Scotland The Brave

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I love Scotland. Love it. I love the people, well one or two of them, I love the music, I love the history, and I love the language. I love that we are attached to England and the English, who were and are one of the one of the most remarkable people since the Romans. They conquered three quarters of the world, with our help, spread their language and ideas across the whole world, stole India, got half of China hooked on smack, and colonised everywhere else. That’s impressive. Yet the one place that was never really assimilated was Scotland. They’re still secretly scared of us, because they know, that a Scotsman on the make is a terrible thing. I love the land, I even love driving about in it, usually. But I hate the football. It doesn’t matter how well they do or don’t play, if no one can score goals, it’s pointless. The food is dreadful, the weather is pretty shan, but apart from that I love this place. British by birth; Scottish by the grace of god. Amen.

Scotland has been in the news a lot lately and it’s not just the atrocious football team. The SNP have decided to release the Lockerbie bomber, Al Megrahi on compassionate grounds because he is dying. And the Americans, they no like that. Gordon Brown is twisting in the wind and the whole thing stinks of corruption. However, it was absolutely the right thing to do and I don’t care what the motivation was. Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether or not it was a safe conviction, or if there was a deal made, what no one seems to understand especially the U.S, is this notion of compassion. The guy is dying; send the fucker home, after all, you’re a long time dead. It’s odd especially when you know that the U.S is a deeply religious country, some form of Christianity I believe, and therefore should really be more aware of the teachings of Jesus. It’s not for me, personally. I’m more of a creep-up-behind-you-and-hit-you-with-a-chair kind of a guy, but that’s just me. I’m a lovable scamp. But they should be aware of ideas such as forgiving your enemies, turn the other cheek, love thy neighbour and all that other adorable hippy nonsense. But they’re not.

Of course, in America, they treat terrorists a bit differently. They don’t get a trial, for starters, so they don’t have to worry whether or not the conviction is safe. No conviction, no problem. They simply get shipped off to Guantanamo Bay for years without end, and no charges. Then if they think you might have information regarding other terrorists, or knowledge of an impending attack with WMDs, they’ll torture you. But it’s not torture; it’s enhanced interrogation techniques. They water board you, which isn’t a type of surfing by the way, or anything to do with Snow Boarding. They strap you to a bench, put a rag in your mouth and pour water into your lungs. They call it simulated drowning, and it isn’t actually fatal, but make no mistake, water enters your lungs, you think you will die, it’s torture. Interesting side note, the U.S convicted several Japanese soldiers after the Second World War, for water boarding American prisoners for information. Apparently the Japanese were worried that the Americans were going to attack them with WMDs. Talk about paranoid.

In other news, we recently had a fairly mental run of gigs. Three gigs, forty-four hours and a round trip of about six hundred and odd miles, driving almost non-stop. We set off Friday morning at ten o clock for Ullapool, arriving at the village hall for four pm, for a double header with some no hopers called Big Hand. It was an excellent show from the boys who gradually introduced members of Bombskare onto the stage during their set to play, so that by the end of their set most of us were on stage and we went straight into our set. I got to sing lead vocals on the song ‘Big Hand’. Thanks again to our buddy Niall Robertson and to Rob Hicks for manning the bar. We struck the stage and loaded the van and by three am we were getting some sleep. Up at nine am and away sharp, for the drive to New Deer, about a hundred and sixty miles, to get on stage at the wizard festival at three pm. Did our thing and then got back in the van to drive a hundred and twenty miles back up the road we had just came, to Inverness where we were playing Mad Hatters at around ten. It was quite weird; they opened the doors at about nine thirty and within two minutes the place was rammed. The staff said it was the busiest the place had been in four months, and it was pretty claustrophobic. We did our thing, on the smallest stage we’ve played in a while, but I have to say, it was probably the best gig of the three. I broke three strings on two guitars. We finished around twelve, loaded the van, had another drink then hit the road back to Edinburgh, about one thirty am. One hundred and fifty miles later we were rolling into the Burgh around five, absolutely fucked, especially me, but then again I’m old. Great weekend. Thanks to our pal Reggae Dod for some of the live photos, the good ones.

Now if you’ll excuse me, today is my birthday and I have to get drunk. I’m like a chocoholic, but for booze. Do I look 37?

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