Monday 28 November 2022

Fun live session for Celtic Music Radio at Braehead shopping centre

OFF into Glasgow early. After dropping Margaret off I hit McDonalds for breakfast and wifi…spinning my coffee out for a good couple of hours!

After a trip to the bank, then the post office, I go to Braehead shopping centre where I’m playing a live session and doing an interview as part of the station’s outside broadcast. It’s fun and goes well.

There’s a some odds and sods of shopping to do and a wee bit of online work to catch up on then I collect Margaret and we head for home.

We’re back in time for my regular Monday evening session with one of my Zoom guitar students and follow it with a livestream into my Wildcats’ Facebook group...

Sunday 27 November 2022

WE get up early, pack up and go downstairs for ‘breakfast’ at the Jonas hotel…a coffee and a pastry.

I get some work done before we leave. Still hungry, we stop at a McDonalds for some more breakfast then hit the motorway.

We split driving duties and roll up at home late afternoon, unload and I who straight into the office. There’s some changes to the copy in Joe’s order pop service and I want to print off a new proof to take along to Betty and Shona. I also finish off a run of labels for Will.

We take a wander along to see Betty and go over the order of service. Joe’s funeral is next Monday (5 December) so I’d like to be able to get the artwork off to the printer later tonight.

Back home I make some final amendments and email the artwork off then. make some dinner…and feed my sourdough starter.

After dinner I engrave three West Highland Way trekking flasks and pack them up to fulfil online orders that came in while we were away. I’ll drop them at a post office in Glasgow tomorrow.

Final job before bed it to finish editing the video blog/vlog from the last few days on the road…and a dram.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Grand time playing a private party in Sheffield…

BREAKFAST at the Premier Inn is pretty good…then we go back to the room and I get some work done while Margaret packs up.

We check out at midday and go to meet my pal Neil at a nearby Costa. He was at the gig last night but we didn’t really get a chance for a blether.

On the road, we head for Sheffield and check in at a strange hotel – a Jonas – on one of Sheffield University’s campuses.

I’m off into Glasgow to play a session for Celtic Music Radio on Monday and have some work to do on Joe’s order of service when we get back tomorrow, so I spend a few hours editing the video blog/vlog of this trip…I’ll want to use it in my Wildcats’ livestream on Monday night. Need to get as much work done on it as possible before then.

Suddenly it’s time to head for the venue foor the private show…a complete venue – The Alder – has been taken over and there’s been acts on stage sing early afternoon .

We get a drink and some pizza and I’m just about to go and chill before my set when I’m asked to run the sound for the band that’s on before me. The PA isn’t bad, but there’s a real tangle of mics and channels…I manage two muddle through to everyone’s satisfaction.

Needless to say it’s a bit of a panic to load in, get set up and started with my own set the last of the night.

It goes really well though and the crowd is mad for it 🙂

Friday 25 November 2022

Wrecking Ball, Hull..an amazing venue!

AFTER getting packed up and out the hotel we head for a nearby all-day breakfast place – JJ’s Kitchen in Gateshead. Turns out to be a great find.

Then it’s onward to Hull. We sp[lit the driving and check into our hotel on the edge of town where we chill for an hour or so before making our way to tonight’s venue – Wrecking Ball.

What a great place. Spacious record and book shop and cafe downstairs…and a fantastic music room upstairs.

Engineer Matt is greta and we soundcheck quickly then set up merch before relaxing in the green room until doors open.

I’m amazed at the turnout – was expecting just a handful of folks – and I have a grand time.

We’re back at the hotel at a reasonable time and enjoy some snacks and a nightcap…

Thursday 24 November 2022

Grand night at the Cluny 2, Newcastle….

THERE’S load of video to clear off the cameras and some online orders to be sorted before we hit the road.

We drop Jonzip off in Glasgow and continue our drive to Newcastle – splitting driving duties along the way.

The venue has booked us into a nice hotel on Gateshead Quays. We check in, drop some stuff off then make our way to The Cluny and load in.

Liam, the engineer, is excellent and once we’re done we go back up top the bar where we’re treated to dinner and a couple of drinks.

Back int he venue the support act is sound checking. We hang out backstage until doors open when Margaret goes to mass the merch table.

The Ferriday Fireballs play an awesome opening set then it’s my turn. There’s a good crowd in – lots of Wildcats, familiar faces and new folks.

The night goes great. After load out we have a last drink with the promoter and some other pals then head back to the hotel.

Wednesday 25 November 2022

Grand time at Beat Generator in Dundee…

ANOTHER early start into Glasgow…after dropping Margaret off I head to Morrisons for a roll and sausage and coffee.

The next hour or two is spent doing some general work and last minute promo for tonight’s show in Dundee.

Next stop, Jonzip’s for lunch then we pick up Margaret and head for Dundee.

We make good time, go for some tacos then load in at Beat Generator.

Soundchecks go to plan, the place is fantastic, we have a great crowd in and both Jonzip and I have great fun playing.

After chatting with folks round the merch table we laid out and head for Clark’s for some grub on the way home.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

WE’RE on the road into Glasgow before 7.30am…I drop Margaret off then leave the car at the garage for a service. The driver’s window is bust – thankfully ‘up’ – but the folks at the garage aren’t gonna have time to look at that today.

I wander into the city centre and stop off at a McDonalds for some breakfast and coffee which I make last a few hours. While there I upload the first Devil May Care tour vlog to YouTube and Facebook.

I’d forgotten that the software I need to layout Joe’s order of service isn’t installed on the laptop I have with me. I get all the text input and gather the assets so I can get cracking in the office later on. Meantime I do some promo for tomorrow’s (Wednesday) Dundee show.

When I call the garage to see how they’re getting on they tell me that they don’t wanna complete the service in case the cracked oil sump causes a problem and they know we hit the road tomorrow. Most of the work has been done, though, and the car’s good to go. We can take it back after the tour and have things finished off.

I collect Margaret and we head home where I sort some broken strings and prepare the gear for an early start in the morning.

After dinner I spend a few hours in the office coming up with a first draft for Joe’s order of service and manage to get it to Betty before midnight…

Monday 21 November 2022

Album launch and tour vlog part one….

I MANAGE to get most of the gear sorted out in the studio – everything just got dumped when we got back yesterday – before my first Zoom guitar student of the day.

When I’m done, the rain’s off so I take the chance to check out the roof. There’s a fast-growing grey (now getting black!) patch on our bedroom ceiling. I don’t see anything obvious amiss, so I check out the loft. Some of the roof boards are saturated and sagging. Not good. I take some photos to discuss with Margaret later.

In the office I check out the material for Will’s glass/weight package stickers. I ran a sheet last night and it’s a mess. Test engraves also produced a mess. I call the supplier and send images but while awaiting a reply I pick at the material and find an incredibly thin protective film on the material. That’s the problem. I’ve had this material three or four times before and it’s never had that film.

Finally I get back to offloading and editing some video footage from the last few days. I hope to get part one of a vlog with the album launch and first set of live shows all edited so I can show it in my Wildcats’ livestream later.

Of course, it’s a fairly complex job and takes me right up until my 7pm Zoom guitar session. There’s still a little to do and then an export after the Zoom session…and before I go live at 8pm. I manage with a few seconds to spare.

After the livestream I rush back to the house for dinner then along to see Betty to help with the order of services for Joe’s funeral.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Epic night at Stereo, Glasgow

WE HAVE a good breakfast at the hotel in Aberdeen then hit the road back to Glasgow.

Lots of online promo to be done while Margaret drives and we make decent time to JonZip and Maggi’s for a coffee before we have to go into the city centre and load in at Stereo.

I’d been concerned about the size of the room – approx 300 capacity – and while we don’t have a full house, we have a very respectable crowd and a good time.

Once we load out Margaret drops Jonzip and I of at King Tuts and goes back with Maggi.

Jonzip’s pal Ian is doing sound and tour managing a abad from LA called Upsahl and has left passes for us at the door. The place is rammed and the band great. We help them load out, have a beer in the dressing room then hit the King Tut’s bar with guitarist Johnny and drummer Ross. Then it’s onto Sleazy’s. Jeez, I;m getting a bit old for this carry on!

We’re back at Jonzip’s just after 2am, have a bowl of chilli and a few glasses of red before turning in sometime after 4am.

We have a good post-gig night out with Upsahl guitarist Johnny and drummer Ross (not pictured)….

Friday 18 November 2022

Great crowd out in Aberdeen 🙂

MATTY’S away to work by the time we’re up. We have some breakfast then stop off at Union Vinyl to check on vinyl sales before leaving Inverness.

We stop off in Lhanbryde for lunch with friends then carry on our way to Aberdeen.

Quite lucky we’re travelling from Inverness as a lot of the main roads are closed due to flooding. Even the route we’re on has some diversions and deep water to negotiate.

After checking into the hotel we head to the Blue Lamp, load in and get soundchecked.

Jonzip and I nip out to the supermarket to bring in some grub and supplies for later…doors are open when we get back and folks started to arrive. Despite a lot of call-off’s the room is full and we both have a great time playing….Glasgow tomorrow…

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