Friday 30 June 2017

First of two Almost Blue Festival shows – Church, Dundee

ANOTHER early start to get Ted and Laurie into Glasgow for their train to London – glad we didn’t drink too much last night!

Once I’ve dropped our guests off I pick up a bunch of new-design t-shirts – and a couple of experimental hoodies – from Kenny at T-Shirt Cat in Dennistoun. Good to have them in time for tonight and tomorrow’s Almost Blue festival shows in Dundee.

When I get home there’s time to get a little work done, including putting the new shirts on sale on the online store then I pack the gear and we make for Dundee, pick up house keys from Alison who we’re staying with, then load in at the venue.

Engineer Lee greets us at Church and soundcheck’s done in a jiffy so there’s plenty time to go and get some grub in a nearby pub. After the excess of the last week – and the likely over-indulgence later tonight and tomorrow – we go for the healthy options. Chicken caesar salad for Margaret and I opt for a quinoa salad with grilled halloumi. And a bottle of water.

Back at the venue, The Good Doctor kick things off. They’re followed by VFLambda who play a brilliant set – haven’t heard them before, but we really like them.

Then yours truly takes the stage for a 90-minute, whisky-fuelled set. After chatting with folks round the merch table we load out and go back to Alison’s for pizza and red wine then crash.

VFLambda play an awesome set

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Saturday 1 October 2016

View from the stage with Have Mercy Las Vegas

View from the stage with Have Mercy Las Vegas

NOT only is it eNewsletter day, it’s Balmaha’s Braw Weekend…and we leave for the US tour at 4am on Monday morning.

Once the eNEwsletter’s out and shared on social media I take some extra lighting down to the festival site for tonight’s live music.

The site opens at 11am and there’s already a great buzz about the place.

I spend the morning and early afternoon dotting between the site and the office getting things done. The other bands for tonight’s live music will be arriving between 3pm and 4pm.

Everything goes like clockwork. The afternoon entertainment finishes at 4.30pm and we get all the gear loaded in and everyone gets a quick soundcheck.

Mark McGowan kicks off the music at 7pm then is followed by the magnificent Miracle Glass Company at 8pm, myself at 9pm then Have Mercy Las Vegas at 10pm. Have Mercy Las Vegas invite me to join them onstage and play on their forthcoming single St Peter’s Blues.

A brilliant night..think we might be suffering a bit in the morning tho’!

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Friday 30 September 2016

A gala dinner followed by a ceilidh gets Balmaha's Braw Weekend off to a fine start....

A gala dinner followed by a ceilidh gets Balmaha’s Braw Weekend off to a fine start….

MARGARET’S got an emergency dentist appointment – something’s not right after yesterday’s treatment –so I drop her off in the village on my way into Glasgow.

I’m playing three songs for a TradTV and filming is at midday – I’m not exactly prepared, but have an idea of what I’ll play!

The session goes great then I stop at a McDonald’s in  the hope my Facebook video trailer for the USA tour will upload a bit faster from their wifi – it didn’t work from home! McDonalds wifi is crap too, so I end up tethering my phone and using my mobile connection. It works.

When I get home, Margaret’s still uncomfortable…the dentist couldn’t find anything wrong, so she’s got an appointment with the doctor later

.There’s a crazy amount of stuff needing done for the USA tour and some phone calls setting up some PR stuff then we get ourselves ready for the Balmaha’s Braw Weekend launch – a gala dinner and ceilidh in the main marquee.

We have a brilliant night of food, dancing and drinking…it’s gonna be a great weekend!

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Thursday 29 September 2016

STV come to film a preview of this weekend's Balmaha's Braw Weekend festival...

STV come to film a preview of this weekend’s Balmaha’s Braw Weekend festival…

AFTER breakfast and the usual email activity I pack a guitar and head to the Braw Weekend festival site – STV folks are coming to film a preview piece for tomorrow’s (Friday) Live at Five.

It’s been really (really!) windy and wet all night and earlier this morning, so it’s good to see all the marquees and tents still intact and holding their own.

The main marquee/tent for the Saturday night music is huge – and has a whole ‘window’ wall overlooking the loch which is just feet away.

Nice to see Live at Five‘s Jennifer and David – I’ve been on their show (and its predecessor The Riverside Show) quite a few times. We have a chat then they film some interviews with festival organiser Stuart and chocolate maker Melanie who’s doing a daytime demo. They film a little of me playing/messing with the guitar and wee interview and we’re done.

There’s a hell of a lot needing done – not least ‘cos we head for the USA on Monday….leaving about 4am!

I need to put together a quick video for a Facebook ad to promote the entire USA tour so Margaret quickly films me playing and talking to camera and I cut in some live clips and set it to upload over our cranky, snails’-pace broadband.

I’m out of time on so many things, not least some of the regional and local press & PR for the USA tour. We have a telephone chat with a news release distributor and online media directory provider to see if we can find an affordable way to get the tour news release out there. Margaret has a good chat, so fingers crossed we can cut some kind of deal.

My eNewsletter needs to be written and designed, ready to go out first thing on Saturday morning (1st of the month!)….I know I’ll be up to my arse tomorrow and Saturday, so it needs done now, and automatically scheduled to go out on Saturday.

It’s late by this time and I need to close up the office…but the Facebook video is still only half uploaded. I lock up the studio leaving the computer churning away and hope it’ll be uploaded by the morning..

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Saturday 2 July 2016

Great crowd at Clarks....

Great crowd at Clarks….

OOOFFFT…feeling pretty broken and busted this morning. Too much whisky, hard bed and generally knackered.

We head off to meet Susie for coffee in the centre of Dundee and have some lunch too. Nice to see her and catch up.

There’s some stuff we forgot to bring so we drop into Boots and Superdrug then make out way back to the hotel where I have a wee nap.

Load in at Clarks is at 5pm and Kit’s there to meet us and help us in. It’s a whole different world from last night – great room, top PA and an engineer!

By the time I kick off at 6pm the place is rammed. A faulty guitar takes the wind out my sails and I have to retune another, but the crowd doesn’t mind and I have a fantastic time playing. A great crowd and magic vibe throughout.

We’re fed after the show then we go for a drink to somewhere a but quieter with Catriona, Viv, Mike, Laura, Grant and some more pals.

A magic night apart form the fucked guitar. If there’s time tomorrow I’ll get hold of some tools and soldering iron and see if I can sort it out in time for the night-time shows. if not, back to retuning the back guitar!

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