He is unsigned, has had "absolutely no music industry support" and yet one Coatbridge singer-songwriter is looking down on the likes of David Bowie at the top the pop charts.

To be exact, Pete Macleod is number one on the UK Physical Singles Charts, that counts sales of CDs, vinyl and other physical formats, across a seven day period.

The one time prodigy of Oasis discoverer Alan McGee, Firing Line has reached the summit above the likes of Bastille, The Weeknd, Gerry Cinnamon, Coldplay and Lewis Capaldi.

The track is a commentary on the harmful impact of social media in modern society and was originally released last year in an acoustic format.

But the 41-year-old Scot decided to re-issue a full-band version, although you be able to hear or see it yet on YouTube. Other than buying a physical copy, you can hear it on Spotify.

The Herald:

With a sudden surge of copies now sold, MacLeod argues that many people are beginning to withdraw from their cultural dependence on social media.

In addition, he adds that his commercial success also shows that the music industry does not pull all the strings, with independent artists still able to reach the masses on their own.

The singer said: “This number one is not just a big thing for me; it shows there is real change on the way.

“Being able to top the charts – any charts – with a song written and recorded by yourself is so unbelievably rare. It just demonstrates that those controlling the record industry, the radios, and streaming services do not hold all the cards.

“This also shows that people still care about music; fans will go out and pay for it. The song is only now available on Spotify, but there were so many out there handing over money for this single because the track speaks to them directly.

“That’s what it all comes down to: People are turning away from this harmful social media culture. That way will soon be done.

“Music fans are also turning away from the norm as well: Independent artists are able to reach millions now without formal industry support; some are playing festivals at the weekend and are back at work on Monday; even vinyl is coming back.

The acoustic version.

“It’s the beginning of a revolution – and artists are gaining some of the control back from the profiteers who only want to exploit, and push recycled, unoriginal, radio-friendly garbage.”

It has been a slow rise to the top for the Scot, who was signed up by Alan McGee, seven years to his new record label.  

McGee, who signed Oasis immediately upon seeing them play at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, became one of the first artists to be signed to the music impresario's new label, 359 Music.

McLeod had been a long-time admirer of McGee  – who founded Creation Records – and the pair have spoken before about their desire to work together and bring his music to a wider audience.

McLeod now says he is committed to fighting against the harmful impact of online bullying, especially in the wake of the death of Caroline Flack.

He said: “The song is a dig at social media and the people who use, and abuse, those platforms to be anti-social.

“When people are taking their own lives as a result of this cowardly online bullying, then surely it is time to action against this system of behaviour.

“It’s not just facilitated; in many circles it is encouraged: Degrading others for likes and a bump in status is an everyday occurrence and that ploy always comes as someone else’s expense.

The Herald:

Macleod added: “I’d like to see people take these social media companies to court if they see others using their platforms to bully, intimidate or abuse people. These companies are just as liable for the pain and anguish inflicted here.

“You can’t walk up to someone in the street and abuse them so why can you do this online?

“There is a virus sweeping through communities all over the world right now, costing lives. What are those in charge doing? They are taking action: Restricting movement and shutting down events. Why then is no one doing anything about social media, when it is contributing to a similar loss of life?”

Who is Pete McLeod?

The singer-songwriter has a flair for melodic guitary pop - in the Oasis mould. 

His early influences were drawn from his father’s LP collection, including the likes of Buddy Holly, The Beatles, John Lennon and The Rolling Stones.

He spent several years living in California before returning home to release an EP entitled Glasgow Keeps Me Real California Lets Me Heal in early 2013.

It was well received and the song ‘Rolling Stone’ was made Single of the Month on BBC Radio Scotland.

McGee's label issued his debut album Rolling Stone in late 2013. A follow-up, Crestfallen was released in 2016 and saw MacLeod working with producer Youth and musicians that included guitarists Simon Tong and James McCartney, the son of Paul.

MacLeod promoted the album through a series of support tours with Happy Mondays, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Cast, Ocean Colour Scene, Shed Seven, Midge Ure, Amy Macdonald and The Strypes.

He has also been joined on stage by musicians such as Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Weller), Bonehead (Oasis), Rab Allan (Glasvegas) and Josh McClorey (The Strypes).

MacLeod completed a third solo album Walk To The Light released in the autumn of 2018.