Saturday 3 March 2018

Hicks play a fine opening set

WE CHECK the weather and roads situation first thing. I’m nervous about getting into Glasgow and really hope we don;t have to cancel tonight’s show.

Things look fairly positive and after packing the gear and merch we hit the road just after 11am – a good few hours earlier than we would normally leave for the city. I need to know in good time if there’s gonna be any problems.

Luckily the road to Drymen has been cleared and although still a bit dicey, someone has ploughed through the eight foot snowdrifts that blocked the road last night. We take the less exposed route through Balloch and hit the road.

All’s good and we get to Braehead in time for some lunch. There’s still time to kill, so we go and check out a kitchen place in Hillington called Kitchen Depot that someone recommended to Margaret. We’re immediately impressed by the family-run firm and the girl we sit down to talk designs with is amazing. Looks like we’re gonna go with this! Dunno where the dosh is coming from tho’.

Next stop, the Hug & Pint. We load in and meet the guys form Hicks who.re doing the support slot. Soundman Ross is excellent and soon we’re all soundchecked and upstairs having a beer and some fantastic grub.

Advance sales are pretty good and the place slowly fills over the half hour between doors opening and Hicks taking the stage. They play a cracking set, then it’s my turn.

I have a grand time and it’s a great crowd…luckily there a fair amount of walk ups, especially as a fair few ticket holders don’t show. The bad weather must still be scuppering folks’ plans.

We’re loaded out and back at Jonzip and Maggi’s before midnight. Maggi’s made a big pot of chilli…we eat drink and chat…another 4am shot.

I really enjoy playing at the Hug & Pint

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Friday 13 October 2017

Tobias Hug leads what turns out to be a fantastic vocal looping workshop from the MU at the Scottish Music Centre

MARGARET goes to meet our American pals for a coffee before they leave the village…I’d like to go too, but have far too much to get done before I have to go into Glasgow at midday.

Turns out my old graphics tablet won’t work with my current laptop, so I bite the bullet and order a new one. Things have moved on in the 15 years since the old one was commissioned, so it’s probably all for the better.

A look at Tobias’ favoured loop station…the Boss RC-505

After making up a  shopping list and grabbing a bag full of coins – pennies, two-pence and five pence from the containers in the bedroom I drive into Glasgow. A yellow light appears on the dash which indicates a problem with the catalytic converter. Shite! No time to get it to the garage today and I’m driving to Forfar and Kirriemuir on Monday…so Tuesday will be the first opportunity to have it looked at.

I need to be at the Scottish Music Centre at 2pm for a Musicians’ Union (MU) vocal looping workshop …I;d hoped to get all the shopping done before, but roadworks and slo-mos have made the trip into town a lot slower than usual…I decide to leave Costco ’til later and meanitme stop in Tesco to chuck the bag of coins through their ‘coinstar’ machine and grab a sandwich which I eat on the way to the Scottish Music Centre.

I arrive just before 2pm and there’s a nice wee group in for the workshop..most of them folks I know. The workshop is led by a cappella singer and looping expert Tobias Hug – and while looping (vocal or otherwise) is not something I would likely include in my live show, I can see how it might be a great compositional tool and a cool way to work on ideas and get out a rut. it’s informative, interactive and fun. Everyone had a great afternoon…the MU in Scotland is arranging a load of great events like this which also provide great networking opportunities and worth the membership fee in their own right πŸ™‚

I have a meeting right after the workshop then pick up some stuff form Costco before heading home.

This is first night of ‘chill’ since we got back from the France tour…and we’re off south next week then straight on to Estonia and Latvia, so we make the most of it and relax with a bottle (or two) of red in front of the box….

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Friday 10 February 2017

Awesome night at the Hug & Pint thanks to Jamie (Little Fire), left, and soundman Doug πŸ™‚

GIG day today – so first task is printing out set lists and getting some last-miniute online and social media promo out.

We’re also gonna try recording tonight’s show and I spend a while gathering an assortment of mics, cables, splitter boxes and other stuff along with the eight-track recorder.

I’m just about to pack the car when Joe shows up to measure our front door to see if their old canopy could be put to good use. I finish packing then there’s time for a coffee and a blether. Joe heads back along the road and we head for Glasgow.

The Hug & Pint is β€“ along with Broadcast, King Tut;s and the Glad Cafe – one of our favourite Glasgow venues and I;m really looking forward to tonight’s gig.

Soundman Doug is ready and waiting when we load in – he’s done my sound a few times in the past and always been great. We’re set up in no time and Doug goes way beyond the call of duty in helping us set up to record the show with minimum fuss…he plugs in his laptop, has loads of good ideas and soon we;re soundchecked and back upstairs enjoying some amazing grub. The food at the Hug & Pint is amazing too!

My pal Jamie – aka Little Fire – who’s opening the show arrives just as we finish eating and is all set up and soundchecked by the time doors open at 8pm. 

There’s a good crowd in for Jamie kicking things off and he plays a wonderful set. So glad we managed to sort a show together after years of talking about it!

I do a quick Facebook Live from backstage and sink a wee dram before I start my set. The place is pretty packed – a nice mixture of old and new faces πŸ™‚

After load out there’s time for a drink then we make for home, stopping off for a haggis supper en route. That’s fucked the low carb efforts of the last few days!

Dave Arcari is a full-time touring alternative blues (alt.blues) guitar player
 and songwriter 
based on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland

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Saturday 11 June 2016

A fantastic finale to the Hellbound Train tour :-)

A fantastic finale to the Hellbound Train tour πŸ™‚

WE have a lazy morning – recovery, I guess – at Lesley’s and after breakfast and catching up with some online stuff we pack the car and make our way to Glasgow.

It’s an easy load in at The Hug & Pint and nice to see engineer Doug who’s done my sound in the past in various Glasgow venues.

We’re set up and soundchecked when Lee arrives and gets set up…we have some grub then wait for doors opening at 7.30pm

The Hug & Pint used to be the Roxy 171 – and the Liquid Ship before that. With each reincarnation the venue has got better and now it’s the perfect space for a Dave Arcari show…not too big, monster PA, great engineer. Oh, and the food and beer is great too!

There’s a great crowd in, Lee plays a blinder and I have an amazing time playing, fuelled by the great crowd and maybe some beer and whisky too!

Lots of pals and folks we know in for the show and once we’ve packed up there’s time to hang out for a few drinks. A great finaleΒ to three hectic nights’ gigging.

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