of Dundee as a city, but the reader does emerge with a sense of admiration for the way the author has been able to make sense of what must have been, with the passage of time, accounts of events which could not always have been consistent with one another. This is an excellent and very readable book that should be essential reading for anyone with an interest in Dundee, or in music in Scotland over the past half century.