Ahead of a reissue of her band’s classic Beautiful Garbage, the Scottish frontwoman remembers her teenage passions, from the fiction that terrified her to the Edinburgh nightclub that set her free

Around 1980 this book was in the window of every bookshop. I got one for Christmas when I was 13 or 14. It was my father’s selection. I remember thinking: “What the fuck is this?” But once I started reading, I could not stop and I became obsessed with it. It’s about human behaviour. I was just discovering my sexuality and how we relate to other human beings and this book blew my mind. I remember a section about “displacement reactions”, something you do when you’re nervous or uncomfortable and you’re trying to divert the conversation elsewhere. I used to do this strange thing with my legs. I’d shake them and rub my thighs. It was very odd and friends used to comment, but through understanding it I was able to curtail my unconscious behaviour. The book changed the way I looked at everybody and I’ve been fascinated by people-watching ever since. Plus there were pictures of genitalia and stuff about sex [laughs], which to this day I don’t think has ever been mentioned in my house. So as a teenager it was mesmerising.

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