Dear all,


So to celebrate my return to…er…wifi, I shall start blogging on this lovely Scottish jaunt I’m on. It began slightly short of the country however the night after getting back from India with a cracking gig at Cramlington Folk Club with the wonderful Christi Andropolis. I always enjoy my collaborations with the legend that is Christi and the poor girl was rather deprived of voice but managed to find it from somewhere for the duration of the gig and gave her usual compression-splitting performance.


Next up was the long drive to Aviemore for my first ever gig there, at the Old Bridge. What a place! The food was seriously seriously amazing and I had a good feeling about the gig. I was right – despite my tiredness I sprung to life with a lovely crowd and a great venue. Though a pub, the gig venue is a seperate room which they charge people to come into so it was sort of the best of both worlds – a lovely attentive crowd with the best of pub banter! Any gig where me finishing a Horslips song is met with the response ‘more Horslips’ is likely to be a good one as far as I’m concerned! One of those great gigs where I had no idea what was coming next as I was enjoying playing all manner of stuff. So many thanks to Aviemore, I hope to pay you a return visit before too long.


Next up was Inverness…except it wasn’t. Owing to a gigantic administrative cock up by both artist and venue, the gig was cancelled a couple of weeks ago without me knowing! It wasn’t the most enjoyable phone call I’ve ever had, being as I was fifteen minutes from Inverness in a layby with no idea what to do. Fortunately, circumstances played me a lucky hand (is that a phrase? it is now…) in that the people due to play at the Grog were in fact in New Zealand so I played there last night as well as tonight! What a wonderful pub it is! I had the most fantastic conversations with some cracking people. Two Scots in particular spring to mind. Both were so nice and with one I had a great chat about music and the other I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about in the slightest and frankly I’m not absolutely sure he didn’t slip into speaking Gaelic, but both were indicative of why I am fond of this great country.


Before I tell you a story of a complete prat, can I recommend you watch Question Time on iplayer to watch Peter Hitchens get trashed. Principally, because the man’s a prat.


Anyway moving on, this prat I mentioned. I came to the Grog today to have a bite of lunch and in walks the epitome of posh English twit (not a slight on posh people, just on twits) who goes to the bar and says ‘what have you got that’s closest to English best bitter?’. He then proceeds to lecture on how good English beer is and asks why they don’t have Timothy Taylor’s Landlord despite it being one of the 500 (literally) little beer mats dotted around the walls. My interjection was ‘it could be because you’re in Fort William and not in England’.


He wasn’t impressed.