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All Job Training Programs Need to Include Devo Songs

This new Glasgow compilation features young people involved in the NEETS (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) program.

From Australia to the UK and Japan, NEETS, or young people 'Not in Education, Employment, or Training', often get a bad rap. Conservative British columnist David Smith once described them as the “yobs hanging around off-licences” and “graffiti artists who cannot spell”. But in Glasgow, a group of young people involved in the N.E.E.T. training program have released an excellent compilation tape featuring cover songs from The Cramps, Soft Cell, The Stooges, and more.


Released on Glasgow label Akashic Records, The Green Door Presents NEETS features 17 tracks created and produced by 16-25 year-olds that have been trained how to use studio equipment and record their own music.

Recorded at the Green Door, a small analogue studio in Glasgow’s west end, the album features wild interpretations of The Stooges’ “1969”, Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and The Normal’s 1978 track “Warm Leatherette”.

The project, created and taught by the Green Door's Emily McLaren and Stuart Evans, with the help of other Glasgow's musicians, was inspired by classic studios from the past.

"We wanted to get as far away as possible from the homogenous sterile digital environments that most studios had become and we were inspired by the older technology and musical output of studios such as Lee Perry's Black Ark and Conny Plank's studio in Cologne," explains Evans via email.

"So on the NEET course we take a look each week at producers and engineers such as King Tubby, Conny Plank, Delia Derbyshire, Brian Eno and Martin Hannett and record a cover version using their various approaches. The course participants take turns playing in the live room and engineering the session and then everyone gets some time on the desk to mix the track from tape."

It makes sense that a project like Green Door would spring from Glasgow, a city with a long and proud music history. Oliver Pit who runs Akashic records and who was involved in the course says that the album release resulted in a messaging frenzy among participants. “For lots of people it was the first time they'd had their music released and they'd often not heard the track since recording it. In a way it does feel like archetypal Glaswegian release in the way in switches between genres from beautiful, lo-fi pop to bizarre experimentalism.”

Stuart says the project is about more than just music and it’s been rewarding to witness the social collaborations and relationships that have been built in the program. "If you're stuck in a freezing cold bedsit on the dole, getting out and meeting people can be a valuable thing. It's also great to see confidence growing over the duration of the course where they can go from a situation of being slightly intimidated by a recording and mixing console and tape machine to then going on to produce wild and inventive freestyle dub mixes on that equipment."

'The Green Door Present Neet' is available now through Akashic Records.