Exclusive Interview with David Edgar from the Heart & Hand Podcast

Heart & Hand’s David Edgar & Scot Van Den Akker

David Edgar & his co-host Scot Van Den Akker, pull off a pretty impressive feat every week on their podcast Heart & Hand.  They tackle all of the issues surrounding Rangers, both off & on the field, while managing to entertain the listeners with their banter which often sidetracks into the masturbatory arts.   The show really feels like you are eavesdropping on two supporters at the match, shooting the shit, as they discuss Rangers, football, marriage, porn, etc.

In our interview he covers everything from the state of Scottish journalism to why Nicky Law reminds him of New Order & the current state of affairs on the pitch for Rangers.

What are the origins of the podcast?  When did it start?  What inspired you to create the show?

It started in August 2010. I was a big fan of The Arsenal Podcast with Alan Davies. It seemed a more honest representation of what it was like to be a football fan than the anodyne, airbrushed view of being a supporter you saw in the media. And, of course, the press in Scotland make no attempt to reflect what a Rangers fan feels, preferring instead just to bang on piously and support Celtic. I mentioned to a friend that someone should do something similar for us. And he said ‘well, why don’t you do it then? Why wait for someone else?

So I contacted the guys from Playback Media who made the Arsenal one (and a host of others) and we did a demo. They liked it and, 120 episodes in, here we are!

How long did it take to build up an audience or were you an instant success?

We did okay to begin with, thankfully – the first one was No. 1 in the iTunes podcast chart. I had a wee, tiny bit of a profile from my RST days and that was enough to get people curious enough to listen. It’s grown season on season since then. I think podcasts are becoming more and more popular in general as more people get smartphones, tablets etc. When they go looking for content, we’re there already.

Scot

It sounds like you & Scot are life long friends…when did you first meet?  

2001. We lived round the corner from each other but met through Rangers. He was best man at my first wedding. Not at the second. I don’t want to blame him for my first marriage failing, but I have to blame someone, so he’ll do.

What is the state of Scottish football journalism?  Where do you go for Rangers news?  

Scottish football journalism is like a fish dying slowing on a harbour wall – sad, sickening and somewhat smelly. Everyone with any other option has buggered off to another industry, while those left behind are the detritus. You’ve basically got the Celtic fans trying to outdo each other as to who can be the most grotesque in their pandering to their prejudices, with the rest just trying to keep collecting a wage before the whole rotten circus comes to a close. Which it will, inevitably, and soon. Hurrah!

I get my news from FollowFollow.com, Twitter and various online platforms. The idea of buying a paper for a story is as quaint as macaroon bars or Aberdeen winning at Ibrox. it’s just from a different era.

Heart & Hand is kind of the ‘punk rock’ Rangers podcast — do you listen to the other Rangers podcasts – like WATP & CROpod?  Basically, what do you think of the competition?

I like them both. I mean, I don’t listen to them, obviously, because I am far too important. But I support them.
In all seriousness, they both have a different approach to us and I think it helps that we all have a distinct identity. Our pod, in the first instance, is about pleasing two people; me and Scot. That was always the idea. If other people like it, great; if not, we’ll stop. But we don’t try to do anything that isn’t of interest to us. So when people say ‘why don’t you do more about tactics or history?’ my answer is always the same – because that’s not what we want to do. However, there is definitely space for podcasts that do, and we support them. It’s just not for us.
WATP and CROpod both have distinct personalities as shows, and that’s why they both work so well. I guested on CROpod once. One of their shows is about equivalent to six of ours. I was on a drip for three days after it.
Speaking of punk rock — what musicians/bands do you associate with the following players:  

Lee McCulloch – Big Country. No nonsense, big and inspiring. Also quite old.

Jon Daly – U2. Irish, massive and very popular.

Lewis MacLeod – Jake Bugg. Makes me feel really old.

Nicky Law – New Order. Dependably northern but can still get you dancing.

Bilel Mohsni – Chic. Suave and classy.

Chic

What players were among your favorites growing up?   What era of Rangers teams is your favorite?  

Ally McCoist. You grew up in the 80s, you loved Ally McCoist.  It’s as simple as that. Favourite era was probably the 1992 side. It was just so exciting. You really believed the sky was the limit.

Ally McCoist

What are your opinions of the direction Ally McCoist has the club going in?  Do you think that he is  preparing the club for instant success in League 1 or does he have a long-term plan to ready the club for a return to SPFL?

Hmmmnnn. That’s a toughy. I think it’s inevitable that he’ll take us back to the top, but a long-term plan? Nothing I have seen convinces me he has, or even believes that such a thing is possible at Rangers. And maybe it isn’t; certainly Walter didn’t think you could plan for more than a few games at Ibrox. My concern is that Ally believes that the way to achieve success is buy lots of good players and play them. Even if that was the case, it’s no longer an option for us.

Mangers are hired to be fired — it’s inevitable unless you are a Alex Ferguson or Walter Smith —- how do you think it will end for Ally?

I think he’ll lead us back to the top division, stay for a couple of years then there will be a desire for a change of manager. I think modern managers have a shelf-life of 5 or 6 years before fans want a change.

John Harkes

 If you didn’t know – I’m American — what are your predictions of the upcoming match between the US & Scotland?  Do you even care?

Is it at football, is it? I think John Harkes will score the winner past Alan Rough in a 1-0 victory for the US.
I’m not a big international fan, no.
You can download the podcast from iTunes or listen directly from their website at Playback Media.  

Edgar is best known for the work he did with Rangers Supporters Trust from 2008-2010.  He also wrote the book 21st Century Blue:  Being a Bear in the Modern World & was one of the contributing writers for Follow We Will:  The Fall & Rise of Rangers.

 

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