An alt musical tour of Scotland


It’s a famous Scottish myth that u. S .’s whole track scene can be located in Glasgow, with the broader valuable belt presenting occasional diversions in the course of the Edinburgh galas. In reality, exceptional acts may be discovered within the remotest corners, with village venues frequently attracting crowds as big as the towns, assisting to create harmonious groups in far-flung places.

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I realize this, due to the fact as a track journalist I even have written approximately many of them and met much more on the track enterprise events I organize. Moreover, as a member of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, I am used to plying traffic with hints for stay tune.

But no matter this, I even have lengthy experienced niggling guilt over my failure to strive to be a song vacationer in my own u. S ., a sense that grows whenever I go back from covering an uncommon foreign festival.

After consulting photographer Jannica Honey, we decide that the Isle of Lewis has to be the final destination of our road ride, that the directors have to pass the towns and that we’ll be capable of force the route without resorting to satnav (we fail on that closing one).

Along the manner, we discover Johnny Cash’s Fife ancestry, forestall at the statue to a multimillion-promoting accordionist, go to the authentic domestic city of legendary AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, revel in Dougie MacLean’s Dunkeld and meet the folks that put Ullapool on the musical map.

We begin our ride north of Edinburgh, looking out throughout the Firth of Forth from Queensferry, from where pilgrims used to move to reach the holy sites of Dunfermline and St Andrew’s. Back in the Nineteen Eighties when Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and his then spouse Chrissy Hynde lived right here, they would have taken inside the same view of the majestic rail bridge stretching over to the Kingdom of Fife.

We had at the start planned to head in the direction of St Andrews and the East Neuk of Fife location, which has to end up synonymous with King Creosote’s Fence Collective and provided a springboard for the likes of the Beta Band, KT Tunstall, and James Yorkston. The Fence Collective, Will Hodgkinson wrote within the Guardian in 2005, was “an ever-increasing organization of neighborhood musicians that, with no longer tons extra than a CD burner and the returned room of a seafront pub known as the Ship Tavern, grew to become Anstruther village into one of the most not going creative hubs in Europe”. However, this unique scene and its places are amply covered in Vic Galloway’s e-book Songs In The Key of Fife, so we take the 20-minute power to Dunfermline instead.

The metropolis is the final resting vicinity of Robert the Bruce and spawned Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Big Country and one in every of Scotland’s maximum successful girl artists, Barbara Dickson, who as soon as crowned the charts (I Know Him So Well, with Elaine Paige, 1985) for what appeared like half a 12 months.

We have a late breakfast on the Fire Station arts centre, that is hosting an exhibition by any other local hero, former Skids frontman Richard Jobson. His band played 14 indicates at the former Kinema Ballroom (renamed Velocity, then closed down), throughout the street. The Clash’s movie Rude Boy consists of pictures of them appearing Tommy Gun within the venue.

Slightly deflated by using the death of such an iconic establishment, we raise our spirits by way of putting on a Johnny Cash compilation and power for 1/2 an hour in the direction of Strathmiglo, a quiet village whose churchyard he refers to in his autobiography, Cash, the Man In Black. Although there’s no plaque, two amused ladies direct us to an avenue known as Cash Feu, which leads on to Wester Cash Farm.

After similarly investigation, we discover that the country legend traced his roots to the vicinity after a threat assembly with the keeper of close by Falkland Palace, domestic to the world’s oldest tennis court docket still in use. Cash visited 3 times and in 1981 even recorded a TV Christmas special on the historical building. Today, the family connection with Scotland is maintained by means of Johnny’s daughter, Rosanne, who has worked with Scottish accordionist Phil Cunningham.

In nearby Auchtermuchty, we stop on the statue of Jimmy Shand, an earlier grasp of the button container, who in no way moved faraway from Fife despite selling millions of data and composing over 300 songs. The laird of Auchtermuchty changed into the accordion equal to an awl virtuoso, and his playing became so fast the Hohner business enterprise constructed him an tool mainly to fit his approach.

After paying our respects to Shand, we go the Firth of Tay. Our next vacation spot is Assai Records, a new vinyl-simplest store in Broughty Ferry, a seashore suburb of Dundee. I purchase King Creosote’s soundtrack to From Scotland With Love, a moving assemblage of pictures from the Scottish movie archive, which incorporates scenes of households saying good-bye to loved ones departing for brand spanking new lives foreign places.

It is an appropriate topic for our next destination, Kirriemuir, a picturesque metropolis of pink sandstone, with a population of approximately 6,000.

Future rock god Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (who tragically died in southeast London in 1980 elderly simply 33), spent the first six years of his lifestyles in Kirriemuir, before his own family emigrated to Australia, in which two decades later he met Glasgow-born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. Many AC/DC lovers are ignorant of the singer’s origins and as we technique the currently unveiled, existence-length bronze statue, I am already making a mental list of pals I need to carry right here.

We have organized to fulfill John Crawford, chairman of the yearly Bonfest, which increases price range for the nearby DD8 adolescent’s tune institution, run through Graham Galloway. The two guys were at the back of a crowdsourcing campaign that raised the money to feed the statue.