You may not believe this but last month I almost forgot about the Toots and the Maytals gig which we were playing at, I mean, when was the last time we had a gig on a Tuesday night? Fortunately I had set a reminder on my phone: it read ‘Scott, remember to play with Toots and the Maytals. Scott’. At the time I thought I was getting text messages from the future; these new mobile phones are pretty sophisticated after all. I almost texted myself back; ‘Cheers man, is there still an NHS where you come from?’ I admit I may have been smoking the ‘jazz’ cigarettes, but I soon realised my error, that it was actually a text message from the past. When we arrived the promoter changed the running order so that we were the first band on. We didn’t particularly mind this, not being an ego-driven bunch of prima donnas, but it meant most of the people who wanted to see us arrived just in time to miss our set completely, so apologies to everyone about that but it was out of our hands. Second band on were Captain Slackship and the Mezzanine All-stars, great name, great band, then it was our western cousins The Amphetameanies, who were excellent as always with new tunes and everything. Toots was his usual self, bloody great and unable to play a song shorter than ten minutes. The most important feature of the evening was the test flight of our new saxophonist Calum Cummins who survived intact and did a splendid job, not exactly a low key gig for a debut. Cheers to Neill Connell for driving half the band through to Glasgow. Also I have a confession; I’m the one that stole Toots’ giant green, gold and red flag. It’s in our rehearsal studio now and I have to tell you, I don’t even feel guilty. Does that make me a bad person?
Amongst other things we also played the Wickerman festival again as you may have noticed. That was a great gig, technically not our best performance but an amazing reaction from the crowd, around 1500 bodies I was told; they were queuing into the marquee to hear us. Thanks to everyone there who gave us such an amazing welcome. I seem to remember that at one point the PA cut out leaving us with just drums and horns. Everyone thought it was part of our set. Also thanks to Rab and his crew from Stevenson College who have apparently filmed the gig. That should be interesting. We missed Root System who were playing on Friday, but we did catch The Meanies who were on after us. Also, you’ve seen the pictures of Colin sleeping on the ground in his army sleeping bag, and I just want to be clear, his tent wasn’t stolen; that was his plan all along, to pass out in a ditch with his sleeping bag. Some people are just born homeless. Thanks to Ian Sloan for some of the photos of us and The Meanies.
Before we played Belladrum we played at our regular haunt in Aviemore at Café Mambo to give Calum a bit more practice at our huge set list. He has got his work cut out. For him it’s also a good experience of a small Bombskare gig with the crowd right in your face, so close that they kick your drinks over. Thanks to our buddy Deeks from the Pandas, and Fran, for driving us up there with about an hours notice, fucking cars!
It was our first time at Belladrum this year, which was cracking. As well as playing to another packed out marquee like the Wickerman, we played a much better set by our own standards. Thanks to everyone there. We also ran into our old Shetland friends Jeff and Mike Appleford who we haven’t seen in years. We haven’t been back to Shetland since 2003, which is tragic because we love the gigs up there. Jeff used to promote the gigs but nowadays there are no decent venues he explained. It was a great festival anyway, and we hope to be invited back.
Last week we were invited back to play at the Fringe By The Sea in North Berwick, which is about as close to the Edinburgh Festival I usually like to get, fucking tourists. This year we were supported by Beezer, a Weezer tribute act, featuring our good friend the right honourable Ali Wales, and our other good friend, neighbour and sometime engineer Mister Graeme Young. I’m not too familiar with Weezer’s material, but the boys were superb. We had a great time at that; the speigeltent is such a nice place to play and we are treated like kings. Thanks to everyone down in N.B especially Eric and Ali Wales, Charlie and all the crew.
We have also been back into the studio again, after a little bit of a break. We have been focusing on mixing the forthcoming live album ‘How The North Was Won’, which you can hear examples of on our music player and on MySpace, so it was good to get back to work on the second album. So far we have sixteen songs in various stages of completion, mostly completed, but we are planning to put down even more tracks, probably twenty in all, which will eventually be whittled down to between thirteen and fifteen tracks eventually. A lot of the material hasn’t been heard before, some of it only played live once, but so far, I have to say, they sound bloody great.
One more thing, we’ll be playing the Eden festival in a few weeks time, but due to some problems with some of the other acts we have been moved from the main stage to one of the other stages on the Friday night. We had been offered the slot right before the headline act on the Saturday as an alternative but unfortunately some of our boys can’t be there on the Saturday due to other commitments, so we’ve been slightly downgraded I guess. No matter, we’ll still have a ball. See you there.