Bobby, I'm still jealous of the amount of amazing music you get your way.
Well 2 weeks ago I was at the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland feat. Nicola Benedetti. at the brilliant GRCH (which as I have previously stated I have a love-hate relationship with) Well let's just say what a talented bunch of young musicians. Not one mistake and just incredible music throughout. The highlight of the night was of course Nicola Benedetti featuring on Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. The music took you into the deepest thoughts and imaginations carrying you through incredible stories. The future is bright for Scottish classical music.
Last Thursday and Friday I saw Toots and the Maytals first of all at the Liquid Room in Edinburgh, and then at the O2 ABC in Glasgow.
Well, the Liquid Room is pretty grim, its a rather dank little basement club on Victoria Street (the curved street from the Grassmarket to George IV Bridge). With Festival going on all around, I confined myself to staying on Victoria Street, away from that great evil. The Festival crowd did come into it's own however at the gig, removing Edinburgh's usual stuffiness and making it a truly fantastic gig, far better than any (non-Proclaimers) gig I've experienced in Edinburgh. The band turned up just as the doors were due to open, so sadly we were delayed by nearly an hour before we got in, but fortunately with just one support act we were able to get straight into the gig. And for a man old enough for a bus pass, Toots Hibbert does not show it. He boogied, roared, sang and got the crowd singing and dancing along like no one in the current music market can do. Much to my delight, the two delightful female backing singers (one of which was the night's support act) came out first and did pictures and autographs. Then the main man himself came out, and despite the pressure of the roadie, did a few autographs and pictures (sadly I didn't manage to get a picture, much to my frustration)
The following night it was off to my favourite city, one that doesn't need a festival to enjoy itself, and also back to one of my favourite venues, the brilliant O2 ABC. Well, back to the his usual style he had a few support acts this time, two in the form of Scottish ska bands, they kept the small crowd who had decided to turn up early going until the main man himself. Meanwhile, at this gig one of the Toots touring crew was selling t-shirts, which I gladly bought. Then the support act of the previous night, Chantelle Ernandez, warmed us up with a few excellent songs before toots himself came on stage to resounding cheers. Glasgow's audience was very much different, there to dance rather than sing, but having an amazing time to go with it. Anyway, before the gig, I had managed to get a poster thanks to the great people at the O2 ABC, and afterwards Toots signed it as his only autograph of the night.
Well, I couldn't wait until next week to see my next gig (Justin Townes Earle), so I have added in a gig this coming Friday, going to see Dougie MacLean again, but this time at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh.