I write to you from my uncle’s house in Prestwick, Ayrshire where I’m spending my day off today before gigging returns tomorrow in Drumnadrochit. A cracking (for very different reasons) couple of gigs to tell you about. First up was the legendary Market Bar in Inverness, always a wonderfully weird and eventful gig. Last time I played it a girl randomly punched someone in the face on the way out but thankfully that didn’t happen this time. I always turn up at the Market and think what on earth do I do this for again but then it’s always a barrel of laughs and appreciative (if drunken) audience and this was no exception. I had a great night and especially enjoyed knocking out some bluegrass which the audience seemed to be going for.
Diffiuclt to put into words my wonderful gig in Edinburgh on Sunday night. Folkies among you may well be familiar with the ‘house concert’ idea but for those who aren’t, it is roughly as the name suggests. Someone puts on a gig in their house, usually seats about 15 people in varying degrees of comfort, charges them something in and gives to the artist. It’s a neat idea as there’s no risk for the person organising and it’s generally a very nice gig. It’s a big thing in Canada particularly.
Well this was no ordinary house concert! Douglas’s famous house concerts have become the stuff of legend in Scotland and have attracted national attention recently as the daft sods at Edinburgh council are trying to deny him the right to do it in his house despite no complaints from neighbours. He has an extraordinary space in which to put the gigs on and can cram a good 60 or so people in. It was a great gig with a lovely crowd and I tried out one or two new things which was good to do. Special mention must go to Pat McGarvey of Southern Tenant Folk Union who wrote ‘New Farming Scene’ which is on my new album. He was there and has been a great help in putting some of these Scottish dates together. Douglas and Jane-Ann meanwhile are two extraordinary people, so hospitable and wonderful company. This is definitely one I would love to do again.
So then, I was wandering through Edinburgh the day after the gig and stumbled across this. Now note the name of the shop then note the flag hanging from it…