Mad In Scotland


The other day we were talking about trying to create Ska in pill form. I don’t wish to appear lazy but I would love that. Think of the hassle it would save. No more would we have to get up out of bed, get dressed and go to gigs for our Ska fix. No more wailing and gnashing of teeth, no more outbursts of violent dipsomania, just clean refreshing drugs. We could just stay in bed and skank. Alas I fear that technology may not be up to the challenge and so in the meantime we will continue to use our traditional delivery system; ear shattering volume.

Most of you probably know this already but we love Root System. Love them. They are practically family. In fact I claim them all as dependants. When they asked us to play a series of dates with them to promote their new CD we only had one question. Cuánto dinero para nosotros? So after some incredibly brutal negotiations it was settled. We would play five dates with the boys to promote their CD, and in return we would get 100% of the door over the five nights, and 150% of the CD sales until the end of time. I know, I know; we are far too good to those guys but as I have said before, they are family, and that’s how we treat family.

First date was the Saturday at the Greensider in Leslie, which was the usual sweaty and claustrophobic free-for-all that we have come to love about the Greensider. However not for much longer as I have been informed it is soon to be augmented in some way, perhaps with space. I believe they are having oxygen installed too. We had Vini with us that night as Sam was off seeing the Chippendales or something. Great night although there was a terrible fight outside during Root System’s set, nothing to do with gig though. That’s the Kingdom for ye! We would also like to give a honourable mention to Junkstar the first band, who were excellent. Funkylicious.

Second date was Thursday at Sleazies in Glasgow, and who couldn’t be excited at the prospect of another weeknight gig in good old Sleazies. We’ve dropped the ‘nice’, although we do recommend the food.

Third date was Friday at Monty’s over in Dunfermline. We played in Monty’s a year or two back for Aron and the Ska-matics and it was a brilliant night. This night proved to be a belter too, the main thing I remember is that it was loud. I mean, REALLY LOUD! No, block capitals don’t convey the loudness. Suffice to say I was deafened. That being said it was a great night and a great set from both Junkstar and Root System. For some reason it was decided that we would headline even though it was a Roots show, so we went on last. By the end it was as hot and sweaty as a Bannermans gig. I’ve never had to wring the sweat out of my leather hat before.

Fourth date was Saturday at the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes. Great crowd and a great night overshadowed by the fact that the sound was terrible. The venue is basically a concrete fortress with a hardwood floor. Terrific for surviving a nuclear blast and then passing the nuclear winter by playing basketball; not so great for live music. The sound just ricochets everywhere. Every time Sam hit the kick drum, the sound just bounced off the back wall and came back at us a split second later. It was pretty rough but we got through it fine. You just have to get your head down and hope everyone else is counting too. Everyone played a decent set considering, but the best band that night were Junkstar, no question. Tight as a gnats chuff!

Last date was the Doghouse in Dundee and by Sunday we were all pretty fried I guess. It should be noted that Kev from Roots was still downing a bottle of Sambuca before he went on, each night. Four bottles on four consecutive nights is excessive but he did it and still not only managed to stand but also perform. It was decided against our will that we would headline again. A controversial decision but we agreed after much huffing and puffing. Roots played probably the best set of the five nights in Dundee, and the sound was excellent, more than making up for the Rothes Halls. By the time we took to the stage, it was a puddle of sweat and alcohol, mainly alcohol. An entire copy of The Sun couldn’t even soak up that much fluid, although it is one of the best possible use for The Sun. We played an hour and it was probably the best hour of the five shows. Excellent. Cheers again to those magnificent bastards Root System, to Junkstar, to Raegen and of course to everyone who came. On a personal note I lost my brown hat at the Doghouse, which is a scunner. I’ll recognise it instantly however, so all you Dundonians consider yourself warned.

One last thing, and I would like to clear this up once and for all. Someone posted a comment recently saying that we are legends. That’s nonsense. We exist. We’re real. I’m touching me right now and it’s awesome!

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