The Oban Times - - Letters - AN­GUS MACPHAIL an­gus­macphail@ya­

LAST week I was back on Tiree for the funeral of an old fam­ily friend.

Over the course of the oth­er­wise very sad trip, there were three un­re­lated pos­i­tive threads that added to the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing home.

Sk­er­ryvore sin­gle

Last Tues­day, Jan­uary 31, Sk­er­ryvore re­leased their new sin­gle, Live Forev

er, and the next day my mother and I were hooked on iTunes, mon­i­tor­ing its as­cent up the charts. It very quickly hit num­ber one in the World Mu­sic chart and shortly af­ter, burst into the top 100 of the main­stream charts and con­tin­ued up all day.

Recorded in the USA, the sub­ject mat­ter and the feel of the song are very much in the style that Sk­er­ryvore have cre­ated and the preva­lent elec­tric gui­tar chord se­quences and riffs give a strong rock ef­fect. The lyrics of the cho­rus have been crafted per­fectly to bring an au­di­ence to life by singing the re­peated words at the end of each line. This song is go­ing to be a new high­light of their live shows.

A new boat for the Acair­said

As I al­ways do when I’m home, I took a drive down to the har­bour at Cao­las and then on to the houses at Mil­ton. This is my favourite part of Tiree.

See­ing the Acair­said full of boats is a heart­en­ing sight and it is more heart­en­ing to know a new ad­di­tion to the fleet is com­ing soon.

Coin­neach MacKin­non from Hill­crest is up­grad­ing from his 26-foot creel boat to a multi-pur­pose 37-foot ves­sel which as well as be­ing rigged for creels, can be eas­ily switched to dredge for scal­lops or trawl for fish and prawns. Fish­ing is a stand- out suc­cess story in Tiree in re­cent years and this type of ad­vance­ment and diver­si­fi­ca­tion rep­re­sents the con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment of this vi­tal in­dus­try.

You can have all the mu­sic in the world com­ing off an is­land but it is young peo­ple work­ing and liv­ing at home and hav­ing fam­i­lies that will keep it alive.

So un­til all us dandy mu­si­cian types can work out a way of con­quer­ing the lo­gis­tics of is­land travel, it is up to the fish­er­men, crofters and other year­round res­i­dents to keep the pop­u­la­tion up, and Coin­neach is cer­tainly do­ing a good job of that.

Alas­tair Camp­bell

At the risk of a flurry of com­plaints, I ad­mit to hav­ing been a fan of Alas­tair Camp­bell for many years, so it was nice to meet him twice in the course of the last two weeks, once in Glas­gow and then at his Aun­tie Mairi’s funeral on Tiree.

On the way to Mil­ton, I was lis­ten­ing to Ra­dio Four’s Me­dia Show on which he was a guest. His hu­mour and agility in con­ver­sa­tion, his con­cise style and his clar­ity of mes­sage were, as al­ways, re­fresh­ing to hear and com­pleted the tril­ogy of Tiris­deach tid­ings of the week.

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