Glasgow Letter Unwanted visitor
THE Tiree Fèis – at which I am teaching guitar this week – is such distractingly good craic that I have barely had a moment to sit down and think about what is going on in Glasgow.
Luckily, I have a funny story that happened at the fèis that perfectly links current goings on in Glasgow with the fèis in Tiree. It all stems from the fact that Glasgow-based Tiree favourites, Trail West, have recently released a video online with a new track they have recorded prior to releasing an album in the coming months. Their video on YouTube is called
Close to Home. It’s a tune written by Malcolm Jones of Runrig that I first heard on the album Malcolm recorded with Donald Black. It is a very powerful melody. I was lucky enough to sing some backing vocals on the forthcoming Trail West album so I have heard plenty snippets of the product.
Having heard a fair bit of it, I would highly recommend buying the album when it is released at Tiree Music Festival later this month. When you buy it, keep an eye out for another track called South Australia – a sea shanty that the boys give laldy. I would definitely tip this to be the next West Coast singalong classic.
Anyway, that’s the serious bit over. Onto the funny story I promised. Teaching at the Tiree Fèis this week has been a great carry- on altogether. On Monday, I was invited along to join the Fèis Bheig (for the toddlers) for 20 minutes.
I settled down with my guitar in the classroom awaiting the arrival of the kids. I could hear the teacher speaking to them in Gaelic next door.
‘Now children,’ she said. ‘ We’ve got a very special surprise for you indeed this afternoon.’
Their sense of excitement for who it might be was palpable. ‘ We’re going to go next door – and waiting on us is a very important guest. Can you guess who it might be?’ Every hand in the air shot up.
‘Santa Claus?’ answered one of the kids.
‘Not quite,’ consoled the rather disheartened teacher. ‘But he is still a very exciting guest. He’s a very, very famous musician.’
Again, every hand in the air rose immediately, and one wee balach shouted: ‘Is it one of the Trail West boys?’
The poor kids were desperately disappointed to discover that I was neither Santa Claus, nor a member of Trail West.
If you get the chance to put your ears on their version of Close To Home, you will immediately see why there is such hero-worship on the island for those boys. It is a cracking recording, and I wish the boys all the very best with it.
Trail West are preparing to launch their new album at Tiree this month.