Glas­gow Let­ter

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

The Park Bar al­bum was well and truly launched on Sun­day when 50 years of ceilidh mu­sic was rolled into a won­der­ful eight-hour ses­sion of songs, tunes, drams, and non­sense.

For all of us who were there, this was an oc­ca­sion we will never for­get, mark­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of the Park Bar re­ceiv­ing its mu­sic li­cence. Mu­sic was from Gary Innes and friends, Sk­er­ryvore, Gunna Sound, Dodgy Ground, Deoch ’n’ Dorus, Martin Pot­tinger, Eriskay Lilt, Scott Har­vey, Trail West, my­self with a cou­ple of the Tide Lines boys, and the star of the show - who else but the leg­endary Don­ald Macrae?

It is hard to be­lieve all those bands played on the same stage on the same day but it was all kept go­ing like clock­work by Ross Wil­son, who or­gan­ised the en­ter­tain­ment and also pro­duced the al­bum. As many peo­ple said, it is peo­ple who make the Park Bar and there were many stal­wart at­ten­dees of the pub in at­ten­dance.

I en­joyed a good blether with ‘Don­nie the Hear­ach’, for ex­am­ple, and it was also great to hear a song or two from Bernie Smith se­nior.

Nina Steele, the cur­rent man­ager­ess, made a speech in which she thanked all the mu­si­cians who have played over the years and ev­ery­one who had sup­ported the pub. She also paid trib­ute to for­mer man­ager, Terry Fer­gu­son, who first ap­plied for the mu­sic li­cence 50 years ago. Terry couldn’t be there but his son, Terry ju­nior, made a fan­tas­tic speech which in my view re­ally en­cap­su­lated the ethos of the Park per­fectly.

‘You show me an­other bar in Glas­gow,’ he said, ‘ where you can come on a Satur­day night and see a 79-year old- danc­ing with a 19-year- old and no­body bats an eye­lid.’

He made spe­cial men­tion of Les­lie MacColl and Don­ald Macrae - whom he de­scribed as the ‘ key­stone’ of the Park Bar. He joked that per­haps the Rolling Stones were the only other mu­si­cal in­sti­tu­tion to have lasted 50 years - and his com­par­i­son be­tween Don­ald Macrae and Mick Jagger, as well as Martin Pot­tinger and Keith Richards, brought the house down with laugh­ter.

Terry fin­ished off his speech with the fa­mous quote from the late, great Is­lay MacTag­gart: ‘Sing Park Bar!’

And sing they did for the rest of the night. And sing they will, I am cer­tain, for an­other 50 years at least.

The al­bum is avail­able to buy on eBay and from the Park Bar, with pro­ceeds go­ing to the RNLI.

What’s on

Fri­day Jan­uary 27: The Glas­gow Uist and Barra As­so­ci­a­tion new year dance in the Glas­gow Univer­sity Union. Jan­uary 19-Fe­bru­ary 5: Celtic Con­nec­tions Fes­ti­val - sched­ule and tick­ets avail­able on celtic­connec­

Pub scene

Park Bar. Fri­day Jan­uary 20: Gunna Sound. Satur­day Jan­uary 21: Beinn Lee. Sun­day Jan­uary 22: Beinn Lee. Is­lay Inn. Fri­day Jan­uary 20: Crooked Reel. Satur­day Jan­uary 21: The Rag­gaels. Wed­nes­day Jan­uary 25: quiz night.

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