Glas­gow Let­ter Un­wanted visi­tor

The Oban Times - - Letters - ROBERT ROBERT­SON robert.d.robert­son@hot­

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.

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