Monday 3 September 2018


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Great presentation from Jay at the MU’s ‘How to Win Friends & Influence Promoters’ session…

MARGARET drops me in Milngavie and I walk to the station and jump on a train into town.

My meeting isn’t ’til 11.30am, so McDonalds is my office until then and I get artwork done for – and oder – a banner stand for the local community trust.

En route to my meeting I drop a poster for my King Tuts show (22 November) into Love Music then meet Derick for a coffee and a chat about all things live music.

Next stop is the Scottish Music Centre for a How to Win Friends & Influence Promoters session run by the MU (Musicians’ Union). It’s being delivered by our pal Jay – house promoter and Night & Day in Manchester..there’s a great turnout and everyone finds it really useful and informative. Nice to catch up with a bunch of folks too.

Once done, Jay and I go for a coffee then he hits the station for the train back to Manchester and Margaret picks me up.

Back home, I get a little more work done then we meet Betty and Joe in the local pub for dinner.

Friday 13 October 2017


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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 🙂

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….

Tuesday 4 July 2017


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THERE’S some work to be done on the local hall website before I head into Glasgow for my hearing test and earplug fitting at LoFi studios.

Help Musicians UK, the Musicians Union and Musicians’ Hearing Health are working together to offer musicians affordable (ie: £40 – or £30 for MU members – as opposed to over £300!) hearing tests and earplugs…well worth checking out!

I meet Geraldine from Musicians’ Hearing Health who runs through the test – seems my hearing is all good – and squirts stuff in my lugs to make moulds for custom hearing protection/earplugs. 

It’s an interesting process and we have a good wee chat before I go on my way. 

There’s a wee diary piece about yours truly in The Herald so I pick up a copy, go to the bank and pick up a bunch of shopping before driving home.

There’s time to get a wee bit more work done on the hall website before we head along to Betty and Joe’s for dinner. We’re joined by some other local pals and have a wonderful night – seems ages since we’ve had a get-together like this. Thanks Betty 🙂

Tuesday 13 June 2017


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All About the Song panel – Dan Moore (BASCA), songwriter Mike Macdermid, Derick Mackinnon and Keren McKean – with Louise Stanners Pow (MU).

FIRST trip into Glasgow of the week. 

Margaret drops me in Milngavie and I get the train into town where I hole myself up in McDonalds with a coffee and use the wifi for a few hours.

When I’ve got most of the day’s work done – or at least under control – I go in search of shampoo. But neither the Boots in Buchanan Galleries nor the St Enoch Centre have it….so I pick up a sandwich, plonk myself down in the St Enoch Centre atrium and order the shampoo on Amazon.

I deal with another few online bits and bobs while  eat my sandwich then make my way to the Scottish Music Centre for a Musicians’ Union (MU) event.

All About the Song – co-hosted by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors) – features an interview with songwriter Mike Macdermid followed by a listening session giving feedback to songs submitted in advance by attendees.

There’s a good turnout including a few folks I know from previous MU events. BASCA’s Dan Moore pulls lots of good info, tips and insights from the interview with Mike and the following listening session is constructive and useful for everyone, not just those getting feedback on their own songs (including myself…they were very kind!).

The event is followed by networking/drinks and, having been for all the shopping, Margaret comes to pick me up and hangs out for a while.

When we roll up home I realise I left my bag – laptop and load of other stuff – at the Scottish Music Centre. Doh!

A few phone calls and I think it’s been retrieved and safely locked away. Margaret will pick it up tomorrow.

Monday 13 February 2017


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Leaving the lights of London behind as we fly back to Glasgow…

OFF TO London…but not so early as to have to catch the red eye.

My meeting’s not ’til 2.30pm, but my flight from Glasgow to London City leaves 1/2-hour late which means I have to rush across London to get to Musicians’ Union (MU) HQ so’s not to be late. I get there bang on time.

The baldy wee fud next to me on the plane ignores the announcement to stow away laptops and table as we prepare to land…then he ignores the stewardess’s polite request to put it away. I’m torn between telling him myself and saying nothing to see how long it’ll take him to put the computer away. He doesn’t. And of course by the time we’re on the ground it’s pointless saying anything anyway.

I can’t help wondering how someone can have the arrogance to behave like that. Is he stupid? Was he hoping to start a fight? Ass-hole. I resist the temptation to smack him in the pus for being such an arrogant wee shite once we’re off the plane! Anyway…

The meeting was called at late notice to deal with some urgent business. It’s dealt with quickly and we also manage to get through a few more important issues – we’re done just after 5.30pm and it’s been a very positive and productive afternoon.

I don’t have to rush quite so much on the return trip and have time to stop off en route to pick up a  sashimi salad to eat at the airport. For all it’s convenience, London City airport has a crap selection of food available…and what there is, is incredibly over-priced. 

I panic as my bag’s pulled aside at security. Maybe they’re gonna confiscate my sashimi…there’s likely a wee bottle of soy sauce in there. The security guy says “you have liquids!’…I look back quizzically and pull out the sashimi salad box. Nope. I rummage about again. Turns out there’s a wee bottle of hand wash in the bottom of the bag. It’s been in there for years and goodness knows how many airport security checks it’s gone through unnoticed!

I apologise as he runs a check on the wee bottle, bags it up and gives me it back with a smile.

The flight back to Glasgow is quiet and I sleep most of the way. I tighten the cap on the miniature of malt and slip it my pocket to enjoy later…better not drink it on the plane ‘cos I’ve to drive home.

It’s nearly 11pm when I get home and share a bottle of red with Margaret then head to 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

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