Thursday 23 February 2017

At Perth College – pic: Paul Oliver (via Instagram)

THERE’S a fair bit of snow when we leave the house at 7.30am and when we reach Croftamie, there’s a big tailback of cars. Not moving.

Normally the road’s almost deserted, so this ain’t good as I need to get to Milngavie to catch a train into Glasgow, then another to Perth where I’m speaking at an educational music networking event at Perth College at 1pm.

We turn round and head in the opposite direction along the A811, thinking we can join the A81 at Ballat…but a mile or so we get there, there’s another tailback. Everything’s at a standstill. Someone who must’ve turned round near the blockage tells us two lorries have got stuck in the snow, so we turn round and take a wee ungritted road toward Balfron where we manage to get onto the A81 and make some prgress. Margaret drops me at Milngavie station at 9am  and I;m in Glasgow by 9.30am, bumping into a pal – Allan Nimmo – on the way.

At Queen Street Station I buy my return ticket to Perth then nip out to a nearby Greggs for a roll and sausage and a coffee. I’m meet up with fellow panelists Richy Muirhead (Scottish Alternative Music Awards/BBC Social) and singer/songwriter Finn LeMarinel and we travel together, getting to Perth College in plenty of time for the 1pm event.

Organiser Laima meets us in the coffee bar and takes us to the lecture theatre where we’re speaking. Laima and her fellow students Kaia and Janina were at the Scottish Music Industry Association’s (SMIA)  ‘creative conversation’ event I was speaking at a month or two ago – nice to see them and catch up.

There’s a good audience in when we kick things off and the panel moderator does a great job in directing questions and getting us to talk about the kind of stuff the folks want to hear about.

We’re done soon after 3pm and head to the students’ union to hear some live music. Finn’s had to head back – Richy and I have time to hang out for a while before we have to make our way to the station for the train back to Glasgow.

Margaret picks me up at the station and we make it home in time for a Skype guitar masterclass I’m teaching at 8pm.

After dinner I do a wee bit extra promo on next Saturday’s (4 March) special live recording show at the Memorial Hall, Milton of Buchanan. Tickets are going well and there’s a fine balance between having good crowd in and not having the place too packed out.

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Saturday 4 February 2017

At The Green Room, Perth

THE merch that had gone missing en route to the USA has turned up! Phew!

But there’s some orders come in thatI need to get packed up and away before the last post pickup at midday.

Also realised I hadn’t made up set lists for tonight’s show.

There’s lots to get done before I can get into the studio – we’ve got folks coming for dinner tomorrow and I’m planning to smoke a pork loin. I get a big dod of pork loin, trim off as much of the excess fat then make a bacon lattice, add some ‘Memphis dust’ rub and wrap the pork in the bacon. Ready for the smoker tomorrow 🙂

In the studio I pull in all the audio files from Thursday’s show into ProTools. All’s good except that the sample rate of the stuff direct from the mixing desk is different to what we recorded with the stereo pair of mics out front…so after a few minutes the tracks are out of sync 🙁

No time to work it all out now, so we sort some of the gear for the gig and had to Perth. We need to get there before 5pm so I can pick up any sales cash from the record store.

Next stop, the venue. We load in and Ewan soundchecks things…there’s a few setbacks (only one of the venue;s six DI boxes works!) and the stage is a bit rickety to say the least, but he’s on the case and does a grand job.

Lee arrives and soundchecks, we grab some pizza then doors open at 8pm..there’s a good wee crowd in when Lee kicks things off and by the time I’m onstage things have hotted up a bit. A steady stream of drams from Will, Catriona, Greig and Les keep me fuelled through out my set and there’s time, for a blether and a few drinks afterwards.

We drop Catriona and Will off on the way home, and roll up home sometime around 2am. Bed.

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

Lee opens the Perth show

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Friday 20 January 2017


Scottish shows info/trailer video…click above to watch!

THERE’S a note in the diary that the episode of Julia Bradbury’s Best British Walks featuring yours truly is airing on ITV tonight. I spend a while spreading some ‘hints’ around Facebook, Twitter etc.

With an upcoming session of STV’s Live at Five – Wednesday 1 February, 5pm – I run through the new songs I’m planning on performing and rehearse a few more for good measure.

Mikey arrives mid-afternoon – he’s coming through for the night so Margaret can deal with his accounts and get his tax return done in time.

I’m planning a Facebook video ad to promote the upcoming Scottish shows – but before I can make the ad, I have to create the video…just a short piece to camera.

Half an hour back in the studio with some minor editing and I have a wee clip to upload along with the gig dates/info. Although it’s destined to be an ad, I upload it now to get some traction before throwing some cash at an ad campaign.

Betty pops round with info for us and we have a drink and watch Julia Bradbury’s Best British Walks – despite her questionable (but understandable) pronunciation of some of the place names, the half hour show is a fatastic depiction of our area…and the closing segment with Margaret watching yours truly playing Loch Lomond outside the local coffee shop has survived the threat of the cutting room floor!

After dinner we chat and I set up the Facebook video ad. Rather than promoting (or ‘boosting’) single Facebook events, we’ve found we get much better results and more bang for our buck by having an ad direct to a landing page on my website. And video ads have a much higher success rate than standard ads on Facebook 🙂
 

A quick search found the above clip from Julia Bradbury’s Best British Walks online! Click the image to watch the segment featuring yours truly 🙂

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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