SOME corporate professions can have an unfair reputation as being a bit staid, and let’s face it, not very rock and roll. But one accountant in the North-east is breaking the mould as he picks up a bass guitar and trades in his suit and tie for a leather jacket.
Alan Masson, Head of Tax for SBP Chartered Accountants, balances revenue and rhythm as bass guitarist in Aberdeen classic rock band, Fazzat.
In his day job at SBP, which has offices in Peterhead, Aberdeen, Fraserburgh and Banff and has a staff of more than 30 employees, Mr Masson manages clients’ tax needs and is currently the company’s only rock star.
Fazzat – a take on the Doric “fa’s that?” – is made up of Mr Masson and three other men balancing corporate day jobs with their music career. The band has been together for 12 years and has made a name for itself in Aberdeen, playing sets at local pubs and clubs, and is also hired for weddings and functions.
The band’s other members work in sales, design and science roles, but Mr Masson said the foursome never talks about work when they are together, choosing instead to use the band as a release from their work life.
Mr Masson taught himself to play guitar and bass at the age of 13, and had plenty of influence from popular music. He fully admits an obsession with all things Beatles and can boast an impressive collection of memorabilia, books and music from the Fab Four.
He said he had no rock star ambitions as a child, and that his career in tax started almost by chance, when he took an early job with Meston and Company, now Meston Reid & Co., in Aberdeen. He climbed the ranks before joining SBP in 2008, where a typical day includes working closely with the HMRC and assisting clients with tax deadlines and returns.
He said that sometimes worlds collide when he will bring up his band in a meeting, and he has even received work from clients looking for live entertainment for events.
Mr Masson said: “Being part of Fazzat is absolutely brilliant. It’s the exact opposite of everything else we do, and though it is stressful in its own way, being in the band is thoroughly enjoyable.
“I love playing in front of an audience. It takes a lot of concentration, but the experience is so enjoyable that I just forget about everything else. I always look forward to when we’re playing next.”
He has seen Paul McCartney play live and has even had a brush with one of his musical idols when, in 1975, he had a chance to personally deliver Macca’s guitar case to his hotel room in an early job as night porter at the hotel Mr McCartney was staying after a performance.
Mr Masson didn’t start playing in bands until he was in his 30s, and said that Fazzat is a natural fit for him and the other members.
Once the gigs are over, though, the band members focus all of their energy on their jobs. Mr Masson said that despite being two very different roles, he has been able to maintain a good balance between his job and band, which allows him to work hard and play hard.
He said: “I put equal concentration into both areas of my life, though they are completely separate. I’ve never thought of a song during a meeting, and I’ve never thought about a meeting while playing a song.”
Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of SBP Chartered Accountants
Contact: Rachel Kelly