Billy Boyd and four school friends from Cranhill in Glasgow formed
Foreign Country, a band which played in local pubs and clubs. He is
said to have played in a band called Duck City too, and he seems to
have sung and hung out with other bands on the Glasgow music scene.
As well as playing guitar and bass, and singing lead vocals, he used
to write songs.
About 18 months ago Boyd met up with his friends from Foreign Country
and they chatted about the idea of getting back together. He also sang
at a children's charity concert in Glasgow, but since then Boyd has
been jamming with some much bigger Hollywood names including Viggo
It seems that Foreign Country never released any album or CD. Billy
Boyd certainly doesn't mention anything of the kind when he talks
about Foreign Country, and nor does anyone else. When the band is
discussed, it's described as a local group on the pub music circuit.
They used to practise at Easterhouse Community Centre, in a poor area
of Glasgow. One newspaper does say he enjoyed being in a studio, but
we have to guess that he was with one of the more successful Glasgow
bands he knew, like Teenage Fanclub, the Vaselines or the BMX Bandits.
Boyd's gigging years lasted till the age of 23 when he started to
train as an actor. All through this period, he was either at high
school or working in a printers/bookbinders.
You may be interested to know that both his parents were enthusiastic
about singing, and Boyd believes his father, a "crooner", once
recorded a demo tape, though this has since disappeared. (His parents
died while he was still at school.)
I will quote some material I found with Google searches on "Billy
Boyd" + band, but there is more biographical material in the archives
of Scottish newspapers, including The Scotsman and The Herald.
?My mates and I formed a band at school called Foreign Country. We
rehearsed in Easterhouse Community Centre and played gigs all over the
area. We played an outdoor gig once in Auchinlea Park. We?re still
"Billy Boyd, recently named as Scotland's most eligible bachelor,
formed the rock band with school friends, Billy Johnson, John
Crawford, Alan Anderson and Glen Peacock. The five-piece played
various local venues with Boyd on lead vocals.
He said: "Growing up in Cranhill I used to be in a band called Foreign
Country. I met up with a few of the guys and we talked about getting
Ruairi O'Kane. The Herald. Glasgow (UK): Jan 10, 2003
He "cut his teeth as a performer fronting bands with bad names
including Duck City and Foreign Country.
Neither took off . . .
. . . . . he has been working with some of his old pals again and
after singing at a children's charity concert in Glasgow last month,
admits he is feeling passionate about music.
He said: 'Some of the highlights of my youth are sitting in a studio
at three in the morning trying to get a drum track right or carrying
all our gear out of a club into an old transit van. I loved doing all
'There's something really special about being in a band. You become
very close to people.
'Now I've started doing little bits and bobs with a couple of the guys
I used to play with. I don't know if anything will come of it but
we're enjoying ourselves.'"
" . . spending his evenings singing with a band on the Glasgow pub
circuit. Mr. Boyd played drums, bass, and the guitar, and sang
baritone and tenor."
" . . at that time I was playing in a band, all through the time that
I worked in a printers, and I had a great time and was writing a lot
of music, and playing a lot, and playing with different bands. Very
involved in the sort of Glasgow music scene."
"Boyd bound books for six years, making good friends with his
colleagues and spending his nights singing with a band on the Glasgow
"He was the lead singer of the group; name of the group was Foreign Country"
"He'd kept his performing streak alive gigging around Glasgow with
bands such as Duck City in the '80s, rubbing shoulders with the likes
More biographical information in:
Please let me know if you'd like me to clarify anything. I hope you
enjoy hearing about Billy Boyd's early years!
Best wishes - Leli